October 31 - Stagefright - 2003 reviewed by: Agent of Steel
1. The Chosen One
2. Salem's Curse
3. Meet Thy Maker
4. Just an Illusion
5. A Million Goodbyes
6. The Warlock
7. Voyage to Infinity
8. Visions of the End
9. Power and the Glory
"Stagefright", the "new" October 31 live album was recorded at last years Classic Metalfest 2. Anyone that has witnessed the Heavy Metal meltdown that is O31 will know just what to expect from this release.
Gone of course, are Tony Taylor and Scott Waldrop (Twisted Tower Dire). Enter King Fowley back on the mic (where he belongs) and 2 other additions. Jason Tedder (K-Octave/Chaingunn) on rhythm guitar and Dave Castillo (ex Hatred) taking over the drum duties. The word "live" couldn't be anymore true than within "Stagefright", recorded practically on a pocket-change budget and of course no overdubs. Yes, there are bum guitar notes, missed drum beats, timing problems, and a rough bas mix to round off all the "bad" things about this disc. King Fowley sounds "winded" here and there, do to the fact he was operating on one lung at the moment and didn't even realize the seriousness of his state of health. You'd sound that way too if you were running laps around the stage like a chicken with its head dismembered.
Although the track listing is out of order on the back (better luck next time Thrash Corner), all the "classics" are there. From "The Chosen One", "The Warlock", "Meet Thy Maker", and that Saxon cover that we've all grown to love and expect from an October 31 explosion. Brian "Hellstorm" Williams shreds his way through each track, zany as ever!
"Stagefright" takes you back to a show that was arranged only for the love of underground metal, and the spirit is definitely alive within this recording. If you're into Hammerfall, Kamelot, Rhapsody, and other perfume-flaunting Metal bands, you may want to steer clear of "Stragefright". But if bands like Griffin, Savage Grace, and Cirith Ungol are the reasons you get out of bed everyday, what the fuck are you waiting on? Even if you don't like October 31, the rants in between songs by King Fowley are hilarious enough to be deemed worthy of purchase. Long live Metal.
--Agent of Steel 7.30.03