Archive for Huntress

2018: Tragedies and Triumphs

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2018 by 80smetalman

We are all reflecting on 2018 as the year comes to a close. For me, the year has been a roller coaster of triumphs and tragedies. The tragedies being losses in my own personal life as well as some in the music and entertainment world. Although it happened in 2017, the effects of the passing of my mother in law were felt for several weeks into the new year. Then, when I thought Mrs 80smetalman and I had gotten over it, my mother died in early March. Losing both mothers barely two months apart is something I would not wish on any couple. After putting that behind us, my wife’s aunt suddenly died. No one was really expecting it but it was not the way anyone wanted to see the year end.

Like 2016 and 17, 2018 has had its share of people we love from the music world departing this world, including two I only just found out about. Those were Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy from The Blues Brothers and former Jefferson Airplane/Starship lead singer Marty Balin. Saying that, the list I found them on did not include Huntress lead singer, Jill Janus, which I’m a little peeved about. Here’s a list of some of the others who passed on.

Vinnie Paul

Bruno Sammartino

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

It’s rather ironic that Aretha Franklin and Matt Murphy, they played husband and wife in the Blues Brothers film, both died in 2018.

Marty Balin

The only decent shot I got of Jill Janus and she has her back to me

Ed King

Fortunately, there were many triumphs in 2018 as well. The best of those was becoming a grandfather, thus ensuring a third generation of metalheads in the LeFevre family. In addition, two weeks ago, I got to see my daughter receive her master’s degree, a proud moment.

Grandfather and grandson

Needless to say, there were a lot of musical highs in 2018 as well. In February, I was invited to the album launch party for the band Black Emerald. A band I had seen at Bloodstock in 2013 and impressed me so much, I wrote a post as to why they should be signed. Someone must have read it because this year saw the release of Black Emerald’s debut album, “Hell Can’t Handle All of Us. I have listened to the album several times now and it’s brilliant. I hope this is the dawning of great things to come for this band.

Although my trip to the US, was due to tragic circumstances in March, I still got to experience what I called “America’s best kept secret” in the form of blues guitarist and singer Hannah Wicklund and her band the Steppin’ Stones. This was another album from this year that I enjoy more with each listen.

Hannah Wicklund

Hannah wasn’t the only lady in rock to turn my head in 2018. Not long after, I got to experience Lebanese metal maidens Slave to Sirens. Last report I heard, they are working on a full length album and I will definitely be picking it up when it comes out.

Slave to Sirens

No year would be complete without going to a music festival or two. In June, I went to the Sunday at Download where I was awed by the likes of Iglorious, Shinedown, Black Veil Brides, Marilyn Manson and Ozzy himself. I was also introduced to up and coming new band, Puppy but the best part for me was after a more than thirty year wait, I got to see German thrashers, Kreator. It was definitely a day to remember.

Mille leads Kreator onto the stage

Ozzy’s kick ass show

One festival wasn’t enough so in August, I went to Bloodstock for the full three days. Each day brought both the expected and unexpected. On the Friday, Suicidal Tendencies, Judas Priest and Doro all performed as well as I thought but I was further impressed by Kamelot and Feed the Rhino. Likewise on Saturday, Gojira proved they earned the headlining slot but I was also wowed by Orden Organ, the pirate metal of Alestorm and Sophie Lancaster Stage headliners Orphaned Land. I am currently listening to Orphaned Land’s new album, “Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs” and so far, I’m very much liking what I am hearing. However, you can’t forget Sunday, which could have been called Scandinavian Day as most of the bands were from Sweden or Finland. Still, Fozzy was brilliant as always and Mr Big showed they could play Bloodstock and Devil Driver was one big mosh pit. On the other hand, I was very grateful for my introductions to Amaranthe and Nepalese metalers Underside. This was a great way to end my festival career.

Feed The Rhino welcome everybody to Bloodstock

ST comes on stage

Doro on the Sophie Stage

Levermann and Kersting leading from the front.

Alestorm on stage with a lot of flying inflatable objects.

Orphaned Land

A shot of the entire band

Amaranthe won me over

Underside show that you can rock in Nepal.

Late in the year, AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Bells made their annual trip to Stroud and were as good as always but the year ended with seeing Slayer, Anthrax and Lamb of God in Cardiff. This is supposed to be Slayer’s farewell tour and it was a great night for them to go out on.

Obviously, I got closer to the stage for Hell’s Bells

Anthrax in Cardiff

Lamb of God

Slayer appear!

Yes, 2018 was a year of triumphs and tragedies for me. The important thing is that I got through it with many great memories. Likewise, 2019 is also looking very promising. On the personal side, both of my sons are getting married this year. My younger one in February and my eldest is getting married in December. While I have retired from going to three day festivals, I think I will go to Bloodstock on the Sunday with the Scorpions headlining that day and Dee Snider playing as well. However, the band I want to see most that day is Queensryche. I’m already looking forward.

So, I wish all of you a very happy 2019! I look forward to continuing my tour through the golden decade of heavy metal as well as talking about relevant events and I look forward to reading what you all have to say in 2019.

Next post: I think I’ll put on some of the music from the bands I mentioned here.

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Rest In Peace Jill Janus and Aretha Franklin

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2018 by 80smetalman

The only decent shot I got of Jill and she has her back to me

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

I was beginning to think that maybe 2018 wouldn’t suck as much as the previous two years then we get the double whammy! First, this week, as most of you know, we lose the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin and now I have just discovered that Huntress singer Jill Janus has also passed away. Reports say that Jill, who had been suffering from mental illness took her own life.


This is a huge tragedy and I wish the best for Huntress and Jill’s family.


Three Pronged Metal Assault On Bristol

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by 80smetalman

It’s Monday morning and I still haven’t fully recovered from Sunday night’s mayhem. Last night, my stepson and I went to see a concert at the Thekla in Bristol, UK, with viking metal giants Amon Amarth, California metallists Huntress and  homegrown Savage Messiah. Let’s just say that the night was one to remember.

It’s about a forty-five minute ride from my home in Stroud, Gloucestershire to Bristol but that’s not important. We did have Megadeth’s “13” album to make the ride enjoyable and provide the inflight entertainment. Once we landed in Bristol, we immediately headed for a nearby pub called The Gryphon which specialises in metal. Four years ago, I had my most successful book signing evening for “Rock and Roll Children” there. There were only three other people in there plus the bartender but I did manage a pint of real ale and the entertainment provided by Sabbaton on the pub’s sound system. Great place for a pre-concert party.

Inside The Gryphon

Inside The Gryphon

Leaving the Gryphon, we made the ten minute walk to the Thekla, which is an old ship turned into a night club. This turned out to be a bit ironic since the headline act prided themselves on being descended from vikings. An email from them gave me the impression that the show would start at 7 but the reality was that that would be the time the doors opened. So, we had to wait in line for fifteen minutes but some rather partied out concert goers who play too much Skyrim made the wait more amusing. My stepson informed me that they were loudly making quotes from the game, although I can’t remember what they were.

The Thekla

The Thekla

So, we went in, found a good place near the stage and waited. The wait was well worth it because at precisely 7:30, Savage Messiah hit the stage at 300 mph. They might have only been on stage for a half an hour but they made sure you took in every minute of it. They gave every ounce of energy they had into that short time span with some powerful playing. I had little experience of them before this night but they were kind enough to play two songs of theirs I did know, “Hellblazer” and “Minority of One.” Both were done brilliantly as were the other songs they played. They only slowed down long enough for lead singer, Dave Silver, to lament how their van broke down four days into their tour and had to pay over £600 in repairs. He said he was going to put the bill on Twitter, so I may have to check that out. Still, it didn’t detract from their performance one bit and when they finished, they still had enough energy to play another half hour.

Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

More Savage Messiah

The audience didn’t have much time to catch their breath before the second band of the night, Huntress ascended the stage. They wasted no time in carrying on from where their predecessors left off. Huntress wowed the crowd with their own brand of powerful metal which brought out all the ghouls and thrashers. It was in the middle of their set that a mosh pit opened up. This only fueled Huntress more. Lead singer Jill Janus lead the procession very well with both her engagement with the crowd and her singing. I loved her quote, “Put the stars in your bong and smoke the galaxy.” Of course all backed up by her band who proceeded to hammer the ear drums of anyone who was inside the Thekla. Like Savage Messiah, I’m not too familiar with Huntress’s material but they did play the “love song” Lemmy wrote for the band, “I Want to Fuck You to Death.” That brought their show to a thrilling climax and when they left the stage a couple of songs later, I was thinking to myself, that couldn’t have been 45 minutes.



Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

Blake Meahl hammering out a guitar solo

The only decent shot I got of Jill and she has her back to me

The only decent shot I got of Jill

From the moment they got on stage, it was crystal clear that Amon Amarth were not going to take any prisoners. Viking drums beat, swords and shields clashed and most importantly, guitars, bass, drums and vocals reigned down fire from Valhala as they launched into their domination of the night. A mosh pit opened up straight away and would stay that way for the rest of the evening. My step-son even went into it only to come out a few minutes later drenched in sweat. Like many of the established head liner acts I have seen over the years, Amon Amarth played exactly the right blend of classic and new material. Songs I remember from the night included “Loki Falls,” “Deceiver of Gods,” “Guardians of Asgard” and “Twilight of the Thunder God.” Just over the midpoint of the show, they paused the carnage long enough for lead singer Johan Hegg to explain that he had lost his voice the night before and his band plus assistance from Jill Janus saved the show. Let me say that last night, there were no signs of any vocals problems with Hegg. The band hammered the rest of the night in style and did return for two encore songs, the last of which Hegg got the crowd to sing along. I can only vaguely remember the first line, something about vikings in a ship. Still, the crowd singing was good enough for Johan to declare us honourary Vikings. When Amon Amarth left the stage, it was to thunderous reverence of having conquered Bristol that night.

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Johan Hegg leading his troops

Amon Amarth at their best

Amon Amarth at their best

More Amon Amarth

More Amon Amarth

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Johan Hegg talking about his voice

Under the green lights

Under the green lights

The residents of Bristol may not realise this but on Sunday January 18, 2015, their town was taken over by vikings assisted by to metal forces in the forms of Huntress and Savage Messiah. The Thekla provided that small club setting which provides an atmosphere all on its own. Three bands reigned supreme that night and I was glad I was there to experience it.

Next post: Outlaws- Los Hombres Malo

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Rossington/Collins- This is the Way

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2015 by 80smetalman


One of the best things about being in the Southeastern part of the US in 1982 was that while the rest of the world seemed to be getting into new wave and synth pop was starting to rear its ugly head, Southern rock was still going strong there. Of course heavy metal was growing into a monster out of control but that’s another story. As I have said many times before, Southern Rock had stamped its authority in 1981 but while most of the trendy world may have moved on, Southerners were still true to their music. The result being that there are still quite a few more albums in this vein for me to visit and one of the major ones was the second album from Rossington/Collins, “This is the Way.”

For me, “This is the Way” is as every bit as good as their debut album “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.” It has that very pronounced Southern down home boogie vibe that is synonymous with Southern Rock. Plus, having several ex Lynyrd Skynyrd members in the band, you can definitely hear their influence on the album. What is different about Rossington/Collins is the lead singer, Dale Krantz- Rossington. Not enough mention is given to her vocal ability which is very high indeed. She really shines on the acapella “Pine Box.” Her vocals are just as noteworthy in the songs that have music with them but they have the additional bonus of some of that great Skynyrdesque guitar play from Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. Great examples to this are “Gotta Get it Straight,” “Gonna Miss It When Its Gone” and “Means Nothing to You.” “Don’t Stop Me Now” has an added bonus of the piano work of Billy Powell proving that he could still tinkle the ivories. It beats me why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a keyboardist. The best example, though, is the more bluesy ballad “Tashauana.” This song puts together all of the things already mentions and makes a really good song. Dale’s vocals are superb, their is some great powerful guitar and you can hear Powell’s well done efforts as well. “Tashauana” demonstrates why “This is the Way” is such a great album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Get it Straight

2. Tashauana

3. Gonna Miss It When Its Gone

4. Pine Box

5. Fancy Ideas

6. Don’t Stop Me Now

7. Seems Like Every Day

8. I’m Free Today

9. Next Phone Call

10. Means Nothing to You



Gary Rossington- guitar

Allen Collins- guitar

Dale Krantz- Rossington- vocals

Billy Powell- keyboards

Barry Lee Harwood- guitar, vocals

Leon Wilkeson- bass

Derek Hess- drums

“This is the Way” would be the second and final album from Rossington/Collins. They would disappear after this for reasons I will never fully understand. Maybe it was because I didn’t appreciate them enough back then. If that’s the case, then that’s not good, because if they kept putting out albums like this one, I would have been listening to them for years.

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

On a personal note, this Sunday my stepson and I will be going to see Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah at the Thekla Club in Bristol. I will provide full details of the expected mayhem that is gong to happen in my next post.

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London



Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Jam- The Gift

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2014 by 80smetalman


I hope that everyone had a very nice Christmas and will have a Happy New Year and that Santa brought you all the music you wanted. He did bring me the new AC/DC album like I asked and I enjoyed it first listen. Being a parent or step parent in this case, I got to see my stepson open his Christmas card and discover two tickets to see Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah in Bristol on January 18. I must thank Stone at Metalodyssey. His post alerted me to the upcoming concert and I would have missed it if I hadn’t seen it in one of his posts. Thank you Stone and I will be posting about that gig after I see it.

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

Now onto The Jam’s 1982 album “The Gift.” If I had been listening to The Jam back in the day and heard this album when it came out after listening to their previous albums, I would have immediately accused them of selling out. “The Gift” marks a departure from the hard, aggressive punk sound that they had been known for. I mean the opener for instance, “Happy Together” sounds more like a happy top 40 song then a traditional Jam punk anthem. However, the song does break with the precedent set by the other albums I have covered for 1982 and is not the hit single. Surprisingly enough, the big single from the album and probably their most successful song, “A Town Called Malice” is probably the closest song to The Jam of old on the entire album and probably why it’s a good song. At least they tried to keep to their traditional roots somewhat. The rest of the album, although not bad lacks that kick I liked about their previous albums. Paul Weller was trying to stretch out a little and you got to respect that but for me, it just doesn’t excite me the way the earlier Jam material did.

Track Listing:

1. Happy Together

2. Ghosts

3. Precious

4. Just Who is the Five O’Clock Hero

5. Trans Global Express

6. Running on the Spot

7. Circus

8. The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong

9. Carnation

10. A Town Called Malice

11. The Gift

The Jam

The Jam

Paul Weller- guitar, lead vocals

Bruce Foxton- bass, backing vocals

Rick Buckler- drums

While “The Gift” would go to number one, it would also lead to the break up of the band. Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler wanted to stick to the more punk sound while Weller wanted to branch out more. It appears that this disagreement might have shone through on the album because while it goes to new places, it does so without the angry conviction that had gotten The Jam to where they were in the first place.

Next post: Toto- IV

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London