Guest Column: Three Bands You May Not Know But Should By Midnite Hellion’s Drew Rizzo

Traditional metal fans should take note of these recommendations

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Midnite Helion

By now, you should know the drill. We’ve been having musicians from across metal’s grand spectrum pen brief guest columns for us on a number of engaging topics: must-read books, must-see films, and bands you may not know but absolutely should. Today’s column comes from Drew Rizzo, drummer for Midnite Hellion.

Having once ruled the Sunset Strip after relocating from their native Alaska, Heavy Metal Masters Pandemonium were (and still are) an incredible band. Initially signed to Metal Blade Records, their three solid releases in their catalogue, Heavy Metal Soldiers, Hole In The Sky, and The Kill, are a must for anybody who loves real Heavy Metal.

Then up-and-comers Metallica and Armored Saint were the opening acts for Pandemonium, who was THE band to see. A band of brothers fronting the stage (lead singer Chris Resch, bassist Eric Resch, and guitarist David Resch) with a revolving door of drummers (one being Steven Adler), they should have taken over the Metal world.

Female-fronted Canadian powerhouse Jade is another band that failed to gain the respect they deserved. A good friend of mine, King Fowley of Deceased, turned me onto Jade when he reissued their sophomore album on his Old Metal Records label, “If You’re Man Enough,” which is a solid record that can easily be listened to for hours on end without growing tired of the heaviness and catchiness of their music.

While their first release, Teasing Eyes, is another killer record, it lacks the pristine and mesmerizing vocal attack by “Sweet” Marie Black, who greatly assisted in breaking the band through. Within short period of time after her inclusion, they won a Battle Of The Bands, signed a five-year deal with Roadrunner Records, recorded their If Your Man Enough, filmed a music video for “I’m Not Yours,” toured to support the record, and wrote the third, and sadly, unreleased record. Who knows, perhaps one day there will be Poison In The Chalice again!

While there are many more bands that I feel lack the respect they deserve and that I’d love to include here, the final band is Artch.

Hailing from Norway, this powerhouse made waves to Brian Slagel, who put out their phenomenal debut, Another Return, as well as their promising follow-up release, For The Sake Of Mankind. Having overcome numerous obstacles, such as a singer getting killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to a rehearsal, they maintained their longevity enough to warrant a repress of both releases, and with that, brought them their first, and so far only, U.S. appearance in 2002 at the March Metal Meltdown festival in New Jersey.

I was fortunate enough not only to see this show, but also to have played this festival with my former Death Metal band, Skinslip, at the ripe old age of 17. Their performance was nothing short of jaw-dropping, and I only hope for them that there is Another Return to the USA!

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