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
For a band with a reputation for a colossal sounding live show, the first thing about Shooting Guns’ second psychedelic doom opus ‘Brotherhood Of The Ram’ that grabs you isn’t its heaviness, but the pure grime and grit that emanates from its vinyl grooves. Then again, bucking trends seems to fit this instrumental quintet well: their self-released debut ‘Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976’ was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize (Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury), and ‘Brotherhood’ sold out its first pressing instantly.
“The tracks dictated volume and filth,” explains guitarist Chris Laramee. “When I got the test pressing home, I thought there was something wrong with my stereo. I’d also dropped it in the road before I got it home. The mastered version was dirtier than the final mixes, which is always a pleasant surprise. The material at hand deserved a rough slap and we gave it as big a shot as possible.”
Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the middle of the Great Plains and far removed from any like-minded scene, Shooting Guns’ isolation, along with an obsession with doom, psychedelic rock, krautrock and space rock, has yielded a unique hybrid sound, which Laramee is quick to point out is … Read More
‘CHASING THE DREAM’ might be the name of their new album, but SKULL FIST singer JACKIE SLAUGHTER has been living the dream since he moved to the big city of Toronto from his hick-town home aged 19. Yeah, he may have broken a few bones along the way but is showing no signs of slowing…
“I tried to do this handrail, and I hadn’t skated in a while so I somehow thought I was better than I was. I snapped a bone in my neck, right where it holds onto your head… Man, people always make that sound when I tell them.”
Fuck. Of all the hardcore things we’ve written about in Iron Fist that’s gotta be one of the grimmest, but we deserve it, after all we did ask the question; “So what exactly happened to delay the latest Skull Fist album?”
In true, care-free (some might say careless) abandon, Skull Fist founder, frontman and guitarist Jackie Slaughter is doing this interview by phone, while biking to work. “Biking, as in Motorbiking?” He laughs; “C’mon, I don’t have a motorbike. I hurt myself skateboarding, imagine a motorbike!”
Still, we’re not sure health and safety killjoys would recommend cycling while being interviewed, especially in downtown … Read More
The lyrics to the 12-minute epic track ‘Goddess Of Doom’ could very well be the Nicene Creed of doom metal, Christina Ricci love aside. In the plodding song, Finnish titans Reverend Bizarre chant 33 impeccable band names – the ones that moisten underpants, of course – concluding with the obliging, “We kneel at your altar, we bless thy holy names. You gave Doom to men, we try to do the same.”
Historically, doom has always been this unpretentious; it’d be dismissible if it weren’t so damn earnest and intentionally tongue-in-cheek. Band members celebrate their forefathers and mothers without hesitation, revelling in the mournful cries of their elders and contemporaries, and join forces to spread the despondent credo. In that sense, Vancouver doom act Funeral Circle is a typical doom band. Let the checklist commence: their name was borrowed from track three of the 2004 demo of Australian quartet The Wizar’d. They’ve covered the fist-pump-inducing classics, both obscure and well known – a song by Montreal’s Lord Ryür (‘Pact With A Sinner’) and Witchfinder General (‘Burning A Sinner’). They’re frequently name-dropped by premier German export Atlantean Kodex due to a longstanding friendship, and released a split in 2011 with ex-Bizarre project Lord Vicar. … Read More
“We had been discussing a name change for a couple of months prior to playing the Noctis festival,” muses Lester Skelter, drummer and vocalist for Western Canadian traditional metallers Spell. A continuation of the NWOBHM metal lineage begun by the young trio’s previous act Stryker, Spell is the sum of this basic equation: Stryker + ‘70s prog + ‘60s psychedelic imagery. Confused yet? So were we…
“When it turned out that Striker from Edmonton (they were featured in Iron Fist Issue 9) got booked on the same show… that was kind of the final thing that made us go ahead with the name change,” says Skelter. Indeed, the act played the final Noctis 666 in September of 2013, and was somewhat humorously double billed by a cheeky promoter.
“Although really, underneath that, the name change had been a long time coming as well, because the initial name reflected more of the ‘80s heavy metal style that we started playing. We’ve taken on a lot of new influences and gone in a new direction and become better and more capable players, and so we thought the new aesthetic and direction we were going in needed a new name.”
Far from embarrassed by their initial … Read More
“Speed metal rites!” Claims vocalist, Speed Metal Enforcer of upcoming, Canadian maniacs, Gatekrashör. One can only assume they formed by hanging out in a garage listening to Razor and Running Wild records. Speedeceiver (bass) informs us that, “Back in 2008, me and Speed Metal Enforcer got the idea of starting a heavy metal band, a fast one”. However an unstable lineup meant they weren’t in the position to release any material. It wasn’t until late 2012 when their killer debut EP ‘Fear Of Attack’ was unveiled online that a storm began to brew. The Jackhammer (drums) says that the two-tracks of insanity were “recorded on an 8-track recording machine in a basement”. Filthy as it sounds too, Mr. Hammer. Now in 2013, the band have performed at various local shows to support the EP and are soon to perform at the Ragnarökkr Metal Festival in Chicago on May 3. Speedeceiver hints; “We are almost done recording our full-length album, which will hopefully be out in time for our appearance at the festival”. Steel Avenger (guitars) has the final word; “The licks on the new album will kick your ass much harder than ‘Fear Of Attack’. So be ready.” You heard … Read More
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