The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘1986’ Category

September 27, 1986 – RIP Cliff Burton

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Nothing more really needs to be said.

Written by The Metal Files

September 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

Posted in 1986, metallica

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Concert Review – Hirax – Austin, TX – 08/29/09

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It was 1986 and Metal Blade Records was practically the greatest metal label on the scene.  They consistently released hiraxgreat compilations like the Metal Massacre and Best of Metal Blade series.  Best of Metal Blade Volume 1 (1986) included Call Of The Gods by Hirax.  I always loved that song but for no logical reason whatsoever did I never check them out any further.  I also liked Bombs of Death from Metal Massacre 6.  There’s really no explanation as to why I didn’t follow through on these guys, and after last night I feel like I missed out on some additional great metal in the last 23 years.

So about a month or so ago I read in the local show listings that Hirax was coming to Red 7.  Even though I was not even remotely familiar with any of their material beyond the 2 aforementioned songs, I definitely wanted to see this show.  Through the years I’ve always seen Hirax playing the Euro festivals and have read interviews with Katon W. DePena and have always respected his attitude about music.  The guys has proudly been flying the flag of metal since day 1.

So I get to the club a little early to get MM6 and Best of Metal Blade 1 signed as well as my copy of “Headbangers: Worldwide Megabook of Heavy Metal” (Mark Hale, 1993).  I know the club owner pretty well and he let me go in to the green room to meet Katon and the band.  I was looking forward to this for a few reasons.  One to meet Katon, who really is a true metal legend.  The other reason was to meet Glenn Rogers, former guitar player of Deliverance.  I dug those guys back in the day.  When I went into the room, Katon was in there with his lovely wife, his bassist and guitarist Lance and Steve Harrison and some other guy that I didn’t know.  Glenn was out and about with a friend so I would catch up with him later.

Katon invited me over and we talked for a bit just about music and such and Katon asked about my book.  As he’s flipping through it reading about his band and tons of other obscure bands that are listed in the book.  He signed it and my 2 CD covers and said, “Is DRI in here?  The guy beside me if Felix from DRI.”  Felix thought they wouldn’t be in there but I knew they were.  Much to everyone’s pleasure, there was even a picture of band during the era that Felix was in it (85-90).  I hung out for a bit and asked Katon if he ever had any interactions with Billy Milano, which he had.  So I asked if he wanted to walk over to the club that Billy works in to say hello.  We popped over there for a bit and they shook hands and caught up for a few minutes then I took them over to another club so Katon could catch up with an old friend who unfortunately wasn’t there at the time.  Back to Red 7.  It was great seeing the respect this guy was getting from people in the club, some of who came from Houston and I think a few from Mexico to see this show.

I really expected a much larger crowd, especially with this being on a Saturday.  Typically the San Antonio crew would come up for a show like this but I only saw a few folks from that crowd there.  The Sword was playing up the street for the 2nd night in a row and I can’t imagine they stole much of the crowd from this show.  The club booked 4 grindcore bands to open up which I thought was a bad pairing.  I didn’t go in to check out the other bands as I’m not really a fan of the grind stuff in general.  While the grind bands were playing I got to talk to Glenn Rogers who let me know that Deliverance was going to do one more album with the original lineup sans the drummer.

But then it was time for Hirax.  It was already around 1 or 1:10 AM but the crowd had increased.  I’m guessing there were about 90 people in there.  Cover charge was $15.  Well worth it for me.  Hirax kicked in and just kicked ass.  Katon is a great frontman, reminds me a lot of Jason McMaster.  Knows to to work a crowd and keep them interested during guitar tunings and such.

I have to say that I was truly blown away and really felt a bit guilty about not having checked them out deeper.  But there’s no time like the present, right?  Their set was cut short due to time restraints and I must say I was a little let down that Call of the Gods wasn’t on the set at all.  But it didn’t matter, they were great and I hope they make their way back to Austin again.

Setlist as I remember it:

  1. El Dia De Los Muertos
  2. 100,000 Strong
  3. Blind Faith
  4. New Age of Terror
  5. Chaos and Brutality
  6. Hate, Fear and Power
  7. Broken Neck
  8. Bombs of Death
  9. El Diablo Negro
  10. Walk With Death
  11. Mouth Sewn Shut?

I am not so sure about the ones after El Diablo Negro.

Katon W. De Pena (Hirax), fat dude (me), Felix Griffin (DRI)

Purgatory – Tied To The Trax (1986)

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Not sure who I first heard this through and it really doesn’t matter.  I do know that they weren’t my discovery within PurgatoryFmy circle of friends but it was one of those albums that everyone seemed to love.  It was really too bad that they didn’t do a follow-up to this one.  I was happy to finally get a CD copy from Sentinel Steel Records about 15 years ago.

This is 80s speed/thrash metal at its finest.  It’s a great album front to back and was only officially released on CD via SPV/Steamhammer forever and a day ago.  Bill at Auburn Reocrds has said that he wants to re-release it but to date it hasn’t happened.  Auburn Records had a few good bands on it like Shok Paris, Breaker, Purgatory and Black Death.  Pity their bands pretty much wavered around in the underground.

But as I was saying, there’s not a bad song on this album.  The singer, Jeff Hatrix, ended up in Mushroomhead as J.Man I believe.  Shame, the dude had a phenomenal metal voice.

I highly recommend that you download and listen to it…over and over.

DOWNLOAD HERE.

Many Have Tried and Many Have Died…

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Omen never really got their due.  Three brilliant albums and one EP between 84 and 86 and when you hear people talk Omen (US) - Warning Of Dangeabout classic metal, especially when mentioning the early Metal Blade stuff, it seems that so few people talk about them.  It’s a bit of a shame.  It was nice to see that metal Blade did do the Omen box set a few years ago.  The live footage is enjoyable.

Omen had a very unique style and sound, especially in the vocal department.  There was something in the way that JD Kimball could wail…like you could really hear the desperation in his voice.  I remember the first time I heard them.  Daniel had ordered Battle Cry through Metal Blade.  I was blown away by the whole band.  Kelz had made me a  dub tape of Battle Cry and Warning of Danger.  I can still see that tape sitting on the seat of my old Nova.  I believe there was some Metal Church at the end of one of the sides.

But there was something special about Omen but I don’t think it was just any one thing.  The sum of the parts just made them perfect.  The music was great, the vocals were great and overall they had good lyrics.  That was difficult to do back in those days.  Even Be My Wench and Bring Out the Beast are great.

For as much as I love Battle Cry and Warning of Danger, in recent years I find myself listening to the Curse more often than the other 2.  Teeth of the Hydra is one of my favorite songs of all time by any band.

Then 2 years after The Curse they released Escape To Nowhere with Coburn Pharr (Annihilator).  My god what an awful album that was.  I revisited it a few years ago and it still sucked.

All in all, you can’t go wrong with any of the first 3 albums.  I listened to Reopening the Gates when it came out as well…it just didn’t work for me.  Omen was more about JD’s vocals than anything else for me.  RIP.

Written by The Metal Files

August 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

Panther feat. Jeff Scott Soto

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I picked this album up sometime in 1986 or 1987 and I think I got it at Unicorn Records in Portsmouth, VA.   Not Pantherimportant.  What was important is that it had Jeff Scott Soto on vocals.  I was a HUGE fan of his work on Yngwie’s first 2 albums and randomly finding this in a record store was sweet.  I remember looking at the cover thinking, “Damn, they could have found someone a little better looking.”  ha ha.  Even in those days the big hair didn’t do much for me.  Then turning the album over and seeing that Jeff was singing, I had to have it.  I think I got it for $1.

I’ll be straight to the point…this is not a great album but it is good and a little better than average.  JSS’ vocals are great.  To me he’s one of the greatest singers in metal/rock although I haven’t liked everything he’s put out such as Talisman and Takara.  He did sound great with Journey though!  I wish he could have kept that gig.

Anyhoo…Most of the songs on here are mid-paced metal anthems but all-in-all pretty good.  I can still remember listening to the my vinyl copy and I think this digital version retains much of that vinyl tinniness.  Best song would be “Warchild” and the worst is “Panther.”

Enjoy.

  1. First There Was Rock
  2. Desire
  3. Danger
  4. Deliver The Axe
  5. Warchild
  6. Panther

Download.

Written by The Metal Files

July 5, 2009 at 8:13 pm