FLAMETAL guitarist Benjamin Woods releases his latest masterpiece “VISION” on Flametal Records. This defies all expectations of an instrumental metal guitar album. “I’ve always thought of Flamenco Guitar Music as kind of like ‘Acoustic Progressive Metal’, so with this album, I really expanded upon that idea.” says Woods. In a world of clones and ‘guitar shredder’ albums, this goes way beyond the beaten path.
This Flamenco-Metal masterpiece features Marc Rizzo (Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy), Glen Drover (ex-Megadeth, ex-King Diamond), Sean Reinert (Cynic, ex-Death), Steve Stevens (Bily Idol), Uriah Duffy (ex-Whitesnake) and more.
Woods is a new breed of virtuoso and a speed metal guitarist from the start. By a twist of fate Woods gear was stolen by a junkie, leaving him with only a Spanish Guitar to practice on. This was the defining moment that ignited a passion for Flamenco Guitar. After spending years studying and performing authentic Flamenco, Woods created the genre-bending group FLAMETAL, earning him an international reputation as the master of Flamenco and Metal. Playing Metal without a pick, or distortion would seem impossible to most, but through his training and creativity, Woods is the first and only musician to successfully combine real Flamenco and Metal. Here he pays tribute to some of his favorite metal tunes, played in the Flamenco idiom, with traditional accompaniment.
Woods raw energy combined with exotic and sophisticated acoustic playing and the talent of a new-generation shred-master is a much needed breath of fresh air to the instrumental rock genre.
For more Benjamin Woods click here.
Members of METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD, DEATH ANGEL, FORBIDDEN, SKINLAB and D.R.I., as well as former members of EXODUS, OVERKILL, S.O.D., POSSESSED, SACRILEGE B.C. and STEREOMUD, are among the musicians who made an appearance at a special event to celebrate the life of Debbie Abono, a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB), who passed away on May 16 after a battle with cancer. She was 80 years old.
According to an obituary published in the Contra Costa Times on May 30, 2010, “Debbie was in her mid-fifties when she plunged into the Bay Area’s heavy metal/thrash metal music scene. She quickly [started working with] some of the Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, VIO-LENCE, EXODUS, SKINLAB) as well as Chicago’s BROKEN HOPE, Florida’s OBITUARY and CYNIC, Ohio’s SPUDMONSTERS, and from Texas SKREW. Many of these members who have gone onto further success with their careers with Debbie‘s constant guidance. She is known around the world not only for the work she has done for countless musicians, band crew members and their families, but more so for her heart and generosity and her ability to uplift, motivate and empower all those around her to always be honest and to be their best.
“After recently learning that Debbie was gravely ill, James Hetfield of METALLICA, another Bay Area legend, gave a verbal tribute before singing the hit song ‘Nothing Else Matters‘ at a performance in Belfast, Ireland. Alex Skolnick, guitarist for TESTAMENT, posted the following statement: ‘In the mid-1980s when most folks over forty were afraid of metal, there was Debbie Abono, a kind, sophisticated woman in her 50s. She saw right through the pentagrams, upside-down crosses, leather and spikes and recognized that some kind souls lay underneath the anger reflected much younger, often-misunderstood group of metalheads and became manager to some of the heaviest bands. By doing so, she helped us realize that older people weren’t so bad either.’ TESTAMENT also dedicated the song ‘Alone In The Dark‘ [to Debbie] during the band’s May 16, 2010 performance in Enschede, Netherlands.”
Donations can be made through this web site and via check payable to “East Bay Community Foundation” and should be accompanied by a note designating that the gift is for the Debbie Abono Memorial Fund for Music. Contributions should be mailed to The East Bay Community Foundation, Attn: Giles Miller, 200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612.
MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn has recorded audio and video of an acoustic cover of BLACK SABBATH‘s “Die Young” song from the classic “Heaven and Hell” album for free download in tribute to the late Debbie Abono, who sadly passed away on the same day as legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio. In a statement made at the beginning of the video (which was recorded the day after Debbie‘s passing and which can be viewed at this location), Robb says, “I don’t know why I recorded this song, it doesn’t really have relevance to Debbie or Dio, but I was sad and depressed and it was the only thing that made sense in the world.”
There are no plans to officially release Flynn‘s version of “Die Young“, but an MP3 version of the track is available for free download at the MACHINE HEAD web site.
Debbie Abono, a well-respected and much-loved manager and promotional machine behind some of San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest metal bands (POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, SKINLAB), passed away on May 16 at approximately 9:59 a.m. PST after a battle with cancer. She was 80 years old.
According to David Konow, author of the “Bang Your Head: The Rise And Fall Of Heavy Metal“, Debbie Abono was in her mid-fifties when she began to manage a band named POSSESSED. Abono started taking her daughters to MOTÖRHEAD shows, where the members of POSSESSED first asked her to manage the band. “There’s nothing to it,” they told her. “All you gotta do is get us shows.” Abono agreed and even allowed them to practice at her house.
POSSESSED‘s association with Debbie Abono was not a “first” for both sides: Debra Abono worked with LaLonde and Becerra’s “Blizzard” while they were sophomores in high school even — before they guys learned to drive. Abono would then become the band’s first manager, and POSSESSED were Abono’s first official managed band. Abono had no previous connection to heavy metal music other than as a concert designated driver for her daughters, one of whom was a girlfriend of guitarist Larry LaLonde. Due to generation gap, Abono also had limited awareness of the sometimes blasphemous themes of heavy metal, and was allegedly offended upon reading the lyric sheet of “Seven Churches“. Nevertheless, she agreed to manage and represent POSSESSED as long as bassist/vocalist Jeff Becerra and LaLonde finished high school commitments. Although the group’s relationship amongst themselves and their first manager would reach points of discord and eventual termination, Abono would go on to manage additional bands in the Bay Area metal scene like EXODUS, VIO-LENCE and FORBIDDEN EVIL (pre-FORBIDDEN), as well as death metal bands like Chicago’s BROKEN HOPE and Florida’s CYNIC and OBITUARY.
In a May 17 statement regarding Debbie Abono‘s passing, Flynn said, “Yesterday was a very sad day for metal.
“I am devastated at the passing of Debbie Abono and words aren’t coming very clear for me right now.
“Debbie was like a second mom to me, and having never lost a family member yet, this is very difficult.
“Debbie managed VIO-LENCE [Flynn's pre-MACHINE HEAD band], and toured with us in a van as manager, tour manager, mom, friend, and facilitator. Phil [Demmel; current MACHINE HEAD and former VIO-LENCE guitarist] and I were her roommates at crummy Motel 6′s across America.
“Thinking back on it now, touring with a bunch of snot-nosed thrash metal-ers for two months at a time in a van, playing crummy clubs, isn’t the usual course most 55-year-old ladies take in their lives, but she was no ordinary 55-year-old lady. She was fiery, feisty, charming, funny, and could look a person over in about two seconds and find something to joke about / roast them about should they wanted to test her.
“She was one of the biggest forces behind the thrash and early-death-metal movements than I think most people will ever realize.
“I dated her daughter Gina, and I lived at her house in Pinole on and off in my late teens, and even after Gina and I broke up, she gave me an incredible amount of belief and advice once MACHINE HEAD started.
“My wife Genevra and I used to go out to dinner with her fairly regularly, especially before kids, and she was there the next day after my boys were born. She always came to our parties.
“She was so proud of what we accomplished. Most importantly, she believed in me, even right up until the end.
“The last time we spoke, she told me how much she loved me, and that ‘my money is on Robb Flynn.’
“Fuck. What the fuck. I’m crying.
“Rest in peace, Debbie.”