Pierce County authorities say they’ve busted a three-county marijuana-growing operation they believe was led by a Puyallup man who once played bass in a local heavy metal band.
Investigators recently raided a number of homes, businesses and storage units allegedly tied to the operation, finding guns, homemade explosives, drugs and manufacturing equipment, court records show.
They also confiscated a number of assets owned by Stephen Wesley Ungerbuehler, including a boat, a truck, two cars, a motor home, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and 20 guitars.
Investigators say Ungerbuehler, 41, led the operation from May 2008 until his arrest Monday and used two businesses in Spanaway and Thurston County to sell marijuana.
Prosecutors charged him Wednesday with leading organized crime, unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance and money laundering. Pleas of not guilty were entered on his behalf.
He’s being held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Ungerbuehler was known as Steve Unger when he played bass for Metal Church from 2004 to 2009. The group, which formed in 1980 under the name Shrapnel, disbanded last year.
Ungerbuehler’s attorney, Jay Berneburg, said his client “adamantly denies” the allegations against him. Berneburg said Ungerbuehler is a professional musician who travels and has earned his money legitimately through record sales, concerts and other contracts.
“This is another case of the war on drugs run amok,” Berneburg said.
Prosecutors also have charged three others – Barry Louis Goodwin, Zachary James Saiz and Jason Blaine Christopherson. The men were arraigned Wednesday on charges of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Court documents provide the following information:
Drug-unit deputies were tipped several months ago that Ungerbuehler was operating or financing several marijuana grow operations in homes in Pierce, Thurston and Lewis counties.
They set up surveillance of the homes, storage units and businesses allegedly tied to the operation, including The Detail Shop in Thurston County and Kamel Toe Bar and Grill in Spanaway. Investigators also used a GPS device to track Ungerbuehler’s activities.
Deputies learned Ungerbuehler operated or set up marijuana grow operations for five people. Two of them later told investigators they had been having money trouble, so they agreed to go into business with Ungerbuehler, court records show.
Goodwin, 41, and Saiz, 25, are corporate officers of The Detail Shop. Investigators allege Ungerbuehler provided them with marijuana to sell at the business.
Investigators recently served a search warrant on Goodwin’s and Saiz’s home in Olympia and found 10 pounds of drying marijuana, scales and packaged marijuana ready to be sold, court records show. Three marijuana plants were in the backyard and a cargo trailer – registered to Ungerbuehler and parked on the property – contained 76 knee-high marijuana plants.
At a Spanaway home, investigators located a gun, a half pound of marijuana and a room set up to grow the drug. A woman who lives at the home told deputies she let Ungerbuehler set up a marijuana grow operation in her house. The woman has not been charged in the case.
“He taught her how to tend it, and then he would harvest it and give her money,” charging documents state. “She felt that he wasn’t giving her enough money, so she had him remove the grow.”
Investigators searched a Lewis County home and found rooms in the basement had been set up for a grow operation. The power had been diverted to the basement, and venting and electrical equipment for a large operation was still in place. They found no marijuana.
The tracking device on Ungerbuehler showed he visited the home on a regular basis, court records show, and detectives determined he had been paying rent on the house for about two years.
Deputies searched a second home in Olympia and found more than 100 recently harvested marijuana plants. Christopherson, 25, lived at the home and told investigators he helped Goodwin and Saiz harvest the plants, according to court records.
Investigators recently served warrants at storage units associated with Ungerbuehler.
At one in Rochester, they found homemade explosives “as dangerous as a half stick of dynamite” and equipment for grow operations. Deputies also confiscated seven handguns, nine rifles and six shotguns, court records show.
Deputies who arrested Ungerbuehler at his Puyallup home allegedly found $1,700 cash on him, a gun under his mattress and a small amount of marijuana.
In addition to a number of vehicles, they seized $4,000 cash and assorted electronics worth $10,000, court documents state.
The Sheriff’s Department checked Ungerbuehler’s income record with the Washington State Employment Security Department. The agency said Ungerbuehler reported no wages from the first quarter of 2006 until the first quarter of 2010. The IRS reported that Ungerbuehler had not filed an income tax statement from his business since 1997, according to charging documents.
Joe Stump is one of the most accomplished and revered names in neo-classical shred and metal guitar circles. From his work as a gifted solo artist to handling fret scorching duties for Magic Circle Music recording artists HolyHell, Joe has long since established himself at the forefront of today’s top guitar players. Metal-Rules.com recently caught up with Joe to discuss his latest touring activities, his new custom signature "Demonwing" guitar, his thoughts on the untimely passing of the legendary Ronnie James Dio, the return of Reign of Terror and his plans for future recording activities and instructional DVD releases. Those unfamiliar with this six-string ninja are encouraged to pick up his latest career spanning retrospective "The Essential Shred Guitar Collection"out now on Magic Circle Music.
It’s no secret that North America’s most metal city is festooned with amazing talent be it the technical death vehemence of Cryptopsy or the bruising deathcore pioneers in Despised Icon, the city is getting rocked off its foundations on a daily basis. Underground heroes Beneath The Massacre are no strangers to the world of heavy. Churning out a decidedly brutal mix of neck-snapping hardcore and blast beat-soaked chaos, brothers Christopher and Dennis Bradley (guitar and bass) tub thumper Justin Rouselle and glass-packed larynx crusher Elliot Desgagnes have been slaughtering the masses since 2004. With Maree Noir (Prosthetic), the boys have sharpened their songwriting craft into a laser-like lance meant to shed blood with maximum efficiency. Metal-rules.com recently caught up with affable frontman Desgagnes to discuss Beneath The Massacre’s ravaging sound, the kindness of the Montreal community and what it’s like jamming next to a blues bar famous for smoked meat.
If that’s not fucking metal, I really don’t know anything anymore…
Sonisphere festival landed for the second time in Finland. Even though Sonisphere was once again the biggest metal event here with over 60 000 visitors, it made more headlines for other reasons other than it’s brilliant artists. A huge storm hit the festival area and winds ripped apart one of the main stage’s support scaffolding and sent it flying into the crowd. Altogether around 40 people were injured, with three requiring hospitalization. The accident delayed the concert for a few hours and all scheduled performances on the second stage were cancelled. Iggy Pop managed to play a short acoustic set on the main stage but Motley Crue was forced to cancel its entirely show because bands instruments were completely destroyed by the storm.
We released the first song from our upcoming album “THE CLANS WILL RISE AGAIN” via youtube. HAMMER OF THE SCOTS is the official album version … the photo gallery is done the last days during the video shoot for another song from the album call HIGHLAND FAREWELL. It was a great experience to shoot a video about a scottish topic in the UK. The video people were so nice and productive that we are sure That this video will be killer … nothing more to say … in around 14 days you will see the result !!!
Have fun with this song and stay tune for the 1st of October …. Another legendary Grave Digger record will find its way to the stores.
HAIL OF BULLETS launch first song of upcoming new album ‘On Divine Winds’ exclusively on MySpace!
Dutch Death Metal Masters HAIL OF BULLETS have launched the first song of their upcoming new album
‘On Divine Winds’ exclusively on MySpace. Surf to the bands site (http://www.myspace.com/hailoffuckenbullets)
to check out the album opener Operation Z!Drummer Ed Warby comments on Operation Z:“On December 7th of 1941 Japan
launched Operation Z, a bold surprise attack on the United States which came as such a shock that Roosevelt referred to it as “a date which will live in infamy”. It is no coincidence then that we chose to cover this event in the crushing opening track
of our upcoming album “On Divine Winds”. Experience the carnage as hundreds of planes descend from the sky to bring death and
destruction, and revel in the aural massacre we unleash upon your ears and necks! Banzai!”
Comments singer Martin van Drunen on the concept of ‘On Divine Winds’: “This time Hail of Bullets takes on the Pacific War. The expansion of the Empire of Japan throughout Asia, introducing a full scale war using all forces combined. The massive strike back of the Americans, whose marines bravely fought many tough and bloody battles on now forgotten insulate islands spread throughout the whole Pacific. This led to desperate Japanese defense tactics such as Kamikaze, human bullets
and suicidal Banzai charges. Until finally, incendiary bombings brought the empire to its knees.”
The album title ‘On Divine Winds’ refers to the translation for the Japanese word Kamikaze, as kami stands for “God” and kaze means “wind”.
‘On Divine Winds’ track listing:
1. The Eve Of Battle
2. Operation Z
3. The Mukden Incident
4. Strategy Of Attrition
5. Full Scale War
7. On Coral Shores
8. Unsung Heroes
9. Tokyo Napalm Holocaust
10. Sugar Loaf Hill (bonus track on ltd. 1st Digibook edition!)
12. To Bear The Unbearable
‘On Divine Winds’ was produced by Ed Warby and like before the monstrous mix was in the capable hands of Mr Dan Swanö.
‘On Divine Winds’ features 12 tracks on the limited first Digibook edtion and 11 tracks
on the regular jewelcase version.
The album will be released October 8/11 via Metal Blade Records in Europe as a limited digibook (including a bonus track and a bonus-DVD) and as a limited gatefold 2-LP!http://www.hailofbullets.com
The original Rigor Mortis lineup “Re-Animates” once again in September for 4 shows around Texas. This will be our first shows since we played at the “Keep It True Fest” in Germany back in April 2009 and our first shows in the USA since we played at Ozzfest back in August 2008. The show dates are listed below…
Sept 10 at Trees in Dallas
Sept 11 at The Warsaw in Houston
Sept 12 at Dirty Dog Bar in Austin
Sept 17 at Joe’s Garage Tribute Weekend 2 at The Rail Club in Ft. Worth
Metal legends Iron Maiden released their 15th studio album “The Final Frontier” on August 16/17 and reached new heights by attaining the No. 1 sales chart position in several countries including Canada and the UK. Trax like “The Final Frontier”, “The Talisman”, “Isle of Avalon” display why Maiden remains Metal’s leading act.
While they were in Montreal in July, LoudTrax.com had the great pleasure of doing video interviews with Maiden’s legendary manager Rod Smallwood and guitarist Janick Gers.
Both interviews were done moments before they took the stage and prior to the release of the Final Frontier album. The interviews were done for the metal news site Bravewords.com and were originally posted in their “Brave Videos” section.
HOLY GRAIL’S “CRISIS IN UTOPIA” CONFIRMED FOR OCTOBER 26TH RELEASE; ALBUM COVER ARTWORK REVEALED
SUPPORT DATES ON EXODUS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR CONTINUE
CRISIS IN UTOPIA, the debut album from Los Angeles’ rising star metal quintet Holy Grail has now been confirmed for an October 26th release date via Prosthetic Records. CRISIS IN UTOPIA is produced by acclaimed producer/remixer/musician Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle) and features cover artwork by Andrei Bouzikov (Skeletonwitch, Municipal Waste). To pre-order CRISIS IN UTOIA, please click here <http://store.prostheticrecords.com> . Please click here <http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4219857/HGfinalcover.jpg> to download the album cover. Holy Grail is currently on the road in supporting Exodus (please see below for tour dates).
Assembled a year ago, Holy Grail is already at the forefront of the new wave of metal that pays homage to such legends as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Dio. The band’s debut EP IMPROPER BURIAL (released in late 2009), featuring just two original tracks and two covers, has earned Holy Grail significant press accolades including a 2-page feature in hometown paper LA Weekly, a spot on Decibel’s “25 Most Anticipated Releases Of 2010” list and inclusion on Metal Hammer’s “Guide To The Best In The Upcoming New Wave Of Trad Metal.” Holy Grail was also recognized with a nomination for the Metal Hammer’s Golden God Awards this year in the “Best New Band’ category – quite an honor since they haven’t even released a full-length album yet! With monster vocals, not one, but two guitar virtuosos and a thundering rhythm section, Holy Grail’s sound is at once classic, yet contemporary, encompassing the best of traditional metal with a youthful spirit.
Holy Grail supporting Exodus:
25 Montreal, QC Foufounes Electriques
26 Quebec City, QC Capital Du Metal
27 Worcester, MA The Palladium
28 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
29 Philadelphia, PA Polaris
31 Springfield, VA JAXX
1 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s
2 Louisville, KY Phoenix Hill Tavern
3 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
4 Orlando, FL The Social
5 Fort Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
7 Dallas, TX The Door
8 Austin, TX Emo’s
10 Tucson, AZ The Rock
11 Santa Ana, CA Galaxy Concert Theatre
12 Santa Clara, CA The Avalon
13 Sparks, NV New Oasis
15th September is the release date of new NON OPUS DEI album “Eternal Circle”. Sixth effort of this band originating from Olsztyn, Poland is 30-minut extreme black metal punch in the face. Ten songs filled with anger, passion and electrifying atmosphere. “Eternal Circle” will be releases by Witching Hour Productions as special digipack edition with 40-page hand-sewn booklet presenting visual aspects of the album. One of the graphic elements of booklet will be absinthe wormwood – due to its magical attributes. “Eternal Circle” will also be releases as exclusive 12” transparent vinyl with special insert, limited to 500 units. Whole artwork and design was created by known artist Bartek Rogalewicz (HELLYWOOD.net)
Special website presenting whole visual concept will appear soon. Meanwhile you can check second song from “Eternal Circle” entitled “Woda Dla Umarłych” – Non Opus Dei is also shooting video to this song which is available from now on at www.witchinghour.pl and www.myspace.com/nonopusdeipoland.
Recording session started in Bat Studio in Olsztyn where drums were recorded under supervision of Szymon Czech (Nyia, Third Degree) who produced the whole album. Later the band moved to his private studio to record guitar tracks. They finished work at Studio X recording bass and vocals, and returned to Szymon’s studio for mix and mastering. Album was entitled “Eternal Circle” and will hit the stores on 15th September 2010.
OCEANO vocalist, Adam Warren will be lending his formidable talents to Utah’s CHELSEA GRIN over the course of their upcoming Canadian tour. Warren will be stepping in for CHELSEA GRIN vocalist Alex Koehler, who is currently recovering from a jaw fracture. When asked to fill in, Warren could not resist the chance to help out one of his favorite bands and get them through a tough spot:
“I’m very excited to help out the CG guys on their next tour in Canada. The second I got the call, I was instantly into the idea — especially considering i became good friends with Blind Witness on the over the limit tour. I also am a fan and have supported CG and Atilla since they first came on the scene so it will be fun to finally get the chance to hang with everyone. Personally this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Catch OCEANO vocalist, Adam Warren front CHELSEA GRIN on these Canadian dates:
September 03rd Montreal, QC – Tulipe
September 04th Drummondville, QV – Pub La Brassee
September 05th Chicoutimi, QC – Bar Le Bunker
September 06th Lachute, QC – Theatre Des Petits Bonheurs
September 09th Hamilton, ON – Club Absinthe
September 10th London, ON – Rum Runners
September 11th Windsor, ON – The Chubby Pickle
September 12th St. Catharines, ON – Level 3 Nightclub
September 13th Toronto, ON – Sneak Dee’s
September 14th Ottawa, ON – Mavericks
September 15th Quebec City, QC – Dagobert Read the rest of this entry »
BLACK METAL IS RISING VI – Saturday, October 16th at 1:30pm at the Glaz’art (PARIS)
ENTER THE VOID! After much hesitation and procrastination due partly to the coldness of the rooms, to the difficulty of extracting from the Parisian soil something that is not completely spoiled before even being born and the BM stage collapsing on itself, crippled on its archetypes, the Black Metal Is Rising rises from its ashes for its sixth service, which will be held on October 16th 2010 at the Glaz’art in front of you and your only sorry sake, onanists goats and inverted shepherdesses.
A cult band formed in 1996, the Swedish Ofermod honours us with their first visit to France for a show which promises to be both sulphurous, mystical and bestial. Elusive paragons from a scene too quickly described as “orthodox”, Ofermod escapes labels, offering apostasystique hymns both powerful and wicked, partly inspired by the Gnostic theories and decrepit dark energy from a Mayhem period of “De Mysteriis”, enhanced with lethal gold of a more modern approach. Worship It!
DARKENED NOCTURN SLAUGHTERCULT http://www.myspace.com/dnsofficial
Also their first visit to France for the Germanic horde that scours the battlefields of Europe since 1997! Led by the incredible harpy and frontwoman Onielar, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult offers a destructive true black metal in the purest tradition, influenced as much by Enthroned and Immortal as by the German scene in general, known for his total lack of tolerance towards abject mankind! Do not expect any breathing: the music of DNS is a black, compact block, full of supersonic riffs and deadly atmospheres … Panzer metal!
BLEEDING FIST http://www.myspace.com/bleedingfist
Slovenian combo recently signed by U.S. label Moribund Rec, Bleeding Fist brings to its sixth office its necessary part of pure brutality. Inspired by the true black as well as the leucorrhoea harmonics of Beherit or Sarcofago’s proto black metal, Bleeding Fist is known for its deviant and barbaric shows. 666 bullets in the face of God!
Group initially formed by Snow and Noktu, Mortifera acquires itself a live line-up to haunt our minds with its spectral and purebred black metal, both depressive and capable of causing anger epiphanies.
The French revelation of the year! Christicide will simply crush everything in its path with its ultra-hateful black metal, vomit in the face of God as if every day was the last … and every day is …
Nyseius has earned a solid reputation with only one demo and a few too rare live appearances … bolstered by an album landed by ATMF, Nyseius intends to properly represent its compositions on stage packed with Nordic influences. At the same time melodic, technical, but without parting from this darkness by an eclipse that places them alongside an early Setherial or a Deathspell.
Omega of the beginning.
The French horde Osculum Infame has chosen this sixth edition for its reunion gig. Cult band from the 1990s, known for its album “Dor-Nu-Fauglith”, epitome of French BM steeped in Nordic influences, Osculum Infame promises a smashing comeback, with a new line-up and new songs.
The Finnish of Totalselfhatred have also chosen the BMIR to open their European tour. Officiating in a black metal of “depressed” obedience, the band, however, does not forget power, complexity and melody. It will defend on stage a debut album unanimously hailed by critics, also worthy to note that this will be their only show in France.
25€ at the door.
NORDIC BLACK MASS
NORDIC BLACK MASS “UNHOLY BLACK METAL CELEBRATION“ – Friday October 29th 2010 at 6pm at the KORIGAN (Luynes)
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre present, for all fans of Norwegian black metal and the others, the first NORDIC BLACK MASS Festival in the South East of France. We are pleased to join to this occult celebration the French AORLHAC (3rd album recently released by Those Opposed Records) and DARKENHOLD (1st album ready to appear). Two very promising bands in a Scandinavian BM and personal niche.
Extreme metal at its very best, plain and simple, is what the Atlanta based quintet DAATH delivers. The group’s highly anticipated third full-length release is going to be self-titled and is set for an Oct. 26th North American release. The disc is a face melting masterpiece that was co-produced by the renowned Mark Lewis (Trivium, Devildriver) and Eyal Levi (guitars).
Metal Mark from Skulls N Bones recently spent some time in the studio with the band and compiled a video series documenting the recording process, so click on the link below now to check out the fourth installment featuring guitar tracking sessions.http://www.skullsnbones.com/video/daath-studio-report-emil
Emil Werstler (guitars) states: “I’ve been listening to the final master of this record for a couple of days now. It is hard to believe that the task has been in process since March. In retrospect, I will say that more sacrifice was put into this record than anything I’ve ever been involved in. The content is EXTREMELY dark, distraught, and completely honest. The timing is appropriate as well considering how lacking music has been in the creative department for the last year or two. I’m not hinting that we are going to become some pop culture phenomenon. We have no interest in that. As long as someone completely hates it, loves it or is moved in anyway be it positive or negative, our job is done. We have no interest in middle ground. You would have to be deaf to not hear that.”
Sean Z. (vocals) further states: “This album will definitely be the most real thing this band has put out to date. It’s on a level everyone can relate to. The lyrics have taken a brand new direction and the music compliments the insanity creating a fucking masterpiece of a way different kind.”
Currently the group is more determined, energized, and focused than ever before and is continuing to expand upon their unique, uncompromising and dynamic sound. For those previously uninitiated, feel free to head over to www.myspace.com/daath to see what they are all about.
Christofer Johnsson, the creative mastermind behind Sweden’s genre-defying THERION, has issued the following statement about session/touring vocalist Snowy Shaw:
“We are very happy to announce that Snowy has rejoined THERION. We welcomed him back with open arms, and we will now be making a mix between the new show we had planned and the last one which involved Snowy. We think the merger between the two concepts will be incredible, and we look forward to taking the band’s live performance to the next level.”
In May 2009, Johnsson announced that vocalist Thomas Vikström (ex-CANDLEMASS) had official permanent member status. Johnsson recently recruited Christian Vidal (ex-The Road Vultures, ex-Cuero) from Argentina as the band’s new guitarist, who had his live debut with THERION on June 4, 2010 in Mexico City. Comprising THERION’s new rhythm section are Johan Koleberg (Animal, Zan Clan, Lion’s Share) on drums and Nalle “Grizzly” Påhlsson (Treat, Zan Clan, Vindictiv) on bass, who is currently on leave.
The artwork to the new THERION album, Sitra Ahra, is posted on the band’s homepage & MySpace page. Mixed by Lennart Östlund (Led Zeppelin, ABBA) at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, Sitra Ahra will be available in North America on October 26th.
The track listing is as follows:
01. Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
07. Cu Chulain
08. Kali Yoga III
09. The Shells Are Open
11. After The Inquisition: Children
View THERION tour dates here (Mozilla Firefox browser).
Amorphis bassist Niclas Etelavuori has provided an ear shattering bass
track for a song on the new Hexfire album! The recording session took
place in Finland.
Jacob Liszko says: “Having a guest bass track on our album from such a
legendary bassist is a real honor for us! We’re so proud. I do like
Niclas’ style and what he has done with the song. The bass track is
amazing. It’s so powerful, melodic and sounds very metal! That is what
we needed exactly. I must say a big THANK YOU to you, Niclas! You’re a
As previously reported, the other session & guest musicians on the new
Hexfire album are Jonno Lodge (Biomechanical, ex- Paul Di’Anno), Alex
Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire, Avantasia), Diego ‘Grom’ Meraviglia
(formerly Ancient, Doomsword), Kasper Gram (Manticora), Martin Arendal
(Manticora, Wuthering Heights), Kristian Larsen (Manticora) and
Kel’Thuz (Spiritual Demise, Kelthuzzar, Sorcerer).
For more info visit: www.myspace.com/hexfireofficial