for Magus Beast
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 which include a change in lineup and a change in name, but it has not changed the true intensity and ass kicking live shows they have brought forth into the metal arena. Fronted by Ron Scauri on vocals, John Rup & Andy Zuppardi on guitars, Andy Prezioso on Bass and Mike Festa on drums, Magus Beast brings back metal music as it should be, loud and in your face.
Magus Beast has 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. This line up rounded out what was to be one of the best local metal bands in the New York area.
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 an immense following and began to play bigger and better, well known clubs. With the combination of a steady mix of live shows and continual studio recordings, Agressor developed into a well-rounded 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.
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 began 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." This tape received praise from local music papers, fellow musicians and also international acclaim. Taking the strength of new 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 player position 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 Dave.
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 Steve's spot. There were several drummers 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 regrettably part ways with Dave Zob. In an effort to overcome their current line up problems, Agressor looked to their original bass player, Tim Malone. Tim was more than willing to come back and commit himself to the band. Then came a welcomed addition to the line up was second guitarist Andy Zuppardi. Andy has proven to be a perfect compliment to John and Agressor once again put together a strong line up.
Continuing to play live shows, Agressor was dealt another blow. Their drummer at the time felt he could not keep up with the bands schedule and decided he should leave the band. In November of 2000, and being no strangers to overcoming obstacles, Agressor called upon Steve Williams and offered him his position back with the band. Even though he was living in Arizona, Steve jumped at the chance 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 proved they were back. They played a series of live shows in the NY/NJ area, playing now as a five piece, sounding better then ever. They were able to gain the attention 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 has 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 and is becoming a much sought after piece of music being surfed around the Internet via MP3 sharing sites.
In the winter of 2001, the constant traveling between Arizona and New York City was beginning to wear on Steve and his family. Once again, an ad was put out for a drummer, not so much as a replacement for Steve, but for someone who could ease the heavy, hectic schedule that Steve was keeping. Bob Freese answered the ad. Bob 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 Steve and Bob 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 that Magus Beast could utilize one drummer and work to progress in their music. Bob Delmini takes over the reign on skins. Bob 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.
In the Summer of 2006, immediately after the innaugural installment of the Brooklyn Metalfest, Bob Delmini was forced to step down due to medical reasons. Bob may not be banging the skins anymore, but he will always be a vital part of the Magus Beast family. Tony P,formerly of Finster Baby, has agreed to get behind the kit and help the Beast push forward on into the future.
After a long, exhaustive search, and many different friends and comrades in metal filling in for them, Magus Beast enlisted the help of Andy Prezioso who comes from the veteran NYC thrashers, Victim of Pain in 2008.
In March of 2010, Magus Beast welcomes New Mike Festa to the band. Mike is no stranger to the NY Metal and music scene. Music is a veteran musician, soundman and booking agent. Mike has been playing in bars and clubs since the age of 15, opening for many of the same bands that the Beast has had the good fortune of working with. Mike is co-founder of such NY bands as Basket Case, Immortally Committed, Coded and most recently, The Nightmare Stage. Mike had first become familiar with the Beast when he began playing "Death before Dishonor" on his Internet Radio station, CODED RADIO. Magus Beast had originally tried hooking up with Mike last year but scheduling conflicts and prior commitments kept this great pairing from happening, but as fate would have it, all the stars have aligned and Magus Beast and Mike Festa found each other again and there will be nothing but great heavy things to come!!!
With its long history and musical background, Agressor may be dead but it has spawned the Magus Beast!