Sunday, August 8, 2010

The decline of north-western civilization: Overlord and the metal years!

When we think about the pre-grunge era, most of us are tempted to remember the hardcore/noisy or post-punk acts of that time such as Accused, Ten Minute Warning, Silly Killers, Mr Epp or The Blackouts. But Seattle also had a healthy metal scene back in the early 80s. A good documenting piece of history from that era is the Northwest Metalfest compilation (released by Ground Zero Records in 1984) featuring bands such as: Overlord, Metal Church, SATO, Lipstick, Bondage Boys and a few more others. As a brief add-on for who needs a connection between this early metal scene and the stinky flannel-wearers generation: Steve Van Liew and Kurt Lofstrom from Overlord went to play in the mysterious band My Eye (about which I wrote a article almost a year ago here) and it seems that Mike Starr, the original bassist from Alice in Chains, played in SATO…ha, what about that !!!

Overlord formed in 1980 in Seattle, line-up including: Steve Van Liew (vocals), Kurtiss Lofstrom (guitar), Glen Logan (guitar), Kenny Kubsen (drums) and Doug Bane (bass). The band made its debut with its self-financed EP, Broken Toys, in 1982 released by Sad City records. In 1984 the band recorded a demo and contributed with the song On the Edge on the Nothwest Metalfest Compilation. Same year they called it quit.

I don’t know much about the 80s’ metal scene from the northwest, but regarding the up-mentioned compilation I think Overlord didn’t quite fit with the rest of the bands. The band was a little bit different both in sound and image. They weren’t anything of the speed, power-metal stuff, instead they played an Alice Cooper-Iggy and the Stooges-mix-with-Aerosmith sort of thing. And that actually made some people believe they were the first grunge band, or at least played a significant role in the future local scene.
from Broken Toys Ep

from Northwest Metalfest Compilation

from the '84 Demo