The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘watchtower’ Category

Meeting Harlan Glenn of Juggernaut 08/04/12

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE TEXAS METAL…but let’s clarify (again)…classic Texas Metal.  Since moving to Austin in 2006 I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of guys from a lot of those classic bands thanks in large part to Jason McMaster (Broken Teeth, Watchtower, Dangerous Toys etc).  Jason’s still one of the hardest working guys in the business and it’s not difficult to catch one of his several bands playing around town.  Last night was one of those nights as I popped into the Red Eyed Fly to see Jason’s Metallica tribute called Killa Maul which only plays the first Metallica album in its entirety.  As a bonus, San Antonio’s Martyrhead was opening up.  They’re a Motorhead tribute which features Bob Catlin (SA Slayer, Juggernaut) and Art Villareal (SA Slayer, Karion).  Definitely some Texas metal legends.  As I was talking to Jason during Martyrhead, he pointed out that the guy in front of us was Harlan Glenn of Juggernaut.  Of course I asked Jason to introduce me and he kindly obliged.

After talking with him for a few minutes, I asked him if he was going to be around for the night as I wanted to run over to my apartment to get my book and Juggernaut CD for a signature.  He said he was there for the night and would sign anything.  I run home and return quickly and we started talking again and he signed the book and the CD.  It was cool hearing stories from the old days in San Antonio with Juggernaut and his life now in Los Angeles.  Quite interesting.  I always liked the album he did with them (Baptism Under Fire) and their song on Metal Massacre VII, In The Blood of Virgins.

It was a nice random meeting and I love it when I am able to get the book signed by someone from the old “underground.”

All photos by David Prewitt/DaveTV (another Austin legend in his own right).

Harlan and a happy dude

Harlan signing the book and CD

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

August 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Karion – Iron Shadows CD/DVD Review

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There’s no secret that Texas had a legendary metal scene in the early-to-late 80s with the likes of Watchtower, Militia, Wyzard, Syrus, SA Slayer, Juggernaut, Sentinel, Obliveon Knight, Assalant, Helstar, Pantera, Rotting Corpse, Gammacide and a ton of others.

Another band that deserves mention and praise from that era is Karion which featured Art Villarreal (SA Slayer), Chris Cronk (Jag Panzer, Fates Waring, Talisphere, SA Slayer), Pete Perez (Riot, Reverend, Spastic Ink) and Frank Ferreira (Helstar).

Starting sometime last year, Art and friend Bob “Dog” Catlin (Juggernaut, SA Slayer) began the process of cleaning up some Karion demos and the result is the 2-disc set entitled Iron Shadows.

Disc 1 contains 6 tracks which I believe are compiled from their 84 and 87 demos, although not all of the songs from the 87 demos are on the CD.  Karion brings that great style of progressive power thrash that was well-known in south central Texas at the time.  Good clean higher ranged vocals, solid guitar riffs and killer solos, great bass work and fine power drumming made this disc a valuable addition to your collection of true 80s metal, especially for the fans of Texas metal.

Disc 2 of a live DVD of a 1986 Karion show filmed from the balcony of the Villa Fontana.  The audio/video quality is much better than I expected and shows that the band had a really good fan base at the time.  Their performance is solid and makes me wish even more that I had lived in the area at the time.

One interesting thing that I found while doing a little extra reading about Karion is that vocalist Chris Cronk recorded 2 different demos with Fates Warning in 86 and 87.  I haven’t listened to them yet but a quick search will lead you to a download of those.

I can’t recommend this set of discs enough.  It’s been kicking my ass for a week now.  I recommend that you pick it up from Rockadrome Records in San Antonio.  Keep it local!

Written by The Metal Files

July 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

Militia – Strength and Honor (2012) Review

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Militia just released an album of all new material a few weeks ago. Yes. Militia. You know, Militia from Austin, Texas that’s been around since forever.

Before moving here I didn’t know who they were although I had heard their singer on the track Dangerous Toy by Watchtower as Mike Soliz was the interim singer between Jason McMaster and Alan Tecchio. It wasn’t until I moved here that I ended up meeting Mike and subsequently the rest of the band as they were doing some reunion shows. The original pressing of their EP The Sybling has fetch a few thousand dollars on eBay. Cult classic to say the least.

I was excited a year or so ago when they decided to start writing for a new album. I love all of the old Militia stuff and the other stuff that Mike has been involved in (Assalant and Oblivion Knight) so I was surely excited to hear some new product.

Strength and Honor is a self-engineered and self-produced record by he boys and because of logistics, Mike also played the drums. I got my copy on Monday and on my drive to Dallas yesterday I gave it several good listens. It’s fantastic. Really. Front to back the album flows well and I think the track order is perfect. Mike’s vocals are still superb. He’s taken good care of it over the years. Mike is also an underrated drummer. I was pleasantly surprised by his drum work on the album. The riffs and solos by Tony and Jesse are really quality and as always, Robert’s bass work is top-notch.

The songs that really stand out for me are Before The Fall, We Need A New Enemy, And The Gods Made War and The Judas Dream.

Now, I only have one complaint and that’s in the production. It’s a bit rough but it’s not un-listenable. To be honest, it almost gives it more of an 80s metal feel to it. The production value doesn’t detract from the quality songwriting, though. This album has it all and I highly recommend it to any who is a fan of 80s underground power thrash. You can get the CD directly from the band HERE.

9.5/10

Thrash to destroy!

Written by The Metal Files

April 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Rick Colaluca of Watchtower SxSW

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sean colaluca

w/Rick Colaluca of Watchtower fame. Not many things could make me happier right now.

Written by The Metal Files

March 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

Posted in 2012, sxsw, watchtower

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Billy White Concert Review, Austin TX 111011

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Last night I was able to see a small and rare performance of Billy “Blanco” White.  You may remember Billy from such bands as Watchtower, Don Dokken and the Billy White Trio.  The guy is such a great guitar player.  He’s been spending much of his time in Mexico in recent years and primarily does flamenco style music now, although he said last night he’s been doing some guest spots on other people’s albums recently.

I first saw Billy play in 1991 and you can read about that here.

Last night performance was pretty cool, albeit a tad uncomfortable.  He played in a small room that was about 20’x40’.  Everyone sat on the floor and we had to remove our shoes prior to entering the building.  Even sitting on a pillow, my back and knees were killing me but it didn’t matter, I was sitting a few feet away from a great musician.  Only about 40 people showed up and it was a great experience.  His playing was awesome.  A mix of flamenco with a tad of fusion thrown in.  He had a violinist and a tabla player sit in for a few songs as well.  It was all pretty cool.

Afterwards I got to speak to him for a few minutes.  He graciously signed The Book and some CDs for me.  It was a fun evening, very relaxing.

Billy White

Written by The Metal Files

November 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Billy White Trio – sistershootingstar

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This is one of Billy’s solo albums after the Watchtower/Dokken days.  It’s long out of print so I thought I’d share it with you.

Download and Enjoy!

Written by The Metal Files

April 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Dangerous Toys Concert Review

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I’ll preface this by saying that I was never a big Dangerous Toys fan, but I am a Jason McMaster fan. His work with Watchtower and broken Teeth is top notch. It is with the Toys as well, but their style of rock wasn’t my thing although I do like their debut. I’ve been living in Austin for 2 years now and I think this is the first local show they’ve played since then. Sold out. $20 a head. Jason offered to put me on the guest list but I passed on it. For my friend’s bands I always like to pay.

The show started with a slide show from photographer Greg Maston whose photo of Randy Rhoads is on the inside cover of Blizzard of Ozz. He ran 100s of shots ranging from Ozzy, early VH, King Diamond, Wendy O, early and late era Pantera and a ton of others.

Then the Toys hit the stage. Jason’s voice was in top shape and the band was great. This line up features Paul Lidel (f. Dirty Looks) on guitar along with original guitarist Scott Dalhover. They were supposed to play here about 5 or 6 months ago but bassist Mike Watson’s diabetes hospitalized him for a while and he couldn’t play. He gave a nice apology last night for being the reason the last Austin show was postponed. The highlights for me were Queen of the Nile, Outlaw, Gunfighter, Scared and Gimme No Lip and Demon Bell (from Shocker). The band was having fun and so was the crowd.

McMaster is one of the best frontmen in rock n roll IMHO.

Great time.

Written by The Metal Files

November 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm