Wednesday, November 30, 2011
"What Child Is This?" leads off the album with a slow and dark intro that sets a mood, though not immediately Christmas feeling. The guitar section early on reminds me of a Metallica intro, which isn't a bad comment. After 90 seconds, the drums kick in and the song builds in volume while keeping the same feel, and it works as an orchestral-tinged slower metal instrumental! I'm not terribly familiar with the original carol, but Craig's symphonic keyboard playing fits very nicely here, and the Giles brothers can definitely handle something of this scope! That said, the track does get repetitive midway through, but as someone who's always dug orchestral elements in metal, the later portion of the song has a nice epic closing feel. Solid opening track overall, and a nice sample of what Theatre of Night can do! It's followed by "The Road To Bethlehem", which leads off with an awesome orchestral opening and sort of a tolling bell effect that gives the impression of an important journey or entrance. Craig's skills are crystal clear on this track, and you'd think there was an actual string instrument on this one on first listen! Metalheads may be disappointed by the lack of "metal" on the song, and I find it's shorter than it deserves, but it's a great dark orchestral number that I definitely recommend!
Third is "Little Drummer Boy", and after another slow and darker keyboard opening, the music kicks in with Steve riffing along with the vocal harmonies of the original carol and Greg drumming in the background (fittingly, knowing the song.) "Little Drummer Boy" is well known as carols go, but if you don't know it, the song has sort of a military march feel with the drum patterns. In the second half, Steve plays a bit more varied on the guitar, which shakes things up and keeps the song from getting repetitive, even throwing in some mini-guitar solos, and Craig's keyboard harmonies flow well with the music throughout. Not a terribly heavy track, but it adds a nice orchestral metal flourish to this Christmas standard, and the guys pulled it off! Then, we have "Arabian Christmas Night", which makes nice use of keyboard effects early for a slow and affecting intro. The song in general almost has a dreamlike quality to it, but personally, I'm not detecting an Arabian influence in the music (though maybe I'm looking at it a different way.) It's the sort of song that would go well with falling snow, in my opinion, and the orchestral keyboard work is very nice, but I'd like to have seen it been a bit heavier with some more integration of the Giles brothers. Still, it definitely feels right for the season!
Fifth on "Christmas Night" is "Away In A Manger", which is the album's shortest and possibly most "carol-like" song. Essentially, it features Steve Giles playing acoustic guitar to the carol's melody with backing keyboard accompaniment, without any real divergence into metal territory. It's very nicely played and suits the original song's mood, and I like the added orchestration in the last third, but it's basically just their rendition "Away In A Manger". Well played for sure, but if you're looking for heavier stuff, there's other songs on the CD that'll be better suited for your tastes. After that is one of two brand new songs for the remastered album, "The Nutcracker", and after a vocal-tinged intro, the familiar "Nutracker" melody kicks in on the guitar, and Steve effectively plays it, though the opening volume he played it at didn't feel right. On higher notes though, it fit very well, and Craig's keyboard work fit well underneath it all! I'd have ratcheted up the heaviness on this one though, as the track feels empty, but it certainly isn't bad, and you should know instantly what Christmas song this is!
Seventh on the album is "Silent Night", and the guys in Theatre of Night turn in a beautiful sounding rendition of this Christmas standard with nice acoustic guitar work and string instrument-influenced keyboard work that definitely set the mood of the song well! "Silent Night" has always been one of the softest and more delicate carols, and they definitely capture that spirit here, so look elsewhere if you want heavier songs, but I will say that I'd like to have seen how drums could have been integrated on this track. Then we have "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful", which opens with a nice sort of "rising" intro leading into a nice guitar melody from Steve and some welcome drumming from Greg. The keyboard playing makes this song really feel important, and the guitar work is great to match the original carol, though this song does get slightly repetitive later on. I like Greg's drumming here, it fits well with the pacing of the song, though I think this song could have used more orchestral elements than we got. Solid work overall though, and nice to see a return to heavier fare!
Track number 9 is "A Star In The East", which opens with high pitched keyboard playing that give a fantasy sort of feel, which is interesting in itself, though some orchestral elements are layed underneath. Craig's playing here is varied and melodic, but it doesn't really feel like a "Christmas carol", so to speak, and it isn't terribly heavy. It's got a nice positive vibe though, and you almost feel as if fairies could dance to this track, but overall, I would say there are heavier and more seasonal-feeling songs on "Christmas Night". Tenth is "Carol of the Bells", a track you may remember from being briefly posted on End of Existence's pages last December. Easily one of the heaviest tracks on the CD, the early portion of the song features some heavy riffs and nice melodic guitar work from Steve and perfectly suited drumming from Greg throughout. The keyboard playing flows well with the guitar work, and though I think it runs a tad long, the three members show off their combined talents really well here for one of the heaviest songs on the CD! Great work overall, especially on Steve's part!
The album's penultimate (and longest) song is "Oh, Holy Night", which starts with a dark piano opening and a nice guitar melody to the original carol. It's played very slowly, but it's never encroaching into ballad territory, and the song has an overall dark and sometimes depressing feel going for it, and that's not a bad comment. Steve's guitar lines play off of Craig's dark keyboard melody nicely, and though it's not a real positive-sounding track, it's nicely played and honestly never struck me as repetitive. I'd like to have seen some drum integration, but overall, it's a quality affecting version of "Oh, Holy Night"! The CD closes with the other new track on the remaster, that being "Hark! The Herald (Angels Sing)", which features more quality guitar work that lines up with the original carol, but the early keyboard parts sounded off, like Craig was replicating an instrument that didn't line up with the song. Later though, the violin-ish effect works very nicely, and Christmas fans may be surprised to hear a portion of "The 12 Days of Christmas" creep into the track halfway through! The guys do a good job here on this carol (or both of them), and despite a sketchy opening, they delivered a nice seasonal orchestral track that fittingly capped off this album!
Overall, how do I grade Theatre of Night's "Christmas Night" album, especially when it's instrumental, orchestral, and seasonal nature set it apart from any of our past reviews? Well, I'll say that in terms of covering and doing justice to the classic Christmas carols, they definitely did a good job and played them straight with clear care and attention. Steve Giles' guitar work always seemed to flow with the original melodies, and Craig Harrison's keyboard work alternated between complimenting the material to adding grand and epic orchestral touches almost flawlessly. When included, Greg Giles' drumming added to the songs, and even in small doses, his talent was evident! The album on the whole reminded me of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, if it only featured 3 musicians, which isn't a bad comparison given the themes of this album, and it'll definitely fit well with Christmas music selections! Songs like "Carol of the Bells", "What Child Is This?", and "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" will whet metal appetites the most, and on songs like "The Road To Bethlehem", there's some awesome orchestral moments that I dig!
As for criticisms, I'll say that some songs could stand to be heavier, and at times, a few songs sounded empty, like they needed extra instruments. I'd have liked to have seen Theatre of Night integrate Greg more on some tracks, as adding drums would have been interesting to see on a few more songs than we got. A few songs also got repetitive at points, but at the same time, they were staying true to the original carols, so it was alright. Part of me also wonders how the album would sound with vocals, but maybe we'll get something like that in the future. Overall though, "Christmas Night" is a solid mix of orchestration, Christmas carols, and heavier music that will serve as a unique addition to your local music catalog, and it shows an interesting side to the musical talents of Craig Harrison and the Giles brothers! Here's hoping we get some more material from Theatre of Night (seasonal or otherwise) in the future, as there's a lot of promise here! Pick it up today at the above links, and hopefully it's a good kickoff to the holiday season!
I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what's coming up in December for our final CD review of 2011? I'm not sure yet, but I do know that it will likely be a new CD release if something new is released over the next month. I do know that it won't be a review of any Woods of Ypres or Sykotyk Rampage albums (nor Amethyst's first cassette), as it's too soon from my last reviews of theirs, though I'm fairly positive that "Woods V" (if it's release holds up) and a recent Sykotyk Rampage album (likely "Karrs") will be reviewed in early 2012. Of course, a new album is priority, but if I can tie in an archive release with a band/artist playing locally next month, I'll go that route too, but for now, it's up in the air what CD will be reviewed next month. Stay tuned for updates, along with a new news post very soon! Thanks everyone!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Here's a short notice announcement for a touring rock band's stop in Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday, as Toronto hard rock trio The DGB are stopping in town! Influenced by grunge & stoner hard rock bands, this will be a special acoustic concert at Feedback on Wednesday night, in what's a last minute stop on their return from a cross-Canada tour, so we're getting a unique look at this talented Southern Ontario outfit! If you like stoner rock or early 1990s alternative hard rock, The DGB will be right up your alley, and with it being an acoustic set, there's no chance that the police will be called on them, so that's a plus! No opening bands have been announced, and I'll of course let you guys know if any are named before Wednesday. There is no cover charge, you must be 19 to attend, and a 9:00 PM start time is listed. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an interesting concert, and hopefully a good crowd turns out despite the late notice & mid-week setting! The DGB are talented and have that grungy sound I like, so hopefully they have a great show on Wednesday night! For a preview, here's The DGB playing "Insert Your City" at a Halifax acoustic gig, but check the above links to hear more of their unplugged and electric material!
Now, while we're in the concert previewing mood, there's also a show with some metal representation taking place at The Roosevelt Hotel TOMORROW NIGHT, so here's what you need to know! It's primarily a punk concert, to be headlined by Toronto pop punk trio The Unbelievers, and they've got an entertaining & energetic style of female-charged punk rock, so they're definitely worth seeing! However, metalheads might also be interested to note that one of the opening bands is classic metal quintet Sativa Rose, who are finally returning to the stage after a four month hiatus tomorrow night! This will be their first concert since adding singer Marisa Valois to their lineup this summer, and how will she sound in her live debut? Well, there's only one way to find out, by going to The Rosie tomorrow! The other opening bands will include the debuting T. Rex Manning (the new band from Frightlight's J.D. Pearce & Skull Fist concert booker Tiffany Stocco) and frequently seen local punk trio Redundant, so there's a lot of metal potential on the undercard of this concert! Admission will be just $3 (which is more than worth it), it is a 19+ show, and doors open at 10:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page!
Sounds like a stacked night of hard hitting music, so if you love punk (and metal), head to The Rosie tomorrow night if you can! How will Sativa Rose's new lineup sound? What do T. Rex Manning play exactly? All will be answered at what should be a great show tomorrow night, and kudos to J.D. for bringing The Unbelievers here after they shared the stage with Frightlight in Toronto last month! Check the above links for more details, and for a preview, here's Sativa Rose playing their original song "Fall From Grace" earlier this year!
Now, here's some disappointing news, as noted local hard rockers Sense of Truth have broken up. An official statement has not been made by the band, but band members confirmed on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group over the weekend that Sense of Truth split up a few months ago. A reason hasn't been announced for their breakup, but I'll note that they haven't played live since May of last year, and a proper update hasn't came onto their Facebook group in almost 8 months, so things haven't been looking up for a while. That said, members Cory Murchison & Ron Baxter are forming a new local hard rock band, and you can get more details on the Musicians Wanted group linked above if you're interested in joining on bass or drums. This surprising news comes after a successful 3+ year run for Sense of Truth, who memorably launched in April 2008 by winning the Skid Row Battle of the Bands, and later opened for notable groups like Econoline Crush, State of Shock, and Ultraviolence, made the finals of the Kiss Battle of the Bands in 2009, and headlined the re-opening of Foggy Notions that year. Though Sense of Truth recorded songs towards a self-titled EP in February of last year, a formal release for it never came, and it's looking unlikely now that we'll ever see it come out.
It's a real shame to know that Sense of Truth have ended, as they were one of the most prominent & fastest rising local hard rock bands of the late 2000s. I know that personal commitments and such slowed band activity a lot over the past year & a half, but I'm not alone in saying that I hoped things would clear up and Sense of Truth would return to the stage at some point. If I hear anything more on the next steps of the members or their breakup, I'll be sure to let you guys know, but best of luck to Cory, Steve, Ron, Curtis, and Ryan in their future musical endeavours, and if you're interested in trying out for Cory & Ron's new band, click here!
And finally for today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, all relating to band statuses, and as always, they're in alphabetical order by band or musician name:
- Sativa Rose guitarist Anthony Orazietti is apparently looking to start a new melodic metal band influenced by everyone from All That Remains to Iron Maiden, and is looking for musicians for the project. No, I don't think he left Sativa Rose, this appears to be a separate band. If you're interested, click here and scroll to his post on November 23rd!
- Sault Michigan metal quartet Great Bodily Harm have also broken up. The reason is due to personal issues involving a band member, but without an official statement, I won't elaborate, and with no official band pages, public word might not come. Disappointing news, but I heard that most of the members are forming a similar new band, so keep an eye out for updates!
- Skull After Betrayl frontman Mike Vincent is also looking for musicians towards a local metal project, specifically a drummer who can double kick and a singer with screaming ability. Whether this is related to Skull After Betrayl or not, I don't know, but if you're interested in trying out for this band, click here and find Mike's post from November 21st!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of Theatre of Night's "Christmas Night" album on Wednesday, and more news over the coming week! Thanks everyone!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Opening last night's concert was returning extreme metal quintet Winkstinger, playing their first local concert in 4 months and making their Feedback debut! It was good to see them back after so long, and I'm glad to say that they sounded on form with their past shows! Along with a selection of original songs like "Chudnugget" and "Sadist" (plus their little Blues Brothers homage), they threw in a set ending new song that sounded nice and heavy, if a bit more standard compared to their past original fare. Jesse Cook (and his orange toque/mask) tore it up on guitar as you'd expect, and Alan Wells' brutal screaming stood out as always, but I think Ryan Sherman's bass was a bit high in the mix last night, and at points, a bit of rust was evident in their sound, though they never once sucked! The audio level was lower too than I'm used to from past Winkstinger shows, but I can understand why if the bar's trying to combat a possible noise complaint. Nice return from Winkstinger, and hopefully we'll be seeing them rocking a local stage again sooner than four months from now!
And your headliners were local grimecore trio Shit Liver, making their second appearance at Feedback since it's re-opening, and they delivered a nice long set of original material for fans last night! Though the attendance numbers seemed slightly lower, the moshpit was even larger and it almost never stopped throughout the set! Their set was bookended with OBCD and Macabre covers, but the rest was Shit Liver original songs, including the debut of their new 6 minute song "Shit Will Prevail" which seemed to go over well! Musically, they sounded just as crust and grimy as ever, though I did find their vocals were a bit inaudible at points, though that could be a casualty of their growling styles. Josh Penno showed some slick moments on guitar during their set, all three members growled and screamed with the best of them, and fans seemed to enjoy everything well enough! Solid set of death metal from Shit Liver last night, and if you like your metal rough, to the point, and crusty, you'd definitely agree!
Overall, this was a fun first metal concert at Feedback, and with no police calls for the noise, you know it was a success! The metal ruled, even if the night ended a bit early, and hopefully Rich brings some more great metal shows to Feedback in the coming months! I did get a bunch of photos, so click here to see them or visit our Facebook page, which also has this concert's "Tag Yourself!" photo. And I did get videos, so here's Winkstinger's song "Sadist" and Shit Liver's new original "Shit Will Prevail" from last night! Apologies for a brief sound issue in the Shit Liver video, I don't know what caused it to quiet down early on.
And finally, let's cap this post with updates on a prominent returning local band, but they'll have a new identity now, as local hard rockers Stillbroke have officially changed their name to Borderline Divine. A reason for the name change hasn't been publicized, but the new name was confirmed on a new Facebook page that guitarist Mitch Sirie launched earlier today. Personally, I find the new name's a downgrade, but considering the lineup changes and lengthy break since the last Stillbroke concert in March 2010, this could be good to signal a new chapter in the band's history. As such, the new Borderline Divine page confirms that the band's lineup still features longtime frontman Jesse Frigault on vocals & guitar, Mitch on guitar & backing vocals, and Sam DeDominicis on drums, with no new bassist found yet. The Facebook page does say that Borderline Divine play "original music driven by emotions" and a diverse cover selection, with Mitch saying on his personal page that they'll be playing soon at a bar near you. It's good to see the band progressing more towards a full fledged return, as it's been way too long since we last saw Stillbroke, but hopefully Borderline Divine can continue their legacy and grow to new heights in 2012! Become a fan at the above links, and stay tuned for updates!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, along with our review of Theater of Night's "Christmas Night" album on Wednesday! Thanks everyone!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Phatstick: I replaced a band picture on the profile due to the original link from the now-closed GarageBand expiring, and I edited the local references slightly to note that Phatstick last came through Sault Ste. Marie in May at The Rockstar Bar. Nothing much new is out from the Phatstick camp, as last I heard, they were still gigging here and there in Southern Ontario this summer as usual from their recent history.
Will of the Ancients: I edited their lineups to reflect the addition of guitarist Dean Arnold and the departures of singer Stephen Walton, guitarist Ryan Sequeria, and bassist Jeff Kurkowski. That's a lot of upheaval in a short time! As well, I've removed references to recent shows (they haven't played live since early 2011, I think) and added mentions of their forthcoming second album "To Our Glorious Dead", which appeared to have a 2011 release in mind before their lineup changes. That included adding their YouTube channel to their links, which includes album previews. Look for it in 2012, along with details on new members and shows!
Papa Fogals Chair: I restored an image to their profile due to a MySpace link change mess-up, and I date-corrected a reference to their February 2010 one-off reunion show when they opened for Garden of Bedlam, as it's now a different year than currently. I also added some details about members' current bands (primarily Andy Chillman's work in the London acoustic band Too Much Unsaid) and noted that the now-linked Foggy Notions (the site of PFC's last local shows) is now Feedback, but the above changes aside, there's nothing new for the band's status to add, as they haven't played any concerts since.
The Sexual Vigilantes: I edited the local info section a lot to reflect the current band statuses of the members, primarily for Brenton Ellis & Curtis Faux's current roles in the Toronto hardcore punk band Maximum RNR, but it's mostly cleaned up to be easier to read. I also fixed the images on the page, which were both screwed up from their original hosts. I also added some band links and edited references in their bio to note that they're now considered inactive & not currently together, seeing as they've made no updates since (at the latest) early 2009.
Feral Noise: Aside from a minor edit to reflect guitarist Tym Morrison's work in the defunct local band Carbon Black, I've changed nothing for Feral Noise's profile. They haven't reactivated in the past year, and Tym's active local status hasn't really changed either, but it'd be cool to see a Feral Noise reunion down the road!
Sadomasochism: I restored the images after their MySpace links got messed up, and overhauled drummer Mikey Bishop's local info to reflect his current work with Brimley hard rockers Half A Man and emphasize his larger bands and current statuses. I also noted that Sadomasochism frontman John Rios was in Mikey's old local band Bludgeoned, but whether he ever held a local residence or not isn't personally known. Finally, I amended the references to Sadomasochism successor band Flesh For The Beast to allude to the fact that I think they're now inactive. Sadomasochism themselves have not reunited in the past year, so nothing directly referencing them was altered.
Levitate: I've edited references to frontman Cory Murchison's current local band status, including the current state of Sense of Truth, and if you're a fan of theirs, it's disappointing. I'll have more in an upcoming news post for sure. As for Levitate itself, there's no direct changes, as they're long since broken up with a reunion unlikely.
Necramyth: No major changes, I restored the used Necramyth pictures (more MySpace screwups) and I added a purchasing link for Necramyth's "Slaughter of the Seoul" album on iTunes, but there isn't much to add, seeing as Necramyth have not reunited in the past year.
Human Disorder: No major changes, save for a photo restoration. Human Disorder have been broken up for over a decade, and the members' current statuses haven't noticeably changed, so things are mostly alright with the Human Disorder profile for now.
Summon: I've edited the links for Mikey Bishop's band history to line it up with our Sadomasochism profile, like adding Half A Man references and so forth. Little else needed a change, as I don't believe Summon have done much band-wise in the past year, but I know they're still together! However, I did add a new video to the profile of a recent Summon lineup playing their song "And The Blood Runs Black" from a show in or before May 2010, so check it out below, and thanks to Mikey for alerting me to it!
The Disciples of Rock: I've edited the references to bassist James White's local band work, as he's now the bassist in Caveman Morrison and Redundant, though I left references in to the now-broken up Quims & Browbeat. Other than that, all I changed is a restored MySpace photo, as The Disciples of Rock haven't reunited in any form in the past year.
Violet Fuse: I've added links for where to hear their material, including their 2010 self-titled debut album, so definitely stream or buy their material on the links there, such as on iTunes! I also added a reference to the fact that Violet Fuse almost played locally in August at Hempfest, but they later dropped out following the date change for the festival. It'll be cool to see Thom Edwards come home with Violet Fuse in tow, but stay tuned in case we hear anything!
Jar.: I added links to the band's new website and Reverbnation page, amended references to former bassist Chris Smith's recent band work (notably his departure from Wishbone), and added a reference to two new re-recordings of older songs that you can now stream on Reverbnation. Jar. are still active and gigging in Western Canada, and are still working on their new album, so keep an eye out for updates!
Thrawsunblat: I replaced the links for their "Canada 2010" demo's free torrent download on Mininova (which is no longer posted there) with the album's link on iTunes, which you can now buy it from for $7.92. I also removed references to drummer David Gold's impending move from Canada, as he's already back. And yes, I restored the images on their profile, as they were a casualty of that MySpace link change issue.
Hellhitch: No changes, save for the restoration of the MySpace photos. Hellhitch are still defunct, and a posthumous band page has not been started for Hellhitch in the past year, so my knowledge of the band's history remains limited. I do have more songs of theirs that aren't online (thanks to Tyler Sitter for sending them my way), but I haven't figured out what to do with them yet.
Kilacel: I updated the statuses of members/local band alumni Chris Webster & Chris Leask to note their current band statuses, notably Elipzis' breakup, River Witch's name change to Powerslug, and Chris Leask's work in Great Bodily Harm. I also restored yet another MySpace photo, date adjusted things due to their lengthy hiatus, and added a reference to the Nunica, Michigan hard rock band Coldville, which Kilacel members Luke Ponce & Matt Millering now rock Western Michigan in.
Fifth Way: I edited their lineups to reflect the additions of bassist Mike McMann & drummer Chris Castro, who have replaced Nicholas Cole-Klaes & Dave Reingardt in the band over the past year. The rest is mostly date-correction to bring references up to date with the current time period, along with more MySpace photo restoring.
Mark Rand: I updated the link to his solo MySpace page due to a URL change, deleted his pulled-down Facebook page, and added a new more descriptive profile photo. I also added to the bio sections that he's been seen recently in the acoustic duo Pumpkinseed, and that his solo project is alternately known as M.R.B. at times. News on his solo project is sporadic though, and I haven't heard much directly relating to future performances or material in a few months.
L'anguisette: I've mostly updated the references on their profile, including the delays for their "Damning The Euphrates" album, drummer David Gold's return from Kuwait, and the connection that they shared with David's now ex-Woods of Ypres bandmates Shane & Evan Madden. I've heard very little from L'anguisette since we profiled them last year, but hopefully some news comes out soon!
S.C.A.R.: I've updated their profile to add former bassist Kevin Marchinko to their past lineup, refer to their last concerts through March 2011, and note their latest album releases, most recently "Concentrated Piss" in January. And sadly, I had to note on the profile that S.C.A.R. broke up in August, but plans are in place to release video footage from their last concert in the future. Disappointing news for sure, but hopefully Mike Haggith and the rest of the S.C.A.R. crew have music in store to come for their fans!
The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society: I've added the respective "in-character" Twitter accounts for NOBMPS members Veillko & Platinus to their links, and added references to the fact that their "Future Northern Prosperity" single is now on iTunes, but the rest of the edits are mostly for time adjustments, as we haven't heard much from the band in months, and their planned vinyl single release still isn't out to my knowledge.
Maximum RNR: The local connections for this noted Toronto hardcore punk band sure grew this year, as frontman/Saultite Diamond Brent Panther's longtime bandmate Curtis Faux replaced Davey Dee on bass in the band this summer! Most of the changes related to connecting the local dots, referencing Curtis' spot in Maximum RNR, and critiquing the new lineup, as there are now plenty of videos of the current Maximum RNR lineup! That said, I've also added a new video from this summer onto their profile, so here's Maximum RNR playing two songs on the British leg of their tour this year! Staticy audio, but it does the job!
Buster Cherry: I noted that guitarist Terry Eaton has moved back to Sault Ste. Marie, where he now plays in the local country band Asylum Country. The only other major change was to note that the band Blynd Image (who had songs hosted on the Buster Cherry Reverbnation page) was a separate older band that Terry and bandmate Cory Valentine were part of in the 1980s. Buster Cherry are long since inactive, so no direct new additions were made to this profile.
The Heatseeking Moisture Missiles: The only change I made was to add a link where you can buy the band's latest EP in CD format on CDBaby. That's the only new change I added, as the band's status and activity level is mostly the same as it was when we initially profiled them.
Gravity Crash: Firstly, I added drummer Eric Hamilton to their lineup, who replaced Jordan Wildeman in the band earlier this year, after Jordan moved out of province. Notably, Sault native Paul Melanson briefly left Gravity Crash this year as well, but he returned last month! I also referred to the fact that Gravity Crash did win the Nazareth Battle of the Bands to open for them in Lethbridge in July, and I finally added some long overdue analysis of their sound, as there's now Gravity Crash videos posted on Paul's YouTube channel! Though sadly cut up, it's a nice sample of their live show, and here's the video I included, of Gravity Crash playing their song "You Better Believe"!
Jeff Nisbet: Aside from a minor correction to his current work status, the only change I made was to note that Jeff now has a solo music page on SoundCloud, which features a new track named "Victims" along with previously posted solo material. That's about all, as Jeff's current status with his solo project hasn't changed since the summer save for new song postings.
NeanderTHRALL: I've edited their lineup to reflect the addition of singer/guitarist Chris Wilkins, who replaced Alex Petrovich in the band last month. As such, I've added a current lineup photo to the profile and added references to recent shows and future plans. I've also added a live video of NeanderTHRALL to the profile, as they've finally began posting videos from their concerts onto their now-linked YouTube channel, so I've added the video below from NeanderTHRALL's current lineup's live debut last month!
Infathom: No changes. Since their last shows this summer, the band has mostly remained on a break while 2/5ths of their lineup attend school outside of the Ishpeming area, so there's nothing really new to add yet. Maybe closer to the summer, we'll hear some news!
Paricide: My only real change was to remove references to the inactivity of bassist Shane Fraser's later (and formerly local) band Sue Inside, as they recently returned to activity in the Oil Springs area in August. The rest is good, as Paricide are long since defunct.
The Lust Boys: No changes. It's only been a month since we profiled The Lust Boys in this series anyway, what new items could we realistically have? They're still plugging away with new shows and an upcoming album, so stay tuned for updates!
There, hopefully things are up to speed with the 30 bands we've covered in this series so far! Amazing how many bands have benefited from local talent, huh? I hope to update this series more frequently in the future to avoid lengthy posts like this, but I need to figure out how to schedule it and spread it out. That said, we're profiling another out of town band with a local member on Boxing Day to cap the year, but which band are we picking? Another Windsor-based band from prolific Sault native Ash Richtig, that being the hardcore punk quintet Repetitions! Look out for that next month, and stay tuned for more news over the coming days! Thanks everyone!
With Caveman Morrison's planned return shows at The Roosevelt Hotel this weekend called off due to a double booking, frontman Tym Morrison's making the most of it by returning to The Service Grill just down the road TONIGHT for another solo acoustic concert! I apologize for the short notice, but Tym only just announced the show last night, and in all reality, an announcement for it was gonna be cutting it close due to the timing. This will be Tym's third straight Saturday night show at the Korah Road restaurant, and luckily for you Rosie regulars, it's seconds away, you can see Spyder's Web and Tym in the same night very easily! Note that the Facebook event page says that he's playing there "every Saturday" again, but with Caveman Morrison's real return imminent (more on that in a second), that point appears to be flexible. Remember, Tym is on TONIGHT at The Service Grill at 8:00 PM, there's no announced cover charge, and I don't think it's 19+. Check the above links for more details! Short notice or not, it's nice to see Tym staying busy despite the postponement of Caveman Morrison's return, so if you're itching to hear some metal and hard rock covers, there'll still be some Morrison-related music on Korah Road tonight! Make it out if you can, and for a preview, here's Tym covering Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" at what's now Feedback in 2009!
That said, when exactly are Caveman Morrison making their return? In two weeks, as the popular metal cover trio will make their long awaited debut with their new lineup at The Roosevelt Hotel on December 9th & 10th! Again, the new date is due to the Spyder's Web double booking this weekend, and my source for the new dates is The Rosie's Facebook page. Still waiting for band confirmation, but if a venue confirms a concert, then that's a very good source! These will mark Caveman Morrison's first shows in 5 months, their first concerts at The Rosie since (I think) 2009, the debut of new bassist James White, and the return of ex-bassist/current drummer Rick White, after originally leaving Caveman Morrison over 18 months ago. Full details are not out yet for their return shows, but I'd expect them both to be 19+ with no cover and 10:00 PM start times. Check the above links for more details! It's great to see a new return so quickly after their original return dates being scuttled, and you know that with two more weeks to prepare, the new Caveman Morrison lineup will be on top of their game come December 9th! Stay tuned for any possible updates as they come in!
Next up, we have a new local metal album release (of sorts), and if you paid attention to our Facebook page earlier today, you know exactly what it is! Yesterday, Sault Michigan classical metal trio Theatre of Night (featuring 3/5ths of End of Existence) released a remastered version of their 2010 album "Christmas Night" to their Reverbnation page, with plans to release it on other online music outlets like iTunes on December 7th. The release was hyped as a Black Friday exclusive with special pricing of $5.99 for the album in mp3 format and $7.99 on CD, and though I think the intention was for it to only be on sale yesterday until the full release on the 7th, the album was still on sale for the same prices on their Reverbnation store as of this writing. I apologize if anyone missed it yesterday, but I didn't have enough news at the time for a full news post. That said, this new version of "Christmas Night" is mostly the same as last year's release, save for remastered audio and the addition of two new orchestral metal renditions of Christmas carols ("The Nutcracker" & "Hark! The Herald (Angels Sing)".) Don't let the seasonal theme fool you, this is very much a metal album, and you can pick it up (while you can) at the above links, or you can wait until the 7th when it'll be available everywhere for digital download!
That all said, if you like orchestral metal and Christmas carols, Theatre of Night's CD is definitely worth exploring, but should you buy it? By Wednesday, you can take my word for it, as I'm officially announcing that we're reviewing the new version of "Christmas Night" for this month's CD review on the SMS! It'll be our first Sault Michigan CD review since Clownsack's "Funny Farm" EP in April, and despite the slow pace of new metal CD releases locally, it will be our 4th new album review on the SMS in the past 8 months. Consider it a kickoff to the Christmas season around these parts, so stay tuned for my review of Theatre of Night's remastered debut album on Wednesday!
And finally, I wanted to take some time to explore the status of a prominent local death metal band, that being State of Misery. Since their return from their summer breakup in August, fans have been waiting for news from this talented young band, but nothing official on band pages has came out since drummer Nick Kainula said new songs were coming soon on their Facebook page last month. Fairly recent enough, but there's signs that not all is positive (again) for State of Misery. In the past month, we've seen frontman Steve Rhodes join View To A Kill & guitarist Ray Cowan join Social Suicide, and I'll note that they're the same members who split from the band & joined Bring The Misery in May. Whether they've left State of Misery or not isn't publically known, but on Sunday, Nick posted on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group that he was looking for "a singer for a metal band", and to message him if you're interested. Has Steve (at the very least) left State of Misery? Is Nick forming a completely different band? Possibly both? I personally don't know enough to say, but this all has me wondering what's going on in the State of Misery camp, for better or for worse.
I just thought I'd share what I knew with you guys. If I hear more on the future of State of Misery, I'll be sure to post it, and if you can sing, message Nick at the above link for more details on joining the band in question!
That's all for now, but stay tuned later today for our update post to our Saultites in Out of Town Bands Profiles, where I'll tell you guys what's changed, what's new, and what's coming from the bands with local members that we've covered in the series over the past two years! Stay tuned!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Opening last night's show was local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, and I don't know if they do this at each Rosie concert they play, but the guitarist positions were set up on the floor in front of the stage. Interesting setup, and it does give them more room to rock, but it left the guitarists in poor lighting for their set. The music, however, was really good, and Late & Loud continue to show their talents well! Slightly more varied set overall than their last show that I saw, including originals like "Live For Excess" and "Love Letter Lockdown" and covers from bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Cream! The crowd seemed to enjoy them, as did I, and it was good to see Benn Garside return to singing for a song last night! The guitars were on fire, the members made the most of their singing voices, and they had lots of energy to go around, but I think they were a bit less animated then at the Skull Fist show. Brendan Christie's singing voice in particular sounded a bit strained from last time, but the guys were on fire as usual last night! It's a shame more people couldn't enjoy their classic metal onslaught, but they gave us another solid set that makes the anticipation for their upcoming demo grow larger! Hopefully they're back on stage soon!
Following them last night were the returning Thessalon death metal quartet For All That Is Lost, who hadn't been seen in the Sault in 3 months. Myself, this was the first time I'd seen F.A.T.I.L. since guitarist Allen Piche left the band, and since frontman Tyler Sperry cut his hair shorter, so things looked a bit different from my first F.A.T.I.L. show, but how'd they sound? Honestly, I think they sounded a bit better when I saw them in May, but they still rocked the house! Tyler's stange presence is improving and his vocals remained very brutal, but his on-stage confidence level still seems like it could be boosted. Ben Deslauriers' bass work was a standout last night, he has real skill that should be recognized more, and Brook Moreau had some solid and heavy riffs throughout, but he needs to add some more guitar solos in. Their originals could use them, and he can pull them off, their cover of Lamb of God's "Ruin" was proof. Kameron Nicholson's drumming was nice and proficient too, he kept up with the brutality nicely! I think F.A.T.I.L. need a second guitarist on some songs too, Allen's absence was felt occasionally, but overall, they still delivered a brutal set of death metal, and they attracted the biggest crowds and most activity of the night, and that speaks for itself!
Headlining last night, in their Roosevelt Hotel debut, was local death metal/hardcore quartet View To A Kill! It's good to see the guys back at The Rosie after months away from metal nights with their other bands,and I'm glad to say they sounded on form from their debut earlier this month! Along with their original "Let It All Bleed Out", View To A Kill punched in a slightly shorter set of covers ranging from Pantera and Sepultura to Throwdown and Parkway Drive songs, and they sounded together and brutal throughout! I'm impressed with frontman Steve Rhodes' continued integration of clean singing into his repetoire, though I think he overdid them a bit, especially on "Venom & Tears". Still, it's a nice step up from his State of/Bring the Misery work! Andrew Angelic was predictably on fire on guitar, and both Adam Veale and Kyle Umgeher rocked out as well as you'd expect from their debut last night! I'd like to see them throw in some heavier bands, maybe a true death metal cover for a change, but overall, they seem to be improving and gaining in chemistry from their debut, and hopefully View To A Kill can continue to gain a local foothold from here!
Overall, it was a nice (if underattended) metal night, and hopefully when the 40th takes place on December 8th, an even bigger crowd will show up to take in our local metal talent! The promoter switch and after-effects haven't changed too much for the Thursday nighters, so hopefully there'll be even more metal to come! I did get photos, so click here or visit our official Facebook page to check them out, where you can also find this concert's "Tag Yourself!" photo. And I did get videos, so here's Late & Loud playing their original "Whispers of the Damned", F.A.T.I.L.'s original "The Return of Dionysus", and View To A Kill covering Throwdown's "Venom & Tears"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow, including the identity of our next CD review (it IS of a brand new album) and more! Thanks everyone!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Splitshot & ex-Nixxon Dixxon bandmates Chris Hubbard, Kyle Beaumont, and Jake LaLonde have formed a new local hard rock trio named Trail's End! The band just launched their own Facebook page and YouTube channel yesterday, and in this new band, Chris, Kyle, and Jake appear to share vocal duties. Apparently, Trail's End will become the guys' primary band starting in January, with gigs to come for the new band starting in 2012. What does this spell for Splitshot? I'll tell you guys in a second, but first, Trail's End already have an original song to share with fans! Entitled "Run", this was posted onto their YouTube channel yesterday as well (along with song lyrics), but how does it sound? It's sort of a slower hard rock number, and it could work well as a single or an anthem of sorts! The band sounds good, but hopefully we'll hear some originals more like "High Life" or "One Shot Woman", but that's the metalhead in me talking. Nice solo from Chris too, and the vocals work for the tone of the song, though I'm not sure who's singing lead.
There's definitely promise here from Trail's End, so keep tabs on them as news comes out, and as I hear more from them, you guys will know, so check them out at the above links! Here's "Run", and Trail's End are now in our Sault Michigan active band links on your right!
That said, what does the birth of Trail's End mean for Splitshot? Well, according to bassist Kyle Beaumont in a recent e-mail (thanks to him for the above info!), I can confirm that Splitshot are breaking up at the end of the year. A reason for the split wasn't elaborated on, but we may hear more publically over the next month, and I don't know if Trail's End's inception is directly linked. Splitshot will play at least six more shows (four of them in St. Ignace), including one final weekend in Sault Michigan at The Rapids Lounge on December 9th & 10th, with their last shows taking place in St. Ignace at their Kewadin Casino over New Years weekend. Thanks again to Kyle for the above information! I have to say, despite never having media from their shows available, I'm surprised to hear that Splitshot are parting ways at year's end. That said, Trail's End have promise, and we'll of course look forward to seeing them around the U.P. next year! If the members' past resumes are any indicator of what to expect, then the sky's the limit! So keep Splitshot's last local concerts on December 9th and 10th in mind, and if anything else comes out concerning Splitshot's last month together or what Trail's End have in store for fans next, I'll be sure to let you guys know!
Next up, Half A Man are back in action with some interesting band updates! News from the Brimley hard rockers has been scant since the summer, mostly relating to stuff to watch out for, but they recently returned to the studio towards their forthcoming debut album with some news and updates to show for it! Firstly, it looks like Half A Man will be reduced to a 3 piece (or "3/8ths A Man") until "further notice", and from what I can gather, the absent member is guitarist Denny Breslin. It wasn't publically elaborated on if Denny has left the band or will simply be absent for a while, but if I hear more, I'll let you guys know! That said, the rest of Half A Man have posted two new videos onto their Facebook page, one of which features some new riffs towards new material, while the other is a very promising jam video which sounds very brutal! No vocals to speak of, and the angles and lighting ain't perfect, but it's awesome to hear some new Half A Man samples after a few months of waiting! They're still plugging away, and you know when more news from Half A Man comes out, I'll have it all here! Check the above links for more band news and to watch their new videos! (I can't embed them here.)
And finally, here's this week's classic video! For a second time in four weeks, we'll tie in the week's video with new local deathcore quartet View To A Kill (who headline TOMORROW'S 39th Roosevelt Hotel metal night), only this week, we'll focus in on singer Steve Rhodes! As you may know, Steve's also well known for his work in his other (possibly former?) local band State of Misery, and while we wait for new word on them, there's still videos from their late 2010-early 2011 heyday to share, like this jam session video of them playing their original song "Don't Break The Silence"! Like our earlier classic video from May, this is from a jam session circa December 28th, 2010, and it features the band's original lineup, with Steve on vocals, Ray Cowan on guitar, current rhythm guitarist Kevin D'Orazio on bass, and Nick Kainula on drums. It's similar quality to their "Cowboys From Hell" cover from this same day, but they shine more here because their originals are suited to their style, and it's a good performance! This video was uploaded onto Facebook on January 3rd by attendee Ashley Lacasse, and you can see the original video at http://facebook.com/photo.php?v=116057411799885.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for this video goes to Ashley and State of Misery, as they did all the hard work here, I'm just sharing this video with a wider audience like it deserves! With that said, give State of Misery's jam session rendition of "Don't Break The Silence" from last year a look below, and go see Steve with View To A Kill at The Rosie tomorrow night!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow, including a possible LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this weekend! Thanks everyone!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Chainsaw666's Channel (http://youtube.com/user/chainsaw666)
Owner: Garden of Bedlam guitarist Josh Belleau
Channel Timeline: Launched on January 20th, 2006; Videos posted between 2006 & April 2008.
Channel Summary: Local guitarist Josh Belleau originally started this YouTube channel for personal use in January 2006. Videos he posted through that year included a solo performance videos, two videos of his cousin/bandmate Evan Belleau playing guitar (not bass), a short video of a playing of "Bark At The Moon" on Guitar Hero, and two very short clips of KoRn members from what look like instructional videos. After a year's inactivity, Josh resumed use of his channel in early 2008, in time for the launch of his new band Garden of Bedlam. As such, he posted four band videos on his channel from their first months together, including three short videos from two early concerts & a jam session video from January of that year. The channel hasn't been used since (despite Garden of Bedlam's surge in popularity of recent years), but you can see newer (and better quality) Garden of Bedlam videos at their 3 official YouTube channels, and at Josh's current personal channel that he launched last year!
Why Should You Watch: The optimal reason to check out Josh's old channel is to see some early Garden of Bedlam footage, as they were still a talented band even in their infancy, but even the 2006 videos that predate the band have value, especially to see Josh and Evan rocking out solo! That said, the definitive video footage of Garden of Bedlam would come from the band's own YouTube channels and their more recent output, so check the above links for footage of them from any of the past four years!
Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:
Aenima Jam: Probably the oldest known video of Garden of Bedlam, this comes from a jam session that the band played circa January 6th, 2008. It's of their cover of the Tool song "Ænema", which remains a live favourite to this day, and even at this early stage of the band, their talent is clear! The quality of the video isn't amazing, and the band are still rough around the edges at points, but it's a nice early look at Garden of Bedlam before they hit their local heights that's worth watching!
Garden of Bedlam tool sober live: Josh's last uploads were three short & low quality videos from two Garden of Bedlam concerts in the spring of 2008 at The Other Place (last known as GLOW Nightclub), including a headlining show that March & an opening slot for Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band Sikamikanico that April. At least 5 videos were shot at these shows by (I think) the same attendee on a low quality camera (including parts of covers of "Ænema" & Godsmack's "Awake" that aren't on his channel), but Josh put three of the videos onto YouTube, those being parts of their covers of "System of a Down's "Toxicity", Helmet's "Unsung", and as featured below, Tool's "Sober"! The audio's respectable, but the videos are all black & white, low resolution, and far too short. Still, they're worth a look for some early Garden of Bedlam live footage, so don't let them pass you by!
No Remorse: The most popular video on Josh's channel, his short guitar cover of Metallica's "No Remorse" is pushing 15,000 views, despite predating Garden of Bedlam & being recorded mainly to test his new amplifier. The guitar solo's not accurate, but he still rips a nice solo here, and there is great equipment behind it to make it sound nice, which is always welcome!
I hope you guys enjoyed this month's YouTube Channel Profile! That said, whose channel are we looking at next month? Well, for the first time in this series, we're looking at THREE YouTube channels, as the first channel I randomly selected didn't have enough videos, so I added more until I had enough channels to fill out the post. So on or around December 22nd, you'll get an early Christmas present when we profile the YouTube channels of NoXcape guitarist Joey Beairl, 2010 Kiss concert attendee bigphatwilly, and Kewadin Casino's old YouTube channel! If you like Kiss or the inactive Guitar Studio band Unleashed, you'll like next month's YouTube Channel Profiles, so keep an eye out! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes later this week! Thanks everyone!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
- Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids metal quintet End of Existence have posted a new black and white version of their "Sun Is Gone" music video onto their YouTube channel last week, so click here to check it out! It's no different from the original, just in greyscale. Maybe it's to make it look darker? I don't know, but it's a solid song, so check the above links for both versions of the video!
- Local guitarist Jordan Koski is apparently starting a new local metal band! He's looking for a singer & bassist to round out the lineup, and I believe he has a drummer already. If you're interested in trying out, click here for more details! This could be very interesting, so I'll keep you guys posted if I hear more on Jordan's new band!
- Local punk trio Redundant have been added to the lineup for November 29th's Unbelievers-headlined punk show (also featuring the return of classic metallers Sativa Rose & the debut of the potentially-metal T. Rex Manning.) Nice addition, hopefully this show is a big hit! Stay tuned for updates!
That's all for today, but if there's no new news posts in the interim, stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profile on Garden of Bedlam guitarist Josh Belleau's old YouTube channel on Tuesday! Thanks everyone!