Black Reign
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Black Reign

Jackson, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Jackson, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Rock Cover Band


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




To be fronting a Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne tribute band has always been a dream of Brian “The Brain” Brown, vocalist for the Jackson, NJ-based Black Reign. Lineup changes have occurred since Brian’s idea became a reality in October of 2007, sifting through players who Brian knew were never quite right. It wasn’t until he reached his old friend and his first choice on the drums, Paul Linn and then Jon Anderson on bass, that the lineup would begin to fall into place. The current lineup consists of Brown (vocals), Jon Paul Anderson (bass), Paul Linn (drums) and Pete “Peter G” Sandoukas (guitar). Ten years ago, Jon, Paul and Brian jammed together, but with no concrete project getting off the ground. Brian and Paul were both students at Jackson Memorial High School, the same school that schoolmate and friend Zakk Wylde attended. It was a suggestion by a relative of Brian’s that ended up reuniting these Ozzy-lovers eight years later. Pete is the latest member of Black Reign, joining the madness by answering a Craigslist ad. Being the first one to answer the ad, Pete didn’t become an official member right away. Knowing that the guys wanted to hear more of those guitar players who applied for the position, Pete agreed to do an upcoming show, even though he wasn’t officially in the band yet.
Why Ozzy? “I could sing him the best,” explained Brian. “The first song I ever heard by Sabbath was ‘Iron Man.’ As a kid, my favorite band was Kiss. I used to dress up as Ace Frehley.” Paul added, “I was more into Sabbath than Ozzy’s solo records. I loved the musicians that Ozzy used on his first two solo records, though. Sabbath’s arrangements and writing is what grabbed me. I love Bill Ward’s drumming. Sabbath’s later sound was very prog, which appealed to me.” Paul is also a fan of King Crimson and Genesis. “I always thought that Geezer Butler was underrated,” stated Jon. “I played guitar listening to Tony Iommi. He had a very bluesy, tasteful and melodic sound.” Pete added, “I learned how to play guitar with Sabbath and Metallica songs.”
Brian surprisingly listed among his influences Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson, Ian Anderson, Bon Scott and Paul Di’Anno. Paul stated his influences to be John Bonham and Phil Collins. He also plays on what he referred to as a customized kit. Having played guitar for 41 years, Jon has been mastering the bass for 15 years. His influences include Frank Marino, Michael Schenker and John Entwistle. He adds a nice bottom to the material with his Schecter bass. Playing guitar for 20 years, Pete has also mastered the bouzouki. Currently playing a Jackson Flying V as well as a Les Paul, Pete lists his influences as Kirk Hammett, Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Rocky George, James Hetfield, Brian May and Jimi Hendrix. The influences kept pouring out of Pete, which shows his appreciation of the different styles surrounding his instrument. His love for the guitar began as a child when he discovered his cousin’s axe under a bed. Pete has experience within the classic rock cover band scene, being a former member of Blak Jak.
Black Reign produces a festival every year known as Brainfest which draws hundreds of people and the draw increases with every year that passes. This event includes local original and cover bands. What can one expect to experience at a Black Reign show? “An authentic reproduction of Black Sabbath music,” chimes in Paul. Listening to a practice session last summer, I just had to close my eyes and it was as if I was transported into the past as the sound of “War Pigs” was surrounding me from their speakers. Brian’s boyish charm and excitement can be felt, as he explains, “This is the best band that I ever played with!”
This is a band that needs to be experienced live. If you are an Ozzy fan, you need to be there raising your fists in the air to support Brian’s version of the Prince Of Darkness - The Rag


Still working on that hot first release.



Black Reign:
The Premier Classic Ozzy/ Black Sabbath Tribute

So where does the story begin....? weaves in and out starting in October of 2007, but strangely; it dates back almost 10 years....and sometimes even longer.

This pet project is the "brain" child of a one Brian "Brain" Brown.... Whose spot-on vocal replication of Ozzy, both from early Sabbath days straight on into present day, is both eerie and uncanny. It is effortless and natural.

Brain began to put this project together in October of 2007. To do a proper tribute to the music performed by his idol Ozzy Osbourne, has been an ongoing effort on Brain's part for a number of years and the paths that would cross along the journey are quite interesting to say the least....quite possibly dictated by fate. Though fate wasn't always so co-operative, it would not deter Brain's determination to see his dream come to fruition.

The demand for the songs to be played in their purest way led Brain to continue to look for the right members. It would take well over a year of line-up changes and rotating musicians until Brain finally found the right musicians. It would become a virtual wild goose chase until the line-up was cemented. It would take Brain on a strange ride that would include a few strangers who were not to be...and a few people he ended up knowing most of his life.

A chance meeting with Brain's brother would lead to a conversation about the necessity of a drummer for this project. This would lead to a phone call by drummer Paul Linn to The Brain. To know the real history of this band, we will need to back up 25 years. Brain and Paul are old friends, going all the way back to Jackson Memorial High School. The very same JMHS, where their friend and fellow classmate, Zakk Wylde, once roamed the halls. There, a discovered love for the same music and a concert shirt inquiry would spark a conversation and cement a friendship.

Now finding himself that much closer to completing the lineup, Brain found he was now in need of the perfect bassist. After a very short discussion between Brain and Paul, a call was placed by Paul to another old friend. This would bring Jon Anderson into the fold. Brain, Paul and Jon found themselves in a familiar situation. Paul and Jon had a history of playing together on and off for over 10 years. Even more familiar, was that all 3 had once tried to get a Black Sabbath project off the ground once before. But the timing wasn’t right just then. Not yet.

Now finding themselves in need of a guitar player, they placed an ad and began auditions. After hearing several guitar players in the course of a month, the band decided that oddly enough, the very first guy to come down and audition would end up being the guy to fill that slot.

Pete Sandoukas came down to a practice session one night and blew the band away by already knowing the catalog of Sabbath songs that the band was playing. After calling Pete back, the band immediately began rehearsing for its 2nd Annual Brainfest, named for the singer and inspired by the obvious. Brainfest is a local festival thrown by the band which features local original and cover bands and a full stage production by the band with all the bells and whistles. Over the last 2 years, this festival has grown and brings in well over 3 or 400 people.

Now with the line-up cemented and a rather large arsenal of songs, they are constantly tightening the songs and working out new ones to add to the roster. The band is also out gigging as much as possible, with no end in sight and no plans to stop. Talk is always overheard at all of their shows about how easily this band puts other Ozzy and Black Sabbath tributes to shame. They have played all over Central and North NJ, PA and NYC. Each time, spreading the word of just how good this band really is. Without all the silly distractions from the most important aspect of why Brain put this together in the first place and what other tribute bands seem to neglect.....The Music......imagine that? A Tribute Band who actually honors the music.

So, now that we have the twists of fate all sorted out.... The time now IS we give you: