If you were lucky enough to grow up with the birth of American heavy metal, you undoubtedly remember what a special time it was.
Great bands were everywhere. Metallica. Slayer. Testament. Exodus. Death Angel. And the list goes on.
Notice a theme here? All of the said bands are still relatively at their respective games.
Percolating just below those giants were the bands that comprised the heart, soul and spirit of the scene. Among them was Liege Lord, the preeminent Connecticut power metal band that recorded three ground-breaking albums before drifting apart.
Good things come to those who wait. Twenty-five years after the release of "Master Control," the final -- and some would argue best -- album, Liege Lord has reunited around the songwriting core of bassist Matt Vinci, guitarist Joe Comeau and guitarist Anthony Truglio. Liege Lord is scheduled to headline the Keep it True festival in Germany in April and record new music by year's end.
Liege Lord formed in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1984 around the high school friendship of Vinci and Truglio, and the latter's drumming cousin Frank Cortese. Originally called Deceiver (named after the classic Judas Priest song), the band became Liege Lord -- which originally also included singer Andy Michaud and drummer Pete McCarthy -- when it began writing its own material.
Local gigs begot regional gigs and by 1985 the band had recorded the pioneering power metal album "Freedom's Rise." Marked by break-neck and intricate riffing -- with Vinci being every part of that guitar attack -- it marked the arrival of a band destined for more. The following saw Paul Nelson replacing McCarthy and the group unveiling the slightly more progressive-leaning "Burn to My Touch," produced by Blue Oyster Cult's Joe Bouchard and released by Metal Blade Records. With this album Liege Lord became mainstays at tri-state area venues, sharing stages with Hades, Overkill, Anthrax, Raven and Carnivore.
By 1988 a shake-up was in order. Comeau, a Rochester, N.Y., native gave the band that push it needed. A power metal singer in the style of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson yet with the angst of an overdriven Rob Halford, he proved an extremely logical fit. "Master Control," produced by Terry Date before he was a go-to producer, was the group's high water mark. It was also its swan song.
With heavy metal undoubtedly more popular than ever, "Master Control" celebrating its 25th anniversary and the key players game, a Liege Lord reunion is very well-timed. Truglio and Comeau never left music. Truglio has established himself as one of Connecticut's finest guitarist, as adept in jazz and blues as blistering metal. He has logged serious time in project's with Helmet's Page Hamilton. Comeau has lent his singing and guitar talents to Ramrod, Overkill, Annihilator and Tad Morose among others. Vinci became a professional photographer.
New to the Liege Lord 2013 roster are guitarist Danny Wacker, who has played with Atlantic Records artist New Blood Revival and in Baptized By Fire, with Dee Snider's son Jesse Blaze. Drummer Frank Gilchriest comes from a serious metal pedigree, having been a member of Virgin Steele and Riot.