Wed, 10/12/2005 - 2:57 pm

For years Denver has been overlooked as a source for new music. Everyone knows about L.A, Seattle and New York but I guess the main stream media in this country figures Denver is backwater country town and if someone happens to come out of this area playing metal, rock, or rap it was just a fluke. Well some of the best metal I have heard in the last several years has all been in some of the local bars and warehouses in the Denver/Boulder area. RCA and Sony need to set up shop here in Denver if they want to get in on the new music revolution, L.A. and Seattle are running dry on inspiration these days with some of the same tired old themes repackaged for the masses.

I need to vent my frustration on the venue. The House of Rock located on 104th and Irma in Thornton Colorado. This is possibly the worst place in town to see a live band. The staff is friendly enough but the sound system is some 1970's era homemade crap. I have seen several bands here and every single time the sound quality was piss poor. Having watched some bands I am very familiar with (awesome bands that I have seen perform great shows at other clubs) I have been constantly disappointed. And so have the bands. No band that I have spoken to that has played there wants to go back. And I don't blame them. Not to mention the total lack of promotion for some great bands coming to play for free.

Being familiar with the club, I was planning on giving Iconocaust a bit of leeway with the sound quality. Was I blown away. Despite the horrid excuse for a sound system Iconocaust came rock and would not be defeated! Iconocaust is a death metal inspired band that will absolutely blow you away! If you are into Slayer, Iced Earth, Prong or Clutch then this is your new favorite band! These guys were pros from the beginning. They have been playing shows around Denver for a while and are used to playing for much bigger crowds and using top end PA systems, instead of complaining or screwing around like so many other bands I've seen, these guys took the stage with a vengeance.

Diving straight into an all original set, the driving guitars took over with a forceful rhythm and wow! Energy everywhere! This band is powered by a slamming double bass drummer with some intricate rhythm changes and a tempo fast enough to jump start your heart. And get this!! A death metal inspired band with a chick for a drummer! At barely 5 feet tall and maybe a hundred pounds (with the drum stix) Lisa sets the pace for highly addictive and head banging guitar rhythms from Shred and Matt that stick with you long after the show ends. Shred's dark lyrics and Jason's never say slow down bass playing are complimented by some guitar soloing that I have rarely seen in such a young local band. Iconocaust has the total package, talent, creativity, and something lacking in a lot of modern bands, stage presence. When they are on stage you know it, and you must listen, you won't be ignoring this band while you play a game of pool. This band is a must see. My suggestion is to go see them now before you will have to fork over the bucks to see them. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their first CD and my prediction is they will get picked up by a major label.

Iconocaust definitely rocked the House of Rock. Before the end of the first song a couple of people were even trying to start a pit, had House of Rock bothered to advertise the entire house would have been a pit in minutes. This band passed the ultimate test for me, the second I came home I had to pick up my guitar and start ripping out death metal licks (Tip for the guys, playing death metal at 3 am is not the way to promote a healthy relationship with your girlfriend, especially if she was asleep and had to be to work at 7).

Iconocaust will be playing at Pinky's at 104th and Harlan across from the Westminster Mall on weds the 12th at 9:30 P.M. (note: Pinky's has an awesome sound system and video capabilities, so this should be an awesome show) they will also be playing at Cricket on the Hill Nov 14th at 9:00 P.M. For more information or to contact the band go to: http://iconocaust.metalevolution.com or http://www.myspace.com/iconocaust

Wed, 10/19/2005 - 3:48 pm

I lucked out on this one. I showed up at Pinky's this past Wednesday to hang out with my new friends Iconocaust. Shred had given me a call and said that their new CD was finished and he had a signed copy for me to pick up at their show. Definitely pick up "The Natural Evolution of Metal" from there website! Awesome stuff! I wasn't planning on doing a review that night but my photographer had come with me and Iconocaust set had been pushed back to 10:45 and Torrid Flesh was just about to start playing.

I feel I must start off this review with a public apology! My experience with Death Metal has been dominated by seeing bands with an all male line up. Because of this I have assumed either women didn't like or want to play in this genre of music, because I have not seen them I think that I assumed that they were not capable. I was wrong. The last two shows have proven to me that I was totally wrong; first with Lisa the powerhouse drummer for Iconocaust and now with Holly the ear blistering lead singer for Torrid Flesh. So to all the women of Death Metal, you have my heartfelt apologies!

I had never heard of Torrid Flesh before they went on stage, and when I saw who the lead singer was I must admit my first impression was ohh no, I'm gona have to sit through an hour or so of "I'm so suicidal" Goth music. But when Holly started to sing I was once again blown away. I have always been under the impression that in the Death/Black metal scene the singers are trying to sound a bit demon like. Holly sounds like the Devil's bride is screaming at you straight from the depths of Hell! Damn! Forceful, strong and powerful, and when she screams the image of a banshee is the only thing close that comes to mind. This is when I new I was going to review this band. I turned to Jerome, who does all my photography and was about to tell him to start snapping shots, he was already on it. I sat down to listen and was amazed by Holly's vocals, when she screams your skin actually crawls! Holly Brannan by far is one of the top Death metal vocalists that I have ever heard! Mike Kibler and Mike Brannan's guitar playing has a bit of an old school sound that sort of reminds me of early Slayer, you just want to raise your fist and bang your head. The real driving power of this band comes from drummer Richie Tice. This guy is absolutely incredible! Fast, furious and non stop, the beating will continue even after you submit! Torrid Flesh is tight, well practiced with an extremely heavy sound and loud, way loud, I am writing this 2 days later and I am still deaf! I can't even talk on the phone due to the ringing in my ears!

If you are into hard core no compromise metal this is a band to check out! With music this hard I doubt that they will be able to get much play on main stream radio but as long as their refusal to compromise continues I can foresee a strong cult following for this band. Torrid Flesh does have a CD out but as of yet they do not have a website to link too, you can contact them at mwelding@ix.netcom.com. They will be playing at the Beach on October 21 at 8:00 and at the Larimer Lounge on October 23 show starts at 1:00 pm and last till 6: pm (several bands).

As predicted the sound system at Pinky's is top notch. Awesome set up, drink specials, and friendly employees make this venue an awesome spot to catch any show. I have been told that Pinky's is putting on a PBS late night metal show with the video recording they get from each show but I have not received details on this as of yet.

Also on Sunday the 23rd I will be at Cervantes on Welton St. in Denver doing a review on Obsession. Show starts at 6 and is supposed to run till 10 with at least 5 bands playing. This is a techno band and I have been told this should be a great show. So come on out and join us!

Final note, the Grateful Web is going to be starting up an online local band calendar. If you would like to have the dates for your band posted e-mail me at darhine@gmail.com. We are accepting all dates from all genres of music. Please include a brief description of the type of music you play and contact info such as websites, e-mail and phone numbers you can be reached at.

Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:14 pm

Well, now that the hollidaze are just about over I can get back at the writing. This article was meant to be up a long long time ago! (Sorry guys!!) My home computer decided to crap out on me and cause me to lose all files! So, the first version of this review, plus all eight gigs of my mp3's and numerous  entertainment" files have all been lost! Damn. Well it's on with the show I guess.

I was able to arrive a bit early for show and the guys from NoPlotKill were nice enough to get us in for free. I got the chance to hang the guys before and after the show and it was well worth it! These guys are cool to sit around and BS with. No overbearing "band" ego's among them. They took the time to say hi to any fan who walked by (on or off stage). They leave you with the feeling that your already friends as soon as you meet them. (Make sure you say hi if you have the chance to see them live.)

When they got on stage they really got the show going. These guys exemplify what punk has been for me. A few friends up on stage playing, having fun and not giving a rat's ass about anything else! In typical punk fashion they played short but very musically diverse songs. They have a very punk sound but with a strong metal edge that makes for a very unique style! Diverse themes and rhythms! Strong vocals and some high energy guitar from Bartz (a definite hint of some 80's metal in the soloing, nice touch for a punk band). Some tight double bass drums from David, (a.k.a. Nick Nolte), that is till he broke his pedal and had to finish the set using a single from one of the other bands! And some thumping bas riffs from Ray who at most times seems to be the instigator of their on stage fun!

NoPlotKill has a stage attitude that will set them apart from all of their contemporaries. In person they are your average guys, but on stage they are a surprising cross between a punk band and the three stooges! Talking and joking with the audience in between songs, doing shots with members of the other bands, telling stories and even when David broke his pedals they kept on with the show, even cracking jokes about it! (That is a totally pro attitude! Nice job!) Everyone had a good time watching these guys play. (For some it appeared they were having too good of a time!) When you see them you get the feeling you are a part of the show! NoPlotKill is doing a free show on New Years Eve with three other bands at the Larimer Lounge! This should be an awesome show, and I can't find any other place that is "Free" on New Years so I'll see you there!

The Soiled Dove has the potential to be the "BEST" venue in town for local bands. The entire venue is centered around the stage with the best sound system I have heard from a small local setting! Friendly staff and smoking is permitted. The one major drawback that even NoPlotKill criticized them about while on stage are the drink prices. Very very high. Bring some bucks if you expect to through back a few. A small correctable problem is the temperature. Cold. Cold. Cold. I don't think they even bothered to turn on the heat. Other than the high drink prices and lack of heat The Soiled Dove could be the best place in town to catch a show! If they could fix those two issues I would give them an A+!

Coming in the very near future... Ten Tiers reviewed!! Also an editorial or two…Keep tabs on current reviews and the Denver music scene by checking out my new Myspace site. If you're already on Myspace add me as a friend! Or you can e-mail me @ darhine@gmail.com Also if you liked or even hated the article please leave a comment here on Grateful Web or myspace, or both!

As usual Jerome Taylor @ http://www.myspace.com/jerometaylor is the guilty party responsible for all of the pictures. Or e-mail at JMoney98@gmail.com.

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 12:36 pm

Anvil may be a new name to you, but in the metal community they have been known for the past thirty years. They have played on stage with the likes of Bon Jovi, Scorpions and Whitesnake, but until recently fame and stardom have eluded them.

Recently the Grateful Web's Derek Rhine had a chance to meet with Lips, the lead singer and guitarist of Anvil to chat about their history, struggles and future.


GW: Good morning Lips its very nice to be able to meet with you today.

Lips: Very nice to meet with you, I didn't even know I had an interview this morning. I just logged onto my computer on got your message. So I'm calling you back.

GW:Well thats great, I'm really excited. I heard a rumor that back in the 80's you were asked to play guitar for Lemmy. Is that true?

Lips: Yes thats true. I didn't do it.

GW: Can I ask why?

Lips: Cause we were recording Forged in Fire. Thats a pretty good reason.

GW: Excellent reason.

GW: Looking back with all the problems you have had with management and record labels, do you ever look back and wonder if maybe you should have taken up that offer to play with Lemmy and if the notoriety with playing with him would have helped out Anvil later on down the road?

Lips: You know thats funny, those are the things that he (Lemmy) said to me. (Laughter) Those are the things he said to me but I don't have regrets. No regrets.

GW: With what I saw on your documentary, you weren't getting support from record companies or management, some of you old members went off to play in other band like OverKill. They went off to see some moderate success that you weren't seeing. How did that make you feel.

Lips: Well actually, it wasn't as glamorous as that.

GW: How so?

Lips: Well, Sebby (Sebastian Marino) went looking for money ya know. And Bobby was not the place he was going to get it from. (Laughter) So he was treated like shit for a number of years and he quit that band too. So thats the name of that tune.

GW: What is the one thing, that if you have to look on your career, what is it that has been the driving force for lips?

Lips: Self knowledge. I have something no one else has and it was just a question of getting it exposed. It never had an opportunity. Really. Ya know your signed to independent labels that have distribution in the United States so real success was never in the cards. You won't get real success unless you have American distribution and exposure.

GW: Non of your records were released in the U.S.?

Lips: 3 CD's were available, Strength of Steel, Pound for Pound and a live album. The rest were on import if you were lucky to find them. Why is that, timing. Being at the right place at the right time and management. I haven't had a manger since, we'll we hadn't had a manager since '83 and thats what killed our momentum. We got picked up by David Krebs who was Aerosmith's management. But it didn't help us because we were signed to a Canadian label who wouldn't release our records in the states. And, that tied the managers hands and we got shelved between 1983 and 87. Probably the most important years in metal and thats it, thats what happened. Sometimes it's pretty simple, it's never just one thing, it's a whole number of things. But I didn't lose faith in things. It's only the business. I had everything else in place except for the business.

GW: You have been together now for over thirty years. Most bands don't make it a year without a contract. What is the glue between you and Rob that has kept you guys more than a band, and kept you doing this?

Lips: Well, its like I say. You know what you have. It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. We knew eventually the cycle of music would come around and what we were doing would be in trend again. We just kept going, we didn't change what we were doing. We were just waiting for the world to change their tastes. Thats basically the way I looked at it. We are what we are, and thats what we are. You don't go change everything that your doing in hopes that you'll get someplace when your doing what you love. It's never going to have the passion,  your music will never have what it takes. We kept on going the way that we wanted to go. Without the stress and pressure of record companies and doing what they say. I actually preferred being a King in Hell than servant below, lets put it that way.

GW: You have renewed interest in Anvil, you've got the documentary, you have support from guys like Dave Grohl, are you in a position now to finally quit your day job?

Lips: Absolutely. It's an amazing thing, it's a miracle. And that brings in the idea of why the album was called Juggernaut of Justice and why there is a picture of a miracle happening on the front of that cover.

GW: Whats next for Anvil?

Lips: It's interesting when you ask whats next, I think continuation is always whats next. Survival. Maintenance. Maintaining the stature. It's one thing to get here, it's another to stay here. The pressure of that never goes away. It's been there all along. On that level nothing will ever change. But now it can flourish without the burden of financial stress, and I'm proud and very very grateful for that.

GW: How does your family feel about this long struggle and final pay off.

Lips: For the most part I don't think my brothers and sisters honestly understood what I was doing. It wasn't until the movie that they got an insight into what was going on and what I did. I don't think they realized the significance of it or the magnitude of where it was going to go. So their pretty blown away to say the least.  I think its been difficult for my mother to really grasp. If I get seen with her and people come up and take pictures and ask for autographs she asks “Who these people, why are they coming up to you?” I don't think she really understands. As far as my wife and immediate family is concerned, of course there is a great feeling of pride and happiness there. Being on the road is probably the biggest change, and the family getting used to me not being there, that is the biggest change.

GW: Were there any of the drug problems or excess in the band that you had problems with?

Lips: Not Me. (Laughter) Not me. I didn't derive anything from doing that. It didn't interest me, it never has. I think you have to be that kind of person weather your in a band or not to want to do that. I never went the direction of hard drugs or alcohol. And I consider alcohol and hard drug, it's addictive. Makes it dangerous. Doesn't it? It has a history of things it has done to people. I not without vices. I smoke pot. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of it. I find it a very very light drug, it's safe and I never had any problems. Ya know?  I'm one of those people who wonder why alcohol is legal and marijuana isn't. It should probably be the other way around cause there would be a lot less abrasive stuff out there.

GW: What advice would you give to struggling musicians, young and old, what would you tell them?

Lips: Never put a value of money on your music, and never depend on your music to make you money. And you will actually have a chance to actually do that. I think that the more you that you depend on something to work the further elusive it becomes. (laughter) if you don't expect to make money from your music then your better off because your facing the reality of what it's all about. The things to aim for are I've got a gig I've got an audience, and I'm writing music. Even if it costs you money to have that, it's worth every cent.

GW: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me today.

Lips: Take care.