Who Played ‘Thrash’-Style Riffing First Metallica or Metal Church?


Australia’s Sticks For Stones recently conducted an interview with METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof.

On which band was formed first — METALLICA or METAL CHURCH:

Kurdt: “[It’s] hard to say. METALLICA didn’t exist when I was trying to put METAL CHURCH together. And Lars [UlrichMETALLICA drummer] stopped in San Francisco to visit friends, and that’s where I met him, I’ve known Lars longer than he’s known James [HetfieldMETALLICA frontman]. So… I don’t know. It’s hard to say. I mean, we were all on the same page. We were all trying to do the same thing, and we were all kind of going in the same direction. He had to move to L.A to go live with his dad, so we never played together or anything, but that’s where we became friends.”

On whether METAL CHURCH or METALLICA started using the fast, “thrash”-style riffing first:

Kurdt: “I absolutely think we were just on the same page mentally. I mean, there’s a lot of people that were. We were all kind of the same age, so we had the same likes in music that we grew up with — the early ’70s rock and all that kind of stuff. And then the punk influence started, so we all kind of… We didn’t discuss it. It was just kind of a weird, natural progression for all of us. Nobody did it first or last or second, or we weren’t competing with each other. This [was] just kind of the pervasive mentality [at that time].”

On whether METAL CHURCH was influenced by the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) bands of the late ’70s and early ’80s:

Kurdt: “Oh, absolutely. That totally did [influence us]. That had just about everything to do with it. It’s, like, we wanted to do that, and that’s just where it all started. It’s, like, combining the energy and the attitude of punk, but more musical skill. And [I was, like], ‘Oh, boy! I’m into that.’ ‘Cause I was doing the punk rock thing, and that was a lot of fun, and I still liked that, but it didn’t have the musicality that I was aspiring to. So [IRONMAIDEN comes along, and SAXON comes along, and I’m like, ‘Oh, boy! Here we go.’… It was a whole new thing, and we felt like we were part of a whole new movement. And it was really exciting; it was really exciting to be part of that.”

METAL CHURCH‘s new album, “XI”, debuted at No. 57 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 11,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 31.

“XI”, was released on March 25 via Rat Pak Records. Produced by Kurdt Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier, the band’s eleventh studio release also marks the return of legendary vocalist and frontman Mike Howe.


Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan And Red Fang To Tour North America This Fall!



Mastodon will be touring this October onwards in support of The Hunter, which is out September 27th on Reprise Records, and I literally cannot fucking wait for. Luckily I won’t have to wait as long as you. Nyer-nyer!

Joining them will be both The Dillinger Escape Plan and Red Fang, which is absolutely fucking awesome.

10/25 Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa
10/27 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
11/01 Los Angeles, CA – Wiltern Theatre
11/02 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
11/03 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
11/05 Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
11/06 Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
11/07 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
11/08 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
11/09 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
11/11 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
11/12 Milwaukee, WI – Rave Ballroom
11/13 Sauget, IL – Pop’s
11/14 Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont
11/16 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
11/17 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
11/19 New York City, NY – Terminal 5
11/20 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
11/21 Boston, MA – House of Blues
11/23 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
11/25 Toronto, ON – Kool Haus
11/26 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
11/27 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/28 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
11/29 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
12/01 Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
12/02 TBA – The Missing Link

Lamb of God Smashes Corpus Christi, TX

I went to see Lamb of God with Anthrax last night with my wife and 16 yr old daughter. It was probably my 5th or 6th time to see them. The opening acts were OK, but the real excitement started when Anthrax took to the stage. The whole atmosphere changed. The crowd swarmed to the front of the stage. I was crushed between a fat guy and some girl who was barely 5 ft.

Anthrax played a really cool set, but I was saving my energy for Lamb of God. Then the fights started breaking out. Some loser would get his feelings hurt when his beer would get knocked out of his hands. One of the fights featured a pretty small chic and a muscle bound brain dead dude.

Finally when Lamb of God took over you could definitely feel the intensity. These guys play one hell of a show and continue to be one of my favorite bands. Here’s a video I took with my iPhone.

8-Track: Every Time I Die

8-Track takes a band with a storied history and identifies eight songs throughout their career that define their strengths as a band, musically, lyrically, and conceptually. Read previous installments here . Where to begin with Every Time I Die, Buffalo’s favorite party animals?

A career that has thrown out more filthy guitar licks and jarring breakdowns than a kegger at the Red Bull headquarters can’t quite be summarised in eight tracks; not quite anyway, but we’ve given it a go for our latest installment of the 8-Track feature here at Heavy Blog.

Over seven albums and fourteen awesome music videos later, this mathcore/metalcore/hardcore/riffcore band have amassed a following that is just at home at Warped Tour as it is in that shitty venue in your hometown where people are scared of entering. Read more »

Dream Theater – The Astonishing

While  The Astonishing , one of the most anticipated albums of the year, is certainly a departure from everything  Dream Theater has been giving us in the past few years, it’s also a return to several key sounds from the beginning and middle period of their career.

Even that departure requires an understanding of the bigger picture of their trajectory; to depart from something, you need to understand something. And so, the first thing that is immediately apparent when the first real track (that is, not the intro) of  The Astonishing begins to play is: this is a rock opera.

When the second track begins to play, something else becomes immediately apparent: the main touchstone for this album within the extensive Dream Theater discography is  Six Degrees of Inner  Turbulence . That spring in the step, that hopeful and cheery outlook, screams of that intricate album, the closest the band have come to a rock opera in the past. Yes, OK, but is it  a good album ? That’s what we’re all here to find out. In two words: yes and no. Read more »

Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

Italian symphonic death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse have gone through phases that encapsulate the entire careers of normal successful artists in less than a handful of releases. Their debut Oracles was raw and promising and the follow-up,  Agony, was a masterpiece that propelled them to the top of their game. However,  Labyrinth  didn’t take their music to the next level and some listeners were fatigued with their antics at that point, and their fourth album, King , is now anticipated but also slightly dreaded.

This is readily understandable, as it is expected to be the album that either breaks the fatigue or leans further into it. What can be heard from the band on King is very characteristically Fleshgod, but also very different from how we’re used to hearing them. Right off the bat, it’s pretty clear that, for better or for worse, King is a bit of a divergence from Fleshgod’s previous work. Not in terms of the band’s general sound but in how they approach that framework. Read more »

Catch Trees On Mars and Se’nam Palmer On The Wintour 2016 Or Your Life Is Forfeit

If you’re looking to get a good dose of prog and shred in your diet so early in the year, look no further than The Wintour 2016 , featuring prog’n’roll act Trees on Mars and the progressive jazz stylings of Se’nam Palmer ! “We’re very excited to get back on the road again and play a few places we’ve never been before!

We feel that our brand of prog & roll and Se’nam’s ethereal loops are a perfect match, so you won’t want to miss out,” said Hayden Graham of Trees On Mars. “This is my first tour ever,” Palmer said of the upcoming outing. “I would have never imagined that I would reach a point in my life where I’m ready to hit the road and share my music with you guys.

Come to the show, enjoy the music, give me a high five—do whatever you feel to enjoy Trees on Mars and me. I absolutely cannot wait to to see all of you amazing people. ?” Check the tour dates below to see if this tour is coming near you. Mark your calendars!

2/19 Raleigh, NC @ TBA 2/20 Charleston, SC @ The Vinyl Countown
2/21 Savannah, GA @ The Furnace 2/22 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
2/23 Gainesville, Fl @ Loosey’s Downtown
2/24 Mobile, Al @ The Alchemy Tavern
2/25 Shreveport, LA @ H&H Lounge
2/26 Houston, TX @ Super Happy Fun Land
2/27 Austin, TX @ Dozen Street
2/28 Houston, TX @ Texas Rose Saloon
3/1 Houma, LA @ The Boxer and the Barrel
3/2 Hattiesburg, MS @ The Tavern
3/3 Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
3/4 Nashville,TN @ Spring Water Supper Club

Check out their music below! More importantly, if you’re near any of those stops, make sure to catch this tour! You won’t be disappointed. ?

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Catch Trees On Mars and Se’nam Palmer On The Wintour 2016 Or Your Life Is Forfeit