you’d better believe him

Mike Howe covering Priest’s Killing Machine. I do realise that it must’ve been one of those tracks he cut his teeth on, back then in his home town with his first cover band. And yet.

There are a few other interesting performances in this video as well. Even Stet Howland, who’s thankfully alive (no thanks to the WASP fandom and his ex-employer), plays a couple of tunes.

One thing I noticed about these 70K jam series over the years is that the ladies of symphonic metal (and “metal”) are quite confident. For instance, here Capri of Amberian Dawn doesn’t seem to be anyhow intimidated by the misfortune of going onstage after Mr Howe (if you ask me, I’d rather jump off the boat instead). And she’s not afraid to sing a Maiden classic in her pop rock style. Dressed the way she is. All the while – I’m pretty sure – knowing that she’d get the sort of comments she got already (check out the youtube page of this vid; sad but true ™). And yet, she went and delivered.

That, o dear readers, takes ballz.

// yes performing dressed the way MH is dressed here also takes ballz, but that’s not the point //

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yes we can go back to breathing now

I kept all the possible fingers crossed for this, and then some. Not just because Stet has been one of my alltime favourite drummers since forever. But because he’s really the best drummer for Metal Church today.

Jeff Plate is a good drummer, but rather… straightforward. At least, with the Church. You could probably think of him as following the style Dave Holland mostly kept to while with Judas effing Priest. Economical, to the point, you know the drill.

Stet is Stet is Stet. His playing is… lush. Yeah, this is the best word I can find. He is different enough from Kirk Arrington, the original drummer, but they share the same intensity and freedom. They create a foundation that breathes. Which is the perfect complement to those little rhythmic shifts and accents you find in Mike’s melodic phrasing.

Celebrate.

PS I still owe y’all that concert review! I remember!