Beehler. The Man. The Band. The Legend grows….anyone who is a professed ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ who grew up in the 80s will know who Dan Beehler is. Moreover, they’ll remember the sound that defined the band he sang AND drummed for – Exciter. Almost 3 decades on and he’s now back again with that ‘pounding metal’ sound from hell!!
Hi Dan, lemme say first off that as a fan who bought “Heavy Metal Maniac” all those years ago what an honor it is to finally interview you! I actually wanted to speak to you at Metallica’s Marquee show in ’83 but you were such a big dude I felt a little intimidated being just a 13 year old kid LOL – lemme say how much I respect you for being a drummer / vocalist. As I remember, it was only you and Zoetrope’s Barry Stern (RIP) who pounded and screamed in unison!!
Arguably one of the most enigmatic bands at the turn of the 80s, California’s Cirith Ungol remain one of the cult bands in the mists of metal history. With demand still for the band, Metal Blade will be releasing “Servants Of Chaos” and Shan Siva got a once in a life time opportunity to interview drummer Robert Garvin!
Greetings Elven ones – as a fan of Moorcock and Karl Edward Wagner I haveta say that your cover to “Frost n Fire” remains a classic to this day! I take it that you’re Tolkien fans so what did you think of Peter Jackson’s interpretation of LOTR? I must confess I sill have a place in my heart for Ralph Bakshi’s animated version….
Robert: I can’t speak for all the other members but I thought it was very well done, hoping now for a multi part Elric saga!
I haveta ask, using the name Cirith Ungol so blatantly, did u ever get into any trouble with the Tolkien people legally?
Robert: A company in the US Saul Zaentz bought the rights to make “The Hobbit” and the LOTR in animation. We asked permission to use the name for our band and it was granted. I still have the letter granting us permission to use it. In retrospect we should have used a different name as everyone thinks this was something that held us back as it was to hard to pronounce or remember. Continue reading
“Unleashed And Dangerous” MCD
LOL – with names like Dude Rock and Pete Sin, be prepared for some serious kick ass rock n roll – although tempered by remaining members Gary Dainty and Roxx Hydi! And that’s pretty much the essence of London’s WS, GnR fire mixed in with the cool groove of Buckcherry on songs like ‘Fakeness’, ‘Drugs And Angels’, and ‘I Want More’. It’s not too threatening but not exactly wimpy either so I can see a wide appeal for these guys, especially if they have a good live act to match, cos their musicianship is certainly up there and they’ve got bunches of energy! Continue reading
“Under The Grey Banner”
Wow, I’m feeling anything but grey after listening to this stupendous album! Closing off the year in style comes this fine, fine symphonic metal band from Sweden who also seem inspired by the neo classic sounds of Hans Zimmer and Lord Of The Rings – wow, I mean WOW! Needless to say songs like ‘Dunir’s Forge’ and the awesome ‘Fire And Brimstone” reflect both the passion and classic nature of these themes with a musicianship that’s second to none. Elsewhere, like on ‘Throne Of Bones’, the band almost opt for a Falconer style folk spoken word, while the delicate ‘Ivory Shores’ could’ve only been conceived by the Elves themselves. Much more than just a musical release, this astonishing 5th release by Dragonland could almost be a concept album – hardly a surprise when you consider that their first 2 self produced albums were based on The Dragonland Chronicles – and is certainly worthy in stature to anything conceived by Howard Shore for LOTR. Continue reading
Metalli neo thrashers may not be the most suave metallers out there, but these Yorkies know their stuff in keeping to the basics of solid, crunching riffs, chugging rhythm and gruff vocals. This EP is mixture of new tracks like ‘The Rules Of Engagement”, which incidentally features Annihilator’s riff meister general Jeff Waters, as well as older material like ‘Severance’ and a re recorded version of ‘Darkness’. “Evolution” is also a limited edition release, with the first one-hundred orders receiving signed copies with a free exclusive poster. All in all a nice little appetizer from the steadily growing English band. Continue reading
“Of Love And Death”
(Pure Legend Records)
Crom was formed in the late 90s as the initial side project of Dark Fortress guitarist Walter “Crom” Grosse as a tribute to Bathory. However, it has since become his full time one man project and quite amazing it is too, not due to any brutality or evil or playing – but the overwhelming passion and emotion inherent in the powerful melodies and ambiences making up the 9 songs herein. Essentially playing epic melodic rock metal, Crom’s music is also tragic, dwelling on the all too familiar theme of the fallen hero, made all the more sad by the fact that he wearily fights on even in his doom, if only for honor. As such, songs like ‘My Song For All The Broken Hearts’, ‘Reason to Live’ and ‘My Destiny’ are highly emotionally charged but also beautiful from Grosse’s soulful vocals to the choral harmonies to delicate guitarwork, all of which have a strong Nordic style. Joining Grosse, who guitars, bass and backing vocals, are Seraph (Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, Revamp) on drums and V. Santura (Dark Fortress, Triptycon, Celtic Frost) on additional guitars and backing vocals. Despite being 3 years in the making, “Of Love And Death” is nothing short of superb in pretty much every aspect from its songwriting to production to playing. But more importantly, it is also unique, showing that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and also reflective of one man’s passion and dedication. Crom, I salute thee! Continue reading
“Fire And Forget”
Named after the various personal injuries suffered by the band members (not to mention those brave enough to enter their mosh pits!), as well as their no nonsense style of metal, England’s Skeletal Damage are sort’ve a new version of the old school being guys who grew up to the sounds of Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera. Raw heavy riffing, Hatefield gruff vox and precision double bass drumming typify songs like ‘Kissing Knives’, ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ and ‘The Dogs Of War’. However, it’s not an all out thrashblast assault, as Skeletal Damage have indeed learned from the great ones in carefully tempering their furor with slower but the non the less heavy passages. All in all this debut pretty much sez what it does on the tin – although they should supply a pair of earplugs to go with it! Continue reading
Gotta hand it to Al(ien) Jourgensen, after all these years, he’s still milking it from the Revolting Cocks aka RevCo. If anyone though that he was getting soft in the head, then it sure didn’t affect his loin with his release of “Got Cock” in 2010. Still as crass, lewd and just plain bad taste to some, RevCo’s blend of industrial / noise / metal (depending on who’s in the band at the time of recording) is cult to others, who undoubtedly form the drooling disciples of Jourgensen who lap up this shit. As if goading us even further, he now releases “Got Mixxx?” but you should be so lucky if its newbies yer after – this is a cock in hand re-mixxx by Blownload frontman Erie Loch that probably has more in common with your local dance club than metal – that is, until they see titles like ‘Trojan Horse’ (deffo not about Brad Pitt!), ‘Piss Army’ and the immortal ‘Me So Horny’ LOL. Some things will always be the same. Continue reading
“Darkest Before The Dawn”
Wow, these 4 young lad(ette)s from Madchester are like a dark, high energy goth rock band mixed in with punk and the off the wall beats of The Pixies! Formed by the Hebenton twins, Jane (lead) and Helen (bass), and completed by Tom on drums and Mark on vocals, on the face of it, Eden Wakes look like 4 extras from the ‘Twilight’ sagas going off to a Halloween ball. Except this ball would be with their local death, black and hardcore talent! Songs like ‘Where Are The Vultures’, ‘Fall Before Vermillion’ and ‘Faust Macabre’ have a decidedly dark and heavy vibe mixed in with Holden’s trippy, almost haunting vocals and melancholic guitar creating a powerfully captivating and atmospheric experience that you never wish to woken up from. Continue reading
“Third Act In The Theatre Of Madness”
(Pitch Black Records)
Too true, it seems that Danish band Illnath are indeed on their third act having since been formed in 1999 as a symphonic metal band. Today’s Illnath are a trio with only mainman Pete Falk left from the original line up and play melodic death metal with creepy theatrical keyboards. Even more scary are Mona Beck’s vocals, which are truly brutal for such a lovely looking girl – one can only imagine what beast lurks in her inner soul! Still, there is a romantic beauty inherent in songs like ‘Snake Of Eden’, ‘Tree Of Life And Death’ and ‘Vampira’, no doubt thanks to the use of Falk’s tasteful guitar melodies as well as some well placed atmospheric keyboards. I’m not sure what the future holds for Illnath but even if this turns out to be their final performance, they have gone out on a high note worthy of an encore. Continue reading