Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ypres Metal Fest Updates, New Videos, And More!!

March is almost at hand, so let's end February in style with another news post at the SMS! Today, we have updates on a major upcoming local metal show, new videos and news from a pair of local hard rock acts from each of the twin Saults, and a note on a band I'm now considering inactive on the site, so read on below for today's news, and check out my review of Sykotyk Rampage's 27th album "Karrs" in the post below this one!

Let's start with some more updates for the Ypres Metal Fest (a.k.a. the local David Gold memorial concert) at The Canadian Nightclub on April 7th, including the addition of a new band! Local deathcore quartet The Valentine's Day Massacre (formerly View To A Kill) have officially been confirmed as the 11th band for this major concert event, joining 4 other local acts! I'd heard about their potential addition before, but it's good to see official word that they'll be a part, and they're also a fitting act for the concert, as frontman Steve Rhodes backed up Woods of Ypres at their last local show in March while still in State of Misery. Sounds good to me, and stay tuned for any other potential lineup additions or changes! The other big news about this show is that it's ALL AGES, as confirmed by David's sister Marie on the Facebook event page yesterday! This is now the latest all ages show at a bar on the spring concert schedule locally, joining this Sunday's Dead In The Van fundraiser and March 15th's 43rd Rosie metal night, and this is a trend I'd definitely like to see continue locally if these shows are hits! Still, it's great to see the Gold family & Dismembertainment open the Ypres Metal Fest to fans and metalheads of all ages, and definitely stay tuned to the SMS for further updates on this huge concert!

Next up, here's the latest Half A Man updates! The Brimley metal quartet have been keeping busy towards work on their debut album, and they're giving fans a taste of their recent work via a new short audio demo on their YouTube channel! Posted on Monday, this is just 78 seconds long and doesn't feature new singer Dillion Semasky (that I can tell), but it's a promising hard charging track from what I can tell, and I'm curious to hear a fuller version! Check the video out below, and also, the band expressed interest two weeks ago in playing with Sault Ontario metal bands for shows across the river, even offering to lend their own instruments to preclude needing visas to play across. It'd be cool to see a cross-border metal set from a local band (we haven't had that since Nixxon Dixxon's Kiss battle finals appearance in December 2009), but if any of you Sault Ontario band members wanna take Half A Man up on their offer, give them a shout at this location and see where it leads! For now, give their new audio demo clip a listen, and stay tuned for more Half A Man updates!

Also in new video-related topics, Sault Ontario solo guitarist Mike Cliffe has posted some new solo songs with accompanying videos onto his YouTube channel! One is called "Erotic Snowflake" (which isn't relevant to the song's theme), but it's an interesting techno-tinged rock number with some neat background effects and a video featuring what looks like a filter-laden spotlight moving across the screen. The one I'm embedding below though is "Snow Bugs", another electronic sounding rocker with some catchy guitar work and more exciting visualizations that remind me of a mishmash of different things. Solid work all around, so check out these and his other newer audio recordings at the above links, and check out "Snow Bugs" below! (Also, give Mike a shout at this location if you're in a band with female members and you'd be interested in being featured in his upcoming AudioFumes podcast for International Women's Day on March 8th!)

And finally for today, I wanted to note a band I'm (at least for now) considering to be inactive on the SMS band links, that being local grunge trio No Arrow. They were last visibly active last February when their Murder Playground-era lineup (including SBD frontman Dann Pichette, ex-Fitswitch bassist Jason Bourcier, and his Faithless Sin bandmate Joe Falco on drums) opened for RedD Monkey at their Swamp Donkey Romp at Foggy Notions. Essentially, that was a one-off gig due to SBD's withdrawal from that show, as no new public updates have come since, though Dann has mentioned possible reunions to me off & on informally. That was the only No Arrow gig that I've heard of since 2008, though they remained active in recent years with scattered jam sessions & tentative plans to release their still-unreleased debut album "Souls For Sale". It's disappointing to consider them inactive, especially coming from a grunge fan and definite supporter of No Arrow in recent years, and I was hoping they'd pick up the grunge torch that area bands like Half Stupid are no longer carrying locally. Hopefully Dann and company revisit No Arrow again down the road, as there's a lot of good stuff and talent there, but with a year since the last public update, I've gotta consider them inactive for now. However, stay tuned to the SMS for news on SBD and other members' newer bands!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews, our next "Where Are The New Albums?" post, and more news as we kick off March! Thanks everyone!

Sykotyk Rampage - "Karrs" Review!!

It's time for our 32nd monthly CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and for the first time in the site's history, we're reviewing a fourth album by a local band this month! After previously reviewing "22", "Bella Disgusta", and "Zombiez" by this band, we're taking a look at local "blue Chinese metal crash punk" quartet Sykotyk Rampage's August 2011 album "Karrs" today! One of five new albums that this prolific band posted onto their Reverbnation page last year,"Karrs" is Sykotyk Rampage's 27th album, and though it's not chronologically next for a review, it's the second heaviest of the band's 2011 albums (after "Zombiez"), so it gets priority for our next older review of their material. Recorded live as they played it last year at River Front Recreation Studios, "Karrs" features Sykotyk Rampage's current lineup, including Paul Becker on lead vocals & drums, his brother Dirk on guitar (and vocals on four songs), Shane Kokis on guitar, and Paul's son-in-law Brian Cattapan on bass. "Karrs" is currently available to purchase at the band's Reverbnation store for $6.99 in mp3 format or $9.99 on CD, with individual tracks at 99¢ each and $2.49 each for ringtones. (Updated on November 6th, 2012)

The full album (featuring 13 songs at about 53 minutes in length) can also be streamed for free at the above links, but I'd say support Sykotyk Rampage and buy "Karrs" for yourself as well! Without any further adieu, let's begin our "Karrs" review with the first song, "Nothing But"! After a short sample intro of the "Gentlemen, start your engines" call from a car race and a revving engine, the band fades into view with Sykotyk Rampage's familiar crash rock sounds and some singing from guitarist Dirk Becker, who continues to use his punk-influenced quavery singing to good effect! The early chunk of the song is fairly repetitive, though I like Brian Cattapan's bass work, and the drum beat's catchy enough to keep things interesting! This son's biggest drawback is it's length, as it's mostly the same stuff for almost 5 minutes despite some effective off colour singing from Dirk and some instrumental variance, and I'd have cropped it in half to avoid the repetition. Still, it's a catchy song that plays to Sykotyk Rampage's strengths well, and hopefully later songs on "Karrs" follow the same alternative path while shaking things up a bit more!

Second is the intentionally misspelled "Konstruction Zone", and after some sounds of construction work, the band launches into a quaint opening with what sounds like a cowbell and some low guitar and bass work. Paul Becker's bluesy shouting vocals make their debut on this song, where his distinctive vocals seem too excitable for the backing music. The later guitar work has an odd scratchy quality, and the beat of the song is nicely paced, but there's an odd contrast between the vocals & music that I'd have corrected. Paul's singing until the faster paced ending doesn't seem fitting for the music, which also gets repetitive in it's own right. Good song, but it needs some work. It's followed on "Karrs" by "Krap Gathered In My Karr", a shorter bluesy number that flows much better than the previous track to match Paul's singing with the music. The lyrics are amusing, the band are keeping a nice bluesy pace, and it doesn't feel nearly as repetitious. It feels like some of Sykotyk Rampage's better blues-influenced material, and addresses the problems on "Konstruction Zone" fairly well! I prefer their heavier and faster stuff, but for what this song wants to accomplish, it does it about as well as you'd expect!

Fourth is "I Fuck The Best", which is the longest song so far on this album. It starts with sample audio of a car speeding off before some slow guitar work solitarily kicks off this newest song. It starts off as a mid-paced rocker with sort of melodic talking from Paul Becker, but it definitely isn't as repetitive, and about 2 minutes in, the music picks up from a slow paced backing track to some more up-tempo rocking that helps add to the song's sound! The guitar work is probably at it's height so far on "Karrs", and there's even a guitar solo later on that, though messy, feels like Sykotyk Rampage! I definitely like "I Fuck The Best" the most of the first four songs on this album, and despite it's length, it has the energy, variance, and flow that the first three songs needed a combination of, and as the title implies, there's definitely a confidence here that I liked! The falsetto vocal at the end was odd, but overall, this is so far the best song on "Karrs", and hopefully there's more where that came from!

Next on this album is "Washout", which starts with what sounds like a horn or siren before launching into a familar crash riff with lower singing from Paul and a nicely paced rhythm, though the volume seems very low on this track compared to earlier songs. Seemingly about Paul's wishes for a close friend not to go down to New Orleans, the song does pick up in intensity and energy in the second half, but I found that the song really flew by as a whole. Like "I Fuck The Best", "Washout" builds to a more entertaining second half, but it just sort of sped up with more excitable singing, and didn't evolve as much. I like this song too, but it was missing a real punch to put even further over the top. Sixth is "Doesn't Matter Anymore", a short blues rock with some interesting vocal messages about what Paul knows and wants to ask. It's fairly straightforward, with a melodic bluesy pacing and the return of his more talking-based singing, but there's some more varied lyrics later on. It's not a real consequential song compared to some others on "Karrs", but it doesn't get repetitive or boring. The abrupt ending leading into a speeding car sound was a disappointment though. Solid track, just too short and similar to other songs on this album.

Track number seven is "You Got Me", which fades into a slower tempo crash rock sound with some softer melodic singing from Paul and some good distortion effects on the guitar riffs, but it feels too similar to some earlier songs on this album. It has that bluesy pacing and low melodic vocals, and though it has a nice rhythm, it's not really a memorable song compared to others on this album. It's not repetitive in and of itself, and it doesn't run long, but it feels like I've heard this song done better, and I'd have liked to have seen some added aggression or variety. Good song though for some crash/blues rocking! Eighth is "Get Outa My Way", which is longer but has a promising start with some faster paced guitar riffs and a a solid beat, with soft wailing from Paul before he starts fully singing. This has some of the energy or spark that I've been missing, and it has a well timed blues rock attack with solid drumming and some nice rocking guitar riffs! The song's structure could be tightened up a bit and streamlined, but this is one of the more fun songs on "Karrs" for sure, and it's got a nice easy to listen to sound that flows well with the crash music they brought for us!

That song is followed by "Into The Canyon", another shorter track that begins with 23 seconds of what sounds like wind or highway traffic before finally launching into a two minute song that finally sees the return of Dirk Becker on lead vocals! That said, this song is definitely one of the strangest on "Karrs", featuring lyrics that reference a murder, a messy and rambling first half, and a very aggressive second half & increasingly angry vocal work. That said, it's never boring, and it is one of the heaviest on the album, though thanks to it's length, we don't get much of this song. I'd have liked to have seen where Sykotyk Rampage went had this song been longer, but as it stands, it's worth checking out on it's own offbeat merits! Then, we have song #10, "Never Ever Life", which is initially very repetitive in a slow build of a catchy blues riff that fades in and out in volume. This keeps up for the first half of the song, with very brief vocal additions until about 2:30 in, when Dirk adds some softer quavery singing, and not a lot of it. Though not even 4 minutes long, "Never Ever Life" is a tale of the same riff over and over at different levels, and it got to be a bit much, though the fake ending later in the track was unique! I'd have at least cut this song in half, if not extended on it, as on it's own, "Never Ever Life" just feels like an extended demo riff with unfinished vocals.

Eleventh is "Roller Koaster", and after an upbeat (though overly long) guitar intro, Dirk returns to give us some very soft singing that doesn't call to mind a roller coaster at all. The whole song moves along the same path, never really getting off the ground so to speak, staying at the same low rhythm and soft style. The title's honestly misleading, and even compared to the repetitive bluesy numbers early in the album, "Roller Koaster" comes across as a soft and not very memorable song, with an abrupt ending to boot. It's not badly played, jut not very exciting. "Things I Will Never Have" is both the penultimate & longest song on this album, and it leads off with a slow and depressing sounding intro before Paul's singing kicks in, and he stays with the song's tempo and vibe pretty well. There are parts where Paul's vocals go off on their own without really flowing, but there definitely seems to be more emotion in his words and lyrics here, which is fitting of a song like this! This is definitely not the most exciting song on "Karrs", but it's obviously not supposed to be, and fits the mold of a softer ballad well, while still being in their unique improvised style, though the record-skipping-esque ending is odd. I prefer earlier rocking songs to this one, but for what it's trying to accomplish, it does the job well!

"Spinout" closes this album, but it starts with an odd intro with layered backing vocals, a sole guitar in the background, and some soft singing from Paul Becker. It stays like this for the majority of the song, and I have to say, it sort of leaves this album hanging. There's no real punch, the tempo and intensity never grows, and it feels like the Paul-sung equivalent to "Roller Koaster", in that it's a soft original song that never diverges from the path it starts on. The guitar work is good, and Paul's singing fits with the material, but for an album closing song, it doesn't seem right. So how do I grade "Karrs" overall? Well, it's definitely a good album when compared to earlier Sykotyk Rampage albums, but it's definitely not my favourite of their earlier works. On the positive side, the band members are definitely showing their talent and range on this album, from Paul's solid drumming and nice bluesy vocals to Dirk & Shane's creative crash guitar riffs! Brian Cattapan's bass work is dependably good as you'd expect as well, and it was nice hearing Dirk get more lead vocal time as a whole here then on some other recent albums, where he sang less or shared duties more. Songs like "I Fuck The Best", "Into The Canyon", and "Washout" were among my favourite tracks that showed their intensity and crash styles well!

However, compared to "Zombiez", it falls short. Though Sykotyk Rampage's use of off colour lyrics and car samples are welcome, it seems to fall into the more reserved overall style of an album like "Bella Disgusta", and too many songs sound similar with lower blues riffs and soft or repetitive overall sounds. The middle of "Karrs" was the peak in my opinion, but it started and ended softly, and it left me hanging. That said, I like what Sykotyk Rampage have done here, and it fits their mold of improvised alternative music well, even if it's not my absolute favourite CD of theirs! If you're a diehard fan of Sykotyk Rampage, you'll definitely enjoy "Karrs", so check it out at the above links, and take in their sykotyk brand of hard rock as only they can deliver!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's CD review! So, what's coming up next month? Well, I was operating under the premise of reviewing Woods of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" in early March, given it's European release earlier this month, but that was dependent on me either getting an advance copy of the CD or someone posting "Keeper of the Ledger" online, as I don't want to review the album incomplete. Well, luckily, the latter has occurred, so I can now confirm that "Woods V" is next on the review docket, and we will likely review it by next Thursday! This will be our 4th review of a Woods of Ypres album, but will it live up to the recent review hype and David Gold's legacy in my opinion? We'll soon find out! That said, while I know that End of Existence's debut album is slated to come out TODAY, I don't want it to hang in limbo for longer than it has to if the release is on schedule, so I plan to review it within the first week of April. So our next few CD reviews at the SMS are likely set, but if any changes or alterations need to happen, I'll definitely let you guys know in advance! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and concert previews very soon! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tons Of Woods Of Ypres & David Gold Updates And News!!

Almost a week after we last devoted a post on the SMS to local blackened doom metal standouts Woods of Ypres & their late frontman David Gold, we're giving him and the band the total spotlight again today, for a stacked post including lineup details on both of the upcoming tribute concerts in Ontario, your first taste of "Keeper of the Ledger" and where you can hear the album officially right now, details on a very cool album project, and more, so here's all that you need to know!

More official details are now out for April 7th's Ypres Metal Fest at The Canadian Nightclub, which is (of course) in David Gold's memory, as promoters have finally launched a Facebook event page for it! First, I'll note the new lineup additions, specifically for the local openers, as local metal quartet Garden of Bedlam (who were previously confirmed via The Sault Star), local death metal outfits The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver (themselves playing for the first time in 2012), and local punk trio Redundant have been officially confirmed as opening bands! Note some very fitting choices among the openers, as The Bear Hunters were the last band to open for Woods of Ypres at a local concert, while Redundant frontman Justin Langlois was a very good friend of David's, so they'll surely add a lot to this event! Dismembertainment also confirmed the previously reported news that Woods of Ypres members Joel Violette & Rae Amitay will do a special acoustic set at the Ypres Metal Fest, though where it will be slotted on April 7th isn't currently known. More acts could possibly be announced, though that's not a guarantee, and even if none are, there's 10 high profile and talented bands (including 6 out of town acts) gathering at The Canadian on April 7th for this amazing cause!

Similarly to the Toronto tribute show (which I'll have more on a bit), all proceeds from the Ypres Metal Fest will go to both the Gold family for David's final expenses and to the planned David Gold Music Scholarship at Sault College, which sounds like an awesome gesture! Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but they'll reportedly go on sale by the end of the week in some form. Check the above links for the rest of the current details! As I said earlier this month when I first mentioned this concert, Rich Moreland is outdoing himself with this quality of a concert event, and it'll be awesome to see a Dismembertainment-promoted show again, and at The Canadian for a change! David deserves the tribute and honours, and hopefully this is one of the biggest metal shows the Soo has ever seen!

In other tribute-show related news, the "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" release show/David Gold memorial concert at The Annex Wreckroom in Toronto on April 5th has seen some more updates, including more additions to that show's lineup, including Toronto-based solo artist Morgan Rider (best known as frontman of the Celtic metal band Bolero), Toronto progressive metal band Sixes & Sevens, and Ottawa classical/folk project Musk Ox, who notably guested on "You Are Here With Me (In This Sequence Of Dreams" on 2009's "Woods IV: The Green Album", with more bands to be announced. Sounds good to me, and hopefully the Toronto tribute goes off without a hitch, so stay tuned for updates on that as well! Two more notes before we jump to the next topic, one being that a new shipment of Woods of Ypres shirts is now on sale! David's mother and brother are modeling the new shirts, which are basic but classy, in photos on the David Gold's Legacy Facebook page, and if you're interested in details on pricing, shipping, and sizes, e-mail! And, I wanted to note this eerie article by Michigan blogger M. James Homme on his blog Homme Alone, where he encountered some very weird connections and similarities to David and Woods of Ypres after discovering them recently. Check it out at this location, it's definitely an interesting read!

Also in Woods of Ypres updates, an official tribute album in David Gold's memory has officially been started, as bands have already begun signing up to contribute covers of Woods of Ypres material to the project! The CD is being produced through Hamilton label Northern Storm Records and Sudbury's Archaic North Entertainment (ran by Wolven Ancestry frontman & Ypres Metal Fest participant Mark "Lord Defiler" Howitt), and a Facebook group for the project can be accessed at this location, where bands can still sign up and show interest to cover some of David's songs! Among other postings there, organizers are seeking input on the name of the album ("A Heart Of Gold: In Memory Of David Gold" is winning at the moment), and more details are to be announced, but who's tentatively lined up to contribute a Woods of Ypres cover? Many of the bands playing the Sault Ste. Marie and/or Toronto tribute shows are planning to contribute, including Kittie, Novembers Doom, Panzerfaust, Pagan Ritual, Eclipse Eternal, Empyrean Plague, and Gypsy Chief Goliath (among others), but this is all tentative as of right now, and bands could drop out or be added. For the record, no local bands have signed up yet to possibly contribute a cover, but if any have plans, I don't know of them yet. Check the above links to inquire about participation or get caught up on the details!

This sounds like another great tribute to David's memory, and I can't wait to see and hear the final product, but until then, a couple of covers and videos that could hint at what we'll hear are online! Click here to hear Gypsy Chief Goliath frontman Alex Petrovich cover "Shards of Love", and here to hear them cover "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)", and though they're not lined up to cover this song on the album, check out Calgary metal band Gales of Avalon's cover of "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground" at this location! Both are good in their own ways, so check them out, and stay tuned for updates on this tribute CD!

And finally, while we knew that Woods of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" had been on official sale in Europe for a couple of weeks, Earache Records' news blog has confirmed that the album is now available on iTunes! The physical release in North America is still slated for April, but if you want to buy this album right now on iTunes, you can do so at this location! It goes for about $12.50 Canadian with $1.50 for individual tracks, but you may need to do some trickery with the nation your iTunes account is linked with to buy it right now. Note that the iTunes release omits "Kiss My Ashes Goodbye" as a physical album exclusive, but it is revealed there that the two "Kiss My Ashes Goodbye" tracks are now combined as one for the official release. Nice to see "(Part 1)" remain on the CD! As for the last remaining song to be released, "Keeper of the Ledger", is it online to stream yet? Why yes, yes it is! YouTube user yasen4fun uploaded the 6 minute-long track to his YouTube channel yesterday, officially making the whole album (aside from the vinyl-only producer's mix of "Finality") available for online streaming. How is the track? I'll hold full thoughts until early next month, let's just say that much. For now though, here's Woods of Ypres' new song "Keeper of the Ledger"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's review of Sykotyk Rampage's 27th album "Karrs" TOMORROW and maybe another news post at some point in the next few days! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 27, 2012

End Of Existence & Dead In The Van Lineup News, Plus The First Stryper/Slaughter Videos!!

Greetings from Detroit! I'm gonna try and get more than just this news post up by the time we get back home on Wednesday (I have this month's CD review already typed up for an auto-post then too), but for now, we have some big news relating to an upcoming fundraiser concert, the first videos from a recent major show, and leading things off, an unexpected lineup change relating to a partly local band, so here's what you need to know!

Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids metal quintet End of Existence have surprisingly parted ways with singer Bob Helsten, just days away from the scheduled release of their debut album. A full reasonfor the move wasn't disclosed, but the band's statement that they released yesterday to various Facebook pages (including ours) hinted at Bob's own personal issues as a partial cause, and the band felt that dismissing him was "the only solution". Despite Bob's departure, the release of End of Existence's debut album is still lined up for Wednesday, with planned online releases on iTunes, Amazon, and in physical copies as well. However, the above statement implies that End of Existence will be changing their name following it's release and the addition of a new frontman, and they don't have plans to re-record this album's material with their new singer. This is really surprising news, as Bob (a.k.a. Orb Hearthstone) has been a perfect fit for End of Existence's style since their 2009 inception, and the timing of the move is very odd, what with the planned album release on Wednesday. Bob's a very nice guy, but if the band's statement rings true, hopefully he can work out whatever's going on personally!

That said, if you are interested in singing for End of Existence (or whatever their name ends up being), e-mail them A.S.A.P. for details at! While the name change and implied downplaying of older material seems drastic, hopefully the guys have things in hand for the future, and I'm curious to see who they find (be they local or from Grand Rapids) to fill the vocal void! Stay tuned for updates as they come in, and stay tuned for the End of Existence album release on Wednesday!

Next up, the first videos from Friday night's Stryper/Slaughter/Lynch Mob concert are now online! On Saturday, YouTube user soundsunlimiteddj uploaded five videos from this major Dreammakers Theater concert onto his YouTube channel, and though one is of Slaughter, let's start with the Stryper videos! Four songs were filmed by soundsunlimiteddj at this show (among other Stryper concerts from other Michigan venues dating back to 2009), including Stryper playing their songs "Sing-Along-Song", "Reach Out", "Calling On You", and (as embedded below) "More Than A Man" at Kewadin Casino on Friday, so click each link to check them out! I'm not an ardent follower of Stryper's material, but the video quality on these videos is great! They don't sound too far off their 1980s peak, the view is clear and centered, the audio's not scratchy at all, and I'm impressed all around by these videos! The camera that soundsunlimiteddj used did a great job, and after hearing some non-preachy heavier stuff in here, I may have to give Stryper more of a listen! Check out their rendition of "More Than A Man" on Friday in Sault Michigan below!

Also new from soundsunlimiteddj's channel is one video from Slaughter's set, and it's of them playing their classic ballad "Fly To The Angels!" I was sort of hoping to hear a heavier track of theirs (it's that material that sold me on Slaughter when they played Sault Ontario in 2008), but it's good to see Mark Slaughter dedicate this song to fallen soldiers! The video quality's exactly the same as on the Stryper videos, so it's excellent, but this definitely isn't a favourite of mine from Slaughter's catalog. Still, give this video a look below, and if I hear of any more notable fallout from this past Friday, I'll be sure to let you guys know!

And finally, here's the latest updates concerning THIS SUNDAY'S Dead In The Van fundraiser concert at The Canadian Nightclub towards horror punk quintet Frightlight's future tour plans! An eighth band has been confirmed for the lineup, that being Desbarats death metal quartet For All That Is Lost, joining fellow Desbarats rockers Inhuman Methods on the lineup for this massive fundraiser concert! The lineup is now capped at eight bands, and for trivia's sake, this event could serve as a bit of a preview of the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands on April 20th, as only punk trio Redundant, solo artist "Evil" Greg Callaghan, and (most of) Frightlight aren't competing at the battle. I just thought that was worth noting! Also in terms of this concert, the official poster is now on the Facebook event page (I haven't seen the full original copy though), and the performance order was also confirmed there as well. Frightlight are headlining, and they'll be preceded by local hardcore quintet As It Stands, Redundant, deathcore quartet The Valentine's Day Massacre, classic metallers Late & Loud, F.A.T.I.L., Inhuman Methods, and Greg Callaghan in that descending order. This is shaping up to be an awesome concert, so check the above links for more details, and stay tuned for more updates!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news over the next few days and our review of Sykotyk Rampage's 27th album "Karrs" on Wednesday! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Mothership

As promised, it's time for our newest Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, and for the first time in this series, we're looking at a tribute band with a past or present Sault Ste. Marie resident in their lineup! As a result, I don't have as much to say given the similarity of their shows and band history, but this act is still of a very high quality and talent level, so read on below for our newest profile in this monthly feature series at the SMS! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
Mothership (Ottawa, Ontario)

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

Richard Fullerton (vocals)
Steve Milley (guitar)
Denis St. Amour (bass)
Roger Verdon (drums)

Official website:
Official Facebook page:
Official YouTube channel:

Local Info: Mothership did have some local connections via frontman Richard Fullerton, who you may best remember as the former frontman of local classic hard rock quintet That's Chester! He fronted the band in the mid-2000s before Jim O'Leary & Greg Simpson's tenures, and has guested with them occasionally since departing as well, so he's bound to be familiar to long time That's Chester fans! Though originally from Blind River, I believe he lived in the Sault area full time at least during his That's Chester run, but he would eventually move to Ottawa, and after his run with Mothership, you can now see him live in the classic rock band Trashed Taxi!

Band Bio: Termed "The Ultimate Tribute to Led Zeppelin", Mothership formed in the Ottawa area circa early 2010, and brought a faithful sounding & looking rendition of the Led Zeppelin experience to scattered live concerts in the Ottawa area, along with stops in Toronto and Gatineau, Quebec that steadily continue to this day, save for a 2012-2013 hiatus. Featuring two members of the progressive metal band Widow's Walk in their lineup, Mothership's concerts featured authentic costumes to Led Zeppelin's heyday, along with setlists featuring classics and more obscure numbers from their back catalog, and their talents have attracted notable praise from Southern Ontario press. Mothership deliver a great Led Zeppelin show to their fans at live concerts, with the  look down really well, and the talent to pull off this material, and from the videos I've seen, they don't diverge too far from what worked originally! Richard's singing fits well & had the right tone, though his range at times can't hit the same high notes. That's very minor though, as this package of musicians can pull off the Led Zeppelin classics & ambiance, and in a tribute band, that would absolutely please fans old and new!

Being a tribute band, Mothership's online media is mostly based around live videos, though their 2013 return did coincide with plans to release a documentary about themselves (preview video here.) YouTube user TheScorpionLady has two nice quality live videos on her channel, while both the band's official YouTube channel & Richard Fullerton's own channel have some short band promo videos featuring brief live video clips and photos. However, because it's a full song (and consistently good quality), I've posted TheScorpionLady's video of Mothership playing "Black Dog" below, so give it a look, and see much more from this talented Led Zeppelin tribute at the above links!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we'll be taking a look at the inactive Windsor hardcore band Constructed Apocalypse, who once featured local musician and concert booker Jeremy Hannah as their frontman! You may remember them from some late 2000s local concerts, and they're getting an overdue feature in this series on or around March 26th, so keep an eye out! That's all for now, but stay tuned for much more news and notes to come, along with our review of Sykotyk Rampage's "Karrs" album on Wednesday! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sault Michigan Concert Previews For Today, Plus New Videos!!

As promised, it's time for our previews of this weekend's Sault Michigan concerts... actually, both of the metal/hard rock ones that I know about are TONIGHT, so pay close attention, especially seeing as the first major Dreammaker's Theater metal show of 2012 is near at hand! We've also got some new solo performance videos from a pair of Sault Michigan artists to round things out, so let's get things started!

Yes, the first major metal concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at Kewadin Casino of 2012 is almost upon us, and it's a triple header of classic 1980s and hair metal, headlined by Christian metal legends Stryper! Yes, this California quartet known for hits like "Free", "Honestly", and "To Hell With The Devil" will be sure to deliver a positive though hard rocking set of their classics tonight in this stacked concert! Joining them in their first trip to the area in almost 4 years are Las Vegas metal notables Slaughter, and with classic songs like "Up All Night", "Fly With The Angels", and "Gave You My Heart" in store, you know they'll deliver a quality set of old school favourites tonight as well! Rounding out the lineup for this show is original Dokken guitarist George Lynch's metal band Lynch Mob, who had hits in the early 1990s with songs like "Tangled In The Web" and "River of Love", and they should set the tone well for this huge show tonight! With all this talent and all these classic 1980s and 1990s material, a great show can be expected, but there's lots of local ties to take note of as well! Of course, we saw Slaughter open for Jackyl at the now-Essar Center in May 2008, while Stryper's Michael Sweet sang with Boston at Kewadin the following month, and Lynch Mob's Robbie Crane played at Kewadin with Ratt in 2006, so there'll be a bunch of familiar faces tonight for local concertgoers!

If you're interested in going and don't have your ticket yet, then good news, as there's still tickets available from the 9th row and back! They're going for $36 (or just $12 a band), so click here to buy some online, or visit the Kewadin box office in person, or call 1-800-KEWADIN to get hooked up! A 7:00 PM start time is advertised, and I believe this show is all ages. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I'm not a huge fan of hair metal, but there's plenty of talent to go around from these three bands tonight, and I know a devoted crowd will turn out in full force at The Dreammaker's Theater to enjoy this tripleheader! Enjoy yourselves if you have tickets, and we'll have concert fallout for sure as it comes in, but for now, let's preview the show with Stryper playing their song "To Hell With The Devil" last year at a Nashville concert!

The other Sault Michigan metal show that I know of this weekend takes place in the same building as the Stryper show, as local hard rock quintet Swayze Train will hit The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino tonight at around 9:00 PM! Originally, Swayze Train were to have rocked The Rapids Lounge tomorrow night as well, but Kewadin's showing of UFC 144 put that half of the weekend aside, so if you want your Swayze Train fix, make sure you're here tonight, not tomorrow! There's still a surpriising lack of Swayze Train media files to preview their sound with, but knowing who's in the band and their local resumes, it's safe to assume that they'll deliver a hard rocking good time to end Friday with, and if you're 21+ and just leaving the Stryper show, the party won't be near over! Swayze Train should be on at around 9:00 PM tonight, there's no cover charge, and as alluded to above, you must be 21 to attend this particular concert. Check the above links for more details! This should be another solid concert from Swayze Train, so don't miss it if you're in the market for local hard rock tonight, and stay tuned for more updates from them as they come in... like the one below!

The other day, we covered some new media from guitarist Mike Libertoski, and now, here's the latest video from his fellow Swayze Train axe slinger Scott Savoie! On Saturday, Scott posted this "classical(ish)" solo video of him playing a classical sounding instrumental piece onto his YouTube channel, and though it's not finished, it does have promise as a song intro, and he's playing it pretty well! Not too much to say, but give Scott's new video a look below, and stay tuned for more of his YouTube uploads if they come in!

Finally for today, here's the latest solo performance video from Trail's End drummer and Grooves Music instructor Jake LaLonde! Yesterday, he posted a video of his cover of Rise Against's "Saviour" onto his YouTube channel, which is filmed from the same angle and camera as his Breaking Benjamin cover from last week. I'm not a huge Rise Against fan, but he definitely knows this song well, and his drumming's on form and very proficient here, so give his latest solo drum cover a look below, and stay tuned for more videos from Trail's End members (including maybe the full band live?!) as they come in!

That's probably all for today, but stay tuned for more news this weekend hopefully, along with this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Mothership on Sunday! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (That's Chester), Sault Ontario Weekend Concert Previews & More!!

It's time to begin our weekend concert previews, but for the sake of not overloading a post or de-emphasizing the Stryper/Slaughter concert tomorrow, I've broken up the previews of this weekend's metal & hard rock concerts by which of the Twin Saults they're in, so we'll start with Sault Ontario today, and preview Sault Michigan's (with Stryper headlining) tomorrow morning! That said, along with the Sault Ontario previews, today's post also features details on a concert/booker search connected to an upcoming major event in town, and the identity of this month's CD review, so here's what you need to know!

Local classic hard rock quintet That's Chester will be rocking Docks Riverfront Grill TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT!! I apologize for the short notice, these shows were only just announced earlier today. Seven weeks after their last rocked Docks (or any local venue, for that matter), this talented veteran outfit will be sure to deliver an action packed set of classic and newer hard rock covers tonight and tomorrow, and after some rumours I'd heard about Docks, it's nice to see more live music going down there! From what I can gather, these shows have 11:00 PM start times, 19+ age limits, and likely cover charges of $4. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Short notice or not, it's nice to see That's Chester back on the local stage finally, and you know that their dependable and well-performed brand of classic hard rock covers will go over well this weekend at Docks, so keep these shows in mind in your weekend plans! For a preview, here's That's Chester covering Deep Purple's "Highway Star" at Docks in 2010!

Now to the previously announced metal/hard rock shows in Sault Ontario, starting with a special fundraising event at Coch's Corner on Saturday night headlined by local classic metal quartet Late & Loud! Not only is this their Coch's Corner debut, but it's also a fundraiser pub for the Sault College Campus Watch program, and as such, there will be door prizes, appetizers, and maybe some games to add to the festivities! Different, but it's all for a good cause, and with some solid metal on top of it all! A second band was sought for this show (including briefly advertising Half Past as a second band), but it's been confirmed that Red Carpet DJ Entertainment will fill that slot with tunes to dance to and wind the night away with, so if that's your thing, stick around! Given this event's fundraiser nature, this show will have tickets of $10, but if you can't buy any in advance, you can get them at the door for $12. Call (705) 987-3912 for ticket information, or contact band members on the Facebook event page to get hooked up! Also, this show has a 19 plus age limit and a 9:00 PM start time, but that's likely more for attached pre-band events. This should be an interesting event, and despite the atypical cost to attend a non-Halloween show at Coch's Corner, the music will be flowing for a great cause, so consider attending for some great metal from Late & Loud! For a preview, here's Late & Loud playing their song "Whisper of the Damned" at The Rosie last year!

Finally for Sault Ontario concerts this weekend is the return of Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison to Bossy's Pub N' Grub, though not at his usual matinee timeslot. After seven straight weeks of shows starting at around 1:00 or 2:00 PM, Tym's eighth straight acoustic solo show at this Pim Street restaurant will instead take place at 10:00 PM, which is more like his usual solo/band concerts in the area. I'm not sure whether this is a one week aberration, a permanent change, or an experiment to see if attendance is higher, but this should be easier to remember and more like normal for you concertgoers, so if you've missed Tym's afternoon shows, this could be more up your alley! Given this 10:00 PM start time, I'd assume a 19+ age limit would apply, but there shouldn't be a cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Tym's solo acoustic show always features a great selection of acoustic hard rock covers, and with a more normal timeslot, hopefully a good crowd turns out on Saturday night, so keep this show in mind for this weekend! For a preview, here's Tym covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" at Bossy's last month!

Now to some extra stories, and first, you may have seen buzz online relating to National Youth Arts Week taking place in the first week of May. This is to unite young Canadians in a celebaration of creative expression & community involvement from May 1st to May 7th, and local organizers are launching celebrations and events to that effect in Sault Ontario. One of the organizers, Night Owl Meme Makers accordion player Rihkee Strapp, has been in contact with me for my input on the event and the integration of heavier music from young musicians and local figures into the week, and one of her ideas was for a metal concert to take place connected with National Youth Arts Week. She's looking for performers and bookers (preferably between the ages 13 and 30) to organize an official concert event for that week, or even to help or learn how to get involved with such an event. I'm not a concert booker or a performer, but I'll gladly get the word out, so if anyone out there is interested in being a part of a National Youth Arts Week-connected metal show in the area come May, give Rihkee a shout at this location, or at the local branch's Facebook group! This sounds like a packed week of local events, and hopefully there's some quality young metal representation, so get involved if you're interested, and I'll keep you guys posted if updates roll in!

And finally for today, I wanted to officially confirm our next CD review at the SMS, and it will be on Sault Ontario's original crash band Sykotyk Rampage's 27th album "Karrs"! This originally came out in August, and was one of five albums that the band either released or posted late last year via their Reverbnation page. The reason I'm reviewing "Karrs" this month is because there's no new local metal CDs to review, aside from End of Existence's album coming out on Wednesday, but I'd have to badly rush the review if I did it next. With the six month buffer passed between reviews for the same band's material, I'm trying to help clear out another 2011 Sykotyk Rampage album from the queue (after reviewing "Zombiez" last year), and I picked this over the other 3 albums from last year based on it's heaviness. If you're aching for a new album review though, March should have one, be it "Woods V" (if the full copy is at access), End of Existence's new album, or something else. As for our next Sykotyk Rampage album review, it will be no later than August, and it'll either be a new album ("Jonathan, Your Music Sucks"?) or probably "Bucket of Ham" based on it's heaviness level. For now though, stay tuned for our "Karrs" review on Wednesday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned TOMORROW for our Stryper & Swayze Train concert previews, plus some more Sault Michigan-related stories! Thanks everyone!

Mike Libertoski & Late And Loud Updates, Plus This Week's Classic Video!!

Let's keep the news rolling on this Thursday morning, and for the record, weekend hard rock/metal concert previews are coming either tonight or early tomorrow. For now, we have this week's classic video, a local concert's venue search, and a lot of updates related to posted media by a prominent local guitarist, so here's what you need to know!

Swayze Train & Galactic Alignment guitarist Mike Libertoski has created a new YouTube channel, and unlike his inactive solo project's YouTube channel, this one is so far solely devoted to solo covers of metal tracks! Three videos have been uploaded there, all posted last month, and they include Mike's covers of Animals As Leaders' "The Price Of Everything & The Value Of Nothing", a short cover of Beneath The Massacre's "Lithium Overdose", and (as embedded below) his cover of The Faceless' "Legions Of The Serpent"! Mike's talent is on full display, and he seems to have a firm grasp on these songs, but I'd have turned down the original song from the recordings, as it can drown out Mike's playing at times, especially on the Animals As Leaders cover. Still, these show Mike's excellent guitar skills well, and you can check out all of Mike's newest videos at the above links, or check out his Faceless cover below!

Also in Mike Libertoski news, I recently came across some new media from his Galactic Alignment tech-metal solo project, but not from official band pages. Mike's old Slackjawed Rats bandmate Jared Lucas (who now lives in Big Rapids, Michigan while attending Ferris State University) has his own SoundCloud page, where he's revealed that he's an aspiring producer & sound engineer. His page has a number of tracks that he's produced, but there are a couple of tracks that Jared uploaded with local metal ties, the most recent of which being a recently remixed version of Galactic Alignment's original "Radiated Infinite Oblivion"! Jared supplies some bass on this track & produced it, and it sounds very brutal, with some nice progressive and technical elements! The other local metal-related video there is a song called "Deluxe 3" from December 2010 that Mike & Jared recorded with Mike's Swayze Train bandmate Scott Savoie (pictured.) Here, Scott played most instruments, with Mike handling lead guitar & drum programming, and Jared on (really good) death metal singing. I don't know how far that band arrangement ever got, but they have good chemistry & are extremely heavy, so check out that and the new Galactic Alignment song at the above links, and stay tuned for more from Mike's projects!

We'll close today with topics related to Sault Ontario classic metal quartet Late & Loud, who will of course rock Coch's Corner THIS SATURDAY! As you may remember, it was confirmed last month that Late & Loud would be opening for Victoria, British Columbia sleaze metal quintet The Lust Boys in Sault Ontario on March 30th, and though posters for their "Tour Before Dishonour 2012" say they're playing at The Canadian Nightclub, that doesn't appear to be final at present. No venue is absolutely confirmed yet for this show, and while I did send guitarist Brendan Christie some venue contacts, any press will help, so I'm spreading the word once again to help secure a Lust Boys date here on March 30th! Remember, The Lust Boys have a great old school mix of punk and hair metal, and former Saultite Ben Kemp-Reynolds (a.k.a. Benny Blitz) is their guitarist, and an ex-bandmate of Late & Loud's Benn Garside & Josh Hatherly from The Glass Statues, so along with their quality sleaze sounds, they have local ties too! It'll be awesome to see them here, but if you can help secure a venue or booking for this show (at The Canadian or elsewhere), give Brendan a shout at this location, and fingers crossed this show goes down! For now, I've removed it from our concert listings due to the venue uncertainty, but if anything new is announced, I'll have it here!

And finally, here's this week's classic video! For the second time in three weeks, we're tying in the current upload with Late & Loud, but only this time is it thanks to a concert (go see them on Saturday night!) As you may remember last January, one of our first classic video postings was of Late & Loud guitarist Jonathan Tiberi's short-lived local metal band Losing Ground (featuring State of Misery alumni Kevin D'Orazio & Nick Kainula) from 2009, and while that video was a cover of Pentagram's "Forever My Queen", they had one more video worth uploading from Facebook! This time, however, it was an instrumental original named "The Wizard's Pipe", and it honestly sounds better than the Pentagram cover! It's got nice speed and pacing, and it has a good classic sound going for it, though I'm curious to hear vocals with it, and the excess video effects can be detracting. Similarly to the first video of Losing Ground, this is from a late 2009 jam session sans guitarist Kevin Koprash, and Jonathan posted this onto his personal Facebook page on December 17th, 2009 at NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for this video goes to the ex-members of Losing Ground, I'm just sharing this video with a wider audience like it deserves!

I know this wasn't the most accomplished band from Jon, Kevin, or Nick's musical resumes, but "The Wizard's Pipe" has a lot of promise, and it'd be interesting to see it expanded on, so give it a listen for some catchy instrumental classic metal below, and stay tuned for more from Late & Loud and related projects as it comes in!

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

David Gold/Woods Of Ypres Updates, News, Videos, And Reviews!!

It's time for another news post at the SMS, and today, the focus is 100% on local blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres and their late frontman David Gold, as a lot of news from and about them has came my way in the past week! So for this post, we have some new "Woods V" CD reviews, an awesome new live video, and leading things off, all the details and revelations from a great (but long) new interview article about David and the band, so read on below, and check out this month's YouTube Channel Profile on Candle Hour's YouTube channel below this post!

A lengthy new article by Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles journalist Carl Begai about the late David Gold was posted online at his official website yesterday, and it's definitely worth a read! Entitled "WOODS OF YPRES - Gold And Grey", the article features some personal rememberances about David and the work he put into Woods Of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", but the bulk of this article features interview segments with three people very close to David during the "W5" recording sessions: Kittie frontwoman Morgan Lander, "Woods V" producer Siegfried Meier, and Woods of Ypres guitarist/studio bassist Joel Violette. In Morgan's third of the article, it's revealed that she hooked up David with Siegfried for production of "W5", and she discussed how she helped and remembered David during the recording sessions and songwriting for the album, her perceptions of the writing process when she was in the Soo for a week last summer, and some thoughts on the new album. Siegfried Meier's chunk of the article features info on how he met David, the interactions and recording process from Beach Road Studios in Goderich last August, his impressions of the material and lyrics, and the significance of the major storm that hit that area during the sessions.

Joel Violette's interview/discussion ends this article, where he mentions how he met David, their work together in Thrawsunblat and how he eventually joined Woods of Ypres, his inclusion in Woods of Ypres songwriting, the sound of "Woods V" and their interaction with Earache Records, and the band's future. That all alone is an awesome read, but there's also some scattered references to what lies ahead as well that I should emphasize. Morgan Lander confirmed that Kittie will cover Woods of Ypres material at both the Ypres Metal Fest in Sault Ontario on April 7th and the David Gold memorial concert/"W5" CD release show in Toronto on April 5th, and she thinks David would like the songs she picked to cover. Good to hear, and it's nice to see that she credited Dismembertainment's Rich Moreland in the article for booking the local memorial concert too! In terms of the memorial concerts, Joel confirmed that he and Woods of Ypres' final drummer Rae Amitay will perform an acoustic tribute set at the Soo show on April 7th, with both he & Rae handling vocals (no word on if bassist Brendan Hayter will be a part, or if a similar set will happen in Toronto.) He also noted that the yet-to-be-revealed "W5" song "Keeper of the Ledger" is the "densest & lushest" song on the album, and Earache had originally wanted it as a bonus track rather than an official credited song, though it's on the official release as it "encompasses everything Woods had done before" and brings it full circle.

Finally to note on this article, Joel addressed the band's future and his press release following David's death, including criticism about a statement he made implying that the band could continue without David. Joel confirmed that he just wanted to put hope into the situation rather than just giving an abrupt goodbye, and noted old plans for a "Woods VI", but he added that without David, you can't write a new Woods of Ypres album. What he did say was that an acoustic piano-based tribute album of Woods of Ypres re-workings could possibly come out, and it's the only thing Joel could see releasing posthumously under the Woods name. This is a great article that Carl compiled, and it has a lot of great remembrances and information about David, Woods of Ypres, and what lies ahead, though I hope (if nothing else) that a Woods of Ypres rarities album comes out as well in the future, as I know there's unreleased quality material from past sessions that'd be cool to see released to fans. Aside from that, everything seems well at hand to keep David's memory alive and reach "Woods V" to a wider audience, and hopefully the good vibes continue for a long time to come! Remember to check out Carl's full article at this location, but be warned, it's fairly lengthy, but worth a read!

Next up in Woods of Ypres news, remember in June when some awesome professionally filmed footage of the band playing "Falling Apart" in St. Paul, Minnesota was posted online? With it's multiple camera angles and professional quality, it was among the best quality videos I've ever seen of a local band. Now, Rusty Nuts Productions are giving us the entire concert from that night's show to watch on YouTube, as posted to their YouTube channel on Monday! Filmed at Station 4 in St. Paul on May 14th, this comprises of the band's entire 65 minute set from this concert on their final "Pain & Piss" tour, and in this video, you'll see Woods of Ypres play (in order) "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss", "The Sun Was In My Eyes (Part 1)", "By The Time You Read This (I Will Already Be Dead)", "Pining (For You)", "Wet Leather", "Suicide Cargoload (Drag That Weight)", "Halves & Quarters", "Falling Apart", and "Awaiting The Inevitable", followed by "A Meeting Place & Time" as an encore. The video even ends with credits to the filmers and most (if not all) former Woods of Ypres members, though oddly with a rap song as backing music. This is an exceptional live video from Woods of Ypres' last live run, and this may be the last full concert shot from David's lifetime, so it's definitely all the more interesting to check out! This is great stuff and very professionally filmed, so check out Woods of Ypres live in Minnesota below!

And finally for this all Woods/David post, here's a few more reviews of "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light"! On Monday, "Metal" Matt Longo from the website Mind Over Metal gave "W5" a perfect 5/5 despite the eeriness of some of the songs, praising songs like "Adora Vivos" for harkening back to earlier material, while calling the whole album a "melancholic manifesto of torture and tumult" and the band's finest record. Nice review with personal reflections, so give it a look at this location! On February 9th, Phil Kane from gave "Woods V" a favourable review, saying it's "pretty heavy shit" and praising it's mesages and atmosphere, while still calling it "strangely misunderstood" and not for fans of their early material. Good review, click here to give it a look! In January, Russian metal site Truemetalheadz gave this album a favourable review as well in a two part post, calling it the best album of their career that doesn't lose momentu, but warns that you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. Another solid review, though oddly formatted, so click here to read it! Finally, Encyclopaedia Metallum user TikrasTamsusNaktis gave "Woods V" an 80% rating, calling it excellent but different, and though he thought it was their most accessible album, it also had ominous and eerie lyrics relating to David's death. Well written review, so head to this link to check it out, and stay tuned for more "Woods V" reviews to come!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews either tomorrow or Friday, and much more news to come as we slowly wrap up February! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Candle Hour

It's the 22nd of the month, so it's time for our next monthly feature post at The Sault Metal Scene, that being our newest YouTube Channel Profile! As always, this series outlines and profiles up to three RANDOMLY SELECTED YouTube channels with at least a 50% concentration of local metal-relevant videos. For the 7th time in 8 months, we're looking at just one channel this time around, but there's a lot to see, so read on below! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
Candle Hour (

Owner: Candle Hour mainman Hugh Stephens

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 17th, 2010; Videos posted between November 2010 and April 2012

Channel Summary: This is the official YouTube channel for Sault Ontario electronic/hard rock solo project Candle Hour. Since the channel's launch, Candle Hour mastermind Hugh Stephens has posted six music videos on their YouTube channel (one since deleted), with all pre-2012 videos featuring songs from their debut album "Parachute". The videos mostly use public domain or archive video footage set to the song in question, including Hugh's latest original songs "Azetta" and "Missing Moment", which are softer instrumental compositions.

Why Should You Watch: Because Candle Hour have some very interesting and original material with some hard rock flair, and the music videos to go along with these songs are well compiled and cool to watch! Hugh's music is definitely promising, and I recommend subscribing, but I should note that since his initial 2010 uploads, his latest videos have been credited to Hugh Stephens, "otherwise known as Candle Hour", and even if there's a change in style/intent, the project appears to be inactive at present. Also, Hugh's other YouTube channels are present on Candle Hour's pages, including channels with similar footage as used in Candle Hour music videos, and his SuperDaddyTV claymation cartoon studio, so keep tabs on those channels as well for Hugh's other new videos!

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Candle Hour - Overture: With the unexplained deletion of their video for "March to the End" (though it's still available on other sites), I've replaced it here with their video for "Overture" from the "Parachute" album, and it's a creepy-feeling electronic song set to clips from the 1903 silent adaptation of Alice In Wonderland. It's an interesting mix that oddly works well to combine this worn silent film with music that suits the mood of the piece, and it's definitely worth checking out! Note that Hugh has posted more silent movie footage onto his other YouTube channel Silent Film House in recent years, and it's cool to see him support and love this material!

Without A Parachute - Candle Hour: The first uploaded Candle Hour music video is for their song "Without A Parachute", and it's also the video with the most local ties. With inverted colours and special video effects placed overtop, you see a spinning carnival ride first, before the video focuses on a sped up voyage through the roads of Sault Ste. Marie, and if you look quick, you can spot a number of familiar local buildings! The song itself is probably the most consistently heavy of the ones on YouTube, but with more of a constant driving feel in amongst the electronic atmosphere, and it suits this little voyage through Sault Ontario well!

Atmosmusic - Candle Hour: The most popular video currently on Candle Hour's channel is for their song "Atmosmusic", which is set to microscopic video footage of assorted microorganisms and bacteria. Notably, Hugh has uploaded similar videos onto his TinyScience YouTube channel as well in recent years. The footage itself is an interesting look at these microscopic organisms, but the song is probably the most techno-driven of the four Candle Hour songs on YouTube, though still retaining a darker edge that fits surprisingly well with the used video!

I hope you guys enjoyed this month's profile, and maybe we made some new fans for Candle Hour in the process! So, next month, what YouTube channels are we giving focus to? Well, after a little change in qualifiable channels yesterday, I had to re-draw random numbers for next month, so now, we'll be profiling Swayze Train guitarist Scott Savoie's YouTube channel! Stay tuned for that profile between March 19th & 26th, and for more news & concert previews on the SMS shortly! Thanks everyone!