San Francisco boasts a long and well-recognized tradition of musical creativity. Not just an artefact of the past, this inventiveness has carried through to the present. Saros stands out among the Bay Area’s current crop of eclectic and talented artists, fusing multiple influences and personalities into a flowing inundation of moody aggression.
Taking the name of his label from the first of writer Robert E. Howard’s fantastical Kull story series, it’ll probably come as no surprise that Shadow Kingdom Records’ and Distro deals extensively in material where swords, shields, impossibly tall marble castles and scenic green hills are stained claret-red with the remnants of some mythical battle feature prominently on album covers. But a random sampling of both the titles Shadow Kingdom owner Tim McGrogan distributes and the bands with which he works illustrates that he’s not as dogmatically dedicated to epic/traditional metal as you might expect.
The Hellbound staff wax poetic about their favourite Maiden album.
While the classic Swedish death metal scene of the late eighties and early nineties has influenced today’s scene immeasurably, there are legions of new metal fans today that have yet to discover classic bands like Nihilist, Carnage, Unleashed and Grave. The retro thrash movement is of course all the rage as of late, but not a lot of new bands have yet to pay homage to those classics captured in the formative days of Stockholm’s Sunlight Studios. Ventura County, California based quartet Fatalist is one band that would like to try and help reintroduce that classic Swedish sound to the burgeoning metal masses.
“I get so many emails a day, through Facebook and even through my personal email account from people who don’t know me – and even people who do know me,” explains music journalist Amy Sciarretto, who teamed up with her friend and colleague Rick Florino to pen Do the Devil’s Work for Him: How to Make it in the Music Industry (and Stay in it) (McCarren Publishing). “I was giving advice away so much that I realized I was giving the same advice over and over again, so obviously there was a need for this information, so why don’t we put it in a book?”
While Darkthrone may have been associated with the second wave of black metal by virtue of its time and place, the hellish duo behind the band, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, always associated their band with the first wave of black metal, prior to the establishment of rigid genre boundaries. Back then, black metal had more to do with attitude and spirit. Darkthrone has always remained firmly entrenched in that black metal ethos.
Despite the social consternation that both rock music and motorcycles shared, the coupling of the two eventually created a seamless union between man and machine. “Today there are not too many avenues to feel that sense of freedom, and I think that’s an exciting thing for people who ride motorcycles,” says Chris Barnes, frontman for Florida’s Six Feet Under and proud owner of a custom 2005 Harley Davidson.
Find out what HELLBOUND’s contributors are listening to this month. Each writer has submitted their Top 5 list and have an option to list a book and a film they are into right now too.
Of all the original NWOBHM bands, few have been as sadly under-valued as London’s Tank. Formed by former Damned/Saints bassist Algy Ward in early 1980, Tank took the raw aggression of Algy’s former punk bands and applied it to a more metal setting.
Thanks for joining us for the launch of Hellbound.ca, Canada’s newest metal webzine. Updated weekdays with 2 – 3 new album reviews, concert reviews and photos as well as in-depth interviews with bands that span the realm of underground metal, Hellbound hopes to fill part of the void left with the unfortunate recent closings of Unrestrained!, Metal Edge and Metal Maniacs.