According to the pages of the various metal media, the labels “LEGENDARY,” “INNOVATIVE,” “TRUE ORIGINALS,” as well as “LUNATICS!” have been rightfully pinned upon RAVEN over the years. In a music scene filled by clones nurtured with a cookie-cutter mentality, the unique personality, power and humor of the three band members has always shone through. The crazed vocals & bass playing of John Gallagher, the full frontal guitar assault of brother, Mark Gallagher, and the punishing polyrhythmic pounding of drummer, Joe Hasselvander, all combine to form a sonic battering ram unique in rock!
From the well documented early days as NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) frontrunners, RAVEN’s albums ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP, WIPED OUT and ALL FOR ONE virtually invented both the speed metal and power metal genres – during the trailblazing USA tours of the 80’s introducing the States to “Athletic rock” as well as giving opening acts like Metallica and Anthrax their first tours, through the doldrums of the late 80’s/early 90’s when a grunge obsessed media wrote off so many acts – RAVEN has consistently proved to be both survivors par excellence and in a genre of grim imitation – shown that they are “the real thing”. Where so many of their contemporaries have either faded creatively or become parodies of themselves, RAVEN have consistently pushed the envelope while retaining their unique sound and attack – both in the studio & in their true element, onstage!
Following a forced layoff through half of the last decade due to Mark Gallagher’s long recuperation from a serious accident where Mark’s legs were crushed after a wall collapsed on the musician, the band have fought back with a number of European festival appearances, a UK tour in 2008 and a triumphant jaunt to Japan in 2009.
In 2010, the band unleashed the best album they’ve done in many years, “Walk Through Fire” – quite simply, was the real deal – the right songs, the right sound and the right feel – that was guaranteed to rip yer head off! Raven are here to finally set to reclaim the title that is rightfully theirs – “the wildest band in the f**kin’ world!”
JOHN GALLAGHER – LEAD VOCALS / BASS
MARK GALLAGHER – GUITAR / VOCALS
JOE HASSELVANDER – DRUMS
HIGH SPIRITS began in Chicago in early 2009 with a series of fun songwriting sessions and demo recordings. Soon, there were 10 songs recorded, enough for an album. It was released as a plain white-label LP at the first HIGH SPIRITS live show, which was in August of 2009. (Only a handful copies sold that night, but the rest sold quickly through the mail to fans all over the world.)
Record companies began to notice HIGH SPIRITS, and the demos compilation album was soon released on digipack CD by Cruz del Sur Music and on gatefold vinyl by High Roller Records. Despite the rough recording, songs like “Never Going Back”, “Torture”, and the signature “High Spirits” shined through; both versions are sold out. During 2010 the band did a lot of shows around the Midwest USA and self-released a 7” single titled “Let’s Rock”.
Interest was building for a proper full-length album, and studio sessions began in early 2011. Because the demos collection had been so successful, it was decided that all new songs would go on the album. In May, recordings took a break for the band to do a two-week tour in the USA.
Titled ‘Another Night’, High Roller Records released the album on CD and LP in August of 2011, and the response was sensational! The audiences loved it, and the response from the press was fantastic, especially that the band was named Best Newcomer of 2011 by Rock Hard Magazine.
By 2012, demand was “high” in Europe to see the band live. Keep It True Festival soon was in touch to offer a spot on their 2013 bill, and the band happily accepted! But the Rock Hard crew just could not wait that long, so they asked the band to play the Rock Hard Festival in May of 2012. On the same trip, HIGH SPIRITS played two hot club gigs in Germany and also Muskelrock festival in Sweden. It was all a lot of fun and a big success!
In 2013 the band is preparing to return to Europe and will do a short run of gigs (including Germany, Holland, Belgium, and the UK) leading up to the Keep It True Festival on April 19-20. To celebrate, High Roller Records is releasing a special new demos collection featuring five new songs, entitled simply ‘2013’.
Following the European trip, the band hopes to play some summer gigs in the USA and then it will be time to prepare the next studio album.
Destructor, Cleveland, Ohio’s legendary premier power/thrash band, return to Auburn with their new 2003 “Sonic Bullet” release. The extended EP contains 46 minutes and 9 tracks of ripping, over-the-top, pounding Destructor-style molten heavy metal!
Auburn president Bill Peters’ first encounter with Destructor was seeing the band perform their very first ‘live’ show in 1984 at The Pop Shop, a club managed by Chris Andrews and located beneath the historic Cleveland Agora. Already working with bands such as Breaker and Shok Paris at the time, Peters fell in love with the band’s untamed energy, great songwriting, wild spirit and charismatic stage presence. The Cleveland metal scene was dominated at the time with ‘technically’ great sounding bands. Many questioned why Peters would choose to work with a band such as Destructor and how he could possibly record and capture the band’s energy in the studio. After all, Destructor were considered to be one of the area’s most ‘anti-technical’ of bands at the time. Despite the rough edges and regardless of the criticisms, Peters had a vision that Destructor could develop into something special and saw something in them most of his industry peers did not. He took a chance and moved forward, signing Destructor to his Auburn label in 1984. The band entered Suma Recording Studios to begin recording their debut album with engineer Paul Hamann at the helm. Destructor’s “Maximum Destruction” album, released the following year in 1985 on Auburn Records, is considered by many to be an underground metal classic and quickly silenced the critics. It became Auburn’s biggest seller and catapulted the band to international success in the metal underground. The album was licensed to Roadrunner Records in Europe several months after the initial release and later reissued by Listenable Records in 1999. Destructor’s crushing ‘live’ performances in the area, both headlining and opening for national acts such as Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth, became legendary. The band received rave reviews and full features in prestigious metal publications like Metal Forces, Kerrang!, Hit Parader and Metal Hammer. In 1987, Destructor entered Beachwood Studios with engineer Jim DeMain to begin recording their second album “Decibel Casualties”. The album, along with Jag Panzer’s “Chain Of Command”, was going to help launch a joint venture between Auburn and major label Island Records. Unfortunately, both projects never saw the light of day. Several months into the Destructor recording sessions, bass player Dave Iannicca was innocently murdered on January 1, 1988. The incident devastated both the band and Auburn president Bill Peters, who had been a good friend of Dave’s over the years. Coping with losing a ‘family’ member was very difficult for everyone to overcome. Destructor needed time to recover from the tragedy and were in no condition to begin playing music again. Peters struggled with his emotions and his dealings with Island Records, who took more of a business stance on the whole situation. Peters eventually decided to walk away from the entire 3-year label deal. It was a tough decision but the right one he felt to make at the time.
Over the next several years, Destructor struggled to keep things going. They went through several bass players trying to move forward but the chemistry continued to be missing. During these years of uncertainty, the band did manage to go into the studio and finish one song from the “Decibel Casualties” sessions, “Storm Of Steel”, for Auburn’s 1990 “Heavy Artillery” compilation. The compilation was dedicated to Dave Iannicca. Unfortunately, the revolving door of bass players continued to take its toll, forcing the band into hiatus in the early 90’s. Destructor resurfaced in 1999 when Listenable Records reissued the “Maximum Destruction” album. Inspired by the rejuvenated interest from the reissue, Destructor entered the studio in 2000 to begin recording new material. After hearing the final mixes, Listenable expressed no interest in releasing the album and decided to drop the band from the label. Bass player frustrations continued to haunt the band and the album was never released. A song from those sessions, “The Triangle”, appeared on the Heavy, oder was!? “Metal Crusade-Vol. IV” compilation.
Finally in 2002, Destructor connected with Boulder bass player Jamie Walters. Although several years younger than the band members, Jamie had been a long time Destructor fan and had seen the band on a number of occasions over the years. Both parties hit it off immediately and Destructor were back on track. Jamie was the missing piece to the puzzle the band had searched for so long and hard. Then in January of 2003, Destructor and Auburn officially reunited. The two parties had been talking for nearly a year and had been unofficially working together since the summer of 2002. Peters challenged the band to write new material and the band delivered with an amazing batch of originals that followed in the same tradition as the “Maximum Destruction” album.
Destructor entered 609 Recording with engineer Don Depew (Breaker) in the Spring of 2003 to record “Sonic Bullet”. The EP, released in the Summer, includes 5 new recordings (“Sonic Bullet”, “Heavy Artillery”, “Silent Enemy”, “Blackest Night”, “Master Of The Universe”), two tracks from the previously unreleased 2000 sessions (“G-Force”, “The Triangle”) and two ‘live’ tracks recorded in 2002 at the Classic Metal Festival (“Pounding Evil”) and at the band’s opening set for Slayer in Cleveland (“Iron Curtain”). The Summer of 2003 has seen a lot of activity from Destructor on the concert front. They performed at two major festivals, the BW&BK “6-Pack Weekend” in Cleveland (headlined by Candlemass and Trouble) and the Bang Your Head in Balingen, Germany (headlined by Twisted Sister and Dio), and opened the Iron Maiden/Dio/Motorhead Cleveland tour date. The band are currently finishing up writing new material and plan to enter the studio next year to begin recording a new full-length.
* Antonio Leon – drums (1992 – )
With members hailing from both sides of the Atlantic, Adamantis plays power metal that draws upon a diverse palette of classic influences, crafting songs that marry driving, energetic riffs, hook-laden melodies and dynamic vocals. Debut album ‘Far Flung Realm’ available on Cruz del Sur Music!
Heavy metal/power metal band from Akron, Ohio.
Jacob Wherley: Lead guitar/lead vocals
Patrick Kern: Lead guitar/vocals
Erik Curry: Bass guitar/vocals
A new melodic assault on your feeble eardrums. Under the influence of heavy metal, whiskey, leather, rock, and rockin’, we’re barricading the exits, plugging in permanently and cranking all knobs to the right. You losers better learn, only HITTER is real. See you in hell.