Tuesday, April 14, 2015

TNT Found Active on Skid Row

I really don't get it. All the hatred that comes from "fans" of rock/ metal singers when the band dares to replace a singer. We went through it when Todd La Torre replaced Geoff Tate in Queensryche, when Ripper Owens replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest, and when Blayze Bayley replaced Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden. There are others which we will get to shortly, but now, we are going to focus on the current situation.

The current situation is of course, Tony Harnell of TNT replacing NOT Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, but Johnny Solinger of Skid Row. But, if you read over the comments on Blabbermouth's Facebook page. you'd swear that Skid Row with Sebastian Bach had been a united force releasing hits and packing stadiums since the 80's, and that the band had just replaced Bach out of the blue. That isn't the case. Not even close.
Its 18. As in the number
of years Solinger was in
Skid Row.

Skid Row and Sebastian Bach parted ways in 1996, and have had (NOT counting Tony Harnell) not one, but TWO singers since Bach. Johnny Solinger has been Skid Row's singer for almost TWENTY YEARS which is almost double the amount of time that Bach was the singer,

One of the most prevalent comments I've seen is about the newly released re recording of the Skid Row hit, 18 and Life with Tony Harnell on vocals. These people somehow think that the recording is a slap in the face to Sebastian Bach. It isn't. Its simply a preview of what is coming from the band, The band understands that releasing a classic hit would reach more people than it would if they had re recorded one of the songs from any of their albums with Solinger. Really. That's all it is. A preview, and a damn good one at that. The band is not going to re record the first two albums. Tony Harnell not only hit all of the notes in that song, he nailed them. That's the best that song has sounded since it was originally recorded. Sebastian Bach is a great studio singer, but he was nowhere near as good live than he was in the studio. Another fact that is lost on some of these people is that Harnell was announced as the singer 2 weeks ago, and the band has already clicked with him well enough to record this song.

Click this link. Its a live performance of Sebastian Bach while with Skid Row.(In the 80's.) Now, click this link. Its a performance of Tony Harnell that was done last year with TNT. At 50 years old, Harnell sounds better live than Bach did when he was in his 20's. There, I said it. Nothing against Bach at all. He has always been and always will be one of my favorite singers. But so is Harnell.

This move also is not like Owens, La Torre, or Bayley replacing the singers in Priest, Queensryche, and Maiden. Its much different. Its more like Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy in Black Sabbath than anything. Harnell is a well known and respected singer. The aforementioned singers were relative unknowns for the most part.

Its really as simple as this: Sebastian Bach and Skid Row will never reunite. To expect them to hang it up just because Bach (who is NOT even the original singer) is stupid and delusional. If you like Skid Row, they finally have a singer who can not only nail the notes, but is a class act. Go see them, and buy the albums. Or, don't. But to trash and insult the band is stupid. To say that Tony Harnell sucks is idiotic, and shows ignorance on an epic scale. The band knows better what is best for them than their so called fans who apparently didn't even know that Bach has been gone for years. To expect them to simply change the name is even more ignorant. The band owns the name, so why should they?

We brought Dave back!
What more do you want???
I guess another situation you could compare this to would be when Van Halen brought in Sammy Hagar. Everyone was screaming about how horrible it was. Then, after a couple decades, they brought back David Lee Roth, and the same people are bitching about that. Maybe these people need to just let the band do what they need to do. Van Halen proves that no matter what a band does, the fans are never going to be satisfied as long as it doesn't sound exactly like it did back in the glory days.

People need to stop living in the past, and accept what is in front of them, or just be happy listening to the old music.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Metal in the Super Bowl? Time For a Metal Crusade!

Katy Perry, Prince, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, etc. They were all big time guests for the Super Bowl Halftime show, but they all have one thing in common. They aren't metal. The NFL and the record company moguls seem to be in lock step agreement about what the public wants to see on the biggest stage on Earth. They actually think that everybody wants to see either the current radio cash cows (Katy Perry, New Kids on the Block, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake) or the super classic artists (Paul McCartney, The Who, Prince, etc) And, they even threw us a bone with Aerosmith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but sorry...That is not good enough.

I'll take a gigantic Eddie over a walking
tiger any day.
The fact of the matter is that there are 3 metal bands that fit BOTH categories...Record album sales and classic artist. They are: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Metallica. And, they are all three still going strong. I'd include Black Sabbath, but they aren't going strong, despite a great showing with their latest album.

So, I am launching a 'Metal Crusade.' Simply put, I am going to do everything I can to make the NFL do the right thing, and schedule a metal band for the halftime show. You may like one of the bands I listed better than another, but if we throw the top 3 metal bands of all time in their face, they will have to pick one. Personally, I'd be stoked if any of these three were to be selected.

Think the halftime show would suck
with Priest? 'You Got Another
Think coming!"
So, how do we accomplish this? Its easy. Click this link and like and share the hell out of this Facebook page. Tell all your metal friends to do the same. Comment on the page repeatedly. If we get a million likes, then maybe the NFL will notice. Once we get to 500,000 REAL likes (meaning I am not going to enlist fake likes the way some people do) I will send the NFL an email a week until I get a reply. I'll post the contact info as well so that everyone can email.

Say your prayers, little one, don't forget my son
to include every one!!!
You might think that I'm wasting my time because not everyone likes metal. You're wrong for several reasons. One, not everyone likes bubblegum pop garbage either. Katy Perry's huge tiger was cool, but her music sucks. How in the can you use the 'Eye of the Tiger' line in a song??? Next, is she going to come out with a song talking about being 'Comfortably Numb' on a 'Stairway to Heaven? Come on now. Anyway, let me get back on track here. There are just as many country fans in the US than there are metal fans. But, country fans actually LIKE Metallica. Seriously. One night years ago, I went to a country concert with a friend who had an extra ticket. The headliner took the stage at 9PM. (NINE? WTF?))) That was my reaction too. But after the early show ended, the cowfolk line danced the night away. One of the songs that they danced to was Enter Sandman by Metallica. No joke. They had a routine that looked like puppets on strings (MASTER!!!) and it really did twist my mind and smash my brain.

You know you were watching!
Don't lie!
Anyway, my point of that last paragraph was that even though we can't stand pop music, we all watched the rest of the half time show after we took a piss and grabbed some more beer and hot wings. Need proof? How many of you saw Janet Jackson's boob live? I know I did. But on the flip side of that coin, pop heads and country fans will watch a metal band if its on the halftime show. AND, the show would get enormous ratings which could pave the way for future metal bands to get the call.

Plus, metal is kicking its way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The time is right to do this, but it doesn't matter. Which conquering army ever asked permission to invade?

Hey, NFL..You will do what the fans say
when the fans say!!!

So, I am calling the metalheads to action! Let's get this done, and bitch slap the corporate douchebags in the record industry by demanding a metal band on the world's biggest stage! Lets get it done. Let's show the world that metal is more relevant than all this candy ass pop. I'd bet that Powerslave by Iron Maiden has sold more copies than all of Katy Perry's albums combined.

So, let's do this!!! Don't disregard this post and Facebook page as just another fan page. It isn't! Its a call to action to all metal lovers not just in the US, but the world. The NFL wants a team in London? I'm looking at you British metalheads too! Up the Irons! Summon the Metal Gods, and lets shove some metal up the NFL's ass!!!

"It has to start somewhere, It has to start some time. What better place than here? What better time than NOW???"

If you don't get on board, don't bitch about lame halftime shows. Its as simple as that.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Too Big For The Will and Thunder Show

There are a handful of guests that have booked on the Will and Thunder Show, and bailed without letting us know. And, they are all 80's rock/metal bands that WERE big, and apparently think they are every bit as big now as they were in the 80's. Here, we salute the bands who are too big for the show.

NOTE: this is not a slap at the band members. I was not dealing with the bands, but rather a manager. I imagine the band members would never have acted this way.

Bullet Boys: We not only had them booked, we had them on a special night to accommodate their schedule. So, on a special night, we waited, and no call, no show. Thanks, guys! I spoke with a band member via Twitter, and he told me that Marq Torien never even knew about the interview. Great management, huh?

Killer Dwarfs: I had been in regular contact with one of their managers. At first, he was friendly and seemed like he was going to come through with the band. All of a sudden, emails became one word answers, and then stopped altogether. Even though the manager had not cancelled, we booked another guest anyway. Of course, there was no call from the band.

Krokus: I sent them a request for an interview, and got a quick reply back, explaining that Krokus was a ROCK band, and not a METAL band, and that he had looked through our archive, and didn't recognize any names there. He also said that our show was not the band's market. I guess he didn't look very hard because if he had, he would have seen Helix, as well as enormous local/regional bands like 3D In Your Face, Wicked, and Scarlett Gypsy, all of which are 80's style authentic glam rock bands. We've also had Pamela Moore, aka Suite Sister Mary on Queensryche's Operation: Mindcrime album. Whether the show fits Krokus's market or not, they have a new album out, and are gearing up for a US tour. You'd think they'd want to promote it.

And you arrrre???
So, there you go. 3 bands whose management thinks the bands are still playing sold out arenas and stadiums, and are too big for a little show like ours. We have had a jerky "manager" from an unsigned band too, but that was only one out of many. I can't even remember their name anymore. Hopefully, this list doesn't grow anymore, but if it does, I'll post the bands here. These managers need to know that any publicity is good publicity, and these days, the bands need all the publicity they can get. We are available to everyone, and while we are not That Metal Show, we may very well get there in time.

Like I said, this is not a jab at the guys IN the bands. Just their management who thinks their clients are above doing a show that isn't nationally syndicated or on VH-1. And, the door is still open for any band listed here. Like I said, I have nothing against the bands. I was and still am fans of those listed, and would see any of them in concert.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chronic Douche-Baggery: The Strange Case of Kanye West

Kanye Kanye Kanye! You, sir have some issues. At this point, I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said, but I might! Yeah, I was a little late to the party, but I still have to get this off my chest in my own words. Yes, I'm talking about the douchebag coming onstage at the Grammys when Beck was accepting his award, and the madness that ensued afterwards.

Let me first start off by saying that I am not a Beck fan. So, this piece will have nothing to do with me rushing to defend the honor of someone I'm a fan of. But, he is a gifted musician who not only plays multiple instruments, he also writes his own songs. Something that Beyonce does not do.

So, Kanye confronts Beck on stage, and at first it seemed like he was going to make a spoof of his infamous incident with Taylor Swift. That would have been bad enough, even if he hadn't opened his fly trap of a mouth after the show. This was Beck's moment, but Kanye is such an ego maniacal, narcissistic, pompous ass sociopath that he decided that he had to inject himself into the spotlight. He then said that Beck should "respect the artistry" and give Beyonce his award.

George Bush doesn't like douchebags and neither
does Barack 0bama.
So, let's break this down shall we? Kanye first came onto the scene where he was widely labeled as a douchebag back in 2005 in the post Hurricane Katrina relief effort where he was supposed to be doing a PSA with Mike Myers of SNL. Instead of saying his lines, he went off playing the race card, stating that "George Bush doesn't like black people." He went away after that for a while, but came roaring back in 2009 when he interrupted Taylor Swift at the VMAs, saying that Beyonce had the greatest video of all time. Afterwards, President 0bama was captured on tape commenting on the incident, calling Kanye a "Jackass." The next 12 to 14 months were great because Kanye went into hiding. You have to imagine that Kanye was crushed and devestated by being dissed by his Messiah. That was probably the only thing that 0bama has ever said that I agree with. Kanye then went on several ego maniacal rants about how great he thinks he is, culminating with the Paul McCartney duet, where his fans tweeted that this Paul McCartney guy should thank Kanye for launching his career. Later, it was said that those tweets were just a joke, but I don't believe any of that. I think that Kanye orchestrated that whole story just to inflate his over inflated ego. Then, we get his latest pile of crap with Beck.

You're a loser, Kanye, now
get off of my stage!
Beck responded from this with class, saying that he respected Kanye. That was likely Beck just being Beck. I think he made that comment in sarcasm. But really, how long has Kanye been around? He first came onto the scene in 2001. I can remember Beck's first single, Loser in 1993 or 1994. That album went platinum. Since then, Beck has assembled a very loyal following, similar to Grateful Dead and Phish fans.

Now, is Kanye a talented guy? Obviously. He's won 21 Grammys, and directed films. At least he writes his own songs. He even stopped using auto tune, which is something EVERYONE should do. So, even though I don't like his style of music, even I am capable of giving credit where its due. However, that all goes out the window because of his chronic douche-baggery. And, marrying the Kardashian twit doesn't help his case.

DRUM SOLO!!! DRUM SOLO!!! Wait..Where's the drum set?
But the question here is what is the deal with this obsession with Beyonce? Respect the artistry? How about Beyonce and Kanye respecting Beck's artistry? How about Beyonce writing her own material? My guess is that would go over as well as Milli Vanilli singing with their own voices. And while we're at it, why doesn't Kanye respect Taylor Swift's artistry? She has been writing her own songs from the start. Beyonce is a great singer, but she is nothing more than a teleprompter reader with music. There's nothing original about it. You have Beck who is the lone writer of his songs, both musically and lyrically and you have Beyonce who has a team of writers making pointless R&B and pop garbage that will be irrelevant in 5 years after they've been milked for all they're worth. You also have Beck who goes onstage with a full band, and you have Beyonce who goes on stage with a group of dancers with microphones. Any music is played through the PA system. Why is lip synching so despised, but singers with no bands are not? Its the same thing!

So, my question is simply this: Why in the hell is Kanye so obsessed with Beyonce to the point that he feels he needs to rush to her aid? Musically, Beyonce is nowhere near the same league as Beck, Taylor Swift, or even Kanye West for that matter. So, what is behind this borderline stalking?

I'd love to get him on the Will and Thunder Show <ca-ching!> so I can ask him. What do you say, Kanye?

I agree with such greats as Paul Stanley,  Steel Panther and others this issue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Change of Plans Brings 'Serios' Fun: My Story

Isn't it amazing how plans can change? Most of the time when they do, it isn't necessarily a good thing. But, every now and then, you will have carefully laid out plans that change at the last minute, and its not only a good thing...Its a completely awesome thing, That's what I will be talking about in this piece.

I am a Native Floridian, and I've seen and been friends with Dead Serios since the early 90's. I've literally seen them over 100 times, and every time been blown away by the great energy and stage show that the band puts on. It is truly a unique experience. We'll get to THIS experience shortly.

In the last piece I wrote, I talked about Melbourne Florida's legendary band, Dead Serios and their 30th anniversary concert at the renowned Maxwell King Center. We had the band on the Will and Thunder Show <ca-ching!> on Jan 20th to talk about the show, and to get everyone pumped up about it. It wasn't hard because the show had the feel of a news conference leading up to the Super Bowl. I also talked about the appearance that I was offered. The band offered me a chance to get up on stage and to introduce them, and plug The Will and Thunder Show <ca-ching!> as well. I was honored and totally pumped about the opportunity to be part of the show.

The enigmatic Dead Lee Serios
on stage at their 30th anniversary show
My family and I packed up, and drove 500 miles just to go see this concert. We arrived Thursday evening, on Jan 22. I showed up at what was the final rehearsal before the show. The band sounded great, and I was even more excited to see and be part of their show. (if that was even possible)  I went over my planned intro for the band with them, and everything was ready to go....Until the next day.

The phone call:

Oprah LOVES Dead Serios
I was sitting in my hotel room. We had just gotten back from a day out with the family, and were getting ready to go out for dinner, when my cell phone rang. It was the enigmatic, one and only Dead Lee Serios on the other end, telling me that the person who had been scheduled to play the part of Oprah during their song, Who's on Oprah cancelled at the last minute. This was a bit where a black man dressed up in a very bad Oprah Winfrey costume and joined the band onstage. Dead Lee asked me if I would play the part. I reminded him of one potential flaw in the plan. I'm a tall white man! That fact did not escape Dead Lee. It was explained to me that the only thing funnier than a black man pretending to be Oprah was a white man pretending to be a black man pretending to be Oprah. Laughing my ass off, I agreed, and of course, I told him that I would do it. I was honored to, but there was a catch. The catch was that I would no longer be introducing the band. Dead Lee told me not to worry because I would still get the show plug.

Yes, that is me in my Oprah costume
As I mentioned before, plans do change for the good occasionally. This show was a small version of an arena concert in every way. It was a huge production with a full cast of characters and a full backstage crew. Had I just introduced the band, I would have gone back to my seat and watch the show with the audience. Instead, I got to the venue early, got made up in my hideously ugly dress, with makeup, and a big afro wig. The plan was for my face makeup NOT to look like good black makeup, but to look like a very bad makeup job. And, it was probably the easiest makeup job that the professional makeup artist had ever done. It looked HIDEOUS! When I emerged from the dressing room, I was greeted by laughter, hugs, and high fives...and my huge double damn boobs were being fondled by everyone...And even motor boated.  The visionary, Dead Lee Serios was right again. It was a hit.

Ok, here we go...Hold your ears folks! Its SHOWTIME!!!

Joe Delcorvo and Michelle Jones of  Violectric
The whole backstage experience was incredible. I've played many shows of my own, even toured briefly as a tour manager, but I never experienced anything like this in the past. Spirits were high, and everyone was having a great time. When crunch time came, and 5 minutes to showtime was announced, the band took their places side stage. There was anAC/DC song that was playing over the PA, signaling that the band was moments away from taking the stage. We were all together side stage, and you could feel the intensity. You could see the lights over the top of the wall side stage. You could hear the crowd getting louder every time guitarist, Steve Pooley hit a chord on his guitar to make sure he was in tune. Finally, the show started, and Dead Serios was welcomed to the stage by a roar of enthusiastic fans who had been waiting 20 years for a show like this.

Dead Lee and Scooter Greenbud
The band put on the best show that I've ever seen from them, and that is saying a lot. The cast members all did their parts flawlessly. I was the first character to come out. Who's on Oprah was the second song in the set list. Dead Lee introduced me, and I was welcomed to the stage with a loud mixture of applause and laughter. Drummer, Scooter Greenbud had 2 bass heads on his drum set with Oprah's face on them, I went out, and gently kissed my finger, and touched it to the drum head. Then, I addressed the crowd quickly, head banged a little bit, then threw out the two Will and Thunder Show shirts that I had with me into the crowd, then I made my exit. I watched the rest of the show with the other cast members on the side of the stage.

We're Not Joking!

The show went perfectly, and everyone from fans who had just seen them for the first time (there were a few) to life long fans to band members to cast and production crew were all smiles. At the end, during the finale,  Dead Lee individually introduced each cast member, and the production crew on stage. He said that we were all part of the Dead Serios family, and everyone on stage thundered the final words after the cue from Dead Lee. He started off "WE'RE NOT JOKING!!!" and everyone onstage, in the audience, and probably in the main hall for the other performance booked at the King Center that night all yelled in unison "WE'RE DEAD SERIOS!!!
The whole crew up on stage during the finale. Most epic night I've had in years. Maybe decades.

Jesse Long as Buster
So, you see? Sometimes plans change for the better. I started off planning on doing a simple introduction and returning to my seat which would have been very cool. But instead, I got to be part of the most triumphant moment of the legendary Dead Serios's storied existence. And, the rest of the country knew about this as well. I drove 500 miles from North Carolina. Several people came from Ohio, and Tennessee. Another cast member, Jesse Long flew in from Boulder Colorado to participate. It was a night that I will never forget, and a night that everyone else in attendance will never forget...People who weren't there will never forget it either. As words of this incredible concert spreads, people who didn't go are flagellating themselves for missing it, and begging Dead Serios to do another production like this. And, they will get a chance...

The band is just getting started.

Steve Pooley

Dead Serios are:
Dead Lee Serios on vocals, Steve Pooley on guitar, Joe Delcorvo on bass, and Scooter Greenbud on drums.

Happy birthday, Sheckey!

The band's long time manager since 1987, Sheckey Finklestein was also there to celebrate his 95th birthday. He was accompanied by his fiancee, Goldie played by Gina DeSimone.

Juicy Lucy!
Cast of the show were: 
Will Telltale (Bill Selby aka ME) as Oprah, on Who's on Oprah
Ty Oglesby, guest on Skid Marks in my Shorts
Michelle Jones, of Violectric Electric Violin on Dysfunctional Family
Jesse Long as Buster on Buster's Got A Booger
Ms Brenda, singer of Space Coast Rock Band, Medusa, Guest vocals on No More Pipe for Potato Head
Nick Hildyard of Classic Albums Live, guest vocals on I Wanna Force Feed William Cruse
Leia Dunn as Juicy Lucy on Pizza Face
Stewart Coleman, classic member of Dead Serios, guest guitarist on Harbor City

Nick Hildyard and Dead Lee

Production and stage crew were:
Production Manager: Yvette LoPrete
Makeup Artist: Vera Sandes
Head of Security: Kirk Sandes
Stage Manager: Damion Johnson
Stage Techs: Gary Thompson and Juliana Johnson
Stage Assistant: Drew Sandes

The rest of the set list was:
Lawn Care Studs, Designated Driver, Real Friends, Psycho Dyke, She Wants It All, Butterbean Queen, and Blister in the Sun.

In closing, please keep your eyes open. Michelle Jones of Violectric is going to be a future guest on the Will and Thunder Show, and who knows who else will be guests in the future.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Three 'SERIOS' Decades

In 1985, Dead Lee Serios had a vision. It was a vision of an incredibly unique and dominant rock band. A blend of punk and metal, mixed with comedy. It was a vision that would establish Dead Serios as the premiere act in Central Florida. It became a reality, and they touched so many lives that the band's loyal fan base demanded more and more.

And the band delivered time and time again, and CONTINUES TO DELIVER after 30 years.

Dead Lee and a sacrificial
Dead Serios rose to prominence and achieved hero status in the late 80's to the mid 90's. They captivated audiences with funny and powerful songs, combined with a commanding stage show, led by Dead Lee Serios himself. It was not uncommon to see Mr Potato Head blasting pyrotechnics from his pipe, or Dead Lee leading a mosh pit with a Fisher Price lawnmower, then smashing it Pete Townsend style. You never knew what the band had in store for you, but you did know that you were going to get a show that you would never forget. Every time.

Bassist, Joe Delcorvo
It was also not uncommon to see the band sharing the stage with national bands such as GWAR, Saigon Kick, Hootie and the Blowfish, Marilyn Manson, Nuclear Assault, Faith No More, and many more. The band was loved so much that occasionally, the national act would actually get booed off the stage in favor of what they thought was just a local band eager to open for them. They left Central Florida humbled, and in a pretty bad mood. The band owned Central Florida, and it didn't take long before they gained national attention. Sadly, grunge happened, and Dead Serios went on hiatus. But, that would not last for long.

Drummer, Scooter Greenbud
The band would do an occasional reunion gig. That was enough to keep their long time fans clamoring for more, as well as to welcome new fans into the fold. But, in 2006, they played what was presumably the last show. In 2013, a local record label approached the band to produce a Dead Serios tribute album, which was recorded, but the band hadn't really considered reuniting....until bassist, Joe Delcorvo appeared on The Will and Thunder Show. <caching!>  We started talking about a reunion show with him, and that lit a spark in Joe. He then approached the other band members, and a reunion was planned. Next thing they knew, a promoter for the 80's in the Park festival contacted the band, asking them to open the whole thing. The band approved, and it was a huge success.

Guitarist, Steve Pooley
Now, on January 24, 2015, Dead Serios is playing a 30th Anniversary show at Melbourne FL's King Center. (Buy Tickets) Its a small and intimate setting that will showcase what will be the best stage show that the band has put on to date. It will feature props, and guest appearances, including one from yours truly. Yep. I get to introduce the band. I'm honored and very excited for the opportunity to be part of this historic show.

But, before the show, Dead Serios will be joining us January 20th on The Will and Thunder Show. They will be discussing everything from the history of the band to this upcoming concert. Band members, Dead Lee Serios, Steve Pooley, and Joe Delcorvo will be our guests. Thunder and I will also be talking about our own personal most memorable Dead Serios moments. So, check it out!

Dead Serios is a band that only comes around once in a lifetime. They have touched so many lives, and have entertained many more. Although there have been many different members in the lineup, every lineup delivered the same great experience. I count myself lucky to have been able to see them so many times, and to know the guys personally. Living in North Carolina currently, (I plan on moving back home soon) I hear people talk about local bands. And, while some are good, I pity the people here because they never got a chance to witness one of the greatest bands to ever kick ass on a stage. I'm not joking. They're Dead Serios!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Album Review: BanDemoniC, Fires of Redemption

Greece does it again. Another incredible power metal band. Whatever is in the water supply there needs to be added to the water in the US because there seems to be no shortage of great music coming from the region. And, the fans make it possible, otherwise Steel Gallery Records wouldn't be signing great bands like Wardrum, and the band who I've just spent the past hour listening to, BanDemoniC. (Rocking out, cranked up to 11 is more like it.)

Hailing from Ioannina City, Greece, BanDemoniC has been perfecting their craft in 2009. They began writing songs and performing in 2010, and has played shows with heavy hitters like original Iron Maiden singer, Paul DiAnno, Grim Reaper, along with countless regional metal masters. And, it won't be long before they add even more big names to their list. In 2014, they were signed to Steel Gallery, and their album, Fires of Redemption was released.

Right off the bat, it should be noted that Fires of Redemption was mastered by Jacob Hansen, who is the (master)mind behind the iconic sounds of bands like Volbeat, Epica, Pretty Maids, Doro, Primal Fear, etc. The album cover was done by Dimitar Nikolov, a true metal artist. In other words, the album sounds and looks great. I'm sure I'll be jamming to it for years to come.

BanDemoniC's Fires of Redemption is a hard and heavy band whose music is an all out assault on the senses. They have a style all their own, yet you can tell who influenced them. Nothing but talent. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Metal Church and old school Megadeth come to mind. Their album is full of twin guitar attack/ harmony solos, complimented by an extremely powerful rhythm section. And, you have to stand in awe of the vocal performances on the album,

On vocals, George Manthos has a consistently powerful mid range, but also has the ability to reach the stratosphere with his incredible piercing high range. He has a very pure sounding voice, but don't let that description deceive you. Its pure, but it will still knock you over. Not to mention the skill in the lyrics. Great lyrics throughout the album.

The guitar team of Eric Karamanis and CA Chairopoulos is top notch. It easily belongs in the same conversation with Iced Earth and even Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I love the twin axe attack, and this album delivers it perfectly.

The rhythm section of bassist, Panagiotis Bletsos of and drummer, Adrian Kyprianos are rock solid, and tight. The unit has the precision of a 'bullet' fired from a master sniper. (It doesn't miss.Ever.)

All the songs on the album are perfect to the point that each one grabs you by the throat and won't let go. Each song is its own individual journey into metal bliss. Track 3, Disingenuous is anything but. It and all the songs are completely honest power metal. Hard, heavy guitar assault. But, they show versatility too. Track 9, Guardians of Time has a slow and deep groove, with some incredible acoustic guitar and vocal performances. Similar to the feel of Beyond the Realms of Death by Judas Priest, yet completely unique in its own right.

If you are a fan of heavy power/progressive/speed/thrash metal, then BanDemoniC is for you. Their album, Fires of Redemption has and delivers it all. I haven't been this blown away by an album since I heard Wardrum. Maybe I should move to Greece and start my own band there!

Find them on Twitter, @BanDemonic and on Reverbnation and on Facebook

And, for Heaven's Sake, Steel Gallery...SEND ME MORE METAL!!!!