Tag Archives: ralph santolla

Reflecting On The 2018 Deaths In Music

As our Entertainment Year draws to a close, I wanted to take a moment and reflect upon the numerous artist losses that we found happening over the past year in 2018. While its true that there is often a longer “In Memoriam” post done for some of the artists here on the PiercingMetal website, it’s all too difficult to do such a piece for every single musician or entertainment personality that we lose. I think I’d need a dedicated writer for that alone. In similar fashion to the full listing that I began last year in this fashion, I culled the research sources and tried to cite all the names that our demographic might be most familiar with. Should a longer “In Memoriam” post exist on the site, I will highlight the name so you can examine that article at your leisure. Let’s say goodbye to these talented people once more before 2018 end.

January 1, 2018: Jon Paul Steuer (33), American punk singer and actor
January 2, 2018: Rick Hall (85), American record producer
January 3, 2018: Josiah Boyd (32), American heavy metal bassist (A Hill to Die Upon)
January 4, 2018: Ray Thomas (76), British progressive rock flautist (The Moody Blues)
January 5, 2018: Mikio Fujioka (36), Japanese heavy metal guitarist (Babymetal)
January 9, 2018: Paul Antingnani, American heavy metal drummer (Sworn Enemy)
January 10, 2018: “Fast” Eddie Clarke (67), British heavy metal guitarist (Motörhead, Fastway)
January 15, 2018: Dolores O’Riordan (46), Irish alternative rock singer-songwriter (The Cranberries)
January 16, 2018: Dave Holland (69), English heavy metal drummer (Judas Priest, Trapeze)
January 20, 2018: Jim Rodford (76), British rock bassist (Argent, The Kinks, The Zombies)

February 7, 2018: Pat Torpey (64), American hard rock drummer (Mr. Big)
February 9, 2018: Craig MacGregor (68), American rock bassist (Foghat)
Continue reading Reflecting On The 2018 Deaths In Music

Guitarist Ralph Santolla (Iced Earth/Obituary/Deicide) Has Died (1966-2018)

It’s once again with great sadness that I must share the news about another of our Heavy Metal stalwarts having passed with guitarist Ralph Santolla. Recently, his personal Facebook profile found the musician noting that he was not feeling well and not long after he would suffer a heart attack and soon fall into a coma. Despite the efforts to save him, the doctors found there was no promising change or hope of recovery and he was taken off of life support late Wednesday evening and would leave us at the age of 51. Such a shame.

ralph santolla, photos of ralph santolla

Santolla was most famously known as one of the axe wielders in some incredible acts like Obituary, Iced Earth and Deicide. At one point in his career he kept up pace with the legendary Chuck Schuldiner in Death’s live shows but he didn’t record anything with them sadly. Ralph worked on a number of other projects that you can learn more about in his Wikipedia entry down below. One of them was a solo effort that his family maintains will see the light of day posthumously as soon as its possible to be addressed. A family member mentioned online that Ralph was an organ donor and that should some musical ability or razor sharp sarcasm come into play in someone’s life that it was likely due to Ralph’s presence with them. At least during this sad time that some other people can have a chance on a longer life. More should consider being a donor because its not like we need the stuff anymore once we pass on.

ralph santolla, photos of ralph santolla

I met Ralph several times over the years thanks to the shows I was covering and sharing some mutual friends. He was a talented and interesting person for sure and the photos in this memorial reflection all feature Ralph from some Obituary tours that I covered back around 2007-2009. Two of these shows took place at the now shuttered B.B. King Blues Club while the other was at the Gramercy Theatre which might have been called The Blender Theatre at the time. I didn’t remember seeing him in Deicide or Iced Earth but I could be wrong since those shows are so long ago in my memory at this point. Ralph was truly an excellent player that I think we only ever got to see a small part of since his talents were far deeper than only the Heavy Metal stuff that so many of us bore witness to.

ralph santolla, photos of ralph santolla

Though there were many news outlets reporting on his passing days before, we opted to wait until the news was 100% final out of proper respect. We wish his family, friends and numerous band mates over the years the deepest of condolences during this sad time. Thank you Ralph for giving us some incendiary riffs for many years. May you Rest In Peace. We welcome fans of the musician to add their own reflections down below in the comments.

Official Artist Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Santolla

Obituary @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/5/2008)

Obituary is one of the legends of Death Metal and the touring package with Unleashed and Carnifex meant a night of pure, cold Metal. Our coverage is below for those who want to scroll past the logo and learn more. Photos of two of the three performers are also featured, and like the song says, “two out of three ain’t bad”.

Logo - Obituary

Artist: Obituary
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Unleashed & Carnifex
Date: 10/5/2008
Label: Candlelight Records

I had just dealt with what amounted to nothing less than an insane month of shows in my quest to bring the Metal word to the masses, and as result I was unsure about even hitting this gig until the very last minute. Let’s face it, hitting eleven killer Metal shows in sequence and not only documenting the proceedings of the main band on the bill but also shooting images of almost everyone else who performed and choosing to comment on them also can be exhausting for anyone. Be that as it may, it is not often that two legendary bands in the Death Metal genre are hitting the stages on a tour together so when Obituary hit the road with Swedish legends Unleashed my plans were set in motion. The show would reach our area and visit the ever reliable B.B. King Blues Club and find Carnifex as the first band up. Here is our synopsis of the night.
Continue reading Obituary @ B.B. King Blues Club (10/5/2008)

“Xecutioner’s Return” by Obituary

Artist: Obituary
Title: “Xecutioner’s Return”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 8/28/2007
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

It was probably the best title that they could have ever decided to use because with the “Xecutioner’s Return” the band Obituary shows that they are back and ready to once again pummel you with the brand of Death Metal that they have so long ago mastered. As many know the US brand of the genre was slightly different from that of our European brothers and when it came to Obituary’s sound there was always a lot of old school Thrash involved and while John Tardy growls away as their singer, his own style was not an indiscernible as some of the bands who would follow them. I always felt that when I heard him there was a certain Hardcore vibe happening. The album would come care of Candlelight Records who the band signed a deal with in May of 2007 and there is probably no better label for them to be on since they are long respected as being the label that is capable of handling some of the Darkest Metal to have ever been released (see Dark Funeral and Averse Sefira for example). As you listen to the album you will find that it smokes on a number of levels and that is definitely based on the newest member of the camp Ralph Santolla. He is a guitar wizard and brings new levels of technique to the Death Metal rumblings of Obituary and where we once found solid leads, we now find displays of riffs that leave you scratching your head wondering how he managed to get that run to work in a track as heavy as this.
Continue reading “Xecutioner’s Return” by Obituary

Deicide @ The North Six (10/20/2006)

This was a show that was not meant for everyone and definitely not for the piously faint of heart. It was the legendary blasphemers themselves Deicide who would invade Brooklyn like an assault force. My own scheduling was insane for the month and hence I would not be able to attend this one so our own Natalia or “Nell” to most would be on point to bring us the scoop.

Logo - Deicide

Artist: Deicide
Venue: The North Six (Brooklyn, NY)
Opener: unknown
Date: 10/20/2006
Label: Earache Records

The night of the Deicide show was going to be a night to remember whether you were standing inside the venue or outside facing the elements. No matter which you faced, you were going to be in Hell tonight for inside the club it was hot, humid and far too crowded while outside it was quite cold and windy. The North Six as a venue is a good place but it all depends on what band you are and what the crowd expectation is. If you are smaller group with a decent but not crazy following this is great but if you are one of the premier Death Metal bands who decided to make a return to the area then this is not for you. It would be the case for Deicide tonight as it was beyond crowded and while this is uncomfortable to most it did not stop the fans from having a good time at the show. Moshpits broke out in every section of the place and judging by the size of them you could tell that everyone was having a great time since it began when the openers started to play. While their names escape me, I have to say that a majority of them were good from a musical and performance point of view. Good guitar solos and many longhaired dudes.
Continue reading Deicide @ The North Six (10/20/2006)