Category Archives: Thrash Metal

Thrash Metal was one of the early forms of metal, but it is played these days as a retro-gimmick. Some bands that play thrash now have always played thrash, so they are forgiven.

Mental Devastation – The Delusional Mystery of the Self (Blood Harvest)

When I first heard the beginning of a song, I thought to myself, “Oh no… another stupid retro thrash band.” I was going to turn it off, but I felt a sense of nostalgia as my hand went for the eject button, and the vocal kicked in and I couldn’t shut off the song.

I couldn’t shake the nostalgia. The vocals reminded me of Deathrow, Forbidden, and a wee bit of Violence, and the tasty time changes and classic riffing made me stop what I was doing so I could take in the music, and I became a fan, more so with each song.

I am grateful to this band for taking me back years when various underground styles were being formed and re-formed. This album gets a very high recommendation. Come for the nostalgia, but stay for the high quality. Every song is solid!

WARREL DANE – Shadow Work (Century Media)

Listening to this album inflicts the same sadness as when I see “The Crow” because I know that this will be the last offering by the artist.  It is ironic that Warrel sings, “Mother is the Word for god” – a line from the movie “The Crow” (and it is sorrowfully coincidental that I recently met the writer of the graphic novel prior to hearing the song).

It is hard to hear “Kill me in my dreams” – I wonder if Warrel was conscious when he died.

The guitar on this album seems imitative of Jeff Loomis at times, a tad shameful, not so much for the mimicry, but because the style isn’t why I like the music – it is, and always was, Warrel’s voice that carried the tune.

There are some new approaches, however.

It doesn’t seem necessary to review this album – it will be heard out of respect, curiosity, or a friend’s insistence.

I am grateful that enough was salvaged to finish this final work. Another Great One is gone, and I  see no replacements for those we lost.  Farewell.


Nevermore interview with Warrel Dane


This interview was conducted on a camcorder years ago.  The reason why it surfaced in a mostly-unedited form here is to show another side of Warrel Dane.

Warrel Dane and Bill Zebub became friends after a fan of Bill’s showed Warrel Dane an issue of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine that highly praised a Nevermore album during a tour.  Warrel and Bill’s fan exchanged contact information, and it was suggested that Warrel and Bill meet at a New Jersey venue, which was Obsessions in Randolph.

After that first meeting, the friendship and familiarity grew , and the comfort level is evident in this drunken interview.  There is a serious interview conducted a few months before Warrel’s death.  It was just 10 minutes or so, sort of as an antidote to the comical chats that were captured throughout the years.  There was to be a longer, interview during a future tour, but death prevented that.

Please enjoy this night of absurdity.  Bill Zebub was going to post it sooner, but he did not Warrel’s death to be the reason why people watched.  Watch this to see another side that only a friend, and a clown, like Bill Zebub brought out…. oh, yes, and the vodka.  Don’t forget the vodka.


Interview with Kelly Mclauchlin conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #31 of The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds Magazine


Let’s begin with the name of the band. I heard the original name
was “Piss Mist” and the band from Ireland contacted you and said
cease and desist, we have the name. Is that true?
See, that’s a rumor that actually got started in one of the pubs in Ireland during the European tour. There was a band there that was called “Piss & Mist” and they thought the name was just too similar, so we had to change it.

Who thought up the name “Pessimist”?
I did.

 Were you reading the dictionary for words that sounded cool?
No. I asked somebody what is the meaning of somebody who is
obsessed by darkness, always sees the dark side of things… because that was kind of what I was into at the time.

Then you saw the word “Don Decker” and it was already taken.
No, Decker’s cool man.

Why? Are you afraid of him?
No. We get along fine. 

Did you ever speak the word “pessimist” aloud and thought to
yourself, “Wow, this word begins with the letter p?” Those kinds of
words don’t really strike fear audibly. It’s not like “cocky”. That
feels pretty brutal to say. But “pessimist” is kind of like a soft
Man, that’s harsh.

The band was not your first time being in the spotlight, correct?
Didn’t you win the Kentucky Howard Stern look-alike contest?
T hat wasn’t in Kentucky. That was in Delaware.

Have you ever seen the movie “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”?

Just as a brief description for people who haven’t seen it, it’s not
really a movie. It’s more like ten minutes of going to the parking lot
of a Judas Priest concert in Baltimore. I never expected to see people who looked so inbred. Their eyes were either too close or too far. The ears are another horror story altogether. But you are from that area. 
Uh, no. I live here now, but I’m not from here.

So what’s going on? That’s just really harsh on the eyes.
The people who aren’t ugly enough to live in New Jersey… they send them to Maryland.

I heard that you are the originator of the band and that you kicked
everyone out.
Pretty much.

Is that because of your pessimistic attitude? Tell me something
juicy. Don’t tell me it was a mutual agreement and that you’re all
Of course it was different for each member because no two assholes are the same. For some, let’s just say I was tired of them wanting to live the rock star lifestyle and having the perks of playing with a band without doing any of the legwork. I was tired of them riding on my coat tails. You’ve heard the term “musical differences.” Some people were into playing more sissy music.

So nobody tried to steal your girlfriend or anything like that?
Absolutely not. If they did, I don’t think they’d be around.

Did anybody come out of the closet? Is that it? Because you are
a handsome fellow.
Oh well thank you. Wait a second. Are YOU coming out of the closet?

No. I’ve never even been in a closet. Have you discovered your
girlfriend’s G spot?
Oh yeah… years ago. we’re married now, actually. She’s my wife.

So you’re one of the people who can claim that the G spot is not
a myth.
No, it’s not a myth.

What led to the discovery. Did she know about it beforehand,
or are you the one who paved the way?
I read about it in Playboy magazine.

What helped? Were you very communicative?
It’s kind of private.

Well you know, because you’re a role model I thought that your
bravery in breaking through that macho exterior… being tender
with your partner… I thought that if you could influence people that way, you should forsake privacy for the enhanced orgasms of the women out there.
Let’s not forget that I have a mean nasty reputation to uphold.

Yeah, but the Grimoire is about breaking through the exterior. Tell
us how you broke through the frigidity of your mate.
My wife’s not frigid. Let’s just say she talked me through it.

Was she on her stomach?

Were you on your stomach?

Were you on her stomach?

Speaking of dick, on the first album, there were choking-on-a-dick
vocals. I’m kind of sad about that because the music isn’t black
metal, but it seems that the black metal vocal approach was
favored and the death metal approach was discarded.
No. I would hardly use the word “discarded”. The higher screechy vocals were really more of a grind core approach. If it came across as black metallish…

Are you trying to say that they were more like the high end of the
Carcass style?
Yeah, that’s what they were intended to be. A lot of critics and fans alike have labeled us as black/death, and sometimes for convenience we use that tag. My roots come from Possessed and Destruction.


Do you think they were able to find the G spot in their girlfriends?
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think it’s that hard to do. 

Did the main vocalist get thrown out, return for the second album,
and get thrown out again?

Life with you is a game of hopscotch.
When some people are not dedicated enough to pull their weight, what else could you say about that? You give somebody a second chance, and when they bite you on the ass a second time, they’re gone.

You’ll agree that the vocalist is sometimes the signature for the
band. Do you think that he was a little cocky because he was the
Falsely so. In his own mind, yes.

Let’s get into the personality of Kell. Can I call you Kell?
Yeah, that’s ok.

Is your last name “Ogg”?

Are you a racist?

So you’re not the person in the band who, when interviewed,
wished there were a cereal called “Special KKK.”

By Kell Ogg.
No. That’s a good one.

What do you know about a soldier’s training? Does it fascinate
you in any way?
If I had an opinion on it, I’d say that it’s obviously disciplinary and it’s
designed to create a stronger, more focused individual.

Part of a soldier’s training is survival.
Where is this going?

When they’re caught t behind enemy lines, they have to
know what to do.

They have to find out which bugs are edible. They eat bugs for protein.   Would you be able to do something like that?

I think anyone would be able to do that if you really need nutrition.
Yeah, if you’re talking about survival.

I’m glad you said that because when I see these commercials
for feeding children and they point to African villages, the commercial tries to get your money to feed allegedly starving children, but I noticed that the children have these massive flies landing on their faces. They don’t even swat them. So the bugs are not on guard, really. So if they just reached up and grabbed a bug, they would have an hors d’oeuvre. So I think that instead of sending money, we should send them fly paper.
Yeah, that’s a great idea.

They can’t really get my sympathy because they can help themselves. They’re lazy niggers. If they just lifted a hand and took at least one of the three dozen bugs that are constantly buzzing
around them I think that would be great. Some people might object
to the idea of human-vermin eating vermin, but Africa is already
known for cannibalism. So I’m glad we cleared that up.
I agree fully, man.

You are definitely a man who is aware of hunger problem across
the world. I’m glad about that. Is Lost Disciple Records a gay label?

Did you get signed to the label because you taught Rich how to
find his girlfriend’s G spot?
Oh man! See, that’s messed up because I know I know Rich’s girlfriend and I can’t…

Does she look at you thankfully?
I think she wanted Rich to sign us, is what it is. 

I know! See? You think I don’t know anything about metal.
It’s because she like our physiques.

Is it true that you were offered a contract from Necropolis
Records, but Paul was very offended when you refused to add sitar
parts. Paul is a very devout Hindu, and you offended his sensibilities.
I didn’t know that about Paul, but if it meant a deal with Necropolis
Records, I would most certainly add sitar parts to all the songs.

You are also loyal to England, and he is mad about that because
England held Tyranny over India for so many years. But I can see
that this is putting you in a bad position, so if you ask me as a friend
to stop this line of questioning, I’ll move on.
Yeah, please Bill, because I can’t answer any more on this subject.

You avoided this question before, but I’m going to ask you this
again… I heard that you were going to be signed to Red Stream
after the Necropolis deal broke because Red Stream and
Necropolis are cultural enemies. They are violently aspected
toward each other.
Didn’t one of them burn the other’s house down?

I can’t discuss that because the issue is still pending in a court
trial. Some people say that I did it and I left a Red Stream t-shirt
behind. The world knows by now about Pat’s home situation.
It’s really sad.

Yeah, he doesn’t have to pay rent to live with his mommy and
daddy, but he does have to care for the family donkey, named
Yeah, Pierre.

And when you came over to the barn and went over all the plans,
you were chewing gum and it ran out of flavor. You discarded the
gum and it landed on the fur of Pierre, and Pat went banana’s
because it’s a lot of work to care for a donkey and you know how
hard it is to get gum out of hair. Not even a whole jar of peanut butter can help.
That’s definitely a French donkey.

But you were mad at the same time because you were chewing
Trident bubble-gum-flavored gum, but it’s only bubble gum flavored… it doesn’t have the characteristics of actual bubble gum.
You can’t blow bubbles with it. It’s chewing gum, that tastes like
bubble gum, and you didn’t didn’t realize this and were completely
hoodwinked because it was recommended to you by Pat to chew
that gum because he believed the dentist hype. So the two of you
started fighting. Do you want to talk about that, or is it going to be
decided in court?
It’s supposed to settle out of court. Our attorneys have told us that it’s ok to comment on the situation. It was tragic, really.

Were you disappointed that Pat was pulling your hair like a girl?
Yeah, it really hurt my feelings.

I’m glad that the two of you have no problem defending what you
believe in. He believes in the care of his donkey and you believe
that if it tastes like bubble gum, it better damn well give an hour’s
worth of bubble popping pleasure.
Especially when the bubble gum is offered to you by a label who’s propositioning  you. The whole trust factor went right out the window, man. Of course, once Pat saw what happened to the donkey he just went ballistic.  He started cursing in Arab.

Oh that’s right! He’s Pakistani, and they’re enemies with India.
That explains Necropolis and Red Stream.

So at which point after this did you discover Rich’s girlfriend’s G
Rich and I had met in an AOL chat room and we had both claimed to be 16-year-old lesbian girls and we arranged a meeting… and once Rich’s girlfriend saw what I looked like, she convinced him to sign us to the label.

Was it a verbal contract, and were the verbs “Oh Kell, Oh God, Uh
Uh Kell, get it Kell”?
Um… no.

How did you find the strength to stay away from the gay piano that
Virginian pseudo-European bands love so much?

Aren’t you from Virginia?
No. Maryland.

Same thing.
Actually not. There’s a bit of hostility for several years now between the Virginia and Maryland scene being as we’re both kinda on the outskirts of D.C. It’s deep-seated in the community for years and years. It’s kind of a jealousy thing. They seem to think that we’re rednecks and uncouth.  Just look around. But then they have the reputation of being spoiled rich sissies. I don’t follow any of that. We are friends with lots of bands in lots of different states.

Does King Fowley personally support you?

Does he athletically support you?
Yes, King Fowley is a great athletic supporter. Don’t fuckin’ print that,  Dude! I’ll get so much shit for that. I’d rather not ….

Should I put it as a pull-quote at the top of the page in the biggest
lettering I can? 
You can do that as an editorial comment, but not something that I said.

Ok. I promise not to print it.
King Fowley’s done a lot to support this scene over the years. Sure, he has a reputation for talking a lot of shit. I believe we’re friends, and in fact, we appeared on one of his compilations back in the day when we were first getting our start. That did a lot towards getting our name out there.

Did you ever show him how to find the G spot?
No. But then again, there’s never enough chicks at one of their shows to worry about that.

Is it mandatory for a man to have long hair in your band?

So why don’t you ask one of the guys from Deceased?
Actually, our new bassist is kind of a skinhead guy with long hair just in the front.

Does he wear mascara?
No, just spandex. He draws the line with the make-up. 

So at your shows… is there a sign that says “NO QUEERBASHERS
If there was a sign at one of our shows, it would say, “Queerbashing

Ok, maybe we should close this interview with some more  straightforward musical questions. Will you still be wearing a bullet belt on the next album?
It’s a studded belt.

Do you tuck your shirt into your pants?
No, but former members of the band used to do that and it looked gay.

Yeah, you have to talk to these people about what they project.
You know, like an earring in the right ear is just like asking for gay
You can’t go on stage looking like you just rolled out of the fag underground. It’s not about that. Our new drummer is the fastest that we’ve ever had, so that’s going to change us a few notches. Vocal-wise, myself and the second guitarist are going to be splitting vocal duties… both highs  and lows. You can expect some less of the highs.

Any butt bongo?
Yeah, that’s a great idea. It’s going to be even more technical. One of
the things that happened…

Do you think that one of the reasons why King Fowley punched
Jeremy (from Broken Hope) was because while King was talking to
you, Jeremy was trying to find his G spot?
I don’t know. We were on stage when that happened. 

When Jeremy found King’s G spot?
When he punched Jeremy.

Sanctuary – Inception (Century Media)

I have long been aware of demo songs from Sanctuary.  I begged Warrel Dane for copies but he resisted.  Alas, my wish was finally granted in this polished version.  

Of course I had to select “Battle Angels” as the first song to experience. I was among the lucky ones in the past who received an e.p. of live songs, and “Battle Angels” was on there when Warrel Dane hit the tough notes.  

The demo version of the song far exceeded my expectations, both in production value and in performance.  Warrel Dane’s falsetto was strong and true.  I remember that day long ago when I heard this song on the radio for the first time and I had to pull over.  As soon as the disc jockey identified the band, I drove to a record store.  Hearing the demo version was a similar experience.  It was like renewing my vows.  

The demo version differed slightly from the version that was on the “Refuge Denied album.  This is especially enjoyable – not only do I hear a different performance – I also enjoy an alternate structure.  This is quite the gift for a fan.

There is also material that is completely new to my ears.  The song “Dream of the Incubus” features an astounding falsetto performance.  it was an intense listening experience, so much so that i had to hear the song a few times before moving on.  It was just too good to leave.  

This is unquestionably a mandatory purchase.  “Inception” is so good that I would dare say that it can be mind-blowing to a person who has never heard Sanctuary before.  I strongly urge you to drop what you are doing and to get this album immediately.



High Power – High Power (Brennus)

The only time I had ever heard this band was on a college radio station long ago, and I had hunted the album ever since… to no avail, until now.
This French power metal album has been newly re-released by fellow countrymen, and should be acquired at once if the name is recognized.

Most of the songs are unremarkable power metal songs typical of the ‘80’s, including a ballad, and entirely sung in French. But there is one song that is so special as to have inspired a decade of searching. Perhaps it was only because my mind was young, or maybe because I was not accustomed to dynamic songs, nonetheless I was hooked by “Offrande Charnelle”, and I think you might find it charming as well.