Friday, September 30, 2011

Woods of Ypres - "Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth" Review!!

As promised, we're ending September with our final feature post of the month, and it's our 27th monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene! For just the third time, we're reviewing a third album by a local band, and in this case, we're reviewing Woods of Ypres' second CD "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth"! Often called "Woods II" to go along with the band's later album numbering, this was Woods of Ypres' first full length album and their first CD released after relocating to Toronto. "Pursuit of the Sun" was recorded in 2003 & early 2004 at Spectre Sound Studios in Tecumseh, Ontario (where they also recorded "Against The Seasons"), and it was released on August 14th, 2004 through the now defunct Krankenhaus Records. The credited lineup on "Woods II" includes the late David Gold on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums (he made his studio debut as Woods of Ypres' frontman here) & Jessica Rose on the keyboard. However, the lead guitar & bass tracks were mostly recorded by former members Connor Sharpe & Steve Jones respectively, but they were not credited due to leaving Woods of Ypres before the album's release, so David finished the remaining songs and is given sole credit for all non-keyed instruments in the liner notes. (Updated on September 29th, 2012)

As well, session vocalist Sarah Green is featured on the last two tracks, though she wasn't officially a band member. The CD pressing of "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth" is currently out of print, but you're bound to find the album here & there at music stores & online websites. Officially, the album is available for download from iTunes for $6.99 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 official is out yet. And yes, the whole album can easily be found on torrent and download/streaming sites for free, but I highly recommend you support local metal & David's memory and buy it! With 10 songs full of over an hour of music, let's begin our review of "Woods II"! (Each song name below is linked to a YouTube upload of it.)

The opening track on the album is "Intro: The Looming of Dust In the Dark (And The Illumination)", which serves as both the album's introductory song and the first glimpse into a more melodic & introspective direction of Woods of Ypres' sound. After a slow guitar intro, the full instruments kick in with a dark and soft tone, creating the right ambiance for the track. This was the first time we heard David Gold singing on a Woods of Ypres song, and he shows off his deeper clean singing well here with a lot of emotion, though his range and singing abilities did slowly improve on future releases. This song could be considered the first step into the more doom metal-influenced material of recent years, and only minimally uses harsher vocals as a backing effect. The lyrics, which seem to detail the struggle between darkness and light, are well thought out and differentiates itself well from the "Woods I" subject matter. Though not a heavy song, it slowly builds in aggression while maintaining the same feel throughout. It's a very solid intro to the album, but the ending is too abrupt, and I'd honestly like to see Woods of Ypres expand the song beyond 2:49 in length, as it feels like the slow build was stopped prematurely.

Next is "The Will To Give", the album's first full song and the first to fully venture into black metal territory. After a nice intro and building instruments, David offers up some nice clean singing similar to the first track, but then you're hit with some black metal riffing and fast drumming that calls to mind "Woods I" in some respects! David's black metal vocals are different then Brian McManus' were, but I find they're slightly deeper and much clearer to hear and pick up words with. The music alternates between softer sections and heavy black metal sections, and the drumming is great, but I do find that the guitar and bass do sort of get muddled on heavier sections. The riffing and melodies are good, but it's hard to distinguish the instruments when the song is at full blast, except in the second half, which gets much heavier with some good breakdowns! The song's lyrics revolve around the act of giving in different forms, even if one won't get a result or something in return out of it, and the lyrics are very strong here, especially when sung clean, as you can feel the passion in David's singing! This is a standout track on "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth", and fans of their heavier and softer material will find a great balance, though I'd like to get some more instrument clarity out of this song.

Following that is "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part 1)", which gets things going with a solo guitar section again before getting straight into black metal territory with some slow heavy riffs and fast drumming to go along with it. Things build faster and heavier from there, helping kick off the song fittingly! Unlike the past tracks, David goes straight into black metal vocals in the verses, while singing the choruses in a low tone. It's probably the most structured of the opening tracks. On a heaviness scale, I definitely prefer it to "The Will To Give", and it doesn't sound as muddled either, though I find the clean vocals aren't as varied here. I love the drumming, and the guitar melodies fit the themes perfectly, and you definitely feel like a pursuit of the sun is ongoing! A guitar solo would have been nice to add though. Great song, and it's definitely one of my favourite black metal Woods of Ypres tracks!

Fourth on "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth" is "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part Doom)", the successor to the previous track. After starting similarly to the past few songs, the music starts very slow and heavy, and it could be considered a precursor to their future doom-inspired sound. The lyrical content doesn't stray far from it's predecessor, though not really as impactful or dark as their newer doom songs. Very well played though, and you feel the emotion and themes through the music! At about 2:50 in, the song transitions into a solo guitar and vocal section that flows well with the song, but then things get extremely heavy at about 4:00 when Woods of Ypres returns to full black metal mode with some crushing riffing and David's harsh singing as prominent as ever. I really like the use of his backing vocals here, they just soar and feel very natural! The bass is great here too, no complaints on this song! Another quality song, though if you prefer the heavier stuff, you'll probably only take to the second half, but both of "The Sun Was In My Eyes" tracks are well worth checking out!

Next is "Allure of the Earth", which is essentially the first Woods of Ypres ballad. The lyrics seem to tell of a hatred for life (using the sun as the enemy force) and a wish to be dead & buried instead, hence an "allure" for the earth". It's a very well written song and full of passion, which David shows in spades with his singing and the slow and soft guitar playing. It's a very minimalistic song for it's first half too, which is slightly a curse, as it feels empty and could probably stand for some more bass and filled out guitar, but Jessica Rose' keyboard work stands out! The latter half is heavier with much more prominent electric guitar riffs & drumming, but the soft and dark theme persists in the vocals. I'm sure black metal purists won't like this song as much as some of the earlier tracks, but for a powerful doom metal ballad, it does it's job very well! I just wish it was filled out more. That's followed by another ballad, "Shedding The Deadwood", which is definitely fuller and more upbeat than "Allure of the Earth", while still maintaining a similar darker feel. Telling of a journey while carrying a bundle of deadwood and the meaning of both, David gives us some wider ranging singing and more instrumentation to create a song that feels finished and substantial more-so than the previous track. The guitar playing is excellent, and it just feels like a solid, epic, softer song. I definitely prefer it to "Allure of the Earth", and it still stands as one of Woods of Ypres' best songs without harsher vocals! If you prefer black metal, this won't be as appealing though.

The seventh song on "Woods II" is "Dragged Across A Forest Floor", which is by far the longest song on the album, lasting 9:19, and it has the heaviest start, hitting you immediately with heavy guitar playing and a black metal assault! By far, the opening section of this song is the heaviest of the album so far, with very brutal singing, very fast drumming, and relentless guitar and bass riffing! Black metal fans, take note! A minute or so of clean vocals make it in at around 2:30, but ti flows with the song's meaning, and it's not a detriment to the brutality. There's even a doomier section about midway through, which is welcome, but it does stall things a tiny bit. Later, things slow down to a very soft acoustic level like on the past two tracks, and the song still works well despite the contrast from the first half, with very nice singing and guitar work, but don't worry, the song ends in a black metal fury! The keyboard work is nice too, especially late, and trust me, the very end is extremely fast and would get a pit going instantly if played live! There's even a breakdown, which you don't hear every day from Woods of Ypres! Excellent song without a wasted moment, and it seems to encapsulate all possible Woods of Ypres sounds into one 9 minute+ epic! I wish they played "Dragged Across A Forest Floor" live more often!

Eighth is "Summer's Envy", which brings the band back to blatant summer dislike in the lyrical content, and at least initally, back to removed black metal singing (aside from minimal backing vocals late.) It's still a heavier song though, with nice higher singing overtop of some aggressive metal music. It meshes well, but Woods of Ypres have better songs from later albums that are heavy with clean vocals. It's very easy to sing along with though, it has that sort of quality! I also like that the keyboards are more prominent here too, especially early in the song! A guitar solo could have helped this track, but Jessica has some good solo parts, and the strength of the song is largely in the melodic vocals. I like "Summer's Envy", but Woods of Ypres would eclipse this on later albums for clean-sung heavier material.

It's followed by the album's penultimate track, "The Ghost Of Summer's Past", which definitely opens the slowest and lightest of any track on "Woods II". David's low singing, the deliberate guitar work, and Jessica's keyboard playing fit really well! Like on "Allure of the Earth", it does feel slightly empty, but here, you can feel how intentional that is. The last two and a half minutes take a completely different feel while still retaining the same emotions, going full electric with a fuller sound and more energy. The trade-off vocals fit well, and the melodic ending almost has an orchestral feel that I really enjoy, along with Sarah Green's backing vocals closing things. I definitely prefer the second half of this song, but this is a powerful ballad that suits Woods of Ypres and this album very well! The album closes with "Outro: The End Of August", which opens with Sarah providing some very ethereal backing singing which continues even when Woods of Ypres launch into some black metal aggression to close the album with! Aside from slight variations of the clean-sung choruses, the verses never change, but it's a nice way to end the album on a black note! Not before some extra backing singing, of course, and after a short pause, we get a slow doom-metal closer with Sarah's best backing singing of the album, fittingly capping "Woods II"! Not the best lyrically, but "The End Of August" is a perfect capper to this album, and offers some of the more affecting parts of the CD!

So how do I grade "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth"? On a sheer musical scale, I definitely prefer it to "Against The Seasons", but this comes from a metalhead who admittedly prefers more melodic types of metal over some harsher styles. I know there's a debate among fans over whether "Woods I" or "Woods II" is better, but on this album, Woods of Ypres sound fuller, have better production, show more maturity in their lyrics, explore more styles, and have more songs in general, and that all adds up. Compared to Brian McManus & Aaron Palmer's singing on "Woods I", David is more aggressive, clearer, and shows better clean singing, though the "Woods I" vocals were definitely blacker. Though no song is without clean vocals, some fans forget that six of the songs are full of harsh vocals, and on tracks like "Dragged Across The Forest Floor", things get VERY heavy! The softer material, though, is well written and introspective, and it shows the band's growth very well. Connor, Steve, and David all contributed well on guitar and bass, with some equally crushing, melodic, and soft riffs and lines to be found throughout the album! David's drumming is top notch, and Jessica showed some great skill at the keyboard on this album, which she thankfully brought back on "Woods III".

It's not without problems though, as no album is perfect. On some songs, the guitar and bass get very muddled, and the lack of guitar solos is again too noticeable, especially on longer tracks like both parts of "The Sun Was In My Eyes". Sarah Green's backing vocals could have been used on more tracks than we heard her on, Jessica's keyboard work wasn't as prominently heard as much as I expected, and on slower songs like "Allure of the Earth", things could have been filled out more. Overall though, to me, this is much better than "Against The Seasons", and on "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth", Woods of Ypres showed their growth and maturity as a band without compromising anything in the process. There's plenty of black metal to be had, but their range of styles just expanded, and as long as you don't sell out in the process, there's no harm in that. David pulled off a great album here, and Woods of Ypres fans new and old should definitely give "Woods II" a listen! Buy it or listen to it at the above links!

There, I hope you guys enjoyed this month's CD review! The next time we review a Woods of Ypres album, it will very likely be "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" early next year, barring a delay. I know it's tentatively scheduled for a January release, but given my rule to not review a band twice in a six month span, I have the "Woods V" review penciled in for early March. Stay tuned for updates on Woods of Ypres' next album as they come in, I can't wait! But what about next month's CD review? All I really know is that it won't be anything from Foothill Road, Sykotyk Rampage, or Woods of Ypres, as it's too soon from my last reviews of their albums. Anything else is up for grabs as long as I have access to it, so similar criteria apply as in previous months. Next month's review will be a new album if one comes out, and watch out for our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post on Sunday for some of the albums that could be out soon! If none come out, it will be an album featuring a band or artist playing locally next month. If none fit that criteria, I'll pick a more prominent general release from the archives, but as of right now, I have no clue what might be next. Stay tuned for updates on that!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news tomorrow (tentatively), including our weekly classic video and more, and then we'll find out where the new albums are on Sunday! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Full Circle) And This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

It's time to preview the coming slate of concerts over this weekend! Though we're light on advertised shows in the Sault Michigan area, there's a good amount of harder rocking shows on the Canadian side this weekend, so let's kick things off with SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!

As previously advertised, classic hard rock quartet Full Circle will indeed be playing concerts this weekend, just not at The Nicolet Tavern. Despite what The Nic's marquee board said earlier in the week, Full Circle will instead be rocking Docks Riverfront Grill for the first time since changing their name from Turner Up on Friday & Saturday night! My source for the new venue is this Facebook event page, which was oddly created by bassist Robert Brown this time around (usually drummer Scott McLurg handles that.) No reason was publicized for the venue change, but these shows mark Full Circle's first shows after two weekends off, and the first to take place after the end of the old Turner Up concert listings from their deleted Facebook group. So if you want some solid classic hard rock from this talented local band, Docks is where you'll wanna be this weekend! There should be a cover charge of around $4 both nights, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:30 PM start time is listed. Check the above links for more details!

Should be some good nights of music, and it's nice to see Full Circle back out there after missing the last two weeks, so go check them out if you can at Docks! For a preview, here's Full Circle covering "Alone" by Heart at Rotaryfest in August!

Now to the previously announced concerts, and first, the 35th Roosevelt Hotel metal night is going down TONIGHT! For the seventh time in eight weeks, Dismembertainment are bringing in another high quality out of town headlining band, and tonight, your main attraction is Rimouski, Quebec hardcore band La Promesse! If you enjoy hardcore and moshpits, La Promesse will be sure to suit your desires tonight, so prepare for some punk-inspired metal and intensity from this talented quintet later tonight! The opening bands include local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, in just their third ever Thursday metal night at The Rosie! Interesting style clash to have them open for a hardcore band, but Late & Loud have proven to be a talented and charismatic band since their debut last year, so get ready for a quality set of originals and covers from them tonight! A second opening band was originally planned, but nothing official on if a third band will play tonight or not has been revealed, though I'll let you guys know if Dismembertainment announce anything. There will be a $2 cover charge tonight, you must be 19 to attend, and it all starts at around 10:00 PM.

For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be another entertaining Rosie metal night with some newer sounds to enjoy, so if you're free tonight, metal awaits on Korah Road! For a preview, here's a La Promesse tour video featuring one of their studio originals!

Now to Sault Michigan briefly as local hard rock quartet Powerslug return to the stage at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino tomorrow and Saturday night! One weekend after rocking two venues(?) in the area, the band formerly known as River Witch will return to the Kewadin Casino bar for the first time there in four weeks to deliver some hard rocking good times as only they can! Though their badly outdated Facebook page doesn't hype the shows, Kewadin Casino does on their entertainment page, and that's as good a source as any! Admission should be free, things should start at 9:00 PM tomorrow and Saturday night, and you must be 21 to attend either night. Check the above links for more details! These should be good concerts, so don't miss a chance to check them out for some harder rocking music across the river this weekend! I still don't have an audio or video sample of Powerslug to preview their shows with, but get ready for some good music this weekend, I know that can be expected!

And finally, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison is back at Service Grill Pizza on Saturday night! Tym will bring his talented acoustic hard rock sounds back to the Service Grill for a second straight week, following alternating weeks away from the Korah Road restaurant over the past few weeks. Tym's Saturday concerts at the Service Grill have been well recieved this year, and he'll be sure to rock out with some great covers on Saturday as usual, so if you want some unplugged hard rock sounds, you know where to be! Admission should be free, I don't believe there's an age limit, and like his last couple of Service Grill shows, Tym will only be playing the 8:00 PM set. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Tym's solo shows are always entertaining, and he proves that you don't need electric instruments to rock each time, so keep his Saturday night show in mind for your weekend plans! For a preview, here's Tym covering Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" at Foggy Notions in 2009!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for my review of Woods of Ypres' "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth" tomorrow, and more news this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (La Promesse & Tym Morrison), The Vibe Lounge's Closure, And More!!

We've got some more news today before we preview this weekend's concerts and review "Woods II" over the next couple of days, including the sudden closure of a local concert venue, the status of a previously advertised concert scheduled for today, and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, so here's what you need to know!

The 35th Roosevelt Hotel metal night will go down TOMORROW NIGHT as expected, and for the seventh time in eight weeks, Dismembertainment are bringing some out of town headlining talent to The Rosie for this show! This week, the headliners are Rimouski, Quebec hardcore quintet La Promesse, whose punk influenced metalcore sound should bring in some high energy pits on Thursday night! Honestly, their vocals need to grow on me, but they'll fit right in this week, so don't miss them! Two local opening bands are projected for Thursday, including local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, in just their third ever Thursday metal night at The Rosie! Nice to see them back getting shows in following their hiatus, and hopefully they wow the crowd with their covers and originals tomorrow! A second opening band is expected, but has yet to be formally announced, so stay tuned for updates on that front! As always, this show should have a start time of around 10:00 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and there will be a cover charge of $2, which is definitely more than enough for the bands you'll get! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This is shaping up to be a good concert with some diverse metal bands, and hopefully this goes off without a hitch! Stay tuned for more updates on this concert!

Also for new concerts, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison has announced his next solo acoustic concert for THIS SATURDAY at Service Grill Pizza! It's his second straight Saturday nighter at the Korah Road restaurant after intermittent Saturday bookings this month, so I'm starting to think he's no longer on a rigid schedule for shows there. No matter what though, we have another night full of hard rock and metal classics in a more intimate setting on Saturday night, so if you need something to do this weekend, keep Tym's next solo show in mind! Like last week, Tym's only playing from 8:00 PM onward with no afternoon set, there's no announced cover charge, and I believe it's all ages (given it's restaurant locale.) For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a good night of music, and hopefully Tym has lots of great music in store for fans and Service Grill patrons alike on Saturday night! Stay tuned for more on this show tomorrow when we preview this weekend's concerts!

Next up, according to recent postings on their Facebook page, The Vibe Lounge on Goulais Avenue is closing tomorrow. The west end bar and concert spot will have their "last night open" on "Broke Ass Wednesday" tonight (as cited here), ending a 17 month local run that started last April. No reason has been publicized for the bar's sudden end, but if something comes out, I'll definitely have it here! Launched by some of the staff responsible for the former Nite-Life Dance Club, The Vibe Lounge seemed to be a nicely maintained bar, and it hosted heavier concerts from headlining bands like Caveman Morrison, Full Circle, Sneaky Pete, That's Chester, Throat Kick, and We The Undersigned during it's run. It's really surprising to hear of The Vibe Lounge's apparent end, but I imagine it's very west-end location couldn't have helped attendances sometimes. I know the guys at The Vibe Lounge did their best to make it a great new bar and lounge, and it will be surprising to not have it around anymore, if this all is true. If you're a Vibe fan, definitely head there tonight to send the bar out with a bang, and hopefully down the road, another bar comes to that spot! If I hear any more on the Vibe Lounge's closure, I'll let you guys know!

That said, I've moved The Vibe Lounge from our Sault Ontario Concert Venue Listings to our Other Local Metal Links section due to their impending closure. While I was moving inactive venues, I also moved The Bottoms Up Lounge out of the venue links due to it's inactivity as a metal concert spot, especially given that only Tym Morrison (of SMS-covered acts) ever played there. Another older Tym Morrison venue (The Big Cheese in Heyden) was removed for the same reason, but they don't have a website for me to use to keep them around. Things should be up to date now for which venues are active for concerts!

Finally today, I wanted to address a concert some of you guys may have heard about since last month. On August 19th, you may have seen a SooToday article on their entertainment page promoting a concert taking place TODAY at The Oddfellows Hall that would be headlined by Vancouver punk/metal outfit Kill Matilda. Solid band, nice mix of punk, metal, and horror movie themes, and with a female singer too, so they'd definitely be worth checking out! Kill Matilda's publicist confirmed the show with me by e-mail last month, and the local date is listed on the tour poster on your left. That said, I never publically confirmed the show on the SMS because Dismembertainment (who were going to book the show) never publically announced it. But with SooToday plugging it, I had to address it, so are Kill Matilda playing in Sault Ontario tonight? Nope. When doing some research, I found this topic on the 705 Video Magazine forums (registration required to view) where Dismembertainment's Rich Moreland confirmed that he had to cancel the show. Had it went on, there was apparently tentative plans for some professional filming & an interview, which would have been awesome, but that's out now. Shame this show didn't go through, it'd have been great, but Dismembertainment have lots of awesome stuff on the horizon (like Napalm Death), so keep an eye out!

Also for possible concerts, The Nicolet Tavern's marquee board is advertising Full Circle for this Friday and Saturday, but I'm not positive if these shows are going on as announced or not. The band has yet to publically announce any dates for this weekend (via a Facebook event page or otherwise), so I'm not sure what's up. For what it's worth, the band hasn't played anywhere in two weeks, and I heard that drummer Scott McClurg recently came down with a cold, but whether either will affect this weekend's shows or not isn't known. If I hear definitively that Full Circle are playing at The Nic this weekend, I'll let you guys know!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow and our review of Woods of Ypres' "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth" on Friday! Thanks everyone!

Monday, September 26, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Sykotyk Rampage & Banned), Abstract News, And This Month's CD Review!!

It's time for some more news today, but first, I want to apologize for a missed show. Apparently, Sault Michigan quartet Powerslug played a short notice concert at The Corner Pub Bar & Grill on September 17th, though without venue or band confirmation, I didn't hear about it until I saw gutiarist Chris Gurnoe mention it on his personal Facebook page. I apologize for missing this show, though I wish Powerslug shows were easier to source! Now, we have LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS today, new videos from a young local band, and the identity of our next CD review, so let's begin (and check out this morning's Saultites in Out of Town Bands Profile on Paricide in the post below this one!)

The first metal concert for the next incarnation of Foggy Notions has been announced, and it's the Green Christmas Bash on Christmas Day! Looks like the return of what was Foggy's will come before Christmas, so a show's been announced for then, which is good news! For the concert itself, this will be the second straight year of a "green" Christmas show at this location, and like last year's concert, local punk/classical trio RedD Monkey are headlining! Gotta love their fast and furious blend of punk, a cello, and even some scattered rap and metal covers, so don't miss them! However, metal will grace the stage along with them, including classic metal quintet Sativa Rose and crash quartet Sykotyk Rampage! This is currently the first announced concert for Sativa Rose since they added singer Marisa Valois to their lineup in August, but I imagine we'll see them before then. Still, nice to see Sativa Rose back for another Christmas show at what was Foggy's! As for Sykotyk Rampage, it'll be nice to see them back on the local stage after a few months away from it, and in case no concerts are announced for them in the interim, it will probably be our first chance to hear songs from their six newest albums live!

More bands are likely to be announced, and if your band's interested in playing, message promoter/RedD Monkey frontman Steve Mozarowski at this location! For reference, last year's Green Christmas show featured RedD Monkey & Sativa Rose with the recently-inactive bands The Fury, SBD, and Whiskey Skidoo, so you know bands of any genre could make the lineup this year! Like the last Christmas' concert, it will be a 19+ event with a 9:00 PM start time, but this time, there will be a cover charge of "a Christmas toonie", which is more than affordable! Click here for more details! Sounds like fun, hopefully lots of people show up to send Christmas out with a bang! Stay tuned for more details on this show and Foggy Notions' return as they come in!

Also new on the concert schedule, Kinross hard rock trio Banned have announced their next concert appearance! Last seen at that minimally advertised battle of the bands in Rudyard on August 20th, the newer and rising trio will return to The Sundown Lounge in Pickford on Friday, October 28th for a Halloween weekend concert! Halloween weekend is always stacked with concerts, and this will be a nice addition! According to Banned's Facebook page, there will be a Halloween costume contest and prizes concurrent with the night's festivities, so if you go see Banned, get dressed up in your best costume! I assume this concert will have a 10:00 PM start time, you'll likely have to be 21 to attend the show, and there's no advertised cover charge. Check the above links for more details! Should be a good show in it's own right, especially with the longer than expected wait for a new Banned concert, so definitely keep their Halloween weekend concert in mind for next month, and stay tuned for more Banned news as I hear it!

Thirdly today, here's the latest from young Sault Michigan hard rockers Abstract! Their shows still tend to be announced on short notice, with few details about their locations or possible fees given, but they're still plugging away and frequently seen locally, so click here to keep up to date! In recent Abstract news, they won a fan-voted battle of the bands at the Chippewa County Fair, they're working on an original song, and the band may have parted ways with guitarist Kyle Burton, who's not listed in their members on their Facebook page (though he's credited elsewhere still.) If true, it's definitely disappointing, as he's a promising young guitarist, but we'll have to see what happens next! Also, two new YouTube videos of Abstract are now online courtesy of YouTube user Glen Baumgart, who posted two videos of the band from a performance in Mackinac Crossings on Mackinac Island on September 3rd onto his YouTube channel earlier this month! The videos are of Abstract covering AC/DC's "Back In Black" and The Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane", and for their ages, they do a good job!

Jacob Hotlen's singing doesn't really mesh with AC/DC, but they're showing more promise, and I'm as curious as ever to hear how they develop as they get older! I've embedded their Scorpions cover below, but check out much more from Abstract at the above links, and stay tuned for more from this promising young band as I hear it!

And finally, I'd like to talk about this month's local metal CD review. I've been quiet about it this month mainly because I was waiting to see if any new albums would come out (and I'd heard rumours to that effect from a couple of bands), but what will we review this month? Barring a flash new release by Thursday, I've decided to dip back into the archives this month, but with a shortage of gigging artists who released albums I have access to, I'll pick one of the bigger general metal albums I haven't reviewed yet. So this month, we'll very likely be looking at Woods of Ypres' second album & first full length release, 2004's "Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth"! It's been six months since I last reviewed an album of theirs, so we're past my six month buffer to avoid biases, and we're still behind on Woods of Ypres reviews as it is, so why not? Keep an eye out for our review of "Woods II" later this week (probably on Friday), again, barring a possible new release before then. No matter what though, I've got reviewing to do this week, so stay tuned for this final feature post of September 2011 in a few days!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news this week, plus weekend concert previews and the aforementioned CD review as well! Thanks everyone!

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Paricide

As scheduled, here's our next monthly feature post, and it's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! In this series where we look at bands from elsewhere that feature one or more local hard rock/metal musicians, we return to Southern Ontario to focus on a band from a few years back featuring a future local talent, and maybe you guys will dig this band! Just up front though, I'll remind you that this band is not the same as Paraside, the 2007-2008 local hardcore band featuring the Hagerman brothers from Changing Waves. Similar pronunciation, but completely different band. With that out of the way, here's what you need to now in this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
Paricide (Petrolia/Brantford, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; members not in their last full lineup in italics)

Casey McLean (vocals/guitar)
Shane Lipsit-Fraser (vocals/bass/keyboard)
Adam Veen (drums)
Rob LaPier (vocals)
Taylor Davis (?????)

Official website:
Official YouTube channel:

Local Info: The only former Sault Ste. Marie resident in Paricide (to my knowledge) was bassist Shane Fraser, who's probably best known locally as frontman of the experimental metal band Sue Inside! After moving to Sault Ontario in the mid-2000s, he formed Sue Inside in 2007 with drummer Jeff Vogel, and they left their mark in the local scene with unique two-man metal sets through mid-2009, notably at the Skid Row & YMCA Battles of the Bands. Shane moved to Oil Springs (45 minutes southeast of Sarnia) in the summer of 2009, taking Sue Inside with him, where they continued to sporadically play live and post new material until the spring of 2012. Now residing in Thunder Bay, Shane most recently played bass in the rock band Ostrich (now Eleven Seventeen.)

Band Bio: Paricide formed in Petrolia (a half hour east of Sarnia) in or around early 2003. Their original lineup, including singer Rob LaPier, played numerous shows in that area over the next year, including some high school concerts and benefit events. The band also released an EP called "The Druglords of Music" that year, along with another release during their run named "The Bong Chronicles". In January 2004, Paricide relocated to Brantford to further their musical goals, though Rob moved from there that April, reducing the band to a three-piece. Paricide continued to rock Southern Ontario concert venues from there, including shows in Toronto & London, and some opening sets for notable hard rock tribute bands like Mama Kin. Band updates stalled after July 2005, with the band presumably dissolving that summer, though with a lack of online band pages, that can't be proven. Four years after their last update, a posthumous YouTube channel was launched featuring assorted Paricide audio recordings, while you can now see Adam with the Oil Springs band The Mudd Buttons.

Compared to most of the Sue Inside output we heard at their local shows, Paricide were definitely more melodic and full-sounding, so if you're not a fan of screaming and more extreme metal, you might like Paricide more! I was honestly surprised at how many slower softer moments their songs had, and on tracks like "Paraconscious", there's real layers and themes mixed into everything, even if the production's lacking. Rob LaPier's vocals weren't bad and flowed with the music, and the members of Paricide showed some good hard rock skills with some nice original touches! Reminded me a lot of late 1990s hard rock in style, though definitely not venturing into nu-metal territory. Shane's bass work is solid here, and he showed off some nice diversity on the originals I have access to, and the guys did have chemistry! Songs like "The Shadow" are good for aggression, but on tracks like "Bleed" and "The Number Eight", they definitely hold their own with softer material. Alternative hard rock fans should give Paricide a listen, cause they were a talented band that had a lot of unfulfilled promise, so don't skip a chance to check them out!

Online media of Paricide's is mostly limited to their posthumous YouTube channel, as the songs on their website are now dead links. No videos are posted, but tracks from both of their demo releases are featured, along with select live covers from at least one Petrolia concert circa 2003, including covers of Mudvayne, Nirvana, and Nine Inch Nails songs. The live tracks are lesser in quality, but well performed, so give them a listen too, especially "Stoned" by Silverchair! Embedded below though is a promotional video that Adam uploaded to his YouTube channel in 2007 that features rare live footage and some solid original music, so check it our below, and  all of their posted songs at the above links!

There we go, hopefully you guys enjoyed this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we'll travel all the way to Victoria, British Columbia to take a look at The Lust Boys, the glam metal band featuring former Glass Statues guitarist Ben "Benny Blitz" Kemp-Reynolds! This should be interesting, so look out for it the week before Halloween, likely on October 26th! Stay tuned for more news on the SMS this week, including our last monthly feature post of September by Friday, which will be this month's CD review! Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 23, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), And Napalm Death & Half Past News!!

Shorter post today, mainly because I wasn't expecting to have enough things to write about, but I'll cobble everything together! Today, we have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, ticket details for a major upcoming concert, and some new videos, so here's what you need to know!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will indeed be rocking Service Grill Pizza TONIGHT! The prolific and talented singer/guitarist will return to the Korah Road restaurant tonight after spending last Saturday in Goulais River, continuing the speculation that his arrangement at the Service Grill is now bi-weekly. If that's the case, we won't see him back there until October 8th (with a possible show elsewhere next week), but time will tell if this trend continues. Apologies for the short notice for tonight's concert though, Tym only just announced it earlier today on this Facebook event page. Late notice or not, it's good to hear Tym's back on familiar territory tonight! Despite what the poster says, he did not start at 3:00 PM today, he's only playing one set from 8:00 PM onward, so you won't have missed a thing! There's no cover charge, and seeing as it's a restuarant, I can't see it being 19+ tonight. For more details, check the above links! Should be a good night of hard rocking unplugged covers, so if you need something to do tonight in Sault Ontario, head to the Service Grill for Tym Morrison! For a preview, here's Tym covering "More Than Words" with former Half Past singer Luke LeBlanc in 2008!

I was actually going to move on to another new concert on October 15th, but while it's now publically announced, I'm waiting for confirmation on where exactly it's being held before we plug it on here. For now though, let's discuss another concert taking place that night, and it's the widely anticipated metal show at The Riuniti Hall featuring Napalm Death, Hallows Die, Wake, Shit Liver, and The Bear Hunters! Tickets are now available for this mega-concert on October 15th, but where can you pick them up? The Rad Zone at Wellington Square Mall and Northland Music on Queen Street East have them right now for you guys to purchase, or you can directly contact promoter Rich Moreland in person or through Dismembertainment's Facebook page to get hooked up! If you wanna wait a day or two, members of The Bear Hunters and Shit Liver will have tickets to sell as well, so keep that in mind! Tickets are $20, which is more than worth it to see this high quality amount of bands, including the living death metal legends that are Napalm Death, so snap them up today! Stay tuned for updates on this concert as they come in!

And finally for this short Saturday night post, Half Past/Frightlight drummer Chris Thompson has posted the rest of the videos from Half Past's set at Hempfest last month onto his YouTube channel! Unlike the first two, the only things he's added to the new videos are title cards, and we've seen these before on the band's Facebook page, but it's nice to finally get these on YouTube! The "new" videos are of Half Past covering Drowning Pool's "Bodies", "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack, Disturbed's song "Down With The Sickness", and System of a Down's "Hypnotize", and as I've previously said, the band sounds great but I think Jordan Rains should stick to more melodic songs, as the songs with harsher vocals sound a bit rough. Good stuff though, so check the above links for all of the Hempfest videos of Half Past, and here's the video of the band covering "Down With The Sickness"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more over the next few days, including this week's Out of Town profile on Paricide on Monday! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Frightlight), Plus More Frightlight News & This Week's Classic Video!!

Let's get your Friday going right with a pile of news, and most of it revolves around one band, who have a lot of big announcements on their plate, though we also have this week's classic video to round things out. So let's kick things off with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!

Local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight will return to the local stage for at least two shows over Halloween weekend! The shows were announced via a press release that the band sent to SooToday yesterday, so click here for the full article! First, the band will rock Bossy's Pub N' Grub on Friday, October 28th for the first time, in what will also be the first metal concert at the former Smack Daddy's since Hollow's reunion show there last month! Interesting spot, but Frightlight will bring the horror to Bossy's as only they can at this show! Details on possible cover charges, additional bands, and times are not out yet, but I expect this will be a 19+ concert. When I hear more, I'll let you guys know! The other new local concert will be the very next night, as Frightlight will presumably headline the sixth annual Coch's Corner Halloween Party! Always a highlight of the Halloween season, Coch's Corner pulls out all the stops to give a Halloween ambiance to the bar each year, and expect lots of great music and good times to go along with it! Last year, there was a costume contest too, so look out for that on October 29th as well! Admission should be around $5, which isn't standard for Coch's Corner shows, but is definitely worth it! I'd expect a 9:00 PM start time and a 19+ age limit as well.

As for the complete lineup, that isn't out yet, but for reference, the Halloween parties in 2009 & 2010 featured Half Past & Winkstinger respectively, along with one-off cover bands Glamoween in 2009 & The Mothermakers last year (who shared identical members.) Also, both of these shows will be among the first featuring Frightlight's current lineup, but we'll have more on that later. Awesome to see Frightlight back for some big concerts next month, and I'll definitely at least be at the Coch's Corner Halloween party, but in terms of scope, their biggest concert is happening a couple days before...

... as on October 26th, Frightlight will head to Toronto to open for horror punk legends The Misfits at The Phoenix Concert Theater! How about that for a concert? Frightlight will join Chicago punk standouts Juicehead and Toronto-area punk bands Rehab For Quitters, The Unbelievers, and Bi-Kneel at this concert, which is part of The Misfits' tour cycle in support of their upcoming album "The Devil's Rain"! This is awesome news for Frightlight, and it's great to hear public word of them playing with such a legendary band as The Misfits! For the record, this show was the main focus of the SooToday press release linked above. Now, being that the show is in Toronto, you may be wondering why we're covering it in extra detail on The Sault Metal Scene. Simple, because you can buy tickets for the show locally! The Rad Zone at The Wellington Square Mall has limited tickets available for this concert for $32.50, so if you want to take a road trip down to Toronto on Wednesday, October 26th, get your tickets A.S.A.P. at The Rad Zone! Yes, you can buy tickets online or by phone too, but you won't get saddled with shipping or other additional fees if you buy them in person. For complete details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome concert, so if you can make it to Toronto on October 26th, definitely head down to see The Misfits and Frightlight together on stage! Get more details at the above links!

And finally in Frightlight news, the band appears to have parted ways with drummer Jeff De Rose. Though still listed on Frightlight's band pages, he's not credited on their Misfits show press release linked above, and through some additional searching, it definitely looks like he's out of the band. I don't know why he left, but everything looks amicable. Under the stage names "The Count" & "Dr./Mr. Bates", Jeff had been Frightlight's drummer for about a year, after replacing Jeff "Shrek Ogre" Richards in August 2010. It's disappointing to see Jeff leave, but hopefully he'll pop up behind a drumkit again soon! Though not officially confirmed on band pages, it looks like Jeff has been replaced by Half Past drummer Chris Thompson, making him the band's fourth drummer in under two years. He's credited solely as "Thompson" in the band's press release, implying that that's his current Frightlight stage name. Solid choice, especially given Chris' talent and his past work in Fitswitch, seeing as he, J.D., Rick, and Kevin were all Fitswitch bandmates for a time in the mid-2000s! In fact, click here to see all four of the now-Frightlight bandmates playing "March of 1,000 Corpses" at The Canadian Nightclub as sort of a preview of what's to come! Chris should do great in Frightlight, and stay tuned for their new lineup's debut late next month!

Lastly for today, here's this week's classic video! I honestly couldn't find many suitable non-YouTube videos to tie in with any metal bands playing this weekend, so I'll dip into the general archives for a video this week, but for which band? Lion Ride, they'll work well! I chose a video of the talented quintet playing their new original "Bang Bang Bye Bye" at a 2009 concert for this week, but I'm not 100% sure where it was filmed. Judging by past tour dates and photo evidence, I think it's from Lion Ride's show at Maxwell's Music House in Waterloo, Ontario on April 25th, 2009, but correct me if I'm wrong. If that's all correct, this is the earliest video I've seen of the band playing "Bang Bang Bye Bye", and it features their 2009-2010 lineup, including then-bassist Diamond Brent Panther (now of Maximum RNR.) Very good quality, though I think newer versions of the song have a bit more aggression to them. This video was originally filmed by attendee Rob Schramm, who uploaded it to his personal Facebook page that same day, and you can see the original video at

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! I want to share this video with a wider audience like it deserves, and all credit for this video goes to Rob and Lion Ride! Also, I did come minor colour correction to the video after uploading it, but it didn't need much work. With that said, check out Lion Ride playing "Bang Bang Bye Bye" in Waterloo(?) in 2009 below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes over the weekend, and our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Paricide on Monday! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

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

It's time to preview this weekend's slate of metal and hard rock shows! Barring some late notice shows on the Sault Ontario side (odd that I haven't heard of anything from Full Circle or Tym Morrison yet), most of the shows this weekend on the heavier side of things are in Sault Michigan, so if you're across the river you'll like that! There's also lots of updates relating to these shows, including a relocation and a half-cancellation, so let's get things started, and check out our YouTube Channel Profile on Garden of Bedlam's YouTube channel below this post!

We'll start TONIGHT at The Roosevelt Hotel for the 34th Roosevelt Hotel metal night, and for the 6th time in the past 7 weeks, we have an out of town headliner for this show! This time, it's North Bay black metal quartet Empyrean Plague, making what might be their first ever stop in Sault Ontario for this concert! Brutal folk inspired sound, and if you crave some black metal, you'll absolutely want to see Empyrean Plague tonight! Also, they're coming off of their CD release show in Sudbury yesterday, so keep an eye out for "Imprint Evidence Destiny" at the merchandise table! The opening bands have also been confirmed for tonight, and for a second straight weekend, young local death metal standouts The Bear Hunters and Shit Liver will rock The Rosie on a Thursday metal night! Odd to see the exact same openers in consecutive weeks, but these frequently seen bands will deliver some awesome metal to kick off the night's proceedings! Admission is $3 for tonight's show (totally affordable), you must be 19 to attend, and there's a 9:00 PM start time, possibly later. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Sounds like an awesome concert, and hopefully everyone's face is melted with a heavy dose of Northern black metal! Definitely hit this show if you can, and for a preview, here's Empyrean Plague's video for their song "We Are The North!"

Now to the Sault Michigan metal and hard rock concerts that I know of, and first, Charlevoix classic metal quintet Peril are back at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino this weekend, though with a reduction. Originally scheduled to rock Kewadin tomorrow night & Saturday night, Peril confirmed on their Facebook page on Tuesday that they would only be playing at The Rapids Lounge tomorrow night, meaning that their announced Saturday night show there is now cancelled. No reason was given for why the Saturday show is off, but seeing as they're still playing tomorrow, I assume it's as simple as a scheduling conflict. Regardless, it's been four long months since Peril last rocked our local Kewadin Casino, so you won't wanna miss their proficient classic metal originals & covers tomorrow night! They should be on at 9:00 PM tomorrow, there's no announced cover charge, and you must be 21 to attend. Check the above links for more details! Sounds like a good show, so if you want to rock out with Peril, get down to the casino tomorrow night! For a preview, here's Peril covering Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" last year!

Also this weekend, Sault Michigan hard rockers Powerslug (formerly River Witch) are back on stage for two shows, but there's some stuff to address. Originally, the band were booked before their name change for a full weekend at The Cozy Corners Tavern in nearby Barbeau, Michigan, and the Cozy Corners Facebook page backed this up this afternoon, sans the name change. However, The Merchant's Bar's Facebook page confirms that Powerslug will be playing there on Saturday night only (Fallen Heroes are booked there for Friday.) So, what's up with all that? Seeing as Cozy Corners don't seem to be aware of the name change, I assume at least the Saturday booking is off, cause I can't see them being able to play two concerts in two towns in the same evening. That, or Powerslug is a separate band with old River Witch members, but I've heard nothing to indicate that a such a division happened. For what it's worth, I know Chris Leask & Chris Gurnoe are in Powerslug, and the logo on your right comes from Chris Leask's personal Facebook page, so I assume they're the same band, but I could be wrong. I wish the band updated pages more often so we could get publically verifiable news, but for now, I'll assume that they're at Cozy Corners tomorrow & The Merchant's Bar in Sault Michigan on Saturday.

I had assumed that the also-scheduled walleye fishing tournament at Cozy Corners on Saturday would be a schedule conflict, but I can't verify if that's why the switch occurred. Nonetheless, they'll be on at around 10:00 PM for both shows, no cover charge is advertised for either venue, and you must be 21 to attend either night. Check the above links for more details! Regardless of all the confusion and conflicting news, Powerslug will deliver some great hard rock this weekend, so check them out either night at either bar, they should impress! If I find any video or audio of the band in action, I'll let you guys know!

And finally, Marquette hard rock quartet Nudge will return to The Satisfied Frog in Sault Michigan for their first local concert appearances in over a month! This talented and frequently seen band will be sure to deliver two great nights of hard rock and metal covers at The Frog tomorrow night & Saturday night, so keep their local return in mind for your weekend plans (or frontman Danzo McCracken's solo acoustic show there TONIGHT too!) They'll be on at 10:00 PM for both shows, you must be 21 to attend either concert, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Great to see Nudge back and rocking it in the Soo this weekend, and if you check them out, you'll no doubt have a great time! Modern hard rock fans won't wanna miss Nudge! For a preview, here's Nudge covering Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" in 2008!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes tomorrow, including lots of big news from Frightlight! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Garden of Bedlam

As promised, it's time for our next monthly feature series post at The Sault Metal Scene, and for a third month, here's our next entry in our YouTube Channel Profile Series! Each month, we'll take a look at up to three YouTube channels with at least 50% local metal-relevant videos (the SMS channel excluded), as randomly selected from the 100+ channels that fit this criteria, as seen at this location! We've lucked out to start the series though, with channels focusing on two prominent local bands, and going on three this month, so here's all that you should know in this month's YouTube Channel Profile! (Updated on October 15th, 2013)
Garden of Bedlam's Channel (

Owner: A Garden of Bedlam member (not sure which one), though the channel is credited to the band as a whole.

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 15th, 2008; Videos posted between 2010 & April 2011.

Channel Summary: This was the official YouTube channel for Sault Ontario hard rock quartet Garden of Bedlam. Essentially replacing an earlier channel that had just one uploaded video, Garden of Bedlam have uploaded 11 videos to this channel, mostly comprised of the band's entire headlining set at the Tenaris Second Stage at Rotaryfest in July 2010. The other posted videos include two music videos filmed by former Amethyst frontman Rick DellaVedova & edited by CML Productions, and an audio upload of the band's 2009 song "Stand Your Ground". Last actively used in the spring of 2011, it's status as Garden of Bedlam's active official YouTube channel ended when the the "Videos of Bedlam" channel saw it's first video uploads in July 2012.

Why Should You Watch: Because this channel is an excellent source of Garden of Bedlam videos from the past couple of years, not one of which featuring bad quality audio or filming! That said, this channel doesn't appear to be the band's current official YouTube channel anymore, but it's still the largest official source of Garden of Bedlam videos, so watch or subscribe at the above links for more!

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Garden of Bedlam - The Truth Shall Set You Free: Easily the most viewed video on this Garden of Bedlam channel, this was the band's first official music video, as filmed by Rick DellaVedova & edited by from CML Productions at their headlining concert at Foggy Notions (now Coch's Corner) on Boxing Day 2009. Released on March 22nd the following year, the video is for Garden of Bedlam's song "The Truth Shall Set You Free" from their self-titled 2009 debut EP. The all black & white video is well shot and edited, and serves as a solid introduction to Garden of Bedlam for any new listeners, especially with how good of a song it is!

Garden Of Bedlam "Shallow" - official video: Over a year after their first music video was posted, CML Productions produced a follow-up music video for their song "Shallow" (also from their 2009 EP), which Garden of Bedlam posted to their channel this past April! Unlike the first music video, this one features footage of Garden of Bedlam from multiple concerts at the former Foggy's, along with jam session clips, and it makes minimal use of colour as well. For variance and effects used, I find it's better than the video for "The Truth Shall Set You Free", but both are well done and worth checking out, as it's not ever day you see more professional music videos for local bands like these!

Garden of Bedlam - Against the Grain: The bulk of the videos on Garden of Bedlam's channel are of their entire set as headliners at the Rotaryfest Second Stage on Queen Street East on July 17th, 2010, as filmed from the sound tent behind the standing room area. The band played 8 original songs that night, including 7 songs from their 2011 CD "Everything Will Die" (including the debuting "Around The Bend") and their older original "Shallow", and though the camera angle is a bit far from the stage, everything's clear and sounds really nice, and the band are firing on all cylinders! One of many highlights of Garden of Bedlam's local run so far, I have their set opening song "Against The Grain" below, but check the above links for much more high quality videos from this set!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's YouTube Channel Profile! So, what profile did we choose for October's installment of this monthly feature series? Through completely random selection, we're returning to Sault Michigan for another band-centric profile, this time for Bad Side's YouTube channel! Though later supplanted by the Vicious Music channel in terms of content, there's a lot of good stuff to see, so stay tuned for this profile on or around October 22nd! Stay tuned for more news over the coming days, including our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Paricide on Monday and much more! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A New Local Band, Plus Some Newly Discovered Videos!!

Hey guys, I have some more news today before we focus on weekend concert previews and our next YouTube Channel Profile tomorrow, so here's what's on tap for today! Mostly, we have a few videos, including an old discovery of a cool cover from a local band, another Hempfest concert video, and leading things off, everything you should know concerning a newly discovered band, so here's what you need to know!

I'm actually fairly surprised I haven't featured this band on here yet, given their output, but this new band is a Sault Ontario metal project named ApocalyptiCDistroyeR! The band has actually been active under slightly altered names since 2008, but with a low profile and some pages indicating they're from London as well, they've passed under our radar. Their lineup features singer Kory Middaugh and (I believe) his cousins Jesse & Brach Middaugh on guitar, with bass and drum positions to be filled (though Ben Woodhouse was listed as their drummer at one point.) I'm not familiar with any of them from other local bands, but it's nice to see such a family-linked band locally! ApocalyptiCDestroyeR launched in 2008 with a Reverbnation page, then gaining their current form and name spelling in 2009, with band pages on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, SoundClick, and more being created. Apparently, the band has worked on at least two demos, a self-titled release in 2008/2009 and "The Devil Doesnt Influence Me, I Influence The Devil" last year, though none appear to have been officially released as an actual "album". There's ambition to be seen here, but as far as I can gather, ApocalyptiCDistroyeR have not played live yet, nor have band pages (YouTube aside) been updated since February.

How does ApocalyptiCDistroyeR sound? Sort of a straightforward metal style, with a good amount of originals in the works, but they need work on song structures. They have a ton of demos and song parts posted on their pages (including 44 individual tracks on SoundClick), and though the guitar work is generally solid throughout, the other instruments need work. The vocals that I've heard usually sound distorted or too low, and the programmed drums are often out of time and sound too artificial (even making cracking sounds sometimes), but Jesse and Brach have definite guitar skill! If they can build around that with some similarly talented musicians and more developed song structures, they could definitely be able to carve a larger name locally! I'll link a video below, but if you check out their YouTube channel linked above, you'll notice that most of the posted videos are of just Jesse Middaugh playing original demos and some covers, but there is a couple of ApocalyptiCDistroyeR audio tracks to "see"! One is for their song "Vlad The Impaler" (sans programmed drums) as synched up to clips from the anime series "Hellsing", and check it out below to hear some of the Middaugh brothers original guitar skill!

We'll close with a couple more videos I recently came across, and first, here's one more video from Half Past's set at Hempfest last month! Like the one we shared on Thursday, this comes from drummer Chris Thompson's YouTube channel, and it's of their cover of Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" that night! Again, this was taken from a previously posted Facebook video and edited afterwards to give it various filters, effects, and colours, though unlike their Silverchair cover, the video doesn't spin. I do like how he framed Alain Fletcher's guitar solo though, nice touch! Good stuff, check it out below, and stay tuned for more Half Past news as it comes in!

And finally, here's a cool metal-relevant video I came across on YouTube the other day. Punk fans in town may be familiar with the local punk supergroup Bin Hawdon & The Taliband, who you often see in recent years at reunion concerts around Christmas time, but have made waves at punk shows since the early 2000s. With Lion Ride's own Mikey Hawdon and Mark Rand in The Taliband, you know some heavier stuff would leak out of their sets occasionally, and in the case of this video from an August 2006 concert at Foggy Notions, they covered The Misfits' "Dig Up Her Bones"! Uploaded onto Mikey's YouTube channel only a couple of days later, I only just saw it now, and it's a good video! The vocals are way too quiet, and the audio quality is slightly scratchy, but it's awesome to see this video! I need to check out Mikey's videos more often, I'm surprised this passed me by for so long! Check out Bin Hawdon & The Taliband getting their horror punk on below, and if I find any more old school heavier covers from Mikey's bands, I'll let you guys know!

That's probably all for today, but stay tuned at midnight sharp for our latest YouTube Channel Profile, as we take a look at Garden of Bedlam's YouTube channel and the videos that lie within! Then, stay tuned likely Thursday afternoon for weekend concert previews! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Napalm Death & Empyrean Plague) And Much More!!

Alright, we have some really awesome news to share today, mostly concerning upcoming metal shows, but we have some assorted notes at the end, including some YouTube housekeeping youy guys might like. Now though, let's kick things off with LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS!!!

Hold on to your hats, metalheads, as a HUGE metal show is hitting Sault Ontario on October 15th, headlined by none other than British grindcore legends Napalm Death! You read that right! One of the top ten highest selling death metal bands of all time, Napalm Death have made waves since the 1980s on the backs of influential albums like "Scum" "Fear, Emptiness, Despair", and their latest "Time Waits For No Slave", and you know their brutal and respected sounds will not want to be missed next month! Huge kudos to Rich Moreland and Dismembertainment for bringing them here, this should be their biggest show yet! Four bands have been secured as openers, including two out of town bands, so who's opening for Napalm Death? Toronto death metal band Hallows Die, for one, in their first Sault Ontario stop in five months, following the Farewell To Freeway-headlined Rosie metal night in May! Nice choice, they sounded great from what I heard the first time around, so you won't want to miss them! The other out of town band is Calgary grindcore outfit Wake, who'll fit right in at this show with a hardcore and grind mixture that's guaranteed to melt faces in what I think is their local debut! How's that for an intense trifecta of great out of town death metal?

The two local bands confirmed as openers are melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters and grimecore trio Shit Liver, who are probably the best local fits for a show of this style and magnitude, and you know they'll turn some heads in the process! Also, I should note that Oshawa death metal band Strings of Ares had announced their participation in this show on band pages in August, but unless Dismembertainment confirm additional bands, I wouldn't read too far into that (though they'd fit well if added!) With the bands out of the way, what else should you know about this huge metal show? It will be held at The Riuniti Hall on 1324 Great Northern Road (at the corner of 4th Line East, down the road from The Trading Post), which isn't a familiar concert venue, but it has the size needed for a show of this magnitude! Crank Sound Distribution will be on hand to do sound, and it will be an ALL AGES concert, but a bar for 19+ attendees will be open. Doors open at 6:00 PM, and tickets are $20 in advance (ticket details to be announced), or $25 at the door, which certainly isn't steep for this level of bands, including the one and only Napalm Death! For all current details, visit the official Facebook event page!

Now THIS is one hell of a metal concert, Rich has outdone himself once again! There's a chance I might be in Detroit that weekend, but if I'm not, you can guarantee I'll be at The Riuniti Hall on October 15th for what should be one of the biggest metal concerts of the year! There's likely much more to come related to this concert, so stay tuned to the SMS for more details as they're confirmed!

So while Napalm Death stole much of the attention last night, Dismembertainment kept busy announcing another concert yesterday as well, that being THIS THURSDAY's 34th Roosevelt Hotel metal night! Keeping with recent trends for Dismembertainment's Thursday night showcases, there will be an out of town headlining band, and this week, it's North Bay black metal quartet Empyrean Plague! Nice to see them come to town, and if you enjoy folk inspired black metal, you'll be right at home with these Northern Ontario standouts, especially if you're more into black metal than other types! Local opening bands are scheduled for Thursday, but none have been confirmed as of this writing. When they're announced, I'll let you guys know! This show has a 9:00 PM start time, there will be a $3 cover (very affordable), and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Even without knowing the openers yet, this is shaping up to be an awesome concert, and huge props to Rich for booking out of town headliners for the Thursday metal nights in six of the past 7 weeks! Consistent brutal metal shows, gotta love em! Stay tuned for updates on THIS THURSDAY'S Empyrean Plague show as they come in!

Now to some more news, so here's three assorted shorter stories from last few days. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or station name:
  • I moved Sault Michigan metal quintet Analog Deficiency to our inactive band links yesterday. Featuring Traces guitarists Nathan Switzer & Cody Tidwell in their lineup, Analog Deficiency were last visibly active on September 19th, 2010, which was when they last logged into their MySpace page. They were a promising band with a cool KoRn-inspired sound, though hopefully the members' current projects work out!
  • Sault Ontario solo hard rock guitarist Shane "The Shaner" Solomon has posted a new "in progress" original demo named "Underdog" onto his Reverbnation page. Promising slower hard rocker, I like the riffing, and hopefully he expands on this to make a fuller track! Click here for more of The Shaner's original material!
  • WLSO: The Sounds of Lake State (the college radio station at Lake Superior State University in Sault Michigan) has launched an official Twitter account! Not a lot of activity there yet, but a recent tweet implied that they're running a Saturday night rock show of some type this semester with a DJ named Aaron as host. If I hear any more details on this and other programming on WLSO, I'll let you know, but tune in today at 90.1 FM!

And finally for today, I wanted to let you guys know about some interesting edits being made to the videos on our official YouTube channel. A few days ago, YouTube unveiled a new feature that allows channel owners to edit their videos after uploading, and I don't mean the title and description. Now, you can adjust the lighting, colour, shakiness, length, and audio of videos after uploading them, and I'll tell you guys right now, this is awesome of them to finally add! Now I can go back and edit all of the videos I've filmed and uploaded that had bad/no lighting, dim/washed out colour, and other odd or non-realistic lighting. I've edited many videos, mostly from concerts, since YouTube unveiled this feature, and now many older videos are brighter & better lit than they once were! This doesn't boost the quality (dark footage doesn't brighten up very cleanly), but this way, many older videos look nicer and more detailed. I plan on using this feature more often, and I do recommend it for you readers with YouTube channels, as who wants to watch a black or washed out video?

To show you guys an example, here's Scofflaw's video for "Love Destroyer" (as originally uploaded to their MySpace page in 2008), and my weekly classic video upload of it from March, which I colour corrected a couple days ago. See what you guys think!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new local band and more news later this week, along with our next YouTube Channel Profile Series (on Garden of Bedlam's channel) on Thursday, and more! Thanks everyone!