Thursday, March 31, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Frightlight), A New Local Band, And Lots More!!

Ah, what the hell, here's one more post to close out March with, ending our busiest month ever with 38 posts! Today, we have the latest from Energy Rock Radio, the last third of the Woods of Ypres local tour vlog, the newest addition to End of Existence, and a new local band, but the new band won't be leading off the post. Why? I'm tying in a story today with that band, and I don't wanna push the new concert too far back. So I'll lead off with the LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, and then, we'll get into the linked stories! Here's what you need to know!

Frightlight are returning to the stage on April 27th for a punk show at Coch's Corner! In what will be their first publically announced 19+ show as a quintet (this month's "secret" show notwithstanding), they'll be one of two support bands for Southern Ontario hardcore punk quintet The Endprogram, in their first local concert stop since hitting The Grand Theater on May 5th, 2009 in support of Canadian punk legends SNFU! Sort of skirting the metal/punk boundaries, their hard hitting punk aggression will be a welcome sight after an almost two year absence! Also playing support are local trio Motion Carried, which means that Rick White will play double duty at this show as their drummer and as Frightlight's guitarist! I still don't know how Motion Carried sound, or even if they're even all that heavy, but hopefully we'll find out soon! My hunch is a slightly heavier version of The Scary Uncles, but I can't say for certain just yet. There is no cover for this show, you must be 19 to attend, and it all starts at 10:00 PM that night. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a solid concert, maybe I'll check it out! And of course, kudos to new Frightlight guitarist Kevin Powe for the poster, it's great seeing his graphic design work again! Stay tuned for more!

Next up, here's the linked stories, starting with a brand new addition to a local band! Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids epic metal band End of Existence have announced the addition of keyboardist Craig "Tubesock" Harrison to the band, giving them four members (though still no bassist.) This officially reunites Craig with his old bandmates Bob Helsten, Steve Giles, and Greg Giles from such bands as Dust N' Bones and (of course) Integrated System of Machines, which is really cool! Though End of Existence and I.S.O.M. share many similarities, this isn't an I.S.O.M. return. Craig has joined End of Existence, who are their own animal, and it'll be interesting to see how his keyboard work fits with their original material! Further details as to his role in the band (i.e. when we'll see EoE material he plays on, etc.) aren't known yet. My source for the above information is their official Facebook page! It's nice to see Craig back in a band like this, and he should add a welcome dimension to End of Existence! He's always been kind to me and my work on the SMS too dating back to the later I.S.O.M. days, and I can't wait to hear what he has in store this time around!

Speaking of bands involving Craig Harrison, here's that new band! I'm connecting it with the above story because I only found out about this band because of End of Existence's announcements of him joining earlier today. As it turns out, Craig has done recent work with the Giles brothers with a classical metal project named Theatre of Night, and they're on Reverbnation! A collaborative effort to make classical/metal hybrid music, the posted songs range from keyboard-only classical pieces to full band instrumentals, including a good helping of Christmas material! Songs like "Demonslayer", "The Eleventh Hour", and "Carol of the Bells" (previously posted on End of Existence's page at Christmas time) show some nice orchestral sounding metal, while Craig goes solo on some purely classical material like "Seven's Sorrow" and "Twilight In Valhalla" for material that would not be out of place in some epic black metal songs! Also of note: They have an album for sale! For $9.99 ($5.99 for the mp3s), you can buy Theatre of Night's debut album "Christmas Night", featuring their classical metal renditions of 10 Christmas carols! To pick it up (as well as a long sleeved t-shirt), visit this location! This makes perfect sense for a CD review on the SMS, but not now. Does it make any sense for a Christmas review in the spring? I say wait til November or December, I have a hunch we'll be reviewing this then!

Theatre of Night are a really cool sounding band, especially if you enjoy classical music and orchestral metal. Give them a look at the above links, you might be surprised! Stay tuned for more on End of Existence and Theatre of Night as news comes in, and click here to check them out!

Now, to the last third of Woods of Ypres' tour vlog! This concludes the concert clips from the past thirds of the vlog that frontman David Gold has been posting on his YouTube channel, but also includes some post-concert antics, so here's what you should know! The first 5 and a half minutes are comprised of the remainder of the included concert footage that I shot, so if you enjoyed the performance clips from the last two, there's more of it here! After that, there's clips of Woods of Ypres mingling post-show, driving footage of the Sault that night, the band's excursion to Metro to buy frozen pizzas, what happens when David tries a Michelina's frozen dinner, and final footage of the band on Trunk Road as they leave Sault Ste. Marie for their next tour stop! Entertaining stuff, and it's nice to know that they seemed to have a good time back in our burial ground! Stay tuned for more from Woods of Ypres' East Coast tour as it comes in, check the above links for the rest of the vlog and some re-uploaded portions of the vlog that deserve individual attention (boot dancing & swinging beards, anyone?), and here's part 3 of the Sault Ste. Marie tour vlog!

And finally, here's the latest from local internet radio station Energy Rock Radio! Ever the chameleon-like station, Energy Rock Radio's official website has ANOTHER new logo and design, which isn't entirely finished yet, but it looks good! Still, I wonder why they continue to edit and change their look? They also quietly launched a new Facebook page early last month featuring some basic programming information and links to some new merchandise, so become a fan today! Looks like their music selection is bigger than ever, with the 24/7 stream still active, and apparently, DJ Ryan Kaarlela interviewed 3/5ths of As It Stands on air earlier today! Hopefully that gets posted somewhere so we can hear it! Although they don't appear to have much luck in deciding a permanent look, Ryan and the brew crew at Energy Rock Radio are putting in tons of work on the station, and it continues to show! Check the above links for much more, and stay tuned for updates as they come in on the Sault's only internet rock radio station!

That's all for tonight, and for our busiest month ever, and I have more news to share through the weekend, including (yes) my review of TONIGHT'S Rosie metal night! Stay tuned!

This Weekend's Local Hard Rock/Metal Concert Previews!!

Our busiest month ever caps off today, and in this 37th post of March, it's time to preview this weekend's local metal and hard rock concerts! I know of eight, but I could be missing some. For now though, here's all you need to know for this weekend's concerts!

We'll start TONIGHT at The Roosevelt Hotel, where Dismembertainment presents the latest metal night! Three more local metal bands are ready to melt some faces to close out March, including one local band making their live debut! Headlining tonight are local hardcore quintet As It Stands, fresh off some successful recent concerts in Southern Ontario! With a rapidly increasing profile and some hard hitting and aggressive metal to share with their fans, get ready to mosh when they take the stage tonight! Also scheduled tonight are grimecore trio Shit Liver, coming off well received supporting slots for We, The Undersigned and The Rebel Spell earlier this month. Will their crusty blend of punk and death metal be what you're looking for tonight? I could very well be! Opening tonight's concert will be the debuting Skull After Betrayal, the new metal quartet featuring Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent, Despised Eyes bassist Adam Brett, guitarist Justin Polutanovich, and drummer Anthony D'Agostini! Though their posted demos are rather poor in quality, be prepared for some entertaining covers and originals when they make their live debut tonight! As always, tonight's show is a 19+ affair, there is no cover, and it all starts at 9:30 PM! Check out the above links for more details!

Sounds like a fun night of metal, fingers crossed that I can be there! I definitely intend on being at at least one Dismembertainment show this weekend, optimistically both, so I hope I can see you guys there tonight! For a preview, here's As It Stands playing their song "One Last Chance" at The Rosie last month!

Next up, it's the debut of Turner Up V4.0! After 3/5ths of the band left earlier this month, the local classic hard rockers will have a new look in their return to the stage this weekend, with only drummer Scott McClurg remaining in the exact same position as he previously had! Talented local singer KT Antler replaces Krista Marshall, Asylum Country/ex-Stillbroke bassist Kyle McKey replaces Len Ward on guitar, and founding member Robert Brown switches from guitar to bass to replace Jeff Gray in this new four-piece Turner Up incarnation! So things will look (and sound) a lot different when Turner Up return to the stage this weekend, but where will they be? They'll return to The Nicolet Tavern tomorrow night & Saturday night to debut their new lineup in what should be a good weekend of music! I don't know how the band will sound as a whole, but Rob & Scott have good eyes for talent, and KT and Kyle will deliver! There is no announced cover charge, you must be 19 to attend, and it all starts at 10:00 PM! For more details, check the above links and the Facebook event page, and if audio/video material comes online featuring the new lineup, I'll have it here!

Also in Sault Ontario this weekend for your Friday and Saturday concert needs are AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who! One of the most frequently seen tribute bands in the area, Who Made Who recently upped the ante from just playing one show this weekend to two, making this an even bigger weekend of high voltage rock n' roll than we're used to from this talented band! AC/DC fans should have all the more reason to go now, as Who Made Who deliver an authentic AC/DC sound at each show they play! As usual, they'll be back at The Canadian Nightclub tomorrow night and Saturday night, there is a $5 cover to attend either night, and as always, you must be 19 to enter. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! If you're an AC/DC fan, do yourselves a favour and check Who Made Who out this weekend, they'll deliver just what you're looking for! For a video preview, here's Who Made Who playing the AC/DC classic "If You Want Blood (You Got It)" live in Thunder Bay last year!

Let's take a quick detour to Sault Michigan, as Cheboygan hard rock quartet The Darwin Project return to the area for another weekend of hard hitting original music! Unlike their most recent local stops, they'll in face hit The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino for the first time in a noticeable while! These will be their first of at least three spring concerts in Sault Michigan, and their original radio hard rock should attract some good responses from local fans this weekend! There's no announced cover charge, you must be 21 to attend either tomorrow's or Saturday's show, and everything starts at 9:00 PM or later! Unlike past concerts, there's no Facebook event page for this one, but the band hyped these shows on their Facebook page, and Kewadin Casino's entertainment page also lists it, so click the above links for more! The Darwin Project are a talented and often catchy band, and you should check them out this weekend if you're in the area! For a preview, here's The Darwin Project playing their song "Pushing Daisies" early last year!

And finally, we'll end as we started: With a Dismembertainment concert! On Saturday night, an out of town metal band hits Sault Ontario for a night of metal, and that band is Montreal sludge quartet The Great Sabatini! With a slow and heavy sound with some classic metal influences, get ready for a unique and brutal set from this talented Canadian metal band! You don't see stuff like them much here, so make note of their show on Saturday night at Foggy Notions! Opening for them on Saturday are local melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, and in their second show of the weekend, Shit Liver! The Bear Hunters were hyping the possibility of new original material for Saturday, so that in itself is notable, and Shit Liver fans must be eager at the thought of two shows in a four day span! There will be a $3 cover on Saturday night, you must be 19 to attend, and everything starts at 9:00 PM or later. For more details, visit the Facebook event page! Sounds like a brutal night of metal, and I definitely plan on being there for this show! I hope to see you all there! Check the above links for more, and for a preview, here's The Great Sabatini playing their original "Fire & Flood" at a Saskatoon concert in 2008!

That's all for now, but I might have one more post to cap off the month tonight, and I hope I can get to The Rosie tonight as well! Stay tuned, and thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Half Past's New Singer And Some New Local Metal Videos!!!

It's official: This is the busiest month in SMS history! Today marks our 36th post in 30 days, and we will hit 37 tomorrow when we preview this weekend's concerts, so how's that for a packed month of news? Today, we mostly have new videos, including a long awaited tour vlog, new concert footage from a recent major show, and this week's classic video, but first, here's big news concerning one local band's lineup!

Local hard rockers Half Past have announced the addition of singer Jordan Rains to the band, replacing Luke LeBlanc. Though not a widely known singer in local rock circles, Jordan did try out for Half Past during the Fingerbone days before finally making the band in this latest vocalist search. Surprisingly enough, Jordan is actually one of the tenor singers in a local Christian vocal group named NAClamation, which is interesting in itself! Being a tenor, I'd assume his singing voice will be higher in tone, and combined with Half Past's own mention that he has a "great vocal range", we should be looking at some great singing from Jordan in Half Past when they return to the stage! The news was broken on Half Past's Facebook page only two hours ago. I'm curious to see how Jordan does with Half Past, especially given his vocal style, which seems like it will be at least somewhat different from how both Luke & John Barber sang with the band. The NAClamation recordings don't say much for Jordan's singing on it's own, but the guys in Half Past know exactly what they're doing, and Jordan should work out just fine! Fingers crossed for a return to the stage very soon!

Next up are the long awaited Woods of Ypres tour vlogs! After some delays due to upload failures, the first two parts of their first tour vlog in Sault Ste. Marie are now on frontman David Gold's YouTube channel, so here's what you should know! These utilize more on screen titles to identify songs and video segments than last year's had, but the basic theme is the same: Concert footage, road antics, alcohol consumption, and assorted amusing moments from the tour and related excursions! Part 1 features (among other stuff) some shots of their local rehearsal area, Joel Violette's piano skills, why they went to Canadian Tire, the struggles of getting to The Roosevelt Hotel for their concert here on March 10th, some "dancing" to The Bear Hunters & State of Misery during their sets, a local building for sale that David wanted to purchase, and over four minutes of concert footage from that very show! Part 2 is basically just the continuation of the concert footage, and I assume it will conclude in Part 3 when it's uploaded, along with some likely post-show moments. Yes, the footage captured from Woods of Ypres' actual set was from the filming I was doing on one of the band's camcorders, though I noticed that almost no footage from "Camera 2" was used save for a cheering crowd moment. I wonder why not?

I thought my footage was good, but I felt too close to the action at times, especially when filming Joel. I guess I had to be to avoid people obstructing the view, but I'd have liked to have seen the second camera's take! Still, it's good footage, clear audio and video, and it's nice seeing stuff I shot being used like this! I've embedded the first third of the tour vlog below, but check out the above links to view Part 2 (and more), and stay tuned for Part 3!

Thirdly today, how's about some new concert footage from a recent major show? Videos that I've seen on YouTube from March 14th's Buckcherry concert at Kewadin Casino have entirely been from their set, with nothing from Papa Roach or local openers Fallen Heroes...until now! Yesterday, YouTube user suffocation2 uploaded this video of Papa Roach playing their hit "Last Resort" from what appears to be their show earlier this month! Even if it's their 2009 show here, it's 100% at Kewadin, so it still fits here! The video quality's really good for this clip, and the audio's not bad either, though it has some staticy portions with the bass here and there. I was a big fan of Papa Roach's in their early "rap metal" days, but frontman Jacoby Shaddix sounds more tired here than I'm used to. I bet you this was later in the set. Still, this is some of the best footage of any band that I've seen recently from major Kewadin hard rock shows, so definitely give it a look below, and if any more videos pop up online from this concert, I'll have them here!

And finally, here's this week's classic video! For the first time, it's not linked to a performer at an upcoming concert, as I'm low on available non-YouTube videos from the bands/artists that I know are playing this weekend, and I want to spread things out. So this week, I decided to upload a video from a prominent local band that we haven't seen on stage in a few months, and that band is Garden of Bedlam! This video comes from their headlining show on February 27th, 2011 at Foggy Notions, and it's of the band covering Pantera's "Fucking Hostile" with guest singer Andy Chillman of Papa Fogals Chair fame! FYI, Papa Fogals Chair is the inactive London metal quintet featuring Garden of Bedlam drummer Derek Turner, and they opened this concert (along with fellow Londoners Pistols At Dawn) in a rare one-off reunion set! Andy joined Erik "Buzz" Boissineau on lead vocals for this Pantera cover, and it's well performed and chaotic, though you can tell that their voices were slightly shot after playing full sets earlier. Plus, there's a lot of dead air afterwards while the band talks and mingles, so look out for that. Still, it looks like it was fun, I wish I could have been at this show!

This video was shot by attendee Amy Shaw, and later uploaded on Facebook by PFC bassist Mike Bird in the week following this concert. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit belongs to the performers in the video, Amy, and Mike for all their hard work, I'm just showing this off to a bigger and wider audience, especially given the special nature of the performance! The original video can be seen at So check out this week's classic video below!

That's all for tonight, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Who Made Who), Plus Updates From As It Stands & Woods Of Ypres!!

Guess what? Today marks our 666th post in the history of the SMS's current website/blog! How conveniently evil! This also ties our record for most posts in a month (35), and I'm confident it'll be broken by month's end, so that's a testament to how busy this month has been for news and notes in the local metal scene! So today, for post #666, we won't be unleashing the devil upon you guys, but we do have some big news and notes, including some Woods of Ypres and As It Stands updates and new interviews with both bands, but first, here's some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

Two months after they last rocked The Canadian Nightclub, Ontario-based AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who will return there for TWO SHOWS this weekend! Apologies for the short notice, a Facebook event page wasn't launched until Sunday, and I didn't hear about it until later than that. Usually, Who Made Who only play one show on their stops here (I've been told recent radio ads plugged their upcoming local stop as a single show), but organizers confirmed that they'd instead play the full weekend a few days ago, so they'll be rocking The Canadian this Friday AND Saturday! Sounds good, especially for the high calibre renditions of AC/DC classics that they always deliver! Admission on both nights will be $5, you must be 19 to hit either show, and everything starts at 10:00 PM! For more details, check out the above links! The Canadian's always a safe bet for hard rock and metal tribute bands, and Who Made Who are a frequent sight with loads of talent, so head down to The Canadian this weekend for some high voltage rock n' roll! Stay tuned if updates come in!

Next up, here's a brand new audio interview with As It Stands! Since their recent out of town concerts began, the band's profile has grown, and it's showing more and more, as evidenced by this interview with Trevor McKendry (a.k.a Sin City Animal) for a recent podcast through internet radio station Hard Rock Radio Live! Clocking in at almost a half hour in length, the podcast is totally dedicated to As It Stands, and features an extensive interview conducted by Trevor during As It Stands' trip to Windsor last week for a concert there! The whole band participates in the interview, and they discuss the band's formation, how it is getting a band started in the North, playing out of town shows, how they cover costs on the road, details on when they plan on making a full length album, their favourite bands and inspirations, their songwriting process, what their future tour plans are, and lots more! The interview has a nice relaxed feel, and Sin City Animal heaps praise onto As It Stands for their original sound and on-stage energy, which is cool! The podcast also features the band's two newest studio originals, "Conception" and "Big Problem, Little Lock City".

Great interview, although some more in-depth information on their beginnings might have helped flesh things out about their evolution a bit more. They absolutely deserve the press, and hopefully a lot more of it comes soon! Click here to check out the podcast, and note that I couldn't get the player to work, so I had to download it from the page (there are links there to do just that.) I have more As It Stands news to share soon, including some concert details for May that I'm waiting for more sourceable information on, so stay tuned!

And finally, here's some new Woods of Ypres videos! Yes, I know we've had a lot on Woods of Ypres lately, but in all honesty, they've had the most news to share, so I gotta fit them in somehow! Besides, when cool stuff like an 18 minute video interview pops up, you gotta mention it! Uploaded yesterday on Halifax internet show Metal Mouth Media's YouTube channel, this comes from their March 19th concert at The Coconut Grove in Halifax, and it mostly features host Louis-Paul Chaisson interviewing frontman David Gold and guitarist Joel Violette at what appears to be Woods of Ypres' merch table from the concert! The first 2/3rds of the video is the interview, and it's actually a bit different in question content, with David and Joel being asked everything from their road habits (breakfast, jokes, favourite stops, etc.) to their unique Canadian/American membership situation, to questions about the status of "Woods V" and possible European tours! I liked this interview more than some I've read and heard cause it had a natural ease and good will to it that came through especially well thanks to the video footage, so it's worth checking out!

Also, keep watching for a high quality HD recording of the band playing "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)" from that same show at the end of the video, which is solid, but you can't hear David's harsh vocals too well, and the audience gets in the way a lot. Good stuff though, check out both the interview and the live clip below!

Finally, I won't go into too much detail about the contents of these videos, but there are two more new video clips of Woods of Ypres from this past tour! Once again, these are from YouTube user xes1978, as recorded at their concert in Montreal last Tuesday, which you can check out at this location! Why they couldn't upload all 5 at once is beyond me, but the new videos are of the songs "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" & "Halves and Quarters" and "A Meeting Place & Time" from that concert! Nice to see new footage, but I can't add too much that I haven't already said. They sound good, and the lighting is nice, but the camera's too stationary. Check my posts from Wednesday and Monday for more thoughts of footage from this show, I can't add much else. Solid videos though, here's one, of the band playing "A Meeting Place & Time"!

That's all for today, but I fully expect a post tomorrow featuring more news, so stay tuned! Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 28, 2011

News From Orb Hearthstone, Soo Stories, And Woods Of Ypres!!

34 posts in 28, we're just two posts away from breaking our record for busiest month ever at the SMS, which says a lot when the summer months are our busiest! Thanks to all of you guys for sticking by through this busy March! Today, we have a bunch of new Woods of Ypres stories, but first, we'll cover some older stories, including the latest on a new book and some new pages from a local solo artist, so let's begin today's post!

End of Existence frontman/Great Bodily Harm drummer Bob Helsten, a.ka.. Orb Hearthstone, has created two new solo internet pages! We previously heard his new softer metal material on his MySpace page, but the Orb solo project is now on a music site I've previously never heard of called MusicFast, so check this new page out at this location! The only real "new" element is the addition of artists that influenced him, and there's a ton of good bands listed, but otherwise, there's nothing too different from his MySpace page. Still, give it a look, there's some solid solo material on there! As well, Orb has now launched a YouTube channel featuring five End of Existence videos, so become a fan of that as well! It strikes me as a bit redundant when the End of Existence channel has all of the same videos, but maybe Orb will post some solo or Great Bodily Harm material on there in the future! Check out all of the above links for more from Orb's solo work!

Next up, here's the latest on "Soo Stories: A Rock N' Roll Scrapbook", the new book on concerts at the old Sault Memorial Gardens by Wawa author Duane Roy! Firstly, if you haven't picked up a copy yet and you don't want to order a copy through PayPal, then good news! "Soo Stories" is now in stock at The Rad Zone at Wellington Square Mall! Duane posted on The Rad Zone's Facebook page on Friday to announce this news. I assume "Soo Stories" will be in the Hole In The Wall section, and I believe the cost of the book will be $25 as the standard online price is. I'm absolutely gonna have to head down to The Rad Zone to pick up this book, and yes, I want to review it on the SMS! We're gonna have a book review spree once my exams are done, as I still have to review Paolo Colasacco's "Going Underground" on here too, so watch out for that as well! Also, a couple new sites have "Soo Stories" articles, including The Algoma News out of Wawa, which has a short article about the book, some of it's contents, and some more of the information Duane still wants to hear about old Gardens concerts. Not bad, click here to give it a look! As well, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles gave a brief look at the book, which is good exposure but not too in-depth. Click here to read it, and check out all of the above links for all the info you need on "Soo Stories", including online purchasing links!

Now for a bunch of Woods of Ypres updates to round this post out with, starting with a video I didn't talk about when I first mentioned videos by this uploader last week. I shown you two "Wood of Ypres" videos by YouTube user xes1978 on Wednesday, but the latest of the three slipped me by, so here's what you should know! It's of the band playing "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)", and it's a good performance of the song! As it's the same quality and camera as xes1978's other videos, I can't change my critiques too much, as it's still good quality with a dark red ambiance, and not enough variance in camera angles (Joel Violette is still not captured), but it's a good video all around! Check it out below!

Now to some more Woods of Ypres updates, starting with some new concert reviews and related notes! Firstly,'s Natalie Zed reviewed another Woods of Ypres concert, specifically their show on March 13th in Toronto, and you can check it out at this location! You may remember her Woods of Ypres CD and concert reviews from last year as well. Woods of Ypres were the second band of four on this concert, so it's not too in-depth compared to some other concert reviews we've seen, but she does praise Woods of Ypres' abbreviated set, even more so due to a broken guitar string and David's wish to not hold up the show. Nice photos too, and the other bands sound brutal! Check the above links for more on this review! Also, Atanamar Sunyata from Metal Injection has more Woods of Ypres stuff for us courtesy of his own concert review from their concert on March 16th in New York City, which you can read by clicking here! I have to say, Atanamar is very well spoken, and he leaves a lot of praise for Woods of Ypres' set in this review, saying that they slay in person and that they played an incredible set! Definitely read this review, and his videos that I shown you on here are also embedded there to check out!

Finally for today, here's some new Woods of Ypres interviews & articles, starting with an article with... Joel Violette? Yeah, it's not just David getting some press for the band! Joel was interviewed by the New Brunswick website HereNB about his work in Woods of Ypres, including how he joined the band, his work with David Gold in Thrawsunblat, the experience of playing live, and more! Short but a good read, click here to check it out! Also, Ken Kelley from The Music Nerd Chronicles posted an article on Woods of Ypres on March 18th, featuring some insights from David Gold about the Earache Records signing, the band's plans for the next six months, and more! Not too long, but it shares some more good details about "Woods V", so click here to read it! Finally, Hungarian metal site KronosMortus interviewed David recently as well, click here to check out that interview! The interview was posted in Hungarian but translated to English afterwards, so scroll down to the bottom for the English translation. If you can get past the stilted translations, you'll find some good band discussions and questions that other interviews haven't asked, so give it a look! Check out all of the above links for more from Woods of Ypres!

That's all for now, but knowing this month, we'll have more very soon, as we're on pace for 37 posts this month if things keep on the way they've been going! Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (For All That Is Lost, State Of Misery, And Fuck The Facts), And The Debut Of Dismembertainment!!

Anyone want to hear about some new concerts for this Sunday? I have three to tell you guys about, and lineup updates for two of them, but first, I have to tell you guys about the debut of a new local metal concert booking agency that is responsible for most of the concerts we're talking about today, so here's what you need to know, and check out all three posts from yesterday for our "Woods I" review, the latest March Mayhem updates, and lots of news!

You're likely well aware of the many metal concerts that local guitarist Rich Moreland has booked over the past 6 years, including The Roosevelt Hotel's metal nights and various other concerts at Foggy Notions and other venues. Well now, Rich has started an official booking agency to book concerts through, rather than just simply under his own name! The name is Dismembertainment, which will be the new umbrella name for all of Rich's upcoming metal concert bookings, starting with this Thursday's metal night at The Rosie featuring As It Stands, Shit Liver, and Skull After Betrayal! Basically, this is a more official basis for Rich to book concerts in town, and it looks like he has everything well thought out, including an official website (with domain name), a Facebook page, and a contact e-mail! The new pages have some concert photos and information about Rich's booking background and goals for 2011, which all sound promising! The website's a bit bare at the moment, but the logo looks nice, and it has good information where needed! Here's hoping this succeeds as far as Rich can take it, I know he'll do well with Dismembertainment, so look out for some big shows through there this year!

One of the elements of Dismembertainment's website that's worth mentioning is the upcoming shows section, which lists three brand new concerts, and as such, it's time for some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS! In chronological order, we'll start with the Roosevelt Hotel metal night on April 14th (the next one after this Thursday's), which does have one confirmed band! Desbarats death metal quintet For All That Is Lost will make their second Rosie metal night appearance as the opening band on April 14th! Nice to see them back in the area, hopefully I can hit The Rosie for their return! Now Dismembertainment's show listings do list Bring The Fallen as the headlining band, but I can confirm that they are NOT playing. I thought that was suspect anyway given that they dropped off of the April 9th all ages concert five days earlier to "take a break" and write new material, so I asked Rich about it, and they're definitely not playing on April 14th. Hopefully this break isn't too long, we've missed Bring The Fallen over the past few months, and hopefully those old breakup rumours don't amount to much either! So when word on the other two bands comes out, I will let you guys know! As always, this is a 19+ concert with no cover, and it starts at 9:30 PM. Check the above links for more details, and I'll keep you posted!

The next metal night after that, on April 28th, will feature State of Misery as headliners! This will be their first headlining concert following their expansion to a quintet following bassist Devon Overman's addition to the band, and they should be all geared up for a devastating hardcore set on the 28th! Of course, they have at least one show in the interim, on April 9th at The Oddfellows Hall (more on that later), but they'll have more time and the headliner position to entertain the audience at this Rosie metal night! Two more bands are expected, but have not been announced at present. As always, this will have a 19+ age limit, 9:30 PM start time, and no cover, just like the preceding metal nights. For more details, check all of the above links! Just State of Misery's involvement alone is promising, but there's much more to come, so stay tuned for updates as I hear them! Note as well that a metal night at The Rosie is already listed for May 12th, but no bands are confirmed. Click here for all current details on these shows!

Finally, a notable grindcore band will make their return to Sault Ontario after over 2 ½ years to headline a special Monday night concert at The Roosevelt Hotel on May 9th! The band is Ottawa grindcore quintet Fuck The Facts, who were last seen on a local stage on November 2nd, 2008 at The Grand Theater! That show was great, I remember enjoying Fuck The Facts and frontwoman Mel Mongeon's growling abilities, so hopefully a big crowd turns out on May 9th! Openers have not been announced, but for reference sake, their last local concert was opened by Gates of Winter (in their last local concert appearance to date) and As It Stands, but who knows who we'll get this time around? I'll of course let you guys know as word comes in! Details on this concert aren't given beyond Fuck The Facts' headlining status, but I wouldn't be surprised if this had a nominal cover charge. A 19+ time limit and 9:30 PM-ish start time are both likely as well. I'll of course have updates on this concert as they come in, but for now, stay tuned to all of the above links for the latest on all of Dismembertainment's upcoming concerts!

Finally today, here's some half Dismembertainment-concert related news, as we have some lineup switches on two upcoming concerts! Firstly, the final opening band has been added to THIS SATURDAY'S Great Sabatini concert at Foggy Notions, as melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been added as the other local opening band! They'll play direct support to The Great Sabatini, with Shit Liver opening the whole concert. Sounds good to me, they'll fit well as openers, and I've heard rumours about new material being unveiled as well, so head down to Foggy's on Saturday to check them out! Click here for full details! Speaking of shows involving Shit Liver, I regret to announce that they've pulled out of April 9th's Sewer Swampstravaganja concert at The Oddfellows Hall. Why, I don't know, but they were quietly removed from the lineup on the Facebook, and promoter Typhoid Meaghan did confirm they dropped out when I inquired about their absence. That's a shame, but hey, what can you do? Replacing them on the lineup is Skull After Betrayal, in just their second live concert appearance following this Thursday's Rosie metal night! They should do well, they're a good fit on this concert!

Interesting to note that 1/3rd of the original lineup of this concert (The Fury, SBD, Bring The Fallen, and Shit Liver) have since dropped out of this concert, and only RedD Monkey have never been shifted in the lineup for this concert. While we're on the subject, the lineup for the concert was once again altered, with three bands getting new times. Skull After Betrayal won't be in Shit Liver's old 6:45 PM slot, they'll instead be opening the concert at 3:45 PM. Replacing them at 6:45 PM will be Late & Loud, who'll return to that spot in the lineup after being pushed back to 6:00 PM following Bring The Fallen's exit. As a result, indie rockers The Tenagens got a nice promotion from opening at 3:45 PM to playing at 6:00 PM. The rest of the most recently announced times are unchanged. For full details, and to see the official poster for this show, click here!

That's all for today, but I'll have more news very soon, so keep an eye out1 Thanks everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Woods Of Ypres - "Against The Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From The Dead Summer Heat" Review!!

As promised, it's time for our latest CD review at the SMS, and surprisingly, this is the first album by this band that I've reviewed on here in almost 16 months! But with no new releases to focus on this month (surprisingly), I'm making a rare dip into the Sault Ontario archives this month to take a look at Woods of Ypres' debut EP, "Against The Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From The Dead Summer Heat"! Often called "Woods I" to go along with their later album numbering, this was the debut release for Woods of Ypres during their beginnings in Windsor, Ontario. Recorded at Spectre Sound Studios in Tecumseh in August 2002, the EP was self-released in October of that year in limited quantities before being re-mastered in 2005 by producer/then-bassist Dan Hulse at Obsidian Sound in Toronto, and properly released with new artwork through Krankenhaus Records that summer. Around that same time, a limited run of "Against The Seasons" cassette tapes were issued by Night Birds Records. It's the re-release that I'm reviewing today, which is no different from the original save for better production. This features Woods of Ypres' original lineup, including guitarist Brian McManus, bassist Aaron Palmer, and drummer David Gold, who would later become their frontman before his 2011 passing and the band's breakup. On this EP, Brian and Aaron share vocal duties, with Brian doing the black metal parts and Aaron covering the clean singing on all but the first two songs. (Updated on September 28th, 2012)

Both the 2002 and 2005 pressings of "Against The Seasons" are out of print, but the remastered EP is available through various internet sites and retail locations, and it's not terribly hard to find compared to many other local bands' CDs. Officially, the album is available for download from iTunes for $4.95 or 99¢ for each individual song, so click here to buy it on iTunes! A re-release through Earache Records has been suggested in the past, but nothing concrete has been set. Torrent files and similar free downloads are readily available online, but please support the band and buy the EP! Featuring five songs clocking in at over 30 minutes of music, let's start with the introductory track, "The Shams of Optimism"! (Each song's title below is linked to a YouTube upload of that song.)

"The Shams of Optimism" is the introduction to "Against The Seasons", but is essentially just the first 3/10ths of an almost 10 minute epic when combined with track 2, "Crossing The 45th Parallel", so I think it would be best suited to review the songs together, as they always are live. Compared to what you'd normally expect from a black metal band, both of these songs reflect the winter season, nature, and a feeling of loneliness in such an environment, which are recurring themes in later Woods of Ypres songs. After a short guitar intro sets the mood for "The Shams of Optimism", the black metal kicks in at a fast and heavy pace with great pounding drums from David Gold! The vocals kick off with Brian McManus' more than capable black metal shrieking, which isn't very easy to understand, but suits the heaviness of the material! Things get more varied in guitar melodies to end the intro while Brian's relentless vocals keep attacking you until "Crossing The 45th Parallel" kicks in. "The Shams of Optimism" was relentess and full of singing, but "Crossing The 45th Parallel" is more diverse and drawn out. You can tell they belong together as a song, but the two portions stand on their own as well. Brian unleashes some great black metal screams early in the second part, and his guitar melodies contrast well with the fast paced relentless blast beats, without resorting to just a wall of noise.

Luckily, when the song just starts getting repetitive, a harder riff kicks in about 3 and a half minutes into the second song, helping shake things up a bit and give the song some much needed diversity. Late, things get softer in tone and more melodic, which adds to the epic feel of it all, but Woods of Ypres made sure to end on a brutal note before fading out! I do think that the combined "Shams/Crossing" song does get repetitive and too drawn out at points, particularly in "Crossing The 45th Parallel", and I would have cut it down and combined the songs into one 7 minute song, but the lyrics never get repetitive, continuing to tell a well written story! The lack of a guitar solo also hurts, but this is something to get used to for Woods of Ypres' first 3 albums. The drumming's top notch, Aaron's bass is a constantly effective presence, Brian's singing fits the song, and there's some nice guitar melodies to go along with it all! Great song for black metal, and there's a reason why it leads off Woods of Ypres' concerts!

Third on the EP is "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss", which starts on much of the same heavy note that characterized the previous two songs, including pounding drums, solid guitar playing, and another solid black metal scream! Then 40 seconds in, things get soft like the beginning of "The Shams of Optimism", though with the addition of drums and black metal singing, which did sound sort of out of place over music that light. The heaviness kicks in not long after again, which sounds similar to past verses, but a bit more melodic than they had previously. The lyrics seem to follow from where the last 2 songs left off, seem to speak of personal inner turmoil and a nomadic journey, which show more of the lyrical strengths they had even then. 2:41 in, the first clean vocals pop up in the song, courtesy of bassist Aaron Palmer, who does share some vocal similarities to David Gold with his tone, so you might confuse the two. It's good singing too, but it's lower in the mix than it should be. I like how Aaron and Brian sing overtop of each other, adding layers onto the song that are pretty cool to hear! Overall, this very entertaining song does show more variety, especially with the occasional softer interludes and the inclusion of clean singing, but a guitar solo, a proper "end" rather than just a fadeout, and higher mixed clean vocals would have been a big help.

Fourth is another live favourite, "A Meeting Place & Time", which David Gold has said is inspired by Sault Ste. Marie in past live performances. The longest individual track on the EP, this song features the most clean singing of the album, and it also has the most distinctive sound to it. The guitar riffing has a great sound to it, keepin a heavy but folksy rhythm to start, along with another soft guitar interlude before launching into a heavy black metal verse. Brian's black metal singing is more reserved here to match the slower mood, but it's probably the easiest to understand of the EP so far. You don't get much of it though, mostly in the early verses. This song has a more conventional structure to it than the past songs on "Woods I", which isn't bad, but it loses some unpredictability. That said, it's not nearly as repetitive as "Crossing The 45th Parallel" got late, so take that for what you will. Aaron's clean singing fits the song and intended mood well, but it's clear from more recent live performances with David singing that Aaron was more limited vocally here. Similar tone, but worse range. The guitar work stands out the most to me here, but the bass lines are well played when detectable, and David's drumming suits every portion of the song! Not the heaviest of the EP, but "A Meeting Place & Time" leaves one of the bigger impressions, and the soft outro is a nice inclusion. If you prefer the doomier clean-sung material from later Woods of Ypres albums, this will probably be your favourite song on this EP!

The final song on the EP is "Awating the Inevitable", the shortest non-intro song of "Against The Seasons". After a slow mood-setting guitar opening, things pick up fast and heavy to close Woods of Ypres' debut out with blast beats, heavy melodic riffing, and some very solid black metal shrieking! They seem to be throwing their all into the opening here, and it shows! Brian and Aaron's singing is as good as it's been all album, and we even get a bass solo midway through! The bass, though well played, felt buried in many of the earlier songs, so it's nice to see Aaron get some more attention with this solo! Not the fastest bass solo I've heard, but the pacing fits the song better here, and segues into the following riff well! This song ends really strongly with some nice varied guitar playing and harsh vocals, a softer stretch, and a heavy breakdown to fittingly end the EP with the only proper "ending" for any of the songs! Another fast and well played track, this shows all of the band's then-strengths, and leaves little behind, though a guitar solo would again have been nice!

So how does Woods of Ypres' debut EP hold up nine years later? Well, I can safely say that this is the heaviest pound for pound release of their career to date, but at the same time, their sound has evolved a lot since then. 2/3rds of this lineup have long since moved on, and it wasn't until David Gold emerged from the drumkit to pick up the rhythm guitar and microphone that a lot of the doom metal influences emerged, so this is only a subsection of the sound they've came to embody in present years. Even back in their 2002 infancy, Woods of Ypres played black metal differently than most, using nature, the seasons, and personal feelings as lyrical influences, with no makeup to be found, and these topics bled from their music! Brian McManus' guitar work was never crushing, but it didn't have to be, as it was always melodic and felt like it fit the mood that Woods of Ypres were trying to set. His vocals were very good for black metal, employing the evil and harsh tone that it's best known for, and Aaron Palmer's singing was similarly good! Though we only heard it on the last 3 songs, he had a deep voice that suited the songs, especially on "A Meeting Place & Time", which was a good showcase for his vocal work. Aaron's bass work on the other hand felt buried on many songs, but when you could hear it, it came through well!

David Gold showed the drum skills that only brightened Woods of Ypres' first three albums, showing relentlessly fast and proficient skills on each song! This was their first album, so it's natural to expect flaws though. Aaron's bass work was buried amongst the other instruments way too many times, and the earlier songs had moments where they dragged and got slightly repetitious. I can't speak for the original demo's quality, but this remastered 2005 version of "Against The Seasons" has great production, and Woods of Ypres fans should notice that! I know some people (myself included) enjoy the versions of these songs that newer David Gold-fronted lineups have played that feature more clean singing and heavier and deeper harsh vocals, but if you're a devoted black metal fan, you'll absolutely enjoy this album more than some of their later work. I recommend "Against The Seasons" especially for fans of "Woods III: The Deepest Roots & The Darkest Blues", as that's their other "black-centric" album, but any true Woods of Ypres fan will enjoy their debut on it's own merits! Though not the definitive portrait of their overall sound, "Against The Seasons" was a solid debut release that set the tone for their future heavier material, and definitely give it a spin for some solid Northern black metal!

So what are we reviewing next month? Again, I won't state anything right now, especially given the high amount of albums in the works or recorded but unreleased. For a preview of what could come out next month that we could review, click here to check out our "Where Are The New Albums?" post from earlier this month! Actually, our April update in this series is in exactly one week, so remember that! All of those, plus Destroilet's debut EP, are new releases that I know are at least partially recorded, so any of them could be next! The only exception would be a possible new Mike Haggith album, as it'd be too soon from our "Suspended Animation" review. As always, if more than one new local metal album comes out next month, the most prominent of the two will get the review. What if no new albums come out again though? If that is the case, I'll review Foothill Road's 1994 debut album "Seventy", to tie in with next month's local debut of guitarist Mario Carlucci's current band Sneaky Pete. So there you have it, next month's CD review, pencilled in for April 24th-30th, will either be Foothill Road or something brand new! Stay tuned for updates on that, and more!

I'll be back tomorrow with a new news post featuring some big updates from Dismembertainment. What's that? If you don't know, I'll tell you guys tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Late & Loud), Plus SMS March Mayhem Results & The Next Matchups!

Hey guys, it's time for our second post of three on this triple post Saturday! Remember to check out our news post featuring updates from Destroilet, Half A Man, Meatplow, and a special concert event this summer at the post below! The "Woods I" review is still on for later tonight as scheduled, and I have news ranging from Rich Moreland's new concert booking company to the latest band switch at an upcoming concert for a news post tomorrow as well, so stay tuned for all of that! Now to this latest post, beginning with a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Two weeks before hitting The Oddfellows Hall for The Sewer Swampstravaganja, local classic metal quartet Late & Loud will return to the stage TONIGHT at Foggy Notions! I apologize for the short notice, word on this concert didn't come out until yesterday afternoon. It's nice to see Late & Loud getting so many bookings at Foggy Notions, but I wish they'd let us know about them with more advance warning than just a day. Oh well, a show's a show, so make it to Foggy's tonight if you can for some entertaining heavy metal! They're on tonight at 11:00 PM, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit their Facebook page! I still have to make it out to see them one of these days, be it on April 9th at The Oddfellows Hall or sooner! I've always been a fan of Brendan Christie's solo work, the band have good chemistry from the videos I've seen, and hopefully tonight's show is a success! Check the above links for more, and when I find embeddable video footage of Late & Loud in action, I'll have it here!

And now, it's time to update our SMS March Mayhem tournament brackets! Yes, our poll tournament between 28 local metal bands is now down to 24 following the end of our first week of voting, and I want to thank all of you guys for the enthusiastic voting numbers so far! We got 20 or more votes in all of the first 4 polls from the opening round, and I've heard mostly good things from readers about the tournament, so thank you all so much! So, what were the final totals for the first 4 matchups? Here they are!

The Bear Hunters def. Bring The Fallen 17-16
Browbeat 101 def. Caveman Morrison 14-6
Destroilet def. Changing Waves 21-5
Frightlight def. Gates of Winter 46-22

What do you guys think? I'm honestly surprised that Caveman Morrison didn't pull in more votes, but the Browbeat 101 support is encouraging for them! I assume Changing Waves' low totals are more due to local unfamiliarity at this point, as they are relatively young, but still, Destroilet had the biggest win of these four matchups by point ratio! The Bear Hunters' just narrowly edging out Bring The Fallen was interesting, especially given that this matchup went both ways all week! As for Frightlight vs. Gates of Winter, it's just the joy of where they were seeded, as both of their totals would have had them beating any other band from the opening polls! But Frightlight fans pulled through to ensure a victory with 46 votes, so they're moving on to the second round! Thanks again to everyone for voting! Now, here's the updated bracket for SMS March Mayhem!

As you can see, The Bear Hunters will now face As It Stands in the second round of the tournament, thanks to As It Stands' first round bye. Browbeat 101 will face off with Destroilet in the next round, and Frightlight will clash with Garden of Bedlam, who also received a first round bye. Those polls begin in two weeks, along with Lion Ride vs. either Half Past or Late & Loud, so remember that! A couple more bracket notes: I obviously added "101" to Browbeat's name to reflect their recent name change, the bracket modification for the Frightlight/Gates/Garden section is just to reflect alphabetical order given Frightlight's victory, and biggest of all, I restored Turner Up to their old spot in the tournament, now that they are in fact still active. Apologies to Skull After Betrayal, I'll make it up to you guys! With that said, the next four 1st round polls for March Mayhem are now online, and the same rules apply as before. You have one week to vote, it's one vote per person, and pick your favourite band in each of the four matchups below with the polls on your left!

Can newcomers Late & Loud surprise Half Past with a victory in the opening round? Will Mike Cliffe's experimental hard rock trump the industrial sounds of Riverin? In this battle of local hard rock trios, will Sativa Rose's classic metal overcome SBD's experimental grunge stylings? And despite their long hiatus from the stage, can Sense of Truth deliver a knockout blow to rising grimecore rockers Shit Liver? The Half Past/Late & Loud winner faces Lion Ride in two weeks, the Cliffe/Riverin & Sativa Rose/SBD winners will face each other in three weeks, and the SoT/Shit Liver winner faces the winner of next week's Sneaky Pete/State of Misery match in three weeks. So there are our latest March Mayhem first round battles, and to vote, the polls are on your left! VOTE TODAY, YOU HAVE ONE WEEK!

(Apologies to Late & Loud for the "logo", as I haven't seen an official logo for them yet, so I just made up a wordmark to fit the picture. If one pops up, I'll add it!)

That's all for now, but VOTE IN THE NEW TOURNAMENT POLLS TODAY, and stay tuned for our review of Woods of Ypres' debut EP later tonight! Thanks everyone!

News From Destroilet, Half A Man, Meatplow, And A New Festival!

Get ready, guys, for this is a triple post Saturday! We'll start today with a new news post featuring some new scattered updates. we'll have some more news and the latest March Mayhem updates this afternoon (YOU HAVE UNTIL 2:15 TO VOTE!!), and then tonight, our review of Woods of Ypres' debut EP "Against The Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From The Dead Summer Heat"! This is a big day, hope you guys come back frequently today! Now, to the news, as we have new pages, new songs, new concert details, new videos, and kicking things off, a new concert event! Here's what you need to know!

On June 25th, a special concert event will take place at Dondee Lanes in Sault Michigan named LemmaFest, and apologies to everyone if I'm missing or misstating anything here. The event is being held in memory of Michael Lemma, a Dondee employee who tragically passed away on July 2nd of last year at just 38 years of age. He was a funny, well liked, and respected guy that was frequently seen at area concerts, and his loss was definitely felt in the Sault Michigan area last summer. From this sprung the first annual LemmaFest, which will be held on June 25th at the Dondee, and it will be an all day concert, with bands playing from 12:00 PM to 2:00 AM! Other events like a 50/50 draw, prizes, special bowling deals, horseshoes, and beach volleyball are also planned. I'm not aware of an admission price yet, I'll keep you all posted on that. I never knew Mike, but from everything I've seen and heard, I can tell he deserves all the love and respect that people are giving him, and this is a great way to honour his memory one year later! As for bands, a full schedule and official announcements on most bands aren't out yet, but I have seen visible interest and preliminary confirmation from hard rock acts Half A Man, Scofflaw, and River Witch, along with other area bands The Hixx and Fallen Heroes, so make note of their likely involvement!

I can't speculate too much on other possible bands, but as word trickles in, I'll let you guys know! This sounds like a great event for a great purpose, and I will absolutely keep you guys posted as more official word comes in! For more details, visit the official Facebook page, event page, and fan page in Mike's memory!

Next up, are you guys craving a new local metal or hard rock album already? This isn't quite that, but it'll do until it comes out, as Destroilet have posted unmastered mixes of every song from their upcoming debut EP onto their MySpace page! Their originals "Hypocrite" and "My Life" along with their cover of The Billy Bastards' "Mile 58" are now available to stream on there along with the previously posted tracks, so now you can hear the whole EP before it's release! Of course, things won't be 100% the same though from the final copy, as these are unmastered mixes. That's why I'm not rushing to review it immediately, there are changes and improvements to come before the CD pressing begins, but Destroilet have moved at a rapid pace to get this material out there! The EP only clocks in at around 13 minutes long, which isn't as short on the whole as six Detroit songs, for example, but it will still will fly by, especially with only one song exceeding 3 minutes in length! What do I think of the new songs? Again, I'll hold complete thoughts until the EP actually comes out, but if you enjoyed the first three demos for the EP, your opinion will be the same on the latest three! Check the above links for more details, and remember to vote for them to make The Warped Tour's Montreal stop at this location!

Thirdly today, have you been wondering what's been up with the local metal band Meatplow? Honestly, so have I, especially given their long break from real band news. Guitarist Dennis Porter frequently posted links to the same videos I shown you early last year on his personal Facebook page, which sounded promising, but nothing new has popped up until this month! Five very short HD videos of recent jam sessions were uploaded by singer/drummer Phil Temporao (ex-Amethyst) onto his YouTube channel over the past week, and they do show and tell us some more! They tell us that they were recorded in what is now called GreenTown Digital Recordz, which appears to be Phil's name for their recording studio, but nothing implying the name Meatplow is thrown about in the videos. Same members though! The new videos are a heavy groove metal improv section, a clip of a cover of Alice In Chains' "Them Bones", a bass solo with drum accompaniment, a drum solo, and a short guitar riff, so click each link to check them out!

Again, guitarist Mike Thiffault (I think that's his last name) isn't in any of these videos, but they again show the unique promise that Meatplow had from last year! Phil's vocals are heavy and suit their original improv songs, the songs still retain a groove/industrial feel, and everything fits as well as I'd expect! I wonder what we'll hear next from Meatplow (if this is in fact still their name) and GreenTown Digital Recordz? Check the above links for more, and here's a clip of Phil and Dennis jamming out some improv groove metal!

Finally, here's some new Half A Man news! The Brimley hard rock quartet have been keeping busy recently with lots of scattered updates and developments, including a ton of new logo concepts (judge for yourself at their Facebook page), but there's some other interesting news to share! For one, the band was talking about doing some touring and possibly taking part in a self-organized local concert featuring them, Detroit hard rockers Fifth Way (featuring Saultite Zak Stelmaszek), and a major headlining band from their own contacts. They threw Skid Row out there as a possibility, but this is talk at the moment. It'd be cool if it happened though, so click the above links to join this conversation! As well, their April 16th headlining concert at The Merchant's Bar (poster on the left) has been bolstered with the addition of a new band making their live debut as openers! Originally hyped as a "secret" opening band, I can now confirm that they are called Great Bodily Harm! The band will feature former Hammerspace singer Kirk Labadie, former Half A Man drummer Doug Reed on guitar, River Witch guitarist Chris Leask on bass, and End of Existence frontman Bob "Orb Hearthstone" Helsten on drums! How's that for a supergroup of sorts? No word on them beyond the members, but if I hear more, I'll let you know! Check out the above links for all of this Half A Man news, and more!

That's all for now, but stay tuned this afternoon for our second of three posts today, as we hopefully cover some more news, as well as unveil the results of the first four March Mayhem opening round matches, and start the voting for the next four! Remember, you have until 2:15 PM TODAY to vote, so if you want to help swing the results the other way, or secure victory for the current leaders, you still have time! VOTE TODAY, and I'll see you guys real soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lots Of Woods Of Ypres News And Updates!

It's an all Woods of Ypres post today at The Sault Metal Scene! As it turns out, there's a LOT of stuff that I couldn't just spread out from post to post, so I have to get at least one Woods-centric post in to cover some of this news! So today, we have the latest video footage from their current tour, a lengthy audio interview, some new "Woods IV" reviews, and a big confirmation for thisd Saturday, so let's get this post off the ground!

Metal Injection contributor Atanamar Sunyata (who reviewed "Woods IV" last month) has posted three new videos from Woods of Ypres' concert last week at The Bowery Electric in New York City onto his YouTube channel! These include videos of the band playing their songs "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground", "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" & "Halves & Quarters" and "Wet Leather", so click on each link to check them out! The video quality isn't bad, you get a decent angle of the band on each clip, almost suspended over the crowd! The big problem with these is that the audio is muffled, especially on "Wet Leather", with David's vocals almost sounding inaudible. Overall though, the videos are fairly good, I just wish the audio quality matched the video quality! Check the above links for more, and here's Atanamar's video of Woods of Ypres playing "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)" & "Halves & Quarters"!

Next up is a brand new audio interview with Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold, and this has to be the longest audio interview I've EVER heard for SMS purposes! This was conducted with's Jason Wellwood on March 9th, the day before their concert at The Roosevelt Hotel, and it's no less than 38 minutes and 33 seconds long, as broken up into 5 videos on Hellbound's YouTube channel! In my quest to make sure I have informed and accurate information on here, I listened to every inch of this interview, and without giving too much away, here's what to look out for! Part 1 of the interview features David talking about the band's recent press junket, their connections to Sault Ste. Marie, David's general living conditions of recent years, and rough details of their recording and touring plans for 2011, including a rough estimate on when we could expect "Woods V". Part 2 features David discussing Woods of Ypres' signing with Earache Records and his teaching work in Kuwait last fall, along with how both impacted the band then and now. Part 3 was focused solely on "Woods V", it's status in terms of what was recorded last year, what has changed, and what to expect from it when it does come out. Part 4 has David talking about the end of their "do it yourself" mentality, working with Earache Records, what he wants "Woods IV" to mean for them, and the possibility of Earache reissuing the first three Woods of Ypres albums. Finally, Part 5 features some discussions about Woods of Ypres' struggles with their Thunder Bay concerts, the Madden brothers' border travels, and info on some of the contributing artists on "Woods IV". Click the above links for each chunk of the interview!

It's a nice long interview with lots of well spoken answers and statements from David Gold, but a couple things would have been nice to add, like more "Woods IV" background from it's recording sessions, and insight into last year's "fake breakup". As well, each segment of the interview ends abruptly without continuing in the next video from where they left off, so there are missing parts. Overall though, it's a very good interview, if you can listen to it for 38 minutes straight! I'll embed the first part of the interview below, but the above links will direct you to the rest of it if you want to check it out, so give the first part of David's interview a listen!

Now, to some newer reviews of "Woods IV: The Green Album"! Laura Wiebe of Exclaim! Magazine gave a second look to the album after previously discussing it after it's initial release. She praises the album's atmosphere and scope, calling it "utterly satisfying" in this brief review of "W4", which you can read at this location! Dan Marsicano from Heavy Metal praised "The Green Album" as "an emotional roller coaster" that can relate to anyone with relationship issues, though he did note that it runs out of steam late and can be exhausting. Positive review though, click here to check it out! Also, independent reviewer Zach Boucher (a.k.a. Vision & The Voice) posted a video review of "Woods IV" onto his YouTube channel on Wednesday, which you can check out at this location! Zach seems to be reviewing this on the fly, and he gets a couple points wrong here and there, but it's a good review, where he recommends the album to Type O Negative fans & doom and stoner metal fans! Finally, I came across two French reviews of "W4", so I recommend running them through Google Translate to get a rough idea of what is said if you're not fluent in French. A review on Pavilion 666 gave the album a 9/10 , with high points scored for it's emotional content, while a review on Metal France got a 4/5 score, and they described the CD as "a metal rich & varied flora". Good stuff, check the above links for all the new reviews!

And finally, I'd like to officially announce that TOMORROW'S CD review on The Sault Metal Scene will be for Woods of Ypres' 2002 debut EP "Against The Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From The Dead Summer Heat"! With no new local metal or hard rock albums to speak of this month (surprisingly), I decided to dip into the Sault Ontario archives for the first time since our Tym Morrison CD review last June, and fittingly, I wanted to tie in this month's review with a local concert. Woods of Ypres' local return on March 10th fit perfectly, and now, "Woods I" will get a long overdue look on the SMS on Saturday! Is it surprising that this will be our first Woods of Ypres CD review in almost 16 months? Hopefully it won't take that long to get to "Woods V" upon its eventual release! So look out for that at some point on Saturday, it should be a good one! That's all for now, but in case there's no news post later tonight, there will be one Saturday, I guarantee it! That day, we also close down the current March Mayhem polls and launch the next 4, as we continue to find out who's graduating to the second round of this tournament, so stay tuned for that as well! Thanks everyone!