Saturday, April 30, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Half A Man) & The SMS March Mayhem Semifinals!!

Hey guys, I apologize for this being later than it usually is, but that's the joys of vacation plans. This post shall lead off with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, but then we'll transition into the latest SMS March Mayhem updates, including the debut of the final four! Let's get things going!

Brimley hard rockers Half A Man are playing a rare all ages concert on The Fourth of July! This will serve as both an official outdoor show and as a Fourth of July barbeque to take place at 6816 South Main Street in Brimley. I believe this is likely at or near a band member's house, but don't quote me on that. This event has a 1:00 PM start time, but I imagine the band might not play until later. It is definitely an ALL AGES show, and there is no listed admission price. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a fun time, and what better way is there to spend both Independence Day & the SMS' 4th anniversary? Details aren't entirely out there yet for what's going on, but stay tuned to the above links for info as it comes in!

Now it's time to update the SMS March Mayhem bracket as we finish the quarterfinals, narrowing the bands down to a final four! Who made the final four? Here's the results of the third round!

As It Stands def. Destroilet 35-17
Frightlight def. Lion Ride 39-19
Mike Cliffe def. Shit Liver 109-106
Sykotyk Rampage def. WinkStinger 48-22

What do you guys think? As It Stands' victory is what I predicted, though it was a bit more of a blowout than I was predicting. Destroilet had a good run though! Same goes for the Frightlight/Lion Ride match in terms of the finish, as I thought Lion Ride would have at least lost by a closer amount. Mike Cliffe's surprising Cinderella run continues with a stunningly high vote total, narrowingly beating Shit Liver in this past round! Who'd have thought we'd get over 200 votes on a matchup? Sykotyk Rampage's win of WinkStinger is also a surprise, though their fanbase is quite devoted! So these are the quarterfinal winners, and here's the updated tournament bracket!

As you can see, the winners of last week's first two matchups and the winners of the last two matchups will face each other, starting TODAY, in fact! With that said, here are the matchups for the SMS March Mayhem Semifinals!

Can Frightlight continue their gauntlet run in the tournament with a victory over hardcore mainstays As It Stands? And in the battle of surprise semifinalists, can Mike Cliffe pull off yet another upset victory as he takes on Sykotyk Rampage? The winners of these matchups face off in ONE WEEK in the finals, so VOTE TODAY and pick your finalists! That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news very soon! Thanks everyone, and GET VOTING!

More Assorted News & And Updates From Woods Of Ypres!

Hey guys, here's the first of (likely) two posts today, as we cap off another busy month at the SMS! If predictions hold up, we'll finish the las two months with 74 combined posts, which is awesome! Thanks for swinging by over the spring! I do want to note that the second post today, which will debut the March Mayhem tournament semifinals, will probably be late due to prior commitments (vacation plans and such, I doubt I'll be around a computer this afternoon), so there will be an extra few hours of voting today for the quarterfinals. That said, here's the first post of the day, and it's another Woods of Ypres-centric post, including tons of new CD reviews, and some more news, so here's what you should know!

Firstly, this isn't exactly a new "video", but it does give an interesting new interpretation on a Woods of Ypres song! Last year, you may remember when SoundCloud user anomaly88 posted ambient slowed down versions of two "Woods IV" tracks, which you can still check out at this location. Well, I doubt this is the same person, but YouTube user NightShadeGrimm has made their own ambient remix of a "Woods IV" song, and it's now on their YouTube channel to check out! It's a slowed down ambient version of "You Are Here With Me" (In This Sequence Of Dreams", which has been mechanically slowed down by about 350% to produce a 7 minute ambient dirge! If you don't appreciate extremely slow and methodical ambiances, you probably won't appreciate what's been done here, but what NightShadeGrimm made has a haunting effect going for it! This may not be your cup of tea, but check out this new ambient Woods of Ypres track below!

Now to some brand new "Woods IV: The Green Album" reviews! I'm badly behind on these, so let's not waste too much time! Firstly, Daryl Adolph of Metal Temple gave "Woods IV" 9 out of 10 in a March 26th review, meaning "Almost Perfect" on their rating scale! He admitted not being impressed with Woods of Ypres initially a few years ago, but highly praised their doomy bleakness, stating that they're turning metal into "a true artistic form"! As well, Marcel H. from the metal e-zine Lords Of Metal reviewed "W4" earlier this month, opting not to score it. He praised it's sounds and instrumentation, but seemed to base the lack of a score on it's running time of 78 minutes, saying it dragged on and became monotonous. Constructive criticism which has merit, but the lack of a score seems wrong to me. Click here to see his review! On a more postive note, Sam Thor Rhodes from the website SoundShock gave "The Green Album" 7.5/10, calling it a good place to first experience doom metal, while also tying in a lot of the album's themes to war, which is an interesting view! His description of what you'll like if you like this album is amusing itself! Click here to read this review as well!

Continuing with "Woods IV" reviews, former Metal Edge editor Phil Freeman's review of the album is available to read at this location (among other sites.) He compares David Gold's voice to Brad Roberts of The Crash Test Dummies, and though he did have some criticisms, he called the obsessive gloom "hypnotic", recommending the CD for "those who are sick of fun." Interesting viewpoint! As well, "Guido" of the metal blog Dose of Metal reviewed "W4" briefly on April 5th in that week's Spotlight post, giving it 4 skulls out of 5! He admitted being fond of the depressing lyrics, praised the transition in sounds, and said he enjoyed it "as much as you can enjoy songs about suicide & loss." Check the above link for more from that review! Finally for today, Mathias Freiesleben from the German metal site gave "W4" 9/10 in this review from April 6th! It's in German, but a quick run through Google Translate will make it somewhat readable. It's positive in tone, but kinda long, especially when the translations come out jumbled like they did for me. Still, check it out and see what you can decipher!

Let's close with some assorted Woods of Ypres stories! I was hoping to include interviews here, but both the ones I was hoping to feature aren't loading for me, though I have more stuff to share! One is a very well written article on Woods of Ypres by the metal website Unseen Underground, which concisely details the band's history, evolution, and sound! Also including some nice interview excerpts from David Gold, check the above links to give it a look! I'll finish with some new Woods of Ypres concert photos from their most recent East Coast tour leg, including this extensive album from Woods of Ypres' set in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 17th by Return To The Pit, and these photos taken by blogger Phil M. Noir from their New York City show the previous day! The Return To The Pit photos are awesome & high in number, but Phil's have merit too even if the quality is lesser! Check the above links for all these, and more!

That's all for now, but stay tuned later today (at some point) for a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and the newest SMS March Mayhem updates! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

As promised, here's the rest of this weekend's concert previews, including the metal and hard rock concerts taking place tomorrow & Saturday night! Remember, for a preview of TONIGHT'S Roosevelt Hotel metal night, check the post below this one. Let's not waste anymore time, here's what you need to know! (EDITED: 12:17 AM)

We start with a major all ages concert at The Oddfellows Hall tomorrow night, featuring the return of a prominent Ontario hardcore band! The band in question is Dead & Divine, who'll return to The Oddfellows Hall in Sault Ontario for the first time since 2008 to unleash some hardcore fury on their local fans! Their profile' gotten much higher since their last two local shows, and with a new album on the way this summer, they'll sound better than ever on Friday night! Three local metal bands have been pegged as openers, including hardcore quintet As It Stands (who also opened for Dead & Divine in their 2007 & 2008 shows), and rising death metal acts The Bear Hunters and State of Misery, who'll all be ready to set the tone with some brutal metal tomorrow night! Actually, this show on the whole is a lot heavier in terms of opener content than the last two were, which each featured indie bands and no death metal, so if you crave aggression, this one will bring it wall to wall! Tickets are basically SOLD OUT for this show, but from what I understand, a limited amount of tickets will be available for the $12 door price. Remember, this show is ALL AGES, doors open at 6:30 PM, and State of Misery open at 7:00 PM! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

With Crank Sound Distribution in tow, tons of hype, and four very entertaining bands, the buzz and anticipation for this concert is very high, and if I could be in town for this show, I would be! If you have your tickets, have a great time, and if you don't, try your best to find one! Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Dead & Divine's music video for their song "Like Wolves"!

Now to a pair of bands rocking the Sault area for weekend sets, and we'll start in Sault Michigan, where Marquette hard rockers Nudge are returning this weekend! Following a pair of solo acoustic shows from frontman Danzo McCracken yesterday and TONIGHT, the full band will rock The Satisfied Frog for two nights of hard hitting rock covers! These are actually their first local shows in a few months to feature the full band present, after their "three-piece" weekend last month and a cancelled February concert weekend, so there's added incentive to check them out either tomorrow night or Saturday night! Each show has a 10:00 PM start time, no announced cover charge, and a 21+ age limit. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and yes, they are guaranteed to be fully clothed, just as the poster says! Nudge are an entertaining band, and they should have some great covers and classics in store for local fans this weekend at The Frog! Check them out this weekend if you can, and for a preview, here's Nudge covering Ozzy Osbourne's "Mama, I'm Coming Home"!

Also scheduled for this weekend is Turner Up's latest concert weekend, as they are scheduled to play Docks Riverfront Grill for the first time since their new lineup's debut, featuring new singer KT Antler, new guitarist Kyle McKey, and founding member Robert Brown now primarily on bass. The weekend shows are, of course, tomorrow night and Saturday night, with 19+ age limits, 10:30 PM start times, and a likely $4 cover charge either night. There was some ambiguity about these shows with the initial lack of promotion, but a Facebook event page was just launched a few minutes ago, so no need to fear! It also shows us the first photo we've seen of the current lineup too (also on your right.) It's nice to get a visual of the band's current formation! I've heard great things about the new lineup, and I'd expect a solid weekend of classic hard rock from them this weekend! Stay tuned for more from Turner Up as it comes in, especially where new video footage is concerned!

Finally for this weekend, how's about some glam metal to spend your Saturday night? After 7 months away from the Soo, Toronto based Motley Crue tribute band Crued are coming back to town for a night of hair metal mayhem at The Canadian Nightclub on Saturday! No strangers to Sault Ste. Marie, Crued will bring a very authentic looking and sounding Motley Crue experience to fans this Saturday, and they are definitely the next best thing to a return show by the real deal! Unlike their last local shows, this one will have two openers, including (surprisingly enough) the return of Dirty Virgin! Absolutely one of the best genre matches you could make for this type of show, Dirty Virgin's 2009-2010 lineup will make their long awaited return after a 17 month hiatus to rock the stage with their glam and punk hybrid sound that we've missed locally! As well, local punk band Motion Carried will play their second opening set in four days as well, in what is sort of a curious addition to the lineup, but their talents speak for themselves, so don't miss them either! This is a 19+, it starts at 10:00 PM on Saturday night, and I imagine a cover charge of $5 or less will be in effect. Click here for more details!

Why sit at home listening to The Hair Scare (as great as it is) when you can enjoy live hair metal of this calibre? Go check out Crued, The Notorious Motley Crue Tribute, and talented openers on Saturday, I'd go if I could myself! For a preview, here's Crued playing the Motley Crue classic "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" in June!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for news from Woods of Ypres, this week's (overdue) classic video, and more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Concert Previews, New Pages, And A Woods Of Ypres Note!!

Hey everyone, it's time for some more local metal news, as we get back into a normal groove following yesterday's Clownsack EP review! I decided to split the weekend concert previews up a bit to spread them out and not overload them into one post, so today, we'll only preview the concerts taking place tonight or tomorrow night, with shows on Friday or Saturday being previewed in a separate post tomorrow. So today's top stories are those concert previews, but stay tuned afterwards for news on two new pages and an interesting older note on Woods of Ypres! Let's get things going!

For concert previews, we'll begin TONIGHT at Coch's Corner, as a local horror punk/metal quintet returns to the stage as support for a major touring punk act! Yes, Frightlight are back to take the Coch's stage for their first non-secret show there since adding Kevin "St. Mayhem" Powe to the band, as they open up for Southern Ontario hardcore punk rockers The Endprogram tonight! The Endprogram are an energetic hard hitting punk band, and they'll be sure to rock the Sault much like they did two years ago when they opened for SNFU at The Grand Theater! Also opening tonight are local punk trio Motion Carried, giving Rick "Styles" White double duty as their drummer and as Frightlight's guitarist tonight. If you loved The Scary Uncles, or just punk in general, Motion Carried will be up your alley! This show is a 19+ affair, there is no cover charge, and it all starts at 10:00 PM TONIGHT! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a fun night of punk with a metal and hardcore essence, especially with Frightlight, so definitely consider stopping at Coch's Corner tonight! Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's the band's current lineup playing "Fright Night" at The Sewer Swampstravaganja!

Also, the 13th Thursday metal night at The Roosevelt Hotel is TOMORROW NIGHT, but hopefully the fact that it's the 13th isn't a bad omen for it! Actually, if you're looking for some different bands than you've seen in recent weeks at The Rosie, this show should be up your alley, so here's who to look out for! Headlining tomorrow night is local metal quartet Sativa Rose, in their first Roosevelt Hotel concert appearance in over 4 months, and their first with new guitarist Anthony Orazietti! Nice to see them get a prime spot like this, they'll be sure to devastate with their new originals and well played covers! Also joining them tomorrow will be Changing Waves, themselves making their first Rosie appearance with new bassist Terrence Gomes. I was impressed with their increasing diversity with their sound, here's hoping they deliver a solid set tomorrow! Rounding out the lineup is local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, replacing State of Misery in their Dismemembertainment AND Rosie debut! This is their last show until the summer, so if you liked them in their past gigs, or wanna see some entertaining old school metal, don't miss them tomorrow! As always, this show has no cover charge, a 19+ age limit, and a 9:30 PM start time. Click here for more details!

This should be a fun concert and a change of pace if you crave more classic sounds, so definitely consider this show! For a preview, I was gonna embed one of their high quality videos from the Sewer Swampstravaganja, but they were made private, oddly enough, so here's my video from that night of the band playing their original "Fall From Grace"!

Speaking of Changing Waves-related topics, here's a pair of new pages I recently came across! One is their new Facebook page, which is formatted like a fan page rather than their sparsely-updated "personal account" style page. This is brand new, with only one posting so far (it's about the show tomorrow), but it does feature update bio information that the other page doesn't have! It also has a good photo selection, but they're all from Devan Lauzon's time with the band. Click here to get connected, let's expand on their current total of 4 fans! As well, Sault Michigan music store Grooves Music has launched a second Facebook page, which strikes me as odd given that their original Facebook page is still active. Hell, the last two posts on both are exactly the same! The only major differences I'm seeing are a slightly different logo, some "check-ins" from fans, and adjusted hours. I imagine this might become the store's primary site, so check the above links to get hooked up!

Finally for today, I have a note that I wanted to share from Woods of Ypres! I contemplated adding this to our next Woods-centric post, but considering it's age, I decided to separate it from more recent band news. When you think about Woods of Ypres' back catalog, you don't tend to think of covers, live or studio, but a number of sites have reported that the band recorded a cover of Bathory's "Lake Of Fire", for a 2006 tribute album named "A Tribute From The Hordes To Bathory". The song originally came from the pioneering Swedish black/viking metal band's 2001 CD "Destroyer of Worlds", and you can click here to listen to Bathory's original version. Sites like Blabbermouth promoted the planned track listing for this 2-disc 27 song package, but by the time it was released, 5 songs were removed, and 2 were added to the final product, with one of the removed songs being Woods of Ypres' contribution (source here.) What happened to the "Lake Of Fire" cover? I don't know, I can't find official band statements referring to it, but it must have at least been partly recorded given that it was on early track listings. I think Woods of Ypres could pull this song off really well, it has that doomy melodic quality that they do so well, hopefully the Bathory cover surfaces down the road! Check the above links for more, and if you have more background info on this rare Woods of Ypres cover song, let me know!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more concert previews tomorrow, plus a Woods of Ypres-centric post and more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clownsack - "Funny Farm" Review!!

It's time for our 22nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and after a two month stretch of archive reviews, we have a brand new album to take a look at for the month of April! This month's review is of inactive Sault Michigan hard rockers Clownsack's only EP and final release "Funny Farm"! The band's second CD following 2006's debut full length album "Rotten Candy", it was recorded over the past two years and completed earlier this spring. Produced by Fran Blackwood with drum production by former Clownsack drummer Bob "Orb" Helsten, the album was independently released earlier this month. "Funny Farm" features Clownsack's 2008-2010 lineup, including Schloppy on vocals, Butter Cookie on guitar, Slappy on bass, and Skronko on drums, in his only appearance on a Clownsack album. Note that the band's final second guitarist Sparxx is not on this release, likely having joined after guitar tracks were recorded. Like with my review of "Rotten Candy" last year, note that Clownsack dressed up as & took on the names/personas of clowns, without public mentions of their real identity, so I will again honour that in this review.

Likely not in print currently, I believe limited quantities of "Funny Farm" can be purchased at Grooves Music, while their MySpace page has the whole EP available to stream, but keep your eyes peeled for other physical/download copies! Only 5 songs here, clocking in at just over 20 minutes in length, so let's begin this review with the first track, "Bring It On"! (Updated on November 8th, 2012)

"Bring It On" starts with thunderstorm sound effects and background screaming before the opening riff kicks in, which is catchy! Schloppy's vocals come in out of nowhere, and just like on "Rotten Candy", he brings that solid voice that has a punk-ish edge to it, but here, he seems to be singing a bit more aggressively than I remember. Actually, the song as a whole is fairly heavy compared to their 2006 material, especially thanks to some very heavy riffing from Butter Cookie! The first verses are pretty good, but not too varied beyond the guitar work. 1:40 into the track, we get a bit of humour as Schloppy announces an MMA matchup between a clown and a mime before launching back into the song! On it's own, "Bring It On" is a very nice song, but it's too short (less than 2:30 in length) and except for the "Clown vs. Mime" announcing break, it's fairly predictable once you hear the first verse & chorus. That said, it's also heavier than most of the past Clownsack songs I've heard, seemingly eschewing many of the funk sounds they had on "Rotten Candy"! Good sign, especially with longer and hopefully more substantial songs to come on the disc!

Second is "Blow My Big Top", which restores some funk from the get-go with a nice (though short) bass solo from Slappy before unleashing the rock! From the start, this resembles more classic Clownsack than "Bring It On", including some sexual innuendos and some bouncier and more energetic verses! Slappy really shines here, and Schloppy's vocals work well, but I have to say, the choruses don't get me as much. They're too slow and reserved, almost like an intended tone wasn't achieved. The chorus of "Clown Sauce" (for example) fit way better, I'd have made it more energetic and higher tempo. Aside from that, "Blow My Big Top" is a great song that flies by while you enjoy it, and the band (chorus aside) are on the tops of their games! I'd like to see a guitar solo from Butter Cookie, but hey, you take what you can get. Awesome song, definitely give it a listen!

The third song on "Funny Farm" is "I Live In A Drawer", which is about, well, living in a drawer! The song has a bouncy and poppy sort of riff that also manages to be heavy, with noisy drums mixed in! Good stuff, but everything seems to blend together, especially on the chorus. That said, te choruses ratchet up the heaviness compared to the verses, and they flow really well together! 1:04 into the song, we finally get a Butter Cookie guitar solo, which is really cool, though it almost seems a bit muted, and it comes earlier than you'd expect in the song. Schloppy's vocals, though mostly on one note, match the tone of the song really well, and show off his aggressive "talking" singing excellently! At just over 3 minutes in length, they still manage to pack everything into this song, including some false endings & enough variance to satisfy fans of their harsher and funkier material alike! Good stuff!

Fourth on the EP is "Ice Cream Man Cereal Killer", which is about, well, an ice cream man who's also a serial killer! A slower song compared to the first three, the verses are very reserved with funk bass and minimal instrumentation otherwise, with some interesting vocals. The choruses ratchet back to a heavy pace, with Schloppy's pseudo-rap vocals meshing well with the very heavy riffing and some nice licks from Butter Cookie! The verses strike me as a mood breaker though compared to the choruses, almost like this song is the opposite of "Blow My Big Top." 2:30 into the track, Butter Cookie unleashes another solo, which is longer, more amplified, and very well played! The ending is abrupt though, which could have been fixed. Not the best song on "Funny Farm", but the amusing lyrics, choruses, and guitar solo help it to get a passing grade!

The EP's final song is "Down", which is by far the longest song on the disc, clocking in at 7:10 in length! The song starts off really heavy, with the riffing actually sounding like it's going downward. Schloppy's vocals seem very reserved, with him mostly clean singing for the verses and choruses at different vocal levels. The band seem to be playing on a lower level too, it's not really a heavy track overall, but just enough to make it a rocker. Skronko's drumming's good, but everything else until Butter Cookie's solo 2 minutes in just seem on a down note, like the song's title. Great solo though! You'd assume the song would be ending after 4 minutes, as it had your usual song structure and seemed to be leading to a fade-out, but boom, there's some nice "upward" sounding guitar sections leading to another guitar solo, and a long one at that! Where were these on the first two songs? Around 5:30 into the song, things start slowly fading out, concluding "Funny Farm" with more screaming, thunderstorm sounds, and random horror sound effects, ending with a clown horn honking. Strong ending to this song, though it really felt like an extended version of what should have been a 4 minute track. The ending was solid though, and everything came full circle!

So what did I think of Clownsack's second CD? Well, I give them credit for seemingly making their sound heavier than on "Rotten Candy"! I guess in the five years between albums, they wanted to go that route, and for the most part, it works well! The band sound on their game here, and they continued to exhibit good chemistry! Whether singing or almost rapping, Schloppy's vocals complimented each song well, and he always shown a suitable attitude with his performances! Butter Cookie was outstanding on guitar for the most part, though his solos would have been welcome on more than just the last three tracks. He will be missed in Clownsack, his guitar work was a clear asset! Slappy's bass playing was funky and was great on each song, ensuring some good bass lines and low notes on each track, and Skronko's drumming flowed well on each song! Never too in the way, but always worth hearing, he's filled in for Scratchy (and Orb) well! "Blow My Big Top" and "I Live In A Drawer" were my highlights of the EP, but each song has their plusses, and you'll likely have your own favourites!

It's not a perfect release though, but no album is. I missed a lot of the funk influence that populated "Rotten Candy", and I felt at times that the heaviness was at the expense of removed funk elements. At times, the guitar playing seemed muted, and these tracks seem like they could use Sparxx to add another guitar layer, like I assume they have when played live. "Down" & "Ice Cream Man Cereal Killer" were too reserved and drawn out than they could have been, and "Rotten Candy" overall seemed to have a higher humour content than "Funny Farm" does. I think the short length doesn't help either, and after five years, why not make this a full length CD? The lack of enclosed lyrics and an "outtake" section were missed too, but those are minor. Still, I really did enjoy "Funny Farm", which shows Clownsack's increasing heaviness and the band's collective talents really well, and I can't wait to hear more! With more of a balance of this new heaviness level and their funk influences, their next material will be even better, mark my words! Definitely pick their new EP up whenever details come out for it, and thanks again to the band for the credit in the liner notes!

So I hope you guys enjoyed this month's CD review! As previously revealed on the SMS, our next CD review will be of Destroilet's debut EP, which was only just released this past weekend! To ensure a quick review and lots of time to see if more new albums come out for our summer review season, I will be reviewing the Destroilet EP NEXT WEEK, in the very first week of May! Stay tuned for that, and as new albums come out, I'll let you know about them! That's all for today, but stay tuned for a weekend concert preview post tomorrow, another Woods of Ypres-centric post, and more as news becomes available! Thanks everyone!

The End Of Bring The Fallen & Much More News!!

Hey guys, here's one more post before we (likely) post our latest CD review, which I have penciled in for later tonight! In this post, we have lots of assorted stories, including a lineup change at an upcoming concert, a new page for an old CD store in Sault Ontario, news from Abstract, and some new audio material from a pair of solo artists named Mike. First though, here's some disappointing news concerning one prominent local band.

Sault Ontario death metal quintet Bring The Fallen have officially disbanded. Frontman Josh Stephney announced this on his personal Facebook page yesterday afternoon, and just in case there was another side to the story, I confirmed the news with guitarist Dan Souliere via e-mail. He basically told me that the band's members are going to focus on personal matters that have made it difficult to devote time to the band, though some members do have some musical plans for the future. This sort of confirms rumours we've heard over the past few months that Bring The Fallen were close to disbanding, which coincided with some notable concert drop-outs during that span. What this means for their still-unreleased debut EP isn't known, but a release for it seems very unlikely now. This is very unfortunate news, especially given their talent and local success! Since their debut as The Undead Warriors in the spring of 2009, Bring The Fallen have had a lot of notable successes, including three Battle of the Bands victories out of four attempts through last spring, and playing a number of high profile concerts over the past two years! I consider them one of the bands that kick-started our growing death metal scene, and when they were on their game, with the full band present, they were hard to beat!

Be they The Undead (Brown Pelican) Warriors, Necropolis, Silent Plague, or Bring The Fallen, these guys gave us some great death metal over the past two years, and I'm not alone in saying they'll be missed! I'd hoped they'd stay together, especially after their successful Rosie show on April 14th, but maybe this will be the best option for the time being. Best of luck to Josh, Dan, Andrew, Nolan, and Travis in the future, and here's hoping they get back into the scene soon!

Well, that's a downer, but how about some good news to turn things around? This might work! There's been a band change for THIS THURSDAY'S Roosevelt Hotel metal night, so here's what you need to know. Local classic metal quartet Late & Loud have replaced State of Misery on the lineup for this Thursday's metal night, in what will be their first ever concert at The Rosie! A reason for the switch hasn't been given, but don't worry, State of Misery will be back out there the very next night at The Oddfellows Hall for the Dead & Divine show! For Late & Loud, this will not only be their first Rosie concert, but this will be their first Dismembertainment show of any kind, and it's actually their last concert until the summer, as drummer Josh Hatherly confirmed with me that the band's taking a two month break after this show. Nice to see them back out there, they were very good at The Sewer Swampstravaganja! Also, you may notice a few firsts at the metal night on Thursday besides Late & Loud's presence, as it will mark both Sativa Rose's first Rosie concert of 2011, and the first 19+ show for Changing Waves' current lineup! So head out to The Roosevelt Hotel for a different taste of metal this Thursday, and click here for more details!

Thirdly, here's some new solo songs from a pair of Sault Ontario solo guitarists named Mike! One is from Mike Cliffe, and it's his new song "Ruthfull Aggression"! This was honestly inspired by a comment I made about his last song "Goth-O-Funk" not having "ruthless aggression", though with a name alteration for it's sound. Interesting track, it has some circus-sounding riffs to start, some heavy atmospheric work, and some well performed "ruthfull aggression"! Mike continues to show his talents on this song, so visit his Reverbnation page to hear that and more of his solo material! The other solo Mike with a new song is Bear Hunters/Skull After Betrayal guitarist Mike Vincent, who uploaded a new solo song amusingly titled "Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich" onto his Reverbnation page as well! It's a slower, but heavy song, but it does get very repetitive. The drums are luckily not as much of a detraction as they were on "Cheese", and the song, if expanded on, could be a great base for a fuller track! Mike should diversifiy it a bit so lessen it's repetition, but it's an improvement! Check the above links for more on both Mike Cliffe & Vincent's solo projects!

Fourthly, here's the latest news from Sault Michigan hard rock quartet Abstract, who've made some big waves in recent months, especially given their young ages! One update is that the band have launched an official website! Started earlier this month, it features some basic band information, a bunch of photos, and some assorted other stuff. It's not too full yet, but give it a look at this location! As well, six photos of the band from a recent talent show at Soo Middle School on March 25th were posted by Mike McKee onto The Soo Evening News' website at this location, so give them a look! Nice to see some newspaper coverage for an event like this, and my apologies for missing it! Abstract actually took 1st place at this show, so congratulations to them! Check the above links to give the photos a look, and the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 13th photos are from their set. Is it odd that the sound guy is BEHIND the band when they're playing? For more, check out their official Facebook page, and stay tuned for updates on Abstract as I hear them!

Finally, do you guys remember when Sault Ste. Marie had a number of music stores? (albums, not instruments.) Now, we just have HMV and The Rad Zone, but we used to have a lot more than that, and one such CD store now has a posthumous Facebook page! So, who out there remembers Mister Disc? In operation from October 1988 to July 1999, this Great Northern Road record store was owned by Saultite Todd Gordon, who's since carved out a career as (believe it or not) a screenwriter in the Boston area! But for over a decade, Todd ran Mister Disc, a fondly remembered music store which is now on Facebook! Photos from the interior and exterior of the store are included, and they show off some cool posters, music selections, and even some innovations that later music stores hadn't adopted yet! Mister Disc was before my time in a respect, as it closed when I was 10 years old, so I was too young to really be into the music scene as I am now, but I do recall this store from my childhood. It looks like it was a great store, I wish I was my age now in the 1990s to enjoy this store at it's peak! I'm not the person to sing it's praises and talk about it though, check the Facebook page to look back at the good old days when music stores weren't as endangered as they're becoming!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our review of Clownsack's newest EP "Funny Farm" later today! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Dancing With Paris), Destroilet's New EP, And New Videos!!

It's time for some more news and videos, as we continue to give you guys more information and updates from the local metal scene! Today, we have new videos from a pair of prominent local bands, and the latest new local metal album that you can pick up, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!! Here's what you need to know!

This concert isn't really a "metal" show per say, but there is one band that I'd say crosses the "hardcore" line, so we'll give it the proper attention! Three Ontario touring bands will hit Foggy Notions on May 15th for an energetic night of music, including Toronto hardcore band Dancing With Paris! With a creative mix of metalcore, Southern rock, and some poppier choruses, they'll be sure to make their mark on the Sault Ontario crowd at this show! Aside from them, the lineup includes Waterloo screamo band Gracefield as headliners, Cambridge alternative rockers Something You Whisper as the last out of town band, and as local openers, classical punk trio RedD Monkey, adding to their busy upcoming concert schedule! If you're into screamo and punk music, you'll definitely wanna check out the above bands, even if their metal content is lesser than Dancing With Paris', so check the above links to hear what they've got! This show will have a $5 cover charge, you must be 19 to attend, and doors open at 8:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Diverse musical lineup here, should be a good show musically, though this will likely attract more of a punk crowd. Check the above links for more details!

Next up, we have another new local metal album officially out for purchase! On Friday afternoon, Destroilet announced on their Facebook page that their debut EP was now on sale for just $5! Drummer Matt Waples e-mailed fans to let them know that if you want to pick up a copy, just e-mail any member of the band on Facebook, and they would hook you up. I have my copy already, huge thanks to Matt for dropping it off! The artwork is no different from what we previously saw, save for a typo correction, though the title's sort of ambiguous. Is it self-titled or called "EP"? I'll figure it out! The CDs are hand-burned, but I give all the credit in the world for what they burned them on, and if you love vinyl records, you'll really get a kick out of these! Matt told me that the band was hoping to have a formal CD release show eventually, though nothing's concrete at the moment, so feel free to get them now if you want! How does it sound? Better than the samples on their MySpace page for quality, as they're now mastered, but what are my thoughts on the songs themselves? Wait til next week, as I'd like to formally announce that Destroilet's debut EP will be our CD review for May 2011!

Clownsack's new album is reserved for later this week already, so I'll absolutely get the Destroilet review done next week! Stay tuned for that, and of course, check the above links for all the Destroilet EP news! It's only $5, so get buying for some old school hardcore goodness!

We'll close with new videos, and first, here's the latest live concert video from Brimley hard rockers Half A Man! Yesterday, the band uploaded a video from their April 16th concert at The Merchant's Bar onto their YouTube channel, and it's of their performance of a new song named "Don't Blame Me"! The video's angle is really close, but too close, as Erik Rintamaki is badly cut off on the left, and he's usually blocking the view of Doug Reed. I'd have positioned the camera more center and to the left, but aside from that, it's a nice video! Song's catchy too, I like their mix of heavy riffs and accessible melodies, they have all the promise in the world! Check out the video for more, and check them out next month at The Bird!

And finally, here's some new As It Stands videos! These also come from the April 9th Sewer Swampstravaganja concert at The Oddfellows Hall, adding to the footage that we've previously seen from this show taken by Chantal Hopper. These videos are from a different person, YouTube user vegetarian4life19, who uploaded two As It Stands videos onto their YouTube channel on Thursday. One is a video centered on the moshpit during one of As It Stands' originals, but the audio's too scratchy to make out which one. As the dimensions would imply, it's a cell phone video, but the video quality itself isn't bad! The audio just hampers it. The other video is of their cover of Blink-182's "Stay Together For The Kids", which is basically the same in audio quality, and shorter on the whole, but I'll embed it here because you see more of the band's actual performance. The other one is mostly of the moshers. Good video, bad audio, but worth a look, especially if you like As It Stands, so here's their Blink-182 cover, and check the above links for more!

That's all for now, but stay tuned this week for another Woods of Ypres-centric post, our Clownsack EP review, and much more news! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Farewell To Freeway) & The SMS March Mayhem Quarterfinals!!

Another packed month of local metal news continues today with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT & the latest SMS March Mayhem updates, including the launch of the tournament quarterfinals, so that's the topic of this first post of the day! Before we get to the news, I will say that our next news-centric post (likely coming tonight) will feature new As It Stands & Half A Man videos, and some assorted other stories, so keep an eye out! Now, let's begin this post!

Another Roosevelt Hotel metal night from Dismembertainment is now confirmed, this time for the show on May 12th! (No word yet on the May 5th lineup.) This time around though, it will be the first Rosie metal night (I think) to feature two out of town bands! As part of their All Or Nothing Canadian tour, two touring hardcore bands will hit Sault Ontario for this show, including headliners Farewell To Freeway! Signed to Victory Records, this hard hitting metalcore quartet will be sure to incite some fury when they headline this Thursday nighter! Also joining them will be No Bragging Rights, a melodic hardcore band from Southern California who are a great compliment to this show with their own take on hardcore mayhem! Check the above links to give both bands a listen! The local openers will be As It Stands, adding another high profile opening slot to their spring schedule, so make note of them as well! Typical Rosie rules apply, including a 19+ age limit, 9:30 PM-ish start time, and no cover charge. For more details, check the above links and the Facebook event page! Sounds like a solid concert, I'll of course keep you posted when and if updates roll in!

Now it's time to update the SMS March Mayhem bracket as we close down the second round and head into the final three rounds of the tournament! I notice some campaigns are growing to get votes out, and I thank you all for voting over the past week! So, how'd the last second round matchups score? Here are the results!

Mike Cliffe def. Sativa Rose 40-33
Shit Liver def. State of Misery 80-73
Sykotyk Rampage def. That's Chester 50-13
WinkStinger def. Woods of Ypres 26-22

What do you guys think? I'm really surprised at how many votes Mike Cliffe got, I'm pegging him as the Cinderella of the tournament! Who'd have thought he'd outscore Sativa Rose? Nice high scoring match though, you can tell both have devoted fanbases! The Shit Liver & State of Misery match sure was the battle of dueling vote campaigns, as both would have crushed any other band's total had they took on anyone else! Shit Liver ended up pulling out a narrow 6 vote victory in a match that I thought was a coin toss from get-go! Sykotyk Rampage's win didn't surprise me given the shorter time period that we've covered That's Chester on the SMS, but this was a thoroughly dominating performance! Who'd have thought? WinkStinger's victory over Woods of Ypres wasn't what I expected, but I did figure it'd be close. I'm surprised that it scored so low though, who'd have thought it'd be the lowest voted of the matchups? And finally, is it ironic that the first band alphabetically in each matchup won? Odd, if nothing else! So that closes out the second round, and here's the updated tournament bracket!

As you can see, the winners of last week's first two matchups and the winners of the last two matchups will face each other, starting TODAY, in fact! With that said, here are the matchups for the SMS March Mayhem Quarterfinals!

In the battle of hardcore eras, can As It Stands build on their momentum, or can Destroilet lock up a third straight blowout win? Will Frightlight's gauntlet run continue, or can Lion Ride defeat them and advance to the semifinals? Can Mike Cliffe continue his Cinderella run against Shit Liver, or will their crusty and grimy sounds prove too much? And can Sykotyk Rampage emerge from the cave with an upset over WinkStinger's extreme attack? The winners of the AIS/Destroilet match and the Frightlight/Lion Ride bout will face off next week, as will the Cliffe/Shit Liver and Sykotyk Rampage/WinkStinger winners in the final four! The voting for the quarterfinals begins today, the winners are in next week's semifinals, and you have just ONE WEEK TO VOTE! Let's see some enthusiastic results and high totals again, we're nearing the end of the tournament! VOTE TODAY!!!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for a likely new news post later tonight! Thanks everyone, and GET VOTING!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rosie Metal Night #12 Review!!

Hey all, it's time for our latest concert review, as I was at The Roosevelt Hotel last night for the 12th metal night, and first under the new weekly schedule! In terms of bands, the show was largely similar to the last one I saw (9 of the 13 band members were the same), but there was lots of differences to make note of, so let's get this review underway!

Firstly, the new lights that promoter Rich Moreland purchased for Rosie concerts look really cool, and they add to the concert atmosphere! The color changing strip lightings make strange "lines" appear sometimes on videos, but hey, it comes with the territory. Also, the newly redesigned Roosevelt Hotel logo is now painted on the wall behind the stage, which helps make it look more custom like it did before it was painted black! The off-center placement is odd at first, but I think it's so that drumkits don't block part of it. Good stuff, and check my photo album from the concert to see the new stage in full use, and get some nice shots of the back wall in my photos of Matt Baic behind the drums!

The Bear Hunters opened the festivities last night with their brand of melodic death metal, and they delivered a great set! Nothing too different or shocking from the last few times I've seen them, but that's just a sign of their consistency and talent! Alongside originals like "Bloodthirst", "Dominate", and "Collapse The Sun", the band broke out into covers of everyone from Amon Amarth to Trivium, so even newcomers had some familiar sounds! The Bear Hunters had good energy and enthusiasm, and Mitch Sirie & Mike Vincent flow really well together on guitar! I did find that Nik Deubel's singing was more muted than I'm used to from older shows, though I'm not sure if that's his fault or not. His growling seemed very quiet and you couldn't make out too many words in between, but maybe that's just me. You can't complain too much for a band with this much chemistry, though I think "Squirrel Boy" would have been a nice addition. Solid hard hitting death metal from this talented quintet, and watch out for them next weekend at The Oddfellows Hall!

Following their set was Shit Liver, and their grimy brand of death metal also seemed to go over well, though the crowd numbers on the floor did recede. It's understandable given their "love 'em or hate 'em" sound, but you'd think the Bear Hunters' crowd would have stuck around! As far as Shit Liver shows go, this was just as good as their last one musically, partly because of their new instruments, which still really enhance their sound. A mix of originals like "Contribute of Perish", "Start the Violence", and "Friendly Old (Uncle Joe)" hit fans last night, along with covers of everyone from Dystopia to their old local punk band O.B.C.D.! They seem to be diversifying their sound ever so slightly too, which I welcome, and the collective growling talents of the three members never relented! The end of their set was hampered by one of Josh Penno's guitar strings breaking, resulting in a search for a replacement guitar, but luckily band members live near The Rosie! This was your standard Shit Liver set, but they delivered a good assault of crust and death metal, and if you came for that, you surely left happy!

And of course, your headliners were As It Stands, who definitely brought a high quality set to finish the night! Firstly, I should say that Justin Pregent sounded a lot better than at the last Rosie show, as his cold seemed to be gone. His voice was louder and more forceful, which added to each song! The band as a whole sounded as good as I've ever seen, and I will give credit to Albert Bourrier's guitar work, he seemed to turn it up an extra notch at the show! Fans went nuts on the floor with some decent pits, and thankfully I wasn't banged up like the last time around! With originals like "One Less Than Wayne Gretzky", "Rise Above", and "Conception" in store, the metalcore flowed all set long, but there were some surprises! The band covered Blink-182's "Stay Together For The Kids" again, and with no quality issues to hamper how it sounds, I can say that they effectively "As-It-Standed" it up! Lots of breakdowns and aggression, it almost sounded like a different song by the second verse! Also, they debuted a new song without a finalized title that sounded really promising as well, look out for it at future shows! As It Stands delivered an energetic and entertaining headlining set that fans of theirs will surely have hated to miss, but if you want more, check them out next weekend at The Oddfellows Hall!

This was another fun Rosie metal night, and the fun continues next weekend when three different bands take the stage! The new lighting adds to everything, and even though I saw a very similar show in musician-content three weeks ago, the metal we got was more than enough to entertain! Check the photo album linked above for my photos from last night, or visit the SMS' Facebook page to check them out! And here's my videos from last night, The Bear Hunters' original "Succumb To Eternity", two short Shit Liver songs ("Start The Violence" and O.B.C.D.'s "Speak Of Weak"), and As It Stands' untitled new song!

That's all for tonight, but stay tuned tomorrow for the latest SMS March Mayhem updates, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, and more! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

News From Sense Of Truth, Operation: Killdozer, The Bird, And More!!

Today's news post should be interesting, because all of the stories today relate to stuff from the past we've either missed or hoped to find! So today, we have some link updates, the discovery of pages (finally) for a local concert venue, a defunct local band's page, and this week's classic video, but first, here's some big news from Sense of Truth!

We're now 11 months removed from Sense of Truth's most recent local concert, and through that time, the rumours of their debut EP's eventual release have been ongoing. We know that there's been holdups due to band member work commitments, the issues related to the album artwork, and now, their guitarist search, and over that span, the most we've publically heard are some scattered radio airplay and the samples on their MySpace page. With that said, I was browsing the newly redesigned website of Stereo Soul Studios, where they recorded their EP with Miguel Gauthier in February before he moved to Los Angeles. Since the last time I've been there, I found some interesting stuff on the recording studio page: Two full songs from the EP and it's apparent artwork! The songs posted are "Push & Pull" (a current preview track on MySpace) and one new track unavailable on other pages, "Vicious Cycle"! Nice to see that on the EP, I was thinking it'd make the cut! This reminds me of when Woods of Ypres' "Our Union (In Limbo)" was posted by Miguel in 2009 before the band acknowledged it. I won't give detailed thoughts on either "Push & Pull" or "Vicious Cycle" yet, as I am waiting to review the full EP, but they're solid tracks, click here to listen! (third band down.)

Oh, and the artwork? Kinda plain, but it works well! As you can see by the picture, it's likely a self-titled release, and I still love their ambigram wordmark! Odd that this type of album cover could be so problematic, but really, I don't know much concerning album packaging. Nice stuff though, I'll keep you all posted!

Next up, here's a new band to add to the SMS listings! Well, not really "new", they broke up in 2009, but the page was only just added. Do you guys remember Operation: Killdozer? They were the local metal group from the spring of 2009 that featured notable local musicians like former Fitswitch bassist Jason Bourcier on vocals, WinkStinger drummer Jonas Gasperas, and Bear Hunters bassist Justin Lam, among others. I believe they only played two shows, the YMCA Battle of the Bands and at that year's SNFU concert, both taking place at The Grand Theater. I enjoyed them, but they didn't last too long, and for almost two years, I had no page for them.... until now! They in fact did have a Facebook group, which Jonas started, but the thing that threw me off was the self-deprecating tone of it, that featured fans and band members alike trashing Operation: Killdozer on levels that made the group look like it was anti-band. Well, it's in fact Operation: Killdozer's page, and it has some photos, amusing statements, and not a whole lot else. Still, there's enough to include them on the SMS, so click here to check out their Facebook group! If you wanna hear them, click here to check out a video of the band playing a song named "Pieces Of You"! Quality aside, it wasn't a bad performance!

Thirdly, here's some notes on a popular Sault Michigan bar/concert spot. Since we started covering Sault Michigan bands and shows in the summer of 2007, The Bird on East Portage Avenue have been a recurring sight when discussing local shows. However, we've never had an internet page for them... until now! As it turns out, they've had a MySpace page since at least April 2009, but it's not in use anymore. That's not all though, as they have no less than two Facebook pages! This one is a standard "fan page", while you can check out their page formatted like a normal Facebook account by clicking here. The latter page has been around since December, while the fan page was launched in February. What do they tell us about The Bird? Well, for one, that's not even technically it's name. Their official name is Golanka's Bar, a reference to the owner, but nowhere do people seem to call it that officially, as The Bird seems to be the casual use name for the bar (a'la The Rosie & The Frog.) Neither page has much in the way of concert news, though a past Splitshot concert weekend had a connected event page for it. Still, check the above links for photos, drink special news, and more! If anything metal concert-related pops up on a Bird page, I'll let you all know!

Now, here's some assorted updates to some of the links in our "Other Local Metal Links" section, where we store metal-relevant links that don't fit in other categories on the site. Firstly, I switched links for the defunct Northern Ontario music publication Northern Rocks Magazine, as their website has now expired, presumably due to a failure to renew the domain name. Shame, it was a good site, and the back issues were fun reads! I replaced it with their inactive Facebook group, so we didn't have to remove it! I did have to delete the MySpace page for Woods of Ypres' defunct independent label Krankenhaus Records, as it has no relevant information anymore, and the new MySpace layout crippled it's theme. Odd that there's no page for it's successor Practical Art Records yet, I'll let you know if I find one! Also, I deleted the link for, which is now completely dead with all old archive news also shut down. I replaced it with it's successor site, LOCAL2, which is bound to have metal news eventually! Two more pages were deleted, those being the inactive local music forum The 705 Music Scene (which had all of it's threads taken down in lieu of it's replacement, the 705 Video Magazine) and the defunct concert venue Arcadia Coffeehouse, whose website was made private, so we can't view it anymore without an invite. For more, check the above links!

And finally, here's this week's classic video! I actually had two reasons for picking this one: A. The band in question is playing this weekend, and B. This video is being deleted from it's original site on April 29th. What do I mean? Well, Google recently announced that they're planning to delete all of the videos hosted on their old Google Video service, which basically became obsolete when they purchased YouTube. As such, this would cause the permanent deletion of all videos originally uploaded onto Google Video, unless you transfer them to YouTube or physically download them and re-post them elsewhere. I contemplated doing a miniseries of local metal-relevant videos from there on the SMS, but aside from the Gates of Winter videos that are now completely on YouTube, there's little there that would fit on the SMS. However, I did find one classic video on there, and it's a live video of As It Stands from before their initial breakup! This is of the band playing an original song (name unknown) at what I believe is the March 31st, 2007 Oddfellows Hall show where they opened for Dead & Divine the first time around! The band's current lineup is intact here, and the band sound good, but the audio's fairly scratchy. Despite the quality, you can tell their sound's really evolved since then, but it's still a good performance!

Uploaded by an uncredited Google Video user in April 2007, this video can be viewed through April 29th at, when it (and all other Google Video uploads) will be deleted. So I ripped it from there to post on the SMS' YouTube channel, and NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED! This video would be gone from the internet next week if I didn't grab it anyway, so give it a look below, and make sure to check out the much improved As It Stands TONIGHT at The Rosie!

That's all for today, but I will see you guys at The Rosie TONIGHT! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Half A Man) And Easter Weekend Concert Previews & Some Link Updates!!

It's time to preview this weekend's metal and hard rock concerts! With the Easter weekend upon us, there isn't as much going on for you metalheads, but there's a few noteworthy shows, mostly tonight, so we'll get to those soon, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!

Brimley hard rockers Half A Man are hitting the stage once again next month! Fresh off their successful gig at The Merchant's Bar last week, the band will return to The Bird on May 15th for a special early concert! How early? How about 7:30 PM? If you're wondering why a bar concert like this is taking place about three hours earlier than you'd expect, it's actually because the show is serving as an kick-off party for a co-ed softball game or team of some type! I admittedly know little on that subject, but I assume at least one Half A Man member or relation plays co-ed softball. That said, they'll be there to rock out a long set of metal, if a bit earlier than usual! There's no announced cover charge, and I imagine the usual 21+ age limit is still in effect. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a good time, despite the odd timing, so make note of this show! Also, I hear that the guys responsible for the upcoming book "Yooper Bars" on Upper Peninsula bars may be at The Bird that day too, so who knows, you could be in that book if you go see Half A Man that night! Stay tuned for updates!

Now to the Easter weekend concert previews! As you may know, Dismembertainment's metal nights at The Roosevelt Hotel are now weekly, and the first such show since the schedule change is TONIGHT, when three more local metal bands hit the stage to melt some faces! Your headliners are local hardcore quintet As It Stands, whose ever increasing local profile and largely improved sound will surely get fans moving once again! Also joining them are grimecore trio Shit Liver and melodic death metallers The Bear Hunters, who'll both add their own wrinkles of devastation to this lineup! You could also consider this show a preview of next week's Dead & Divine all ages show too, given that two of tonight's bands are opening that show as well (you can pick up tickets from members of either As It Stands or The Bear Hunters tonight too!) As for this show, expect another free night of hard hitting metal from these talented bands, with a 19+ age limit and 9:30 PM start time. Check the above links for more details! I reckon I'll be here for this show, and considering that you should have no school or work to wake up for on Friday (it's the long weekend), then you have no excuse to skip out! I'll see you there, and for a preview, here's As It Stands playing "Big Bucks, No Whammy" at The Rosie last month!

Also taking place tonight is the return of The Darwin Project! Yes, the Cheboygan hard rockers will make their third local stop of the month when they return to The Savoy Bar & Nightclub for the first time since November! They've sure been ramping up their Sault Michigan bookings in recent months, this is great to see from such a solid rising hard rock outfit! The band noted on Facebook that this show is still on as scheduled, despite the 8 inch snowfall that the Cheboygan area suffered during the recent storms, so kudos to them for braving the conditions to rock the Sault once again! This concert will take place tonight at the Savoy at 9:30 PM or later, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 21 to attend. For more details, check out the above links and the Facebook event page! This should be a good concert, and with The Darwin Project bigger than they've ever been, you'll wanna check them out tonight if you're itching for a concert across the river! For a preview, here's The Darwin Project playing their song "Do You Want It?" in Traverse City in January!

Finally, these are the only actual Easter weekend metal/hard rock shows this weekend, but for all I know, there could be some I don't know about, and if there is, I'll have them on here A.S.A.P.! Now, how about some Splitshot to spend your weekend rocking out with? Yes, the Sault Michigan hard rock quintet featuring alumni Chris Hubbard & Kyle Beaumont will return to The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino for a weekend of hard rock covers and classics! Though I still can't tell you much about them or their sound, Splitshot have tons of talent and a good reputation, so definitely consider checking them out if you want some heaviness over the holiday weekend! The band will hit The Rapids Lounge tomorrow night (Good Friday) and Saturday night, with likely 9:00 PM start times both nights, no cover, and a 21+ age limit. Check the above links for more! These should be some fun shows, and though I wish I had audio or video to share, take my word on it and check them out, I have faith they rock! Stay tuned for updates!

That's all for now, but I have a new news post in the works for tonight featuring some cool stories, including stuff on Sense of Truth, The Bird, Operation: Killdozer, some link updates, and this week's classic video! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lots Of Assorted News And Notes From The Last While!!

This is our 25th post of the month already, and at this rate, we could approach last month's post record at this rate! Today's post is largely comprised of older stories that got pushed aside in recent weeks, but is well worth discussing! This includes a cool SMS concept logo, the latest from Lion Ride & Beyond The Surface, some new pages, and kicking things off, a new video! Here's what you need to know!

Veteran local musician Phil Temperao has uploaded a solo song onto his YouTube channel! Unlike the older jam session videos that usually featured him and Dennis Porter, this is a solo song that bears little resemblance to the older Meatplow (or whatever they'll be called next) videos. This is just a song named "Rain" under the project name "Sebastien 6". It features Phil on all instruments save for the lead guitar, which is actually provided by his brother Jose (a.k.a. Jose Wailz), who you may recall as Phil's old Amethyst bandmate! Compared to the more aggressive and industrial tinged songs from the full band, "Rain" is a lighter track that is still hard rocking, and shows off Phil's singing range. The guitar work's solid, but the song can be a bit repetitive, and if you prefer the material from the live videos with Dennis contributing, "Rain" may be slightly underwhelming in tone. It's a solid track though, and it's accompanied with some good shots of Phil and outdoor nature pictures. Recorded at Greentown Digital Studios this year, there's apparently more coming from this solo project, so keep an eye out! Check the above links for more, and here's "Rain"!

Next up, here's some long overdue news on young Pickford hard rockers Beyond The Surface. Firstly, they've announced that lead guitarist Eli Reilly is now be their full time singer going forward in addition to playing guitar, replacing Danielle Petingalo in the band's vocalist position. No reasons have been posted for Danielle's departure, but in all fairness, she hasn't been a credited member of the band since before I heard about them, so it just took a while for official confirmation. I don't know how Eli sounds vocally, but he can't sound too bad! With that said, the band have announced their next live gig, which will be part of a "spring concert" at Pickford High School on May 17th with the school band. I don't know enough about it to call it on the SMS yet as a "public concert", but keep it in mind, especially if you live in Pickford or attend Pickford High! They're a promising young band, and I am curious to hear how they sound in their current incarnation! Stay tuned for more updates at their Facebook page, and I'll try to stay more on top of them in the future!

Thirdly, here's a pair of new Facebook pages from some local metal bands! One isn't really "new", but I only discovered it a few weeks ago, so I gotta mention it. Sault Michigan hard rockers Intrepid (one of the many Guitar Studio rock camp bands) have had a Facebook page since August of 2009, and believe it or not, we've never mentioned it here! The page tells us some interesting details on the band from late 2009-2010, including a number of very brief and often ill-detailed statuses about their next shows, which ranged from local bars to talent shows to the Kewadin Festival! I'd have covered these for sure if I knew about them, but many were ambiguous and only hinted towards potential shows or gigs with no listed venue or date. The page also includes a bunch of live photos, though sadly, no concert video footage. Intrepid haven't updated this page since after a December talent show performance, but if you wanna get caught up on Intrepid, click here! The other news is that Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night have a Facebook page of their own, and though it only features synched news from their primary Reverbnation page, do check it out, as you'll still find out about their latest news!

Fourthly, do you want some new photos? How's about some new Lion Ride photos? Some professional quality photographs from around the time of their local show earlier this month at The Rockstar Bar are now online, including an extensive slideshow from photographer Jesse Nelson on his blog Family Tree Land! Loads of photos from before and after their concert, including the show itself, are included there, which are great quality but sadly unavailable in high resolution on the page itself. To view in larger and better resolution, click here to go straight to the original Flickr feed, you'll thank me later! Look out for cameos by members of some prominent local bands and a band member's mother in the front row, for example! The other photos will be coming soon from prominent local photographer Curt O'Neil, who's done some outstanding past work with Lion Ride concert pictures! This time around, he just did a formal photo shoot with the band, I think their first of this type with the current lineup. Though the fruits of this labour aren't visible yet, Curt did post one preview picture, and it's on your left, but click here for full resolution! Nice work, I can't wait to see more, so stay tuned for when they come online!

Finally, here's a cool little custom item I've been holding onto for a while! If you know me well, you'll know that I enjoy the art of logos, be they for sports, companies, or whatever, and I try to utilize appropriate designs in SMS artwork, logos, and page layouts. I'm not a professional, but I do what I can. That said, Destroilet drummer Matt Waples, who is a VERY talented graphic designer with Sonigraphix Design Solutions, sent me a concept for a new SMS logo last month based around the one we debuted in December. I thought now was a good time to share his work with you guys, as he deserves all the credit in the world for the work he does! I'm a fan of logo concepts on sites like Icethetics, so why not inject some of that here? If I remember correctly, I told Matt that this looked great, but it felt more like a Japanese action movie logo than a metal website logo, not that that's a bad thing. I find the M a bit fat and the flipped second S makes it look like "SMZ", but that aside, it's a damn good concept, and I appreciate Matt going out of his way to make this on his own free will! What do you guys think of it? Feedback is welcome, especially with the work Matt puts in! Check out his portfolio too at this location, outstanding work on logos and posters, and I added Sonigraphix to our Other Local Metal Links too!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news and notes very soon! Thanks everyone!