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Archive: Columns

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The Rockstar Ramblings: More Camouflage Girl!

This week we have videos that mix well with acid, crazy eyes, ninjas, and the band Krokus. Yes, that Krokus. More...

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Pit Stories: Grindcore Mayhem

Every week Metalunderground.com checks in with rock and metal acts from across the world to find their best mosh pit stories.

Vocalist Bryce Lucien of Texas act Seeker today shares a story of an out-of-control Daughters show (Daughters being no stranger to live antics). Bryce tells the following tale:

There are very few pits that have stuck with me. Years on the road have left me desensitized to most of the ridiculous happenings at shows, but there is one experience that was so extreme in its GG Allen-esque awesomeness and so relentless in its lack of fucks given that it will forever be seared into my memory...

This was 8 or 9 years ago now... Daughters and An Albatross were in town and me, being the total grind fanatic that I am, was obviously beside myself with excitement. I got to the show early, made sure I was front and center, and prepared myself for what I was sure would be the most wonderfully abrasive and debauched show that I had ever attended. After suffering through two despicably awful locals, Daughters finally took the stage and began sound checking. Their singer was nowhere to be seen. The band yelled for him over the PA and minutes later he finally walks onstage, scowling, glossy eyed, beer in hand... he was so fucking cool. The band launched into their first song and the crowd exploded. I was shoved into the stage, punched, jumped on, and I didn't care. I loved it.

However, through all the mayhem I noticed that their singer wasn't singing any of the words and there was a gagging sound coming through the speakers so I looked over and realize that he is standing on the lip of the stage, deep throating the mic, and flipping off the crowd. He then pulls the mic out of his mouth and projectile vomits all over the stage. As he does this I feel a pair of shoes connect with the back of my head. I turn around and see the crowd surfing girl momentarily get sucked back into the sea of arms before being thrown at me again. I duck and the singer of Daughters grabs her left shoe, rips it off, pours his beer into it, chugs it, throws the shoe back into the crowd, falls off the stage, and finally screams his first line...

This all happened in less than 2 minutes. The rest of their 10 minute set was just as insane. This is probably a really horrible reflection on me, but that night totally solidified my love for this lifestyle and my desire to tour...oh well. Fuck it.

You can check out Seeker's music video for "Serpent Skin" in the player below, along with a list of upcoming tour dates later this month. A teaser for the new single "Alone" is also available at this location.

Be sure to check back in next Tuesday for the next in our series of heavy metal Pit Stories. More...

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Sunday Old School: Acid Reign

British thrash metal rarely ever gets much of a mention whenever the genre is discussed. But a little bit of research (or if you don’t like reading, a new documentary film,) will show that there were plenty of quality thrash bands from the British thrash scene, and among the finest were Acid Reign. Acid Reign were formed in 1985 in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate by vocalist Howard "H" Smith, guitarist Gary "Gaz" Jennings, bass player Ian Gangwer and drummer Mark Ramsey Wharton. After slogging it out in small venues for two years, the group were able to record a demo entitled, "Moshkinstein" in 1987, which attracted the attention of Under One Flag Records (a subsidiary of Music For Nations which specialised in thrash metal and home of one of Britain’s most popular thrash bands, Onslaught.) They re-released the "Moshkinstein" demo through the label as an EP, which helped the group to secure support slots for other cult thrash metal stars such as Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam and Nuclear Assault, as well as Bay Area kings Exodus, striking up a friendship with the latter two.

Following the tour with Nuclear Assault, the band were finally able to release their debut full length album, "The Fear" in 1989. The album was something of an underground success, peaking at number ten on the UK Indie Charts and another tour with Nuclear Assault soon followed, taking the band across Europe, before they embarked on a tour with Dark Angel and Swedish doom metal act Candlemass. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Viva Hysterical!

Def Leppard is the latest band to take residency in Las Vegas and play a string of shows. The band is using the opportunity to celebrate their ‘Hysteria’ album and have titled the event “Viva Hysteria!” More...

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Pit Stories: The Crowd Takeover

Every week we chat up bands from around the globe to find their favorite stories from metal shows. This week, bassist Morgan Rider of Canadian act Vesperia had this tale to share about the crowd taking over the stage during a Dimebag tribute:

We were doing a show in Ottawa a couple of years ago and it happened to be a Pantera / Dimebag tribute show. We knew about this show a while in advance, so we came up with a folk metal version of "Fucking Hostile."

During our set, the time came for us to play the song, so we invited some people to come up and sing it with us. Two seconds later, half of the crowd is on the stage, forcing all of us except our drummer at the time off of the stage and onto the floor. We played the song on the floor and the crowd moshed and rocked out on stage. It was really weird.

Vesperia recruited a new guitarist late last year and is currently in the process of recording a new album. Follow the latest recording updates and listen to the band's music at Facebook here.

Check back in again next Tuesday for the latest heavy metal Pit Stories from local and national bands. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Portugal

In the Portugal Daily View, Moonspell's lead singer/songwriter Fernando Ribeiro was quoted as saying "We were an active part of the underground scene that grew steadily over time, supported only by our passion for metal and by the desire to share it with people from all over the world. To spread music demos around the world was like raising our voices and saying ‘I’m here!’. Those were the more exciting days of my young life. To receive tapes from Poland, Mexico or Germany was an incredible experience. I can imagine it was the same feeling for a foreigner who received a tape from Portugal”. More...

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Sunday Old School: FireHouse

FireHouse was the REO Speedwagon of glam rock. They looked and were categorized as hard rock and heavy metal, but deep down they just wanted to play and sing ballads across the world. Two VERY interesting facts: First, FireHouse won the 1992 American Music Award for favorite new Heavy Metal/Hard Rock artist. They were chosen over Nirvana and Alice and Chains. Secondly, did you know they have sold over seven million albums? Now every band wishes they were the REO Speedwagon of glam rock. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: A Love Story

Swedish rockers Sister Sin have released a new music video for "Hearts Of Cold", the second single from their recent album 'Now And Forever.’ More...

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Pit Stories: The Tighty-Whitey Mosh

It's Tuesday again, which means we've got a new metal show story taken from the underground musicians themselves who keep the scene running. This week guitarist/vocalist Spencer Le Von from Canadian thrash act Fatality shares the following tale of the band's first show going horribly wrong:

My pit story was actually from Fatality’s first-ever live show when I was at the supple age of 15. We were performing at a dive called Club Rockit in Downtown Toronto back in 2004. I will never forget this story because it incorporates all of the elements that make up a nightmare gig, and how I handled it as a confused 15-year-old zilch. First of all, it was in the middle of January, and there was a massive storm that hit Toronto and we barely made it to the gig as we slid up and down the highway. Also, right before we hit the stage, I opened my guitar case and to my complete chagrin: my fuckin’ ax was smashed in 2 pieces.

So, up we went. There was me with no guitar and no sense of what to do with my hands as I clumsily sang through our songs like a mush-mouthed buffoon. Boy, we (I) stank up the joint good. As we got closer to the end of the set, I realized I had a decision to make: play out the last of our songs half heartedly, and then pack up and go home for a good cry, or do something so fuckin’ stupid that even though we were playing mediocre at best, the crowd would still go home and remember us. I chose the latter. In one foul swoop, I pulled of my pants and shirt reveling a tainted, ripe, skid-marked pair of tighty-whities and a matching pasty white stomach. I then proceeded to jump into the mosh pit and clobbered the shit out of people as my band riffed on the stage above.

It was this night that I learned a major lesson. There is no such thing as the perfect gig, and each night has a different obstacle to overcome. What makes a good performer is not just in how well he can play; it’s all in his capacity to deal with the bullshit!

A photo of the event in question can be seen below. To hear Fatality's music, check out the "Monstrous" music video at this location or head over to the band's Facebook profile here.

Check back in again next Tuesday for more Pit Stories from metal bands. More...

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Sunday Old School: Helloween

Power metal is a genre that has been somewhat neglected by the Sunday Old School column. It’s still very much alive however (go to a metal festival in Europe if you don’t believe me) and this week we’ll be making up for our past snub by taking a look at one of the most revered bands in the field, Helloween. Helloween were formed in 1984 in the German city of Hamburg by singing guitarist, Kai Hansen, along with drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, bassist Markus Grosskopf and second guitarist Michael Weikath. They soon signed to Noise Records and appeared on a compilation album named, "Death Metal," which was notable for its inclusion of other bands such as Hellhammer and Running Wild. Only a year after forming, they released a self-titled EP and their first full length album, "Walls of Jericho." The record received mixed reviews but is a popular one amongst fans and is notable for a number of reasons, including being the namesake of wrestler Chris Jericho and his signature move, and perhaps most importantly for being the only full length Helloween record where Hansen handled the vocal duties, after deciding to concentrate on his guitar work following the release of another EP entitled, "Judas."

Their search for a new lead singer led to the recruitment of eighteen year old vocalist, Michael Kiske and the band wanted to celebrate the new addition by releasing a double album, but this idea was thwarted by the record company. As a compromise, they released one album, "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1" in 1987, and a companion record, "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2" in 1988. Both albums received near universal praise and sold well, with the second part being particularly successful, partly thanks to the single, "I Want Out," which was aired heavily on the MTV show, "Headbanger’s Ball," and took part in the first Headbanger’s Ball Tour, along with Californian thrash masters Exodus and headliners, Anthrax. As the band’s star continued to rise, they were dealt a massive blow when Hansen announced that he would be leaving the group as a result of poor health, amongst a number of other reasons including tensions with bandmates and the record company. His last recorded appearance with the band came in the form of a live album named, "Live in the U.K." (known in the United States as "I Want Out Live.") before being replaced by Roland Grapow, formerly of the band, Rampage and going on to form the band, Gamma Ray. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Porn Stache

This week classic bands with new videos, classic ex-band mates with new videos, and the classic look of the porn stache. More...

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Pit Stories: A Truly Dedicated Fan

Each Tuesday we have metal musicians check in with their most memorable mosh pit stories from live shows.

This week vocalist Tom Emmans of Odium shares the following story of a truly dedicated (or perhaps just overly drunk) fan fighting through the pain to see the end of a show:

One time at a show in our home town a fan broke a beer bottle in the pit and it sliced his whole arm down to the bone. Everyone was freaking out cause they thought someone had knifed him. Turns out he was just partying and having a good time, not even realizing he was bleeding all over the place. When the ambulance arrived he was trying to convince them to let him stay until we were done. They were like "Uh no. You could bleed out. Your entire arm is cut to the bone." So they raced him to the hospital and stitched him up. He showed up for our last song drunk as fuck, smiling from ear to ear. See you at the next one brother!

You can check out Odium's music by downloading the track "No Way Out" on the free "Happy Metal Annihilation Volume 2" compilation over here, or watch a music video for the track below.

Check back in again next week as we continue to share more Pit Stories from rock and metal bands. More...

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Unearthing The Canadian Metal Underground

It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to explore three more lesser known bands in the metal underground. Today’s exploration to the underground world features our neighbors to the north, which is home to its fair share of metal legends, from the most extreme to the most melodic. We’ve actually looked at Canadian acts several times before, specifically focusing on Toronto and the Maritimes previously, and today we’ll trek there again for three bands that cross the genre spectrum.

I suppose I should start out with a bit of disclosure: I’m not from Canada, and I’ve only been there once for a fishing trip years ago, although the border is only a few hours north of me. So unfortunately these are bands I know solely via their music and their online presence, and I haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with them in the live scene personally.

While working on the review for the new Chariots of the Gods album “Tides of War,” I got to thinking about the very solid lineup of bands from the frigid north, especially in the underground metal scene. There’s a fairly large grouping of what are essentially “second tier” bands currently active – these guys bring the metal full force, but they haven’t gotten signed with Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade or any of the larger labels focusing on heavy music. They still manage to get hooked up with PR companies to keep their presence known however, release high quality albums, and a good deal of them stay busy with touring and festival appearances.

Chariots of the Gods

Is this Ottawa act composed of thrash maniacs who are really into melodic death metal, or are they in an MDM band that can’t give up their love for Megadeth? Either way, this is pretty crushing, headbanging-mandatory stuff.

Chariots of the Gods will be officially dropping debut full-length album “Tides of War” later this month (January 29th to be precise), and the band has already released teasers that should more than pique the interest of metalheads. We recently had the opportunity to premiere the track “Unbound,” which features a guest appearance by Aleksi Sihvonen of Norther, and you can also hear the album’s title track below. For some more background on the band and info on the album’s themes, check out our recent interview here.

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Sunday Old School: Fight

It’s a new year, and for some people, it means a new beginning. A new beginning was exactly what Rob Halford was aiming for in 1992 after leaving Judas Priest, one of the biggest and most influential bands in the history of heavy metal music, and formed a new band named, Fight. The name encapsulated the attitude of the band, which aimed to bridge the brand of heavy metal popularised by Priest and their contemporaries such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, with the fresher, more "street" sound of young, exciting bands of the time such as Pantera and Sepultura. Halford recruited Racer X drummer Scott Travis into his new group, after getting to know him from his time in Judas Priest, along with bass player "Jay Jay" Freeman and guitarists Brian Tilse and Russ Parrish, the latter of which would go on to form Steel Panther.

After spending a year perfecting their sound, the quintet finally released their debut album, "War of Words" through Epic Records in September 1993, which received a very positive response from metal fans and peaked at number 83 on the Billboard album charts. The album contained a number of instantly recognisable tracks, from the pounding title track to the machine gun speed opener, "Into the Pit" to the catchy finale, "Reality – A New Beginning." More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: New Year Video Marathon

This week another European Video Invasion (France, UK, Sweden) as well as representation from Australia; also, a weird video from Pittsburgh. Damn, that city is strange… More...

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Pit Stories: Projectile Vomit T.K.O.

Every week we have metal fans and musicians check in with their favorite mosh pit stories. Today guitarist/vocalist Chris Friesen of Ontario's Adrenechrome shares the following tale of a fight in the pit coming to an unexpectedly quick end:

While attending a CKY show in Toronto a good friend of mine ended up in a violent altercation with a fellow concert goer (something to do with a bumped girlfriend). Being quite drunk, the pair squared off in the middle of the pit to exchange fisticuffs. The first blow of the bout was scored by the angry boyfriend, a solid punch to my friends mid section.

The answer to the punch was a devastating finishing move a la Mortal Kombat, he proceeded to projectile vomit in an arc covering his assailant and the dozen or so other concert goers in the pit with digested beer and street meat, needless to say his opponent was unwilling to continue the fight resulting in a very rock 'n roll T.K.O.

Adrenechrome released debut EP "Hideous Appetites" back in November of 2012, and you can hear the full release at this location, or find more info on the band via Facebook.

Be sure to check back in next Tuesday are we share more metal mosh pit stories.

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Sunday Old School: Rigor Mortis

Many times a band becomes well known and its musicians end up starting new musical collaborations that live off of the name of that pioneering act. The reverse was true of Texas quartet Rigor Mortis. Although fairly influential and cult in the thrash metal underground, its members went on to bigger success in other, more well-known metal acts. In the beginning, though, it was just the four of them - or better stated, three.

Rigor Mortis was the brain child of New York guitarist Mike Scaccia, drummer Harden Harrison and bassist Casey Orr. Basing themselves out of Dallas in 1983, the band had no official singer and usually had Casey on the mic. Years later, that was why Rigor Mortis normally had several instrumental tracks and started off its debut album with "Welcome to Your Funeral." Vocalist Bruce Corbitt didn't come into the picture until late 1987. He'd only been in a Black Sabbath covers band and wasn't sure of himself on the helm, but determined to prove himself. He said he wanted it badly, wanted to be a really bad mofo. Thus began the official line-up of Rigor Mortis. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Cocaine Cowboys

Swedish metal sensation Crashdiet have posted the music video for their new single "Cocaine Cowboys", taken from the band's forthcoming album 'The Savage Playground.' The new album is due for release in January through Frontiers Records. Crashdiet will be hitting the road in February with Sister and Toxic Rose in a package named the 'Scandinavian Hell Tour.' In the meantime, here’s a look at their new video for “Cocaine Cowboys.” More...

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Pit Stories: Xul's Mudslide Party

Every week we check in with fans and bands from around the world to get their favorite pit and road stories from metal shows.

This week Canadian blackened death metal act Xul shares the following story of a small town suddenly hosting a party as bad weather prevented travel:

We had a mini tour lined up that consisted of Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton shows in the span of 4 days. Living in Vernon (half way between Vancouver and Calgary) we went to Van for our first show. It was an awesome turnout and and a good set. A good start to the tour. We had a day off before we had to head to Calgary so we decided to go back to Vernon and sleep a night in our own beds. There was talk of HWY 1 being closed but we didn't think it was going to be a big deal. We were wrong.

We woke up the next morning early enough to check the weather reports before we headed out. All that was said was that HWY 1 was closed due to mudslides and that there was no timeline for its opening. HWY 1 is a direct route to Calgary. It’s about an 8 hr drive from Vernon. I'd say it would have taken us 9 because we're riding in a short bus that hits a top speed of 90km. It was early in the morning and we had to make a quick decision as we had to be in Calgary that night for a show. We could either go south and take a ferry but there was rumours it was closed due to the extreme weather (we later found out it would have been a horrible idea) or head north and go through Jasper then down from Edmonton to Calgary. We chose to go North.
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Unearthing The German Metal Underground

Heavy metal was almost certainly born in the English city of Birmingham, but ask most fans of the genre (especially the European ones) and they'll tell you that the real home of heavy metal is Germany. The country hosts many metal festivals every year, including one of, if not the most famous of them all, Wacken Open Air, along with the likes of Summer Breeze Open Air, Ragnarök and Bang Your Head!!!. Germany has long been a place for rock musicians to ply their trade and build a loyal following: From the Beatles spending much of their early days in Hamburg, to the formation of the Scorpions in 1965, to the rise in German thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom, as well as popularising power metal through such acts as Helloween and Blind Guardian, to modern favourites such as Rammstein, Germany certainly has one of the richest histories in rock and metal music. This week we'll be looking at three young bands to come from the country to help prove that it's still top of the tree when it comes to the genre we all know and love.

Arcthuris

Formed in the federal state of Saarland in 2003, the band consists of only one member, who goes by the simple alias, A.H. He recorded the first Arcthuris demo, "The Grim White Woman" soon after the project's inception and released it the next year. Arcthuris has also self-released all of their full length albums, beginning in 2005 with "Ruf des Zerfalls." It would be four years until another Arcthuris album surfaced in the form of, "Children of Nibiru," but since then, material has come quite steadily, with two more albums, "Mondsucht" and "Ghouls of Nepenthe" following in 2011 and 2012 respectively. As one might expect from a one man metal band, Arcthuris started life primarily a black metal venture, but has grown to display a more ambient sound along the way.

Arcthuris - "Lucustas Liebestraum"

Arcthuris - "If I Could"
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