Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two New Local Metal/Hard Rock Acts & A Newly Renamed Band!!

Today's post is dedicated to new local metal bands, names, pages, and material, as a lot of new stuff related to a few local acts have came to my attention in the past week or so! There's a lot of new info to share today, so let's start with a new band, followed by a newly discovered solo project, and lastly, a newly renamed band and their latest material!

I sincerely apologize for not having anything on this band on here sooner, but our first new local metal act is a melodic death metal band named Crimson Crusade! Though active since the spring of 2010, I think I've bypassed them for this long because I thought they weren't based locally, which is partly true; While their hometown is listed as the North Shore area, half of the band lives in Sault Ontario, and their location on their Facebook page is a local address, so I can consider them at least half-based here. Their current lineup includes local singer/guitarists Devon Lucier and Brock Pinder, bassist Riley Marshall, and drummer Robert Crossley, who's perhaps better known as the drummer in the Desbarats death metal band Inhuman Methods. Notably, Robert's Inhuman Methods bandmate Curtis Moir sang with Crimson Crusade as recently as last fall, and is still featured in the band's posted photos on Facebook. Crimson Crusade have played scattered gigs since the summer of 2010 in the Algoma District, including shows in Hilton Beach, at the CASS Cafe gigs at the high school in Desbarats, and at least one local concert at the Bellevue Park Bandshell with local funk rock trio The Vertically Impaired last fall, which I sincerely apologize for missing for coverage on here!

According to their Facebook bio, Crimson Crusade are writing and recording original material, and playing "whatever we feel like playing", with at least 8 original songs currently in their setlist. Though death metal is their usual genre, their covers range from Black Sabbath and Metallica to Lamb of God and Children of Bodom material. A March 21st posting implied that guitar tracks were done towards presumably some type of recording project, but recent posts have been more scattered, and I don't think they've played live since Curtis left. That all said, how do Crimson Crusade sound? The only media I've found is a September 2010 demo recording named "Left For Dead" from their YouTube channel, and though the band takes some jabs at the quality, it's not bad at all! Definitely sounds more together for timing and originality than Inhuman Methods' Lamb of God covers did at Dead in the Van. Nice aggression and pacing, but I'd like to hear some guitar solos, and I hope they've progressed with their original material since this was posted. I hope to hear more (especially locally) soon from Crimson Crusade, but for now, check them out at the above links, and here's "Left For Dead"!

The other new local project with a metal relevance I wanted to introduce on here is the solo project headed up by local musician and artist Chris Shoust! You may know him best recently for his artistic work in the area in recent years, along with stints in journalism & radio, but he's also been in local bands like the punk trio FFB in the past, and he has maintained a solo musical project with hard rock influences in the past decade! You may in fact remember him as a performer at last year's Art In The Parking Lot event downtown. His website (which has many examples of his art, writing, and filmmaking) also features details on his recent music, including two unposted albums (one of which was recorded in 2002 after FFB disbanded), and another entitled "Telephone & Address" which he describes as a "response to the grunge era for a mentally ill person" that was "inspired by the lo-fi revolution of the '80s." The material is available for free streaming on his MySpace page (though I don't think it's ever been for sale anywhere), and it includes two covers, one of which is of a Nirvana song. Though the recording quality might be a turnoff to some, remember that it's intentionally lo-fi.

Chris' posted material is interesting, and if you appreciate grunge or outsider/indie music, you should enjoy his music! It reminds me of sort of a mix between Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johnston in style, which certainly isn't a criticism. The songs have some more aggressive stretches and a nice retro feel, and though a cleaner recording quality may help a few songs, I appreciate what Chris is doing here, and thanks to him for letting me know about his music! Check out more of Chris' work at the above links (along with his other artistic projects), and both he and Crimson Crusade are now in our Sault Ontario band links!

And finally for today, while this isn't a new band, they recently changed their name and posted new online pages, so here's what you should know! In February, you may remember when we discussed the issues going on with young Sault Michigan hard rockers Abstract, and while I don't wanna rehash anything negative, it led to the band parting ways with guitarist Kyle Burton last fall, and ultimately announcing an impending name change. Well, the band has since revealed that they've changed their name to Tantrum, and a new Facebook page and newly renamed website corroborate said news. A public reasoning for the name change was never announced, but I assume it's at least in part to signal a fresh start for the band, which still includes singer/guitarist Jacob Hotlen, bassist Mike East, and drummer Ethan Twardy. I don't mind the new name, but I still don't get why they had to delete the Abstract Facebook page entirely when you could just as easily rename it and delete things without losing the fans and material. That said, Tantrum are trying to get the new page back to "the former page's glory", and since the beginning of the month, bio information and photos have been posted, including one new live video!

Courtesy of Tantrum's new YouTube channel, this comes from what I assume was their first concert set under their new name, and it was at the Sault Area Middle School Talent Show circa April 4th. It features their covers of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me", Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Know", and Megadeth's "Sweating Bullets", and it looks like they're steadily improving on their Abstract-era promise! Nice to see a slowly heavier sound, but the vocals need some development still, and I'm curious to hear original material as well. Plus, and this is more for the talent show organizers, but having the sound guy work behind the band still looks very strange and can draw attention away from the acts. Good stuff though, so give Tantrum's new video a look below, and stay tuned for more band updates from them as they come in!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post either tonight or early tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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