NOTHING SACRED – BIOGRAPHY

Rising from the developing Melbourne metal underground in 1983, Nothing Sacred were one of the mainstays of the Australian Metal scene during the mid 1980’s. With a sound that blended the speed of bands like Anthrax with the melody and twin leads of bands like Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, Sacred brought a powerful live presence to the stage.  Countless gigs through out Melbourne’s network of metal venues, multiple tours of Adelaide and Sydney, appearances at the legendary Metal For Melbourne shows in 83 and 84/85, and a headlining performance at Metal For Melbourne 86 cemented the band’s reputation as a hard working, high energy live act.
The core of Nothing Sacred was the trio of vocalist Mick Burnham, bassist Karl lean and drummer Sham Hughes.  Guitarists Mark Woolley and Buddy Snape formed the initial lineup, with Snape replaced in 86 by George Larin, followed by Terry Campbell and Richard Bubica replacing Woolley and Larin in 88.
In 1985 the band released its debut recording, the 4 track “Deathwish” EP featuring the tracks “Deathwish” and “No Rest” -iconic songs from the band’s live repertoire.
In 1988 the 12 track album “Let Us Prey” was released.  The album featured cover art by Danish Artist Joe Petagno, the man behind Motorhead’s album covers.
In 1989 the band as booked to open for Megadeth on the Melbourne leg of their Australian tour, but the gig was cancelled when Megadeth abandoned the tour.  The band returned to the studio to record the second album, “Nemesis”, but internal pressures within the band at the time lead to the recording sessions being abandoned and the album was never completed.
In 1993 the band returned for a 10th anniversary performance, headlining the “Metal Foundry” gig.

Line-up:

1983-86
Mick Burnham – Vocals
Sham Hughes    – Drums
Karl Lean – Bass
Mark Woolley – Guitars
Buddy Snape – Guitars

1986
Mick Burnham – Vocals
Dave Browne    – Drums
Karl Lean – Bass
Mark Woolley – Guitars
Buddy Snape – Guitars

1987
Mick Burnham – Vocals
Sham Hughes    – Drums
Karl Lean – Bass
Mark Woolley – Guitars
George Larin – Guitars

1988-89
Mick Burnham – Vocals
Sham Hughes    – Drums
Karl Lean – Bass
Terry Campbell – Guitars
Richard Bubica – Guitars

2012-
Mick Burnham – Vocals
Sham Hughes – Drums
Karl Lean – Bass
George Larin – Guitars
Ross Percy – Guitars

ALLOY CZAR – BIOGRAPHY

Alloy Czar became a reality when 3 high school friends, Charlie McCormick (guitar), John Beaird (drums, vocals) and Scott Wilson (bass) made the move to pursue their dream of forming a rock band. While pursuing this dream the band had made a decision to expand the scope of the band. By accident while visiting a local grocery store John ran across Bob Parduba (vocals). They struck up a conversation and discovered they had similar musical interests, so an audition was arranged and it was decided this was an excellent musical fit for everyone.

Writing for this the now 4 piece line-up began immediately, Bob contributed “On the Run” as his first song written for the band and then the writing of original material took off. Ideas flowed and Alloy Czar then entered Avalanche Recording studios to start putting their ideas on tape. Demos being done the band realized there was something that needed to be added to the band. Billy Mitchell (keyboards, guitar, vocals) was added. The line-up now complete Alloy Czar started playing cover songs mixed in with their original music in clubs through out Colorado and the mid west.

The band became popular, building a large following and at this time the band decided to enter the studio again. “Stalker” and “Taking The Lead” were recorded with Billy adding more originals to the band repertoire. At this time, Alloy Czar entered “Taking The Lead” in a regional competition of local original bands being sponsored by local radio station KPKE to be released on a compilation album. “Taking The Lead” was accepted and the review of the song was (a successful song released by an already successful band). The song received radio airplay and the band played showcase concerts to promote the album and the band. The highlight for the band was headlining a concert at the Boulder Theatre in Boulder, Colorado in conjunction with the KPKE Colorado Rocks album. The band continued to tour, lost and replaced members and then eventually called it a day.

Charlie, John and Scott still are active in music; Bob went on to join Jag Panzer releasing “Chain Of Command”. The whereabouts of Billy are unknown. The band members are pleased to have this collection of demos finally released for all to enjoy.

XCEL – BIOGRAPHY

XCEL from Port Neches and Nederland, TX, USA were formed in 1985 from the ashes of the band Wizzard. The band’s primary line-up featured Barry Duncan and Kevin Cox on guitar, Kevin Luke on vocals, Dag Gabourel on drums, and Peter Voight on bass.

       From the start the band rehearsed relentlessly, working hard on their original compositions. The first songs they composed were “Out To Maim” and “Teaser”. Influenced by bands like Queensryche and Iron Maiden, Xcel would push their Power Metal style a little further, delivering a musical result that would be marked by magnificent melodies, a heavy and solid rhythm section, brilliant double guitar harmonies, and of course the powerful, yet clean vocals of Kevin Luke, another of the band’s big trademarks.

Their very first live show was done on January 3, 1986, at the Port Arthur Civic Center. Working hard to promote the show themselves, the band managed to strike a sold out concert delivering their “Tasteful metal” to the audience. 1100 tickets were sold that night and there has been no one, before or since, to pull off that big of a show being just a new, local band.

More shows followed but the main goal at the time was to record their music. Normally, most new bands would enter the studio to record a three or four song demo tape.  However, that was not the case for Xcel. The band’s thought was simple and clear: “Hey, let’s put out an album to show them we mean business and that we’re capable of doing it on our own”. Barry Duncan recalls: “Again, we wanted to turn the world upside-down. Queensryche had done it with their self-produced demo, why not us?”. So, in April of 1986 they entered Triplex Studios, in Port Arthur, Texas and in one week, they recorded their “Deliver This Dream” debut, released the very same year by TRI Records on vinyl and cassette. There was no record deal and everything was self-financed. TRI Records was just a couple of local guys with a decent bit of recording equipment and a nice recording facility. They were kind enough to let the band use their “label” for the album. The album included 8 of the band’s first set of originals and what they felt best showcased their flexibility for a potential record contract. I am assuming that those who are holding this re-release are aware that “Deliver This Dream” is one of the most inspired Metal releases ever made. There is not enough space here for reviews and no need actually. Just press the play button on your CD player and listen for yourself.

The band was never happy with the album’s original production. Unfortunately, the engineers at Triplex studios had only recorded Country and Western artists; they had never done any Rock ‘n’ Roll or Metal bands. Dag recalls: “The engineers didn’t have a clue how to produce a heavy sound when they tried to mic my snare drum from the bottom”. One of the biggest goals in this re-release was to bring the album sound to a level that would match the band’s vision and do justice to the music. By having the band and engineer George Coyne at Parrot Tracks Studio in Austin, Texas resurrect a 26 year old master tape, remix and remaster the entire original album, I feel we have succeeded that goal.

So the album was out and the band was doing shows to promote it. It was time for the band to get someone to bring them to the next level. Again on their own, they made it to Houston, Texas and after a show there, they were approached by a management company who signed them but unfortunately did nothing for them. The band severed ties with that company and hooked up with LD Promotions in California hoping for something better. This turned out to be nothing as well. In both cases, it was all promises and no action. The feedback they were receiving on the album locally was encouraging, but it needed broader exposure.

However, one bright spot out of the partnership with LD Promotions was the release of a 7” single. The single included two tracks: “Last Ride of Ichabod Crane” and “Teaser” on new re-recorded versions except for the drums.  The drum tracks used on those new versions were the ones recorded for the debut album. It is worth noting that the two new versions of the songs appearing on the single had better production than the originals. The single was released in 1987 on Accent Records. It was produced to be given out to radio stations across the United States and was never sold to the public. Accent Records was an independent label in California that was used only for the purpose of producing the single, much in the same way TRI Records did for the original album. Only 500 copies of the single were made. Both “Last Ride Of Ichabod Crane” and “Teaser” are included as bonus tracks in this re-release straight from the original 7” single, also remastered by the band and George Coyne at Parrot Tracks Studio in Austin, TX.

It was 1987, time was passing and the band was still after a big deal with a record label, but nothing was on the map. Outside of some positive feedback from the west coast and north-eastern United States, the single distributed to the radio stations didn’t do much of anything. However, the truth was, the band’s management company had other intentions with the interest that Xcel was starting to generate with potential investors.  Here was Xcel, full of talent and passion, with no one to promote and move them forward the way they deserved.  Kevin, Dag, Kevin, Peter and Barry tried to keep the band going. But since they had set such a high bar for themselves, it was costing them too much of their own money to keep pulling off these shows, while one break after the other didn’t pan out. It got to the point where they couldn’t even afford a place to practice anymore and with bills piling up, they had to look elsewhere to survive. It was actually the U.S. stock market crash of October 1987 that really led to the band losing funding and investors pulling their money.  This marked the beginning of the end of the band.

However, the members of Xcel remained friends and never lost contact with each other. In 2011 they began rehearsing some of their classic material as well as songs that they had composed in the late 80’s, but never recorded. There is also the possibility of some new songs in the works. This re-release actually marks the potential return to action for Xcel. Everyone at Arkeyn Steel Records is extremely happy and honored for this re-release. This CD gives the newer fans the chance to discover this masterpiece that is called “Deliver This Dream” and it is a good starting point for a potential new era of Xcel that hopefully will bring even more great and high class Metal!

The dream is on!

Chris Papadakis, March 2013

CRILLSON – BIOGRAPHY

The Hard Rock Band CRILLSON was formed in Glennallen, Alaska in 1984.

The name CRILLSON was created by founding members: Chris Craig (drums), Dan Miller (guitar) and Todd Wilson (bass) combining parts of their last names. Shortly after we began we asked Steve Heath (guitarist) to join the band. In 1989 we found our singer Jesse Rezendes and current bassist J.R. Dicks in Wasilla, Alaska. There we began writing our first album “Coming of a New Age” and performing all over Alaska. Steve Heath then moved on to other projects. Crillson then went to Surreal Studios in Palmer, Alaska to record “Coming of a New Age”. We went on to become a top rock band in the state of Alaska. While playing at local clubs and arenas promoting our first album we were able to distribute and sell all of the original CDs from the first release. In 2000 we recorded our second album “Mellow To Metal” in Dan Miller’s home studio but it was never officially released.

In 2011 we were contacted by producer and record company owner Kostas Athanasoglou at Arkeyn Steel Records in Greece. It was with his relentless pursuit and deep desire to re-release CRILLSON “Coming of a New Age” CD and combine the songs from our second unreleased album on to one disc. Without Kostas this record would not be possible.

The band is still very tight and when possible we jam and work on new material. New songs are being recorded and new material for our old and new fans will be released soon.

Regards,
CRILLSON

BATTALION – BIOGRAPHY

Battalion was formed in 1990 with Rob Kay as the drummer and lead singer, Les Rouse as lead guitar, Arron Pabst on rhythm guitar, and Kjell Hatlevig on bass guitar. Rob Kay had an amazing voice coupled with a hard driving rock and roll drum style that really stood out. Les Rouse had a gritty guitar sound and the ability to write songs with a catchy hook that left you looking forward to what was going to be played next. Ultimately Battalion had a truly awe inspiring heart for the lost and an uplifting message in every song they performed which made this group tend to stand out. This original group began writing songs and playing live shows in and around local venues that opened many new and exciting doors in a short amount of time.

With Rob Kay singing lead vocals and playing drums at the same time it left the stage somewhat lacking with no official front man. It was decided early on to find another vocalist and that is when the sound man for the group stepped up to the task and began singing for Battalion. That guy was Brad Lundstrom. Brad was raw and original in his vocal attack and grabbed the front man position with both horns. Rob, Les, Brad and Kjell were able to incorporate some fairly striking harmonies into the song writing style and Les was able to write some cutting edge riffs that just worked great for this foursome. At that time no one had any idea how fast Battalion would start hitting the stage on a regular basis and soon be writing all new songs with studio recording projects just around the corner.

Rob, Brad, Les, and Kjell worked very hard to record a demo tape in 1991 at Wave Digital studio which would soon land Battalion into a small US tour and another recording project at Wonderland studio in 1993. Rob Kay’s sister Audrey Kay helped with keyboard additions and pushed some of the songs to a new level. Member changes unfortunately began to haunt Battalion even during the recording process at Wonderland. Rob Kay stepped down and Joe Siegel began drumming for Battalion. Kjell Hatlevig left and Jay Curatolo took over the bass spot. Jay and Joe were fired up and really came through as the rest of the recording work at Eclipse studio was finalized in Omaha, Nebraska. Jay was only able to help with the recording process at that time. Battalion ads were now being featured in many Heavens Metal magazine issues along with the CD “Runaway” packaged and sent across the US with Sun Coast Distributions, under Moonlight Productions, and Direct National Runaway Switchboard Hotline incorporated into the booklet. The group was now set to finish up the US tour and start working on new songs for future recording projects. Everything looked as if something big was about to happen.

Once Battalion went back out into the live show arena Jamie Yonk took over the bass guitar spot and Matt Lombard joined the group as the rhythm guitarist. Matt and Jamie brought a much heavier music style into the group but the writing style and vocal intensity stayed true to the original sound. By 1994 Battalion was now writing a whole new set of songs and working toward a second recording project in hopes to work with Rugged Records. That project was never finished as the group parted ways before anything could be finalized.

Battalion did re-unite for a small show in their hometown in 1996 with Rob Kay, Kjell and Chad Hatlevig, Les Rouse and Brad Lundstrom playing some old and new material which would end up being the last time Battalion was able to perform live.

Thank you to all who were involved in any and all endeavours that Battalion was a part of. We thank God for the memories, friendships, and fellowship that came from this union.

Brad Lundstrom, 2011

WARLORD – BIOGRAPHY

Mark Zonder moved to Los Angeles from San Jose around 1980 or so, an accomplished drummer already, who had played in a hard rock band called “Russian Roulette”. Guitarist and composer William J Tsamis, inspired mainly by the European Metal scene of the time, was already creating his plan for a Metal band. So he chose the name “Warlord” as a band name when it was suggested to him by his metal comrade, Alex Bargelt. Through a girl named Rachel, Mark met William and eventually invited him to move to LA to start Warlord as a professional entity.
One condition of being a member Warlord was that you had to give up your cherished name. You had to take on a mythological pseudonym like Destroyer, Thunder Child, Damien King, etc. There was a complete vision built inside and around the band, present through their unique epic, lyrical and romantic spirit; but meanwhile, the heavy, powerful and thundering musical style that was combined with everything else was band-related: the band name, the pseudonyms, the logo, and even their planned live show when they would hit the stage – everything was planned detail by detail.
One day, Mark and William noticed an advertisement from one Brian Slagel who was looking for metal bands to record his Metal Massacre compilation album to be released on his new independent label Metal Blade Records. The two went to Slagel’s record store (Oz Records) and asked him to play some songs of songs off of their recent (1981) demo. Slagel took the tape and put it into his system, and heard the song “Winds of Thor”. It must have only been seconds when Slagel asked the two if Warlord would record a song for his compilation album. The two accepted, and “Lucifer’s Hammer” was released on the now classic “Metal Massacre II” (released on February 1st, 1983 by Metal Blade Records). It was Jack Rucker (Damien King I) who laid down the vocal tracks, and Diane Kornarens (Sentinel) who played the keyboards, while William played the guitars and bass, and Mark thundered on the drums.
Shortly thereafter, the group gathered a few hundred dollars, the money being about $800 and they proceeded to record their first album “Deliver Us” which was released by Metal Blade Records on April, 29th, 1983. For a young Metal band, surrounded by a glam infested pop scene, the album was a success hitting radio stations and drawing rave reviews from the highly critical British music press. The songs “Winter Tears” and “Child of the Damned” hit #3 and #5, respectively, in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the biggest music marked in the United States. “Child of the Damned“, was also regularly played on the radio in Los Angeles. It was a time when “Deliver Us” albums were stacked in major record stores 6 feet high. Soon after the album release, there was another Metal Massacre release that featured the Warlord song: “Mrs Victoria” which was included on the Metal Massacre III compilation (released on June 20th, 1983). Fan mail was pouring in from everywhere, Mark and William were on the radio doing interviews and radio spots; there was great excitement and promise. Warlord was definitely on the rise.
Line up changes came shortly as Rick Cunningham from Texas replaced Jack Rucker on vocals and a bass player was added: Dave Watry, a student at the “Bass Institute of Technology”, had proven himself worthy of playing with Warlord — indeed, Dave was the perfect player, the perfect “Archangel.” Thus, the rehearsals of Warlord were something phenomenal.
With the writing of the songs “Aliens” and “Lost and Lonely Days”, Warlord was compelled to go into the studio and record a 12″ single (out on May, 1984) which was the first recorded result of the band’s new line up. The single managed to hit #6 in the famous Japanese “Burrn Magazine.” And Warlord signed a deal with Watanabe Music of Japan (that also managed the works of the Scorpions, Accept, and Dio). Watanabe put out the Japanese Pressing of “Deliver Us” in February of 1984.
It was about this time that Warlord decided to go forward with the Video Soundtrack entitled “And The Cannons Of Destruction Have Begun. . .” (released on Metal Blade Records, October 1984). Contrary to other bands who were video-taping individual songs, hoping to get on MTV, Warlord was prepared to give their fans all over the world a live video and a soundtrack. It was another chance to re-record the “less-than-par” production of some of the songs from the “Deliver Us” LP, and it was a good idea for the fans to see Warlord in a live context.
However, there was a problem. After a number of rehearsals, it became evident that Damien King II (Rick Cunningham) was not singing perfectly on key. Since the music of Warlord is so melodic, any dissonance in the vocals caused a disconnection between the music (which was perfect) and the vocals. It became evident that Rick had to go, and the hunt for a new singer became the hunt for the impossible. William remembers that Mark and he went to the extent of “Calling Geoff Tate, or even going to the house of Ronnie James Dio to drop off an album, hoping against all hope that we would, once and for all, find the right singer.” It was the missing piece of the puzzle. And after numerous and numerous auditions, the gang settled for an excellent studio singer named Rick Anderson (who would be Damien King III). However this new line up would not last long.
The quest for the suitable singer kept the band off the stage, with no live show possibilities they focused on attempting to sign a major record deal by recording a new demo including the songs “Father” and “Thy Kingdom Come” (1985) and by trying to reach the record companies in every possible way. William and Mark pounded the pavement of Los Angeles personally going to every major record company to drop off a promotional kit. However not a single response or feedback was given by any label. So, it appeared that the whole endeavor was a failure. So the band members decided to go their separate ways soon after the entrance of Rick Anderson.
Mark Zonder joined Fates Warning first as a drum tech and then as the band’s official drummer when Steve Zimmerman left. Diane Kornarens moved on to the band Sahara and William J Tsamis focused on an academic career in philosophy and theology, eventually becoming a college professor in these subjects. He had moved to Florida and was simply creating music for his own satisfaction. Meanwhile Metal Blade Records released two compilation albums featuring selected Warlord songs: Thy Kingdom Come (1986) and Best Of Warlord (1989).
But in the year of 2001 the unexpected happened as Warlord got back together again to record a new album. William J Tsamis on guitars and bass, Mark Zonder on drums were there to offer up some new music. The vocal slot – which was always the big stumbling block for the band – was filled by the talented Swede, Joacim Cans from Goteborg (the singer of the band HammerFall and a big fan of Warlord). The three began rehearsing for a demo (late 2001) which would contain the original Warlord songs, “War in Heaven,” “Winds of Thor,” and “Sons of a Dream”. The magic was there. The “Rising Out Of The Ashes” album was the result of this reunion and it was released on July 22th 2002 by Atrheia Records / Drakkar Records. The release of the album was followed by the first ever official live show of the band in Wacken Open Air Festival (Wacken, Germany – 3/8/2002), prior to this show there were two smaller ones, a warm-up show at Club Hollywood (Itzehoe, Germany – 31/7/2002) and another one at Headbanger’s Ballroom (Hamburg, Germany – 29/7/2002 Rising Out Of The Ashes release party), with Heir Apparent as the opening act.
The years that followed found William J Tsamis focused on collegiate academic career along with family priorities. Warlord was once again on the ice … In August-September of 2011, however, William J Tsamis started thinking re-entering the music scene. Mark Zonder was enthusiastic about joining him and, it was decided that a new Warlord project and new album would be in the making. It is the fire that still burns and the fan’s unstoppable support for thirty years that helped to bring Warlord back together, plus the simple enjoyment of William and Mark playing together like they did in the very beginning. This Anthology is the first chapter of a new era and a new album will soon follow. The Kingdom Is Coming… Warlord is rising once again!

Chris Papadakis – March 2012

DRAGONSCLAW – BIOGRAPHY

Dragonsclaw was conceptualised in 2007 by guitarist, Ben Thomas and inspired by the epic compositions and raw technicality of bands such as Symphony X, Adagio and Kamelot. Dragonsclaw remained an idea until Thomas could find a line up of like-minded metal virtuosos to bring his compositions to life. During this time Ben built up a local reputation as an up and coming six-string shredder, playing guitar with Sydney thrash metal band, Paindivision. Thomas was also featured as a guest guitar soloist on the Empires of Eden album’s, “Reborn In Fire” and “Songs Of War And Vengeance”.

New Zealand born vocalist, Giles Lavery, joined Dragonsclaw in 2010. He brings to Dragonsclaw an immense vocal range and a fine ear for catchy choruses and vocal melodies. Giles’ influences run deep in the ether of metal & hard rock music, from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest , Manowar and King Diamond to A.O.R groups such as Survivor, Journey and Foreigner. Lavery fronted NZ metal group, Bloodwych, through the late 90’s and has most recently been singing with the Australian Ronnie James Dio Tribute Show.

Giles’ faithful renditions of Dio classics lead to him being invited to sing on several local and international projects. Lavery has recently recorded with New Zealand metal band, Beltane, on their album, “Auld Toby” and with the Australian traditional metal band, Doomed Beast, which has drawn acclaim from legendary Darkthrone drummer, Fenriz.

Keyboardist, Ray Martens, has a long history in Australian rock and heavy metal having played in bands such as Paindivision, Shock Therapy, Scoundrel and Mr Scary. A reformed Mr Scary supported Danger Danger frontman, Ted Poley on his 2010 Australian Tour. Martens has most recently been playing alongside Giles in the Australian Ronnie James Dio Tribute Show to packed venues and audience acclaim.

The band is rounded out by Ben’s brother, Aaron Bryn Thomas, on bass and orchestration. Aaron recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Music, and runs Llewellyn studios where Dragonsclaw’s debut album “PROPHECY” was tracked.

THE LAST THINGS – BIOGRAPHY

After Blackkout’s Ignorance of Man release Blackkout members changed reaching a peak in 1990 with the line up of Jerry Outlaw on guitar, Lee Gibson on drums, Darren McFarland on bass, and myself. We reached a high point in the summer of 1990 winning the Best Metal Band award at the Tampa Bay Music Awards. But by the end of the summer things had disintegrated through a series of unfortunate events. Including bad advice from management and my life spiraling out of control. The fact that we just couldn’t seem to get signed or afford to continue recording led to the eventual break up of the band.
Several months later I would ask Darren to join me on a new project, The Last Things. With Lou Buffo on Drums we started a new journey recording the first 6 songs professionally. Soon after the recording sessions Darren left and joined Atheist. Lou and I moved forward asking Jeff Cinotti to replace Darren on bass. Jeff recorded the remaining songs for us on Circles and Butterflies and performed with us at the Southeastern Music Conference, and at the St. Petersburg Science Center. We added guitarist George Harris. He would perform with us at the SMC. Guitarist Matt LaPorte would replace him when a schedule conflict would no longer allow George to perform with us. Matt performed with us at the St. Petersburg Science Center, and at the Ritz Theater at the Tampa Bay Metal Awards. Darren would return for that show also. It should also be mentioned that keyboardist Jeremy Wilkins from the band Rosewater Elizabeth performed with us at all 3 live gigs.
Another thing that should be mentioned here is that while Jerry Outlaw didn’t record on this project, I am sure that his influence was still affecting us. And his presence if not his writing was definitely with us, especially on the song “The Circle of Willis”.
The Last Things recorded in June of 1991 at Platinum Post Studio in Orlando, Fl. Returning to Platinum Post in December of that same year I mixed the first 6 songs on Circles and Butterflies with Bruce Marshall. Shortly after those sessions while still under the management of Tom Marzullo, things began to stand still. Communications all but stopped as Lou and I continued writing and working on pre production for the remaining songs. Waiting to hear word on new recording sessions it seemed as if the project was falling apart. With Darren leaving to work with Atheist I was forced to take things into my own hands securing several student sessions at Full Sail Studios.
Lou and I tracked the remaining songs together, adding friend Jeff Cinotti on bass. Producer Bruce Marshall had all but abandoned the project by this time. Tom Marzullo became ineffective as a manager and I realized how destructive his advice had been at times in Blackkout as well as TLT. For all the good he had done, the bad had begun to far outweigh the positive. My relationship with Tom Marzullo ended at this point. I learned the hard lesson that just because someone has gold and platinum records on their wall doesn’t mean they can help your music career.
Finishing the project became very difficult and we were forced to use student session demo versions of the remaining songs, as we couldn’t afford to mix them professionally. In hindsight we should have called them bonus tracks. We decided to put the CD out on our own anyway, hoping the last 5 tracks would hold their own as songs. We were hoping the listener would forgive the mix and enjoy the songs anyway.
Cutting a CD was quite different in 1993. The DAT Master was transferred to a PMCD and 1000 CD’s were burned from that. Our friend Chuck Majewski did the artwork. With the help of friends and family we learned how to get our CD booklets and J card printed and cut. We ordered our jewel cases through our friends at a local record store. I then put together 1000 CD’s by hand. We took them to all the local record stores in the Tampa bay area. We went on the radio with Austin Keys from 98Rock. On July 4th the first 6 songs were played over the airwaves by 98Rock during the Fireworks celebration. Several CD’s were sent to Bernd Siegle and Jürgen Tshamler of Thunderbolt magazine. They sent them out to many other magazines and contacts. Kirsten Vammen Larsen of Metalized Magazine out of Denmark contacted Bernd. He passed the contact information on to me and we began to talk business. At first Metalized bought the remaining CD’s I had left. I think it was around 700 CD’s. Nordic Metal offered a deal that would cover our manufacturing cost. I don’t remember how many CD’s Nordic pressed. I do know that our original pressing had dark purple silk screened on the CD with a black and white cover and Nordic Metal’s were done with green silk screening and color airbrushed over our art. I believe Nordic Metal was affiliated with Metalized magazine. At one point we talked with Rising Sun records but nothing ever came through. Nordic Metal may have done a deal with them but I’m not sure. The promotion for the CD was very limited. It just never received the distribution or advertising needed to get off the ground.
Once again lack of funds would limit our recording until I became the audio engineer for American Music Works, a studio located in St. Petersburg Florida. It would be at this studio in 1994 where Lou, Darren, and I would record together for the last time. I would ask several friends to sit in on these recordings, including, Triad from Blackkout, Chris Brown (the original drummer for Blackkout), my good friend Mark Shelton, and Melissa Rae Mileski from Rosewater Elizabeth lending her beautiful voice on Bloom, another song written for my daughter Morgan Jade.
Once again I allowed my life to interfere with the band and that chapter ended.
Over the years I have recorded and written many songs. The Last Things and Blackkout are an important part of my life and I hope to have the new Last Things recordings available soon so keep an ear out for a new release.
The Spirit Lives!
Thank You,
Richard W. Elliott IV

CYPERUS – BIOGRAPHY

The history of Cyperus (as told by Randy) All start at the early of 80’s… where do I begin… Drummer Jimmy Rositer introduced me to Jason when I was 15. Jason was down in his basement playing his guitar along to KISW…FM 100 “Seattle’s Best Rock”… which he spent most of every day doing. Jason was the best guitarist I had ever seen. A short time later I tagged along to a jam session out at Evergreen Shores. Standing behind the drums and listening to an AC/DC jam I asked what was missing. They said “The Bass line”… I went out and got a bass. Our friend Waylon ran into Scotty at Capital Mall… Said hi to him because he had drumsticks in his back pocket. He told us to check out this drummer who could play “YYZ” perfectly! I didn’t have my driver’s license yet but managed to take my mom’s car with our amps over to Scotty’s. It was all smiles… We bonded instantly and soon began writing our own songs. Next we had to decide on a name. Jason & I were watching a PBS show on how guitars were made and they were using cypress wood. We liked the way it sounded but decided to spell it our own way (where we high?). We almost picked “Mercenary” but decided on Cyperus because we wanted a name that wouldn’t limit our genre (as we planned to be in this band forever). Bruce basically hunted us down and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He walked into practice and nailed “Victim of Changes”… The job was his. I think our first show was the Tumwater High School talent show. The Tropicana in downtown Olympia was our stomping ground. We played The Astor Park in Seattle as well as The Gorilla Gardens and many others. Capital Lakefair vowed never to have rock bands again after we packed the fairgrounds with screaming metalheads. Bruce wanted to tour but we voted him down (damn us). Jason & I also played in the high school jazz band with drummer Barrett Martin (who went on to bigger and better things including Skin Yard, The Screaming Trees, Mad Season, and REM.…). Queensryche was the hottest thing… so following in their footsteps we went to Triad Studios and made a 5-song demo recording we released as “CYPERUS” on New Year’s Eve 1987 at the Temple Theater in Tacoma opening for Diamond Lie (Jerry Cantrell’s band before Alice in Chains). Local fanzine editor Brad Brink sent out 10 cassettes to fanzines in Europe and it was received extremely well. We received massive fan mail and several favourable reviews including one in Rock Hard Magazine of Germany. After several great shows and parties we went back to Triad and recorded full-length album in 1988 that was never released (except for a few cassette tapes produced in 1991 titled Blow It Out Your Ass). Things were really starting to roll. The recording was completed and we had played with (or would play with) several great bands… Metal Church, Heathen, Defiance, The Accused, Celtic Frost, Nuclear Assault, Death Squad, Fitz of Depression, The Melvins, Forced Entry, Nevermore, Bitter End, Alice in Chains, My Sister’s Machine, Neil Zaza, Chemikill (Wargasm), Blind (Godhead) and several more that I just can’t remember. We had just received our first (and only) recording contract. Our attorney told us we would get screwed… eight years seamed like a long time when we were 20… so we blew it off (oops!). We made a new 5-song demo produced by Kurt Vanderhoof in 1990 that was never released (Bruce’s last recording). Shortly after that Bruce got arrested (again) and sentenced to a year in jail. We had also learned that Scotty was HIV positive. He had received a contaminated blood transfusion in California while having knee surgery (this was before anyone had ever even heard of AIDS). Scotty now felt a sense of urgency and did not want to wait for Bruce to clear his legal problems so… Bruce was out. Sonny Harper’s band had recently disbanded so we gave him a shot at vocals. He had a “Bruce Dickinson” quality to his voice. We set up some shows and a Canadian Tour with Forced Entry. Sonny quit the day of our first Seattle show. Instead of cancelling the show I sang. We did the tour as a three piece. I had a “Lemmy” quality to my voice but never felt confident that I had the bands approval. “Dive ta Dat” -featuring me on vocals- 4-song demo recorded in 1991 and never released (except for a few copies sold at Canadian Tour with Forced Entry). We decided to give Sonny another shot (bad idea? I think so). Things went extremely well at first. In 1992 we recorded “Sanity Management” a full-length album with all new material more reflective of the driving metal band that we wanted to be. With several regional tours under our belt we had established a circuit throughout the Northwest: Canada, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, and of course Washington. We hit the studio again in 1994. This time we created the 5-song demo “STRESS” and we departed on a national tour. A show in Lubbock Texas with Nuclear Assault was the keystone. Unfortunately Scotty had health issues and had to leave the tour in the first week. We were joined by drummer Brett Schreiber and then later by drummer Eric Carlson who finished the tour with us. Again… Sonny quit the band… this time he left us in Dallas Texas (during a show) without telling us. We started playing and wondered why no vox. I looked at Waylon (crew) and he just shrugged. I thought maybe Sonny was having mic problems… it was more than just mic problems! So I sang. Within a few days Pat Aga graduated from road crew to singer and we finished the tour. We went on thru Oklahoma, Indiana, all the way to the East Coast and back. (Someday I may write the “Bus Chronicles”… Hi Booger Man… wherever you are!) Once back home we were faced with the harsh realization that Scotty could not continue, and that, as Led Zeppelin said when Bonham died, “we could not continue as we were.”

R.I.P. Scott Gerard Munger 04/14/1996

MERCURY RISING – BIOGRAPHY

Deep in the bowels of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the early 1990’s gave birth to a group of dreamers. Inside the brick and cement walls of an old dilapidated building, an aspiring drummer answered the call of Hal Dolliver, Chris Brush, and Gary Goldsmith, a threesome of unique musical axmen who deemed themselves Mercury Rising. Grounded in the footsteps and the influence of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Queensryche, they aspired to create a new sound – not to satisfy the masses, but to do justice to the music, and satisfy their own craving for something just a little more mature; a “thinking man’s metal”, if you will. In the years to come they would discover such bands as Fates Warning and Dream Theater, and pursue their desire to create more complex music accordingly. Beforehand, and in the wake of discovering this new “progressive metal”, Mercury Rising recorded their first 2 songs, “Slowly Killing Me” and “Under A Big Sky” in Falling Sound Studios – the basement of a budding, now well recognized engineer named Drew Mazurek. The 2 song demo featured their original singer Joe Nichols. After acquiring vocalist Clarence Osborne, the band continued writing and soon released a 5 song demo recorded in Oz Studios, again with the irreplaceable talent of Drew Mazurek, simply titled “Mercury Rising”. The help of producer Brad Divens, best known for his membership in the band Wrathchild America, gave the release an additional boost. This 5 song demonstration of a raw, uninhibited love for power metal was soon overshadowed by the release of their first full length CD “Upon Deaf Ears”, but the pure desire and determination of that first demo release was, and always will, remain the anchor of all that was yet to come. With that said, all thanks go out to Kostas Athanasoglou from Arkeyn Steel Records for reviving this release and offering it to those who care to listen. God bless you all.
Jeff Moos, 2010

MORIAH – BIOGRAPHY

Darren Godfrey (drums) and Noah King (guitar) met through a mutual friend in 1988, but another year would pass before they came together to make music. They immediately saw in each other the uncompromising partner that both had been searching for. They slowly began to forge the principles and direction of a new band as yet unrealized.    The first talented soul to join this vision (once again recommended by a mutual friend) was Doug St. John. As soon as he began to sing Darren and Noah exchanged excited glances, knowing that they had found the voice to front their fledgling project. And what a voice, strong and true, clear and passionate, a man who could sing far beyond his years. It was a good day.    The Bass player for this particular project? Not so easy….. after trying out many, many bass players they still had no one. It was then that they turned to a young guitar student of Noah’s.     John Freeman had only been playing for a few years, and had only recently decided to switch to bass. What he lacked in ability, he made up for with sheer will, and dedication. It was only a matter of months before he was a complete “monster” on the bass. And his approach and contributions became an enormous part of the “Moriah Sound”.    Thus solidified, the rest is history……    Moriah released their self titled demo in 1990. It was recorded and produced by the members themselves in their practice space.    In 1991 they released “Speak”. This MCD somehow found it’s way around the globe. And is probably why you’re reading this today.    1993 brought the release of “Moriah Live” a stellar showcase of the band at the height of it’s powers.    And in 1994, Moriah recorded the unreleased and untitled “last demo” just before disbanding.

KRAKEN – BIOGRAPHY

…Frustrated with the disillusioned corporate bullshit, KRAKEN in early 1982 decided to record their first LP With $5,000.00 from a government grant and another $5,000.00 from Phase One recording studios. Kraken also had another alley to make this LP a reality. It was Lips of Anvil himself. It was a big boost for Kraken. Kraken is doing an Album with Lips. They had toured together for close to a year and really enjoyed the Anvil experience. Lips understood and believed in the KRAKEN dream and it was great having him as their producer, mentor. There was a great vibe and spirit that Lips captured on the two-inch with the help of Joe Premeau. It felt as though the Gods were granting up new life.         We were all pleased with the project. It took us three weeks to record and get a rough mix. We would love to get a hold of the original masters but they were destroyed many years later. Fortunately, Spike had an original tape that was never played and was kept in a very safe place. Transferred to a CD, the quality still sounds great.        From 1984 to 1986 Kraken kept rocking and recording new material. It felt like the KRAKEN was cursed. We had great energy from fans in Europe, North America and even Japan but it failed to be recognized by the record companies. Frustrated Kraken decides to go their separate ways for a while till a fan in Europe took it upon himself to make a limited edition coloured Vinyl Album of the Kraken. It started to appear in Magazines, Metal Festivals and websites. Band members were hearing from hard-core metal fans worldwide via letters and now e-mails. The boys could not believe that a demo tape has created such a buzz on KRAKEN.        Then in 2006, one day Robbo said, “Kleave why don’t you call Spike?” We talked about the old days and how cool it would be if Kraken were put together again. Rome had other commitments and could not participate. Karm & Spike were excited and called Remy Cincinatto, a powerful drummer and pal to join in. Karm also at the time was working with Scott X, a great singer and friend and also asked him to join. The KRAKEN was ready to take flight and record again.       From 2006 to 2009, Kraken have been active in searching for a record company to release/distribute all 3 Kraken CD’s: Kraken Bootleg, Kraken Underground & Kraken I. Kraken has finished recording Kraken II at Powerlines Studio. Mixed, mastered and overdubbed at K.H.O.S. studios. KRAKEN is presently writing, recording new material and doing selective local shows. It’s been 30 years since their un-released debut album and with Kraken III scheduled to record in 2010 THE KRAKEN will be active for years to come…         After so many years Kraken come again for all their fans with a rare release! Arkeyn Steel Records found them and made them a really interesting proposal. They thrilled with the idea, so now you can meet them again inside two different CDs in the limited edition of 1000 copies. The first one contains the 1981’s recording, five live songs of 1981-83 and for bonus the 1980’s demo! In the second one all their metalheads can listen to the record that Kraken did with Lips in 1983. Both of the CDs are digital re-master, with lyrics, bio and many unreleased pics all in 12-pages full color booklets!
Fly Dragon Fly Spike Audia, Karm Kleaver Nov 15, 2009