Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another "New" Band Addition, A Returning Band, And New Haggith Videos!!

Happy Halloween everyone! I'm sorry I missed the Garden of Bedlam show last night, but the roads were really bad around my place, and I got busy with some personal stuff last night too, but I'll try and be at the next Garden of Bedlam concert, and hopefully The Rad Zone had a blast for their 18th birthday! I hope to stop in at the store in the next little while, I'm long overdue as it is! Also, we have a concert cancellation, as Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's solo concert at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill on Friday night is now likely off. A reason for the cancellation wasn't announced, but Tym deleted it's Facebook event page on Monday, which is generally a sign of a concert being cancelled. Disappointing, but hopefully his solo concerts return sooner or later! That all said, we have some other news to get to on this Halloween afternoon, including new videos, a returning local metal project, and leading things off, another "new" band for our inactive local metal band listings, so here's what you need to know!

We have another older local metal project to add to our local metal band links, and it's Pillory bassist/ex-Late & Loud guitarist Jonathan Tiberi's old solo project The Last Warrior of Rock! We touched on this project in 2010 on the site, but at the time, I didn't add it to our band links out of my assessment that it wasn't really a "band". I must not have investigated that far, because The Last Warrior of Rock definitely qualifies! Active from roughly 2007-2009, a then-clean shaven Jon launched the project out of his hometown of Welland before he moved with the project to Sault Ste. Marie in 2008. He recorded solo material under this name, apparently recorded a demo CD of some type featuring this material, and has a bunch of photos online in fitting "warrior" gear on the project's MySpace page, while he also maintained a separate MySpace page in 2009 for acoustic originals. On at least one photo, it's cited that he played a solo concert set as The Last Warrior of Rock on at least one occasion too, which would have been interesting to see!

Though he's improved his skills since, it's interesting to hear Jon's earlier original work! The Last Warrior of Rock's songs do have a darker & edgier feel than Late & Loud had, like on "Fields of Blood & Steel", while his unplugged tracks also work well, and actually compliment his singing range better, but the recording quality is somewhat rough. His acoustic page also has some videos, including a cover of Troubled Horse's "Bring My Horses Home", but I thought I'd share this live Sault College open mic night performance of an original named "So It Can Be" below, so give it a look, and The Last Warrior of Rock is now in our inactive Sault Ontario band links!

Next up, another local metal band is back after a recent stretch of inactivity, that being Sault Ontario industrial metal duo Riverin! According to their posting on their newly updated Facebook page yesterday, members/ex-Dirty Virgin bandmates Matt Hicks & Matt Clement have decided to resume activity with Riverin after "a hiatus", while also adding that the project & it's music means the world to them, and promising to have new music soon as well. Riverin were initially active from 2009 through last year, and had recorded at least eight songs at Quartertone Studios (most of which you can hear here) towards a planned debut EP before public activity dried up last spring, with personal Facebook page references ending last September. I'm not sure why Riverin were on hiatus for the past year or so, but it's great to see the Matts giving the project another shot, as Riverin were a welcome change from the usual metal subgenres we hear from locally, and they had some creative material!

No word yet on what will become of their old originals or EP plans, but stay tuned for Riverin news and notes as it rolls in, and they're now back in our active Sault Ontario metal band links!

Finally, here's a couple more of the new videos from local grunge band Haggith! Joining earlier uploads from their Canada Day weekend sets in Goulais River, the band posted two new videos from their sets that weekend onto their YouTube channel on Saturday, and they include a second video of their song "Livin' It On The Run" from a different camera, and as embedded below, a cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here"! Given these shows' private nature, it's great to see more videos popping up from them, and the then-trio were in solid early form, but I am curious to hear them do some more energetic covers, as their covers (that I've heard) strike me as too reserved & not perfect fits for their sound. Still well done though, so give Haggith's Pink Floyd cover a look below, check the above links for more new and old Haggith videos, and keep an eye out for our last new video of theirs shortly!

That's likely all for this month (which was thankfully busier for news than September was) but stay tuned tomorrow or Friday for weekend concert previews & more news, as well as next month's "Where Are The New Albums" post soon as well! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haggith - "Dragon Joy Ride" Review!!

Today marks our 40th monthly local CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and for the first time in 7 months, we're looking at a new Sault Ontario album release, that being local grunge band Haggith's debut album "Dragon Joy Ride"! Released on October 7th through the band's independent label PaperClip Productions, it was recorded there this summer along with material for future planned albums. Haggith were represented on this album by singer/guitarist Curtis McKenzie, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Daniel Horton and drummer/producer Mike Haggith, with Curtis & Daniel handling bass duties in lieu of Caleb Cachagee, who joined the band after sessions ended. Songs on this album were generally wrote by Curtis and/or Daniel, though Curtis' brother Travis has writing or co-writing credits on three songs. "Dragon Joy Ride" can be purchased online at this location for $5, with physical copies available by request through the band's online pages and in person at their concerts. It's also available to stream for free on YouTube at this link (each song title below is linked there), but please support the band and buy the CD in some form!

Featuring 9 songs clocking in at around 33 minutes of music, let's kick off this review with the first song "Wanko"! By far the shortest song on "Dragon Joy Ride", the song kicks off with a fast paced almost swing/southern-inspired riff with very the singing filtered in an echo style in between the music that is somewhat hard to hear. It's a well done little track for it's style, and it ends before it can get repetitive, but the vocal effects do dampen the experience compared to live versions of this song. Second is "The Married Massacre", which opens with a softer and darker bass-heavy opening before building to a mid-tempo rocker with softer verses that contrast fairly well with Curtis' more aggressive singing! With no effects, I can tell that his grungier singing voice fits their sound pretty good on this type of material, and the guitar melodies are complimentary and effective for the most part! I'd like to see the structure of the song shaken up a bit, and maybe include a better ending, but this is an effective grunge rocker that improves on the album's opening song!

Next on the CD is "No Cure For Insanity", a quicker hard rocker that launches with a heavy and fairly catchy groove and nice melodic singing from Curtis, but the backing vocals on the verses here seem out of place and too low for the energy. The drumming here is also somewhat muffled in the music, which is otherwise well played, and I like the effects and riffs at work here! The lyrics work well too, but the choruses are too repetitive. For a heavier alt-rock original, "No Cure For Insanity" packs a solid wallop into it's short length, and fans of early 1990s grunge and alt-rock should enjoy this track fairly well! Then we have the album's longest track "Sandman", which starts slowly with a solitary guitar line before the other instruments join in, though Curtis' singing seems too heavy and out of place for the song's early pacing. Maybe it'd play better if Mike sang the first half? By midway through the track, the intensity of the song builds and gets heavier while keeping the slower timing, and that's when "Sandman" peaks, but the instrumentation's good throughout, and the guitar work stands out well! I just wish the vocals better matched the song's moods.

Fifth on "Dragon Joy Ride" is "Yesterday Frustration" (shouldn't it be "Yesterday's"?), which opens heavily with solid guitar work from Curt & Daniel before quieting down for the verses and chorus, taking on a lighter feel with more reserved singing, while still rocking. While the softer approach fits the song better, the choruses are partially buried within the music, and it'd be nice to hear them at least approached heavily like the song's opening and closing stretches. The song's well played, but it needed a better mix, a less abrupt ending, and more aggression, but Mike's drumming stood out well! That's followed by "Livin' It On The Run", which opens very softly with the quietest vocals from Curtis yet, before the chorus builds into a heavier alt-rock sound that recalls some of their earlier tracks on this album, and the contrast works well here! Though somewhat rigidly structured, the guitar solo was welcomed, and the guys handle the softer verses and heavier stretches equally well without too much instrument burial, so it's a late standout track!

Track #7 is "I Am", which takes on a slower aggression that sounds like it could be adapted well to a harder edged acoustic track, and Curtis' singing sounds both deeper and more controlled to benefit the track overall! The guitar riffing is heavy while still being paced well, but the drums are somewhat buried again, particularly in the verses. If anything, the song is somewhat repetitious, mainly in the choruses, but this shows Haggith playing at their best in terms of the slower/softer material on "Dragon Joy Ride"! Then is "Rage Train", and this longer number doesn't start with a lot of rage, opening with a melodic lower style before building into some nice heavy riffing prior to the verses. Familiar to some earlier tracks, the song has harder edged choruses and softer but darker verses that work well for their sound, and I like that Curtis' singing matches each tempo better! The guitar solo from Daniel is well done too, and it's a bit longer than some others on the album, which I welcome! This is another entertaining track that showcases Haggith's talents well, and it's one of my favourites on the album!

"Dragon Joy Ride" closes with a reprise of the opening song "Wanko", which is over double the length of the original and has a different overall sound. In fact, the first 45 seconds is full of banter between Daniel, Mike, and Curtis over top of some minimal guitar work, which is somewhat amusing! The basic structure and lyrical content have carried over from the original song, but it's slower (aside from the last few seconds), heavier, and leaves out the echo vocal effects, so despite the slowdown, I like this version better than the original! It maintains a solid groove and aggression that the original was lacking despite it's speed, and it ends this album on a good note! So, what's my final assessment of Haggith's debut album? From what I've heard, it's a very solid first release from this new local band, and a lot of promise is evident! Grunge is a tough genre to break through locally with, but this should turn some heads for it's musical quality, and the members are all visibly talented! Curtis McKenzie & Daniel Horton's guitar & bass work was heavy and melodic when need be, and their riffs and leads called back to the 1990s in happy ways more than once, while Curtis' vocals complimented their heavier songs nicely, especially late in the album!

Mike Haggith's drumming was also effective for the most part, and while I'm more familiar with his singing/guitar work, he is more than capable behind the skins! They also have an audible chemistry, which is nice to hear from a band so soon after their formation, but the album isn't a flawless debut. While the production is similar to Mike's solo releases and good when compared to other band-produced/recorded material I've heard, the band can be muddled at times, with the drums in particular often being hard to hear. Curtis' singing was mostly effective, but early on the album, his vocals on softer/slower material tended to be more aggressive than the song needed. Some songs also ended abruptly or had repetitive stretches, but for a self-recorded/produced album, I'm happy with the finished product! Songs like "Rage Train" & "No Cure For Insanity" are signs of their talent and chemistry, and hopefully Haggith have much more grunge and alt-rock material to come at future shows & albums, so pick up their debut album at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! So, what will review on the site next month for our 41st CD review? It WILL be a new album, and in all likelihood, it will probably be of Haggith drummer Mike Haggith's brand new solo album "Neighbourhood Watch" that also came out earlier this month! I haven't finalized it as our next album review simply because if anything else new comes out by late November, I might bump "Neighbourhood Watch" to December just for the sake of spreading things out and avoiding a bias, as even though Haggith & Mike Haggith are separate projects, there are a lot of visible similarities. That said, as I've heard nothing concrete on either side of the border yet for a November local metal/hard rock album release, Mike's new album is very likely for next month, so watch out for this review in the next 4 weeks or so! That's all for today, but I'll see you guys at The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for The Rad Zone's birthday bash with Garden of Bedlam! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Garden Of Bedlam Concert Preview, A New Band Discovery, And More!!

Let's get back to some news at the SMS as we slowly wind down October, and while this isn't the longest post we've ever had, it's packed with info on the three stories! Today, we have a new concert video from a recently prominent band, a new band discovery for our inactive band links, and leading things off, a preview for a very big concert going down tomorrow, so here's what you need to know!

Tomorrow night is Devil's Night, and to help celebrate this penultimate night of October, The Rockstar Bar will host the return of Garden of Bedlam to the local concert stage! Last seen opening for Anvil in July, this popular local metal band will hit the Algonquin Hotel's upstairs bar for the first time since April for what should be a great concert of originals and covers, so it's notable on that basis alone! However, there will be a special air to the proceedings, as Garden of Bedlam are playing in honour of local music/skate shop The Rad Zone's 18th birthday! Hard to believe they've been around since 1994, huh? Garden of Bedlam have worked with The Rad Zone frequently in the past, so they're perfectly fitting to help rock out on Devil's Night for their birthday bash! In that spirit, there will be door prizes and giveaways ranging from Rad Zone gift cards to prizes from skate apparel company Vans, and you can get a preview of some of those prizes by clicking here. And of course, costumes are encouraged, with a costume contest planned for tomorrow night as well, so have yours ready!

Like Garden of Bedlam's past Rockstar Bar shows, there's no opening bands, and the age limit will be 19+. Doors open at 9:30 PM tomorrow, and there's a $5 cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome concert, and kudos to The Rad Zone in advance of their birthday! They're doing great things locally, and hopefully the best is yet to come for them! Garden of Bedlam themselves are sure to be welcomed back to the stage, so be there early with your costumes, and I'll see you guys at The Rockstar Bar tomorrow night! For a preview, here's Garden of Bedlam playing "With A Spark" there in 2010!

Next up, we have a "new" band to add to our local metal band links! Their name is Gentlemen's Bet, and they're an experimental/industrial hard rock duo from Sault Michigan that were active from roughly 2001-2008. I've actually heard of them before, but I think I wrongly bypassed their songs as not being heavy enough. The band featured members named Brian & Greg (a.k.a. BK & Gretch), and though I can't confirm their last names or anything else on their identities, I know that one of them is a guitarist & the other specialized in techno & ambient genres. Online indications suggest that the project, which was worked on for much of the 2000s, was made public around 2006 for themselves and interested fans, with the hope of making more material, and though I believe the project is now defunct, Gentlemen's Bet had promise! Their MySpace & PureVolume pages feature some widely varying electronic rock material with a lot of heavy flourishes, and there is talent present!

The guitar riffs and techno beats flow well on songs like "I Was So Mean" & "Good Night Sleep", but if anything, these songs strike me as unfinished, and I think Gentlemen's Bet could have made much deeper local inroads if they had drum tracks or vocals on their originals. They probably won't shatter any local perceptions, but their sound is a welcome variance, so check the above links (especially their PureVolume page) for lots of original songs, and Gentlemen's Bet are now in our Sault Michigan inactive metal band links!

And finally for today, here's one of a few recent video uploads from Sault Ontario grunge quartet Haggith! There's more new videos on their YouTube channel to share, but I'll break them up to spread them out, especially as they're mostly from different performances. On Saturday, the band posted this video of the majority of their set from the Soo Zombie Walk afterparty for fans to check out, and it features their performances of their originals "Days", "Chaos In The Streets Of Aftermath", "Red Car", "If You Get Out Alive", both parts of "Fin", and "Leon The Janitor"! The first 5 are from their planned third album "Apocalypse", while the latter is expected for their second album "Deuce", and has previously featured in drummer Mike Haggith's solo project. The video footage was mainly shot by Dylan Taylor (with the exception of the beginning of "Days" due to a technical error), while they opted to use my footage of "Fin" rather than Dylan's take. I'm not sure why (possibly to have a more professional multi-camera look), but I don't mind at all, and I'm glad they like what I shot!

The quality of Dylan's camera work isn't bad, and the stationary angle keeps everything in clear view, but they misspelled "Apocalypse" repeatedly on the video captions. That's minor though, and it's great to see more live concert footage of Haggith in action, so check out this full 20+ minute video below, and stay tuned for more Haggith videos and updates in the coming days, including our review of their first CD by Wednesday!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for the aforementioned CD review and more shortly, and in case there's no new posts tomorrow, I'll see you guys at The Rockstar Bar tomorrow night! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2012 Halloween Party Concert Review!!

Hey everyone, it's time for another concert review, as I was in attendance for local promoter J.D. Pearce's 7th annual Halloween Party! After 6 years at the old Coch's Corner, the party moved to The Algonquin Pub (downstairs from The Rockstar Bar) last night, and to start, what'd I think of the new location as a concert venue? If I had to compare, I'd say it reminded me of a combination of the former Foggy Notions and the old GLOW on Gore Street, maintaining the sectioned layout and casual feel of the former while featuring the mirrored walls and fancier gloss of the latter. You also couldn't hear what went on upstairs at The Rockstar Bar easily, which helps to separate the two venues. For size, the Algonquin seemed smaller than the old Coch's Corner overall, but the standing area for concerts was bigger (especially given the smaller amount of tables in the band area), so the size is a wash to me. Overall though, The Algonquin worked well for a venue, and I hope this gets utilized more often for local concerts! Now, how about the bands?

Opening was the masters of the crash themselves, Sykotyk Rampage, fresh off of their set at the Zombie Walk afterparty last weekend! Their set was largely similar to their previous concert, just with their original lyrics restored to the non-drinking tunes, including tracks like "Sky", "Acreage", and "Bucket of Ham". Those and their drinking songs (like "Drinking on the Weekend" and "Roll A Doobie") seemed to get a positive response, and with better lighting and sound quality, they stood out more as well! The band sounded about as good as you'd expect if you're a fan of Sykotyk Rampage's creative alternative sound, especially with Paul Becker's aggressive bluesy bark and live bassist Tony Briglio's improvingly commanding presence, but there were intermittent issues with the vocals, which had stretches where they weren't audible over the music. Still, Sykotyk Rampage's set last night was a definite improvement, and hopefully they'll be back for a longer show in the near future!

Following them were local punk trio Redundant in their best NOFX attire, though unlike the event advertising, they didn't even call themselves The Brews on stage that I heard. Their NOFX covers were fun, but they also played some original material and some covers of other bands, including some amusing takes on TLC, Eminem, and B.O.B. material that always draw some attention! As always, their self-deprecating banter was in full swing, and they seemed to have fun rocking their punk hits and originals, and both frontman Justin Langlois and the White brothers were playing about as well as I expected, but they could have been tighter on the whole, and like Sykotyk Rampage, there were issues hearing the singing. Fun set though for their second straight appearance at this event, and make sure to see them at the Creepshow-headlined psychobilly concert at The Rosie on the 5th!

Third were Toronto punk quartet The Fairmounts in their own local debut, and in the Halloween spirit, they came dressed up as The Village People, though guitarist Simon Head did amusingly dress up as the wrong type of Indian! Their set was full of what appeared to be mostly original songs like "I Don't Wanna Go To The Hospital", and the increasing turnout of fans was eating up their pop punk onslaught, even starting some brief moshpits! Though not as heavy as his older original singing work in Lion Ride, Mikey Hawdon's singing was controlled and aggressive when need be, and the whole band seemed enthusiastic and ready to roll through the night, including for some Ramones & Misfits covers! Andrew McMullen's drumming was really good as well, he stood out through their set! I'm curious to hear more from The Fairmounts, so hopefully Mikey brings them home more to compliment his cover bands' recent local stops!

The night's last band was horror punk quintet Frightlight, in their fourth straight appearance at this Halloween Party and their first show since opening for The Misfits in Toronto a couple of days ago! Compared to their Zombie Walk afterparty set from last weekend, they mostly played the same material, though fittingly starting with a cover of "Halloween", and they sounded better than at the Zombie Walk and a bit cleaner on the whole! Originals like "Dead Town Everywhere", "Fright Night", and "C.H.U.D." sounded as good as I would expect, and the members collectively shown their talents well, from Rick Styles' ripping guitar solos to Eddie Fright's solid low bass work, and the fans on the floor engaged in some dancing and moshing to follow suit! It was also during their set that a sweet skeleton trophy and a sash went to the best costumes, and while a formal presentation to highlight a number of attendees' costumes would have been neat, the winners looked deserving! All in all, Frightlight built on their recent streak of high profile concerts well last night, and hopefully we'll see them back on stage soon!

Overall, this was another fun installment of this yearly Halloween tradition, and a successful first impression for the series at this new home, and hopefully there's more heavier concerts to come at The Algonquin Pub in the near future! I got a bunch of photos, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook page, which also has this concert's "Tag Yourself" crowd shot! And yes, I did get a few videos of heavier songs that bands played, so here's Sykotyk Rampage playing their song "Sicked", The Fairmounts covering The Misfits' "Attitude" (followed by their original "Kiddo"), and Frightlight playing "They All Float"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow and our review of Haggith's "Dragon Joy Ride" by Halloween! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned), The Rosie Metal Nights' Future, And Much More!!

Before we get to the meat of this post, I just wanted to send my condolences to everyone up in Wawa following the major flooding and highway closure and everything else that's been going on there over the last few days. Hopefully everyone's OK and I hope you guys can bounce back from this and emerge stronger and closer than ever! Today at the SMS, we have more updates to our monthly CD reviews, clarification on a local solo project, the whereabouts of a popular concert series, and more, but first, here's a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Were you Sault Michigan-area fans hoping for a heavier Halloween weekend concert? Well, good news, as Banned are back TONIGHT for a Halloween show in Moran! Almost two months after their last announced concert, the Traynors and company will return to Todd's Tavern (the former Bullwinkle's) this evening, and it'll be great to see them back on stage a few weeks of quiet updates! Apologies for the short notice, it was only just announced last night on Banned's Facebook page. Halloween costumes are encouraged, as you might expect, and like their other recent concerts, I expect they'll be without guitarist Alex Schrʚvenwever due to him being out of town for college. There is no announced cover charge for tonight's concert, which goes down at 8:00 PM, and a 21+ age limit is likely. Check the above links for more details! It's great to see Banned back on stage this weekend, and there's no better weekend to break out their entertaining hard rock originals and covers, so if you're up for the drive, don't miss them tomorrow night in Moran! For a preview, here's Banned playing their song "Cocaine Riot" last month in Sault Michigan!

Next up, have you been curious as to the status of the Roosevelt Hotel metal nights? The Thursday concert series has been dormant since the 47th installment on July 5th, but yesterday, I heard some information on it's future from Bear Hunters guitarist Mitch Sirie, who was the metal nights' latest promoter. Mitch told me through Facebook conversations that he's no longer booking the Rosie metal nights so he can focus on other musical projects right now, including The Bear Hunters' demo & some solo work. However, Mitch did tell me that the series will likely be handed over to a new promoter to relaunch it in the near future, although I'll wait until official details are announced before mentioning future prospects. Mitch promoted the last four Rosie metal nights after picking up main promotion duties from Stephane Vincent in April, and he also holds the record for most appearances as a performer, playing at 21 Rosie metal nights to date as a member of The Bear Hunters & Borderline Divine.

It's disappointing to see Mitch no longer book the Rosie metal nights, but he's making the best choice for himself as a musician right now, and everything will pay off the way it's meant to, I'm sure! Hopefully the promoter he has in mind will be able to sustain the series for the long term as well, and when/if updates roll in, I'll have them here! On a related note, Mitch also told me that his newest solo project The Sorrow Fields (who have been alluded to online recently) is actually one and the same as his April Eyes/Animas project & not something separate like Eden Plague was. The name change is due to him finally finding a solo project name that he liked, referring to the earlier names as placeholders until he found something better. However, public updates specifically referring to The Sorrow Fields have been scattered and minimal to date, and their Facebook page that was launched in June was later deleted, so while the project is alive and being worked on, not a lot is public about it under it's new name yet. Still, I've restored this project to our active Sault Ontario metal band links with the new name, and stay tuned for Sorrow Fields updates as I hear them!

Fourthly today, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by artist or website name:

  • Pillory bassist/Late & Loud alum Jonathan Tiberi posted on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Thursday to extend an open offer for local bands to message him if they want to play a show in "late November". No word what type of concert is in the works (Pillory's live debut, maybe?), but if you're interested in playing live next fall for this concert, message Jon at this location or visit the above links!
  • The aforementioned Mitch Sirie is also apparently looking to work on another local band project, as per his own Musicians Wanted group posting yesterday. He doesn't wanna play anything country or pop, and is open to covers, jamming, and songwriting anything from soft rock to metal. We know he's got the talent, but if you wanna do anything musically with Mitch, message him at this location or the above links!
  • Keeping with the Musicians Wanted theme, this topic is now the basis of it's own section on SooToday's classified page! It remains to be seen how often this is used, but hopefully it picks up steam, so keep it mind for your band member searches! I've added it (and the Facebook group) to our "Other Sault Ontario Metal Links" section on the page's left, and kudos to local drummer Steve Porco for suggesting it to SooToday!

Finally for today, here's some more updates and edits to our monthly CD reviews! As previously stated, these generally have all had photo restorations due to dead links, and don't have actual content edits to the review portion of the post out of respect to their original intent.  In our review of Mike Haggith's 43rd solo album "Suspended Animation", I've updated references to his label Rotten Records' renaming to Galactic Records, and added links to the album's free YouTube posting, with each song linked in the review itself now as well, while I also edited our review of Destroilet's debut EP to note it's likely out of print status, given their newer album plans, including re-recordings of the EP's tracks. Finally, I also edited the reviews of Foothill Road's self-titled EP and their first disc "Seventy" to note guitarist Mario Carlucci's later departure from his most recent band Sneaky Pete. Keep an eye out for updates to our 2012 and Sault Michigan CD reviews hopefully soon, and check the above links for the updated reviews!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news next week, and I'll see you guys TONIGHT at The Algonquin Pub for the 7th annual Halloween Party! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Genocya

Here comes one of our last monthly feature posts of October 2012, and it's our latest Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! As always, this series looks at a metal/hard rock band that, though not from the Soo area, does or did feature at least one Saultite in their lineup, and for just the seventh time in this series, the band is question involves a Sault Michigan-area native! They deserve a closer look from local metalheads though, so read on below for this month's profile, and if anything's missing or incorrect, please tell me! (UPDATED: November 26th, 2014)
Genocya (Lansing, Michigan)

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

Dane "Zuul" Brown (vocals)
Brad "van Satan" van Staveren (guitar)
Matt "Yukon" Cunningham (guitar)
Jim "Big Brown Bear" Albrecht (bass)
Tim "Speedbag" Sever (drums)

Randy Belden (vocals)
Jeff Keech (vocals)

Rick Leusby (guitar)
Kris Smith (guitar)
Dave Peterman (guitar)
Jake Bryan (drums)

Erik "Hamms Of Doom" Stroude (drums)

Official MySpace page:
Official Facebook page:
Official Reverbnation page:
Official YouTube channel:
Official BandCamp page:

Local Info: The only Saultite in any of Genocya's lineups (that I know of) is guitarist Matt "Yukon" Cunningham. Public information on Matt's local past isn't in high supply, but from what little I know, he is originally from Sault Michigan, still has family in the area, and comes back home enough to drop off Genocya CDs at Grooves Music. He moved to Lansing at some point prior to 2008, where he currently lives and works, and of course, plays in Genocya!

Band Bio: Genocya were formed in 2002 by founding members Rick Leusby, Kris Smith, and Tim Sever, who soon formed a full band and recorded a pair of demos through 2004 with different lineups. The band's lineup has shuffled frequently during their run, with only bassist Jim Albrecht surviving through every full Genocya incarnation. In the mid-2000s, Genocya began a steady stream of concerts in the Lower Peninsula and Northern Ohio, opening for bands like Anthrax, Overkill, and Deicide in the process, until a mainly-inactive period throughout 2008 due to work schedules. Around late 2008, Matt Cunningham was enlisted on guitar to replace the departed Dave Peterman, and after the band enlisted singer Dane Brown the following year, their general current incarnation was formed. They've been hard at work ever since, including releasing their first proper full length album "Ever Descent" in 2011, and slowly expanding beyond the region for concerts, so keep an eye out for more big news and events from Genocya to come!

Genocya's blackened death metal sound has helped them get a rising profile in the Michigan metal scene in the past decade, and I can see why! Their early demos and their "Ever Descent" CD are full of a brutal mix of genres and styles, and their lineups show solid chemistry! If only the production was a bit better, their studio material often sounds muffled. The vocals needed to grow a bit on me for the most part, but their singers are more than capable for their material, though I think I prefer Jeff Keech's Death-inspired vocals the most. Tim Sever's drumming is brutal and very fast, and Jim Albrecht's bass playing is really good as well, while the guitar work of Matt & their other guitarists tends to be heavy and melodic equally when need be! As it currently sits, Genocya have a great thing going in extreme metal, and with some better production and fine tuning, their rise will be sure to continue, so definitely check them out!

Media of Genocya is fairly easy to find online and in town, especially as their full length album has been on sale at Grooves Music in Sault Michigan! Online, you can buy "Ever Descent" digitally through BandCamp & iTunes, and though their original demos are now out of print, they are floating around somewhat, so if you can find them, downloading wouldn't hurt! As for videos, there's a decent amount on YouTube, including their entire last CD, but be careful, as videos from an Italian metal band with the same name are on YouTube as well. The best place to see videos is the band's official YouTube channel, which features a number of recent live videos, including this 2010 clip of Genocya playing their song "Regretful Lust", so check it out below and more at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, the series as you generally know it will take a short break so we can update and correct our past entries, as we've done over the past two Novembers. There's a lot to address, change, and mention, so look out for that post on or around November 26th, and our regular profiles will return in December, and I have bands in mind already for then. Stay tuned for more news shortly, including our review of TOMORROW'S 7th annual Halloween Party! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Weekend Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

It's time to preview this weekend's concert previews, and given that it is Halloween weekend, there's a special air to the proceedings! Before we get to the metal concerts going down, here's a couple of related notes. We won't preview the Garden of Bedlam show on Devil's Night until next week because it's too early, but it is coming! The majority of bars and concert venues in the Twin Saults have bands or Halloween parties either this weekend or next week, so check venue & band pages, SooToday, and Sault This Week to hear about all of the ones that wouldn't fit well on the SMS! And for the record, I don't believe there's any metal/hard rock bands playing live in Sault Michigan this weekend (Powerslug are at Manistique's Kewadin Casino on Saturday though, if you're up for a road trip), but Sault Michigan are having their own Zombie Walk tomorrow night for the first time (but with no visible concert attachments.) Of course, if I hear of any heavier Halloween season concerts across the river, I will have them here, so keep an eye out! For now though, let's get to the Sault Ontario metal shows over this spooky weekend schedule!

First up for the Halloween metal concert schedule is the return of Caveman Morrison to The Nicolet Tavern this weekend! Last seen at the Albert Street venue last month, this hard working trio will bring their entertaining metal and hard rock covers back to the stage tomorrow and Saturday night, and yes, Halloween costumes are encouraged! I'd assume moreso on Saturday just for proximity to the 31st, but nothing says you can't get in the spirit tomorrow either! Admission should be free for these 19+ concerts, and a 9:30 PM start time for both nights is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a fun weekend of Halloween mayhem from Tym and company, and hopefully a big crowd turns out tomorrow and Saturday to drink in the Halloween themes and great covers! For a preview, here's Caveman Morrison covering Judas Priest's "The Ripper" at The Rosie last year!

And finally for the heavier Halloween weekend concerts is The Halloween Party! More specifically, this is the seventh annual Halloween party/concert held by local promoter/singer J.D. Pearce, and after 6 years at the former Coch's Corner on Bay Street, the event did not move along with the (now acoustically based) venue to the old Foggy Notions location. Instead, the party will be held at The Algonquin Pub & Sports Bar (downstairs from The Rockstar Bar) on Saturday night, and though I don't think The Algonquin Pub has hosted a heavier band since Algoma Hope4Haiti in 2010, there are hopes that it could become a more active concert venue, so hopefully this Saturday's event is a huge hit! With that said, this year's Halloween Party will be bigger than ever, with a fitting Halloween ambiance, the return of the costume contest (which I don't remember happening last year), and the biggest band lineup yet, including headliners Frightlight in their fourth straight appearance at this event! Fresh off of their set opening for The Misfits TONIGHT in Toronto, this popular punk/metal quintet will be sure to deliver a fun set of originals and Misfits covers, and you know that with their lyrics and stage personas, they'll fit perfectly for a Halloween event! Note that I think their full lineup will be present this weekend, following Redundant frontman Justin Langlois' fill in stint on rhythm guitar for tonight's Toronto gig.

Joining them on Saturday will be Toronto pop punk quartet The Fairmounts, who are fronted by former Lion Ride frontman and veteran local musician Mikey Hawdon! Though briefly advertised as the headlining band at one point, this rising pop punk band should deliver a fun set of originals in their Sault Ste. Marie debut on Saturday, and it'll be awesome to see Mikey singing original material in town again! The other bands on Saturday include The Brews (a.k.a. local punk trio Redundant covering NOFX material) and "the original crash band" Sykotyk Rampage, who'll both add some interesting sounds as the opening bands! Redundant can pull off NOFX songs well, so this turn as The Brews should be fun, while Sykotyk Rampage (who will be joined by fill-in bassist Tony Briglio again) should deliver an entertaining set of improvised drinking songs and recent originals, as they did at the Zombie Walk afterparty this past weekend! Note as well that this will be the first Halloween Party in this series since the mid-2000s (if not ever) to not feature the yearly cover band that played under different genres and personas (most recently as The 151s), but hopefully we see them in the future in some form or another!

Admission will be $5 for this 19+ event, and everything starts at or around 10:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see J.D. keeping this yearly Halloween tradition going, even if at a new location, and hopefully there's a great response and participation to ensure more shows at The Algonquin in the future! Barring any illness complications, I hope to be there for a review and more, so I should see you guys there on Saturday night! For a preview, here's Frightlight playing one of my favourite songs of theirs at last year's Halloween Party at the old Coch's Corner!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes shortly, including our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Genocya tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bear Hunters Updates, A New Cover Video, And More News!!

Hey guys, here's another news post at the SMS! Overall updates are still slow, and though the Halloween weekend promises to be more active, other news is still somewhat minimal compared to the summer, but we have some stuff to get to today, including updates to one of our feature posts, a new video from a local guitarist, the whereabouts of a local metal band, and more, so read on below for what you need to know!

Have you been wondering where The Bear Hunters have been lately? The prominent Sault Ontario death metal quintet have been very quiet in recent months, only sporadically updating online pages, and with no concerts since early August, the recent hiatus of the Roosevelt Hotel metal nights that guitarist Mitch Sirie books, and their absence from the final Woods of Ypres tribute album track listing, there may have been some fan concern for their status. Well, no worries, as they are alive & well! As revealed on their Facebook page on Friday, the guys have been focusing on studio work this fall towards their full length demo, but things have been stalled due to the death of the computer they were recording with, which forced them to both record everything again from scratch, and to miss the final deadline for submitting their cover of  "Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)" to the Woods tribute CD. However, they've expressed optimism that the new recordings will be even better & more focused, and they hope to have the album completed "before the end of the world" (Mayan reference?) No word on if the band will try and re-record their Woods cover, but I can't be alone in wanting to hear it!

It's great to see The Bear Hunters hard at work on getting their originals recorded and ready for a future release, and hopefully these setbacks will just be bumps in the road to their destination! I'll assume the studio work is partly to blame for the Rosie metal nights' recent hiatus, but hopefully Mitch will bring them back better than ever at some point in the near future, as that series is missed! Stay tuned to the SMS and Bear Hunters pages for updates as they roll in!

Next up, here's the latest solo cover video from Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy! Uploaded to his YouTube channel earlier today, this is of him covering the Def Leppard song "Gods of War", and doing a pretty good job of it! Even more so visually, as he intercuts three different videos of him playing lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass together so we see him playing each instrument, and though the cuts aren't fluid, the audio flows well and he definitely has a solid grasp on this underrated Def Leppard track, so check out Alex's latest solo cover video below!

Also today, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by band or artist name:

  • Local/North Shore death metal band Crimson Crusade have quietly parted ways with guitarist Brock Pinder, as per his removal from their lineup on their Facebook page. A reason for his departure was not announced, but hopefully it was amicable, and best of luck to Brock in the future! He has yet to be replaced (that I can tell), but Crimson Crusade are planning to return to the stage at an upcoming CASS Cafe set, so keep an eye out for further band updates!
  • Former No Arrow/Half Past bassist Harley Syrette is looking for a singer for his new local band, as per his posting on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Monday. The band will be covering acts like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Slash, so they're likely similar to his old band Quite Frankly, for reference. If you're interested in trying out, check the above link or message Harley at this location!
  • Local grimecore trio Shit Liver recently resurfaced for a set at Winkstinger drummer Jonas Gasperas' birthday party! I don't tend to mention more private/personal stuff like this on here, but it's notable as Shit Liver's first live concert set in 4 months, so it's great to see them play live, even for just a birthday show! Also, Winkstinger played too, as you might have figured.

And finally for today, here's some recent updates and edits to the info and pictures in our monthly CD reviews! Just a reminder first that actual content of the "review" of each album hasn't changed, and almost all of these have had photo restorations due to dead/expired links, including some without other changes. In our review of SBD's "Sonic Expirements: Mulligan Edition" album, I edited references to the band's inactive status and the fact that this album is now out of print, while I updated info on how to buy Kiss' live album from their 2010 Sault Ontario concert, as for some odd reason, Simfy Live (the company who recorded and released Kiss' live albums from that tour) is "no longer available" in Canada. All of this despite the fact that the show took place in Canada, and is still for sale there, but what do I know? If you wanna buy a copy of it still, just find a way to hide your IP address, or order it in the States! Finally, I updated our review of Frightlight's debut CD "It's A...Live!" to add notes on the band's officially endorsed torrent of the album, websites where it can be streamed, and newer pressings' altered artwork, which now has a purple tint. Stay tuned for more CD review updates as I have them!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Local Metal Video Showcase!!

It's time for something we haven't done much lately, that being a local metal video showcase! Lately, our video-heavy posts have been attached to reviews or concert previews, but today's just came together naturally, so what's on tap? We have a new acoustic video from a local hard rock band, that same band's drummer's newest archive album upload, this week's classic video, and a version of a local metal band's song that you may never have heard before, so let's kick off this all-video post!

We'll start with this new video from local grunge quartet Haggith, and while a planned upload of their entire Zombie Walk afterparty set has yet to occur, they're whetting fans' appetites with this acoustic rendition of their song "Sandman"! Uploaded to their YouTube channel yesterday, this is of Haggith guitarists Curtis McKenzie & Daniel Horton playing "Sandman" at their studio PaperClip Productions, and it's an interesting softer rendition that they have a solid handle on! I'd have preferred more reserved singing from Curtis to match this version's mood better, but it's still worth checking out, so give it a look below!

Also in Haggith-related videos is another full album upload from drummer Mike Haggith's solo project! Posted as one long file onto his YouTube channel last week, this is of Mike's 42nd solo album "Laps In A Lake Of Fire", which was mainly recorded at what's now Galactic Records & later released in December 2010 under the band name The Thorns, which was an older Windsor-based band of his. A darker, shorter, and more introspective album than some of his recent output, this was among Mike's first solo releases since moving to Sault Ste. Marie, and it's also worth hearing, so give it a listen below, and if you like what you hear, support Mike's solo work and buy it for between $3.50 & $5 at this location!

Thirdly today, I wanted to share a Woods of Ypres song that, in this form, I don't think many people have heard. As you may know, their last recorded studio album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" came out this spring in multiple formats, and though the track listing was generally consistent, the album's limited edition vinyl release did have an exclusive track. On the second disc on the vinyl pressing, there was an alternate mix of "Finality" by "W5" producer Siegfrιed Meier, which has never been officially released by band and label sources through other media formats. While I own "Woods V" on CD, I don't have or play vinyl records actively, but I was curious to hear the producers' mix of "Finality", so I tracked it down after some searching & I thought I'd share it with you guys! The two versions are very similar, and seem to use the same vocal track, but Siegfrιed's alternate mix does have subtle differences that a cursory listen might not catch, including a more reserved & less guitar driven sound, and a slightly shorter arrangement, running 17 seconds less overall.

This is an interesting version of "Finality" for sure, and it takes this very morose and dark song into a bit lighter and more intricate territory than the original version had, almost as if it could be easily adapted to an unplugged setting. Kudos to Siegfrιed & Joel for including this on the album, even if on a limited basis! I encourage you guys to buy the vinyl copy of "Woods V" at this location if you collect vinyl or want to own every track from the album, but for the sake of wider exposure for the producer's mix of "Finality", I've uploaded it to our YouTube channel, and NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit goes to David, Joel, and Siegfrιed for this song, and feel free to stream it below!

And finally for today, here's this week's classic video! With former Lion Ride frontman Mikey Hawdon returning home for a set with one of his current bands (Toronto punk quartet The Fairmounts) for this Saturday's Halloween Party at The Algonquin Pub, I thought it'd be fitting to focus this week's video on Lion Ride again! This previously Facebook-exclusive video comes from a concert on July 21st, 2008 at The Salt Lounge in London, just days after the band's CD release show in the Soo for their "Awesome" EP, and the song played in this video is "Trust" from that same disc! Lion Ride's original & EP lineup was present here, including Mikey on vocals, Mark Rand & Marco Pedalino on guitar, Nathan Sauve on bass (in one of his last live appearances with Lion Ride), and drummer Marc Muto, and they show good chemistry and energy as we've come to expect from their concerts! The video quality is similarly good, but the audio is somewhat muffled, and attendee heads do create some black voids occasionally. Also, as a side note: Lion Ride's openers at this show were Toronto emo band The Labour Of..., whose bassist Brenton Ellis took over for Nathan in Lion Ride that fall!

Uploaded to Facebook over a year after this show by attendee Christopher Wakefield, you can see the original video at NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for this video goes to Christopher and Lion Ride, I'm just trying to share this video with a deserving wider audience! This is a solid early video of Lion Ride in action, so check out this 2008 rendition of "Trust" below, and go see Mikey get his punk on with The Fairmounts on Saturday night!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, along with weekend concert previews and more! Thanks everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

YouTube Channel Profile Series: WizardofOzz92 & hoopy31's Channels

It's time once again for our latest YouTube Channel Profiles! Our 24th & 25th featured channels in this monthly series, we're once again profiling and looking at YouTube channels featuring at least a 50% majority of local metal-relevant videos, and due to our first randomly selected channel only having two metal videos, we included a second one with just one video to fill out this entry. So, what videos and information should you know and see from this month's profiled YouTube channels? Read on to find out, and if I'm missing anything or have any mistakes, please let me know! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
WizardofOzz92's Channel (

Owner: Sault Ontario-area guitarist Austin Pine, formerly of The Shit

Channel Timeline: Launched on April 12th, 2009; Videos posted from that day until November 2009

Channel Summary: Intended to be a personal use channel with plans for solo guitar covers, Austin's videos are instead mostly of his local band work in 2009, including two videos of his old local metal band The Shit and a video of an unnamed acoustic trio covering the Rise Against song "Hero of War" in November 2009 at what looks like White Pines Collegiate & Vocational School. His other video is just of him and friends playing an NHL video game on an Xbox 360, and has no musical connections.

Why Should You Watch: I'd mainly watch to see some young local musicians at work, especially as these are the only public videos I've seen of either of Austin's bands, neither of whom I remember at public concerts. The covers are admittedly hit and miss, but it'd be interesting to have seen how far The Shit or the acoustic band could have went locally! Note however that Austin has made no uploads in almost three years, and hasn't visibly used his YouTube channel in over a year & a half, so keep that in mind when thinking about subscribing.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Phantom of the opera cover-The Shit : The oldest and most viewed metal video on Austin's channel, this is of his old band The Shit covering Iron Maiden's "Phantom of the Opera" circa June 2009 at what looks like a stage at White Pines Collegiate. Featuring Austin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar alongside lead guitarist Daeson Lesage (ex-Bring the Misery) and drummer Jordan Dubois, the guys don't do too badly on this Iron Maiden classic (especially with just three days to prepare), but Austin's vocals aren't rangy enough to flawlessly pull everything off, and it's not overly refined. The camera angle's also very far (and the backdrop's extremely bright), but musically, The Shit sounded good overall, especially on guitar!

The Day That Never Comes-The Shit!: The second video of The Shit on Austin's channel is of them covering Metallica's "The Day That Never Comes" at a jam session in November 2009. Featuring the same performers (though with Daeson Lesage now on lead vocals), the cover is noticeably messier and not as well put together as their version of "Phantom of the Opera" was, but it's apparently a better take than some earlier versions they attempted. Also, the video angle isn't great, with Austin often out of frame, and Jordan facing sideways while drumming, but at least the overall camera quality is better, and the latter heavy section of the song is much tighter than the softer first half!

hoopy31's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user & Michigan resident hoopy31 (Real name unclear, last name possibly Hoopingarner)

Channel Timeline: Launched on October 1st, 2010; Videos posted from August 2012 onward

Channel Summary: I don't know a lot on hoopy31's identity or background, but he/she was in attendance for at least two major concerts at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino in the past year, including August 2012's Buckcherry concert and the Shinedown show from July of this year. However, his 4 other uploads are from the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival's stop in Clarkston, Michigan (outside of Detroit) in August 2013, including videos from Five Finger Death Punch, Job For A Cowboy, and Battlecross' sets.

Why Should You Watch: Because hoopy31 got some solid and varied videos of heavier Michigan concerts in the past year, and it was nice to see the channel get some extra use after an extended absence of video postings, so recent regulars of heavier Kewadin Casino shows should give this a look! Note that while the channel no longer has a 50% concentration of metal videos, it only had the Buckcherry clip when we first profiled it, hence it's inclusion.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Buckcherry Crazy Bitch live Kewadin Casino: hoopy31's first video (and most viewed of the local ones) is of Los Angeles hard rock notables Buckcherry playing part of their hit song "Crazy Bitch" at the Soo Kewadin, along with a portion of Chic's "Freak Out" and some crowd banter from frontman Josh Todd, though the full song isn't captured. Buckcherry fans should like this video, which is energetic and shows Josh's chemistry well with the audience, but his singing is very patchy, and attendee heads do get in the way of the camera's otherwise solid quality. This show didn't have a ton of videos compared to Buckcherry's first stop here, so it's worth looking at on that basis alone!

Shinedown Simple Man Kewadin Casino 2013: The only other local concert video to date on hoopy31's channel is of Jacksonville hard rockers Shinedown's well recieved cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" at The Dreammaker's Theater (well, the last chunk of it), complete with lots of crowd interaction via singer Brent Smith, and he got a good angle of the song's performers! My main gripe is the auto-focus effect put on the video, which gives it an odd floaty effect, but the audio's really nice, and the crowd response is fantastic, so if you like Shinedown or that concert, this is worth watching!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! So, what's coming in November? Well, I'll be looking at two channels again (by completely random selection, of course), as the first channel I selected only had one video, so I picked another to fill it out. They are YouTube user BangoSkank666's channel (featuring one upload of a Gates of Winter song) and former Sault Ontario resident Mike Laprade's YouTube channel (featuring a handful of live and solo guitar performances), so look out for that next month, likely on or around November 22nd! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2012 Soo Zombie Walk Afterparty Review!!

For the first time since August, we have a concert review at the SMS, and it's been waaaaay too long for one of these! Last night was the third annual Soo Zombie Walk afterparty was held at The Grand Theater following the fourth annual local zombie walk, and while I held up my word and went to the afterparty, I regrettably skipped the zombie walk itself due to a cold I've been battling. Sapped energy and laryngitis and all of that, but rather than whine about my personal bad timing, let's talk about the show itself! I arrived (with zombie costume) at around 8:30 PM last night during a showing of the first horror movie, "White Zombie", which seemed to have really bad acting and a more drawn out story, but to be fair, I didn't see the whole thing. The attendance was medium at best, and it seemed to drop more as the night went on, which I would honestly blame partly on the movie. If you'd started the bands right after the awards instead of putting a very old movie on for an hour in between, maybe more people would have stuck around?

The opening band was new local grunge quartet Haggith in their Grand Theater debut, and the guys (except drummer Mike Haggith) had their best zombie makeup on for the occasion! Their set last night was mostly unfamiliar from past posted material of theirs, as they debuted five new songs from their planned third album "Apocalypse" (which is fittingly zombie-themed) for the occasion, though they did close with the previously revealed "Leon the Janitor". Last night probably wasn't the best night for me to judge bands given the ill haze I was in, but Haggith sounded good and varied in their alternative/grunge attack, with heavy moments mixed with some softer and dark sounding passages! Curtis McKenzie & Mike both shown some diversity and flavour in their singing, and though they didn't seem as comfortable as I expected on stage, Daniel Horton had some good energy on guitar himself! They also impressed with an already vocal and loyal group of fans, and it's deserved so far, but I wanna hear a longer set with more of their released material before I make any major assumptions. Very solid start though!

Second on the band roster was local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage! and in terms of their lineup, former The Fury bassist Tony Briglio was there last night filling in for Brian Cattapan for a second straight concert, and he added well for their set, especially when compared to last year's bass-less set at the previous afterparty! Their set last night was neatly divided between their drinking songs (including their crowd favourite rendition of "Fuck You, I'm Drunk") and a selection of non-drinking originals (including "Acreage") that they lyrically modified to feature zombie references, which fit the theme of the night! At least that factors in zombies into their live set, as even if they played songs from their "Zombiez" album, there'd be no connection beyond the song titles. Musically, they sounded at their sykotyk best, with Paul Becker's husky barking fitting well over Shane Kokis & Dirk Becker's alternative riffs, but I missed Dirk-sung originals, and there was some odd audio glitches that made it sound like they were being censored at times. Overall though, Sykotyk Rampage were fun, as always!

Headlining the band portion was local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight in their own Grand Theater debut, and just in case anyone was wondering about lineup rumours, their full lineup was present yesterday. However, Redundant guitarist Justin Langlois will be filling in for Kevin "St. Mayhem" Powe for their Toronto date opening for The Misfits on Thursday, so keep that in mind if you're going! As for their set last night, there was no real surprises, as the guys pumped out their familiar and entertaining originals along with their cover of Fitswitch's "Rust Angel" and some Misfits covers that got the remaining crowd members going effectively! My only real qualms with Frightlight's set was that some later songs had some timing mess-ups (especially on "World War Z", and frontman Johnny Pints' voice was starting to go a bit late as well, but they started strong and still ended strong, and they had a lot of fun and seasonably suited material to rock out with! It's a big month for the Frightlight camp, with the Misfits show and the Halloween Party this weekend, so the best is yet to come, but you missed out if you weren't there last night for their set!

Overall, this was a fun night of music, and nice to see after such a long time, but I wish I wasn't under the weather so I could better enjoy it all. For the record, I briefly saw part of The Salty Mollies set (now I can say I saw Beaker from The Muppet Show stripping?!), but I didn't stay for the DJ (not really my thing, but hopefully the remaining zombies had fun!) Hopefully I'm feeling better by Saturday (and for the next Zombie Walk), but the music worked for me, and I got lots of photos, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook page! And I did get some videos, so here's Haggith playing both parts of their song "Fin", Sykotyk Rampage playing their version of The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (or, "Roll A Doobie"), and Frightlight playing their song "She Screams"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, including this month's YouTube Channel Profiles tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Destroilet Updates, New Videos, And More Assorted News!!

We're back with more news on this Friday afternoon, so what's on deck? Today, we have a new video from a local guitarist, more archive album uploads, and much more assorted news & notes, but first, here's the latest updates from a band we haven't seen on the stage in way too long, so here's what you need to know!

Local old school hardcore quintet Destroilet are continuing their somewhat quiet activity with some encouraging new band updates, including the confirmation that they are working on a new album! Online pages are still updated only scatteredly, but drummer Matt Waples has been keeping fans up to date on his personal Facebook page to the recording plans, which will apparently lead to a 12 track full length album (including reworked versions of the songs from their 2011 EP), with a planned proper CD release concert around Christmas, which is something that last year's EP never got. Their MySpace page briefly had some unfinished demos of these tracks in recent days (including the previously previewed "Eternal Fire" and a cover of The Ducky Boys' "Cross To Bear", among others), though they've since been taken down. I'm cautiously optimistic about these Destroilet updates, and hopefully we'll finally see them fully back and active before you know it! I don't know exactly why they haven't played live in over 20 months, but if this helps speed up Destroilet's return, I'm all ears, so stay tuned for more band updates as they roll in!

Next up, local solo artist and Haggith drummer Mike Haggith posted two more of his old solo albums onto his YouTube channel yesterday to stream for free! Uploaded as single files of the whole album in one video, they're of Mike's 37th & 38th solo albums "The Curse Was The Cure" and "I Hate My Life & I Want To Die", so click the above links to check them out! Both were released through the former Rotten Records in mid-2009 before Mike moved to Sault Ste. Marie, so while they're not overly familiar to Saultites, there's still some solid stuff there! I have yet to hear either in full, but there's some varied hard rock and alternative material in both albums, as you've hopefully come to expect from his local work. I've embedded the longer of the two albums ("The Curse Was The Cure") below to check out, but visit the above links for more, buy them at this location if you like what you hear, and stay tuned hopefully for more uploads of Mike's back catalog!

Also in the realm of new videos is the latest solo guitar cover from Ashes to Dust guitarist Alex Hemy, who posted this clip of him covering Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People" onto his YouTube channel yesterday! He knows the song pretty well, but his playing sounds a bit reserved compared to the original recording, and there's a lot of stretches in the original song with minimal to no guitar work, so I wouldn't say it's the best song to showcase Alex's skills with. Very good though, so give it a look below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist or company name:

  • Former Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie is looking for a drummer for his new local metal project, implying that Josh Hatherley is not in this new band. Having double kick experience is a must, and liking or being influenced by hair metal and bands like Iron Maiden, Dokken, and Skull Fist would help as well. If you're at all interested in trying out, message Brendan at this location or find his post from yesterday on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group!
  • Don't sound the bell for Dismembertainment's death yet! Owner Rich Moreland posted on their Facebook page today to let fans know that he's working on ways to possibly put on local metal concerts in the Soo despite his move to Alberta last month, and he may also get into concert promotion out west as well. I'm curious to see how Dismembertainment could put on shows from afar like this, but if I hear anything positive or negative on their future, I'll let you guys know!
  • Though not local anymore, Energy Rock Radio is back! The online hard rock/metal station (which was based out of Sault Ontario from 2008-2011) had been shut down since January, with owner Ryan Kaarlela hosting some radio shows in the interim out of his current British Columbia home base, but a new Facebook page has been launched with more updates to come, so check the above links for updates, and click here to stream the new Energy Rock Radio!

 That's all for today, but stay tuned for hopefully more news and updates this weekend, and I hope to see you guys at the Zombie Walk (or at least the afterparty!) Thanks everyone!