The city of Leeds is one with a very long and fruitful history. It is also a haven for many a great artist or musician, and is home to one of the finest universities in the United Kingdom. A univeristy home to one of the best regarded day festivals: Damnation.
You may be familiar with Vancouver, BC’s TERRIFIER as the band has been setting their scene ablaze sharing the stage with the likes of Havok, Destruction, Exmortus, Anvil, 3 Inches of blood, Holy Grail, Dismembered, Suffocation, Into Eternity, Striker, Ghost Ship Octaivius, Crowbar, Cauldron, Cryptopsy and Battlecross. The thrashers recently signed to TEST YOUR METAL RECORDS and will be releasing their third recording and second album ‘Weapons of Thrash Destruction’, a nine track mosher set for release on January 20, 2017 to follow their 2013 EP ‘Metal or Death’ and 2012 full-length ‘Destroyers of the Faith’.
But before it drops… we at Metal-Rules.com are ready to electrify and bring the mosh pit alive with the exclusive premiere of their first single ‘Reanimator’.
TERRIFIER vocalist Chase Thibodeau had this to say about the track.
“‘Reanimator’ is the second track we wrote for our up and coming album “Weapons of Thrash Destruction”. It’s based on the classic horror movie Re-animator. The song takes the listener further into our evolving sound to give them a bludgeoning assault from the first note to the last.”
David T. Chastain and Leather Leone performed live together for the first time in over 25 years on October 8th at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. This special performance was shot on video along with the CJSS ‘Last Show on Planet Earth 2’ concert.
David says, “We are posting these videos so the fans around the world who couldn’t make the show will have access to them for free and before they get bootlegged. We made sure to include CHASTAIN favorites such as “Ruler of the Wasteland,” “Angel of Mercy” and “For Those Who Dare” as well as CJSS fan favorites “World Gone Mad” and “Metal Forever.” This was just a 4 camera video shoot and the audio is basically a direct off the soundboard mix. Due to a scheduling conflict we were only able to rehearse with Leather one night before the show so there are a few mistakes here and there. However all things considered it is a good portrayal of the show. We just felt it was important to document this event.”
Legendary Canadian thrash/heavy metal masters Annihilator have lacerated many senses over the years with their supreme, aggressive metal mastery, and on January, 27th, 2017, their legion of loyal fans can look forward to a series of fresh sensory experiences as Annihilator proudly present Triple Threat, a three-disc collection of Annihilator’s music in a trio of very different scenarios.
The main disc comprises a set of Annihilator’s classics performed acoustically, with band leader/guitarist/ songwriter and vocalist Jeff Waters bringing together band members Aaron Homma and Rich Hinks, Vancouver BC drummer and friend Marc LaFrance plus Ottawa session player Pat Robillard.
Recorded and mixed by Waters, this quintet recorded everything live, off the floor and in single takes at Watersound Studios in Dunrobin, Canada during late May and early June, 2016, giving Waters one of the most challenging, satisfying and perhaps ‘electric’ creative moments in his career.
The second disc will feature Annihilator’s vicious set from the 2016 Bang Your Head Festival, a set which illustrates the very best of what Annihilator is known for –tight, sharp, technically-excellent and melodic thrash metal music. It will also contain some exclusive inside-Annihilator off-stage perspective, which captures further elements, flavours and detail of the band which fans will flip over.
“This was one of the coolest things I have done in my long career. Having 5 people in a room, from all different backgrounds and talents, coming together to play songs from the past and to try to sound like we are one but totally live and with feel. This was one of the biggest challenges that Annihilator has faced, musically.
Enjoy… we sure love this one.” – Jeff Waters, Annihilator
Triple Threat will be available as DVD/2CDs, Blu-Ray/2CDs, a 2CD audio-only and digital download.
The BluRay and DVD visual content is split in 3 parts:
Chapter I – Annihilator Un-Plugged: The Watersound Studios Sessions (62 mins)
Chapter II – Annihilator Live at the BANG YOUR HEAD Festival (45 mins)
Chapter III – ANNIHILATOR: Summer Mini-Documentary 2016 (50 mins)
Plus Bonus Video Chapters: “Jeff’s Commentary On The Acoustic Songs” and “Jeff Answers Fan Questions”.
“Annihilator really is Canada’s thrash band; kind of an extension of the Big Four. We have Sepultura in the South, we have Annihilator to the North. I love Jeff, I love the band, I love his playing. His compositions are terrific. Annihilator rules.”
David Ellefson, Megadeth
The celebrities will sweep the orange carpet at the 5th ANNUAL ROCK AGAINST MS BENEFIT CONCERT & AWARD SHOW, being held at the historic Los Angeles Theatre in downtown LA, on March 25, 2017. “With this being a pivotal year for the foundation, we wanted to take this year’s show to the next level,” explains Nancy B. Sayle, Founder of the Rock Against MS Foundation, 501(c)3. “This theatre, which was built by Charlie Chaplin in 1931, is gorgeous and we are excited to call it our new home!”
The 5th Annual Rock Against MS will present eight (8) amazing people the Platinum People Award, including a newly added category of Honorary Chair. This year RAMS is privileged to honor and celebrate the life of the world’s most iconic and influential comedian, RICHARD PRYOR. “Richard’s genius wasn’t just making people laugh, he used his comedy as a way to communicate the truth,” explains Pryor’s wife Jennifer Lee Pryor. “More than anyone, Richard could appreciate RAMS’ mission to not remain silent. RAMS uses every means possible to enlighten, inform and educate the public about MS. Telling the truth is their genius too.”
This benefit is going to be a spectacular all-star evening of music and comedy. More details of bands performing and celebrities attending will be released in the coming months. Tickets go on sale February 25, 2017 so mark your calendar now!
This rock-fueled concert is to help raise awareness and funding to help and assist those living with MS. In its finishing stages, the ROCK AGAINST MS FOUNDATION will provide services from a three (3) grant resource system, which will provide daily care, quality of life needs and emergency funding, while assisting people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to live independent and full lives. Additionally, a brick and mortar facility we will call THE ROCK HOUSE is in the planning stages, and will provide—free of charge—multiple programs and opportunities designed to heal the mind, body and spirit of all those whose lives have been affected by MS.
SURVIVOR ‘EYE OF THE TIGER’
SAMMY HAGAR ‘ALL NIGHT LONG’
TYKETTO ‘DON’T COME EASY’
SALTY DOG ‘EVERY DOG HAS IT’S DAY’
KICK AXE ‘VICES’
KICK AXE ‘WELCOME TO THE CLUB’
KICK AXE ‘ROCK THE WORLD’
EIGHT BRAND new releases from Rock Candy Records available right now. Great titles with all the usual Rock Candy trimmings: 24-bit remastering from original source tapes, weighty essay’s about the making of the album, full artist involvement, new interviews, enhanced artwork and additional photos spread out over large full colour booklets. See below for full details about each release.
Los Angeles, CA-based heavy metal band LIGHTNING STRIKES have released a promotional video for the song ‘Death Valley’ off their eponymous debut album due out November 18 via Germany’s PURE LEGEND label, a division of PURE STEEL RECORDS.
‘Death Valley’ is one of two songs featuring legendary vocalist Tony Martin of BLACK SABBATH fame. “We are extremely proud to have Tony on the album”, states LIGHTNING STRIKES founder/drummer, Karpis Maksudian. “Tony and I got acquainted a few years ago through a video project I directed for another band he was involved with. When I asked him if he’d guest on a couple of songs he graciously said yes. Not only did he agree to contribute vocals, he was fully involved in the creative process and wrote lyrics and melodies as well. I think anybody that loves Tony’s work with Sabbath will like ‘Death Valley’, too.”
Originally formed in the mid-80’s, LIGHTNING STRIKES were part the bustling L.A. scene, with a now highly collectable 7” single to their credit, before going their separate ways due to line-up problems. In 2011, Maksudian began to assemble a new version of LIGHTNING STRIKES, featuring bassist Cat Tate (SNEW, RED AGAIN), guitarist Rob Math (LEATHERWOLF, PLAYER), and Brazilian vocalist Nando Fernandes (HANGAR). In addition to Tony Martin, ‘Lightning Strikes’ also features guests contributions from keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, KISS) and Japanese visual kei star Noah (AVANCHICK) on lead vocals.
‘Lightning Strikes’ was mixed by acclaimed producer Roy Z (JUDAS PRIEST, BRUCE DICKINSON, HELLOWEEN) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ANVIL).
‘Lightning Strikes’ can be ordered directly from the Pure Steel online shop at:
“Dandelion”, the brand new video from THE SILVERBLACK – the industrial metal band that features members of Disarmonia Mundi, NeroArgento and Vita Museum among others – can be seen below:
The track is taken from the reworked version of the first self-titled album that has been re-released worldwide the 21sth of September via SLIPTRICK RECORDS alongside an expanded version of the same album featuring previously unreleased bonus material via GO WITH ME RECORDS for the Japanese market.
RHAPSODY: THE 20th ANNIVERSARY REUNION FAREWELL TOUR
Fabio Lione, Luca Turilli, Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers and Alex Holzwarth proudly announce the reunion of the original members of RHAPSODY, and the relevant farewell tour of the band.
The Italian band Rhapsody, one of the greatest icons of Symphonic Power Metal, will gather together to commemorate the 20th Anniversary from their first official release, playing their album “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” in full, as well as other classics of the band. It will be an exciting and emotional event no one should ever miss, as this will be the only and last chance to see the band performing on stage together. The Rhapsody’s 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour will be hosted by Top Link Music.
Since its consecration in 1997 with the album “Legendary Tales”, Rhapsody has become a worldwide awarded band thanks to its unique, epic and orchestral sound. Initially baptized in the “Hollywood Metal” style, because of its movies-related fascination and its characteristic epic soundtrack elements, the Italian band established itself as one of the biggest names in Symphonic Power Metal thanks to their second release “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands”, which soon became a classic of that music genre. Rhapsody’s main influences also include classical composers such as Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven, Paganini and many others (the song “The Wizard’s Last Rhymes” from Rain Of A Thousand Flames, for example, is based on Antonín Dvořák’s “New World Symphony”). These elements made the band clearly unique in the whole heavy metal scene and, thanks to its magic, gathered lots of fans all over the world and inspired many bands, giving birth to a brand new musical wave and genre, that established a real and effective Rhapsody imagery. The 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour will represent a last chance for everyone to feel part of that wonderful magic once again. Luca, Fabio, Patrice, Dominique and Alex will celebrate such important and historical event with and for their amazing fans!
Luca Turilli states: “I am really super excited to be part of this unique and special event together with Fabio and my other friends. The fact of playing legendary songs like ‘Wings Of Destiny’, ‘Beyond The Gates Of Infinity’ and ‘The Dark Tower Of Abyss’, never played on stage before, will be the best way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary and a great reason to meet together for a very last time. This farewell tour represents for me the closing of one important chapter of my music career, as in the future I will dedicate myself to the cinematic music style of my new ‘Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY’ band and to other important projects exclusively. Don’t miss such amazing event. It will be the last time you will be able to see me, Fabio and Alex Holzwarth together on stage playing some Rhapsody songs. We wait for all of you to share some wonderful emotions and live together some memorable nights!”
Fabio Lione continues: “‘Magic’… this is what I always wanted to find in music…
and when I think about this great and unique opportunity to be again on stage with Luca, Holzy, Dominique, Patrice and celebrate with them the 20th Anniversary of the band… well… I can say this is truly ‘magic’! What an emotional moment remembering our great friend Christopher Lee, our stories, our feelings. After many years and things happened, I feel the time is right now… the time to close this important chapter of my artistic life in the best way, with my old friends, and share such ‘magic’ once again. We will celebrate 20 years of band history with all of you, beloved fans, in an unforgettable and glorious ‘last time party’. Be part of it!”
Twenty-sixteen has been a banner year for thrash masters ANTHRAX: the February 2016 release of its critically-acclaimed 11th studio album For All Kings (Megaforce), two collaborations with director Jack Bennett for the grizzly music videos “Blood Eagle Wings” and “Monster At The End,” a “Late Night with Seth Meyers” appearance that paired the band with the iconic Robert De Niro, and sharing stages with bands like Slayer, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Lamb of God, and Avenged Sevenfold.
But the celebrations are not done yet.
In support of Black Friday’s Record Store Day (November 25), Anthrax will release a limited-edition 7-inch single pressed onto lilac and gold spatter vinyl (Megaforce) for the tracks “Monster At The End” and “Vice of the People,” the latter previously released only in Japan as a bonus track and being made available in North America for the first time.
In addition, an acoustic version of the band’s song “Breathing Lightning,” also on the For All Kings track listing, has just gone to radio. The song was performed and recorded at a special in-studio session at El Paso’s rock radio station KLAQ-FM on October 27, the final date of Anthrax’s recent North American tour with fellow Big Four members Slayer.
Anthrax – Joey Belladonna/vocals, Frank Bello/bass, Scott Ian/guitar, Charlie Benante/drums and Jonathan Donais/guitar – will head to New York next month to co-headline (with another Big Four alumni, Megadeth) the 2016 Epiphone Revolver Music Awards on Tuesday, December 13.
As Benante put it, “Anthrax looks forward to blowing the roof off of the Revolver Awards and making metal GREAT again.”
This year, Anthrax celebrates its 35th anniversary as a band with the release of one of the year’s most-anticipated metal/thrash albums, For All Kings, (February 26, Megaforce in North America/Nuclear Blast internationally). The eleven-song crusher that the band’s drummer Charlie Benante has described as “aggressive and super-thrashy,” was written by Benante, bassist Frank Bello and rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, the dynamic triumvirate whose unique composition chemistry is, in part, what sets Anthrax’s music apart from other bands’ in the same genre. Add to that Joey Belladonna’s breathtaking vocals and the searing guitar leads by newest member Jonathan Donais, and it’s no wonder the band has been so excited about its 11th studio album.
For All Kings debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Top 200, becoming Anthrax’s highest-charting album in more than two decades. A first-quarter U.S. tour with Lamb of God consistently resulted in some of the exceptional live reviews Anthrax has received in its career.
Over its 35-year career, Anthrax has been a pioneering band with its unique style, sound and heavy brand of thrash metal, and, as Metallica’s Kirk Hammett put it, “one can hear their influence on any number of up and coming bands.” The band has sold in excess of 10-million units, received multiple Gold and Platinum certifications, six Grammy nominations and a host of other accolades from the media, industry and fans. From the race and genre barriers Anthrax helped break down in 1988 when they collaborated with Public Enemy on “Bring The Noise,” to becoming a card-carrying member of The Big Four – with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth – as one of the four bands that defined the speed/thrash metal genre, to being the first metal band to have its music heard on Mars when NASA played “Got The Time” to wake up the Mars Rover, Anthrax continues to demonstrate it’s just all about the music.
Enuff Z’nuff is the living, breathing example of what a rock/ pop group should be. In fact, the band is the very chrome-glinted definition of it.
With every album and live performance packed to the brim with rock/ pop perfection, there are no signs of the band slowing down. You can catch the band on tour through 2017 in support of its soon to be released album Clowns Lounge. Today the band unveils the first video from Clowns Lounge for the track “Dog On A Bone”. Get a first look at the video HERE.
Clowns Lounge is a collection of rarities and early demos that have been reworked and re-recorded by the band and will be released December 2nd via Frontiers Music Srl. This exceptional collection also features a guest appearance from the late Jani Lane as well as an appearance from James Young of Styx.
As people have been clamoring for a new release from Enuff Z’nuff, the band just happened to receive a call from Derek Shulman, and the rest was history:
“We had unfinished, unreleased material in the vault, and I went back into the studio in Chicago and started working on all the songs. Guitars, bass, vocals, it all needed to be tweaked, and with help from Chicago Recording Company and Chris Steinmetz of Stonecutter recording studios, we were able to create another rock solid record. It is basically an archival record featuring original band and Enuff Z’nuff as it is today. The record showcases the best elements of Enuff Z’nuff in the early days ; in your face glitter rock with pop overtones. This is a true must have rock record for the diehard Enuff Z’nuff fans worldwide.”
Chip on how the songs came about: “Donnie and I wrote the songs in the later part of 1988-89. They were recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on 2″ inch analog tape, during the time of our debut. The tracks were never finished, as we were very prolific and focused on laying down as many ideas as possible. Through the resources provided to us: recording studio, production, etc., we had a plethora of songs during that era and for one reason or another this batch slipped through the cracks. To restore the record we returned to the studio to record guitar, bass vocals, etc. which took us about six weeks in my studio and at CRC (Chicago Recording Company) along with Stonecutter studio in downtown Chicago. The skeleton of the song was already in place and we wanted to make sure the record had the feel of where the band is today. We also added a bonus single track (Dog on a Bone) that we plan on releasing as the first single.”
Of course a huge contributing member to this release was Donnie Vie. “Donnie and I wrote the songs together, as we have on all the Enuff Z’nuff albums. In 2013 Donnie left the band, disillusioned by the business and facing related health issues, and although he will not tour with the band he still shares in our vision of putting out great music. As he is dealing with his medical condition, we have his blessings on the record and moving forward with me as lead singer. When Peter Gabriel left Genesis, Phil Collins took over lead vocal duties. That is exactly the template we used here as now I front the band and look forward to moving it into the future”, says Chip.
Clowns Lounge Track Listing:
1. Dog On A Bone
3. Back In Time
4. She Makes It Harder
5. Rockabye Dreamland
6. The Devil Of Shakespeare (Feat. Jani Lane and James Young)
8. Good Luv
9. Round And Round
11. Backstreet Kids
12. One More Hit
Enuff Z’nuff Lineup:
Chip Z’nuff – Singer, electric bass, guitar
Tony FennelL – Electric guitar, vox
Tory Stoffregen – Lead guitar, vox
Erik Donner – Drums, percussion, vox
Enuff Z’nuff Live:
With Ace Frehley
1/19: Houston, TX @ Scout Bar^
1/20: Corpus Christi, TX @ Brewster Street Ice House^
1/21: Tyler, TX @ Clicks Live^
1/26: Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre^
1/27: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee^
1/29: Agoura Hills, CA @ The Canyon^
1/30: Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up^
2/2: Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl^
2/3: Beverly Hills, CA @ Saban Theatre^
2/10: Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre^
2/11: Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theater^
5/27 & 5/28: Sturbridge, MA @ Music-Con at Sturbridge Hotel (Appearance by Chip)
More Info on Enuff Z’nuff:
It was the summer of 1989, and in came a strutting, loud and proud Enuff Z’nuff. With the release of the band’s self-titled debut album, the first single “New Thing” quickly tore up the radios airwaves, and became a favorite in heavy rotation on MTV.
In response to both its national and international success, the band followed up “New Thing” in 1990 with the release of the bittersweet rock ballad “Fly High Michelle”. The song immediately elevated the band to gold status and in 1991 had Rolling Stone magazine naming Enuff Z’nuff as “one of the more exciting and gifted bands on the scene today.”
Still a major force after 20 albums, Enuff Z’nuff has gone on to earn a legion of loyal fans, and has earned the respect and acclaim of its peers and contemporaries.
Swedish Vikings Amon Amarth returned to the shores of Britannia the first Friday of November in the year of 2016. Having finished plundering and burning all relevant villages and settlements about a millennium earlier, the Swedes arrived that day with gifts rather than trouble: gifts in the form of a behemoth of a metal show, including old school thrash from the New World, rocking heavy metal from their homeland, and a good dose of hard hitting melodic death metal centered around themselves. This was of course Amon Amarth’s stop at the Roundhouse in London, as part of their headlining tour promoting Jomsviking together with Testament and Grand Magus. An eager London audience greeted all bands with what was probably more enthusiasm than the villagers of the isle a millennium earlier, when they saw the armada of longboats approaching their shores.
Extreme’s highly anticipated DVD release, PORNOGRAFFITTI LIVE 25 / METAL MELTDOWN, has quickly reached #2 on Billboard’s “Music Video Sales” chart after only two weeks.
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of Extreme’s classic multi-Platinum, Grammy® nominated PORNOGRAFFITTI, the definitive album of the band’s career. To mark the anniversary, PORNOGRAFFITTI LIVE 25 / METAL MELTDOWN was released October 28 by the award-winning production company Rock Fuel Media in association with Loud & Proud Records as part of their four-part “Metal Meltdown” DVD series. The concert film captures the Boston band performing the album PORNOGRAFFITTI in its entirety.
On Black Friday, November 25, the audio from the DVD will be made available via Loud & Proud Records as a limited edition double album pressed on red vinyl.
Directed by Brian Lockwood (Bon Jovi, Metallica, Motley Crue) and produced by Barry Summers, the PORNOGRAFFITTI LIVE 25 / METAL MELTDOWN package includes a Blu-ray, DVD, and audio CD of the complete concert that was filmed on May 30, 2015 at The Joint at the world famous Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound, it also features Rockshow, a bonus documentary that takes fans through Extreme’s story, with exclusive interviews, ‘80s archive footage, and an exclusive photo gallery.
Rave reviews have been pouring in since its release:
“This release shows the band in top shape. After all these years they are still spot on in quality…What more do you need to know to make you buy this perfectly executed show! Is it the fact that the band are playing as tight as ever before, is it the fact that you are a fan, or just because you simply like good old fashioned funky rock music from an era that helped build the true MTV…! Buy this masterpiece!”
“(Gary) Cherone and crew do a stellar job of playing to the audience and offer a reminder of just how fun this band always was. This set is also a keen reminder of just how great a guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is with some jaw-dropping solos peppered in throughout the set.”
“Any and all fans of Extreme need to own this as well as guitarists. It is an amazing show that is visually stunning.”
“In a nutshell, WOW…seeing this was an absolute treat to my ears and soul.”
“Gary Cherone still has the voice for these tunes and guitarist Nuno Bettencourt still shreds with the best of them.”
“…it rocks…As great as the concert is…the documentary is even greater!”
NOV. 25TH is the ANNIVERSARY of THE GREAT KAT’S DEBUT MASTERPIECE “SATAN SAYS” VINYL RECORD EP 12”! RELEASED on NOV. 25, 1986!
Collector’s Item “Satan Says” Vinyl Record EPs Are Available Now! Personalized Autographed by The Great Kat at: http://www.greatkat.com/paypal/satansayspaypal2.html
Limited Quantities Available!
The Beginning of the Transformation – “Satan Says” – Released on Nov. 25, 1986 on Death Records, Inc, is the Historic BEGINNING of The Great Kat’s Unique Transformation from Juilliard Grad Classical Violin Virtuoso/Carnegie Recital Hall Violin Soloist to METAL’S MOST OUTRAGEOUS & INSANE Guitar/Violin Shredder/“Top 10 Fastest Shredders Of All Time”! http://www.greatkat.com/satansays/satansays.html
“SATAN SAYS” EP features The Great Kat’s BLISTERING THRASH METAL Songs: “SATAN SAYS”, “METAL MASSACRE”, “WE WILL ARISE”!
I’m currently in Europe, playing with Testament, and we’re on tour with Amon Amarth and Grand Magus, and the tour is going great! Great shows, loads of fun, and a good time all around. A lot of real cool people on this tour.
Y’know, somebody just mentioned that “Darkness Descends” came out 30 years ago TODAY?! Howling Christ, has it been that long? Well Jeez, I guess it has.
I figured I’d take a moment and reflect a little bit about the record, which happened to be my vinyl drumming debut. I was 18 when we recorded it, 19 by the time it was released. I can remember EVERYTHING about this whole period, way too much to fit right here, I tell ya.
We started tracking drums at the world famous Music Grinder Studios in Hollywood (anyone remember that maudlin tune, “That’s What Friends Are For”? by Stevie, Elton, Dionne and Gladys? Recorded there…) on April 14, 1986. The same day that the US bombed Libya. I remember thinking, “And here WE are, recording the soundtrack to the apocalypse (and indeed, I remember using that exact term. Great minds, yo!), yet it might not ever be heard by anybody, ’cause we could be entering WWIII today!”
Squirrel moment: Jeez, how many times have we all had that WWIII thought over these past 30 years? We’re almost desensitized to impending doom now, ’cause we only ever get the ‘impending’, never the ‘doom’. Hey, that’s way fine by me.
I remember having two days to track my drums (fun fact: Did you know that I used the same rented drum kit that Gar Samuelson used on “Peace Sells”? It still ranks right up there with my all time favorite tones I’ve gotten on record), and on that first day, I laid down six of the seven tunes that made it onto the album, leaving only “Black Prophecies”, which was written two days before and played a whole two times at rehearsal the day before that first tracking day. Thereby making the one pass I took at it be the third time I’d ever played it. That thought is now adorable to me. And I guess at the time we didn’t wanna over saturate the material. Oh-and we also tracked a version of “War Pigs” that didn’t make the cut because somehow we left out the entire third verse. Whoops. I tell ya, this was during those nebulous days when nobody but nobody was giving any love to Sabbath, they were just seemingly forgotten by everyone at the time. Except for Trouble (“Psalm 9”-all time classic). Also, this was before the period whereevery thrash band (including us) were putting cover tunes on their albums. Dang, if only there wasn’t that missing last verse…
After the drums were completed, we then moved to Mad Dog Studios, a grimy little place in the Venice area, to get crackin’ on the rest. Randy Burns (Possessed, Megadeth, Death, Crumbsuckers, Kreator) manned the board and he got some good performances outta Jim and Eric, and Robby Yahn, who had left the band a couple months earlier, was kind enough to stick around and track the bass for us. I remember when it came time to track the vocals, Randy Burns was so horrified at the methods Jim and I used to extract a performance out of the vocalist (which involved quite a bit of berating of said vocalist on our part), so much so that he banned me from the control room after he just couldn’t take the abuse that we were piling on the singer any longer, citing the fact that, “You just can’t scream at your singer like that!” To which my reply was, “Look buddy, you got your job to do, and I got mine, which is to NOT have another performance outta this guy like he gave on that last album. So, you do your thing, I’m gonna do mine, ’cause Jim and I know exactly what we’re doing with this guy.” To which of course, we got a way better vocal performance out of the singer. Believe me, nobody wants to have to resort to what we did with the dude, but it was the only way, seriously. The final outcome is enjoyed by a lot of folks, so he did a great job.
I remember listening to the singer tracking the title track as I was writing the lyrics to “Black Prophecies” in the lobby. I went in and cut a guide vocal track for him, and when he was done, so was all the tracking. I remember that being on May 2, and we had a gig at the Troubadour that same night. The next day, we mixed the album in its entirety. And then waited the requisite 6 months to release it.
I remember that our intended original cover was deemed astonishingly too graphic to use, so we had our artist, Sean (pronounced ‘Seen’) Rodgers take another shot at something the record label pussies could deal with, and hence, there’s the cover you now see.
However, to this day, I never could get a proper explanation of what in the world that ‘purple grape dip’ was on the bottom half of our logo that soon-to-be legend Ed Repka had drawn for us. Colorful, deadly, baffling. Well, at least we fixed it on “Leave Scars”, when he gave our logo armpit hair. Man, I’ll take some manly armpit hair in a logo over grape Kool-Aid any day.
*A “THAT’S NOT VERY METAL” SPOILER ALERT*
The gravestone on the cover is of course styrofoam, and the knobs at the two top corners are wooden knobs off a canopy bed.
So now, it’s 30 years later, and the album has had whatever impact it has. Now for the tongue in cheek part. Metallica, you are welcome for the Grammy that the opening moments of “Darkness Descends” won for ya. If only ya didn’t throw in the line, “Darkness, imprisoning me”, I woulda chalked it up to extreme coincidence. Well actually, my bud Mr. Newsted, upon our first meeting at a Flotsam gig, expressed his extreme fondness for Dark Angel, and I returned the same for his recently released, “Doomsday…” record. So I always figured maybe he’d picked up “Darkness..”, cranked it somewhere in the vicinity of the rest of the dudes and perhaps there was a certain subliminality (is that even a word? I doubt it.) that made it through to El Dos Jefes.
And, to my friends in Anthrax, I gotta tell ya, I think I beat ya to the Judge Dredd punch with the title track, six months before your killer, “I Am the Law”.
Throughout the years it’s been a pleasure and an honor to hear from folks from bands like Pantera, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Napalm Death, Suffocation, Deicide, and, Jesus, tons of others on whatever influence “Darkness Descends” has had on some of their action. Not those bands of course, just bands like them. Haha! Jesus, I crack myself up sometimes. I do mean them. But, it is a true honor indeed.
It really seems like yesterday. Thanks to you guys for keeping it around, at whatever level it may be. Pretty sweet to be a part of.
Holy crap, especially as my cherry-popper…
Thanks fer listening,
The current line up of Dark Angel is:
* Gene Hoglan (drums)
* Eric Meyer (guitar)
* Jim Durkin (guitar)
* Ron Rinehart (vocals)
* Michael Gonzalez (bass)