\m/ 80's metal \m/

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PostPosted: 12 Feb 2012 
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Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 1221
Lоcаtion: Moscow
Name: Оксана


NWOBHM and early thrash.
Baltimore, USA

в архиве альбомы и фото
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DEUCE "I'm Saved" (7", 1981, Manta Records)
TENSION "Breaking Point" (LP/cassette, 1986, Torrid Records)
TENSION "Breaking Point" (LP, 1986, Roadrunner Records)
TENSION "Epitome" (EP, recorded 1987, but unreleased at the time)
DEUCE (LP, 1997, O.P.M. Records, compilation)
TENSION "Epitaph" (CD, 1997, Metalgrind Records, compilation)


The origins of TENSION start way back in 1978 when a young guitarist/ vocalist, Tom Gattis (15) relocated from Wyoming to Maryland with the intention of forming a high energy, heavy rock band. Tom placed an ad for musicians in a local paper and the ad was quickly answered by a long haired (and bearded) high school classmate of his named Marty Friedman (16) (Marty would later go on to Hawaii, Vixen, Aloha, Cacophony, and Megadeth). Tom was amazed at how perfectly Marty could play Ace Frehley leads, and Marty liked Tom’s punk, snotty rhythm style. The two then recruited bassist Steve Leter and drummer Chris Tinto, and in late 1978 DEUCE was born.

In early ‘79 Chris and Steve were given the axe due to their disinterest in the band. Upon the recommendation of a local drum instructor, Tom decided to audition a young drumming prodigy named Billy Giddings. Billy had no problem letting people know how good he was, but the difference between him and your average braggart is that Billy would back it up by tearing opposing drummers to shreds no matter how old or experienced they were. The bass position was filled by the unlikely Mike Davis, and the classic DEUCE line up was formed.

In mid ‘79 DEUCE was starting to draw large crowds at a practice area known as ‘The Barn”, Which Tom’s mother built for the band. These band jams would draw anywhere from 20 to 100 metal starved kids a night, complete with an open air marketplace for drugs and alcohol, as well as hosting some classic DEUCE jams to date. In late ‘79 yet another line-up experiment took place as Tom stepped away from the microphone. With the addition of lead singer Eddie Day, DEUCE expanded to a five piece. This would last until 1980, when Eddie was booted and the four piece line-up was back in tact.

In 1980 the colorful Mike Davis was replaced by Chris Hall who played bass in a rival band called Ace. Later that same year, Marty left the band and moved to Hawaii. He was then replaced by lead guitarist Timmy Meadows, who was the younger brother of Angel axeman, Punky Meadows. In the later part of 1980 DEUCE went into the studio a recorded a 7” single, ‘I’m Saved’ c/w ‘Bad Boys’ (this single has become a gem in the metal collectors market), which received very positive reviews worldwide.

One night in late 1981 the woodstove used to heat “The Barn” threw a spark and caught the barn on fire. By morning everything was gone, barn and all of the equipment. The band used the insurance money to buy new equipment and ended up relocating to jam in Billy’s mothers’ basement. Undaunted by the tragedy, DEUCE continued. Ironically the barn fire turned out to be a blessing because now they were forced to play live elsewhere, besides the barn.

In late 1982 Chris was replaced by a friend of Meadows named Mike Francis. By 1983, DEUCE was gaining popularity fast by opening for acts like Ratt, Queensryche, Grim Reaper, Talas, etc., as well as continuously gigging at local bars. The underground metal scene was rising, the gigging continued, the buzz was circulating, and then record label interest arose.

A young record company, Torrid Records, (who also released the first Exodus LP) was interested in signing the band. Just before signing in 1985 Mike Francis quit and was replaced by the amazing bassist, Timmy O’Connor. In October of 1985 the band flew to Capital Records studio in L.A. to record their debut album. Problems arose when the equipment rented for the album sounded horrible, almost unplayable, but the band persisted and continued to record. At one session, the band received news that there was another band with a copyrighted name of DEUCE, so Billy suggested the bands’ name be changed to TENSION. The name seemed to fit perfectly at the time, so it stuck.

One year later, the LP “Breaking Point” was finally released to receive amazing reviews. Despite poor distribution, no promotion, and a lack of interest from the record company, the album was consistently 1 on playlists worldwide, especially throughout all of Europe and Germany. However the band was unhappy with the entire album;production, artwork, layout, etc..

The gigging continued mostly in their home area. They landed opening spots for Metal Church, Megadeth, Exciter, etc., but not much else was really happening. In 1987 they went into the studio and recorded a 3 song EP. called “Epitome”. This recording finally captured and contained the sound that they were searching for. The excitement and enthusiasm began to grow within the band again, but sadly that would not last too long as Torrid never released the EP.

Due to all of the frustration involved, broken promises and everything going wrong the band was at a crossroads. The members were losing interest, royalties weren’t being paid, and nobody wanted to continue. In 1988 Tom quit the band and moved to New Mexico to pursue a college education. TENSION was gone. In the years that followed to this date, the album “Breaking Point” has achieved the status of being a classic metal album, and has been a collectable in the underground metal scene for several years.

Since the split of TENSION, former members Billy Giddings, Timmy Meadows, and Tim O’Connor have all played in the local circuit and gig with various bands. They are all still living in the Maryland area. Tom Gattis finished school, and recorded with both WARDOG and BALLISTIC.
Member Since:
January 12, 2009
Final Lineup:
TOM GATTIS: Vocals, Guitar

Other Members:
Angel Witch, Dead Boys, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kiss, NWOBHM, Ramones, Raven, Saxon.
Sounds Like:
NWOBHM and early thrash.


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