Every week we chat up bands from around the globe to find their favorite stories from metal shows. This week, bassist Morgan Rider of Canadian act Vesperia had this tale to share about the crowd taking over the stage during a Dimebag tribute:
We were doing a show in Ottawa a couple of years ago and it happened to be a Pantera / Dimebag tribute show. We knew about this show a while in advance, so we came up with a folk metal version of "Fucking Hostile."
During our set, the time came for us to play the song, so we invited some people to come up and sing it with us. Two seconds later, half of the crowd is on the stage, forcing all of us except our drummer at the time off of the stage and onto the floor. We played the song on the floor and the crowd moshed and rocked out on stage. It was really weird.
In the Portugal Daily View, Moonspell's lead singer/songwriter Fernando Ribeiro was quoted as saying "We were an active part of the underground scene that grew steadily over time, supported only by our passion for metal and by the desire to share it with people from all over the world. To spread music demos around the world was like raising our voices and saying ‘I’m here!’. Those were the more exciting days of my young life. To receive tapes from Poland, Mexico or Germany was an incredible experience. I can imagine it was the same feeling for a foreigner who received a tape from Portugal”. More...
FireHouse was the REO Speedwagon of glam rock. They looked and were categorized as hard rock and heavy metal, but deep down they just wanted to play and sing ballads across the world. Two VERY interesting facts: First, FireHouse won the 1992 American Music Award for favorite new Heavy Metal/Hard Rock artist. They were chosen over Nirvana and Alice and Chains. Secondly, did you know they have sold over seven million albums? Now every band wishes they were the REO Speedwagon of glam rock. More...
Swedish rockers Sister Sin have released a new music video for "Hearts Of Cold", the second single from their recent album 'Now And Forever.’ More...
It's Tuesday again, which means we've got a new metal show story taken from the underground musicians themselves who keep the scene running. This week guitarist/vocalist Spencer Le Von from Canadian thrash act Fatality shares the following tale of the band's first show going horribly wrong:
My pit story was actually from Fatality’s first-ever live show when I was at the supple age of 15. We were performing at a dive called Club Rockit in Downtown Toronto back in 2004. I will never forget this story because it incorporates all of the elements that make up a nightmare gig, and how I handled it as a confused 15-year-old zilch. First of all, it was in the middle of January, and there was a massive storm that hit Toronto and we barely made it to the gig as we slid up and down the highway. Also, right before we hit the stage, I opened my guitar case and to my complete chagrin: my fuckin’ ax was smashed in 2 pieces.
So, up we went. There was me with no guitar and no sense of what to do with my hands as I clumsily sang through our songs like a mush-mouthed buffoon. Boy, we (I) stank up the joint good. As we got closer to the end of the set, I realized I had a decision to make: play out the last of our songs half heartedly, and then pack up and go home for a good cry, or do something so fuckin’ stupid that even though we were playing mediocre at best, the crowd would still go home and remember us. I chose the latter. In one foul swoop, I pulled of my pants and shirt reveling a tainted, ripe, skid-marked pair of tighty-whities and a matching pasty white stomach. I then proceeded to jump into the mosh pit and clobbered the shit out of people as my band riffed on the stage above.
It was this night that I learned a major lesson. There is no such thing as the perfect gig, and each night has a different obstacle to overcome. What makes a good performer is not just in how well he can play; it’s all in his capacity to deal with the bullshit!
Power metal is a genre that has been somewhat neglected by the Sunday Old School column. It’s still very much alive however (go to a metal festival in Europe if you don’t believe me) and this week we’ll be making up for our past snub by taking a look at one of the most revered bands in the field, Helloween. Helloween were formed in 1984 in the German city of Hamburg by singing guitarist, Kai Hansen, along with drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, bassist Markus Grosskopf and second guitarist Michael Weikath. They soon signed to Noise Records and appeared on a compilation album named, "Death Metal," which was notable for its inclusion of other bands such as Hellhammer and Running Wild. Only a year after forming, they released a self-titled EP and their first full length album, "Walls of Jericho." The record received mixed reviews but is a popular one amongst fans and is notable for a number of reasons, including being the namesake of wrestler Chris Jericho and his signature move, and perhaps most importantly for being the only full length Helloween record where Hansen handled the vocal duties, after deciding to concentrate on his guitar work following the release of another EP entitled, "Judas."
Their search for a new lead singer led to the recruitment of eighteen year old vocalist, Michael Kiske and the band wanted to celebrate the new addition by releasing a double album, but this idea was thwarted by the record company. As a compromise, they released one album, "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1" in 1987, and a companion record, "Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2" in 1988. Both albums received near universal praise and sold well, with the second part being particularly successful, partly thanks to the single, "I Want Out," which was aired heavily on the MTV show, "Headbanger’s Ball," and took part in the first Headbanger’s Ball Tour, along with Californian thrash masters Exodus and headliners, Anthrax. As the band’s star continued to rise, they were dealt a massive blow when Hansen announced that he would be leaving the group as a result of poor health, amongst a number of other reasons including tensions with bandmates and the record company. His last recorded appearance with the band came in the form of a live album named, "Live in the U.K." (known in the United States as "I Want Out Live.") before being replaced by Roland Grapow, formerly of the band, Rampage and going on to form the band, Gamma Ray. More...
This week classic bands with new videos, classic ex-band mates with new videos, and the classic look of the porn stache. More...
Each Tuesday we have metal musicians check in with their most memorable mosh pit stories from live shows.
This week vocalist Tom Emmans of Odium shares the following story of a truly dedicated (or perhaps just overly drunk) fan fighting through the pain to see the end of a show:
One time at a show in our home town a fan broke a beer bottle in the pit and it sliced his whole arm down to the bone. Everyone was freaking out cause they thought someone had knifed him. Turns out he was just partying and having a good time, not even realizing he was bleeding all over the place. When the ambulance arrived he was trying to convince them to let him stay until we were done. They were like "Uh no. You could bleed out. Your entire arm is cut to the bone." So they raced him to the hospital and stitched him up. He showed up for our last song drunk as fuck, smiling from ear to ear. See you at the next one brother!
You can check out Odium's music by downloading the track "No Way Out" on the free "Happy Metal Annihilation Volume 2" compilation over here, or watch a music video for the track below.
It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to explore three more lesser known bands in the metal underground. Today’s exploration to the underground world features our neighbors to the north, which is home to its fair share of metal legends, from the most extreme to the most melodic. We’ve actually looked at Canadian acts several times before, specifically focusing on Toronto and the Maritimes previously, and today we’ll trek there again for three bands that cross the genre spectrum.
I suppose I should start out with a bit of disclosure: I’m not from Canada, and I’ve only been there once for a fishing trip years ago, although the border is only a few hours north of me. So unfortunately these are bands I know solely via their music and their online presence, and I haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with them in the live scene personally.
While working on the review for the new Chariots of the Gods album “Tides of War,” I got to thinking about the very solid lineup of bands from the frigid north, especially in the underground metal scene. There’s a fairly large grouping of what are essentially “second tier” bands currently active – these guys bring the metal full force, but they haven’t gotten signed with Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade or any of the larger labels focusing on heavy music. They still manage to get hooked up with PR companies to keep their presence known however, release high quality albums, and a good deal of them stay busy with touring and festival appearances.
Chariots of the Gods
Is this Ottawa act composed of thrash maniacs who are really into melodic death metal, or are they in an MDM band that can’t give up their love for Megadeth? Either way, this is pretty crushing, headbanging-mandatory stuff.
Chariots of the Gods will be officially dropping debut full-length album “Tides of War” later this month (January 29th to be precise), and the band has already released teasers that should more than pique the interest of metalheads. We recently had the opportunity to premiere the track “Unbound,” which features a guest appearance by Aleksi Sihvonen of Norther, and you can also hear the album’s title track below. For some more background on the band and info on the album’s themes, check out our recent interview here.
It’s a new year, and for some people, it means a new beginning. A new beginning was exactly what Rob Halford was aiming for in 1992 after leaving Judas Priest, one of the biggest and most influential bands in the history of heavy metal music, and formed a new band named, Fight. The name encapsulated the attitude of the band, which aimed to bridge the brand of heavy metal popularised by Priest and their contemporaries such as Iron Maiden and Saxon, with the fresher, more "street" sound of young, exciting bands of the time such as Pantera and Sepultura. Halford recruited Racer X drummer Scott Travis into his new group, after getting to know him from his time in Judas Priest, along with bass player "Jay Jay" Freeman and guitarists Brian Tilse and Russ Parrish, the latter of which would go on to form Steel Panther.
After spending a year perfecting their sound, the quintet finally released their debut album, "War of Words" through Epic Records in September 1993, which received a very positive response from metal fans and peaked at number 83 on the Billboard album charts. The album contained a number of instantly recognisable tracks, from the pounding title track to the machine gun speed opener, "Into the Pit" to the catchy finale, "Reality – A New Beginning." More...
This week another European Video Invasion (France, UK, Sweden) as well as representation from Australia; also, a weird video from Pittsburgh. Damn, that city is strange… More...
Every week we have metal fans and musicians check in with their favorite mosh pit stories. Today guitarist/vocalist Chris Friesen of Ontario's Adrenechrome shares the following tale of a fight in the pit coming to an unexpectedly quick end:
While attending a CKY show in Toronto a good friend of mine ended up in a violent altercation with a fellow concert goer (something to do with a bumped girlfriend). Being quite drunk, the pair squared off in the middle of the pit to exchange fisticuffs. The first blow of the bout was scored by the angry boyfriend, a solid punch to my friends mid section.
The answer to the punch was a devastating finishing move a la Mortal Kombat, he proceeded to projectile vomit in an arc covering his assailant and the dozen or so other concert goers in the pit with digested beer and street meat, needless to say his opponent was unwilling to continue the fight resulting in a very rock 'n roll T.K.O.
Be sure to check back in next Tuesday are we share more metal mosh pit stories.
Many times a band becomes well known and its musicians end up starting new musical collaborations that live off of the name of that pioneering act. The reverse was true of Texas quartet Rigor Mortis. Although fairly influential and cult in the thrash metal underground, its members went on to bigger success in other, more well-known metal acts. In the beginning, though, it was just the four of them - or better stated, three.
Rigor Mortis was the brain child of New York guitarist Mike Scaccia, drummer Harden Harrison and bassist Casey Orr. Basing themselves out of Dallas in 1983, the band had no official singer and usually had Casey on the mic. Years later, that was why Rigor Mortis normally had several instrumental tracks and started off its debut album with "Welcome to Your Funeral." Vocalist Bruce Corbitt didn't come into the picture until late 1987. He'd only been in a Black Sabbath covers band and wasn't sure of himself on the helm, but determined to prove himself. He said he wanted it badly, wanted to be a really bad mofo. Thus began the official line-up of Rigor Mortis. More...
Swedish metal sensation Crashdiet have posted the music video for their new single "Cocaine Cowboys", taken from the band's forthcoming album 'The Savage Playground.' The new album is due for release in January through Frontiers Records. Crashdiet will be hitting the road in February with Sister and Toxic Rose in a package named the 'Scandinavian Hell Tour.' In the meantime, here’s a look at their new video for “Cocaine Cowboys.” More...
Every week we check in with fans and bands from around the world to get their favorite pit and road stories from metal shows.
This week Canadian blackened death metal act Xul shares the following story of a small town suddenly hosting a party as bad weather prevented travel:
We had a mini tour lined up that consisted of Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton shows in the span of 4 days. Living in Vernon (half way between Vancouver and Calgary) we went to Van for our first show. It was an awesome turnout and and a good set. A good start to the tour. We had a day off before we had to head to Calgary so we decided to go back to Vernon and sleep a night in our own beds. There was talk of HWY 1 being closed but we didn't think it was going to be a big deal. We were wrong.
We woke up the next morning early enough to check the weather reports before we headed out. All that was said was that HWY 1 was closed due to mudslides and that there was no timeline for its opening. HWY 1 is a direct route to Calgary. It’s about an 8 hr drive from Vernon. I'd say it would have taken us 9 because we're riding in a short bus that hits a top speed of 90km. It was early in the morning and we had to make a quick decision as we had to be in Calgary that night for a show. We could either go south and take a ferry but there was rumours it was closed due to the extreme weather (we later found out it would have been a horrible idea) or head north and go through Jasper then down from Edmonton to Calgary. We chose to go North.More...
Heavy metal was almost certainly born in the English city of Birmingham, but ask most fans of the genre (especially the European ones) and they'll tell you that the real home of heavy metal is Germany. The country hosts many metal festivals every year, including one of, if not the most famous of them all, Wacken Open Air, along with the likes of Summer Breeze Open Air, Ragnarök and Bang Your Head!!!. Germany has long been a place for rock musicians to ply their trade and build a loyal following: From the Beatles spending much of their early days in Hamburg, to the formation of the Scorpions in 1965, to the rise in German thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom, as well as popularising power metal through such acts as Helloween and Blind Guardian, to modern favourites such as Rammstein, Germany certainly has one of the richest histories in rock and metal music. This week we'll be looking at three young bands to come from the country to help prove that it's still top of the tree when it comes to the genre we all know and love.
Formed in the federal state of Saarland in 2003, the band consists of only one member, who goes by the simple alias, A.H. He recorded the first Arcthuris demo, "The Grim White Woman" soon after the project's inception and released it the next year. Arcthuris has also self-released all of their full length albums, beginning in 2005 with "Ruf des Zerfalls." It would be four years until another Arcthuris album surfaced in the form of, "Children of Nibiru," but since then, material has come quite steadily, with two more albums, "Mondsucht" and "Ghouls of Nepenthe" following in 2011 and 2012 respectively. As one might expect from a one man metal band, Arcthuris started life primarily a black metal venture, but has grown to display a more ambient sound along the way.
Arcthuris - "Lucustas Liebestraum"
Arcthuris - "If I Could"
More groovy (SEE: melodic) versus glam (SEE: dramatic), Lillian Axe managed to recruit a loyal following without an abundance of commercial success. Often regarded as an underrated and unknown gem, the group continues to perform and record in obscurity. Their look (big hair and tight leather) grouped this band in with the glam bands of the eighties (and early nineties); however, the music of Lillian Axe still holds up, a major difference between Lillian Axe and other bands during this time. They are sort of the “indie” Edward Norton of metal that is if Edward Norton’s career had never blown up (at least for a few years), and if Norton was from The Big Easy. More...
With several new videos to sift through before the end of the year let’s cut to the chase and see which are for you, and which are probably not… More...
Every week we share pit stories from rock and metal acts across the globe. This week bassist/vocalist Sean Arata of Fort Wayne based hard rock band Downstait shares the following tale of a bouncer finding love after a fan gets out of control:
We were playing a show with Ra in Flint, Michigan, and some guy was drugged out of the mind in the crowd, and picking physical fights with everyone, including the girl he came with.
One of the bouncers tried to get him out of the place, he resisted, and the bouncer blasted him in the face, which knocked him out, but also shattered his hand. They both go to the hospital, and the girl goes along.
We come back about a year later, and the bouncer fills us in about how the guy he knocked out thanked him for bringing him to the hospital, not remembering he was the one who put him there in the first place. Also, he filled us in that he and the girl he defended were getting married soon.
Downstait recently canceled a string of December tour dates due to illness within the band, but you can hear music from the act and find out about upcoming live appearances at the Downstait Facebook profile here. Check back in next week for more mosh pit stories from fans and band members.
With Christmas two days away, it’s more than likely that by now, we’ve all seen the "Keep Christ in Christmas" stickers/posters/statuses on Facebook, but most non-believers are well aware of Christmas being a Christian festival and don’t want to remove Jesus from this time of the year. However, if there’s one band that seems intent on removing Jesus from everything, it’s one of Florida’s many legendary death metal bands, Deicide. Deicide were formed in the city of Tampa in July 1987, initially under the name Amon, by vocalist/bassist, Glen Benton and guitarist Brian Hoffman, who soon recruited his brother, Eric to be the band’s second guitarist. With the lineup rounded out by drummer Steve Asheim, the group recorded an eight track demo entitled, "Feasting the Beast." After gigging sporadically around their home city, the band recorded a second demo, "Sacrificial" at Morrisound Studios with producer, Scott Burns, a place and man who would go on to be instrumental in the development of death metal.
Following the recording, Amon changed their name to Carnage and began performing live more regularly. Very soon, Carnage, or rather, Benton, gained notice from Roadrunner Records, when he reportedly barged into the office of an A&R man and aggressively demanded that they sign his group. The next day, Carnage were offered contracts by the label, but were urged to make a name change, leading them to settle on their current moniker, Deicide. They teamed up with Scott Burns again to record their self-titled, debut album, which was released in 1990. The album went on to become one of the best selling death metal albums of all time, being listed by Soundscan as the second highest shifting unit of the genre, behind the third Morbid Angel album, "Covenant." They followed this effort two years later with, "Legion," a much more ambitious album, which focused more the technical area of death metal. It was well received by fans, but was met with a mixed reception from critics, and only the song, "Dead but Dreaming" would go on to feature prominently in future live sets. More...