History & BiographyByfist is a San Antonio, Texas-based power metal band that was originally formed in 1987. The monicker was chosen because the guitarists had previously been in rival bands, Sabatazh and Seance, and would shake their respective fists at each other when coming across one another. In actual fact, the singer was nicknamed 'Bifist' and the band simply changed to 'Byfist' in order to distinguish itself from the singer alone and also to be reminiscent of Saxon singer Byford.
The band with singer Bill 'Byfist' Lopez soon issued a single called Hour Glass Of Time through the band’s own Saba Records. His time was soon up however. A demo called You Should Have Known followed in 1988. Adrenalin, which was produced by David Wayne of Metal Church and Joe Floyd of Warrior, followed. The group was handing this out freely upon request. The band related that MCA wanted to sign the band in 1989, but backed off when the group's manager sought too much money. The band went into hiatus in 1991 and returned in 2000. Ironically, the two guitarists joined Reverend featuring David Wayne. The Metal Church/Reverend singer had himself joined Byfist earlier. The original members all reassembled in 2000 and also added another guitarist as Nacho was busy in another band called Igniter. The group would undergo several line-up changes with the induction, departure and return of singer Rob Steele. Previously, singer Ronnie Stixx, singer Danny Fonseca, singer Tethered "Preacher" Eagle (formerly of Roaring Tribesmen, Tethered Eagle, Mandy Lion’s WWIII and Mad Whip Thunder) and bassist Perry Aarn would come and go. Mike Sandoval replaced Jesse Vara as the drummer for Byfist in late 2002. Vara had "decided to pursue other musical interests." Vara would be back in less than a year, however, and even be in a collision, which would put him in the hospital. Ron Travieso of Igniter would briefly replace him for concerts. Simultaneously, the band had finished work on an album entitled Fall Of The Nation. The band and Reverend were working with Byfists's Dutch management Blackrose Foundation on a joint European tour, which never happened. Reverend was put on ice in 2003 for a while, pending the usual reformation, but at first glance this meant more time for Byfist. The band conducted a mini-tour of Texas. At the same time, Steele would spend several days in jail after being pulled over by the police and not making bail. Reverend would quickly reform and play a concert with Byfist. As such, several members did double duty that night.
The band’s album, Preserving The Past, many years in the making, was to be released in Europe through Rock It Up Records in 2007. It was announced as early as 2002 through Metalages Records. Bassist Brendon Kyle (formerly of Left) enlisted in the US Air Force in 2008. He had replaced Jay Wegener. Reverend recruited singer Rob Steele (Translucent Existence) in 2009, which was an obvious choice given historic connections between Byfist and Reverend.
Victor Villarreal (i.e. Vikk Real of One Of Sixx) died in a motorcycle accident in June of 2011. He was 41 years old. Byfist guitarist Davey Lee died the previous autumn.
In The End was issued through Pure Steel in late 2020. The line-up was singer Raul Garcia, guitarists Ernie B. and Nacho Vara, bassist Stony Grantham and drummer Scott Palmer. Stony Grantham's other band Shadowkeep was on Pure Steel. The song Scattered Wits was a Reverend cover.
BYFIST - ADRENALIN - SABA
No biography arrived with this MCD, and I suspect Saba is the band¹s own label which would make Byfist an unsigned act, but that¹s the minor point. I believe this to be a ten year old recording. If so, that might explain the true eighties metal style of Adrenalin. Qualms and doubts aside, Adrenalin rules! Thrusting pure heavy metal by way of four songs, Byfist raises the fist of the metal child coming across as a cross between Mercyful Fate, old Megadeth and Grim Reaper. It's pure head banging time and occasion to remember what glory resides behind our glorious music heavy metal. The band is looking to record a full length and I already look forward to that recording. Whatever the case, get hold of this and remember it's produced by ex-Metal Church singer David Wayne and engineered by Warrior's Joe Floyd! - Ali “The Metallian"