Speedtrap are a five-piece speed metal band from Lappeenranta, Finland that formed in 2007. To date they have released a demo, an EP, a split EP with fellow Finns Death With A Dagger and a full-length, ‘Powerdose’ (2013 – Svart Records), which garnered positive reviews from numerous critics and found its way onto several year-end lists. This fall they are set to release, their second full-length under the Svart banner, ‘Straight Shooter’. According to guitarist Ville Valavuo, “We started in Lappeenranta, yes, but originally I was the only band member from there. The other members were from small towns surrounding it, and nowadays none of us live there anymore. Currently three of us live in Helsinki and the other two in Joensuu, cities which are quite far apart actually.” It was this collective isolation that provided early influence and inspiration while their love of all things heavy metal, especially the NWOBHM, provided the rest. “I would say our physical environment had a bigger influence when we started in 2007. There weren’t any bands like us in Lappeenranta, or even Eastern Finland for that matter, and actually the reason for starting a band like this was that no one else was doing it at … Read More
Demona may be a one-woman entity but the passion and fight Tanza Speed has is as powerful as the music she creates. Starting out at 17, Tanza started her project in Chile, where she was met with criticism from the elitist South American crowd, despite her thrash metal following in the tracks of Sarcofago and Vulcano. Seven years later, she has relocated to Canada and released her fourth EP via Hells Headbangers. Tanza explains how her two-track EP, ‘2015’ was influenced by the recent changes in her life and the challenges she had to face. “Shortly after my comeback as a solo project again, Rockstakk Records invited me to play in Japan. This was a breath of fresh air and a sign to let me know that I shouldn’t quit under any circumstance, and even when my job denied me the permission to go, I quit and went to Osaka,” Tanza explains. “In the same year, the Metalucifer/Sabbat guys invited me to a show they were making in Chicago. I was broke at the time but it was here that I met my Hells Headbangers friends and everything changed. That was actually what ‘Allura Red’ was about, my Japan experience and … Read More
In 1984, as the nascent thrash scene was bursting out of its Bay Area base, north of the border a young guitar virtuoso by the name of JEFF WATERS was discovering heavy metal via KISS, Sweet and… disco. Two years later he would record a demo called ‘Phantasmagoria’ that would launch his band from Vancouver bedroom to Roadrunner Record’s world stage. But Jeff himself would pass the microphone to Randy Rampage and from thereon seven vocalists would shuffle through the ranks. Thirty years later Waters has not only returned to the mic but right back to that life-changing demo for inspiration. It’s been a career of highs and lows but could ‘SUICIDE SOCIETY’ see ANNIHILATOR back on top?
“I have chosen you my friend, you’re mine Locked inside this frightening dream Nowhere to hide Every night my demons you will see An apparition festival, through hell you’ll ride” ‘Phantasmagoria’ 1986 demo
…On how disco rocked his world “When I was a teenager, even before that, ten-years-old, it was disco and that’s my earliest memory of music. Then out of that there was ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ by KISS and this Rod Stewart song ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’. I remember these two bands from when I … Read More
“Infant Death was formed by me and Knegge in October 2012. We both made songs and rehearsed them with me on drums and him on guitar, here in Trondheim, Norway. We got our bassist Udyr in spring last year, right after we had finished recording our debut ‘War’. He was the scariest guy we could think of and he plays a Rickenbacker. We rehearse nearly every day in a World War II-bunker.”Whoa. A World War-II era bunker? Hellhammer/early Celtic Frost practiced in a bunker rehearsal room too. “Our basic influence is early stuff from old bands that play over ability: Venom, Exodus, Razor, etc,” Kim Kane muses. “An obscure influence might be Tina Turner. Chew on that.” What would Mrs Turner think of a moniker like Infant Death? “We needed something that we thought the common person would be disgusted by. None were though. It seems like people in general don’t know what Infant Death means here. An attitude with a naive madness is what it means to us.” This might explain Infant Death’s wonderfully antagonistic style that Kim describes as, “deadly thrash metal with black metal and grind influences. Right now we’re in the early stages of composing our third album. We will record … Read More
Boston thrashers RAMMING SPEED are back and have used their trials and triumphs of the road to hone their sound. AL BULMER asks JONAH LIVINGSTON about being the bastard child of Disfear and Thin Lizzy
It’s not that Ramming Speed’s Prosthetic debut ‘Destined to Die, Doomed to Destroy’ is unfathomable, you know damn well what’s assaulting your aural senses, but it’s the effortless finesse that such a hybridised mishmash is executed. Not that these Bostonians are attempting to forge gold from lead through some contrived reggae-black metal or similar hypothetical nonsense, it’s their genius smelting of a revolutionary yet idiosyncratic alloy: neo-thrash, a blistering tour-de-force of NWOBHM-meets-grind-meets-D-beat bound to a thrash carbon base, which, put in layman’s term, fucking rules.
As skin-thumping timekeeper Jonah Livingston elaborates, the push from a party thrash band releasing a 7” followed by touring to the contemporary beast we witness today was the laboured result of a forced pragmatism. “The biggest catalyst for us as a recorded band was losing a couple of band members two or three years ago,” he explains. “We used to jump at any chance to tour, like, ‘some dude wants us to play a fest in the middle of the woods in … Read More
Opinions always vary, which is why it’s difficult to say if metal is a festering domain of ageism or not. We’ll cheer Lemmy’s ability to defeat the Grim Reaper in a game of ‘Chicken’, collect mile-long discographies and excitedly praise reunions of ’80s favourites and obscurities. However, cynicism and scepticism rule when a bunch of kids come along who weren’t even born when Metallica was putting out good records. Finland’s Lost Society are one such youthful collective, but they’ve obviously studied thrash and crossover’s nuances and have poured those lessons into two furiously energetic and scorching albums – ‘Terror Hungry’ being their latest. Should it matter if they were the proverbial gleams in the eyes of two strangers during a bathroom tryst during a stop on the 1986 ‘Reign In Blood’ tour instead of actually at the show?
“The songs came the same way as usual, just jamming around riffs and so on,” explains guitarist/vocalist Samy Elbanna, sobering our conversation by discussing ‘Terror Hungry’s writing process. “The difference was the riffs became a bit more technical because we’ve progressed on our instruments. But we didn’t have any plans to make this-or-that kind of song; we just wrote 13 killer tracks that made … Read More
Municipal Waste may have crowned themselves as the kings of party, with a drunken fan-base stumbling behind them but Tony Foresta, like his other Waste bandmates, shows a different side with Iron Reagan. Despite playing “house shows and dive bars” for the last couple of years, the crossover project consisting of Rob Skotis (Hellbear), Mark Bronzino (Mammoth Grinder, ANS) and Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour) have just been added to the Relapse roster allowing their politically-fuelled punk to reach the masses. “For me it’s cool because you can’t really go into that territory lyrically with Municipal Waste,” Tony explains when discussing the very obvious political themes. “Nobody wants to hear a band that sings about drinking the entire time try to wax philosophical about women’s rights in Virginia!”
With their debut album ‘Worse Than Dead’ released last year, Iron Reagan are already following it up with a 13 song EP coming soon and although it only lasts an insane seven minutes, there’s an evolution to be heard. “I think with the addition of Mark and Rob to the band it definitely has a darker sound, as well as being heavier. It’s still fast as shit though. Hardcore punk metal, man.”
As well as … Read More
“I was inspired by something that happened to us and made me conclude that everything you do has a consequence. If you do bad things, bad things will come your way. If you can’t take responsibility for your decisions, you become a victim of yourself.” Brazil’s Nervosa believe karma is a bitch and won’t blame anyone but themselves for life’s outcomes. It’s a philosophy that bassist/vocalist Fernanda Lira treasures and has made the dominant theme of debut album, ‘Victim Of Yourself’. Though, when you consider the stigma that unfortunately still follows the phrase ‘all-female band’ and their hailing from a country whose geography and infrastructure isolates them from the epicentres of metal business, Nervosa know they’ll have to work twice as hard to expose half as many people to their fiery thrash. Good thing they’re not afraid of a little elbow grease.
Both Lira and guitarist Prika Amaral (drummer Pitchu Ferraz completes the line-up) tell familiar tales of making developmental leaps from Maiden and Sabbath to Metallica and Slayer before becoming obsessed with “old-school American and German thrash.” They played in various São Paulo bands before stumbling upon on each other and the idea of getting rid of the figurative, and literal, … Read More
Formed in 1982, HELL were the ultimate ‘could’ve been’ band, until their biggest fan plucked them from obscurity and put them back where they belonged – on stage and on top of their game. LOUISE BROWN speaks to KEVIN BOWER and ANDY SNEAP about triumphing over the curses and disappointing chapters of their career
When we started Iron Fist, the idea behind the ‘Under The Influence’ series was to celebrate the bands that changed the face of extreme music and inspired countless new metal maniacs to pick up a guitar and raise fucking hell; Sodom, Incantation, Raven, Emperor etc. But this issue’s feature is different. Different in that Hell never really made the impact that should have when they first began in 1982. Misfortune and mis-timing resigned the Midlands-based four-piece to the depths of obscurity and despite being groundbreaking and pioneering for their time were stuck between that NWOBHM heyday and the mid to late ‘80s when heavy metal really started to get exciting. By 1987 the band had imploded and they watched as newer bands did what they had been doing for years in terms of theatrics and musical experimentation.
However, while their name vanished from the heavy metal hallowed halls, bar … Read More
Back from exile, RUNNING WILD returned in 2013 more ‘RESILIENT’ than ever. LOUISE BROWN traced his career from the very first hammerblow to the legacy ROCK ‘N’ ROLF continues to forge in Iron Fist #7, republished here as we blast their latest album ‘RAPID FORAY’ into the new year…
“You know, Running Wild is still here, it’s been 35 years, next year, so I must be resilient,” says a defiant Rolf Kasparek, aka Rock ‘N’ Rolf, guitarist, frontman and Cap’n of the band who formed in 1979. We’re sat at his label’s studio in Hannover, Germany, where select journalists have been invited to hear the band’s newest album, ‘Resilient’, Running Wild’s 15th album, and second since Rolf got back on the ship after a seven year break (bar an explosive “final” show at Wacken 2009). Kicking off with ‘Soldiers Of Fortune’, the new album comes with as much roaring thunder as ‘Soldiers Of Hell’, from their 1984 debut full-length ‘Gates To Purgatory’, and marks a fist-raising return for the Gods of the Iron. Hoist the flags. The tyrants of the waves are coming back on shore and have a veritable booty of diabolic force to dish out. Rolf looks meaner than ever, talking as … Read More
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