Magus Beast (2006-present): a Thrash Metal band from Middle Village, New York, USA.
Magus Beast, once known as Agressor, started its assault on the New York metal scene in 1985. This hard hitting metal band has faced various incarnations and a change in lineup and a change in name. Fronted by Ron Scauri on vocals, John Rup& Andy Zuppardi on guitars, Dan "Kuzin Dan" Castro on bass, and Bob Delmini on drums, Magus Beast earned their stripes with several years on the local New York metal scene, many of those years as Agressor. This name was common amongst numerous other bands, so the members of the current line up of Agressor decided unanimously, after 17 years, to change the name of the band to Magus Beast, taken from track one on their CD, Say Your Prayers.
Magus Beast would not be who and where they are today without the extensive history and experience attained in the existence of this band. Agressor started out as a four piece band with Ron Scauri on vocals, John Rup on guitar, Tim Malone on bass and Steve Williams on drums.
In the beginning, Agressor was playing many local clubs, and winning a local high school battle of the bands competition, the band started to amass a following and began to play bigger and better, well known clubs. With the combination of a steady mix of live shows and continual studio rec ordings, Agressor developed a respected local metal act.
In 1989, Agressor entered the studio to record a five-song demo tape. After two months of recording at Speed of Sound Studios located in Long Island, NY, Screams In The Darkness was released. It did not take long for the tape to become an underground classic. Screams In The Darkness is still one of the most sought after works of Agressor.
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Agressor has also done extensive recording at New York University and was a project band for several recording classes there. This studio work was a good balance to the continuous live shows the band was performing.
Agressor b egan its search to expand its' audience and looked to the metal clubs of New Jersey and Connecticut. Agressor was able to land the opening spots for such national acts as Fates Warning, Nuclear Assault, D'Priest and XYZ.
In 1993, Agressor went back into the studio and completed the three-song demo entitled Crucified. Taking the strength of this material and a better-packaged demo, Agressor jumped right into live shows in and around the tri-state area.
In 1994, due to personal reasons and with much regret, Tim Malone left the band. In an effort to find a new bass player, several newspaper ads were placed. In doing so, the bass playerposition became filled by Dave Zob. With this new addition/ replacement, the band took several months off from playing live to rehearse the old material and to write new material with Zob.
In 1996, Agressor released its first full length CD that included eight songs. Entitled Say Your Prayers, this was Agressor's finest work to date. Armed with a new line up and new material, Agressor continued its attack on the local metal scene.
In 1997, drummer Steve Williams had relocated to Arizona, which forced him into leaving the band. Agressor went back to the newspaper want ads to fill Williams' spot. There were several drum mers that were auditioned but a permanent replacement was never found. Agressor continued to play some live shows with fill in drummers, but the chemistry was never there. At this time too, the band had parted ways with DaveZob. In an effort to overcome their current line up problems, Agressor looked to their original bass player, Tim Malone. Malone was more than willing to come back and commit himself to the band. Then came a welcomed addition to the line up in the form of second guitarist Andy Zuppardi.
Continuing to play live shows, Agressor was dealt another blow. Their drummer at the time felt he could not keep up with the band's sche dule and decided he should leave the band. In November of 2000, and being no strangers to overcoming obstacles, Agressor called upon Steve Williams to offer back his position with the band. Even though he was living in Arizona, Williams agreed to get behind the kit for Agressor once again. After several months of rehearsal and many miles flown back and forth, Agressor was ready to play live and show the metal scene they were back and better then ever.
In January 2001, playing their homecoming show in a headlining spot, Agressor returned. They played a series of live shows in the NY/NJ area, playing now as a five piece. They were able to gain the at tention of local club owners throughout the area. Agressor was called upon to open for such national acts as: King Diamond, Overkill, Nuclear Assault, Exodus, Testament, Fates Warning, Savatage, Joey Belladona, and Virgin Steele among others.
The Say Your Prayers CD received radio play as far away as Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Denmark, Japan, Germany and many other countries. To date, Say Your Prayers has sold several thousand copies with overseas and domestic sales combined.
In the winter of 2001, the constant traveling between Arizona and New York City was beginning to wear on Williams and his family. Once again, an ad was put out for a drummer, not so much as a replacement for Williams, but for someone who could ease the heavy, hectic schedule that Williams was keeping. Bob Freese answered the ad. Freese was no stranger to the metal scene of the Tri-State area and his technical style fit perfectly with the rest of the band. Both Williams and Freese have shared in playing the live shows for Agressor for the last year and a half.
The traveling from Arizona and New York started to become a strain on the band and made it difficult to move forward. When drummer Bob Delmini became available, it was decided to replace both Bob Freese and Steve Williams, so tha t Magus Beast could utilize one drummer and work to progress in their music. Bob Delmini took over the reign on skins. Delmini is known in the New York scene, seasoned from metal bands such as Legend and of the power metal band Zandelle.
In 2005, bassist Tim Malone leaves the band for personal reasons.
After a long, exhaustive search, the band discovered it's answer on bass in the form of an old friend who had been filling in for them on many of their recent shows. It soon became apparent that Dan "Kuzin Dan" Castro was exactly what Magus Beast was looking for!
With its long history and musical background, Agressor may be dead but it has spawned the Magus Beast!
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