Friday, May 31, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Caveman Morrison), Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

In this last post of the month, we're touching on weekend concert previews for half of it (despite this being a relatively quiet weekend for metal shows), but we also have new videos and info on an impending EP release in the second half! For the record, our Skeletonwitch preview is likely coming on Sunday, as it's a bit early to talk about it now, but we have a lot to cover for this huge show, so keep an eye out for that! Now, let's start with previews of this weekend's heavier concerts, starting with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison are among the scheduled performers at the Faces of the Soup Kitchen Community Celebration at Mill Square at the former St. Mary's Paper site TOMORROW! Apologies for the short notice, I only just heard about this event on Tuesday, and I didn't wanna redundantly post about it twice in a short span. This is a volunteer-organized family event featuring carnival activities, a barbeque, local vendors & artists, free guided tours of the current St. Mary's Paper site, a live play production, and a buffet dinner, with proceeds at least partially going to The Soup Kitchen (I think.) Sounds like a packed day, but for more details on the non-musical events going down tomorrow, read the SooToday press release on the event! As for the musical entertainment, Caveman Morrison (in their debut at this location) are among a diverse lineup of bands performing at 5:00 PM tomorrow, including local solo musicians M.D. Dunn and Frank Bock, Griphook frontman Jim O'Leary and friends, an act named Tyler & Tyler (not familiar with them at all), and local cover rock band Obsession headlining.

Admission is by donation for this ALL AGES event, and the bands will be on between 5:00 & 10:00 PM tomorrow, with Caveman Morrison slotted earlier in the schedule (with bands playing at the Machine Shop building that hosted the Shawn Desman concert.) For more details, check the above links! This sounds like a great event and a fun way to find out what's happening to the old St. Mary's Paper site, and with plenty of local talent on hand to entertain, why not head down? Plus, if you missed Caveman Morrison after dropping out of The Crusade, this is the next best chance to see them, so don't miss this event, and for a preview, here's Caveman Morrison covering an Ozzy Osbourne classic at The Rosie!

Now, here's a preview of the other regional hard rock show this weekend (this is a quiet weekend for metal, sadly), but it has a connection to one of the bands at the Soup Kitchen event, as Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to The Road House Bar & Grill on Trunk Road for his first publically confirmed show there in over a month TONIGHT! Though I think Tym has played there in the interim for at least one non-public event, it's great to see his usual acoustic gigs back, and unusually, tonight's show had a lot of advance notice, so there's all the more reason to see his solo acoustic show again! Admission should be free for this 10:00 PM concert, and I imagine it's a 19+ event. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see Tym back at The Road House, and his entertaining metal & hard rock covers should be fun to hear in an unplugged setting again, so keep this show in mind, and for a preview, here's Tym covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" at Bossy's last year!

We'll close this post with some new videos, starting with ones connected to some big news with local/North Shore death metal quartet Crimson Crusade! Two days ago, frontman Devon Lucier uploaded two more tracks from their debut EP "Upon the Eve of War" ("Left For Dead" and their self-titled song) onto his YouTube channel (and their Reverbnation page), which leaves just one song remaining to be unveiled, unless the guys dropped it from the final product. Again, I won't give detailed thoughts on the tracks yet as I plan to formally review the EP on the site, but when might that be? Sooner than you think, as the band revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that initial copies will be sold for $5 on MONDAY when Crimson Crusade open for Skeletonwitch at The Canadian Nightclub! If this holds up, I'll definitely buy a copy, but when would a review hit the site? Probably not until July, as I have next month reserved for Haggith's newest album "Deuce", but it's a guarantee for the summer if all goes well! For now, check out their self titled song below, and don't miss the EP release and their next show on Monday, with our preview coming this weekend!

Finally for today, here's a new music video from local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight for their original "She Screams"! Posted onto bassist Eddie Fright's YouTube channel on Tuesday (ironically the day they would have returned had The Brains' show happened), this features edited footage combining numerous Frightlight concert clips and with scenes from many famous horror movies (naturally including many scenes of women screaming.) It's well made, but the breaks with audio from the movies are sort of jarring, and would have been better served as backing samples, which is something that I'd like to see Frightlight incorporate (a'la early Rob Zombie albums.) I don't know when Frightlight are coming back to the stage, but this should help tide fans over, so check out this music video below, and stay tuned for updates on their next plans!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this weekend, including this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, our Skeletonwitch preview, and more! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sleep When You're Dead & Locals Concert Review!!

In our second post of the day, we have my review of last night's Sleep When You're Dead-headlined metal concert at The Oddfellows Hall, but of course, check out this morning's post below this one for a band's reunion, new videos, and new Sault Michigan-area concert announcements. Last night's show wasn't highly attended (I'll blame that partly on it being a Wednesday nighter), with only a few dozen paid attendees, but luckily, fans who were there did start some pits, and none of the bands mailed it in due to the crowd levels! Now, how were each band? Read on below to find out!

Opening last night's show was local punk trio (and late lineup additions) Redundant in their first Oddfellows Hall gig of the year, and despite being the arguable outliers on this otherwise metal show, they put in a fun & well received set that the early fans definitely enjoyed! Their set included a mix of originals like "Miles Apart" and covers of everyone from Rancid and NOFX (I think) to even some old local bands like Proposition 86 and The Scary Uncles, and though there wasn't a lot of banter between the guys, the crowd was involved and into each song, with even some light song requests and guest singers like The Bear Hunters' Nik Deubel and Winkstinger's Jason Bourcier! Musically, Redundant were on form from past shows, though Justin Langlois was a bit hard to hear vocally at times, but with an active crowd, some close interactions, and even a pit, things worked out well! Overall, Justin and the White brothers put in another fun set of punk rock songs, and hopefully they'll be back at it soon!

Next up was new-ish local sludge/death metal quartet Giwakwa in their third local concert (and first all ages one), and now that I've had the chance to see them without the pretext of judging them for a battle of the bands, I can be more in-depth with my public thoughts! Their set wasn't overly long, mostly comprising of originals like "Iron Lung", "Stoned To Death", and "Endless Bummer", and fans seemed to enjoy their brutality! Soundwise, they definitely remind me of a slowed down Bring The Fallen with no guitar solos, and though I've been told the lack of solos is intentional, I'd like to see Chris Page throw some in (if they can fit the tone and messages of the songs.) Their brutality was down pat, and Josh Stephney's growling is always fun to hear again, while Nolan Rainville's headbanging and clear bass skills helped immensely! Giwakwa will be a key addition to the local scene before long if they keep at this pace, and hopefully their next shows have longer sets and perhaps even some covers? Time will tell, but I'm curious to hear more!

Co-headlining last night's show was returning local extreme metal band Winkstinger in both their first concert in 10 months and in the debut of their new quartet lineup! It's been forever since we last saw them, but despite the wait, changes, and singer Alan Wells' apparent illness, the guys sounded as good as I expected, reeling off plenty of their amusingly titled originals for the gathered fans! Note that the covers that they played last summer didn't return, but new bassist Jason Bourcier did add something new to their sound last night: backing vocals! His work with Time of Ruin and so on should be a clue that he has solid metal vocals, and they added an extra something on many tracks, so hopefully he keeps that up in future gigs! Jesse Cook & Jonas Gasperas were up to their old tricks last night and were as impressive as usual, and Al's screaming overcame any impairment, but like last June, Winkstinger's sound does take a hit when there's only one guitarist, as it doesn't sound as full and melodic. It's great to have them back though, and hopefully the best is yet to come!

Headlining last night was Oshawa metalcore quintet Sleep When You're Dead in their first ever local concert appearance, and they put in a fun and energetic set that got the local crowd's attention despite a number of attendees remaining outside for much of it, but they didn't mail it in as a result! In their sound, appearance, and even pre-set rituals, they reminded me of As It Stands, so if you miss them, this might have had a level of familiarity to it! Originals like "Bust At The Chino" and "Hoop Dreamz" populated an energetic set full of crowd interaction, with Alex Leech particularly being a firecracker to get the crowd going and encourage clapping and responses to their set! Matt Szigeti & Jake Stauffer's guitar work also shined on this material, and I hope the guys made some new local fans in the process, but it's just a shame there wasn't more people, as hardcore and metalcore fans would have been right at home with S.W.Y.D. last night!

Overall, this was a fun and action packed concert, and it was good to see an out-of-town band headlining an Oddfellows Hall show again, but the attendance really hurt the atmosphere, though being on a Wednesday, it could have been a lot worse. Kudos to Jamie Vincent for putting this show on, and I know everyone there had a good time! I got a bunch of photos, so click here or visit the SMS on Facebook to check them out, as for videos, I got ones of the metal bands, so here's Giwakwa playing their lengthy original "Winter's Hunger", Winkstinger playing "Where'd We Go Wrong", and Sleep When You're Dead playing "Hoop Dreamz"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more news TOMORROW, including at least one late notice show announcement! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Banned), The Return Of These Sins Of Time, And New Videos!!

In our first of two posts today (our review of last night's all ages show at The Oddfellows Hall is coming later today), we have some assorted recent news to touch on, including a band return, new videos, and a bunch of LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for later this year! For reference, weekend concert previews (including at least one new show confirmation) are coming TOMORROW MORNING, so keep an eye out for that, but let's begin this run of new posts with the information below!

Kinross hard/classic rock quintet Banned have announced seven new concerts (over 4 weekends) for later this year, as per their Facebook page yesterday! The guys will first head out to Dan's Place in Rudyard on Saturday, July 13th for a one night only gig (no word on why), and though you may remember Banned from some early shows at the town's Music In The Park series, I think this is their first ever show at Dan's Place (a recent favourite of Powerslug's), so keep that in mind in July! The other new confirmations are for the fall, including returns to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on September 20th & 21st and November 22nd & 23rd (their first announced dates there since March), and a weekend engagement at The Runway Bar in Hessel on November 22nd & 23rd (following two one-off gigs there this summer), so mark those on your calendars for some diverse hard and classic rock originals & covers! All but one of these gigs start at 9:00 PM (the Rudyard show's at 8:00 PM), all have 21+ age limits, and there's no announced cover charges. Check the above links for more details!

Nice to see the shows piling on for Banned through the fall, and hopefully there's lots more to come as their name continues to grow in the Eastern U.P.! Note that the new gigs somewhat reinforce what looks like a break for all of next month, as no official public dates for June 2013 have been announced at present, but we'll keep you posted if anything turns up. Stay tuned for more from Banned when it comes in!

Next up, local hard rock band These Sins of Time are back! You may remember T.S.O.T. from our posthumous discovery of them early last year (they'd broken up in December 2011), but as of a week ago via their new Facebook page, singer Alexa LeClair had resurrected the band for new work locally, so what should you know? Influenced by bands like Papa Roach and Hinder, the These Sins of Time name had been used by in projects dating back to 2009, amidst scattered solo work that Alexa undertook, including at least one solo EP release & numerous postings on her YouTube channel. Their most recent 2011 run saw them play some sort of acoustic gig at the former Steamy Bean, along with making plans to complete a full lineup and record a demo, but only now does it look like major plans will be restarted. Details on members haven't been revealed yet, but it looks like guitarist Dalton James Boissoneau (also of Acention) may be back in the fold, though no word on if drummer Mitch Harris is back too, or if their other openings have been filled.

Facebook postings so far include requests for covers, lyric postings, and a solo vocal sample of an original song named "How You Behave", but click the above links for more details! I'm very curious to hear what T.S.O.T. bring to the table in their latest return, and Alexa's quite a good young singer (we don't have enough female hard rock vocalists on the Ontario side of the border), so check out her solo and band work above, and These Sins of Time are back in our local band links!

We'll close this post with new videos, starting with a new music video of sorta from Dafter, Michigan solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton, and it sets his recent original instrumental "Burn Notice" with edited footage of Ukranian pole dancer Anastasia Sokolova performing on "Ukraine's Got Talent". It seems sort of random (especially with the last part not of her dancing), but if you like the song or this style of dancing, it'll work for you, so give SweetKenny's new video a look below! (This was uploaded on his YouTube channel on May 13th.)

Finally, here's the latest song postings from local grindcore label Blood Shed Productions! After a couple weeks off from new uploads, the Ringsnaps Gibson-led studio posted two new tracks onto the label's YouTube channel in recent days of his grind solo project Crucify The Whore's new song "Bunk, Shake, and Headache" and a new song from his band Tomgrindy that's embedded below (though I won't give the title or embed the full video due to a sexual title reference and possibly disturbing imagery in both clips.) The Tomgrindy track is fuller and longer, and the backing music is more substantial, but both tracks will still mainly appeal to people who like pig squeal vocals and can handle the themes. Check out the new Tomgrindy song below, and stay tuned for updates on what's being hyped as their first solo demo, along with a C.T.W./Brutaly Fatal split demo too!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for my review of last night's Sleep When You're Dead concert later today! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Promonium Jesters), Sleep When You're Dead Preview, And More!!

As we slowly wind down the month, we're back with some news and notes today, with a lot to say related to three stories about upcoming multi-band shows, so what's on tap? We have new band confirmations for a major returning event this summer, and a preview for a special all ages show TOMORROW, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT in a little over a month that's unlike anything you've seen lately in the area, so here's what you should know!

A unique blend of genres and not-often-seen styles will hit The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, July 6th, including Uxbridge, Ontario psychedelic industrial rock band The Promonium Jesters in the headlining slot! A seven-piece band that had previously looked for a local booking in 2010, they mix techno influences and heavier Nine Inch Nails-esque sounds into a prolific (though hard to describe) package, but it's all definitely heavy and a nice change of pace! They'll be joined by Southern Ontario techno/electronic project Defense Mechanism, who aren't quite metal, but they have a lot of darker electronic imagery & cool use of samples (almost a mix of industrial, goth, and 1980s synth rock), and I'm into what they're doing! Two local bands will be in on this show, including local progressive rock quartet Machines Dream (featuring Gates of Winter alum Brian Holmes on bass & keyboards), and they're among the most talented bands in the area for musical ability alone, so don't miss their set! The other scheduled act is Johnny Dillinger, which is the alias used by As It Stands drummer John Mignacca for his instrumental electronic material!

Though far removed from his local hardcore drumming, this will be John's first live stage appearance in almost a year (where have A.I.S. been?), but hopefully Johnny Dillinger makes some fans at this unique concert! This 19+ show (which is promoted by J.D. Pearce) will go down at 9:00 PM on July 6th, but ticket prices and details have yet to be unveiled. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This could be one of the most original multi-band shows of the year locally (only the Rabid Whole-headlined show was remotely similar), so don't miss it come July 6th, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's a preview for a special mid-week concert, as the first metal-headlined Oddfellows Hall concert of the year goes down TOMORROW NIGHT, including out of town headliners Sleep When You're Dead! A metalcore quintet from Oshawa, their energetic and brutal sound should appeal to metalheads and hardcore fans in the midst of their Tear It Up & Start Again tour, so don't miss their local stop tomorrow! Three local bands will open tomorrow's festivities, including the long awaited return of local extreme metal band Winkstinger, in their first local concert in 10 months! This will also mark the debut of their current four-piece lineup, which now features Jason Bourcier on bass (and no rhythm guitarist), but after such a long break and the obvious changes, how will things shape up? I'm curious to find out! Also joining them is local stoner/death metal quartet Giwakwa (replacing RedD Monkey) in their Oddfellows Hall debut, who should be ready to melt faces with their sludgy and brutal originals following their debut shows last month, so be there for their set!

Finally, local punk trio Redundant will open the festivities with their fun originals & covers, and despite not matching the other bands' genres, their talents will speak for themselves (and they have metal chops!) Redundant will open things at 7:00 PM tomorrow, there's an $8 cover, and like promoter Jamie Vincent's other recent shows, this is ALL AGES! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I will absolutely see you guys there for this hard hitting blend of hardcore, death metal, and punk, and how can you miss this relatively unique mix of bands at this price? For a preview, here's the music video for Sleep When You're Dead's single "Three Lights Madoc"!

Finally for today, here's the latest lineup news for the third annual Sewer Swampstravaganza at The Oddfellows Hall on August 21st, as two more bands have been confirmed for this all ages multi-band marathon concert, including young local hard rock quartet Ashes To Dust! This will mark the guys' first non-Superior Heights concert since... last year's Swampstravaganza, so if you're not a Steelhawk, it'll have been 13 months since we last seen them, which is too long! As well, this will be A.T.D.'s first non-school show with their current lineup, which now features frontman Noah Morden on bass, and Liam Yeomans on rhythm guitar, but fingers crossed all lines up for a better set this time around! The other new confirmation is local punk trio The Northern Tragedy in what may be their Oddfellows Hall debut, and their rising original sound should be a fun addition to this concert! Note as well that it'll be drummer Terrence Gomes' second Swampstravaganza appearance, as he played at the 2011 installment during his debut set with Changing Waves.

Now 7 bands strong, I'd assume 3-5 bands are to be added to the lineup, so click here for current details, and stay tuned for updates! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news (and weekend concert previews) shortly, and if nothing comes tomorrow, I'll see you guys tomorrow night for Sleep When You're Dead and three exciting local opening bands! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Lead The Dead

In our last monthly feature post of May 2013, it's now time for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on this Memorial Day! As you likely know, this ongoing series looks at a band from outside of the Twin Saults that has featured at least one Saultite in any of their past or present lineups, along with bio information, media, and more on each! Though defunct, this band hit some solid heights during their run, and their local member has been quite prominent recently (in fact, he's playing at The Oddfellows Hall on Wednesday), so read on below for this month's out-of-town profile! (Updated on November 27th)
Lead The Dead (London, Ontario)

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

Martin Ryersee (vocals/ex-bass)
Chad McLaughlin (guitar)
Andre Fetchison (guitar)
Goran Mamika (bass)
Chris Johnson (drums)

Nathan Stokes (vocals)
Chris Page (guitar)
Ted Feica (drums)

Official MySpace page:
Local Info: As best as I can tell, the only Saultite to have played in Lead The Dead was original rhythm guitarist Chris Page, who local fans may better recognize for his work in the local stoner/death metal quartet Giwakwa! You may also recognize Chris from local (and arguably obscure) 1990s bands like Oblige and Mimik, but he hit his biggest heights in music to date after graduating from Fanshawe College in the early 2000s and during his Lead The Dead tenure, before returning home by 2011, but keep watch for Giwakwa's next shows!

Band Bio: Lead The Dead were a death/thrash metal band from London, Ontario that launched in 2006. After securing a full lineup, they debuted circa January 2007, and they played numerous opening sets and headlining gigs in the London area over the next 4 years, including sharing the stage with notable bands like Fuck The Facts, Threat Signal, Abriosis, and Endast during their run. Though their lineup were generally stable from 2007 onward, Chris Page left the band circa January 2009, and was replaced by current Mulletcorpse guitarist Andre Fetchison, completing the lineup that would record their debut (and only) EP "Everything Burns", which came out in May 2010. Last seen opening for Soilwork in London on August 17th of that year, Lead The Dead had begun working on djent-influenced original material that fall, but no public updates followed, and it's presumed that the band quietly broke up by early 2011.

Surviving material of the band's tenure with Chris Page is honestly very hard to find, so I admittedly can't comment on his work with Lead The Dead, but if his Giwakwa material is any indication, he was a key member of their arsenal! For the media that is available, I'm detecting a hard hitting and brutal mix of death and thrash metal with a lot of melodic flourishes, and they'd fit nicely at a varied mix of metal shows! Martin Ryersee's vocals are harsher and more extreme than his predecessor Nathan Stokes' work in other bands, but they better fit the genre, and they add a good compliment from the often very technical guitar work, and I'm also really impressed by Chris Johnson's often blistering drum work! I also like how they don't pigeonhole themselves into one genre, they throw a lot into their music, even incorporating softer material on songs like "Withdrawal", along with some experimental and progressive elements on others. I wish there was more to judge some of L.T.D.'s earlier work, but if their EP's any indication, they were not a band to be missed, and maybe they'll resurface down the road!

Adding to their relative elusiveness for surviving media, the only videos I can find of Lead The Dead are studio instrumental samples, filmed on very grainy cameras, both of which are on their MySpace page linked above. The only full videos of the band that I've found are through Rock Band playings of their material, and this upload of their original song "Rip'er" from their "Everything Burns" EP, so click here for most of those, and check out their very cool track "Rip'er" below!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, I've chosen Lethbridge, Alberta metal band Caste of Shadows (now featuring veteran local musician Paul Melanson) to look at in our June profile, so watch out for that on or around June 26th, and stay tuned for more big news tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Theatre Of Night), SweetKenny & Mike Haggith Updates, And More!!

We have more news to get to as we kick off the last week of May 2013, but before that, I'll note that I'm bumping our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Giwakwa guitarist Chris Page's old band Lead The Dead to tomorrow so I don't de-emphasize the content of today's post, which includes a preview for a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!! It's for a great cause too, and it's the debut of a popular local band, so I wanted to give that the proper attention, so for that and more updates from two local solo projects and much more, read on below!

Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night will make their live concert debut TOMORROW in the parking lot of The Corner Pub Bar & Grill to help honour Memorial Day! Apologies for the short notice, the Facebook event page was only just created on Friday night. For the occasion, Theatre of Night will be playing numerous songs from their second album "The Dawn's Early Light" (with "Taps" kicking things off at 12:00 PM), and there'll also be a barbecue & silent auction to help benefit The Forgotten Eagles of Michigan, an organization that helps assist war veterans in the state. For Theatre of Night, this will be their first live set in the area that I can source, and if so, I believe it will be the first public concert that Craig Harrison & the Giles brothers have played together since I.S.O.M.'s 2009 breakup! Note that the songs being performed are all instrumentals, so I wouldn't expect singer Gaby Koss (who lives in Germany anyway) to be featured. There's no admission price or posted age limits for this benefit event, and everything starts at noon tomorrow. Check the above links for more details!

It's great to see Theatre of Night playing a live local concert finally, and given their proud American heritage and recent material, it's awesome to see them paying tribute to those lost protecting their freedoms! Hopefully this is just the first of many live concerts for them, and if you can make it down to The Corner Pub tomorrow, donate generously and rock out for a great cause! For a preview of tomorrow's event, here's one of Theatre of Night's promo videos for their American/patriotic themed album "The Dawn's Early Light", which you'll hear songs from tomorrow afternoon!

Next up, here's the latest from Dafter, Michigan solo artist Ken "SweetKenny" Sutton! First, he's revealed a tentative release date of June 30th for his sixth original studio album "Perception" (album cover pictured), and he plans to upload songs from it soon as a preview. No word yet on the full direction or length of it, but the most recent song posting on his Reverbnation page ("Magic Girl") mixes a hard rock groove and spoken word verses, so if it's on the album, it might be heavier-leaning! Now, if it comes out as expected this summer, we won't review it on the site until September at the earliest, as it'll be too soon from our review of his last album "Doo Hickey" in March, but it'll come if it does get released! As well, Ken put the call out for musicians in the Upper Peninsula to join a band on May 13th, presumably featuring him, though no word on if this will be an extension of his solo work or something completely new. This could be very interesting, so message him at if you're interested, and stay tuned for more from SweetKenny!

Also today, Haggith drummer/local solo musician Mike Haggith has completed his YouTube channel transfer by posting four more back albums of his onto his new YouTube channel! His old "Sid Fucktard" channel has been deleted, along with some older audio tracks (he cited only bringing "relevant" material over), though I believe anything that didn't come over was posted before he moved to Sault Ontario, so nothing too familiar to local fans is gone. The new channel now has full uploads of 7 of his last 10 solo studio releases (only "Ace" and the not-previously-uploaded "For My Fallen Angel" & "The Best of Mike Haggith: Volume 2" aren't featured), though in at least one case ("The Curse Was The Cure"), the track listing is altered as an effective "re-issue". Among the postings were a couple of demo tracks that weren't released in this form on his albums, including a 2010 studio demo of "In A World" from his solo/The Thorns album "Laps In A Lake Of Fire", and a 2011 instrumental demo of "The Day The Lights Went Out" from "Neighbourhood Watch"!

Both are clearly unfinished, and "In A World" has some messier elements, but there's good stuff in each, so check out the instrumental take of "The Day The Lights Went Out" below, and stay tuned for more from Mike, the Haggith band, and The Din as I hear it!

Finally for today, here's three more assorted recent news items, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:

  • Local all ages concert promoter/Algoma drummer Jamie Vincent appears to have secured a show for Vancouver drone metal project Ahna on June 27th, as per a posting on his promotion agency's Facebook group two weeks ago, but full details and confirmation of the show have yet to come out. It's great to see Ahna finally get a local booking, and stay tuned for updates!
  • I've updated our GarageBand Profile on T H E I D to further emphasize the now-inactive status of drummer Matt Hicks' more prominent later band Dirty Virgin, who have not made any public updates since last spring. Hopefully we see him back at it with Riverin or another project soon though!
  • I've also updated our Defunct Local Band Profile on Faithless Sin to reflect frontman Jason Bourcier's recent addition to Winkstinger's lineup, as the profile was posted before Winkstinger publically confirmed that he had joined on bass. Not a major edit, but it makes the information more current, so I thought I'd acknowledge it, and don't miss Winkstinger's return on Wednesday night!

That's all for today, but stay tuned TOMORROW for our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Lead The Dead! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 24, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (415E), Weekend Concert Previews, And Much More!!

Most of our current cached news items will be cleared in today's post, including some assorted recent news and notes, and new studio material from a recently visible local metal band, but first, we have local metal/hard rock concert previews for this weekend! Well, this is a slow weekend for heavier concerts, as I only have three known public concerts to get to (all in the Sault Michigan area), but if I hear of any late notice concerts, I'll be sure to have them online in some form! Now, let's begin with our first previews for concerts this weekend, including related LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Sault Michigan hard rock/metal quartet 415E will play their first shows outside of the Soo TONIGHT & TOMORROW when they make their debuts at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino, and to go along with them, they're now scheduled to return there for shows on June 28th & 29th! My source for the new dates is Kewadin Casino's entertainment page, which also now confirms this weekend's shows too, which had previously been slotted for local country band Perry Hatch. No word on why they're out, but they'll be back in the area soon, so country fans need not worry! As you may remember, 415E made their non-Sebastian Bach debuts last weekend at the Sault Kewadin, and this new band featuring Nixxon Dixxon, Highest of Fives, and Splitshot alumni have a diverse lineup of music in store for this weekend (and next month), with everything from Ozzy Osbourne & Volbeat to The Foo Fighters & Johnny Cash planned (plus originals), so you won't wanna miss their St. Ignace debuts this weekend!

They'll be on at 9:00 PM tonight and tomorrow, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details on both St. Ignace weekends (including sources for some of the above info, and lots of brand new band and concert photos), visit their official Facebook page! 415E should rock it this weekend and next, as the talent's there, so don't miss them this weekend or next month, and for a preview of tonight & tomorrow's shows, here's the guys playing their self-titled original at the Sebastian Bach show in January!

Also in this weekend's heavier-leaning concerts, Kinross hard/classic rock quintet Banned will return to one of their favourite regional stomping grounds for a one night only gig TOMORROW at Todd's Tavern in Moran, Michigan! Currently their last scheduled show until July (no word on possible June dates), this will be this recently prolific local band's second stop at Todd's Tavern of this month, and though no returns to Moran have been announced at present, there's likely more to come if you can't make tomorrow's show! Even still, Banned's ever-evolving sound and prolific mix of covers & originals has been a consistent sight on the local scene for a while now, and hopefully Tara & the guys deliver another knockout tomorrow before what could be a month's break, which is an eternity given their recent concert pace. Tomorrow's show is a 21+ event with no announced cover charge and an early 8:00 PM start time, and for more details, click here! Don't miss Banned's return to Moran tomorrow night, and for a preview, here's Banned's current lineup covering Carrie Underwood earlier this year!

Next up, are you still curious to hear new original studio material from Sault Ontario/North Shore death metal quartet Crimson Crusade? Well, the guys have posted two tracks from their to-be-released EP (which will be titled "Upon the Eve of War") onto their new Reverbnation page and frontman Devon Lucier's YouTube channel, and the tracks are Crimson Crusade's originals "Pillage" & "Vanquish The Tyrant"! Their first posted audio recordings since 2010 (back when they were still a quintet), these were recorded in February with producer Dave Pihlaja at the Smoke & Oak Room Studios, though plans to upload the rest of the songs haven't happened yet. I won't fully comment on the songs now, as I hope to review the EP when it's released, but fans of their concerts with Devon on vocals shouldn't be disappointed, and the growth from their early gigs is clear! As it's longer, I've embedded "Vanquish The Tyrant" below, but check out both tracks at the above links, don't miss them at the Skeletonwitch show on June 3rd, and stay tuned for more EP updates!

Finally for today, here's some recent shorter news updates, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:

  • Kincheloe, Michigan metal project Chained Memories revealed on their Facebook page yesterday that they're planning to have a full lineup again by the fall and play their first show by next year, while also explaining why their planned first song wasn't posted. Hopefully the guys can get the band off the ground soon, especially with how hard it's seemed to be for extreme metal bands to take off across the river!
  • Sault Ontario metal standouts Garden of Bedlam will play their first concert outside of Ontario when they headline a concert at La P'tite Grenouille (French for The Little Frog) in Quebec City, Quebec on June 8th! They'll also be featured at Nissanfest there that day to promote the show and meet fans. This is an awesome opportunity, and hopefully it leads to more big chances to spread their reach and fanbase, so fingers crossed it's a hit!
  • We forgot to mention this on here when first announced, but tickets for the June 3rd Skeletonwitch concert at The Canadian Nightclub are now on sale for $12 at The Rad Zone, Case's Music, Music Depot, and The Canadian Motor Hotel, so pick them up A.S.A.P. or pay more at the door! This will be a huge concert, so don't miss out!

That's all for today, but in case there's not enough for a new news post this weekend, stay tuned for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Giwakwa guitarist Chris Page's former London band Lead The Dead on Sunday! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Official Frightlight Dead Zone

In our second post of the day, we have this month's YouTube Channel Profile! As usual, this monthly feature series looks at 1-3 randomly selected YouTube channels with at least half of their videos focused on local metal bands/concerts, and for the first time since September, we're focusing on just one Sault Ontario channel by itself! This would have tied in nicely with the featured band's planned return to the stage next week, but even with that show cancelled, this channel deserves a look back at it's featured videos, so read on below for this month's YouTube channel profile, and check our post from earlier today featuring major new concerts, a new CD release, and more below this post! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
Official Frightlight Dead Zone (

Owner: A member of Sault Ontario horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight (identity unclear)

Channel Timeline: Launched on April 12th, 2011; Videos posted between May 4th & 28th of that year

Channel Summary: This is/was the official YouTube channel for popular local punk/metal band Frightlight, created about a year and a half after their local debut. The channel features 12 mostly complete videos (including original songs & covers) from two separate Frightlight concerts that took place in 2010 & 2011, though all have assorted film grain filters in both black & white and sepia tones, which tend to fit the band's live aesthetic and musical themes. All were filmed by an uncredited attendee at each concert.

Why Should You Watch: This is a must-watch channel for fans of Frightlight, as these are all nice quality videos of two early Frightlight concerts, and they also give a glimpse into both early band lineups and some songs that aren't as prominent in more recent setlists! Fans of frontman Johnny Pints' other band work will find stuff to enjoy too, as his other bands do have similar styles and cover choices. However, this channel has not been actively used in almost two years, so more recent Frightlight lineups and concerts after early 2011 are not reflected on this channel, in case that changes your mind on subscribing.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Frightlight - deadtown (live @ coch's corner): This channel's first video was of Frightlight playing their song "Dead Town Anywhere" at the original Coch's Corner on July 10th, 2010 during their live EP recording concert, which led to the release of their debut CD "It's A... Live!" that fall! Featuring an early quartet lineup (with Johnny Pints on vocals, Rick Styles on guitar, Eddie Fright on bass, and Shrek Ogre on drums), this is one of three videos from this show on this channel, joining (sadly incomplete) clips of their original "Fright Night" and a cover of The Ramones' "Commando" (which hasn't been present at more recent shows.) Though well performed, Johnny's vocals aren't as energetic as on other versions of this song, and it is clipped a bit at the beginning, but it's a solid early glimpse at Frightlight's live concert experience!

Frightlight - helena (misfits cover live).MP4: The other 9 videos on this channel come from Frightlight's set at the first annual Sewer Swampstravaganza all ages show at The Oddfellows Hall on April 9th, 2011, where they were one of 11 bands rocking out at this RedD Monkey-promoted local music marathon! Featuring their early-mid 2011 lineup (now with The Count on drums, and with then-new second guitarist St. Mayhem), 4 covers from this show are on this channel, including their version of their predecessors' Fitswitch's "Rust Angel", and covers of The Misfits' "Halloween", "We Are 138", and (as embedded below) "Helena"! The quality's again good for this live favourite, and the crowd definitely seems into this song, which is as well performed and fun as you'd expect!

Frightlight - world war Z (live).MP4: The five filmed originals from Frightlight's 2011 Sewer Swampstravaganza set include their songs "Fright Night", "She Screams", "They All Float", "C.H.U.D.", and in the channel's most popular video, "World War Z"! Their last song during this show (and on the channel), I believe this was one of the first times that this song was played live, and it's one of Frightlight's heaviest and fastest songs, so it'll definitely appeal most to fans of their more aggressive work! However, note that this is a bit sloppy compared to some later versions of this song that I've heard.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month in this series, we'll head back to Sault Michigan for another one channel profile, as I've randomly chosen ex-Intrepid guitarist Donnie Hank's YouTube channel for June's installment of this series! His channel has some varied performance clips from both the band and himself solo, so watch out for this profile on or around June 22nd! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and notes shortly, including weekend concert previews! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tesla & Night Ranger), Woods Of Ypres Tribute CD News, And J.P. Fecteau Benefit Fallout!!

In our first of two likely posts today (I hope to have this month's YouTube Channel Profile up tonight), we have a lot of big stuff to get to in this post, including fallout from a recent benefit event, and the release of a major tribute album with a clear local inspiration, but first, we have some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS concerning two huge shows coming to Sault Michigan later this year! Without any further adieu, here's what you need to know!

Two new major concerts at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino have been announced, starting with the return of Sacramento, California hair metal legends Tesla to the Soo on Saturday, July 27th! Best known for hit songs like "Signs", "Love Song", and "Mama's Fool", this entertaining quintet were last seen in the area over 3 years ago when they and Fifth Way rocked The Dreammaker's Theater in June 2010, and it'll be great to see their multi-platinum selling original material back on stage for a fourth stop at Kewadin Casino! Note that the exact same lineup from their last local stop will be back for this show, but I'm seeing no reference to an opening band at present. Tickets for this all ages show (which starts at 7:00 PM) are NOW ON SALE for $38.50 and $35, and there's lots of good seats still available (though they're going fast), so buy yours at this location, at 1-800-KEWADIN, or in person at the Kewadin box office! It's great to see Tesla back in town once again, and their classic hard rock and hair metal sounds are sure to attract another large crowd, so don't miss this show come July!

The other newly announced Dreammaker's Theater concert will see San Francisco hard rock notables Night Ranger hit the Sault Kewadin on Sunday, September 22nd for what I think may be their first ever local concert appearance! As announced on SooToday yesterday, you may remember Night Ranger most for their hit singles "Sister Christian", "Sentimental Street", and "Don't Tell Me You Love Me", and their classic ballads and energetic hard rock hits should be welcomed in the fall! Opening for Night Ranger at this show is former Bad English frontman John Waite in a solo set, and you may remember John best for his 1984 hit single "Missing You". While best known for softer pop rock solo material, he has hard rock and AOR experience from his bands, and he should impress in September! Tickets for this concert don't go on sale until May 31st (a week from Friday), but they will cost $48.50 & $38.50 via the same methods as the Tesla show, with no age limits and a 7:00 PM start time likely. Classic rock and metal fans should be excited for this show as well, so don't miss the on-sale date next week, and hopefully Night Ranger rock the Soo this fall!

Finally in Kewadin Casino hard rock concert notes, Pop Evil tickets are now on sale via the Kewadin ticketing page & links above for just $20! Remember, proceeds from this August 14th concert go to Team Jessica to help local student Jessica Jorgensen's battle with leukemia, and this show has a 7:00 PM start time (though openers haven't been announced yet.) There's tons of good seats available, so get yours A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for updates on these and other upcoming heavier Dreammaker's Theater shows!

Next up, the Woods of Ypres/David Gold tribute album "Heart of Gold: A Tribute to Woods of Ypres" is now officially on sale to the public! Following online pre-orders and a lengthy development process, the 19-track album can be downloaded in mp3 format for just $10 at this location, so pick it up A.S.A.P. to hear all of these great tributes to the band & David's memory! Each track can be streamed there before buying as well, but the full download version also features the full liner notes, which I have heard good things about! Details on public sales of CD copies have yet to be announced beyond the pre-orders, but it will be a 2 disc set due to the length of the songs and amount of featured artists. Even though there's no local artists on this compilation, there's a bunch of emotional and devoted covers that pay tribute to Woods of Ypres in their own ways here, and all were penned by David Gold, so I will confirm that this will be a CD review on the SMS this summer!

I have "Heart of Gold" pencilled in for July, as I have Haggith's new album "Deuce" planned for June, and I'll tentatively bump our review of Mike Haggith's "The Present Din" to August to spread our reviews of his projects' new CDs. I can't wait to hear the Woods tribute album in full, so stay tuned for updates on it and the public CD release when I hear it, and buy "Heart of Gold" today!!

Finally for today, here's a bit of fallout from last week's Jean-Paul Fecteau benefit concert at The Canadian Nightclub! The day after the May 14th event, Jean-Paul's former J.A.B. bandmate Glen Thomas (now of Flat Stanley) posted a recap of the event onto his message board Freq's Music Planet, where he revealed some of the performers and songs played that night. Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison reportedly played a solo acoustic set, and the other performers appeared to all jam various covers, including a spell where Glen joined Asylum Country guitarist/event organizer Terry Eaton and ex-Bud Shamble bassist Rob Gilmar for some songs, including covers of ZZ Top's "Tush" and AC/DC's "Highway To Hell", as caught in the video below! Uploaded to Glen's YouTube channel the night of the show, the video quality isn't that great, and it's often dark and fuzzy, but the audio's nice, and Terry has a really solid voice for these songs! Talented musicians all around, it's nice to see them jamming, though it's disappointing that a proposed reunion of surviving J.A.B. members didn't materialize.

Other performers included the rest of Asylum Country and Turner Up/Havadder alum Jason Roy (according to the Facebook event page), and it sounds like the event was a major success! And yes, there were prize draws and food available for attendees. Hopefully the benefit gave Jean-Paul's family and young daughter a boost (financially and emotionally), and I hope that somehow, somewhere, J.P. was there last week enjoying all the music! Check out Terry, Rob, and Glen's covers from the benefit below, and if I hear anything more from that night, I'll let you guys know!!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile (focused on Frightlight's channel) either tonight or tomorrow morning! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Crusade Review, Plus A Band's Surprise Debut, And A Concert Cancellation!!

Hey guys, it's time for my review of last night's cancer fundraising concert The Crusade, but first, we have a notable concert cancellation, as next week's Brains/Frightlight show has been cancelled. Promoter/opener J.D. "Johnny Pints" Pearce cited scheduling and routing for the cancellation on his promotion agency's Facebook group, but he hopes to bring The Brains back during their next tour run. This is definitely disappointing, especially as the show would have marked Frightlight's return after 7 months off of the stage, but we'll still see Redundant at The Oddfellows Hall next week, and hopefully horror punk and psychobilly fans will get a makeup date soon! However, J.D.'s most recent concert was last night, and it was announced that at least $300 was raised for local cancer charities at the event! (However, there were no vendor tables that I could tell, beyond Haggith's merchandise area.) The crowd was sort of sparse, but on a school night at the end of the holiday weekend, that may have been expected somewhat. Also to note, the lineup order was almost completely shuffled, with one band replacement, but we'll approach everything as we go, so here's my reviews and thoughts of each of last night's acts!

Opening last night's concert was returning local death metal quartet Crimson Crusade in their first live concert appearance in six months, and if there was some stage rust, it didn't really show! Their set included original songs like "Here We Lay", "Pillage", and "For Him" (among others), plus covers of Death's "Pull The Plug" and "Crystal Mountain", and like their last show, the Death influences were clear as day! Devon Lucier's vocal resemblance to Chuck Schuldiner is still impressive, and their full lineup had lots of talent and shining moments! Robert Sartini and Devon compliment each other well on guitar, Robert Crossley's drumming here is arguably better than it ever was with Inhuman Methods, and Riley Marshall's bass work was solid and fit their style throughout! Crimson Crusade have a lot of promise, and they don't sound like other local death metal bands, but they need momentum on their side to attract a bigger following (the planned EP and the Skeletonwitch show should help with that), and they could be a bit livelier on stage. I like where they're going though, and I can't wait to see what's next!

Next was former Terminal & Business Suit Trappers frontman Greg Callaghan in an acoustic solo set, and if you've seen his "evil" solo concerts before, you'll probably know what to expect. He played a mix of punk and rock covers, with his suitably deep vocals and clear guitar skill complimenting each song nicely (despite a mid-set broken string issue, I believe.) Covers included renditions of everything from Bad Religion and NOFX to Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen songs, and though the crowd wasn't crowding the floor, they did recognize and appreciate his talents! I still think he should front a full band locally again (perhaps with more of a punk base than Terminal had though), and his deep clean vocals would be a unique added element if he did, but his solo sets are fun for what they are, and hopefully his next one has a larger turnout!

Third on the bill was Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands winners The Suicide Kings in their first Canadian Nightclub appearance of the year, and the momentum from their recent successes propelled them through an entertaining mix of originals & covers! Songs including "Way Out of Hell" and their upcoming EP's title track "King of the World" were joined by System of a Down & Rage Against The Machine covers, plus the return of their assorted covers medley from the battle, and throughout, their talents and chemistry matched up nicely! Mike Gaetano's heavier singing is still a nice fit for their style, but it's not as consistent on softer & cleaner sections, so I tended to like their more aggressive tunes the best. It also says a lot when Steven Flint and Mitch Sirie can switch guitar and bass duties on some songs, and neither misses a beat in the process! I'd still like to see a bit more crowd engagement, but overall, The Suicide Kings are on a hot streak, and hopefully they keep it up as we creep into the summer!

The next band was a late replacement for local classic metal trio Caveman Morrison, who couldn't make the event for unannounced reasons. Disappointing, but I know we'll see them back on stage soon, and hopefully they'll turn up at The Canadian again at some point! However, drummer Johnny Belanger was on hand anyway, as their replacements were local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters! Solid choice, and as they just played at The Rosie on Saturday, they weren't rusty or ill prepared to jump in, so fans didn't have to worry about them being off their game! Their set had no real surprises, with popular originals like "Dominate", "Karma", and "Succumb To Eternity" attracting some devoted fans & headbangers to the floor! Musically, the guys were all on form, and luckily, Mitch Sirie's guitar levels were higher than I'd seen at some recent gigs! Everyone put in a brutal set and were performing as well as I'd assume (maybe with less energy though), but just wait until they open for Skeletonwitch next month!

The penultimate full band last night was local grunge/alternative rockers Haggith in their Canadian Nightclub debut, and they may have made the biggest impression with their freewheeling, energetic, and fan-engaged set! Originals like "Clifton Hill" and "Rage Train" got their ardent fan base going, along with covers of Jimi Hendrix, Stone Temple Pilots, and "Heavy Metal" soundtrack songs, and the guys definitely seem a lot more relaxed and into the music than they did even last year! Curtis McKenzie's vocals were very strong, his and Daniel Horton's riffing and melodies flowed very well, and Mike Haggith was a wildman all night on drums! Also, the band was joined by backing vocalist Kristi-Lee Marshall throughout their set (as she was on much of their new album "Deuce"), and while she's very good in this role, she was often very hard to hear, and many songs featured her only minimally (if at all, a'la ex-Banned singer Mike Straw.) Haggith are definitely on the rise locally though, and if they keep on this pace, they'll be a must watch band soon!

The headliners (and only band to maintain their original setlist placement) was local punk/metal quartet T-Rex Manning, and they put in another fun set of covers (and one original) for the remaining fans! Their set was largely similar to past T-Rex Manning shows, with covers of The Misfits, The Bloodhound Gang, and The Ramones joining their original "She Banged The Mayor", among many others, and everyone seemed to be on form from past concerts! J.D. Pearce's vocals were as reliable as ever, and Bill Bennett's determined bass work was solid as usual, and even if there weren't a lot of new wrinkes, T-Rex Manning were solid and full of entertaining covers, as expected! I just wish the crowd was better. After their set, Bill and drummer Rick White ceded the stage to Bear Hunters bassist Justin Lam and Asylum Country drummer T.J. Case, as they, J.D., and Tiffany Stocco debuted their new band Jack Spades at the end of the night!

It was just for one song (a cover of Pennywise's "Fuck Authority"), but given the sound, lineup, and what I've heard from J.D., they will play heavier stuff too. I won't judge the band based on this one song preview (which did have some elements that needed work), but with a promising lineup and a high profile set coming when they open for The Dayglo Abortions in September, you won't wanna miss out!

Overall, this was a fun concert, though I bet it'd have drew a larger crowd and more funds raised if not held on a holiday. The bands were all firmly in support of beating cancer, and everyone delivered great sets of original and cover material, so all is good from this show! I got a bunch of photos of the bands (sans Jack Spades), so check them out at this location or at our Facebook page, and I did get videos of most of the bands (sans Greg Callaghan, his heavier covers I only identified when they were in progress.) In performance order, here's Crimson Crusade playing their song "Lost Memories", The Suicide Kings playing their newer original "Beaten Down" (I think that's the name), The Bear Hunters playing "Servitude", Haggith playing their new track "Anthem (I did film it this time, Mike!), T-Rex Manning covering Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law", and the debut Pennywise cover from Jack Spades!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a major new concert announcement, and big news on a locally relevant tribute album's release, tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A "New" Local Band, Lineup Changes, And More Assorted New Items!!

Another week is on, and for today's news post, we're mostly clearing out our news cache, so what's on tap? Along with a pile of assorted random recent news items, we have lineup changes and other updates from two new-ish local metal bands, and first, we have a new local hard rock project to plug, so here's what you need to know!

Haggith drummer/local solo musician Mike Haggith announced a new local band project on Saturday, and they're called Mike Haggith & The Din! Likely a reference to his most recent solo album "The Present Din", this project appears to be an outlet for Mike to play his array of solo original material live in the Sault area, which is something I know he'd tried to get going before in town. With a cited genre of "acid jam", Mike Haggith & The Din's lineup is almost the same as the Haggith band's lineup, albeit with the 3 common members in swapped roles (a'la Lion Ride & Detroit), with Mike on vocals & guitar instead of drums, Curtis McKenzie on bass & keyboard instead of vocals, and Daniel Horton on drums instead of guitar. For the record, I don't know if The Din will get any dedicated online pages or just share Mike's solo pages, but Mike did confirm that this project is the newest band on the Paperclip Productions label (no word though on if this is the same as the never-revealed Cadets project.)

As a first sample, Mike posted an extended jam of him and Daniel (Curtis is absent) playing "Limb Coast" from his "Neighbourhood Watch" album onto his new YouTube channel (along with full postings of that album and "Suspended Animation"), but how does it sound? At 23 minutes in length, it definitely has a loose jam feel, and it puts more of a freewheeling experimental take on this already dark and atmospheric song, but the parts that match the original recording line up well! I'm interested to hear how The Din tackles some other Mike Haggith originals, so check out their jam version of "Limb Coast" below, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's the latest updates from Sault Ontario thrash band Pillory, starting with the addition of Cole Royal to their lineup as their new bassist, replacing Jonathan Tiberi. The news was broken on their Facebook page on Thursday, though from what I can tell, he's been with the band since last month. I'm not familiar with Cole musically, but fingers crossed he has the skills to match up with Robert and Bret in their current lineup! No word yet though on a new guitarist to replace the late Andres Duchesne. In the same Facebook posting, Pillory revealed that the release of their "Cringe at the Cross" EP is "not too far away", with a summer release now being worked on, while they also revealed that they just finished writing a new original song named "Dethrone the Dictator". It sounds like Pillory's hard at work on their next plans, but I'd like to see them back on stage, as their only concert was six months ago. They need to build some momentum, but they're talented and have made a good early impression, so hopefully some more big news is coming! Stay tuned for more!

Also, here's the latest from the newer local classic metal previously known as Hydra, starting with a name change, as they quietly changed their name to The Hydra's Teeth on Saturday. A reason for the name change wasn't announced, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's to avoid conflicts with existing bands with the same name. The lengthened name works though! Also, they've confirmed the addition of veteran local drummer Roy Kreutzberger to their lineup (as per their Reverbnation page), returning them to a trio following guitarist Talon Risto's departure. Roy's well known locally from projects like Leaves Off Trees, Startlefish, Odd Man Out, Iron Lung, and Clockwork, some of which date back to the 1990s, so even with a lack of explicit metal work that I can find, the skill's absolutely there for Roy to match up with Late & Loud's Brendan Christie & Benn Garside in this band! Other news hasn't been posted since the above changes, but check out The Hydra's Teeth's promising (though incomplete) original demos at their Reverbnation page above, and keep an eye out for band updates!

We'll close today with six assorted recent news items (as they've been piling up), and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Though not a direct local metal story, Ashes To Dust frontman Noah Morden will take the stage in Superior Heights Collegiate & Vocational School's production of Evita this weekend, where he'll play Che, the narrator. Big opportunity, hopefully all goes well this weekend! As for the band, while we've heard very little from them in recent months,Noah did inquire about returning to this year's Sewer Swampstravaganza, so keep an eye out if they're confirmed!
  • On May 10th, Eckerman, Michigan metal band Life's Eclipse posted an unembeddable video sample of a new track named "Aphelion" onto their Facebook page! It sounds very heavy and promising, if incomplete, so check it out at the above links, and fingers crossed we hear more from them soon!
  • Bear Hunters/Suicide Kings guitarist/bassist Mitch Sirie is looking for a bassist and drummer for a new progressive metal project that he's working on, though no word on if this is an expansion of his Sorrow Fields solo act or something completely different. If you're interested in trying out, message Mitch at this location or through his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group on Wednesday!
  • Local punk trio Redundant were added as a third opening band for the Sleep When You're Dead-headlined all ages concert at The Oddfellows Hall on May 29th, as confirmed on the Facebook event page on Saturday. Unexpected choice, given that the other three bands are all forms of extreme metal, but Redundant's members all have metal experience, and they should set the tone well with their entertaining originals & covers!
  • Ex-Swayze Train/Insipid Brutality guitarist Scott Savoie has uploaded three new solo original songs onto his Soundcloud page in the past month, including a Jeff Hanneman tribute named "Forever Reign", and there's vocals on these new tracks! If that's Scott on the thrashier ones, he could front a band if he wanted! Check out his new songs (one of which has female vocals) at the above links!
  • I forgot to mention this when we plugged Winkstinger's addition of Jason Bourcier as their new bassist on here, but his enlistment is sort of a return too, as he fronted Winkstinger's predecessors Operation: Killdozer during their brief mid-2009 run! Fans may remember that at least one Killdozer song ("Pieces of You") was adapted by Winkstinger as "Where'd We Go Wrong" after their debut. It's good to see Jason, Jesse, and Jonas back together, and don't miss the band's return on the 29th!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for my review of The Crusade! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Pop Evil), The Crusade Preview, And New Skeyes Of Seven Videos!!

We're back with new news and updates on this Sunday morning, but what's now up on the site today? Along with some new videos from a recently prominent local band, we have a lot of hype for two events for cancer fundraising, one of which is a preview for a concert TOMORROW, and one of which is a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the Sault Michigan area, so here's what you need to know!

The next major Dreammaker's Theater concert at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino from Allstar Promotions has been announced, and it will see the long awaited return of Pop Evil this summer! This popular Grand Rapids modern hard rock quintet will hit the Soo Kewadin for the first time in 3½ years when they headline a special all ages benefit concert there on August 14th, with all proceeds going to Team Jessica, a local fundraising campaign to support local high school student Jessica Jorgensen's battle with Acute Lympocytic Leukemia. Allstar Promotions owner Dave Atkinson is a firm supporter of the Team Jessica campaign, and his local graphics company Allstar Graphics has produced t-shirts for the cause as well, so it's great to see him helping Jessica through this major battle! The concert itself will have at least two other opening bands (whether any are local isn't publically known yet), and tickets will go on sale TOMORROW for just $20, and start times aren't announced yet. Check the above links for more details!

This sounds like a great event for an awesome cause, and it may call to mind the two Allstar-promoted Kim Rogers/Kelsey Raffaele benefit concerts (the first of which Pop Evil headlined), so if people can rally around Jessica at a similar level, this is bound to be a huge help with her leukemia battle! As for Pop Evil, they've been missed in recent years, but with their new album "Onyx" now out, and an exciting modern rock sound, you won't wanna miss their local return, so stay tuned for updates, and read on more on Team Jessica at this link!

Next up, here's a very special concert preview for TOMORROW, as local singer/concert promoter J.D. Pearce is holding a cancer fundraising event at The Canadian Nightclub named The Crusade! This is a cause that's very close to J.D., as his mom has beat cancer twice, and I'd assume most people have had it affect their lives, so it's great to see all proceeds from this event going to the Relay for Life and the The Canadian Cancer Society! Though early announcements implied a more varied lineup, five of the six bands tomorrow will be metal or hard rock-leaning, so who's scheduled? In descending order, the acts include J.D.'s own metal/punk band T-Rex Manning (in a rare headlining set) at 11:00 PM, ex-Terminal frontman Greg Callaghan's solo acoustic act at 10:00 PM, Rockstar Bar Battle winners The Suicide Kings at 9:00 PM, battle runner-ups Haggith at 8:00 PM, returning local death metal quartet Crimson Crusade at 7:00 PM, and the newest confirmation, local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison opening the festivities at 6:00 PM!

While most of tomorrow's bands have been seen recently, this will be Crimson Crusade's first show in six months, Haggith's Canadian Nightclub debut, and Caveman Morrison's first show at this venue since (I think) the Kiss Battle of the Bands in late 2009, so make note of them as well! This special concert is ALL AGES, with doors opening at 5:00 PM tomorrow, and admission is by donation ($5 recommended), with some sort of prize draws and vendor tables likely for added fundraising. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! There's a nice diverse lineup of acts tomorrow, from acoustic rock to punk to death metal, and these 20 musicians are all rocking out for a fantastic cause, so come on down to The Canadian tomorrow evening for The Crusade, and I will absolutely see you guys there! For a preview, here's T-Rex Manning (under their one-off Fiend Brigade moniker) covering a Misfits classic there in March!

Finally for today, local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven have uploaded a bunch of new videos onto their YouTube channel, all of which come from their second live concert at The Rockstar Bar last month! Joining their earlier upload of their original "Fallen Faith", the band posted six new videos (complete with titles) from the April 26th Garden of Bedlam show yesterday, including their originals "Destinations Unknown", "No One Cares", "Cognitive Dissonance", and "Anything At All", an their covers of Sense of Truth's "Crawling" and Breaking Benjamin's "So Cold", so click each link to check them out! Note that "Anything At All" is not another Sense of Truth cover, the same song name was just used by both bands. Also, I don't know yet if the filmer shot "Fallen Faith" (the earlier video was from a different camera) or their Slipknot, Stone Sour, and/or Tool covers. Shot at a high angle, it's not the clearest angle of the band, but the sound quality's solid, and it's good to hear these songs again!

I've embedded "Cognitive Dissonance" below, but check out more at the above links, and stay tuned for updates on this exciting alt-metal band's next shows and news!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news tomorrow, including some local band lineup additions! Thanks everyone!