Archive for the ‘nwobhm’ Category
Upon waking up Sunday morning, totally parched and tired, Kelz and I got our stuff together and headed South towards Richmond. He was a little slower than me that morning so I drove us to Vienna, VA to stop at Vienna Music Exchange. I had met the owner, Mike, the night before and had been wanting to stop in there for quite some time. After some traffic snags headed down that way, we finally got to the store and I scored some cool stuff.
From there it was down to Richmond to Petey’s and Amy’s house. By that time, I was starting to fade a bit. I didn’t sleep that well and was quite tired by the time we got to Richmond. Petey was ready to party by the time we got there and I succumbed to doing a shot, which helped immensely even though it was tough to get down. After a couple of hours of catching up, we decided to head towards the venue and grab some quick grub at the restaurant next to The Broadberry. Our other friend, Danile, was supposed to come up for this one but unfortunately had to back out.
Upon arrival in the venue, I see Ryan and Felix from BAT. Good dudes. Richmond locals, Humungus, opened the show and musically and vocally I thought they were great. Petey said they had a bit of a Heathen vibe and I don’t disagree. Both the singer and guitarist did great harmony falsetto work and the bassist and drummer held the rhythm down just fine. The only thing I didn’t like about them was their lyrical content. Pretty silly for the some of what I could make out. Shark Castle. Drinkin’ Beer. Solid band overall and I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
BAT was up next and delivered their Venom-esque set flawlessly as they always do. I love watching Felix Griffin play drums as he’s just a mean machine back there. I was getting pretty tired so I sat for part of their set. As I was at the table in the back of the venue, got to hang out with Mr. Ross a bit more. Sorry again, Brian, but no more Jager mixers for me!
I didn’t go up front for Cauldron. I just can’t get into them. As I mentioned in a previous review, their sound is just too thin.
And then…Satan. They had a bigger stage this time and could move around a bit. Since Danile couldn’t make it, Petey drew his face on a plastic cup and we set it at the end of the stage so he could be there in spirit. Satan got a couple of songs in and then Steve blew his head. During the change out, Russ and Sean just did a little Voodoo Child rendition and then it was right back into the set. We got a full set that night as they were shortened by a curfew or anything. Again, they were awesome. The crowd had thinned out a bit as it was a Sunday night but we remained up front for the whole set. Much like the Philly show, I had to get barraged by a person who smelled like hell. This guy smelled like a chicken house. It was fucking gross, especially when he started swinging his dreadlocks around. Luckily he only stayed up for a couple of songs, but goddamn, bathe please.
And just like that, it was over. I could already feel that little bit of sadness coming on. But it was a wonderful weekend overall with 2 of my lifelong closest friends. I couldn’t ask for much more than that.
I called for a Lyft ride to get us back to Petey’s and NWOBHM legend, John Gallagher of Raven, was our fucking driver! I saw him at the show as he’s old chums with the Satan guys. We were totally surprised and happy to have a familiar face take us home. I’ve met John several times and he’s always a gentleman. I think it was a fitting ending to the night.
Back at Petey’s house, we sat up and hatted for a bit longer and finished off his wife’s homemade beef jerky. Delicious! Then off to bed. Kelz had to get up and be on the road to Raleigh by 830, Petey had to work and Amy, Petey’s wife, had an appt, so not much sleeping in time. Amy took me the airport and that was that. Mitchfest over. I had a lengthy layover in Atlanta and my flight got delayed. Part of me was hoping for a cancellation as Satan was in town that night, too. It would have been great to catch a third show, but alas, no luck.
Long live Satan. Hope they come back in 2017. I’m hoping to catch Graeme and Steve in the Slyclad reunion in Germany and will definitely see Brian’s Alice Cooper tribute next fall in Newcastle.
Written by The Metal Files
October 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm
Another road trip? Sure, why not? This fall has been very busy concert-wise. Kelz and I started making plans for seeing Satan on this east coast jaunt several months ago when we first caught wind of the tour. Once I got the dates, Philadelphia and Richmond made the most sense and I booked my trip.
I flew into Raleigh Friday night after work and we left for Philly Saturday morning. It was a fun drive up as expected. Talking trash and eating Utz Red Hot Chips. I can’t find them in Texas and they’re my favorite. We made a quick stop in VA for a pork BBQ sandwich and continued our way north to PA. Delaware has great roads. Best I’ve ever seen.
We finally got to our hotel around 5:30PM or so and for whatever reason our room wasn’t ready? They gave us a different type of room than what we asked for and I didn’t have to spoon up with Kelz, so that was a plus. ha.
I called Lyft to get us over to either Pat’s or Geno’s for a cheesesteak before the show. Our driver couldn’t figure out how to get into the hotel entrance. She was pretty much the worst driver ever. Couldn’t follow the navigation properly, didn’t wear her seatbelt and was generally just an idiot. Once we finally got to the cheesesteak places, lines were around the block so we took the decision to just walk over to the venue, Boot & Saddle, and grab something there. As we turned the corner, Sean and Steve were getting a few things from the trailer and we spoke to them briefly as Graeme showed up. He needed some wine so they went to a liquor store to take care of business. We went inside and grabbed 2 seats at the bar and ordered some food. Perogis and a corn dog it is!
Ran into some friends there and as we were finishing up dinner, Brian Ross from Satan walks by and I said, “Hey Brian, how’s it going?” He was surprised to see us and hung out with us for quite a while. The venue door was open during Horrendous’ set and I didn’t care. We just stayed where we were and hung with Brian and Russ and whoever else came up. Brian was telling us of his favorite drink, equal parts Jagermeister and Fireball, dubbed The Firemeister. It sounded gross but we did a round of them anyhow. It was gross. I hate Jager. I also got a full download on Brian’s Alive Cooper tribute band that he does. He was showing us photos of his stage show. It’s a full on reproduction of Alice’s live show. I’m planning on attending the show in Newcastle in 2017. With only a few songs left of Cauldron, who we also only heard through the venue door from the bar, Brian scooted off to get his make up for the show. As people shuffled out of the gig for drinks or whatever, we shuffled in to secure spots near the stage.
Satan hit the stage and opened with Trial By Fire and Blades of Steel. The small room was packed and the band was slightly cramped on the small stage. Not a lot of room for moving around for a 5pc band. They sounded great as always. Brian’s voice was brilliant. If you have ever seen them live, you know how good they are. Still amazed that a band that has only been rejuvenated in recent years can still bring it about as hard as any newer band. As expected, the set was a good mix of all three of the Ross-era studio albums.
After the show we go back into the bar area and hang out with friends and the Satan guys came right out after to take photos with fans (like us) and sign stuff. A couple more of those gross Firemeisters were had and neither Kelz nor myself were feeling much pain. haha. It was starting to get late and we were both hungry and needed to soak up the buzz a bit, so we got some Chinese food to go from the place next to the venue and got a quick Lyft ride back to the hotel. This guy was a much better driver. Back at the hotel, were were just eating and laughing and having a grand time. Then the fade hit. We needed to get to sleep so we could head south to Richmond for Sunday’s show.
Quite a wonderful night. Met some great people. If there was anything negative to say about the evening it would be that the dude standing in front of me for the Satan set had body odor that smelled like a litter box. That sucked.
Steve Grimmett and company are on tour with their new album Walking in the Shadows. I had just seen them the previous Sunday in Ventura, CA at Frost and Fire II. Apparently they had some gear stolen from them at their hotel which totally sucks but as their song says, “The Show Must Go On,” right?
On my way down to SA, I stopped at Fitzgerald’s to meet Rigor Mortis and have their 3 remaining members sign The Book. Great guys and I’ll be seeing them in Austin soon. Their guitarist, Casey Orr who used to be in GWAR, had some prints of some of his paintings for sale and I picked up a few of those. My pal who sings for the rebooted Syrus also bought me the large Lemmy print. Thanks!
I arrived just as San Antonio locals Byfist were going on. I had seen them before and while I’m not a fan, I’m happy to see them with by pal Stony on bass. Great guy, great bassist and sounded great with them on bass and backing vocals. Killstorm was up next and didn’t do anything for me.
By the time Grim Reaper hit the stage, there may have been 50 people there at best. They had just played in SA in April so maybe that had something to do with the low attendance. Didn’t matter, I was there and wanted to see them again.
They played the same set from Frost and Fire and it was solid. The band is tight and Steve’s voice sounds great. I picked up the new CD after the show and had the guys sign it. When I got to Steve, he gave me a hug and thanked me for coming down to see them again. Good dude. Go see the tour if you can.
What a week this has been. So many shows. I’m worn out but invigorated, especially after seeing my favorite band of all time, Iron Maiden.
When Maiden announced their North American tour some months back, no Texas dates were listed. Bummer. The closest show was Tulsa, but who wants to go to Tulsa? ha. Honestly I looked into the Tulsa show long after tickets had gone on sale, but nothing was available in a spot I’d want to see the show. So I looked into Denver. Oddly they still had plenty of GA floor tickets available as well as some decent seats on the side at the Pepsi Center. I chose the seats, booked an insanely super cheap flight/car/hotel and the plan was set. Maiden in Denver 2016.
As mentioned in a previous post, Night Demon and Visigoth had been staying with me and after their show in Austin on Tuesday night, I just stayed awake through the night as my flight out to Denver was scheduled to take off at 6AM. I hadn’t had much sleep all week and I was certainly starting to feel it by the time I boarded the plane. I couldn’t really fall asleep so I watched Charles Bronson’s Deathwish. Upon arrival at the Denver airport and getting my car, I headed into town. It was still really early so I found a cool little breakfast spot and chilled there for a little while. I went to the hotel around 10AM and my room wasn’t ready yet, so I just asked them to wake me up when it was ready. I dozed off on the lobby couch until 11 and they woke me up and got me checked in. I went straight to bed and got about 4 hours more. I really needed it.
After showering and getting dressed, I called for a Lyft ride to a restaurant near the Pepsi Center and had a good meal prior to walking to the venue. Austin pals Mike and Erik who came on the same flight had pit tickets and got in line early to be near the front. Once in the venue I went to the merch booth and got a tour shirt. Maiden’s shirts aren’t that great and they didn’t have a Denver specific shirt like they normally do in Vegas, LA, NYC and Texas.
Raven Age was the opener. The band features Steve Harris’ son, George, on guitar. I didn’t like their music at all but his son is a fine guitarist and the drummer was a bad ass. Musically it was uninspired hard rock that would sell well to the Hot Topic crowd. Several in the crowd seemed to like it but I found it hard to stay awake. After their set, I went back out to the outer hallway to just get some air and to people watch for a bit before Maiden took the stage.
Then through the PA comes UFO’s Doctor Doctor. My energy level instantly shot up and I made it back to my seat. The show wasn’t sold out and I had a spare seat on either side of me, so no one was crowded in our row.
Then the lights go down and a short video runs, then there’s Bruce standing in a white robe at the back of the stage and started singing, “Here is the soul of man, here in this place for the taking…”. He sang the whole intro to If Eternity Should Fail and the band kicked in with flames rising high from the stage. They sounded great! Bruce’s voice was on. They followed up with Speed of Light which Adrian seemed to have forgotten his intro part, so the band started without him and he just caught up. They were all smiles on stage and it was great seeing them be human. After the song Bruce teased him a little bit and H just laughed it off. Next up was Children of the Damned. Bruce introduced it with something like, “This one came out before most of you were born.” The crowd went crazy since it was the first of the classics to be played that night. Their setlist hasn’t varied a bit on this tour, so I know what to expect next which was Tears of a Clown, a tribute to Robin Williams. The Red and the Black followed and it along with the other songs from the new album all sounded great live.
Then came…The Trooper. I really can’t stand that song anymore but since they named their beer the same, it will never leave the setlist. Unfortunate. I sat through it.
Up next was Powerslave. Yes! Very glad to see that on the list again. So many memories from that album and flashes of listening to Live After Death as a kid ran through my head the whole time. It was awesome.
Two more new songs and then Hallowed Be Thy Name was up. Sweet. So good. Unfortunately Fear of the Dark was up next. I saw through that one as well and was subjected to the crowd singing along. So painful. That song sucks. Iron Maiden rounded out their main set and they blazed through it.
For the encore, they did Number of the Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years. It was a sweet finale and I wish there was more.
Being in Denver, I expected Bruce to make a few statements and he did. “How many people here aren’t high tonight?” “What made the Mayan civilization disappear? Maybe they smoked too much weed?”
Overall the show was awesome. I wish they could have had a drum cam vid showing Nicko the whole show. Adrian and Dave’s solos were great and they still seem to enjoy what they do. Steve and Bruce did their thing, running around the stage full of energy. But I will still continue to bitch about Jannick Gers. What a fucking buffoon. He’s not even playing half the time, just running around the stage doing stupid fucking guitar tricks. When he did do a solo, it sounded the same as his others. No substance. Fuck that guy.
After the show I took a ride to 3 Kings Tavern for a couple of beers. I didn’t drink at the show. I ran into a fellow Austinite there and hung out for a bit, After that I went back to the hotel where the bar had about 15 folks from all over who came in from the show…Wisconsin, San Francisco, Virginia, LA, Jamaica. One of the guys caught a pick from Adrian and it said “Chapter One” which leads me to believe that there may be second US leg later this year. It was fun hanging out with them for a bit but the over the top Maiden nerdness started wearing thin and I needed sleep.
My flight out wasn’t until 9PM so I had the day to do some stuff around Denver. I had lunch with Gwen, a former coworker, they went up into the hills to the Buffalo Bill museum. Even the altitude there started to get to me a little. The grave site and museum were cool, though, and the scenery around lookout mountain was gorgeous. From there I popped into a record store. Didn’t find anything I needed. I then headed out east passed the Denver airport just to see the plains a bit. Pretty out there.
Finally turned my rental car in, shuttled to the airport, ate a nice dinner and had a couple of beers. It was a great trip. I watched Rumble Fish on the way home and got back to my house finally around midnight Central Time. I was wiped out.
UP THE IRONS!
This album rolls hard from beginning to end and proves once again that the guitar duo of Steve Ramsey and Russ Tippins is damn near untouchable. Brian Ross’ vocals are on point and his patented high wails are ever prominent in all the right places. After their Richmond, VA show in 2013, my friend asked Brian how he’s maintained his voice so well since “Court In the Act”. Brian simply replied with, “It’s my job.” And he still does it well.
“Atom By Atom” features 10 tracks and one thing I’ve noticed is that this album seems a bit darker lyrically than their last album and even “Court In the Act”.
Let’s go track by track:
- Farewell Evolution – The album opens with Brian’s falsetto, and lyrically tackles the lack of critical thinking in modern society.
- Fallen Saviour – “Some still believed that he’d return to save them”. I think you can figure out the rest of the sentiment here. I love the guitar solos in this one.
- Ruination – This is one of my favorites on the album so far. The combination of the riffs and rhythm section matched with Ross’ descending vocal pattern just makes for a clean song.
- The Devil’s Infantry – Sean Taylor and Graeme English open this one with a marching pattern. Lyrically what you’d think based on the title. It all works so perfectly. The breakdown/transition mid-song is killer.
- Atom By Atom – The opening riff on this gives me chills. “Out to get you, atom by atom.” You can hear Russ’ distinctive vocals in that part and it just sounds wonderful. The solos are both crushing as well.
- In Contempt – What Satan album would be complete with a song dealing with judgement? No worries here. You got it and shan’t be disappointed!
- My Own God – Brian lays it out in this one with, “I am my own God, I made myself, broke the mold, life is what I make it, I will not be told.”
- Ahriman – Lyrically dealing with Zoroastrianism, of which I am not too familiar. Great song though. Love the backing vocals in the chorus.
- Bound In Enmity – This is a total fist pumper. Riffs and licks for days.
- The Fall of Persephone – Final track on the record. A bit of a slow roller and took a few extra listens to warm up to completely. English has some great bass licks that really stand out. This one clocks in at almost 7 minutes and has several parts. The dueling guitar solos are perfect.
I really cannot praise this album enough. It’s everything I expected and more and I can’t wait to get a physical copy in my hands and especially can’t wait to catch them live again. If I could give only one critical opinion about this album, it would be in the drum production, mainly the snare. On much of the album it’s just a bit too bright but really doesn’t detract from Sean’s solid playing or from the album itself.
Long live Satan and thanks to Listenable Records for letting me review this!
As far as NWOBHM goes, much of it is hit and miss for me. Raven was always the miss. I could never really put a finger exactly what but I think it started with their look and the lyrics. It was just a bit too goofy for me. I had seen them live previously in 2000 and was able to have lunch with the Gallagher brothers and their families that day as we shared a common close friend. That was a great day and those guys are really fun to hang out with.
I ran into John again earlier this year when I was in Richmond, VA for the Satan show there. Always polite. Flash forward 14 years and Raven is doing a 2 month long tour across the USA with my pals in Night Demon (Ventura, CA). I had met those guys in Chicago earlier this year when Eternal Champion played the Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalyspe. I had known the drummer for a couple of years prior from his other band that used to come through Austin on the regular. Great guys. I was excited that they were coming to town and offered up my house for them to stay after the show.
The night before the show I was downtown in my favorite bar and there was a couple sitting next to me. The guy was wearing a venom shirt so I struck up conversation. They were from Chile. Victor spoke perfect English but Javiera didn’t really speak any. I speak Spanish pretty well so we all had a nice talk. She had won a VIP contest to ACL, all expense paid. Pretty cool. Neither of them really cared for much of the music at the fest but weren’t going to turn down a free trip. I asked him if he liked Raven and he said, “Hell yes! One of my favorites!” I let him know about the show the next night and they were excited.
On to the show. Sweat Lodge opened and I’m just not into the hippie stoner rock stuff that much. I guess they’re good at what they do, I’m just not into it. Night Demon comes on and blaze through their set efficiently. Their brand up upbeat NWOBHM inspired metal went over well with the crowd that was there. They especially got everyone’s ear by playing a cover of Road Racin’ by Riot. Riot is a big deal in Texas and it was only coincidence that Night Demon played it. The metal faithfuls loved it. They gained a lot of new fans that night.
Raven comes on and the crowd loved it. There were about 10-15 people right up front who all first saw Raven and Metallica in 1983 in Austin and this show was a bit of a reunion for them. That was pretty cool to see all of them right up front singing every word. As stated above, I’m not into Raven but they are energetic live and John can still hit the high notes pretty well.
Written by The Metal Files
October 28, 2014 at 6:49 am
We mess around Austin for a little bit before heading back to the house to rest up for Tuesday night’s show with Satan in San Antonio at The Korova. We got there a little before Satan showed up and helped them load their personals from the van to Korova’s green room. They looked pretty good after playing Houston the night before. They recognized us from the Richmond show earlier in the year. Satan was being backlined on this tour by the venue and/or the opening acts. Seemed that there were a few compatibility issues with guitar heads to the effects that Ramsey/Tippins used but those quickly got fixed with the arrival of a couple of Marshall amps.
Austin based Firestarter ’82 opened the show and I stuck around for their set as their bassist is a good pal of mine. She did a fine job as always. Local thrashers, Aggravator, played next but we missed them as we were having a couple of drinks next door.
We get back right before Satan hits the stage and as expected, they delivered an awesome set to about 40-45 people. The crowd size was quite unfortunate, especially for a city that often touts itself as the metal capital of the USA. Things change I guess. And it was a Tuesday night…but still. How often are you going to get the chance to see Satan? Satan played flawlessly as expected. They were great when we saw them in Richmond this year and I expected no less this time. They did not disappoint. It really can’t be stated enough how great of a guitar duo Russ Tippins and Steve Ramsey are. Ross’ vocals are stellar, especially for a 61 yr old man who can still belt out the falsetto with no problem. Sean and Graeme held the bottom down as Satan rolled through a mostly similar set to earlier this year with only a few changes. They were awesome and have become one of my favorite live bands. Brian’s not a big talker between songs beyond introducing the next song and I’m fine with that.
It was also great seeing some old pals that I hadn’t seen in a while, namely Rob Doom, Jaime, Mando and of course Rodney who was the show promoter. A new friend, Henri, came in from Holland just to see these shows with Satan and Militia. Pretty cool!
Kelz and I left promptly after the show for the 75 minute drive back to Austin. Of course it was full of conversation about the show and old times.
Written by The Metal Files
October 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm