Fans of thrash metal all know that the San Francisco Bay Area is the official birthplace of the genre that saw the rise of legends like Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer. Now, a new documentary will give everyone a look at those bands and others who played fast and furious in the 1980s.
Watch the trailer here below for Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story, which features over 50 interviews with members of the aforementioned bands, as well as Testament, Death Angel, Exodus (the title of the doc is taken from a line from “Bonded By Blood,” the title track from Exodus’s debut album), and many others.
Over the weekend of October 25 and 26, 2014, my 11-year-old son Jesse and I embarked on a heavy metal pilgrimage. San Bernadino, CA is 60 miles away from our home in Burbank and is home to the San Manuel Amphitheater. It was there that Slipknot was holding Knotfest, a three-day heavy metal summit featuring 60-plus bands on five stages over the course of three days.
This occasion was custom-made for some quality father/son bonding time and an early celebration of Jesse’s 12th birthday (which was on October 30th — Happy Birthday, Jesse!).
The festival actually commenced on Friday night with a special pre-event concert for the folks who purchased camping passes for the weekend and it featured performances from the likes of Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin, and The Black Dahlia Murder. Since we aren’t really the camping type, we unfortunately missed that night.
With the title track of their fourth album, Souls of Black, (1990) here’s Oakland, CA thrash legends Testament.
Watch the video for “Souls of Black” here below.
Testament is still active after 30 years and ten studio albums. In fact, the band has produced some of it’s most criticality acclaimed and commercially successful music during the thrash revival of the past few years. I highly recommend checking out The Formation of Damnation (2008) or Dark Roots of Earth (2012), both of which present a master class in the genre.
[King Diamond (right) and bassist Hal Patino (left) image via Facebook]
Before the boom of social media, when a musician quit or was fired from his band, you’d have to wait a long time to hear anything from either party about the situation. If the band was big enough, like say The Rolling Stones, then maybe you’d read an official statement in the daily newspaper. Other than that, the monthly music magazines had to catch up on the story, interview both parties, and even then, musicians tended to keep private matters private (until their tell-all memoirs were released years-to-decades later). More often, music magazines would fuel the fire of the feud by quoting each musician to make it seem like more of a fight. This was common between Metallica and Megadeth throughout the 1980s, where magazines would put James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine on the cover with a jagged line splitting their images with some kind of fighting words on the cover. (Hey, it sold magazines, that’s for sure.)
Now, instead of waiting for journalists to ask about the details of the split, when someone is fired from or quits a band, they take right to their Facebook accounts to give their side of the story, and soon after, you can expect a response from their former bandmates, and it likely won’t end there.
The most recent band feud to surface is out of the King Diamond camp after it was announced on the band’s official Facebook page on July 19, 2014, that bassist Hal Patino that he had been “relieved of his duties with King Diamond, for reasons very similar to why he was fired from the band in 1990.” The reasons alluded to are Patino’s alleged drug problems. Not surprisingly, Patino took to his Facebook page later that same day to state that he was not fired, but rather that he quit and that he did not have a drug problem. On July 20, 2014, King Diamond himself posted a lengthy step-by-step rebuttal of Patino’s statement, which led to, you guessed it, yet another response from Patino on his own Facebook page.
Maggots rejoice: Slipknot has just announced that they will be bringing their massive Knotfest back to America. The 3-day event will take place at San Manuel Amphitheater (formerly known as Glen Helen Pavilion) in San Bernadino, CA this year on October 24, 25 and 26.
In addition to Slipknot headlining both Saturday and Sunday nights, the festival will feature over 60 bands including a “who’s who” of metal. Some of the acts scheduled to appear include: Danzig, Anthrax, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, Testament, Black Label Society, and many more. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 11, 2014 with pre-sale being offered from 8-10am on Monday, July 7, 2014.