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Pit Stories: Bad Luck With Stage Diving

The mosh pit: where metal brethren gather together to get out their aggression and rock out to some of the world's best music.

Every week we check in with metal bands and fans from around the globe to get their favorite Pit Stories. This week we have a double-dose of pit mayhem from Brazilian all-female thrash band Nervosa.

First up, vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira shares several tales of her many accumulated war wounds from mosh pits:

I love the moshpit! That's why in every show of ours, I'm always encouraging people to mosh, stage dive and sometimes I even join them! But most of my funny stories involving mosh pits happened when I was watching concerts - and I always end up injuring myself really bad!

At a Municipal Waste gig once, me and many other girls were invited to join and headbang on the stage and right after, the singer asked us to stage dive all at once, and I ended up falling from the stage and injuring my back really hard! The same happened at a Ratos de Porão gig: I jumped from the stage, nobody held me, and I smashed my face into the ground. My eyebrows started bleeding and were seriously swollen and I couldn't walk in a normal way for almost 2 weeks because something wrong happened with my knees, haha!

And the last one I remember and the most serious on, happened at a Krisiun gig where I tried to stage dive and when I was about to ask people to put me on my feet, a guy simply didn't hold me and I fell and beat the back of my head on the ground. My eyes saw a completely white blank and I almost fainted out. A HUGE bump rose on my head and after one week feeling dizzy and having strange symptoms related to my vision and hearing capacities, I went to the doctor and he said I beat my head so bad that I developed labyrinthitis!

Nervosa guitarist Prika Amaral also adds these comments about her most memorable show experience:

Last year, we played in Macapá. The show was insane, the stage was too high and a boy was pushed by the head by a security guard into the mosh pit where a tug of war was made. When we got off the stage, many people pulled our hair, we couldn't walk, the fans wanted pictures and signatures and to take my guitar. It was crazy!

Nervosa's new album "Victim of Yourself" is due out this coming March 11th in North America via Napalm Records. Check out a teaser trailer for the release below. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Nepal

Known mainly in the West as home to the arresting Himalayan heights and neighbor to every misguided hippie’s favorite destination of Tibet, Nepal is a unique little country that, like many Asian enclaves, bears a richly extensive history that belies its pin-on-the-map size.

Viewed in a metal context, Nepal’s growing foothold in the headbanging underground proves an even greater curiosity – though thanks to the Sam Dunns of the world and our great global network of online journalism, that curiosity is transforming from a novelty to the norm before our eyes. Cultural and language barriers can only hold back the equalizing brotherhood of metal for so long.

The twenty-first century has thus far seen a rapid expansion in the local metal scene of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and largest city. It’s primarily an extreme affair. Inspired by trailblazing death metal acts such as UgraKarma and championed on regional web communities KTMRocks and Nepal Underground, the bands here tend to embrace aggression and brutality with a fresh enthusiasm that conjures a strange, sweet, almost innocent nostalgia.

According to Davin Shakya, audio engineer and founder of symphonic black/death metal act Kalodin, the reasons are as much technological as cultural. “The production here is not up to par compared to the international bands we listen to,” he explains. “Mainly because there aren’t many musical production courses. Engineers here have to study everything on their own and find their way out by trial and error. It’s improving, though.”

Such a grassroots-by-necessity approach calls to mind the trials by which Western engineers learned to produce thrash and death metal throughout the ‘80s. Innovative leaps in musicianship were forced to wait for the technology to catch up. This period of exploration was the perfect breeding ground for exciting, energetic, envelope-pushing music, and more than two decades later, Kathmandu is experiencing its own evolution and refinement of extreme metal.

It’s also placing its own unique stamp on the genre. Playing the heaviest and darkest of metal offers a special opportunity to entwine it with regional culture, whether through sound or attitude, and enrich the ever-expanding genre web. Take a look at some of Kathmandu’s highlights and rising stars since the dawn of the millennium. More...

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Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 1. Behemoth

Back in 2011 and 2012, MetalUnderground.com decided to devote all our Sunday Old School columns in February to some of the most important, influential and most popular bands in the history of black metal, which we appropriately named, "Black Metal History Month." This year, we’ve decided to bring back the feature and, with their new album, "The Satanist" out tomorrow in Europe, who better to kick things off than Poland’s own, Behemoth?

Behemoth was formed in 1991 in the city of Gdansk, the fourth largest metro area of Poland by vocalist/guitarist, Adam "Nergal" Darski, Czech born drummer, Adam "Baal" Muraszko and a second guitarist known as, "Desecrator." The trio recorded three demos in their early days, "Endless Damnation," "The Return of the Northern Moon" and most significantly, "From the Pagan Vastlands," which featured a cover of the Mayhem song, "Deathcrush" and was released two months after it was recorded by Polish label, Pagan Records before it saw a release in the United States via Wild Rags. By 1995, Desecrator had left the group, leaving Behemoth as a duo, though the two were nevertheless ready to record a full length studio album for Pagan Records, which was released that year under the title, "Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)." It was given mediocre reviews by the critics, though they soon won them over with their second album, "Grom," which hit the shelves in January of 1996. This sophomore album saw the band bringing in a much wider range of influences and sounds, including the use of female vocals and earning them the respect of many members of the metal press in the process.

It was on their next album, 1998s "Pandemonic Incantations" that the band began to develop the blackened death metal sound which they are known for today. They toured for two solid years in support of the record but due to a lack of promotion from then label, Solistitium, the album did not fare well commercially. Behemoth decided that a change was needed and signed a new record deal with the Italian label, Avantgarde Music, through which they released their fourth album, "Satanica" in 1999. The label seemed very willing to promote the Polish outfit and booked them tours supporting American death metal legends, Deicide, as well as Norwegian black metal outfit, Satyricon. They were soon forced to make lineup changes however, which saw the recruitment of bassist Marcin "Novy" Nowak and guitarist, Havok. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: #RIPMotleyCrue

This week Motley Crue announced their retirement, sort of. Via a press conference the band announced a retirement that would begin after a two-year tour. Apparently they signed a contract that is completely valid unless they all decide to void or write up a new contract. Anyway, there is going to be a U.S. and International tour, maybe a new album, and a country tribute album. I’m sure the country tribute album will bring it all together. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Bangladesh

With a population of 160 million people, Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The country's attitude of cultural tolerance (Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists live side-by-side) is reflected in their tastes in metal (well, at least in this article).

This Unearthing segment includes three bands of disparate styles from the city of Dhaka. The wide scope of sounds documented in the following video includes death metal, black metal, atmospheric, neo-classical, thrash, and progressive, many derived from a sole band!

Artcell

Mostly unknown in the West, Artcell is one of the most celebrated rock acts of Bangladesh. They play arenas, appear on TV shows and have over 479,000 likes on their Facebook page. In addition to the Sabbath-thy heaviness of debut "Onnoshomoy," Artcell has an affinity for melody and acoustic guitar. I'm not sure what the band sings about because all lyrics are sung in Bengali, but his voice is harmonious and passionate. Whatever he's saying, their crowds respond well. As with most prog bands, Artcell has an outstanding bass sound, very warm.

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Sunday Old School: Killer Dwarfs

Band members changing their surname as a show of solidarity is one thing, when the name is “Dwarf” that means two things: you have a sense of humor and are part of the Killer Dwarfs. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Cool as Steel

Steel Panther have done it again. Just when you think they couldn't create a more humorous video they go out and create a video for "The Burden Of Being Wonderful." A video high on comedy and high on self confidence… More...

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Pit Stories: The Miscalculated Stage Dive

Each week we check in with metal bands from around the globe to get their favorite Pit Stories from metal shows.

Today Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided, ex-Sonic Syndicate) shares this story of a miscalculated stage dive:

This is a story from our old band Sonic Syndicate but still pretty entertaining, and seeing we are 3 persons from that band in The Unguided what the hell!? Anyway, we had this gig in Gothenburg 2007 on a festival called Metaltown. And towards the end of our set the former harsh vocalist of Dead By April, Jimmie Strimell, came up on stage for no particular reason, we barely knew the guy back back then, but I suppose he was just drunk and wanted to fuck about. Anyway; he was roaming around the stage for a while and I remember us being a bit annoyed by the fact. But after a moment he comes up with the brilliant idea to stage dive.

In his drunk mind he supposedly made some miscalculations as from where the crowd was positioned and that solid iron barrier between the stage and the fans. He however took off and made a miraculous leap towards the people, or so he thought, in fact he hit that fucking barrier head on, and made a total fool of himself. All this was of course immortalized by our manager standing in the ditch filming. And everything stupid like that eventually ends up on YouTube right? So now it can be watched below around 03:00 for everyone amusement. A small step for man but a giant fail-leap for Jimmie!

Regarding The Ungudied we are just about to release our sophomore album “Fragile Immortality” and once that’s out we are going to support it by doing some touring here in Scandinavia and a bunch of festivals during the summer. We are also looking into doing some touring around Europe under 2014. Going to be a busy year!
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Sunday Old School: Michael Schenker Group

The great thing about a lot of legendary metal bands is that you can usually find a connection between several groups. In today’s case, the connection sees a member of not one but two all time great rock acts who went on to release more great music under his own terms. I’m talking, of course, about the former Scorpions and UFO guitarist, Michael Schenker. Schenker, along with his brother, Rudolf, were founding members of the Scorpions and performed their first gig when Michael was only eleven years old. Four years later the band recorded and released their debut album, "Lonesome Crow," which saw them hit the road with UFO, who offered the now eighteen year old guitarist the position of their new lead guitar player, which he accepted, despite the handicap of not being able to speak English. His contribution to the band was immediate and successful, writing the bulk of the music for their major label debut, "Phenomenon," which featured such classic UFO songs as "Doctor Doctor" and "Rock Bottom." Despite his excellent song writing, his attitude and performances left something to be desired and his time with the band has been well documented as rocky and uneasy, thanks to his drinking and habit of walking off the stage, which would sometimes cause the cancellation of concerts. After recording the live album, "Strangers in the Night," Schenker finally parted company with UFO and rejoined with his brother in the Scorpions.

His return to the fold was not as joyous as it perhaps could have been. He teamed up with the band while they were recording their album, "Lovedrive" and performed on three of the album’s songs before the band began touring in support of the album. However, after only three months, he was out of the band once more, this time as a result of alcohol abuse, fatigue and an inability to perform live anymore. Now without either of these big name heavy hitters, he attempted to join even larger names and auditioned for such bands as Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. After the death of his guitarist Randy Rhoads, former Black Sabbath singer, Ozzy Osbourne thought Schenker would be the ideal replacement, as he was a big influence on the fallen guitar player. Schenker did not join up with Ozzy, though reasons for this differ. Osbourne claims that Schenker made too many demands which bordered on the extravagant, which Schenker maintains that he was the one who made the call after he had a feeling that he would be making a serious mistake. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Just Say Yes

This week Vitne, The Sandness, and Beasto Blanco bring videos full of pretty colors, suckers, and Pall Mall cigarettes. More...

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Sunday Old School: Discharge

Stoke-on-Trent is an English city which might not be well known outside of Britain, but they’ve produced some outstanding talent, such as legendary England goalkeeper, Gordon Banks and Phil Taylor, perhaps the greatest player in the history of professional darts. But it’s not just sport that Stoke has contributed to. The world of punk rock, and indeed all heavy music, was changed forever in the city when five young Stokies got together in 1977 and formed Discharge. The seeds of the band were sewn by vocalist Tezz Roberts and guitarist Royston "Rainy" Wainwright, who quickly added Tezz’s younger brother Anthony, aka “Bones” on guitar, as well bass player Nigel Bamford and drummer Anthony "Akko" Axon. Like most punk bands starting out at the time, they were influenced by the likes of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned, the latter two they would go on to support following the release of their first demo.

Their style was soon to change however, after Bamford and Axon quit the band and they hired vocalist, Cal Morris, leading Tezz Roberts to take up the position of drummer, while Rainy switched to bass. The new addition saw them shedding their Sex Pistols style in favour of a much more aggressive sound, influenced largely by Motorhead (whose frontman, Lemmy, was also born in Stoke-on-Trent) and their lyrics began to take a form as harsh their guitar tone, focusing on the fear of nuclear destruction and the evils in society that was caused by Capitalism. Although this change was made of their own accord, several other bands in Britain had also begun to perform a more abrasive style, such as Amebix and Chaos UK and the new second wave of punk was ready to unleashed, eventually referred to by rock historians as "UK82," which takes its name from a song by The Exploited. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: How to Be a Ho

This week a new video from Nasty Habit, an eighties throwback looking to inject some fun back into rock and roll with their new video, "Strut Your Stuff.” The message of this song and video appears to be that wearing your Sunday best isn't always best. More...

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Pit Stories: Taking The Pain

For this week's edition of Pit Stories, guitarist Taylor Roberts from Cathercist shares a tale of his most memorable mosh experience at a Lamb of God show:

I think the craziest mosh pit I ever encountered would have to be when I attended Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom, God Forbid, and Municipal Waste. I remember thinking how crazy this show was, because it was in this random town in Louisiana. The auditorium looked like a bigger, more asbestos filled gymnasium from high school, so I knew it would be interesting.

The show is going on and the crowd is getting crazier with each band. And of course at the time I had brought my then girl with me and she was losing her mind over the pit, and I was absolutely loving it. Well Lamb of God finally gets on stage and second song in, it's a sea of crazy kids and a crowd surfer floats by, falls down, and as he gets back up, dropped kicked the ever living shit out of me. I wasn't even mad, if anything I threw horns in the air, yelled "Hell Yeah!" And started pushing kids back! I had the biggest grin.

As far as pits that we've started, I think my favorite was at uproar 2011 with A7x, BFMV, Sevendust, and more. The event was supposed to be outside, but apparently a monsoon had come out of nowhere at the coliseum so the stages had to be moved inside. There were about 5,000 kids inside the convention center and I remember us saying "Ignore these signs that say no moshing, they mean nothing today!" And we started our song "Rise" and when it kicked in, we had a wall of death that started and this huge pit erupted in the center of the crowd. Security of course broke it up, but it was pretty insane cause no one moshed after that because security got real strict after us, but we felt quite accomplished. We did get bitched at though by security afterwards haha.

Cathercist will soon be hitting the road with American Head Charge for a U.S. tour. You can find the dates right here, or check out a music video from the band below. For more info on Cathercist, head over to the group's Facebook profile here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Six Feet Under

Side projects can be a dangerous thing. Whilst they can provide a creative outlet for a band member, they can also bring about arguments regarding commitment and sometimes cost said musician his place in the first band. Many of these projects don't even go anywhere, but this was not the case of Six Feet Under, the group formed as a side project by then Cannibal Corpse vocalist, Chris Barnes. Six Feet Under started in 1993, when Barnes joined forces with Allen West, one of the founding members of Obituary, who also brought with him bass player, Terry Butler, formerly of Massacre and currently the bassist of Obituary. The lineup was rounded off by Butler's brother-in-law, Greg Gall and they soon embarked on their first shows, performing a set mostly comprised of cover songs. They took themselves a little more seriously the next year, writing more original material and easily securing themselves a record deal with Metal Blade, thanks in part to Barnes already being signed to the label with Cannibal Corpse. The band teamed up with such respected names as Brian Slagel and Scott Burns to complete their debut album, "Haunted," which was released on September 1st 1995 to good reviews from critics who were impressed with the distinctive vocals and the group not being reliant on guitar solos to complete their songs.

A year later, in 1996, Barnes was fired from Cannibal Corpse while they were recording a new album, "Created To Kill," which was eventually released under the name, "Vile." His attention could now be paid fully to Six Feet Under, who released a new EP, "Alive and Dead" before the year was out, which featured two new songs, four live tracks and a cover of the Judas Priest song, "Grinder." Just less than a year later, they released their sophomore album, "Warpath," which is considered one of their best works to date and was notable for taking a few risks, such as the inclusion of clean vocals and broader lyrical themes, such as smoking marijuana, as well as the usual blood and guts stories associated with death metal. "Warpath" was also the last album to include Allen West, who parted company with the band and was replaced by another Massacre alumni, Steve Swanson. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Loaded Gun

It’s a new year with new videos from England and Sweden plus songs about guns and bullets. There’s even a video shot inside a strip club. Yeah 2014! More...

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Sunday Old School: Dangerous Toys

Before Steel Panther was Dangerous Toys, a hard rock band with a sense of humor that loved sex and melody. More...

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Sunday Old School: Iced Earth

Power metal is a genre which almost certainly is most popular in mainland Europe. The continent has given birth to many of the genre's greatest acts such as Blind Guardian, Hammerfall and Gamma Ray and continues to book such acts for their biggest festivals. However, that is not to say that the United States has had no input into the development or popularity of power metal. Indeed, one of the field's most beloved groups hail from Tampa, Florida. A band by the name of Iced Earth.

The seeds of the group were sewn in 1985 when guitarist, Jon Schaffer formed a band named Purgatory. As would be a common theme in the life of Iced Earth, member changes were frequent, with Schaffer remaining the only constant. In 1988, they decided to change their name from Purgatory to the moniker we all know today, which was suggested by a friend of Schaffer's who passed away after a motorcycle accident. They soon caught the attention of record labels with their second demo, "Enter the Realm," which earned them a deal with Century Media. Schaffer, along with drummer Mike McGill, vocalist Gene Adam, bass player Dave Abell and guitarist Randall Shawver, entered the famous Morrisound Recording studio, renowned for producing many of the greatest death metal albums, to record their self titled debut. The album was met with a somewhat mixed response, though it allowed them to perform in Europe for the first time as a support act to Blind Guardian.

They wasted little time in getting to work on a sophomore record, though not without making a few changes first. Mike McGill was replaced with Richey Secchiari and perhaps most notably, Gene Adam was fired from the band after he refused to take singing lessons, his place being taken by John Greely. This new incarnation of the band went back to Morrisound to record, "Night of the Stormrider," which faired a little better with the critics, though remains a very popular entry in the Iced Earth catalogue with their fans. The album also took a little longer to be released in the United States than it did Europe, as the American branch of their label was worried that the album would compete against their debut. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Merry Kissmas

This week it was announced that Kiss would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After numerous nominations as well as years not nominated this was maybe their last chance. They will join Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, and others April 10, 2014. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground in Bulgaria

Eastern Europe is a hotbed for extreme metal. Behemoth and Vader opened venues and studio doors to growls and screams, and invited a whole new generation of cult bands into their realm of the world. Today, we are going to focus on three of those bands. MU has reported on one of these bands in the past, Enthrallment, but we will be introducing two more--Dimholt and Dark Incognito.

Enthrallment

Bulgaria did not always allow extreme metal within its borders. Since the mid-40s, Bulgaria was under Soviet rule. As soon as the Eastern Bloc collapsed, heavy bands began to form. Murder Sound studio owner and Enthrallment drummer, Ivo Ivanov states that many bands began to form in the period of 1989-1993 in his hometown of Pleven. Artists such as Mortal Remains, Corpse and Necrophilia ushered in the first wave of extreme metal. Ivanov's band, Enthrallment emerged during the the period of 1993-1998, an era he dubs the "zenith of the death metal industry."

Starting with their 1999 demo "The Scarlet Difference" and ending with their latest full-length "People From The Lands of Vit," Enthrallment has created death metal appeasing to their European neighbors and long-distance listeners in America. The group has played Serbia's Hellhammer Festival and Obscene Extreme Fest. They toured with Malevolent Creation, Rotting Christ and Rotten Sound in 2011, and supported major acts such as Destruction, Obituary, Deicide and Napalm Death.

In a couple of weeks, at the beginning of 2014, Enthrallment will release its newest incarnation of audio filth, "The Voice of Human Perversity." Ivanov recorded and mixed the album in his Murder Sound Studio, while the group sent the recording to Safehouse Production in Florida to be mastered by James Murphy. Check out a preview of the album below, as well as the video for "Fruits of Pain and Blue Sky."

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Sunday Old School: Def Leppard

Many young bands starting out dream of playing in the biggest arenas, but few were seemingly born to perform on the world's largest platforms. One of the groups that were meant to pack out huge venues the world over was formed back in 1977. A band by the name of Def Leppard. Def Leppard was formed in the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield, famous for it's steel production and regularly hosting the World Snooker Championship. They began life under the name Atomic Mass with the founding members consisting of Rick Savage, Tony Kenning, and Pete Willis, before adding guitarist, Joe Elliott to their ranks, who soon switched to vocals, and a second guitarist named Steve Clark, who joined the band after performing "Free Bird" in its entirety. They were all set to begin recording their first EP, when Kenning decided to quit the group, leading them to hire The Next Band drummer, Frank Noon to record the drum tracks for "The Def Leppard EP." After recording the single, Rick Allen, then only fifteen years of age, was hired as their new drummer and they soon found their first taste of sales success, selling out all 1000 copies of "The Def Leppard EP" thanks largely to airplay given to them by John Peel. The band built up a loyal and ever growing fan base and were considered one of, and at times, the most exciting band in the New Wave of British Heavy metal movement. During this time, EMI Records were searching for a new hard rock band to promote and kept a close eye on Def Leppard, though they eventually decided to take their chances on a band from East London named Iron Maiden.

In spite of being passed over by EMI, Def Leppard soon signed to Phonogram/Vertigo Records and before long, they found themselves on the road supporting the likes of AC/DC and Ted Nugent. They also released their first full length album, "On Through The Night," which sold well enough to reach the top fifteen in the United Kingdom, although it was met with some hostility from fans who felt that the band was trying too hard to appeal to the American market. Some people made their feelings about their new direction all too clear when Def Leppard performed at the Reading festival and were met with a hail of bottles, some of which were filled with urine, although Elliott maintains that most bands performing that day were abused by the crowd. More...

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