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Brothers Of Metal

This is my first article for Harm Magazine and I wanted it to be something special. Something I would like to read in a magazine and would differ from all the metal articles there are around. The idea came to my mind as I was listening to Manowar. Brothers Of Metal… Hmmmm… Which are brothers of metal in reality? Which bands have (or had) in their line up siblings? Below you can find some of the most important cases I gathered. Let’s go!

Angus & Malcolm Young (AC/DC)

You all know these guys and I think they are the most representative example of this article. Angus is the “face” of the band in stage and Malcolm their brain and, according to Dave Mustaine, one of the three best rhythm guitarists ever.

Finest Moments: All of their albums from their debut one until “For Those About To Rock”

Rudolf & Michael Schenker (Scorpions)

The two brothers cooperated only in Scorpions’ debut album “Lonesome Crow” and then Michael left the band and we can find him in bands like UFO and MSG.

Finest Moments: “Lonesome Crow”

Eddie & Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)

Some metal gossips support that Eddie Van Halen wanted to be a drummer when he was a kid but his brother Alex didn’t let him play with his drums and so he decided to play the electric guitar. History proves his decision was right as Eddie became one of the best guitarists of the world and along with his brother left Holland and moved to USA where they formed one of the greatest hard rock groups ever, Van Halen.

Finest Moments: “Van Halen I”, “Van Halen II”, “1984”

Max & Igor Cavalera (Sepultura)

When 2 young guys from Brazil decide to go to USA to chase their dream in the worldwide heavy metal scene with their primitive thrash metal music and they get a contract with Roadrunner Records and release 2 classic albums of the style and, later, an album that has influenced most of the bands of our days then they really deserve a place in this article. Unfortunately, Max left Sepultura after their “Roots” album and formed his personal band Soulfly.

Finest Moments: “Beneath The Remains”, “Arise”, “Chaos AD”

Jon & Criss Oliva (Savatage)

From a very young age Jon & Criss were into music. When they were kids they were playing in 2 different bands and when both of them disbanded they decided to form a new band to express their feelings through music. So, after several names, Savatage made their appearance in heavy metal scene and released some great albums. Unfortunately, Criss died in a car accident in 1993 but Jon continued with Savatage (and many other bands) as this is what Criss would probably want.

Finest Moments: “Hall Of The Mountain King”, “Gutter Ballet”

Vinnie Paul & Dimebag Darell (Pantera)

I don’t like Pantera but it is obvious that they are one of the most important metal bands. Having released some albums before 90’s they made a great appearance in the scene with albums like “Cowboys From Hell” and “Vulgar Display Of Power”. They have many fans and we all know what happened last year with the murder of Dimebag.

Finest Moments: “Cowboys From Hell”, “Vulgar Display Of Power”

Vincent & Daniel Cavanagh (Anathema)

The guitarists of Anathema in their early steps and when Darren White left the band Vincent was the one who replaced him. They started as a doom/death metal band but their latest releases have many Pink Floyd influences and now they are into more prog rock than heavy metal.

Finest Moments: “The Silent Enigma”, “Alternative 4”, “Judgement”

Gonzo & Phil Sandoval (Armored Saint)

Not the most representative band with brothers in it as even if they started together in Armored Saint, Phil left the band after a while due to some problems with drugs. He returned to replace Dave Prichard in 1990 and in 2000 if I am not wrong they returned to the scene with their reunion album.

Finest Moments: “March Of The Saint”, “Symbol Of Salvation”

John & Donald Tardy (Obituary)

John Tardy is considered to be one of the best death metal singers and I am a supporter of this opinion. His brother John is also a very good and stable drummer and together they released some classic death metal albums.

Finest Moments: “Slowly We Rot”, “Cause Of Death”

Eric & Brian Hoffman (Deicide)

Another death metal group from Florida and 2 more brothers who are into bodybuilding when they don’t release some very good death metal albums.

Finest Moments: “Deicide”, “Once upon The Cross”

Anders & Jonas Bjorler (At The Gates, The Haunted)

These guys have made some very important things in heavy metal scene. They defined the Swedish death metal sound with “Slaughter of The Soul” when they were in At The Gates and later they formed The Haunted to bring a fresh bunch of air in the thrash metal scene with their debut album.

Finest Moments: At The Gates – Slaughter Of The Soul, The Haunted – The Haunted Made Me Do It

Rene & Hans Rutten (The Gathering)

The Gathering was one more typical death metal band and the two brothers thought they should change it. They brought Anneke Van Giersbergen to the band and they immediately claimed their position to the list with the best atmospheric bands.

Finest Moments: “Mandylion”, “Nighttime Birds”

Kimmo & Mika Luttinen (Impaled Nazarene)

Brothers don’t always have a good relationship, right? That goes for the Luttinen guys who didn’t behave as brothers when Kimmo left the band. But together they released some good black metal albums. For the history, Kimmo has also been in Legenda and The Black League and Mika in Diabolos Rising.

Finest Moments: “Ugra Karma”, “Suomi Finland Perkele”

Eric & Jeff Clayton (Saviour Machine)

The guys behind Saviour Machine, a band with a very original lyrical concept and with a very personal sound.

Finest Moments: “Saviour Machine I & II”

Oliver & Alex Holzwarth (Sieges Even)

Sieges Even is one of the best and most underrated bands in progressive metal. These brothers from Germany were responsible for the rhythm section of the band and when Sieges Even disbanded Oliver recorded “Nightfall In The Middle Earth” with Blind Guardian and Alex joined Rhapsody. The band recently rejoined and released a very good album.

Finest Moments: “Steps”, “A Sense Of Change”

Greg & Bork Keller (Sieges Even)

Yeah, Sieges Even again! Greg is the singer of the band and his brother Keller joined the band in 1996 and he only participated in their last album before their reunion, “Uneven”

Jens & Anders Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen, Silver Mountain, Johansson Brothers)

Most of you know the history of these 2 brothers. The have played in many and important metal bands (not always together) as Y.Malmsteen, Dio, Stratovarius, Blue Murder etc)

Finest Moments: Yngwie Malmsteen – Marching Out

Greg & Mat Bissonette (David Lee Roth)

These are just 2 of the most famous session musicians and having played with many jazz and fusion bands they cooperated in “Skyscraper” of David Lee Roth back in 1986. Later they offered their service to many great musicians in their personal albums and furthermore you can find them participate in many tribute albums.

Finest Moments: “Skyscraper”

Christopher & Michael Amott (Arch Enemy)

Michael Amott is one of the most famous metal musicians with participation in groups like Carcass, Candlemass, Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars. His younger brother, Christopher, plays the guitar in Arch Enemy too.

Finest Moments: “Burning Bridges”

Lizzy Borden & Joey Scott Harges (Lizzy Borden)

There are many people who don’t know that Lizzy Borden and Joey are brothers. This is not something weird as the band was famous mostly due to Lizzy Borden who was the singer with those original vocals. Joey was the drummer of the band.

Finest Moments: “Love You To Pieces”, “Menace To Society”

Glen & Shawn Glover (Eidolon)

Most of you know Glen Glover by his participation in King Diamond’s “House of God”. Well, along with his brother Shawn they play in Eidolon.

Finest Moments: “Hallowed Apparition”

Paul & Benjamin Ryan (The Blood Divine)

Paul used to play the guitar in Cradle Of Filth until 1995. Then he formed The Blood Divine along with his brother Benjamin, Paul Allender and the ex-Anathema singer Darren White.

Finest Moments: “Awaken”

Sakis & Themis Tolis (Rotting Christ)

Rotting Christ is one of the greatest black metal band with some cult releases and Sakis and Themis are the guys who formed the band and continue until these days with a different style

Finest Moments: “Thy Mighty Contract”, “Non Serviam”, “A Dead Poem”

Spyros & Christos Antoniou (Septic Flesh)

Another metal band from Greece formed by brothers. Spyros and Christos released some very unique death metal albums with Septic Flesh but unfortunately they disbanded.

Finest Moments: “The Ophidian Wheel”

Christos & Spyros Eythymiadis (Rage)

Two more brothers from Greece, known from their participation in Rage. Christos joined the band as a drummer in 1987 and his brother Spyros in 1994.

Finest Moments: “Black In Mind”, Lingua Mortis”, “End Of All Days”

Gus & Dennis Pepa (Death Angel, The Organization)

Death Angel is a very interesting case. All the members of the band were cousins but only Gus and Dennis were brothers. When mark Osequeda left the band they played with The Organization.

Finest Moments: “The Ultra Violence”, “Act III”

John, Pat & Tommy McManus (Mama’s Boys)

3 brothers this time! Mama’s Boys from Ireland was one of the first groups that used violin as a basic instrument in their music (yes, really before Skyclad!)

Finest Moments: “Plug It In”, “Power And The Passion”

Timo & Chris Troy (Praying Mantis)

Formed back in 1974, Praying Mantis was a very good NWOBHM but they only released one album in the 80’s. In the 90’s the Troy brothers reformed the band and they have a good name mainly in Japan.

Finest Moments: “Time Tell No Lies”

Enrico & Ricardo Paoli (Domine)

The Paoli brothers are the ones who formed one of the best power/epic metal bands from Italy, Domine.

Finest Moments: “Dragonlord”

Stephan & Andreas Lill (Vander Plas)

Vander Plas is a typical progressive metal band with their best moment to be the supporting acts in the European tour of Dream Theater in 1998. Stephan and Andreas are 2 more brothers in the heavy metal scene.

Finest Moments: “Far Off Grace”

John & Mark Gallagher (Raven)

Raven used to be one of the best NWOBHM band and many consider them to be one of the first speed metal acts. The Gallagher brothers participated helped them get some recognition but later the band became boring trying to have some success in the USA as they sounded like a Quiet Riot copy.

Finest Moments: “All For One”

Frank & Steven Banx (Angeldust)

Frank is one the guys that formed Angeldust and released many albums with them. His younger brother Steven joined the band in 1998 when they made a reunion after several years of absence from the scene.

Finest Moments: “Enlighten The Darkness”

Ragne & Styrbjorn Wahlquist (Heavy Load)

Heavy Load is one of these cult epic metal band that never got the recognition they deserved. Another trivia is that Ragne and Styrbjorn released their albums with Heavy Load through Thunderload records who was their label.

Finest Moments: “Death Or Glory”, “Stronger Than Evil”

Many metal families, right? Some more bands with siblings involved are the following : Madam X, Veni Domine, Rock Goddess, Living Death, Lionsheart, Heritage, Stryper, Girl, Lethal, Gun, Baron Rojo, Gentle Giant, Sword, Jester’s March, Damn The Machine, Heart, The Black Crows etc. Too many and when I started writing this article I thought it would be a short one! So, if you have siblings think about forming your own band. You never know...

December 20, 2005
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