Saturday, March 31, 2012

Woods Of Ypres - "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" Review!!

It's time for what's probably a well anticipated CD review here at The Sault Metal Scene, as we're at last reviewing Woods of Ypres' last recorded studio album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" today! I apologize for this being delayed, but I thought it'd be more fitting to review it closer to the David Gold memorial concerts. This is the local blackened doom metal band's only album to receive it's initial release through Earache Records, and second put out by Earache overall. Released overseas on February 13th with the North American physical release occurring in April, this album was recorded at Beach Road Studios in Goderich, Ontario with producer Siegfried Meier last August, and was later mixed at Bordello Recording Rooms in Norway by John Fryer. Woods of Ypres were represented on "Woods V" by the late David Gold on vocals, guitar, and drums (returning to the studio drum position for the first time since "Woods III"), and Joel Violette on lead guitar, bass, and piano in his only appearance on a Woods of Ypres LP (though he was on their "Home" vinyl single from last spring too.) Guest performances by cellist Raphael Weinroth-Brown & oboist Angela Scheilhauf are also featured on this album, as they were on 2009's "Woods IV: The Green Album".

This album can currently be purchased online via Earache Records' online store for $12 or more on CD and/or vinyl packages, and (mostly) on iTunes in mp3 format for $9.99 or 99¢ for individual tracks, and it's worth looking for at physical stores locally and elsewhere! Click the above links to pick "W5" up online if you want, and even if you choose to stream the album for free online or download a torrent, support this album and purchase it in some form! Featuring 11 tracks at 62 minutes in length in most formats, this is slightly shorter than Woods of Ypres' more recent studio albums, but does it live up to the posthumous hype? Let's start this review, and each song title below is linked to a YouTube upload of it! (Updated on November 6th, 2012)

"Woods V" begins with "Lightning & Snow", which starts with heavy and sort of ominous riffing and nicely paced drumming, building into a hard charging verse that is unquestionably Woods of Ypres! The guitar work is great here, and it's nice to see a Woods of Ypres album launch with a heavier track and David Gold's more aggressive metal singing! The song seems to signal change in a flash leading to personal misfortune, with lightning as a metaphor, and they're solid lyrics that are well sung, though the doomier chorus kills some momentum. Joel Violette lives up to Bryan Belleau's standards on lead guitar, and his solo here is well played, though a bit too short. This track reminds me of "The Northern Cold" in ways, though more aggressive and advanced, and it's a great way to launch this album, though it's not a perfect track. The solo's too short, the choruses lose momentum, and the ending's abrupt, but the verses and instrumental sections make this an awesome doom metal track, and already a definite highlight of "Woods V"! However, I'll note that the mood of this album will get slowly bleaker.

Second is "Death Is Not An Exit", which is one of two tracks to supply the subtitle of this album in it's lyrics. The song has a lighter and more scattered opening with higher pitched clean singing referring to what death means, and be warned, there's much eerier lyrics than this on this album. Eschewing harsh vocals completely, this song has a dreamier feel while still being heavy and dark in the verses and choruses, and the instruments take a back seat to the vocals until Joel's guitar solo, which is slower but longer and no less well played. I like the orchestral elements on this track too, which add to the latter half of the song and give it a more epic feel. This isn't a criticism, but "Death Is Not An Exit" has a more commercial feel than "Lighning & Snow", while still retaining a darker feel with nice passionate singing, and it's a solid track, but I'd like to see more pronounced instrumentation in the first half. The end of the song sounds almost like a trigger click, and unintentional or not, it adds to the feel and environment, for better or worse. This isn't as heavy of a song as "Lightning & Snow", but it has a good feel and interesting lyrics, and "Woods V" is definitely off to a solid start!

Following that is "Keeper of the Ledger", a song referring to the "agreement" made with the title character to return one's body to the earth after death to "pay the price for your existence". It launches with a slower doom metal intro and harsh black metal-esque singing, with good guitar and bass playing and nice well written, though dark lyrics. The chorus doesn't do much for me though, I'd prefer David had sang it in a darker tone, as it doesn't line up as well. It's not as fast and heavy as some Woods of Ypres tracks, but the heavy lyrical topic meshes with the song well, and the guitar solo is really nice on this track as well, and is the piano interlude! The song itself doesn't have much of a bite though, but it's a nice song with interesting meanings and some solid instrumentation, and it'd have been cool to hear live! Then comes "Travelling Alone", a song about world travel, different cultures, and discussions about God & existence. It's a slower metal track, though more upbeat in it's tone initially, and with a nice orchestral tinge as well. The lyrics are great, and David's singing flows well with the guitar melodies, but if you're hoping for a blistering metal track, this isn't it. That said, this is one of my favourite early tracks on "W5" for it's melody, instrumentation, and lyrical content, and it makes you think in a lot of ways. I just wish the ending wasn't so abrupt, it felt like it was building to a heavy last act. Very good song though, and definitely one of my top tracks!

Fifth on "Woods V" is "Adora Vivos", which is Spanish for "love the living." After a techno-ish opening, the song launches into a very heavy assault with great drumming, before more reserved singing kicks in, where David talks about not worshipping the dead and giving your love and attention to living people rather than the deceased who won't know or acknowledge the praise. That almost sounds like a posthumous message to fans and friends, but that's a speculative idea I had when listening to this song. "Adora Vivos" takes on a very harsh attack aside from a couple of verses, with an aggressive melody and a very determined lyrical message, and it nicely blends a heavy and faster paced metal song with softer dark singing. This is probably my favourite song on "Woods V" since "Lightning & Snow", and easily one of this album's heaviest tracks, though I'd like to have seen a guitar solo and some louder clean singing in with the aggression and David's great drumming!

The middle of "W5" is marked with "Silver", which seems to be written as a message & to a loved one following their break-up, with the song's title referring to finishing in second place. The beat of this song is really catchy, partly thanks to the drumming, but the singing is very reserved and low, and you can feel sorrow in David's singing. This song isn't one of my favourites, probably because it doesn't commit to being a doom ballad like the lyrical content would suggest, and it's too up-tempo for the material. It doesn't mesh as well as it could in my opinion, and it could be longer, but it's very well written and has nice backing guitar work, and it's certainly not a bad song! It's followed by track 7, "Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)", which strikes me as this album's equivalent of "Wet Leather" from "Woods IV". It has that same vibe, just with higher tempo and faster choruses, and honestly, those really bring this song down. The repetitive higher pitched singing is a bit off-putting, and it seems too commercial in tone, especially with it's short length. This was the first song leaked online from "W5" last year, and it didn't leave a great first impression, though Joel's guitar solo is excellent, and the verses are alright. It just struck me as "Wet Leather (Part 2)", and it didn't take as many risks or dark turns as I was hoping or expecting. Is it a bad song? Not at all, but it pales compared to the earlier tracks on "W5".

Eighth is "Modern Life Architecture", a song which seems to be about building your ideal life, only to see it crumble despite attempts to rebuild it. It starts in epic doom nature with some piano playing in the background, and it maintains this grand sort of feel when the verses kick in, with very low singing and solid continued piano accompaniment. Though this isn't a blistering metal track, it perfectly matches the right singing with the right music, and it's more what I hoped "Career Suicide" should sound like. It's also long compared to the earlier tracks on "W5", but no minutes are wasted here, and there's some very nice guitar riffs underneath everything on here. The song's very methodical in pacing, but it has an ominous feel and improves on the preceding track a lot, so it's well worth giving a listen to!

Following that is the first of three very depressing songs that close "Woods V", that being "Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)", an 11 minute long doom ballad that was notably broken into two halves in it's original form. Both halves of the song are about seemingly letting go of someone after they die and kissing their ashes goodbye, continuing themes heard in "Adora Vivos". The first half of this song is of a noticeably heavier and more energetic tone than the second half, feeling similar to "Career Suicide" in it's verses while having a much slower and doomier chorus. It's a weird contrast at times, going from a fast paced doom metal track to an epic and orchestral-influenced funeral ballad in the choruses. The big flaw with the first half is that David's singing is sometimes too low to be heard casually, but aside from that, the opening half of this song does what it accomplishes well, and has some nice heavy stretches. The second half of the song (and first chunk we heard from it) is very different in tone though, going into full doom ballad mode, with David singing perhaps his lowest registered vocals ever on a Woods of Ypres song, and the band employing a much slower, doomier, and more intricate sound, with a nice guitar solo as well. It's definitely a depressing end, especially knowing that David really did pass on, but it's almost a fitting way to cap the song, which has a lot of contrasting sounds, but makes it's point and is very well written in the process. Just don't go into the second half unprepared, or you won't appreciate it the same.

The penultimate song on "Woods V" is "Finality", which sounds like a letter to a loved one who David vowed to still love even if they "left the world apart". With a slow piano intro, this track definitely starts sadly, with short though affecting singing from David that definitely brings the mood to a low point with it's sad messages about finality and love. Draw your own conclusions about how this connected to real events, but there's no doubt in my mind that this song had real personal connections. It's definitely touching with nice orchestral sounds and very good low singing from David that definitely sounds authentic to how he felt, and for what this song is, it's very well done. The album ends with "Alternate Ending", which is again about longing for a lost love and "changing the ending" to get the ideal result, while alluding to driving on the highway, which you could probably connect to real events as well if you're in that mindset. This is honestly probably the most depressing of the final three songs on "W5" with it's eerie & almost real images, and it definitely strikes a low note while attaining a epic funeral doom feel throughout. I sometimes complain about local bands not ending and starting their albums the right way, but for the tone and imagery of this album, it was organized perfectly, and this song ending things just seems fitting, for better or worse. It's my favourite of this low trilogy at the end of the album, but be warned, these last two and a half songs require the right mindset to enjoy and take in.

Limited edition vinyl pressings of "Woods V" also feature an exclusive bonus track, that being a special producer's mix of "Finality" by Siegfried Meier. Though very similar on a comparative listen, Siegfried's mix is more reserved and 17 seconds shorter than the normal version, giving it a softer, less guitar driven sound that would lend itself to an acoustic cover better. It's an interesting take on this very morose song, and if you have "W5" on vinyl, don't let this track slip you by! If you don't have the vinyl copy of it, this version is available on download sites.

So, how do I grade "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" Well, I have to say, this may be the toughest album I've ever had to review for the SMS. It's one thing to do it when there's so much low and downbeat lyrical content, but with David's passing just three months ago and the connections of many of these songs to mortality, it's hard to look at in an objective sense, but I'll try my best. Musically, David Gold and Joel Violette crafted a great record here with lots of creative, affecting, dark, and proficiently written material. David's singing is probably at the best we'll ever hear on a Woods of Ypres album, though the move away from harsher black metal singing continued here, and his guitar work and drumming were about as good as expected, while Joel's lead guitar & bass work was awesome, and his piano contributions added a lot to many tracks. The cello & oboe additions gave some songs a grand epic ambiance, which I'm always in favour of! I really enjoyed songs like "Lightning & Snow" and "Adora Vivos" for their doom metal onslaughts, while (if you're in the right frame of mind) slower ballads like "Travelling Alone" and "Alternate Ending" strike the right chord for their messages and styles, and there's not one bad song on this album, which is good to know!

Posthumously, this album has gotten a lot higher praise than Woods of Ypres' first four albums, but is it perfect? No, but no album is. There wasn't as many guitar solos or harsh vocals as I'd like, songs like "Career Suicide" and "Silver" didn't live up to other songs on this album, a couple of tracks seem to be missing a heavier stretch, and if you don't like depressing music, then you won't appreciate much of "W5". I really enjoyed this album and the messages it gives, but is it Woods of Ypres' best album? I don't think I can accurately say whether it is or isn't. It's a great last testament, so to speak, and I can definitively say it's better than "Against The Seasons", but I'd need to hear the last 4 albums in close proximity to really judge. I think the real legacy of "Woods V" will largely lie in the themes, lyrics, and messages it presented, and how they affected the listener beyond as just the spoken word in the song. It's a great album for doom metal fans who can take their metal dark and downbeat, and in a sense, the lyrics' connection (intentional or not) with David's real death in December 2011 will always linger and hover over this music. The songs, especially the last 3, have an eerie quality that suggests that David sang about his own finality. Whether this is accurate or not, I may never know, but it's open for discussion.

David sung on "Woods V" about not worshipping the dead and just letting them go, and yet posthumously, he's gotten some of the biggest & most positive press of his career for it, which does contradict his own messages to the listener on this album. Whether Woods of Ypres' praise is amplified due to his passing or not is up for debate, but for an artist as talented as he was, I'd say that he's more than deserving of posthumous accolades & attention. Some reviewers may not have given this album such a high grade if David was still alive, but this is still an important and excellent album that fittingly caps the Woods of Ypres discography. David's not physically with us anymore, but with his music, he always will be, and if "W5" is his legacy, then he left quite the album to go out on. I highly recommend buying it and going to the David Gold memorial concerts in Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto next weekend, because even if he didn't want us to memorialize him in death, he deserves the attention without any doubt. R.I.P. David!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review! For next month at the SMS, we WILL be reviewing Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids epic metal band End of Existence's self titled debut album! There's no chance it won't be that, because I have it and it's already been a month since it came out, so it's due for a look! I hope to get it in within the next week, so keep an eye out for it, along with our next feature post (our April 2012 "Where Are The New Albums?" post) on Monday, and more news to come! Thanks everyone!

Late & Loud & Dirty Virgin Concert Review!!!

Well, I'm back from last night's metal/punk show at The Canadian Nightclub, and my review of it is the bulk of today's post, but first, here's a brief note on another concert this weekend. Apparently, classic hard rockers That's Chester will feature a special guest for their set at Docks TONIGHT, that being Brad Stephen, who plays bass in the local country band Bone Yard with That's Chester's Greg Simpson & Ric Datson. My source is Ric's personal Facebook page, and I assume Brad's filling in for Aubrey Falls for this gig, but I'm not 100% positive. So if you're going to see That's Chester tonight, take note of the lineup difference, but Brad has chemistry and a history with the guys, and he should fit in well tonight! Now, to my concert review! So last night's show was supposed to be headlined by Victoria, B.C. sleaze rockers The Lust Boys (notably with guitarist Benny Blitz's homecoming), but as their tour vehicle broke down 5 hours outside of town, they couldn't make it here in time, so the show was pushed back to 9:00 PM. Wouldn't you know it, but I was still late, though when your dog's back legs seem to stop working, that sorta becomes your focus (get well soon, DJ!)

So I made it to The Canadian during Pools of Booze's set, but I still caught a lot of them, so how do they sound? Well, they are essentially a one-off act featuring the members of local punk band T. Rex Manning, with bassist Bill "Orthae" Bennett handling lead vocals in place of the absent J.D. Pearce. I have yet to see T. Rex Manning live, so I don't know how their sound would compare to Pools of Booze last night, but from what I saw, they covered Misfits, Ramones, Volbeat, Judas Priest, and Tool material, and were honestly heavier than I assumed they'd be going in! Bill handled vocals decently for the songs he sang lead on, and Tiffany Stocco & Daniel MacDonald handled the guitar and drums solidly, but I found that their best covers were the punk songs that they did, rather than heavier metal material. Again, I don't know if their set last night was basically the same as T. Rex Manning's, but they had a good flow and the crowd responded well to them! Also of note, guests sang with them last night on a couple of tracks, including Giwakwa frontman Jason Bourcier on a cover of The Misfits' "Skulls", and all the members of Late & Loud on a cover of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law"! Not bad at all, but hopefully I'll be seeing T. Rex Manning in full soon as well!

Following them were the returning Dirty Virgin, in their first show in 11 months and just their second gig in over 2 years! Their early 2009/2011 lineup was back last night, and they unleashed an entertaining set of covers and originals, with renditions of Kiss, Poison, Joe South, Sex Pistols, and AC/DC material mixed with originals like "She's Hot", "She Wants Some", and "Take You Hard", among others. It was good hearing this stuff again, and they definitely haven't lost a step from their 2009 incarnation! They strike a good balance between glam rock and punk, and they generally played songs that fit their sound and range (though I still don't think "Money Talks" fits Bobby Clement's style of singing.) Ryan Spin's guitar work was really good, as was Lionel Quinton's bass playing, and the whole band seemed to click well last night, which definitely helped get lots of fans dancing and grooving on the floor during their set! They probably had the most activity from fans of the three bands, which is a good sign, and the fan participation during their encore was fun! Hopefully this encourages further Dirty Virgin activity this year, as I'd like to see them stay together and not wait another year to hit the stage! Welcome back, guys!

Headlining last night's show was local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, and they delivered a fun set of originals and covers for their fans last night! You know they have a following when a fan in a wheelchair makes it to the front of the stage, AND takes his shirt off when the rest of the band does! With my dog's health issues, I didn't stay the full night just in case he got worse, but I still caught a lot of Late & Loud action, and they rocked the house down, even giving The Lust Boys a nice shoutout! Though their biggest downfall is still in vocals, they at least sang to their strengths on originals like "Live For Excess", "Machine Gun Maiden", and "Whisper of the Damned", while also throwing in some welcome covers, and the fans that were left responded well! They had loads of energy and some swagger, and their talents were as impressive as ever, especially on Brendan Christie's guitar solos! Josh Hatherley's drumming was on form too, and Jonathan Tiberi & Benn Garside rocked on guitar & bass themselves! Excellent set from what I saw, and hopefully the camcorder footage I saw being shot of their set makes it online at some point too!

That was an entertaining concert, and it sets the scene nicely for much more metal action at the Ypres Metal Fest next week! I did get photos & videos last night, though I apologize for the lack of photos and some quality issues with them. My charger cable for my usual camera is still in the mail, so it's out of commission until I get it back, and I had to use a spare borrowed camera last night. As such, each photo has a date watermark in the lower left, and I took less pictures in case there was a battery drainage issue. Also, the videos are standard definition & blur when zooming in & out, which is slightly annoying, but the quality holds up otherwise! Check out my photos at this location or visit our Facebook page, and for videos, here's Pools of Booze covering the Volbeat song of the same name, Dirty Virgin playing their song "Take You Hard", and Late & Loud playing their song "Heavy or Bust"!

That's all for now, but stay tuned TONIGHT for my review of "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" finally! Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Local Metal Video Showcase!!

(UPDATE, 8:02 PM) Before we get into this post, just letting you guys know that Victoria, B.C. sleaze rockers The Lust Boys (who were scheduled to headline at The Canadian TONIGHT) will not be playing, as their tour vehicle broke down in Marathon 5½ hours northwest of town. As a result, Late & Loud will now headline tonight's concert with Dirty Virgin & Pools of Booze opening, without a fourth replacement band. The new start time is 9:00 PM, and the cover charge has been halved to $5. Disappointing news for sure, but hopefully The Lust Boys can play here soon, as they have a good fan base here! Hopefully I'll see you guys there!

Now, let's squeeze in one more all-video post for March before the month ends, so below resides a bunch of newer videos relating to the local metal scene! For fairness, given these videos' types and lengths, we'll put these in alphabetical order by artist or channel name, including this week's classic video, a new music video/original song, and a new audio demo, but first, here's some new live videos from a young local band!

Remember last month when we covered new videos posted by a young local rock trio from Hawkplugged (formerly Dunnplugged) performances at Superior Heights Collegiate & Vocational School? Well, YouTube user (and likely band member) adamscovers posted 4 more videos from a recent Hawkplugged set onto his YouTube channel on Tuesday, including covers of Collective Soul's "December", Foghat's "Slow Ride", Boston's "Smokin'", and (as embedded below) Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean", so check them out! Each video also features some post-production transitions and zooms, though the Collective Soul cover is in black & white, presumably due to the song's slower nature. I still don't know anything definitive on this band, but despite the new videos mostly skewing towards classic rock, I'm more impressed with them! The guitarist has a surprisingly good vocal range, and these guys are definitely talented playing these covers, but hopefully we'll learn more about them soon, cause they are definitely a promising band to watch! Check out this band covering Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean" below, and see more from these guys at the above links!

Next up, here's the latest video & song from local electronic/hard rock project Candle Hour! Well, this is technically credited to frontman Hugh Stephens under his own name (and it's being sold as such on iTunes), but the video says that he's "otherwise known as Candle Hour", and it's posted on the band's Reverbnation page too, so I'll plug it as if it's a Candle Hour track! Posted earlier today, it's entitled "Azetta", and it's a softer instrumental track that appears to be in memoriam to his late grandmother, who shared this song's name. It's set to a 1902 silent movie named "The Little Match Seller", and it does add to the song's depressing yet touching mood. It's not Hugh's heaviest original song, but it accomplishes exactly what it's supposed to do, and it's worth checking out, so give Candle Hour/Hugh's new song "Azetta" a look below, and see much more of his video work at the Candle Hour YouTube channel!

Also new to YouTube is a new audio jam session recording from former Bring The Fallen guitarist Dan Souliere's YouTube channel! Last fall, you may remember some videos that he posted of jam sessions with Brantford drummer Nick Misurka, which were shot not long after Dan moved to Southern Ontario. Well, while we wait for his return home this summer, he posted this new 8+ minute audio recording on Monday of him and Nick jamming, and it sounds pretty good! If that's Dan singing, his vocals have definitely improved, and they sound like they have good chemistry, but I wish this was an actual video. It's good stuff though, so check this new recording out below!

And finally, here's this week's classic video! I had a couple of videos in mind to tie in with performers this weekend, but to spread things out, I'm dipping into the local archives for a combination video from the original crash band themselves, Sykotyk Rampage! The Humane Society battle of the bands openers were the subject of one of our classic videos last year that featured a combination of 6 short videos from a 2009 jam session in "The Cave", and this week's upload is very similar to that... just shorter. Five very short videos (four of which were 17 seconds or less in length) were filmed and uploaded to Facebook by attendee Keri Beckett after a jam session on June 12th, 2007, back when the band just a trio (bassist Brian Cattapan hadn't joined yet), and when they were still online, I downloaded them for posterity. Now that they've been deleted from Facebook, I've combined all five ("Jam Night", "Paul & Shane", and a "Solo" video for each band member) into one 95 second long video with an attempt to make each clip flow into the next in the video. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for these clips goes to Sykotyk Rampage and Keri, I'm just trying to share this footage with a deserving wider audience and return them to a public audience!

These clips are actually of decent quality compared to our last combo classic video of Sykotyk Rampage, though the red lighting was overpowering, so I tried to mute it a bit after uploading. If you like Sykotyk Rampage, you should like this short look at the band from 5 years ago, so check it out below, and go see Sykotyk Rampage rock The Grand Theater before the battle of the bands on April 20th!

That's all for now, but I should see you guys at The Canadian Nightclub TONIGHT, with my review of that and "Woods V" tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Battle Of The Bands Rewind Mini-Series: The Algoma University Battle Of The Bands

As promised, here's our fifth of seven entries in our Battle of the Bands Rewind Mini-Series, and we're entering the home stretch of this series' initial run! The final three profiles are all of four-band battles in a 6 month span from 2009-2010, but all had big moments and lots of talent, so don't let these slip by! Now, before we launch this one, I want to apologize for a lack of photos or videos from the battle itself, as I wasn't there for it and I haven't found much media verifiably from this battle itself, so I went with close facsimiles from late 2009/early 2010 to make it accurate to the period, if nothing else. If you have any corrections or additions (be they for facts, information, or media), e-mail me at! For now though, let's travel back to the end of 2009 for this latest battle in this series, and look at all the facts, fallout, results, and more from it! (Updated on January 24th, 2016)
The Algoma University Battle of the Bands (December 1st, 2009)

Background: The Algoma University Student Union and The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie (in cooperation with local punk standouts The Inner City Surfers) joined forces to hold a battle of the bands at The Speak Easy at Algoma University on December 1st, 2009, with all proceeds from admission going to local United Way charities. Five bands were confirmed to play four songs each, after which judges would award prizes to the top three bands, though judging criteria was not announced prior to the event. Despite running concurrently with the second day of the Kiss Battle of the Bands, a good response resulted from this battle and it's small but talented lineup of competitors.

Prizes: The first place band would receive $300 cash, a $100 Joey Calzone’s gift card, a $25 Case’s Music gift card, 4 hours of studio time, and the right to open for The Inner City Surfers at their Christmas Bash at The Speak Easy on December 22nd. Second place received $200 and a $50 Boston Pizza gift card, while 3rd place would receive half of that: $100 and a $25 Boston Pizza gift card. The second place band would also get first dibs at replacing the winning act at the Inner City Surfers show if they couldn't make it.

Competitors: Though five bands were initially confirmed, only four competed, with punk-inspired music dominating the event. The participating bands included local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen, ska punk quartet Creedon & The Animal Detectives (previously better known as Good Morning Gorilla), local drum & bass/punk trio The Fury, and then-Toronto based hardcore punk/cello trio RedD Monkey.

Results: When all was said and done, Bring The Fallen claimed victory at this battle, marking their second straight 1st place finish in a local battle of the bands. The Fury finished second, while RedD Monkey took home third place, and Creedon & The Animal Detectives rounded out the band order.

Aftermath: Bring The Fallen quickly made it to The Canadian Nightclub following their performance at this battle, to perform a two song set at that night's Kiss Battle of the Bands, although the success wouldn't repeat itself, as they did not advance to that battle's finals. Undeterred, Bring The Fallen continued their local success levels with a number of high profile gigs, including a further battle of the bands victory at May 2010's Downtown Showdown event, before dissolving in April 2011 (though they held a one-off reunion in July 2013.) The Fury remained a popular sight at local concerts of varying genre types until they went inactive in mid-2011 (however, a 2014 reunion never got off the ground), while RedD Monkey released three studio albums and headlined many notable concerts locally and in Southern Ontario before they went on hiatus in 2014, though they did play a Toronto reunion gig and posthumously release their final album last year. Finally, Creedon & The Animal Detectives did not see the same success levels that they experienced as Good Morning Gorilla, and they quietly disbanded in 2010.

Some Notable Performers' Newer Bands (Metal/punk in italics, ex-members noted with an *):
The Apocalypse Afterparty (Paul Stanghetta from The Fury & Steve Mozarowski* from RedD Monkey)
The Bear Hunters (Josh Stephney from Bring The Fallen)
Changing Waves (Terrence Gomes from Creedon & The Animal Detectives)
Deter (Josh McNally from The Fury)
Infinity Grinder (Terrence Gomes from Creedon & The Animal Detectives)
Kaepora Gaebora (Dan Souliere from Bring The Fallen)
March Into Regression (Josh Stephney, Dan Souliere, and Travis St. Amour from Bring The Fallen)
The Moves (Josh McNally from The Fury)
The Northern Tragedy (Terrence Gomes from Creedon & The Animal Detectives)
Theriac (Joe Bumbacco from The Fury; Based out of Toronto)

  • The planned fifth band to have taken part at this battle would have been local punk quartet The Scary Uncles, who notably finished in second place at the Skid Row Battle of the Bands at The Speak Easy the previous year. However, they had to pull out prior to the event due to scheduling conflicts, though they were later added as an additional opener for the Inner City Surfers concert on December 22nd anyway.
  • This was Bring The Fallen's only local battle of the bands victory to feature their entire lineup for their performance. Then-drummer Joey Graham was absent for their YMCA battle set as The Undead Warriors that March, while bassist Nolan Rainville was absent from their Downtown Showdown appearance the following year.
  • Despite winning this battle of the bands, Bring The Fallen would later drop out of the Inner City Surfers concert for unannounced reasons a couple of days before it happened. Though contest rules said that the second place band would open if the winners couldn't perform, no evidence online suggests that The Fury were able to play in Bring The Fallen's place. It's also not known if anything became of Bring The Fallen's recording time that they won at this event.
  • This battle of the bands was severely overshadowed by the Kiss Battle of the Bands, whose second night took place on the same day as this battle. As a result, only 65 fans showed up to cheer on the participating bands, which was a 70% drop in attendance from the Skid Row battle at The Speak Easy the previous year. All was not lost though, as $576 was raised for charity at the event.
  • Judges for this battle included former Algoma University Student Union president Vanessa Gastaldo and member Cristina Guzzo, along with an unidentified United Way representative. Gsis Murphy drummer Anthony Fabiano & Inner City Surfers frontman Dustin Jones were also slated to judge this battle, but they both had to pull out due to other commitments (Anthony was playing with Gsis Murphy at the Kiss battle that night, and Dustin was touring in Southern Ontario with his band Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide over that time period.)
  • This marked the first of two four-band battles of the bands in Sault Ontario to feature Bring The Fallen winning first place and The Fury claiming second place. This same order happened again at the Downtown Showdown battle in May 2010, which ironically saw both bands employ different bassists than they had at the Algoma battle.
  • Already linked by sharing former Smeltzer members, unique genres, and creative instrument arrangements, The Fury and RedD Monkey were further linked in mid-2010 after The Fury's Joe Bumbacco replaced Kevin Overton as RedD Monkey's drummer on a temporary (and later permanent) basis. Joe remained a member of both bands until The Fury went inactive in mid-2011.
  • Planned judges Anthony Fabiano & Dustin Jones would both later be involved in battles of the bands in differing roles. Anthony competed in April 2013's Rock 'N Roar Battle of the Bands in Spanish with his hard rock band Griphook (though they did not place in that event), while Dustin would finally serve as a battle judge at the VM Radio Battle of the Bands in March 2015, as well as a sponsor with his label Tidal Records.
  • Bring The Fallen frontman Josh Stephney would also compete at the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands on April 20th, 2012, and the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands in April 2013, both as guitarist in the local death metal band The Bear Hunters. They finished in 6th & 5th respectively at each, making the final round of the latter. Josh & B.T.F. bandmate Nolan Rainville also competed at the Rockstar Bar Battle in the newer death metal band Giwakwa, though they finished 2nd to The Bear Hunters in the third semifinal night, and missed the final round.
  • Creedon & The Animal Detectives drummer Terrence Gomes also competed in the aforementioned Humane Society & Rockstar Bar battles as bassist for Changing Waves and as singer/drummer in The Northern Tragedy respectively. Changing Waves didn't place at the Humane Society Battle in April 2012, while The Northern Tragedy finished third in their Rockstar Bar Battle semifinal the following year, missing the finals.
  • The Fury's Josh McNally was also once scheduled to compete with his most recent band The Moves in the Humane Society Battle of the Bands, but they pulled out of the event due to external commitments.
  • Though Josh Stephney missed The Bear Hunters' Viva La Battle win at The Canadian Nightclub in November 2013 due to moving out of town, he came back home to take part in their first place prize, an opening set for Bam Margera's Fuckface Unstoppable at The Canadian the following month. The Fury frontman Paul Stanghetta was scheduled to play at this battle as well with his then-band Keep It Lit, but they dropped out due to a band member breaking their arm, and never ended up playing live afterward.
  • After The Northern Tragedy went on hiatus, Terrence Gomes returned to The Speak Easy to play in March 2015's Speak Easy Battle of the Battle of the Bands with his recent alternative hard rock duo Infinity Grinder, though they did not place in that event. The Bear Hunters finished in third place in that same battle, though Josh Stephney was out of town and unable to attend.
  • The Fury & RedD Monkey frontmen Paul Stanghetta & Steve Mozarowski (or, Z and X) made the finals of March 2015's VM Radio Battle of the Bands at The Canadian Nightclub in their rap/metal quartet The Apocalypse Afterparty (with Steve on drums), eventually finishing in fourth place, and playing some old Fury originals in the process. The Bear Hunters also finished in second place at this battle as well, losing by just two points, but again, Josh Stephney could not attend the event.
None known (general videos of this battle's top 3 bands can be seen below)

Sources/More Info:
The official Facebook event page
Post-battle fallout from The United Way
I hope you guys liked this look back at one of many recent local battles of the bands! Sure, this one wasn't well attended, but it was out of their hands, and a lot of great music and charity fundraising was had! Next Friday, we'll profile the Sault College/Scotties Tournament of Hearts battle from February 2010, featuring a rematch of three bands from the Kiss battle. What went down at that battle? Find out next week, and stay tuned for my review of "Woods V" TOMORROW, along with more news to come! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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

It's time to preview this weekend's metal and hard rock concerts! I think I have them all accounted for, but Sault Michigan is always harder to source shows for, and I'm not sure yet if Tym Morrison's playing any solo gigs this weekend. If I hear anything on either front, I'll have it here! For now, here's previews of four Sault Ontario and two Sault Michigan concerts going down this weekend, and we're starting with the biggest of them all!

First on the weekend's schedule is a big metal/punk concert at The Canadian Nightclub tomorrow night featuring an out of town headlining band with a familiar face! Victoria, British Columbia sleaze rock quintet The Lust Boys will hit Sault Ontario for the first time tomorrow night for a night full of glam and punk-influenced classic metal, and you won't wanna miss them if you like debauchery! Local fans may recognize guitarist Ben "Benny Blitz" Kemp-Reynolds as a Saultite from his late-2000s music work in the area, and it will be great to welcome him back home three years after moving out west! Three local bands have been enlisted as openers tomorrow night, including Late & Loud, the local classic metal quartet featuring Ben's old Glass Statues bandmates Benn Garside & Josh Hatherley! They always impress live, and with an album reportedly close to completion, they'll have lots of originals in store for sure! Also joining them are local glam/punk quartet Dirty Virgin in their first concert appearance in 11 months, but it's not known if they're fully back or if this is another one-off set. It's about time they came back, and hopefully they'll pick up where they left off for this gig! The final band is a local one-off punk band named Pools of Booze, who are basically T. Rex Manning minus frontman J.D. Pearce. I don't know why J.D. will be absent, but Pools of Booze should entertain, even if they'll only last as long as General Striker did last year!

Admission is $10 at the door tomorrow, you must be 19 to attend, and though the poster advertises that doors will open at 9:00 PM, the Facebook event page lists Pools of Booze opening at 8:00 PM, so I'd be there early just in case. Check the above links for more details! This should be a very entertaining concert with a nice old school flavour, and hopefully you guys can make it out! I want to go, but that depends if I can get my camera charged in time for it (this is what happens when you accidentally leave your charger in Detroit.) Fingers crossed though! Hopefully you guys can make it out, as The Lust Boys' sleaze rock attack will be both nostalgic, hard hitting, and very fun, along with the local bands' entertaining styles as well! For a preview, here's The Lust Boys' music video for their song "Spred Yur Legz"!

Also this weekend in Sault Ontario is the return of Caveman Morrison to the stage! After over three months away from live concerts, the local metal cover trio will debut their new lineup tomorrow & Saturday night at The Nicolet Tavern! It's still familiar to past incarnations though, with Tym Morrison & James White remaining on vocals/guitar & bass, but the band will see the return of The Bear Hunters' Johnny Belanger on drums this weekend (replacing Rick White), marking his first appearances with the band since the fall of 2010. It's good to see Johnny back, and hopefully this Caveman Morrison lineup achieves some stability and lots of future concerts! So if you're in the mood for a full weekend's worth of classic metal covers from this talented trio, be at The Nicolet Tavern tomorrow and/or Saturday night at 9:30 PM, and both shows have 19+ age limits and no cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds good to me, and hopefully Caveman Morrison's new lineup rocks the house all weekend, so keep these shows in mind! For a preview, here's Caveman Morrison's late 2010 lineup covering Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Know" at the former Foggy Notions!

Now for a quick detour to Sault Michigan, and I apologize if I've missed any other shows this weekend beyond these ones. The Rapids Lounge at Kewadin Casino welcomes Charlevoix classic metal trio Peril back to the area this weekend for a full weekend of originals and covers, in their first concerts in Sault Michigan in 6 months! It's great to finally see Peril (featuring former Bad Side drummer Brooks Elliott) back in the area, and you know they'll deliver some hard rocking good times all weekend long at The Rapids Lounge! From what I can tell, nothing's too different about this weekend's shows compared to Peril's usual area stops, so I'd expect no cover, 21+ age limits, and 10:00 PM start timed for both tomorrow & Saturday night's concerts. For more details, visit Peril's official Facebook page! Hopefully Peril's return to the Soo goes awesomely this weekend, and fingers crossed that this weekend's shows aren't the only time that we'll hear Peril's proficient metal attack in 2012! For a preview, here's Peril covering Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train"!

And finally, let's head back to Sault Ontario for one more metal/hard rock concert this weekend, that being the latest show from local classic hard rock quintet That's Chester! Three weeks after rocking Quattro Chophouse & Bar during the CARHA Hockey World Cup, they'll play their first show at Docks Riverfront Grill in a month on Saturday night for a one-night-only engagement this weekend! Despite what Docks' website's event listings say, That's Chester will not be playing there on Friday for unknown reasons, so if you want to rock out with their classic and modern covers and have a good time, be at Docks on Saturday night! Admission should be $4, you must be 19 to attend, and an 11:00 PM start time is advertised. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a solid concert from this very talented group of local music veterans, and hopefully a good crowd turns out on Saturday to rock out with That's Chester! For a preview, here's That's Chester covering Deep Purple's "Highway Star" at Docks in 2010!

That's all for today but stay tuned for our Algoma University Battle of the Bands profile TOMORROW, along with our "Woods V" review by Saturday, more news, and if all goes according to plan, a review of tomorrow's Lust Boys show? Fingers crossed, and thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (That's Chester) Plus More News & Videos!!

Things have been slower lately in the local metal scene, but I've scraped together some stories for a new news post today, so here's what's on tap! Today, we've got news on an interesting exhibition that could have metal connections, new videos from a pair of local metal guitarists, and a date change for an upcoming concert weekend, but kicking things off, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT!!

Sault Ontario classic hard rock quintet That's Chester will return to Docks Riverfront Grill THIS SATURDAY!! I apologize for the relative short notice, a Facebook event page for this show was only posted last night. This concert will mark That's Chester's first concert set since their set at the Quattro Chophouse & Bar three weeks ago during the CARHA Hockey World Cup, but it will mark their first set at Docks in over a month. Note that they are not playing at Docks on Friday, despite Docks' website's event calendar saying otherwise, so if you wanna see That's Chester this weekend, go on Saturday! Why aren't they playing Friday? Beats me, but their hard rocking covers will be sure to entertain just as much on Saturday as they would any other day of the week! This concert will start at 11:00 PM, you must be 19 to attend, and I'd expect a $4 cover charge. For more details, check the above links! This should be another entertaining night of classic material from this talented local quintet, so don't miss out if you're up for some live music on Saturday night! Stay tuned for more on this and other concerts over the coming weekend tomorrow or Friday!

Also on a brief concert schedule note, Caveman Morrison have moved their scheduled Roosevelt Hotel weekend set from May 11th & 12th to April 13th & 14th. A reason for the date changes wasn't announced, but they were edited on the Facebook event page yesterday, and as the existing event page was updated, I can tell that these are likely not separate concerts, so it may have been a scheduling error. No matter what, this is better because their new lineup will hit The Rosie sooner, so circle the new dates on your calendars, and/or go check out Caveman Morrison's new lineup's debut THIS WEEKEND at The Nic!

Next up, here's an interesting note related to National Youth Arts Week in Sault Ontario in early May. I've recently heard from organizer Rihkee Strapp about a planned exhibition of local concert posters in support of the Circle of Creative Arts Center towards offering free art programming to the public while still paying artists during National Youth Arts Week. They're looking for any concert posters, presumably from any era or genre of the local music scene, for display at the exhibition, and they can be photocopied or donated if you're interested in helping. If you donate a poster, you'll be credited for it if you choose, and if you know the artist who designed said poster(s), be sure to mention that as well. If you have any possible submissions, or you have any inquiries, contact Rihkee at! This sounds like a really cool idea, and I hope it flies as well as is hoped! I already suggested to Rihkee that the Sault Music Scene Facebook group that specializes in the local scene in the 1970s and 1980s would be great for older poster inquiries, but who knows what's in store come May! If this goes down, I'll definitely keep tabs on it, so stay tuned, and submit your posters to Rihkee if you have some that could be donated!

We'll close with new videos, starting with the latest video posted to Swayze Train guitarist Scott Savoie's YouTube channel, as uploaded yesterday! For the first time in over 8 months, Scott's uploaded a solo cover of a metal song, and it's of him covering Lamb of God's song "Hourglass", and covering it pretty well! He has it down pretty well, though it's a bit loud compared to the original song in the background. Still, that works well to hear Scott clearly, and this is another solid video on his channel, so check it out below, and note that I've edited our YouTube channel profile on his channel to reflect this video's upload!

Finally for today is some new videos on local solo guitarist Mike Cliffe's YouTube channel! One is entitled "Nuclear Chicken", as uploaded on Sunday, and it's a short slower paced rock number with piano accompaniment, which helps set it apart from some of Mike's other solo work! The piano parts are kinda minimal, but they add to the feel, which helps given the track's length. Not bad, so give it a look at the above links! Embedded below though is Mike's performance of a 1979 jam track named "That Off Time One", which he co-wrote with Dan Boden and Roger Drolet way back when, and uploaded to YouTube last week. Unlike the visulizations on "Nuclear Chicken", this is a newly filmed performance video of Mike playing this track, which is nice to see! It's a solid progressive hard rocker with blues elements, and it's cool to see him revisit old material like this, so give Mike's song "That Off Time One" a look below and at the above links, and hear much more from his solo project at this location!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews, my "Woods V" review, and more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Local Band, Battle Of The Bands Updates, And Much More!!

News has admittedly been kinda sporadic lately, which is half my fault due to personal commitments, but I've got a lot of stuff for today's news post, including battle of the bands updates, lots of videos from a prominent Sault Michigan band, and lots of assorted news stories, but let's start with a new local band, and also check out this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile in the post below this one!

Yes, there's a new local band to touch on today, and it's The Mourning Glory, a new solo project from veteran local drummer Glen Thomas! This is a new experimental/progressive hard rock project that is different from his Flat Stanley & Wishbone fare, and though it's not a reversion to his 1980s and 1990s metal output, it's likely similar to his work in Route 69. It looks like Glen's using The Mourning Glory to experiment with an all-online distribution and promotion method, and songs may feature guest musicians if needed or asked. Influences for the project range from King's X and Rush to Porcupine Tree and Captain Beyond, and you can sample those influence via three incomplete rough demos posted on The Mourning Glory's Reverbnation page! "Dirt Cycle" is the heaviest of the three, and it has a nice slower groove, while "Traumatic Tire" has more blues influences, and "Fusion Core" is more experimental and progressive. Interesting stuff so far, but hopefully Glen posts longer and cleaner versions of these demos soon, as there's definitely something there! Stay tuned for more on The Mourning Glory as news comes in, and they're now in our Sault Ontario active band links on your left!

Next up, here's the latest updates on the Sault Humane Society Battle of the Bands on April 20th! Tickets for the event are now on sale at some extra locations, as local music stores Case's Music, Music Depot, and Northland Music, and The Rad Zone at The Wellington Square Mall have joined the Humane Society location itself and battle venue The Grand Theater as ticket junctions. Pick them up A.S.A.P. for $20 at any of the above locations! My source for the above information is the Facebook event page ran by Sykotyk Rampage, who have since confirmed that they're opening this battle only, and not closing it too. Note that their poster also includes Rock 101's logo, though whether this implies some official connection with our local rock radio station or not is currently unclear. Also newly confirmed: The battle will run from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM on April 20th, and I have heard from Sykotyk Rampage frontman Dirk Becker (who is helping in the battle organizing) that bands will have 15 minute time limits for their set, and the band order looks to be randomly determined. Stay tuned for more information and details as they come in, as this will be a huge event, and I know I'll see you guys there next month! Check the above links for more on the event and the competing bands!

Also today is an awesome new source of videos of a prominent local band, that being Sault Michigan funk/hard rock quintet Clownsack! Activity from them has been sparse since the release of their "Funny Farm" EP last spring, but no less than 17 older videos of them in action have been posted onto YouTube in the past three weeks! These are courtesy of the YouTube channel of Broken Phonograph Media, a publishing company ran by local musician Fran Blackwood. You may recognize him from his musical talents in the local bands Electric Motor Fish and Kilgore's Army, along with work as the producer on Clownsack's latest EP and for video projects that the band has (and is) working on. His channel, which was launched last fall, is split in two directions, with half of the videos devoted to Kilgore's Army and his short film "Code Brown", and half devoted to Clownsack videos, mostly from live concerts in the mid-2000s with older lineups. These include videos from their 2005 debut concert, their sets opening for Ted Nugent in 2006 and Kiss in 2007 (both at Kewadin Casino), and videos everywhere from The Satisfied Frog across the river to Harpo's Concert Theater in Detroit! Most are of full songs, though assorted solo portions and amusing moments from some early shows also got uploads over the past few weeks.

It's great to see so many nice quality Clownsack videos posted online, as their videos were previously fairly scarce! Kudos to Fran for uploading these, though I'll note that a couple song titles are incorrect compared to what's listed on "Rotten Candy". I would like to see some post-2007 videos too, but for now, this works really well! All of these videos are worth checking out (including an early performance of "I Live In A Drawer" & a higher quality version of their "Clown Sauce" music video), so check the above links to watch all of these newly posted videos, but to share here, I've embedded one of only two live performances of their song "Sack O' Clown" from a 2006 show at The Frog, so give it a look below!

And finally for today, here's five assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, as a lot of shorter items have hit the news desk lately! As usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:
  • Local hard rock quartet Borderline Divine (formerly Stillbroke) are planning to unveil a new original song named "Vampire In The Night" shortly, along with a new official YouTube channel to host videos of them in action. My source is the band's Facebook page. Good to hear, so stay tuned for more updates as they come in!
  • New Sault Michigan hard rockers Elements of Madness have already parted ways with drummer Landon Mattson, just weeks after they added him to their lineup last month. A reason for his departure wasn't announced, but if you're interested in trying out to drum for Elements of Madness, contact the band at this location!
  • A local concert weekend featuring Detroit hard rockers Fifth Way (with former Saultite Zak Stelmaszek on guitar) and Brimley metal quartet Half A Man (in their first concerts in a year) is tentatively lined up for April 27th & 28th, with one hang-up: They need a venue for the April 27th show. Message Half A Man at this location if you can help, and stay tuned for more on these potential local concerts as I hear it!
  • Blue Chinese metal crash punk quartet Sykotyk Rampage are the third local band confirmed for the Touch of Death Metal & Punk Festival in Cochrane, Ontario (6 hours north of Sudbury) from June 30th-July 2nd, joining fellow locals Shit Liver & RedD Monkey on this massive festival. Nice to see them play a rare out of town gig, and they should fit in well among all the chaos this summer, so keep them in mind if you're going!
  • Woods of Ypres got some press in the latest episode of Extreme Metal Television, featuring brief plugs of "Woods V" and the Ypres Metal Fest on April 7th, clips of the David Gold tribute concert in Calgary last month (including Gales of Avalon's cover of "Wet Leather"), and some interview segments with performers at the event. Nice press, if brief, and I hope we see more from the Calgary tribute! Give this video a look at the above link!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news shortly, along with our Algoma University Battle profile and our "Woods V" review! Thanks everyone!

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Constructed Apocalypse

It's time for our next Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, and third-last feature post of March 2012! In our 34th profiled band in this series, we're looking at another notable band from out of town who featured a Sault Ontario/Michigan resident in their past or present lineups, and you may remember this one well from some recent all ages shows in the area! Now, I don't have as much on this band's past lineups and details as some other recent profiled bands in this series, so please let me know if you can fill in any blanks! For now, enjoy this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
Constructed Apocalypse (Windsor, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; members not in their last full lineup in italics. This lineup information is incomplete. E-mail me at if you have any additions or corrections!)

Vince Donaghey (vocals/ex-bass)
Roberto Gasparin (guitar)
"Moose Knuckle" (bass)
Sean Furlong (drums)

Steve Giroux (vocals)
Jeremy Hannah (vocals)
Matt Shearer (vocals)
Spencer ???? (guitar)
Josh ???? (bass)

Official MySpace page:
Official MySpace page (original):

Local Info: Only one Saultite has been in Constructed Apocalyse's lineups, that being local musician and concert promoter Jeremy Hannah. Currently well known for fronting the acoustic indie band The North Shore and for running his live music company Pure Sonic Audio, Jeremy might be best known in local music circles for his mid-late 2000s run as a local concert promoter with Big Voiced Records, including shows that Constructed Apocalypse has played on. Jeremy has also gained local notice as a singer and guitarist with bands here and in Ottawa like Ocean View, but he has sang more aggressive metal material in bands like March Into Regression, Lorax, and the band that preceded it, Constructed Apocalypse!

Band Bio: Formerly known as Destructive Pattern and Emphasis on Khrysis, Constructed Apocalypse were a hardcore band from Windsor, Ontario that were active between 2003 and 2010 under varying lineups, with only drummer Sean Furlong participating in each incarnation. Details on their runs under their old names are sparse, but they evolved from a jam band to a serious touring band with original songs, and were seen in Sault Ontario at The Oddfellows Hall on at least two occasions. Playing an experimental death metal style, Constructed Apocalypse opened for bands like Dead & Divine and Today I Caught The Plague during their late 2000s peak, among other local and Southern Ontario dates. Jeremy Hannah's run with the band isn't well documented, but he sang with them from at least 2008-early 2009, including on at least one local show, before being replaced by Matt Shearer. Constructed Apocalypse quietly went inactive in early 2010, with Sean and bassist Moose Knuckle launching the popular hardcore band Burn The Path as their next musical project, which has since splintered off into active Southern Ontario bands like Beastmode and Reasons Lost.

There isn't a lot of full band material to judge Constructed Apocalypse with, but from what I do have, I sense some good talent! They had a solid developing death metal sound with some nice riffing and some good effective drumming from Sean Furlong, but the recordings available online aren't of the highest quality. The originals I've heard need more vocals, guitar solos, and more of a technical element than their bios lead you to believe, but they were definitely on the right track! Their only posted song with vocals ("Venereal Disease") is a good step, but Steve Giroux's singing is too loud in the mix. I'm also curious to hear how they'd have sounded with Jeremy on vocals, especially given his more-hardcore singing style. From what I've heard, I can say that Constructed Apocalypse were a talented young band, but Burn The Path and the bands that succeeded them have advanced their sound and talent levels even higher in my opinion!

For media, there's two demos of Constructed Apocalypse on their MySpace page, but drummer Sean Furlong's YouTube channel has the most band material, including 4 live instrumental jam videos from mid-2009 and a lot of solo performance videos, mostly of Sean drumming their original tracks. Here's their original song "Eradication", but see and hear much more from Constructed Apocalypse at the above links!

There we go, hopefully you guys liked this month's profile! Next month, we're likely looking at our first solo project in this series in 10 months, that being the Southern Ontario black metal project Winters of Silence, fronted by current Sault College student Ryan DeWinter! Look out for our next profile in this series between April 23rd and 29th, so keep an eye out, and stay tuned for a new news post later today! Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Tym Morrison Concert Preview, Plus More Assorted News & Videos!!

After three days of just feature posts, we're finally back with a new news post at the SMS, and it's combined with weekend concert previews due to this being a very light weekend for metal and hard rock shows. Unless there's some concerts in twin Saults I haven't heard of or are getting a very late notice, there's only one show going down this weekend of a metal relevance, so we're previewing that first, but stay tuned after that for a local band's new singer, another's current status, and this week's classic video! Read on below, and also check out our Kiss Battle of the Bands Profile in the post below this one!

This weekend's concert preview is for Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison's matinee show at Bossy's Pub N' Grub on Saturday afternoon, in his 12th straight Saturday show at the Pim Street restaurant! One week out from Caveman Morrison's new lineup's debut, Tym will be sure to deliver an entertaining set of acoustic hard rock and metal covers to his fans at the former Smack Daddy's, so keep his return to Bossy's in mind on Saturday! Tym will be on at about 2:00 PM as usual, I doubt there's a cover charge, it should be all ages given the timing. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a fun time this weekend, and hopefully some of you guys can make it out to rock out with Tym on Saturday during this light stretch of metal shows! For a preview, here's Tym's newest solo original song "The Afterlife", which was self-recorded and posted onto his YouTube channel earlier today! It's an interesting rock track with some good atmospheric vocals and nice lyrics, and though it's not a blistering metal number, it's well written and has a nice feel for it, so give it a listen below!

Next up, new local doom/stoner metal band Giwakwa have announced the addition of Jason Bourcier to their lineup as their new singer, officially making them a quartet. He was quietly added to their lineup on their Facebook page earlier this week, and he notably rejoins former Fitswitch bandmate Larry Mousseau in Giwakwa. Jason's well known locally for his bass work in bands like Fitswitch, SIGHdEFECT, and Murder Playground, but Giwakwa brings him back to singing, a role he's handled very well with bands like Time of Ruin, Operation: Killdozer, and (most recently) Faithless Sin. It'll be good to see Jason back fronting a local band again, as I haven't seen him on stage officially fronting a band since Operation: Killdozer's 2009 debut, and hopefully he fits in well with Giwakwa! No other real band news has came since beyond some photo postings, all of which appear to be before Jason joined, but it does give us a glimpse at Giwakwa together performing! As I hear more on them and their next updates, I'll definitely have them here, so stay tuned, and note that I've edited our YMCA Battle of the Bands Profile to note that Jason has joined Giwakwa when mentioning newer notable bands from that battle's competitors!

Also today, I wanted to address a local band's current status, or lack thereof. That band is local old school hardcore quintet Destroilet, who haven't been seen on stage since February 2011 when they opened for Maximum RNR at Foggy Notions, and they last posted on their online pages in April upon the release of their debut EP. With that said, it was announced a few days ago that the members of Destroilet (minus guitarist John Conway) have formed a new pop punk band named The Belmonts, with Redundant's Justin Langlois on the second guitar, reuniting him with former SIGHdEFECT bandmate Matt Waples. Videos are posted on the new band's Facebook page of Ramones & Riverdales covers, so give them a look for some solid punk rock jams! Now, what does the existence of The Belmonts mean for Destroilet's future? According to their Facebook page, The Belmonts are "somethin' to do for fun while Destroilet takes a break", which more or less affirms the recent inactivity from them. I assume this is due to John having external commitments, but I'm not positive. If they don't return to activity soon, I still won't consider Destroilet inactive until the fall, as I remember that they were tentatively lined up to open for The Dayglo Abortions had they came here again in October, so I'm counting a year's inactivity from then.

Still, fingers crossed that Destroilet come back at some point in the near future, as their old school hardcore fury was welcome at local concerts in recent years, and even a year late, a CD release show would be fun to finally have! Also, just as a humourous aside, wouldn't Destrundant be a fitting alternate name for The Belmonts given the band members' other projects?

And finally, here's this week's classic video! With a very light weekend on the local metal scene, I'm dipping into the general archives this week for one of two videos I recently rediscovered of a local metal band in action, that being defunct Sault Michigan quartet Nixxon Dixxon! Though disbanded since 2010 (and with 3/4ths of the band now in Trail's End), they still developed a good local following during their run, and when doing research towards another post, I found two videos of them from mid-2008 concerts at The Bird (a.k.a. Golanka's Bar) that I hadn't seen in a few years! Possibly the oldest publically viewable footage of Nixxon Dixxon live, the first video (of them covering Van Halen's "Ain't Talking About Love") is of noticeably worse quality, so we'll start with this June 2008 video of them covering Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me"! Brandon Carr's singing isn't as wide-ranging as it was at their 2010 peak, and the video's angle can be far from the stage and impaired by attendees' heads, but it's a solid performance of this Def Leppard classic, and it's good to see this video again! Note that I brightened the lighting in the video after uploading it to YouTube, as the original video was fairly dark.

Uploaded by attendee Lyzz Johnson onto her MySpace page on June 22nd, 2008, you can view the original video at NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!!! All credit for this video goes to Lyzz and Nixxon Dixxon, they did all the hard work, I'm just trying to share this video with a wider audience like it deserves! It's a solid early video of Nixxon Dixxon, so give it a look below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for hopefully more news and notes this weekend, along with our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Constructed Apocalypse on Monday and (yes) our "Woods V" review by the end of the month! Thanks everyone!