Saturday, December 25, 2010


Season's greetings, one and all! I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate, Happy Holidays! I hope you guys are having a great day full of presents, family, and of course, metal! My new computer's my big gift, but the metal gods did send me a Revolver magazine, among other surprises! And this post is more or less a present post for you loyal Sault Metal Scene fans and readers, featuring either my "presents" to you guys, or Christmas themed local metal items! So here's the one I'm sure caught your attention first:

It's our new official logo! Why the change, and why now? Honestly, I fell out of love with our old logo, introduced on our second anniversary in 2009. It served a great purpose to establish an original identity, but it proved to be too pixelated, detailed, and soft-edged than I think we deserve. I wanted something simple, sharp, but still undeniably metal, and this is the final product! I made it over the course of a few days with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, and I have different versions ready for customization where needed, like for major concerts and local album releases. Another reason for the change is to have a simple logo to slap on press materials and posters if need be, because you never know what will come up or be asked concerning the SMS! Oh, and why now? It's Christmas, why not surprise you guys? I thought about waiting until our fourth anniversary, but I'll have surprises then too! However, if you guys have feedback on the logo (good or bad), let me know, cause I'd like to hear anything you have to suggest! So there it is, our new logo, hopefully this lasts a long time!

Now, here's a couple more Christmas surprises for you guys to go along with some recent YouTube uploads for the season! You may remember last month when I profiled Inside Spiral frontman Jonny Fabbro in our Defunct Local Band Profile Series for his inactive solo project. For that, and to supplant it later, I uploaded all four of his posted original solo songs onto The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel. Jonny himself turned out to be very appreciative for me doing this, and as a result, he sent me two more original songs he recorded at these same sessions, with explicit permission for me to post these! In case you don't remember, his solo sessions were in Barrie at Digital Underdog Productions with producer Dave Thompson, and now that we have more from them, we know that Jonny recorded at least 6 songs at these sessions! The two new songs that Jonny sent me weren't posted on his solo pages, and are unavailable online anywhere else! They are entitled "Unconscious Head" and "Livin' In A Dream", and they're two more aggressive radio hard rock songs from this talented local musician! I especially enjoy "Livin' In A Dream", but both are solid tracks that deserve your attention! So here are both of the "new" Jonny Fabbro originals, and check out more at the above links!

While we're on the subject of Christmas, here's a story that doubles as both an appropriately seasonal news item, AND a new story! Today, Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids death metal trio End of Existence posted a new audio track in honour of the holiday season, a metal cover of Mykola Leontovych's holiday classic "Carol of the Bells"! It just features guitarist Steve Giles and drummer Greg Giles, with Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten's vocals not featured. It would have been interesting to see him sing (or growl) the "Ring, Christmas Bells" lyrics over this! It's a solid cover, they've appropriately metallized this song, and it's worth checking out, especially given the season! This may seem negligent, but I only just figured out today that you can embed Reverbnation songs onto the SMS, so I can actually share this song here! So check out End of Existence's version of "Carol of the Bells" below, and of course, Merry Christmas to Bob, Greg, and Steve!

One more Christmas-related item today, and though this is far from new, it perfectly suits the season! Plus, I don't think I've ever embedded this video here on it's own. On December 23rd, 2006, local progressive death metal band Gates of Winter played a special acoustic show at LopLops Lounge. This was in the latter stages of their time with RedD Monkey drummer Kevin Overton in the band, I think, and the show featured numerous acoustic versions of Gates of Winter originals, and select covers! One of those covers, which they capped the show with, was also derived from "Carol of the Bells"! At this show, Gates of Winter covered the Savatage instrumental "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" (later popularized by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra), which is basically a metal medley of "Carol of the Bells" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Gates of Winter pull this off very well, and they inject a bit of their own musical style into it!

Filmed by local musician Nick Jackson at this show 4 years ago, it was originally embedded onto Google Video in 2007 at this location as part of the full 29 minute concert video. I uploaded the full concert, split up by individual songs, onto the SMS' YouTube channel last October, so head there if you want to see the full show! NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED! So I'll wish Merry Christmas to Lee, Bryan, Steve, Brian, Kevin, and all other ex-Gates of Winter members, and here's their cover of "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24"!

So that's all for today, but I wish you guys Merry Christmas, and remember to go see Sativa Rose, SBD, and other talented local bands TONIGHT at Foggy Notions for The Green Christmas After Party! I'll be back with a new news post for Boxing Day, so stay tuned! Happy Holidays from The Sault Metal Scene!

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