By Phoenix Romero
As we pulled up outside The Rock in Tucson, the memories all came flooding back upon me, the club may now be called The Rock, but the familiarity of Mudd Buggs lingered at every turn. The moment I walked through the door it was as if I took a step back 25 years in time, yet how could that be when at my side accompanying me for this event was my 23 year old daughter.
I instantly remembered my first encounter with Dover Trench, it was on a metal show I promoting in Phoenix around the late 80’s. At first I was reluctant to use them sight unseen, however they were one of the top drawing Tucson metal bands, and I did want to build relationships with metal bands in different areas for future show. So…. I gave them a slot on a Metal Monday show. From the first second I heard the crunch of the Bianchino /Hembree guitars, playing in unison with the thundering bass playing of Dave Chaney, grinding in complete collaboration with the ferocious pounding of Matt Pimple’s drums, heavily seasoned with the gut wrenching, high piercing screams of Elijah Freeman,…. I was completely sold. Dover Trench soon became one of my favorite METAL delicacies. MMMMMMMMM \m/
I vividly remember when Exhibition of Speed was released, every track on it, literally defined the term… FACE MELTING METAL! The song Acid Test still echoes through the corridors of many metal venues. At that time Dover Trench was at a peak in their career, the Metal Masters hailing from Tucson guaranteed to pack every single show they played.
When you soar that high sometimes it is hard to go back……especially 25 years later.
Keep in mind this band of brothers had not seriously played together for over two decades, in fact although they’ve kept in touch, they physically have scattered outside of Tucson ,even as far away as Germany. Some of the members continue to play in bands and create music. While others have moved onward and upward in different career paths.
The Dover Boys finally reunited musically a week before the reunion show to begin song selections and rehearsals.
As I made my way through the club, chuckling to myself when I walked past the chain link fence that STILL divides the under 21 crowd from the alcohol drinking adults, of course I was heading straight to the bar. On my way to the bar, I began to recognize many fellow musicians had gathered from all over Arizona, they had made a point to be in attendance for the Dover Reunion show. Musicians are an interesting breed; they tend to only venture out to support other bands that they have a true musical respect for.
The anticipation was starting to build in the club as the time for the Dover Boys to take the stage was drawing closer. I grabbed my daughter, and drug her to the absolute front of the stage. I figured if I was in danger of getting killed by the mosh pit I would have someone close to report my very metal demise. From the moment the house lights dropped down and the Dover Boys Cartoon began, to the very last scorching note of the final encore….. DOVER TRENCH ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT!! The music was powerful, and as all conquering as it ever was. Leaving only one question on everyone’s mind, “Could the vocals be duplicated after all this time had passed?” The answer came almost immediately, when the first glass shattering scream was heard, clearly the vocals of Dover Trench were back just a dynamic as we remembered. Another interesting and potentially new fact about Dover is they seem to be able to transcend through generations with ease, so noted as I glanced over at my daughter who was head banging like she had been listening to Dover Trench all her life, and not for the very first time! In all seriousness, this was a STELLAR PERFORMANCE, by each and every member on stage. Speaking of members on stage, in a Metallicaish at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame kind of way, Dover had every member that has ever played in the band perform during the show. Metal at its classiest!
When the band decided to reunite to do the 25 Reunion show, it was believed that this would be their Swan Song. After the show some of the band members even posted things on their face books like; “Going out in a blaze of Glory, what a perfect description of last night’s show.” Another member posted this, “Last night was the culmination of 7 kindred spirits with the unbreakable fraternal bond of music and tireless unified effort to present for one last time the legacy we created in a relatively short amount of time”.
Sometimes what is perceived to be the end of a journey, in fact turns out to be an awakening, and the journey simply changes paths.
Dover Trench has decided to go into the studio and record new material in the fall of 2015.