Saturday, January 19, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Dave Evans & Soundcheck), Plus New Videos!!

Let's get a new news post up on this very cold Saturday afternoon, and it's packed with some big stories, including a new teaser for an upcoming event, new video footage of a new local band, and leading off, here's two LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for early 2019 that are big in very different ways!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will be among the performers at the Soo-Lebrity Showcase Saturday concert at The Machine Shop on Saturday, February 2nd! Organized by (Choose) Maxx Entertainment, this intended-to-be annual event will take place as part of this year's Bon Soo Winter Carnival (which begins the previous day), and it will unite local bands, local artists (photographer/promoter Josh Pace among them), and local craft beer for one high profile event. In fact, you could call this a mini-sequel to Toystock (if more adult in tone), as all four of the bands on February 2nd performed at the last two Toystocks, so fans of that event may want to take extra notice! Soundcheck will co-headline Soo-Lebrity Showcase Saturday at 9:00 PM, preceding country rock veterans Bone Yard at 10:00 PM, with their acoustic side project The Bearded Lounge and fellow unplugged country notables The Jeff & Jeff Show kicking things off at 8:00 & 7:00 PM each.

Admission is free with the purchase of a $7 Bon Soo button, and while an age limit wasn't stated, the presence of craft beer may just say it all. It's great to see a local performer-friendly concert back at Bon Soo this year, and while I do think that the outdoor Marquee concerts never lived up to their full potential, everyone can stay warm with the bands while enjoying local art and beer at the same time! Visit the official Facebook event page for more on the Soo-Lebrity Showcase in two weeks' time!

Next up, here's a surprising but very intriguing concert announcement, as original AC/DC frontman Dave Evans will make his Sault Ste. Marie debut on Saturday, May 4th at The Rockstar Bar! Diehard AC/DC fans will know that Dave Evans was their lead singer in 1973 & 1974, and featured on their debut single before being replaced by Bon Scott. While he didn't feature on the vast majority of AC/DC recordings, he does renditions of Bon-era songs live, as well as the two tracks from the above single, select originals, and outside covers. Dave's voice is deeper and somewhat more melodic than his successors, and while he didn't stick around long with AC/DC, it'll be interesting to hear how he handles these classic songs locally! In fact, his backing band will be an actual AC/DC tribute band named Thunderstruck, and while the Facebook event page indicates that they're from Australia, I've seen conflicting posts online about which specific AC/DC tribute named Thunderstruck is playing on Dave's 2019 Canadian tour.

No word at press time on potential opening bands. This 19+ concert has an 8:00 PM start time, and tickets run for $16 in advance at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk, or $20 at the door. Regardless of how long he was in the band, it is very cool to see an original member of AC/DC on a local stage, and hopefully this show is a hit come the spring! See above for more details!

Also today, here's some new videos from new local Tool tribute band Parabol, courtesy of their live concert debut at the aforementioned Rockstar Bar on October 27th during that weekend's Halloween Party! Uploaded to their Facebook page on Wednesday, these feature the then-unnamed band covering "The Pot", "Schism", and as embedded below, "Sober", which we hadn't previously featured here from prior videos shot that night. Camera angles are inconsistent (only "Schism" is filmed in landscape orientation, and the other two can be quite crooked), but their authentic sound and proficiency comes through nicely on each, so give these a look!



Finally, did you notice that the Facebook event page cover video for the Northern Film Showcase on January 27th at Shooters Downstairs Lounge was quietly deleted from our post from last Sunday? Well, organizers McBully Productions opted to replace it with a new video hyping three more music videos to be screened at this special event later this month. As embedded below, it confirms that local death metal band The Bear Hunters' new video for "I Fear No God" will be featured at this event, alongside new videos from solo artists Renee Landry and Britta Wolfert. Nice to see (at least) 8 diverse local music videos on the docket, and get more details at the above links!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Our Poll On Your Favourite New Local Metal, Hard Rock, And Punk Bands Of 2018!!

With 2018 now in the rear view mirror, let's try our year-end polls on the site again! Vote totals last year weren't very high at all, but we'll see if things turn around this time out. As usual, we are starting by posing this question:  What was your favourite new local metal, hard rock, or punk band of 2018? Last year was a lean one for debuting bands on the heavier spectrum, but enough launched, especially in the latter half of the year, to warrant this poll returning. To be included in the poll, the band must have publically launched AND played live in the 2018 calendar year, hence why Fluid 5ive (who launched way back in 2016) and Awokest (who dropped out of their sole advertised show last year) missed the cut. It's also worth noting that I can't confirm the genre range of new (and online page-less) Sault Michigan trio Roadhouse, so I opted not to include them. Of course, if we missed your preferred choice, "Other" is back too!

Lastly, in the poll form proper (on the right of the page), I specified which bands were tribute bands, just as a means of helping readers recall who they were, as upon their debut, only one of them had a publically acknowledged name on social media. Now, here are your choices in alphabetical order!

Coral Fang: Debuting at night #1 of last October's Halloween Party at The Rockstar Bar, Coral Fang are the Distillers tribute band from Jack Spades/Stegadeth bandmates Tiffany Stocco & Johnny Belanger, alongside A Dire Setback's Chris Nielsen and Destroilet's Adam Larocque. The band received positive notices at this show and at their LopLops gig with The Cover-Up last month, but would you agree that they're your favourite new local band of last year?

Parabol: Though they remained unnamed until this month, many fans felt that Parabol stole the show in their live debut at night #2 of the aforementioned Halloween Party with their authentic and proficient tribute to prog-metal legends Tool. Featuring ex-Late Shift bandmates John Barber & Anthony Gagnon alongside Odd Man Out's Steve Myers and Skeyes of Seven's Al Fletcher, this band has the skill level to go far, but did you like them more than the other options here?

Poison Girl: Tiffany & Johnny were very busy on October 26th, as they launched two new cover bands that night, including the HIM tribute Poison Girl alongside Stegadeth bandmate Bill Bennett and Machines Dream keyboardist Brian Holmes. Individual local covers of the Finnish gothic rock standouts are rare enough, so Ville Valo fans certainly ate up Poison Girl's debut last fall, and while more shows haven't yet followed, did you see enough then to vote for them in this poll?

Re:Born: The only poll option that is not a tribute band, Re:Born are the new power rock band from Project 421's Blair Burch & Frank McGillivray, Eclipse's Fred Dunn, and The Din's Brandan Glew, with the now departed Robert Nevitt singing at all three of their 2018 gigs. Sets opening for Archelon & All The Wasted Years gave them strong exposure, and while their 2019 debut with new singer Elly McWatters is up in the air, did their initial shows earn them your vote over the tribute band trio?

Other: Did we miss your preferred new band of last year? Should we have included Fluid 5ive their pre-2018 launch? Did a band that never played live in 2018 impress you more, like Awokest, Hubbard, or Tattoos & Scars? Are Roadhouse a heavier rock band? Maybe you preferred a new band that isn't hard rock or punk based, or even one that's not local? If, for whatever reason, we didn't include the band you want to vote for, pick "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! You have until February 18th to cast your votes, and it'll be interesting to see which band comes out on top after a quieter than usual year for local metal and punk band debuts. That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Elements & Chase Wigmore) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's now time for another round of weekend concert previews for your hard rock delectation! Barring further late announcements, we have three batches of shows to get to in the area this weekend, but we'll start with two LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, one on SHORT NOTICE!

Local funk/hard rock quartet The Elements will headline a special karaoke-infused concert at The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this concert only came to our attention via advertising on the venue's physical marquee boards on Wednesday. While Friday karaoke nights have been teased and promoted at varying levels this season at The Rockstar Bar, the Facebook event page for TOMORROW'S concert clearly states that The Elements' set will be married to the karaoke aspect, as attending fans are encouraged to come up and sing with The Elements as the live backing band. One assumes frontman Rob Speers will sing when no one's ready to join in, and likely host in between time. This may call to mind Mourning Wood's brief 2015 run of Thursday jam/open mic nights at The Rednecks Saloon, but unlike those, The Elements will be playing each song, rather than handing off to new performers at unknown times.

In any event, this will be The Elements' first public concert appearance of 2019, and first show since their Chili Peppers tribute turn at the same venue last month. They should be in fine form with their alternative, funk, and metal covers TOMORROW, but who will sing with them, and what? Find out then! There is no cover charge for this 19+ concert, which has a 10:00 PM start time. See above for more details, and here's The Elements live!



Next up, remember that poll that Chase Wigmore's Facebook page ran on January 4th that asked if fans would be interested in attending a free show at The Rednecks Saloon this month? Well, 77% of fans voted in the affirmative, and the show will take place on Saturday, February 2nd! Originally planned for this Saturday before being postponed two weeks "to make thing a little easier", Chase is calling this a "free concert/jam" that will include "various acts", though it's not clear whether they're all intended to be a mystery, or if the search for performers is still ongoing. The presumed headliner is Chase himself, who will perform his rock opera "A Story About A Kid Named Todd" in full for his first public concert set of the year, and if you've seen that in action, you'll know that his intense storytelling will appeal to both folk and metal fans! Of course, we'll let you know if other acts are announced.

This FREE concert has a 19+ age limit and early advertised start time of 8:00 PM. There's a lot of unknowns as of yet for this concert, but Chase's irreverent stage show and extreme musical diversity alone should be worth your attention next month! Visit the Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

Also, let's continue with this weekend's concert previews by moving to Gliss Restaurant, where prolific local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will continue his long-term weekly arrangement with acoustic matinee concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY! Fans of his unplugged live shows should be in fine company on these two evenings, and if you like your hard and classic rock covers in a more intimate setting, this should be worth a trip either night! Tym's prolific setlist and solid talent should seal the deal, and you can take in all of the action tomorrow and/or Saturday at 6:00 PM. Both shows are free with no stated age limits, but remember that this is a formal restaurant, not a typical nightclub venue. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, here's Tym live, and stay tuned next week for details on his February concert schedule at Gliss and elsewhere!



Finally for this weekend(?) is the 2019 debut of Sault Michigan classic/hard rock quintet Highway 63, as they are advertised to return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Just as a heads up, Highway 63 have not acknowledged these shows on their Facebook page, and have only posted there once in 2019 so far, via photos of studio updates they recently made. However, these shows are still advertised on Kewadin's entertainment page, so we will treat them as on unless otherwise stated. These are Highway 63's first advertised concerts of the new year, and their first at the St. Ignace Kewadin since 2017, and just their second & third gigs since bassist George Belleau, drummer Justin Lawless, and keyboardist Brian Drumheller joined the Switzers in the group. How will the new-look band sound this weekend? Head to The Northern Pines Lounge either night to find out!

As usual for Highway 63's prior Kewadin gigs, expect these shows to have 9:00 PM start times, no cover charges, and 21+ age limits. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Highway 63's old lineup live!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this weekend, plus a new poll tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (OZbourne), Two New Local Bands, A New Album, And More!!

We're back with a new news post on this Wednesday morning, and it includes some assorted recent updates, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, and first, two new additions to our band links, one with a new album, so without any further adieu, here's what you should know!

We have another new band to add to our active links on The Sault Metal Scene, and they are Parabol, the name finally bestowed upon the local Tool tribute band that debuted last fall! Taking their name from the Tool song "Parabola" (though they were briefly known as Lateralus upon their Facebook page's launch), fans will remember this band's live debut at The Rockstar Bar during the second night of last October's Halloween Party, with a headlining encore taking place at the same venue last month. There's very little posted on their page as of yet, but assuming there's been no quiet lineup changes, they are comprised of former Redefined/Driving Dave Home singer John Barber, Wild Iris/Odd Man Out guitarist Steve Myers, Skeyes of Seven bassist (and John's former Fingerbone bandmate) Alain Fletcher, and ex-Groove Committee drummer Anthony Gagnon (who also played with John in Late Shift.)

It's great to see the guys keep this tribute going with a permanent name, and as anyone who saw them at The Rockstar Bar in late 2018 will attest, their brand of Tool covers was extremely proficient and entertaining, and they put in the time to ensure that the songs sounded just right! If Coral Fang and Poison Girl can become actual bands following Halloween, why not Parabol? Become a fan of theirs at the above links!

Next up, here's a surprise: A Chase Wigmore solo album with a paid online release! Rather than his free EP postings and sporadic physical pressings, he has released an apparent paid debut album for his experimental metal project Awokest via their new Bandcamp page, which is sufficient to add them to our active band links as well! Still using the ribald alias "Dick Jerkins" in Awokest, he describes this project as an "experimental metal band (that) shifts between genres", with "old school industrial" cited alongside phases of black metal and grind. Though ostensibly a solo project, Chase/Dick alluded to frequent membership changes, despite never indicating any identities. The album itself is not the forthcoming "12 EPs of Christmas" entry named "The Mostest Awokest", rather a full studio album named "Enter the Nightlands", which features 10 songs, including "The Tweakening", a carried-over title from the free EP of the same name.

Chase certainly knows how to stay busy, doesn't he? Strange Coyotes aside, Bandcamp wasn't on my radar for his studio work, but it's great to see a digital download album of his there, and you can buy it for $7 right now. Also, "Enter the Nightlands" is now the favourite to be our next CD review on The Sault Metal Scene, so look for that later this month! I'll hold comment on the album until then, but fans of his diverse material will want to check it out above or below via a new upload on Chase's YouTube channel!



Also, here's that LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, as Winnipeg-based Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath tribute band OZbourne will make their local concert debut on Friday, March 29th at The Canadian Nightclub! To my knowledge, this is the first Ozzy/Sabbath tribute band to hit Sault Ste. Marie since Blizzard of Ozz played at The Canadian in 2011, so fans of the Prince of Darkness have been waiting a long while for a comparable local tribute show, and this should make up for lost time. OZbourne call themselves "The Ultimate Ozzy Experience", and from the videos I've seen, they look and sound the part, and Ozzy lovers should definitely consider a trip to The Canadian in March for their faithful brand of old school metal! A cover charge is not yet advertised on the Facebook event page, but a 10:00 PM start time and 19+ age limit are expected. It's great to see The Canadian hosting a metal tribute again, so visit the above links for current details!

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

  • Local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback revealed on their Facebook page two weeks ago that they have finished pre-production on vocals for their debut album, and were getting ready to record the final vocal tracks. They also teased that they'll return to the stage "this summer when it's all done." Hopefully things are on track for the album, and stay tuned for updates!
  • Elliot Lake promoters AstroRabbit Entertainment are planning on hosting a major metal concert of some kind at the Elliot Lake Airport in early August, with hopes being to attract 10,000 fans. Elliot Lake is over 2 hours east of Sault Ste. Marie, well past our coverage area, but I mention it here because SooToday did cover it yesterday. There are a lot of unknowns regarding this event, including lineup, ticket prices, and the exact date, but there is clear ambition here, and might this be a spiritual replacement for Rock 'n Roar in Spanish? Follow AstroRabbit for more details!
  • Local promoters Choose Maxx (or Maxx Entertainment) posted a photo on their Facebook page on Monday featuring the logo for a teased Bon Soo concert event called "Soo-Lebrity Showcase Saturday", which will take place at The Machine Shop on Saturday, February 2nd, and will feature local entertainment, artists, and brew. No word as of yet regarding the full format, lineup, prices, or Bon Soo frills, but there's already some positive buzz, so visit the above links for more details, especially if hard rock bands are in!


That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews on the site tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A New Local Solo Project, Chase Wigmore Updates, And Much More!!

Here's another new post for your Sunday afternoon reading, and it includes some assorted recent updates, the return of the bumped Northern Film Showcase write-up from Friday's post, and the latest from a prolific solo artist, but let's lead off with a new local act that we recently came across!

We have a new local death metal solo project to add to our band links, namely Black Cloud! Publically launching their Facebook page in November, Black Cloud is led by local singer/guitarist Peytan Andreola, who some readers may recognize from musician searches that he conducted in 2015 & 2016. Public details are minimal as of yet for this project, but Peytan has posted four original demo tracks onto Black Cloud's Reverbnation and Soundcloud pages, as well as three videos on their Facebook page, so what can be said on these? The most unique aspect of these songs so far is their inclusion of Shamanic and trance elements, plus what he calls "world drums", so much so that two of his videos are just of him playing skin drums rather than a traditional kit. You'll even here a flute instrument of some kind at times, and "Fade" & "Count The Calling" are the most experimental in the above regard.

The audio quality of the demos isn't pristine, and Peytan should work on the song structures and vocal clarity, but there's enough unique elements here that Black Cloud already stand out on their own merit, and I'm curious to see what he has in store next! Here's Peytan playing Black Cloud's death metal original "Blood Red Hands", and give more a look/listen above!



Next up, here's the latest from local experimental/folk/metal solo artist Chase Wigmore, who posted on his Facebook page on Friday to update fans on his recent studio work. In that post, he admitted that the other four unreleased EPs in the "12 EPs of Christmas" series are complete, but he didn't post them as page likes allegedly dropped while he was posting the first eight, and he apologized to fans who may have been turned off by him posting too much. I can't speak for everyone else, but for someone who covers Sykotyk Rampage and Mike Haggith (two acts who have far more canon albums in their repertoire than Chase), this amount is nothing, and I'm glad to see him pumping out so much new music! Partially thanks to our coverage of the first 8 EPs of Christmas last week (thanks for the positive words!), Chase said that he will get the other four posted, but before that point, he has some teaser material from another EP to share.

As previously hinted, he plans to put out a 27th canon "album" after the 12 EPs series concludes, entitled "Solving The Human Condition", and this (untitled?) teaser track was shared on Friday from it as a Facebook video. The song sounds a little like Chase shredding over top of the sounds of city life and traffic (complete with police sirens), and if nothing else, it's a nice showcase of his guitar skill and soloing! How will the full release turn out? We'll let you know when more goes public, but give Chase's new upload a listen below, and stay tuned for updates, including on the teased Rednecks Saloon show later this week!



Also, here's some information on an upcoming event that has some SMS-relevant content! Prolific local bassist & filmmaker Nathan (Jonna) Bouliane and his local/Ottawa company McBully Productions are hosting their second annual Northern Film Showcase on Sunday, January 27th, and following last year's surreal/fantasy theme event, this year's will be centered around music videos from local artists. The idea is to unite local musicians and filmmakers for networking, collaborations, and exposure therein, and students, filmmakers, and musicians are encouraged to attend. There will be a music video viewing party, live performances to be announced, and some industry experts will speak about the music industry and how filmmaking and video production can play in. The cover video on the Facebook event page confirms that Mike Haggith's video for "The Nature of The Times" will be screened, alongside videos from Mike Mikus, Jackson Reed, Kalle Mattson, and Audiosmile.

No word on if we'll see more videos than these 5, and for reference, Audiosmile are the new EDM/rock project from Anthems vs. Oceans' Dave Hunter. The Northern Film Showcase will be held at Shooters Downstairs Lounge (formerly Breakaway Bar & Grill) at 69 Dennis Street, just down the road from The Oddfellows Hall, and it is a 4:00 PM matinee, with tickets available for $10 at this link & presumably at the door. There are some unknowns yet, but this sounds like an intriguing way to spotlight musicians and video producers alike, and hopefully there's a great turnout in two weeks! Give the full cover video a look below, and see above for more details!



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

  • In a post thanking fans for their successful return shows at The Rapids Lounge this weekend, Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E noted on their Facebook page this morning that "we'll see you in a month." No word as of yet when or where the presumed show(s) will be, but there are four weekends in February you may want to keep an eye on until a public reveal!
  • I have restored Sault Ontario death metal solo project Gorrifier to our inactive band links! As you may recall, this was headed up by Pillory frontman/Id Iota bassist Robert Sartini in 2014, but their initial Reverbnation page was quietly deleted by year's end. Well, Gorrifier quietly launched a new Reverbnation page at some point after Pillory's 2016 reunion, so they're back at last. I don't believe Gorrifier have fresh updates, so they'll remain in our inactive links at the moment, but Rob's six brutal death metal instrumentals are still highly worth checking out at the above links!
  • Local/Thompson, Manitoba hard rock solo artist Mike Haggith was interviewed on Thompson adult contemporary station 102.9 CHTM on Friday morning! The interview was conducted by DJ Maxwell Healey, where they discussed "The Nature of the Times" and Mike's upcoming album "Bridges", and his single was also played, marking Mike's debut song appearance on FM radio. No word on if the interview was recorded for posterity, but it's great to see Mike getting more exposure and recognition in Thompson!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 11, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (White Cowbell Oklahoma, Soundcheck, And Tym Morrison), And Concert Previews!!

(Updated at 7:12 PM) Before we begin this post, I wanted to note that SooToday's events calendar erroneously lists Reggie's West concerts this weekend from The 3 Day Millionaires, despite that classic/hard rock band's dissolution last summer. Bone Yard have confirmed that they are playing there this weekend anyway, so just a heads up! Now, along with this weekend's previews, let's begin with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, largely on SHORT NOTICE! (To slot in a very late notice announcement without making this post too long, I've reluctantly bumped our Northern Film Showcase write-up to our next post. It will return, I promise!)

Joining his regular ongoing Gliss Restaurant gigs TONIGHT & TOMORROW, local acoustic hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will play Room 21 for the first time this year TONIGHT as well! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only announced this show (and four others in later months) via their Facebook event page this morning. Similarly to his Gliss and Roadhouse Bar & Grill gigs, Tym has already confirmed his concert schedule at Room 21 for the first 5/12ths of 2019, as he'll play one (Fishbowl?) Friday a month at the bar above Low & Slow through the end of May. Of course, due to the amount of Tym's announcedconcerts, we will take these a month at a time, so look for future gigs later, but don't miss his Room 21 return TONIGHT! That concert is sandwiched between his usual Gliss matinees, so look for more unplugged evening rock on Spring Street this evening and tomorrow as well! Those two shows are 6:00 PM matinees with no cover or age limit.

As for TONIGHT'S Room 21 show, expect a 10:00 PM start time, 19+ age limit, and no cover charge. It's great to see Tym staying busy with even more concerts being announced with lots of advance word (TONIGHT aside), so you have ample opportunities to see him in early 2019! Don't miss out at Gliss or Room 21 this weekend, and for a preview, here's Tym live!



Next up, local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will reportedly return to The Esquire Club for concerts TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice, these shows were only announced via singer/guitarist Terry Eaton's personal Facebook page just this evening (and as is unfortunately too common, neither the band nor venue publically announced the shows online that I've found.) This will be Soundcheck's second concert weekend out of three spent with concerts at this popular Second Line West venue, and despite the late notice, hopefully Terry, Travis, Paul, and Glen have a great weekend full of hard rocking classics TONIGHT & TOMORROW! As usual for their Esquire Club stops, these concerts have 10:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and no cover charges. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Soundcheck live!



Also, Toronto southern hard rock sextet White Cowbell Oklahoma will return to Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday, January 26th when they headline at LopLops Lounge! Fans of W.C.O.'s theatrical & hard hitting blend of originals have been waiting over four years for their return, following their Rockstar Bar show in November 2014, and it's great to see them back for a third go-around in the 2010s! In fact, the band has a direct local tie now, as former Detroit/Maximum RNR guitarist Curtis Faux has been a member of White Cowbell Oklahoma for the past two years, so there's a neat bonus for fans in two weeks! With a new album "Seven Years of Sleaze" and the marking of their 20th anniversary as a band this year, expect a great show for their local return! You can read more on the band and this tour via this new Sault Star article by Brian Kelly with frontman Clem Clemsen, which is an entertaining read for longtime fans, so check it out above.

As of this writing, an opening act is still to be announced, but the above Sault Star article hints that "some form of dance entertainment" is expected during the night. This will be a 19+ concert at 9:00 PM, and tickets are $20 at this link and presumably at the door. The relatively short notice is surprising, but if you like your hard rock with fire, angle grinders, and chainsaws, this is a highly recommended concert to help ring in 2019 with, so visit the Facebook event page and the above links for more details!

Finally, let's wrap up this weekend's previews with the return of Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E to the stage after a lengthy hiatus TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT at The Rapids Lounge at the local Kewadin Casino! Fans haven't seen 415E on a local stage since rocking the St. Ignace Kewadin in June 2017, and with an 18 month layoff, how has their set evolved? In any event, their lineup has evolved, and while their Facebook page has not confirmed any names yet, personal Facebook postings heavily indicate that bassist Brett Blackwood & drummer Jason VanLuven have joined the band, replacing Mitch Goetz & Tony Hubbard. Fans may recognize Jason from work with recent rock groups like Paradise Excuse, Chump Change, and Bucksaw, and while Brett is an unknown commodity to me, his father Fran was Clownsack guitarist Butter Cookie as well as a familiar musician out of costume.

If nothing else, the pedigree is there for Brett, and I'm curious to see how he performs! Postponed a week due to scheduling conflicts, this weekend's 415E shows are 9:00 PM events with 21+ age limits and no cover charges. It's great to see Dave and Chris bring a new look 415E back after a long break, and it'll be interesting to see and (hopefully) hear how they do in 2019! Visit the above links for more details, and here's 415E Mk 1.0 live!



That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Defunct Local Band Profile Series: Condemned & The Soo Fighters

It's now time for our first Defunct Local Band Profiles of the year! As usual, this monthly feature series spotlights one or two local metal, hard rock, or punk acts with surviving online pages, in order to give a current look at their runs for our readers, with each act randomly selected as usual. This month, our random selection gave us two bands, as the first didn't have enough material for a solo profile, so we added a second band to fill things out. There's a little something for fans on both sides of the border today with these two side projects, so here's what you should know!
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Condemned

Genre: Folk/Death Metal/Progressive

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Members:

Teagan Sanders (Insipid Brutality), vocals/guitar
Tyler Dettloff (KiddyWompus), guitar/vocals

Info/Analysis: Concurrently with local death/black metal quintet Insipid Brutality's 2006-2008 run, members Teagan Sanders & Tyler Dettloff performed in an acoustic side project named Condemned, who cited Opeth, Lamb of God, Johnny Cash, and Leadbelly as influences, while sounding like "nothing you have ever heard before." Four demo originals were posted to Condemned's MySpace page, and they performed at The Sugar Island Music Festival one year, but quietly dissolved around the same time as Insipid Brutality circa late 2008. Unfortunately, MySpace's music player still doesn't work (we'll update this if it's fixed), but Condemned were an intriguing band, harbouring both a brutal stripped-down side for fans of Teagan & Tyler's other work, while also incorporating some more melodic clean vocals on some tracks. Sadly, Condemned didn't posthumously return alongside Insipid Brutality in 2012, but hopefully the guys are still musically active!
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The Soo Fighters

Genre: Alternative/Hard Rock

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Members:

Jules Cote (Cherry Crush), vocals/guitar
Jeremey Salatuk (Wishbone, Lucky 13), guitar
John Amendola (Cherry Crush), bass
Jonny Amendola (Cherry Crush, Skeyes of Seven), drums

Audio/Video: As a tribute band, The Soo Fighters had no originals, but two videos of theirs are known to exist, including a jam session rendition of "This Is A Call" (minus Jeremey) from October 2017, and as featured here, their version of "All My Life" from their second and final concert at that month's Halloween Party concert weekend at The Rockstar Bar. The guys had a good handle on Foo Fighters classics, and Jules looked the part of Dave Grohl with that wig! No other videos are public, but check out Cherry Crush pages to see members tackling other bands in that group.



Info/Analysis: A side project from 3/4ths of veteran pop rock cover band Cherry Crush, the band's instrumental members joined forces with then-3 Day Millionaires guitarist Jeremey Salatuk to form this Foo Fighters tribute band in the summer of 2017. While ostensibly formed as a one-off band for that year's Halloween Party, The Soo Fighters preceded that by taking part in a benefit concert for Cherry Crush singer Taryn Bugyra at the same venue earlier that same month. No updates followed their Halloween gig, but The Soo Fighters handled Foos classics with professionalism and energy, and fans definitely enjoyed their take on their 1990s and 2000s hits while they lasted!  
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I hope you guys liked this month's Defunct Local Band Profiles! Next month in this series, we will have our first single band profile of 2019, as our random selection has given us The Small Town Rivals, the early 2010s punk band featuring Northwest's Wayne Watkins in it's local/B.C. lineup! Look for this on or around February 10th, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews on the site next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

More Chase Wigmore Updates!!

News has been relatively slow as of late, so let's cover the rest of prolific local alternative/metal solo artist Chase Wigmore's recent updates and postings today! No, he hasn't continued his "12 EPs of Christmas" series since we covered the first 7 EPs on Saturday, but we will touch on the eighth and final EP release through it (so far?) later in this post. We'll start with a pair of cover videos that Chase posted to his Facebook page one month ago today, both of which overlaid with translucent alternate video and colour tints, The first video is a cover of Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's "Still The Same" featuring what appears to be a carnival employee (Chase himself?) working one of the games. Chase makes this song his own, spinning it into an aggressive alt-folk number, and his requisite intense yet satisfied stage presence comes through nicely! Embedded below is the second cover video from December 8th, where Chase tackled "Beyond the Sun" by British crust punk pioneers Amebix, so how does this turn out?

As set to four tilings of the same solo performance at various sizes and opacities, this song shows Chase letting his vocals go to ferocious levels you don't see often in his non-death metal work, and while still very intense, he's taking things more seriously and dramatically. This cover would be really neat to hear with a full band, but I like how this one sounds already, so give it a look below! Full disclosure, "Beyond The Sun" is much louder than "Still The Same", so keep note of your volume dial if listening to both back to back.

 
Next up, and after a prior cover art teaser, Chase unveiled plans for yet another album-length release on his Facebook page, albeit not attached to the "12 EPs of Christmas" series. Entitled "Solving the Human Condition", this will definitely appeal to fans of Chase's extreme and death metal sides, if the first song "The Hunter & The Prey" is any indication! Lyrically about a "chainsaw wielding maniac... chasing some poor girl around an old house", this song has a chaotic brutality with nicely used police siren samples, and Chase's black metal-inspired shrieking fits the nature very well! If you like Chase's more brutal music output, be sure to give this a listen!



Chase last updated his Facebook page last week, where he revealed that his rock opera album "A Kid Named Todd" is finished writing, and pre-production is underway, while "Solving The Human Condition" will likely be done "in the next month or two." Even if these never see paid single releases, Chase's prolific output is welcomed, and he has a little something for everyone in the works! He also ran a poll on Friday asking fans if they'd be interested in attending a prospective free Rednecks Saloon show this month with him and "a few other acts" later this month. As of this writing, 9 of the 11 voters responded in favour of the concert, and with voting for the poll ending in three days, will this be enough to get the concert booked? Cast your votes A.S.A.P. at this link! We will close this Chase-heavy post with the final installment (to date) of the "12 EPs of Christmas", so what should you know on this release?

As posted on November 29th, this is entitled "A Night of Dick Jerkins at the Opera", with Chase recycling his Awokest alias in the title. Despite that, the music on offer here is not similar to Awokest's in any major way, but does it resemble opera? Honestly, this sounds like the score to a dark suspense thriller, and even with that, the album art showcases a movie theater with a film noir movie on screen, so I don't blame you if you get mixed messages. Regardless of your interpretation, this showcases Chase's musical diversity and maturity, and there is an epic nighttime driving feel to parts of this 16 minute EP, so give it a listen below!


That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Soundcheck), A New Music Video, And Much More!!

A second post wasn't in the cards for today, but thanks to a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, I've bumped our planned Sunday post up a day. To round things out, we also have some assorted news and notes, and two new videos from each side of the border, so here's what you should know!

Local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck will help ring in 2019 with a concert at Reggie's West TONIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, we only learned of this show via singer/guitarist Terry Eaton's personal Facebook page this morning, and I could not find any public confirmation of it on the band's Facebook page, let alone the venue's. Also, I cannot confirm if Soundcheck played at the Reggievelt last night too (obvious apologies if they did), but again, I can't cover it if it's not publicized in advance. As for TONIGHT'S show, this will be Soundcheck's first (announced) concert since rocking The Esquire Club last week, but fans haven't seen Terry, Travis, Paul, and Glen at this Korah Road venue in over a month. Despite the minimal notice, fans should get their fill of Soundcheck's hard rocking covers TONIGHT, so keep this one in mind! Expect a 10:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 19+ age limit for this concert. See above for more details, and here's Soundcheck live last year!



Next up, relocated local alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith unveiled the official music video for his single "The Nature of The Times" via his YouTube channel on Wednesday! Posted online as the build for his new solo album "Bridges" continues, this video was filmed in various outdoor locations in Mike's current Thompson, Manitoba homebase, and was directed and edited by Dag Deschambeault of Thompson filmmaking/production company Natural Aspects Promotions. I'll hold full thoughts on the song until our likely review of "Bridges" later this year, but the video is well shot, and you get some nice views of Thompson landmarks, buildings, and scenery! I particularly like the effect of the snowfall when Mike's flanked by a nearby forest and frozen lake/river. Also, I presume the security camera footage of Mike being kicked out of a building was in jest. Give Mike's newest music video a look below, and stay tuned for more on "Bridges" when it rolls in!



Also, here's a very belated video from local classical metal project Theatre of Night's Facebook page from December 23rd, as shared from keyboardist Craig Harrison's personal Facebook page at the time. Filmed prior to their headlining concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino on the 15th, this is a 16 second soundcheck clip of the band (sans Craig & drummer Erik Sales) tackling the Christmas carol "Silent Night". It's a shame this is so short, as the laid back acoustic nature seems to work well, and Rachel's vocals are very strong while we hear them! Give it a look below, and stay tuned for more from Theatre of Night in 2019!



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

  • Local Celtic punk quintet Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide were spotlighted in this Sault Star article from Brian Kelly last week, where Dustin talked about why the band went on their 2016-2018 hiatus, their planned fourth studio album, and their LopLops Lounge headlining concert on December 27th. The article also confirms that the first single from their new album will be named "All Broke Down", with sessions to come over the winter, and a tentative release date and short support tour planned for the fall. The insight to recent Tide happenings and future plans is welcome, and fans will want to give the full article a read above!
  • Former Suicide Kings frontman Mike Gaetano is looking to start a new local band, with "90s alt-rock, pop/rock, (and) pop punk" cited as preferred genres. Mike does hope to play live again, and he does have original music ready. It'd be great to see Mike back on stage with a new project, so message him at this link or via his Musicians Wanted Facebook group post from Wednesday for more details!
  • The newest installment of Ernest Skinner's Rock Talk column was posted onto SaultOnline on Wednesday, where Ernest interviewed former Headpins frontwoman Darby Mills. Entrtaining article with some solid insights from her career, so give it a look above, and look for Ernest's next interview with Sean Kelly in the near future!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Chase Wigmore's 12 EPs Of Christmas (Part 1!)

I profusely apologize for the delay in starting coverage on these, but let's finally tackle the first half+ of local experimental/metal solo artist Chase Wigmore's "12 EPs of Christmas", which began being posted on November 25th! Kicked off before December began as he was "sick of waiting", this was Chase's plan to record and upload 12 free streaming albums to his Facebook page under his own name as well as alternate project titles. As per Facebook updates, he planned to issue one bonus release on his 27th birthday last month, to total 27 canon albums that he has recorded, including prior releases with his old bands Squirrelboy & The Smiling Giraffes, The Strange Coyotes, This Is Your Band On Drugs, and The Coyote Speedfreaks. Not all of these have seen a full paid release that I'm aware of, at least not with the cover artwork depicted on Facebook, but I recall seeing a few at Blood Shed Productions events in the past, and Chase did imply that some could get individual CD prints if there's demand.

As of this writing, Chase had only posted 8 of the above 12 EPs credited to the "12 EPs of Christmas" event onto Facebook (which he lampshaded via a Futurama screenshot already.) If he does conclude the series, the last four will be "The Mostest Awokest" by his late 2018 project Awokest (it appears "Dick Jerkins" is an alias of his), a belated(?) Smiling Giraffes release, an EP entitled "How To Totally Sell Out & Still Not Make Any Fucking Money", and an album credited to Chase & The Bastards, which is the band name he has attached to more recent plugs of live concerts, and who he has hinted will be a larger focus this year. We'll let you know if these surface! Chase had previously also indicated that the 27 canon solo albums of his will be reissued as "The CxJxWx Collection" in a flash drive collection to encompass his mid-late 2010s solo work, and it would be really neat to see that come to fruition, especially as a means of getting his solo oeuvre all at once!

As for the 8 EPs of Christmas so far, six of them are all tied to his techno/electronic moniker The Black Lodge Masters, including three linked releases ("The First Degree", "The Second Degree", and "The Third Degree"), plus three unrelated EPs ("Secret Rites", "Forbidden Sanctum", and "The Shadow Crowd".) Each runs for 15-25 minutes in length, so the EP branding is apt, but if you let these run, you'll have 2 hours of intriguing electronic action! Often dark and industrial tinged, these are more thematically heavy than instrumentally heavy, but Chase has fun with the production, effects, and musical performances within, and I like the progressively more ominous tone (on average) that the "Degree" EPs have as they go along! For heaviness, "Secret Rites" is arguably the leader in that regard, but these are hard to sum up in just one paragraph, especially without given song names. Check out "The First Degree" more, and hear much more above!



We'll close this look at (most of) Chase's 12 EPs of Christmas with "Stray Dog and the Holy Mother of Chaos Church Band", which is a 14 minute jazz EP. I can't confirm whether "Stray Dog" et al is the name of a real project of Chase's or just the EP's title, but this is definitely a departure in styles for him! The jazz influence is present, but the keyboard instrumentation gives this more of an ethnic European flair, and you do get a lot of electronic undercurrents as well. I don't know that this would be a clean fit on 98.3 FM overnight, but the experimental mashup is definitely an interesting listen, and showcases Chase's range nicely! Give this EP a listen below as well!



We have much more from Chase to cover, including the other remaining EP of Christmas (with 4 more still to come?), plus even more solo albums that he's working on that aren't attached to the 12 EP project. so stay tuned for all of that, and for more news and updates elsewhere! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Peril, Scarkazm, Tym Morrison, And The Wyld Stallyns), Plud Weekend Concert Previews!!

(Updated at 2:21 PM) In our first proper news post of the new year, we're tackling a very light slate of hard rock concert previews, with only two heavier acts to speak of. One was added on late notice after this post went up, so to make up the difference, our coverage of Theatre of Night's newest video will be bumped to a post next week. Still, we have lots of Sault Michigan updates to fill out this post, so let's begin with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, two on SHORT NOTICE!

Local acoustic hard rock trio The Wyld Stallyns will play their first public concert of 2019 when they headline at Room 21 for one night only TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, this concert was only announced via the venue's Facebook page this morning, and note that the band proper hasn't posted on their own Facebook page for any reason (let alone to plug their concerts) since November. After taking the holidays off, the Elements side project's show TOMORROW will mark their first live appearance in three weeks, but fans at the nightclub above Low & Slow have been waiting two months for The Stallyns to come back there. Despite the short notice, The Wyld Stallyns fan-friendly blend of covers should go over well at Room 21 TOMORROW NIGHT, so don't miss Christina, Rob, and Jesse then! This is a one-night-only event due to the Bearded Lounge concert taking place at Room 21 on Saturday.

As usual for The Wyld Stallyns' Room 21 shows, TOMORROW's concert has a 10:00 PM start time, 19+ age limit, and no announced cover charge. Visit the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's The Wyld Stallyns live!



Next up, local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison has finally confirmed his (more or less) full slate of regular acoustic concerts for the first third of 2019, so when and where can you see him next? As per this Facebook event page, Tym will return to Gliss Restaurant on Spring Street to continue his long-term arrangement there with matinee concerts each Friday and Saturday through at least the end of April, with no advertised days off or add-on holiday gigs there. As usual, we take his shows there a month at a time for our calendar, so joining his previously announced show there TOMORROW, look for him at Gliss on SATURDAY, and then on January 11th & 12th, 18th & 19th, and 25th & 26th! Again, apologies for the short notice on SATURDAY's concert, we were waiting for confirmation of that show beyond his website, and we only discovered that earlier this week. Tym also confirmed a number of dates at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill on Trunk Road via it's own Facebook event page, so when can you see him there?

We already knew about his Roadhouse show TOMORROW NIGHT, but the other ones take place between February & June, too far ahead to add to our calendar yet given Tym's prolific schedule. Counting tomorrow, all 9 of these gigs are Friday nighters, so if you like Tym's unplugged hard rock and classic hits in a nighttime timeslot, don't bypass the above schedule! All of these new Gliss gigs (tomorrow & SATURDAY included) are 6:00 PM events with no cover, while tomorrow night's Roadhouse gig is at 10:00 PM with a 19+ age limit and no cover. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Tym live!



Also, we now know of the Eastern Upper Peninsula concert schedule for Jeff Hudson and Adam Crawford's linked Traverse City, Michigan hard rock bands Scarkazm & Peril, via a schedule posted on both bands' Facebook pages yesterday, as seen on the left! The schedule also lists dates for their acoustic act Project 6, who only play in the E.U.P. infrequently, and not at all in 2019's first quarter. We knew of Peril's gigs in St. Ignace later this month already, so let's begin with the band with the soonest new gigs, that being Scarkazm, as the Northern Michigan metal trio will return to our area for the first times this year on February 1st & 2nd at The Rapids Lounge at the Soo's Kewadin Casino branch, before returning to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin on March 15th & 16th. The former weekend will be Scarkazm's first locally since Christmas weekend, but the March shows will be their first in St. Ignace in seven months. It's great to have Scarkazm back in this new year with more fan favourite shows ahead!

Scarkazm are again maintaining a the busiest schedule of Jeff & Adam's active bands, but their talent and prolific nature speaks for itself, and if you're in the Sault area for these weekends, keep these concerts in mind! As for Scarkazm's sister band Peril, they have one new weekend confirmed on the above calendar, as they'll return to The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin for shows on March 29th & 30th! These join their previously announced January 25th & 26th gigs at the same venue, and assuming nothing changes, we won't see them back in Sault Ste. Marie until April at the earliest. Peril's more old school brand of hard rock should be welcomed back in March, but don't miss their 2019 E.U.P. debut in a few weeks! All of the above new Scarkazm & Peril concerts are 9:00 PM affairs with 21+ age limits and no announced cover charges. See above for more details, and stay tuned for more!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and updates on the site in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Where Are The New Albums? (January 2019 Update)

For our second post of the year, let's get this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post rolling! This monthly feature post looks at the current release statuses of albums from local metal, hard rock, and punk acts, in order for readers to see where things publically sit regarding when we might see them go on sale. To start 2019, we have one removed entry (Northwest's successfully released EP "Songs From 2015-2017"), but we have one belated addition, and three entries total have new info, as noted with their title in italics. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
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A Dire Setback's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Wasting Away", "Kicking & Screaming", "Faded", "Catastrophe", "Forget This Memory", "Everlasting Despair", "A Dire Setback"

Background: Though discussion of a debut album had been ongoing throughout 2017, local alt-punk trio A Dire Setback only announced that their first CD was in the works in March of last year. To help fund the recording sessions, A Dire Setback launched a Patreon page to allow fans to help financially back them and the album, with exclusive content and perks promised for backers on there, though public content on their Facebook page has also been released. Around that same time, the guys began setting tempos and recording click tracks for the album, with Pointless bandmates Bill Priddle & Dustin Goodall handling production and mastering, at least partially at Dustin's own Unsalted Audio. Full recording sessions began with drum tracking in May, as noted on Facebook, with guitar tracking ongoing as of October 16th. The band posted this photo on Facebook in that could be the possible cover art, while this Rotaryfest teaser features a drum-heavy track that may be included.

Current Release Status: I couldn't begin to guess, but A Dire Setback are doing all the right things to get buzz online for the recording sessions, and it'll be interesting to see how influential the Patreon campaign is towards it's completion, especially considering the limited success of past crowdfunding campaigns from local musicians. Keep posted for updates!
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The Bear Hunters - The Dead Testament
 

Rumoured Songs: "The Void", "The Omen", "Neckbreaker", "I Fear No God", "Servitude", "Transcend Judgement", "For Glory", "The Wrath Of Angmar", "The Dying Den", "The Dead Testament", "Deception" (bonus re-recording), "The Forest of Forests" (bonus track)

Background: In tentative planning since 2014 under this title, local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been playing songs intended for their second full length CD for a few years now, but only fully began recording sessions for "The Dead Testament" on October 2nd, 2015. Following a brief fundraising campaign and the gradual unveiling of song titles, the band has been working with producer Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios, and have shared sporadic updates on their Instagram page. Like on 2014's "Eternal Hibernation", rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney has recorded parts for the album despite living in Southern Ontario, but it's not yet clear on how bonus tracks will be handled. Most recently, the music video for "I Fear No God" was posted on YouTube on December 1st, marking the first public release of a song from the CD.

Current Release Status: The Bear Hunters haven't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, but recording sessions are reportedly complete, and the video description above teased that the release date will be announced "in the next few weeks." The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, and to go along with that, artwork and physical distribution plans are ongoing, as are "a ton of cool ideas for stepping our media game up." Keep an eye out for updates on "The Dead Testament" when and if they come in!
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Electric Church's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Muddy Waters", "Ain't Got None", "Carey Baby", "Take Me Away", "Cross the Line"

Background: Fast rising young blues/hard rock trio Electric Church evolved from Jimi Hendrix covers in 2016 to primarily original material in 2017, and punctuated that on May 12th of that year when they announced on their Facebook page that they were "working up some new songs... for the album!!!" It was confirmed around that time that they were recording material at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, who shared a Facebook page photo confirming Electric Church's presence. However, few direct updates have followed publically, aside from scattered reminders late last year that they were still working in studio, and that they "are really excited about all the new projects we have planned."

Current Release Status: No clue, but Electric Church are a very talented band who play beyond their years, and no matter how long this takes, the album should be of solid quality when it finally comes out! At last word, the band noted on New Year's Day that they were "looking forward to finishing up in the studio this year", though note that frontman Spencer Pine's commitments with Jesse Merineau's solo band and their own CD release may be a partial factor in Electric Church delays. Stay tuned!
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The Elements' debut EP 

Rumoured Songs: "Liar", "G20", "Triple H", "The Rut", "I Need A Friend"

Background: Arguably better known for their funk, ska, and hard rock covers, local quartet The Elements have been adding original material to their sets since 2015, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations in early 2016 that they have been working in studio on the release, which will have at least 5 tracks, and I believe it's being self-recorded, but further public updates are minimal at best. It's also not known if they'll employ any guest performers, such as saxophonist Josh Norling, a frequent presence in recent months.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio. That said, these were largely personal conversations over a year ago, and the band hasn't acknowledged album recording sessions publically in recent months, so we'll have to see if updates come out on it in 2019!
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Gates of Winter - Perihelion

Rumoured Songs: "The Stars Call My True Name", "Edin Na Zu", "Dimensions", "Time Warp", "Wormhole Mechanics", "Prometheus", "Eta Carinae"

Background: Despite a hiatus from live concerts lasting over 9 years, Gates of Winter never broke up, and are slowly working on their follow-up to 2008's "Lux Aeterna". Updates have sporadically been made since early 2010, via numerous uploads, teaser postings, and general hype for the recording sessions, though prior release forecasts haven't been realized, it was retracted from CD to EP length, and most preview media has since been taken down as the band perfected the CD's final content. While Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as the album's drummer in late 2010, it has since been confirmed that "Perihelion" will feature programmed drums. After taking a over a year off from public activity, Gates of Winter resurfaced in July 2017 with new band artwork and hints that they have "been making incredible strides, and are very excited to pull back the curtain."

Current Release Status: Personal commitments and the like have slowed things down incredibly, but the band has repeatedly acknowledged continued work towards the release in scattered postings throughout the 2010s. The band's Facebook page was admittedly taken down in mid-2018, despite a personal Facebook video of members jamming from April, but given their already measured public updates and prior year-long public hiatus from 2016-2017 without dissolving, I am hesitant to make a judgement on their status. If still alive, remember that good art takes time, and Gates of Winter won't want to release this until everything's perfect and to their high standards. Keep an eye out for potential updates!
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Id Iota's full length second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Happy Sailor", "Intro To American Literature", "Seas Envy Skies", "Long D", "Cop Drama", "Deep Empty", "Blind Spots"

Background: Not long after their successful Ontario tour with Mike Mikus in late 2016, Id Iota began recording sessions for their second album, though public confirmation that a full length CD was currently in progress didn't occur until guitarist Dustin Goodall announced it on his studio Unsalted Audio's website early last year. Scattered postings and hints have followed, but nothing else has came out beyond performances of newer originals in concert through this summer. For reference, this photo got shared a few times on Id Iota's Facebook page last year, but it's unclear if it's intended to be the album's cover artwork. It is not clear whether new bassist Robert Sartini and/or his predecessor Dan Linklater will be on the final product, or if any collaborations with RedD Monkey alum Pete Mozarowski will make the cut.

Current Release Status: No idea, especially with the alternative/hard rock quartet keeping fairly mum on it's progress as of late. It doesn't help that the band has been absent from public updates since last year's Rotaryfest weekend, but hopefully things are progressing well behind the scenes, so stay tuned for updates!
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Mike Haggith - Bridges

Rumoured Songs: "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come on Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017 for work reasons, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced songwriting for a new CD, which will be his 50th canon studio album and his first since 2015's "The Warinside" Updates slowly took place across 2018, with his Facebook page documenting songwriting sessions and acoustic "home demo" videos of new original songs, plus occasional solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring these new tracks. Mike has unveiled the official title as "Bridges", along with it's cover artwork and track listing in September, which includes all of his Thompson-era originals except "If Only You Could Hear Me". The album's first single, "The Nature of The Times", was released to online music download and streaming services in November, with a music video for that song also forthcoming.

Current Release Status: Though Mike didn't highly publicize the recording sessions on social media, he confirmed at the end of August that the album was "100% recorded", and is soon going to be edited and mixed.With Mike's candor and honesty, you know he won't hide anything regarding it's release, and with the recent single release and a lot of positive comments on the album and it's recording, fans should eagerly be awaiting "Bridges" upon it's release, hopefully by early 2019!
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Mike Vincent - For Dear Life

Rumoured Songs: "Nocturnal"

Background: Shortly after releasing his first two solo albums ("Ultimate Chaos" & "Apocalypse") in March, former Skull After Betrayl frontman & Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent indicated that he had begun preparations for a third solo release. With no public Facebook page for his music at press time, Mike revealed on his personal Facebook page in September that his third album would be titled "For Dear Life", with an instrumental demo of it's first song "Nocturnal" being posted to his Bandcamp page. Unlike on his prior releases, "For Dear Life" is expected to feature vocals on all but one track, in a possible throwback to Mike's singing work with both Skull After Betrayl and D.O.T.H..

Current Release Status: I don't know for certain, but given that this version of "Nocturnal" has no vocals, I imagine Mike is early in the independent recording process. If this is anything like his prior albums, expect songs to be incrementally released over time in advance of the final sale posting, but nothing's finite. Keep tabs for updates in the coming months!
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Pillory's second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Angst of Existence", "Sculptor of Cadavers", "Wasting", "Abhorred Apprehension", "The Passing", "Exhaustive Incarnation"

Background: After previously breaking up in mid-2014, local metal band Pillory returned as a trio in the fall of 2015, trading their thrash metal roots for a heavier death metal sound, complete with a completely overhauled setlist with no carried-over originals from their 2013 debut EP. In March 2017, Id Iota guitarist Dustin Goodall's recording studio Unsalted Audio revealed that they were in pre-production for Pillory's second album, with the band confirming that sessions were underway that summer. As of last July, drum tracks were complete, though it took until November 2018 for the band to confirm that guitar tracking was underway, with vocals & mixing to follow. It's not clear who will provide bass tracks on the final product, between ex-bassist Jordan Leach, his replacement Blair St. John, frontman Robert Sartini (who played bass on their first EP), or a combination therein.

Current Release Status: I have no idea, and it doesn't help that Pillory have only posted once on Facebook in the past year, though their new lineup returned from that hiatus at July's Rivers of Nihil concert. That said, with their increasingly brutal and technical sound, hopefully they can get this album complete down the line!
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Skeyes of Seven - Stare at the Sky

Rumoured Songs: "Enough", "See The Truth", "Fallen Faith", "Pretend", "Cognitive Dissonance", "Crawling Back From Reality"

Background: Already no strangers to the studio after recording two songs as singles in the mid-2010s, local modern hard rock quartet Skeyes of Seven hit the studio to record their debut EP in 2015, though they only publically confirmed that an EP was in the works in January 2016. Sessions took place at Deluca Sound Productions, who have shared videos of band members tracking material for the EP, the title of which being unveiled later that year. In January 2017, all six songs were posted to their YouTube channel, including the new instrumental "Crawling Back From Reality", while also excluding their older originals "Destination Unknown" & "No One Cares". New guitarist Kyle Sweet is not visibly on the EP, having joined Skeyes of Seven after sessions concluded.

Current Release Status: Given that the whole EP is online for free streaming, then conventional wisdom would say that "Stare at the Sky" would be released imminently, but the band has yet to confirm a paid release date, and haven't posted a Facebook update since April of last year. Hopefully it doesn't stall at being a free posting, as Skeyes of Seven are a talented and experienced band, and having been active in studio more than on stage since launching in 2012, it'd be great to see them culminate this process with a release concert. Follow along to see where things go!
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The Sorrow Fields' debut album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: After a two year hiatus for his solo project (previously known as Animas, April Eyes, and By The Gods), local guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo project The Sorrow Fields resumed public activity last February via recording sessions at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, where his band The Bear Hunters also recorded their new CD. An actively maintained social media page for The Sorrow Fields has not followed suit, but Dustin did say that he was "stoked" by the guide tracks, and tracking was reportedly underway last month. Posts on Mitch's personal Facebook page have implied that the project's current form will be much softer than his death metal band work.

Current Release Status: With tracking reportedly underway, 2019 has to be at least targeted, but given that Mitch has kept all of his own promotion for this album on personal accounts, it's anyone's guess how fast this will come out (also, remember how Mitch's prior attempts at solo albums never saw their intended completion.) It'd be great to see both The Sorrow Fields' debut and "The Dead Testament" on sale this year, and hopefully things progress the right way for both in the coming months!
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Telephone & Address - "The Early Tapes" 

Rumoured Songs: "The Plumbers"

Background: Telephone & Address frontman Chris Shoust announced on their Facebook page in 2015 that he was working on releasing "The Early Tapes", a compilation of songs from the first 4 Telephone & Address albums (2011's self titled album, and 2012's "Live", "No. 3", and "Broken Head"). However, he has since released two separate new studio albums (2016's "Are You Now or Have You Ever" and February's "Monster"), with no updates on the "Early Tapes" album publically stated in over three years. The sole publically confirmed track "The Plumbers" can be streamed on their Soundcloud page, and albums are likely to turn up on Telephone & Address' Bandcamp page and on Interpunk down the road, assuming this gets released. Unless the tracks are reworked, new drummer Jackson Reed will not feature on this album.

Current Release Status: Chris revealed in March 2015 that this album "will be delayed for some time", and though he didn't elaborate on why specifically, work on both of his last two albums could be partially to blame. That said, Telephone & Address have not issued a public update since "Monster" came out on February 4th of last year, so they may be moved to our inactive band links around the time this series returns as it is. Either way, stay tuned for updates on Telephone & Address if they roll in this month!
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I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series is scheduled to return on or around February 2nd, while our next feature post will very likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile scheduled for a week from tomorrow. That's all for today, but stay tuned for our first weekend concert previews of 2019 next! Thanks everyone!