The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for May 2010

RIP Dennis Hopper

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This one stings quite a bit for me as well.  River’s Edge is one of my all time favorite movies.  We knew this was coming soon, but it still sucks.  Goodbye Feck.

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May 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Pentagram – Concert Review 052610

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PENTAGRAM – BLACK TUSK – RWAKE – MALA SUERTE – STRIDER

So let’s back up to July of 2009.  Looking at my review I don’t remember liking the show as much as I wrote about.  No matter.  This is May 2010 and a different day.

As some of my faithful readers may know I recently moved in downtown Austin to be closer to all of my favorite music venues to make things a bit more accessible.  Mission accomplished.  Last month I was able to hang out with some of the guys from Hammerfall and do dinner with them.  More or less this happened because I live 3 blocks from this particular venue.

Last night my luck struck again.  I left my apartment to hit a local burger joint to meet up with Amelia and have a burger and some beers before we both went our separate ways to see different shows.  As I am crossing the street I see this group of longhairs and noticeably I see Bobby Liebling and Victor Griffin from Pentagram.  I also recognized the drummer Gary from the previous Pentagram show and from a show where he drummed for Valkyrie a few years back.

Basically the first words out of my mouth when we were face to face, and I am sure I stuttered, were, “holy crap…you’re Pentagram!”  I meet tons of bands, some big some small…but this is Pentagram.  The band that

Greg, Bobby, happy fat dude, Victor, Gary...PENTAGRAM!

did Day Of Reckoning!   To me one of the greatest doom albums of all time.  So, as I am totally trying not to be a fanboy, I ask for a picture with the band.  One of their old friends lives here in Austin and he snapped a few shots with my camera and then some with his.  As we’re doing pictures and standing in the street, I asked if they were going to hear Burning Savior from Day of Reckoning.  Victor said no.  Then I asked about Living in a Ram’s Head and Bobby quickly said, “We’ll never fucking play that song again.  I never really liked it!”  Damn!  Then he says to me, “Didn’t Burning Savior scare you?”  I replied with, “It probably scared my mom back in the 80s but never phased me.”  “Right on,” he replied.   So I ask them where they were heading and they pointed to the restaurant that was right behind us.  I told them that they would be making an intestinal mistake if they ate there and they asked for my recommendation.  I took them to Chupa Cabra, the same place I took Hammerfall.  They loved it.  Conversations were pretty funny at the table.  Everyone in the band kept giving the new bassist a hard time.  As we were walking to dinner, Victor and I talked about the upcoming Place of Skulls album.  September!  He asked if I liked it and I said, “If you’re on it, I’m a fan.”  Which is true.

Bobby was great to be around and he seemed clean of drugs.  Sure, he’s a bit burned out but he was pretty funny and had some really cool stories to share.  He seemed like a “sweet old man”, and I say that with the highest respect and regard for what this man has meant for metal.  It was a pleasure to spend that kind of time with the band, especially with him and Victor.  I mentioned to them that I had a book that I would like both he and Victor to sign.  I mentioned that I had a spare copy for sale and Bobby asked if I’d trade a t-shirt for it.   In the grand scheme I lost a little money in the deal but how often does anyone get to give a legend a cool gift and have said legend give you a cool shirt and a poster in return?  After the transaction, they went back to their hotel to rest.

Gary Rosas and Mala Suerte

There were 4 other bands on the bill and I wanted to catch a few of them.  Since I obviously dissed Amelia to hang out with Pentagram I met her up the street for a beer with our friend Natalia.  I caught the last 3 songs of Strider (Austin, TX) and liked what little bit that I heard.  After their set we all just hung outside on the Emo’s patio and jibber jabbered.  Lots of familiar faces, of course.  Mala Suerte was up next and this was the first time I had seem them with their new guitarist.  Seamless transition.  They were good, they always are.  Consistently.  Their singer is one of the first people I met when I moved here and one of my favorite people in this town.  Great dude.  He was wearing an awesome original DIO Last In Line shirt as well.  They finished their set and it was back to the patio.

Next up was Rwake (Arkansas).  They’ve played here several times in the last few years and I always miss them.  I caught a few of their songs last night and will likely never see them again.  Just not my thing.  More patio!

Black Tusk

Black Tusk hit the stage and are a very energetic 3pc stoner rock band.  Their drummer was fantastic.  Seriously.  Fantastic.  The band was fun to watch.  Don’t know that I’d buy their album but I’ll surely go see them live again when given the chance.

The crowd had increased and tonight’s show was on the inside stage as opposed to the outside stage from last year’s show.  I staked my claim at the front of the stage as Pentagram was setting up so I could at least get a few decent photos.  Pentagram his the stage and opened up with the song Day of Reckoning.  They sounded great.  The band was tight, the sound was good and most importantly Bobby’s voice sounded much better.  I had a huge smile on my face for the whole show.  They were great.  I was totally elated.

I am one of the luckiest people I know sometimes.

The setlist was as follows:

  1. Day of Reckoning
  2. Forever My Queen
  3. Ask No More
  4. Run My Course
  5. Frustration
  6. You’re Lost, I’m Free
  7. Review Your Choices
  8. Petrified
  9. Relentless
  10. All Your Sins
  11. 20 Buck Spin
  12. Pentagram (Sign of the Wolf)
  13. When the Screams Come

Setlist...love how they coded it.

Bobby Liebling

Victor Griffin

Pentagram

Greg, Bobby, happy fat dude, Victory, Gary...PENTAGRAM!

Thanks Señor Dio.

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Dio died yesterday.

Ronnie James Dio.

Dead.  It still pains me to even think about.

Sure it sounds cheesy that the death of someone I had never met has saddened me so much, but it is what it is.  Ronnie was legendary not only for his longevity in the business, the “devil horns salute,

an incredibly strong voice (even into his 60s) but also for being one of the nicest and classiest guys in the music business.  He’s one of the few big stars that I always wanted to meet and never got the chance to.  I’ve known several people through the years who did meet him and some who spent ample time with him on tour and they all said the exact same thing…’class act.’

Thanks to one of my older brothers, I got introduced to this voice in the late 1970s, probably ‘78 or ‘79 if I had to wager on it.  I’m pretty sure it was Rainbow Rising.  I just remember that I liked it a lot.  Subsequently I remember him bringing home Long Live Rock and Roll and the first Rainbow (my guess is that he stole them – funny but true).  I really liked that stuff but it was right around that time that Heaven and Hell came out and I was already a Black Sabbath fan thanks to my brother.  But this Sabbath was different.  A lot different.  Pleasingly so.  How could one not love this stuff?  And Mob Rules?  C’mon!  Dio was really making his mark in the music world and I fucking loved it.  I’m not never shy to say that I prefer the Dio era of Sabbath over Ozzy’s.  Don’t get me wrong, that Ozzy stuff, most of it, was great, but there is something about Dio’s voice that suits me better.  Even 15 years after Dehumanizer came out, I finally liked it.  Quality record for sure.

But this blog isn’t about the Dio discography.  After coming home from seeing some bands in the wee morning hours yesterday, I started seeing rumblings of “RIP RJD” posted on various social networking sites.  Then I saw that rumor get squelched.  Then yesterday afternoon around 2PM CST, I saw the official word from Dio’s page and the note from Wendy.  Crushed.  That’s how I felt yesterday; it’s how I still feel today.  I honestly feel like a friend of mine just died…in some ways a friend did.  Ronnie’s music, especially with Sabbath and the DIO (band) stuff was really important to me throughout my adolescent years.  I spent hours upon hours playing drums to these records in the 80s, especially Last In Line.  That is my favorite record of his over anything else he has ever done.

When I first saw the news about his death I just sat there for a few moments dumfounded.  Really?  He’s dead?  Dio?  Dio can’t die.  He’s Dio!  He’s going to live forever!  Then the pit in my stomach came.  I am not afraid to admit that I cried a little yesterday and am actually a little choked up writing this today.  Music can be a very emotional thing for me and Dio’s music certainly moved me for most of my life.

I’m glad I did get to see him live a few times, even if the first time was c. 1998.  In 2007 I went to Radio City Music Hall in NYC to attend the Heaven and Hell show, the same show that’s on the DVD.  That was quite a special experience because I also got to see Iommi and Butler on stage together with Ronnie.  I got a little verklempt when they hit the stage that night as well.

I remember my Dad saying to me years ago before he died (1997) that the older we get, those that we know and love in our lifetimes are going to die off.  So true.  Everyone dies sometime, eh?  Coincidentally, my Dad and Dio were only 2 weeks difference in age, Dio just lasted longer.

Not to drag this on any further, but thank you Mr. Dio for making my world a little bit of a better place because of the quality music you have been creating for as long as I can remember.  Much of the Dio catalog stays in steady rotation in my playlists, but I’ll surely be spinning a little more of it this week.  There’s no such thing as too much, Dio, right?  Whether you ended up in Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, a crematory or just a box in the ground, you touched the lives of many.  Thanks again.

Written by The Metal Files

May 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

RIP Ronnie James Dio

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Thank you for a lifetime’s worth of incredible music.

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May 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm

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Arsis, Misery Index, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse and Bang Tango(?) Concert Review 051110

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So last night I went to a big death metal show that had bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Misery Index, Skeleton Witch, Dying Fetus and one of my faves, Arsis!  As stated here too many times now, I am a huge Arsis fan and you can read about that stuff here.  I got to the show early hoping to see the Arsis guys hanging out on the street but no dice.  I know the door guy at the show and he let me in before everyone else to see if they were hanging out.  I poked around the venue and again, no dice.  No biggie.  I was talking to the dudes from Misery Index when Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse comes up and says, “Are you part of the Cannibal Corpse meet and greet?”  “No way, man” I responded.  He looked a little disgruntled and walked away.  I didn’t realize who he was until about a minute after that exchange.  haha.  Whatever.  I am not a CC fan in the least.  Saw them about 10 years ago in Richmond, VA and they were the most boring band I had ever seen.

After leaving shortly thereafter to get a decent beer up the street I returned back to the club and starting seeing some good friends and hung out with them for a while.  This venue has an indoor and outdoor section and they bands were alternating time slots with some overlap.  We hung out in the other outdoor area during most of the other opening bands as they, to me, were all pretty forgettable.  I really was only there to see Arsis, and to a lesser degree Dying Fetus and Skeleton Witch.  I’d seen Dying Fetus 2 other times and I like their technical proficiency but I’d never buy their albums.  Skeleton Witch I’d love to see but they were playing at about the same time Arsis was.

So I’m standing there watching Misery Index and James “Jim” Malone from Arsis comes in.  I had seen him in about 5

Misery Index

years and tapped him on his shoulder.  It took him a second then he realized that he knew me.  We chatted for a minute during Misery Index but he needed to go get some of his gear as they were going on pretty soon.

The crowd thinned out pretty quickly after Misery Index and many of them went to the other side to see Skeleton Witch.   I hung out and staked my claim near the stage.  Arsis hit the stage after some prerecorded scene from a movie or something.  They opened with Return and went straight into Forced To Rock from the new album.  Unfortunately their bass player had just quit a few nights before and they were waiting on one of their previous ones to arrive to finish the tour.  Pity.  I was a little disappointed that Mike Van Dyne wasn’t doing the tour either.  He did the drums on the older albums and the newest one and he’s awesome.  A great guy too.  The guy they were using for touring was pretty fucking good, so playing-wise it was pretty seamless.

Arsis ripped through their set and Jim did a good job of getting the crowd involved.  There were a few hundred people

Arsis

in there to see them, which was cool.  I think they gained some new fans, for sure.

After they finished their set, Malone loaded his gear back on the bus and found me in the outside area talking to some friends.  That’s when the drinking began.  haha.  Laura started buying vodka/redbulls and that’s what we stuck with the the rest of night.  I introduced Jim to some of my friends and everyone was very complimentary about the band’s performance.  Someone mentioned that Bang Tango was playing the venue next door and Jim lit up and said, “Dude, we have to go to that.  I love that band!”  I told him we could go and I’d likely be able to get us in.  I did.  Ran into a few friends at that show and then Bang Tango started.

I’m not a fan and couldn’t name one song they ever did.  The band was very tight and his vocals were alright.  I had

Jim Malone (Arsis) enjoying some Bang Tango.

nothing to compare them to as far as how he sounded 20 years ago.  I did like one of his other projects, Beautiful Creatures.  The debut CD by them was listenable.  We pretty much stayed for their whole set.  It made me giggle a bit to see the sweaty death metal dude singing along to Bang Tango!

Personally, I wasn’t really enjoying the band, but I was having fun hanging out with an old friend.  Definitely made everything alright for the night.

After a few more drinks and the end of Bang Tango’s set, we went back to Emo’s to hang out.  Cannibal Corpse was on stage and they were just as boring as I could remember them being.  They had a huge crowd there, which is great.  Austin is getting a lot of metal shows these days.  We hung out until the end of their set and I had to get home, I had been up since 545AM that day and it was already 1AM.

I never saw any of Dying Fetus’ set, but I could hear them.  Meh.  No biggie.

We said our goodbyes and that was that.  I was very happy to see the band finally play Austin and even happier to get to hang out with Malone after such a long time.  Cool dude.  Great musician…very underrated as a guitarist in my opinion.  I remember their early days seeing shows and telling them that I thought they would get signed to a major label.  After their deal with Willowtip passed, I was very excited when they got signed to Nuclear Blast.  Well-deserved.  Those dudes worked hard to perfect their craft.

Arsis setlist:

  1. Return/Forced To Rock
  2. March For The Sick
  3. Diamond For Disease
  4. Escape Artist
  5. We Are The Nightmare
  6. Sightless Wisdom
  7. The Sadistic Motives Behind Bereavement Letters
  8. The Promise Of Never
  9. The Face Of My Innocence

Bang Tango

"Reunited and it feels so good."

Doug Morrison – solo from Primeval – 040910

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This is my current main band with Doug Morrison and the solo from our song “Primeval.”  Sorry for the poor video quality.

Enjoy.

Written by The Metal Files

May 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Victor Griffin Back In Pentagram?!?!?!?!

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I’m seeing Pentagram again here in Austin May 26th.  I just read today that Griffin is back in the band temporarily.  That means that we should get a better setlist than the last show.  Man, I really hope they play Burning Saviour.

I so hope this is true.

Written by The Metal Files

May 6, 2010 at 5:32 pm