Saturday, July 31, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Turner Up, Bring The Fallen, and Endast), And A New Local Band!!

Here's one final post to cap off our busiest month ever at The Sault Metal Scene! 35 posts in July, counting this one, easily shattering our previous record of 28! Thanks to all you guys for sticking around this month, it's been rough for backlogged news and updates, but it's been worth it! Today's packed with three LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (one of which is VERY short notice) and new video footage of a new local band, so here we go! And remember to check out my latest Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile immediately below this post, as we profile Jar. and Thrawsunblat!

I REALLY apologize for the short notice on this concert, but neither the venue or band announced it until today. Classic hard rock cover band Turner Up ARE playing a show tonight, at Foggy Notions! Various band members confirmed the show on Facebook, but the source I know everyone can see that verifies this show is Foggy Notions' Facebook page, so there's a reliable source! As best as I can tell, this show's no different from any of their past concerts, 10:00 PM start time, likely cover charge of $3, you must be 19 to get in. I think this is their first show at Foggy Notions with Brent Royer behind the microphone, so make note of that! Head on out for some great rock covers if you want to! Myself, I'll be at Coch's Corner for Ultraviolence, but hopefully a good crowd shows up despite the short notice! For more information on this show and Turner Up, check the above links, and seeing as this is essentially a preview for the show as well, here's a video for you guys of Turner Up covering Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music"!

Now to brand new shows, and remember on Tuesday when I plugged a planned fundraiser benefit concert for Pauline's Place Youth Shelter on August 14th? Well, the first official public information for it is now out, and yes, there will be metal! Three bands have been confirmed for the lineup, and if you were at the Downtown Showdown battle of the bands in May, then they should be quite familiar! Local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen, last seen winning Downtown Showdown, will be among the performers at this benefit concert! No word on whether Nolan Rainville or temporary replacement Mike Kyle will be on bass, but either way, it's great to see Bring The Fallen back out there! Local experimental hard rockers SBD (featuring Dann Pichette and Brad Griffith from No Arrow) will also return for their first show since Downtown Showdown at this benefit concert, which will also be just their third live appearance! Great seeing them back too, fans loved them back in May! And before I forget, SBD have a new Facebook group, click here to visit and join! Also confirmed are Downtown Showdown runners-up The Fury (featuring ex-DOTH drummer Joe Bumbacco), who'll deliver their bass-heavy brand of music to the stage once again! DJ Spruceau (who closed Bring The Fallen's Algoma Hope4Haiti show) will also be on hand to spin some tunes, and there may be more acts announced, so I will keep you guys posted!

Much more information on this special benefit concert has also been announced! It will be held at the skatepark outside of The John Rhodes Community Center on Elizabeth Street, and if you remember correctly, this is the very same skatepark that we all helped make a reality at August 2008's Rock 2 Roll fundraiser at The Canadian Nightclub! This appears to be a family event as well, with events like a barbeque, face painting, a dunk tank, "bouncy things" (probably those inflatable play areas), hula hoops, fire spinning, a skate competition ($10 to enter), and more! The event runs from 12:00-10:30 PM on August 14th, it's obviously outdoors, it's definitely all ages, and though I can't confirm a possible admission price, all proceeds will go towards Pauline's Place. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and if you or your band want to play at the benefit (cause there are openings still), e-mail for details! Sounds like a fun event, I will definitely try and make it to this, and I will definitely keep you all posted with updates!

Our final new show today REALLY has me excited! Montreal melodic death metal band Endast will be headlining at Foggy Notions on September 2nd on one of the stops on their Metal Made Me Deaf tour, presented by Jagermeister! After unsuccessfully searching for a local date last November, they've got one locked up for September, which is great to see! Joining them will be Kamloops grindcore band Blood Drunk for a night full of brutal headbanging! Note that Foggy Notions hasn't fully confirmed this concert, but I'm used to them not immediately announcing shows. Besides, if both bands list a Foggy's date their on their respective MySpace pages, there must be some truth to it! As is typical at Foggy's, I'd expect a $3 cover with a 10:00 PM start time and a 19+ age limit, but keep in mind that this would be a Thursday show. I'll keep you guys posted with details, check the above links for more! This sounds like an awesome concert, if you ask me! Endast are extremely brutal, and Blood Drunk are a very capable grindcore band in their own right! Hopefully this show is 100% final and hopefully I can make it out! You guys make note of it as well!

And finally, a new local band has just surfaced! I've honestly heard a bit about them for a bit now, but they've been intentionally keeping things secret while they got ready. They are The Bear Hunters, a local death metal quintet featuring a few notable veterans from recent young local bands! The band features former Dark Salvation guitarist Nik Deubel on vocals, guitarists Andres Duchesne & Mitch Sirie (you'll recognize him from Lorax, Eyes Set Fire, and April Eyes), and former Devastation of the Heavens members Justin Lam on bass & Johnny Lowrie/Belanger on drums! You may also recognize Justin from Operation: Killdozer & Dark Salvation, and Johnny from Death Rise. I'm friends with a couple members of The Bear Hunters already, so I knew of them for a while now, but they only just officially launched into the public consciousness the other day, courtesy of a new jam video! Justin Lam uploaded this video onto his YouTube channel, of The Bear Hunters (minus Nik Deubel, who was working at that moment) playing a new original named "Bloodthirst"! Very promising, nice and heavy, but it gets repetitive after a while. Not much of a solo either, but these guys sound good, and there's bound to be more coming from The Bear Hunters! Check out their first video footage below!

That's all for tonight, and July, really! I have much more news coming very soon, and remember, I'll be tweeting LIVE from the Ultraviolence concert TONIGHT at Coch's Corner! I hope to see you guys there, this'll be a fun one! Review coming tomorrow!

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Jar. & Thrawsunblat

It's that time once again, where we take our monthly look at two metal/hard rock bands that, though never based locally, have featured at least one Saultite in their lineup in the past or present! Both bands are still active in varying states, are from opposite ends of the country, and feature some music that's definitely worth checking out, so let's begin this month's out of town profiles! And, as is usual, if there's something incorrect, missing, or lacking info/details, please tell me! (UPDATED: November 26th, 2014)
Jar. (Vancouver, British Columbia)

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

Garth Allen (vocals)
Chris "Weasel" Gorst (guitar)
Russ Bergquist (bass)
Rob Wade (drums)

Bryan Fratesi (guitar)
Chris Smith (bass)
Tom MacDonald (bass)
Tðrry Coµrte (bass)
Chris Hubert (???)

Official website:
Official Facebook page:
Official MySpace page:
Official Reverbnation page:
Official Angelfire page:
Official SoundCloud page:

Local Info: The only Saultite in any incarnation of Jar. (to my knowledge) was original bassist Chris Smith, and if you've been in and around the local scene in the past few years, Chris should be quite familiar! He's best known recently as the former bassist for local rock band Wishbone, who he played on two albums with during his runs with them! On the heavier side of things locally, Chris was also the drummer for local hard rock trio Browbeat in the mid-late 2000s, playing with them numerous times at many different concerts before leaving in early 2010. But before all that, Chris lived out west, making his mark in the Vancouver scene as Jar.'s first bassist until leaving the band at some point between 1997 and 1998.

Band Bio: Jar. were formed in the summer of 1995 by singer Garth Allen & drummer Rob Wade, who are the only original Jar. members left in the band. The band (then including Chris Smith) recorded their debut EP "Harsh & Discord" in 1997, and after he left the band, he was replaced by (believe it or not) Hedley bassist Tom MacDonald! Amidst frequent touring, the band recorded one LP under the Jar. name, 1998's "Knott Skull", before signing with Columbia Records in 1999, and changing their name to Flybanger (after a song on "Harsh & Discord") in 2000. As Flybanger, they released an EP in 2000 and a full length album, "Headtrip To Nowhere", in 2001, along with getting a song on the official soundtrack for the movie Dracula 2000, and opening for bands like Judas Priest, Tool, and Clutch. After leaving Columbia Records, Flybanger released a self-titled EP in 2003 under the name Jarr, and briefly went under the name Settlement before breaking up in 2004.

Garth and Rob kept busy in Vancouver bands Kill Rhythm & The Thick Of It, before reuniting Jar. in May 2010 with some of their current bandmates. Jar. returned to the stage for the first time since the reunion in September 2011, and have since kept busy with various recent concerts and a self-titled CD release in April 2013, so watch out for Jar. in the coming months!

Jar./Flybanger really caught me off guard with how cool they sounded! They have a punk energy but keep things heavy too! They're actually sort of hard to describe, they're definitely metal, but they don't really fit into a subgenre. Radio-accessible, but still heavy & containing a clear melody! Garth Allen provides tough yet melodic singing, along with nice creative riffing from Bryan Fratesi & consistently good drumming from Rob Wade! Chris Smith shown the same great bass skills we've came to hear from Wishbone on the "Harsh & Discord" material, and Tom McDonald surprises me on bass on the later CDs both on talent & because I can't believe that he's in Hedley! What happened? However, Jar. didn't take many risks into different sounds that much. Solos aren't a frequent sight, and they used similar styles in many songs. Plus, much of their Flybanger discography is recycled from older Jar. albums. Their first two CDs, especially "Harsh & Discord", have more experimentation & bite than the newer Flybanger songs, which sound too polished. But overall, I really like Jar., no matter what name they used, and they're one catchy hard rock band that you should check out

Jar.'s new album (featuring some old material re-recordings) can be bought online at this location, so give it a spin! None of Jar./Flybanger's albums are readily available nowadays to my knowledge, so your best bet to buying them is to check around online. Wikipedia has their full discography for reference, and you can find a few of their CDs on some sites. "Headtrip To Nowhere" is available VERY cheap on Amazon, and iTunes has their Flybanger-era material as well! However, if you know where to look, the vast majority of their back catalog is freely available online, including YouTube. Just search for the album names and Flybanger, most of their stuff is there to check out (plus live and music videos), notably at the "Jarbanger" YouTube channel! I'm going to show you guys Jar.'s music video for the song they eventually changed their name to, "Flybanger", and yes, Chris is on bass in the video! See what you think!

Thrawsunblat (Fredericton, New Brunswick)

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

Joel Violette (vocals, guitar, and bass)
Brendan Hayter (bass)
Rae Amitay (drums)
Jeff Mott (fiddle)
David Gold (drums)

Official MySpace page:
Official CBC Radio 3 page:
Official Facebook page:
Official Last.FM page:
Official Bandcamp page:
Official Twitter page:

Local Info: Ever the prolific musician, Thrawsunblat was one of the numerous projects to feature the drumming talents of Sault Ste. Marie native and Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, joining his past work in Gates of Winter, Necramyth, Will of the Ancients, The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society, Proposition 86, Mister Bones, and L'Anguisette. Of course, you'll know that David's played here with Woods of Ypres numerous times, included the entire Gates of Winter lineup in the band for a brief period, and immortalized (for better or worse) the Soo in the "Woods III" song "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground"! Sadly, David passed away in December 2011, but his talents are still clear as day, and hopefully he continues to leave an impact!

Band Bio: Launched in early 2009, Thrawsunblat is the black metal project masterminded by Fredericton musician Joel Violette, who enlisted David Gold to supply drumming for the band. You'll also recognize Joel as Woods of Ypres' last lead guitarist, joining Woods in early 2010. Describing their sound as "raw folk & melodic black metal", Thrawsunblat recorded their first eight song demo in the spring and summer of 2009, entitled "Canada 2010", but further activity was minimal until after David's death, with Joel enlisting Woods of Ypres bandmates Brendan Hayter & Rae Amitay to round out their new lineup in early 2012. Though still a studio-only project, the guys released their second album  "Thrawsunblat II: Wanderer on the Continent of Saplings" in March 2013 partially thanks to a successful recent fundraising effort, following it with some EPs adapting older songs in new genres, and sessions for their third CD in 2014. Buy their albums at this link!

When I first listened to Thrawsunblat, they reminded me a bit of Woods of Ypres' first album in all but clean vocals, and they still give me that vibe, if they employed a folk metal edge, and I don't mind it at all! Joel Violette has considerably talent to play most of the instruments in this project, employing harsh black metal singing, and noticeably good guitar and bass playing, though oddly, I think Joel mixed them too low. His singing and David's drumming came through too high in the original recordings. The guitar work is heavy, but has good folksy melodic patches and solos, and the bass is solid, but again, both sound lower than they should. Joel's clean singing is alright, it gets the job done, especially on the lower register. David's drumming was also very solid and underrated, but their current lineup gives vibes of what could have been for Woods of Ypres in 2012, with their own edge and flavour. If you love folk metal, and black metal, you'll no doubt like Thrawsunblat, so check them out!

You can buy all of Thrawsunblat's albums at their Bandcamp page (plus their main two on iTunes), with streaming copies of most tracks available at the above links, so give everything a listen and pick some up! Click the above links to check out Thrawsunblat, and in case you're interested, the lyrics for each song are on their MySpace page. As this is a studio-only project, there's no live videos to share, but YouTube user Lordstormcrow did upload the opening song from their first demo, "Black Sky" onto YouTube, so check it out below, and if you like what you hear, download the whole demo above!

Hope you enjoyed this month's profiles! Next month, we've got a couple more notable out of town bands featuring Saultites, so here's who we're profiling in August: Hellhitch, the Toronto metal band fronted by Saultite Mike Lawrence, and Muskegon hard rock band Kilacel, featuring Saultites (and current local band members) Chris Webster and Chris Leask! Look out for that at some point in August, I won't name a date yet cause I wanna work out a more spaced out schedule for special feature posts so they aren't all clumped together at the end of a given month.

That's all for now, stay tuned later TONIGHT for a new news post with some more exciting local metal news, including some new shows! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tons Of Updates From Sault Michigan Bands & Concerts!!

Hey Sault Michigan metalheads, this post is completely geared towards you guys! And of course, those of you on the Canadian side who follow those bands and go see them too! We have some Kewadin Festival updates, new songs from a young local band, the possible end or frontman exit of a local hard rock band, and some more assorted updates, but first, some very cool stuff from a band I just recently rediscovered!

Last fall, you may remember that I plugged a new local death metal band named End of Existence, later renamed to In Memorandum, who were fronted by current Elipzis drummer Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten, who you'll recognize for his work in Clownsack, Weed, Chord On Bluez, and most notably, Integrated System of Machines. Well, they honestly slipped me by after an inactive period, but they never broke up, and they're still going strong! Now known as End of Existence again, they launched a new MySpace page and website last month (the old one is still online but inactive) with updated bio information and material! They're now listed as being from Grand Rapids, though they were formed and originally based here, so make sure you guys remember that if you question why they're being covered here! The same original lineup remains now, with guitarist Steve "Sven Gilesten" Giles on guitar (also an ex-I.S.O.M. member) and his brother Greg "Grg Gilesten" Giles on drums. You may recognize both of the Giles brothers from some other Grand Rapids-area bands, notably Steve's work in Flesh For The Beast. At present, End of Existence are searching for a bassist and keyboardist, contact the band on MySpace if you're interested!

Reportedly, End of Existence are working on an 8 song EP for release on August 15th entitled "Sun Is Gone", which was the name of their original demo on their old MySpace page. Their website says that they will "post the songs" on that day, so who knows if "Sun Is Gone" will be sold in any fashion. Sounds like some exciting things are coming up for End of Existence, check out all of the above links to get caught up! And last, but not least, they have a video online! The band have launched an official YouTube channel with a promo video featuring samples of their original songs, including "Inside You", "Deathbed", and "Recurring Dreams", along with photos and video footage of the band and other "things". Sounds good, Orb's clean vocals are being used more aggressively than I remember him doing in I.S.O.M., and the instrumentation is good, but it feels a bit empty. Maybe it's cause they need a full lineup yet, but it sounds good! Check out the End of Existence promo video below!

Next up, some bad news from a recently prominent local hard rock band. Blind Baby frontman Tadd Gravelle posted this on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday: "Blind Baby is no more! Goodbye to frustration and headache, and hello to myself a new day has begun!" A later post on his page that day questioned whether one should move on from doing what one loves to do if they're no longer able to do it without anger and frustration. If you ask me, the two posts sure sound linked, but the latter sounds intentionally open-ended. So it's clear that, at the very least, Blind Baby have parted ways with Tadd, but have the band broken up? He said that the band was "no more", but that could just be a general statement about their presence in his life. For what it's worth, neither the band's Reverbnation or Facebook pages have been recently updated. I'll keep you posted with updates on Blind Baby's status if I hear them, and fingers crossed that they're not ending! It's sad to see Tadd leave the band, he wasn't a bad singer, especially when using a heavier vocal style!

Thirdly today, we have some more Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival updates! Kewadin Casino's Facebook page was asking fans for input and suggestions in the aftermath of the Kewadin Festival, including what people liked and didn't like, and if people would want to see the festival return. I'm not sure how much of an impact people's suggestions will have towards Kewadin events going forward, but why not suggest things? Was there elements you REALLY liked or wanted gone? Would you go to a second festival next year? Click here to voice your opinion! Also, photos from some of the meet and greets from the headlining bands and celebrities have been posted on Kewadin Casino's website! There's photos from the meet and greets with Three Doors Down, the Playboy Playmates, Detroit Lions legends Herman Moore & Billy Sims, Henry Winkler (THREE PAGES, no less!) and, most metal of all, Bret Michaels! Odd that there was no Vince Neil meet and greet, but hey, you take what you can get. Click here for all of the meet and greet photos, and here for the Bret Michaels shots! Good quality, he looks happy to be there, as do the large contingent of female fans in the pictures! I'll have more fallout from the festival as I hear it!

And now, we have new demos from young local progressive metal band Analog Deficiency, led by Monkey's Uncle frontman Henry Switzer's son Nathan on guitar! I gotta say, these guys are really improving, and the new demos are more proof! Production's a little iffy, but the new demos really shine! One's amusingly titled "We're Dealing With A Samsquanch Boys", and the riffing is of a high quality and is very catchy! Instrumentation shines all around, these guys know what they're doing! The solo comes later than it really should have, and it does get repetitive, but it's a very promising demo! The other new song, "Lamps Falling From The Sky" takes a more Korn-like sound like their first few (now removed) demos exhibited, but on a bit faster pace. These guys have really grown from when we first heard them, and once they get a singer, they've got a great base to really make some noise on the concert scene! Check out the new demos at this location, and I'll keep you posted with more information on Analog Deficiency!

And to close today's Sault Michigan-centric post, two quick updates that have passed me by. One is that Nixxon Dixxon have launched a page on Eventful in a contest Eventful is running to find individual local openers for Kiss' next North American tour! Nixxon Dixxon entered to try and become openers for Kiss' Detroit show on the tour, but are just in 121st place with a single demand for them to be the openers. Wanna help Nixxon Dixxon out? Head to their Eventful page today to demand them as Kiss' openers in Detroit! Personally, I thought they were sleepers to win the Kiss Battle of the Bands in December, and they definitely have the goods, so help them out! The other quick note is a show I missed. Local progressive metal band Hammerspace defeated Elipzis and Scofflaw (haven't heard from them in a while!) in a battle of the bands at The Corner Pub Bar & Grill on June 26th! Congratulations to Hammerspace, I bet it was an awesome battle! My apologies on missing that battle, concerts at The Corner Pub are VERY hard to find information about online. Their MySpace page doesn't announce new concerts regularly, so I usually have to rely on individual band announcements for details. Hopefully we'll hear more from Hammerspace and the other competing bands real soon! My source for the battle of the bands updates is a MySpace status post from Hammerspace.

There, I think we're mostly caught up on Sault Michigan metal news and updates now, but rest assured, more is on the horizon! Stay tuned to the SMS TOMORROW for my newest out-of-town bands profiles on Jar. and Thrawsunblat, and more news and updates are to come after that as well! Thanks everyone, I'll be back real soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Gunz N' F'N' Rosez) Weekend Concert Previews, And More!!

Before we get to new stuff, a reminder to check out my review of Bad Side's second album "Bad Side II" immediately below this post! It's a good CD, check it out! Today, we have a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, some shows this weekend to preview, and an upcoming concert afterparty that may interest you guys, so here's what you need to know!

Gunz N' F'N' Rosez are coming back to Sault Ontario on September 23rd! Labelled as "North America's ultimate tribute show to Guns N' Roses", this will be their first local stop since January, though at a different venue. This time, they will be at The Rockstar Bar for a night full of GNR classics from an authentic sounding and looking tribute band! I find it odd they all play band members from the classic era, but utilize Buckethead rather than Izzy Stradlin, but hey, it's all good! They sound like Guns N' Roses and have the look going, so if you're a fan of GNR, you'll wanna be at this show! This is a show on a grander scale than most you get at The Rockstar Bar, so admission prices are higher than normal, going for $7 in advance and $10 at the door. Advance tickets don't appear to be on sale yet, but when they do, they'll be available at The Rad Zone and at The Algonquin Hotel's front desk! It's also a 19+ show, and it all starts at 10:00 PM. Should be a fun concert, I've heard good things about their past local shows, and this should be no different! I'll keep you posted for updates if I hear them!

Now we'll get to previews of this weekend's metal concerts that I know/have heard about, and I have heard about four concerts to tell you guys about, so here's what you should know! Firstly, local classic hard rock cover band Turner Up return to The Vibe Lounge tomorrow night for their first show at that venue since the addition of new singer Brent Royer! Nothing too different from their other shows, expect some solid covers of some classic songs from a tight-knit group of local music veterans! No announced admission price, you must be 19 to get in, the show starts at 10:00 PM. Once again, this should be a fun show, though I still have no knowledge of how they sound with Brent. No worries though, they're smart guys, and I've heard nothing but good since the singer changeover! For more details, click here and at the above links! For a preview, here's a video of the band from their first long-term incarnation covering Def Leppard's "Hysteria"!

Detour to Sault Michigan now, as Nixxon Dixxon return to The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino for their first concerts since their two sets at the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival! Don't be fooled by the fact that this weekend's shows are listed for St. Ignace, they will definitely be in the Soo this weekend! Simple error on their MySpace page, thanks to Ernest Beaumont again for letting me know! These concerts, taking place tomorrow night and Saturday night, will be at 9:00 PM both evenings, with no cover charge, and you must be 21 to enter. Always great to see Nixxon Dixxon live, they'll knock 'em dead this weekend with their great metal covers and originals! Get more information on Nixxon Dixxon at their official MySpace page, and for a preview, here's a live video of Nixxon Dixxon at The Rapids Lounge covering Ozzy Osbourne's "No More Tears"!

And finally for the concerts I know of, Ultraviolence are back! The Toronto-based drunk n' rollers make their FOURTH stop in Sault Ontario for this year (and second in less than a month) on Saturday night at their favourite local stomping grounds, Coch's Corner! This is actually the final stop on their summer tour, and though I know I'm biased for my hometown, but it couldn't end in a better place! If you go out on Saturday to this, expect tons of AC/DC inspired cover songs and originals from one of the most energetic and fun bands you're likely to see come through here! I can vouch for the fun I had last month, believe me! This show starts at 10:00 PM on Saturday night, you must be 19 to enter, and there is no cover! After the good time I had last month, you can bet dollars to donuts that I will be back for more Ultraviolence on Saturday night, and this time, I won't show up late either! I'll bring my iPod for live Twitter updates for anything of note, and I'll have a review, photo album, and video posted on Saturday! I'm going to experiment with higher quality photo and video settings, so we'll have to see how those turn out! For more from Ultraviolence, check the above links, and for a video preview, here's the band playing their song "Queen Heartbreaker"!

And finally, here's a cool note for an event happening next month. You know how, after major concerts in town, you'll frequently hear of afterparties at local bars for concertgoers to hit afterwards? Well, I don't typically mention them here (even after metal shows) because, more often than not, they're just bar nights with alcohol deals or some minor theme related to the concert. But THIS one will be different! On August 10th, right after Kiss wrap up their long awaited show at The Essar Center, head to The Rockstar Bar at 9:30 PM for an afterparty featuring none other than Garden of Bedlam, Kiss' openers for their Sault show! That being said, this is NOT a concert, like some afterparties are. The guys from the band will be mingling and chatting with their friends and fans, so if you wanna head downtown, grab a beer, and chill out with Garden of Bedlam after the biggest show of their career, then this is where you'll wanna be once Kiss wrap up! Note that the Facebook event page is advertising that you can "get a sneak preview of Garden of Bedlam's new CD" at the afterparty, I wonder what exactly that hints towards? Click the above links for more, and I think I may just swing by The Rockstar Bar for this!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news over the next while! I have a notable amount of Sault Michigan updates to get to, so keep an eye out for that if you live across the river! And yes, my latest out of town profiles go up tonight or tomorrow as well! Thanks everyone!

Bad Side - "Bad Side II" Review!!

Hey guys, it's time for our lucky 13th CD review at The Sault Metal Scene! After waiting to see if any of the Sault Ontario metal bands with announced albums would in fact release them in July (none have), I have decided to dip back into the archives this month, and for the very first time, we're going to review an album from a band I've previously reviewed an album by! So this month, we take a look at inactive Sault Michigan classic hard rockers Bad Side's second studio album, "Bad Side II"! Released through Vicious Music in September 2007, the album was recorded at Hitmakers Digital Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee (same as on their 2005 self-titled debut) and features mixes by noted producer Beau Hill, who's worked with Alice Cooper, Warrant, Ratt, and many others! The lineup on "Bad Side II" is no different from their debut, with founding members Melissa Krahnke on vocals and keyed instruments and Jason Mapes on guitars, keyboards, and backing vocals. Once again, they were supported by bassist Rich Blair on six tracks and drummer Dan Furmanik on all tracks, with Dan also supplying the bass on seven other songs. Melissa, Jason, and Dan all shared co-production duties.

The album is currently available online at a few different sites, notably on iTunes and CDBaby, where it's available for $10.99 ($9.99 by download.) However, it is out of print currently, but check local merchants in case they have physical copies. The whole album is available for free online through torrent and streaming sites, but if I were you, I would support the band and buy it at the above links! 14 songs, so let's start with the first track, "Living In Fear"! (Updated on November 26th, 2012)

"Living In Fear" kicks off with a slow heavy riff and some very audible, almost opening march-like drums, which work really well to set the tone! Almost immediately, the production and mixing is audibly MUCH better than on their debut CD, with no instruments sounding buried, so tons of credit to Beau Hill for ensuring that this time around!! Melissa's vocals are subdued in the verses, but almost in an ominous fashion to keep with an intended tone. The choruses definitely pick up though, and her soulful power really starts to come through! Honestly, this song sounds like it could be on the soundtrack of a 1980s horror movie, and that's not necessarily a criticism! The keyboard melody and lyrical content help give off that vibe, and Jason's guitar work is very good, though the solo felt very short. Another problem: The last portions of the song feature some honeslty misplaced spoken word vocals, the first batch used concurrently with singing of the exact same lines. It's like the band smushed an unused industrial concept in with what was already written. Nonetheless, this is a very solid opener, and though I don't expect the "horror" feelings to continue throughout "Bad Side II", I appreciate the variance they used for this track!

Second on the album is "Call Me If Ya Want To", which definitely harkens more to the classic hard rock style we're used to from Bad Side! The band very seamlessly mix a hard rocker with bluesy time passages, with great passionate singing and some very catchy guitar work! It may just be me, but this has the vibe of a song to drive down the highway to, if that makes sense! My biggest complaint with this song is that it's repetitive except for the break a little past half way with the (again) shorter-than-expected guitar solo. It's a very catchy song, but there's no variance in the guitar and bass lines at all during the chorus. Even still, I like it more than "Living In Fear" because it's a fun little rocker that's straightforward and to the point, even if repetitive! "This Is How You Made Me" is third on the album, and I'll come right out and say it: I'm not digging this song that much. It feels like Bad Side took inspiration from keyboard driven 1960s-70s rock bands, and while that's a great source, the song takes on a bouncy, almost circus-like feel with the riffing. Not exactly my thing, and the song wraps up really quickly too, it felt empty. The best aspect of this track is Melissa's singing, she's firing on all cylinders, but it feels like the vocal track of a great song was tacked on to what they had left, with no solo either. Aspects of this song are good, and I appreciate the leap in styles here, but it's not one of my standout tracks.

Fourth is "Get A Grip, Melissa" which is basically a skit that introduces the next song, which we'll get to in a second. The plotline is that Bad Side are in a mall going to a music store so Melissa can buy the new Aerosmith CD, in the hopes that she'll get Steven Tyler himself to sign it at that night's Aerosmith concert. The other band members question her plan, pointing to past events and the unlikelihood that it will succeed. Then they notice that a guy near the elevator actually could be Steven Tyler, at which point they go over there, ending with some "interesting" stuff said by Melissa to Steven alluding to Aerosmith song titles. This is an amusing intro, and you can tell that Melissa and Jason's radio work helped for their voice-over parts. The celebrity references sound dated, and the usefulness of an intro skit is debatable, but definitely listen to it as a lead-in for the fifth song, "Hey Steven". This song, which is dedicated to Steven Tyler, sounds like it could have been an Aerosmith song, which is definitely intentional! Interesting use of horn-like effects in the chorus, and it definitely has a poppy kind of feel to it while still being heavy! Melissa gives Steven Tyler high praise in the lyrics, you can tell that he and Aerosmith were a heavy influence of hers! She even uses some Aerosmith-esque vocal ticks that fans will appreciate! We finally get a more substantial solo here as well, Jason's laying down some great notes on this track, and Rich Blair's bass lines are solid also! It's not the heaviest song on the album, but it's not supposed to be, and it succeeds at what it sets out to do, so it works!

Track six is "Venomous", which despite the title, is actually a mid-tempo song, and seems more reserved than the subject matter would imply. Use of the piano is very prevalent here for the melody moreso than the earlier songs, and the rest of the instrumentation seems like it's just gliding along without registering a major impact. It's a laid back, yet dark song, if that makes sense. I'll say this much though, at least the vocals and the instruments feel like they belong in the same song, unlike on "This Is How Your Made Me". The guitar solo isn't bad either, it's one of Jason's better solos so far! Not a bad little song, but it doesn't pack a lot of power. Things get even slower and piano-driven on the seventh song, "Don't Tell", and like on their first album's "I Will Come To You", Melissa seems to switch from soft higher singing to the heavier soulful stuff at will, though it's not really a straight "ballad", so to speak. It has a lot of passion and emotion while still maintaining an intimate feel, and it has a grand majestic feel in the instrumental parts! Honestly, the lyrical content about "saving the little children" doesn't fit the song's type, but the song works on it's given level, even if I'd typically want a heavy rocker over this type of song.

The second half of "Bad Side II" kicks off with "Cheap Liquor & Loud Music", a song about... well, read the title! The band return to their hard rocking ways on this song, and this is exactly the kind of song that got me into Bad Side way back! Hard rock with catchy riffing, nice bluesy rhythms, and soulful energetic singing, and at just over 5 minutes, we get lots of it! Bad Side take no risks here, they play to their strengths, and it shows! If I had to criticize, the solo could stand to be longer, and the backing chants of "Hey! Hey!" don't add a lot on the studio track, but that (and some other vocal passages) are tailor made for fans to chime in at concerts! Great song, easily my favourite so far! Ninth is "Hot For You", and I could tell right away that this song was also a winner from the awesome opening riff! Great rocking energy on this track, Melissa sounds great and the bass lines and drumming are also pretty good! However, the chorus isn't up to par with the verses, the backing vocals and the tone Melissa used don't gel that well. But aside from that, I can't complain, the solo is brief but great, Metlissa shows off her vocal range very well, and it's just a fun hard rock song! The chorus keeps it from being as good as the last song, but it's a highlight of mine!

Tenth is "Come On Back", another slower song that returns to the musical style of "Don't Tell", if the softer singing was completely taken out. When listening, I had the image of Melissa at a piano singing this solo at a blues bar after losing a lover, at least that's my impression. The energy and passion is extra clear here, with emotional lyrics. As was the case on "Don't Tell", this song works at it's style, but after two straight awesome tracks, it fell a bit flat for me. It's not a bad song at all though, and I appreciate the continued variety in the track listing! After that, we get "All That I Can Get", which starts off with a slow drum intro and leads into a pretty straightforward slow song compared to the bluesier slower stuff we heard before. This song struck me as not really having enough energy to it, and I do know that it's not supposed to be a lively rocker, but it just glided along slowly, and had some kinda depressing feelings to it, though the choruses are a touch more energetic. The riffing doesn't really strike me, and it feels like they're just going through the motions for a slow song, which is disappointing when you look at songs like "Don't Tell", where you could feel Melissa's every word. I couldn't feel it here. It is well played, it just lacks energy.

The rocking returns on the twelfth song, "My Math Teacher Is A Nazi", which immediately starts with talkbox effects and a hard hitting riff! You don't hear a talkbox all that much nowadays, nice to hear! The song, while heavy, has a different vibe to it, as Melissa sings about her dislike for her math teacher, and it's pretty deep hatred! You even hear Jason Mapes as the math teacher talking back at points! The singing in the verses is mostly in angry spoken word that only lightly follows the melody, and it's oddly effective! Reminds me of some of the "disaffected youth" songs you often heard hair metal bands of the 1980s play. The musical quality of the song isn't to par of the other heavy tracks on the album, as the song is very vocally driven, and the talkbox drowns out a lot of the instrumentation, but it's a fun little song with a lot of energy and some funny moments of anti-teacher rebellion!

Thirteenth is "Lie", the album's longest song, and you remember how I criticized "This Is How Your Made Me" for it's keyboard-driven bounciness that didn't really fly? It's pulled off a lot better here, it's the same tone of playing, but this rocks harder and actually sounds like a quality Bad Side song! Its not perfect though. While it has enough heaviness, it still feels kinda light and bouncy, and Melissa's singing again seems heavier than the song really needs. But this is also a much better song that meshes together a hell of a lot better, and the keyboard playing doesn't make the song odd or strange, while still being noticeable and melodic! No guitar solo either, that's a glaring absence for a song this long. Good song, and a bit different! "Bad Side II" ends on a high note with "Let It Roll", which was one of the first songs off of this album I latched on to way back, so I could safely say prior to the review that this was a great song! The drumming from Dan Furmanik is particularly clear and good on this song, and the contrast from the soulful verses and more energetic choruses complement each other nicely! It keeps a steady pace, and remains heavy and on the same track throughout, which works well! This song does get repetitive, the backing vocals take away from the chorus a bit, and Melissa's spoken word over the song sounds like it should be during a live performance rather than on the studio recording, but overall, this is a solid rocking capper to Bad Side's sophomore release!

So how do I grade "Bad Side II"? Well, first off, credit (again) goes to Beau Hill for the mixing and mastering of this album, because the production and mixes were one of my larger complaints of Bad Side's debut. With everything level, I could enjoy the songs as a whole without fear, and on that basis, it's definitely better to listen to on the audio quality level! As musicians, Bad Side retained their obvious skill levels from the first CD, only evolving their sound to try some new things, with hit and miss results. The bluesy ballads were a nice change of pace, and the classic vibes of many songs were welcome, but a few too many songs seemed to be on one note, gliding along without energy. And in the case of "This Is How Your Made Me", I'm not really sure what happened. Melissa Krahnke continues to impress as a singer, especially given her deep soulful voice that stands in contrast to most other female rock singers in the area, and don't forget about her wit and humour! Jason Mapes is a great guitarist still on this record, be it on riffs or solos, but I found most of the solos to be way too short, which isn't indicative of his talent. Rich Blair and Dan Furmanik are both capable bassists, and Dan is also good on drums, but throughout, they never struck me as the focus even with the improved mix. Melissa and Jason were front and center, and though you can take that for what you will, their talents speak for themselves!

I appreciate when Bad Side experiment with styles, but I say that they're at their best on bluesy classic/hard rock, and there's loads of standout tracks for that, like "Hot For You", "Let It Roll", and my personal favourite, "Cheap Liquor & Loud Music"! Great stuff there, it's heavy enough for metal fans to enjoy, but has enough soul and melody for classic rock and general music fans to appreciate! Songs like "Living In Fear" and "My Math Teacher Is A Nazi" shown my favourite uses of their style experiments, but I missed the orchestral elements that we saw a bit of on their debut, that'd have been nice to hear again. "Bad Side II" is better musically than their first CD, but the difference is even greater if you include the production, which helps it stand out even more! And if their next (and latest) album, 2008's "...Bad Things Come In Threes" is any indication, fans will have nothing to worry about going forward! Overall, "Bad Side II" is uneven but high quality, and in light of the new styles and elements they try, they luckily hit their mark more often than they miss it! Classic and hard rock fans, you'll wanna check this out!

So there is this month's local metal CD review! What's on tap for next month? Again, I don't know. Even more bands have piled on for the list of bands with imminent, planned, or rumoured album releases. Garden of Bedlam, Lion Ride, Sense of Truth, Gates of Winter, Frightlight, and Sykotyk Rampage all have new albums partially or fully recorded, bands like No Arrow, Silver Dream, and Bring The Fallen have announced or rumoured albums to my knowledge, and even Sault Michigan's Elipzis may have a CD of some kind already! If something new doesn't pop up next month from a local band, then I will once again dip back into the local archives, which would be a Sault Ontario band's album, tied to an August concert if possible. So if a new album comes out, expect that to be the next review, and if one doesn't, wait and see between August 25th and 31st!

That's all for now, come back later tonight for previews of this weekend's local metal concerts and some assorted news and updates! And by Saturday, stay tuned for our next Out Of Town Bands With Local Members profiles on Jar. and Thrawsunblat! The excitement is far from over at the SMS, hope to see you guys back for more!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), A New Local Band, A 1980s Local Scene Short Story, And More!!

And today, we hit 30 posts for the month of July! Very busy month, and we have some more exciting news today, including a VERY cool local scene-relevant short story, Kewadin Festival updates, the identity of one of the bands from there, and new material from a local band! But first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison has scheduled another solo acoustic date for August 6th! Once again, he'll be rocking out at The Roosevelt Hotel for a day full of acoustic metal covers to have a drink to! Note that I said "day", not "night", because this concert starts at 4:00 PM and runs until around 8:00 PM, unlike most Tym/Caveman Morrison shows. I think this show is tied to an event of some kind, especially with the "free dinner and meat draw" plugged on the Facebook event page, but I'm not entirely sure what the occasion is. What I do know is that if you wanna chill out with some great renditions of your favourite hard rock hits from one of the area's better known guitarists, head to The Rosie on August 6th! Check the above links for more details on this show and on Tym Morrison's musical projects!

Next up, I have found a VERY cool short story that fans of the local music scene from the 1980s will absolutely want to read! This was a completely random find on some Google searching I conducted the other day, and it's the second part of an (at least) five part short story from local concert photographer Paolo Colasacco. It's about the concerts and experiences at the old Centennial Lanes venue on Gore Street (Nite-Life Dance Club is now in it's old location), and it really is a cool read! Paolo discusses the genre divisions of concertgoers from shows there, the environment that Centennial Lanes gave to create a "new music scene", what it was like at the concerts in terms of what people did, what the alcohol policies were, what bands you'd typically see, and just how much fun people had! A good deal of it is spent talking about that band Riggy Zomba that I mentioned in yesterday's post, and Paolo's description of their two separate fanbases is noteworthy! He also notes that metalheads tended to frequent the Eastgate Hotel way back for concerts. The grammar and spelling isn't perfect, but believe me, this is another awesome window to the past of the local scene, and you'll wanna check it out!

Paolo uploaded this portion of his Centennial Lanes story onto The Internet Archive five years ago, and you can click here for the download link! Note that it's a WordPerfect file, but programs like Microsoft Word can also open it. Paolo has uploaded many other files onto The Internet Archive in the past, including some concert photos and the fifth part of the Centennial Lanes story, click here for more of his work! Part 5 doesn't deal much with metal, mostly concerning the walk home from a punk show headlined by classic local band The Reggulars, but read it too! This is great stuff that people should be more aware of, but I wonder what happened to the other parts of the Centennial Lanes story? I'll let you guys know if I hear more!

Next up, we have some new Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival updates to share! Kewadin's Facebook page now features tons of photos from Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, Three Doors Down, and Meat Loaf's sets, and more! Good quality, but I have one major complaint about the photos: Most of them are sideways! That is a nuisance, but they're good photos, click here to check them out! also has new Kewadin Festival-related stuff online, courtesy of a new article and video from Winging It! host Tami Fremlin! The video, which isn't embeddable, features some quality performance clips from the festival of Three Doors Down and assorted other events, as well as portions of interviews with many of the acts and performers, including members of Clownsack and Nixxon Dixxon, among many others! Tami asks good questions, though she has a soft voice that can be hard to hear on lower volumes. Expect to see extended versions of these interviews and pieces when the new episode of Winging It! come online on For now though, check out the video at this location!

Yes, there's also some new YouTube videos from the festival, though none are of the metal/hard rock performers. YouTube user tishialee uploaded two videos from Meat Loaf's set onto her channel, user pltreasures has a Meat Loaf video and two Three Doors Down clips, user daliellepeters has a parking lot video that shows the festival atmosphere and tents, and user Kylerawesome has a video of his band performing at the festival, named Attaca. Judging by their apparent ages and the stage setup, it looks like these guys were one of the "Rock Camp" youth groups that performed on the third stage on July 22nd and/or 23rd. And my assumption that the youth groups were from Shift guitarist Joey Beairl's Guitar Studio was a correct one, as you can see the upper half of the Guitar Studio logo in a banner on the far left of the stage in the Attaca video. These kids do have talent, so check out the video, but don't expect metal, as they cover The Ramones, The White Stripes, and Green Day in the clip. Click all of the above links for the newest Kewadin Festival footage!

Finally today, one more Kewadin Festival-related note. Remember the local band Elipzis that played at the festival on the Saturday as one of the Meat Loaf supporting bands? Well, I now know what's up with this band, and yes, they are SMS-coverable! The band consists of frontwoman Rachel Kiger, guitarist Chris Webster from the inactive Muskegon hard rock band Kilacel, bassist Ryan Harrison (former Riot! By Night frontman, more on that in a second), and drummer Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten, who you'll best recognize as Integrated System of Machines' original frontman! They only just launched a MySpace page on July 13th, and it doesn't mention Sault Ste. Marie at all, which probably explains why it's taken me so long to find out details on this band. Musically, they list influences ranging from Stuck Mojo, Fates Warning, and Iced Earth (I heavily approve!) to The Police and Johnny Cash! Interesting, especially with a female singer, that'll give the band a different flavour! Looks like these guys have a lot of promise, I now have them in the SMS band links, and I'll definitely try to update you guys on their upcoming shows and events from here on out!

Thanks to Ryan Harrison and the anonymous commenter on my June 29th post for some of the above information, as well as the above links! I have some cool stuff coming up on some of the bands and outfits related to Elipzis members in the next while, but I want to quickly add that yes, Ryan Harrison is no longer in Riot! By Night. Their MySpace page hasn't been recently updated at all, but I have heard rumours that Absolute, the band that most of Riot! By Night was in immediately beforehand, may be reuniting. I'll keep you posted if there's any truth to that, but it sucks that Riot! By Night may have ended, cause they sounded very promising and I heard nothing but good things about their shows!

That's all for today, my next post will (in all likelihood) be my next local metal CD review! Remember, it's an album from a band that I've already reviewed an album for, so get speculating! Stay tuned for that, and more, in the coming days!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An Upcoming Outdoor Charity Concert, Plus More News And Updates!!

Can you believe that this is our 29th post of the month? That's an SMS record, and we still have four days left in the month! The news and updates keep rolling in, and today's post includes a bit of backlogged stuff too, but all of it is worth mentioning! Let's begin!

I recently got an e-mail from Chris Wilson, who's looking to hold an outdoor fundraiser concert on August 14th, and asked for my help in getting the word out on this event. The show would be in benefit of Pauline's Place Youth Shelter on Pim Street, and Chris is looking for local bands (presumably of any genre) to fill a 9-10 hour timeslot for this concert. Bands won't be paid for performing, this is a charitable fundraiser, but it's for a great cause, and could get your band some exposure! No word on already confirmed acts, where the show will be held, or any other details yet, but I imagine those should come out sooner or later. So if you or your band would be interested in playing this outdoor benefit concert for Pauline's Place, e-mail Chris for more information at! Sounds like a nice idea, we'll have to see how this concert shapes up! As I hear more, I will let you guys know!

Next up, the final installment of Woods of Ypres' 2010 tour diary on Decibel Magazine's website is now online! Once again, bassist Shane Madden detailed the happenings, events, and notable moments of more of their tour dates, this time focusing on their final American show in Worcester, Massachusetts, and their last two Canadian dates in Toronto and Ottawa, with a conclusion afterwards to sum up the tour! We get such things to read about as what the band used to temporarily repair a broken van window, the surprising ease of crossing back into Canada, the "homecoming" feelings that the Toronto show gave them (remember, Woods were based out of Toronto in the mid-2000s), what happened in an "alternate universe" on their way to the Ottawa show, and much more from their last three tour dates! Sounds like the tour went well, though I still would have loved to have seen a local show! I know David Gold isn't highly enamored with here, but I know I'm not alone in saying that they should play here again down the road! Check out the final tour diary installment at this location, and I'll keep you posted with more Woods of Ypres updates as I hear them!

Thirdly today, I have a video that, though not newly uploaded by any stretch, is new to me! If you were around the local music scene in the mid-2000s, you may remember that local grunge band No Arrow were originally known as Murder Playground, and have a couple videos floating around online. This one, I've never seen until the other day, and it's a live performance video from New Years Eve 2006 of Murder Playground covering the Nirvana classic "Breed" at Madisons Pub! The video is in black and white, and while the video quality isn't bad, the audio is VERY scratchy. So I'm embedding this here for the historical coolness moreso than to listen to, but do check it out! I've always liked Murder Playground/No Arrow, and the dancing concertgoers in the video would likely feel the same! Check out this classic clip below, or at No Arrow's MySpace page!

And finally, I have some cool stuff to share from the local scene's past! Glen Thomas, prolific local drummer and mastermind of The Barking Eye, graciously gave me two really cool locally-relevant metal posters a couple weeks back, and I finally have room to show you guys! One is a classic poster, presumably from a concert, of Human Disorder, the Port Colborne metal band featuring Saultites/current Phatstick members Jason Taillefer & Joe LaVergne! Plain, but effective, you can check it out on your left! The other is an authentic concert poster from way back in the mid 1980s (I'm guessing 1984), from Canadian metal legends Anvil's show at The Ramada Inn (now The Best Western!) Yes, they were here in person, on April 13th of that year with special guests Riggy Zomba, a local band that later became known as Vandyl! Glen profiled Riggy Zomba/Vandyl in May on The Barking Eye, click here for details on them! Europe-style glam hard rock quintet, not bad at all, though none of the members are largely active in the local scene nowadays to my knowledge. I love both aspects of the poster, the "Forged In Fire" poster artwork and the photocopied local show poster stapled to the side. You just don't get posters like these anymore for local advertising! Huge thanks to Glen for giving these posters to me, both proudly adorn the walls of my room! Check out the Anvil/Riggy Zomba poster below, and also below that, Glen's YouTube upload of Riggy Zomba's song "Teenage Rebel" from their Vandyl days!

That's all for today, but stay tuned over the next few days for previews of this weekend's shows, my next album review (here's a hint: It's a band I've reviewed an album of before), my next out of town profiles, and more! Stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Caveman Morrison), Plus More Assorted News!!

Hey guys, I'm back with some more local metal news and updates, so get yourselves ready! We have an upcoming concert looking for acts, and updates from two prominent local bands, but first, here's a long awaited LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!!

Caveman Morrison are back! After a three month break and a band member changeover, the local metal cover trio will hit the stage for the first time since the spring on August 13th at The Vibe Lounge! This will be the band's first official concert featuring Browbeat frontman Dutch Vanderploeg on bass, replacing the departed Rick White. A start time of 10:00 PM is listed on the official Facebook event page, and according to one of Dutch's statuses on Facebook, there will be a $2 cover charge. I almost guarantee this is a 19+ show as well. Click here to confirm your attendance! It's great to see Caveman Morrison back, I'm really looking forward to seeing the new lineup in action, and hopefully you guys are too! If you wanna hear some great metal covers from one of the Sault's better known metal bands, The Vibe Lounge is the place to be on August 13th! And yes, the show's on a Friday, but don't be scared off by the whole "Friday The 13th" connection! Click the above links for more info and details!

Next up, I got an e-mail recently from Steven Dahlke, a Sault Michigan concert promoter and the event manager at The Big Bear Arena near Kewadin Casino, which has held a few notable hard rock concerts, including one of Half Stupid's final shows from last August. Steven's planning to hold a concert full of young local bands at The Big Bear Arena near the end of next month in cooperation with Steve's Music, and he's on the lookout for bands! I won't spill details on the early tentative lineup yet, the show hasn't been offically announced to the best of my knowledge, but there's some very intriguing names that he shared with me! He asked me for help in promoting the show, so that's exactly what I'm doing! I don't know 100% details, but know this: If you want to play in an all-locals concert in late-August in Sault Michigan, contact Steven at this location! This may sound geared towards Sault Michigan acts, but if you're in Sault Ontario and are interested, go for it! And as I hear more finite details on this show, especially concerning metal and hard rock acts, I'll be sure to let you guys know!

Thirdly today, some assorted Garden of Bedlam updates that, in hindsight, I should have featured with my Rotaryfest review. Firstly, Garden of Bedlam recently announced that their upcoming full length album will tentatively be titled "Everything Will Die"! This was first announced in a Facebook group e-mail, and was later mentioned on stage by Buzz while introducing the song of the same name at Rotaryfest (source here!) Now, that could change (remember, it's the TENTATIVE title), but if it sticks, I approve! As for recording of the CD, all that's left for in-studio are vocals and some of Josh Belleau's guitar solos, according to the band's Facebook group! Buzz mentioned on his Facebook page yesterday that all he has left is one song, harmonies, and some "gut wrenching screams"! Sounds good to me, I can't wait to hear the finished product! Hopefully the illnesses that Buzz was battling were killed in a metal fashion so as not to affect the album! Also keep an eye out on producer Miguel Gauthier's Facebook page for studio updates too! I'll keep you guys posted as I hear more on the new album, and, of course, your next chance to see them live is on August 10th, when they open for Kiss at The Essar Center! You won't want to miss that!

Finally for today, we have new Woods of Ypres-related videos to share! But first, here's an article from where columnist Gruesome Greg reminisces about his lost Woods of Ypres t-shirt that was styled in a Batman logo-esque fashion. Only 25 are in existence, and it sucks that he can't find his! Interesting topic, I've never seen a metal column article around a band t-shirt, but it's actually a good read, especially for those of you who have a t-shirt or two that you hold dearly! Check it out here! Now, video time! The first video I'm showing also comes from's Vimeo channel, and it's outtakes from Woods of Ypres' recent music video shoot! It's basically 73 seconds of slow motion clips of frontman David Gold leaping off of a cliff into a river below with a handheld camera and, in one instance, a female co-star! No indications of which song the video is for though, but it's cool to get a glimpse of what to expect in the video! The second video is one of two new concert videos uploaded onto YouTube by user Ishadowseek from their show in Santa Clara, California! These are definitely not the best clips we've seen from the tour, especially not this clip, which has very muddled audio and shaky camera work. The one I'm embedding below, of the songs "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" & "Halves and Quarters", is longer and better, but not high quality for the video. Still worth checking out though! I'll keep you posted with more Woods of Ypres news and updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned to The Sault Metal Scene for more news and updates in the coming days, plus some special feature posts as well! And just for reference, the next concert I hit will likely be Ultraviolence at Coch's Corner on Saturday night, so I hope to see you guys there! Thanks everyone, I'll be back with more news and updates tomorrow!