Chapel Of Ghouls

I keep scrolling through my calendar on my phone to see what shows I could possibly be attending in the latter half of this week and my eye keeps getting drawn towards the two large red X’s which I use to denote a cancellation. On Wednesday I should have been going to see a version of Floridian death metal stalwarts Morbid Angel.

Due to passport issues the band are unable to travel to Europe and all their shows have been cancelled and hopefully to be rearranged for 2018. I was unsure if I was going as this version of the band are refusing to play anything from the first few albums and are solely concentrating on albums F, G and H!

Longstanding guitarist and only original member Trey Azagthoth is calling the shots and two years ago let vocalist and bass player David Vincent and drummer Tim Yeung go and drafted back into the fold on off bassist and vocalist Steve Tucker. He was the voice of Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic (hence F, G and H).

It could’ve been an interesting evening experiencing album cuts that have rarely been played on British soil, but I just think letting fans miss out on hearing something like Chapel of Ghouls is a kick in the teeth. I’m pretty sure in previous Tucker incarnations of the band tracks from the first four albums were included.

For what ever the reasoning is behind the bizarre setlist choices and currently the two “versions” of the babd in existence, if you want to hear tracks from A, B, C and D then you need to keep your eyes peeled for I Am Morbid which features Vincent and Yeung. Technically a cover act, but I’m sure they can smash out some classic death metal with aplomb. I Am Morbid have been announced for the Dynamo Festival in Holland next July, so I’ll be able to make my own conclusions.

I was reluctant to post another Morbid Angel track, who needs two from the band throughout these 502 posts, then I realised I haven’t put anything by the band in here at all, so time for that to be rectified immediately.

Released back in 1989 via Earache Records in the UK, the bands debut album Altars of Madness spawned Chapel of Ghouls amongst its other nine bludgeoning death metal tracks. It also ticks the necessary boxes for any self respecting release bursting out of the Sunshine State during that era. Recorded at Morrisound Studios in Tampa (with Tom Morris rather than Scott Burns) and a stunning piece of artwork by Dan Seagrave. Twenty eight years on from Altars album number 9, Kingdoms Disdained, will be in our sweaty palms in a little over a week.


Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 5/31

Day 5 – A song about the glory of metal.

Believer – Shadow of Death

Well I’m struggling with this one. A highly renowned metal song? A song I take pride in? A beautiful song? Something with glory in the title? For some reason I kept getting drawn to the power metal genre. 

Then I had a light bulb moment. I might have misunderstood the original question but I went down the religious rabbit hole with glory meaning praise and worship to a deity. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 4/31

Day 4 – A 3 piece band. 

Coroner – Die By My Hand

Venom. Motörhead. Sodom. Destruction. Green Day. Rush. ZZ Top. Raven. Budgie. The early Kreator and Voi-Vod line ups. There have been quite a few decent trios in the metal sphere. 

I’m pretty sure I’ll know someone who’ll post a track by Rush as their three piece, so here’s a Swiss band who have been called the Rush of thrash metal! 

Exit The Giants

Happy Canada Day to my brethren from the great white north. 

I’ve visited the country quite a few times in the last thirteen years or so and really enjoyed every city I’ve been in. The first time the wife and I were there we visited the eastern side during the autumn. Driving through the countryside of Maine and eventually up to Quebec City and seeing all the different colours of the fall foliage was something to cherish. 

Toronto quickly became one of my favourite cities to visit. We had the briefest of lay overs in Montreal and Ottawa before our first experience of Toronto. We’ve been back four or five times since and I got to see my first and only baseball game in the Skydome. I’ve also been lucky enough to catch the Maple Leafs and Metallica several times and Iron Maiden last year all in the Air Canada Centre. 

The scenery we encountered to the west was absolutely breathtaking – even if I was hampered with a broken elbow at the time which I knew nothing about apart for bouts of searing pain. A chilly and damp day was soon brightened up with a visit to the stunning chateaux on the shore of Lake Louise. I think Vancouver and Calgary deserve a return visit and maybe stretch to Edmonton? 

When we booked the Vancouver jaunt our original plan was to traverse the Rockies by train, but the extra cost put us off that and we opted for a short flight. I’d still like to experience that journey so I hope it’s something I don’t regret in time. 

To celebrate Canada Day, eh, here’s a band I haven’t listened to in an age. When I was thinking of bands to include today it was the same old faithful Canuck acts that kept popping into my head (Annihilator, Razor, Mortillery, Cancer Bats – basically those I’ve featured before). Then I remembered about DBC. 

Dead Brain Cells formed in Montreal in the mid 1980’s and released a pair of albums before the end of that decade before disbanding. Original guitarist Gerry Ouellette passed away less than four years after the split. According to The Metal Archives site the band have been back together since 2005, but no new music appears to have surfaced and no shows logged since that year either. 

A long time ago I had both albums on vinyl, but I ever really gave them the time of day back then. I’m pretty sure I have them both, and maybe the unreleased EP recorded in 1990 that surfaced in 2002, digitally. I’d like to track them down on CD but I fear the original Combat releases will be out of my price league. I do think I saw something of a reissue a few years ago, so Sunday morning could involve a trawl on eBay or Discogs. 

Dissed And Dismissed

After my last two years attending the thrash shindig over in Norwich it’s been hard to completely blank it in favour of a trip to Leeds for some hardcore sounds. 

I was half tempted to attend the Outbreak Festival last year as we bailed on the Sunday of Thrashersarus but ended up heading to London to catch SNFU and Walls of Jericho. I’m glad we did in hindsight as headliners Terror had to cancel. 

Even though I’m not 100% committed to Outbreak yet, it is a line up that I’d really like to see. It’s been almost a decade since I last saw headliners Gorilla Biscuits. Title Fight, Freedom and Fury are a trio of bands I’m not overly familiar with, so I foresee a binge listening session on Spotify prior to Saturday. The rest of the line up is filled with up and coming British bands. 

The band I’m really interested in seeing on Saturday is Yonkers, New York band Breakdown. They are a band I was introduced by a pen pal from Queens NY. I had dozens of tapes in the early to mid 90’s with some cool 7″ releases and demos of established bands from the Big Apple alongside some of the new breed of bands. The Runnin’ Scared demo was one of the releases dubbed onto a cassette for me. 

They seemed to have split after a while, only to resurface in the mid 90’s (or their music at least) when the Blacklisted EP and the Plus Minus album surfaced with many of the songs that I first heard through the demo. Battle Hymns For An Angry Planet was released in 2000 and as far as I’m aware that was the last Breakdown album. 

As far as I’m aware Saturday will be the first time they’ve played in the United Kingdom and it’s a pretty rare European excursion in their almost thirty year, on off career. Yet another hardcore band playing Leeds as an exclusive. 

The track Dissed and Dismissed was originally released on the Runnin’ Scared tape back in 1989 and has surfaced on numerous compilation albums and bonus tracks on their own albums. The CD of the same name was released by German label Lost and Found in 1995, which, with that labels checkered history, was probably an unofficial release. 


As if I need an excuse to post a video by Kreator! 

Last nights Havok show in Birmingham was absolutely superb – but more about that later, hopefully. 

Before the introduction of mobile phones more powerful than the computers used for the moon landing, 3G, 4G, wifi, Facebook, Twitter and the like, I used to pass my time reading the humble printed fanzine. Much like I do now, I like my own company too much, so in between bands I’d keep myself to myself and get engrossed in the humble fanzine. 

I’ve spent so much time over the years typing, cutting and gluing pieces of paper to other pieces of paper. It was a very time consuming process, but I enjoyed it and it gave this non musician a toe hold in the inner sanctum of a fledgling UK hardcore scene. 

Anyway I digress. Kreator. Last night between bands I was “keeping in the loop” with Facebook and I came across this awesome tour announcement….

Anyone want to buy me a ticket to Brazil? 

The four bands have performed as this package at a handful of European festivals a few years ago. I looked into the possibility of attending it in Spain one summer, but it wasn’t feasibly possible.  

For me that line up is to die for. If I get to that point where I end up “retiring” disgracefully from the gig circuit I really do hope I get to experience this show and I’d really like to see Metallica in their San Francisco back yard.  

It’s apparently a thing that all four bands want to do more often. There seemed to be speculation that it as Kreator that was the problem and it all revolved on their agreement. I was reading an interview with Destruction frontman Schmier that the stumbling block is more to do with Sodom and Tankard. Both of those bands now have to hold down regular day jobs unlike Destruction and Kreator who you could say are full time musicians. Tankard and Sodom tour, but it’s in fits and starts as they have to schedule shows around weekends and holidays. Hopefully more shows follow in the very near future and no doubt I’ll be making the trek in homage. 

If I played the lottery and won an obscene amount of money I’d love to put on some kind of festival in Stoke on Trent. I’d be like one of those oil rich sheiks and money would be no option. 

One night would be the Teutonic big four and maybe throw in some other Euro thrash bands. The second night would finally see Metallica play the Victoria Hall with either the classic Master of Puppets set or the Damaged Justice collapsing Doris on the stage and a much more relaxed and stripped back show. The venue should have been the scene of their first British show (not that I’d heard the band back then), but the tour got cancelled due to poor ticket sales I believe and only the London show went ahead. 

The weekend would all be for charity with donations from an invited audience of friends and acquaintances who like the bands, and in the case of Metallica’s forthcoming tour, and those who can’t afford the near on £100 for a ticket. I don’t even waste my money on the lottery so this will never become a reality, but I can have my pipe dream can’t I? 

Betrayer was released in 1989 on the Extreme Aggression album. I’d heard the three previous albums via tape trading and friends, but this album I think was the first release that I purchased with my own money and still remains a firm favourite with me. 

Hangin’ On The Telephone

Well that’s my first day back at work done since my return from deepest darkest Wales. It was a mixed weekend with some ups and downs. The festival itself was a bit hit and miss and the multiple sets of roadworks on the outbound and return journeys in a short stretch on the A55 were extremely irritating. On the plus side though we had decent weather, sun in the UK in mid March and a trip to the beach with the puppy. 

I’ve got a few real life things to plough through, then Friday starts a busy four days of gigs and travelling. Friday evening should see me attending the first date of Acid Reign’s six date UK tour. Early on Saturday sees us travelling up to Glasgow for the Lords of the Land Festival, where Acid Reign play their second date, but only a brief thirty minute set, hence seeing them in Manchester the evening before for the full on thrash assault. 

Sunday involves killing time in Scotland before a late afternoon train back to the Potteries. Back to work on Monday before heading down to Birmingham to catch the Havok tour. 

Originally I was anticipating seeing Havok in Manchester on Sunday, but due to engineering works we’ve had to opt for a later train as it prevents us sitting on a coach for three hours and a journey home in excess of five hours. I should be stepping through the front door on Sunday at pretty much the same time as Havok wind up their set. 

Yes, it’s going to be a busy four days with roughly 650 miles traversed, possibly fifteen bands viewed and half a dozen new pieces of merchandise procured. I honestly wouldn’t want to meet myself at 5am on Tuesday morning! But it should be worth it in the long run. After that there’s nothing set in stone for more than a week and Easter will be upon us. 

Let’s kick off this little run of posts with the band I’ll see twice over the weekend, Acid Reign. I’ve already posted the only real promotional video I can find, so here’s the audio for Hangin’ on the Telephone released as a single in December 1989 which explains the wrapping paper style cover above. Maybe they were hoping to snag that all impressive Christmas number one single? I helped to get it unsuccessfully to the top spot and I still have it tucked away upstairs, waiting for it to become an expensive collectors item. 

Originally it was recorded by short lived Los Angeles bands The Nerves in 1976. But it’s the Blondie version from two years later that most people will know it from. It’s had quite a few homages paid to it in its lifetime by band’s like Def Leppard, L7 and Roxette, but the Acid Reign interpretation of the song is omitted from the Wikipedia write up of the track.