Posts Tagged ‘Shawn Pelata’

Vicious Rumors – Razorback Killers

Since losing vocalist extraordinaire Carl Albert in 1995, Vicious Rumors has attempted to carry on with no less than four other singers: Brian O’Conner (on 1998’s Cyber Christ), Morgan Thorn (for 2001’s Sadistic Symphony), James Rivera (of Helstar for Warball in 2006) & Ronnie Stixx (who toured with the band but never recorded). At one […]

Chastain – For Those Who Dare (reissue)

The band Chastain, home to virtuoso guitarist and label owner David T. Chastain, and female vocal goddess Leather Leone, was one of the most grossly overlooked, underappreciated heavy metal bands of the 1980s. Combining US power metal along the lines of Sanctuary and Metal Church with a neo-classical flair, they released five albums by 1990, […]

Stratovarius – Elysium

Stratovarius is iconic within the power metal scene. Having released their first album, Fright Night, 22 years ago, they have been a near-constant presence releasing 13 studio albums, a live album and no less than five (5) compliations in that time. Founding guitarist Timo Tolkki left in 2008 after a good amount of dramatic press. […]

Jag Panzer – The Scourge of the Light

Jag Panzer certainly need no introduction to heavy metal fans. Stalwarts of American Heavy Metal for going on 30 years now, Jag Panzer has never failed to deliver epic heavy metal to its awaiting fans; flying under the mainstream radar (due largely, no doubt, to the 10 year gap between its first and second albums), […]

When Day Descends – s/t

Progressive metal has taken on many new side streets over the last several years. No longer does the tag necessarily mean a band trying to recreate/reinterpret Rush‘s or Dream Theater‘s music. These days, bands like Opeth, Bigelf, and even Katatonia and Enslaved get included even within the outer fringes of the genre. Opeth in particular […]

OSI – Office of Strategic Influence (reissue)

Ex-Dream Theater keyboardist reunited in 2003 with his old drummer Mike Portnoy (who himself is also ex-Dream Theater now) as well as Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos to form a project called OSI. Many who felt that Moore’s influence was something Dream Theater were sorely lacking after his departure were elated as this reunion of […]

Demontuary – Of The Fallen Years

For a brief period in the late 1990’s, Texas black metal band Of The Fallen set about terrorizing the territory. Along with Bloodstorm, Demonic Christ and Darkmoon, they helped make up what was becoming a deeply rooted USBM scene. Guitarist Scythe (aka Steve Perez), drummer Scott Palmer, vocalist/keyboardist Crom (aka Jon Quick) and bassist Ogre […]

Ritual – The Ancient Tome

For heavy metal music, the 1980’s was a time when anything was possible. Bands from all corners of the world aimed for the target that bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Tesla and Dokken seemed to have hit, hoping for rock star success. Had the internet been a factor in those days, I’m sure we would […]

Colossus – Drunk on Blood

You gotta love a band who writes songs about killing zombies and transforming into bloodthirsty monsters. Especially when it’s combined with NWOBHM influences and nimble musicianship. Such the case with Raleigh, NC’s Colossus. Abandoning their punk rock aspirations, these five young men fully embraced their love of all things Heavy Metal with the EP release […]

Natu Sabverata – Existing To Ensure Your Destruction

Ever wonder why, with all the bands out there paying tribute to NWOBHM greatness, there were seemingly no bands paying equal respects to Floridian, Satanic, 90s-era death metal? Have I got a band for you! Most of what passes for death metal these days, from newer bands anyway, comes off as core-infused, double-kick infested, cacophonous […]

Ratt – Infestation

In the 11 years since Ratt‘s last (and quite poor) album, the band has had several up’s and down’s. Lead singer Steven Pearcy has been in and out with Jizzy Pearl taking his seat in his absence(s), a few guitarists have attempted to take Robbin Crosby’s place (may he rest in peace) including ex-Motley Crue […]

Helstar – Rising From The Grave

Helstar is one of those bands that should have been much bigger than they were. Whatever the reason, they just never seemed to rise above club Metal status. This particular crumbling of the cookie never hindered the band from putting out what are arguably absolute classics in the realm of American power metal. I am […]

Pretty Maids – Pandemonium

Denmark’s Pretty Maids have spent the better part of 30 years putting out their brand of melodic heavy metal music. Always striking a balance between barn-burning metal aggression and near-AOR catchiness, the band has been arguably one of the more consistent bands in our beloved scene. Never quite achieving the success of contemporaries like Def […]

The State of Double-kick Drumming?

First off, I don’t have anything against double-kick drumming in and of itself. If I did, I don’t think I could be a metal fan in general. But I digress… is it me, or do a lot of metal bands seem to be relying on intense, near-constant double-kick drumming over the last few years to somehow seem heavier or more intense? Everyone from modern power metal bands to deathcore bands to newer so-called traditional heavy metal bands. The drumming is just so over the top.

Ocean, The – Heliocentric

For over half a decade now, Germany’s The Ocean has been churching out some of the most forward thinking, textured, aurally massive sounds in metal. Following the path of the truly progressive, each of The Ocean‘s successive releases finds the band adding more layers, more tangible space and more shifting dynamics. Having had nearly 40 […]

Fates Warning – Parallels (Reissue)

The latest Fates Warning album to be given the reissue/deluxe treatment is 1991’s Parallels. At the time, it was lauded as Fates‘ “commercial” release and certainly cuts like “Eye To Eye” and “Point Of View” (which both received extensive MTV airplay) were examples of more streamlined material from this prog metal band. Listening now, 19 […]

Hotz, Jimmy – Beyond The Crystal Sea

A 30th Anniversary Special Edition with bonus tracks of an album I’ve never heard of. If you’re going to be obscure, it doesn’t get much more obscure than Christian prog rock. The only other band of this kind I had ever heard of (not counting Neal Morse) is Arkangel, but even that I’ve never actually […]

Interview with Hirax

Katon W. DePena is an intense individual. As the driving force behind one of Thrash Metal’s most tenacious and long-standing bands Hirax, he lives and breathes Heavy Metal music and culture. Aggressively DIY, he has taken Hirax to places other bands can only dream of going. Their latest album El Rostro De La Muerte is yet another scorcher in the Hirax catalog and the band plays to it’s loyal fans every single chance it gets. I had the privilege of a few minutes of his time recently and here is what he had to say.

Bison B.C. – Dark Ages

Canada’s Bison B.C. return with their second full-length for Metal Blade Records and, after a few spins, the band members seem to have outdone themselves. This record carries everything up a notch… the Doomy atmospheres, the stomping Stoner grooves, the intricate arrangements and the impressive musicianship. There is no holding back, no simplifying, no softening […]

Sinbreed – When World’s Collide

Power Metal, when done right, can get the blood flowing like no other genre. The double-kick tempos, the soaring vocals, the shredding guitars… all work together to get your head banging and horns flying. Sinbreed, with When World’s Collide, do just that. Something else about Power Metal is that, as fans who know the genre […]

Hirax – Noise Chaos War

For 20+ years now, Katon De Pena’s band of merry mayhem makers Hirax has graced (or scarred) the Metal world with their own brand of venomous, adrenaline-driven thrash metal. Punk attitude, metal spirit and raw aggression have been this band’s mantra since the release of 1985’s Raging Violence. On offer here are three of Hirax‘s […]

Blatant Disarray – Everyone Dies Alone

There have been a lot of thrash metal records to come out over the last few years. Some good, some bad, like anything else of course. While a lot of what I’ve heard draws from the crossover, “zombies and beer” type thrash, I haven’t noticed as many new bands playing more in the Testament, Megadeth […]

Secondskin – Captive Audience

We seem to be heading into a new era of progressive metal. No longer does the tag exclusively mean bands on the coattails of Dream Theater or Fates Warning. Prog-metal over the last few years has gotten more, well, progressive. Seemingly no longer satisfied with simply blending Iron Maiden and Rush, this new generation of […]

Interview with Armored Saint

Ten years is a long time. Ten “band years” is an eternity when you’re talking about no new album, no tours, etc. Not that the members of Armored Saint haven’t kept busy. Bassist Joey Vera has become a vital part of Fates Warning as well as popping up in session positions for the likes of OSI, Chroma Key, Seven Witches and Anthrax. Singer John Bush was unceremoniously ousted from Anthrax in 2004, only to rejoin the band on stage in 2009 (his status with the band is currently up in the air). But, this isn’t about any of those bands…this is about Armored Saint. The name alone just screams Heavy Metal. The band’s last studio album, 2000’s Revelation (which was their first since 1991’s Symbol Of Salvation) was a fantastic piece of work. La Raza only continues to cement the band’s reputation as world class American Heavy Metal. I’ll let Joey Vera take it from here…

Audiovision – Focus

Vocalist Christian Rivel (real name Christian Liljegren) has made quite a mark in the last 16 years. As a founding member of Narnia (7 albums), Divinefire (4 albums), Wisdom Call (1 album), Modest Attraction (2 albums) and Flagship (1 album)―not to mention his label Rivel Records―he’s racked up quite a discography. Yet another band/project fronted […]