The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘virginia

Arsis – Starve For The Devil (2010)

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I’m really excited to hear the new album from these guys.  Their last one, We Are The Nightmare, is my #1 pick for 2008.  I still listen to it regularly.  I love Arsis.  I have from the first time I laid ears on them.

They’ve uploaded a track from the upcoming album Starve For The Devil called Beyond Forlorn.  Pretty good song.  I’m really stoked that Mike Van Dyne is back in the band.  He’s a great drummer.  He’s got a different style than Darren Cesca, but I think he fits well with Jim Malone.  Those dudes have done a lot together.

I can already predict what my #1 of 2010 is going to be, especially since I hate most all newer metal bands.

Tracklist for the latest album:

  1. “Forced to Rock”
  2. “A March for the Sick”
  3. “From Soulless to Shattered (Art in Dying)”
  4. “Beyond Forlorn” – 4:01
  5. “The Ten of Swords”
  6. “Closer to Cold”
  7. “Sick Perfection”
  8. “Half Past Corpse O’Clock”
  9. “Escape Artist”
  10. “Sable Rising”

Limited edition additional bonus tracks

  1. “A Pound of Flesh (For the Hell of It)”
  2. “The Lake” (King Diamond cover)

C’mon…Hafd Past Corpse O’Clock is one of the greatest song titles ever!

Written by The Metal Files

December 19, 2009 at 1:43 am

Buzzard – Churp!!! (1993)

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Here’s another rarity for you fine readers out there.  Buzzard’s debut album Churp!!! on Hellhound Records.

I remember back in the early 90s going to see these guys at Kings Head Inn (RIP) on Hampton Blvd in Norfolk, VA.  A buddy of mine said, “Dude you have to see this band.  They are insane.  Their drummer is phenomenal and he’s only got one leg!”  So I went.  I was completely floored by everything that this band was doing.  They were tight.  They were erratic.  They were brilliant.  They were ugly.  Dudes that looked like street urchin gutter punks with beards and dreads.  Never got close enough to see if they smelled badly.  Didn’t matter.  They were a machine.  A force to be reckoned with.  I went to see them whenever I knew that they had a show.  With that original era of the band I think I saw them 4 or 5 times within a year or 2.  Every time I was blown away.  Never really tried to speak to the guys as they all pretty much looked like they didn’t wan to be spoken to.

Buzzard was on Hellhound Records which was primarily a doom metal label…but Buzzard was anything but a doom band.  They mixed metal with jazz, punk, Miles Davis, Zappa, Yes, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever…

Their live show was pretty mind-numbing.  Odd times signatures, stops and starts, no real cues given to each other.  They all knew what they had to do and when.  At that time they consisted of Patrick Walsh (Guitars), AJ Long (Vocals), John Finney (Horns), Andy Brown (Bass) and Joey Rudacil (Drums).  Just insane I tell you.

Several years later I am hanging out with some friends and see Patrick Walsh from Buzzard come in the bar I was in.  I was there with his sister and didn’t realize that they were related.  Buzzard was reformed at this point as a 3-piece with Kevin Anderson on bass and Mark Henry on Drums.  Patrick and I quickly connected and started hanging out a lot.  Ultimately he became one of my best friends.  Brilliant guy.  Phenomenal guitarist.  Helluva a nice guy.  We jammed together briefly with Joey Rudacil and Todd Owens.  It only lasted about 3 or 4 practices but it was fun.  I ended up in another band with Joey a few months later and had a blast but we could never secure a singer.

Anyway, I was working the door at the Taphouse in Norfolk and Buzzard was scheduled to play their first show in 7 years.  I was fortunate enough to get to sit in on several of their practices and was blown away even more by how much their sound had progressed.  It went from the Mahavishnu-esque psychojazz to a math metal thing like Watchtower on meth. people came from up and down the east coast for this show and the place was over capacity with a line of people out the door and wrapped around the building trying to get in.  It was an incredible show.  They have done some subsequent shows but I think the last one may have been in 2007.  It’s time for more!

I keep praying that they put out a new record with the newer songs on it.  They recorded a 2nd album several years ago that never really saw the light of day.  You can listen to some of it on their website.

Churp!!! is one of the toughest releases of Hellhound’s to find nowadays.  I fortunately have 2 copies that I cherish.  The album is an incredible piece of music…of art…an experience.  AJ’s vocals are simply incredible.  If you download this, please listen to the album as a whole.  Don’t skip any of the 16 tracks.  You’d be doing yourself a great disservice.

Download it here.

Tracks:

1. Cyclops 02:28
2. Shadows Without Substance 03:03
3. The Fellowship (varieties) 04:45
4. The Given/Grinding Wheel (including, but not limited to the following) 08:38
5. Ear To The Ground 03:44
6. His Descent 01:35
7. Carpetbaggers 05:13
8. Fluorescent Orange Bag O’Goodness 02:09
9. Thirteen o’clock (frumpy smokes a fattie) 05:21
10. Escape From The Island Of Misfit Toys 06:01
11. The Secret Doctrine According To Simon 03:36
12. Grand Poo-Bah 00:48
13. The Return Of Frumpy And The Scrubby Jazz Hippies 01:55
14. Musica d’Apocryphonica (no. I adagio) 00:48
15. Savage Paisley Vortex (part I) 00:59
16. Savage Paisley Vortex (pert II) The Ritual Dance And Initiation Of Chicky Boy 07:01

Check out the vids from back in the day…

Written by The Metal Files

December 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Motorhead…MOTORHEAD!

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To be truthful, I’m still only a relatively new fan of Motorhead.  I never really checked them out in the 80s and never motorheadowned anything by them until the 1916 album, which I love.  I first saw them live in 1993 and really only went to see Mikkey Dee and got to hang out with him quite a bit that day.  It was seemingly a down time for them as the Peppermint Beach Club in Virginia Beach, VA may have been half full.  I’m glad to see that their popularity has gone back up in the last decade or so.

It really wasn’t until the last 10 years that I started digging deep into their repertoire and became a fan, especially of the Fast Eddie/Philthy era.  One of the first ones that I bought was the debut album, Motorhead.

I can see why a lot of the punk crowd digs this album because it really is a punk record IMHO.  I love it and it’s easily in my top 5 Motorhead albums.

Train Kept A-Rollin’ notwithstanding, this album is almost perfect.  I never cared for that song after hearing the Aerosmith version my whole life.  Blech!  But the title track, Lost Johnny, Vibrator, Keep Us On The Road, IRON HORSE/BORN TO LOSE!!!  C’mon!  Those songs are great!

Oddly enough, though, I don’t think this album gets enough credit.  Granted the production isn’t the greatest and it’s not really a heavy album, it shows their roots quite a bit.  When people ask me what I recommend to start them off on a band, generally I tell them to start at the beginning and work their way up and this is especially true with Motorhead.  The transition from this album to Overkill is perfect.  Getting the On Parole version is worthwhile as well.

Alright!

Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983)

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Let’s just be straight here, I love this album.  I have since it was released.  1983.  I was 13.  It was a tough year for me…I MetalHealthQuietRiotguess 83-85 were a little difficult.  Not necessarily because of going through the typical teenage bullshit, but there were other things going on that really made those some tough years.  But hey, I got through it.  I spent a lot of days and nights listening to this album.  I used to have this little one speaker GE boombox that I would put under my pillow at night to keep listening to music as I went to sleep and so my parents wouldn’t hear it.  Not that they had a problem with QR, they just had a problem with my obsession with music.  haha  It was a thin cassette player so I only needed to remove my bottom pillow to make it fit and not kink my neck.  Usually sometime in the middle of the night the player ended up on the floor and the second pillow was back in its proper place.

I picked this up right after hearing Metal Health on the radio.  “huhuhuhuhuh, the song says bang your head.”  It was catchy.  I never cared for Cum On Feel The Noize.  It was goofy…still is.  I was never a Slade fan, but I don’t dislike them, just never really got exposed to them beyond the 2 songs that QR did, which are goofy.  Beyond the goofiness of COFTN, this album is pretty great.  Especially songs like Breathless, Run for Cover, Don’t Wanna Let You Go…the whole damned thing.  When I pop in the CD I never skip any tracks, not even COFTN, it’s just part of the flow of the record.

In 1999 I got to see them with this lineup.  They did an autograph signing earlier in the day at Mars Music and of course I went.  They were all in good spirits except for Frankie Banali who seemed to have his ass on his shoulders a bit that day.  I brought a few things to get signed like some odd QR EPs, a few CD covers and a few WASP CD covers.  Apparently Frankie didn’t have one of the WASP CDs that I brought and asked if he could have mine.  I told him no and he got a little peeved about it.  “Well I’m not signing anything else.”  “Fine, dude, no biggie,” and I finished out my time with the rest of the band who were gracious.  Cavazo gave a head nod towards Frankie and just shook his head at him in disapproval.  They had about 200 people show up to meet them which I thought was a decent showing for a concert that was getting no promotion and was at a shitty venue.

I came home after the signing to chill out for a while before the show and realized that I had 2 of the WASP CD/EPs so I brought it to the show.  We got to the Riverview Theater and I swear it looked closed.  This place was trying to get revitalized and they were bringing some decent bands there but it never seemed to take off for them.  For this show only about about 40 people showed up…FORTY PEOPLE.  I felt really bad for them.  They came out and played like there were 20,000 people there.  Kevin never once commented on the size of the crowd.  They were awesome.  After watching Cavazo play I gained a lot more respect for him as a guitarist.  That guy is really friggin’ good.

After the show the band came back out to hang out with everybody.  I was talking with Rudy Sarzo about his days with Whitesnake and such Frankie came up to me and said, “Hey, come here a second.”  “Sorry I was such a dick earlier.  I was having a bad day.”  I told him it was no big deal and pulled out the spare  copy of the WASP EP that I had and handed it to him.  He was shocked and gave me a big sweaty hug.  haha.  “Until today I didn’t even know that this EP existed.”  I ended up talking with him quite a bit for the time they hung out.  I told him that his first 2 albums with QR were big influences on me when I was learning how to play drums.  All of them were nice and Kevin seeked out every person in the room and thanked them personally for coming out.  That wasn’t the asshole Kevin Dubrow that I had read about in the ‘zines, this guy was actually nice.

It was a fun day and night and I finally got to meet a band that I had loved for 16 years.  The news of Kevin’s death in 2007 really brought me down.  I had read just prior to that that he had gotten himself clean and sober.  It was too bad that those demons continued to haunt him and that he wasn’t able to continue down that path to recovery.

RIP Kevin.

Dokken – Up From The Ashes

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I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was living in Western Branch off of Taylor Rd with my cousin.  I don’t remember album-up-from-the-ashesexactly what day it was on but it was Jan/Feb 1991 only weeks before my 21st birthday.  I believe it was a Saturday and I was driving home from somewhere listening to Z-Rock and the local affiliate comes on the air to interview Don Dokken and Mikkey Dee about their concert that night at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  A former friend from high school and I had tickets and were pretty excited about the show.  I had been listening to Up From The Ashes since it came out a few months prior.

So as I am listening to them interview Don and Mikkey, I pull over to a gas station a few miles from my house and try to call the station to see if I could talk to them.  I was so damned excited that I kept fat fingering push buttons on the pay phone.  After about 3 or 4 tries I got through off air and got to talk to Don and Mikkey.  I asked if there was a way to meet Mikkey prior to the show and he told me what time to be at the Boathouse (super early).  I told him that I was a huge fan of his from the King Diamond days.  He said make sure I don’t have more than one person with me and everything would be cool.

So at this point I am flipping out (of course not on the phone but internally).  I get home a few minutes later and told my buddy what the plan was and that he had better be ready when I came by to get him.  He was notoriously slow at everything.  I told him if he wasn’t ready when I got there that I was leaving his ass behind.  Fortunately he was ready when I got there and we headed to Norfolk to the Boathouse.

We’re the first people in the lot along with the staff cars and Dokken’s bus.  Some dude came to the door of the bus and said they were coming from the hotel in a few minutes and to wait.  So we waited only a short amount of time and a minivan with Don, Mikkey Dee, John Norum and Billy White in it.  Mikkey gets out of the van and asks, “Are you Sean?”  I acknowledged and we were instantly escorted onto the bus.  So Don hands me a band photo which was already signed by Baltes (who was inside the Boathouse already).  So Don and the rest of the band sign it along with some other stuff like cassette covers and such (I hadn’t gotten into CDs yet).  He stood with us for a few minutes then hightailed it to the back of the bus to take care of stuff.  At this point I am freaking out because one of my all time favorite drummers and musical influences and standing next to me.  I don’t get start struck easily as I’ve met a lot of musicians over the years but this one was different.  This was Mikkey Dee…the guy who played drums on King Diamond’s Abigail.

We hung out for what seemed like an hour but was likely a lot less.  Talking with John Norum and Billy White was pretty neat.  Unfortunately in my giddy starstruck state I had forgotten that Billy White played on Watchtower’s debut.  To this day in my head I still hear my inner voice say, “You’re an idiot.”  Kelz reminds me of this regularly and he pointed out after the show, “Dude, how was it to meet Billy from Watchtower?”  Ummm…D’oh!  I am a Watchtower fanatic as well.  What a doofus.

But all in all, I was there to hang out with Mikkey which was the first of 3 times that I got to spend time with him, the other 2 being with Motorhead in 1993 and 2000.  Will post about those meetings some other time.

In my conversation with Mikkey, I noticed he was wearing an Abigail backstage pass.  It had one of the heavenly aura’s around it.  haha.  So being the fanboy that I was that night, we talked about drums and about some certain aspects of his playing that I tried to emulate.  I asked him if he was going to do a drum solo and he said there would be one.  I asked him if he could incorporate the intro to Welcome Home from the Them album.  He said, “That’s a good idea, we’ll see.”

So the opening act was on the stage at this point and it was time for us to get off the bus so they could get ready.  I can’t overstate how accommodating these guys were.  I honestly didn’t even need to see the show after that!  But we went in and caught the 2nd half of the set by The Blonz.  Wow.  They were just awful.  One of the worst bands I have ever seen.

So we make our way towards the front of the stage and got on the barricade at stage left which ultimately was in plain view of Mikkey when he was on the kit.  Perfect!

So out comes the band and they rip into their set.  They were absolutely incredible and it was one of the tightest sets I have ever seen by any band.  Watching Mikkey slay the drums and both Norum and White manhandling their guitars with such precision was pretty incredible.  Definitely one of the best shows I have ever seen.  Don’s vocals were clean and clear and he was an excellent frontman.

So I guess this blog is really about an album review, eh?  I’ve seen this one get trashed in many a metal review and I could never understand why.  It’s easily Don’s second best album behind Tooth and Nail and pretty much the last album that he actually sounded really good on.  Initially the main reason I bought the album was because I had read that Mikkey Dee was drumming on it.

Even with some of the slightly cheesier songs like Mirror Mirror and Stay, it’s an album of which I don’t ever feel the need to skip any of the tracks.  Good production as well.

This one gets 10/10.

Tyton – Mind Over Metal

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So back in the day there was this great music store at Military Circle Mall called The Music Man.  That’s pretty much tytonwhere we spent our allowances and paychecks in the 80s as thy typically had the coolest selection of metal.  The Music Man was pretty cool and had a really cool staff.  They also offered a replacement guarantee on their cassettes and CDs if they became defective.  We knew the staff there pretty well and if we bought something we didn’t like, they would typically let us trade it in for something else.  I was fortunate to work there for a year or so, an experience that I will never forget.

One of the cassettes I bought in 1987 was Tyton’s Mind Over Metal.  I didn’t know anything about them but they were on an Enigma sub-label which usually meant you had a pretty good chance of buying something listenable.  I played this cassette quite a bit.  They weren’t over the top awesome but this album had some pretty good songs on it like Destiny Calls, Will You Follow Me (wimpy ballad but not too bad), and the title track.  They were sort of mid-paced swords and shields style metal.  I listen to it about once or twice a year still.  It takes me back to some fun times with some former friends riding around Churchland trying to find a party or someone to buy us beer.  Those were fun days and I am amazed that the 3 of us are even still alive.   Come to find out years later that they hailed from Houston, TX and some people I know here in Austin knew those guys and even did a show or 2 with them.  Living here in Austin and getting to spend time with guys that are metal legends (to me) is pretty incredible.  Our metal round table discussions are pretty amazing.

I’ve attached the download to the album.  It was never officially released on CD but some Euro label bootlegged it a few years back and I ripped the tracks from the CD.

Download.

Written by The Metal Files

July 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Rolling Stones Review – Bomb Scare Show – 10/06/05

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DSCN2284

As you may know if you’ve either known me for a while or read back through some of my ramblings, I am a huge Stones fan.  My #2 band of all time actually, only to be beaten out by Iron Maiden.  I finally got an oppurtunity to see them in 2005 at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, VA.  I originally bought 5 tickets, 3 nosebleeds and 2 good ones.  I planned to use the good seats for myself and whoever I decided to bring along with me and resell the other 3 for a profit.  Yep.  Capitalist pig I am!  But…I ended up selling the 2 good seats to my friend Jeanne as she wanted to take her mom to the show.  No profit to be made.

Right about a year or so before I got the tickets, I started to frequent the Taphouse in the Ghent section of Norfolk, VA.  I had been there before with friends but never really “hung out” much there.  I liked the place and started going there mroe often for shows and such.  I lived about 25 minutes away so I didn’t do much of my partying there because of the drive.  As I was sitting at the bar one afternoon, I was talking to one of the owners, Al, about how I had some spare tix for the Stones show if he knew anyone that wanted them.  He said he’d buy them and take his guitarist along.  Done deal.  We ended up going to the show together with his brother as his guitarist bailed at the last minute.

I didn’t really know these guys that well but what the hell.  I knew a lot of people who knew them and they were good to me as a patron in my early days there.  These 2 guys play in a band called Rylo.  Rylo is a boogie/honkytonk/jazzy/upbeat type band.  Hard to classify really but they do what they do very well.  Of course in my car I only brought metal stuff to listen to.  Maiden, Dokken, Mercyful Fate, KISS, etc.  Ended up that these 2 dudes were metalheads.  It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

We drove to the show, a 3 hour trip, and had a blast.  We met Jeanne and her mom in town for some Italian food then parked and walked to the stadium for the show.  We parked in some dude’s yard for $20 and walked about a mile.  No biggie, the weather was perfect.

We definitely had nosebleed seats.  Trey Anastasio of Phish opened up.  B O R I N G.  I was amazed at how many people left after Trey played.  Whatever.  The Stones were the Stones.  Sloppy.  Energetic.  Funny.  To be honest, I shed a tear when they hit the stage.  Lifelong dream for me to see them.

Halfway through the set, Mick stops and does introductions then says they need to take a break per the “authorities”.   We figured someone called and complained or something.  Turned out to be a bomb threat.  They cleared the floor for the first 40-50 rows and brought in bomb sniffing dogs.  No bomb.  Of course.  The big treat for me was that they played Sweet Virginia.  They NEVER play that song.

They came out and finished their set.  From what I understand we only lost 2 songs…Infamy and The Worst.  No big deal.

We decided to drive back to Norfolk that night.  It was slow getting out of there but we had a blast.  Mountain Dews, beef jerky and Doritos all around for the ride home.  It was a blast, almost as fun as the show.

Soonafter that I moved to Ghent and the Taphouse became my place.  I ended up working there as a doorman as needed and loved every moment of it.  I made some friendships there that will last forever.  I miss that place a lot and when I go to visit Virginia, it’s usually the first place I stop in.

stones

Setlist:

  1. Start Me Up
  2. It’s Only Rock’n Roll
  3. Shattered
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Rough Justice
  6. Ruby Tuesday
  7. Sweet Virginia !!!! with additional sing-along after the song had ended
  8. All Down the Line !!
  9. Night Time is the Right Time
    — band intros, thru Ronnie.
    Time: 9:43pm
    “We have to take a 10 minute break, according to the authorities”. Band leaves the Stadium, they bring in bomb sniffing dogs, clear out the stage people entirely, and vacate everyone in the first third of the field and the seats at the ends of Mick’s catwalks.
    Time: 10:38pm
  10. Miss You (to second stage)
  11. Oh No, Not You Again
  12. Get Off My Cloud
  13. Honky Tonk Women (from second stage)
  14. Sympathy For The devil
  15. Midnight Rambler!
  16. Paint It Black
  17. Brown Sugar
  18. Jumping Jack Flash
  19. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (encore)
  20. Satisfaction (encore)

Download the show.

Written by The Metal Files

July 10, 2009 at 4:41 pm

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