By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Holding the banner for true metal high for going on three decades, headbanging San Francisco outfit Slough Feg plays to its loyal fans at the SF Eagle this Thursday night alongside fellow local metal acts War Cloud and War Child.
Though founded in central Pennsylvania in the late 1980s, the Lord Weird Slough Feg (as the band was known initially) had relocated to San Francisco by 1990. Fronted by guitarist/singer and principle songwriter Michael Scalzi, the group crafted a sound that was true to it’s unusual name reportedly taken from a Celtic myth. Drawing sonic influences from the twin-guitar attack of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden with occasional touches of Celtic folk, the band made a name for itself with its theatrical presentation featuring flaming torches and warpaint to go with their galloping metal anthems.
Several demo tapes were followed by the band’s self-released, eponymous debut in 1996. That effort attracted the attention of European imprint Dragonheart Records, who would release the next several albums starting with 1999’s Twilight of the Idols. By the time the group recorded their celebrated follow-up album Down Among the Dead Men, Scalzi had been joined by noted San Francisco metal guitarist John Cobbett, who had already established himself with the bands Osgood Slaughter and Unholy Cadavar. That latter group also featured Scalzi as a member and would morph into the group Hammers of Misfortune.
Scalzi and Cobbett would earn a higher profile with both outfits after the release of their respective conceptual albums — Hammers of Misfortune’s breakout debut The Bastard in 2001 and the Lord Weird Slough Feg’s sci-fi opus Traveller, that was based on a late ’70s role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. With the two talented players and songwriters contributing to each other’s bands, both groups put out a string of acclaimed releases that further spread their notoriety.
Scalzi would depart Hammers of Misfortune by the mid-2000s to focus his attention on Slough Feg, with the guitarist leading new configurations of the band through more sci-fi epics like Hardworlder and Ape Uprising! Though the band has not put out a new album since 2014’s Digital Resistance, Scalzi and company still pack in their fans at regular shows in San Francisco. For this gig at the SF Eagle, they are joined by fellow Bay Area metal acts War Child (featuring members from Hightower, Cutlass and Dalton) and War Cloud, an Oakland-based heavy rock quartet boasting former and current members of Saviours, Wild Eyes SF and Hellfire.
Thursday, May 18, 9 p.m. $8