Stuart Pendergast - H.O.D.
Those UK stormbringers of death
known as - H.O.D. - have just released their sophomore outing - 'Surge,
Kill, Steal'. You can read my review of this, and their debut at this
site. Since they are offering both albums as free downloads, I want to
do whatever I can to wholeheartedly support them.
MettleAngel: Hey Brother, as you know I just reviewed your new CD, and I reviewed the last one as well.
MettleAngel: That is a great idea, and it will help you to gain even more support and better recognition. When did H.O.D. initially form? Where did you come up with the name?
MettleAngel: By the names Kev & Ste, I assume you are referring to Dr. H.R. King (Stephen Bratt) and Matron D.J. Feemo (Kevin Fleming). So, you were just kids into metal, who decided to form a band?
MettleAngel: Physician Shak Attack (Shak Raza) was only five, what is he another Andy Galeon, once the drummer of Death Angel? Where did you come up with the name?
MettleAngel: That is a cool name, but I think H.O.D. is more befitting, and you are still having a laugh, I guarantee! Why do you use stage names? Is each member also a character, like with Gwar, Lordi, Imapler, etc?
MettleAngel: Well as long as you do not become another Carcass clone! I actually like the names, and I feel they contribute to the whole persona of the band, overall. When creating the name for the band, were you playing on acts like S.O.D., M.O.D., or F.K.Ü.?
MettleAngel: So, all it took was just one trip to the hospital run by brain dead doctors, and you were in! I understand that you were originally in the Power Metal band - Strength & Honour - when did you decide to join H.O.D.?
MettleAngel: Looks like Ex Deo beat you to that, as did Aska, Virgin Steele, and a whole host of Metal acts that glorify the Republic of Rome. I assume you knew you were biting off more than you could chew, or we could swallow?
MettleAngel: That shows determination, and I imagine that it will be quite voluminous, indeed. You should contact the author Michael Grant, and read his nine book set for the Rise And Fall Of Ancient Rome! Were you always a classic thrash band?
MettleAngel: That is a decent variety, with Metallica, Sepultura, and Maiden, and all had videos for those songs actually getting played on MTV, back in the day!
MettleAngel: Like Gama Bomb, Evile, or Fatality, you embody that tengo and thrash technique. Is there a strong retro thrash scene now in the UK? Many great '80's acts like Sabbat, Anihilated, Onslaught, Grim Reaper, etc. are making killer comebacks!
MettleAngel: Wow, I am not familiar with any of those bands, except Mutant! I am excited to hear new Savage Messiah. The only Heretic band I know was the '80s act signed to Metal Blade which featured Mike Howe, who left to sing for Metal Church. They then added the late David Wayne to the band, and changed the name to Reverend.
MettleAngel: That is a total mettle attitude! Your song 'Kicked To The Kerb" was featured on - "The Heavy Metal Killers Compilation' for Earrache Records. The self made video you guys did for that song, which can be viewed at your MySpace, is downright hysterical! It also just dawned on me the super double - entendre' for the song "Enter Titanus". It is not only a combination of "tit" and "anus", but it also a "tight anus"!
MettleAngel: That is good to hear, and encouraging for those bands who feel they must be signed to be successful. I always advocate the D.I.Y. attitude, and you are your own boss, and will set you own goals. What made you decide to make both of your albums available for free download? Are you just trying to honour your fans, by keeping up with the times?
MettleAngel: That is very true. Us writers are always getting digital promos, but when I really like something, I will buy the CD. I did this with new Dethklok, Megadeth, Shadows Fall, and I will do it Tuesday with new Kiss!
MettleAngel: I would love to get the version with the booklet. Thank you for sending me the lyrics to do my review though!
MettleAngel: I totally agree, you give to receive.
MettleAngel: The new Gama Bomb will be free from Earache, awesome! I just hope that it is not replete with those annoying beeps like with new Evile! I am grateful that you are able to recuperate the cost for mastering and pressing. This is why myself and other writers promote the band, in order to assist you in any manner in which we are all capable.Where can one go about getting either version of your new CD?
MettleAngel: Well as an American, I probably will not be attending any of your shows too soon, but I may check out the site, and the T's. I always find your lyrics to be clever, witty, silly,and very tongue in cheek. Why do you choose to have such bizarre lyrics? Is this just to lighten things up?
MettleAngel: So you have the Edguy/Avantasia attitude?
MettleAngel: As do I and I agree that those idiots do not have their "Balls To The Wall"! This is just a reminder that I am so excited, because I will be interviewing Mr. Udo Dirkschneider next week! I assume that you and the boyz like the party down aspect, and all things metal related?
MettleAngel: Steel Panther are awesome, totally hardcore, with very XXX rated lyrics. Their new album finally cums out in America Tuesday, the same day as new Kiss, which those Christians at Wal-Mart will be heavily promoting! I appreciate the breakdown for each song at your My Space. On there it is mentioned that "Two Glass Eyez" was written after returning from The Gods Of Metal Fest. Did you perform there?
MettleAngel: Wow, sounds like you had a killer time, I am envious! What inspired the oddly titled song - "Mole In The Ocean'"- your personal theme for metal?
MettleAngel: I am vaguely familiar with that band, are they signed to Metal Blade? I think I recall receiving a promo for the album - 'Precambrian'. Mike also played bass on that release.
MettleAngel: That is so cool that a symphonic sludge band from Germany promoted H.O.D.
MettleAngel: Now I get it, and that totally makes sense! Thank You for clarifying this for me! I should also point out that some songs have a more straightforward lyrical base. What inspires Dave and the band to write these lyrics?
MettleAngel: Does he not recall any of those "Robocop" lyrics?
MettleAngel: Paul Verehoeven, who directed "Robocop" is my favourite director of all time! He just published a new historical work on the "True Jesus", which means that most of the stories in the New Testament are pure B$, or heavily exaggerated.
MettleAngel: Unfortunately, he has only written it in his native Dutch, and it has not been translated into any other language, as of yet. I know he plans to do this, and he wants to make a movie based on his careful research. He is one of the only members of The Jesus Seminar, who is also connected with Hollywood. He is viewed as an outcast among those arrogant elitists, primarily for his work with "Showgirls" and "Basic Instinct", and because he does not hold a doctorate in theology. I pursued a Masters in Theology, and I have the greatest respect for him! His last movie - "Black Book" was so involved, and so well done!
MettleAngel: So back to the Metal, what is with the hard infirm hospital melodies like - "Iron Matron", "Second Opinion", or "Fear The Ambulance"?
MettleAngel: Ha, silly me, I guess that was a ludicrous question! Just as long as noone confuses you with the San Antonio, Texas Black Metal band - HOD. What inspired the song -"King Of Sweden''? Are you a big Yngwie Malmsteen fan?
MettleAngel: I agree some of those shredders are waaaayyy overrated!
MettleAngel: I have been listening to him ever since he was in Steeler with Ron Keel and Mark Edwards. I guess being from Cincinnati, Ohio, I am more partial to David T. Chastain. Do you think on this song, you nailed the solos?
MettleAngel: Dude, I think you are being just a bit modest. Your guitar playing is magnificent. I suppose since I do not play guitar, is one of the reason why I am not a huge Malmsteen advocate. I read that you really enjoyed Metallica's - 'Death Magnetic', though.
MettleAngel: This along with Judas Priest's - "Nostradamus" were my two favourite albums of '08. I have just played those brilliant titles again in the past few weeks, and I love them even more. I am still not sold on what will be the best of 2009, but I do love the new Heaven And Hell, and we will see about Kiss. Do you think the new Megadeth is deserving of as much praise as it is receiving, or do you think it is just more of the same?
MettleAngel: It is a good album, but not a remarkable comeback, as so many writers are suggesting!
MettleAngel: I have played the new Megadeth many times, as well as all their other albums. I dig it, but it is no 'Rust In Peace' or 'Countdown'. I too feel that Chris was a bit overrated, compared to his work with Jag Panzer. A fellow writer of mine at BW&BK gave it a 10, WTF!
MettleAngel: Good idea! Now back to H.O. D., have all the reviews for - 'Surge Kill Steal' been very favorable? I have enjoyed both of your albums very much. I have told many metalheads to obtain the music, and hear it for themselves.
MettleAngel: I do definitely agree with that.
MettleAngel: You are most welcome! Speaking of the title, why not use the word: "Steel"? Were you aiming for a flow of verbs in the pun? On 'Beer, Bitches, Blood', you had the alliteration thing going.
MettleAngel: This is what I kind of figured. Now on a sadder note, it is mentioned in one of your blogs, that a key member had to take a leave of absence? Was this owing to the birth of Dave's new child, or is it of a more serious concern?
MettleAngel: That is understandable, and as a father of a child who is now six...Six...SIX! I send him all the best! How will the band get on without this member? Has it led to many show cancellations?
MettleAngel: That is good news, and only a few weeks away! So in closing, what can we expect from H.O.D. in the near future?
MettleAngel: Man, I am stoked to hear your Christmas cover! We just saw Stryper last night, and they soundchecked with "Winter Wonderland! I am sure given your knowledge of Metal, you will choose some killer bands to cover! Possibly Anthrax?
MettleAngel: Good luck with that! Look what it did for Lordi's career! Stu, thank you so much for taking the time to indulge me in the fun and metal madness.
MettleAngel: Well, I try to keep it lively and entertaining. All the best with everything! Oh, and by the way, I love Jim Henson and the Muppets. To this day, next to the "Star Wars" Movies, "The Muppet Movie" is my favourite film! I mention this because I noticed that they were listed as an influence on the band.