Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 26/31

Day 26 – A crazy guitar solo.

Judas Priest – Painkiller

Another musicians question, which I’m not overly stuck on, but in hindsight I’m sure I could think of something to fit the crazy part a bit better, maybe Trivium or DragonForce? But I like Judas Priest more and I want them in my 30 bands for August. 


Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 7/31

Day 7 – Favourite Slayer song. 

Seasons in the Abyss.  Loved the song since I first heard it and the same with the video when I saw it, having an interest in all things Egyptian helped with that. 

Dead By Dawn

Time for some satanic death metal on this fine sunny afternoon. This mornings dank and gloomy weather was much more palatable for Glen Benton’s guttural roar, but I doubt my customers would’ve appreciated the rumblings of the now departed Hoffman brothers. 

The self titled debut album from 1990 was considered the second best selling death metal album by the sales tracking company SoundScan behind Morbid Angel’s Covenant album. Those figures didn’t start until 1991 though and there were some influential releases prior to that and most definitely some better selling albums since. 

I’ve only seen the band three times. The most recent one was last year as the closing band on the Altar stage at Hellfest. Before that I’d not seen them since Bradford in 1998. I should’ve seen them a few more times in the interim, but they were down to the band cancelling shows. One was a late cancellation of their Bloodstock appearance in 2012 and a club show I should’ve been attending was axed at short notice. I’m not sure when or where now – 2013 I think and Manchester or Birmingham no doubt. Their last UK show was London in 2014 and not a peep over here since. 

My first live experience was December 1992 on their Legion tour at the now defunct International II in Manchester. The touring package consisted of Cancer and the German version of Atrocity. I’m pretty sure I have the long sleeved shirt I brought that night bagged up in the loft, a Bluegrape original, not the best merchandising firm but their labels standard company at that time. The night was more memorable to me for two other things. Firstly the mass evacuation of the venue due to a bomb scare due to a suspicious package allegedly from the animal liberation front. 

Secondly it’s fondly remembered for the journey home. I hadn’t been driving long and the people I took assured me they knew the way there and back. This was the days before sat navs and smart phones. Surprisingly they didn’t know the way back and it felt like it took forever to get home and I ended up traversing some proper dodgy twisty and winding roads with snow covering done of the higher routes.  Knowing what I know now I went miles out of the way. 

The Deicide album was another album I received in promotional form for my fanzine at the time from Roadrunner Records. I’m pretty sure I also did a postal interview with the Glen at the same time. I need to look for all my old surviving issues and do something digitally with them for active purposes. For a death metal band from Florida – the death metal epicentre of the universe at the time – it’s no surprise to know it was recorded at Morrisound Studios under the guidance of Scott Burns. 

I gave the album a blast – loudly – in the early hours of Sunday morning when we came back from celebrating the wife’s birthday. The next door neighbours were also suitably inebriated and playing their techno dance music nonsense at volume so we gave them an gnarly death metal blast. I think we must’ve won that battle as they soon closed their window and departed. Oh how we chortled. 

Dead By Dawn is one of the lesser satanic tracks from the debut as it’s loosely about the original Evil Dead film. No promotional video for the track was made and this live version is from the When London Burns DVD from 2006. 

Beg To Differ

It took me 24 years after I first heard the band, until 2014, to finally see Prong live. By next weekend, and just like buses, I’ll possibly have seen them four times since last October. 

The third of the four is a nailed on certainty where their fifty minute set is sandwiched in between Toxik and Entombed A.D. Fifty minutes isn’t a million miles away from a full set, but hopefully short enough to cram in underground hit after hit. 

With a huge slice of luck (and grovelling) the fourth instalment arrived as early as next Friday where they play Manchester as part of their European tour in support of their latest album Zero Days. It will surprisingly be my first experience of the full headlining tour de force. It’s a shame it’s at the Rebellion venue, but with the rumoured and imminent closure of Sound Control next year I’ll have to get used to it. If I get there early enough I’ve now been enough times to recce the place and find an optimal vantage point. 

My attendance involves sweet talking my wife as it is a significant birthday for her on that day. In the last nineteen years me attending a show on her birthday has intentionally become common place. 

If the energy transmitted from the stage in their condensed set is repeated from when they supported Exodus and Obituary last year is anything to go by then these New York boys will no doubt be a highlight at the Dynamo Metal Festival. 

Beg to Differ is taken from the bands second album of the same name released in 1990. 

Suffer The Children

I’m so glad I got one of the last 20 tickets for Napalm Death in Manchester last night. Even though I didn’t stop to see Barney and the boys, or Brujeria, the two bands I saw made it more than worthwhile. 

I bailed early so I could get a train to and from the city from my town to save on more short drives and extortionate parking fees. In hindsight though I’m glad I left when I did for a couple of reasons. 

The main reason is the venue. I’ve only seen four shows there and they’ve all been since October last year. Considering I try and get to Manchester on train as much as I can the Rebellion Club is that little bit too far out to walk back to the station without missing a healthy chunk of the headliners set. 

The three shows prior to last night have been nowhere near to its noted 400 capacity so they were relatively comfortable. Last nights sold out show was beyond comfortable. The assembled throng of metallers were packed in tight for the first two bands. I’d hate to think what it was like come 10pm when Napalm Death had a full head of steam. 

The layout of the place doesn’t help either. The interior is shaped like an offset T with the stage along the horizontal. Looking towards the stage from the vertical your view is obstructed the further you go back so everyone crams in to the front portion. That area also incorporates the entrance and access to the smoking area on one side and the bar and toilets opposite. All the footfall has to traverse that space. It’s definitely not pleasant and almost claustrophobic. 

The local promoter used to use Sound Control, a better laid out venue and half the distance from the station. For some reason shows of this stature have relocated to here. More consideration will have to be given in the future to which shows I attend if there is another option to Rebellion.

Anyway, rant over, on to the show. Lock Up were superb again, and much better than I was honestly expecting. 

Power Trip graced a Manchester stage for the first time in four years and they were on another level last night. They relished their time on the compact stage and seemed much more at home. They had a superb crowd in front of them and there was no barrier so we had a few stage divers, but less than I’d anticipated. For a band influenced by the thrash scene it was weird to see so many metal elitists and purists vacating the room for forty minutes. Too many people paying attention to musical tags. 

As I didn’t get around to posting about the Birmingham grindcore pioneers here’s Suffer the Children from their third album Harmony Corruption. It was the first time they’d recorded outside of England when they entered the famous Morrisound Studios in Tampa with producer Scott Burns. The album vered towards a death metal sound and had a more polished finish, and the Tampa connection was a foothold for the band over in the States.  


I first saw Iron Maiden 9,698 days ago as a wide eyed sixteen year old. They’d been my favourite band for a number of years, but it took a while until I finally got to see them. My parents wouldn’t let me see them during their Seventh Son tour in 1988 when they played Birmingham’s NEC Arena. 

1990 was the first chance I had to see the band on stage and I grabbed it firmly with both hands. In the intervening twenty six and a half years I will have seen them more than two dozen times with two different vocalists and in six different countries – not huge by some people’s standards, but I’ve seen well over a twelve hundred different bands. 

The October 16th gig was also the last time that they played in the Potteries. When a UK tour was a big deal for bands and they played the length and breadth of the country stopping at places I’d never heard of as a kid. I spent so much time looking in awe on their singles promoting the latest tour when you’d come across the Victoria Hall. How I’d loved to have seen the World Slavery Tour (September 27th 1984) or the Somewhere On Tour jaunt (October 22nd 1986) in that building. In all they played the venue eight times, I’m so glad I got to see them in there once. 

As the current tour is heavily promoting the Book of Souls release there is only limited space for their back catalogue, and Tailgunner unfortunately doesn’t make the cut. Nothing from the 1990 album is in the set list and nothing has been featured since Can I Play With Madness was included during their 2014 tour. None of the other album tracks have even had a look in since the early 90’s. 

I’ve gone for this track as I’d never seen the video before – I’m pretty sure it’s unofficial as it was never a single and there’s no live concert release for this tour. It’s also the very first song that this wide eyed Maiden fan ever experienced. 

Later this month I’m taking my youngest nephew to see Eddie and the boys in Liverpool – his first concert. He’ll be several years younger than I was, but I never had a cool uncle who’d take me to concerts at his age. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s still into live music in a quarter of a century. I have my doubts because he’s currently at that age where he has a seemingly short attention span. The amount of different hobbies and interests he’s had for a thirteen year old is phenomenal. 

Serve And Protect

So Netherlands DeathFest last weekend was quite a good few days away. I saw some very good bands and the exceptional Demolition Hammer were the band of the festival. I also had to endure some dross and suffer half a day on Monday in a rainy Eindhoven where everywhere in the city appears to be closed. It was good to be back home – even if it was later than expected – to be greeted by the wife and an absolutely mental puppy. 
Saturday afternoon sees me tackling the M62 north for my first trip to Leeds for 2017. New York City band Citizens Arrest grace the minuscule stage within the Temple of Boom for their first ever UK shows (the second being in the same venue on Sunday) and I believe their first ever European visit.  

Their original run lasted between 1989 to 1991, and saw them release a few 7″ and 12″ sized pieces of vinyl in that short period. They weren’t very prolific with their live performances and only played a couple of dozen times all on the eastern side of the States and a solitary Canadian show. They were playing around the time of the whole New York hardcore explosion, but I’ve never really known them associated with the scene at the time from their home city. I think they may have been a bit too punk (with a lot of Boston hardcore influences) for some of the lower east side crew. 

Seven years ago they regrouped with a line up containing members who’d previously been in the band and played a handful of shows Stateside. Various members of the band have played in a wide variety of bands since the initial split such as Assück, Hell-No, Colossus and Born Against. 

With this show in Leeds, and bringing Infest, Drop Dead and Siege over last year for exclusive European shows, it makes you wonder who has won the lottery in Yorkshire! Two sell out crowds with eleven support bands would only bring the venue around £4,500 from ticket sales. Half a dozen return flights from Newark would swallow up virtually all of the door takings, so someone is really doing this for the love of their music. I can’t really complain as I’ve seen four bands who I’d never have expected to have seen on British soil and I didn’t have to suffer more journeys to London for them. 

Obviously there’s no MTV video for anything Citizens Arrest have done, but the majority of their back catalogue is readily available via YouTube. Serve and Protect was originally released on the 1990 7″ A Light Into The Darkness on Wardance Records, and has had several rereleases since.