The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

These winter tears I’ll cry for you…

with 4 comments

So back in 1983 (or 84?) Kelz called me and told me of some tape he picked up at the Record Bar at Tower Mall by a band called Warlord. The album was called Deliver Us. It had a colorful little cover and was on Metal Blade Records, which we were discovering at the time seemed to have the greatest bands ever. He just kept going on and on about how great it was. So finally on a Sunday during church or sunday school, he slipped it to me for listening.



This was one of those life changers. Seriously. The voice. The guitar work. This beast on the drums. Obviously this was pre-Internet so we had no way of knowing anything about these guys.

Now I’ve mentioned plenty of times before how some of us had parents who thought that metal was evil and was going to make us kids want to sacrifice goats and paints walls with the blood and such…ok, well there was that one time, but I digress. But this album wasn’t really one of those. Sure it has a song called Lucifer’s Hammer which is about nuclear war. And sure there’s a song called Black Mass which talks about the events of a black mass, but not in a way that made us want to become Satan worshippers. Such silliness. Unfortunately our parents were more brainwashed by this stuff than we were. I guess they meant well. Whatever. My mom found Kelz’ tape that I had hidden under my mattress and threw it away. So ultimately I had to buy him another one. I bought one for me too and just learned how to hide things better. It was tough being a metal kid in my house sometimes.

So in 1984 Warlord releases “…And the Cannons of Destruction Have Begun”. It was a bit of a let down as they had a new singer and they rerecorded most of Deliver Us. The new singer just didn’t have the feel as the original guy. The upside was that there were a few new tracks with the new singer and he sounded GREAT on those. Soliloquy, Lost and Lonely Days and Aliens were all fine songs, albeit played a little sloppily.

In 1986 when I met Big Bill, I turned him onto Warlord and he flipped out over them much like we did. He ultimately ordered the video that went with the …”Cannons” LP. We watched thiat thing practically every week. When he got the video and other merch that he ordered from them, there was a handwritten note that said “Call me if there are any problems…Thanks…Mark.” and had a phone number attached to it. So one day when we were hanging out, Bill called and it ended up being the number to Mark Zonder’s house in LA. We freaked out. I got to talk to the guy a few times and he was always super cool. He told us of the final split of Warlord and how he was making some extra cash doing studio work and touring with the dance band Animotion. I remember specifically one of the phone calls that we made to him. He was in his home studio and the guys from Fates Warning were over there. Granted this is before Mark joined the band but apparently he was already good friends with those guys. Unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to the FW guys but I could hear them in the background talking and playing a little bit of music. Trippy stuff.

Warlord had a penchant for writing good ballad style songs, sad songs…Winter Tears, Soliloquy, Ms. Victoria, Lost and Loney Days. Even their upbeat songs always seems to have a tinge of sadness to them. Maybe it was in the chords that Bill Tsamis used when he was writing, maybe in the vocal delivery…but it was there.

I really don’t know how to say it in any other way than “I LOVE WARLORD”. For a band that really only had on true studio album, it had such a major impact on me. OK, sure they did a “new album” a while back with Mr. Cans from Hammerfall on vocals, but it just wasn’t quite “Warlord-ish” enough for me. That’s not to say that’s it not a good album, because it is, but it’s not…ugh…I don’t know how to say it. I think you understand.

Winter Tear’s lyrics:

The morning woke, the day was breakin’ . . . she left me far behind
She was gone, I couldn’t take it . . . no more tears to cry.

We gathered ’round her place of resting, for the last goodbye
She lay in white like a dream unending, the saddened clouds they cried . . .

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
All the years I have to live
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

You gave me life, you gave me lovin’
Showed me what love could bring
And every night when I think about you
I begin to sing . . .

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
All the years I have to live
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

Tears for all the joy we had
Tears for all the pain
These Winter Tears I have inside
Will always cry your name.
The years I have to live . . .
These Winter Tears, I’ll cry for you until we meet again

Written by The Metal Files

May 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

4 Responses

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  1. Never heard them unless I heard maybe a song on a Metal Massacre and don’t remember it. One of the few Metal Blade bands I am not familiar with though.

    Metal Mark

    May 18, 2009 at 5:15 am

  2. Someone referred me to your comments here about Warlord and I found them quite interesting. Nothing like parents to protect us (and we now protect our children) from the darkness of culture. If I was a parent back then, I too would want to protect my child from the likes of blasphemous metal bands who associate themselves with darkness to convey and image of power. Warlord, though, was different. I was never a satanist or an occultist – further, I was true to my music. If anything, I was intersted in epic fantasy, and songs like Winter Tears and Lost and Lonely Days were real stories from my life. Ironically, I became incredibly interested in academic philosophy and theology, and for over 10 years I have been a college professor, teaching that subject matter. Yes, I was lost . . . but God found me and changed my life (I know that sounds cliche, but it is absolutely true in my life). Even back in the day I was aware that most of the music coming out of the metal world was a joke. Your mom had a good reason to protect you from much of that filth (not only musically, but conceptually). I appreciate your kind words as a Warlord fan, and I am fortunate to hear from Warlord fans the world over on a daily basis. Although I still play and hope to record soon, my academic work dominates much of my life. Again, the irony of life . . . I used to “think” about God and existence back in those days, but I didn’t know him. My new life in Christ began when I was about 26 and I prevailed upon an academic path that has led me to my current position, yes as a teacher, but mostly as a witness for God. With regard to the “Rising Out of the Ashes” LP, some of the songs are stronger in Christian overtones . . . God worked a 180 on me. It is truly remarkable. Anyway, thanks for the nice words once agan.

    William J. Tsamis

    May 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm

  3. Bill, thanks so much for responding. I’m literally still in awe about it.


    May 26, 2009 at 7:03 am

  4. How cool is that!

    I remember those days of seeing tapes and records discarded or taken away by your parents. Kinda like the day Kelz’ mom freaked out because Bud left my Onslaught tape in full view in Kelz’ room! Boy did that lead to one big fiasco!

    Bill, Warlord has been a big influence in my life musically and I have always felt you were one of the most underrated guitar players out there. You wrote some great music and still do, the last Warlord album was very well done! I enjoy the Lordian Guard stuff as well. Awesome to see God working in your life and using you for his glory! Rock on!!


    May 26, 2009 at 7:49 am

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