The Metal Files

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Archive for March 2013

Eternal Champion – The Last King of Pictdom

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ec warriorI’m going to do a little self-promotion here and let you faithful few readers know about my new band, Eternal Champion.   Old school epic American metal featuring members of Venomous Maximous, Iron Age and me on bass.

You can check us out at our Facebook page or check out the vids below.



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March 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Satan – Siege Mentality

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Court In The Act is one of the best of the NWOBHM albums ever made.  Satan has a new album coming out with the Court lineup in tact called Life Sentence which comes out May 21, 2013 in the states.

Here’s the first released track fr the record.  Maybe a bit overdone to sound like Court, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

Written by The Metal Files

March 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Posted in 2013, nwobhm, satan

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Ignitor Mix Tape ’85 Review

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Mixtape_85_BS_cover-300My history with Ignitor isn’t that deep as I only picked up on them when Jason McMaster joined the band in 2009ish.  That doesn’t detract from the Erika Tandy era at all, I just went backwards with their discography.  Ignitor is quality metal, no matter which era you’re listening to.

Ignitor’s latest offering is a download only album of classic covers.  It’s a great mix of classic metal covering some of my favorites bands.

McMaster was made to cover all of these bands giving them his unique vocal flair and Ignitor in general stayed pretty true to these songs without taking any real liberties in the music.  The Stuart “Batlord” solos are all pretty incredible and the opening solo to Into the Coven gave me chills when I first heard it.  He completely nailed the tone.  While I admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Exodus’ Bonded By Blood or Exciter’s Violence and Force, these covers are well done.  I’m especially impressed with their version of Anthrax’s Deathrider.  Fistful of Metal often gets overlooked in Anthrax conversations.  The cover of Highway Star has the proper intro like Deep Purple’s original and the heaviness of Metal Church’s version.   I’m also a huge fan of Witching Hour.  And you gotta love that album cover!

You can stream the album here and I recommend that you buy it from iTunes or Amazon ASAP!  Both are under $8!

Quality metal covers from a quality metal band.

“DEATHRIDER” – Anthrax
“FAST AS A SHARK” – Accept
“INTO THE COVEN” – Mercyful Fate
“HIGHWAY STAR” – Deep Purple

Yes Concert Review, Austin TX 3/20/2013

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March 20, 1964. That’s my middle brother’s birthday. He died just over a year ago but he was a huge Yes fan and subsequently I became one. Yes played the Moody Theater at ACL Live last night and it would have been his 49th birthday. He especially loved Fragile and Close to the Edge and both of those albums are very special to me.

When I saw it announced that Yes was going to play The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One in their entirety, I had to go. Especially since it was going to be at the fantastic Moody Theater. It’s my favorite venue in town.

I typically buy 2 tickets to most shows that I want to see, one for me and one to sell to a friend or to offer as a special gift. My friend Chuck is a huge Yes fan and a phenomenal bassist and he was the first I thought of when I scored front row center balcony seats. That’s my favorite spot in the theater. It was Chuck’s first time there and he liked it a lot.

The show started slightly after 8PM and they opened the show with the Close to the Edge album. I hadn’t yet seen/heard the new singer, Jon Davison. Now let me drop back and say that I’ve seen Yes twice before with Jon Anderson…one in 1998 with The Alan Parson Project(!!!) and again in 2000 with Kansas. That show in 1998 was incredible while the 2000 show left me pretty bored.

But last night I was not bored. They came out and nailed it for the most part. The new singer left me not really even noticing or even missing Anderson. Davison has the pipes and he sounded incredible. The band went right into Going for the One, and album of their that I love. I’ll admit that my 3 faves are Drama, Tormato and Going for the One. After getting through GftO, they took a 20 minute intermission.

The closed the set out with The Yes Album. It was great.

I’ll admit to getting a little verklempt during the song Close to the Edge. Memories of my brother flushed through me hard. During several songs throughout the set I got chills, mainly because of the awesomeness of the songs…mainly And You and I and Wondrous Stories.

Sound-wise, I thought the keyboards were a little overbearing and the bass was a little low in the mix. Even though it was a phenomenal show and probably the last time I’ll ever see them, they weren’t perfect. Compared to the previous shows I’ve seen, they’ve collectively lost a step. While Steve Howe is one of my favorite players, he’s always had a bit of a choppy style. Last night he was missing some notes and it even sounded like he missed his cue in a few solos. However, vocally he still sounded great. His acoustic piece, Clap, was pretty awesome. Chris Squire seemed spot on and his vocals were great, too. Finally, Alan White. He wasn’t playing with the power that I had seen before, but he is 63 and still touring, so there’s that. And again, Jon Davison’s vocals were stellar. That dude can flat out sing.

The encore was Roundabout (see below).

If they do end up touring again, I’d certainly go. Glad I got to see them again, for sure.

Written by The Metal Files

March 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Eric Clapton and The Wallflowers Concert Review, Austin TX 3/17/2013

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It was the tail end of SxSW 2013 and my ass was worn the hell out.  Come show day I really didn’t want to go as I was just so damned tired and sore from the previous week’s festivities.  Not to mention that I had trouble finding someone to go with me.  Fortunately my friend Leah was in town and was able to accompany me.

Historically, I’ve always been a moderate Clapton fan.  Cream and Blind Faith had some great songs and I like some of his solo and Derek and the Dominos songs.  His 80s/90s ballads/MTV Unplugged stuff totally turned me off, though.  Some of his 80s pop stuff was fantastic like Forever Man, It’s In The Way That You Use It, Rock and Roll Heart, She’s Waiting, Pretending etc.  Lots of good stuff.  Oddly enough, I never really paid attention to his guitar playing.  Sure I know he’s considered a legend and a great blues player, but I just never noticed anything beyond taking in his songs as the whole and not in its parts.  Add to the fact that in general I’m not much of a blues fan.

Last night changed my perception of him a bit.  Watching him play his riffs and solos was pretty mind-blowing.  The dude is almost 70 and still can play like a bad ass.  Even the slow blues stuff he played, primarily with no pick, was pretty impressive to watch.  His voice is still strong too.  Am I going out and buying his back catalog?  Absolutely not.  I have the songs I need from him, but I do have a new appreciation for his playing.  The setlist pretty much left out his 80s pop stuff altogether which was a bit disappointing, but it was enjoyable.  Jimmy Vaughn came out and did a song.  The one thing that made the night more special for me was that he had Paul Carrack on keyboards.  Who is Paul Carrack?  You may not know his name but you’ve certainly heard some of his music.  I was pretty excited to see that Tempted (Squeeze) and How Long? (Ace) were on the setlist.  They sounded great.  Of course the rest of the band was killer, especially Steve Jordan on drums.

The Wallflowers opened the show and I was a-ok with that.  Bringing Down the Horse is a fantastic album and last night’s show had 4 songs from that album.  They sounded great in general and I’d been wanting to see them for quite a while.

Unfortunately I have no pictures to share.  We had decent seats but my camera sucks.  However, I will be uploading Tempted and How Long? to YouTube later this week.

Glad I went.  I’m seeing YES later this week.  Rock on!

SxSW 2013 Recap

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Whew…It almost seemed like SxSW would not end for me this year.  This is the first year since 2009 that I didn’t live downtown but was still able to have free downtown parking access in my old apartment building thanks for my friend that still lives there.  I did have to be a bit sneaky about it and not be seen by the building mgmt.

Everything started for me Tuesday night after getting home from Houston with seeing my good friends Ancient VVisdom playing at The Jr (the old Emo’s inside stage).  From there I bounced over to Beerland to the “Sammi Curr  Trick x Treatwest” metalfest and caught The Blood Royale, Mutilation Rites, Gyspyhawk and Venomous Maximus.  Next up was seeing Broken Teeth.  Again, Jason McMaster is one of the best frontmen in rock.  No question. Final stop was on the Headhunters patio to see a few songs by Amplified Heat.

I got back to downtown on Wednesday around 2PM.  I was a little hungover from the night before, but was doing alright.  Lots of water, an early beer for the hair of the dog.  First band on tap was Vattnet Viskar, who were pretty unmemorable.  Royal Thunder was up next and to be honest, it was shit.  Enough said.  Pallbearer was up next and they were great as always.  I headed over to the Austin Convention Center to see the short film “Black Metal”.  It pissed me off.  It should up on YouTube gain soon, so please look for it and let me know your reaction.  Kat Candler can kiss my ass.  After the movie, I bounced around town through the 1000s of people.  Popping in and out of clubs and not really hearing much of anything I cared about.  I ended up at Texas Rockfest to see my friends from Ventura, CA called New Liberty.  They’re good kids and put on a good rock show.  The rest of that evening was spent just milling around until about midnight, then I went home.  I as still a little tired from the night before.

Are we there yet?  Got downtown around 10:30AM and was ready to rock out.  I grabbed a quick meal with my friends working at Chupacabra before the masses muddled in and headed back to Texas Rockfest to catch San Antonio’s Immortal Guardian at 12:50PM.  They were really good.  Total power metal and they do it pretty well.  Nice guys, too.   Later in the day, I returned to catch some of the band Hessler.  Let’s face facts, if the band didn’t have a scantily clad “hot” singer (not hot to me), no one would give a flying fuck about this band.  Other than the guitarist’s semi-rare Killer (brand) guitar, there were no redeeming qualities about this band.  NONE!  Didn’t really do much throughout that day but mill around.  That night I caught some songs by D-A-D.  I’ve never been a fan and I’m still not, but they played a solid set.  I finished the night out at Headhunters again and caught some songs by Suplecs.  They’re always a blast.  I was home by 1:30AM and worn out.  Lots of walking that day.

I’m feeling my age a little bit now.  Feet, legs and back starting to hurt, not to mention getting sunburned pretty well the day before.  I got back into town around 11AM and milled around until Brooklyn Vegan’s day party at The Jr.  First up was Vancouver, BC’s Baptists.  Holy shit.  They instantly became my favorite band of the whole week.  They were a crossover-ish hardcore band with a cool style about them.  Their drummer was fan-fucking-tastic.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch any of their other shows.  Look them up if you’re into that sort of thing.  Batillus (NY) came next and they were quite good.  Their bassist looked like a young Paul Di’Anno.  Next up was Richmond, VA’s Inter Arma.  They were also new to me but blew me away.  Damn fine stuff.  I skipped Royal Thunder and KEN Mode because I think they both suck, but also to go and charge my phone at my friend’s apartment.  I cam back a little later to catch Pallbearer again.  I missed Today is the Day.  The rest of the afternoon was spent pissing off, hanging with friends and just killing time until the night shows.  That eveing, my friend Pablo and I went to Bat Bar to see my friend Adriana for a quick drink.  Apparently it was a big hip hop party sponsored by WILL RAP 4 FOOD.  We went to the upstairs bar where my friend worked and apparently that was the VIP section.  We just walked right by the security guard who was stopping other people and making them wait in line.  We just acted like we were supposed to be there and no one said anything.  We had a lot of funny looks while up there as we were pretty much the only 2 white guys in the club.  After that I headed back to The Jr to catch sets by Cuba’s Agonizer and Ancestor.  It was decent thrash and black metal.  Attomica finished the night out there.  They’re a Brazilian band that formed the same year that Sepultura did.  They were ok (only 2 original members).  Ran into Immortal Guardian playing a set in the street too.  Good fun!

Worn out.  Tired.  Sore.  First plan of the day was to meet Hawkwind’s Nik Turner at End of an Ear Records at 3PM.  What a cool dude.  A legend!  Unfortunately I missed his show the night before.  After that I headed back downtown to fall into the madness again.  The order of the evening included great sets by Inter Arma, Howl and Power Trip.  Afterwards I ended up at Headhunters again to see The Evaporators featuring Andrew WK on keyboards.  Always a fun show.  Nardwuar is hilarious and The Evaporators are pretty much the happiest band on earth.  I’m pretty sure Nardwuar can be considered the original hipster, but in a good way.  In the street I saw Immortal Guardian…again!  On the way back to my car I went to Stubbs to catch up with my friend Leah.  Unfortunately Vampire Weekend was played.  COMPLETE SHIT.  It was about 1:30 and my body told me to go home…so I did.

Overall it was a great SxSW.  I didn’t get to see Prince like I had hoped (and everyone else hoped they could too!).  Not a lot of bigger metal bands this year.  Can’t wait until 2014!

Hawkwind’s Nik Turner

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While I’m not the biggest Hawkwind fan in the world, their albums Doremi Fasol Latido and Space Ritual are pretty massive records.  This years SxSW music festival brought Nik Turner in town to pay and he performed Space Ritual.  I wasn’t able to make the show but I did see him at the meet and greet the next day at End of An Ear Records.  He was a quite a nice and funny guy.  I had him sign The Book and snapped a few pictures.

Written by The Metal Files

March 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm