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Pit Stories: The Weird Things Fans Do

Update: Our apologies to Gomorrah, half this story was accidentally cut when this first went live!

Ready for another bout of Pit Stories metal fans? This week we've got a tale from Bowen Matheson of Canadian group Gomorrah, who shares an experience about the bizarre behavior sometimes exhibited by fans:

We played two local all-ages hardcore shows in Kelowna, BC in close succession in the fall of 2013, one before and after the release of "Perception." The first was with the bands Contention and Slumlord, and there was a kid in the pit who went up to Phil from Slumlord during their set and yelled into the strings of his guitar. He looked at this kid with the most fucked expression of disdain and confusion I’ve ever seen.

At the next show we were playing in support of Fall City Fall, and during our set same kid came up to me and tried to do the same thing. He ran in super fast, but this time actually made contact with the strings of my guitar, muting what I was playing. Kid basically went to first base with my guitar, and fucked up what I was playing. I wasn’t happy about this, so I grabbed the kid by his face and threw him away from me and my now tainted guitar. A buddy of mine saw the whole thing happen, and said that after I threw him, he looked back at me like I was the dick in the situation, and I just huffed my cheeks at him like an angry horse.

Several months go by, and we are playing another all ages hardcore show in Kelowna. A kid comes up to me, introduces himself, and explains to me that he was the kid in mention. He tried to tell me that it was “kind of his thing at shows” and nobody had ever gotten mad at him for doing that before. I recognized that this guy was basically telling me that I was the dick in the conversation, and he was trying to justify it again. It took me a great deal of self control to not explode on him, and instead I explained how getting in somebodies personal space and doing shit like that when they are performing is not okay. He seemed to have to consciously think about what I was telling him for it to make rational sense. I don’t know if he thought he was doing some flattering thing by doing that, but it is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen happen, then have happen to me at a show by the same mislead teenager.

Granted, it's not quite napping in the bass bin or pregnant moshing, but that's still weird. Let us know - what's the most baffling thing YOU'VE seen a fan do at a metal show? More...

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Sunday Old School: Believer

It’s quite hard to think of how a Christmas special could be done in a column exclusively about metal music. We came close last year with a look at British hit makers, Slade, who are perhaps best known for their song, "Merry Xmas Everyone." This year, we’re ringing in the holidays with a band who perhaps have a more traditional take on this season, as perhaps do some of our readers who are also subscribers to the Christian faith, or should I say, consider them self to be a Believer?

Have you forgiven me for that terrible pun yet? Then let’s move on to Believer, a band formed in Colebrook, Pennsylvania , that was formed in 1986 by vocalist/guitarist Kurt Bachman and drummer Joey Daub with bassist Howe Kraft and a second guitarist, Dave Baddorf joining soon after. Initially, their music was very melodic and the group demonstrated this with their demo, "The Return," in 1987, which earned them a deal with R.E.X. Records. More...

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Sunday Old School: U.D.O.

It seems a common trait in metal music is that if a popular frontman leaves a well known group, he (or indeed she,) will form a new band named after themselves, rather than simply using their full name. Dio is one of the best known examples of this, and King Diamond of Mercyful Fate is another, with the trend continuing to this day with Immortal frontman Abbath Doom Occulta, forming his own band, Abbath. Another of the more popular acts to be founded in such a way, was done so in "the city of blades," Solingen, Germany, by the German singer, Udo Dirkschneider, who christened his new group, U.D.O.

Dirkschneider had made his name in the eighties as the gruff frontman for Accept, a pioneer of the speed metal sound and one of Germany’s most popular heavy metal groups, but in 1987, he expressed his desire to go solo, which he did with the blessing of his bandmates. He put together a lineup which included Warlock bass player Frank Rittel, as well as guitarists Mathias Dieth of Sinner and Peter Szigeti, along with drummer Thomas Franke and the quintet recorded their debut album, "Animal House," which was actually written for Dirkschneider by Accept as a goodbye present. It was very well received by fans, if not all critics, and the band took to the road to promote the album, performing with the likes of Lita Ford and Guns N Roses, who were riding high on the success of, "Appetite for Destruction." More...

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Pit Stories: Seeing The Band For The First Time

We've hit another Tuesday and that means its time for some Pit Stories. This week there's no smashed equipment, no climbing up stage lighting, and no couples going to town on each other in front of the stage.

Nope, we're leaving all that nonsense behind to focus on that feeling you get when you see a band you adore live for the very first time. This week Matt Copeland from Canadian band Adrenechrome shared this story from the Decibel Magazine 2015 tour:

About six months ago in April 2015 a couple friends a myself went to witness the Decibel Magazine Tour 2015 featuring Vallenfyre, Pallbearer, Converge and legendary Swedish metal masters At the Gates. We were of course stoked, as we had never seen any of these bands live previously.

After a few beers we were ready for the music to start. It was exactly what we had expected Vallenfyre melted our faces with their blend of blackened/grind. Pallbearer unfortunately missing their bass player on this leg of the tour still reigned supreme that night providing their own twist of doom metal. Converge being the band we were wanting to see the most that evening did not disappoint and left us in awe. Last but not least the legends of Swedish metal themselves At the Gates absolutely slayed and proved to us they were still the headlining act they had always been.

After giving you an idea on how the actual show itself was, there is one part of the evening that really stuck in our heads and I believe always will. After many more cold beverages we made our way up to the Pallbearer merch table. All the lads were there so after buying a few things we began to basically shoot the shit with them about the show, their music and the tour thus far. I think the fact that we had recently discovered this band for ourselves and being that we were (still are...) very infatuated with them made this meeting super rad and unforgettable. They were very interested on what we had to say about the set, their music and just about us in general.

That was probably the first time I had ever met an entire band that were the definition of ‘regular dudes’ in the sense of us being able to chat and somewhat ‘fanboy’ to them without them getting annoyed or feeling awkward.

In the end, it was very cool to meet a band that we admire so much and have the chance to just shoot the shit and hang with them for a good hour or so as though hanging with our everyday pals. Made me appreciate them as people and appreciate their band even more. Great dudes, great band and a great show all around.

If you catch Adrenechrome live, be sure to let 'em know you read this and chat them up after the show! The band's new album "Tales From Adrenechrome" launched last month and can be heard in its entirety below. You can also follow the latest on Adrenechrome by heading over to Facebook here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Stone Temple Pilots

This week, it was sadly confirmed that Scott Weiland, the former vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots and supergroup Velvet Revolver, had passed away at the age of 48. Perhaps the most tragic part of this news was that not too many people were surprised, given his long history of drug abuse. In spite of this, he was always respected for his outstanding vocal talents and unique stage presence that inspired dancing even during the heaviest songs he performed. This is the story of how he, the DeLeo brothers and drummer Eric Kretz made their name as one of the most popular bands in rock music, Stone Temple Pilots.

The story of how the group started is one that’s been debated. Most accounts claim that Scott Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag show, where they discussed their girlfriends and realised that they were dating the same girl, though in his autobiography, Weiland claims that he and his two friends, guitarist Corey Hicock and drummer David Allin had been chasing up DeLeo after seeing him perform with a band named Soi Disant. After convincing him to join them, the wrote for a few years before Allin left and was replaced by Eric Kretz, who the group had seen perform in Long Beach and not long after, Hicock also quit, with his place eventually being taken by Robert’s brother, Dean. The guitarist insisted that if he joined, the band would have to lose their name, Swing and so they settled on Mighty Joe Young, taken from the 1949 movie of the same name. More...

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Pit Stories: Breaking Shit On Stage

After Toothgrinder shared a story of accidentally tearing down the stage lighting last week, today The Glorious Rebellion offers up another Pit Story of on-stage destruction, this time self-inflicted and getting a little out of control. Vocalist Billy Myers comments:

We're slowly gaining a little bit of a reputation as "that band that breaks shit onstage." Our music is loud and violent, which translates to chaos at the end of our set usually resulting in guitars being thrown into drum kits, amps being toppled over, etc. It's just something we've always done. We totally shouldn't, as we're poor and doing dumb things like this can get expensive in repairs and replacements, but c'est la vie.

On a tour stop in Johnson City, TN we played a normal set for us, and at the end of the show, as usual, things got nuts. That part would've been fine except I forgot that the stage had been backlined and the next band's gear was behind ours. I drop kicked one of my 4x12 cabs which sent it toppling backwards, into one of the local band's half stacks. The head that was on top went flying about 10 feet landing offstage, along with the cab which went about 5 feet back. Luckily, nothing of theirs was broken, however my cab landed on top of one of the floodlights we use as part of our stage set up. We realized this when we started smelling burning, and saw this when we started seeing smoke and then fire.

Stay in school, kids.

The Glorious Rebellion is set to release new album "Euphoric" via Magnetic Eye Records on April 8th, 2016 and we'll soon be premiering a new track from the album - stay tuned for that exclusive stream! More...

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Sunday Old School: Holy Dragons

Over the course of the Sunday Old School series, we’ve examined veteran metal bands from all across the world. From Aria in Russia, to Septicflesh and Rotting Christ of Greece, to Austria’s Belphegor, a Chilean band called Pentagram and another band called Pentagram (or Mezarkabul, if you prefer,) from Turkey. Speaking of Turkey, did you know that Turks are part of a larger group of people classified as Turkic? Another ethnicity that’s a member of this collective is the Kazakhs. In case you haven’t put two and two together yet, this week we’ll be expanding our map by taking a look at a metal band from Kazakhstan for the first time and their name is Holy Dragons.

The band was formed in 1992 in the then capital city of Almaty, (it was replaced as capital in 1997 by Astana,) by guitarist, Jurgen Thunderson, who was joined initially in his endeavour by singer Oleg "Holger" Komaroff. They set out to bring make music like that of their heavy metal heroes such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and in doing so, became one of, if not the first metal band Kazakhstan had produced. Keeping a stable lineup proved to be something of a difficult task, with Thunderson remaining the sole constant member. More...

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Pit Stories: Tearing Down The Lighting

Time for another round of Pit Stories! This week Toothgrinder drummer Will Weller shares a tale of something that just never goes as planned: climbing up the stage lighting. Weller had this to say:

OK so this takes place at a Toothgrinder show. We were playing in Brooklyn, NY that night and I won't even mention the venue. If you have seen us live then you know our shows get a little crazy on stage. So that night we were in a tighter space packed in like sardines. We made it to the last song and as any band would you absolutely give it your all at that point.

So we're headed full speed into the last minute of the last song and I see our singer climbing up onto one of the guitar cabinets. This is typical so I think nothing of it and continue on drumming. Well as I looked away he reached for the lights to pull himself up and you can guess what happened next. The whole light rig ripped out of the wall and came crashing down ripping out the cables that were plugged into the amps and smashing the snake on the stage.

No sound on the entire left side of stage or lights for that matter. So our guitar player without skipping a beat ripped his guitar off and just started singing with him. Needless to say after we finished the song the entire show stopped, lights came on, and everyone was asked to leave (2 bands were scheduled to play after us). We weren't looking to break anything it was just a freak thing that happened and we helped pay for it to be fixed of course. Now looking back on it it must have been kind of crazy to be in the crowd to see that unfold.

Toothgrinder's new album “Nocturnal Masquerade” will be released January 29, 2016 on Spinefarm Records. More...

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Sunday Old School: Vital Remains

Ordinarily, when a news story provides the inspiration to choose which band will be featured in the Sunday Old School column, it's because the group has split, reformed or a member has passed away. However, this week, the choice was made when a police officer in Florida was fired for joining a well known death metal band on stage and singing along to their song, "Let the Killing Begin." The quartet in question hails from Providence, Rhode Island and goes by the name of Vital Remains.

The group was forged in 1988 by guitarist, Paul Flynn, who was soon joined in his endeavour by guitarist Butch Machado, vocalist Mike Flynn, bassist Tom Supkow, and drummer Chris Dupont. Mike Flynn and Butch Machado did not last long however, as Vital Remains decided they needed better musicians and replaced the duo with Jeff Gruslin and Tony Lazaro respectively. Spurred on by the writing partnership of the two guitar players, the group became one of the most popular live acts in their local scene and after recording two demos, "Reduced to Ashes" and "Excruciating Pain," they caught the attention of French label, Thrash Records, who signed them up. More...

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Pit Stories: Punching The Wrong Guy

We've got another Pit Story for you metal heads, this time from the glory of European summer festival season! Drummer Pontus Jordan from classic hard rocking outfit Horisont shares a tale this week of that one guy every big show seems to have: the one who is too drunk and has to get in everyone's way.

This time around things a got little out of hand when a case of mistaken identity led to the wrong person getting punched. Pontus had this to say:

This summer we've been playing some festivals around Europe and during one of these festival gigs there was a really stupid guy who was being a jerk against the rest of the crowd and us in the band. He kept screaming insulting stuff and throwing beer at everyone in his way. Halfway through the set Axel (our singer) got fed up and gave the guy a push and told him to leave if he couldn’t behave. This didn’t sit well at all with this guy but after a while he left and we continued to play.

After the show we exited the stage through a side door, leading us out to the festival site. Who do think was standing there all ready to fight? The problem was that he was so drunk that he got Tom and Axel mixed up. So instead of “getting back” at Axel he gave poor Tom real good punch square in the face!

A bit of a ruckus exploded until out of nowhere this small and deadly fast guy jumped in out of nowhere. He gave the “I can’t behave at concerts when I drink guy” a hook Mike Tyson style. You could literary hear his nose break. Needless to say the fight was over and we had a fan that could pack a punch and did not tolerate idiot behaviour like that guy was showing. Tom got away with a sore face and all and all it was a good gig.

Horisont is currently out on the road with Kadavar, The Shrine, and Satan's Satyrs, with full details available at the band's Facebook profile here. New album "Odyssey" just dropped back in September and a video clip off that release is available below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Hammerfall

It always feels when looking through the Sunday Old School archives that power metal is an area that gets severely neglected. Of course, there have been some of the big names covered such as Helloween and Blind Guardian, but such acts are few and far between the likes of Napalm Death and Testament. So this week, we’re taking a step to rectify this by focusing one of the most popular bands in the history of power metal, Hammerfall.

The band was formed in 1993 by guitarist Oscar Dronjak, following his departure from extreme metal band Ceremonial Oath, who invited his former bandmate Jesper Strömblad (who had also just formed his own band, In Flames) to join him as the drummer. They were soon joined by bassist Johan Larsson and Niklas Sundin (who were soon replaced by Fredrik Larsson and In Flames guitarist, Glenn Ljungström,) as well as Dark Tranquillity vocalist, Mikael Stanne. Because of the members time mostly being spent with their other bands, Hammerfall was treated as a side project for the most part and had few original songs of their own, mainly performing covers by bands such as Judas Priest and Alice Cooper .

They mostly performed at a local music competition called Rockslaget, which they reached the semi finals of in 1996, at which point Stanne was unable to perform with the band and so, with the initial plan of making him a temporary member, Hammerfall brought in singer Joacim Cans, who impressed them enough that although the group didn’t make the final, he was made the new vocalist on a permanent basis after the show. The band started taking themselves a little more seriously after and recorded a short live performance, which eventually earned them a record deal with the Dutch label Vic Records. More...

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Pit Stories: The Polish Freight Container

The pit is where metal thrives, and there's a million and one stories to be found there, from fans who've had too many and decide to throw down to bands hitting the road for the first time and experiencing the trials and tribulations of touring.

For this week's Pit Story, guitarist Richard Powley from instrumental metal band Telepathy shared a story of performing live in Poland for the first time... inside a freight container. Powley had this to say:

Our pit story comes from one of many interesting shows during Telepathy's first European tour back in 2012. Having had our debut EP “Fracture” receive glowing reviews from across the continent, we were offered a couple of support shows by our friends in Djevera in eastern Germany and the Czech Republic. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I quickly arranged three additional concerts in Poland, with the first of these being in Gdynia.

As is sometimes the case with DIY tours, we had an alarming email saying the venue for the Gdynia concert had closed down while we were on the road, and the promoter was looking for a new venue. When we arrived, the promoter (our good friend Ola) had managed to secure a DIY space in Sopot, the neighboring town in the tri-city area. What we found were two freight containers, one on top of the other, repurposed into some kind of lecture hall for arts students. Our show took place in the upper container, and with the PA quickly mounted on top of foosball tables and the venue quickly filling, we knew we were going to have a great, if chaotic, show.

Crowds in Poland are wild, and within the first songs a pit had opened up and crowdsurfers were making their way over to the makeshift stage. By the middle of the set, the venue was a complete sweatbox and the floor had begun to bow under the weight of the crowd. Watching this tiny freight container bend under the weight of a packed out Polish crowd was certainly alarming, but made for one the most intense experiences on the tour.

By the end of the set, and due to lack of ventilation in the venue, the onstage microphone had begun to shock me whenever I approached it to address the crowd. The electrics in the freight container obviously weren’t built to withstand metal concerts, and by the end of the night we had a couple of burnt out fuses in our amps.

As we were leaving, a small man - immaculately presented in a full suit and looking rather nervous from the destruction of the venue - came up to us. He was the owner of the hall. Surprisingly, he had loved the show and after we had settled up he offered us all a lap on the go-kart arena he was also running. So, before we set off to our sleeping place for the night, those of us sober enough ended the night racing laps in the dark. A memorable first time in Poland for sure.

Want to see Telepathy live and form your own memory of the band? Catch these upcoming live shows:

Nov 27th - The Underworld, London w/ Raging Speedhorn, Gurt & Ten Foot Wizard
Nov 28th - Bleach, Brighton w/Conjurer & Latitudes
Nov 29th - Chameleon Arts Café, Nottingham w/ Conjurer, King Goat & Iron Swan
Feb 6th - Yorkshire Riffer, Leeds w/ Extinction of Mankind, Svalbard among others More...

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Sunday Old School: Dark Tranquillity

Metal loves to trace the roots and popularity of a style back to specific bands. Thrash metal famously has its "big four," of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax , black metal goes back to Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate and Bulldozer and melodic death metal is often credited mostly to Carcass, In Flames, At The Gates and today’s featured band, Dark Tranquillity.

The band began life in 1989 after guitarists Niklas Sundin and Mikael Stanne put together a group named Septic Broiler, soon being joined in their endeavours by bassist Martin Henriksson, vocalist Anders Fridén and drummer, Anders Jivarp. Tney quickly recorded a demo, "Enfeebled Earth," before deciding to change their name to the now familiar moniker, Dark Tranquility. They soldiered on until they were snapped up by Spinefarm Records, through which they released their debut album, "Skydancer" in 1993, which was met with mostly positive reviews. It was quite different from later releases and many look back on it now as one of the dark horses of the Dark Tranquility catalogue. More...

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Pit Stories: The First Death Metal Show

It's that time again for more Pit Stories! This week guitarist Francis Larsson from Swedish band Aktaion shares a tale of that magical first time seeing your favorite band destroy the stage live:

Something woke deep inside of me when I was twelve and my older brother loaned me two records that would forever change my life. One was "Toxicity" by System Of A Down, the other one Arch Enemy's "Black Earth." "Toxicity" was real good, I still love that record. But "Black Earth" scared me to death. I couldn't believe my ears and turned that record off the first few seconds in, not to listen to it again until the next day when it was light outside. The madness of the sound I had never heard before drew me in, and I became lost in the world of metal. Arch Enemy became close to a religion for me, right then and there.

Growing up in from the same town as Arch Enemy, it became something magical about seeing them playing live in our shared hometown, back in 2006. My first death metal concert, I did not know how to act or what to do. But I queued outside for hours and then ran to the front of the stage. Too afraid to go to the toilet and lose my perfect spot, I stood my ground, in pain. When Arch Enemy finally took the stage I forgot everything about that. I banged my head because, being cramped up in the front position, it was the only thing I could do, and I did it good. I would be sore for weeks. I experienced sound as never before and were swept away as I never thought possible. After the concert I was handed three guitar picks, which I still keep, from a sweaty hand. It was magic, and somehow matched the feeling of hearing "Black Earth" for the first time.

Although seeing Black Sabbath the year before in Stockholm during their final tour with all original members, Slipknot with Machine Head years later, and many more thereafter, neither would match the special energy in that cramped up space in front of Arch Enemy in the small town of Halmstad that night. I hope it is true that we all have that special concert experience where our younger selves went into an metal concert naive, unknowing of the massive energy outlet the concert-format is, and leave as another person entirely.

Aktaion recently released the "Throne" album, which can be streamed below or picked up at Bandcamp here. For more info on Aktaion, head over to the group's Facebook profile here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Persian Risk

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's lost count of the amount of times the Sunday Old School has dived into the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement and found a subject. Then again, why not? It's the gift that keeps on giving, spawning metal icons, cult heroes and buried treasures, it was a nationwide scene that changed metal forever and gave the world some of the best heavy metal music ever. It was also where members of some of metal's biggest names got their start, including Tygers Of Pan Tang guitarist John Sykes, who went on to to bring some much needed vitality to Thin Lizzy and Motorhead guitarist, Phil Campbell, who was found while playing with today's featured band, Persian Risk.

Campbell formed the band in the Welsh capital city of Cardiff in 1979 and was joined initially in his venture by vocalist Jon Deverill, second guitarist Dave Bell, bass player Nick Hughes, and drummer Russell "Razz" Lemon. Deverill was not to stay in the band for too long however, as he left the following year to join up with the Tygers of Pan Tang and was replaced by Carl Sentance, who had previously performed with Hughes and Razz in a band named, Leading Star. The quintet then released their first seven inch single, "Calling For You" a year later, which has become a highly collectible release among heavy metal fanatics. More...

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Pit Stories: Shoelace Windshield Wipers

Sometimes just getting to the show can be a battle all it's own, especially with metal bands covering long distances by van and bus with few funds (or mechanical know-how) available. For this week's Pit Story, Canadian group Silent Line shares a tale of having to rig up some very ghetto windshield wipers just to reach the venue:

A while back the majority of us lived in Bonnyville and we used to travel to and from Edmonton for the majority of our gigs. Not too long before this specific gig we bought a beautiful yellow 16 passenger van for the band. Bonnyville to Edmonton is roughly a 2-and-a-half-hour drive and about half way through the trip we came up to a pretty nasty storm. Unfortunately, earlier on in the trip we noticed the windshield wipers weren’t working and we needed to pull over and take a look at them.

We pulled over into a nearby gas station ahead of the storm, opened up the hood, and could not for the life of us get the wipers working. After pondering a few moments Mike came up with the suggestion to tie shoe laces to the windshield wipers and manually pull them from the inside of the vehicle.

The shoelace for the left wiper was attached and ran underneath the left side mirror on the van, so when we pulled on that one the wipers would come down. For the right wiper we left a small gap in the top of the window so when we pulled that shoelace the wipers would go up. Dave was in the band at the time and he kindly volunteered to do the first shift on working the wipers. Luckily as kneeled in between the seats and alternately pulled the laces we fed him ice cold beer until his arms gave out. Roughly an hour later we made it somewhat-safely to our show and with a hilarious memory that we would not forget.

That's some dedication to bring an awesome metal show to the fans! Silent Line's new album "Shattered Shores" will drop this Friday - October 30 - and you can also stream the entire release ahead of time through the player below. For more info on Silent Line, head over to the band's Facebook profile here. More...

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Pit Stories: Downing A Helpful Health Potion

Ready for a new pit story? This week's comes courtesy of guitarist Mark Drastrup from Denmark-based thrash outfit Essence. Mark shared this story of getting elbowed in the throat at Wacken but downing a handy health potion to get back into the action:

I was at Wacken in 2006 where I went to see Soilwork on the Party Stage I think. I had just discovered them a short time before the festival and I was really excited for the concert, but I didn’t get to see that much of it, because a big moshpit broke out after a short time (I think it was during the song "Nerve") and suddenly I was involuntarily caught in it.

I’m not the tallest guy, so my head is always a bit exposed in moshpits haha. Out of nowhere I got punched in the throat by an elbow, by accident of course, and everything went dark for a few seconds (that’s why I don’t sing haha). Luckily I wasn’t seriously injured, but breathing was a bit hard for a while and I was quite dizzy.

Some of my friends took my back to our camp, where I got to lie down for an hour or so. Then I got up and took a health potion/beer and went back to the festival area. It was my first festival ever, so I didn’t want to spend it lying in camp. I guess that the moral of the story is to always wear armor in moshpits haha.

Anybody else have any great Wacken mosh pit experiences they'd like to share? Let us know about your head banging mishaps below!

Essence signed to Spinefarm Records earlier this year and also just released 3rd album "Prime" worldwide. The album was produced and mixed by Danish producer Rune Rask, and will be supported by new tour dates as the band just signed a booking deal with Live Nation Finland. More...

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Sunday Old School: Sacrifice

Thrash metal was truly a phenomenon. Not only did it create legendary scenes in the United States and Germany and give us some of the most beloved metal bands in history, but it spread worldwide, spawning movements in Great Britain, Brazil and of course, Canada. The great white north has brought the world some well respected thrash over the years, including today's featured band, Sacrifice from Toronto.

Sacrifice began when two friends, Rob Urbinati and Joe Rico, both guitar players, decided to form a band, initially playing covers of some of their favourite bands, bringing in bassist, Scott Watts soon afterwards. After bringing in drummer, Craig Boyle and his friend, singer John Baldy, the quintet recorded two demo tapes, which mostly consisted of covers of bands such as Metallica and Judas Priest, with the one original coming in the form of, "Turn in Your Grave." As time went on, Sacrifice developed a heavier sound, with Urbitani taking over the vocalist position as well as seeing a slew of drummers coming through the ranks, before the group settled on Gus Pynn. More...

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Pit Stories: The Two Man Pit

Not every pit is a massive mosh from hell with a horde of metal fans. Sometimes the crowd just isn't into it, and then a metal fan has to make his own mosh - even if its a pit of only two!

For this week's Pit Story, vocalist / guitarist Farhad Hossain of Shumaun shares this story of the two guys in the back who aren't content to just fold their arms and bob their heads:

Three years ago was the last time I played all original music live with a band of my own, which happened to be my last show with my previous band Iris Divine. That is a long time for a musician who prefers to play live as opposed to being stuck in a studio day in and day out. As you can imagine, the itch to play live again was intense, but it was also quite daunting. How will the music be received? Will the crowd like it? Will I play okay? Will we suck? These are all questions that run through your mind when you debut your new band to a crowd that has never heard a single note from you.

So, here we are at Shumaun’s first show.  I look onto a crowd of mainly progressive rock and avant-garde fans, with a few scattered metalheads wearing tees consisting of prickly logos.  Intro tape plays, and all eyes are on us as the hi-hat count begins. The first thing I notice is people bobbing their heads back and forth with their arms crossed. For a band that’s used to getting the “prog” label thrown its way, this is a pretty standard audience reaction, so all was good. Shumaun tends to shift in and out of various styles of hard rock, with progressive and metal elements sprinkled in throughout, but that didn’t seem to impress the extreme metal dudes I noticed in the back of the room who just stared at us with no readable expression.

However, soon into our second song, it happened: that magical moment when we got into one of our more metal-inspired sections.  I noticed two of the dudes in the back who were wearing the tees with the indecipherable band logos getting a mosh pit started, which unfortunately just consisted of the two of them. They continued bashing up against each other until one of them hit the ground. Sadly, the heavy portion of the song didn’t last long enough for the guy to get up and continue to wreak havoc on the subdued and focused prog crowd, which was more interested in analyzing our every note. It was the best moment of the show for me, and what made it even better was that the two dudes approached me afterward to tell me that they really enjoyed our set. You got to raise the horns up for them!

Let's hear YOUR stories of that time it was just you and a buddy moshing - share away in the comments below!

Shumaun's debut record will be released independently by the band on November 13, 2015 and pre-orders are now online at this location. Check out a song from the album below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Cripple Bastards

When one thinks of grindcore, the likelihood is that the first thought will turn to the scene in the United Kingdom that produced the likes of Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror and Carcass, while the over the pond, some of the genre's best bands such as Brutal Truth and Terrorizer were formed. But grindcore wasn't exclusive to the UK and the US, there was plenty of demand for extreme music in mainland Europe too, and today, we look at one of the more well known names from this era, Italy's own, Cripple Bastards.

Cripple Bastards originally went by the name Grimcorpses and were formed by singer Giulio the Bastard and guitarist Alberto the Crippler, originally as a punk band with some metal influences, before forging a harder style by throwing grindcore into the mix and changing their name to the now familiar moniker, Cripple Bastards. With this new style, they were able to stand out among other bands and bring some attention back to the hardcore scene in Asti, which is around 34 miles east of Turin, and released a string of split EPs and seven inch singles, as well as the EPs, "Life's Built On Thoughts" and "Frammenti di Vita." More...

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