DRIVE: Characters of Time LP

by Mike Cervantes

Released in 1988

1988 is proving to be a year where more emphasis is being placed on high quality Metal. It appears the Metal population are becoming connoisseurs of bands that have honest-to-goodness talent and unrelenting “drive”. Which brings us to the case in point…

Drive originates from Houston, Texas. Fronted by Rick Chavez (guitar/vocals) and (long-time mate + bassist) Michael Anthony Guerrero. They began as a group called Pegasus. Mainly playing classical rock and citing such influences as Clapton, Blackmore and Hendrix, Pegasus toured the small club circuit, gaining a following of loyal fans. Then citing newer influences such as Queensryche, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, the band changed musical directions and adopted the name Drive.

Combining their classical blues rock influences and what they describe as “high tech stuff”, Drive formulates a sound that drives screeching down cranium lane! This finely tuned machine roars with power and precision. Too heavy to be Rock and too refined to be Thrash, Drive offers a lethal dose of melodic yet powerful metal.

Led by the twin axe attack of Rick Chavez and Mercy Valdez, the fantastic vocals of David Taylor (R.I.P), the pounding fury of bassist Michael Guerrero, and the hyperactive drumming of Valentine San Miguel, Drive blazes a path of Metal destruction.

DRIVE – Promo 1988 Pic Greg Allen

Producing a sound brimming with pride and an unrelenting fighting spirit, Drive shows Metal moxie and fierce determination. Every song pushes the pedal to the limit. Such notable songs are the high-powered rocker, “Kamikaze”, steady and fast with guitars blazing, and “Stormtrooper”, which is cool and calculated with some nasty guitar work (ala’ Ted Nugent). Another outstanding selection is “Heroes Road”, containing beautiful guitar work and Taylor’s superb vocals.

Perhaps my personal favorite is “Eternal Mercenary”. It boasts Dio-like quality (but heavier), with guitars once again leading the way. Chavez and Valdez’s guitar work reminds me of Iron Maiden and roars down the tracks like a runaway locomotive. The way these two can interweave their respective guitar talents is simply amazing!


*Have a listen to “Eternal Mercenary”


Drive combines power and precision with mature songwriting and uncompromising musical skills. Powerful vocals, blistering guitars, rhythmic power sautéed in overwhelming “Metal spices”, make this one tasty Metal delight.

Get out and buy this, slap it on and start cookin’.


*The band ended up moving to Los Angeles in the mid-80’s when it’s members were barely out of high school.

*After winning a radio contest with their song “I Need The Nights”, Drive landed on the Best of the West compilation released by Rampage Records.

*At the beginning of the next decade the band left Rampage and signed with Zoo Records. In 1992 the band released the sonically advanced and more mature sounding Diablero to rave reviews from the metal underground.

Unfortunately, a shake-up at the label left the album without much of a push, and the band’s recording career was put on hold as the band members moved back to Texas. *from Wiki



*I am sad to report:

“On June 25, 2009, while driving (along a San Antonio interstate), lead singer David Taylor lost control of his vehicle due to a tire malfunction, causing him to crash. He was airlifted to an area hospital where he died of his injuries five days later. He was 44.”

DAVID TAYLOR Memorial Site

David (w/mgrs. Vince Hans & Rob Gordon)

The Musics Over

pic from The Musics Over Blog


David Taylor – R.I.P. You will be missed!

Blabbermouth News Archive



1988 – Characters in Time


1. The Phoenix

2. Kamikaze

3. Stormtrooper

4. Heroes Road

5. Snake Eyes

6. Eternal Mercenary

7. The Entity

8. Sinister Minister

9. Forever and a Day

10. I Need the Nights


1992 – Diablero


1. Dream Cermony

2. Shapeshifter

3. Pandilla

4. Once Again

5. Betrayed

6. Brujo

7. Full Moon Rising

8. Remember

9. A Character In Time

10. An Eagle Soars

11. Money, Marbles, And Chalk

12. Barrio Blues

*Mike Conde – guitar on Diablero



Metal Archives Review

Encyclopaeida Metallum Info


*in order to transport you directly back to 1988 we will continue to keep the language in the posts & reviews “present tense” even though this is 2010.


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7 thoughts on “DRIVE: Characters of Time LP

  1. Thanks for bringing to my attention, a band I’m not that familiar with.

    Are the Pegasus and Drive albums out of print now?

    I’m gonna go look around to see.

    This post has me wanting to add this band to my collection. 😉


  2. They are available through Amazon (used).

    I have links at the end of the review.

    I think this will be something you will like.

    It surely “stood out” amongst all of the hair bands they were competing with
    in L.A. at the time. Very melodic throughout.

    *I have some DRIVE posters somewhere from Rampage Records.

    Rock on!


  3. Never heard of them. Sounds promising though.

  4. If you like your Metal to be highly melodic but still rockin’ then check em’ out. Their debut LP sure stood out at the time.

    It’s not cheesy “hair Metal” like a lot of the bands they played shows with and or tried to make it on the West coast scene during that period.

    Thanks for reading.


  5. I’ve always liked Characters in Time and need to get it again.

  6. Hey Sean,

    Yup it was an interesting release from some ex-Texans (at the time) before they moved to Calif.

    Rock on!


  7. woo, thank you!

    I’ve finally came across a site where the owner knows what they’re talking about!

    Anyway, thank you -much appreciated.


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