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Paul Baloff: Exodus, Piranha



"Paul Baloff: Kill the posers"

In the beginning of the 80's, thrash metal was in its peak of popularity. It was the time metalheads witnessed the transition of sound taking a more speedy, trashy, gritty and primitive form, drawing influences from the hardcore punk scene and  heavy metal juggernauts Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Motorhead and Venom to name a few. One of the bands who were able to make a massive mark in shaping the genre was the California-based band, Exodus. The band is considered to be a pioneering thrash metal band to hail from the States. Leading the band as a frontman at that time was Paul Baloff, who devoted all his life for the genre and gave us gems like Bonded by Blood (1985), Lessons in violence (1992) and Another lesson in violence (1997). Paul is remembered for his distinctive husky voice and aggressive live performances, and also for coining the phrase "Kill the posers" in the early thrash metal scene. He had also contributed in bands like Hirax, Heathen and Piranha which all played thrash metal.

Paul was born on April 25, 1960 and resided in El Cerrito, California. It was 1981 when founding Exodus member Kirk Hammett came across Paul at a house party and the two instantly got along having similar taste and passion for the same kind of music. Paul replaced Keith Stewart as Exodus' new frontman and released several demos in the span of 3 years (1982-1984). In 1985, he sang in the highly acclaimed, influencial thrash metal album, Bonded by Blood. Till this date, the album is regarded as a glowing gem in the history of thrash metal and metal entirely.

After touring for Bonded by Blood in 1986, Paul Baloff was dismissed from the band due to musical and personal differences between him and the other members. Former Legacy member Steve Souza filled the vacant spot to replace him as the band's frontman. He was still given writer credits in the band's second full-length album Pleasures of the Flesh. Paul went on to form another California-based thrash metal act Piranha after his dismissal from Exodus. Piranha recorded a demo called "Big fucking teeth" in 1988 which was produced by Metallica frontman James Hetfield. Soon after the release of the demo, Paul joined Heathen to replace David Godfrey and released a demo in 1988 named after him, "Demo with Paul Baloff". He again went on to reform a broken Piranha, completely changing the band's line-up. A four tracked demo was recorded but remained unfinished as Paul was never around to lay down the vocal tracks for the demo. Piranha split up in 1993 after a series of tragedies concerning the band's line-up changes and instability.

Paul (center) with Piranha
After releasing and touring for Force of Habit in 1992, Exodus went on a long hiatus due to several reasons sorrounding them. In 1997, guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt decided to resurrect an almost defunct Exodus, recruiting a new bassist Jack Gibson and reuniting former members Tom Hunting and Paul Baloff. Right after the reformation, they released a live album entitled "Another lesson in violence". Unfortunately, the band again disbanded over a financial dispute and personal conflicts with the record label Century Media. In 2001, the band once again reunited to play the "Thrash of the titans" concert and did a number of local gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area.

In February 2, 2002, Paul Baloff died of a major stroke leaving him in a coma, and after being declared brain dead, his life support was taken off by doctors. He was 41 and under the monitor of Highland General Hospital in Oakland, California. According to Gary Holt, Paul had two minor strokes before the major stroke that killed  him. The news sent shock waves and grief to all the metal fans around the globe as it had come off unexpected to many. A gloomy day for the thrash-heads.

Exodus had two nights booked to play in Anaheim, California before the mishap. However, due to concert commitments, the band performed both nights with former vocalist Steve Souza taking Paul's spot. The band continued to exist despite the tragic event and in 2004, they released the album "Tempo of the damned" in memory of Paul. In 2008, a re-recording of the band's revolutionary album "Bonded by Blood" was released featuring songs from the classic album but performed by the existing Exodus members. The album was released to give the songs the benefit of modern production and pay homage to the deceased legend. Several tribute shows were organized in his memory including the recent "Bonded by Baloff:  A decade of remembrance 2012"  mourning a decade of his passing. Band who signed up for this event were Possessed, Exodus, Heathen, Forbidden and other Bay Area thrash metal bands.

Cliff Burton(left) with Paul Baloff(right)
American rapper Ill Bill released a song and a music video entitled "Paul Baloff", where a recording of Bill talking to Paul in a Piranha radio interview is sampled at the end of the song. Bill mentioned Paul to be one of his childhood heroes in an interview.


Paul Baloff was the epitome of aggressiveness. He shall be remembered in the corner of our black hearts as an all-time great, an influencial and unique frontman, an energy junkie on stage, a poser despiser and a true devotee of thrash metal.  He shall remain heavier than time and immortal in our hearts, thrashing with the fallen ones.

Rage in Peace, Paul Baloff!

Born on: 5th April, 1960

Birthplace: California, USA

Band(s) involved: Exodus, Piranha, Heathen, Hirax, Spastik Children, Killparty

Passed on: 2nd February, 2002

Cause of death: Stroke

INTERVIEWS

http://deathstar330.blogspot.com/2010/02/paul-baloff-rage-in-peace-feb-2-2002.html


A compilation of video interviews conducted with Paul Baloff on Reality Check TV:



DOWNLOADS


EXODUS- BONDED BY BLOOD [1985]


Tracks:

1. Bonded by blood
2. Exodus
3. And then there were none
4. A lesson in violence
5. Metal command
6. Piranha
7. No love
8. Deliver us to evil
9. Strike of the beast

DOWNLOAD


PIRANHA- BIG FUCKING TEETH [1988 DEMO]


Tracks:

1. Nursery rhymes
2. Alone we'll survive





Steingrim Torson a.k.a Mehimoloth: Celestial Bloodshed, Grenjar




"Mehimoloth: Cursed, scarred and forever possessed"

Steingrim Torson a.k.a Mehimoloth was a Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, most notable for his stay in the black metal band Celestial Bloodshed as a front-man. He had actively participated in similar extreme acts playing various instruments in bands like Grenjar, Selvhat, Kaosritual to name a few.

Born in the early 1980’s in the dismal city of Trondheim, Mehimoloth joined forces alongside Luctus and Tiller forming the soul-igniting, darker than black Celestial Bloodshed in the dawn of the new millennium. The band shared members with One Tail, One head, Mare and Kaosritual. He bloomed into the Norwegian black metal scene by involving in bands like Grenjar, Selvhat and Jammerskrik simultaneously whilst focusing on Celestial Bloodshed and Grenjar as major projects. During the years 2002 to 2006, he established himself as an ominous front-man and musician altogether, contributing in almost all of his musical projects. His stints in these years served to be his most active years as a multi-talented musician.

Grenjar released 4 demos and 2 splits; Selvhat released an EP, album and a demo each; Unbeing and One Tail, One Head released 2 demos respectively; Kaosritual released a demo and an album; Jammerskrik released a demo and Celestial Bloodshed released an EP and an album with Mehimoloth before his tragic demise. All of his projects turned defunct and split-up after his death except for Celestial Bloodshed, who released another album, single and split album featuring Mehimoloth (as S.T) on vocals (i.e. the tracks were recorded before his death).

Location of Torson's death in Byesen, Trondheim
In the night of April 30/May 1, 2009, Steingrim’s life came to an unfortunate end when he ended up being in the receiving end of an accidental gunshot at the tender age of 25. He was shot dead in his friend’s apartment in Byesen, a district in Trondheim. The 20 year old male charged of the murder was described to be Torson’s “best friend” who had no explanation of how the gun went off. According to the suspect’s attorney, Morten Aalberg, the shot was fired at a closed range and Torson fell backwards but the rest of the devastating incident was blurred in his memory.

Like the tragic ends of Dead, Euronymous, Shadow, Quorthon, Grim, Trondr and Valefor, black metal lost yet another evil genius who had contributed immensely to revive and maintain the legacy of black metal. His contributions in black metal masterpieces like “Cursed, scarred and forever possessed(2008)”, ”Gjennom Mørket Famlende(2008)” will remain as a testimony to his greatness. Steingrim Torson a.k.a Mehimoloth will always be remembered as a man gifted with a voice as hoarse and sinister as the devil himself and a truly multi-talented musician, who is now reigning in the realm of the dark ones.

All praise to thee!

Born in: 1983

Birthplace: Trondheim, Norway

Band(s) involved: Celestial Bloodshed, Grenjar, Miseria X, Kaosritual, Unbeing, One Tail One Head, Jammerskrik, Selvhat

Passed on: Night of April 30/May 1, 2009

Cause of death: Murder (gunshot to the stomach)

INTERVIEWS



None conducted with Steingrim exclusively.

TRIBUTE TO STEINGRIM


A tribute song in memory of Steingrim was recorded by the Norwegian black metal band Slagmaur in their 2009's full-length album Von Rov Shelter.




DOWNLOADS


CELESTIAL BLOODSHED- CURSED, SCARRED AND FOREVER
POSSESSED [2008]


TRACKS:

1. Intro
2. Cursed, scarred and forever possessed
3. Sign of the zodiac
4. Truth is truth, beyond the god
5. All praise to thee
6. Gospel of hate
7. The demon of old





Jeffrey John "Jeff" Hanneman: Slayer



"Jeff Hanneman: Hell awaits"

Everybody in the world of metal, is acquainted with Jeff Hanneman. He was the founding member of the archetypal thrash metal band Slayer who shredded his guitar for Slayer for over 3 decades and also contributed to the lyrical content of the band. Most of Slayer's signature songs like "South of Heaven", "Raining blood", "Angel of death", "Season of the abyss", etc. were written by Jeff, and those songs are the most prominent Slayer numbers to this day. What Jeff has contributed to extreme metal is beyond one's margin of appreciation and cannot be simply, summed up in words. 

Jeff holding a Heineken
Jeff was born on January 31, 1964 in Oakland, California as Jeffrey John Hanneman. During 1984, he, former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Suicidal Tendencies's guitarist Rocky George were involved in a punk side project called "Pap smear". But before that in 1981, Hanneman and Kerry King had decided to form Slayer and the duos would cover Iron Maiden and Judas Priest numbers during rehearsals. So to avoid conflict within the bands, Slayer's producer Rick Rubin enticed Jeff to focus entirely on Slayer and not involve in any side projects. He took his advice and Pap Smear split up, merely as a fugitive, obscure side project with only a demo in their name. Two of the songs from the demo, "Ddamm(Drunk drivers against mad mothers)" and  "Can't stand you" were included in Slayer's 1996 cover album Undisputed Attitute. 

Jeff's lyrical content covered a variety of deviant topics such as war, genocide, Satanism and everything anti-social and extreme. Most notably, warfare. Actually Jeff was born and raised in a family consisting of war veterans, his father being a fighter in WWII who fought for the Allies and his brothers who fought in the Vietnamese war. So his lyrical content had a lot to do with his upbringing. He was an avid collector of WWII memorabilia, claiming The Knight's cross as his most prized possession among his collection.

"Sport the war, war support
the sport is war, total war
when victory's a massacre
the final swing is not a drill
it's how many people I can kill."
-War Ensemble(Season in the abyss)

If metal bands had to be represented in terms of wrestling divisions, Slayer would've unquestionably made the heavyweights division. They released 11 equally praised studio albums, among which Jeff's favorite was Reign in blood. Slayer maintained consistency throughout all their albums and never disappointed it's enormous fan base. Jeff's and Kerry's soul crushing riffs, Tom's shrilled vocals and Dave's thunderous drumming resulted in creating the most hateful music one could bear. And the audacious lyrical content added more to their already sinister sound. Slayer had it's own unmistakable sound which were impeccable to any ear. Jeff drew his musical style and influence from heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and hardcore punk bands like Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Minor Threat and  Circle Jerks. He also had a symbol on his guitar that read "DK" referring to the band Dead Kennedys. That typical thrash sound with a heavy punk influence is the sound that inspired many bands and pioneered many genres. A number of ground breaking bands like Possessed, Deicide, Sepultura, Vader, Mayhem, At the Gates, Kreator, Pantera, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Zyklon, Chimaira, Six Feet Under, Unearth, Decapitated, Obituary, In flames sight Slayer as major inspiration without which some of the greatest extreme albums would've never been created. For pioneering the sound of thrash metal and leaving a vast impression on many extreme bands, Slayer is included in "The Big Four" with the likes of Megadeth, Metallica and Anthrax.

Jeff married Kathryn in 1997 whom he had met in the early 80's. He was a resident in Los Angeles where his wife stayed while Slayer toured. He was a heavy cocaine abuser like his bandmate Tom Araya, who decided to quit after realizing the fatal consequences of drug abuse.

Jeff with his wife, Kathryn
In January 2011, Jeff suffered from a rare flesh-eating skin disease called Necrotizing fasciitis triggered by a spider bite during his visit to a friend's house in L.A. Kathryn recalled the incident in August, 2013's edition of Guitar World magazine:

"Jeff had been visiting a friend in the L.A. area. He was in the Jacuzzi one night relaxing, and he had his arm over the side, and he felt something, like a bite or a prick. But of course he didn’t think anything of it. He came home about a week later, and he was pretty well lit when he came through the front door. He wasn’t feeling well, and he just wanted to go upstairs and go to sleep.
Before he did he said, ‘Kath, I need to show you something, even though I really don’t want to.’ And he took off his shirt, and I just freaked out when I saw his arm. It was bright red and three times the normal size. I said, ‘Jeff, we need to go now. We need to get you to the ER.’ But all he wanted to do was go to bed and sleep, and I knew that I was trying to rationalize with a very intoxicated person. So there was nothing I could do that night. But the next morning I convinced him to let me take him in. He didn’t have a lot of strength, but I was able to get him into the car.
When we got to the hospital in Loma Linda, they took one look at him and they immediate knew what it was, so they took him right in. Jeff told me to go home because we both knew he’d be there for hours and neither of us thought it would be a life-or-death situation.
About three or four hours later, Jeff called me and said, ‘Kath, it’s not good. They may have to amputate. I think you need to come back here.’ When I got there, Jeff was on the stretcher waiting to go into surgery, and the doctor put it in perspective for me. He said, ‘I need you to see your husband. He may not make it.’ The doctor looked at Jeff and told him, ‘First I’m going to try to save your life. Then I’m going to try to save your arm. Then I’m going to try to save your career.’ And looking at Jeffon that stretcher and possibly saying goodbye, knowing that I may never see him again… was one of the hardest moments of my life.
I couldn’t get Jeff to go to rehab or therapy. I think he was letting the visual of his arm get to his emotions, and it was messing with his mind. It was hard to keep him upbeat at that point.
I think he thought he could do this on his own — that he would just to go rehearsal and play, and that that would be his rehab. But I think he started to learn, once he tried rehearsing, that he wasn’t playing up to his ability and that he wasn’t able to play guitar at the speed he was used to. And I think that really hit him hard, and he started to lose hope."

The incident inflicted physical and emotional pain on Jeff. During his absence in Slayer, his spot was filled in by Exodus guitarist Gary Holt and Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O'Brien who played in the Australian Soundwave Festival tour in February, 2011.

On May 2, 2013, Jeff eventually succumbed to death. Although Jeff had been battling with the vicious flesh eating disease, it was not Necrotizing fasciitis that led him to death(as many speculate). Jeff died of liver failure, an alcohol-related cirrhosis in a local hospital near his home in L.A at the age of 49. He and his family had been oblivious of his deteriorating condition until shortly before his death.

Slayer made the news of his death public through their official Facebook page. His sudden demise came as a big upset to the metal community with an outburst of condolences right after the announcement. Big bands, small bands and musicians from all over the world paid their tributes to the lost legend through networking sites by sharing his accomplishments, music and pictures all over the internet.

Jeff's final performance with Slayer was at the "Big Four" concert in Indio, California in April, 2011. Here's a youtube video link of Slayer playing Angel of death at the concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m0YWTwnKkY

A list of illustrious bands and musicians also paid homage to the deceased guitarist through their kind words.

Dave Lombardo- "I'm deeply saddened shocked and speechless. It's difficult for me to write my feelings at this moment. My heart goes out to #KathyHanneman."

Dave Mustaine- "We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fans of Jeff Hanneman. Our hearts go out to his brothers in Slayer. Tonight one less star will be shining and sadly, the stage got just a little bit darker. Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013."

Metallica- "RIP Jeff Hanneman" [with a picture of Jeff and James Hetfield attached]

Mike Portnoy- "WOW....I'm in shock...RIP Jeff Hanneman....wow...."

Testament- "R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman, brother in thrash."

David Draiman- "RIP TO A TITAN OF METAL"

Relapse Records- "R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman a true icon & inspiration.  We'll be blasting Slayer all week in his honor"

Pantera- "RIP Jeff Hanneman. Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.

Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)"

In Flames- "We are so devasted to hear about the passing of Jeff Hanneman. One of the greatest have passed on and please, stop for a moment and pay your 

respect to this fantastic man. This is a tragedy"

Suffocation- "Rest in Peace Jeff Hanneman you will surely be missed."

Robb Flynn- "Still can't believe that Jeff Hanneman from Slayer is dead, things like that just don't happen. Thrashers don't die??!! WTF!!??

I'm not going to sit here and say how him and I were best buds or something, we definitely weren't, I'd barely call us acquaintances, I did 8 tours and over 120 shows with the dude and honestly, I never really got to "know him". I was always closer with Kerry. Jeff was super quiet, really kept to himself, would get rowdy when he was drunk, but was a bit aloof, and seemed annoyed at the people partying around him despite the fact that he himself would be getting hammered.

I can remember some good hangs with him though. The first was in Basel, Switzerland back in November, 1994 when Machine Head was main support to Slayer on the Divine Intervention tour. It was one of those shows were something so random happens it just never leaves you, in this case, the show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and every kid entering the show got 2 free packs of smokes. I've never seen so much smoke in a venue in my life. I remember walking onstage and yelling at our roadie / everything-guy Mike Scum, "DUDE, turn off the fuckin' smoke machine", he said "YOOOOO, it's not the smoke machine bro, it's the cigarettes!" It was damn near impossible to breath onstage. After the show we were hanging backstage and Jeff walked back, we started bitching about the crazy cigarette show, and he invited me back to the dressing room to grab a beer, we sat down and chatted for a while, and then I went all Slayer-nerd on him and started grilling him on what songs he wrote.

Me: "Who wrote Angel Of Death?"
Jeff: "I did"
Me: "Lyrics too?"
Jeff: "Yep"
Me: "Reign In Blood?"
Jeff: "Me"
Me: "Dead Skin Mask?"
Jeff: "Yep"
Me: "South Of Heaven?"
Jeff: "Me"
Me: "Black Magic?"
Jeff: "You know it"
Me: "Hell Awaits?"
Jeff: "Yep"

On and on it went, that man wrote both the music and lyrics to a large goddamn portion of my favorite Slayer songs. He was a huge influence on my songwriting growing up in particular with arrangements and the bold use of key changes. The one thing Slayer band always had over so many other bands is they were all over the guitar neck when it came to key changes. Leads would be in some of the most random keys ever, but somehow it made it all that much more frantic, and when the chorus kicked back in, BOOM! CRUSHING! Set up perfectly. He was one of the few metal heads I met who never really got into Pantera, he told me he "liked some stuff", but thought they we're "too bluesy at times", and that he "liked more evil notes or sad riffs"

Another good memory was sharing a tour bus on the August 2001 Korean / Japan / Australia tour, it was all fly-dates and hotels, we were sharing crew, tour manager and manager, so we all rode on the bus together to and from the airport to the hotel every day. Sometimes the rides were an hour or two, so you'd just all BS and hang. One time a kid in Australia bum-rushed the bus while we were all sitting in it, hammered after partying one night. He was desperate for autographs and came on the bus screaming (what else?) "SLAAAAAAAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRR!!!" He then saw me and went all, "Oh shit, Robb Flynn, mate I fuckin' LOVE Machine Head, but it's fuckin' SLAAAAAAAYYYYYYYEEEERRRRR", I looked the fucker right in the eye and slurred, "Oh just FUCK RIGHT OFF!!" 

Hanneman fell out dying, he laughed for 10 minutes straight, cracked him up, that slightly feminine high pitched giggle that he always did.

Dude backed me when Kerry King and I were beefin' all that time long ago, he would come up to me at festivals and would talk, just be normal. He even backed me in Decibel magazine when they asked him about the beef, saying "Robb is a good dude", and that "Kerry was like the girlfriend of the band, always beefin' with someone". I got a good laugh outta that.

The last memory I'll share is from the American leg of the Divine Intervention tour in March 1995. It was Slayer band, Biohazard supporting, and Machine Head opening. We were playing the International Ballroom in Atlanta, Georgia. He had been sitting out some of the new songs from "Divine", which was odd to me. We were hanging out in their dressing room before the show, just him and I, and I mustered up the nerve to ask him what the deal with it was. At first he joked that he just "didn't feel like learning them, didn't like 'em, Kerry wrote them", he was chuckling, and then he stopped. He looked down and got serious. He said he'd been having a lot of pain in his wrists, his hands and wrists were going numb all the time, and would go numb during those songs because they were really fast, then he started to cry. It was a startling confession. I offered some awkward feel-good comment, but he just continued to cry, and I decided to sit there in the silence with him for a minute. He gave me a hug, and said "Whoa!", and laughed, walked out toward the stage, turned back and said "thanks dude".

It was an intense moment, one of those rare, intense moments you have with someone, let alone with someone from another band.

It made me really respect the dude.

That's the Jeff I'm gonna remember.

To Kerry, Tom, Dave, Paul, Rick Sales Mgmt and Jeff's family, my sincere condolences.

R.I.P brother."

(Source: www.metalinjection.net)

Long-time band mate Kerry King's speech at Jeff Hanneman's memorial celebration at The Hollywood Palladium:



Tribute to Jeff at Revolver Golden Gods Awards 2013:



Slayer is incomplete without Jeff. He was the living pillar of metal music who contributed a lot to the genre and took metal to extreme heights with Slayer. Slayer will never be the same without him.

Born on: 31st January, 1964

Birthplace: California, U.S.A

Band(s) involved: Slayer, Pap Smear

Passed on: 2nd May, 2013

Cause of death: Liver failure

INTERVIEWS OF JEFF


http://www.sonicexcess.com/slayerint.html
http://www.revolvermag.com/news/slayers-jeff-hanneman-talks-about-raining-blood.html

VIDEO INTERVIEWS


Links:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rsfSwTFEza8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36KXjxfTjNI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiA5l3kMp9I

PAP SMEAR DEMO (1986)


SLAYER IN WARSAW, POLAND 2013


Slayer's played their first show without Jeff on 4th June at Impact Fest 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. Gary Holt (ex-Exodus)  and former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph filled in the spots for Jeff and Dave Lombardo respectively who was booted out of Slayer due to personal conflicts within the band.

Here is Slayer playing South of Heaven with the new line-up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FLsT_uXJUSc

DOWNLOADS


REIGN IN BLOOD [1986]


Tracks:

1. Angel of death
2. Piece by piece
3. Necrophobic
4. Altar of sacrifice
5. Jesus saves
6. Criminally insane
7. Reborn
8. Epidemic
9. Postmortem
10. Raining Blood


HELL AWAITS [1985]


Tracks:

1. Hell awaits
2. Kill again
3. At dawn they sleep
4. Haunting the chapel
5. Praise of death
6. Necrophiliac
7. Captor of sin
8. Crypts of eternity
9. Hardening of the arteries

DOWNLOAD



Erik Brødreskift a.k.a Grim: Borknagar, Gorgoroth, Immortal



"Erik, may you rape the angels!"

Only a handful of drummers have made their mark when it comes to black metal, Grim being one of them. Although underrated, he played in a number of groundbreaking black metal acts such as Gorgoroth, Immortal and Borknagar. But in each of the bands he played, his role was either as a sessionist or short lived nonetheless. In spite of having played in such well established bands, he got very little recognition. So to put it into words, Grim was an embodiment of subtle brilliance.

Erik Brødreskift a.k.a Grim was born on 23 December, 1969 in Bergen, Norway. His earliest piece of work as a drummer was in a Norwegian death/thrash metal band named Emptor where he recorded a 5 tracked demo in 1988. Emptor split up in 1990 and it was not until late 1993, Grim again came to rise when he was featured on the album cover of Immortal's second album Pure Holocaust. Although Abbath did the job behind the drums in the album, he is credited for the work. His fugacious stay in Immortal was limited to only two European tours, before the other members of the band decided to let him go. He then joined another black metal band Borknagar, where he briefly played for 3 years and contributed in 3 studio albums during his stay. The Olden Domain, the band's second album, received rave reviews and helped the band reach its peak of popularity in the Norwegian black metal scene. During this period, he also played in Orth (later changed to Arvas) as a session drummer, particularly in the never released album Nocturno Inferno. Similarly, during 1996-1997, he played in Gorgoroth contributing drum tracks for The Last Tormentor(EP) and Under the Sign of Hell in 1996 and 1997 respectively.

L-R: Abbath, Grim and Demonaz
On October 4th 1999, Grim commited suicide by drug overdose. This was another great loss to the Norwegian black metal community next to the deaths of Dead and Euronymous. His quiet passing and his biography are both obscure, but his excellancy as a drummer is still reflected and "immortal" in records he has left with us. His body was buried at the Bergen Church Cemetery in Hordaland County, Norway.

Several bands have honored the lost legend through their music. "Erik, may you rape the angels", a song by Nargaroth is dedicated to Erik. Hole in the sky, an annual metal festival in Bergen is held in his name and organized by his memory fund. Immortal have headlined the show for a number of times. Also, Gorgoroth's fifth studio album "Incipit Satan" is dedicated to him.


Grim(right) on the cover of Pure Holocuast

Born on: 23th December, 1969

Birthplace: Bergen, Norway

Band(s) involved: Emptor, Immortal, Borknagar, Orth/Arvas, Gorgoroth

Passed on: 4th October, 1999

Cause of death: Suicide

INTERVIEWS OF GRIM


None conducted.

TRIBUTE TO ERIK


Nargaroth playing "Erik, may you rape the angels" to pay tribute to their late friend:




An annual metal festival held in Bergen, Norway in memory of Grim:


Tomas Ace Forsberg a.k.a Quorthon: Bathory




"Quorthon: In nomine satanas"

Tomas Ace Forsberg a.k.a Quorthon was a Swedish musician who founded the pioneering extreme metal band Bathory. He was formerly called Ace Shot and Black Spade before settling down to the name Quorthon. He composed music and wrote lyrics on all of Bathory's records. He served as a guitarist and front-man in Bathory for a long period of time before taking control of Bathory's entire music. He also released 3 solo albums in which he experimented with different sounds, displaying his versatility and unveiling a whole new side of him. He is worshiped by extreme musicians, most importantly for revolutionizing the sound of black metal which helped the genre to prosper. Also because Bathory along with bands like Heavy load and Manowar coined a new sub-genre called Viking metal, a genre constituting elements of black and folk metal.

Quorthon was born on February 17, 1966 in Sweden. He formed Bathory in 1983 in the suburb of Vallingby. Bathory was named after the ill-famed Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory's successful run began when they were included in the compilation album by Scandinavian metal bands through Tyfon Grammofon as a last minute replacement. Unexpectedly, they drew a lot of attention and won the hearts of many listeners. So as fan favorites, the record label asked them to record a full-length album.  Quorthon recruited Rickard Bergman and Stefen Larsson as Bathory's bassist and drummer respectively to replace former members Fredrik Melander and Jonas Akerlund who had already moved away. They released their debut album "Bathory" in October 1984. By that time, Bathory had been doing live shows sporadically but Quorthon completely stopped playing live after a few because he didn't feel it right. Bathory released altogether 12 full-length albums before Quorthon's departure including a number of compilation albums.

Quorthon, before releasing his solo albums, had gained an ominous image which he puts as "the baby-eating, blood-drinking God of the bat cave". But it became evident through his solo albums and interviews that he was indeed nothing like people pictured him before. He loved reading books, painting and riding his Harley. To not much astonishment, he was anti-social and as he puts, didn't give a fuck about society. He had an open-minded taste in music and his ears weren't limited to just extreme genres.

Everything Quorthon touched turned into gold, whether it was black metal or viking metal. A lot of black, folk and viking metal bands sight Bathory as their main inspiration and the reasons for that are many. Most notable black metal bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal, Burzum, Horna, etc were influenced by the sound of Bathory. Second wave black metal in particular has much to do with Bathory's sound and image.  Bathory was an original act throughout its existense, Quorthon being the brain behind all the deeds. Whether it was that raw, low production sound or that mythical, epic viking sound, Bathory inspired extreme music in both ways.

On June 7 2004, Quorthon died in his apartment due to heart failure. It was speculated that he had been battling with heart problems for years then. He was such an intelligent, multi- talented musician with gifted music skills. He will forever be remembered as black metal would've been soulless without Bathory.

A tribute album named "In conspiracy with Satan- A tribute to Bathory" was released through No Fashion records in 1998 to honour the works of Quorthon in Bathory. The 15 tracked album consists of bands like Marduk, Lord Belial, Opthalamia, Dark Funeral, Emperor, Satyricon and many more. In Memory of Quorthon, which contained a box set of 3 CDs, a DVD, a poster and a 174 page booklet was released in 2006 by "Boss" Forsberg which featured Bathory's history, discography and background from the first recordings.



 Born on: 17th February, 1966

Birthplace: Sweden

Band(s) involved: Bathory, Stridskuk, Agnosticum

Passed on: 7th June, 2004

Cause of death: Heart failure

INTERVIEWS OF QUORTHON



VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH MTV(1990)








Øystein Aarseth a.k.a Euronymous: Mayhem



"Euronymous: Voices of a tortured skull"

Euronymous was the guitarist and co-founder of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. He was also the owner of Deathlike Silence Productions, an extreme metal record label and Helvete, a record shop in Oslo. Euronymous, with Mayhem standardized the sound and culture of black metal, for which he is revered by extreme musicians till this date. Euronymous is infamous for his deviant personality and many notorious activities that he  has carried out throughout his short lifespan.

Øystein Aarseth was born on 22 March 1968 in Egersund, Norway. Formerly, he went by the infernal name "Destructor" but later changed it to Euronymous which was derived from a demon in the Greek mythology named Eurynomos. He along with bassist Necrobutcher and drummer Manheim formed Mayhem in 1984 drawing inspirations from bands like Venom, Slayer, Bathory, Celtic Frost and Motorhead. In the early days, they used session vocalists Maniac and Messiah for live shows whereas Euronymous and Necrobutcher both occupied mic space during their rehearsals. The band released their very first demo "Pure Fucking Armageddon" in 1986 with the line up consisting of Maniac, Euronymous, Necrobutcher and Messiah. In late 1987, when Maniac and Messiah left Mayhem, Sweden based death metal band Morbid frontman Dead and Hellhammer joined the force to create mayhem all over Norway, literally.

Euronymous lived in the woods near Kråkstad with Dead and Hellhammer where the trio used to rehearse as well. Euronymous and Dead used to rarely be on the same wavelength and get on each other's nerves frequently. A small dispute between the two would sometimes turn into a brutal brawl where one of them would get hurt. Dead once stabbed Euronymous with a knife during one of their uncontrolled scuffles. In 1991, vocalist Dead commited suicide while he was alone in the house by blowing his head with a shotgun. Euronymous, instead of informing the police, bought a camera from a nearby shop and shot photographs of his corpse which would later feature on the cover of Mayhem's bootleg live album "Dawn of the black hearts". A rumour spreaded that he made a stew out of Dead's brain and tried to eat them. Also, he collected pieces of Dead's skull and bestowed to musicians he believed were worthy of. As told by Necrobutcher, Euronymous did this in order to combat the astonishment and grief caused by his friend's death.

Deathlike Silence Productions logo
After this gruesome incident, Necrobutcher left Mayhem and Varg Vikernes from Old Funeral(then) filled in his spot. After the opening of Helvete, a group of black metal musicians including Faust from Emperor, Varg  and Blackthorn from Thorns used to gather in the shop forming a stable or cult-like group called the Black Circle. However, several musicians of the group have denied the existense of the name, calling it a name that Euronymous invented just for a sinister sounding reputation. With the establishment of Deathlike Silence Productions, Euronymous recorded for bands like Burzum, Abruptum, Merciless, Enslaved, Sigh and Mayhem itself. His record label ran by the motto: "No mosh, no fun, no trend, no core."


By that time, Euronymous was single handedly taking control of the scene. He wanted all the black musicians to smear corpse paint on their face and sport a look with spikes and leather jackets. He despised trends and people who followed them. He laid the foundation for the scene and brainwashed musicians into making the most evil and extreme music attainable. With Helvete and DSP, he had full control of things and directed the scene the way he desired.

Euronymous projected an evil image doing and promoting insane ideas to create fear among the masses. He had a different take on Death and Black metal. According to him, death musicians should worship death and be extreme, not only by manifesting them through their music but by resembling a similar image in real life. Else he would label them as life metal bands or hobby bands. Whereas Black metal should be satanic and something normal people would dread to listen. Although rumors has it that he had sent death threats to the Finnish black metal band Impaled Nazarene, Euronymous himself stated the hearsay to be untrue. He was against individualism and wanted people to act and be slaves. He was also inclined to politics and called himself a communist being a member of the Norwegian communist youth group Red Ungdom. According to drummer Frost(1349/Satyricon), this is where he gained leadership skills to lead the Norwegian black metal scene to the direction he wanted. But he never exhibited his political knowledge on Mayhem's music.

Euronymous used to sight Varg as a fresh, like-minded talent and released 2 Burzum albums through DSP. Varg filled in Necrobutcher's place as a bassist and contributed in the album "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". There was a personal vendetta going on between Euronymous and Varg during the early 1993. Mainly, due to the recent church burning incident, Euronymous and Varg were battling it out to determine who the most evil one was. Also, it is speculated that it was due to a financial dispute between them two, involving Burzum and DSP. On 10th August 1993, Varg and Blackthorn drove to Euronymous's apartment in Oslo where Varg stabbed Euronymous with an excuse of signing a contract. He brutally stabbed Euronymous 23 times after chasing him down the stairs outside the apartment. Blackthorn had no idea about Varg's plans of murdering Euronymous and in an interview, Varg stated that Blackthorn was terribly scared about Euronymous's death. Varg was arrested on 19th August, 1993 for his actions. When asked about the murder, he explains that it was only self-defense as Euronymous himself tried to kill him many times before. He says that he slayed him before Euronymous could. But many musicians in the scene doubted his story. Varg was sentenced to 21 years in jail.

The murder was a big loss to black metal and especially the Norwegian black metal scene as they lost a leader who could have led the scene to extreme heights. Many weren't surprised or sad on his loss because they thought he had it coming. But without him, black metal would have never been so sinister or gained such a reputation as it has now. He was a musical genius and a perfectionist. Personally, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is my favourite black metal album. The guitar riffs in this album is unmatched and every time I listen to it, it keeps me wondering about the brilliancy of the album.

Euronymous is the god father of black metal, no arguing that. He will certainly be missed. Many tribute albums and songs have been made to pay homage to the black metal legend. "The day Burzum killed Mayhem", a song by black metal band Nargaroth depicts the whole incident of Euronymous's murder.

Born on: 22 March, 1968

Birthplace: Egersund, Norway

Band(s) involved: Mayhem; he contributed a guitar solo to Burzum's song "War" from its self titled album

Passed on: 22 August, 1993 at the age of 25

Cause of death: Murder

INTERVIEWS



VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH EURONYMOUS









MAYHEM DOCUMENTARY


The documentary covers almost everything about Euronymous and Mayhem, particularly.