"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Archive: Columns

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Deep Thoughts

This week three videos that do their best to entertain, promote new singles, and stretch every cent in the budget. More...

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Pit Stories: Don't Piss Off The Vocalist

With digital music readily available through services like Bandcamp and iTunes, heavy metal is now readily available everywhere from your phone to your computer, but that hasn't stopped the live show from being the heart of the scene. That's why every week we check in with musicians from across the globe to get their favorite stories from live performances.

As any regular show-goer knows, you shouldn't piss off the band unless you've got the balls to throw down or the numbers to back you up and out-shout the vocalist. From Dave Mustaine's infamous rants, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age chucking things at audience members, and Bruce Dickinson's viral anti-pot tirade, many fans have made the mistake of ticking off a front man during a set.

Today Johnny Gorilla from The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell shares this tale of his own back and forth with a crowd heckler:

We played in Scotland with Orange Goblin to a sold out King Tut's and this Russian guy calls me a cunt! He didn't remember meeting me the night before in a bar coz he was so pissed drunk. I stopped the gig and got the whole crowd to call him a cunt, by name. He looked like he was gonna cry.

Also a guy called "Scabby Dave" used to sit in front of us picking the scabs and eating them while we played! TASTY!!!

Admiral Sir Cloudsely Shovell's new album "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em" was released earlier this month, and a music video off the album can be seen below.

Also be sure to check in next week for more Pit Stories, and let us know your favorite tale of a heckler getting called out during a set! More...

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Sunday Old School: Holy Moses

Germany is a country whose history and legacy of thrash metal is rivalled only by that on the United States. It’s given the world such excellent acts as Kreator, Destruction and Assassin and still has more to uncover. This week, Sunday Old School will look at another of the country’s fastest heavy groups, who helped strike a blow for women’s place in metal music, Holy Moses. The band was formed in the spa town of Aachen, located in North Rhine-Westphalia in 1980 by bass player Ramon Brüssler, guitarist Jochen Fünders and drummer Peter Vonderstein while they were in high school and played their first show only four days after forming, with Fünders handling vocal duties, before that same year, they recorded and released their first demo, "Black Metal Masters." In 1981, the band was to change forever when both Fünders and Vonderstein left the band, with the latter being replaced by Paul Linzenich, a singer known only as "Iggy" and guitarist, Andly Classen.

Just before the year ended, Iggy decided to leave the band and Classen brought in his partner Sabina to be the group’s new singer. They worked on new material until they felt they were ready to perform, debuting their new incarnation in November 1982, before recording several new demos. The demos, such as "Walpurgis Night" and "The Bitch" helped them gain attention in the metal underground, eventually leading to a deal with Aarrg Records, through which they released their debut album, "Queen of Siam" in 1986. They were scheduled to promote the record by opening for American speed metal act, Agent Steel, however drummer Herbert Dreger failed to show up and was fired from the band as a result, with Uli Kusch replacing him. The last founding member of Holy Moses, Ramon Brüssler decided to quit soon afterwards, his place taken by Andre Chapelier. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Tribute

This week an eclectic group of videos featuring bad ass women, potential kidnappings and answering the question no one asked: Why do escalators move so slow?

Axel Rudi Pell has released a new video for the song "Long Way To Go," taken from the guitarist's latest album "Into The Storm." The video starts like an indie movie, a boring indie movie. We see city like scenes and then an escalator. Is the escalator a metaphor for life and the “long way to go?” Maybe it just means some escalators are way to slow and this song is about how long it takes. If so, I understand…

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Sunday Old School: Brujeria

Looking through the Sunday Old School archives, it seems there hasn't been too many articles featuring a mainly Latino band, with the exception of such Brazilian bands as Sepultura, Ratos de Parão and Sarcófago. So this week, Sunday Old School will be examining one of the most prominent, extreme and overall, best bands to have ever formed in Mexico, Brujeria. Brujeria was formed in 1989 at a party in Tijuana by Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares and featured such well known names as Dead Kennedys frontman, Jello Biafra, Faith No More bassist, Billy Gould and DJ Pat Hoed, along with vocalist Juan Brujo. Because several members were in other high profile bands, it was decided that they would adopt pseudonyms and wear disguises to hide their true identity, with the story being given that they were drug lords on the run from the FBI. They recorded their first single, "¡Demoniaco!" the same year and released it in 1990 through Nemesis Records. Owing to their busy schedules, it would be another two years before their next single, "Machetazos" hit the shelves, this time being released through Biafra's, Alternative Tentacles Records. It was around this time that Biafra also left the group and new members Pinche Peach and Raymond Herrera, also of Fear Factory, was brought in, which saw Pat Hoed move from drums to backing vocals.

Soon after the second single's release, the band signed a record deal with Roadrunner and brought in Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury on guitar. Their debut album, "Matando Güeros" generated much controversy due to the graphic front cover, which consisted of a photograph featuring a decapitated and disfigured head, which the band adopted as their logo, naming it "Coco Loco." The album's lyrics were also a subject of protest, with some people taking offense at their anti-Christian stance, as well as talk of sex, drugs and border crossing, not to mention the record's title. As is often the case however, the controversy only served to increase the profile of the band and shift a few more copies. The music itself was met with a mixed reaction from critics, but very positive ones from death metal and grindcore fans, remaining an extreme favourite to this day. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: The Gloryhole

Steel Panther have released the third music video from their critically acclaimed new album 'All You Can Eat.’ Following the release of the "Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World" and "The Burden Of Being Wonderful" videos comes “Gloryhole.” More...

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Pit Stories: The Booze Cruise

Every week we check in with musicians from across the metalverse to get their favorite Pit Stories from live shows. Today vocalist Pekka Heino from Finland's Brother Firetribe shares this tale of how the legendary Finnish love for alcohol got out of hand on a cruise show:

I was doing a show on a big cruise boat sailing the Helsinki-Stockholm line. Things get easily out of hand there as the audience tends to be pretty drunk - to put it mildly. This one time people were extra special messed up, really partying to the music we played.

Some guy got a little too excited and made his way onto the fence dividing the stage and the audience. He started rocking his body back and forth while holding on to the fence with only one hand. The state he was in made sure that it wouldn't end up well. And it didn't. He slammed face down on stage so that his body followed, legs and ass twisting over his neck. Of course he landed on glasses and bottles people had placed on stage while partying, and of course on our bass players pedal board. The bassist didn't really appreciate this, grabbed a hold of the guy and threw him off the stage. Another face down landing in just a few seconds.

While I'm watching this episode, a bald body builder type of guy grabs a hold of my clothes, trying to pull me off stage so I'm left with no choice but to cross check him in the forehead with the mic stand. He was so out of it he didn't even blink, just showed me the thumbs up and kept on rocking.

At the end of the gig, during the last encore, our guitarist jumped onto the audience to play a solo, tried to jump back to the stage over the fence, failing epically and landing on his back like a beetle turned upside down. I laughed so hard I couldn't finish the song.

Brother Firetribe features Nightwish guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and will release "Diamond in the Firepit" via Spinefarm Records on May 2nd. Pre-orders are available now on physical format or digital via iTunes. More...

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Sunday Old School: Sanctuary

It’s interesting to see how some bands formed by ex members of another successful group can over shadow their predecessors. Type O Negative became unquestionably bigger than Carnivore, Machine Head are more popular than Forbidden and whilst Nevermore became a hugely successful act, many will remember Warrel Dane (and to an extent, Jeff Loomis) for their work with a band before Nevermore formed. A band named, Sanctuary. Sanctuary formed in the city of Seattle, Washington, a place which would become famous a few years later for producing the grunge wave and acts such as Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, in 1985. Whilst they are now associated with the thrash scene of the 1980s, their music was a solid blend of thrash, power and traditional heavy metal, which showcased impressively on their first demo, which was recorded in 1986. The demo circulated around the tape trading scene and found its way to a number of record companies, including major label Epic, who offered the band a deal, which was unsurprisingly snapped up.

The band entered into the studio with Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, who would produce their debut full length, as well as performing a guest guitar solo on the band’s cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic, "White Rabbit." Sanctuary spent the remainder of 1986 and the beginning of the next year working on the album, which eventually surfaced later that year under the title, "Refuge Denied." The record was notable for featuring a high pitched vocal style from Dane, one which he has not used since, with speculation stating that the vocal technique injured his voice, leaving him unable to replicate the style he utilised on Sanctuary’s debut. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Apologies to Winger

This week a tribute to the eighties, Bach is back and Winger (yes, that Winger) continues to surprise me. More...

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Pit Stories: Delain Offers To Sign Your Bruises!

Every week we check in with bands from across the globe to get their most memorable Pit Stories. Today Charlotte Wessels of symphonic outfit Delain checks in to share the lessons she's learned over the years in the pit, and to offer to sign any Metalunderground reader's mosh pit bruises! Charlotte had this to say:

My best moshing days were probably when I was between the ages of 14 and 17, so I believe I owe a lot to moshpit etiquette. Still, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way. For example the fact that I should rather stagedive backwards then forwards (that time my boobs landed exactly in my grinning friend’s perfectly cupped hands) and that All Stars are NOT moshpit sensible shoes (that time I didn’t notice I’d been jumping through broken beer bottles for two hours. Blood. Blood everywhere). Also, the fact that many musicians find it an awkward request if you ask them to sign your fresh bruises after a perfectly friendly violent pit.

Now, Delain’s audience is not the mosh-till-you-bleed type of crowd, nor are we the projectile-vomit-over-your-audience type of band - just picking up on two recurring themes in this website’s stories :) - but if anyone wants their mosh pit bruises signed after a show, be my guest! You earned those!

Delain's new album "The Human Contradiction" saw official release today in North America via Napalm Records. Pick up your own copy right here and check out the "Stardust" music video below. More...

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Unearthing The Metal Underground In Lynchburg, VA

“FREE SANDWICH,” the black-on-white marquee lettering announces outside the unassuming roadside deli. “JESUS LOVES YOU.”

For many Americans today, such a sight is instant “meme bait” – earnest religiosity begging for a sneering, sarcastic caption. For this returning Virginia native, who spent eight years in secular New England associating with metalheads and entertainment business types, it’s a fidgety sensation of dislocation, of being marooned between two worlds at odds with one another. Two worlds – let’s face it – at war.

Which is why I still have no idea what to expect – I am indeed attending a metal show, I have to keep reminding myself – as I turn off Route 29 South and weave my way uphill to narrow Old Colony Road in Madison Heights, minutes from Lynchburg. More...

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Sunday Old School: Lita Ford

If you grew up in the eighties you knew Lita Ford as the hard rock girl with credentials. She could play guitar and mix it up vocally with Ozzy Osbourne. Eventually you find out she was part of The Runaways and that’s when you really begin to appreciate how important she has been to rock and roll. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Hi Mom

New videos from two Australian bands and one Swedish band this week; focus on mesh tank tops and the debate of what is the proper reaction when you are on camera: “Hi Mom” vs. Middle Finger. More...

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Unearthing The Croatian Metal Underground: Part 2

Back in 2011 during our unending quest to unearth the best the underground has to offer, we previously looked at a series of bands from metal scene in Croatia.

Fast forward three years and today it's time to return to that country again for another threesome of Croatia's best. Read on to discover a new trio projects that all go in drastically different directions while remaining inside the realm of metal: the post-black metal Hesperian Death Horse, modern metal outfit Kryn, and instrumental group Asheraah.

Hesperian Death Horse

Swinging back and forth between atmospheric, understated post-metal and full-on black metal insanity, Hesperian Death Horse is a band of extremes that doesn't care to sit still and stay firmly within one genre.

If you can dig both hoarse, abrasive black metal and the more melodic and ambient side of the genre all in the same sitting, enjoy the full “Mrtav” album below, as well as the band's latest mind fuck of a track “Tesla,” taken off a new split release with Hazarder.

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Sunday Old School: Gwar

Given the tragic news earlier this week that GWAR frontman, Dave Brockie, perhaps better known by his stage name, Oderus Urungus, has passed away at the age of only fifty, it seemed an appropriate and respectful time to look back on the legacy of his music and the band themselves, who arguably put on the most shocking heavy metal shows known to man. GWAR began life, perhaps unsurprisingly, as a joke by a band named Death Piggy, for whom Brockie was the lead singer and bassist. The group were intending to make a movie entitled, "Scumdogs of the Universe" and decided it would be a fun idea to wear the costumes on stage and be their own support act, dubbing themselves, Gwaaarrrgghhllgh and claiming to be from Antarctica, while sacrificing fake animals on stage. After a while, the members of Death Piggy noticed that people were more interested in seeing Gwaaarrrgghhllgh than their main act, with many leaving before Death Piggy took the stage and so the band was gradually erased in favour of concentrating on the now shortened moniker, GWAR. The original lineup of the band under the slightly new name consisted of Brockie on guitar, Chris Bopst on bass, Sean Summer on drums, vocalist Ben Eubanks and former Techno Destructo member Hunter Jackson, though it would go through several lineup changes very quickly, with Brockie eventually settling in as vocalist after another singer named Joe Annaruma recorded several demo tracks.

After going through more new members, the band eventually found themselves being signed to Shimmy Disc Records, for whom they released their debut album, "Hell-O." The album is something of a talking point amongst GWAR fans, being particularly divisive for an early record, with some fans enjoying the album and a significant amount who are not so keen on it. They began touring to promote the album, though guitarist Steve Douglas would soon leave, being replaced by mainstay, Michael Derks. More...

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Pit Stories: Trollfest's Figure 8 Pit

Tuesday has rolled around again, which means it's time to hear another Pit Story, this time from Norwegian outfit Trollfest. The band shares this story of a figure-8 pit breaking out in Austria:

Once upon a time in Austria, on the road with Korpiklaani, the trolls were trying to breathe some life into a slightly scattered crowd. It was time for “Der Jegermeister,” which is ALWAYS accompanied by a circle pit, usually of violent proportions. But there was no room! The concert hall consisted of several huge concrete columns of death!

The creative side of Trollmannen was let loose, and he went on a passionate rant that seemed to take on a life of its own. “Can you do it around the columns? We’ll have one there, and one over there.” Said the energetic frontman, pointing. The crowd cheered. “Fuck it, can you do it in a figure of 8!?” Trollmannen was inventing on the spot. “Allright, let’s do a circle-of-8 pit! I have to work on the name, but this is going to be legendary!”

Some hard core metal heads were already trembling with anticipation, wanting the song to start ASAP! “This song is called Der Jegermeister!!” roared the bearded Norwegian, and Trollfest went head first into one of their classic neck breakers. And yes, Trollmannen’s faith in the Austrian fans paid of and a fantastic 8-pit ensued! Some blood was probably spilled and some teeth left home, but it was worth knowing that we invented a new game to play!
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Unearthing More Of The Black Metal Underground

The metal phenomenon has exploded across the world in recent years, and with the advent of services like YouTube and Bandcamp there's far more music out there than any metal fan could ever hope to hear. That's why each Monday we take a look at three lesser known bands in the metalverse that you should be paying attention to.

We've covered underground black metal extensively in the past, digging up bands that specifically go for a heavily symphonic sound, black metal groups that experiment with non-traditional ideas, and even the highly misanthropic acts.

There's still quite a few underground black metal outfits that deserve a wider audience though, and today we'll cover three that each put a slightly different spin on the style.

Aurvandil

Taking a classic kvlt black metal sound, French band Aurvandil drags it out with 9 – 20 minute tracks that lull you in and perform their hypnotic black magic. Aurvandil focuses on a one-two combo, using acoustic and atmospheric segments that explode into fast paced black metal.

While the long song lengths and repetition won't work for everyone, these massive tracks are a journey worth taking if you want black metal to be lo-fi and exude a feeling of years gone past. Following the 2011 album “Yearning,” Aurvandil's latest slab of aural drudgery “Thrones” will see a digital release at the end of April.

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Sunday Old School: Corrosion Of Conformity

Throughout the history of heavy music, there have been many influential bands. Some see their signature sound copied by hundreds, others only one album which can spawn a movement, but few can go from one genre to another and remain just as popular and important as they were before. One of the new bands who can legitimately claim this, is Raleigh, North Carolina’s own, Corrosion of Conformity. Corrosion of Conformity, or C.O.C. for short, formed in 1982 by bassist Mike Dean, who would also handle vocal duties, along with drummer Reed Mullin and guitarist, Woody Weatherman. After recruiting vocalist Eric Eycke, the group released their first full length album, "Eye for an Eye" in 1984. The debut featured twenty tracks, including a cover of the Fleetwood Mac song, "Green Manalishi," which had also been popularised by Judas Priest, but timed in at just over half an hour. This would prove to be their only album featuring Eycke, who left the band following the record’s release and so vocal duties were shared by Reed and Mullin on their sophomore album, "Animosity." The album saw the band begin to mix their hardcore roots with the emerging thrash metal genre, creating one of the first examples of crossover thrash in the process and was received very well, with several of their songs going on to be covered by such high profile artists as Metallica and Mr. Bungle.

It was decided by the band that in order to progress, they would need a new singer so that the music would be paired with one voice and so they hired Simon Bob Sinister, formerly of Ugly Americans, who performed with C.O.C. on their next EP, "Technocracy," which veered closer to thrash metal than their previous work. Despite this noisy output however, things were soon to go quiet for the band, when Mike Dean decided to leave in 1987, followed closely by Simon Bob. More...

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The Rockstar Ramblings: Spring Cleaning

This week a chance to rip through five videos released recently. Surprisingly, this week is low on comedy and one video is very serious. You may even weep. For fans of Fresh Prince of Bel Air this is equal to the episode where Carlton is hooked on speed. I wept for days when Carlton almost died. More...

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Pit Stories: Brian Fair Gets A Broken Nose

Each week we check in with metal musicians to get their most memorable Pit Stories from live shows. Today vocalist Sal LoCoco of New York outfit Sworn Enemy shares this tale of Brian Fair getting his nose broken while out on tour with Death Ray Vision:

So Sworn Enemy set out on a mini tour with Death Ray Vision and Acaro last summer, and we haven't seen Mike D (Killswitch Engage) and Brian Fair (Shadows Fall) in a long time. It was really good to catch up with both of those guys. Also wound up getting very close with the Acaro guys on that tour.

Well to make a long story short the tour is winding down and the last day we are up at Bogies in Albany, our set is going great and we get to our closing song "We Hate." Now at this time Brian has been dancing for us throughout the whole set like a madman. We pretty much get to the last 10 seconds of the song, now mind you none of us in the band seen it happen as we were onstage with the lights blaring in our eyes, we find out that Brian got knocked in the face and busted his nose and had to go to the hospital. Death Ray Vision did not get to play their set. What a way to end the tour. It was crazy that he had that happen to him in the last few seconds of our set.

Death Ray Vision commented on the event back in September of 2013 via Facebook: "Thanks to Sworn Enemy and Acaro for a hell of a good time for the Raging Semi Tour! Thanks to everyone who came out and partied with us! Albany, sorry for not being able to play due to Brian getting his nose broken in the Pit during Sworn Enemy..we'll make it up to you!"

Sworn Enemy's new album "Living On Borrowed Time" is due out Tuesday May 13th, 2014 and you can hear new music from the band over at Facebook here. More...

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