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Pit Stories: Invasion Of The Him-Hers

Ready for yet another bout of Pit Story madness my fellow metal heads?

This week we've got a truly bizarre one that leaves the pit behind and focuses on band antics at the hotel room after the show, in which U.S. group Rapheumets Well gets some serious culture shock and a crash course in trans pride.

In typical metal fashion, things get taken perhaps a smidge too far. The symphonic extreme metal outfit's drummer Joshua Ward tells the tale like this:

So, members of Rapheumets Well were accompanying the band Behind The Veil to a show in the Ashville area of North Carolina. Now you got to picture that we are all very southern males with little to no exposure to the pride parades that Ashville is known for. It is to note, we are far from prejudice and we accept anyone for their sexual preferences being gay or straight, or what-ever percentage of gay to strait ratio can exist. You can make love to a duck for all we care. But you can say, we we just not ready for the “He-her” or the “Sheman,” Man in girl, whatever you can use to define the characters in our midnight saga.

So we are hanging off the balcony at a hotel and from the distance, our honkey eyes believe we are seeing women, flaunting about, twirling their batons, giggling and frolicking about, and for some reason that we have not discovered in our life’s journey yet…. other people on leashes. I’m sure it was our testosterone and possible lead poisoning from drinking from mountain spring water that lead us to the conclusion that these were women of mating age, doing things that seem appropriate for the other gender to want to mate …upon. Well the guitarist is yelling from the balcony “come on up girls” while one of two of us is considering the entertaining the question “are these she-men on leashes” as reality TV usually instills hints to these questions. But, what the hell. There had to be 20 plus people.

As they began to get closer, some of us who were NOT drinking began to contemplate back to high-school health class, “hmm, adams apple also known as the thyroid cartilage = the male gender” but the majority of us must have failed that class. From the pits of the stair well behold, in front us stood a 6 foot three, broad jawed, two hundred and fifty pound bench-pressing loaf of a man. Though in our defense, he was wearing a mini skirt over some leggings, a blond wig, and was accompanied by a man wielding a leash who also wore clothing which possessed ornaments known as “Bedazzled” and glitter.

If I had more time, I would explain to you how we used this awkward scenario to our benefit. Friends, who passed out first, became celebrities or victims to our cameras. We engaged in conversation which would reveal the craziest sexual things we have ever heard. I did not even know you can fit a lava lamp in some of the bodies cavities as expressed by the Him-Her. It was southern cultural anthropology at its finest. Unfortunately, some of them were chased off with chairs due to a un-diagnosed case of transphobia. But it was none the less, educational, AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!! …I guess.

Rapheumets Well's upcoming album "The Exile" is due out March 18th, 2016 through Test Your Metal Records. Check out a lyric video below for "Resurrecting The Blood God," and you can also hear new track "Witch Of Dark Spire" at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Aborted

Having recently been treated to a death metal extravaganza in London from Kataklysm, Septicflesh and Aborted (read the review here,) it seemed as good a time as any to revisit the history and story of one of these bands. In the interest of fairness, this week, we’ll be taking a look at the band whose country we’ve only examined twice before when covering Channel Zero and Enthroned, (which was only last week for those who need reminding.) The band whose career has been drenched in blood and fuelled by gore. The death metal band from Belgium known, quite simple, as Aborted.

Aborted was founded in 1995 by vocalist Sven de Caluwé, in the north west municipality of Waregem, West Flanders, reportedly choosing their name so that their albums would be first in the CD racks. This ambition came closer to be fulfilled, after they released two demos in 1998 entitled, "The Splat Pack" and "The Necrotorous Chronicles," which gained the attention of Uxicon Records, who released their debut album, "The Purity of Perversion" in 1999. The record received a good response from fans of extreme music, as well as disgust from onlookers at the cover art, a photograph of a mutilated woman. More...

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Pit Stories: A Wild One To Remember

Tuesday has arrived, so its time for another pit story culled from the wild world of heavy metal shows! Today we've got a tale from Texas shoegaze black metal outfit Krigsgrav about a truly crazy night to remember. Drummer David Sikora tells the story like this:

Myself and Corey, our lead guitarist, were both at a show in a pretty large venue back in maybe 2000 or 2001 which featured Morbid Angel, Soulfly, and Nothingface in Dallas. I didn't even know Corey back then, but we discovered years later that we were at the same place! It was my first concert, and is still the craziest one I've ever seen.

Everywhere you looked, there were people smoking out, ripping their clothes off, lighting them on fire, and throwing them into the pit area. I saw a bodybuilder go into the pit and then walk out seconds later holding his own bloodied face after being nailed by an elbow. And at one point while Max Cavalera was on his knees rocking out on stage, someone took their boot off of their own foot and heaved it at him, striking him right square in the face and leaving him stunned for a good 10-15 seconds before he shook it off and continued playing. Haha!

The venue was at capacity, and there were barriers keeping out other people who were hoping to get in, and then towards the end of the show, people essentially overpowered the security team and pushed through the barriers and I'd say an extra 200 people came flooding into the venue and security guards were going crazy. Truly a wild one to remember!

You can hear the band's previous album "The Carrion Fields" below, or follow the latest on Krigsgrav by heading over to Facebook here. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 4 - Enthroned

And so we come to the end of Black Metal History Month for the fifth time. This year we’ve seen how Dimmu Borgir attained commercial success, how Melechesh overcame religious policing and fled their home country and examined the blood drenched story of Dissection. We close another fascinating month with a trip to Belgium, to take a look at another band with a history of extreme music and personal tragedy, Enthroned.

Enthroned began life in 1993 in the city of Charleroi, the brain child of drummer Cernunnos. He sought out like minded musicians and soon found them in Tsebaoth and vocalist/bassist Sabathan, who joined after the group briefly worked with a singer from the blackened grindcore band Hecate. The trio recorded a five track demo which circulated around the metal underground, eventually leading them to release a split EP with countrymen Ancient Rites through Afterdark Records. The label soon folded but the band was picked up by Evil Omen Records, a sub-label of Osmose Productions, who released the band’s debut album, "Prophecies of Pagan Fire" in 1995. It didn’t impress every listener, but received a generally good response, with "At the Sound of Millennium Black Bells" being singled out as an Enthroned classic. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 3 - Dimmu Borgir

We’ve now reached the halfway mark of our month long descent into darkness that is Black Metal History Month. Though some of the subjects we've look at this month like blasphemy, suicide and murder may be extremely shocking to the uninitiated, to the black metal faithful, perhaps one of the worst things a band could do is find mainstream success. It ruined the credibility of Cradle of Filth, but how would a band from black metal’s spiritual home fare in this situation? We’re about to find out as we continue our month of madness with Dimmu Borgir.

Dimmu Borgir was founded by vocalist Shagrath, guitarist Silenoz and drummer Tjodalv, taking their name from an Icelandic volcanic formation, which translates roughly to "dark cities" in English. They soon recorded an EP entitled, "Inn i evighetens mørke del I," which sold very quickly, leading the trio to record their first full length album with new members Stian Aarstad and Brynjard Tristan, "For all Tid," which was released in 1994 through No Colours Records. The roles were reversed a little on the first album, as Silenoz performed drums and Tjodalv handled guitars, before they switched positions. More...

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Pit Stories: Don't Be A Dick!

It's Pit Story time yet again metal heads!

Following previous tales of cement in the gas tank and an epic half-mast salute to Behemoth at Bloodstock, this week we've got a story from U.S. band Giant of the Mountain.

This one has a simple moral: don't be a dick at shows! Giant Of The Mountain tells the story like this:

You see a lot of interesting things when you’re out on the road and one of those crazy things that topped the charts for us happened at a show in Santa Cruz, CA. It was a packed venue and all the bands had been amazing that night. By the time the last band went on, their front man was pretty toasty, and not in the happy fun way. He spent a good amount of time complaining and bitching at a sound guy that was doing everything he could to make it a good night for everyone.

Then it got to the point where the front man walked off stage in the middle of their set only to have his girl talk him back into getting on stage and performing. By this time the venue had emptied out a little bit, but there were a few people who hung around. During one of their songs, their scrawny singer decides to grab his water bottle and squirt the entire thing all over this huge dude who clearly lived at the gym. Much to everyone’s delight, he was promptly yanked off stage and punched in the face a few good times.

The entire venue went completely quiet except for the vocalist moaning and bleeding from his now broken nose while his girl freaked out. It was super hilarious and well deserved at that point. I almost started a slow clap, but I was a visitor and the rest of the night had been great, so I decided to be respectful. Moral of the story: Don’t be a dick.

The Dallas, Texas group Giant Of The Mountain is now working on a new release to follow 2014's "Moon Worship." The band will also be hitting the road for an east coast tour this coming April, with date and venue info available at Facebook here. While waiting for new material, check out a song off "Moon Worship" below. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 2 - Melechesh

Black metal is famous for its fierce opposition to organised religion, particularly Christianity. Most of the bands that espouse the anti-Christian view come from Christian or secular countries with a history of Christianity themselves, such as Norway, Sweden or Great Britain. This week, we’re taking a look at something of a strange case, as we examine a black metal band with opposition to religion from one of the Holiest cities on Earth, Jerusalem. A band who combined the surrounding languages of the Torah, the Bible and the Talmud to forge their name. A moniker formed in fire, Melechesh.

Melechesh was originally intended to be a one man band such as Burzum by Murat Cenan, better known as Ashmedi, or Melechesh Ashmedi, and took the name from the words "melech," which means king, and "esh," which means fire, two words rooted in Hebrew and Aramaic. Melechesh was soon expanded into a full band however, comprising of Israelis of Armenian and Asyrrian descent. Before they even released an album, the group themselves were not just talk of the metal underground with their demo, "As Jerusalem Burns..." and single, "The Siege of Lachish," but also in deep trouble with the local authorities, who charged Melechesh with "dark, cult like activities," with one Jerusalem paper even making them front page news, albeit with plenty of inaccuracies thrown in. More...

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Pit Stories: Cement In The Gas Tank

It's Tuesday Pit Story time! Last week saw a very drunk, very naked fan trying (and failing) to salute Behemoth with a bad case of whiskey dick.

There's less nudity and fecal matter this time around, but the story isn't any less crazy as Necronomicon vocalist Rob The Witch shares a cautionary tale about retaliation: it never goes the way you think it will.

Due to a case of mistaken identity, the band ended up with a useless RV that had to be scrapped following a North American tour. Rob had this to say:

We were on a U.S. / Canadian tour (not the latest one) and when we arrived in San Francisco everything was looking like a regular day at the job, you know, load in the gear installing the merch booth, setting the dressing room and of course verifying our RV to be sure everything is in order.

All was perfect and the show was rumbling with a crazy crowd. After performing we went to the merch section and talked with the fans, signed autographs and took pictures. So far all good and nothing special.

Then after we loaded out and hit the road my drummer told me there’s a was a weird stain on the side of the RV. Like something splashed around the back part on driver side. We didn't pay too much attention saying ‘’you know its a big city a lot of stupid stuff happen’’ ...yeah right.

While driving in the night we started to have engine problems and going up in the mountains on our way to Lake Tahoe the RV was backfiring 2 meter flames out of the exhaust pipes, like artillery shots. Trust me it was loud as fuck in the night with the echo of the valley and mountains.

We soon realized that someone added something to our gas tank, and from there the real shit started. We lost our LA show in that run due to the fact that we had to stop so many times to drain the tank again and again. We arrived at the Whiskey a GO GO 5 mins after the beginning of OUR time on the tour schedule. We had to deal with that for the rest of the entire tour, all the way up to Canada.

2 weeks later we received some details telling us we were victim of an error. The day of the show in San Francisco, one guy from another band with us on that tour got into a fist fight with someone from the production at the venue. Thinking our RV belonged to the other band, someone added some powder cement to our tank.

We did receive a form of apologies, without being given the name of the person who did that, but it was done and we haven't been able to rescue the RV, too many problems happened as a result of that and we had to dump it during the next tour. But that is another story.

Necronomicon's new single "Unification of Four Pillars" can be heard below, taken off upcoming album "Advent of The Human God." The album is due out through Season of Mist (Europe March 18th / North America March 25th) and pre-orders are up now at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 1 - Dissection

It’s that special month again! Black Metal History Month is back for its fifth instalment, with some of the heaviest and most controversial bands lined up to celebrate our trademark four weeks of darkness. To get things going, we’re going to kick off the month with perhaps one of the craziest stories we’ve yet to cover in Sunday Old School by taking a look at one of Sweden’s most infamous bands, Dissection.

Dissection can trace its roots back to a thrash metal band, Siren’s Yell, which featured future members Peter Palmdahl, Öhman and Jon Nödtveidt. They only lasted one demo before Nödtveidt and Öhman spent a short time in a band called Rabbit’s Carrot, a group which the duo found very lightweight so they worked on darker and more aggressive music, which the other members rejected. This led Nödtveidt to form Dissection in the autumn of 1989 with Peter Palmdahl, with Öhman joining the pair once again the following spring. They soon recorded a demo, "Severing into Shreds," which they distributed to fanzines with the message that the recording marked the birth of Dissection and that they were "about to make a heavy impact on the scene." More...

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Pit Stories: The Limp Dick Salute To Behemoth

Oh guys, we've got a doozy of a Pit Story for you today!

This one's got it all: unwanted fecal matter, a dude too drunk to realize he shouldn't be naked, and an, er... "half mast" salute to Behemoth at Bloodstock Open Air.

Whether for good or ill, there's also video of the whole debacle below, if you've got the courage to give it a view.

This week's tale comes courtesy of Barnes, the guitarist / saxophone player from Welsh death metal band Intensive Square, who had this to say about witnessing something that can never be un-seen:

Undoubtedly the craziest thing I have seen inside or outside of a venue, would have to be during Behemoth's headline set on Saturday 11th August 2012, at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Derbyshire. I'll set the scene: there was a huge boisterous rabble of our friends that went to the festival together and we spent the majority of that day drinking at our campsite. As the night drew in, we made our way into the festival area to catch Behemoth's set. In the mania of his inebriation, our good friend (who, for the purposes of this tale, we'll call Tony) repeatedly proclaimed that right at that moment Behemoth were "the greatest living metal band." When we reached the main stage, the band were already in full swing amidst a stage laden with Satanic artifacts and spewing pyrotechnics into the night sky.

Once we had weaved through the crowd and got as close to the stage as we were going to, the band began to play "Chant For Eschaton 2000." Tony went ballistic: "Fuck, boys! This is fucking insane! Behemoth is my favourite fucking band, boys!" and then he started to undress. Pissed beyond reason, mesmerized, and now completely naked, Tony bent over to pick up his red cap and simultaneously evacuated an unintentional morsel of shit from his bowel at the centre of a slowly widening circle of strangers; the festering eye of an uncomfortable storm.

"Boys, you've got to get me up there" he implored. Once our friends Andrew and Jamie had volunteered to raise him on their shoulders, Tony glanced down at his disappointing penis and realised that his general had been demoted to the rank of cadet and that he was not fit for the parade. He scoured the immediate crowd in search of a handjob, seeking to "make it a bit bigger," but upon realising that no help was at hand, he set about the task himself.

As Chant for Eschaton 2000 reached its climax, Tony was treacherously hoisted upwards until he was standing erect above the crowd, still pumping his fist in a futile bid to cajole his limp penis into following suit. He soon realised that this was a thankless task and gave up. Steadying himself with one hand, he slowly raised the other and formed an exultant horn as he shared the perplexed gazes of guitarists Seth and Nergal.

I know you might reconcile this as a fantastical myth, too implausible to have really happened, but luckily you don't have to take my word for it. Just check out the video below and skip to 49:20 where you can see the evidence for yourself as broadcast live on the official Bloodstock coverage of the festival.

Intensive Square's debut album "Anything That Moves" is out now on Black Bow Records on vinyl. For more info on the band, head over to Facebook here.

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Sunday Old School: Tool

Metal music is full of weird and wonderful bands. Though many outsiders may see the genre as simple or worse, “just noise,” there have been many groups to utilise the sound with musical intellect such as Sigh and Dream Theater to name but two. Today’s featured band is another to create a sound all of their own and gain a rabid following in the metal community, one of the biggest, though maybe shortest names in the alternative metal area, Tool.

Tool began life in 1990, after all their founding members had moved to Los Angeles the previous decade. Whilst two founding members, Adam Jones and Paul D’Amour had originally come to the city to find work in the film industry, the other two, Danny Carey and Maynard James Keenan (the latter an art graduate who had been making a living remodelling pet stores,) had previously tasted what it was like being part of a cult musical act in their time with Green Jelly. Keenan and Jones would meet in 1989 through a mutual friend and decided to put together their own band, jamming together while actively seeking a rhythm section. Carey would be the next member to join, convenient since he lived above Keenan and had previously met Jones through his old friend, Tom Morello. Introductions were to play a key role again, as the lineup was completed when D’Amour, who he met via a friend, joined the ranks. More...

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Pit Stories: Shit In The Camper

Every week we check in with metal bands from across the globe to get their most memorable stories from live performances.

Back in November, Swedish group Horisont gave us a great story about the wrong guy getting punched at a show, and this week the band returns to share a very different tale.

Today Horisont drummer Pontus Jordan relays this recollection about the trials and tribulations of being on the road getting to the next gig:

We did a tour back in 2012 with our mates Graveyard and on this tour we decided to keep a low budget and therefor got a camper to travel around in. This might sound like a cosy option but Europe during wintertime is a bit too cold we found out. After a show in Brussels we had come to the conclusion that we had to drive a couple of hours during the night to make in time to the gig the day after. Magnus our bass player got the honour to be the driver.

Packing out the rest of us got a bit drunk and one of us accidentally put one of the merch boxes in a pile of dog shit! Then another took that box and placed it on Magnus bed. That smell haha!! So not only was he driving for 4-5 hours in the middle of the night, he was looking forward to going to sleep in a cold bed with shit stains on it! I`ve known Magnus for many years and I have never seen his face so tired and his eyes so lifeless! I was really trying to be helpful and good mate but it`s hard not laugh.

Big of moustache and tight of trouser, Horisont's latest album "Odyssey" came out back in September. See the band performing the title track live in Vienna below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Crimson Glory

Believe it or not, Slipknot, Mushroomhead and Ghost were not the first hard rock and metal bands to wear masks as part of their image. It’s been a staple of metal music for some time, with a few of these hidden faces becoming quite successful. One of these bands would help to pioneer a genre many follow today and brought a greater attention to progressive metal. They went, and indeed still do go, by the name of Crimson Glory.

Crimson Glory began life as Pierced Arrow in 1979, after a group of musicians which consisted of Tony Wise on vocals, Bernardo Hernandez and Ben Jackson on guitars, Glen Barnhardt on Bass later, and Dana Burnell on drums, formed a band in Sarasota, Florida. Not long after, Chris Campbell and John Colemorgan were brought in on bass and drums respectively by 1982, though a year later, they would go through another transformation when Jeff Lords, who had previously replaced Barnhardt, returned to the group, as well as bringing in a new singer who went by the moniker, Midnight. It was after these changes that the group would change their name to the now familiar alias of Crimson Glory. More...

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Pit Stories: The Healing Power Of Beer

We've all got that one venue or record shop we fondly recall from back in a time when people bought music and mallcore wasn't a thing.

For this week's Pit Story, vocalist Dan Cleary of Striker not only reminisces fondly about one such mythical place, but also shares a tale of the amazing healing power of beer below. Photo courtesy of Dana Zuk.

A long time ago here in Edmonton we had this awesome venue/record store/screen printing place. We played some of our first shows ever there in the back of the Quonset Hut that was “Octopus Ink.” We used to go there and buy bullet belts (before they were being sold at the mall for posers) and rare vinyl like the $140 “Projects In The Jungle” by Pantera hanging up on the wall that none of us ever wanted to cough up the money for.

One night in particular things were getting a little rowdier than normal. We were about half way through our set and the pit in this tiny back room was getting intense. As usual everyone was good and drunk, there was always a lot of tailgating outside the place because it wasn't exactly... lets say... a "secure" venue. So the song kicks in, a fast one (can't remember which) and I watch in amazement as this short haired borderline black out drunk kid gets literally knocked the fuck out by some big league moshing.

Looking back at it maybe we should have stopped the song and made sure he was OK, but luckily for us there was a doctor in the room. A doctor who proceeded to lift this poor kid up, his eyes half shut clearly concussed, and pour beer down his throat. We thought for sure we were witnessing the final moments of a thrash youth, but to our surprise he sprung back to life and continued to mosh, albeit a little slower than before.

That's the first and only time I've seen someone get straight up knocked unconscious in a pit, and it turns out like everything else, beer is the answer.

The Edmonton heavy metal act will release new album "Stand in the Fire" on February 5th, 2016. Follow the latest info on Striker over at Facebook here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Dying Fetus

One thing that can be found in metal music that doesn’t appear in other genres is gloriously offensive band names. Metal is very good at turning away non listeners with monikers alone, with Septicflesh and Rotting Christ being two names that are always guaranteed to cause some disturbed looks from the uninitiated, with Anal Cunt and Pissing Razors usually gauging a good reaction too. So let’s take a look at another metal’s most repulsive names, Dying Fetus.

The band began life in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in 1991, the brainchild of guitarist John Gallagher, (not to be confused with the Raven frontman,) and bass player Jason Netherton. The two met guitarist and vocalist Nick Speleos a year later and from there, the group really got going, with Gallagher handling the drum duties until a permanent member could be found. The trio recorded a demo, "Bathing in Entrails" in 1993, before they hired drummer Rob Belton, as well as replacing Speleos with Brian Latta, which prompted Gallagher to also take up vocals, which were first heard on the 1994 demo, "Infatuated With Malevolence." The two demos were released together under the title of the latter as a compilation album in 1995 through Wild Rags Records. More...

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Sunday Old School: Evildead

Thrash metal must have given the world more bands in its heyday than any other field. So many of the groups in the genre have released classic albums, or at least good ones from "Reign in Blood" by Slayer to "Angel Rat" from Voivod. Much like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that inspired it, the thrash scene also gave us plenty of great bands that didn’t receive much attention or have been shuffled away but can now be uncovered and cherished. Today we’ll look at one of these bands, namely the Los Angeles based socio-political thrashers, Evildead.

Evildead was formed in 1988 when guitarist Juan Garcia decided to leave the speed metal band Agent Steel as well as Abattoir, taking bass player Mel Sanchez with him from the latter group, as well as recruiting vocalist, Phil Flores, guitar player, Albert Gonzales and drummer, Rob Alaniz. Garcia was looking for something where he could express his interest in hardcore music and thrash metal, which was present but not at the forefront of Agent Steel material and so decided to forge a new outfit, taking their name from the cult Sam Raimi film, The Evil Dead. More...

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Pit Stories: Power Metal Moshing

Our quest for the best pit stories from metal shows marches on! In recent weeks we've heard about the glory of seeing your favorite band live for the first time, gotten a look at the bizarre things fans do at shows, and even got a story about mistaken identity resulting in the wrong guy getting punched.

This week we've got Illinois-based prog outfit Dissona discussing some unexpected brutality at Blind Guardian shows. The band had this to say:

Craig and David have been to multiple Blind Guardian shows together. Now, Blind Guardian is not exactly the band you would think of when you think of the glorious violence of the pit, but for each show Craig and David were positioned up against the front rail, getting pressed and smashed by the pit behind them. They had crowd surfers soar over their heads; sometimes directly into their heads.

Probably the closest we had come to broken ribs and concussions, but it was always well worth the pain. Occasionally, we would turn around and each time we would notice that nearly every person moshing was also simultaneously singing the words, chants, and guitar melodies perfectly. Quite a feeling of unity. Call us nerds for having the best pit be at a power metal show, but it’s the truth. We go to extreme metal shows, too, (gotta save our credibility somehow, right?) but in those cases we are more interested in the music than the pit.

The Chicago-based progressive metal band's third full-length album "Paleopneumatic" will be released January 15th, 2016 and two tracks from that impending album can be heard below. For more info on the band, head over to the Dissona Facebook profile here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Spineshank

In the late nineties and early 2000s, metal was being represented by the nu metal genre, which for those of you too young to remember, consisted mostly of guys with short hair, piercings and tattoos, a lack of guitar solos and perhaps most offensive to “true” metal fans of all, hit singles. While some of the big names in the field such as Limp Bizkit and Coal Chamber were being slated by metalheads, there were a few which were considered hidden gems in the hated genre, one of which was the more industrial influenced, Spineshank.

The seeds of Spineshank were sewn when vocalist Jonny Santos, guitar player Mike Sarkisyan and drummer Tom Decker were all part of a band named Basic Enigma. Shortly after forming, the group heard the album, "Demanufacture" from industrial metal favourites, Fear Factory and decided to take their music further into such a direction, changing their moniker to the now familiar name of Spineshank and bringing in bassist Robert Garcia. As luck would have it, the band befriended the members of Fear Factory, particularly guitarist Dino Cazares, who was impressed with their demo and offered them a slot opening for his band at the Whiskey A-Go-Go. More...

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Pit Stories: The Venue Isn't What Was Expected

Ready for some more Pit Stories chronicling the ups and downs of life in a metal band? Today we have a tale from Norwegian hard rock band The Carburetors (featuring former Chrome Division member Eddie Guz) about the expectation of playing a huge venue only to realize as you arrive it's a single room bar with no space for your equipment!

On the first Carburetors tour out of Norway back in 2001, we tour Spain and we did two shows in Madrid. The first night we played a small club called the honky-tonk. As we arrived on the club the first thing that hit us was that the drum kit was a junior edition (in other words very small). The guitar amps I think was called Smervod and god knows where they where from…

Anyway the gig went well pretty cool crowded. The next day we where going to play the Rock Palace in Madrid. I remember picturing it as this great big venue…. when we arrived it struck me that the club was a tiny bar but I still had my hope up so I asked the promoter "alright cool is the stage in the next room?" He answer me harsh "NO THERE IS ONLY ONE ROOM…"

Ok, I still had my spirit up and asked are we gonna put up a stage along side the wall? His answer was short: "NO YOU STAND ON THE FLOOR IN THE CORNER BOTH GLUECIFER AND TURBONEGRO HAVE DONE THE SAME." He he. We did the show but Kai Kidd set the roof on fire when fire-breathing during the show, Chris broke two sets of drums and Eddie blew out both of his monitors but it was a cool gig.

For those readers who are in a band, let us know your best story of arriving at a venue and discovering things weren't quite as you expected in the comments below!

The Carburetors' new album "Laughing In The Face Of Death" is out now via SPV/Steamhammer. Check out a video below taken off the album and featuring Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir. More...

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Sunday Old School: In Flames

Over the course of Sunday Old School, we’ve seen how genres, or indeed sub-genres can be pioneered or popularised by a specific group of bands. We’ve seen how the Peaceville three (Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride) and Katatonia, helped launch the combination of doom and death metal, and of course everyone knows the Big Four of thrash (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth in case you’ve forgot,) but another style we’ve seen spread was melodic death metal, which was brought to people’s attention by Carcass, At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and one other group, today’s in fact, In Flames.

In Flames began life as a side project of Ceremonial Oath member, Jesper Strömblad, who wanted to add more melodic aspects to death metal. It wasn’t until he’d quit Ceremonial Oath that he was able to put together a lineup for his project though, recruiting guitarist Glenn Ljungström and bass player Johan Larsson, both founding members of the power metal band Hammerfall, another offshoot of Ceremonial Oath. After picking up another guitarist in Carl Näslund and hiring Dark Tranquility vocalist to be their session singer, In Flames recorded their first studio album, "Lunar Strain," which was released through Wrong Again Records at first and was notable for its inclusion of folk music, something which would not last long in the band’s style. More...

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