Sunday, July 31, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (NoXcape), The Alcoholic White Trash Preview, And Much More!!

Hey guys, I have a stacked news post today to help round out the month of July, so we have a departure in a local metal band, updates to one of our monthly feature series, more assorted news, and a preview of a big concert taking place tomorrow night, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for a recently renamed new local band!

Remember the new Sault Michigan metal band MK-Ultra (featuring former members of Absolute & Riot! By Night) that we've been mentioning here and there this year? Well, they're finally making their live debut next month, and with a new name to go with it! The band announced on their Facebook page on Wednesday night that they've changed their name to NoXcape (pronounced "no escape"), launching a new Facebook page to go along with it. It's bare at the moment, but what we do know is that NoXcape will make their live concert debut on Saturday at Dan's Place on South Tilson Road in nearby Rudyard, Michigan! The show will be at 9:00 PM with no announced cover charge and a 21+ age limit. Nice to see them finally debuting, especially with an improved name, but I wonder how they'll sound and look at the show next weekend? We know singer Nick Landreville, guitarist Ben Huyck, and bassist Bill Spence will be there to lay down some nu metal influenced originals, but we still haven't heard official word on their drummer or possible second guitarist, just that the drummer's first name is Justin (Lawless from Absolute?) Still, it's nice to see NoXcape on a local stage finally! Check the above links for more details, and I'll keep you guys posted!

Next up, here's a concert preview for a concert taking place tomorrow night, and if you love hardcore punk and metal, you'll wanna be at this one! Two touring hardcore punk bands from Victoria, British Columbia will hit The Roosevelt Hotel's stage tomorrow night, including headliners Alcoholic White Trash and "gnar rockers" Lesbian Fist Magnet! They'll bring lots of crossover thrash goodness to The Rosie tomorrow, and I have a feeling you guys will really enjoy them! Two local openers are in store as well, those being local cello punk trio RedD Monkey and extreme metal quintet Winkstinger, who are both solid choices for this type of concert! Remember, this show was originally scheduled for The Canadian Nightclub as an all ages show, but with the massive flooding there two weeks ago, the show had to be moved, so kudos to The Rosie for having it now! However, this show is NOT all ages anymore, and now has a later start time of 10:00 PM, but the $5 cover remains the same. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a great show despite the venue change, and hopefully there's tons of punk and metal fans in attendance tomorrow to enjoy the high energy music in store! For a preview, here's Alcoholic White Trash rocking a Vancouver stage in July 2008!



Thirdly today, it looks like local death metal band Unleash The Blackened Sky have parted ways with singer Steve Rhodes. No official statements have been made as to his departure, but his official Twitter page says his band is "none at the moment", and a recent posting on his personal Facebook page says that he's not "in a show playing band anymore". Seems pretty definitive that he's left the band in some fashion, and with no real band page updates in almost a month, this could be all the proof we get. Steve is the third member of their original "Bring The Blood" lineup to leave the band in their brief two month existence, following the departures of Kory Derasp & Dan Souliere. I don't know why Steve left Unleash The Blackened Sky, but it is disappointing, as he was a solid death growler and left a good mark in the local scene this year, particularly during State of Misery's half year run! His two shows with U.T.B.S. (as Bring The Misery) were works in progress, but the band had promise, and hopefully they come back soon with a full lineup again! Best of luck to Steve though, his growling talent would be an asset for bands looking for a death metal singer! Stay tuned for updates from Unleash The Blackened Sky as I hear them!

Now, here's a few assorted shorter stories from the last little while. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or company name.
  • I've regrettably moved internet rock radio station Energy Rock Radio into our "Other Local Metal Links" because, at least right now, they're no longer based in Sault Ontario. Owner Ryan Kaarlela moved to Castlegar, British Columbia earlier this year and bases the station from there currently. The station still rocks though, definitely listen to it (as I still do), but it's not really "local" at the moment. Best of luck to Ryan out west though, I've heard positive things from him since the move!
  • Local hard rockers Half Past are now selling official t-shirts! I believe they're black with their current logo on the front. They're $20 in sizes S-XXL and women's sizes M-L, and can now be purchased at The Rad Zone, directly from guitarist Alain Fletcher at this location, or at their concerts, presumably starting at Hempfest in two weeks. Nice to hear, I should pick one up one of these days!
  • I'm badly late with this, but defunct Sault Michigan hard rockers Nixxon Dixxon have an official Facebook page that I only just recently found! It was launched and briefly maintained last spring before falling out of use, so there isn't much there beyond bio information and photos, but become a fan anyway and show your support!

And finally, I've made some more edits to make some of our Defunct Local Band Profiles more current and accurate, so here's what's newly changed in this monthly feature series! Both the AtrophiA and White Knights profiles have had minor edits to reflect the name changes of bands that members were later in (Bring The Blood to Bring The Misery & Motion Carried to Redundant.) I added Jonny Fabbro's solo press kit video to his profile, along with some added mentions that he's actively back in music in the Toronto area, although with the aims of getting a new band, not reactivating his solo work. I edited Life's Eclipse's profile to reflect that their drummer's name is Casey Amo, now that frontman Jason Mills confirmed that they can now publically say who their drummer is. I made a minor addition to Bad Side's profile to note that former drummer Mike Vollman is now in a local Christian rock band named Seeking Reverence (also featuring Intrepid bassist Mitch Goetz.) Here's a video of them covering a Kutless song, which isn't a bad rendition! Interesting news, I wouldn't have assumed this would be their current band, but hey, kudos for following their faith! Finally, I've made a minor addition to Out Of The Mouth Of Babes' profile to note that they recorded "Take A Walk With Me" at idioRECORDS here in town with producer (and For July frontman) Dave Hunter. Check the above links for more on the now updated profiles!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and updates very soon, including our August installment of the "Where Are The New Albums?" series on Tuesday! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

News From Brendan Christie, Free Refill, Hollow, And John Mignacca!!

Here's some assorted news and notes for your Saturday, including some cool video finds online relating to a local drummer and a Sault Michigan band, some new material from a local solo artist, and leading things off, a concert relocation, so here's what you need to know!

Veteran local metal band Hollow will still have two shows over their one weekend reunion next week, and they won't have to go too far for a new spot for the Saturday concert! The band announced on the Facebook event page yesterday that their concert originally scheduled for August 6th (one week from today) has been moved from The Canadian Nightclub to Bossy's Pub & Grub, which is just seconds down the road. A move for the Saturday show was necessitated due to the flooding at The Canadian two weeks ago, but it's nice to see that they found a conveniently close new spot! We haven't talked much about Bossy's here, but since changing their name from Smack Daddy's Bar & Grill earlier this year, they've gotten more into concert booking, bringing bands like Redundant and Asylum Country there to rock Bossy's on weekends. Add Hollow to the list for this coming Saturday! No other changes have been reported, though the cover charge could be different, as I don't know what cover Bossy's usually has, if any. Get more details at the official Facebook event page! Nice spot for the moved show, but if that date doesn't work for you, remember that Hollow will still be at The Rockstar Bar on Friday night! I hope to be at the show at Bossy's (more convenient for me time and location-wise), and hopefully you guys can also come out for the big reunion shows! Check the above links for more!

Next up, Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie has posted three new solo instrumental songs onto his solo project's MySpace page! Unlike the softer "Foot Of This Hill", these are heavier leaning, so here's what you should know! One is called "The March", and it's a slow metal song that does feel like a march is in progress, with some nice driving rhythms and melodies mixed in! It could probably be built on more for a fuller song, but it's very promising! Also new to his page is part 1 of a solo song named "Quantum Mechanix", which is just 69 seconds long, but gives us a cool look at a slower cymbal-heavy metal number! I definitely wanna see where it leads, cause it starts well enough, but there's not a lot to go on with it yet. The other new song is a rough draft called "Shining Down", which feels the most like a complete song of the three, with nice tempo and heaviness changes, and a great guitar solo section! Brendan has some real talent, and it'd be interesting to see him package some of these songs into Late & Loud originals after they returned from their hiatus! Check the above links to give his newest original songs (and more) a listen!

We'll close today with videos, and first, here's some older videos I just came across yesterday of Sault Michigan hard rockers Free Refill! With a summer gig finally popping up for them at the Sugar Island Music Festival, I did some researching to see if they had anything else new online, and I found some videos on their website I'd never seen before! These are actually from the band's set at the annual Sidewalk Sales in Sault Michigan from August 2009, and though they've been on YouTube since shortly afterwards (courtesy of user amourdete's YouTube channel), I've only just seen them now! The videos all feature their former five-piece lineup (including ex-guitarist Tyler Wall), and they're of Free Refill covering Pearl Jam's "Even Flow", AC/DC's "Back In Black", and The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". The band do a good job overall, though Mary Gilbert's vocals sound forced on "Back In Black". The video quality is odd... it looks clear, but there's odd "purple dot" pixelization that I can't really describe, but the audio works! Nice videos, and it's good to finally see them, as Free Refill footage isn't readily available online. Check the above links for more of these videos, and here's the band's cover of "Even Flow" from 2009's Sidewalk Sales!



And finally, here's a random recent video find featuring As It Stands drummer John Mignacca! This video comes courtesy of the YouTube channel of Dave Hunter, frontman of the local pop punk band For July & owner of idioRECORDS, the former label home of John's old band Out Of The Mouth Of Babes. The video, which was uploaded on Monday, is of John playing a pretty cool drum solo on For July's own drumkit, and it shows John's talents well! They should have him do solos at As It Stands shows more often! However, the video has lots of swearing despite it's 64 second length, so if you're easily offended, take note. Worth a look though to see John laying out a solid drum solo, so check the video out below!



That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and notes very soon, including my preview of Monday's Alcoholic White Trash show and much more! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 29, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (As It Stands & Banned) Plus More Assorted News!!

Alright, I wasn't expecting to have another post so soon (I was gonna wait until tonight or early tomorrow), but a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT has came to my attention, so I'm gonna get a new news post in this afternoon so we can properly preview it. We also have some more new shows (including the first details from an annual festival), a new band on an upcoming all ages concert, and an interesting note I wanted to make leading from a battle of the bands that took place a few years ago. So here's what you need to know for today (and check out my news post from this morning featuring some HUGE new shows and some new videos in the post below!)

One night after rocking The Roosevelt Hotel, local hardcore quintet As It Stands will play a solo concert TONIGHT at Foggy Notions! Apologies for the short notice, this was only just announced earlier today. As It Stands are helping out to replace a previously scheduled band who cancelled tonight, though I admit not knowing who was originally scheduled. Nice of them to fill in, cause their metalcore sounds are awesome no matter how much advance word you get! They'll be on at 10:00 PM tonight, there will be a 19+ age limit, and though no cover charge is announced, bring cash just in case. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Should be a good concert, and you know As It Stands bring it every time they take the stage, so definitely consider hitting this show TONIGHT! For a preview, here's many clips of As It Stands' set at the Dead & Divine concert at The Oddfellows Hall in April!



Meanwhile, Kinross hard rock trio Banned have announced their next two local concerts, fresh off a successful debut in Rudyard last weekend! The Sault Michigan-area rockers will first hit The Sundown Lounge in nearby Pickford on August 6th (one week from tomorrow) for a solo concert at 9:30 PM! Should be interesting to see how they do in a bar environment, though I'm largely unfamiliar with The Sundown Lounge as a concert venue. For reference sake, it's address is 18664 S M 129 (yes, that is it.) There's no announced cover charge, and it's a 21+ event, so keep all of this in mind! Then, the band announced that they'll be among the lineup at this year's Sugar Island Music Festival, which celebrates it's 10th anniversary this year! They announced they'd be playing at 6:00 PM on August 12th (two weeks from today), but a full lineup has not been announced yet. Some bands are confirmed as per this link, the vast majority of which fall into non-metal categories, but local hard rock quartet Free Refill are confirmed once again for this year! (Banned are not listed officially yet though.) Nice to see Free Refill back for this year, I was wondering when they'd come back!

Now judging by last year's schedule, the heavier bands will all likely play on the Friday, with the folksier softer bands taking up the weekend lineups, but who knows if that will stick this year. Admission will be $10 for a 3 day pass or $6 for a single day, with kids entering free. Click here for more information! Nice to see the Sugar Island Festival back, hopefully the 10th anniversary is a huge success! Stay tuned to the SMS for further festival details as I hear them, along with Banned's show next week in Pickford!

Next up, here's the latest lineup updates concerning the Smeltzer reunion concert at August 12th at The Oddfellows Hall (which also features metal openers!) It looks like the show will have 6 bands in total, as promoters have added one more and are looking for a final band to round things out. The newly added band is local grimecore trio Shit Liver, in their first local show since their summer break began in late June! A booking could pop up before then, but currently, this will be their return to the local stage. Fans of crusty and grimy death metal should take note, as Shit Liver will soon be back to melt your faces! The other remaining band slot is still open, so contact the promoters linked on the Facebook event page if you're interested in possibly playing. I can say that the page briefly listed Winkstinger as the openers via a now deleted event poster (I'm 100% positive I saw that), but they appear to be out. I assumed that we might see a Fury reunion due to their own Smeltzer connection, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards either. Stay tuned for updates on the lineup for this ALL AGES show, also featuring The Bear Hunters, RedD Monkey, and The Tenagens!

And finally, with news of Skid Row's local return in November, it got me wondering about a Skid Row-related event that took place here 3 years ago. You may remember that on April 26th, 2008, seven local bands gathered at The Speak Easy at Algoma University for the chance to win $500 and open for Skid Row that June! I won't reference that aborted concert here, I don't wanna dredge up bad memories, but what got me thinking was the local bands that competed for the right to open for Skid Row. Over three years later, what happened to them? Shockingly enough, only two of them are still together right now, and neither have played a local concert in over a year! Ironically, the two active bands are metal, those being battle winners Sense of Truth (who actually made their live debut at this show) and extreme metal duo Sue Inside. Sense of Truth were last seen on stage last May, having been busy with personal commitments & EP artwork issues since then, but hopefully they'll return soon! Sue Inside frontman Shane Lipsit-Fraser moved to Oil Springs, Ontario in mid-2009, taking the band with him, and they haven't played a local show since, though he still posts new material on band pages. The other five bands, believe it or not, are either broken up or long since inactive.

Runners-up The Scary Uncles disbanded in December, third place band Free Beer have been mostly inactive since the summer of 2009 (they did have a one-off reunion earlier this year though), and I've heard nothing from fourth place band The Blockade, indie rockers Terminal, or Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band Sikamikanico since 2008, though only Terminal seemed to confirm that they actually broke up. I just found it interesting that of the 7 bands competing to open for Skid Row in 2008, only 2 seem to be alive, and none are active and gigging locally right now. Still, I was there for this battle (it was all ages) and it was fun seeing these bands (many of which I was unfamiliar with at the time) rocking out for a big prize! After the show, SooToday posted an article featuring photos and videos from the battle courtesy of Donna Hopper and Tyler Simpson, and you can see it all at this location! I embedded the video with parts of each band's sets below for you guys to check out, and for metal's sake, Sue Inside are at 3:24 of the video with Sense of Truth immediately following. Solid stuff, so take a trip down memory lane below!



That's all for now, but stay tuned tomorrow (hopefully) for a new news post featuring some more local metal and hard rock news and updates! Thanks everyone!

HUGE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Joan Jett & Skid Row) Plus Some New Videos!!

Well guys, I have some big news to share today, as we have two HUGE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS to let you guys know about, one for each side of the Twin Saults! We'll cap things with some new songs and videos, but let's dive straight into these major new shows, going (as usual) in chronological order!

Hard rock legend Joan Jett is making her way to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan this fall! The female rock pioneer known for hits like "I Love Rock N' Roll", "Bad Reputation", and "I Hate Myself For Loving You" will hit The Dreammakers Theater at Kewadin Casino on October 21st with her band The Blackhearts for a night of her well known hard rock classics! I think this is her first ever trip to the Sault area for a concert, but I may be wrong. No word yet on possible opening bands yet, but the show has an advertised 7:00 PM start time, and should be all ages. Tickets are $44.50 American, and they go on sale THIS MORNING at 8:00 AM! If you want your tickets, head to this location at 8:00 AM or later (go earlier just in case) and follow the links after clicking "Buy Tickets". Tickets should also be available by phone at 1-800-KEWADIN or through the actual box office at the casino itself. Check the above links for more details, along with SooToday's article on the show! It's awesome seeing Joan Jett come here for a show, she's one of the best rock guitarists of all time and she has a lot of hard rocking numbers in her lengthy repetoire, so she'll be a must see act this fall at Kewadin! Stay tuned for updates on this show as they come in!

Also for big new shows, this is an early scoop that I can now officially confirm after getting confirmation from promoters last night. New Jersey heavy metal legends Skid Row are coming back to the Sault area themselves, this time in Sault Ontario! Dismembertainment are bringing the multi-platinum selling band behind such classics as "18 & Life", "Youth Gone Wild", and "I Remember You" back to the Twin Saults for the first time in over two and a half years for a concert at The Roosevelt Hotel on November 9th! No strangers to the area, they've played at Kewadin Casino multiple times in the past, most recently in March 2009, but this will be Skid Row's first local concert (to my knowledge) on the Ontario side of the border. It'll also be their first local show with new drummer Rob Hammersmith, who replaced Dave Gara last year. Crank Sound Distribution will be on hand to handle the sound at the show, and tickets (limited to just 200 on sale) will likely be $40, which is worth it considering that you're gonna be seeing Skid Row right here in the Soo! Original lineup or not, their instantly recognizable classics and great reputation will be evident on the local stage, so definitely consider getting tickets when they officially go on sale, as they'll go fast!

Other details, like age limits, ticket availability, opening bands, and so forth are not out yet. Stay tuned to the SMS for more details as I hear them! I'm all for seeing Skid Row on November 9th, and I know that Dismembertainment will pull out all the stops to make this show and ticket sales go smoothly! I will say that, in terms of openers, it'd be cool if Sense of Truth returned from their hiatus to open at this show, seeing as they won the Battle of the Bands in 2008 to open for the aborted Skid Row concert at Runway Park that June. That's just personal speculation, but it would be fitting. When more word comes out on this concert, I'll let you guys know!

Now to some more news from a pair of solo guitarists named Mike in the Sault area, starting with Swayze Train guitarist Mike Libertoski's tech/death metal project Galactic Alignment! Mke has uploaded a song named "Hypernova" onto the band's Reverbnation page which will be deleted on Sunday, so it's a limited time offer! Check it out before it leaves, cause it's an awesome instrumental piece with a lot of extremely fast technical metal action! I hope Mike expands this project, cause Galactic Alignment are extremely promising! Wish I knew more about Swayze Train too, are they basically Electric Motor Fish with electric instruments, or something different? The membership mostly implies metal, but I'm not 100% positive. I'll find out at some point! The other new song is from Sault Ontario solo artist Mike Cliffe, who's uploaded a heavier new original song named "Hanging From The Earth" onto his online pages! Nice heavier riffs but with some nice guitar melodies that add some extra flavour. Not crushing, but the song has some heavy groove and bite to it, and Mike's talent is as visible as ever! Good stuff, check out that (and many more) songs at the above links, and here's "Hanging From The Earth" from his YouTube channel, accompanied by a slideshow which incorporates some of the computer screenshots from his music tracking program used with this song!



And finally, here is this week's classic video! With local punk trio Redundant rocking a couple different stages this weekend, I decided to tie in this week's video with drummer Rick White, who's better known locally as a guitarist, most recently in Frightlight! This video comes from their first ever live concert appearance, at the Coch's Corner Halloween Party on Halloween night in 2009, which was also their only concert with former Fitswitch drummer Larry Mousseau. The video in question is of Frightlight covering The Headstones' song "Cemetery", a track which no longer appears in their live setlists, and though the video wasn't great in quality, it has good audio! Rick handles most of the lead vocals here, and does a nice job too! The band sound pretty good, though the future addition of St. Mayhem would likely add to the guitar parts. Filmed by a concert attendee, Rick would upload the video onto his personal Facebook page the next day, and you can view the original video at http://facebook.com/video/video.php?v=192784251302.

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED! This is one of the few Frightlight videos not on YouTube, and it deserves a wider audience and recognition! With that said, check out Frightlight covering "Cemetery" from Halloween 2009 below!



That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news, our Alcoholic White Trash concert preview, and much more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gates Of Winter - "Lux Aeterna" Review!!

Today marks the two year anniversary of our first monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, which was of Gates of Winter's 2005 debut EP. In honour of the two year mark, and because keyboardist Brian Holmes is rocking the area this month with his progressive rock band Machines Dream, we're finally reviewing Gates of Winter's first full length album "Lux Aeterna"! Released in January 2008 after an earlier intentional torrent leak, it was recorded in 2007 at Stereo Soul Studios with producers Lee Maines and Miguel Gauthier, who also mixed and engineered the album. The lineup present on "Lux Aeterna" included Lee Maines on vocals & rhythm guitar, Bryan Belleau on lead guitar, bassist Steve Furgiuele, then-keyboardist Brian Holmes, and Jonathan Harvey on drums, though he left Gates of Winter before the album's release, so he's only credited as performing the drum tracks. "Lux Aeterna" is currently out of print, but CD copies of the album do pop up online, and CD Baby & iTunes are among the online storefronts with mp3 downloads of the album, so check the above links to officially pick it up! Local retailers probably won't have "Lux Aeterna" in stock, but check The Rad Zone just in case, as you never know!

And yes, the album is easily available free through torrent sites and such, but support the band and buy "Lux Aeterna", even if they've been largely inactive in recent years! The whole album (including the scrapped 10th song "Torment") is also available on YouTube, and each song name below is linked to a YouTube upload of it for preview purposes. With 9 songs and around 51 minutes of music, this is full of material, but how does it measure up three years later? Let's find out, starting with track 1, "Life Force Rapture"! (Updated on September 28th, 2012)

"Life Force Rapture" starts the album off in grand fashion, and not just because it's the longest song on "Lux Aeterna"! After a slow building start of mixed up noises, the song kicks off with some heavy symphonic metal with a very nice melody and nice complimentary keyboard work. Not brutally heavy, but it works early! Lee Maines shows off his improved clean singing abilities, which sound more confident than on their 2005 EP, including the first taste of growling we'd see more on this album than in the past. His growling was a nice addition to the song, but he's not as clear at it than on the newer samples. More of an epic metal song than some later tracks, "Life Force Rapture"'s lyrical content seems to reference the journey of death, and the song fits the mood with a melodic and intricate atmosphere that makes heaviness just an element of the overall grand scheme of the song. Bryan Belleau's guitar work is awesome, especially on his guitar solo, and Steve Furgiuele's bass work shines here as it will on later songs! The song ends with a band with a hard charging ending that, though sounding somewhat muffled, does satisfy one's craving for brutal metal, so uch that the keyboard playing takes away from the ending somewhat. Great opening song, though if it was a but heavier, it could stand out even more!

Next on "Lux Aeterna" is the band's 16 minute-plus "Burning Kingdom" trilogy, broken up into three separate (though connected) songs. First is "Burning Kingdom I: A Dark Affliction", which is much heavier on the whole than "Life Force Rapture", and it hits you right from the first note! The riffs are pounding, but still melodic with some nice keyboard playing, and Lee's singing in the verses works well as he puts a harsher spin on his clean vocals! Joining him on vocals here is guest singer Jody Lynn Bedard, whose vocals on the choruses are nice and give the song a more gothic feel, but the live versions with Lee handling all the chorus work are honestly heavier. Jon Harvey's drumming is fast and varied here, and the band sound like a complete unit throughout! Midway through, after a catchy keyboard solo, Jody offers some really nice solo singing that shows off her singing voice really well, that part really adds something! The final verse shows Gates of Winter at their heaviest, with Lee growling the remainder of his vocals, ending things on a brutal note, though the ending after the chorus sort of drags. Another standout song, "A Dark Affliction" builds on the feel of "Life Force Rapture" and ensures that the heaviness grows with the talent as we flow into part two of the "Burning Kingdom" trilogy!

Then, we have "Burning Kingdom II: Heavenly Insurgence", which starts with a softer progressive metal opening with some soft well played guitar and nice bass playing from Steve Furgiuele before the song ramps up the heaviness, though it sounds oddly muffled. The song makes an interesting mix of progressive metal riffs and alternating vocal styles, with Lee going from soft clean singing to harsher choruses to supplemental growling at will. The music has a nice galloping quality at parts, but the prodcution lowers the volume too much. Bryan Belleau's doing great on this track though, his lead playing is awesome and fast, and his talent is clearly visible! It seems like the lyrics, though well written, are a secondary thought here, as the song places more emphasis on the music, and it does it well, as it's a very well played and detailed song that deserves a listen! It also really compliments "A Dark Affliction" well, they do feel interconnected, though I wish the production could have done more for the heaviness of the track.

The "Burning Kingdom" trilogy closes with "Burning Kingdom III: Lux Aeterna", which is also the album's title track and the first of two instrumentals on the CD. Lux Aeterna means "the eternal light" in Latin, and the feel of this song is similarly vibrant. It definitely feels like an extension of "Heavenly Insurgence", and without vocals, you can feel the atmosphere of the song even more, especially early on before it gets heavy. Again, the song suffers in production with a muffled sound that doesn't accentuate the heavier sections like it should, but "Lux Aeterna" oozes with Gates of Winter's talent and detailed abilities! Bryan and Lee's guitar melodies are at full force, Brian's keyboard work compliments everything well, and the song even has a fitting end to the trilogy that helps wrap things up in a proper way! "Lux Aeterna" (the song) showcases Gates of Winter at their musical best, though I'd be curious to see how they could add vocals to continue the story set forth in the first two songs in the trilogy. Myself, I personally liked "A Dark Affliction" the best, but it's best to listen to all three songs in a row, as they were intended, and as how they were played live!

The album's midway point comes with track 5, "The Wildwood Pariah", which is also the shortest and softest song on "Lux Aeterna". Taking the form of a deep conversation between the pariah of earlier songs and a mysterious child, it has a great dark atmosphere and it's well played, but despite it's length, it drags. A minute of the song is basically just guitar playing & assorted samples, which are affecting but don't add to the song in my opinion. I'd want to see the band expand on this track with more variance and some more singing, especially for the choruses sung by "the child". I know it's supposed to be a different person, but the voice used doesn't match the intended character. Nice softer song, but it doesn't feel finished. Things pick back up on "Winter Flight", which starts with some faster prog metal riffing and catchy melodies. Brian's keyboard work is great here too, he adds something a lot to this material, especially on his fast keyboard solo later in the track! The flaw with this song is with the vocals, which are all way too soft for the track. Lee's softer voice is used way too much for material this heavy, but I should add that in 2008 performances of this song, his singing of it was much more aggressive and rangier. Here though, it sounds mostly mailed in, though some harsher moments make it in later in the song. It's a very good song though, with a feeling of flight throughout and some great individual performances, but the live versions show Lee's vocals off much better.

Seventh on the CD is the band's own self-titled song "Gates of Winter", which is the album's other instrumental. Compared to "Lux Aeterna", this one feels more like a complete song from top to bottom, but the lack of a direct connection to other songs helps in that regard. The band are given almost 4 minutes to show off their skills, and to me, Steve and Brian are the highlights of this instrumental. Steve gets a lot more solo time here than on earlier tracks to show off his exceptional abilities, and Brian's playing is a warm glow to the song to give it some orchestral feel that I always welcome! Jonathan's drumming is solid as well, but the guitar could have been better. Nice playing from Lee and Bryan, but there's no guitar solos here or standout moments amidst the rest of the band. That said, the production's better at showing the band's heavier side, so I like that! Very nice instrumental, heavier than before, but it could have been a bit longer with some more solos.

It's followed by "From The Flesh", which was actually co-written by former Gates of Winter drummer Kevin Overton! The opening of the song is heavy and progressive, one of my favourite song starters on the CD! Seeming to talk about a move from good to evil, "From The Flesh" is an awesome song full of some of the band's darkest moments on "Lux Aeterna", with Lee's singing getting heavier and more evil with each passing verse! The song sounds and feels very heavy, and the band are playing to their metal best on this track, though with the requisite progressive flourish that never hurts! The keyboard playing adds to the song, Jonathan's drumming is on fire, and the pseudo-screams add some anguish to the verses as well! Top to bottom, this is probably the heaviest song on "Lux Aeterna", and I think it sort of flew under the radar in later years, so definitely give it a listen! "Lux Aeterna" closes with "Omega", a slow orchestral metal number that definitely closes the CD on a dark and heavy note! In ways, it eschews technicality for the overall feel of the song, which has a very definitive feeling of finality. Brian's keyboard playing is amazing here, and he gives a great orchestral feel to the song, with Lee's passioned singing and some doomier guitar work helping make this song stand as an epic of it's own! Though over 6 minutes long, it never seems to drag, and the singing doesn't get repetitive, adding to a very heavy and satisfying capper to "Lux Aeterna"!

So, what are my overall thoughts on "Lux Aeterna"? Well, first off, it blows their 2005 EP out of the water! I liked their EP for what it was, but the production quality, singing, abilities, and presence of actual drumming were all radically improved upon by 2008. Aside from that, the album is just a great work of progressive metal from five talented musicians! Lee Maines' singing was radically improving, especially for the inclusion of death growling, while he and Bryan Belleau's guitar work stood out on most tracks, especially with Bryan's lead work and solos! Steve Furgiuele proved why he was one of our most accomplished bassists on the album too, he was great on each track, as was Brian Holmes on keyboard, who rarely took away from songs with his symphonic playing! Jonathan Harvey's drum work was awesome too, though it's still a shame he left Gates of Winter, he was a great fit for them! I enjoyed "Lux Aeterna" from top to bottom as a great progressive metal album, especially on tracks like "From The Flesh" and "A Dark Affliction", which perfectly united brutality and technically sound instrumentation!

That said, it has some flaws. "The Wildwood Pariah", again, felt unfinished, and certain longer songs did drag longer than they should have. Lyrically, though impressive, the band skimped a bit on some songs, with some very nice songs featuring minimal lyrical accompaniment when they deserved more. I'd also liked to have seen Jody Lynn Bedard's backup singing used on a couple more tracks, cause she did add something when used! My biggest complaint is how many of the heavier songs sound muffled, which I assume is from the production. I have and listened to the original CD for my review, so it's not a copy quality issue, just some heavier riffs sound quieter and less impactful than they should. Other than that, this is a fantastic metal album that deserves they hype that it got 3 years ago! Things have been slow since for album recording, but from what I understand, Gates of Winter's next album will be heavier, darker, and will have more of a death metal influence. If that's the case, than even this CD may yet be topped, but knowing the slowness of activity and word, I just hope that the lyrics of "Omega" don't ring true and make "Lux Aeterna" "the last goodbye". Still, I highly recommend "Lux Aeterna" as one of my favourite local metal albums, and give it a listen at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's reviews, especially considering that it's loooooong overdue. What's being reviewed next month though? I have no clue yet. I hope it will be a newly released CD of some kind, but that depends on bands to release one by next month. If none do, I'll dip into the archives again, but for which album? Unlike the last two months, I'm not positive, as I have yet to figure out if any bands I wanna review have members playing locally next month. I have a few bands in mind, but I will say that the next review won't be of anything by Foothill Road or Woods of Ypres (too soon from my last reviews of theirs) or Theatre of Night (I'm saving them for Christmas time, as the album is seasonal.) I also welcome old EPs I don't have if you have copies to lend/give/sell me (i.e. As It Stands or Infrastrate.) Still looking, I'd be grateful if anyone could help! So the August CD review is up in the air, but stay tuned for updates, as well as a HUGE news post tomorrow featuring a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for The Dreammaker's Theater at Kewadin Casino! Which big name act is coming here now? Stay tuned tomorrow for details! Thanks everyone!

SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Full Circle & Tym Morrison) Plus Weekend Concert Previews!!

One more post before we unveil this month's CD review (prepare yourselves, Gates of Winter fans), as we have concerts to preview this weekend! Shorter weekend than we've been normally been seeing this summer, but there's some notable shows on both sides of the border to get to either way! And before anyone asks, I'm going to preview Monday's Alcoholic White Trash concert on the weekend to spread things out. So let's get straight to the previews, starting with some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Firstly, local classic hard rock quartet Full Circle are back this weekend to rock The Nicolet Tavern! Last seen at The Rosie (and Rotaryfest) two weeks ago, this talented group have lots of great covers in store for their fans tomorrow night & Saturday night! Apologies for the short notice, drummer Scott McClurg only announced the shows yesterday, and this weekend's shows weren't listed on the old Turner Up schedule seen here, so they're likely a newer addition to their local itinerary. Late notice or not, they'll be ready to tear up the stage with their well received repertoire of classic and hard rock covers! So head down to The Nicolet Tavern either tomorrow or Saturday night to check out Full Circle, who will be on at 10:00 PM both evenings. You must be 19 to enter, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a fun weekend of music, keep Full Circle in mind for some solid hard rocking! For a preview, click here and move to 13:20 of the video to see a short clip of Full Circle covering "Alone" by Heart at Rotaryfest! It's unembeddable, but it works!

Also in the realm of new shows is Tym Morrison's return to Service Grill Pizza as his weekly summer engagement there continues! The Caveman Morrison frontman will be back there to rock out two sets of unplugged covers of varying genres for his fans, which should be fun to check out! Again, I apologize for the short notice, Tym only announced the show last week, and though we do know he has a weekly arrangement set up, I don't want to falsely announce anything in the event a show was cancelled, especially with no updated schedules to access. Still, prepare yourselves for two great sets of acoustic hard rock covers at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM-ish on Saturday! Both sets have no announced cover, and I have a feeling they're all ages, given the setting. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Should be some good shows, as Tym's solo sets are always full of great music, even if there's no electric guitar! For a preview, here's Tym's cover of Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" from a 2009 concert at Foggy Notions!



Now to the other weekend concerts that I know of, and first, it's the 26th Roosevelt Hotel metal night taking place TONIGHT! Just two bands again, a trend we've seen off an on this summer, but it's a good lineup, including one frequently seen band and another making their debut! One is As It Stands, the fast rising local metalcore quintet, who'll be making their record 12th appearance at the Rosie Thursday metal nights! Their hard hitting hardcore is always worth checking out live, so do so tonight! However, the announced headliners are local punk trio Redundant (formerly known as Motion Carried) in their first ever metal night appearance & first Roosevelt Hotel show since their renaming & addition of new bassist James White! Odd to see them at a metal night, but hey, punk can be seen here and there (like RedD Monkey & The Endprogram), and Redundant are a talented band with metal backgrounds for each member, so they'll be sure to impress! As usual, there's no cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a 10:00 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Sounds like an entertaining show for punk and hardcore fans, so definitely consider heading out to The Rosie TONIGHT for all the excitement! For a preview, here's As It Stands covering Blink-182's "Stay Together For The Kids" from earlier this month!



And finally, we close in the Sault Michigan area as local hard rockers River Witch return to The Cozy Corners Tavern & Grill in Barbeau! Despite a badly forgotten about Facebook page, I can confirm that this popular local band are hitting Cozy Corners this weekend thanks to their own website's calendar, which I commend them for posting! So head to Barbeau (just outside of Sault Michigan) to hear River Witch lay down some entertaining hard rock covers at 9:00 PM each night! Expect no cover charge and a 21+ age limit both nights as well. Check the above links for more details, and for reference sake, a walleye fishing tournament of some type goes down in or around Cozy Corners on Saturday, in case that may influence your decision on going that night. Sounds like fun, but I wish River Witch would post some audio or video to give us a taste, or promote their shows better, as it'd probably help for exposure! Still, they are a talented band, so check them out in Barbeau tomorrow night & Saturday night!

(Also, on the subject of River Witch, it looks like guitarist Darian Causley left the band. In the photos of their set from Lemmafest, one posted above, you can see Aaron Fasel, Chris Gurnoe, Chris Leask, and Ivan Schliska on stage, but no Darian. Plus, his personal Facebook page hasn't made any blatant band references since the spring. Now, with their lack of recent page updates, nothing has came out to suggest he left, but it sure looks like it. If so, it's disappointing, as I liked his guitar skills with Blind Baby, and hopefully he pops up again soon! Of course, if he never left & simply just missed LemmaFest, let me know, as I may be wrong.)

That's all for now, but stay tuned later tonight for my review of Gates of Winter's 2008 full length album "Lux Aeterna"! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (As It Stands), New Videos, And Woods Of Ypres Updates!!

News time at the SMS, as we post what is probably our last news post until our review of "Lux Aeterna" tomorrow. I have some good stories though, including some Woods of Ypres articles, a classic concert video featuring a hard rock cover, and a video recently returned to the internet, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

The 26th Roosevelt Hotel metal night goes down tomorrow, and for the fourth time in eight weeks, just two bands are making the trip to The Rosie for the festivities, including local metalcore quintet As It Stands in their record 12th Thursday night appearance! Nice to see them back at The Rosie, they'll be sure to deliver a hard hitting set of original hardcore songs for their wide local fanbase! However, the announced headlining band will be (in their metal night debut) the band formerly known as Motion Carried, who are still together and now called Redundant! This will be the local punk trio's first Rosie appearance since their name change earlier this month, which came shortly after they replaced bassist Jamie Whalen with drummer Rick White's brother James (ex-Browbeat.) This does reunite the lineup of The Quims from late last year, but don't expect a sound change from that, as this is a different band, so get ready for some solid punk rock covers from Redundant at metal night! Interesting choice for the show, but hey, the whole band has metal chops from their past local repetoires, so remember that! Admission is free with a 19+ age limit and no cover charge, as can be expected. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Sounds like a fun concert with some varying styles, so head down to The Rosie on Thursday for As It Stands and Redundant! Dismembertainment have a lot of cool stuff in the pipeline for metal nights and beyond that we'll announce as official word is made!

Also, I just wanted to add that I've returned a Dismembertainment-relevant video to the internet! As I mentioned earlier this month, Shaw TV's Christian Lemay did a piece on Dismembertainment at the June 26th metal night, featuring an interview with owner Rich Moreland & performance clips from Winkstinger & Unleash The Blackened Sky. After a week's rotation on TV and a stay on Shaw TV's website this month, it was finally pulled by Shaw in lieu of newer videos, removing it from the internet... until now! I saved the interview to upload on our YouTube channel after it's removal from Shaw TV's page, and you can now check it out below! NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED! This is a very nice interview that gives Rich, Dismembertainment, The Rosie, and both featured bands some great exposure, and it deserves a continued audience! I hope there's no issues uploading this, cause I only have good intent in doing so! With that said, check out Shaw TV's piece on Dismembertainment below!



On the subject of new videos, here's a new find of a hard rock cover from a band you wouldn't expect! This video comes from YouTube user Fred Kember of the 705 Video Magazine, who has uploaded tons of concert videos from the 2000s onto his YouTube channel (along with many extreme sports videos and so forth) for 705VM purposes. Now, the vast majority of the posted videos are older videos from punk shows (the most recent being the SNFU-headlined 2009 show at The Grand Theater), but there's a lot of cool gems there from bands like Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, Downshift, and Strictly Classified, along with out of town bands like The Endprogram, Far From Heroes, and the band we're focusing on today, Guttermouth! The California punk mainstays rocked The Canadian Nightclub on March 10th, 2005 with The Planet Smashers & Ghosts of Modern Man, and one of the songs they played that night was a cover of Kiss' "Detroit Rock City"! Oh yes, a punk version of a Kiss classic, but how does it sound? Marc Adkins' vocals don't fit the song at all, but the band admirably puts their own spin on this hard rock classic, though it is noticeably condensed. Nice to see some more bands throwing some heavier stuff in their sets, so give Guttermouth's take on Kiss a look below, and check the above links for much more from this concert (and many others) thanks to Fred's awesome YouTube channel!



And finally for today, here's three assorted Woods of Ypres updates from the last little while. As all deal with the same band, we'll go in alphabetical order by the name of the site with the Woods article:
  • On June 21st, "merginator" of the blog Headbang or GTFO posted a short Woods of Ypres article where they were referred to as "the best thing to come out of Canada", heaping concise praise for their "dynamic & powerful" sound. Nice read, but short, click here to check it out!
  • Yesterday, "bkrasman" from Meat Mead Metal gave Woods of Ypres some nice attention in his article on three recent standout bands signed to Earache Records. He says they "absolutely soar" at times, and called them a tremendous signing following a short review of "Woods IV: The Green Album". Nice writeup, and I like that he gave former guitarist Bryan Belleau some credit for his guitar work, an aspect many reviewers didn't mention. Check out this article at this link, as well as some plugs for two other Earache acts!
  • On March 17th, Viktorya Kaufholz from Musique Machine gave "Woods IV" a mixed review of 2 stars out of 5, praising three standout tracks but criticizing it's length, occasional monotony, and what she called a "lack of passion". Disappointing, but she backs up her thoughts well, which I appreciate. Click here to see her review!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for my review of Gates of Winter's first full length LP "Lux Aeterna" tomorrow, and weekend concert previews very soon as well! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: NeanderTHRALL

It's time once again for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, our first of two special feature posts this week! This month, we're looking at another band from a prolific Saultite who's carving his name in the Windsor music scene in numerous bands, and they definitely deserve some local attention! Remember, this series details bands and projects featuring at least one Sault Ste. Marie-area native, though the band itself isn't from here. So I hope you guys enjoy this month's profile in this series, but of course, if I have any mistakes or omissions you'd like to see addressed, please tell me! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NeanderTHRALL (Windsor, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics) 

Kris Kerr (vocals/guitar)
Paul Maricic (lead guitar)
Ash Richtig (bass/formerly drums)
Mike "Mihilo John" Kryworuchko (drums)

Alex Petrovich (vocals/rhythm guitar)
Chris Wilkins (vocals/rhythm guitar)
Kyle Paulton (bass) 

Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/neanderthrall
Official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/neanderthrall
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/neanderthrall
Official YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/neanderthrallwindsor
Official Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/neanderthrall

Local Info: The only Saultite in NeanderTHRALL is drummer Ashley Richtig, a Sault Ontario native who's become a frequently seen sight in the Windsor music scene for his drumming and bass talents! I don't know much about Ash's local music background, but he's definitely from here, and his local roots are evident on his online pages! Now in Windsor, he's best known as drummer for the punk influenced metal band The Heatseeking Moisture Missiles, but can also be seen on bass & drums in bands like Repetitions, The Line Drawn, and of course, as in NeanderTHRALL!

Band Bio: Formed in October 2010, NeanderTHRALL is a side project from 3/4ths of The Heatseeking Moisture Missiles that allows them to try some different genres in their spare time, namely sludge and stoner metal, as influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, The Melvins, and Kyuss. The band enlisted Gypsy Chief Goliath frontman Alex "The Yeti" Petrovich the next month to round out their lineup, and have mostly focused on jamming and recording original material since. Seven original songs, all with "thrall" (a term for slaves in the Viking age) in the title, have been posted on their internet pages, although only one currently features vocals. NeanderTHRALL finally debuted at The Coach & Horses in Windsor on August 4th as the opening band for Gypsy Chief Goliath's headlining concert that night, though just two months later, Alex was replaced by Davis Block frontman Chris Wilkins, who debuted with the band on October 30th, but departed the following year. After a quiet 2012, NeanderTHRALL returned in 2013 with a new Isis-inspired sound and new songwriting plans, so stay tuned for updates!

If you like stoner and sludge metal, you'll enjoy NeanderTHRALL! The posted songs all have that raw unpolished sound coupled with some heavy grooves and catchy rhythms, giving us a sound we don't hear enough of! Alex Petrovich's vocals perfectly suited the songs we heard from their original lineup with many low tones and punk-tinged sections, though Chris' more punk-inspired singing added a nice layer as well! The rest of the band show their appreciation for stoner metal on the posted songs, and though Ash's drumming & Paul's riffing aren't as rapid fire as we've seen before, NeanderTHRALL's material stands on it's own with it's unique style that is well worth checking out, like on the droning epic "Thrall From Grace" and the heavier and more melodic "Thrill Of It Thrall"! I probably would lean more towards THSMM if I had to pick a preference of these two Ash Richtig-featured two bands, but NeanderTHRALL are a very promising band that can make some real waves in the Windsor scene if they keep up with what they're doing, as you don't hear this kind of stuff every day!

NeanderTHRALL's Reverbnation and MySpace pages linked above will lead you to their original demos, but as for videos, the band's official YouTube channel is loaded with demos and videos from shows with both of their first frontmen! Decent quality overall, and a good preview of their future material and live shows, so definitely give them a look! Here's the first chunk of Chris Wilkins' debut with NeanderTHRALL, but check out their other material at the above links!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There we go, hopefully you guys liked this month's Out Of Town Profile! Next month, we'll take a well-deserved look at Munising, Michigan metal quartet Infathom (as seen at LemmaFest), featuring Sault High graduate Dillion Semasky on vocals! Look for that between August 23rd and 29th, though likely on the 26th. That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new post featuring a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT early tomorrow, and yes, our review of Gates of Winter's "Lux Aeterna" on Thursday! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rosie Metal Night #25 Review & Our Next CD Review's Identity!

FINALLY, I'm back from Manitoulin Island and I can get my review of Thursday's Roosevelt Hotel metal night up! My intention was for it to go up while I was there, but the video conversion programs I downloaded to get them on YouTube wouldn't work properly (or at all), so I regretfully had to postpone it until I got home. Peaceful trip, but the lack of a review was annoying, and I apologize for the delay! I will note that seeing one band twice in consecutive days, and only seeing half of another's set will probably lessen my complete thoughts, but that's not my intention, so bear with me. Now, to the review!

On a luckily much cooler night than on Wednesday, we settled into a nice extreme set from Winkstinger to kick off the night, and before I mention their actual set, huge kudos to Jonas Gasperas for cracking out the old school Soldiers of Misfortune drumkit! Always a welcome sight! The crowd certainly wasn't at peak activity level yet, but the fans up close got a very heavy blast of metal from Winkstinger, who sounded just as good as ever, despite a condensed set. Alan Wells' vocals were at their high aggressive best on songs like "Sadist", "Fuck The Rest", and "Where'd We Go Wrong", and the rest of the band were as good as I've ever seen them, possibly better! Jesse Cook's guitar skills are great, it shown throughout the set, and Ryan Sherman deserves some more love for his bass work, especially when he always seems to be hidden behind other members on stage. I don't see Winkstinger nearly enough, but their take on an aggressive beer-fueled extreme metal sound is always welcome on the local stage, and despite a shorter set, they were as entertaining as ever! See them next on August 1st at The Rosie as they back up Alcoholic White Trash!

Next up were melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, just one night out from headlining a metal show at The Oddfellows Hall! Honestly, after seeing them on consecutive nights, I can safely say that they were just as good, so I can't add too much... but I'll try! Thankfully, Nik Deubel was turned up, so we could hear his growling much better than at The Oddfellows Hall the previous night. Hopefully they can make him louder like this at each show, it seems to come up a lot. Their set of originals like "Render This Void" and "Dominate" was brutal and headbangable, and all of their originals made their set, ensuring a great set of music! Dismembertainment owner Rich Moreland joined in again on their cover of Metallica's "Master of Puppets", and while he and Nik were as solid as ever, the rest of the band seemed to have the timing wrong on numerous occasions, which is odd when they've pulled it off flawlessly many other times. Other than that, The Bear Hunters kept their great form up from the previous night, and as long as we can mosh out to some great local death metal, we're happy!

And headlining (as evidenced by the banner behind the opening bands) was Garden of Bedlam! Finally, the local metal quartet hit The Roosevelt Hotel for a metal night (or any concert in general.) I knew I couldn't stay for their whole set, given that we were leaving for Manitoulin Island in just a few hours (we were getting ready at 5 in the morning), I needed all the sleep I could fit in. That said, what I did see was Garden of Bedlam sounding and looking as good as they did the last few times I saw them! Their set was full of some of their heaviest offerings, including "Torment", "Your Disgrace", and "New Rain", along with select Metallica and Pantera covers (no Tool on the setlist though, curiously.) Of the half-set I saw, they were on fire, with Buzz's singing as wide-ranging and heavy as ever, and Josh Belleau's guitar work shredding our faces off, particularly on solos! I wish I could have stayed for their full set, but it was bad timing given my trip, but you know what? I wanted to be there for metal night, and seeing half of Garden of Bedlam's Rosie debut is better than not seeing them at all! Hopefully they'll be back on a local stage soon!

Great concert, hopefully I'll be able to see a full one next time, and be able to post it within a reasonable schedule! Got nothing planned until school goes back at the end of the month, should be able to get back on track. I did get a bunch of photos, so click here to check them out, or visit our official Facebook page (which also has a "Tag Yourself!" crowd shot.) And finally, here are my videos, so check out Winkstinger playing "Where'd We Go Wrong", The Bear Hunters' original "Casualties of War", and Garden of Bedlam playing their song "Torment"!







Finally, I just wanted to add a little extra note here about our upcoming feature posts. Firstly, our Saultites in Out Of Town Bands Profile on Neanderthrall is still coming tomorrow, just in case there was any question about it. That said, how about this month's CD review? Well, with no new local metal CDs out this month, we're dipping into the archives once again, and fittingly, we're finally going to review Gates of Winter's first full length album (and second release overall) "Lux Aeterna"! Two reasons why "Lux Aeterna" is finally getting a review this month: Keyboardist Brian Holmes played shows with Machines Dream this month, so it fits to tie it in, and on Thursday, we'll officially hit the two year anniversary of our monthly CD reviews! It only makes sense to finally review "Lux Aeterna", seeing as we reviewed Gates of Winter's self-titled debut EP two years ago on July 28th, 2009, so we'll come full circle on July 28th, 2011 with a review of "Lux Aeterna"! Stay tuned for that on Thursday, but first, we're profiling Neanderthrall tomorrow, so keep an eye out! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Frightlight), A Concert Move, And Some New Videos!!

Hey guys, this an auto-news post for your Friday evening! I'm currently out of town in Manitoulin Island for a family excursion, but I will be back on Sunday! My Garden of Bedlam Rosie concert review is coming, believe me, but I had very limited time to do anything related to the concert because we left very early in the morning today, so it's delayed slightly while I work on uploading videos and what have you. So here's a short news post including some new videos a concert update, and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight are among the performers at this year's Art In The Parking Lot event on August 20th! Presented by The Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie, this is an annual outdoor art exhibition held at the parking lot behind The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Museum at 69 Church Street, which is also near The Rockstar Bar and Anchors Away. It will feature over 25 local artists displaying their work, food and children's activities, and yes, music! Frightlight will bring their horror punk sounds to this event on August 20th, joining cello punk trio RedD Monkey, solo artists Chris Shoust and Anna Winter, experimental performances from The Burtch & Huot Studio, DJ Selectah Sensi Tree, and the Soo's own DJ Spruceau. This is a free and all ages event running from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM outdoors, so make note of all of that, and get more details at the official Facebook event page! Interesting booking for Frightlight, but I believe they played last year's Art In The Parking Lot event, and they'll add to a diverse and artistic blend of local talent on the 20th! Should be fun, head down there next month if you love art and local music!

Next up, I can now officially confirm that August 1st's Alcoholic White Trash-headlined punk/metal show will now take place at The Roosevelt Hotel, as confirmed by promoter Typhoid Meaghan at the official Facebook event page. This concert was originally scheduled for The Canadian Nightclub, but a move to a new venue was necessitated following the massive flooding there this past weekend. I'd heard rumblings about The Rosie as this show's new home, and it's good to see it official for there on the 1st! The downside of the new location is that the show is no longer all ages. No reason for that was given by concert organizers, but seeing as the event's time didn't change, I expected the show to become 19+. Nothing else is any different, so you can still see Alcoholic White Trash, fellow Victoria, B.C. rockers Lesbian Fist Magnet, and local openers RedD Monkey & Winkstinger tear up the stage on August 1st! As for the Hollow concert on August 6th, I have yet to hear anything official as to a new venue or potential cancellation for that show, but as soon as that concert's organizers announce something, I'll let you guys know, but remember that their show on August 5th at The Rockstar Bar is absolutely still on! Stay tuned for updates as they come in!

Next up, here's some new videos, starting with some solo work from a prominent Sault Michigan guitarist! In this case, it's the YouTube channel of Splitshot guitarist Chris Hubbard, probably better known as the former lead guitarist in Nixxon Dixxon. If you've followed his music over the past few years, you'll know that Chris is a huge Van Halen fan, and that has followed to his YouTube channel, where he's posted no less than 12 solo Van Halen covers on his guitars, virtually all of which are customized to resemble Eddie Van Halen's own Frankenstein guitars! There's no Nixxon Dixxon or Splitshot videos here, just solo Van Halen renditions by Chris, and you can tell he loves and knows the material at hand from the posted videos! A few others show off his hand-designed Frankenstein artwork on his own guitars (even a Guitar Hero controller), which look very well done in their own right! Chris has some real talent, especially for Van Halen fans, so give all of his videos a look at this location, and here's his solo rendition of "Somebody Get Me A Doctor"!



And finally, here's a video from last August's Kiss concert at The Essar Center that I've only just found on YouTube! This was uploaded onto YouTube on October 3rd of last year by YouTube user ctfsoo, which probably explains why I'm so late to share it, given that it took almost two months to get posted. It's of Kiss playing their classic "Detroit Rock City", easily the most popular song from the concert judging by the posted YouTube videos (six, by my count.) The video was shot to the right of the stage from a higher seat than some of the other Kiss concert videos I've seen, but ctfsoo was close enough to see everything! Video's alright, but the audio is a bit fuzzy, and people in front can get in the way a bit. Good stuff though, and worth sharing for all you Kiss Army soldiers, so lose your mind in Detroit Rock City below!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for my Garden of Bedlam concert review tomorrow at some point! Thanks everyone!