Friday, June 01, 2012

French Metal Friday: Stallion

Stallion were a French heavy metal act that was formed in 1983 by bassist William Fort and guitarist Laurent Cintrat. After adding vocalist Draggy (yes, that really is his name!) Madjtorevic the band would have to wait over a year for the right drummer to come along. Eventually drummer Joe Steinmann (who would go on to play with Hardpege, Big Ben and Renaud Hantson's post-Satan Jokers band Furious Zoo) was hired and, after the band also added second guitarist Pascal Fauquet, Stallion was finally let out of the stables. Alright, sorry about that horrific pun but the truth is that Stallion, with a proper line-up in place, went on to record three demos between 1985 - 1989. On the band's 3rd demo Draggy Madjtorevic would be replaced by Joe Berete. In 1987 the band's song "In Search Of Power" would be featured on the compilation album "Just'in Power". As the band was unwilling to sing in French (as was the custom for most French hard rock and heavy metal bands of the day) they were unable to secure a record contract. By 1989 it appears the ride was over and other than drummer Joe Steinmann it appears as if the band members just disappeared. More information on the band is hard to come by and in fact, if not for selflessness of Metalfranc (who shared their music a long time back on Strappado's site and also gave me what little information he had on the band), chances are slim that I would ever have had a chance to hear them. Musically the band's sound fell somewhere between hard rock/heavy metal (or hard n' heavy if you will) and power metal. Not the European-style of power metal, but rather the more American version with more of a raw and unpolished (in a good way!) vibe. What I like most about these guys though is the variety between their songs. Some took on a N.W.O.B.H.M. style like early Def Leppard (before they released their debut album) while other tracks had a very distinct Iron Maiden meets American traditional/power heavy metal (Lizzy Borden/Omen/Leatherwolf) homage. Their style of metal offered plenty of variety for the heavy metal listener and, again stating the obvious, they should have received serious label attention. But, again the band was done in (like many other's from France at the same time) because they choose to sing in English. From the sounds of things there was far too many bands that had the same problem in the eighties in France. Then again there were plenty of bands here in the states that couldn't get a record contract despite being excellent as well. I can't begin to tell you how many times I remember seeing opening bands that blew away the headlining acts back in the eighties as far as skill and overall talent went. And yet they never made it past the demo stage either. Stallion deserve a second chance so perhaps some much needed recognition will help. Their demos would really do well if re-issued in a nice CD package with photos, bio, etc. With so many underground/cult demo acts getting attention that way Stallion are a prime choice as there songs were hard hitting, hook-filled and catchy.

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