San Antonio, Texas underground metal cult faves KARION have announced the release of "Iron Shadows", a collection of re-mastered demos recorded at Sound Cube Studios in Converse, Texas with engineer Ron Thomas during the band's brief three-year tenure in the mid-'80s.
Contemporaries of such Texas legends as WATCHTOWER, SLAYER, PANTERA, HELSTAR, and JUGGERNAUT, KARION was formed in the summer of 1983 by guitarist Art Villareal upon his exit from local heroes SLAYER with whom he recorded the classic "Prepare To Die" EP for the Rainforest label. Villareal quickly recruited original SLAYER vocalist Chris Kronk, bassist Pete Perez, and drummer Frank Ferreira. The new band soon garnered a sizeable following gigging around San Antonio and Austin while sharing the stage with the likes of WATCHTOWER, SLAYER, WYZARD, and MILITIA at legendary venues such as the Villa Fontana (site of the infamous S.A. SLAYER vs. L.A. SLAYER show in 1984), Cameo Theater, and The Ritz before calling it a day in 1986.
In the wake of KARION's demise, Kronk would briefly be associated with Colorado's JAG PANZER, Ferreira joined HELSTAR in time for the "A Distant Thunder" album, Villareal collaborated with late '80s RIOT rhythm section, Don Van Stavern (SLAYER, PITBULL DAYCARE) and Bobby Jarzombek (SEBASTIAN BACH, HALFORD, ICED EARTH) in JACK RUBY, while Perez would eventually replace Van Stavern in RIOT in 1990 and went on to record with both SPASTIC INK and LEATHERWOLF.
"I regret that we never got to do an album with KARION back when so can't wait for this release to get out there. I'm amazed that there is still all this interest in SLAYER and classic Texas metal in general, which is something I really wasn't aware of for a long time. Pretty amazing!" states Villareal. "Basically in KARION we were trying to do something a little different than the whole SLAYER thing. We were getting away from the whole evil, demon, witch, violence thing, thus the weird name KARION, which a friend of mine suggested. We also wanted to do something a little different in metal by being more musical and at the same time play fast, with some cool syncopated stuff thrown in. We rehearsed a lot and Pete and I were pretty meticulous about working out parts, and so was Frank. I spent a lot of that time writing music, too, and it was exciting to know that whatever I came up with, Pete and Frank could handle it! If 'Iron Shadows' gets enough attention — who knows? Maybe I'll get the guys back together to play a little and write some new stuff. We all still play every day so nothing is out of the question."
The forthcoming KARION CD is set to include the tracks "Panzer", originally written by Villareal for his pre-SLAYER outfit BLITZKRIEG, "The Edge and the Nail", "There For None to See", live fan favorite "We Are the Law", and "Iron Shadows". The songs were digitally re-mastered by Villareal's former BLITZKRIEG and SLAYER bandmate, guitarist Bob Catlin (JUGGERNAUT, PIGFACE, PSEUDO BUDDHA).
The band's MySpace page is currently hosting full audio streams of both "Panzer" and "Iron Shadows".