C O L U M N S
Where Are You?
Let me start off by doing a little introduction to this new, somewhat odd column. I
have been listening to obscure hard rock and heavy metal for 10+ years and during this time I
have discovered some really fantastic bands and artists out there; bands that I felt had
enough potential and talent to top the music scene and carve their very own mark in this
crazy world of hard music.
For whatever reason those bands and musicians didn't get the big break and disappeared
like a ghost in the fog.
I've started searching for these out of the way bands and musicians in the mid-90s, and
with the power of the internet I've been able to track down a few of them. But still,
there are so many mysteries out there, so many rocks yet unturned and so many treasures
waiting to be rediscovered. With the creation of Maximum Metal and its many useful
resources, I'm hoping to solve some of those mysteries and bring some of these deserving
artists to the forefront again.
This is my mission. This is the sole purpose of Where Are You? To unlock some doors and
ask some questions that I haven't seen anyone else ask. So lets grab our metal detectors
and see what we can find. --Eric Compton
Vocals for Thunderhead
Who could forget Ted Bullet, the charismatic raspy voiced wailer that fronted Thunderhead? His vocal delivery proved to be a unique calling, blending his American voice to some of Germany's best laid hard rock. With his cocky edge and vocal range Bullet was a good mixture of Krokus' Marc Storace and David Lee Roth's arrogant flamboyance, combining a flair for the rough and tumble "mean streets" while still soaring with a vocal range that could please the 80s arena rock crowd.
Written by: Eric Compton . 11/4/2011
Gothic melodic death
The early to mid 90s was really an interesting time for heavy metal. The hard rock scene was evolving and changing into alternative music and grunge. While all that was churning, the rural landscapes like Norway, Finland, and Sweden were really starting to establish their own metal visions, a dark melodic brew that eventually captured the global metal community. One of the really great bands that helped spark this scene was Finland's Cryhavoc.
Written by: Eric Compton . 8/5/2007
Hard rock in the grunge era
By the time the 90s rolled around just about every single drop of innovation and revolution within hard rock circles had been zapped bone dry. But for the most part the whole world was going grunge and leaving behind the latecomers who simply didn't exist in the mid 80s. The fire and intensity was still there...only the crowd wasn't. Kik Tracee was one of these latecomers.
Written by: Eric Compton . 12/8/2006
Black Death --FOUND!
Not exactly death metal
Originally formed in 1977, Black Death is one of the earliest known all African-American metal bands.
The band split-up sometime after 1987.
Written by: Eric Compton . 9/29/2006
Great spandex rock
We all know how great 1984 was, with so many great bands releasing CLASSIC albums
during that time. A little known band that released a real gem during this year was
Missouri act Vyper
American act managed to release one killer record before disappearing from the scene.
Written by: Eric Compton . 6/24/2005
David Reece --FOUND!
Vocals for Accept
It is really rare to have someone just come out of nowhere and take the reigns of a band
that has had a long and successful career, both commercially and within the metal
He had a great voice, a fantastic look, and a desire to rock with the best
of them. The problem? He just couldn't fill the void left by a tiny powerhouse; Udo
Written by: Eric Compton . 12/10/2005
Glory Bells Band --FOUND!
Sabbath doom, Zeppelin blues, and Saxon new wave
After reading so many praises for Glory Bells (also known as Glory Bells Band), I made it a point to search the band out. After hearing their fine releases I had to find out more. Guess what? There is no more!
Nothing. Nada. Zippo-Snippo. The band simply disappeared after the '84 release.
Written by: Eric Compton . 10/15/2005
Guitar frenzy power act
The band released a real gem in 1986 with their debut self-title. Where Are You Fifth Angel? By that statement I
mean WHERE ARE YOU Kendell Bechtel, Ed Archer, Ted Pilot, Ken Mary, and John Macko? After
the disappearance of metal in the early 90s, Fifth Angel simply faded away. James Byrd is
still in the metal community but the other members have vanished.
Written by: Eric Compton . 1/12/2005
Wicked Maraya --FOUND!
Mid-tempo power crunch
Along with the wash out of talent and creativity came one of my favorite bands, easily marked down on my books as a victim of circumstance. New York's Wicked Maraya is that band, completely erased from the slates and gone from most memories, but not mine.
Written by: Eric Compton . 12/6/2004
Big glam sounds
A finely tuned rock band that has glam written all over them, the group Pole Position (no relation to the video game or the folk group) released two cds, both under different labels that failed them. The band's big arena sound crossed with the Sunset Strip's down and dirty attraction was the initial ingredient for these hard rocking road racers. With two albums under their wings they have left us all high and dry.
Written by: Anthony Burke . 4/5/2005
Let's talk about an obscure band that never gets any respect. Screamer released a marvelous record in 1988 called "Target Earth". The album proved to be a cult metal sensation, recalling the finest moments of "Piece Of Mind" era Maiden and "Awaken The Guardian" era Fates Warning. After that fabulous gem, the group disappeared forever. I want to know why.
Written by: Eric Compton . 2/13/2005
Five mysterious German metal merchants
In 1984, they came, from out of nowhere: Five mysterious metal merchants with an uncommon talent for fusing seemingly all of the genre’s most admirable attributes into one breathtaking but enigmatic package. They secured a recording contract with a small Belgian record label, and then proceeded to drop one of the unsung classic albums of the metal genre on an unsuspecting world. And then, before the listening public even had a chance to become aware of the masterpiece this mysterious band of rogues had wrought, they were gone.
Written by: Vinaya Saksena . 12/13/2004
Leather Leone --FOUND!
Female fronted assault on all senses
In steps Leather Leone. No, let's take that back a sentence. In stomps Leather Leone, with the massive footsteps, attitude, internal drive, and commanding presence to wipe the slate clean, to even up the odds and take control of the metal boulevards. Leather Leone is the supreme heavy metal force, a female fronted assault on all senses, driving home the fact that metal isn't a boy-toy, but truly a universal feeling that transcends the gender boundaries, allowing all players to make the team and play in the big game.
Written by: Eric Compton . 11/5/2004
Mid-tempo German thrash with power elements
Risk was actually formed from the ashes of Faithful Breath, an established German rock act that started out in the mid-60s, and released their first album in 1974. The band went on to record five critically acclaimed records in the 80s. Where are you Risk? With a majority of it's members playing metal for almost twenty years, why did the group stop recording records in 1993?
Written by: Rod Throwen . 9/1/2004
80s metal stylings
Bloodstone's only full length album, "Valley Of The Machines", came out on the doomed Long Island Records in 1995. The mid-90s was the WORST time in hard rock history for a band like Bloodstone to release a historic treasure of 80s metal stylings. Deeply rooted in the traditional essence of groups like Dio and Sabbath, the band felt the need to sprinkle hard rock seasoning to the brew, mixing in elements of bigger arena acts such as White Lion, circa "Fight To Survive" and Ratt. The metal act was skipped over by fans however…
Written by: Eric Compton . 7/27/2004
Old brew German metal
'In The Sign Of Ending Grace' basically went completely unnoticed, with the album getting absolutely no credit for their important contribution to the "old brew" sound, or the beginning of the power metal movement in Europe, with bigger bands like Grave Digger, Rage, and Gamma Ray getting huge followings in the 90s. Surgeon was somehow left behind, and unfortunately, disbanded after their only record.
Written by: Eric Compton . 7/1/2004
Salem's Wych --FOUND!
US cult power metal
Salem's Wych is the ultimate long lost treasure. Having released one album in their shortened career, an extremely rare vinyl entitled "Betrayer Of Kings", released on Metal War Records in 1986, US cult metal act Salem's Wych mastered a haunting power metal sound in the same vein as the legendary Savatage.
Written by: Eric Compton . 5/18/2004
The Sygnet --FOUND!
German band with shining debut
Its a rare occasion for a band to just come out of nowhere and deliver a bonafide, hard rocking classic with just one attempt. Germany's The Sygnet did just that, with 1998's "Children Of The Future", their one and only record to date, and one that will last the ages, never boring, always entertaining, every track shining in full light of the moon, with an emphasis on heavy rock and memorable hooks.
Written by: Eric Compton . 3/10/2004
Barren Cross --FOUND!
Christian power metal
Update: Barren Cross singer found. On May 8, 2008, the band officially announced they would be returning to the music scene. Mike Lee has moved from Los Angeles, California to France. He has a new stage name, simply titled Drive.
Written by: Eric Compton . 1/27/2004
Bay Area Thrash
When a fan mentions great US 80s metal, names like Slayer, Overkill, Anthrax, and Agent Steel are typically brought up in the conversation. Those seem to be the names that garnish alot of attention from metal fans worldwide, and rightfully so. However there are other great bands that exist below the surface. Greats like Wild Dogs, Nasty Savage, Exciter, and a little known California band called Bloodlust.
Written by: Eric Compton . 12/16/2003
Leon Goewie --FOUND!
Vocalist for Dutch band Vengeance
Few vocalists can leave behind a signature sound that can never be reproduced. Paul Stanley's party hard vocal stance will never be borrowed. One will never pull off Axl Rose's gruff, charismatic voice. David Lee Roth's style, fashion and stage prescence will never be used as comparison. The same can be said for little known Danish singer Leon Goewie.
Written by: Eric Compton . 10/16/2003
Vocalist for German band X-Wild
Frank Knight was the vocalist for the German band X-Wild. Frank created a down and dirty atmosphere with the X-Wild songs, sounding like a combination of UDO and Bon Scott. The man has dissappeared without a trace, but left behind three very good records to remember him by.
Written by: Eric Compton . 8/29/2003
Late 90's German metal band
Peter Schleutner, Frank Heeb, Jorn Mildner, and Stefan Heintzelman made up Pit, an innovative metal force from Hunstetten, Germany. The band had a very unique style which combined 80s era German hard rock with the epic power metal stylings of Grave Digger and Rage. After putting out two incredible metal albums, Pit returned to the dark regions of the Earth from whence they came, never to be heard or seen again.
Written by: Eric Compton . 5/23/2003
Brian Rich --FOUND!
Vocalist for the European band Jackal
Brian Rich--easily one of the greatest vocalists of all time. Think the vocal prowess of a Bruce Dickinson mixed with the flowing hard rock elements of Sebastian Bach and the power to capture the listener with one single line. How can a vocalist that good just simply vanish. Its a mystery I've often though about since hearing Jackal for the first time in 1997. I'm completely confused as to how and why that talent is gone.
Written by: Eric Compton . 4/8/2003
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