Cruciblefest 2

•July 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

     I have already started the planning stages for the second Crucible Zine fest, aptly named Cruciblefest 2, to be held the first Saturday in April, 2011. For this year’s fest, Crucible will be partnering with Rockstar Wrestling Alliance to bring a full day of metal / hardcore music, and the best semi-professional Lucha Libre styled wrestling the Southwest has to offer. I will be talking to the venue this evening to nail it down, and I already have four bands confirmed – Brutesquad, Victory By Treason, From The Gallows (Tucson deathcore in the vein of Whitechapel – There will be a review as soon as a CD is in my hands), and the re-activated Tucson hardcore upstarts, Line of Fire. If your band is interested in playing and would like to be considered, or you are just looking for more info on the event so far, hit me up either here or at

     There will be 10-12 bands total over the course of the day, and between bands will be the wrestling matches. There will also be vendors, tattooing, food, beer, and tons more. I will keep you all posted as more info becomes available.Horns!


Bodies…The Exhibition Father’s Day Admission Specials

•June 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I‘ve been getting tons of responses on the piece that I posted on my experience with BODIES – THE EXHIBITION here in Tucson. Hot on the heels of my review comes the following news from Tucson Media Contact Kelly Lovell – Taylor:


Matinee Specials Offered Monday – Friday… Beginning June 21

Buy one kid’s admission to BODIES… The Exhibition Father’s Day weekend, Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, and get one adult’s admission free.  Celebrate the holiday with a fun, educational family activity.

The Exhibition offers a rare family experience: A golden opportunity to open a child’s eyes, in a way no textbook ever could, and to teach them about the complexities of the human body and the necessity of proper nutrition, regular activity and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices, such as avoiding smoking and alcohol.  BODIES… The Exhibition has a special children’s audio tour available, as well as four age-specific teacher’s guides from elementary to post-graduate levels.

Beginning June 21 through July 30, BODIES… The Exhibition will offer a discounted “matinee” special.  Mondays through Fridays from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., every adult visitor to the Exhibition will receive tickets at a flat rate of $15.


HOURS:           Sundays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Fridays – Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

 TICKETS:          Please visit Discounted prices available for groups.

Children 3 and under:                      Complimentary 

Children 4 – 12:                                     $14.00                     

Adult 13 – 64:                                        $22.00                   

Senior 65+ / Students w/ID:         $18.00 

Military/Veterans                              $17.00 

Audio Guides:                                        $5.00

WHERE:                Rialto Building

                                    300 E. Congress Street 

                                    Downtown Tucson

There is still time to see this, and with the Father’s Day specials, there are no excuses for not checking it out.

Go learn somethin’, will ya?



For All Drummers Out There – Breaking News From Pulverised Records

•June 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sick Drummer Magazine To Launch Drum Contest Featuring Nir Nakav Of SALEM!

Sick Drummer Magazine is pleased to launch “The Drums Of The Dead” drum contest featuring underrated SALEM basher Nir Nakav!

Post a video of yourself playing “Drums Of The Dead Part I” on the Sick Drummer YouTube channel, in response to this video:
and you could win:
2 Sabian AAX Crash Cymbals, 6 Pairs of SALEM signature drumsticks (not available outside Israel), B.P.R.D Volume I, a SALEM T-shirt, a copy of the band’s new full-length “Playing God And Other Short Stories” and a lifetime subscription to Sick Drummer Magazine. Ten additional one-year subscriptions to Sick Drummer Magazine will be given to the first 10 serious entries.

“Drums Of The Dead Part I” comes off SALEM‘s recently released Pulverised full-length Playing God And Other Short Stories”. Anyone who enters will have access to written notation of the song, as well as audio tracks with or without a click. There will be a link to download these files from the homepage of Sick Drummer Magazine, starting July 1st 2010 when the contest officially begins: The contest will run through September 1st 2010.
“Playing God And Other Short Stories”, the seventh studio album from Israeli extreme metallers SALEM was recorded at Harold Studios in Israel, mastered by UE Nastasi at the prestigious Sterling Sound in NYC. and recently issued by Singapore’s Pulverised Records. The record includes a guest vocal appearance by At The Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg, (on “The Mark Of The Beast Part 1” and “The Mark Of The Beast Part 2”) as well as a cover of Bob Marley’s “Exodus”.
The Two-Year Anniversary issue of Sick Drummer Magazine will include interviews with: Tim Yeung of Divine Heresy / Morbid Angel, Craig Smilowski (ex-immolation), Gus Rios of Malevolent Creation, Dave Astor of Pathology, Mark Hernandez of Forbidden, Ray Luzier of Korn, John Merryman of Cephalic Carnage, Stef Broks of Textures, Aantar Coates of Diabolic, Oliver Beaudoin of Neuraxis, Charlie Benante of Anthrax and Chris Pennie (and his Dad) of Coheed & Cambria as well as lessons from Elliot Hoffman of CarBomb, Sean Reinert of Cynic and Dirk Verbeuren of Soilwork / Scarve, video from Blake Richardson of BTBAM, off-beat chats with insane artist Tony Koehl and columns from Eyal Levi of Daath, Brad Fickeisen (ex-The Red Chord) and debuts column from ex-Slayer drummer Tony Scaglione and Nir Nakav of SALEM! 
Sick Drummer Magazine is only $10.00 per year, so get your subscription NOW at:

At Long Last!

•June 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

     What’s up, heads?

     It’s update time again, and this one has been a long time coming. I have a lot to post, and it will take me a few days to get it all up and running, so be patient with me. I know I’m late, but hey…better late than never.

     In the time I have been away, the metal world has lost no less than three key figures. As you can see by the banner above and the post below, I have paid tribute to the mighty Ronnie James Dio. I would like to bid farewell at this time to Mr. Peter Steele of Type O Negative, who died of heart failure on April 14th of heart failure, and to Paul Gray of Slipknot, who died on Monday May 24th. It’s heartbreaking that these deaths have happened so “close to home”, if you will. All three of these men were driving forces in their chosen genres of the metal realm, and with all of the metal deaths over the past several years, it goes to show just how fragile this life is that we are given. Live life like there is no tomorrow, people. None of us are promised that.

     On to other things – Crucible Zine is putting on another show! On August 11th, Crucible Zine presents Pornogrind pioneers, Meat Shits! The former Moribund Records band are touring the country with Decomposition from Northern California, and I am fortunate to have picked up their only Arizona date. Also appearing on the bill will be none other than Six Million Dead, along with Skeletal Secrets, and my band Brutesquad. See the flyer below.

     If you are anywhere near the Phoenix / Tucson area, you cannot miss this show! If you have any other questions, please feel free to hit me up at

     I know there may not be a lot of call for it, but I have opened the Crucible Zine Online Store. If you look on the Crucible MySpace, there is a pic of me wearing a tshirt that I had made through Cafe Press. I was so impressed with the way it came out, that I flirted with the idea of having them made. The problem is, the upfront cost is more than I can afford right now, so I dropped the idea. I started getting compliments on the shirt, and having people tell me that I should have them made for sale. Well…The next best thing is that Cafe Press can make them for me, with no upfront cost. With the prices listed, Cafe Press gets their fees, and I get a percentage. It works out for everyone. Go check out the store here —-> I went a bit nuts with the merch, throwing the design on all kinds of shit. But who knows? Maybe someone will actually want a Crucible Zine wall clock.

     According to my stats, some of you have already discovered my newest section. For those who haven’t, check it out on the right side menu – The Brutesquad Report – Brutesquad is, of course, the band I play in full time. This will be a recurring update that will contain news about the band, show pics, links to Brutesquad videos, and more. You never know what may show up.

     As I said at the top, news, reviews and updates will start popping up here over the next several days, so keep your eyes peeled. I would like to thank all of you for your patience. It’s been a crazy couple of months for me, and considering I am doing this completely on my own at this point, I do hope you all understand.



Farewell, Ronnie James Dio!

•May 23, 2010 • 1 Comment

     As all know by now, Ronnie James Dio lost his fight with stomach cancer on Sunday, May 16, 2010. This loss obviously shook the mighty metal world to its very core. I am still not over it, and likely never will be. We have lost so many – Chuck Shuldiner, Dimebag Darrell, Cliff Burton, Paul Baloff, Eric Carr, Peter Steele, and many many more. Now this.

     So many people have come forward to pay respects to the mighty Dio, and have been truly gracious in their words. Words like “legendary”, “sweet”, “caring”, “loving”, “giving”, and more have been staples in many tributes. But the one word that best describes him, and appears in pretty much everyone’s tribute is “humble”. This is how I knew him. Not to say that I knew him, as in close friends, but I did have the fortune and honor of meeting him twice. Those who have met him do truly count themselves as knowing him, in a manner of speaking.

     The first time I met him was on the “Strange Highways” tour of 1994 at Mississippi Nights, in St. Louis, MO. After watching him deliver one of his trademarked monster sets, I ran around to the back where his tour bus was sitting, idling. He had already been shuffled onto the bus, straight from the stage. I waited out there with some 50 or so other fans, all of us hoping to catch the smallest glimpse of him. After about 30 minutes, the door to the bus opened, and Ronnie James Dio stepped out, with one hand outstretched, already having picked the first of many recipients of a handshake. I noticed one other thing – He was smiling. His demeanor was so sincere, like he truly wanted to be in that place, at that time. I shook his hand, and he signed my ticket stub. He talked to each one of us, and made time. He made tons of time. Ronnie sat on the steps of his tour bus until the early morning hours to make sure every one of those fans out back of the club that night were spoken to.

     The second and final time I met him, I had taken my future stepson Ryan along. I had been turning him onto Dio through the vehicle of Heaven and Hell. Once he was hooked on H&H, he delved deeper into the Dio catalog, and the original Dio-era Sabbath stuff. When Heaven and Hell came to Phoenix last summer with Coheed And Cambria, it was important to me that we go. After the show, Ryan and I stepped to the back of the theater to wait. I was secretly hoping that the first time I met him was not a fluke, and that he would be gracious again. We waited for what seemed like forever. I had almost given up. I told Ryan at the time that if they did not come out in the next 20 minutes, we would have to leave. Almost as I was speaking that sentence, out walked Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi. they both went straight to the bus, turning and waving at the crowd. That was it from them. Very shortly behind those two came Vinnie Appice, followed by the man himself, Ronnie James Dio. Vinny came straight over to the fence where we were standing, and immediately started talking to the fans. Ronnie pretended to walk towards the bus and stopped as soon as he heard the people yelling for him. He turned around and looked at the crowd smiling wickedly, then turned back towards the bus. He took just a couple of steps, then turned around with the biggest “I’m just screwing with you guys” grin on his face and made his way to the fence. There, he spent the next 45 to 60 minutes hanging out, shaking hands, and just talking with what few fans stuck around. By the time he came out, there were only between 15 and 20 of us left. Ronnie posed for a pic with Ryan and I, and signed our stuff. He talked to everyone, and once all were taken care of, he hopped on the bus and they made their way off.

     If you were ever fortunate enough to shake his hand, you would get a firm grip, and a man who looks you in the eye with a smile. Ronnie James Dio was so much more than your typical rock star. But, he embodied everything a rock star should be. Generous, gracious to his fans, self depricating, funny, and yeah…humble. Ronnie was a great, great man. And he didn’t know it. Let me put it this way: If he knew it, he never, EVER let it show.

     To Ronnie James Dio: You have been an inspiration, pioneer, and godfather to ALL in this huge scene called Heavy Metal. You will be revered forever, and your legions of fans world wide will always love and respect you to the fullest. Rest In Eternal Peace, Legend. Horns High!

     To Wendy Dio and the rest of the Dio family, bandmates and friends: My wish is for you all to be blessed in your time of loss. You know that Ronnie was adored by all, and I have yet to find anyone with a cross word to say about him. May God bless you and keep you, until you meet again.


Lael, Crucible Zine

The Fest, The Comp and More…

•March 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

OK folks. I know. I got lazy on everyone. Or so it would seem. The past couple of months have been insane for me in my home life and more, so I do hope that you all will forgive the month of no updates. I truly did not get lazy, believe it or not. I have been insanely busy with a ton of shit such as cancer surgery (not mine, but I was back and forth to the hospital for a full 25 days [Get well, Bobby! You are doing great so far!]), playing scads of Brutesquad shows, band practice, home life and work. I’ve been on the ropes, but I’ve always been a busy bastard with way too many irons in the fire. I do hope you will all forgive me. There IS an update coming, I swear to you.

In the meantime, I want to take this time to promote two very special items that I have been working feverishly on. The first is the First Annual Crucible Metal / Hardcore Fest! It is being held on Friday April 9th, at Skrappy’s in Tucson, AZ, and is a benefit show. Here is what is going on – My future stepson, Ryan McGraw has been accepted into a youth ambassadorship in Europe for an organization called People To People. It is a highly prestigious honor to be accepted into this ambassadorship, as it will help lay the groundwork for his college education. The only problem is the out of pocket expense. His mom and I simply don’t have the money to pay in full to get this done. So I came up with the idea of putting on this fest, with 100% of the proceeds going directly towards the cost of the trip. I started talking to bands and Kathy from Skrappy’s and set the damn thing up. 5 bands will play this year’s fest – Victory By Treason (Ryan’s own band), Thou Art Dead (Lethal tucson death metal), Skeletal Secrets (Close personal friends, and a damned good band from Phoenix, AZ), our own January Spotlight band Six Million Dead (Read all about them in the January Band Spotlight), and my fulltime band, Brutesquad. Everyone has been absolutely wonderful in doing this thing and donating their time to help raise some money for this cause. Thanks to all involved!

So with the Fest looming in the future, I decided that Crucible Zine needed some promo material. Hence, I put together Crucible Zine Compilation Number One. Featuring 11 tracks of bands directly involved with the zine in some form or fashion. I have either reviewed / interviewed them for the zine, or they have direct ties to Crucible. The band list is as follows:

Nightscape – Tucson, AZ – Death Metal – My personal solo project
Ruines Ov Abaddon – San Diego, CA – Black Metal – Reviewed in the January update
Six Million Dead – Phoenix, AZ – Death / Black Metal – Band Spotlight, January update
Brutesquad – Tucson, AZ – Metallic Hardcore – My full time band
Ecryptus – Atlanta, GA – Death Metal – Reviewed in the January update
Skeletal Secrets – Phoenix, AZ – Modern Metal with Death Metal influences – Close personal friends
Sinstorm – Los Angeles, CA – Black Metal – Reviewed in the January update
Ripchain – Boise, ID – Thrash / Death Metal – Reviewed in the January update
Victory By Treason – Tucson, AZ – Melodic Metal with Metalcore influence – My future stepson, Ryan’s band
Sacrificial Slaughter – Riverside, CA – Death Metal – Reviewed in the January update
Ichabod Crane – Akron, OH – Death Metal with Metalcore and Rock influence – Band Spotlight, February update

This comp is fully packaged and will be released on April 9, 2010 at the fest. It will also be set out for free at every Brutesquad show, or anywhere Crucible Zine will have a presence. If you are nowhere near Tucson, AZ and would like a comp, hit me up at and I will send you a digital copy with all tracks in mp3 format and all artwork. Check out the front cover…

So, that’s the scoop! Still to come – I do have another update on the way. This one WILL have the interview I did with Rick Rozz (Ex-Death and Massacre), it WILL have a scad of reviews (VTT, Cessation of Life, Master, Salem, 16, Evil Army, Animus Divine and many more), it WILL have my Crypt write up on the mighty Carcass, and more! Keep your eyes peeled.

Quick Update on the Update…or something

•January 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I would like to take a moment to welcome another new member to the Crucible family! A Guy Named Bob PR and Forest Moon Special Products! Apparently working together to promote some great Metal, such as Oakhelm, Plutocracy, and VTT. VTT has a new album out, the review for it will be posted here within the next few days. Look to your right for news updates.

Just like Crucible, A Guy Named Bob and Forest Moon look to be grass roots types of organizations and could do well with your support. So, click their links and check them out.

Still catching up. Keep your eyes peeled!