Epic NWOBHM influenced San Antonio style classic Texas metal!
There must be something in the water in the far southern reaches of San Antonio, Texas. Perhaps it’s something in the air or in the soil, or maybe even the soul…a musical tradition that spans genres, generations, and cultures. Whatever its source, in the early to mid 1980’s this focal point of musical talent produced some of the best known and unknown metal bands ever to emerge from the classic Texas scene. Southside San Antonio bands with names both familiar and obscure read like a register of underground U.S. metal gems: S.A. Slayer, Wyzard, Karion, Syrus, Wicked Angel, Roulette, Tempest, Conquest, Oblivion. If the ultimate goal of any metal band in the early Eighties was to record and release an album on vinyl, only two from the above list attained it. More commonly, the cassette demo tape was the means by which the music was spread, not just among local friends and family, but to the burgeoning worldwide network of traders whose reach covered every corner of the planet. And then there were those bands whose legacy remains even more deeply buried. Bands who burned bright, briefly, and disappeared without a trace before anyone could take much notice. Bands who managed to get a demo recorded but for reasons unknown never shared it beyond a close circle of fans, either unaware of, or unconcerned with the wider network of underground distribution happening at the time. Meddallion dwells within this category. Of their two song demo recorded in 1986, only one known copy of the cassette survives, now unearthed from the dusty plains of south Texas and the Rio Grande valley.
Listen to samples and purchase directly from the TMU RECORDS store.
Reviews for Meddallion – Demo 1986:
“The case of MEDDALLION from TX-US was a serious conversation topic around Metalheads addicted to underground. You see very little information was known about this band that was reported to have record only two tracks back in 1986 that were remained officially unreleased. Well yes this one is from the depths of the Texas Metal Underground but fortunately Scott from TMU RECORDS not only managed to track down the band but arranged an official release of their two 1986 demo songs.
So what we got here is a great 7” EP including the songs ‘Stormbringer’ and ‘Swords Of Steel’ that MEDDALLION recorded back in 1986. Well the band delivers a great mix of Epic and NWOBHM Metal heavily influenced by the classic San Antonio Metal sound.
On the first ‘Stormbringer’ track we will be able some great double guitar themes which are enforced to the maximum by the vocals of Andy Lucio. His characteristic high-pitched voice and his passionate way of singing are important trademarks to the band’s sound. ‘Stormbringer’ is a fast, solid tune that re presents all the power and passion of a young band recording In a basement back in the mid 80s, you can almost feel the sweat and the adrenaline in the air. The double guitar attack and the nice leads, combined with the solid rhythm section and of course the voice are resulting to a song that would absolutely take no prisoners.
The second ‘Swords Of Steel’ songs begins with a melodic / epic interlude, however it is just a matter of some seconds until the song becomes faster. Some little breaks in the beginning would make your realize that this song has a little more technical approaching compared to the first one but all in all the basic idea is the same: fast tempo, solid riffing / main guitar themes, killer lead guitar parts and a Lucio that sings like a maniac in here. Well this is absolutely my favorite from this 7″.
As you have already realized the sound of this band is absolutely guitar driven so it is obvious that the twin guitar attack of Armado Gauna and Manuel Ochoa is another big trademark in here. Raymond Castaneda on bass and Danny Castaneda on drums are pushing the compositions almost to the limit, well I guess you know that a good rhythm section is the big secret for a metal band and MEDDALLION absolutely had it.
Even 26 years after the recording of those songs it is perfect to listen such passionate and crushing Steel that is delivered the way it deserves to. A quick look at the whole packaging of the EP will assure you about this. The songs are pressed in translucent gold vinyl (edition of 400 copies), that comes in a full color pro printed jacket, including a 12 page booklet featuring rare photos and an in depth interview with the band. There is also a Collector’s Edition (limited to 100 copies) which includes marbled vinyl plus pin-back button and sticker. It should have been sold out by now but you never know, make a try.
Last but not least I would like to make a small point about the texasmetalunderground.com website and Texas Metal Underground Records. Both are perfect example of a person’s love and dedication to Metal. Scott is doing a great job first of all in the site -that is a golden source of information for all of us about the Texas Metal underground scene of the 80’s – and secondly with the label that brings to light all those rare Texas diamonds. Keep an eye in TMU RECORDS as I am sure that there will be more to come in the future.”
Chris ‘Countraven’ Papadakis – Forgotten Scroll Webzine – Greece
“I guess everyone who reads the title of this review already knows what this is about. Every Texas Metal Underground Records (TMU RECORDS) release is a guaranteed purchase of quality heavy metal from the area of Texas. The one and only demo MEDDALLION had recorded in 1986 was absolutely obscure to the wide majority of metal fans everywhere and now sees the light of day thanks to Scott’s initiative to stubbornly unearth and release lost treasures from an area in the USA that was obviously a genuine goldmine. Getting to the music of this vinyl, you’ll get a strong dose of robust, vigorous and energetic NWOBHM influenced heavy metal with insane vocals, heavy fast riffing with the band’s simultaneous occupation with the epic! ‘Strombringer’ kicks off on side-A with the highlight screams of a rabid Andy Lucio, bringing memories of the PATHFIDER’s majestic ‘Fountain Keeper’ from Metal Massacre series up to a point, with a more evident NWOBHM background and as energetic as bands in the likes of JAGUAR were! ‘Swords Of Steel’ on side-B showcased an even more epic side of MEDDALLION with a highly potent heavy metal head-banging riff and vocal line and a neck paralyzing solo break amidst the song. Essential, addictive and absolutely made of Texan steel! All these go for everyone who cares about the music, the real thing. As for the rest who buy luxury cases, this one’s also for you, the packaging is a work of art and very well taken care of, as every release TMU RECORDS announces, including a 12-page booklet loaded with pictures, the history and an interview of the band made by TMU man himself, in a quantity of 500 copies that apparently will not last long. I was about to express the same notion Scott did in the inception of the history of the band in the booklet, there must be something in the waters of San Antonio…”
Thanos Stafylarakis – Steel For An Age Fanzine – Greece
“Haven’t heard about MEDDALLION? No worries. It’s nothing strange, as this Heavy Metal treasure was buried really deep, and these 2 tracks (officially) saw the light of the day for the first time in 2012, after being published on 7″ single by Texas Metal Underground Records. What is truly amazing, this 7″ single has amazing booklet (12 pages) with an interview and lot of old pictures, and is available in 2 versions: regular one on gold vinyl (400 copies) and collectors edition on marbled vinyl, with additional pin and sticker (100 copies). MEDDALLION offer us on this 7″ truly enjoyable mixture of US Epic Metal and some NWOBHM influences: too bad they never did full length album! Quality of these recordings could be of course better, but let’s keep in mind these two songs were a demo, recorded more than 25 years ago. In few years this single will be surely expensive as hell, so better hurry up – and keep on checking TMU RECORDS website, as they have few more jokers in their sleeves. Great job!”
Bart Gabriel – Tyrants Of Steel Webzine – Poland