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Interview ex-Armoros guitarist Jed Simon
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen
Canada has always been known for its strong metal scene, in the last few decades at least. As for the 80s Canadian speed and thrash metal scene, who among us wouldn´t be familiar with Voi-Vod, Sacrifice, Slaughter, Infernäl Mäjesty, Razor, Exciter, DBC, Annihilator and so many other names that paved the way during the 80s for many other younger Canadian metal bands to come. Then there were also some speed/thrash metal bands that possessed an incredible amount of potential in them to make it happen for themselves some day, but unfortunately ´Mr. Fortune´ doesn´t treat everyone in an equal way.
From Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, came a young and hopeful speed/thrash metal act in the mid 80s that managed to get their name on many of the lips of the people who had just gotten involved with the tape trading scene a little bit back in those days. That particular band was called Armoros, that recorded two highly popular demos, RESURRECDEAD in 1987 and REMEMBER MICHELLE in 1988 in particular that both got Armoros´ name stamped firmly on the international ground of metal. Soon the band´s potential was noticed around the world and a deal with Ever Rat Records was signed. PIECES, which was supposed to be the title of Armoros´ debut album (and undoubtedly would have become one of the landmark releases of Canadian thrash metal), was never released back then because the label went bankrupt and unfortunately meant a death blow for the band as well.
Now however, after 20 years of impatient waiting, PIECES has finally been released as a part of 3-CD box set that contains all the essential recordings from Armoros. Thanks to the Brazilian Marquee Records for understanding the importance of this band, and getting this absolutely fine gem of Canadian thrash metal released in 2008.
After ordering a copy of PIECE BY PIECE from Marquee Records directly, I got this idea to contact Jed Simon (on guitar in Armoros, but also plays/has played in such bands as SYL, Zimmers Hole, Tenet, etc.), and ask whether he would be keen on telling about those times with his first band Armoros, some 20 years ago. Told him also that we used to be penpals during the 80s, writing letters to each other and stuff. Quite funny yet strange he still somehow remembered me… Someone´s got an elephant´s memory, I guess. ;o)
But read yourself what he had to say about those days when he was still thrashing the grounds together with Armoros.
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From Hell’s Heart: April 2009
"Giving Up The Ghost"
In most cases, no one likes to run down another’s hard work. Whether or not someone “likes” what a musician has laid down is entirely subjective and varies from person to person, but a critic’s job is to defragment and spout with some intelligence just why an artist’s bread and butter is, well, dried up and moldy.
Which brings us to the topic du jour: “Giving Up The Ghost.” Once a band has passed its’ “best before” date, like a carton of rancid milk or that take-out food that got pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten, it should be disposed of to avoid exposing innocents to its foul appearance and acrid reek. Sadly, most musicians’ devote their lives to their art and once the commercial well has dried up, they are left with no means of supporting themselves once the days of being mobbed by fans and dating strippers has passed. Others fail to realize—or admit—their own popularity decline and carry on as if the glory days still exist.
Such is the subject of the resurrected “From Hell’s Heart” column here at Metal-Rules.com.
Hammer Battalion North Tour
12/3 – 2009
Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Guitar Gangster 2009 Cadillac Blood Scandinavian Tour
Fars and Frosta Sparbank Arena
7/3 – 2009
Reviewed and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
FME – Finnish Metal Expo / Helsinki Metal Meeting
Cable Factory, Helsinki, Finland
The 12 –13 th of February 2009
FME – Finnish Metal Expo has become a serious metal event and a gathering place for the metal community. The purpose of the whole event is to gather all the important and influential persons, labels and managers involved in the rock/metal business to meet each other and above all have a relaxed feeling and enjoy the atmosphere with colleagues, beer, and tasteful food. Several famous faces could be witnessed from the music business and of course a lot of metal fans having a chance to take pics with their idols. Several instrument clinics played an important role at the Expo when for example George Kollias from Nile demonstrated his drumming talent.
Even though the previous events have been completely sold out and were an utter success, the fifth expo wasn’t sold out even though 6000 people visited during two days. However, here is a brief article covering a few bands and in general the feeling of the Expo. It is truly impossible to check out each band in action because of the normal schmoozing with personal contacts and other important persons.
Bruce Kulick will always be best known for his long career as lead guitarist for rock icons KISS. Bruce replaced his short lived predecessor Mark. St John in 1984 and during the next twelve years he did several tours with them and recorded six studio albums including: ASYLUM, CRAZY NIGHTS, HOT IN THE SHADE, REVENGE and CARNIVAL OF SOULS. When KISS surprisingly decided to re-unite the original line up in 1996 it meant that Bruce’s (and Eric Singer’s) days were then over with KISS. Bruce then formed a brand new band called UNION with former Mötley Crue/Scream vocalist John Corabi. The band released two highly acclaimed studio albums UNION in 1998 and then BLUE ROOM in 2000 before they slowly disbanded. Bruce created another project in 1999 with John, bassist Karl Kochran and his former KISS colleague Eric Singer. The project was simply called ESP (Eric Singer Project) and that line up released the covers only album called LOST AND SPACED later the same year. In 2001 Bruce decided to join legendary American band Grand Funk Railroad and has been touring with them since then. Bruce’s first solo album AUDIODOG was also released in 2001 and it included Brent Fitz (UNION) playing drums on the whole album. The second solo album TRANSFORMER was released in 2003 and it included again Brent Fitz and John Corabi doing some vocals. At the moment Bruce is working hard on his third solo album which will be titled BK3. He’s also involved with a new project called Monster Circus. Grand Funk Railroad is doing another tour in the summer and in addition to all that Bruce is appearing at a great number of KISS EXPO’s and guitar clinics all around the world. Bruce was kind enough to give some time to us after returning home from the highly successful ESP European tour.
INTERVIEW AND LIVE PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen
Transcription by David Groves
The Austrian Blackish death metal squad, Belphegor, recently visited Finland together with the Swedish death metal legends, Unleashed, and newcomers with more familiar faces in their ranks, Devian. Before the Austrian four-piece hit the stage to unleash Bondage Goat Zombie, I had an opportunity of having a chat with the band’s mastermind, Helmuth, and the bassist, Serpenth. Belphegor’s latest studio opus, BONDAGE GOAT ZOMBIE, presents brutally deadly metal, but at the moment, the whole band has started working on the follow-up.
Emergency Gates, Eluveitie, Caliban
The 23rd of February 2009
Tavastia Club Helsinki Finland
Pics and article by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
Attending to gigs on a Monday is kind of a painful task for metal bangers after the heavy alcohol consumed and filled-up weekend. As witnessed before at the Destruction gig, a little bit over 100 old school thrash metal worshipers crawled in to check out one of the German thrash legends, which was quite embarrasing. When another one of the three German thrash legends conquered the soil of Finland with three support acts, presumably 450 people entered to witness these enemies of god in the “horde of chaos” at the Tavastia club. Well it wasn’t that horrible of a turn-out, but it could have been better. As to these opening bands, each of them represented a different metal genre as there was metalcore to folk/forest whatever metal? The combination was quite weird as well as interesting, but several old school metal maniacs arrived at the venue before Kreator arranged the real run amok run in the pit.
From Hell To Texas Europe Tour
19/2 – 2009
Reviewed by and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Backyard Babies – headline
Live In Scandinavia Tour
Bullet – support act
11/2 – 2009
Reviewed by and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Be sure to remember the name Supercharger because these 5 guys are the next big musical export from Denmark. When the band stopped by Malmoe in support of Mustasch I took the opportunity to get an interview with lead singer Mikkel Neperus. Here is an in-depth and close-up personal interview with Supercharger.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Transcript by: Ulrika Henriksson
Live pictures from the archives of: Anders Sandvall
Band promo pictures by: Agnete
JENS LUDWIG and DIRK SAUER
Interview and Live Pics by HannTu
10th January 2009
The lovable scamps in Edguy are like kids in a junkyard when they go up onstage, and I had the opportunity to speak face to face to not one, but two of these rogues. They certainly blow the myth of the German sense of humour right out of the water! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freak show…Jens ‘No-Nonsense’ Ludwig and Dirk ‘Whiskey’ Sauer!
Canadian thrash legends´ return
An interview with vocalist & guitarist Rob Urbinati
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen
The Canadian (thrash) metal scene used to be one of the most interesting and strongest back in the day, especially during the ´80s. Many of us could name at least a half dozen of metal bands out from that country that made a great impression on us in the ´80s (Exciter, Razor, Annihilator, Voivod, Infernäl Mäjesty, Dead Brain Cells, etc. – actually it´s this easy) by churning out many great albums to their roster that are considered as the true classics of the genre these days.
Then, the new millenium 2000 brought us many comebacks of once defunct thrash acts – some of their comebacks being somewhat well-grounded while some others not that much. If there´s one particular thrash band that could be said to be worth coming back, it´s definitely the legendary Canadian thrash warriors called Sacrifice who released such fine tour-de-forces of thrash, like the TORMENT IN FIRE and FORWARD TO TERMINATION albums during that golden decade of thrash metal.
Sacrifice have currently been working hard on their 5th studio album, titled THE ONES I CONDEMN, at Rouge Valley Studio here in Toronto, together with engineer Darius Szczepaniak – and if Rob´s own words about the album are anything to go by, expect no less than Sacrifice´s return to the basics of thrash. As Rob himself has promised, the album´s gonna be fast, heavy and devastating – and it´s gonna sound like it´s been done by a real band instead of some computer-program-fixed band.
I contacted Rob recently and and asked him to reveal some more details about the new Sacrifice album – amongst other things, via this email conversation that Rob was kind enough to do with me for Metal-Rules.com. What is certain, THE ONES I CONDEMN won´t let leave thrash fans cold – just believe me! ;o)
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