Savage – The Legend
Hailing from the heart of the UK, Savage where born out of the need for a bunch of teenagers to put thei...r own stamp on the hard rock scene. At just 18 and 15 years of age respectively, founder members Chris Bradley and Andy Dawson first set alight to the Nottinghamshire music scene by rampaging through covers of their heroes such as Thin Lizzy, UFO, Deep Purple and Van Halen. But the band weren’t dragging their heels when it came to penning original tunes and were soon wowing local audiences with a blend of energetic new metal. As a result they were invited to participate in 1981’s seminal compilation album 'Scene Of The Crime', contributing two barnstorming tracks 'Let It Loose' and 'Dirty Money' which would both go on to become stage favourites as the band’s star rose.
It was clear the band were head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd. A copy of ‘Scene Of The Crime’ ended up in the hands of Lars Ulrich and before long the newly-formed Metallica were playing Savage tracks themselves, famously recording 'Let It Loose' which set them on the road to creating their brand of thrash metal and securing their first deal. At around the same time, Savage were offered their first deal. The band's double A-Side single ‘Ain’t No Fit Place’ c/w ‘The China Run’ had been released to strong reviews, and in 1983 Savage released their legendary debut album 'LOOSE ‘N’ LETHAL' which not only received rave reviews but was soon acclaimed as the best-selling metal import album in America.
By now Savage were gigging across the UK although focussing their efforts especially on London where Kerrang favourably reviewed a number of their gigs. In 1984 the band went to Europe and shared the bill with Metallica and Venom, at the now legendary ‘Aardschok Day’ playing to 10,000 people and again receiving outstanding reviews. Metallica knocked at the dressing room door and asked to share a beer with the Savage boys; the bands would later meet again in London where more beer drinking ensued, this time for a Kerrang! article on real ale! In 1985 Savage released their second album 'HYPERACTIVE'. The album received a full 5K review in Kerrang! followed by a UK tour with a homecoming sold out show at the Mansfield Civic Theatre, outside of which many years earlier Bradley and Dawson had first met giving birth to Savage. But despite the success of the first two albums and live shows, the lack of support from both labels and management caused much frustration and resulted in the band finally folding in 1986.
Bradley and Dawson continued to make music separately for the next few years until due to demand the band reformed with original drummer Dave Lindley to record the comeback album ‘HOLY WARS’ in 1995. The album sold well across the UK, Europe and Japan and the guys played a cracking set at Germany's Heavy Oder Was festival. Maintaining the momentum they recorded their fourth studio album 'BABYLON' which demonstrated Savage's ability to craft powerful, punchy classic rock, with Bradley's almost sneering vocals and thundering bass counterpointing Dawson’s outright riffing and searing solos, showing that British rock bands can have attitude, grit and punch! The new millennium brought 'XTREME MACHINE', an album full of mean, grooving rock which brought new fans to the band and was followed a year later with more live shows, the band hitting America for the first time with new boy Mark Nelson on drums before performing a stunning show at Wacken.
Joined again by drummer Mark Nelson and new guitarist Kristian Bradley, Yes! Chris’s son and Andy’s Nephew, the band spent 2011 preparing songs for 'SONS OF MALICE'. Released April 2012 ‘SONS OF MALICE’ once again showed the band were in touch with the contemporary metal scene without losing sight of their traditional British roots, an aspect recognised by the significant number of positive reviews the album received worldwide. Shows throughout Europe proved the band had not lost any of their bite live! In fact new boys Mark Nelson and Kristian Bradley have given the band a new energy wholly apparent from barnstorming sets at Hard Rock Hell VI, CRF 13 and a legendary performance of the entire ‘LOOSE ‘N’ LETHAL’ album in reverse at the Headbangers Open Air Festival 2013. In a neat twist High Roller records issued a collectable vinyl version of ‘SONS OF MALICE’ that includes bonus tracks from the album recording sessions. Although material for their next release is already being written, the band are considering recording a live album to capture the excitement of the band on stage.
Claymore is independent female-fronted epic power metal band from Lazarevac, Serbia.
The band released two albums - “The First Dawn of Sorrow” (2003) and “Lament of Victory” (2013). The music of Claymore can be described as mix of
traditional European power metal with epic filmscore influences in the same vein with Manowar, Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire, Bal-Sagoth, Dragonland and Virgin
Steele, just to name a few.
The band was formed in 1994 by its original member Vlad Invictus (guitars and vocals). After many line up changes during the entire decade, the band finally recorded its debut album “The First Dawn of Sorrow” in 2003, which was released on CD and cassete for a Serbian record label “One Records”. The material itself was raw and homemade, but songs quickly found their way to listeners on a radio show called “Demo express 202”. The song “The Triumph” was among the top three most played songs for several months, but political and economical situation in Serbia was far from good for the bands that played metal and rock music. After dozen of shows the band went on hiatus.
In 2012 Vlad Invictus gathers a new line up of Claymore, which plays on local festival in Lazarevac. The band enters a local studio (“Midnight studio”) in February 2013 and begins recording their sophmore album called “Lament of Victory”. Album was produced, mixed and mastered by Boris Šurlan, a very young and talented producer. Cover art was done by famous artist Dušan Marković, the same artist who worked on band’s previous album. After three months of hard work the album was finished on May 13th 2013.
The band will release the new album on October 25th under the famous Russian label “SoundAge Productions”.
Current line up:
Vlad Invictus - guitars, lead & backing vocals;
Dejana “Betsa” Pavlović - lead & backing vocals;
Goran “Bal-Gorgoth” Garčević - bass guitar & backing vocals;
“Fill T.” Todorčević - guitar & backing vocals.
Album title: Lament of Victory
Label: SoundAge Productions
Street date: October 25th, 2013
Genre: Epic power metal
Originaly formed as Nable in 2006, but after a few small recordings and line up changes the band changed its name to MOTHER ...CORONA in 2008.Formed by friends David Oglesby and Lee Cressey in the small Oxfordshire town of Didcot. The bands music is "a melting pot of Heavy- Distorded- Sludged out raw Grooves, Melodic Psychedelia and Spaced out Landscapes". They were joined by bass player Robert Glen that following summer.The band released its self titled debut EP on there own Button Mushroom label in the summer of 2010 to positive reviews from local rock press. Devolution mag said that "mother corona are one of those secret bands that everyone love's, well know this dirty little secret is out! While Heavy planet said "With sleazy grinding basslines, a fuzzy guitar tone and chunky rhythms, UK band Mother Corona have created an impeccable slice of psychedelic stoner rock madness! The band started to gig locally and make themselves a name on the local underground rock scene sharing stages with bands like Desert Storm, K-lacura, Undersmile, and many other local names.
In 2011 the band continued to gig up and around the country, and in may 2011 started recording there debut album out of the dust.Out of the dust was released in april 2012 on the bands oun button mushroom print, This release showcased the bands roots in heavy- spaced out- garage rock n' roll, from the rollocking hook laden Hedonist king to the deep longing of quaalude 74' right through to the landscapian wastelands of nuclear winter. The rockzine The Sleeping Shaman said "It’s fantastic to hear a solid British 3-piece smashing one out of the park on their debut release" while Sludgelord poured "Mother Corona have an exciting career ahead of them. This album proves why they can be one of the UK’s Leading Lights UK Metal for many years to come"
In 2014 Mother Corona released their 3rd effort "Reburn" on the When Planets Collide label,
this was a "Heavy Duty"
15 track album filled with "Sludge Anthems" from the short but pummeling "Black Acid Morning"
the paranoid twist of "Vertigo Terror" right through to the Utopian blast of "Stone Cold Universe" and the sweet mantra chant of "lily Mae"- Sludgelord boated that “Reburn” is a colossal album that sprawls and jams for nearly eighty minutes"
While Terrorizer said..."Oxford power trio Mother Corona's Orange Goblin - style riffs and nasally Billy Corgan - esque vocals work well, the grooves roll hard and the wah-wah solos smoke"
Mother Corona EP (2010)
Out Of The Dust (2012)
Sparta was formed in late 1979 by Tony Foster on lead guitar. The line-up was completed by Tony Warren on bass guitar, Karl ...Reders on vocals, Steve ‘Snake’ Reders on guitar and Paul ‘Radge’ Reders on drums. Karl, Paul and Steve started a novice band in late 1978 and had started following/assisting local Mansfield band Xerox. Xerox split up in 1979 leaving Tony Foster and Tony Warren. Karl, Paul and Steve joined up to form Sparta. Karl laid down his bass guitar to concentrate on vocals. Sparta come from Mansfield (in Nottinghamshire) - back in the early ‘80’s a town with a healthy local scene. There were a good number of local pub-based venues to play at the time and local bands to play. Savage and Tyrant being among them (as featured on the ‘Scene of the Crime’ album).
After having established a good local following, the next step for Sparta was to have their own vinyl out. In 1980, Nottinghamshire-based label Suspect Records put out Sparta’s debut single pairing “Fast Lane” with “Fighting to Be Free”. Suspect Records was formed to allow us to release our first single, financed by the band. 1,000 copies were pressed primarily for promotional purposes. “Fast Lane” was named ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds magazine. The single coupled with cuttings from the Sounds magazine allowed them to get interest in the band outside the local area. This allowed them to be able to secure support slots at bigger venues in the area with Diamond Head, The Ken Hensley Band (former Uriah Heep keyboard player), Praying Mantis, Lionheart, The Groundhogs and Budgie.
A year later, in 1981, Sparta unleashed their second 7" single “Angel of Death” (with “Tonight” on the flipside), once again on Suspect Records. It was again released on the same basis as the first single: 1,000 copies were pressed
After “Fast Lane” was voted ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds, England’s most popular weekly music paper at the time, the Heavy Metal bible Kerrang stepped in and printed an article about the band in their famous “Armed and Ready” section (named after a tune by the Michael Schenker Group).
Still in 1981, Suspect Records published a compilation of local bands under the name of “Scene Of The Crime”, the original vinyl sells for anything up to 100 English Pounds nowadays and there also exists a (supposedly Greek) bootleg CD. ‘Scene of the Crime’ featured five bands: Panza Division, Tyrant, Savage, Manitou and Sparta. Each band had an allotted time on the album and contributed their share of the costs. They did not have two songs at the time that fitted the slot, so ‘Lords of Time’ was picked as their sole contribution
Sparta also recorded two sessions for Radio Hallam .There was an initial session at Radio Hallam after the first single but any tapes have long since been lost. The second session was recorded with new vocalist Trev Morgan after Karl had left around 1982. Initial interest was a result of sending the first single to the Colin Slade Rock Show at Radio Hallam. The studio was not really set up for serious band recording. The material was recorded basically live in a limited time.
Sparta carried on through the mid- to late 1980’s with Mark Henshaw on vocals then Steve on vocals but did not make it into the next decade, they disbanded around 1990. This was really the last line-up of Sparta with Karl on bass and vocals, Steve on guitar/vocals, Paul on drums and Dave Drury on guitar. Under the name of Richter Scale they recorded a studio demo, a good recording, but lack of gig opportunities and Dave leaving the band caused it to fold.
In 2003, the two Sparta 7" singles were bootlegged by Brazilian label Phoenix Records, each with a circulation of 250 copies, “Fast Lane” on sky blue vinyl and “Angel Of Death” on transparent blue vinyl. For obvious reasons, Sparta are not too happy about this illegitimate release.
1981 - Houston, Texas, at the tender age of 16, Larry Barragan knows he wants to form a band that is special; one whose memb...ers would all compliment his burgeoning writing and playing skills to create a musical monster! He forms Helstar with members of his previous band, Black Rose.
1983 - After numerous lineup changes the band settles into its first solid recording lineup: James Rivera (vocals), Larry Barragan (guitar), Tom Rogers (guitar), Hector Pavon (drums) and Paul Medina (bass). The average age of the band at that time was 19! The band records an 8-song demo in the springtime. Almost instantaneously, the newly recorded demo becomes one of the most highly sought-after and traded demos of the underground tape-trading scene. Before long, this little old band from Texas with members still in high school, becomes internationally known and celebrated as the next big thing in heavy metal. By year’s end, the demo finds its way to the right people and thus begins the official career of one of the most influential underground US metal bands of all time, Helstar! The band sign with Combat Records in November and in December enters the studio to re-record the songs from the demo to release as its first album entitled ‘Burning Star’.
1984 – 'Burning Star' is released to much critical acclaim. The metal press takes notice and heralds the band for its musicianship and songwriting ability. Many quickly point out the band’s highly-talented vocalist ‘Bill Lionel’ AKA James Rivera, whose voice is described as Dio meets Halford and the twin guitar attack of Barragan and Rogers that is just as lethal as many well-known established acts. The band opens for well known act Wasp in Houston, Texas. Regional Texas touring ensues and solidifies the band’s status as a crowd favorite.
1985 – In July, the band enters Mad Dog Studios in Venice, California to record its second release for Combat. The lineup: James Rivera, Larry Barragan, Jerry Abarca (bass), Rob Trevino (guitar), and Rene Luna (drums). In December, the band plays its first ever arena show opening for Christian rockers Stryper in the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, TX.
1986 – In March, the band tours with Anthrax throughout Texas. ‘Remnants of War’ is released in June and receives much praise from around the world. The album is in the top 10 heavy charts in Germany and others in the press are giving stellar reviews. A US tour begins in October. The band is opening for Megadeth and TT Quick as well as some headline dates. The response is overwhelmingly positive. More regional Texas touring occurs with some headlining shows and a couple of special guest slots opening for King Diamond, and Keel.
1987 - The band relocates to Los Angeles and signs with Metal Blade records. The lineup: James Rivera, Larry Barragan, and Jerry Abarca with newcomers Andre Corbin (guitar), and Frank Ferreira (drums).
1988 – ‘A Distant Thunder’ is recorded and released. The band returns to its home base of Houston, TX and later embarks on its first ever European tour. The tour is a huge success playing several arenas with Yngwie Malmsteen and Tankard and also headlining and selling-out the famed Dynamo club in Eindhoven. In the U.S., the band is given a support slot for Savatage at their performance in Riverside, CA.
1989 – The band records and releases ‘Nosferatu’, which is partially a concept album with the first six songs dedicated to the story of Braum Stoker's ‘Dracula’. The music was highly complex, yet highly musical, and dealt with a subject matter that would become quite en vogue in years to come. At the time, it is misunderstood, yet now, almost unfailingly, most consider this release to be the band’s Magnum Opus. Also, this year saw the band tour with label mates Fates Warning in support of the Perfect Symmetry release.
1990 - The band records a 4-song demo with two new members, Aaron Garza (guitar) and Russell Deleon (drums). However, with the grunge movement gaining momentum, the face of heavy music in the U.S. is changing and the band is unable to secure a new deal.
1995 – The band signs with Massacre records and hires Megadeth bassist (and friend from years back) David Ellefson to produce its 5th release, ‘Multiples of Black’. The lineup: James Rivera, Jerry Abarca, Russell Deleon, Aaron Garza, and Mike Heald (guitar).
2000 - Metal Blade Records releases a live bootleg CD ‘Twas the Night of a Helish Xmas’.
2001 – Iron Glory Records packages 2 demo recordings and releases them as ‘The James Rivera Legacy’. James assembles a reunion lineup with Jerry and Russell and some guest musicians to perform at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Europe. Following this, the band embarks on a US tour beginning with the Milwaukee Metal fest and ending at the Powermad festival, held in Baltimore, MD. Participation in the German Bang Your Head!!! festival inspires James to organize a carbon copy of the event in Houston, TX, in which the band headlines.
2002 – The assemblage of reunited and guest musicians perform at the Dynamo festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
2004 – Touring Europe in support of his ‘Distant Thunder’ release on Massacre Records, James headlines the Keep It True festival in Germany as Helstar. Select appearances in Greece, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands follow. The lineup: James Rivera, Jerry Abarca, Mike Heald, Eric Halpern (guitar), and Mikey Lewis(drums).
2006 – The year 2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of ‘Remnants of War'. After 19 years of separation, James, Larry, Jerry, and Rob reform with Russell to bring the nucleus of this classic line-up back together.
In June the band plays its first show in San Antonio at the 4th annual Robb’s Metalworks Showcase. It is a triumphant return with people traveling from all over Texas and the US to witness the event. In August the band plays 2 shows at the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos, California, a sold-out performance in its hometown of Houston, TX and also appears at the 3rd annual Minneapolis Mayhem festival in Minnesota.
2007 – In March the band lands supporting act for Testament in Houston, Texas, while the summer yields two festival performances; Burning Star Metal Fest II in San Marcos, CA and Bang Your Head USA Texas II, held in Houston. Amidst these events, the classic reunited lineup garners interest from AFM Records, located in Hamburg, Germany, with whom they ultimately sign a four album worldwide distribution deal. The album 'Sins of the Past' is recorded over the summer months at Bravo Studios in Houston, TX, and Skull Seven Productions in Northridge, CA. AFM Records releases 'Sins of the Past', in Europe on November 23, 2007; a collection of the band's favorite classic songs re-recorded with updated style and production, plus two brand new bonus tracks.
2008- The band kicks off the year by making several European festival appearances at Germany’s Keep It True and Rick Hard festivals and the Play It Loud festival in Italy. Later that year, the band releases its first official release of new material since Mulitples of Black. The album, ‘The King Of Hell’ is released in October on AFM Records and shows a different side of the band; a darker, heavier and more aggressive face is shown to the world.
2009 - Multiple regional and international tours follow with the band making appearances at several major European festivals such as Germany’s Head Bangers Open Air, Belgium’s Alcatraz Metal Fest, and Sweden’s largest festival, Sweden Rock.
2010 – After making several guest appearances during the last few months of the King Of Hell touring cycle, drummer Mikey Lewis claims sole ownership of the throne. Re-invigorated, the band records and releases ‘Glory of Chaos’ and this time it takes no prisoners. The album is an all-out thrash assault. Larry Barragan states, "It's the album I've always wanted to make. It's the heaviest and definitely thrashiest album we've ever done. It's an album that just punches you in the face." More regional and international touring ensues, with the band finally making its first ever appearances in the UK and Poland.
2012 - After 30 Years of life, Helstar releases its first official live DVD to commemorate the milestone. Recorded live in their hometown of Houston, Texas, ’30 Years of Hel’ treats the fans to classic tunes from every album spanning the band’s storied career. The band embarks on its most ambitious tour since reforming in 2006, with first ever appearances in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, to name a few.
2013- The band kicks off the year with performances on the 3rd annual 70,000 Tons of Metal Festival (cruise ship) and several other select shows around Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and Connecticut. The remainder of the year is spent writing and recording.
2014 – Energized from the writing, recording, and mixing process, the band is ready to destroy all that comes within its path. Helstar is set to release This Wicked Nest, worldwide to the masses on April 25, 2014. An album that promises to return the band to its roots of power metal while combining the thrash elements of Glory of Chaos, This Wicked Nest will certainly prove to the world that there is much more left in these Texas Metal Legends!
True Metal Lives
The Voice Of The Underground