Shotgun Messiah started out as a somewhat run-of-the-mill 80’s glam metal band. The Swedish band spent their first album mining the vein of Hanoi Rocks with some degree of success owing to moderate rotation on MTV. The band’s original singer split after the first album and bassist Tim Skold took over the lead vocal duties for their 1991 album Second Coming. The album was a fairly large success thanks to the heavy rotation of the anthemic hit single, “Heartbreak Boulevard.” However, the success would be short lived, as internal friction left only Skold and guitarist Harry Cody standing to make the band’s third and final record, 1993’s absolutely brilliant, groundbreaking, and ahead of its time Violent New Breed. The record saw the band completely abandon glam rock in favor of a souped up industrial metal hybrid. It managed to simultaneously alienate the band’s core following and be completely overlooked by its intended audience due to the band’s previous affiliation with hair metal, which was by then a huge taboo.
Never the less, Violent New Breed is an overlooked masterpiece that deserves to be heard by a new generation. Harry Cody went on to work with numerous artists, including Tom Waits. Tim Skold has had a great deal of success in the industrial rock genre that he helped proliferate with Violent New Breed. His solo albums under the name Skold and his work with KMFDM are required listening for students of the form. He was also, for a time, a member of Marilyn Manson as both a bassist and guitarist.
Here below is the audio for the blistering closing track of Violent New Breed, “I Come In Peace.”
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early ’80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, the radio station of Miami University of Ohio, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio. It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.