Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hallows Die Concert Review!!

Finally, here's my review of last night's Hallows Die-headlined metal show at The Canadian Nightclub! Nice to be back there, even if the attendance was lower than was hoped, but given that it is the holiday weekend more or less, that might not have helped in that department. So, what went down last night? The first band up was the only local band of the evening, that being melodic death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, and they sounded very good as I've come to expect from them! They played a slightly abbreviated set from what they usually have in store, but with songs like "Bloodthirst", "Dominate", and "Render This Void" in their set, they delivered from bell to bell! The only real difference I can add for their set was it was the first time I've seen their full lineup live since they opened for Fuck The Facts at The Canadian last month, and Mitch Sirie's guitar volume was definitely louder, so it was a better set overall! Plus, I like that they didn't include the songs that used to include clean vocals, as I wasn't reminded that those songs could use clean singing during their set. With such a reliable death metal band, it's hard to find complaints, and it's a shame the crowd turnout was so low early last night for their performance!

Next up last night was North Bay death metal band Buried Out Back, in their first local appearance, and fans seemed to enjoy their set well, as did I! A newer band compared to the others last night, they delivered a more straightforward take on death metal, but they were very brutal and had a lot of promising original songs, all of which seemed to be titled "The ______". I liked Nathan Shore's aggressive harsh singing, and the whole band seemed to have nice energy and stage presence! Kevin Lachance and Empyrean Plague's Dave Strba unleashed some awesome shredding guitar work, though I would have liked to have heard more guitar solos from them too. Nick Ianiro's bass work was also really impressive, adding to their entertaining set, but compared to the later bands, they need to find more ways to stand out going forward. Good first start though, and I can't wait to see them again hopefully in the area!

Third last night was young Sudbury black metal band Before The Black Gates, and it's definitely good to see them here finally! You'd think they'd have been here before now, but they delivered a solid (and longer than expected) set of death metal-inspired material that fans definitely seemed to enjoy! James Bok has a nice brutal voice, and Jacob Tyler's drum work stood out well, while Tamara Ryan proved up to the challenge on bass throughout their set! I liked some of their lyrical themes too, and B.T.B.G. definitely seemed to enjoy being up on stage, but I will say that James needs to work on his stage presence. He let guitarist Alex Hunter do most of the speaking and crowd banter, and he seemed uncomfortable at times when not singing, but during the song, he's got it nailed down! And, like Buried Out Back, I was hoping to hear more guitar solos, but the guys (and girl) have a brutal thing going, and hopefully we'll see them again locally in the future!

Fourth were Sudbury improv/comedy metal band 85 Pound Poutine, and they delivered a light and humorous (though abbreviated) set of improvised Canadian death metal! They never play the same song twice, so you may be honoured to know that we heard songs with titles like "Bacon Fuck" and "Bath Salts Bukkake" live?! Honestly, a lot of the humour of their set (beyond their amusing on stage attire) may have been lost on some fans for the sole fact that not everyone can decipher death metal growling, but if you could hear some of the lyrics that Gravy Smith (a.k.a. Wolven Ancestry's Mark Howitt) was singing, you'd definitely have been amused! Even besides that, their music suited their aims and was very brutal, but the set ended in slight deja vu, as just like at Wolven Ancestry's set at the Ypres Metal Fest, they were the second last band with a visibly abbreviated set due to time constraints (even resulting in a whole bag of unused props.) I was entertained by 85 Pound Poutine for sure though, and I'm definitely up for seeing them again locally!

And your main event band last night was Toronto death metal standouts Hallows Die, and despite deja vu in the form of another abbreviated set just like at the Ypres Metal Fest, fans were happy to hear more than 2 songs this time around, so things worked out better! Now that I got a glimpse at their fuller set beyond one original and one cover, I was definitely impressed by Ryan Boisvard's brutal vocals and Pat Rogers' blistering guitar riffs and solos on songs like "Fall From Heaven", "A Serpent In Judecca", and "In This Emptiness", and they definitely drummed up the best crowd response of the night to end their set with! They also really seemed to enjoy being back on stage in the Soo, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone there who didn't think they were killer from bell to bell! Though I think we'd all like to see a longer set from them again, Hallows Die delivered well, and I don't think we've seen the last of them in Sault Ontario!

Overall, this was a fun and brutal concerts (despite the time & attendance concerns), and if you missed it, you missed out! I've posted photos from the show onto our Facebook page at this location, so check them out if you wanna, and as for videos, I got The Bear Hunters playing "Bloodthirst", Buried Out Back's song "The Prostitute", Before The Black Gates' song "Am I Dead?", 85 Pound Poutine's set opening tracks "Bath Salts Bukkake" & "Lactating Moose Knuckle", and Hallows Die's new song "A Serpent In Judecca", so check them out below!

That's all for tonight, but I'll hopefully you guys at The Rockstar Bar shortly for Maximum RNR (and maybe an opening band?) Thanks everyone!

The Harsh Heads - "First Hated Then Forgotten" Review!!

It's time for our 36th monthly local metal/hard rock CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and it's of defunct local hardcore band The Harsh Heads' posthumous CD "First Hated Then Forgotten"! We were originally gonna tie this review in with The Billy Bastards' planned concert tonight with Maximum RNR (as they share two common members), but despite their withdrawl from said show, the review will go on as planned, as this album deserves a look no matter what! The recordings on this album were originally made in two different demo sessions with G. Ingram in late 1994 at Dysentery Studios, but the songs were not formally released at the time, with The Harsh Heads disbanding the next year. However, band members decided to formally release the material via a free CD distribution in 2005 (though it was properly packaged), meaning that this is the third posthumously released album we've reviewed on the SMS in the past 4 months. The Harsh Heads' lineup consisted of singer/bassist John Conway (now of The Billy Bastards & Destroilet), guitarists Bob Bromley Jr. (now in the London punk band Gatgas) and Hugh Merz, and John's current Billy Bastards bandmate Aaron Gibbs on drums.

This album is now out of print, but personal inquiries should be able to help score the mp3s of the songs, especially knowing it's initial free distribution. However, I have uploaded the whole album onto our YouTube channel for free streaming, so click here to check it out, or click each song name throughout the review, as I've linked each song individually here too. (Note also that four songs are streamable on the band's MySpace page.) With 13 songs coming in at just over 37 minutes in length, this may be shorter than you'd expect, but let's begin this review with the first song, "Violence"!

"Violence" starts with a slow ominous guitar intro before unloading into a blisteringly fast hardcore fury with aggressive yelling from John Conway and equally speedy backing music! The song more or less stays on the same wavelength of hardcore fury, only breaking from the same sort of sound and lyrics for some quieter and slower instrumental interludes, including an alright guitar solo midway through, but the choruses are full blast and extremely moshable! Knowing the age of the guys when they recorded this album, it's well done, and while the fast paced hardcore assaults are repetitive, the song's short & entertaining enough that you don't really notice. Very solid opener to "First Hated Then Forgotten", and old school hardcore fans should get a kick out of it! Next is "We Stand Alone", which begins with 16 seconds of feedback before unloading into a fast paced hardcore song that has clearer singing and a less repetitive structure. Catchier sound overall too, and I like Aaron's drumming a lot here! The guitar work here in the verses and main riffing is more varied, but the end of the song isn't fantastic. The slower section sounds like a different track altogether, and the spoken lyric tradeoff doesn't jive to me. Still, the bulk of this song is an improvement on "Violence" and well worth checking out! Maybe not as fast as "Violence", but the catchiness and rhythm puts it mostly over the top!

Third on this CD is "Seal Bashing", and while I won't judge the song on it's subject matter, it bursts into some more fast paced hardcore fury after a soft instrumental intro and it shows their speedy old school hardcore sound well! The two main stretches with vocals are reminiscent of "Violence" in intensity, but I'd have liked to have seen it shaken up a bit, as it's broken up into four distinct parts and it could have been a bit more creative in structure. I really enjoy the music in the fast hardcore parts, but the soft intro and the slower interlude later in the track do drag it down a bit, but it'll satiate any old school hardcore need! That's followed by "Carolly", which has sort of a messy opening before moving into hardcore territory, and this one has more variance and different paces and sounds than some of the earlier tracks! John's singing is clearer, there's different speeds and tempos in play, and the bass lines are a bit easier to hear at times, along with some solid guitar solo work at the end of the song! Though not the most consistently fast song on the album, I like the different stuff they did on "Carolly" to make it stand out, and it's an early favourite of mine on The Harsh Heads' album!

The fifth track is "Insane", which is the album's shortest track (just over 90 seconds) and the first of three straight songs under 2 minutes on the CD. Immediately starting with a heavy full band assault, the vocals don't actually kick in until over halfway through the song, but the second half is full of blistering hardcore intensity (and a tiny bass solo!) Given it's length, there isn't a lot to say, but the first half has some solid instrumental work, and the second half stacks up with many of the earlier tracks in aggression, so it's an entertaining little track! Sixth is "Chantelize", which launches right into a fast hardcore sound like many of its predecessors, but with more scattered singing throughout this also short original. The guitar riffing from Bob & Hugh has lots of different flourishes going on throughout, and Aaron's drumming stands out well, but it's not as consistently fast & heavy as some of the earlier songs. Still solid though! Then we have "Wasted Life", which doesn't relent from the start with heavy riffs, nice & clear shouting vocals, and some nice guitar rhythms from start to finish, though the fade out at the end is a bit abrupt, and I was curious to see where this song would go if it lasted 2 or more minutes. It's definitely one of the most consistent songs for it's sound despite it's length, and pound for pound, "Wasted Life" is definitely one of my favourite songs on this CD!

Eighth on "First Hated Then Forgotten" is "S.K.U.D.D." , a 4 minute+ instrumental that may appeal the most to straight punk fans based on it's pacing and style, while still having lots of heavy moshable parts! If anything, this song is the best showcase on the album for The Harsh Heads' musical skills in the mid-1990s, and they do make the most of it with some nice guitar solos, audible bass lines, and fast paced drumming, but there are definitely parts of the song that sound like vocals were intended to be there. I don't know what "S.K.U.D.D." stands for, but this is a nice instrumental glimpse into how talented these guys were way back when! Vocals return on track number nine, "Sk8ter H8ter", which is definitely the fastest song on the album so far! The vocals sound distorted, it's so fast, and I doubt this song would ever go without a moshpit live! It's just a fast relentless (and short) hardcore song, and it's hard to judge compared to some of it's earlier counterparts given the speed and length, but I was entertained by it! My only major gripe is that the end sounds like the song crashed and burned, which is abrupt and dragged out too far, but the bulk of it works very well!

Tenth on this CD is "Social Disease", a more downbeat sounding hardcore sound that even has a bit of a grind essence here and there! The song picks up into familiar faster and energetic territory in the second half, and it flows together well, though the spoken word portion didn't flow with the song's style too well. It's not the most memorable to me of the songs on this album, but it's got some heavy touches and nice late aggression, so it's definitely worth a listen! Then comes "You're Pawning Your Mind, Asshole", which is the longest song on the album at 5:30 in length. After a slow minute long intro, this song kicks into familiar aggression from earlier albums, but the tradeoff between yelling and spoken parts seems to work better here than on earlier tracks, and the choruses have a nice brutal ring to them! 3 minutes in, things get very slow and soft, though well played, before building to a return of the old school hardcore fury of the first half. Honestly, this song is stretched out too far to me, and I'd have slashed the softer parts at least in half or combined them, as this doesn't feel like a song that's best suited to a 5 minute length, but other than that, it works well and has a catchy heaviness that I can appreciate!

The album's penultimate song is "Sunday Morning Fag Fund", and while I again won't judge the song on its title, it opens with a nice bass intro before getting to fast paced hardcore business, with solid fast drumming and aggressive singing, though the vocals do sound strained at times. Honestly, by this point on the album, you've heard stuff like this before, and nothing about it really stands as original compared to earlier tracks (especially given its under 2 minute length), but if it's intense and fast hardcore you crave, this song does deliver, and it's not bad at all! The album closes with "D.M.F.", which opens creatively with some guitar distortion and backing shouts before fading into a drum intro and some familiarly fast and brutal hardcore stylings, including some slightly distorted singing, and it definitely has some more original touches than some earlier tracks, especially with it's scream filled ending that sounds almost like the band's being set on fire! This is a nice end to the album and will suit any lust for The Harsh Heads' brand of music, while showing more variance than some earlier tracks!

So, how do I grade The Harsh Heads' only album? Well, aside from the thanks to the band for finally releasing these recordings after a decade or collecting dust, it's definitely an entertaining album of old school hardcore originals! John Conway's singing was aggressive and suited the material, as did his bass work, while Bob Bromley & Hugh Merz' guitar riffs and occasional solos helped drive each track pretty well! And though better known now for his country/punk singing & guitar work, Aaron Gibbs' drumming was often blistering and he proves his multi-instrumental skills here well! Songs like "Wasted Life", "Violence", and "Carolly" showed them at their aggressively creative best, while "S.K.U.D.D." is a fun showcase at their collective talents as 16 year olds, but this definitely isn't a perfect album (which the band acknowledged in the liner notes.) My main complaint is that, after 13 songs, the overall sound of the album just got very repetitive and many songs tended to sound the same as ones earlier and later. The songs didn't tend to drag, but you really have to appreciate and enjoy hardcore punk to stay into the whole disc without feeling that some songs are the same thing repeated. Luckily, I enjoy this style of music, so I enjoyed the album, but I have a feeling that this material may have played better live, where you could get the full experience of it all.

Also, the spoken word parts didn't work well for me, I'd have liked to have heard more guitar solos, and there were some abrupt stops and occasional mid-song flubs, but for what this album is, it works very well as an old school hardcore punk album from four talented local musicians in their youth! Destroilet fans in particular might enjoy this material, but if this genre is A-OK with you, you'll definitely wanna check The Harsh Heads' only album out, which you can do at the above links, and who knows, maybe we'll get a reunion at some point in the future? That's all for now, but stay tuned for my Hallows Die concert review hopefully tonight, and I'll see you guys at The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for Maximum RNR & openers to be determined for more hardcore punk mayhem! Oh, and remember that next month's CD review (saying it comes out next month as scheduled) will be of Sault Michigan classical metal band Theatre of Night's new album "The Dawn's Early Light", so be on the lookout for it! Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Powerslug & That's Chester) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

It's time to preview this weekend's concerts, but before that, note the banner at the top of the site. Our 5th anniversary is fast approaching, and this year's anniversary surprises come in the form of expansion. How much, how far, and to what? The banner has clues, but the first stages will be revealed on Wednesday, so stay tuned then! As for today's post, we have LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for this weekend across the river and TOMORROW at a local fundraiser that may interest some of you guys, along with previews of the other metal/hard rock concerts tonight & tomorrow, so here's what you need to know! (Updated at 3:28 PM)
I apologize for the short notice on these shows, but I literally only just heard about them a couple of minutes ago. Sault Michigan hard rock trio Powerslug will return to The Corner Pub Bar & Grill TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT for their first concerts since LemmaFest! Drummer Bob Helsten only just announced the shows on his personal Facebook page this afternoon, but with no online pages, it's better late than never to hear word! Apparently, both shows will be outside The Corner Pub, possibly on a patio there, though I'm not sure why this is the case, as The Corner Pub does have an indoor stage. Maybe there's a conflicting event this weekend? No matter the case, Powerslug will bring their talented brand of hard rock back to the live stage tonight and tomorrow, so don't miss them! Admission should be free for both nights, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time seems likely. For more details, visit the above links! Powerslug should deliver some great hard rocking tunes all weekend long, so don't miss them across the river, and for a preview, check out this Facebook video (which I can't embed here) from their Ludington concert weekend earlier this month!

Also in new shows, local classic hard rockers That's Chester are the headlining entertainment at this weekend's Ride For Sight event in Sault Ontario! This long running charity fundraiser for blindness has brought motorcycle riders out on the road for a great cause since 1979, but only this year is it finally debuting in Sault Ste. Marie, so click here for all the details on this great event and how you can support the cause or ride your bike with everyone else! In That's Chester's case, they'll be performing at 9:00 PM TOMORROW NIGHT at The Roberta Bondar Pavilion to close out the Saturday, and they're among three local acts playing this weekend, including local country band Asylum Country tonight and the new local country band High Road (featuring ex-Lion Ride guitarist Marco Pedalino) tomorrow at 4:30 PM. The music is more spread out than you tend to see, but there's plenty of Ride For Sight events happening before and after the bands on Saturday, so it'll all flow! Note that "Social" is credited alongside the bands for entertainment, but I have no idea if that refers to anything musical. As best as I can tell, That's Chester's set under the tent downtown has no admission charge or age limits, and I don't think it's restricted to just Ride For Sight participants. For more details, check the above links and the Facebook event page!

It's great to see That's Chester supporting such a great cause, and it'll be interesting to hear them play at the Pavilion, which is definitely a change from their usual concert spots! I apologize for the short notice on this show too, I only just heard about it yesterday. If you're up to support a great cause, check out some cool motorcycles, and hear some solid local music, head downtown for That's Chester at Ride For Sight tomorrow night! For a preview, here's That's Chester covering Deep Purple's "Highway Star" at Docks a few years ago!

Now to the rest of the weekend previews that we knew about before, starting with a stacked metal concert TONIGHT at The Canadian Nightclub, as five high profile metal bands are coming to melt our faces! Toronto death metal standouts Hallows Die will return to the Soo as headliners, which is bound to interest fans disappointed by their two song set at the Ypres Metal Fest in April, so be prepared for their brutal and melodic take on metal tonight! They're local favourites from a reason dating back to their shows here last year, so don't miss them! Opening for them, we have four notable Northern Ontario metal bands, those being Sudbury improv/comedy death metal trio 85 Pound Poutine (likely featuring Wolven Ancestry's Mark Howitt under a stage name), Sudbury blackened death metal quintet Before The Black Gates, North Bay death metal quartet Buried Out Back (featuring Empyrean Plague guitarist Dave Strba), and local death metal notables The Bear Hunters (guitarist Mitch Sirie is promoting this show), which adds up to a stacked lineup of Ontario metal! Of the openers, 85 Pound Poutine should be very amusing (especially if you can decipher death growling), and B.T.B.G. are a long time coming for a local show, and they should do great, as they're rising fast in their genre!

As for the other bands, Buried Out Back are a group I need to hear clearer audio from, but the videos I've seen show a brutal death metal sound and nice intensity, so they should compare well! And The Bear Hunters, we know very well locally, so I'd expect nothing but the best from them tonight! Also note that this concert does have the feel of an unofficial continuation from the Ypres Metal Fest thanks to it's same venue & familiar lineup (only Before The Black Gates don't have alumni from the event), so if that's some extra incentive to go, keep it in mind! Admission is $10 at the door for tonight's show, it is ALL AGES like other recent metal shows at The Canadian, and everything starts at around 9:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome concert, and I will not miss it for anything, so I hope to see you guys there for all of the Ontario metal mayhem at The Canadian tonight! Check out all of the bands above, I'll see you guys there, and for a preview, here's Hallows Die's opening songs from their set at what's now Coch's Corner last fall!

LinkNow to the only Sault Michigan metal/hard rock shows that I know of this weekend, as Marquette hard rockers Nudge are back in town TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT for another weekend engagement at The Satisfied Frog! Continuing on a recent schedule of playing in the Soo every four weeks, this entertaining cover quartet will be sure to rock The Frog as well as they ever do, and hopefully a good crowd came out for frontman Danzo McCracken's solo shows there over the last two nights! As usual for Nudge's local stops, they'll be on tonight & tomorrow at 10:00 PM, you must be 21 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like another fun weekend from Nudge, and it's always good to see them keeping up a more frequent local schedule than we've been used to in recent months! Their hard rocking covers always pull in a good crowd and response, so don't miss Nudge at The Frog this weekend! For a preview, here's Nudge covering an Ozzy Osbourne classic at a show a few years back!

And finally, brace for impact at The Rockstar Bar tomorrow night, as Maximum RNR are coming back to Sault Ontario! The prolific Toronto hardcore/punk quintet will play their third ever local concert tomorrow, though it will be their first show here outside of the former Foggy Notions, where they previously played in 2002 & 2011, though it'll just be their second with Saultites in their lineup. As you may remember, ex-Lion Ride bassist and former Detroit frontman Brenton "Diamond Brent Panther" Ellis has sang with Maximum RNR since 2010, and they've since been joined by his longtime bandmate (and fellow local talent) Curtis Faux on bass, after replacing Davey Dee in the band last summer. Their relentless energetic hardcore sound will be sure to bring a much needed dose of heavy music to The Rockstar Bar tomorrow, and old Detroit fans will be right at home with Maximum RNR, so don't miss them! The openers for this show were slated to be local country/punk favourites The Billy Bastards, but they revealed on the Facebook event page yesterday that they had to cancel. A reason for their withdrawl wasn't publically revealed, but I heard that frontman Aaron Gibbs became a father a couple days ago (congratulations!), so that could be related. A new opening band is apparently in the works though, so stay tuned to the SMS for updates on that front!

Admission will be $5 for tomorrow's concert, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time is listed. Check the above links for more details! It's great to see Maximum RNR back in town, and I definitely will be there to check them out finally! I was too young in 2002 and was sick last year, so I especially don't wanna miss this show! Stay tuned for updates on the opening band, prepare for some great hardcore/punk (and lots of quick but intense songs), and for a preview, here's Maximum RNR's current lineup playing three songs live last summer!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Hallows Die concert review and our review of The Harsh Heads' CD tomorrow, and much more as we enter July! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Rotaryfest Second Stage), A Newly Added/Reunited Local Band, And Is Metal On This Year?

Hey guys, in our first post of the day, we're dedicating things to this year's Rotaryfest entertainment! While not all of the schedules are out, one notable one is out that has SMS-connections, so we have LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next month downtown, which include a new addition to our band links (very overdue at that) via a recent band reunion, and a Rotaryfest headliners' return, along with news on the quest for metal there, so here's all that you need to know so far!

The official schedule for this year's Rotaryfest Second Stage has been announced, and after a one year absence, metal & hard rock is back! Not as much as the "Bring Metal to Rotaryfest" campaign from this spring was likely hoping, but what we're getting is notable in itself, so here's who's on tap! The festivities begin on Friday, July 20th, and the co-headliners are the newly reunited local blues/hard rock quartet Sailor's Tongue! The talented local band (originally active from roughly 2005-2009) are advertised as returning for on the Second Stage this year, which may be their first show in almost three years! We actually didn't have Sailor's Tongue on the site's band links before, probably because I figured they weren't heavy enough, but after listening to their material again, they definitely warrant a spot on the site with their bluesy take on hard rock originals, and it made me remember when I saw them a few times locally during their initial run! As you may remember, Sailor's Tongue were fronted by prolific local musician Kyle McKey on vocals & guitar, and he was joined by fellow Turner Up alumnus Jeff Brown on guitar, bassist Blake Jackson, and Kyle's brother Dean on drums, though whether this exact lineup is reuniting or not isn't clear, especially as their online pages haven't acknowledged the reunion yet.

Sailor's Tongue are advertised for an 8:30 PM set on July 20th, right before the headliners, Juno nominated Ottawa indie rock quartet Hollerado at 9:30 PM. The Friday lineup, which is shorter than the Saturday roster as usual, is rounded out by local rockers The Craig West Band (last seen on the second stage in 2010) at 7:30 PM, local indie rock quintet The Tenagens (who recently resurfaced last month) at 6:30 PM, and local solo artist (and original Stillbroke member) Joseph Kargiannakis opening things at 5:30 PM. As always, admission is FREE & ALL AGES for the Friday portion of the Tenaris Second Stage, and like last year, the stage should be set up on Queen Street East outside of The Grand Theater, and not far from the new Case's Music either. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Sounds like a talented lineup, and definitely more local leaning than last year's Friday lineup, so keep the first night of the Second Stage in mind! As for Sailor's Tongue, their Aerosmith-inspired sound has a lot of nice hard rock flourishes and tons of catchy rhythms, and though Kyle's voice as a lead singer doesn't always flow with the material, his range is definitely fitting of their talents, and I'm surprised I've missed featuring them on the site for this long! They're here now though, and don't miss their return at Rotaryfest on July 20th!

As for the Saturday portion of the Tenaris Second Stage, metal is definitely back, as Garden of Bedlam are returning to the outdoor Queen Street stage on July 21st! This will be their second headlining slot at the Second Stage, having headlined in 2010 as well, and just like then, they'll be the absolute last band rocking out on the stage outside of The Grand Theater, and it adds to a notable stretch of concerts next month, joining their Anvil support slot at The Canadian 4 days afterward! Garden of Bedlam will headline this FREE & ALL AGES concert on July 21st with a 10:00 PM timeslot, with 8 local and out of town bands opening for them, so here they are in descending order: Local blues/roots trio Al Wood & The Woodsmen will return from last year to play second last at 9:00 PM once again, while the highest slotted out of town band will be British Columbia folk/indie quintet Shred Kelly at 8:00 PM. A band that I can find nothing on called Paul D & The Double Down are up at 7:00 PM that night, so I'm not positive on their genre, hometown, or members, but if I find out, I'll be sure to let you guys know! North Bay alternative/folk trio The Faraway Neighbours and local solo artist Kelly McGillivray will follow them at 6:00 & 5:00 PM respectively.

The Saturday lineup is rounded out by local roots rockers Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect (another returning band from last year) at 4:00 PM, folk/country standouts Porter (also back from 2011) at 3:00 PM, and ex-Blackwater frontman Cody MacMillan (now of The Moves & The Vig) opening up that day's entertainment at 2:00 PM. The admission details are the same as Friday (sans the timeslots), but check the above links for all of the current details and to check out the bands! It's great to see Garden of Bedlam back, and a nice presence of newer talent from previous years amongst the full lineups! The Facebook event page hypes that 8 of the 14 bands are new to the Second Stage this year, which is nice for some diversity, and I'm glad to see more local bands than some years have had! Also to note, the event page also mentions that there will be after parties at LopLops Lounge (seconds from the stage) featuring some of the out of town bands after the outdoor entertainment wraps up, so check the above links for details on that. This should be another successful Second Stage, so definitely keep it in mind, whether it be for the heavier bands or the whole shebang, and I'll have updates if and when they roll in!

Now, with the Second Stage lineup officially announced, supporters of the Bring Metal To Rotaryfest movement & Facebook group may be wondering what will become of that, now that the only heavier bands are the two mentioned above and potentially some heavier cover acts on the main stage, whose lineup has yet to be announced. Well, when I inquired on the Bring Metal To Rotaryfest Facebook group last night, Bear Hunters/Borderline Divine guitarist Mitch Sirie (who spearheaded the movement) commented that he has some things in mind and will try and scramble something together, though whether it will have official Rotaryfest branding or be a separate intentionally timed event is yet to be determined. Some fans may remember the Sinister Stage at the former Foggy Notions last summer that Frightlight, Machines Dream, and Greg Callaghan played at concurrently with Rotaryfest down the road, so the idea of an unaffiliated show isn't foreign, but we'll have to see what happens. Metal deserves a wider presence at our local summer festival, and hopefully, if nothing else, a big metal show somewhere can go down while Rotaryfest itself takes place, so I will of course keep you guys posted on any metal-related bands and shows over the July 21st weekend in Sault Ontario!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews this morning or afternoon, including another new show! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

LemmaFest Videos, Skeyes Of Seven's New Drummer, And This Week's Classic Video!!

Let's mix stories from both sides of the border into this post after a stretch of nationally separated posts, so here's what's in store! Today, we have this week's classic video, a new local band's new drummer, and leading things off, lots of new media from a pair of bands' recent sets at a notable local music festival! Read on below for all the news, and check out this month's Saultites in Out of Town Bands Profile on RedStone Riot in the post below this one! (Updated on Thursday at 1:37 AM)

Most of Brimley metal trio Half A Man's set from LemmaFest this past Saturday is now on YouTube to check out! Frontman Erik Rintamaki uploaded four video files featuring the audio from their festival-opening set outside of Dondee Lanes onto his YouTube channel over the last few days, which make up the first new live concert media of Half A Man since their last shows as a quartet last spring! Note that these are accompanied by photos of the band and related images, including plenty from LemmaFest (even the other bands), which will hopefully make up for the lack of video footage somewhat. The first video, which is embedded below, features their originals "Slow Rock 75", "Cripple", and "Drunk", while the second video features a cover of Prong's "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" and their originals "Don't Blame Me" and "Bad Way". The third video features Half A Man playing "Die In Disgrace" and their new songs "What If" and "Reborn", and the final video features the guys playing another new song "Clear", their Mike Lemma tribute song "Goodbye", and their original "Life Goes On", so click each of the above links to hear most of their LemmaFest set!

It's great to hear their set, and they sound really heavy here, even despite the lack of a second guitarist! If there was any stage rust, their show at The Bird on Friday probably shook it off. Video footage aside, I only really have two complaints: The crowd sounded extremely small (they were the first band though) and the recording doesn't include their set openers "Freedom Ride" & "Release Me", but the vast majority is still documented! It's awesome to get some media from any band at LemmaFest, let alone of this length, and their gritty and very heavy material should definitely get some due notice! Also in new LemmaFest videos: Infathom guitarist Sean Hayes posted two videos of the Munising metal band (well, 4/5ths of them) from their LemmaFest set onto his personal Facebook page, which are the first videos of a metal band I've seen from either year! As Facebook videos, I can't embed them here, but they're of Infathom's covers of Pantera's "Domination" and Shinedown's "The Sound of Madness", so click the above links or here to check them out. They sound very heavy and a nice change of pace, but there was some timing issues on the Pantera cover.

Solid stuff, and hopefully they play here again sooner rather than later, so check all of the above videos out, and the first recordings from Half A Man's LemmaFest set below!

Next up, new local hard rock band Skeyes of Seven have announced the addition of Cherry Crush drummer Jonny Amendola to their lineup, replacing Chris Thompson. The band confirmed his addition to their lineup on Monday on their Facebook page, and they've indicated that he will be with the band for their debut performance at the Anvil concert at The Canadian Nightclub on July 25th. Jonny is perhaps best known locally for his work with Cherry Crush (alongside his dad, veteran local bassist John Amendola), but you may also remember a well publicized campaign earlier this year to see Jonny join a metal or hard rock band locally, which eventually helped lead to a brief stint as Acention's drummer, but hopefully joining Skeyes of Seven will lead to some big things for him! Playing with members of notable bands like Sense of Truth, Half Past, and Tripod the Dog can only help, and his talent from the YouTube videos we've seen of his drum covers is clear as day, so check his work out above, and buy your Anvil tickets A.S.A.P. at The Rad Zone, Music Depot, and The Canadian's front desk for $20!

And finally for today, here's this week's classic video! This week, we're focusing on a band that's not local for a change, but seeing as they have Saultites in their lineup and are returning to town on Saturday night, it makes sense to post a new video of theirs onto YouTube, and the band in question is Toronto hardcore/punk quintet Maximum RNR! The band currently featuring former Detroit/The Labour Of... bandmates Brenton "Diamond Brent Panther" Ellis and Curtis Faux have played here twice in the past, but their first stop with any local members was on February 19th, 2011 at Foggy Notions (now Coch's Corner), in one of the last major metal shows under the Foggy's name. Featuring their 2010-2011 lineup (including ex-bassist Davey Dee, as Curtis hadn't joined yet), they melted many faces at their show here last year, and while I missed the show with a cold, I heard awesome things from it! One video from the concert has surfaced online that I can tell, which was shot by Brent's former Lion Ride bandmate Mikey Hawdon from a unique angle: Behind the band on stage, which gives an awesome view of a huge crowd, and though we don't see the band from a typical position, their fast paced hardcore sounds come through somewhat on this camera, even if the video is short!

Posted onto Facebook 5 days after this show, you can see the original video at NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED!! All credit for this video goes to Maximum RNR and Mikey, I'm just trying to share this video with a wider audience like it deserves! This is a nice unique video of Maximum RNR delivering their maximum rock n' roll to their Saultite fans, so check it out below, let me know the title of the song if you have it, and stay tuned for Round 3 on Saturday night at The Rockstar Bar, with our preview of that show coming tomorrow or Friday!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews, more news, and our review of The Harsh Heads' album by the end of the week! Thanks everyone!

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: RedStone Riot

Hey guys, I apologize for the delay on this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile, but I was busy with some family stuff most of yesterday. Now it's up though, so here's our monthly look at a metal or hard rock band from outside of the Soo that just happen to feature a past or present Saultite in their lineup! This month's choice is a long time coming, mainly due to a wait for online material, but now we're giving them a deserved look in this feature series on the SMS, so here's what you need to know! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
RedStone Riot (Muskegon, Michigan)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics)

Rachel Kiger (vocals)
Tony Hulings (guitar)
Dexx Brown (guitar)
Ryan Harrison (bass)
Wally David (drums)

Brock Warber (guitar)
Ryan Fluharty (guitar)

Official website:
Official Facebook page:

Local Info: Two former Sault Michigan-area residents were in RedStone Riot's most recent lineup, those being former Elipzis bandmates Rachel Kiger and Ryan Harrison. Though well known respectively from earlier local music projects (like Rachel's solo work and Ryan's stint as frontman for Riot! By Night), they attained much greater recognition locally with Elipzis, whose 2010-2011 run saw them record some entertaining original material and play numerous high profile concerts both locally and in the Lower Peninsula, including a memorable early set at the Kewadin Casino 25th Anniversary Summer Festival! Last year, Rachel & Ryan moved to Muskegon and dissolved Elipzis shortly afterwards, but they soon found themselves in RedStone Riot!

Band Bio: RedStone Riot were launched in July 2011 following Elipzis' disbandment, with Rachel, Ryan, and final Elipzis drummer Wally David joining forces with Muskegon guitarists Brock Warber (Kill Tomorrow) and Tony Hulings (Wally's ex-One Past Mars bandmate) in this new group. They made their first live concert appearances at The Corner Pub in Sault Michigan over the August 12th, 2011 weekend, but news slowed for the remainder of the year. RedStone Riot resurfaced in February of this year in Muskegon, before focusing on some studio work, which helped result in their first original song "Lifeless Disguise". From mid-2012 to mid-2013, the band saw their biggest activity yet, including sets opening for Pop Evil & Smile Empty Soul, a return to Sault Michigan in July 2012, and the beginnings of recording sessions for their debut CD. After a year long hiatus related to health concerns, the band returned to the stage in July 2014, but singer Rachel Kiger left the band the following month, briefly signalling the band's demise, but as of August 16th, they're "down, but not out."

Though there isn't a lot of media from RedStone Riot online yet, the members' work in bands like Elipzis and One Past Mars are good harbingers for their melodic female fronted hard rock sound, and their song "Lifeless Disguise" is a nice glimpse of what to expect! It's not the heaviest song, but it demonstrates RedStone Riot's collective talents, including Rachel's melodic well-ranged singing, nice guitar work, and a catchy melody, though the production doesn't help the guitar volume much. I imagine we'll hear and see a lot more from them soon, but check out the members' older bands for a preview of what's to come if you can't see them live imminently! Among a few other live videos, here's one of RedStone Riot covering most of Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" at the Muskegon Rockstock Festival in June 2012, and though there is some vocal shakiness, it's a solid cover, so check out RedStone Riot live below!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we'll look at prolific Saultie (and current Windsor resident) Ash Richtig once again, this time for his recently inactive metal project Under Earth, which should be interesting despite the project's lack of activity, so look out for it between July 23rd and 29th! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post later today! Thanks everyone!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Skeyes Of Seven's Debut, Local Band Lineup Changes/Notes, And This Month's CD Review!!

Alright, let's get back to some Sault Ontario stories today! In this post, we have the identity of our next CD review, a pile of lineup notes for a few local bands (including some lingering questions about just who is in one band), and leading things off, when you can see a new local band for the first time, so here's what you need to know! (Updated at 4:29 PM)

A new local hard rock band will make their long awaited debut next month, as Skeyes of Seven have been confirmed as the third local opening band for Toronto metal legends Anvil's headlining concert at The Canadian Nightclub on July 25th! They were quietly added to the Facebook event page's lineup within the last few days, and they should be the first band playing that night, before Anvil, Frightlight, and Garden of Bedlam. In case you've forgotten, Skeyes of Seven is the new band featuring former Sense of Truth bandmates Cory Murchison & Ron Baxter on vocals and guitar alongside Half Past guitarist Alain Fletcher and former Tripod the Dog/Genghis Khan bassist Mike Mannarino, and it'll be awesome to see the guys finally hitting the stage! Notably, this will be Cory & Ron's first live concert since they opened for Lion Ride in May 2010 at The Canadian, so it's been a very long time coming for them especially (and what better way to return than by opening for Anvil?!) Note however that they have yet to confirm who their new drummer is (founding drummer Chris Thompson left this spring), but you'd have to imagine one will be announced within the next month. Stay tuned for more on Skeyes of Seven as I hear it!

As for the Anvil show, tickets are still available at The Rad Zone at Wellington Square Mall, Music Depot on Gore Street, and The Canadian Nightclub's front desk for just $20, which is a huge value for the band's you'll be seeing! There's also some tickets available at The Rad Zone, Music Depot, and The Roosevelt Hotel for the 3 Inches of Blood show on July 9th for $10, so pick them up A.S.A.P. before they're gone! Check the above links for more details on both of these J.D. Pearce-promoted concerts, and click here for SooToday's brief article on the 3IOB show! No mention of the local openers specifically, but some press is better than none at all!

Next up, here's some lineup notes concerning the recently relaunched band March Into Regression. First, from what I've seen, I think the previously referenced Josh & Jeremy might be Bear Hunters guitarist/ex-Bring The Fallen singer Josh Stephney and Like Father Like Son/ex-Lorax frontman Jeremy Hannah. Nothing 100% official has confirmed them as being in the band, but Jeremy posted mobile photos onto Facebook of most of March Into Regression outdoors at what looks like the F.A.T.I.L. Gathering in Laird that they returned at. If they are actually band members, I don't know if they're both singing, or if one is on guitar, or some combination, but it'd be nice to see them singing in a metal band again after so long! The other lineup news is another question mark, as though March Into Regression's Facebook page doesn't list him as a band member anymore, bassist Tyler St. Amour is featured alone in their current profile picture. Plus, he was tagged in this photo last month with guitarists Ray Cowan & Christopher Neveau that is credited to M.I.R., despite recent implications that Dan Souliere was now their bassist. So, how much of this is right, now wrong, or always wrong?

Personally, unless they update their Facebook lineup, I'll believe their current lineup when I see it, which could come next Thursday night when they play their first Sault Ste. Marie gig in over a year at the next Rosie metal night! Hopefully I'll see you guys there, and stay tuned for more M.I.R. news! Leading from bands that have involved Tyler St. Amour, here's some more concrete lineup news concerning his other band, local metal act Social Suicide! Apparently, they've reverted to their original lineup for the most part, as Anthony Boudreau has returned on guitar and Keeghan Rosso is back on drums, indicating that Ray Cowan, Andres Duchesne, and Storm Perry are all out of the band. A reason for these lineup changes has not been announced, but hopefully the new/old lineup works well in the future, and best of luck to the former members! Tyler is still fronting the band, though he's swapped the bass for the guitar, and according to a Facebook page posting last week, they have a new bassist to go along with new originals and plans for future shows. The new bassist has not been revealed yet, but hopefully the guys got someone that fits their sound well, and stay tuned for more Social Suicide news as it comes in!

And finally, I'd like to confirm that this month's CD review at The Sault Metal Scene will be The Harsh Heads' only CD "First Hated, Then Forgotten"! I've opted to pick this archive review for two reasons: Nothing new has came out this month for local metal/hard rock bands in terms of official packaged albums (the week ahead has nothing likely either), and Harsh Heads' members Aaron Gibbs and John Conway return to the stage with their current band The Billy Bastards on Saturday night when they open for Maximum RNR, so it neatly ties in with that show! As you may remember, The Harsh Heads were a prominent old school hardcore/punk band in the early 1990s, and their two unreleased 1994 demos later got a posthumous CD release in 2005, which is what we'll review this month! How has it held up 18 years after it's recording? We'll know by Saturday, so keep an eye out for this month's CD review, and as for next month? Barring a delay for when it comes out, I hope to look at Theatre of Night's second album "The Dawn's Early Light" given it's planned July 1st release. If we review it next month, it'll be our third Sault Michigan CD review in four months, which will be interesting, so watch out for that hopefully, and our review of "First Hated, Then Forgotten" this week!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on RedStone Riot TOMORROW, along with much more news! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

LemmaFest Fallout, Chris Hubbard News, And A Local Band's Likely Inactivity!!

The blitz of Sault Michigan-centric posts continues today with our third all-American post in the past three days! In this case, we have news on a local guitarist's latest band project and performance video, the likely negative status of a local hard rock band, but first, here's some notable early fallout from a big recent concert event! (Edited on Monday at 12:22 AM)

Let's start with some fallout from yesterday's second annual LemmaFest outside of Dondee Lanes, and by all accounts I've heard so far, the event went great! A nice big photo album has been posted onto Brimley metal trio Half A Man's Facebook page featuring over 300 photos from the event, so we can get some insights into what happened and the differences from last year, so here's what I've noticed! This year, the stage was covered (unlike last year), which is handy to provide some shade and rain protection, but I believe the weather was clear all day. Half A Man got nicely varied photos of each outdoor band except themselves (understandably) and indie rock quartet The London Gentlemen, as the band was hauling gear during their set. The photos also include a Brimley-based solo musician named Caitlin LeBlanc, who appears to have been a late lineup addition before Chump Change's set. Even without advance word, I can tell that she is a talented young singer/guitarist thanks to the videos on her YouTube channel, which includes two from LemmaFest, the first I've ever seen from either year on YouTube. Feel free to check out her videos, she definitely can go places in the area for her genre!

Other notes from the photos: Munising metal band Infathom played as a quartet last night (guitarist Josh Stadler currently lives out of state), Half A Man were indeed selling some type of demo CD at the event (looks similar to the demo that Elipzis sold in 2010), Bucksaw's lineup appears to be the same as last year's (no word on their genre or possible online pages though), there were speakers on stage this year before the last two outdoor bands (possibly Mike Lemma's family?), Half A Man drummer Mikey Bishop joined Infathom on stage later in their set (no word on if he played anything though), and there were some nice aesthetic touches among the outdoor setup, including a floating lantern and a LemmaFest 2012 banner that the bands and attendees signed once again. Check the above links to see all of the new photos! Everything sounds like it went great for the second annual LemmaFest, and hopefully next year's event is even bigger and better! Mike would be proud of everything that happened last night, I'm sure! Stay tuned for more fallout from LemmaFest as it comes in, including hopefully some more videos and clarification to any lingering questions!

Next up, here's some news relating to talented local guitarist Chris Hubbard! The Nixxon Dixxon alum is apparently working on a new original project with former Splitshot bandmate Dave Menard named Hubbard-Menard that are apparently planning to release an album of some type! Now, album plans for local bands can mean anything from a full release to just a collected free posting, so we'll have to see if this ever gets compiled for sale, but Chris announced on his personal Facebook page that he's hoping to release this all on CD by "the end of the month". The Hubbard-Menard project will feature Dave on vocals and Chris on all instruments, and instrumental demos of three original songs have been posted onto Facebook at this location, but as Facebook video files, I can't embed them here. They definitely sound promising and have a nice heavy sound with proficient guitar work, and they sound a bit heavier than Nixxon Dixxon's originals did, but I'm especially curious to hear Dave's singing voice with this material. Splitshot never posted media from their run, so he's still a wild card in some ways, but hopefully the guys can create some magic in this new project! Stay tuned for more on the Hubbard-Menard project as I hear of it, including hopefully an online page or something similar!

That said, what's the current status of Chris' local hard rock band Trail's End? I'm not entirely sure, but it's not looking good. The band formed last fall by Chris and his ex-Nixxon Dixxon/Splitshot bandmates Kyle Beaumont & Jake LaLonde have been relatively quiet on the local scene since late January, with their online pages never acknowledging their announced Kewadin Casino dates in February and April. I also haven't seen any of the three guys refer to Trail's End on their respective Facebook pages since the winter, with Chris' current original work with Dave Menard and Kyle & Jake's new band The London Gentlemen seeming to be their primary focuses right now. With that all put into consideration, plus the lack of announced future dates, I've decided to move Trail's End to our inactive Sault Michigan band links, but if I hear anything relating to a return, I'll be sure to move them back! Chris, Kyle, and Jake have recorded a lot of great music in the past few years, and even if Trail's End didn't take off as fast as their older work did, their older bands and the successes they hit will be sure to remain high in our minds, and hopefully they continue to keep on the right path in their next musical steps!

We'll end this post on a related positive note, as Chris posted a new solo performance video onto his YouTube channel last week! It's of Chris covering another Van Halen song ("She's The Woman"), but like some of his other videos, it's not showcasing him as much as his equipment, this time his wide array of pedals & switches. He plays this song excellently, and he definitely shows is deep Van Halen appreciation here, but even though I understand showcasing his gear, it'd be cool to see him playing this cover as well. Check it out below, and stay tuned for much more material and news from Chris' music work!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

March Into Regression Updates, A New Solo Recording, And This Week's Classic Video!!

Time for some more news on the site, and after a day full of Sault Michigan news and this month's YouTube Channel Profiles from this afternoon (in the post below this one), we have some more overdue news from Sault Ontario to get to! Tonight, we have this week's classic video (overdue, I know, but I wasn't in town half the week) and a new audio upload from a local musician, but first, here's some more big news relating to a recently reunited local metal band!

In case you guys didn't see my late notice post on our Facebook page yesterday, local death metal band March Into Regression made their return to the stage last night at the F.A.T.I.L. Gathering in Laird! As such, it was the band's first concert since their name change from Unleash The Blackened Sky and their first official live show since the Shaw TV-filmed 21st Rosie metal night last June, when they were known as Bring The Misery. It's great to see them back after such a long hiatus, and hopefully they can build on their slow start last summer and show their real potential! As such, they've also been announced as the third band at next Thursday's 47th Roosevelt Hotel metal night, where they'll open for The Valentine's Day Massacre (featuring their former singer Steve Rhodes) and local hardcore quartet Changing Waves. My source is that show's Facebook event page. Nice addition, and I definitely intend to head to The Rosie next Thursday to check out their first Sault Ontario show in over a year! That said, how does their lineup look? Their Facebook page still only lists guitarist Ray Cowan and drummer Travis St. Amour (both holdovers from last year's lineups) as being in their incarnation, but some other recent Facebook postings have indicated other members!

According to a comment on the Facebook event page wall for their next show, the band's new second guitarist is named Christopher Neveau, and I'm not familiar with him musically at all, but hopefully he's got the chops to hang with the rest of the guys in March Into Regression! Former guitarist Dan Souliere (who played at their first show last June before initially leaving) is back in the band as well, though he's now M.I.R.'s bassist, and from what I know, he'll do just fine in that role! Christopher also credited "Josh" and "Jeremy" as band members, but I don't have 100% confirmation if they're in, who they are, or what they play. Bear Hunters guitarist Josh Stephney would make the most sense for the former, given his singing past with Dan and Travis in Bring The Fallen, but I've seen nothing concrete crediting him or anyone named Jeremy as being in March Into Regression. I'll keep you guys posted as I hear more, but I'm not entirely surprised the lineup isn't updated yet, as Unleash The Blackened Sky were slow to announce lineup changes last summer too. Even still, I'm curious to hear how M.I.R. sound after a year's absence and retooling, so stay tuned for updates on their lineup and more as they come in, and don't miss them at The Rosie next Thursday!

Next up, here's a new audio track from ex-Sneaky Pete guitarist Mario Carlucci! Entitled "The Fury", it was uploaded to his YouTube channel earlier today, and it's a solid instrumental composition! Heavier without being too fast, it's got a nice melodic pacing and his talent is well used, though the backing drum track is way over done. It sounds like he put in double the hits than a song of this style needs, bu
t it's nice to see Mario keeping busy while we wait for his next band project, so check out "The Fury" below! (Also, on an ironic note, did anyone notice that this guitar-driven song shares the same name with the old local band The Fury, who had no guitarists? Just thought that was worth mentioning!)

And finally, here's this week's classic video! With LemmaFest and the F.A.T.I.L. Gathering going down this week, it made sense to focus on one of the bands playing at either event for this week, and we actually found ourselves drifting back to March Into Regression again for a connected video this time around (more specifically, drummer Travis St. Amour.) Years before re-entering the local scene, Travis was gaining a strong local name as the drummer for the young local metal band Fountain of Betrayal during their late 2000s run, alongside his brother/sometimes bandmate Tyler (now of Social Suicide) on vocals & bass, and guitarists Chris West and one I can't 100% verify (first name possibly Ryan?) They peaked with a victory at the 2008 Case's Music Battle of the Bands, but this classic video comes from a later set from Fountain of Betrayal at a December 21st, 2008 Case's Music event with other bands formed and linked to Case's Music's Rock Camp. Two videos were filmed during their set by attendee Kelly Godson, and while one was of their cover of "The 12 Days of Christmas" (fitting given when this event took place), this video is of F.O.B. covering The Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)", and for their ages then, it doesn't sound too bad!

Originally posted at, it's a bit rough around the edges, and the higher tuning makes the song sound jollier than it probably should, but given how young the guys were back in 2008, you can't be too harsh. The guys (especially the St. Amour brothers) have grown a lot as musicians since the Fountain of Betrayal days, but this is still worth checking out for a nice rendition of a hard rock classic, so check it out below, and keep an eye out for Travis & Tyler's current bands!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes shortly, including hopefully some LemmaFest fallout, and this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile later this week! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Dutters23, StateOfMisery2011, and mdj60'sChannels

Six months after we last covered this many channels in our YouTube Channel Profile Series, we're once again giving three YouTube channels with a minimal amount of local metal-relevant videos a look this month! I apologize again for the day's delay, I didn't want to overshadow some news that had to go up yesterday. Thanks to random selection and the need to fill out the post due to the channel's size, we're profiling the videos, information, and other stuff on these three YouTube channels so you know why you should check them out, so without any further adieu, read on below for this month's profiles! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
Dutters23's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user Dutters23 (Real name unknown, though he is Canadian)

Channel Timeline: Launched on September 9th, 2006; Videos posted in April & May 2012

Channel Summary: Though I can't verify if dutters23 ever lived here, his YouTube channel was half comprised of the opening songs from local doom metal notables Woods of Ypres' final recorded album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", before all of his videos were quietly deleted for unannounced reasons in late 2012. Previous plans were to upload a different album there every Tuesday, but after uploading all 3 songs from Between The Buried & Me's 2011 EP "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" in April, his only other uploads since were "Lightning & Snow", "Death Is Not An Exit", and "Keeper of the Ledger" from "W5". As a "Woods V" source, this was fairly redundant given that other channels have these songs in ample supply, but these are still quality doom metal tracks from the late David Gold! My favourite of the three songs is "Lightning & Snow", but I'll embed the most popular of Dutters23's uploads here ("Keeper of the Ledger", this version courtesy of Mohammed Yaseen), and check the rest of the above links for active YouTube copies of the songs that Dutters23 posted!

StateOfMisery2011's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user Ashley Lacasse (niece of ex-Half Past bassist Arthur Lacasse), though the channel is credited under the name of local death metal band State of Misery

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 3rd, 2011; Videos posted that same day

Channel Summary: I can't confirm whether this was an official YouTube channel for the band, but Ashley Lacasse launched this channel 3 days after State of Misery's set at Foggy Notions (now Coch's Corner) on New Year's Eve 2010, where they joined Winkstinger, The Bear Hunters, and Sativa Rose for a night of metal mayhem! Their original & final lineup was present for this early show of theirs, and Ashley filmed their songs "Don't Break The Silence" and what I think is "Bleed" during their set, though both video titles only credit the band name & the live New Years' setting. The quality isn't bad on these videos, though the lighting is very red, and the audio is fairly scratchy. Still, these are pretty good compared to their other 2010 clips, so check them out above, but note that the channel isn't in active use now. As it's the most popular of the two (with over 200 views), here's "Bleed" from New Years Eve 2010!

mdj60's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user and Sault Ontario resident Mark Jones

Channel Timeline: Launched on March 1st, 2007; Videos posted between December 2009 & October 2010

Channel Summary: Mark has used his channel actively since it's 2007 inception, but he's only posted three videos to date, both from a pair of major local concerts in Sault Ontario in 2009 & 2010. One is from Canadian rapper K'naan playing his hit single "Waving Flag" at the Kiwanis Community Theater on October 5th, 2010 during that year's Algoma Fall Festival, but the other videos are from Norwood, Ontario hard rock quartet Three Days Grace's second headlining concert at The Essar Center from December 8th, 2009! Both are fairly short, with neither crossing a minute in length, but they're filmed from a good angle (despite it's distance from the stage), and the audio quality is clearer than you'd expect! One video is just of the pyro and end of one of their songs, but embedded below is 54 seconds of 3DG playing their hit single "Break", and it sounds good with a nice crowd reaction from what I can tell. Though I liked their first show here better, this is a nice clip from their 2009 stop here, so check out Mark's concert videos above & below, especially if you like Three Days Grace or K'naan!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month, we're actually gonna do 3 channels again, as the first YouTube channel I randomly chose only had one video, so I kept adding more until we got enough to fill at least 3 different videos' worth! So our next YouTube Channel Profiles on or around July 22nd will include Garden of Bedlam's original YouTube channel (featuring one 2009 video), former Skull After Betrayal frontman Mike Vincent's YouTube channel (featuring two S.A.B. videos from a 2011 jam session), and YouTube user taylortrecroce's channel, featuring 2 more videos from Three Days Grace's show here in 2009! The joys of random selection, I suppose! Stay tuned for that next month, and more news tonight! Thanks everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2012

LemmaFest 2012 Extended Preview!!

After a successful first installment last year, the second annual LemmaFest goes down TOMORROW at the outdoor stage outside of Dondee Lanes in Sault Michigan, so here's an extended preview of it for this post! This annual festival in memory of late Dondee employee Michael Lemma will go down all day tomorrow with all kinds of activities for fans and revelers, including $1 bowling offers, prize draws, drink specials, food by donation, and shirt & mug sales for the event, though volleyball & horseshoe games from last year aren't advertised this year that I can tell. Check the above links for more on the non-musical aspects of tomorrow's event, and we'll get to the admission details in a bit, but how about tomorrow night's performers? 8 bands have been scheduled for this year's LemmaFest, down from 10 last year, but this helps facilitate both longer sets and easier set up and tear down time, so this should all work out well! Plus, there's been a LOT less lineup changes, with no bands dropping out and only one timeslot being switched, luckily! I believe Grooves Music are also on hand to take care of the sound for tomorrow's bands. The lineup is full of veterans from last year and some newer talent, including a greater local concentration, so here's who's on tap for this year in chronological order!

This year's opening band (right at 12:00 PM) is Brimley metal trio Half A Man (pictured), fresh off of their first show in 13 months TONIGHT at The Bird, and with a hard hitting metal sound (complete with their Lemma tribute song "Goodbye"), you know they'll set the tone really well for this year's event, especially after missing last year's LemmaFest! Also note that they may have a CD of some form available, and some merchandise proceeds will go to area firefighters, which is an awesome gesture! Following them at 1:30 PM are new local indie cover band The London Gentlemen, whose singer/guitarists Mike Russo & Steve Sivret played second last year as well with their acoustic band Fallen Heroes. However, The London Gentlemen also feature Trail's End/ex-Nixxon Dixxon bandmates Kyle Beaumont & Jake LaLonde on bass & drums, but despite their metal pedigrees, this new band won't be too heavy from what I know. Still, they're a talented quartet, so don't miss them, and if I hear anything good or bad on Trail's End's recently quiet status, I'll have it here! Third up tomorrow at 3:00 PM are the local rock cover band Chump Change (fronted by Terry Talentino, who was 3rd last year as well with the inactive acoustic band 2PumpChump), and they have a nice mix of covers from many genres for their fans tomorrow in a rare afternoon concert for them. Think of 2PumpChump plugged in with a full band, and you'll get a good idea of what to expect!

The 4:30 slot tomorrow belongs to local hard rock trio Powerslug, whose members performed at LemmaFest last year in both River Witch & Great Bodily Harm. Expect an entertaining hard rock set from the two Chris' and Orb tomorrow, as the talent's there, even if the online pages aren't (and click here for a rare video of Powerslug in action!) After them, the fifth band at 6:00 PM is the local rock band Bucksaw, who I know very little on, despite returning from last year's LemmaFest at the exact same timeslot. I know their lineup last year included guitarists Bill Ogston (ex-Blind Baby) and Ryan Franklin (a local boxer), bassist Barney Gravelle, and drummer Jason VanLuven (also in Chump Change), but is that the same this year? Do they have online pages or media? Are they even hard rock? If I ever find anything more on Bucksaw, you know I'll have it here! Sixth is the only non-local band at this year's LemmaFest, that being Munising metal quintet Infathom (pictured), who played right after Bucksaw last year as well. Featuring former Half A Man singer Dillion Semasky, this will be Infathom's first announced show of 2012, and they're sure to build on their brutal sound and good local notices with another entertaining set of covers and originals tomorrow night at 7:30 PM!

The outdoor portion of LemmaFest will be headlined by the return of local metal trio Scofflaw (featuring Barney Gravelle from Bucksaw) at 9:00 PM, who will play their first announced local concert since October tomorrow! After a successful set at last year's LemmaFest, look for Jeff, Barney, and Ivan to melt faces with their rough but entertaining metal assault tomorrow night! As Scofflaw begin their set, local southern rock cover trio The Hixx will play a standard Saturday night set inside The Dondee to close the festival, just like last year, though they aren't playing an earlier outside set this time around. Their dependable and oft-seen party music will be a great way to end the evening, so don't miss The Hixx inside at the end of the night! Now, if you're planning on going, here's some attendance details. Tickets are $10 in advance at The Dondee, Grooves Music, and The Merchant's Bar, but the price jumps to $15 at the door. All times are above for when the bands play, and while the event itself is ALL AGES, attendees under 21 years old can't be in the Dondee's bar or the fenced in area after 8:00 PM. For more details, including individual merchandise and drink pricing, visit the official Facebook event page!

This sounds like an awesome festival for a great cause, especially seeing as some proceeds will go towards the Grosse Point Music Camp this summer in Sault Michigan, so click here for more details! Mike Lemma would definitely be proud of everyone coming out for this year's festival in his memory, and with 5 returning bands (and only one with no performers from last year), the synergy and talent will go a long way tomorrow! For metalheads, half the lineup (plus one if Bucksaw count) are hard rock or metal, so there's no shortage of music up your alley if you come out to LemmaFest, which will be worth every penny! Check the above links for more on the festival and each band tomorrow, and for a preview, here's Scofflaw playing their original song "Love Destroyer" circa 2008!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's YouTube Channel Profile TOMORROW! Thanks everyone, and don't miss LemmaFest tomorrow outside of The Dondee!