Fighting Angels And Demons
In 1972, a new band was formed in Gothenburg and they were called SHAGGY.
They played rock music with influences from bands such as Free, Bad Company, Yes, Jethro Tull and others.
In 1975 they had the honor of supporting Sweet at Scandinavium and they had a minor breakthrough that same year when they released their first LP "Lessons for beginners".
Now In 2019, the band is back with a brand new album "Fighting Angels and Demons"!
Ulrich Carlsson - vocals | Tom Ryan - keyboards | Fidde Rognås - guitars | Hannes Rognås - guitars | Robert Ottoson - bass | Stefan Husar - drums
For Fans Of
Vintage and Melodic Rock & Metal
Hatchet, Sabbath, Free, Bad Company, Yes, Jethro Tull , Savatage, Heaven And Hell
"Angels And Demons" Review
The Opening track “Black Hearted Angel” kicks off with a Uriah Heep/Rainbow/Deep Purple style assault with massive power and conviction. The tracks solo section which really makes it stand out shows off the progressive side of the band. “Boundless Love” brings back Deep Purple’s vintage melodies with a touch of Black Sabbath and Rainbow! The heavy mix, followed by killer vocals by Ulrich Carlsson (ex-M.ill.ion) really shine on the track being on of my favorites. “No Soldier Of God” continues in the heavy vein, with a touch of progressive rock melody. “A Thousand Miles” brings back sounds from Shaggy's last album with a tuned down rocky flow and great band vocals.“Dark Symphony” carry's a dark and heavy overtone of old school Sabbath and stands out as my favorite track on the album.“Runner In The Dark” brings out the vintage Uriah Heep sound, like a mix of 70's era Heep and the latter day albums. The album finishes with “Self Destruction” kicking off with a mean and brutal guitar riff, distorted Hammond organ and a kick-ass drive! One of the best tracks on an album for sure!
In closing "Angels And Demons" while only 7 tracks deep, the album is full of fat, heavy doom and stoner vintage style metal. Not a bad track one, the album has a great flow from opening to Finnish. I would recommend this album to any classic, vintage, stoner and doom metal fan looking for something "old" yet new.It's great to hear bands holding on to the sounds of our youth in the 70's and 80's genre's and make new musical adventures in today's market!
Rating 10/10 - for vintage sound | original and compelling material | overall quality of album
In 1972, a new band was formed in Gothenburg, and took the name SHAGGY.
Band members were:
Thomas Engström (vocal), Fidde Rognås (guitar), Jan Gustavsson (bass), Tom Ryan (Keyboard) and Kurt Kästner (Drums).
Everyone had played in different rock/pop bands in Gothenburg, England and Austria.
They played rock music with influences from bands such as Free, Bad Company, Yes, Jethro Tull and others. but very soon they began to compose their own music.
SHAGGY played at all the youth clubs and rock clubs that existed throughout Sweden and got a breakthrough in 1975 when they released their first LP "Lessions For Beginners" and got to play
as a support band for Sweet at Scandinavium in Gothenburg.
The band split up in 1977 when Tom Ryan left the group and moved back to England. Fidde, Janne and Mackan played together for a while, before Fidde joined the rock group Rhapsody from Vara.
In 2006, Thomas contacted Fidde, and together they searched for their former friends Tom and Janne, to do a new recording of Shaggy's "old" songs from 1976-77. The recording began in 2007 and lasted for a few years but the project was never finished as Thomas suddenly left the project. They needed a new singer and they found Ulrich Carlsson, former singer in M.ILL.ION.
Just before the record was completed, Janne died from lung disease. After a while the band decided to finish the album, named "Destinstion Nowhere", which was completed and released in 2015.
Now In 2019, the band is back with a brand new album "Fighting Angels and Demons", with a fresh line-up that comprises additional members Stefan Husar (drums), Hannes Rognås (guitar) and Robert Ottoson (bass).
The band has also posted on the official band website that 3 additional albums will be re-issued or released this year including the debut "Lessons For Beginnners" 1975 release.
Part 2, ‘Scarecrow’ is scheduled for release in October 2019.
Published By The Manamal | April 28TH 2019
Born Steven Duren, Blackie Lawless is the founding member of the band W.A.S.P in 1982 and is the only original member of the band to this day. It is unknown the actual reason he
chose the band name. It is speculated to be White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, but it has never been confirmed. A couple other possibilities circulating are We Are Sexual
Perverts, We Are Satan's Preacher & We Are So Pretentious. During interviews Lawless and other members answer the same, “We Aren’t Sure Pal”.
Lawless got his first guitar at the age of 9 and officially made $16.35 that year with his first band, The Underside.
At the age of 13, Blackie was stabbed in a fight and at the age of 14, he had been sent to military school to learn discipline but after 18 months of a 2 year sentence, he was kicked out for beating up a Sargent Major.
Throughout the earlier years, Lawless played with different bands, such as Black Rabbitt and Orfax Rainbow but most notably, New York Dolls, when then lead singer, Johnny Thunders left the band in the middle of a tour. Blackie wasn’t with them for long, just for the remainder of that tour. When the tour ended, Lawless and NYD bassist, Arthur Kane, left NYD to check out the L.A. rock scene. They formed a band called Killer Kane and released a 33 ½ EP.
In 1977, he went on to start a band with Randy Piper (who was a co-founder of W.A.S.P) called Sister, Sister.This was ONE of the first bands to ever play around with occult symbolism & theatrical make-up. Sadly for them, the heavy metal scene in the late 1970’s wasn’t a good time and Sister, Sister failed at getting a record company to notice them even with their ardent club following. Following the fall of Sister, Lawless went on to play for Circus Circus & London.
In 1982, W.A.S.P was formed. The original line-up was Lawless, Randy Piper, Ric Fox and Tony Richards. This line-up didn’t survive long as Fox was let go and Don Costa took over his position. Blackie then filled the bassist shoes and brought on Chris Holmes on guitar.
In 1984, W.A.S.P. put out their debut album, “W.A.S.P.” which was noted as being a basic metal recording. This album was originally named, “Winged Assasins”.
This 10 track record is hard rocking and most definitely heavy metal. The guitar riffs and pounding rhythm coupled with Lawless’s voice surely will keep the blood pumping thru the entire album.
After this release, the band became a major U.S. concert draw. Theatrics at their shows kept people coming back for more, year after year. In the beginning, they went as far as having “torture girls”, drinking blood out of a human skull, throwing raw meat into the audience and Lawless even went as far as to wear a buzz-sawed codpiece. Tipper Gore, along with other PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), constantly targeted them and even went as far to list their song, “Animal (F**k Like a Beast) on their “Filthy Fifteen” in 1985. Ironically, W.A.S.P. toned down their theatrics with the release of their album, “Inside the Electric Circus”. Reviews for this album were not in favor of the band. One critic stated that it was “lackluster and repetitive”. Their continuing downfall during the rest of the late 80’s and early 90’s came from Penelope Spheeris’ rocumentery, The Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years. This rocumentary exposes the L.A. metal scene. One point during this hour and a half long movie, you will see Chris Holmes drinking himself to oblivion in his full stage gear, while lying on a float in his mother’s swimming pool. In a movie full of revelry and decadence, this has been reported to be the scariest part of the entire show.
Despite going thru rough patches, line up changes and “bad blood”, this band, to date, has 16 studio albums, 31 singles, 3 live albums and 3 compilation albums. For a band who had started out as just a studio band, that never intended to play live, I’d say they’ve done pretty damn good. They still continue to tour and play all of the classics. So whether you are a fan or not, their career is pretty impressive and nothing to sneer at.
When you think of 80’s and early 90s metal it is easy to see the line of demarcation between metal and grunge. Nirvana killed the hair band. While many of the emerging grunge bands might have had long hair there was a definite change in the look, attitude and music itself about that time. Once Nirvana put Seattle and grunge on the map it seemed as if every new band was dressed in flannel and buried in their depression. While I’m personally not a fan of grunge music there were a few bands or at least a few songs from a few bands that I liked. Candlebox is one of the few that I just flat out loved the entire first album. So, because the songs of Candlebox still resonate today and still stand out from all the other grunge music at the time we’ve chosen them as our vintage spotlight band for the week.
Candlebox, like so many other grunge bands began in Seattle, Washington in 1990. Original members Kevin Martin, Peter Klett, Bardi Martin and Scott Mercado were signed to Madonna’s Maverick records and produced their self titled debut album in 1993. That album featured the iconic "Far Behind" track which was written for and Mother Love Bone vocalist Andrew Wood. Wood passed away from a heroin overdose. Along with this amazing song, the Candlebox album also included hits "Change", "You", and "Cover Me".
The band released their sophomore effort Lucy in 1995, and their third full length album Happy Pills in 1998. The grunge movement was pretty much past at that point and the band officially broke up in 2000. There had been a few lineup changes during their time together and over the years there had been some performances and recording with some of the original members included. The various members of Candlebox had individual projects in the musical world including other bands.However in 2018, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Candlebox album the original lineup reunited for 2 live shows in Seattle.
While the boys from Poison still do shows together playing all of their big hits, rockin’ arenas and small venues all over the world, they all have their own personal stories as to what they are doing outside of the band.
While he hasn’t come up with any material since 2013, Bret continues to perform solo at many venues. He also is an advocate for Juvenile Diabetes and the Diabetes Association. He has been a diabetic since he was young kid. Bret also has 2 daughters, Raine and Jorja who keep him busy when he isn’t out and on the road. He has a line of pet clothing and accessories named “Pets Rock” and is exclusively sold at PetSmart. He’s also heavily involved with “Operation Homefront” which is a charity that provides emergency financial and other assistance to families of service members and wounded warriors.
Bobby has never done a “side” project like Rikki, C.C. & Bret. He said he was lucky enough to be in a band that was successful the first try, but also stated that’s not saying he wouldn’t try it out if the opportunity arose. His life revolves around his children, Zach & Zoe and staying clean and sober, which in itself is a full time job.
Rikki has been REALLY busy outside of the band. He’s done solo work, partnered up with Brian Cosivera to build custom drum kits called ‘Chop Shop Custom Drums’. Rockett went on to start a side project with Tracii Guns & Eric Brittingham called “Devil City Angels”. Who wouldn't love a combination of L.A. Guns, Poison and Cinderella? The best of the glam and sleaze 80s! Rikki is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has 2 childen, Lucy & Jude, both names after The Beatle’s songs.In 2015, Rockett announced in December that he had been battling throat cancer. Extensive treatments were implemented and in June of 2016, he announced that he was cancer free.
Deville has taken on a side project, with Samantha 7 which was a short lived band. Their song, “I Wanna be Famous” can be heard as the theme song for the reality show, ‘The Surreal Life: Fame Games’, of which he was also a cast member. C.C. also was the inspiration behind the rock n’ roll comic, “C.C. Banana”, a twisted homage to Deville. C.C. married his long time girlfriend Shannon Malone and shortly thereafter, they became parents to a son, Vallon Deville Johanneson. After the profound affect of becoming a parent, C.C. went on to find the Lord.
‘Flesh and Blood’, Poison’s 3rd studio album, was released in 1990. This record generated many hit songs, 2 of which were top 10 singles with “Unskinny Bop” & “Something to Believe In”. 3 other songs were hit singles as well. “Ride the Wind”, Flesh and Blood (Sacrifice) and “Life Goes On”. This album went Triple Platinum in 1991.
In the 90’s, after the bands release of their 1st live album, “Swallow This Live”, the band went through some line-up changes. C.C. DeVille's addiction caused a lot of problems in the band, and he was replaced with Richie Kotzen (The Winery Dogs).
Despite the grunge movement that settled in and took over the rock scene in the early 90’s, Poison’s 4th studio album, “Native Tongue” was still able to hit gold status and their first compilation album, ‘Poison’s Greatest Hits, 1986-1996’ went Double Platinum.
In 1993 Kotzen was replaced by Blues Saraceno who toured with Poison until the inevitable reunion with C.C. and the classic lineup.
In March of 2000, the band put our their 5th studio album, ‘Crack a Smile...and More’. This record actually started in 1994 but came to a precipitous halt when frontman, Bret Michaels lost control of his Ferrari. As a result of this accident, Michael’s suffered a broken nose, ribs, jaw and fingers along with 4 teeth. Shortly after recovery, they went back in the studio but management put the album “on hold” and opted to release the greatests hits album instead.
‘Hollyweird’ was their next album that came out in May of 2002.
This record sold 11,000 copies in the first week. Their sound was much different from albums from their past. It had a more pop/punk rock feel. The coolest part of this album is the song “Home (C.C.’s story)” which Deville also lends his vocals.
In 2007, Poison put out their final studio album, ‘Poison’d’. The band asked on their official MySpace page for fans to pick their favorite songs. This record features 14 of the band’s & fan’s favorite rock classics. The first single dropped was The Romantics song, ‘What I Like About You’. Some of the other tracks they did were interesting to hear them sing like The Cars,“Just What I Needed”, The Who’s “Squeeze Box” & Alice Cooper’s “I Never Cry”. There is also an exclusive Walmart track featured and that’s Justin Timberlake’s, “Sexy Back” (which by the way is AWESOME!).
Poison has toured extensively all over the world. Their fans stretch from the US to Japan to Russia. They are one of those rare bands who have remained relevant for the span of their career. Not only do they have loyal fans who have been with them every step of the way, the are impacting the younger fans as well. That is a testament to all the hard, diligent work they’ve done through the years. Despite personal issues the band had suffered periodically, especially the medical issues with Michael’s, they still persevered and continue to tour to this day.
This band will always be one of my favorites and I hope they’ll be around for a long time.
How did a band from Pennsylvania become one of the longest lasting and most well known 80s hair bands out there? In a story that is pure rags to riches and filled with a lot of ups and downs Poison somehow became the “last band standing” as it is 2018 and the guys are still touring together!!!!
In the beginning Poison was called Paris, and the guitarist was Matt Smith. The boys left Pennsylvania in 1983 to find their way in Los Angeles. The hair metal scene was hot on the sunset strip and they knew if they wanted to find success they had to go to the center of that flame.
Success looked good from the outside. Fans swarmed to shows, watched their videos and bought albums left and right. From the inside things were beginning to fall apart.
We'll have more POISON throughout the week!
Read Part 1 Here
Our vintage spotlight artist this week is RATT. As one of the sleaziest of hair metal bands back in the day these guys had quite a reputation for debauchery. When the band began coming apart at the seams it was hard to watch and was terrible for fans of the band. The early 90s were not good for RATT.
At the end of 1991, just months after their album “Detonator” came out, American rock band Ratt, released the final single of their career, with all 5 members of the band. “Nobody Rides for Free” which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie Point Break.
Each of the 5 band members fought demons such as alcoholism, drug addictions, unprotected sex, just a plethora of bad habits. It’s quite understandable why, after some time, they fell apart.
When I think of Ratt, I think sex, drugs, rock and roll and the Sunset Strip. If you’ve seen them live or on Mtv, you can clearly tell what they are all about.
The beginning of the Ratt saga dates back to the early 70’s. Stephen Pearcy founded a band, Firedome. They disbanded in 1974 and Pearcy formed a new band, Crystal Pystal. This band changed names a couple of times to Buster Cherry which then went onto become Mickey Ratt in 1976. Mickey Ratt went thru various line-ups. In 1981, they shortened the band name to just Ratt. In late 1981, guitar player, Robbin Crosby joined the band. In 1982, 18 year old guitarist, Warren DeMartini, joined Crosby & Pearcy, followed by drummer, Bobby Blotzer & bassist, Juan Croucier. This line-up is what I call, the “dream team”.
What can you say about the Crue outside of their music? They are 4 very interesting guys who have racked up some major headlines and infamy throughout the years. If you have not yet read The Dirt it is definitely a must-read! Here are a few highlights from Nikki, Tommy, Vince and Mick although it would require another book or two to cover all of their stories!