Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Foothill Road EP Review!!

With a new year upon us, its time to get back to our monthly CD reviews at the SMS for 2012, and for our 31st formal CD review on here, we're dipping into the local archives due to a lack of new local metal releases this month. That said, with this band's guitarist rocking the area earlier this month, we're taking a look at defunct local hard rock band Foothill Road's self-titled second EP today! Released circa 1996 during the band's Copetown, Ontario-based period, "Foothill Road" was recorded at Comfort Sound Studio in Toronto with producer Andrew St. George, who also mixed the EP at Le Mix in Etobicoke. The band's lineup on this EP includes all of their members from their first disc "Seventy", including ex-Spy Vs. Spy frontman Ken Luxton, ex-Sneaky Pete guitarist Mario Carlucci, bassist & current Pittsburgh Penguins scout Ron Pyette, and drummer Rick Bain, alongside guitarist & backing singer Mark Oliverio (now of Boogie Fever), who had joined Foothill Road in between albums. This album is long since out of print, but contacting band members directly can probably score you at least the mp3 files, and the whole EP except "Red" is streamable on their posthumous MySpace page.

I've also posted the entire disc onto our YouTube channel, so click here or search for it on YouTube to stream it in full! Each song title below is linked to my YouTube upload of that song as well. Slightly smaller than "Seventy" with only 5 tracks at around 22 minutes in length, let's start this review with the opening song, "Cavern"! (Updated on September 29th)

"Cavern" leads off the "Foothill Road" EP with an interesting drum & bass intro that has a clear funk inspired sound, but some nice guitar from Mario Carlucci (I think) adds some rock flavour after a little bit! The opening riff has a funk-ish hard round sound, and Ken Luxton's Billy Corgan-inspired vocals fit well overtop of everything, though the lyrics (which seem to tell of what goes on deep in the mind) do get fairly repetitive. Mario's guitar solo is solid here too, but too short for my taste. It's not a terribly heavy or long song, but it definitely fits as a 1990s hard rock number with some added spice, and Mark Oliverio's presence does help fill things out a lot, as the lack of a second guitarist on "Seventy" was a big flaw. Good song, and it starts off this EP on a rocking note! Second on the disc is "Fifteen", which starts slowly with a Western-tinged intro, almost like you're journeying alone down a long road, but when the full song kicks in, it's a slow hard rocker with a good beat! The verses are reserved with soft singing from Ken, but the choruses pick up in intensity, and there's a nice contrast between these parts of the track. Ken's singing doesn't seem as rangy as I've remembered, but it flows well with the song's pacing, and though it's different from what I'm used to from Foothill Road, I enjoy this track more than "Cavern"! A guitar solo or some more audible bass work would have helped though.

Third on this EP is the longest featured track, "Elliptical Foam", which immediately gives a spacey vibe amidst the hard rock sounds before slowing down into a dreamlike verse. Ken's soft singing is nice here, and Rick's drumming suits the backing music well, but I'm not feeling the chorus as much. I'd like to hear more energy in the vocals as a contrast, and Ken's vocals in general sound muddy and lost in the mix of the rest of the band in the chorus. The bouncy guitar work is effective though, and musically, this probably shows Foothill Road's collective talents the best here, especially late in the track when the energy and speed pick up considerably! Here, everything seems to be firing better, but the guitars do sound a bit chaotic at points. "Elliptical Foam" isn't a bad track, but it's definitely not my favourite on the EP, and I would have liked it to be a bit heavier with more varied singing while retaining the same overall atmosphere.

The fourth song is "Ignorance", which has probably the best and most well thought out lyrics on the EP! The song starts with a soft ballad-ish vibe, which maintains throughout the track, though the choruses are a bit more energetic. Ken's singing fits well, and the guitar playing is nice and flows effectively (including the guitar solo), but if you're looking for heavy material, this song won't appeal to you the most. I like it more than "Elliptical Foam" as a sheer song, and there's a hint of aggression late, but it's basically a straight ballad, and though it's not heavy, I enjoyed it for what it was! "Foothill Road" closes with "Red", which ends the EP much like it started, with a heavier short rock number, and it's probably my favourite song on this disc! The lyrics are very repetitive, but Ken's singing hits the range and aggression more like we saw on "Seventy", and Mario & Mark's guitar work is really catchy throughout this song! I like the guitar solo too, and there honestly isn't much to complain about with this track beyond an abrupt ending, the length, and the repetitve lyrics. This feels like a natural progression from "Seventy", plus a much needed second guitarist, and it's definitely worth checking out!

So how does Foothill Road's second EP compare to "Seventy"? It's better in some ways, and a step back in others. On the positive side, the production's better and clearer than on "Seventy", the addition of Mark Oliverio was extremely welcome to fill out their sound, and nothing on "Foothill Road" is bad, especially on catchy songs like "Red" and "Fifteen". Mario and Mark's guitar work is good, as is Ron Pyette's standout bass lines and Rick's dependable drumming, and Ken's singing fits the material well! However, I found that this EP took a more reserved and less heavy style than on "Seventy", and when you compare this material to songs like "Adam Ate Evil" and "The Edge", there's a noticeable dropoff in heaviness and, in some respects, energy. I especially noted it in Ken Luxton's vocals, which weren't nearly as rangy as they had been. Maybe it was new influences or their sound progression, but honestly, I have to say that I enjoyed "Seventy" more. The production and added guitars is great, and the songs are solid, but I found this EP was missing the bite that was on "Seventy". Still, this is a very good EP from a talented local band, and hopefully you guys check it out in some way to enjoy some 1990s hard rock as only Foothill Road could deliver!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's CD review! So, what CD is being reviewed on the SMS next month? Well, for February, I actually have some fairly good ideas of what could be reviewed next, so here's how I'm breaking it down. If a new CD comes out next month, it will probably be a review of that CD, and for what could be next on the local metal front, click here for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, which we're updating on Thursday. Mike Haggith's new album "Neighbourhood Watch" is a possibility, depending on how long the illness-related delays are, but I can't say for certain as of right now. I will say that next month's review will not be of a Woods of Ypres album ("Woods V" is tentatively lined up for March), Foothill Road's posthumous live CD, or (if I had it) Amethyst's debut cassette, as it'd be too soon from my last reviews of theirs. If nothing new comes out next month, I plan to review another of Sykotyk Rampage's 2011 albums, as it'll be six months since we reviewed "Zombiez" next month. If we cover the original crash band next, I'll likely review "Karrs" due to it's heaviness compared to their other 2011 albums, and I'm giving it priority as a review for the next month where nothing new in the local metal scene comes out due to the delay to review it. Stay tuned for more on our next CD review on the SMS over the next four weeks!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, Battle of the Bands updates, and more on the SMS tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 30, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Who Made Who & Late And Loud), Battle Of The Bands Updates, And More!!

In what is likely our final news post of this month, we're squeezing in some more big stories before we post this month's CD review on the site tomorrow, so here's what's on tap for tonight! We've got the latest updates for the battle of the bands in April, some newly discovered videos from a Kewadin Casino metal concert last year, and leading off, some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month, so read on below for all the news, and check out this morning's post featuring big Garden of Bedlam news, more battle updates, and other assorted topics in the post below this one! (EDITED, 7:47 PM)

Ontario AC/DC tribute band Who Made Who are coming back to Sault Ontario THIS FRIDAY!! The local favourites will make their first appearance in the area since Hempfest on Friday night at The Canadian Nightclub with a night full of Brian and Bon-era AC/DC classics, and you know the'll put on a great show! Local bookers wouldn't bring them here so often if they didn't deliver, so if you want some high voltage rock n' roll this weekend, be at The Canadian on Friday night! I apologize for not having this earlier, as Who Made Who referenced this show on their Facebook page a week ago as their "next stop", but no venue was credited, so I held off until fuller word came my way. Doors open at 10:00 PM for this show, you must be 19+ to attend, and though no cover charge is announced, I'd expect one, so bring at least $5. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a great night of AC/DC hits and favourites, and with a talented and well-suited tribute band to rock it all out for their fans, you won't wanna miss Who Made Who on Friday if you're an AC/DC fan! Stay tuned for more on this show as the week rolls on!

Also in new concerts is a Sault College Campus Watch fundraiser pub at Coch's Corner on February 25th, and local classic metal quartet Late & Loud will headline this show in their Coch's Corner debut! Barring a new show announcement beforehand, this will be their first concert of 2012 & their first show since the fall, though 3/4s of Late & Loud did play a show as General Striker last month. Note that despite their presence on the Facebook event page and the preliminary event poster, local hard rockers Half Past are NOT playing this show. Guitarist Alain Fletcher confirmed their non-involvement with me earlier today, and huge thanks to him for letting me know! A post on the event page implies that "the other band" hadn't confirmed due to a lack of practice space, but whether Half Past was the implied band or not isn't known. Still, Late & Loud should deliver a great concert, no matter what! Unlike most non-Halloween concerts at Coch's Corner, tickets for this event will be $10 (it is a fundraiser pub, after all), you likely have to be 19 to attend, and the start time is (oddly enough) 7:30 PM. Reportedly, there will be door prizes as well, but fuller details (like where to buy tickets) are not out yet. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This sounds like a very interesting event for a solid cause, so keep an eye out for more updates as I hear them, and apologies again to the Half Past camp!

Next up, here's the latest updates on the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands on April 20th at The Grand Theater, as two more bands are confirmed for the lineup, and both are seemingly new! One, I know stuff on, and they're a new blues rock quartet named The Moves. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe they feature prolific local bassist Nathan Bouliane (ex-As It Stands, The Outside Lights, etc.), frequently seen local singer/guitarist Josh McNally (Deter, The Crossed, etc.), and Blackwater alumni Cody McMillan & Dave Pihlaja on guitar & drums respectively. Talented lineup, and though I don't believe they'll play a hard rock style, they have metal alumni in their ranks, and some notable Battle of the Bands competitors from recent years! Notably, Nathan took 1st place and "Best Bassist" at the 2008 Case's Music Battle of the Bands as a member of Stillbroke, and Blackwater (with Cody & Dave in tow) won the Sault College/Scotties Tournament Battle in February 2010, so don't sleep on The Moves come April 20th, as the talent is there! The other newly announced band for this battle is a new band named Inhumane Method, of whom I know nothing about. Nothing public about their identity has came my direction, and despite a metal-implying name, I can't say anything definitive on them yet. If you can help identify who Inhumane Method are, e-mail me at robertfigures@hotmail.com!

This brings the confirmed battle lineup to 9 bands, making it the biggest Sault Ontario battle of the bands since the Kiss battle, and there's still more bands to come! I'll note that Late & Loud are still not advertised for this battle, despite the band's indications that they registered. I confirmed with guitarist Jonathan Tiberi earlier today that they entered and were looking into why they weren't advertised yet, so hopefully this gets resolved soon! Stay tuned for more battle updates as they come in!

And finally for today, remember when we mentioned that the Castlegar, British Columbia internet radio station Energy Rock Radio (which was locally based from 2008-2011) had shut down? Well, the station may have ended, but some local news from Energy Rock Radio has still found it's way onto my radar via some videos on the ERR YouTube channel! Before moving out west, Energy Rock Radio creator and DJ Ryan Kaarlela attended the Cinderella concert at The Dreammakers Theater at Kewadin Casino on April 14th, 2011, and he posted 7 videos from the show onto YouTube in June! The videos include short clips of "Shelter Me", "Heartbreak Station", "Second Wind", and "Push Push", along with longer videos of Cinderella playing "Somebody Save Me", "Nobody's Fool", and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)", so click each link to see Ryan's videos! I think these slipped my radar for two reasons: They weren't posted until two months after the show, and Ryan didn't tag the Soo or Kewadin Casino in the videos, so they weren't visibly from the local concert on first glance, and I apologize for having these so late.

The videos are good quality, and Ryan's angle on the right is fairly close, but the audio has scratchy moments, some videos are too short, and singer Tom Keifer isn't too clear on the recordings. Still, these are nice videos, so check them out at the above links, give Ryan's new "Energy Rock Radio Show" a listen on Hard Rock Radio Live on Saturday afternoons, and here's Cinderella playing "Somebody Save Me" in April!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of Foothill Road's second EP TOMORROW in our likely final post of January 2012! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Garden of Bedlam), Battle Of The Bands Updates, And Much More!!

The news keeps rolling in fast and furious, and we've got a lot of it to get to today, so here's what's on tap! We have some assorted shorter stories from the last little while, the latest updates for the upcoming Battle of the Bands (including a newly added band's change), preliminary word on an apparent major upcoming concert, and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, but first, here's news relating to some great local press on a local band and their frontman, as it links to the new show!

The Sault Star's article on Garden of Bedlam singer Erik "Buzz" Boissineau is now online on The Sault Star's website! Written by Brian Kelly and entitled "Singer finds peace in Garden of Bedlam", the article features Buzz's thoughts on the imagery and themes of the band's new album "Everything Will Die", their studio work, their victory at 2009's Kiss Battle of the Bands and the experience opening for Kiss at The Essar Center in August 2010, and Buzz's musical journey before joining Garden of Bedlam, including brief mentions of his old bands Barfly and Sourcecode. The article also mentions that Garden of Bedlam hopes to do some touring this spring in Ontario, which would be awesome if it happens on schedule! This is a nice article with some good insights on both Buzz's music and Garden of Bedlam's local rise, and aside from spelling Kiss drummer Eric Singer's first name wrong, there's no glaring errors from what I can see. Buzz definitely is a nice guy deserving of the press, but I was hoping for either some more insight into his career or some more integration of the other members of the band for the article. Still, it's some well deserved press all around, and check out the full article at the above links!

That's not all from the article of note from Garden of Bedlam, as it also revealed their next concerts at the end, so here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!! According to the above article, Garden of Bedlam will bring their metal onslaught back to The Rockstar Bar on Saturday, March 10th for a headlining concert there! This will be their first local concert of 2012, their first since their CD release show on Boxing Day, and their first show at The Rockstar Bar in nine months, but at least this isn't as huge of a wait for their next show as some of them have been! Garden of Bedlam haven't confirmed this concert on their pages yet, but if The Sault Star's mentioning it, then it can't be too inaccurate. Admission will be $5, an 11:00 PM start time is listed, and I imagine this is a 19+ event, but other details (like potential openers) haven't been made public yet. Check the above links for more details! It's nice to see Garden of Bedlam back for another headlining concert, and you know it'll be a big show no matter what, so stay tuned to the SMS for more details as they come in!

The other new show mentioned in the Sault Star is not completely confirmed yet, so I won't call it yet until official word comes out, but Garden of Bedlam are also listed for a David Gold memorial show at a to-be-announced local venue on April 7th! This appears to confirm that a local tribute concert in memory of the late Woods of Ypres frontman is in the works, and I have heard rumours relating to it and possible bands to perform on it, but until something completely official is released by promoters or band-linked sources, I won't officially go into any detail. Stay tuned though, because I have a feeling this will be a can't miss event!

Next up, here's the latest updates on the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands on April 20th at The Grand Theater! Two more bands have been confirmed for the lineup of this long awaited battle, including local deathcore quartet The Valentine's Day Massacre.... wait, who are they? They're actually the band formerly known as View To A Kill, who announced that they changed their name yesterday. A full reason for the name change wasn't announced, but the band said that the View To A Kill name "served them well". Maybe there was a conflict with a similarly named other band, maybe it's to better suit their material, who knows. Personally, I find that the name's a downgrade and doesn't really match their sound, but their music is still brutal, so stay tuned for more from The Valentine's Day Massacre as it comes in, including their next show next month when details come out! The other newly confirmed band is local rock quartet Wishbone (featuring local metal band alumni Glen Thomas & Steven Flint), who'll play their first local battle of the bands since the Kiss Battle finals in 2009! Not too heavy, but they're a very talented band, and they should do real well in April!

Notably, Late & Loud have yet to be confirmed for the battle despite the Facebook posts mentioning their involvement, but stay tuned if I hear anything for or against them playing. Veteran local bassist Nathan Bouliane's new band The Moves have also submitted an entry, but they've yet to be added to the lineup either as of this writing. This is shaping up to be a very cool battle of the bands, and hopefully everyone turns out to support their favourite bands and rock out! There's still openings for new bands, so click here to register to try and play at this battle, and stay tuned for more updates!

And finally for today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or station name:
  • Formerly-local internet radio station Energy Rock Radio has shut down, and has been replaced by "The Energy Rock Radio Show" on the New York internet station Hard Rock Radio Live as of January 17th, running Saturdays at 12:00 PM. A reason wasn't announced, beyond owner Ryan Kaarlela saying it was "time to move on." It sucks to see ERR as we knew it end, but hopefully Ryan makes the new show a success, and hopefully you guys continue to tune in! As a result, I've replaced it's now show-centric link on the SMS with the old ERR Facebook group, but do check out the new show!
  • Local grimecore trio Shit Liver are among numerous bands playing at this year's Touch Of Death Metal & Punk Festival in Cochrane, Ontario (6 hours north of Sudbury) from June 29th to July 1st, joining notable bands like Hallows Die, Empyrean Plague, and Thekillingfield on the massive lineup. Click here for more details! This should be a great festival for Northern Ontario metal, as always, so keep an eye on it!
  • According to their Facebook page, local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage recorded material towards a new album called "Jonathan, Your Music Sucks" at River Front Recreation Studios on Friday! I'll note that they still have their two "Genius Mushrooms" albums to release (the first one is online but not on sale), but no matter what the future release schedule looks like, stay tuned for updates!
That's all for now, but stay tuned for our last feature post of January (our review of Foothill Road's second EP) tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Battle Of The Bands), New Videos, And More!!

We've got even more news today, and leading off this post is a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for a notable local concert type's return after a lengthy absence from the Sault Ontario concert scene! That, plus some additional facts relating to it, are the main story of this post, but some new videos from a pair of local solo musicians are also featured here, and check out news from As It Stands, some Sault Michigan-area metal bands, and more in the post below this one from this morning. Now, to the new stories, so here's what you need to know!

For the first time in almost two years, a Battle of the Bands is going down in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario this spring, and metal bands will be a part! This battle is a fundraiser event for The Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society, and it will take place at The Grand Theater on Friday, April 20th. Five bands have been confirmed so far, including three metal bands, those being local hardcore quintet As It Stands, local melodic death metal band The Bear Hunters, and Desbarats death metal quartet For All That Is Lost, who all should deliver solid sets as they compete at this battle! Various Facebook posts from band members have indicated that Late & Loud will also be competing, but official sources have yet to confirm their addition. Joining them are local funk rock trio The Vertically Impaired and local acoustic duo Tea With Lincoln, with more spots presumably open for more bands. If you or your band want to enter this battle, fill out the registration form at this location! (There doesn't look like there's a registration fee.) Full details are not out yet for this battle (such as band limits, performance times, prizes, and possible age limits), but the battle will run from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM on April 20th, and the winner will be chosen by audience vote, so make sure your fans and friends are in attendance if your band is playing! Admission will be $20, which sounds steep right now, but this should be well worth it, especially if the band lineup gets a lot larger!

For more details on attending or entering, visit the above links or the Facebook event page, and if you wish to volunteer your time for this event, e-mail hilary_fan_699@hotmail.com. It's great to finally see another battle of the bands in Sault Ontario (and a new concert at The Grand), as it's been way too long since the last ones! Here's some interesting facts about band battles to share with you guys, while we're on the subject: The last Sault Ontario battle of the bands that I know of was Downtown Showdown in May 2010 at The Oddfellows Hall, which was won by Bring The Fallen in their 3rd battle victory in four tries. Frontman Josh Stephney now plays guitar in The Bear Hunters, but will his good luck at battles of the bands carry over in April? Fans may also remember the YMCA Battle of the Bands which took place at The Grand Theater in March 2009, which featured both Josh and his current Bear Hunters bandmate Justin Lam (then Operation: Killdozer's bassist) among the competitors, along with current Late & Loud members Benn Garside & Josh Hatherly as members of the blues rock quartet The Glass Statues, so there's some familiar faces from past battles of the bands in the area this time around! Of course, stay tuned to the SMS for updates on this battle on April 20th as they come in, cause it's shaping up real well!

We'll close today with some new videos, starting with two more new solo performance videos from ApocalyptiCDistroyeR frontman Jesse Middaugh! Continuing with his recent trend of posting performances on electric guitars, Jesse's newest videos were posted onto the band's YouTube channel on Wednesday, and one is a cover of part of Metallica's new song "Hell & Back"! It's a little rough and not very long, but it's cool to see Jesse learn it so soon after it's release last month, so check it out at the above link! Embedded below though is a 2 minute intrio to an original song named "The Predator" which has some promise, but it needs to be filled out and a bit less repetitive. Good start though, so check out Jesse's performance of "The Predator" below, and much more at the above links!

And finally, here's the latest solo original song from local guitarist Mike Cliffe! As uploaded onto his YouTube channel yesterday, the song's called "Snow Ghost" and Mike describes the song as "something a little different", with a soft beginning like snow, but it ends hard. The song has sort of a grand organ-ish feel early as well, with accompanying nighttime winter footage on a grainy camera. True to the description, the end is heavy, but some of the guitar licks sound a bit out of place with the backing riffs. It's a solid track though, so give "Snow Ghost" a look below, with much more from Mike at the above links!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week (including likely Battle of the Bands updates and the Sault Star article on Buzz from Garden of Bedlam), our review of Foothill Road's second EP, and next month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! Thanks everyone!

As It Stands EP Updates, New Videos, And More!!

Here's some more news and notes for this snowy Sunday morning in the Sault Ste. Marie area! Today, we have the latest news on a prominent local band's upcoming EP, new videos from two Sault Michigan-area metal bands, and some more assorted news from the last little while, so here's what you need to know!

As It Stands' third EP is now in the mixing stages, if you haven't heard yet, and a couple sources are dropping hints about it's progress and future news towards it's release! Brendan Clace at the local recording studio Dimension Studios has been working on the mixing for this EP since December 22nd, which he's said that he's been "stoked" to work on numerous times in the past while. Guitar tracking reportedly started on Boxing Day, and he said most recently on Thursday that he wished you could hear "the awesomeness" coming from his speakers, so click here for his recent updates. Sounds good to me, hopefully all the hype that Brendan's been building up isn't for not! Band sources have been noticeably quieter about the EP, but more cryptic at the same time in recent updates. On Thursday, the band posted a status on their Facebook & Twitter pages simply saying "#feb29th", which happens to be a Wednesday and the last day of February. Does this imply a possible release date for the EP, a new concert, or both? I don't know enough to say, but if they're putting a hashtag before it, that could be encouraging future reposts of it, so take that for what it's worth. Stay tuned for more future updates on As It Stands' next release, including updates to our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post on Thursday!

Next up, here's the latest videos from Eckerman, Michigan metal trio Swampghas, who've posted two new videos onto the Werehold Records YouTube channel on Wednesday. One is just an audio track from their forthcoming album "The Raco Tower Incident", entitled "How Can I Miss You, If You Don't Die?", so click the song title to hear it. J.R. Johnson (we now know his last name) has some solid charging guitar work here, and Jason Mills' aggressive singing fits nicely too on this song! He did tell me a while back though that the Swampghas album is entirely comprised of songs under 3 minutes long, so the short length is by design, but they pack a lot of headbanging goodness into the track, so check it out at the above link! The other new video is their music video for their song "Bog", and it's embedded below to check out! This was posted on YouTube in unfinished versions before that I was requested not to post yet, but the full version with vocals is online (for now at least.) How does it sound/look? It's very dark and grainy, but therein lies an amusing storyline and some solid heavy metal, and it's worth checking out all around, so give Swampghas' video for "Bog" a look below, and stay tuned for more Swampghas updates as they roll in!

Also new for videos from local bands across the river is the latest video from Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids epic metal quintet End of Existence! We last heard from them last month when they posted their second "Making Of..." video onto their Youtube channel, but it was since made private for unannounced reasons. In it's place (as uploaded on Thursday) is a shorter "2012 edit" of it that now also features a preview of their new original song "The Elements", which the band describes as "genre-defining". That takes up the first three minutes of the video, and how does it sound? From what I can hear, it sounds solid and in line with the aggression and creativity of their earlier originals, but I'm curious to hear the full track! The remainder of the video consists of about 2/3rds of the first "Making Of... (Part 2)", which features everything from Giles home improvements to rehearsal footage to shots of keyboardist Craig Harrison jet skiing, and for the record, I think the more entertaining footage from the previous version of this video remains intact on the new version. It's worth a look (and listen), so check out End of Existence's new-ish video below!

And finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while. As usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:
  • Kincheloe metal band Chained Memories have confirmed their current lineup's instrument positions, with guitarist Sean Roush moving to bass, Ryan Nicklas remaining on guitar, and Mike Rynberg taking on vocals as well as drums. Hopefully this holds well, I'm curious to hear what they've got going musically! Check the above link for more!
  • Garden of Bedlam frontman Erik "Buzz" Boissineau will be the subject of a Sault Star article in tomorrow's paper! A preview entitled "Singer finds peace in Garden of Bedlam" is now online to check out, which implies that the article will explore Buzz's search for musical bliss and Garden of Bedlam's local success. Watch out for the full article tomorrow!
  • Sault Ontario metal quartet Late & Loud now have their own Twitter page, where they've indicated that they now have new stage lights and no less than 3 smoke machines for future concerts. Good to know, so follow them at the above links for continued band updates on Twitter!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our review of Foothill Road's second EP by Tuesday, along with more news as it comes in! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 27, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Cavo), Tym Morrison Concert Preview, And Much More!!

Today's news post is full of news and notes from the last little whole, so here's what's on tap on this Friday evening! Below, we've got this week's classic video, the latest updates from Hammerspace, and a concert preview for this relatively quiet concert weekend, but leading things off today, here's a major LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this spring!

Allstar Promotions are back in the mix for major local concerts at Kewadin Casino, and they have a package of high profile rock acts coming to The Dreammaker's Theater on Friday, April 6th! Headlining this concert will be St. Louis hard rock quartet Cavo, who are best known for #1 mainstream rock single "Champagne", but they have lots of other newer songs to go around for fans from their forthcoming new album "Thick As Thieves"! I think "Champagne" is extremely overplayed, but Cavo's other songs are good and catchy for the most part, and they should pull in a solid crowd on April 6th! Joining them will be Norwood, Ontario post grunge rockers My Darkest Days, who were originally slated open for Buckcherry & Papa Roach at Kewadin last March before frontman Matt Walst fell ill. You're bound to remember My Darkest Days for recent hits like "Pornstar Dancing" and "Casual Sex", and it's nice to finally see them play locally after missing their last opportunity! I'm personally not a fan of theirs, but I know many of you enjoy their stuff, so hopefully they put on a good show! Opening this concert will be Vancouver hard rockers The Veer Union, who are slowly making waves in the North American rock scene with tracks like "Seasons", which made the top 10 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, so keep an eye on them at this concert!

This concert goes down on April 6th at 7:00 PM, it appears to be all ages, and tickets are NOW ON SALE for just $22.50, which is quite a bargain for this package of bands! You can buy tickets online at this location, in person at the Kewadin box office, or by calling 1-800-KEWADIN. As of right now, the first four rows are sold out, but plenty of tickets are still available, so get them A.S.AP.! It's nice to see some more big rock acts hitting the area, and it's also awesome to see Allstar Promotions bringing a big show back to Kewadin Casino after almost a year's absence, but hopefully the contract issues and whatever else are all worked out, so they can bring us more quality concerts! Stay tuned for updates on this show as they come in, and get your tickets A.S.A.P.!

Now to a weekend concert preview, and in an otherwise quiet weekend on the local metal scene, there is some hard rocking to be had, specifically on Saturday afternoon, as Tym Morrison returns to Bossy's Pub N' Grub! This will be the Caveman Morrison frontman's fourth straight Saturday matinee show at the Pim Street bar & restaurant, and you know he'll have a nice long set's worth of acoustic hard rock covers in store for attendees tomorrow afternoon! Besides, until Caveman Morrison's next show, this will fill the gap nicely! Admission is completely free (buy something just in case though), Tym will be on at 2:00 PM, and I believe this is all ages. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's good to see Tym's new weekly concert arrangement succeeding, and hopefully a good crowd turns up tomorrow to see his proficient and entertaining unplugged covers! For a preview, here's Tym covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" at Bossy's last weekend!

Third today, here's the latest from Sault Michigan metal band Hammerspace! Firstly, the band has re-added guitarist Denny Breslin to their lineup, making them a quintet once again, as confirmed on the band's Facebook page on Sunday. As a result, frontman John Bergeron will trade his guitar for a keyboard full time, while also remaining their lead singer. Denny was briefly a member of Hammerspace in their 2010 infancy, but you're more likely to remember him locally from his runs in Half A Man & Bent Rollercoaster. Its good to see him back in a local band, and hopefully his skills help Hammerspace as they continue their resurgence this year! The other band news mostly relates to their recent jamming in Rudyard, but nothing too prevalent about onstage return or anything similar has came in a while. Notably, there was brief fears about a breakup due to the fact that they removed their name from their Facebook page earlier this week, but the band confirmed that it was just to be mysterious, and their name & status are unchanged. Hopefully we hear much more from Hammerspace shortly, so check them out at the above links for all current updates!

And finally, here's this week's classic video! With a largely quiet weekend for concerts, I thought I'd dip into the archives for a band to post a video from, and who better than Woods of Ypres? Despite the unfortunate passing of David Gold last month, there's still plenty of videos of Woods of Ypres from their heyday that deserve a wider audience, and none made more sense to start with than the music video for their 2007 song "The Northern Cold"! Released on April 1st of that year, it was filmed in a Northern Ontario forest that February, but it hasn't been seen on YouTube in a few years following David's deletion of it from his YouTube channel. I don't know whether it was due to his dissatisfaction with the video/song, to promote newer material, or something else, but it's a nice video that instantly evokes feelings of a cold northern winter, and "The Northern Cold" is a solid black metal song that should have been in their later setlists more often! This features the band's 2007 lineup, including David on vocals, guitar, and studio drums, Woods of Ypres' then-producer Dan Hulse on bass, and Jessica Rose on the keyboard, with live guitarist Shawn Stoneman and live drummer Chris Mezzabotta filling out their lineup for the video.

I ripped this video from http://rocktube.us/SYt1VWCj0Tx/WOODS_OF_YPRES__The_Northern_Cold.html where it was originally uploaded by RockTube user knjaz_abbadon on September 10th, 2008, though I cropped it to it's original HD dimensions & boosted the colour a bit after downloading it. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for this video goes to Woods of Ypres & knjaz_abbadon, I'm just trying to share this music video with a wider audience like it deserves! This is a nice video that should be seen, so give Woods of Ypres' video for "The Northern Cold" a look below, stay tuned for more from Woods of Ypres as it comes in, and R.I.P. David!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this weekend, as well as this month's CD review (likely of Foothill Road's second EP!) Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), New Videos, And More!!

Let's get to some more news as we hit the middle of the week! Today, we've got some new videos from some Sault Michigan area performers, a local hard rock album postponement, and the likely identity of this month's CD review on the SMS, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this weekend! Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's current weekly concert arrangement at Bossy's Pub N' Grub will continue on Saturday afternoon with another acoustic show! This will be Tym's fourth straight Saturday show at the former Smack Daddy's, and you know he'll have plenty of hard rocking unplugged covers in store for fans and Bossy's regulars this weekend! Admission should be free, this should be an all ages event, and Tym will be on from 2:00 PM to about 6:00 PM on Saturday. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! After finally getting to see Tym's solo show after two+ years, I can safely say that he'll impress with his wide mix of acoustic covers from metal to even country, so if you're free on Saturday afternoon, consider a trip down to Bossy's this weekend! Stay tuned for more Tym (and Caveman) Morrison updates as they come in! Next up, here's some updates on both our next CD review and an upcoming local metal album. You may remember that I tentatively slotted Sault Ontario solo artist Mike Haggith's new album "Neighbourhood Watch" for a review this month, seeing as it was slated to come out.... today. Well, the album has been postponed indefinitely, as revealed on a post on his Facebook page on Friday. The reason is due to illnesses that appear to have put a halt on the final recordings for the album, although Mike later confirmed that a new track named "Fading" will make the album as well upon it's release. As of right now, Mike says that "Neighbourhood Watch" will be completed "when it is", so there's no current timetable, and a release before the end of the month looks unlikely. This is disappointing, but hopefully Mike gets well soon so we can hear more new material, and click here for more on the album, including some preview demo tracks! That said, now that this album is on hold, what CD are we going to review this month? Barring a flash new release in the next week, we'll probably review defunct local hard rockers Foothill Road's second self-titled CD, as guitarist Mario Carlucci rocked the stage this month with Sneaky Pete, so that ties in well, so unless anything changes, look out for this month's CD review by Tuesday! Let's wrap up this post with some new videos, starting with another new video from Kinross hard rockers Banned! Once again from Ashley Traynor's YouTube channel, this is also from Banned's show at The Bird on Saturday night, and it's the first Banned video we've seen featuring new singer Mike Straw on actual lead vocals! It's of their cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone", and how does Mike (and the band) do on it? Mike's stage presence is stiff, but he doesn't do a bad job singing this song, even if it's not that heavy, and hopefully we'll hear more lead vocal work from Mike in the future! Thanks again to Ashley for these nice quality Banned concert videos, and check out their rendition of "Tuesday's Gone" below! And finally, here's a short 30 second video from Swayze Train guitarist Scott Savoie! It's just of Scott practicing some arpeggios on his guitar, which sound nice, but I wish the video was longer. Not too much to say, but Scott's definitely a talented guitarist, so check out his new video from Monday below, and if you're in the St. Ignace area, go see Swayze Train there this weekend at their Kewadin Casino! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and weekend concert previews over the next few days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Local Metal Video Showcase!!

It's time to get some more videos out to you guys on this wet Monday afternoon, so here's what's on tap for our latest local metal video showcase! Today, we have the latest videos from two notable Sault Michigan acts and two covers from a pair of Sault Ontario musicians, so here's all that you should know! (EDITED: 5:54 PM)

Brimley metal quartet Half A Man have posted some new videos onto YouTube, and the newest of them gives us our first glimpse at new singer Dillion Semasky! As posted onto guitarist Erik Rintamaki's YouTube channel yesterday, it's of most of Half A Man (I don't see bassist Gary Croad) covering the Down song "Bury Me In Smoke", and though it's filmed in the same location as their "Gooodbye" performance from last month, a white effects filter is laid on the video for some reason. Maybe it's to build anticipation for the new lineup's full debut? Who knows, but audio wise, Dillion sounds good! He knows the song, and he can pull off an aggressive yet melodic track like this with Half A Man, so all seems good to me so far! Check the above links to give the video a listen, or view it below, and thanks to Erik for telling me about the YouTube copy! That said, they have two more new videos on the band's YouTube channel as well, and like their other new YouTube uploads, these are from their April 16th concert at The Merchant's Bar. They're of their cover of Prong's "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" and their original song "Life Goes On", so click each link to check them out! There's not much new to say on these in terms of quality, but these are solid and very heavy performances, especially "Life Goes On", so check out both of their new videos, and here's their new Down cover from yesterday!

Next up, here's some new videos from Kinross hard rockers Banned! No less than FOUR videos from their set on Saturday night at The Bird have been posted onto band members' Alex & Don Traynor's sister/daughter Ashley Traynor's YouTube channel over the last two days, which is awesome, so kudos to Ashley for filming these! The videos are of Banned covering Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine", Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight", Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World", and (as embedded below) Alice In Chains' "Man In The Box", so click on each link to see her videos from Saturday night! For reference sake, Alex sings lead on each posted song except "Wonderful Tonight", which Don sang lead on. I find it odd that Banned's new singer/keyboardist Mike Straw doesn't seem to do much of either in the posted videos we've seen of Banned's current lineup, beyond backing vocals. Maybe it's just a coincidence or a slow build, but I'm curious to hear more of his talents! Overall though, these are fairly solid performances by Banned, though Alex definitely handles vocals better on songs that had higher-voiced singers originally. Good stuff all round, so check the above links for all the new (and old) Banned videos, and here's their cover of "Man In The Box"!

Finally, here's some new solo performance videos from a pair of Sault Ontario musicians, starting with the latest guitar cover from Neno Jovanovic! Like his other recent covers, this is of him playing the guitar tracks along with the rest of the original song, and in this case, it's a cover of Mastodon's "Blood & Thunder". It's a good cover, he knows the original well, but it'd be nice if it was the full song and if it was a bit louder in the mix. Still, it's worth checking out, so here's Neno's cover of "Blood & Thunder", as uploaded to his YouTube channel on Thursday!

And finally, ApocalyptiCDitroyeR frontman Jesse Middaugh has posted two new solo performance videos onto the band's YouTube channel! These are two weeks old, so I apologize for being late to mention these on here, they just slipped me by. These are the first videos that Jesse's posted on his YouTube in over four months that feature him on an electric guitar, which is good to see, and they're of his cover of Simple Plan's "Jet Lag" and (as embedded below) an original track named "The New One"! I'm not high on Simple Plan, but these new videos show off Jesse's guitar skills well, and the new track has promise as a hard rocking number, so definitely give these new videos a look above and below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile later this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tym Morrison & Sneaky Pete Concert Reviews!!

Well, it's time for two more concert reviews at The Sault Metal Scene, as I went to two different shows yesterday for the first time in some months! That's the entirety of this post, so read on below for my thoughts, but check out this month's YouTube Channel Profile on Borderline Divine (now Stillbroke's) old YouTube channel in the post below this one!

My day started oddly early for a 2:00 PM show at Bossy's Pub N' Grub on Pim Street, as Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison stopped in there for his third show in his current weekly concert arrangement! Before that though, I wanna apologize for a missed date of his, as Tym apparently rocked The Service Grill on Korah Road on the evening of January 14th. My sincere apologies for missing it, I don't know how it slipped me by for promoting on here. Yesterday though, Tym delivered an entertaining afternoon of covers for fans and Bossy's regulars, and I'm glad to have finally got out to have seen his solo show for the first time since 2009! Though Tym had a late start due to some vehicle trouble, he unloaded a nicely varied setlist of all kinds of classic songs, ranging from heavier fare like Metallica, Blue Oyster Cult, and Night Ranger to Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Billy Joel tracks, and even some Garth Brooks! His solo stuff is similar to a Caveman Morrison set, if unplugged and more wider reaching, so fans of the band would have been at home here. Ironically, like the last time I saw Tym live, he was battling a cold, and when we chatted between sets, he was visibly dealing with it, but during the songs, it was honestly not a factor.

Tym's guitar playing was good, and his singing voice was strong, but the cold did prevent him from singing some higher-sung covers. I'd also like to see his stage setup a bit more central in Bossy's, like where the Hollow reunion was staged, but I can understand why pool tables are out in that area for patrons. Overall though, Tym's solo show was a fun afternoon of entertaining music, and if you're ever in the Cambrian Mall or Canadian Nightclub area on a Sunday afternoon, stop in for a few hours to enjoy some great covers! Check out my photos from Tym's show at this location or at our Facebook page, and yes, I did get a video, so here's Tym covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" yesterday afternoon!

Following that, I finally got a chance to see local hard rock quartet Sneaky Pete at The Rockstar Bar, many months after their debut last year! In terms of their live setup, they truly made the stage their own, filling it with lots of signature band items and numerous instruments, and their sound fit accordingly! Singer and drummer Mike Oakley can sure handle both roles well, and he rarely missed a beat throughout each set, and lead guitarist Mario Carlucci shone on his riffs and solos as well! Bill Brouillard's guitar work and backing vocals fit well also, and he had a very nice stage presence, while Sean Berlinguette handled the low end about as wella s I expected last night as well! Very talented guys overall, with few flubs or glaring errors for what they played. Their setlist covered all bases, ranging from Guns N' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, and AC/DC songs to some surprising selections like The Neon Trees, Big & Rich, and Duran Duran, but it helped keep their setlits open and accessible to all audiences, and the people there were very receptive! I did notice that their first set was noticeably heavier than their following sets, which is sort of odd compared to what I'm used to, but it's all good!

I did find that maybe the bass could have boosted in the mix a bit, and Sneaky Pete's smoke machine didn't give my camera ideal shooting conditions (lots of bright grey photos), but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of their set! Sneaky Pete's hard rocking covers are definitely worth checking out, and hopefully I'll see them again on a local stage soon! Check out my photos from last night at this location, or visit the SMS on Facebook as linked above, and I again apologize for the quality. That said, I got a good quality video of their opening song last night, so here's their cover of Saliva's "Ladies & Gentlemen"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, along with this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Age of Days on Thursday! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: STILLBROKE1's Channel

It's the 22nd of the month, so here's our latest YouTube Channel Profile! As usual in this monthly feature series, we're taking a look at a YouTube channel with at least a 50% concentration of videos with a local metal relevance, so we can profile it and tell you guys what lies within and what videos you should check out! After our three-for-all last month, we're kicking off 2012 in this series with a look at a prominent returning local band's old channel, so read on below for all that you need to know! (Updated on October 15th, 2013)
STILLBROKE1's Channel (http://youtube.com/user/stillbroke1)

Owner: Stillbroke frontman Jesse Frigault (and maybe his mother Laurie Usitalo too), but the channel is credited to the band as a whole.

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 2nd, 2009; Videos posted between July 2009 & May 2010.

Channel Summary: This was the official YouTube channel for inactive Sault Ontario hard rock quartet Stillbroke, before their late 2011 name change to Borderline Divine. The channel features 8 videos from late 2009 & early 2010, which included the release of their debut EP "Never Enough" and their final major activity under the Stillbroke name. Though I think some early 2009 concert footage may have been featured on this channel at one point, the currently posted videos include Stillbroke's set at the Kiss Battle of the Bands in December 2009, two advertisements for their EP, a short video of the crowd from a rare out of town show in Baysville, three solo performance videos by Jesse Frigault, and one featuring him and ex-guitarist Chris Villeneuve. Note however that this channel was not utilized during Stillbroke's 2010-2011 hiatus or during their brief Borderline Divine tenure before breaking up last summer.

Why Should You Watch: Because it has a lot of good video footage and clips from the later active months of the band's run under the Stillbroke name, and their modern hard rock talent is evident in the posted clips! The advertisements are good for what they are, and Jesse's solo performance clips show his talent as a singer and guitarist as well. That said, this channel has not been actively used since 2010, and with Stillbroke's later name change and 2012 breakup, future use of the channel is unlikely at best, so keep that in mind in case it changes your mind on subscribing.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Stillbroke Battle of the Bands for Kiss: The most popular video and the most substantial live concert footage here is of Stillbroke's set at the Kiss Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub on December 1st, 2009, where they played their self-titled song and "Never Enough" for hundreds of fans! This featured what I'd call their "classic lineup", including Jesse on vocals & lead guitar, final drummer Sam DeDominicis on rhythm guitar, prolific local musician Kyle McKey on bass, and Jenny Hooper on drums. Despite disappointment at the live sound quality and their stage setup in the video description, and that they didn't make the finals of the battle, Stillbroke still sound good here, and have a nice on stage energy & presence! It's how I remember them from back then, and the criticisms of the quality underrate the video, though the beginning of the first song is cut off. It's definitely worth checking out for old Stillbroke fans, or if you enjoyed the Kiss Battle of the Bands, which got the whole scene buzzing in 2009!

"Stillbroke: Never Enough" Advertisment: Two homemade commercials were posted onto the channel to promote the release of Stillbroke's 2009 EP "Never Enough", one of which featured the band's 2009 lineup riding atop their tour van set to the EP's title track. The one we're featuring here though is a later ad from March 2010, and it features Jesse demolishing an old piano with a sledgehammer, set to their song "Wash It Away" from the EP. Though only 1:41 long, it seems to symbolize their musical approach, tearing down an instrument they no longer used in favour of their existing hard rock sound. That, or it's fun destroying an old piano, but either way, it's a neat little ad! Note that the video ends with some purchasing details for "Never Enough", though it's now out of print.

I Dont Wanna Say Goodbye - Jesse Frigault & Chris Villeneuve: Though three other solo performance videos by Jesse are on the Stillbroke channel (including the original compositions "I'm Still Hanging On" & "Drifting Away" and a cover of Disturbed's "Darkness"), I picked this May 2010 video of Jesse and Stillbroke's final rhythm guitarist Chris Villeneuve playing the song "I Don't Wanna Say Goodbye" to post here as it has a fuller sound with two guitarists. Possibly the only public video footage of Chris actually playing with Stillbroke, he and Jesse have good chemistry on this song, which nicely blends a ballad style with heavier vocals and a pretty good dual guitar solo. Though this is the channel's final video, it's still worth checking out for some proficient hard rock action from the last active months of their run under the Stillbroke name!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's YouTube Channel Profile! For the next installment of this series, I've randomly selected the YouTube channel of local electronic hard rock project Candle Hour to be profiled next, so look out for that between February 19th and 25th! That's all for now, but stay tuned later today for reviews of last night's Tym Morrison and Sneaky Pete concerts! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 20, 2012

More New Videos, The End Of The Outback, And More!!

As promised, here's our second news post of the day as we clear out our news cache! Tonight, we've got news on original recordings from two Sault Ontario death metal bands, new videos from a couple of noted area musicians, and news on a local concert venue's demise, so here's what you need to know!

Let's lead off with some updates on new material from a pair of Sault Ontario death metal bands! One is that local quartet View To A Kill posted their first demo recording of an original song onto their new Reverbnation page on Sunday, and it's of one we haven't heard live before! Entitled "The Enemy", the quality could be better, and the guitar's lower than it should be in the mix, but it's a promising deathcore number that I hope to hear live soon! Check the above links to check it out! The other news on the material front is concerning The Bear Hunters' planned demo, which they've finally been keeping fans well updated on via their Facebook page. The local melodic death metal quintet are reportedly aiming for this to be a full length release, though not slapped together like some demos. Unlike the early plans for the "Bloodthirst" EP, this should have at least 10 songs, and drums are recorded for those 10, with stringed instruments next on the docket for recording. Tentative plans are to release both this demo and official band t-shirts by the spring, so keep tabs on the sessions and plans at the above links! Fingers crossed this all works out, as you know us fans are eagerly awaiting The Bear Hunters' next big plans, so keep an eye out for updates!

Next up, here's a couple of new videos, starting with the latest solo track from local guitarist Mike Cliffe! Oddly titled "Accordion Allotments For Calimari", this was posted onto his YouTube channel on Wednesday along with what Mike called a "disjointed video montage" set to the song, featuring everything from chains, fire, and a blue running man to boating footage, a digitally added helicopter, and various other computer generated effects, among other elements. This is actually one of Mike's heavier songs in a while, with a slow hard charging riff and some nice experimental touches and styles thrown in, so definitely give it a look below!

Also in new videos, here's a light little drumming video from As It Stands drummer John Mignacca! Uploaded onto the band's YouTube channel on Wednesday, this is of John playing an electric drum set at a local music store (not sure which one), as filmed on what looks like a cell phone camera. It sounds like he's playing along with a demo track programmed in the drumkit, and it shows off his drumming skills well, but the backing audio isn't really "heavy". Still, it shows off John's drum talents nicely, so give it a look below!

And finally, here's a note on the closure of a local concert venue. According to a news release to SooToday and other local news outlets on Thursday, demolition of The Outback will begin shortly to make way for the second phase of the construction at Sault College, who had operated The Outback as the campus pub and restaurant since 1994. Reportedly, The Outback will be demolished to make way for a new Student Health & Wellness Center that will be completed by the end of the 2012-2013 school year. The new building's focus appears to be on academic labs, a gym, and fitness rooms, with no outward mention made of a possible replacement for The Outback either in the main campus or in a future new building. The Student Life Center that was operating out of The Outback was moved into the main campus, so click here for details on it's new locations. The Outback was never a frequent sight for local metal concerts, but the occasional show featuring a heavier band popped up here and there, at events like the Tyler Yuke Memorial Nights and others, with bands like Caveman Morrison, Late & Loud, and Sykotyk Rampage among the acts playing there in recent years.

I liked The Outback's inviting atmosphere and student involvement when I was a student there in the late 2000s, and we'll miss it for sure, but hopefully an alternate spot for events and concerts is made or moved at some point in the future for Sault College students & general fans alike! As a result, I've deleted The Outback from our Sault Ontario venue listings, but if and when new metal shows of any kind hit Sault College, I'll be sure to let you guys know!

That's all for tonight, but I'll see you guys at Bossy's & The Rockstar Bar TOMORROW for Tym Morrison and Sneaky Pete! Thanks everyone!

New Videos, A Band Re-Breakup, And A Band Looking To Play Here!!

We've got a lot of news waiting to be posted on the SMS, so this is going up nice and early as an autopost so we can get another news post up tonight without downplaying anything. So let's start this busy news day with some new live concert videos, the latest video remembrances for the late David Gold, a band looking to play here, and leading things off, an apparent band breakup, so here's what you need to know!

It looks like Sault Ontario death metal quintet State of Misery have disbanded again. An official statement hasn't been made to that effect, but their Facebook page was recently deleted, which adds to other telling signs to their status, like the lack of official band updates since October, and band members' Steve Rhodes & Ray Cowan's recent work in View To A Kill & Social Suicide respectively. Plus, drummer Nick Kainula said in a photo comment on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday that "an actual reunion" may be in order for the future. This appears to end a brief & uneventful return for the rising young deathcore outfit, after coming back in August following a three month disbandment that started in May. I was hoping that their return would turn out to be a success on par with their fast rise in the local scene in early 2011, but who knows what happened internally late last year. Hopefully they do come back down the road, but I do wish Steve, Ray, Kevin, Devon, and Nick all the best in whatever comes next for them musically! They had loads of promise, so hopefully they find success in the local scene soon!

Next up, here's some new interview footage featuring late Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold! In August, you may remember when the Calgary webseries Extreme Metal Television featured live clips and an interview with David from Woods of Ypres' show there in May in the fourth episode of EMTV, which you can watch at this link. Well, in the wake of David's untimely passing last month, a tribute to David ends this latest episode of EMTV (as posted at this location on Wednesday), but the video's also worth checking out for pieces on Between The Buried And Me, Reverend Kill, and Kriticos. The David/Woods portion begins at around 12:17 in the video, where cohost King talks about his memories of David, including about his character, kind nature, and eagerness to see his music spread among fans. He also revealed plans for a tribute show to David in Calgary on February 24th, but details weren't elaborated on in the episode. Then, a video package rolls featuring some unaired live clips from that show and unreleased interview footage, where David talked about advice he'd give to up & coming bands, how times have changed for launching bands, and his own experiences promoting and getting the word out for Woods of Ypres.

The video closes with some amusing outtakes from when David did a plug for EMTV as well, so don't miss a second of the 8 minutes devoted to him and Woods of Ypres! It's a nice tribute featuring a great answer from David to the advice he'd give to up & coming bands, and it's clearly a well thought out response from someone who lived it and knew the realities of being in the music community, so definitely check out this new tribute video below, and stay tuned for more Woods of Ypres and David Gold stories as they roll in!

Thirdly today, another out of town metal band is looking to play a concert here in Sault Ontario! Yesterday, I recieved an e-mail from a member of the Calgary heavy rock n' roll trio The Shotgun Dolls, and apparently, they're looking to play in Sault Ste. Marie on their next tour run, although a timeframe for that tour wasn't given in the e-mail I recieved (if I hear anything further, I'll try and update this post.) Specifically, I was asked to recommend some venues they might be able to play at, and I've shot them back an e-mail, but as always, I'm opening up the floodgates for anyone out there who might be interested in hosting, booking, or helping The Shotgun Dolls in their local gig quest for this year! They're inspired by everyone from Led Zeppelin to Alexisonfire and have sort of a heavier classic rock inspired sound with some good catchy elements, and they'd be cool to have here in some fashion this year! If you like what you hear at the above link (featuring lots of audio and video clips), send The Shotgun Dolls a message at shotgundolls@gmail.com and if I hear more, I'll let you guys know!

Finally for today, here's some new YouTube video uploads from Brimley hard rock quartet Half A Man, who as you may remember, will return to the stage in time for this year's LemmaFest in June! Yesterday, the band uploaded two new videos onto their official YouTube channel from their April 16th concert at The Merchant's Bar, which was one of their last concerts before their lengthy break from the stage began. Featuring their early 2011 lineup, including guitarist Erik Rintamaki on lead vocals and ex-guitarist Denny Breslin, these videos are of Half A Man playing their original songs "Goodbye" (which is in memory of LemmaFest namesake Michael Lemma), and, as embedded below, "Freedom Ride"! These videos appear to be from the same camera as the previously uploaded videos of Half A Man playing "Don't Blame Me" and "Cripple" at this concert, so the same faults with the angle apply here, as it's centered on no band members, with Erik badly cut off on the left when singing. That aside, the quality's nice, and these are good performances! I think the addition of Dillion Semasky on vocals will open new doors for Half A Man, but I hope Erik's distinctively gruff singing still has a presence at future gigs. These are solid videos, so check them out at the above links, and here's "Freedom Ride"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for another news post later tonight, along with concert reviews and our next YouTube Channel Profiles this weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Half A Man), Sault Michigan Weekend Concert Previews, And The Latest From Rock 101!!

As promised, here's our second weekend concert preview post for this weekend's metal & hard rock shows in Sault Michigan! While there's a few shows across the river for your metal needs, including a notable local band's debut, we also have news from Rock 101 and a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for this summer as well, so here's what you need to know! (And I apologize for not being able to make the Rosie metal night tonight, we have errands to run very early tomorrow morning. I'll be at TWO shows on Saturday though, so I hope to see you guys then!)

Brimley hard rockers Half A Man have announced their first concert after a long break from the stage, and it will take place at this year's LemmaFest! Yes, the Sault Michigan concert festival in honour of the late Michael Lemma will return to the stage outside of Dondee Lanes on June 23rd, as per this Facebook event page, but full details aren't out yet. For Half A Man, this is their first announced concert since May of last year, and barring any additional dates announced in the interim, this will be their first concert since adding new singer Dillion Semasky and parting ways with guitarist Denny Breslin, so things will look and sound noticeably different from their past live run. Notably, Half A Man were tentatively lined up for the first LemmaFest last year before they opted out due to other commitments, so it'll be good to see them taking part this year! Again, full details aren't out yet, but admission last year was $10, it was an all ages event, and it went from 12:00 PM through the night last year with bands like Swayze Train, Infathom, Scofflaw, and Powerslug among the performers, so that's an indication of what could be ahead. It'll be great to finally see Half A Man back on stage after over a year away, but stay tuned for more from them and LemmaFest over the coming months at the above links, and check out Half A Man's tribute song to Michael Lemma at this location!

Now to this weekend's concert previews for the metal & hard rock concerts that I know of in the Sault Michigan area, so here's what you need to know for your concertgoing needs across the river! First, a new local band makes their concert debut TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT as local hard rock trio Trail's End will play their first concerts at The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino! As you may remember, this is the new band from Splitshot/Nixxon Dixxon alumni Chris Hubbard, Kyle Beaumont, and Jake LaLonde, who'll debut their new band three weeks after Splitshot's last concerts in St. Ignace took place. We know that the guys have clear talent from their past local work, but how will Trail's End's live show do? Time will tell, so definitely consider checking them out this weekend! Note that they aren't publically advertising these shows on their Facebook page, but Kewadin Casino's entertainment page still confirms these dates, so I assume they're on as scheduled. Both tonight & tomorrow's concerts should have no cover charge, 21+ age limits, and 10:00 PM-ish start times. Check the above links for more details! It's great to see Trail's End debut, and hopefully Chris, Kyle, and Jake reach new heights with this new project! Go see them at the casino if you can, and for a preview, here's their first original song "Run"!

Also this weekend on the heavier side of things is Kinross hard rock quartet Banned's next concert, taking place on SATURDAY NIGHT at The Bird, a.k.a. Golanka's Bar! One week after their set at Yooper's Got Talent in Rudyard, this rising local band will play their first "real" public concert in three weeks when they rock The Bird with a mix of covers and originals (more on that in a second) in their first public headlining show of the new year! Note that Banned are NOT playing tonight, this is a one night engagement for this weekend. Admission is likely free, everything starts at 10:00 PM tomorrow, and you must be 21 to attend. Check the above links for more details! Banned should deliver a solid set of hard rock covers for their fans this weekend, but for a preview, here's a brand new video of their current lineup! Filmed by guitarist Alex Traynor's sister Ashley (and drummer Don Traynor's daughter), this comes from the Yooper's Got Talent event in Rudyard this past weekend, and it was uploaded to Ashley's YouTube channel yesterday. This is the first footage I've seen of Banned with new members Jim Pentland & Mike Straw, and it's of an original song also called "Yooper's Got Talent", fittingly enough!

Featuring Alex on lead vocals and guitar, and Mike on backing vocals, this is the first original I've heard Banned do, and it has sort of a bluesy/southern rock vibe. It's not bad, though it could stand to be a bit heavier, but Alex uses his vocal range and solo guitar skills well! I like the audience participation element too, nice touch! Check out the video below, and also check out Ashley Traynor's YouTube channel linked above for Alex and Don's set at what looks like the same talent show last year with a Banned predecessor outfit!

And finally for today, here's a piece of news from The Sault's Rock Station, Rock 101. On Tuesday, it was announced that our local rock radio station has reached an extension on their deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, that will see radio broadcasts of all our Ontario Hockey League team's regular season & playoff games continue on 101.3 FM for at least three more years, running through at least the 2014-15 season. Rock 101 originally picked up the Soo Greyhounds' broadcasting rights in 2009, when the Hounds left Sault Ontario country station Q104. The new deal doesn't mention anything about that Tuesday talk show that was hosted at Wacky Wings, but I'm not sure if it even still airs. I'm a Greyhounds fan, and I'm glad to see that they've formed a solid and successful partnership with Rock 101, but I know there's Rock 101 fans in the area who don't like the radio broadcasts cutting in to the rock music time, or would rather see a Sault Ontario team broadcasting on a Sault Ontario station. I bring it up here because we cover Rock 101 and this is on their schedule, but regardless, this is a great relationship for both parties, and hockey fans should be glad that they have an awesome partner in place to broadcast their games!

Besides, if you want rock radio on a weekday evening or a Sunday afternoon, or whenever games air, there's always WLSO and the Mackinac City-area stations to tune in to, so put them into consideration for your rock radio needs when the Hounds are on. For more on this topic, read Jeffery Ougler's Sault Star article on the new deal at this location, and go Hounds go!

That's all for tonight, but I have a logjam of news to get to tomorrow, so stay tuned for all of that, including some big stories and new videos! Thanks everyone!