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Iron Fist Magazine

VAULTS: REPULSION “We thought we were cutting our own throats”

They only ever made one album, but in those 18 short, furious blasts a whole new level of extremity was born. From Flint, Michigan’s punk scene and its creators warped and horror-addled brains grew ‘HORRIFIED’ and genocide paved the way for REPULSION. The stench still lingers today, as JIM YOUNG discovered in Issue Three.

The rancid tale of Repulsion is not an unfamiliar one. But unlike many bands that faded away, were plagued by obscurity, bad luck or bickering, redemption was found when the corpse of Repulsion was resurrected in 2003. They may not be recording a successor to the landmark ‘Horrified’ any time soon, but that album ensures their permanent residence in the league of extreme metal reserved for the perverse pioneers, the virile visionaries and the ephemeral elite… Before becoming ‘the fastest band in the world’ (and pretty much inventing grindcore) Repulsion’s story began in 1984, when they were known as the hardcore-baiting metal brats Genocide, in Flint, Michigan, dubbed “the worst place in the world to be an extreme musician”. “You pretty much had to do your own thing, there was no real scene to speak of,” explains bassist/vocalist Scott Carlson. “That’s really how we got involved in … Read More

VAULTS: TROUBLE – “IT WAS NOT COOL TO BE POPULAR…”

During the 30th anniversary year of ‘PSALM 9’, RICK WARTELL, ERIC WAGNER and JEFF OLSON could sit have back to revel in the album’s now-legendary status. Or they could carry on their band’s legacy with a brand new album, or even form a brand new band with one-time bassist RON HOLZNER. The four veterans of doom talked the past, present and two very different futures for TROUBLE with Sarah Kitteringham back in Issue Nine

Thirty years after Metal Blade Records branded Trouble “White Metal” as a counterpoint to Slayer and the burgeoning wave of black metal that was percolating on the continent to the East, doom is finally standing alone, minus comparative or contradictory labeling. The past few years have seen an explosion in the genre’s popularity and notoriety, and an unapologetic fusing of the music on both heavy and lite ends of the spectrum. Finally, the progenitors who were criminally underrated in their heyday are becoming renowned. Pentagram, Pagan Altar, Candlemass and Saint Vitus have headlined festivals, toured, and released definitive albums. Chuggin along at a less visible (but no less seminal) rate is Trouble, whose opus ‘Psalm 9’ celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. We here at Iron Fist … Read More

HELLION – ALL IS WELL IN HELL

With a new compilation album ‘TO HELLION AND BACK’ and new songs in the pipeline, it seems that the witching hour is upon us once more, with the unstoppable queen of hell ANN BOLEYN back from the depths. IAN RAVENDALE tried not to lose his head back in Issue 10.

With a music career that stretches back to playing gigs at 14 (“I looked much older!” she says) Hellion vocalist Ann Boleyn has seen it all. Including an attempted break in of her house by a band manager, later jailed in a murder-for- hire case. “James Howard Paul Jr was charged with trying to hire someone to kill his wife,” recounts Ann. “He’d been brought in as an accountant for Hellion. I was approached by the District Attorney and asked to testify. And of course I was going to tell the truth. At that time it became a very dangerous situation for me. Very scary. After I talked to the police he attempted to break into my house when I was by myself. He ended up serving prison time.” Hellion was formed by Boleyn, at that point primarily a keyboard player, guitarist Ray Schenck, bassist Peyton Tuthill and drummer Sean Kelley … Read More

WYTCH HAZEL – FREEDOM FIGHTERS

With ‘Prelude’ WYTCH HAZEL released one of the most excited NWOBHM-inspired debuts of 2016. IRON FIST’s LOUISE BROWN gets to got with its creation and the band’s white metal leanings in Issue 18

It’s midday on the third day of a festival. Most of the attendees are still stewing in their tents, regretting that last case of Koppaberg, but a few fans have dragged themselves out of bed and are heading to church. Church? At a music festival?It could only be the work of the UK’s own heavy metal minstrels, Wytch Hazel.“I messaged Jacob [Hector, Muskerock’s promoter] to say we’ve got this album coming out and would you fancy putting us on? He said ‘I’m not sure, I might have a slot’ and then the guy from our label sent him the album and he was like ‘Oh, I really love it, I want you to do two gigs. I want you to fill the shoes of Ashbury and do the gig in the church.”If you know Wytch Hazel you’ll know two things. They love Ashbury – just listen to their debut full-length ‘Prelude’ for proof – and that Colin Hendra, Wytch Hazel founder and lyricist is a committed Christian who … Read More

YOB – The Sight Of The Other Shore

Forced to undergo intestinal surgery after a life threatening medical emergency last year, it’s no small miracle that YOB’s MIKE SCHEIDT has not only survived, but persisted to bring us one the band’s best albums to date in the shape of ‘Our Raw Heart’. KEZ WHELAN caught up with the frontman in ISSUE 22 to reflect on the experience and the band’s past, present and future…

It’s been a tough year for Yob guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, to say the least. After enjoying widespread acclaim and some of their biggest and most successful tours yet in the wake of 2014’s ‘Clearing The Path To Ascend’, a record already considered classic in certain quarters, disaster struck in November 2016 when Mike was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis, a permanent and potentially fatal intestinal disease, and was rushed into emergency surgery in January 2017 following a major flare up. “The future of the band was uncertain,” Mike recalls. “If I had ended up with a permanent colostomy, touring would have been done. I hadn’t sung in five months, and in the healing from my abdominal surgeries, we didn’t know how my voice would fair. Plus I had to survive both surgeries, and a MRSA infection I … Read More

March of the Saint

Neither thrash nor part of the nascent Hollywood glam scene, five Pasadena lads raised on Iron Maiden, Saxon and Motörhead formed one of the most out-there heavy metal bands of the 1980s. JIMMY MARTIN talks to ARMORED SAINT’s JOEY VERA and JOHN BUSH about doing things their way, and their way only.

If one band neatly sum up the quandary and identity crises that traditional metal endured as the ‘80s wore on, it would have to be Armored Saint. The credentials of their debut, 1984’s ‘March Of The Saint’ scarcely need calling into question. Hell, not only does said platter boast a sleeve effectively portraying the band’s members as knights in shining armour in front a mighty castle on the hill, but the band even had the common decency to make a video for its lead track ‘Can U Deliver’ that depicted them as motorbike-riding future warriors pulling a sword beamed down from the heavens from a rock, Excalibur-style. Yet perhaps more importantly, the contents stand proud 30 plus years on as a mighty testimony to the power of unpretentious and gritty metal action. Yet, as the decade wore on, the Californian troupe began to feel increasingly like a band out … Read More

Favour The Bold – TRIBULATION

Accuse us of nepotism all you want, but that we view TRIBULATION’s latest journey into the unknown pleasures of heavy metal exploration has little bearing on the fact that guitarist ADAM ZAARS is closely involved with Iron Fist. ‘THE CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT’ is so beautifully conceived, both bold and beautiful, that we forgive him all that time off touring America, where he met up with JOHN MINCEMOYER in ISSUE FIFTEEN to discuss the mysteries within this stunning.

Initially, this interview with Tribulation guitarist Adam Zaars started out as an email interview. For example, one of the questions posed to Adam dealt with the new album’s title,‘The Children Of The Night’. He responded, “It came to us quite late and we had the working title ‘In Illo Tempore’ (In That Time), a term that we translated as a longing for a return to a golden age, a return to paradise. We knew that it wouldn’t work in the end so we had to find something else. ‘The Children…’ came to us when we were looking for cover choices for the album recording and we thought about doing the KISS song ‘Creatures Of The Night’. In all honesty, I think it’s a … Read More

ISSUE 22 – DON’T CAST YOUR SPELL ON ME

Who knows how many hours that have been wasted arguing over our favourite heavy metal bands?

At gigs, in teenage bedrooms, down the pub – and now online – tempers have frayed, voices have been raised and eyeballs have rolled over matters that the majority of the population might foolishly consider trivial.

Yet one fact cannot be denied, and this is that Black Sabbath are the most important heavy metal band of all time. For this reason, Iron Fist are delighted to welcome the Brum beserkers to the cover of Issue No. 22.

132 PAGES OF HEAVY-WEIGHT PAPER – ORDER HERE

He’s watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast. He’s seen the Western world go down in the East. In fact, Bill Ward has doubtless seen countless things in the last half-century that would send the vast majority of Sabs heads spinning in a manner to shame Linda Blair. Yet he’s still standing, and here his disarmingly self-effacing legend regales Chris Chantler with the tale of his life as an architect of the unhallowed, dealing with everything from his discomfort with hit singles to the trials of Geezer Butler as a vegan on tour in the ‘70s.

Yet the unstoppable global metal machine rolls … Read More

Remembering Mark “The Shark” Shelton 1957 – 2018

What follows is Chris Chantler’s look at the life of a man who embodied the meaning of the word “underground”; Manilla Road mastermind Mark Shelton – who sadly passed away following a triumphant performance at Headbangers Open Air last Thursday 26th July.  Before we dive into it, please check out the gofundme campaign launched to cover the expenses required to repatriate Mark’s body to the US and cover hospital / mortuary bills in Germany.  

“I always thought that my music could be related to by others but I was never sure if it would amount to anything. I always had the dream and I guess I’m proof that sometimes dreams do come true. But it appears this only happens when you really work hard at it and don’t give up.” – Mark Shelton, Metal Brothers webzine, 2017

Mark Shelton was entranced and consumed by music from the earliest age. His mother was Professor of Music at Friends University in the Sheltons’ hometown Wichita, Kansas, and she ensured that the fledgling Shark was learning piano from the age of four. At school Mark played trumpet and baritone and sang in choirs before playing drums in jazz band The Herd, but he finally picked up an … Read More

Phil Pendergast of Khemmis: A nice big thick slice of Thin Lizzy

Denver based four-piece KHEMMIS are set to guide us into their captivating world of heavy metal and crushing doom with their third studio album, Desolation released today.

Here guitarist / vocalist Phil Pendergast takes us through the vinyl back catalogue of one of his favourite bands and offers his appraisal of Thin Lizzy.

‘Desolation’ is released today via 20 Buck Spin (North America) and Nuclear Blast (Europe)

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