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Byfist (1987-1991, 2000-present): a Power Metal band from San Antonio, Texas, USA.


ith its fist high in the air Byfist started in late 1987 "By Fist", hence the name. After releasing their first single, Hour Glass Of Time (1987), Byfist generated a career performing with the likes of M.S.G., Fates Warning, Savatage, Trouble, Killer Dwarfs, Danzig, Manowar, Powermadd, Helstar, Reverend and others. Their next EP, You Should Have Known (1988), received extensive airplay on the college radio circuit. It gained popularity, especially in Europe where a distribution deal got them to the top of the European charts.

October of 1988 saw their single Eyes Of Geneva prompt heavy touring for their mini-album Adrenaline (1989). David Wayne of Metal Church, Joe Floyed of Warrior, and Sean Kenisie produced Adrenaline. The album got them a deal with indie 'MJI' Records. By 1991 Byfist broke up, citing bad management and decisions. They would be silent or 9 years.

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In 2000 Byfist returned with the same early 1980s NWOBHM style on CD with a re-release of their Adrenaline album, and the membership of Vikk Real (vocals), Davey Lee (ex-Reverend; guitar), Notch Vara (ex-Reverend; guitar), Eddie Rey (bass), Jesse Vara (drums) and John Rodriguez (guitar). In 2002 their new work would be published as Fall Of The Nation. Jesse Vara would leave drums to be replaced with Mike Sundoval. The best description of their music was pre-Maiden New Wave of British heavy metal style. They didn't change much over the years, making their sound dated by the time they formed (the first time), most likely hurting their career sales-wise but ensuring a loyal fan base.

Now we come to the year 2003. 'Metal Ages Records' is owned by one of those fans that had only in the last few years discovered the magic of Byfist. To capture the previous releases from Byfist in a sort of time capsule, 'Metal Ages Records' compiled the master tapes from the previous 3 EPs and re-mastered them onto one full length CD titled Preserving the Past (2003). The package included new art, a retrospective picture gallery of the older incarnations of Byfist and full lyrics under the line-up of Davey Lee (guitar), Eddie Rey (bass), Rob Steele (vocals), Notch Vara (guitar) and Jesse Vara (drums).

Footnote: As a side note, you can also find Lee and Nacho supplying the guitar and writing duties for Ex-Metal Church singer David Wayne's band Reverend, when they aren't involved with Byfist material! They wrapped up a European tour with Reverend earlier in the year and are currently awaiting the new Reverend to be released.

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