After 25 years, California metal masters CIRITH UNGOL have hauled their undead corpses from an untimely grave. IRON Fist scribe J. BENNETT spoke with drummer and co-founder Rob Garven about life, death and resurrection.
Originally printed in Iron Fist Issue 19
It’s a Tuesday evening in late August, and Cirith Ungol are sweating their balls off in a Ventura, California practice space. “Some previous band blew up the air conditioner so when we come in here at night it’s like 100 degrees,” drummer Rob Garven explains. “We were gonna fix it but it’s like $10,000, so we bought a fan instead.”
A few weeks after we speak with Rob, Cirith Ungol will play their first show in 25 years when they headline the Frost and Fire Festival, a weekend-long metal extravaganza in Ventura that will also feature appearances from elder statesmen Grim Reaper, Omen and Ashbury alongside young guns Midnight, Visigoth and Night Demon. For Rob and his bandmates — vocalist Tim Baker, guitarist Greg Lindstrom and guitarist Jim Barraza (with Night Demon main man and festival organizer Jarvis Leatherby filling in on bass) — it’s pure vindication for a career plagued with label calamities, poor timing and bad luck. The band slugged … Read More
Danish sinister hard rockers Demon Head are about to unleash their second full-length album ‘Thunder On The Fields’ via The Sign Records and Caligari Records (it will also be available via Crypt Of The Wizard in London!). Their sound is a marvellously memorable mix of rockin’ riffing, Danzig-esque vocals and heady hooks, which will embed themselves into your memory, plus there’s an occult, organic nod to the past without sounding like a retro throwback. Their upcoming album has already caught the attention of Darkthrone drummer Fenriz, who recently made them a band of the week, and they’re set to turn more heads. We caught up with the band to find out more about this still quite mysterious musical entity.
You have a new album due out soon, what’s up with that? B.G.N (guitar): You can expect a very generous and honest record that mostly take use of guitars, bass, drums, voice and words as instruments of expression. M.S.F (bass): Real music for real people.
Are you chuffed with the end result?. M.F.L (vocals): Yes, as Birk says it has been a lot of hard work; recording it ourselves, making the artwork (luckily with help for the final layout part). We are perfectionists about the songwriting and … Read More
Last week, excited by the turning of the clock from one year to the next (and finally rid of our January hangovers) we previewed a brand new song from Finland’s Hard Action.
Promising that we would keep up the pace with a steady onslaught of new bands keeping us on our toes for 2017, we now present you Hard Action’s fellow countrymen, IRON MAGAZINE.
Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why a band with a name like Iron Magazine might prick our ears. But beyond the slightly gushing adoration of a name not unlike our own, we would’ve been slathering over this regardless being that it features Mr Jussi Lehtisalo, the mastermind behind Ektro Records and also Aktor, a band that saw Jussi team up with master of modern metal Professor Chris Black to give us a wildly underrated, AOR-tinged, slightly bonkers, time-travelling heavy metal dream back in 2013.
Equally bonkers, nostalgic and oh so mighty, the brand new ‘Queen Of Hell’ EP is out March 17 via Ektro and features the one-and-only Danko and John Calabrese from Danko Jones along with Jussi and his Circle/Falcon bandmate, Tomi Leppänen.
This is sunglasses-at-night rock, leather jacket sleeves rolled up and lasers set … Read More
Among the countless new metal bands, there are few of them that build their reputation on true passion and great music. LUNAR SHADOW from Germany have readied their first album ‘Far From Light’ and be sure that their regressive metal is more inspired than most bands out there, both new and old. Lead guitarist Max ‘Savage’ Birbaum tells Andreas Andreou about how he raises his Iron Fist against the modern mediocrity.
First of all, let me tell you that the improvmement from your debut EP ‚ ‘Triumphator’ (2015) is astonishing. The EP was killer and was welcomed in the underground metal scene, but your debut full-length sounds as close to the “real” thing as we’ll get in 2017. Give us a brief heads up on the making of the album, the recording and partnering up with Cruz Del Sur for the release. Max: Thank you. The improvement you spoke about was, on one hand, the logical result of just taking our time. ‘Triumphator’ was recorded in three or four single sessions, often in a hurry, and our singer [A.Vornam] was relatively new to the band back then too. This time we took our time to record everything properly, all the small details, vocal harmonies and drum rolls. Only … Read More
In April, British heavy metal veterans Mythra will release a brand new studio album entitled ‘Still Burning’. The album will be available as a vinyl LP, CD and digital download, and will be released via High Roller Records.
“It’s the first time the band have gone into the studio and recorded a complete album all in one go. We flew out to Poland in October 2016 to work with Bart Gabriel (Crystal Viper) as producer. It was a superb experience and we all had a great time working with him. We were totally blown away when High Roller Records signed us to record the album and cannot thank them enough. Their support has been incredible,” says vocalist, Vince High. “We intended to stay true to our NWOBHM roots and achieved our goal. The 11 tracks have tons of power and energy, twin lead guitar breaks, driving bass, thunderous drums and big choruses. Everything fans would expect from a Mythra album,” he adds. The album’s cover artwork was painted by Roberto Toderico, an Italian artist known for his previous collaboration with the band, as well as Tygers Of Pan Tang and Quartz.
Last year Mythra released the ‘Warriors Of Time: The Anthology’ album, which featured a collection of … Read More
Legendary US Power Thrashers Hexx have inked a new two album record deal with Germany’s High Roller Records. The band is currently working on twelve new songs with producer Bart Gabriel (Crystal Viper, Burning Starr), who also produced band’s latest single ‘Tyrants Of Steel’ (part of their split with Ruthless). The new album will showcase the band’s return to their roots, and the style they are known for from their early classic albums ‘Under The Spell’ and ‘No Escape’. The album will be entitled ‘Wrath Of The Reaper’, and has been scheduled for the release in the Spring/Summer of 2017.
Hexx, led by founding member and guitarist Dan Watson, features new vocalist Eddy Vega and Bob Wright (Brocas Helm) on second guitar. The lineup is completed by Mike Horn (who joined in 2013) on bass guitar, and drummer John Shaffer (who played in Hexx between 1986 and 1995, and returned in 2014).
In addition to releasing the ‘Tyrants Of Steel’ single, in 2016 Hexx also reissued their early albums ‘Under The Spell’ and ‘No Escape’ in the form of a 30th anniversary 2CD/DVD box set via Metal Blade Records, and the 1991 technical epic ‘Morbid Reality’ via Dark Symphonies Records.
Hexx originally formed … Read More
We’ve been enjoying our recent C90 series. Okay, fair enough, it’s hardly original. What music magazine has not, in one form or another, asked musicians to create a playlist of bands rarely off their turntables? It’s a classic and we have no shame. But this one is especially exciting as it’s actually happening. This is not a fictitious mixtape of songs and bands that inspired the artist, this is a list of songs and bands that the artist – none only than King Fowley of the mighty Deceased – has covered and gathered together on the aptly-titled ‘Metal Massacre 31’ with his equally mighty band October 31. Out on November 25 via Hells Headbangers King kindly explained his reasons behind each cover and offered us the first full stream of the album to get your teeth into. If you’re a sucker for those early Metal Blade compilations and love early American heavy metal from Hallows Eve to Omen then this will get your engines revving. All hail King Fowley. All hail ‘Metal Massacre’ compilations. All hail propa ‘eavy metal.
STREAM ‘METAL MASSACRE 31‘
Metal Massacre 31 by OCTOBER 31
1. ‘Cross My Way’ by DEATH DEALER “This is track 2 from ‘Metal Massacre 4’. A killer French Canadian … Read More
It may seem like aeons since our last issue but we’re back and raring to go and continue our indulgence in all things denim, leather and everything in between! Heavy metal will never die! Patience is a virtue and we hope you’ll be rewarded with the enjoyment everything in these 100 pages will bring.
The Queen of metal, Doro graces our cover to celebrate her 30th anniversary in service. And as well as our chat with Ms Pesch, this issue features some of the most revered bands including the ultimate power trio Budgie, the UK’s longest serving thrash band Onslaught, a retrospective look at one of Germany’s best metal labels, Noise Records and a welcome return to Aussie underdog Hobbs Angel Of Death. Staying Down Under, we talk to the notorious Destroyer 666 about how wildfire is needed to create a new underground and Annick Giroux heads beneath the Southern Cross in her regular World Downfall column. We also launch a brand new regular section, Pictured Life, that casts a well -deserved spotlight on some of the great cover art artists from the world of heavy metal, kicking off with a close look at the latest coffee table book featuring art from Timo … Read More
Epic hard rockers ASHBURY have been enjoying renewed popularity in recent times, thanks to the rediscovery of their private-press LP from ’83, ‘ENDLESS SKIES’; a true lost-classic of melodic hard rock which marries the melody of Wishbone Ash with the delicate vocal lines of James Taylor and the grandiose scope of heavy metal. In light of this much-deserved renaissance, the band has regrouped for several successful appearances at metal festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, this weekend will see Ashbury tread the boards at Frost & Fire II Festival in Ventura, California. JAMES BLACKFORD caught up with band-leading brothers, ROB and RANDY DAVIS to revisit ‘Endless Skies’ and survey the band’s long history…
ON DISCOVERING MUSIC… Rob: “Our Dad was in the Army, so we moved around a lot, living in France for three years, as well as in Oklahoma and Georgia. Dad played guitar and loved Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Elvis and Fats Domino. He owned a state-of-the-art Telefunken stereo and bought records every week, so growing up we didn’t watch TV, we just listened to music. Music and family were Dad’s passions in life, although his first attempts to get us to play guitar were useless! We had no interest, … Read More
Once upon a time, there were two brothers with a unique musical aura and vision. Archon Vorskaath created Zemial in 1989 and Eskarth The Dark One created Agatus in 1992. They were both swapping ideas and each one helped the other capture their creativity. Starting in Greece, then moving to Australia, back to Greece again, now The Dark is based in the United Kingdom with a brand new album under the title ‘The Eternalist’. Coming out on the mighty Hells Headbangers Records it is already the subject of high-praise amongst those in the know.
This third Agatus installment shows confidence in the marrying of the creator’s two loves; traditional heavy metal and orthodox black metal. From the debut black metal bite (‘Dawn Of Martyrdom’, 1996) to the NWOBHM-tinged progression of the second album (‘The Weaving Fates’, 2002) and now transcending beyond both paths, Agatus in 2016 exercises freedom in expression. We grabbed the opportunity to ask him how and why he chose now to return…
It’s almost 14 years since your last album, with an intermission of two EPs in between. What have you been doing all these years? The Dark: As you may know I have been involved in various projects/bands and … Read More
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