Hard Rock and Heavy Metal news, reviews, and interviews.

Church

Photos: GHOST Live in Phoenix, Ariz.

I had the pleasure of being in the pit for Ghost | Facebook during their show in Phoenix on Tuesday, October 25. All photos were shot with a Samsung Galaxy S7.

For the full photoset, visit alecdamiano.com

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HANK SHERMANN: DAVE MUSTAINE Did Not Allow Performance With KING DIAMOND, Talks Potential MERCYFUL FATE Reunion, Songwriting

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I was fortunate enough to interview the legendary axeman Hank Shermann (Denner/Shermann, Mercyful Fate) for our partner website Vita In Musica. We talked about the upcoming Denner/Shermann album, ‘Masters of Evil,’ a potential Mercyful Fate reunion, and playing guitar with Volbeat in 2012.

Volbeat singer Michael Poulsen had asked Shermann to play guitar during the band’s run on Gigantour in 2012. King Diamond was supposed to perform “Come to the Sabbath” with the band, but Dave Mustaine did not allow it.

King Diamond also went to Dallas when we did the Gigantour, because he was supposed to play–we did play a Mercyful Fate song–‘Come To The Sabbath’. King Diamond was coming to the show in order to sing it. But apparently, Dave Mustaine didn’t want King to be onstage and do whatever Satanic lyrics, or whatever that was all about… So, King came to the concert and he was given the–he was told that, ‘Hey King, you’re not allowed’ from Mustaine for some reason.”

The band played the intro from “Come to the Sabbath” anyway, as King sang the lyrics from the audience.

Shermann continues, “That was pretty funny. What that was all about, I don’t have a clue. I don’t know if suddenly Mustaine had gotten into God, or you know, for whatever reason [laughs]. That was pretty bizarre you know, because back in the days, they were very good friends… Megadeth were touring with Diamond in the 80s. But there’s a lot of changes in that band. But you know, they’re good guys… and I like them and they have made some really cool records over time.”

He also revealed that he has been in talks with King Diamond over a possible Mercyful Fate reunion, though nothing has been set in stone. There is still an album left on contract with Metal Blade Records.

Nothing has been talked about, specifics. But I mean, it would be a fascinating thought, and let’s all hope that it would happen, at least for the fans, because we owe everything to the fans, that we are still here to this day.”

Denner/Shermann will also be touring Europe and North America later this year.

For the entire interview, click here.

Masters of Evil‘ is due for release on June 24th via Metal Blade Records.

UPDATE (6/9/16 8:27 a.m. PST): YouTube link has been included because the Vita In Musica site is down: https://youtu.be/t5mfMqL7d5I


GHOST B.C., IDES OF GEMINI Live in Tucson, Ariz. – Aprl 23, 2013

Tuesday night may not be the ideal time to host a metal concert, and Tucson, Ariz., isn’t exactly known for its metal scene. But the Rialto Theater was packed with wild headbangers and stagedivers during last night’s Ghost B.C. concert.

(Ghost B.C. will hereafter be referred to as simply “Ghost”.)

Papa Emeritus alongside a Nameless Ghoul. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Ghost B.C.’s Papa Emeritus alongside a Nameless Ghoul. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Rialto Theater was a seemingly perfect venue choice for the controversial band. With its rustic classic theater vibe and vintage red walls, the building itself matched the incense and candles burning on Ghost’s merch table.

Tucson sludge metallers Godhunter opened the show, their music a combination of death growls and doomy riffs.

Tucson metal band Godhunter performs. Photo by Alec Damiano

Tucson metal band Godhunter performs. Photo by Alec Damiano

Next up were Los Angeles doom outfit Ides of Gemini. Singer and bassist Sera Timms’ powerful voice complemented the death march-esque drums and ripping guitar perfectly.

Female-fronted doom metal band Ides of Gemini. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Female-fronted doom metal band Ides of Gemini. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Before the headliner went on, Ghost’s crew prepared a ritual where incense was lit and fog machines let out a (secular) haze filling the room.

A "secular haze" fills the room before Ghost goes on. Photo by Alec Damiano.

A “secular haze” fills the room before Ghost goes on. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Nameless Ghouls opened with “Infestissumam” and Papa Emeritus made his grand entrance during “Per Aspera Ad Inferni”.

Ghost played an approximately 90-minute setlist with songs from both their albums, “Opus Eponymous” and “Infestissumam”. Papa Emeritus interacted with the crowd regularly, allowing crazed fans to grab his hands, which were covered by black latex gloves.

Papa Emeritus preaching to the crowd. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Papa Emeritus preaching to the crowd. Photo by Alec Damiano.

At the end of the show, a woman climbed onstage, wearing only a dress and a thong. Two young men later rushed the stage in a desperate attempt to steal the setlist. They were pulled out of the venue by security.

Ghost have always been controversial among metalheads. While some say they’re metal, others say they’re retro pop-rock. But Ghost sound far heavier live than on their albums. Audience members may not have moshed, but they certainly banged their heads and raised their fists.

The Nameless Ghouls. Photo by Alec Damiano.

The Nameless Ghouls. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Though the mysterious band may not record the heaviest music, their show was definitely metal nonetheless.


The Existence of the METAL CHURCH – and not the band!

Metal Church. Mention these two words to a metalhead, and they will think of the  band, their song and the album of the same name.

Headbangers are not normally seen as religious people.

The PMRC created a list of 15 morally detrimental songs called “The Flithy Fifteen”. Bands on the list included Mercyful Fate, W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue.

Norweigan black metal singer Varg Vikernes was accused of burning churches down.

But BBC News Magazine recently did a report on different churches created and run by our metal bretheren.

Here are a few of them:

  • The Order of the Black Sheep: a Church of England ministry based in Chesterfield, UK. Minister Mark Broomhead is a member of Seventh Angel, a Christian thrash metal band. SA shared a label with Metallica and Slayer at one time. Sermons only last a few minutes.
  • Glorious Undead is a London Christian church, originally founded to appeal to members of the alternative music scene. They are an official church and part of the Elim Pentecostal network.
  • Pastor Bob Beeman runs Sanctuary International, a church aimed at metalheads based in Nashville, Tenn.

Do you know of any more metal churches? Feel free to post them in the comments section.