Thursday, May 31, 2012

Insipid Brutality Album Review!!

It's time for our 35th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and for the first time since we started formally reviewing local metal albums on the site, we're looking at Sault Michigan albums in conescutive months! This month's review is for the self-titled digital album independently (and posthumously) released by the defunct local death metal band Insipid Brutality, which was posted on the band's new BandCamp page on April 23rd for digital download. Recorded during the band's heyday between 2006 & 2008 in nearby Kinross, Michigan, the recordings that make up this album were later restored by Kyle Van Howe and packaged for sale & download online, which is really cool of the band's alumni to do! Insipid Brutality are represented on this album by singer Teagan Sanders, guitarists Tyler Dettloff (Teagan's former Condemned bandmate, and now of the Marquette rock band Midnight Manual) and Scott Savoie (ex-Swayze Train), bassist Louie Schmit, and drummer Mat Georgevich. This album is currently available at this location for download under a "name your price" model, meaning you can either download it free or pay any amount you wish, but I highly recommend paying for it in some form! (Updated on November 8th)

Note that three of the songs on "Insipid Brutality" can also be streamed on their old MySpace page, though the quality is less than on the album. With 9 tracks clocking in at around 54 minutes of music, let's kick off this review with the first song, "Demoness"! One of two 9 minute+ tracks on this album, it fades into some solid guitar riffing and a medium paced metal assault, with some effective (though very loud) growling from Teagan Sanders, and he definitely has skill at growling! Could stand to be a bit clearer though. The guitar work is nice early, with Tyler & Scott unloading some solid licks and varied tempos without getting too repetitive, but Teagan's vocals over the guitar solos are out of place, especially on the first one. Mat's drumming is good too, but I wish it was louder in the mix, same for Louie's bass playing. I like what I'm hearing for Insipid Brutality's talent & intensity, but this song's biggest problem is it's far too long, and it feels like they stretched out "Demoness" far beyond where it should have been. If cropped to around 5 minutes, I think it'd correct some of it's issues, but beyond that and the recording quality, it's a solid death metal original that shows Insipid Brutality's "insipid brutality"well!

Second is "Lucifer", which leads off with a softer guitar opening before the full instruments kick in, including a nice use of pinch harmonics, though the timing isn't flawless. The build into the first verse is a slow progression, but when the first verse begins, they're playing at a heavy and aggressive level with solid vocals, and the guitar solo midway through is also well done, if deliberate! Teagan's singing improves on "Demoness" with less unneeded interjections and a pseudo-scream later on, and the drumming also stands out here! I'd have liked to have seen the guitar solo a bit later in the track, and the ending was scratchier than it should have been, but "Lucifer" is a definite improvement and has some nice diversity all around! That's followed by "Grim Demise", the first album track previously posted on their MySpace page, and if you compare the audio, the improvements are clear for the remastered quality! The start & stop intro in the first minute is overdone, but when the actual song launches, some nice melodic guitar work & solidly loud drumming help lead to some fast and easily moshable intensity! Teagan's singing continues to serve the song better here, and the middle section on "Grim Demise" is fairly catchy with nice pacing! The return of the stop-start riffing at the end drags the song a bit, and the more varied drumming doesn't really spice it up either. If you cut the opening & ending in half even, "Grim Demise" would sound even better, but it's another good track regardless!

Fourth on "Insipid Brutality" is "Splattered Remnants", and after a softer guitar intro, the song itself begins with a slow but well played opening section with solid bass work from Louie Schmit before getting heavy in a Slayer-esque fashion with brutal riffing and some very blackened growling from Teagan that black metal fans should enjoy more! The early guitar solo is really good too, and at it's peak, this song does have an assaulting heaviness, but the last minute of the song brings things to a slower deliberate pace that has a doomier quality, only hampered by a very abrupt ending. Couldn't they have faded it out in post? That aside, this is one of the better early tracks on the album, and it's mix of metal subgenres is welcomed! Then, we have the album's shortest song, "Crucifix", which immediately leads off with some solid growling and a nice scream laid over the instruments, which are badly downtuned in the mix on this track, a problem which was on the original MySpace copy of this song too. As a showcase for Teagan's vocals, it's great, and I like his added screams and black metal tinges, but the rest of the band are way too quiet, especially with some nice fast riffing from Tyler & Scott sounding buried. I enjoy this track, but it wasn't the best recorded to benefit each member of the included songs.

Track number 6 is "Blood of the Covenant", which initially takes on a clear black metal vibe with it's galloping sound and higher pitched vocals, but the song switches between black and death vocals often early. The volumes of the band members are more equal on this track, and I like the drumming from Mat Georgevich on this song especially, along with the variance in sounds and styles that Insipid Brutality use and switch between! The guitar solo (in a more normal place here) is shorter than I'd like though, and while they do try a lot of styles and sounds, there isn't as much of a clear direction as on some earlier songs on this album. Solidly heavy and brutal track though, and never boring! It's followed by "Reaper", which has a nice ominous high guitar intro (which holds too long) before unloading into a low death metal track that again suffers from quiet instrumentation. It's not as bad as "Crucifix", but there's still a muted quality even when I turn my volume up. Though, like "Grim Demise", the similar start & end riffs get repetitive, it's not as bad as the center of "Reaper", which feels more redundant than a song of this heaviness probably should. That said, it's still a hard charging track with nice bass work, so it's a quality late song on the Insipid Brutality album!

The album's penultimate song, "Beaten Into A Stain", is also it's longest (at 9:20), but does the length work to the song's advantage? It starts very slowly and is definitely the album's slowest song yet, while still being heavy, though the vocals are fairly quiet and buried into the music until it begins to build steam a minute in. Honestly, this song was starting to drag by the end of the first half which says more for the intended length then their talents. The guitar work was actually pretty catchy, and Mat's drumming's on form early, but when the song picks up in speed midway through, it's like a long needed adrenaline shot. The intensity and speed fluctuates in the second half, but the brutal growling and nice guitar riffs and melodies are constants, and they help keep interest and engagement in such a long track. If the first half were chopped down, I'd rank this higher, but Insipid Brutality didn't do bad on this song at all, and it shows a lot of their range!

The album ends with "Insipid Hell", and while the original opening was removed, it now starts in very brutal and fast fashion! That said, the vocals are very poorly recorded here, and it sounds like background noise whenever Teagan sings on both the new and MySpace copies of this song, which is a shame given the clarity & focus on some earlier songs. I know you can only do so much with a song that's already recorded, but if it can't live up to the recording quality of other songs, why include it? That said, the instrumental work is pretty good, and there's some nice drum work and catchy guitar leads, but the quality issues do numb some of the instrumental impact as well. It's definitely a good and well written death metal song, but as an album capper, the recording quality deficiencies don't do it justice at all. That said, how do I grade Insipid Brutality's posthumous album? I have to say first that I admire what Tyler Dettloff has done to bring the band and material back from the dead (so to speak), and I'd love to see more local bands release old material & unreleased albums posthumously like this! Though younger, the guys show nice talent levels on this album, including very brutal growling from Teagan Sanders, solid guitar riffs and solos from Tyler & Scott Savoie, and Louie Schmit & Mat Georgevich handled the low end & rhythm equally well themselves!

Songs like "Lucifer", "Splattered Remnants", and "Beaten Into A Stain" are among some of the better written originals, but they (and the other tracks) suffer for one big reason: I don't believe these recordings were originally intended to be on an album. While Kyle Van Howe did a great job improving the audio quality on these songs, you can tell that they are live demo recordings that were intended to be only that in the mid-2000s, and the album release was a later decision using previously recorded live tracks. As such, the quality & volume widely varies, especially on vocals, which range from too loud ("Crucifix") to almost inaudible ("Insipid Hell".) As well, there are other flaws, like repetition and drawn out material, downtuned bass, some occasional flubs mid-song, and less guitar solos then I'd personally like, but I find that for "Insipid Brutality", you need to look at it on a different scale then other local metal albums. For what this is, it's a nice collection of death metal originals from one of the area's heaviest bands in the mid-2000s, with improved audio from what was previously available, and if you can get past the recording quality, black and death metal fans should be able to find a lot to like from Insipid Brutality's album! Buy it A.S.A.P. at the above links, and maybe they'll reunite down the road!

I hope you guys like this month's CD review, but what's coming up in June? Like this month, I'm not entirely sure, as nothing brand new is waiting for a review from a local metal/hard rock band at the moment. All I can guarantee is that, like last month, Foothill Road's live CD or of anything by Sykotyk Rampage or Woods of Ypres will NOT be our next CD reviews on the site, as it's still too soon from our last reviews of theirs (but Foothill Road could be as soon as July depending on different factors.) If nothing new from a local metal band comes out by June 30th (and stay tuned for all that could be next in Saturday's next "Where Are The New Albums" post), we'll dip into the archives, but could we look at Aftersight's album? Candle Hour's? The Harsh Heads'? Detroit's first demo? An archive Mike Haggith album? Something I don't have yet, like an early As It Stands EP? The Amethyst or Proposition 86 cassettes? Infrastrate's EP? Something else entirely? Time will tell, so stay tuned for updates, along with my review of TONIGHT'S 44th Rosie metal night tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tym Morrison), Woods Of Ypres Updates & Reviews, And Much More!!

In what will probably be our last news post of May 2012, we've stacked the deck with plenty of stories, including this week's classic video, plenty of Woods of Ypres news (including a new interview & some new CD reviews), and even more, but first, here's LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month, so here's what you need to know! (And make sure to check out our weekend concert preview post, featuring some recently announced dates, in the post below this one!)

Fresh off of the announcement of Caveman Morrison's late 2010 lineup's reunion this weekend at The Rosie, frontman Tym Morrison has also confirmed his next solo concert dates, which will come on June 15th & 16th at The Service Grill! These come four weeks after his solo acoustic set returned with his new guitar, and like his shows at the Korah Road restaurant last weekend, these will both include two sets of four hours in length on both the Friday & Saturday gigs, so there's plenty of time to catch Tym's entertaining metal & hard rock covers live in two weeks! Both of these shows will likely have no cover charge or age limit (knowing the restaurant setting), and the sets each night should begin at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM with a one hour break at around 7:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! These should make for a solid weekend of unplugged covers from Tym Morrison, so if you're up for lots of great music at one of his favourite venues, keep these shows in mind next month!

Next up, here's a brand new audio interview with Woods of Ypres' guitarist Joel Violette! Though it was posted on May 12th by interviewer Matt Longo on the website Mind Over Metal (who interviewed late frontman David Gold as well for that site last year), the interview actually took place before the David Gold tribute shows in April, and lasts a little over 40 minutes in length, as bookended by "Woods V" tracks. It's much longer than Matt's interview with David, and in it, he and Joel discuss "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", Joel & David's roles on the album, how Joel joined Woods of Ypres, his work in Thrawsunblat, David's changing looks & world views, the band's lyrics, the posthumous praise of "Woods V", the new album's sounds, the circumstances & rumours surrounding David Gold's death (including Joel's belief that the lyrics on some songs weren't foreshadowing suicide), why Earache Records released the free promo album in the way it did, the planned Woods of Ypres European tour this year & the then-upcoming tribute shows, and when exactly did "W5" come out, among other topics! In terms of new Woods of Ypres topics relating to their future, Joel confirmed that there would be no new material (though "Woods VI" would have been summer-themed), and he reiterated that the only possible posthumous release he can see would be a piano-based album of re-recorded material.

This is a great interview that touches on a lot of topic and subjects relating to recent Woods of Ypres history, though the audio quality early in the interview on Joel's end isn't great. I still believe that an album of demos, outtakes, and unreleased material (i.e. the full "Woods 4.5" material) would be great, but who knows what the future holds. Click here or check the above links to hear the full interview, which starts about 1:44 into the audio file, and hopefully we hear some more exciting news from the Woods of Ypres archives in the future!

While we're on the subject, here's even more recent reviews of Woods of Ypres' last recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! Last week, Brian Giffin from the metal webzine Loud gave"W5" a 98% rating, calling it "a stark, disturbing, beautiful album", and highly praising the lyrical content and it's philosophical nature, only criticizing "Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)" as a weak point. Solid and well written review, so check it out at this location! In another recent review, Pete Woods from the Metal Team U.K. Metal 'Zine gave "Woods V" an positive assessment, and though he noted it's tough to review and you need to be in the right mood and without distraction to fully appreciate it, he called it a "very special album" and noted it's impact and beauty numerous times. Another very nice review with a lot of honesty as to it's feelings and themes, so click here to check it out! Finally, Ellis Woolley from the Danish website gave "Woods V" a 7.5/10 in a March review, and while he praised the album for it's unique sound and accessibility as a doom record, he docked points for the production, which he felt smoothed over rougher and heavier parts of the CD. I'll have to go back and hear it to see if he's right, but this is another good & honest review, so check it out at this link, and stay tuned for more "Woods V" reviews next month!

Also, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by band or venue name:
  • If you're curious to see the demolition of local concert venue/Sault College campus bar The Outback, which took place over the past week, then check out this time lapse webcam video courtesy of local musician Mike Cliffe's YouTube channel! It's sad to see The Outback go, but hopefully the new health & wellness center that replaces it will be a success, and fingers crossed that the college hosts concerts somewhere on campus in the future!
  • I'm probably badly overdue to mention this on here, but I've replaced our link for The Roosevelt Hotel on the site, as it now links to their Facebook page rather than their older Reverbnation page. Small change, but I thought I'd make sure you guys knew about it!
  • Local death metal band Social Suicide (featuring Bring The Misery & Bear Hunters alumni) are reportedly planning to play a "small show" of some type next month, followed by plans to play outdoor gigs this summer (potentially including the Bellevue Park Bandshell.) It's been too long since they launched, and I'm very curious to hear them live, so hopefully this all pans out! My source is their Facebook page.

And finally, here's this week's classic video! With the Roosevelt Hotel metal nights returning after an over two month break tomorrow, it made sense to feature a video from both that series and performers at tomorrow's show, so I focused on Bear Hunters guitarist Josh Stephney, though you can only hear him in this video, oddly enough. As you may remember, he fronted another local death metal band, Bring The Fallen, from 2009-2011, and one of their last concert videos is only now on YouTube, though it's from an angle you don't see much of from local bands. This video is of Bring The Fallen playing their original song "Defiling Despondence" at what I think was the 4th Rosie metal night on January 6th, and it was filmed on what looks like an iPhone camera from below drummer Travis St. Amour's kit, so while you hear the full song, you only really see Travis' left leg, left arm, and some of the drums. I assume the video was originally filmed at this angle to focus on his drumming, but it should have been positioned somewhere else, as it's not placed somewhere with a good view or lighting (though I did brighten the quality after posting this video on YouTube.) Even still, it's a nice later glimpse at Bring The Fallen on stage for it's decent audio quality, from before breakup rumours dominated the spring 2011 news on them!

This video was originally posted onto Facebook by Travis on January 27th of last year, and you can watch the original video at NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit goes to the ex-members of Bring The Fallen for this video, I'm just trying to share this video with a wider audience like it deserves! Though the angle is odd, it's a solid performance from Bring The Fallen's later months, so check it out below, and go see Josh with his current band TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rosie!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our last post of the month (our review of the Insipid Brutality album) TOMORROW! It will be an auto-post due to some personal plans tomorrow, but keep an eye out for it tomorrow afternoon, and I'll see you guys at The Roosevelt Hotel tomorrow night as well for the latest Rosie metal night relaunch! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Nudge & Caveman Morrison) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's time to preview this weekend's slate of metal and hard rock concerts taking place in the Sault Ste. Marie area from tomorrow through Saturday, but leading off for those are some short notice LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS on both sides of the border on Friday & Saturday, so here's what you need to know! (EDIT, 11:50 AM)

Marquette hard rock quartet Nudge are returning to Sault Michigan THIS WEEKEND! I apologize for the shorter notice than we usually get, but the Facebook event page was only posted on Monday, and there wasn't enough time to cover these dates twice this week without redundancy. Nudge will help kick off June 2012 with a pair of shows at The Satisfied Frog this Friday & Saturday for their second local weekend with their current lineup, and it's good to see Nudge coming back to the area so soon after their shows earlier this month! Notably, frontman Danzo McCracken also has two acoustic sets lined up at The Frog TONIGHT & tomorrow night too, so click here for more details on those gigs as well. Both the June 1st & 2nd dates have no announced cover charge and 10:00 PM start times, and you must be 21 to attend on either night this weekend. Check the above links for more details! These should be another fun weekend of Nudge concert dates from one of the U.P.'s hardest working bands, and hopefully a big crowd turns out at The Frog this weekend to hear their entertaining blend of hard rock covers! For a preview, here's Nudge covering Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" at a show in 2008!

Also for recently announced shows this weekend, Sault Ontario metal cover trio Caveman Morrison just announced yesterday evening that they're playing at The Roosevelt Hotel THIS FRIDAY & SATURDAY! Apologies for the short notice again, but it looks like the band heard about the shows only recently as it is. Four weeks after their last Rosie appearances, this talented trio will bring their entertaining set of heavy covers back to the Korah Road bar all weekend long, and if you've missed them in the past few weeks, don't miss them over the next little while! However, they're look different (yet still familiar) this weekend, as ex-Browbeat frontman and former bassist Dutch Vanderploeg will be filling in on bass this weekend, creating (at least for one weekend) a reunion of Caveman Morrison's fall 2010 lineup. According to frontman Tym Morrison on the Facebook event page, James White had to "part with the band" due to commitments with his new job, explaining the need for a replacement this weekend. While it's disappointing to see James leave, we'll still see him in Redundant, so not all is lost, and Dutch should hopefully fit back in Caveman Morrison like a glove this weekend, even if it's only for one weekend!

As could be expected, Caveman Morrison's shows on Friday & Saturday are 19+ events with no cover charge and 10:00 PM-ish start times. For more details, check the above links! It's great to see Caveman Morrison back on stage for some more concerts, and hopefully I can make it out this weekend to see this 2010 reunion in action! For a preview for this weekend's shows, here's Caveman Morrison covering Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" last year!

Now to the previously announced shows, starting with the long awaited return of the Roosevelt Hotel metal nights! After an over two month hiatus, the Thursday night metal concert series returns TOMORROW NIGHT, partly thanks to new booking team member/Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie, and it's great to see the series back for a 44th installment! Bookers have brought a very solid lineup of bands tomorrow, consisting of the three most frequently seen bands at Thursday metal nights at The Rosie, including headliners As It Stands in their first local concert appearance since their strong set at the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands! The prominent local hardcore quintet will also be making their second straight Rosie metal night appearance (they opened the last one on March 10th), and you know their energetic metalcore stylings will be sure to deliver a huge crowd and some big moshpits tomorrow night! The opening bands will include include the aforementioned Bear Hunters and fellow local death metal standouts Shit Liver, both fresh off of opening for Fuck The Facts, and their diverse takes on the art of growling and metal brutality will surely be welcomed by all tomorrow at The Rosie!

Admission is free (as is standard for all-local Rosie metal nights), it'll start at 9:00 PM or later tomorrow, and continuing the trend from March 10th, this (and the next two Rosie metal nights) will be ALL AGES! Good to see age limits being excised in full, and hopefully the all ages model continues to be successful in the Rosie metal nights' third incarnation! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Again, I 100.23% guarantee I'll be at The Roosevelt Hotel tomorrow for this show, and I really hope I can see you guys out there tomorrow, with a review and photos/videos to follow! It'll be awesome, so come on out, and for a preview, here's As It Stands playing their song "Embay The Terrible" at The Grand Theater last month!

And finally for known metal/hard rock shows this weekend (I'll have more if I hear of them), Sault Michigan hard rock notables Monkey's Uncle are apparently returning to The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino THIS WEEKEND! Their shows on Friday & Saturday will be the first at Kewadin Casino's bar in over a month, and though concerts elsewhere remain hard to source due to a lack of frequently updated online pages, it's nice to see two Kewadin concert weekends from Monkey's Uncle spaced closer together than some other recent dates have been! As one would expect for Rapids Lounge concerts, this weekend's shows should have 21+ age limits, no announced cover charge, and start times of around 10:00 PM. Check the above links for more details! Knowing the available originals and covers in Monkey's Uncle's playlist from their peak of online activity, I can assume that they'll deliver a great weekend of hard rocking tunes on Friday and Saturday, so keep their shows at The Rapids Lounge in mind this weekend! For a preview, here's Monkey's Uncle covering Jet's "Cold Hard Bitch" a few year's back!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Insipid Brutality review and more news by tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril & Monkey's Uncle), Mike Haggith & Woods Of Ypres Updates, And More!!

Here's a blast of news for this Tuesday morning, including the latest on a local artist's next album, new reviews of a prominent local CD, and much more, but first, we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, as Kewadin Casino in Sault Michigan has updated their entertainment page to reflect new shows at The Rapids Lounge through the end of the year, which includes a handful of new hard rock shows! We'll get to those in a second, but also check the above links to find out new dates from area classic rock bands Aisle8, Bittermoon (with Monkey's Uncle alum Jim Belleau), and Crossroads, local indie acoustic duo Fallen Heroes, Oscoda classic rockers Grounded, and local country artist Paul Perry. Nothing overly heavy there, but there's plenty of talent present, so keep those bands in mind this year at Kewadin, along with the 9 weekends that are currently open that could be filled. Also, note that most of these bands (including the two hard rock acts) have upcoming dates at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace this year as well that you guys might be hearing more about this summer... stay tuned! Now, to the new metal shows at The Rapids Lounge!

In chronological order, we'll start with the latest local dates from Charlevoix metal trio Peril, who will apparently return to The Rapids Lounge on October 5th & 6th and December 21st & 22nd! These join their planned dates at Kewadin Casino's bar on July 13th and 14th on their 2012 concert schedule, and though very spread out, fans of Peril's classic metal covers & originals should be right at home with these new dates, including what's effectively the Christmas weekend this year! These gigs should have 10:00 PM-ish start times, no cover charge, and 21+ age limits, as is typical for Sault Michigan bar concerts, but note that these dates could be subject to change (their July concert weekend has already been moved up one week.) Sounds like some solid additions to their concert schedule for sure, and you know the guys in Peril will deliver a great time at their next local dates, so keep these new shows in mind as the year wears on, and check the above links for more details!

Before we get to the other new hard rock shows at Kewadin, I just wanted to note that Peril's Facebook page features a concert lineup implying that they're playing at the Sault Kewadin on August 24th & 25th, while Kewadin's entertainment page lists them as playing at the Kewadin Casino in St. Ignace that weekend. I assume it's just an error, but if the shows were indeed moved, I'll keep you guys posted on that A.S.A.P.!

The other heavier new concerts are courtesy of local hard rock notables Monkey's Uncle, who are now confirmed for a pair of late 2012 concert weekends of their own! While their August 3rd & 4th concerts were restored to the lineup after briefly being removed along with some other summer dates, the Henry Switzer-led quartet will return to The Rapids Lounge on October 12th & 13th and December 14th & 15th, exactly a week after and a week before the new Peril gigs! I'd expect 10:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no cover charge at any of these new dates, and check the above links for more details! Though I wish Monkey's Uncle had better updated pages and newer information online, they are a very talented and entertaining hard rock band with lots of solid original material and covers, so don't miss them at their future local dates, including THIS WEEKEND at The Rapids Lounge, and these new Monkey's Uncle & Peril dates are now in our concert listings!

Next up, here's the latest news from Sault Ontario solo artist Mike Haggith! While we're still waiting for the release of his long delayed 45th solo album "Neighbourhood Watch", he's keeping fans up to speed with lots of new demo and full track postings towards the album that we can stream in advance! All were posted on his solo project's Facebook page in video format (so I can't embed any of them here) including an instrumental mix of "To Whom This May Concern", full versions of "Leon the Janitor" and "Room 822", and more (including two instrumental mixes of non-album tracks), so check the above links to hear the new material! I won't weigh in with full thoughts yet, as I fully expect to review Mike's new album upon it's release, but longtime fans of his solo work shouldn't be disappointed! Also in recent Mike Haggith news: He quietly released a new single named "Prozac Weather" to his Reverbnation store on Friday, making it his second solo single release after "The Curse of 13", judging by what was on his old Facebook discography. It hasn't been posted for free streaming as of today, so you can only buy it to hear this 18 minute long song (featuring parts of existing original songs) in full, but it's available for $5.59 or less depending on your chosen format, so give "Prozac Weather" a shot, and stay tuned to the above links for more on Mike Haggith's newest music!

Also, here's some more reviews of Woods of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! On January 22nd, Dominic Walsh from the British metal site Dawn of the Deaf gave the local doom metal quartet's latest release 4.5 stars out of 5, saying that it left a superb legacy for the band, and called it a "surreal listen" when you know about what happened to late frontman David Gold. It's a fairly brief actual review, with much of the text referring to the events surrounding it's release in December and early 2012, but check it out at this location! In another review in January, Dirk Konz from the German metal site MetalNews gave "W5" a 6/7, calling it a "posthumous masterpiece", while complimenting on it's organic & clean sound , and also viewing it as timeless. That said, it's a longer review that needs translation if you can't speak German, so run this link through Google Translate to check it out! Finally, Raymond Westland from ThisIsNotAScene gave "Woods V" 8.5 stars out of 10 in another January review, and while he said it didn't hold many surprises, and had a "diminshed underground charm", he called it "incredibly solid" and the perfect follow-up to "Woods IV". This is a good and concise review, so click here to check it out, and stay tuned for more Woods of Ypres notes soon, including a recently discovered interview with guitarist Joel Violette from earlier this month!

And finally, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by band or channel name:
  • Remember the local band on YouTube user adamscovers' channel from various Superior Heights gigs? Well, I can confirm that the Adam in question is Adam Gualtieri, who is the shorter haired member on guitar & bass in the posted videos. He joins Liam Seymour & a yet-unidentified drummer in this band, and I think Adam is related to ex-Creatures of the Night bassist Mike Gualtieri. Hopefully we hear more on this band soon, but thanks to Adam for letting me know some extra details!
  • I'll likely be moving Valentine's Day Massacre/Sativa Rose guitarist Andrew Angelic's solo project to our inactive band links on Saturday due to a year's inactivity. He last used his solo MySpace page on the day he started it (June 2nd of last year), likely due to focusing on his bands. Definitely keep posted on his bands though, as he's still very busy in music, but if his solo project returns, I'll be sure to let you guys know!
  • Local doom/stoner metal band Giwakwa have quietly parted ways with singer Jason Bourcier, as per his removal from their lineup on their Facebook page. A public reason hasn't been announced for his departure, and though I have heard why, I won't go into further detail unless the band says anything publically, out of respect to all parties. Best of luck to Jason in his next musical steps for sure though, and stay tuned for more Giwakwa updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Insipid Brutality review by Thursday, along with weekend concert previews and more! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Local Metal Video Showcase!!

For the first time in over three weeks, we have a local metal video showcase for you guys on this last Monday of May! It's all about videos this morning, including a new solo performance, plenty of new songs by a resurfacing metal band, a look at a prominent local band's recording process, and leading things off, your first glimpse at a new metal quartet, so here's what you need to know!

It's about time for our first glimpse of new local stoner metal quartet Giwakwa... well, half of them! During a jam session yesterday, footage of Giwakwa guitarist Chris Page and new drummer Chris Thompson playing an original song named "Endless Bummer" was shot by an attendee and posted on to the band's new YouTube channel earlier today, but how does it sound? Catchy heavy riff with solid drumming, and there's definitely a good base here for an original song, but you can tell it needs some extra work. There's no vocals or bass (Jason Bourcier's not featured & Nolan Rainville's still out of town), and the guitar is a bit repetitive early (and lacking a solo), but I like where Giwakwa are going with "Endless Bummer"! If they can build on this with a fuller lineup and the talents they possess, they'll definitely be a band to watch when Nolan comes back home in a few months, so check out this jam of "Endless Bummer" below, and stay tuned for more Giwakwa updates as they roll in!

Next up, while Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands winners Late & Loud are still on their break, fans can be tided over via a new video on their YouTube channel! Along with a re-upload of a March concert video from another channel, they uploaded a short 59 second video filmed by guitarist Brendan Christie of their home recording setup at "the Tiberi Villa" yesterday, which also features the other band members doing everything from using a broom handle for a musical purpose to laying down. Nothing too shocking, but it's an interesting watch, especially to see the homemade operation for the production of their first demo! Also in recent news, Late & Loud recently indicated on their Facebook page that they're looking for a hot red muscle car to use for their first ever music video, which is planned to be directed by local photographer Allan Brunke, though specifics on the video (including which song the video will be for) have yet to be publicized. I'm definitely curious to hear more on this project, and as details come in, you'll see them here, but for now, give their new recording session video a look below!

Also today, do you guys remember a Sault Ontario metal band named AlterWhite? They were formed early last year by local musicians Mike Matthews & Kevin McCarthy, and were actively using & posting songs to their Facebook page & YouTube channel through last June, but public information on AlterWhite dropped off for almost a year. It was actually nearing time to list them as inactive on the site, but they've surged back into view this month with lots of new updates (including a "show" on May 19th at "Harrison's", that I knew nothing on), but the bulk of the new updates are in the form of six new audio tracks on their YouTube channel! In lieu of their 2011 demos (which were deleted from YouTube, though not Facebook), they've posted a new version of their song "Help From Above" and new tracks named "Anomaly", "Prison of You", "Half Breed", "Proud", and "Wolfbane Blooms" onto YouTube, so click each link to check them out! Note that their re-recordings of their song "Lost Souls" & their old covers weren't among the new uploads, but the band's promising more songs in the next few weeks, so they could be coming then. The new originals have definitely benefited from better recording quality and production, along with mixing the tracks to make everything sound like there's a fuller band, so they're a step above last year!

That said, there's work to be done still. I think Mike overdoes it at times on vocals (though his Hetfield-esque tone is nice to hear), and some songs can be a bit repetitive. Plus, some lack more than others in terms of needing a full band, but AlterWhite are definitely progressing forward well enough! I have no idea why public updates stalled for almost 11 months, but it's nice to see Mike & Kevin keeping at it, and hopefully they can continue to do the right things to move up the local metal ladder! Here's one of the new highlights "Prison of You", but check out more from AlterWhite at the above links, and stay tuned for more from them in the next few weeks!

And finally, here's a surprising new cover from ApocalyptiCDistroyeR frontman Jesse Middaugh, as he posted a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" onto the band's YouTube channel on Saturday! Jesse's vocals suit the song's mood, but it's too slow paced and simple compared to his talents, but admittedly, this is coming from a guy who isn't a fan of Elvis Presley's music. I might not be the right person to critique it on that basis, but if you wanna hear a well performed cover in a softer style, give Jesse's new video a look below!

That's probably all for today, but stay tuned for more news and our Insipid Brutality album review this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (As It Stands & Winkstinger), The Return Of Rosie Metal Nights, And New Videos!!

Let's get back to some news today, and there's some pretty cool stuff to cover this time around! Today, we have some awesome looks back at the local scene in the mid 1990s, a new video from a major recent metal show, the latest Rosie metal night updates, and leading things off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for the next couple of weeks, so here's what you need to know! (Edited at 3:37 PM)

The Roosevelt Hotel metal nights officially return THIS THURSDAY! While the planned return on May 24th didn't pan out, the series undergoes it's second relaunch in under 7 months on the last day of May with Bear Hunters' guitarist Mitch Sirie now on the booking team, and he's brought us a solid lineup of local bands for the 44th installment, including the three most frequently seen bands on Thursdays at The Roosevelt Hotel! Local hardcore quintet As It Stands will headline on Thursday in their first concert since their strong performance at the Humane Society Battle of the Bands, but it will also be their second straight metal night appearance, having been the local support at the 43rd installment on March 15th. It'll be good to see A.I.S. again, their brutal hardcore stylings are always welcome, and you know they can draw a crowd! Joining them are local death metal bands The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver, fresh off of opening for Fuck The Facts each, and you know they'll brutalize all who attend with their unique takes on death metal! Like the past all local metal nights, it's a free event with an advertised 9:00 PM start time, but judging by the Facebook event page, it's also all ages, continuing the trend from the Waster-headlined show in March. Check the above links for more details!

I can 100.23% guarantee I'll be there on Thursday, and hopefully you guys can come out too! While the Die Mannequin-headlined punk show there tided over some of you guys for Thursday concert action, it's great to see Rosie metal nights back after such a long absence, and I hope to see all you guys there for it's grand return! That said, when is the next metal night taking place after this Thursday?

Just one week later, actually, as the 45th Rosie metal night will go down on June 7th, marking the first time that Thursday metal nights have ran on consecutive weeks since the end of the Dismembertainment-booked shows 8 months ago. Two bands have been announced so far, including local extreme metal quintet Winkstinger in their first metal night appearance since February, and you know they'll be ready to melt faces with their entertaining and alcohol fueled brand of metal on June 7th! They'll be joined by local metal quartet Borderline Divine (the former Stillbroke) in their first ever Roosevelt Hotel appearance, and it will also be bassist Justin Polutanovich's first Rosie metal night since opening for The Dayglo Abortions with Skull After Betrayl almost a year ago! Their increasingly heavy brand of hard rock will be welcomed next week, as they definitely impressed at the West of Hell show, so don't miss them next Thursday! A third band is to be announced for this show, and we'll keep you posted for sure as updates roll in. This should be a 9:00 PM or later affair too with no cover charge, but age limits are pending. For more details, check the Facebook event page! Sounds like another great concert is shaping up, and hopefully you guys can come to this one too, so stay tuned for updates as they come in!

That's all for new Rosie metal night announcements that I can tell, but Mitch also confirmed the lineup order in another Facebook event page for the 46th metal night on June 21st (I don't believe there's one on the 14th.) Apparently, Desbarats death metal band For All That Is Lost will headline, followed by The Bear Hunters in their 20th metal night appearance, and fellow Debarats notables Inhuman Methods (with their new singer Anthony Tverdal) as openers. Sounds good to me, and I'm interested to hear Inhuman Methods' new lineup, so stay tuned for much more Rosie metal night news as it all rolls in, and don't miss the series' return on Thursday!

Let's close this post with new videos, starting with a new video from Wednesday night's Fuck The Facts-headlined show at The Canadian Nightclub! This comes from Garden of Bedlam guitarist Josh Belleau's brand new YouTube channel (separate from the old Chainsaw666 one), and he filmed parts of the three opening bands' sets for this 12 minute video! You'll see clips of For All That Is Lost playing most of their original song "Ripped In Two", followed by portions of Shit Liver playing around 5 songs (but they all go by quick), and The Bear Hunters playing "Bloodthirst" and "Dominate" (I believe), and they're definitely well shot! Josh got lots of great angles on a nice camera, but Shit Liver sounded a bit staticy at times, and aside from some of their shorter material, no full performances are featured in the video from start to finish. Also woulda been cool to get some Fuck The Facts footage, but Josh did great filming all this, and hopefully we'll see more videos of a local metal relevance on his new channel soon! Check out Josh's video of the opening bands from Wednesday at The Canadian below!

And finally, here's some cool archive videos I was recently alerted to that deserve a mention on the site! Asylum Country guitarist Terry Eaton shown me a few videos of his old local metal band Hollow from way back in 1994! Yes, the same band the reunited last August for a pair of local gigs. These were uploaded onto drummer Vinnie Milosevich's YouTube channel in 2010, and though I don't know what venue these were shot in, there's definitely a pretty good crowd! The quality isn't fantastic, and at least half of the stage view is cut off by attendees' heads, but you do get a bead on how talented Hollow were in their prime! I assume Terry & Vinnie were joined by Luigi Miceli, Tym Morrison, and Dan Beaupre in this lineup, but the video quality makes it hard to 100% verify that. Despite the 18 year old VHS quality, Hollow sounded really good here, very tight and well versed in this material, and the vocals are great too, though some lyrics were flubbed here and there. The videos are of their covers of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" and "Creeping Death" and Pantera's "Cemetery Gates", and they're an awesome glimpse back in the local scene (curse my age), so I highly recommend checking them out! Click the above links, and here's "Creeping Death"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news this week, plus our Insipid Brutality album review! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Azriahl

It's that time once again for our penultimate feature post of the month, and it's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! As always, this profile will look at a metal or hard rock band from outside of the Sault Ste. Marie area that happens to feature at least one past or present Sault Ste. Marie resident in one of their lineups. This 36th band that we're covering in this monthly series have only recently been garnering a lot of attention, but they're off to a good start, so read all about this month's profiled band below! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
Azriahl (Peterborough, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED, ex-members in italics. This information may be incomplete. E-mail me if you have any additions!)

Sarah Mourning (vocals/guitar)
Paul Tikkanen (guitar)
Kyle Vaughan (guitar/keyboard)
Robbie Rogers (drums)
Mike Pickett (live bass)

Chris Schwan (guitar)
Steve Pooley (bass)

Jimi Baldwin (bass)
Richard Alvarez (drums)
Gary Johnston (drums)

Official Reverbnation page:
Official Facebook page:
Official Twitter page:
Official YouTube channel:

Local Info: The only Saultite in Azriahl to my knowledge is guitarist Paul Tikkanen, who may be very familiar to local fans from his work in 1980s acts like Thansis Colle (with veteran local drummer Glen Thomas), and his talent spoke for itself back then! After moving to Toronto, he played lead guitar in acts like Tikkanen, Sinisteria, and Q, releasing some original material in the process. After a lengthy hiatus & a move to Peterborough, he joined the hard rock band Blackmeat Powder in the late 2000s, and after he left that band due to musical differences, he recently joined forces with Azriahl. Currently, Paul also does some solo instrumental work which he licenses to the entertainment industry, some of which you can stream at this location, and he's recently been seen in the progressive rock band Goblin Market with Azriahl bandmate Robbie Rogers.

Band Bio: Azriahl are a progressive hard rock band that has been active in varying forms since around 2008, when it was started as an acoustic solo project led by frontwoman Sarah Mourning. Since at least 2010, the band has slowly assembled a full five piece lineup, with Paul joining in or around the summer of 2011. Increasingly gaining some radio airplay and solid notices in Southern Ontario, the band released their debut album in the fall of 2012, and, and debuted as a full band on December 22nd as part of a CD release show in Peterborough, later playing live the following spring, though they soon went on hiatus. Though officially "sleeping but alive & well", Sarah is hoping to revive the band with a new lineup in the coming months. From what I've heard of Azriahl so far, I'm impressed with their mix of progressive rock and heavier influences, and they definitely seem to have their head on straight in terms of their musical future! Sarah's vocals are deeper & more soulful then I expected, and they suit some of the more downbeat material well, while on songs like "Red Queen" & "Faith", there's some really nice bass work and guitar melodies!

Paul's talents are on full display, though I would like to hear some more guitar solos on the released tracks so far. Updated have been slow since mid-2013, but hopefully we hear more soon! Azriahl's currently posted material can primarily be found at their Reverbnation page linked above, and you can now buy their album at this link, so definitely give it a look! Their YouTube channel also has a bunch of original songs, demo recordings, and more, so check it out as well. Featured below is a live video from their live debut in December 2012 featuring 3 songs, so give it a look for some exciting progressive hard rock!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we're finally gonna take a look at RedStone Riot, the Muskegon hard rock quintet featuring former Elipzis bandmates and Sault Michigan natives Rachel Kiger & Ryan Harrison! Now that they have some material online, it makes sense to spotlight them next, so look out for that profile on or around June 26th! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news very soon along with our Insipid Brutality album review by the end of the month! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 25, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Powerslug), Plus News From Frightlight, LemmaFest, Acention, And More!!

Well guys, the weekend's schedule is largely quiet for metal and hard rock concerts at present, but is there anything heavy going down that I can verify? Yes, as we have a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for a show TOMORROW (and a related lineup change), and that leads off today's post, but also stay tuned afterwards for a local band's recent interview, LemmaFest updates, a young local band's first video glimpse, and more!

Apparently, Sault Michigan hard rockers Powerslug will return to The Corner Pub Bar & Grill for perhaps the first time of the new year TOMORROW NIGHT! I actually learned about this show from a different source, that being prominent local musician Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten (Wearwithal, ex-End of Existence, etc.) on his personal Facebook page yesterday. As it turns out, he's actually their current drummer (replacing Ivan Schliska), and recent postings indicate that he joined the band around the time of their name change from River Witch last August. However, note that I haven't found any postings from Orb from before April referring to Powerslug, so take that for what it's worth. Either way, the band's lack of an online page precluded me from hearing about the change when it happened, and I apologize for being so late with word here, but it's good to see Bob drumming live again! He's definitely talented, and with Great Bodily Harm dissolved, it's nice to see him hitting the local stage still, even if details on Powerslug are hard to source! Best of luck to Ivan too, and though I don't know why he left, hopefully we hear more from him at some point! As stated above, this talented hard rock quartet will hit the stage at The Corner Pub tomorrow, and they'll be on at around 10:00 PM with no announced cover charge and a 21+ age limit.

Though I wish Powerslug had an online page of some kind or video footage to keep fans abreast of any songs, lineup changes, or upcoming dates, there is clear talent in Powerslug's lineup, and I know that their show tomorrow will be a great time, so if you're in the mood for some hard rock on this quiet concert weekend, go chug your mug with Powerslug tomorrow night at The Corner Pub!

Next up, here's a new article on local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight! Lydia Peever from the fittingly named Ottawa horror culture website Ottawa Horror recently interviewed singer Johnny Pints towards an article/contest for their site on Wednesday, and it's a nice read! In the article, Johnny discusses the band members' love for horror movies, the inspiration for the Frightlight name, and some horror links to some of their tracks (including hinting towards a They Live-inspired new song), while Lydia also complimented the band's artistic style and the sound of their "It's A...Live" EP, and expressed hope that Frightlight will play in Ottawa down the road. My only gripe is that they incorrectly credited the Die Mannequin show earlier this month as drummer Chris FreakNStein's second live show with Frightlight, when it was his fourth (following the Misfits gig in Toronto, the Coch's Corner Halloween party, and Dead In The Van), but the rest is awesome and gives Frightlight some well deserved press! As well, a contest is also featured there where the winner will receive a large Frightlight t-shirt, two copies of their EP, three pins, and four stickers, so if you wanna enter, e-mail with the name of your favourite horror-themed band before 1:00 PM TOMORROW!

It's great to see Frightlight spreading the dead far beyond the Soo, and it's a nice complimentary article all around, so give it a look at this location, and enter the contest if you can to win a cool Frightlight prize package!

Thirdly, here's the latest updates relating to the second annual LemmaFest outside of Dondee Lanes on June 23rd! There's been a change to the band order for the festival, as local metal trio Scofflaw and local cover rock quartet Chump Change have swapped slots, with Chump Change jumping back to a 3:00 PM set and Scofflaw now closing the outdoor stage at 9:00 PM. The switch was made due to a booking conflict for Chump Change, presumably due to an existing concert lined up that evening, as per drummer Jason VanLuven on the LemmaFest Facebook page. Not too drastic of a change, but it helps all parties, and it does stack the deck more for metal in the evening, so make note of this lineup alteration! Also, LemmaFest organizers have announced that some proceeds from this year's event will go towards the Grosse Pointe Music Academy's Guitar Camp in Sault Michigan this July, and there's an attached contest deal going on with this event, so click here for all the details on that! This could be a fun and rewarding way to get young prospective musicians in the area a chance to learn more on the guitar, and it's awesome to see LemmaFest supporting the cause! Check the above links for more on LemmaFest, and stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

Also, here's some more recent updates from new Sault Ontario hard rock band Acention! Band members have frequently been updating their Facebook page with new stuff, so here's some of what's been posted over the last few days! They've confirmed that guitarist Dalton Boissineau is handling vocals at the moment (replacing Danielle Wierzbicki), and they've also posted a bunch of new band photos (including a new logo) to go along with a bunch of recent status postings. Most have been teasers for original material & covers they're working on, including a cover of The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Strip My Mind", but most recently, they've posted their first video footage! It's a Facebook video (so I can't embed it here), but it's of Dalton and guitarist Josh Willet working on an original song on acoustic guitars, and this is a solid start, but I definitely wanna see this expanded on with bass and electric guitars and so on. Click here to check it out, and stay tuned for more news and notes from this promising young band as it all comes in!

And finally, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or festival name:
  • Continuing their recent spring run of concerts outside of the Sault Michigan area, Kinross hard rockers Banned will hit the Trailhead Campground in Drummond Island (just under 2 hours from here) for a "job" TOMORROW NIGHT! Sure, it's a bit of a drive, but if you wanna see Banned live, keep their Drummond Island trip in mind this weekend! My source is the band's Facebook page.
  • The official poster for the second Sewer Swampstravaganza concert on July 13th has been revealed! Like last year's, it was done by local artist & Ye Olde Mold Pickers accordionist Rihkee Strap, and the design this year is a bit cleaner and more artistic! However, Inhuman Methods isn't pluralized on the poster, but this isn't the first time that their name has been misspelled locally. Stay tuned for more updates on this 10 band all ages show!
  • Sault Michigan hard rock trio Tantrum (formerly Abstract) are apparently playing a gig of some kind tomorrow at 6:00 PM "off 7 Mile Road", as per their Facebook page. They weren't any more specific, but I believe this is an outdoor show. I don't have enough information to officially "call" it on here, but if you're along East or West 7 Mile Road on Saturday evening, and you see Tantrum playing, go check them out!

That's probably all for today, but stay tuned for more news as the weekend rolls along, including this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fuck The Facts At The Canadian Concert Review!!

It's time for my review of last night's Fuck The Facts-headlined metal show at The Canadian Nightclub, and of the three times I've seen them locally, this sadly had the smallest attendance. Being a Wednesday night, you could probably expect a dropoff compared to a weekend gig, but the lack of a consistent crowd was clear for the opening three bands. Good response though from whose who showed up, but how did the show itself go?

Opening last night was Desbarats death metal quartet For All That Is Lost, and though their masks remained missing (I assume that phase is done now?), they probably sounded better than I've ever heard them sound last night! They blasted their way through an all original set featuring songs like "Graves of the Ancestors", "Viscosity of Blood", and a set-capping new song that sounded very brutal, and though their set wasn't terribly long, they packed tons of metal into it! Tyler Sperry's unique stage presence was put to good use with the stage extension (nice addition for the concert), and his growling was on form, and the rest of the band sounded really tight and together as well, moreso than other recent gigs of theirs I've seen. Kameron Nicholson's drumming is really improving especially, and Brook Moreau's guitar solos are slowly getting more and more proficient! If anything right now, I'd like to see Brook and Ben work on their stage presences a bit more, as they are still a bit stiff, but For All That Is Lost are definitely on the right track! Also, if you're up for a house party with bands of sorts, note their headlining show on Neebish Road in Laird on June 22nd with a bunch of local acts, so click here for details!

Second was grimecore notables Shit Liver, and with a smaller stage and no echo to deal with compared to The Roberta Bondar Pavilion, their set last night definitely looked and sounded better than when I last saw them! Their second Canadian show in four days (and second Fuck The Facts opening slot) went about as well as you'd expect out of Shit Liver, who unloaded original songs like "Shift Liver", "Shit Will Prevail", and "It's Not My Problem" into their all original set of crusty and grimy death metal! No real covers this time, but maybe if they had a longer set. Though there was some technical difficulties with Josh Penno's microphone for a song, the guys all growled and screamed with a noticeable ferocity, and their instrumental talents suited their songs as always, but as I've said before on here, their music can be polarizing to some. If you can appreciate and mosh to their punk and death metal mix, you'll find a lot to enjoy, and I liked what I heard last night from them!

In the middle of last night's festivities was local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, who delivered a solid set of their entertaining blend of brutal metal genres! Among songs like "Dominate", "Deception", and "Casualties of War", they also broke out their cover of Amon Amarth's "Guardians of Asgaard" (sorry, "Sausages With Mustard") that kept the fans entertained! Justin Lam's bass work was stellar as expected, and with his birthday in the air, Johnny Belanger's drum work was on fire and kept the pace well! If there was any glaring problems last night, it's that Mitch Sirie's guitar volume was way too low, and on songs like "Succumb to Eternity", you could barely hear him, so that was a blow to their overall sound. Also, this is at least two straight shows now that Nik Deubel hasn't employed any clean singing, which was a nice variance on songs like "Condemned", and I personally would like to see him add singing back to some of their originals. Not a perfect set, but The Bear Hunters melted all the faces of the attendees, and I do hope to see them again soon!

The final opening band last night was local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam in their second show of the month, and while they had a much shorter set than on the 12th, the fan response and attention definitely didn't hinder one second of their performance! They knocked out 7 originals (like "Against The Grain", "Shallow", and "Your Disgrace"), along with a well received & timely cover of Pantera's "Mouth For War", while fan requests saw "Stand Your Ground" replaced with a cover of Volbeat's "Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood" that the crowd easily ate up! Musically, they sounded about as good as ever, and even though Buzz's singing voice didn't seem as strong later in the set as it did at the beginning, the nod to fans singing along was cool (and a sign that people are remembering the lyrics!) Derek Turner's drumming was fast and spot on, as was Josh Belleau's proficient guitar work, and the guys definitely are maintaining their chemistry and immense talents! Hopefully we see them back on the local stage soon, so stay tuned for updates, and don't miss their interview on Shaw TV this week!

Finally last night was Ottawa grindcore quintet Fuck The Facts in their (at least) third stop here, and though they looked fairly tired (the joys of touring), they tore into a set that may have topped last year's local show for musical quality! The Juno nominees continue to impress with their brutal and proficient blend of death metal and effectively placed samples & backing tracks to suit the mood of their material, and both Mel Mongeon & Marc Bourgon traded off some brutal growling and aggressive lyrics to their local fans! Mel's stage presence was cool too, almost never not singing at the front row and putting her all into her singing! Johnny Ibay's guitar work was awesome too, I wish he was closer to the crowd than he was last night! However, the glaring problem from their last show here came back last night, as Fuck The Facts' set was way shorter than you'd expect. Again, I think they only played for about an hour, and for a band as talented and brutal as they are, you'd think they'd have a longer set. Still, what we got was awesome and well worth the price of admission, and hopefully Fuck The Facts can bring their exceptionally talented blend of grindcore back to the Soo soon!

Overall, that was a very heavy and entertaining metal show from Dismembertainment, if attendance-deprived, but Wednesday nights can be tough for a reliable crowd. Though I forgot a "Tag Yourself!" shot, I did get a bunch of photos of each band, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook event page! And I did get videos, so here's F.A.T.I.L. playing their song "Hades, Lord of the White House", Shit Liver playing two short originals ("Pennotration" & "(Friendly Old)" Uncle Joe", The Bear Hunters' song "Karma", Garden of Bedlam's cover of "Mouth For War", and Fuck The Facts' newer song "Alone"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news (and concert previews?) tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden Of Bedlam On Shaw TV, End Of Existence's New Singer, And New Videos!!

Here's one more news post before TONIGHT'S Fuck The Facts-headlined show at The Canadian (also featuring The Bear Hunters, F.A.T.I.L., and two bands discussed below), and remember that the show tonight is ALL AGES and $10 with the first band on at 9:00 PM, so don't miss this huge concert! Now, today's news post features this week's classic video, a new performance video from a local musician, and the new singer for a partly local metal band, but leading off today, here's all the details on a prominent local band's new televised interview, and how you can check it out!

Remember on May 12th when local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam played a major headlining concert at The Rockstar Bar, and indicated that they were being interviewed by Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie in the process? Well, the band hasn't followed up on that since right after the gig, but the interview piece is now on rotation on Shaw TV! That's Channel 10 for Shaw customers, so non-Shaw customers aren't in as much luck. I don't know who did the actual interview, as unlike other recent Shaw TV pieces with a metal link, no reporters are featured, but it's still a solid clip! It features all 4 members of Garden of Bedlam talking about their formation, crowd response, their bandmates' talents and instruments, and other topics, like a good discussion of how their growth & their Kiss Battle of the Bands victory have really opened up their sound to even non-metalheads! They also plugged their albums and plans to do some touring this summer, although specifics weren't revealed. Some performance clips are also featured of Garden of Bedlam playing "The Truth Shall Set You Free", "Shallow", and "Three Days", and they're very well filmed, as you'd expect. Very nice video overall, and it promotes Garden of Bedlam really well, but when can you see this interview?

It should be on at least twice an hour through the week, and comes after a piece about the movie "Compulsion" being filmed here, but specific times during the hour will vary, so keep that in mind. It's worth checking out A.S.A.P., but I'd also expect it on Shaw TV's website and, later, their YouTube channel after it's run on Channel 10 wraps up. Give it a look this week if you can, stay tuned for it's online posting, and also see The 705 Video Magazine's photos from this show at this link! I'm curious to hear their cover of Slipknot's "Dead Memories", nice to see that on the one setlist shot, but will anything ever come of that interview that the 705VM did with Garden of Bedlam? If I hear anything, I'll let you guys know, but go see them TONIGHT at The Canadian as they open for Fuck The Facts!

Next up, local/Grand Rapids epic metal band End of Existence have announced the addition of new Theatre of Night singer Gaby Koss to their lineup, replacing Bob Helsten. In a statement on their Facebook page on Monday, the band indicated that they're beyond privileged & ecstatic to be working with her, and indicated that they'll begin formal work with her after the projected third re-release of Theatre of Night's "Christmas Night" album this fall, which she's singing on. They also reiterated their plans to change their name this year, indicating that they're "gratefully shedding" the End of Existence moniker. While Gaby's addition probably doesn't indicate imminent live concert plans (she's from Germany), she is an extremely talented soprano vocalist with backgrounds in metal bands and opera, and while this will be a change from their more aggressive first album, Gaby stands to be a clear asset for the guys going forward! That said, the seeming anxiousness to dump the End of Existence name is odd (it's not a bad band name at all), but I assume a new name will be a way to help signal a new era for the guys and distance themselves from their past work, especially if Bob had a hand in picking the old name. No matter what though, the future looks bright, so stay tuned for more updates, and check out Gaby's awesome and diverse singing work at the above links!

We'll close with new videos, starting with a new video from Eckerman/Strongs metal trio Swampghas! Just uploaded to their YouTube channel this afternoon, it's a rare look at an actual original performance from a band member, as guitarist J.R. Johnson is featured playing the guitar track from their original song "Fistfight In A Microwave" here! Filmed in different takes & angles with some humourous asides, he lays down some really good riffs here, but the audio quality is noticeably muffled, but that could be on purpose to build suspense for the full song/album release. Sounds good to me (despite the video's self-deprecating tags), but give this new Swampghas guitar video a look below!

And finally for today, here's this week's classic video! With the Fuck The Facts show going down TONIGHT, it made sense to focus on one of the bands playing at tonight's show, and Shit Liver seemed like a good candidate! The prominent local grimecore trio have been a frequent sight locally since their 2010 inception, and one of their earlier concerts had filming done for their Facebook page last year, that being the 5th Roosevelt Hotel metal night on January 20th, 2011! One video with this song from this show is already online, but this week's classic video is of the guys playing their original song "Sewer Livin'" at that show. It's got nice audio quality, but the filmer definitely did not have much of a stable angle to shoot, and the camera is frequently rattled or dips down to shoot the floor. If anything, it captures the mosh pit better than Shit Liver themselves, but they tore up this quick original song well, as usual! It was originally uploaded to Facebook at (though I've since brightened the video) and NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!!! All credit for this video goes to Shit Liver & the original filmer, I'm just trying to share this video with a deserving wider audience! This is a fun video of a chaotitc Shit Liver concert, and if you like their crusty death metal, you'll definitely like this video, so give it a look below!

That's all for today, but I'll see you guys at The Canadian TONIGHT for Fuck The Facts, Garden of Bedlam, and much more! Thanks everyone!