Sabbath Judas Sabbath - a travel into the past
SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH, a tribute to heavy metal icons Black Sabbath (primarily the Dio years) and Judas Priest, is a product of Houston, Texas–based national recording artist, James Rivera. The front man is best known for his long running career as the voice behind Progressive Thrash metallers HELSTAR, a cult metal band that was popular in the 1980’s, which in recent years, has resurfaced with a reunited lineup. Rivera is also famous for his opuses DESTINY’S END and DISTANT THUNDER, in addition to his stint with San Francisco Bay area group VICIOUS RUMORS, as well as SEVEN WITCHES. Although the singer has had quite a productive and lengthy music career, Rivera chose to create tribute bands to perform with during times when he is on break from recording or touring with his original acts.
Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, two of Rivera’s main idols, have played a highly influential role in his musical profession. Many have compared Rivera’s singing capabilities to the vocal styles of Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio. As a great form of flattery, Rivera felt it appropriate to showcase the effects these artists have had on his music career by dedicating his tribute bands to them.
SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH came to fruition in 2002, although Rivera actually started this concept years earlier as two separate tributes; CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE, A Tribute to Black Sabbath and METAL GODS, A Tribute to Judas Priest. Both tribute bands originated in Houston, Texas, and became a commodity in the local metal scene, also performing regionally, as well as outside of Texas. Rivera ultimately decided to combine the forces of the two bands to create one superior tribute band, in which he chose the fitting moniker of SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH.
Eventually, demand in other market territories including regional, Texas, and out-of-state areas, heightened the band’s exposure. This led Rivera to develop chapters of SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH in various cities and states where it has the strongest followings. These chapters extend across the U.S., in the cities of Houston, Texas, and El Paso, Texas, as well as the states of Florida and Utah, and at one time even in Phoenix, Arizona. In the year 2009, Rivera composed the first European-based SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH and held the band’s premier overseas show in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This opportunity has opened the doors for SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH to perform and tour in Europe. The European metal community is already familiar with Rivera from his main acts and the continent provides a broader market for these specialty shows.
Rivera has chosen musicians for SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH that he feels are “top notch” and can effectively hypnotize audiences with a musical illusion of being at a Black Sabbath or Judas Priest concert. The crowds are always in awe over the intensity of the songs SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH performs from their favorite groups.
Notable recording artists and musicians presently or previously in SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH:
METALSTEEL band, Slovenia – European Chapter
Larry Barragan, guitars (HELSTAR) – Houston, TX Chapter
Eric Halpern, guitars (KRUCIBLE, MINDCRIME, ex-HELSTAR) – Houston, TX Chapter
Richard Bateman, bass (NASTY SAVAGE, GARDY-LOO) – Tampa, FL Chapter
Jerry Abarca, bass (HELSTAR) – Houston, TX Chapter
Mike Heald, guitars (ex-HELSTAR) – Houston, TX Chapter
Mike Theriot and Darrin Goodman, guitars (KATAGORY V) – Utah Chapter
Michael Gilbert, guitars (FLOTSAM & JETSAM) – Phoenix, AZ Chapter
Eric Bongiorno, Chris Catero, Paul Sullivan (WARDOG, RAZER) – Phoenix, AZ Chapter
SABBATH JUDAS SABBATH delivers a strong performance containing classical songs from a vital part of rock history by showcasing two of heavy metal's most influential, powerful and defining bands!