SAN FRANCISCO -- Local progressive thrash outfit Blind Illusion celebrates the release of its latest album Wrath of the Gods at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma Saturday night.
Founded by guitarist and sole constant Marc Biedermann in 1978 when the musician was still a Richmond high school student, Bay Area metal veterans Blind Illusion initially tried to mix elements of hard rock and metal (Scorpions, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest) with prog rock and jazz fusion (King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Rush, Mahavishnu Orchestra). In the early '80s, the influence of the burgeoning thrash movement crept in and completely changed the band's sound.
Though the band would experience a near constant turnover in membership through the decade, the band became a staple of the Bay Area metal scene with such notables as John Marshall (Metal Church), Larry LaLonde (Possessed, Primus) and Les Claypool (Primus) cycling through the band. Both LaLonde and Claypool would play on the band's debut effort The Sane Asylum for Combat Records in 1988 that was produced by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.
While Biedermann would put the band on an extended hiatus during the '90s, he resurrected the group in the late 2000s. Over the past decade, he has spearheaded a revival of interest in Blind Illusion with a reissue of The Sane Asylum featuring bonus tracks in 2015 and an EP of bracing new tunes four years ago. The current version of the group features Anvil Chorus and Heathen guitarist Doug Piercy, former Death Angel drummer Andy Galleon and bassist Tom Gears celebrates their recently released opus Wrath of the Gods at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma Saturday.
The band is joined by North Bay thrash-metal favorites Hellbender. Founded over a decade ago by guitarist Greg "Clee" Clecak and bassist Eric Lee (who were both in late '90s North Bay alt/punk band Wingnut), the group is fronted by onetime Indulgence and Seeds of Hate singer Bill "Dollar Bill" Scheffler and currently rounded out by former Victims Family and Closing In drummer Eric Strand. The band issued its first full-length album -- the politically charged American Nightmare -- on No Life 'Til Metal Records in 2020. The quartet recently won the second round of a national battle of the bands in competition to win a slot playing at Wacken Open Air metal festival in Germany this summer.
Portland, OR-based metal outfit Splintered Throne and Sonoma progressive thrashers Incredulous round out this all-ages evening of heavy sounds in the North Bay.
Blind Illusion with Hellbender
Saturday, April 15, 8 p.m. $12
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