Beginning as a Judas Priest cover band using the name Deceiver in 1982, Stanford, Connecticut’s Liege Lord came to be in the year 1984. By the time the name change took effect, the band consisted of vocalist Andy Michaud, guitarists Tony Truglio and Pete McCarthy, bassist Matt Vinci and drummer Frank Cortese. In ’85 this line up issued the 4-song Demo which quickly found favor with local metalheads. This was undoubtedly due to the band’s still-present Judas Priest touches like a fierce dual guitar attack and powerful, higher spectrum vocals.
Another EP, The Prodigy Demo, followed in 1985 as did the band’s debut full-length album for Black Dragon Records, Freedom’s Rise. The band had signed with the French label after Savage Grace’s Christian Logue recommended them to the band. The album contained an amazing progressive thrash style of heavy metal, one built around astounding guitar work. Solid, competent vocals graced the songs with a banshee-like presence. Those vocals and lyrical content of Liege Lord‘s songs was cutting edge and over the top, especially at that time.
In 1987 Liege Lord issued a string of singles prior to the release of their next studio album. Cast Out/Legend, Warrior’s Farewell and Black Lit Knights all preceded the band’s next full-length studio offering. That would come that same year via Metal Blade Records when they released Burn To My Touch. This was the band’s first album with guitarist Paul Nelson now joining Truglio in the trenches of the twin axe attack. The band explored a more speed metal style on this record as their support base continued to grow thanks to global tape traders.
A year later, Liege Lord released their most ambitious work yet, their definitive career defining album, Master Control. The record heralded a huge change for the band again with the arrival of new singer Joe Comeau. Another instantly noticeable change, along with his vocals, was the record’s fantastic production qualities. Where the previous two albums had questionable sound quality at best, not Master Control. Its’ was crisp and crunchy, undoubtedly due to uber producer Terry Date (Pantera, Overkill, Prong, Metal Church, etc.).
Everything came into play on this release, one where the stars aligned and the talents of the band shined through. Incendiary guitars, combative rhythms and powerhouse drums relentlessly emanate in the music itself. And then there is Comeau! His vocals are so well controlled, full of range and melody when needed but mostly raw and aggressive.
The story of Liege Lord gets somewhat grainy at this point with not a lot of valid info available out there. At some point the band disbands and the players go in their separate directions, ending up engaged in some respectable endeavors. Joe Comeau goes on to either sing or play guitar in bands from Annihilator to Overkill and currently fronts his own band, Duskmachine. Guitarist Anthony Truglio went on to play with Helmet’s Page Hamilton in the band Ghandi as well as Helmet too in recent years. Guitarist Paul Nelson would land with Johnny Winter where he’d receive a Grammy nomination as well as perform on and produce a Winter release, Roots.
Liege Lord would partially reunite in 2012 and headline 2013’s Keep It True Festival XVI to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Master Control album’s release. I say partially as a new guitarist and drummer, Danny Wacker and Frank Gilchriest (Virgin Steel, Riot) respectively, would be part of the new era. As of press time, Liege Lord are active and playing shows currently.. Without a doubt they are impressing crowds now with their unique mode of intense heavy metal.
Source: Riff Relevant