Album Art Exploration Articles Observations and Musings 

Rush: Satanic Prog Rock?

Rush are rock’s perennial nice guys. While other bands were snorting coke and gallivanting with groupies, Rush garnered a reputation for resting quietly in hotel rooms. Soft-spoken and intelligent, Canada’s finest power trio are true gentlemen. Imagine my surprise to learn that Rush are allegedly disciples of Satan! A simple Google search revealed multiple accusations of satanic union. Rush are supposedly practitioners of the black arts. Rumors of Satanism first began to circulate with the release of 2112. Much of the confusion seemed to center around the album cover. Legions…

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Anthrax: Satan’s Lounge Band

Anthrax seemed unstoppable in the late 80’s. State of Euphoria continued to build on momentum from previous records. MTV took a liking to the band, playing videos for “Anti-Social” and “Who Cares Wins.” The album climbed to #30 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold in 1988. Anthrax also found themselves on high profile tours. They toured with Iron Maiden on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour before joining Ozzy Osbourne in support of No Rest for the Wicked. When they finally embarked on a headlining tour,…

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Trick or Treat: Heavy Metal Horror Movie (1986)

The eighties were the golden age of heavy metal and horror movies. Occasionally the two worlds collided. One such union is the 1986 film, Trick or Treat. Trick or Treat stars a metal fan named Eddie Weinbauer who goes by the nickname “Ragman.” As a freethinking outcast, Ragman endures constant torment at the hands of classmates. Heavy metal provides not only an escape from suburban hell, but instills hope in a post-high school existence. Eddie takes inspiration from rocker Sammi Curr. An alumnus of Eddie’s high school, Curr found fame…

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Slayer: The Seat Cushion Riot

Slayer shows are legendary for their brutality. A contemporary Slayer concert is a good time but things were different in the early days. Crowds were passionate to the point of being crazed. Sometimes this passion could get out of hand, leading to bodily harm and property damage. Word of Slayer riots first came to me in 1990. To promote the upcoming release of Seasons in the Abyss, Slayer booked a small club tour just before the album was released. Billed as “A Week in the Abyss,” the band previewed new…

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Metallica Damage Inc. Tour – Jason Newsted’s Second Gig

The rise of You Tube has allowed unprecedented access to bootleg concert footage. Once the sole domain of grainy VHS tapes, fans can now watch virtually any recorded performance online. Occasionally, a unique moment is captured on film. Such is the case with Metallica’s 1986 Anaheim, California show at the now defunct Jezebel’s. Jason Newsted touring behind Master of Puppets gives the concert historical significance. It had been barely over a month since Cliff passed away and Anaheim was Jason’s second appearance with the band. Metallica are back on the…

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Kryst the Conqueror – Post Misfits Christian Metal

After the demise of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig promptly formed Samhain. Jerry Only and Doyle seemingly disappeared from public view. What had become of the Caiafa brothers in the long gap between Misfits eras? They formed a Christian metal band! Kryst the Conqueror, pronounced CHRIST the Conqueror, was not a band in the traditional sense. The group never performed live and did not have an “official” singer. They DID, however, write a series of songs that mixed positive Christian messages with fantasy-themed lyrics. The Doyle Fan Club was formed in…

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Bobby Steele: Undead Misfit

Bobby Steele has gotten a raw deal. Before forming The Undead, Steele played on legendary recordings that laid the groundwork for The Misfits ascent to icon status. By 1980, Steele was fired and replaced with Jerry Only’s little brother. Doyle may get mainstream recognition as Misfits ax-slinger, but Bobby Steele deserves equal credit. Barring the few that were around to witness the original line-up, fans largely discovered the classic Misfits recordings through compilations lovingly known as Collection 1 and 2. In the post-vinyl/pre-internet age, Bobby Steele’s contributions went largely un-credited.…

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The Black Sabbath Cartoon – “Lost” Clip from 1974

Imagine Black Sabbath as stars of their own Saturday morning cartoon. One clip floating around You Tube purports to be just that. Set in 1974, the show would have aired during the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath era. In the roughly three minute segment, Black Sabbath appear as animated caricatures of themselves. Bill Ward guzzles booze and talks incoherently. Ozzy is the ever-present clown, continually getting into hijinks, often without clothes. Tony and Geezer are depicted as stately rock stars that counteract the antics of their drug-addled singer and boozed up drummer.…

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Don’t Look Back: Bob Dylan vs. Donovan

D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary, Don’t Look Back, captures Bob Dylan during his 1965 tour of England. Bringing It All Back Home had peaked at number 1 in the UK. Teenage girls stalk his hotel, fans chase his limousine, and newspapers feed the frenzy with endless Bob Dylan articles. Pop singer Donovan was also enjoying a surge of popularity in 1965. Throughout the film, Dylan is preoccupied with the local press. Seemingly every time he opened the paper, Donovan’s name appeared. Our first hint of jealousy arrives early on. Dylan reads a…

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Heavy Metal Parking Lot: Judas Priest 1986

Judas Priest released the divisive Turbo in 1986. Despite alienating core fans with synthesizers and pop hooks, Turbo became the band’s highest charting album to date. The subsequent “Fuel For Life” tour was equally successful. Fans turned out in droves to see Priest live. Although Judas Priest filmed the tour for home video, two filmmakers provided documentation of a different sort. Armed with equipment borrowed from a cable access studio, John Heyn and Jeff Krulik interviewed tailgating fans outside the Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland. Aptly titled, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the…

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