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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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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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