The Metal Files

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Archive for June 2012

Scorpions/Tesla Concert Review, San Antonio, TX 6/26/12

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I had just seen the Scorpions in San Antonio 2 years ago and it will forever be one of the best concerts I have ever seen.  You can read about that experience here.  And if you care to see which Scorpions shows I have attended, click here.

Last night marked the 5th time since 1991 that I have seen them and per usual, they never disappoint.  This show was a continuation of their Final Sting tour and it’s pretty cool that they decided to hit San Antonio twice.  A lot of bands owe a great deal of thanks to that City for giving them a break way back when and Scorpions are no exception.

I was less than pleased to see that Tesla was the opener.  I never got into them besides Modern Day Cowboy, which is an awesome song.

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to see what the setlists for both bands were going to be as they’ve been pretty consistent for the recent leg of this tour.

Last night, I met up with my friends Don, Burney and Vanessa at the Illusions Theater at the Alamodome.  They basically take one end of the Alamodome and convert it to a smaller venue.  When Scorps were here 2 years ago, they damn near

Vanessa and Burney

sold out the AT&T center, but I still saw some vacant seats last night.  After some brief conversations in the parking lot and a beer (heavy metal parking lot 2012?), we headed inside.  The shirts were pretty ugly and quite expensive.  I’ll pay that $35 a shirt for Maiden’s Texas only shirts, but not for the Scorps.  The bootleg shirts were ok, but I passed on those too.

Tesla hit the stage promptly at 7:30PM and went relatively seamlessly through their set.  They stuck to their classics and played them well, but again, I am not a fan.  I sat through their entire set.  They did Cowboy which was certainly the highlight for me and it was cool hearing Edison’s Medicine again.  Not a bad song.  Love Song made me want to puke.  I’ve always

awful picture

hated that song.  I once got kicked out of a band because I refused to play it.  Haha.  Jeff Keith sounded fine and the band’s backing vocals were top notch.  The drums in the mix were awful though.  I don’t know what the hell the soundman was doing, but it was awful.  They finished up their set and it was time to stretch my legs.

Scorpions came on Right at 9PM at opened with Sting In The Tail.  Everyone was standing and the Scorps rocked like they always do.  There were no real surprises in the setlist.  Recent Euro shows actually got In Trance, but none of the American shows.  I would have lost my shit if they had pulled that one out.  That setlist was almost exact to 2 years ago with only a few changes.  My only complaint about seeing them is the drum solo.  While Kottak is a competent player, his drum solo just isn’t my thing even with the comedic video attached to it.  But…Klaus, Rudy and Matthias are in their 60s, so I am sure the break does them a world of good.

They played Wind of Change which wasn’t in the set 2 years ago.  I could have done without it for sure, only because I’ve heard it way too many times since it came out.  But it’s a crowd pleaser and surely has some deep meaning for those guys.

Klaus’ voice seemed a little rough in the first song or two, but it quickly got right and he sounded great for the rest of the night.  The whole band sounded great.  As always they put on a great show and I really think it’ll be the last chance I’ll have to see them, which is unfortunate.

It was a fun time with good friends and that always makes a show more enjoyable.

This show also got me back on course.  You see, I saw the Arch/Matheos show in May 2012 and since then I have had trouble enjoying other live bands.  It’s really difficult to explain.  That show was so powerful and was the best live music experience I think I have ever had.  While it will likely never be topped, I needed a show to get me out of my rut and back into enjoying bands that I like.  The Scorpions provided that for me last night.  Thankfully.


goodbye San Antonioooooo!

Written by The Metal Files

June 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Pure Sweet Hell – Spitting At The Stars CD Review

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Pure Sweet Hell features Van Williams (ex-Nevermore), Dean Sternberg (Onward, ex-Into Eternity, WithinAnother, Toby Knapp) on vocals and Chris Eichhorn on guitar/bass.

This album is pretty damned good, especially Van’s drumming.  I know that should go without saying as he’s such an incredible player and personally I feel he’s severely underrated in the drumming community.  This album is heavy, and that’s a good thing.  There are some good technical spots here and there and this is pretty much just up in your face.  Dean’s clean vocals on here are killer, albeit a bit over-layered in this writer’s opinion.  In general this album is quite enjoyable except for Dean’s more “brutal”-esque vocals.  I’ve just gotten to a point where that singing style just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

There needs to be a renaissance of clean vocal metal again!

This album gets 8/10 though, as the music and clean vocals sound great.  I’d go see them live.

Written by The Metal Files

June 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Graven Rite – The Summoner’s Pit (2012 demo) Review

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From the ashes of Iron Age, Integrity and featuring current members of Ancient VVisdom comes Graven Rite from Austin, TX.  I was handed cassette and CD demos a week or so ago by the singer at a St Vitus show .  I know all the guys in the band and have been told several times that I’d like it.  “Like” is a poor choice of words, really.  I love this demo.  This is good ol’ American traditional metal that sounds like it could have been on one of the old Metal Massacre compilations.  I understand this is a demo, but it really is too short.  I really like Jason’s vocals on this much more than what he did with Iron Age, which wasn’t bad either.  I just prefer cleaner vocals in general and that’s what you get with this demo.  It’s primarily mid-paced, but flows well.

I believe the 2-song cassette demo will be available in July 2012, not sure about the full 5-track CD.  If you’re into that classic Metal Blade sound, you’ll want to pick this up when it’s released.  A bit derivative?  Probably, but what isn’t these days?  It’s worth the listen for sure.

You can listen to 2 of the tracks here.


  1. Preface
  2. The New Faith (Wulfhere’s Prayer)
  3. The Summoner’s Pit
  4. A Slave To The Night
  5. Bloodstone Ring

cassette cover

Written by The Metal Files

June 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm