The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for April 2010

Deathwish – Demon Preacher – 1988

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Here’s an old one and a tad bit obscure. I remember first buying this on tape when it came out. I saw an ad in a magazine and thought the cover looked cool. Remember back in the old days when you had a good chance of picking a good band by their album covers? Not so much these days.

Deathwish hailed from England. While this isn’t a great thrash album by any stretch of the imagination, it’s worth giving a listen to once a year or so. I picked it up on CD a few years after its release and got it in a cutout bin for maybe $5. What an investment it was! A few days ago I sold my copy on eBay for $65!

Download it here.

Written by The Metal Files

April 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

Poll: Ride The Lightning vs. Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?

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Feel free to discuss your choice.

Written by The Metal Files

April 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Falling In Love With Music All Over Again

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I go through phases where I just really don’t want to hear music.  Conversely I go through times where I can’t get enough of it.  As some of you faithful readers may know, I have been selling off a large portion of my CD collection.  “Why?” you may ask?  Mainly because most of the stuff was just sitting there taking up space.  I tend to move a lot.  I’ve been here in Austin for 3 years and just moved into my 4th place.  Moving all those boxes gets to be a bit laboring!  haha.

I did a purge around 2000/2001 and got rid of about 200-250.  This time I plan on getting rid of about 1000.  Many I kept simply for nostalgic reasons.  “I loved this album.  I’ve had this CD forever.”  etc etc.  Sure it made for nice conversation when folks would come and peruse the collection, but really, who gives a shit?  I will be keeping some sentimental faves, around 600 of them…Iron Maiden, some Stones, Triumph, Warlord, WASP…the albums that really matter to me.  They’ll also be on the iPod.

As I’ve been going through this selling process, I’ve been converting many of them to MP3 format.  Last week I bought the 160gb iPod.  For years I said I’d never get one.  “Screw those things!  I love my CDs!”  Now, and it hasn’t even been a full week of ownership, I love this thing.  Right now I just have it loaded with the stuff that I have pulled out of the collection and sold, much of which isn’t even my favorite stuff from the collection.

I just put it on shuffle and let it go.  It’s nice.  There are a few times when I have to grab the iPod and look at who’s playing as it’s something that I don’t recognize.  “Wow.  I forgot all about this song!”  It’s been nice revisiting much of the stuff that just collected dust over the years.  Conversely, there are many CDs that I am not bothering to convert.  I mean I really don’t need to hear Defiance’s Void Terra Firma ever again.  I never really liked it but kept it and their others just to be a completest.  Completest no more!

I did add some stuff like Triumph’s Thunder Seven (my least fave of theirs) and heard a few tracks coming and going San Antonio last weekend and thought, “Wow, this was a good album after all!”  This morning on my way to work I heard Toy Matinee’s Ballad of Jenny Ledge and it just gave me that warm comfortable feeling that music can often give me.  It’s just got me back in the music mood again and I love it.

On top of that add in that my main band is playing out again and last week’s show was great and I think we picked up a lot of new fans.  Life is good…and thanks to music it gets better.

For as much smack as I talked about iPods over the years, I now want to thank them for renewing something in me that was always there.

I had a great conversation with a friend about this over a sushi dinner on Sunday and we both came to the same conclusion…Music is life and life is music.  Amen, sister.  Amen.

Music is and always has been my one true love.

Carry on.

Written by The Metal Files

April 20, 2010 at 9:25 am

Lizzy Borden Concert Review – 041710

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As stated before, I am a pretty big fan of Lizzy Borden. so I was pretty excited when I heard that they were coming to

Give 'em the Axe!

San Antonio to do a show…a FREE show!  I saw them in 2001 opening for Malmsteen at the NORVA in Norfolk, VA and they were great even though they didn’t play Give ’em The Axe.  My problem, not theirs, eh?

So McMaster and I head down to San Antonio (75 miles) around 6PM and go to the legendary Hogwild Records before heading to the venue.  I’ve been there one other time and it’s a great store, lots of San Antonio metal history there.  I ended up buying 6 shirts while I was there:  2 S.A. Slayer, Sepultura – Beneath The Remains, 2 Dark Angels designs and Mercyful Fate – Nuns Have No Fun.  They had tons of other great shirts, but sold out on my size (tent-makers must be running behind! haha!)  I really wanted the Sin After Sin shirt. *sigh*

So after doing our damage there, we head to the venue just to see where it is.  It’s an old warehouse, huge place.   After we spotted it we went to Denny’s and grabbed a quick meal.  I hadn’t eaten since that morning so I was feeling pretty weak.

We get to the venue around 9:30PMish and catch up with McMaster’s girlfriend and 2 of her friends who flew in from Oklahoma City…April and Angie.  good looking rock chicks.  Super funny and very cool.  Had a blast with them.

The venue is called Backstage Live and they are bringing in a lot of shows, mostly 80s rock and metal.  The place is friggin’ huge.  I imagine it can hold 1000 comfortably, maybe twice that.  They did a nice job doing the rehab work in there.  It was a very nice place.  Some cool swag on the walls as well like this German KISS poster from the Unmasked Tour with Iron Maiden opening up.  Damn!

It took almost an hour for Lizzy to hit the stage after the opening band, One Of Six.  WTH?  It was ridiculous.  The club owner spoke from the stage saying they were delayed in getting there, but I don’t know.  There was a point where they all walked out from backstage to come on then went back in…seemed like it was another 20 minutes until they finally came on.

Jason and I moved practically 5′ from the stage with ease and room to spare around us.  There may have been 100-120 people there, but the place is so big that the crowd looked tiny.

Lizzy finally hit the stage dressed in a hooded robe and a black screen covering his face.  Honestly, the sound quality

Lizzy Borden, one of many masks

was so bad that I have no idea what song they opened with.  I think it may have been from their last album of which I am totally unfamiliar with.  Give ’em The Axe was next but I had no idea what it was.  Jason elbowed me and said, “They’re playing your song.”  Really?   Couldn’t tell.  I could tell that Lizzy’s voice was good, though.  Really he sounded great.  He has such a unique voice and it can cut through just about anything.  His band was really good too.  Marten Andersson is a fantastic bassplayer.  Lizzy’s brother, Joey Scott Harges is still on drums and he had 2 hot shot guitarists with him.  Both of those dudes could play.

Lizzy changed masks and costumes between just about every song.  I have to say that I think I would have preferred a stripped down Lizzy show without having all of the “show”.  Their music can hold it’s own.  But then I guess it just wouldn’t be a Lizzy show without all the props and such.

nice mullet, hero.

They only did 14 songs and it really seemed like fewer because of the sound there.  I really left the show very disappointed…one, in the sound quality and 2, in the setlist.  I thought it was pretty weak and very short.  This is one of 4 USA shows, play a longer set!

I’m not so sure that I’ll ever go see them again.


? (inaudible)
Give ’em The Axe
? (inaudible)
Tomorrow Never Comes
Under Your Skin
Master of Disguise
There Will Be Blood Tonight
Me Against the World
American Metal
Hollywood? (inaudible)
We’ve Got The Power
Notorious (encore)
Redrum (encore)

If anyone can fill in the blanks on the setlist, it would be greatly appreciated.

I’m really hesitant to see other shows at this venue even though they have a lot of good stuff coming there…Y&T, Dangerous Toys, Pat Travers, etc.

Oh well.  I had fun with Jason, his girl and the OKC girls…and I got to meet the legendary Don Van Stavern Riot, SA Slayer).

We all bleed American metal!


Someone sent me the setlist.  Three songs were not played although they were listed:  Crawlin’, Deal With the Devil and Come Out At Night.


photo courtesy of Rockerazzi Photography

Written by The Metal Files

April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands

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Back in 1995/1996 I was still married to my now ex-wife.  She was a voracious reader and during our brief marriage it inspired me to do some reading.  Most of the time it was band/musician biographies.  Sometimes it was just catching up on John Saul books (all of which suck anymore).  One day I went to the library and was just thumbing through the reference books and came across “Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands” by Mark Hale.  I cracked it open and just started freaking out.  This book had just about everyone in it that was a metal band.  It spans from the late 60s to about 1990 and does a wonderful job of cross-referencing bands, listing albums and catalog numbers.  There’s an index in the back of musicians, band names, countries of origin and record labels with catalog numbers.  It’s a pretty extensive hardcover book.  This book blows away any of that Martin Popoff crap.

Hale gives descriptions of the bands and does his best not to inject bias.  It’s 540+ pages of heavy metal goodness.

My ex and I split up in late 1996 and by early 1997 I had started my own CD sales business.  I was mostly doing it by word of mouth between friends, eBay and had started an online music store, Acacia Music (defunct).  I checked the book out from the library several times and finally called the publisher to see if they still had any copies.  Luckily they did.  Having a business license and tax ID number, they sold me the book for $75.  One of the best investments that I have ever made.

The book has 2 editions.  The first edition had a run of 750 copies and the second run of the first edition had 250 copies.  That’s it!

Somewhere along the line I decided to get it signed by bands that were in it.  If I remember correctly the first signatures were by Warrell Dane/Jim Shepherd (Sanctuary) and Jon Schaffer (Purgatory 60 aka Iced Earth) when Nevermore and Iced Earth were touring together in 1999.

Over the years I’ve met a lot of bands who are in it and some of the encounters were pretty random.  I think in the coming months I’ll start writing about the signatures and how I obtained them.  Many of them had some good stories attached to them.  Typically I get the same reaction, “What the hell is this and where the hell did you get it?”

If you’re a fan of metal, especially the pre-1990 stuff, this book is a must have.  They typically don’t come cheaply but you can generally find some on  Most of the copies there are ex-library copies.

Here’s the current list of signatures (updated 5/15/2018):

AC/DC – Simon Wright
Accept – Peter Baltes, Herman Frank, Wolf Hoffman, Udo Dirkschneider
Ace Frehley – Anton Fig
Aerosmith – Joey Kramer, Brad Whitford
Aftermath – Charlie Tsisolis, Steve Sacco, John Lovette, Ray Schmidt, Eric ? (not in the book)
Agony Column – Stuart Laurence
Alcatrazz – Graham Bonnet, Jimmy Waldo, Gary Shea
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper
Amulance – Rick Baez, Bob Luman, Chuck Hamilton (not in the book)
Anthrax – Dan Spitz, Scott Ian, Joey Belladonna, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello
Armored Saint – Joey Vera, John Bush, Phil Sondoval, Gonzo Sandoval
Assalant – Mike Botello
At War – Paul Arnold, Shawn Helsel
Attacker – Mike Sabatini, Pat Marinello
Autograph – Steve Lynch, Randy Rand
Baron Steel – Joe Szabo, Al Ortiz
Battlezone – Paul Di’Anno
Bitch – Betsy
Black N Blue – Pete Holmes, Jaime St James, Patrick Young
Black Roses – Chuck Wright
Britny Fox – Johnny Dee
Bullet – Fitty
Bullet Boys – Marq Torien, Jimmy D’Anda
Celtic Frost – Tom G Warrior
Chastain – Leather Leone, David T. Chastain, Mike Skimmerhorn, David Harbour, Ken Mary
Cheap Trick – Tom Petersson, Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen
Cinderella – Tom Keifer
Cirith Ungol – Tim Baker, Robert Garven, Mike Flint, Greg Lindstrom, Jim Barraza (not in the book but verified inclusion based on other resources)
CJSS – Les Sharpe, Russell Jinkens
Damien Thorne – Ken Starr, Rick Browz (not in book but played on original demos)
Dark Angel – Gene Hoglan
Death Tripper – Jerry Blanco
Deceased – King Fowley
Deliverance – Glenn Rogers
Destruction – Schmier, Mike
Detente – Steve Hochheiser
Devastation – Rodney Dunsmore, Alex Dominguez, Louis Carrisalez
The Dictators – Handsome Dick Manitoba
DIO – Rowan Robertson, Craig Goldy, Vinny Appice
Dirty Looks – Paul Lidel
Dokken – Jeff Pilson, George Lynch
DRI – Felix Griffin, Josh Pappe
English Dogs – Graham Butt (one of the funniest inscriptions ever…you had to be there)
Enuff Z’Nuff – Chip Znuff, 3 non-original members
Exodus – Gary Holt, Tom Hunting
Faster Pussycat – Taime Down, Brent Muscat, 2 non-original members
Fates Warning – Frank Aresti, John Arch, Jim Matheos, Victor Arduini, Steve Zimmerman, Joe DiBiase
Ferrari – Oni Logan
Flotsam and Jetsam – Eric AK, Kelly David Smith, Ed Carlson, Michael Gilbert
Forbidden – Tim Calvert
Forte’ – Rev Jones (band not in the book)
Glacier – Mike Podrybau
Great White – Jack Russell
Grim Reaper – Steve Grimmett
Hawkwind – Nik Turner
Hellion – Ann Boleyn
Helstar – James Rivera, Larry Barragan
Hirax – Katon W. DePena
Hurricane – Kelley Hansen
Iced Earth/Purgatory 60 – John Schafer
Impaler – Bill Lindsey, Commander Court
Jag Panzer – Chris Cronk (also listed with Fates Warning), Harry Conklin, Joey Tafolla, Rikard Stjernquist, Mark Briody, John Tetley
Jet Red – Brad Lang
Juggernaut – Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus, Scott Womack
Keel – Scott Warren
King Diamond – Mikkey Dee, Hal Patino
Kingdom Come – James Kottak
Kreator – Ventor
Krokus – Marc Storace, Chris Von Rohr, Mandy Meier
LA Guns – Philip Lewis, Tracii Guns, Steve Riley
Lethal – Tom Mallicoat, Glen Cook, Dell Hull, Jerry Hartman (not in book but played on Programmed)
Liege Lord – Joe Comeau, Tony Truglio
Lizzy Borden – Alex Nelson (RIP), Lizzy Borden, Joey Scott Harges
Loudness – Minoru Niihara, Akira Takasaki, Masayoshi Yamashita, Masayuki Suzuki (not in the book)
Lydia Von Huston – Jennifer Batten
Manilla Road – Mark Shelton
Manowar – Ross the Boss
Medieval Steel – John Roth, Bobby Franklin, Jeff Boydston
Megadeth – Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson
Metal Blade Records – Brian Slagel
Metal Church – Craig Wells
Mindless Sinner – Christer Göransson, Magnus Danneblad, Jerker Edman, Christer Carlson, Tommy Viktorsson (Formerly Johansson)
Militia – Mike Soliz, Rob Willingham, Phil Achee, Tony Smith, Jesse Villegas
Motorhead – Lemmy Kilmister
MSG – Michael Schenker
Mystic Force – Keith Menser
Necrophagia – Killjoy
Nuclear Assault – Dan Lilker, John Connelly, Glenn Evans
Obituary – James Murphy
The Obsessed – Wino
Odin – Shawn, Jeff and Matt Duncan, Randy O., Aaron Samson
Omen – Kenny Powell, Steve Wittig
Ostrogoth – Mario “Grizzly” Pauvels
Overkill – Bobby Ellsworth, D.D. Verni
Ozzy – Tommy Aldridge
Pentagram – Bobby Liebling, Victor Griffin, Joe Hasselvander
Plasmatics – Greg Smith, T.C. Tolliver
Pretty Boy Floyd – Steve Summers, 2 non-original members
Q5 – Evan Sheeley, Rick Pierce, Jonathan Kay
Queensyche – Geoff Tate
Quiet Riot – Rudy Sarzo, Sean McNabb, Frankie Banali
Racer X – Juan Alderete (as “Jeff” in the book)
Rage – Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt, Chris Efthimiadis
Rainbow – Joe Lynn Turner
Randy California – Mark Andes
Rapid Tears – Brian Frank
Ratt – Stephen Pearcy
Raven – John Gallagher, Mark Gallagher, Joe Hasselvander
Riot – Don Van Stavern, Bobby Jarzombek, Rick Ventura
Rotting Corpse – John Perez, Mando Tovar
Rough Cutt – Matt Thorne, Chris Hager
Running Wild – Stefan Schwarzmann
S.A. Slayer – Bob Catlin, Art Villareal
Sabbat – Martin Walkyier, Andy Sneap, Simon Negus, Simon Jones
Sadus – Steve DiGiorgio
Saint Vitus – Dave Chandler, Mark Adams, Scott Reagers
Salty Dog – Michael Hannon
Sanctuary – Warrel Dane, Jim Sheppard
Satan – Brian Ross, Russ Tippins, Graeme English, Steve Ramsey, Sean Taylor
Satan’s Host – Patrick Evil (not in book but confirmed original)
Scorpions – Uli Roth, Francis Buchholz, Herman Rarebell
Screamer – Jim Dofka
Sentinel Beast – Michael Spencer
Sepultura – Paolo, Jr, Andreas Kisser
Skid Row – Sebastian Bach
Slauter Xstroyes – Paul Krathy
Slayer – Dave Lombardo
SOD – Billy Milano
Steel Prophet – Steve Kachinsky (Blackmoor in the book)
Syrus – Al Berlanga, Michael Vasquez, John Castilleja
Takashi – Danny Stanton
Ted Nugent – Derek St. Holmes
Tesla – Troy Lucketta, Tommy Skeoch, Brian Wheat, Frank Hannon, Jeff Keith
Testament – Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian, Eric Peterson
The Rods – Carl Canedy, David Feinstein, Garry Bordonaro
Thin Lizzy – John Sykes, Scott Gorham
Thrust – Ron Cooke
Triumph – Rik Emmett
Trouble – Ron Holtzman, Eric Wagner, Jeff “Oly” Olson
Turbin – Doug Morrison, Neil Turbin
Twisted Sister – AJ Pero
Tygers of Pan Tang – Robb Weir
Tyrant’s Reign – Phil Fouch, Ken Miller
UFO – Paul Chapman, Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, Andy Chapman
Vatican – Vince vatican, Vic Grabouski, Brian McNasty
Vendetta (Chicago) – Klyph Black
Venom – Mantas, Abaddon, Demolition Man
Vinnie Moore – Vinnie Moore
War Cry – Rich Rozek
Warlock – Doro Pesch
Watchtower – Jason McMaster, Ron Jarzombek, Billy White, Rick Colaluca
Whitesnake – David Coverdale
White Lion – Greg D’Angelo
Wicked Angel – Joseph Valdez (book only lists the singer, validated here)
Winger – Kip Winger, Reb Beach, Rod Morgenstein
Wishbone Ash – Andy Powell
Wolfsbane – Blaze Bayley
Wyzard – John Alvarado, Buster Grant (as Gilbert Grant Guzman in the book)
Y&T – Dave Meniketti
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – Yngwie Malmsteen, Anders Johansson, Jeff Scott Soto


Written by The Metal Files

April 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Back on stage again.

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Tonight is the first show I’ve done with Doug Morrison since Summer 2008.  It’s been far too long.  Doug played with the likes of Neil Turbin, Pete Way, Fred Coury and tons of others during his lifetime in the LA music scene.  he moved here to Austin, TX right around the same time I did in late 2006.

I fell into a band pretty quickly after moving here and only did one show with them before parting ways.  Doug and I were in contact that whole time and started playing together in May 2007.  We went through a handful of drummers and found Larry.  Larry was great.  Hard hitter, good drummer, cool dude and great timing but circumstances dictated him leaving the band in 2008.  We auditioned several drummers in 2009 and just couldn’t find the right one.  Then comes this new kid in town, Ryan who started playing with us around November 2009.   Nice guy, good drummer.  He learned the stuff quickly and we’re doing our first show with him tonight.

I’m excited.  Doug is easily the best guitarist I have ever played with.  After 3 years I’m used to playing in an instrumental band and it’s nice not having to deal with a singer.    He’s a GIT grad and former instructor and is really just an incredible player.

I think this is the beginning of a brand new chapter with this band that should be fruitful and successful.  Adding lots of new songs all the time.  I’m finally excited about music again.  You can hear some stuff on the Myspace page, but it’s not a good representation of his/our sound.  There’s also some clips on YouTube.  We seem so different than when those were made.  we have a Facebook fan page as well.

One unique thing about Doug, especially in this town, is that he uses Strats.  Everyone here is primarily a Les Paul player.  Doug will be using one of his Hendrix Anniversary stacks tonight.  I’m likely using 2 of my Ashdown 4×10 cabs and my rack (heavy bitch!) and my mid-80s Japanese Fender P-bass.

It’s going to be fun.  Wish you could be here!

Written by The Metal Files

April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Hammerfall/Havok/Ignitor/Versperian Sorrow Concert Review 040810

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Was it really 25 years ago when Yngwie Malmsteen’s Marching Out album came out?  It doesn’t seem that long ago nor do I feel old enough for it to have been 25 years since.  But whatever.  It did and I am.  I remember hearing it for the first time and I think we were at Kelz’ house.  Simply blown away by the whole album and everything about it…the guitars, the vocals and especially the drums.  See, I was a relatively new drummer at the time and after hearing this guy, this Anders Johansson fella,  I wanted to play like that…and like Nicko McBrain…and like Kirk Arrington…etc.

Anders Johansson

I followed Anders through most of his career, especially with Yngwie.  I saw the Trilogy and Odyssey tours and got to witness his badassedness live.  It was pretty special for me getting to see him play back then, especially with Yngwie of whom I am still a big fan of.

Through the years I picked up Anders’ non-Yngwie stuff as well like Silver Mountain, Johansson Brothers with Jens, Jonas Helborg, Shining Path, Shawn Lane etc.  He always amazed me with his style.  I am a fanboy, I admit it.

When I found out that Hammerfall was coming to town, I bought my ticket immediately as he has been playing with them over the last several years.  I saw Hammerfall’s very first USA show at Jaxx Nightclub in Springfield, VA when they were opening for Death (RIP Chuck).  I love Hammerfall’s debut album, Glory To the Brave but never really got into anything after that one.  Sure they were consistent and I was pretty excited when I found out that Anders had joined them…but it still didn’t get me too excited to buy the stuff.

So anyway, I bought the meet and greet ticket which was $55.  Much cheaper than the Testament one plus this one would be a little more special because I’d finally get to meet one of my musical idols.  Sure I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of them, but some are a little more special than others.  Last night ranked up there with meeting Nicko McBrain in 1988.

So the M&G was to begin at 8pm and I got there around 7:30ish.  There are a few folks hanging out but none were part of the M&G.  I didn’t expect there to be many and ultimately there weren’t.

The tour bus was parked in front of us and Anders and Pontus Norgren come off the boss.  After a few minutes I walked over to them and asked Anders to sign my CD covers and the book.  I had a big stack and just in case there were a lot of people there for the M&G, I wouldn’t hold them up…of course I guess I was holding him up by asking him to sign my shit.  He graciously accepted and signed it all.  We stood in the street in front of the bus and talked for a while and Joacim Cans comes out…”We have 35 minutes to eat before the meeting.”  I told them of a few places up the street with

Seriously? Nerd!

some good food and they asked me to come along…Sweet!  I had Cans sign my Warlord CD.  I sort of felt bad for not having any Hammerfall to sign but oh well.  He didn’t seem to bothered by it.

So we went to Jackalope but the music was loud and Cans didn’t want to strain his voice trying to have a conversation so we went next door to Chupacabra.  We sat and ordered quickly.  Unfortunately it didn’t come too quickly but they didn’t seem to mind being late to the M&G.  Pontus, Can and I all had the steak tacos and Anders had a 1lb burger.  I’m sure he could have eaten 2.  He’s a big dude.

Dinner with Hammerfall.

Conversation was cool.  Anders spoke about how he spent some months here in Austin while Yngwie was recording the Odyssey album.  He told me some pretty funny and crazy stories that I am not comfortable sharing here.  He also gave me some cool insight on Yngwie and Joe Lynn Turner.  We talked drums for a while and the other 2 guys asked about Austin and the area.  I told Cans about seeing their first US show.  “Wow!  You were there?!”  Yep.  Rocked.  I need to find my photos from that night.

Service was pretty slow and we were all done eating and waited on the check.  I offered to buy their meals but they instead bought mine.  I told them to go ahead and I’d settle up the bill.  Boom.  Done.

Get back to Emo’s and the handful of people went to the back for the M&G.  I ran into Jason McMaster who is a close friend and plays guitar in my Motorhead tribute and he was getting his gear together for his performance with Ignitor.  During and before dinner, Anders reminisced about hanging out with Jason and Dangerous Toys back in 1987 and the

McMaster and Anders.

fun times they had.  So I grabbed Jason and told him that Anders was in back.  It was cool seeing them hanging out and talking about the old times.

All of Hammerfall were there for the M&G except for Oscar Dronjak, who apparently was having a bad case of Montezuma’s Revenge.  Poor dude.  They weren’t sure if he would even be alright for the show.

After the M&G I walked back to my apartment to dump off my swag.  As I got back to the club, local band Vesperian Sorrow was playing.  They’re a death black metal band.  I’m not so into them but they played a fine show.  Their drummer is a badass.

Ignitor came on next and rocked it.  I still say McMaster is the best front man around, no matter what band he is fronting.  Ignitor only had a 30 minute set so they were on and done in the blink of an eye.  Always good to see Batlord and Co. do their thing.

Next up was Havok from Denver, CO.  Nice kids.  They were a mix of Slayer, Metallica, Death Angel, Megadeth, Exodus etc.  Nothing new in their sound but they had fun and the crowd really dug them.  But please, guys…change your name.  There have been too many bands called Havoc/Havok over the years.  They closed with a medley of songs from Reign In Blood.  Not too bad but the drummer totally cheesed the drums in Raining Blood.  If you can’t play the song properly, just don’t play the song.   Usually an unknown band will throw covers in to get the crowd into it.  These guys already had the crowd into them so I thought closing with the covers was a bit daft, but hey, not my band, eh?  The bassplayer was really good.  Both guitarists had good riffs but weren’t very tight in the solo department.

Next up came Hammerfall.  As stated earlier I haven’t been into Hammerfall in a long time but was excited to see

Pontus Norgren

Anders play.  Not too much stuff from the first 2 albums unfortunately for me.  It was a very lightly attended show.  Maybe 120?  Weak.  I thought the San Antonio crowd would come up for this since there were no dates down there.  I thought wrong.

Oscar did play although he left the stage a few times mid-song.  Damned Montezuma!  The whole band was tight and

Joacim Cans

everyone there was into it.  It was good to see some of their real fans there to support.  Pontus Norgren played most of the leads and that dude is a really good guitarist.  I was quite impressed.  Anders was great on drums.  Duh.  He played with headphone to a click track.  As expected he did some really great stuff when it was necessary.  That’s one thing I always liked about his style.  He never seems to play cool licks just to do them.

Faster Than The Speed Of Light! get it? Major points if you do.

Everything seems very calculated, but proper and with feel.  Impressive.

I spoke to a few dudes before the show who had never heard of Anders or Yngwie (WHAT THE HELL?).  I told them that if you like the drum work you hear tonight, go buy those early Yngwie albums.  Do it!

It was a great time and the experience with Anders, Pontus and Joacim was priceless.  I’ll never forget it it.  I’m a lucky guy, really.  And a music nerd.  And a doofus.

Look! Anders thinks I'm cool. Not.