Metal would make a stop in Brooklyn this evening as former Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss rallied into action with new troops under his command to deliver a crushing set of classic Manowar and material from his new release “New Metal Leader”. When you add to the mix the insanity of NWOBHM’s own Raven and a couple of other talented bands then this was sure to be a night that all in attendance would come away with special memories of. The show was at the Europa night club in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and it’s not a space that I get to all that often. The last time I was here was when the undead rocker Wednesday 13 made an appearance back in 2007, but since Ross and Raven would only be playing here for this region I knew that I had to be on point and see what the night delivered for the sake of the genre. I walked in just as local boys Zandelle were playing and had apparently missed the first band up by a few minutes which was a shame since I had curiosity about everyone who was playing this evening.
Zandelle: Power Metal from various parts of New York City and its outskirts comes Zandelle and even though I had heard some music from them over the years I had never been able to catch one of their shows. The timing just wasn’t there but tonight we would rectify this. The band was celebrating their own newest release “Flames Of Rage” and it continues their delivering of a furious blend of Progressive and Power Metal with a strong melodic sense to it. Everyone in the group is a capable player and I had seen some of the guys in other bands like Empyreon and Until Destiny unless my eyes were seeing things. They are fronted by George Tsalikis who was rather engaging to the unfortunately minimal audience this evening and he struck me as perhaps Metal’s ultimate gentleman based on how he was addressing those who took the time to witness their set. He also has a powerful voice which worked well within the context of the bands material. They were done rather quickly but would hang around by the merchandise table and talk to friends and fans while giving people the chance to own a copy of their latest CD. Nice work guys. Now it was time for White Wizzard to take the stage.
White Wizzard: .The band White Wizzard is a new signing to Earache Records and they came all the way from California to do this gig and that alone is an admirable thing to learn. It would be their first time ever in New York City as a band and there has been a nice amount of positive buzz going on for them of late. I first heard them on a compilation release that Earache Records had sent me a number of months ago and the signature track was “High Speed GTO” and from that single song I knew I wanted to hear more from them. For this particular show the band would be the third act up from five and yet they surely handled the stage as if this was a solo gig of their own which they were closing up the evening on. It’s powerful Traditional-styled Power Metal that is a serious call to the “Old School” which I really enjoyed experiencing. Of course the best part about the set was that there was nothing trite about it or generic. Powerful drumming and razor sharp guitar riffs all tied together with a vocalist who would seem to give any of his peers who do similar work a run for their money. Nice work guys, really impressive and a set that left many hungry for more. Their EP CD was available for something like $5 and they were being snapped up by many. It was also called “High Speed GTO” and it delivers seven songs. That’s a sweet EP deal if you ask me and while the band now has a number of new guys since this EP’s initial release I am sure that they will go places as this lineup kicked some serious ass. Not an easy thing to do in Brooklyn that’s for sure. Raven time and wow it was getting rather late in the night.
Raven: The three piece outfit from Newcastle, England has been around since 1975 and even though they performed shows extensively in my region I never got around to seeing them. I think that this was based on my not being particularly into the sound that they had as opposed to the that which I was following at the time and yet despite this I did enjoy a number of their tunes and recognized their importance to the Heavy Metal music community. I was a drummer during the time of the bands original heyday and really enjoyed the fact that their skin basher was an insane personality called “Wacko” who really showed you just how crazy you could be from behind the kit. Of course he departed in 1988 which is a long time ago now and the bands drumming have been in the capable hands of Joe Hasselvander who came to the band from Doom Metal legends Pentagram. The band returned from a five year hiatus in 2006 and had never really ceased operation but needed the time off since guitarist Mark had an accident that left him unable to walk for some time. Tonight the band would hit the ground running and show any young musicians out there that you are never too old to deliver the Metal. Led by John Gallagher, who sings and plays the bass, the band launched into an extensive and truly rocking set of material. I could not believe the energy that was coming out of these three guys and was a little sad that it had taken me this long to go to see them in action. I was with friends who had been long time fans for many years and that made the experience a lot more fun for me as it was also a reunion of sorts with many people who I don’t often see at this time in life. The Gallagher brothers also play off of one another during a show and its surely looking like a fun time from the audience based on how they interact. There was a lot of banter at a rocket speed pace from John who talked about life back when the band used to play the long shuttered L’Amour Brooklyn club. He mused at how at the time the music was loud and the skirts were short. Many of the bands established classics were being dished out this evening and my own favorites were covered for the most part as “All For One”, “Live At The Inferno” and “On And On” came at us fast and furious. It seemed as though the show was going to end after the “For The Future” number that followed John's bass solo, but instead the band would surprise us by delivering a long and rousing medley of classic rock staples. There was a little bit of everything in this one and it really left the crowd drained. From there it was off the stage and since it was time for me to focus on Ross The Boss I was unsure if the guys wandered around the venue or hung at the merchandise table. They might have but I needed to pay mind to the final act since I was originally there to see him even though I really was enjoying everything that was going on.
By my guesstimate, the Gallagher Brothers have been working their craft for the sake of Metal a little longer and perhaps even just a little bit harder than another legacy band from back in the day that have recently been finding a lot of buzz around their history. Witnessing the Raven set and knowing just how long the group has been together makes me wonder when we will find “The Story Of Raven” being delivered to the masses and with that idea in mind let’s get a call out to any of those who followed the band back during their premium years and are still holding up the banner. Surely one of you has the same means that Sascha Gervasi had at his disposal for Anvil and you have got some ideas for the Lads right? Congratulations to Raven on still doing what you do best and for showing how the classic bands can still kick some serious ass and have their sound remind you of how special this music is on top of how important it remains. Come back soon. Now it’s was time for RTB and it was the latest start that I had experienced in years of covering shows.
Ross The Boss: As much as I was looking forward to the set of material from Ross, I had to say that I did not want it to begin after 1:15am, and I guess that is just a sign of me getting up in years. Raven was great and had finished a few moments ago but played just little bit too long even though I really enjoyed them and after a quick turnaround to the gear Ross was in action with his new band of rocking German players. Fans that are not sure of how this group came to be should know that Ross hooked up with a tribute band to his Manowar years and after jamming with them realized that future collaboration would be a great idea. The idea led to the album “New Metal Leader” which thankfully while a call to his own glorious Metal past is a far cry from the drech that Manowar is releasing at present. The banner for the show proclaimed that the show would find Ross doing not only new material but focusing his set on the long established classics. The trick would be how much would actually be played given the very late hour and club running close to its official closing time.
Ross and company would hit the stage like pure Metal fire for lack of a better explanation and the band showed themselves to be really talented guys who not only performed the new material of their own well, but also were handling the Manowar stuff in good fashion. I had the “NML” CD for a few weeks by the time of the show and was really impressed by its content but I had to admit the prime interest for me would be in hearing the classic Manowar. He would do songs like “Thor” and “Hail & Kill” but leave out numbers like “Battle Hymn” and “Sign Of The Hammer” which would have been nice but one cannot get everything. The lateness of the set caused Ross to omit a couple of numbers from the set, with one of them being “Hail To England” and I am sure that those who could read it on the stage were not happy to see it being excluded from their night’s fun. The late hour also caused a lot of the younger Metal fans to have exited the premises and while decently crowded, there were a few dozen less than we had when Raven was performing. Perhaps it was that they were there to only see the British band, but with the price of this show being rather high I was certain that this was not the case. A good if not exhausting evening of Metal without question.
So to sum it up this was a really cool event but one that I would have rather seen start off a bit earlier. When you have five bands on the roster you don’t start after 8pm or give the openers extended sets. Finding the main act hitting the stage after 1am is just not something that is done these days and after seeing numerous shows at B.B. King’s, The Highline and The Fillmore NY make me realize just how timely this can be done and to positive effect. Please Europa I ask that you get on point with this kind of stuff for the future as it’s a decent room to see a show at. Beyond that I do look forward to seeing all of the bands that played tonight again and hope that some return shows happen soon.
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Official Web Site: www.ross-the-boss.com
Official Web Site: www.ravenlunatics.com
Official Web Site: www.whitewizzard.net
Official Web Site: www.zandelle.com
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