Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Newly Posted Audio Material, Bands Looking To Play Here, And More!!

Hey guys, it's time for our 41st and last post of July in what has been our busiest month in SMS history! Hard to believe that we've never posted 40 times in a month until now, but with some major concerts and happenings in the past four weeks, it makes sense! If we get 34 posts in August, we'll break our 2 month posting record from last spring, but who knows what August holds. For now, let's clear out some more backlogged news, including a bunch of new audio uploads, some bands hoping for new concerts in the area, updates to one of our monthly feature series, and more assorted news, so here's what you need to know! First, let's talk about some new media from Sault Michigan hard rock project The Hubbard-Menard Band, who have posted six new instrumental demo recordings onto their Facebook page in the past few weeks! These include songs named "Soo-Inside" (no relation to the local band Sue Inside), "One More Time Around", "415E", "The Zone", "All For You", and "Reach Around", so click each link to hear the new songs! That leaves 3 songs yet unrevealed for their planned debut CD, but a track listing posting on their Facebook page reveals that the remaining three songs will be titled "Whatever", "Heart of Stone", and "Right Here", while also confirming that the one song is spelled "Run Ragged", not "Run Ragid" as it was titled on the video. Also, the album's last track (which was previously untitled) will apparently be called "The Stranger In Me". I won't give detailed thoughts on the new songs yet (I'm still operating under the premise that I'll review this as a finished album), and I can't embed them here (Facebook needs to allow that), but old Nixxon Dixxon, Splitshot, and Trail's End fans should enjoy what Chris & Dave are working on here! I'm intrigued, especially for Dave's singing, and you know we'll keep tabs on The Hubbard-Menard Band and their CD plans as more updates come in! Next up, here's another new song from new Sault Ontario grunge band Haggith! Entitled "No Cure For Insanity", it's a composition by singer/guitarist Curtis McKenzie as uploaded to his YouTube channel earlier this month, and though the YouTube description doesn't indicate any Haggith connections, it's definitely either in or will be in their setlists. It's an energetic hard rock number with melodic and vibrant guitar work and effective singing, but it'd be nice to see the full band performing on this one. Still, it's definitely worth checking out, and hopefully we'll see it on Haggith's planned first album, which they've indicated is being aimed for a 2013 release. Check out "No Cure For Insanity" below! Thirdly today, here's a couple more bands looking for local concert bookings this year! Firstly, I recently received e-mails from Wayne Holden of Reversed Records, who's looking to secure a local booking for Vancouver speed metal notables West of Hell in early November, likely the 6th or 7th. You may remember them as headliners at a Dismembertainment-promoted Canadian Nightclub show in May, and anyone that was there knows that they stole the show with their brutal and entertaining set of originals! I sent him some contacts, but in case they don't help, can anyone out there help book West of Hell for another local concert date this fall? If you're interested, e-mail Wayne at this location! Also, from last word that I had, North Bay black metallers Empyrean Plague were still on the hunt for another local concert, following successful stops in Sault Ste. Marie last fall and at the Ypres Metal Fest. Frontman "Builder" Mike Burge has made postings on SMS pages this summer hinting at their desire for another local concert stop this year, and I know many of us would love to see Empyrean Plague back in town soon, so if you can help them get a local booking, message Mike at this location, and stay tuned for some more out of town bands looking for local bookings! Also today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or website name:
  • Eckerman, Michigan metal quartet Life's Eclipse have uploaded their song "Not Dead But Dreaming" to the Werehold Records YouTube channel! We've featured it on here before, so I won't go into a lot of detail, but it's a great instrumental metal song, and this version's of a higher quality than earlier postings, so give it a look! Also note that the description mentions that the album this will be a part of, "Shadow Over Superior", is based on stories by the writer H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Local punk trio Redundant have been confirmed as the local openers for THIS FRIDAY'S Riding Shotgun/Project Mars concert at The Canadian Nightclub! The news was broken via the new local event page for the show, adding to a busy stretch of shows this weekend for Redundant, including the Shotgun Dolls show at The Rosie on Thursday, and an acoustic set at Coch's Corner on Saturday. Interesting choice to open, but the talent is there, so don't miss them, and stay tuned for my preview of this show later this week!
  • SooToday's current poll is on what events you wanna see more of at The Essar Center, and among the numerous choices are "Metal music" and "Rock music"! As of this writing, the leading votegetter is "All of the above!" with 665 votes (30%-ish of the total), with rock music in second with 448 votes & metal in a distant fourth with 105 votes. Make your voices heard while the poll is still up at the above link, and click here for the current results!
And finally for this month, here's some updates to our Defunct Local Band Profile Series entries, to make them more accurate and current! On both the AtrophiA and Bring The Fallen profiles, I noted the name change of Bring The Misery to March Into Regression for both bands' common members' other notable band work, and I did the same on the AtrophiA profile for ex-bassist Ryan Gray's work in Free Beer, who I'd labeled under their lesser used name M.O.B.. On the M7K profile, I updated project leader Mike Vincent's band history to reflect his recent band breakups and include a brief mention for his old band Devastation of the Heavens. On the Harsh Heads profile, I noted guitarist Bob Bromley Jr.'s work in the London punk band Gatgas, while also adding a brief note on our review of their posthumous CD, and I edited the State of Misery profile to allude to their last show and latest breakup (while adding With Blood Builds Character as a later band of Ray Cowan's.) There's more edits to note next month, but check the above links for all that's different and new in this batch! That's all for today, but I'll see you guys in August with more news, previews, feature posts, and more! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Theatre Of Night - "The Dawn's Early Light" Review!!

It's time for our 37th monthly local metal CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and today, we're looking at a Sault Michigan band's album for the third time in the past four months, and that is "The Dawn's Early Light", the new album from local classical metal outfit Theatre of Night! Independently released on July 1st, it's the band's second album following 2010's "Christmas Night" and similarly to it, "The Dawn's Early Light" is an instrumental concept album, this time themed around American patriotism & the United States Armed Forces, including many renditions of classic American songs and compositions. Featuring most of their current lineup, including guitarist/bassist Steve Giles, his brother Greg on drums, and Craig Harrison on the keyboard (singer Gaby Koss isn't featured), this album can be purchased via digital download from Reverbnation, iTunes, and Amazon for prices ranging from around $7-$9, but note that Reverbnation offers the best deal, so check the above links to do some shopping! Also note that some previews of the individual songs are also available on their pages and YouTube channel, and partial proceeds from sales of "The Dawn's Early Light" will go to The Folds of Honour Foundation. With about 38 minutes of music across 9 tracks, let's begin with this review with the fitting first song! (Updated on November 8th, 2012)

First is Theatre of Night's rendition of the American national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner", and after an intro that somewhat calls "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" to mind, it leads into some softer slower guitar playing and melodies that help to build into the traditional anthem rendition, and filling things out definitely makes sense to make this a lengthier track! Steve's guitar work to the melody of the anthem is great, and it makes up well for the lack of vocals, while Craig & Greg keep things heavy and well paced in the background, though the added ending feels somewhat out of place, and not of the same heroic American mood of earlier. Still, this is a well done extension of the U.S. national anthem, and in the middle, it strikes a great balance between metal heaviness and respect of their roots! Second is their version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", and from the start, Theatre of Night stick close to the original, though in a slower pacing with some extra guitar flourishes and suitable drumming, and with such a recognizable melody, it's hard not to get caught up in this track! That said, it's not overly heavy, but that goes with the song's mood. The orchestration at the end is a cool touch, and the callback to marching drummers, but this song probably could use vocals, as without them, it gets a touch repetitive for a song of it's length. Effective cover, and it strikes the right chords, but most metalheads will prefer the first track.

Third is their rendition of the classic "America The Beautiful", which launches into a slow piano-heavy intro that sets up Steve playing guitar to the vocal melody like on "The Star Spangled Banner", but the wait is less to get here. Again, he does this extremely well, but it has a different feel, as arguably, "America The Beautiful" is an easier and less dramatic song vocally, so his guitar work here is more reserved as a result. With that said, he plays this flawlessly, and the slow pacing suits the themes and messages of such a patriotic song, so it sort of feels like a mix of the first two songs. Very well done with great guitar work, but if you can't appreciate the pacing of the song and it's original message, you won't prefer it to some other tracks. Fourth is the album's shortest song, a rendition of the Civil War-era song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", and it injects some energy from earlier tracks with some nicely varied melodies, some guitar solos that don't detract from the song, and more callbacks to the original version that will be familiar to the casual listener! Steve shines here, and Craig's keyboard work adds some solid atmosphere to the background, and the song shows some variance and more original touches than some of the earlier tracks, so it's definitely a standout on "The Dawn's Early Light" so far!

Fifth is the album's only completely original track, "The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier", which is inspired by the graves of unidentified soldiers. The only album track exceeding 5 minutes in length, it opens in dramatic ballad fashion with a solo keyboard/piano intro that's very well performed and emotionally tinged, before slowly implementing guitar work and drumming around the 2 minute mark. The pacing and intention of the song stays the same for the most part, but I like the orchestration midway through, and the guitar melody late does add some vibrance to the already powerful track. Though not a heavy song, it's not supposed to be, and it has a vibe of remembrance & loss, which gives this song a deserving importance & worth! That's followed by "Military Themes", a 3:35 medley of the themes of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Flowing into each other without formal breaks, this is easily the heaviest track since the first song on "The Dawn's Early Light", and it seems like Craig and the Giles brothers are injecting more of their own talents into these military themes to make it their own, and to flow like they were always intended to be together! While they stick to the original melodies, they inject some heavy riffs and melodies on this track, and it is a very entertaining metal track on it's own merits!

Seventh on this album is "My Country, Tis Of Thee", which Canadian readers may recognize as the American version of "God Save The Queen". An orchestral influenced opening and guitar melody to the original vocals help lead this track off, Theatre of Night's rendition takes on almost a dirge quality with it's slow pacing and doomier sound, but I really like the added orchestral music, and the drum work by Greg Giles is pounding at parts. This is one of the darker songs so far on "The Dawn's Early Light", but it has an epic feel at varying points, and it's very well done for what it is! Eighth is "Dixieland", a rendition of the U.S. folk song "Dixie", and Theatre of Night effectively slow this song down into a heavier and more epic feeling version of the original, and like earlier songs, the guitar work really shines, along with some solid drumming and an effective use of effects! I know this song had some dated negative connections at one point, but I didn't get that vibe at all when listening, as they put great care and love into these songs, and "Dixieland" is no exception! Well performed, if not exceedingly heavy, but they know what mood to put on what song for it to achieve the right messages!

The album's final track is "Taps", which opens with rain and thunderstorm effects to help set the somber tone, especially given that "Taps" is often played at military funerals or at dusk. The keyboard effects to replicate the horn on more common versions of this song are effective, and though this song doesn't serve as a full band showcase compared to many earlier tracks, Craig does some stellar work here to make a heavier and grand variant of "Taps", and though I typically don't like albums ending on a down note, it makes perfect sense to end "The Dawn's Early Light" in this fashion, knowing how important this song is as a means of closure, so I have no complaints! So, how does Theatre of Night's second album stack up? Well, I'm glad to see that the attention, detail, and respect for the original material is as prevalent here as it was on "Christmas Night", maybe even more so, because the songs they covered here deserve to be given a faithful interpretation, and though some changes were made, the guys stayed faithful to their original styles and intentions, and as a result, it's respectful yet can be enjoyed by metalheads!

For the individual members, Steve Giles' guitar work was proficient and melodic throughout, especially when instrumentalizing vocal harmonies, and Greg Giles was given much more chances to shine on drums here (and that he did), especially given the frequent absence of his drum parts on their last album. Craig Harrison's keyboard and effects work was also great, and he threw some welcome orchestration in along with nice atmospheric and dramatic piano parts, and individually, the guys did great! I preferred "The Star Spangled Banner", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", and "Military Themes" the most, but nothing is badly done, and it's good that it's all done well, as these songs show great respect to their country and military. There are minor issues, like a lack of overly heavy songs, some repetition, and maybe a need for vocals occasionally or more guitar solos, but the point of "The Dawn's Early Light" wasn't to make a blistering original metal album. It was to honour the U.S.A. and the people that sacrficed to allow for the freedoms of America, and as long as Theatre of Night put their own spin on the material without disrespecting it, I have nothing to complain about. Overall, this is a successful tribute, and an entertaining album of metallized versions of many American standards, and it's a complete success on that basis! Pick it up today at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review at the SMS! So, what's being reviewed next month? Though I've heard of no imminent metal CD reviews locally for August, I do have one CD in mind for a review in the event that nothing new is released, that being defunct Cedarville, Michigan hard rock quartet Oddfellow's only album "Go"! I say that for a couple of reasons: They're new to the site still, so it'd be cool to welcome them in further with a full review, and also, guitarist Jason Haske is active locally in the local cover rock band Chump Change, and if they play anywhere locally next month (which is likely), it'd be a perfect tie-in for the review! That said, a new review would take precedence if something comes out, and things could change that way or if Chump Change don't play locally next month, but that's the way I'm leaning right now. So unless something new comes out in the next few weeks, look for our review of Oddfellow's album (probably) between August 25th & 31st! That's all for tonight, but stay tuned for more news to wrap up July with tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tantrum Updates, New Live Videos, And A 3D Local Concert Video!!

The news keeps on rolling in, and today, we've got plenty of videos to go along with them, so here's what's on tap! Today, we've got a new dimension on local concert videos, our first live concert glimpse of a new band, and some cool new footage from a major recent show, but first, here's a bunch of updates on a prominent area band!

Firstly, here's the latest news from the young Sault Michigan hard rock band once known as Abstract! As you may know, they changed their name to Tantrum earlier this year, but in the last couple of months, they quietly changed their name once again to Tantrym Tyme. A reason for the name change hasn't been announced, but I figure Tantrum by itself is already used by existing bands, so this might be for the best, but are the gratuitous Ys needed? Regardless, I've updated our band links on your right to reflect the new name! As well, the band have finally returned to being a quartet, as they've quietly added Quinton Jacobson as their new second guitarist/bassist, replacing Kyle Burton. As far as I can tell, Quinton (who's in the middle in this picture) was added to Tantrym Tyme's lineup in the spring, and given their ages, he fits in well with the guys so far from what I've noticed! Their concerts are still very hard to source and count given the lack of notice and the settings of the ones that do happen, but alongside a pile of new photos from a July performance on their Facebook page, they do have some new video footage from a recent performance! Uploaded to YouTube user The37533's channel on June 2nd, it's of what was then still Tantrum covering Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell" at an outdoor concert of some type!

On these covers, Tantrym Tyme definitely seem to be growing as musicians, and the heavier material than the old Abstract videos is helping them, especially for Jacob Hotlen's singing, as he sounds much better for harsher vocals than he does clean yet (I wonder how he'll sound when his voice deepens though?) Note that Quinton's not on their Iron Maiden cover, but it's good to hear a fuller lineup for their Pantera rendition, and given their ages, they tackle both of these songs pretty well! It'll be interesting to see their development in the coming years, but for now, check out Tantrym Time's newest videos below!

Next up, here's another new video from the Anvil concert at The Canadian Nightclub on Wednesday, this time of local horror punk/metal quintet Frightlight's co-headlining set! 62nd Chamber Productions head/former local musician Boyd Rendell has uploaded a video that he and his crew filmed at the show onto his Vimeo page yesterday (though it's curiously not on his YouTube channel yet), and it's of Frightlight playing their original song "She Screams"! Featuring their full lineup (as Rick Styles was on guitar for this part of their set), the multiple camera angles help things for the quality, but the audio is somewhat scratchy, which Boyd blames on the lack of a mixer recording. Solid stuff though, and hopefully there's more to come, so check out this new Frightlight video below, and stay tuned later in the post for more of Boyd's work!

Thirdly today, here's our first live concert footage of new local grunge trio Haggith! Though an official proper live concert for them hasn't took place yet, and a bass player has yet to be obtained, the guys played two outdoor concert sets at a private party in Goulais River over the Canada Day weekend, and a video from the second day's performances is now online! Uploaded by YouTube user paperclipprojectX on Thursday, it's of Haggith playing their song "Yesterday's Frustrations" and it sounds pretty good! The camera work is solid and clear, and there's a nice grungier sound here, plus the guys seem to have a nice stage presence! This is a promising glimpse at what's to come from Haggith for sure, though I have to ask: Until they find a bassist, why can't Daniel Horton play bass? For now, check out Haggith's newest video below, and stay tuned for another new song of theirs in an upcoming post!

Finally for today, here's a special video that I recently came across! We've mentioned it on here before, but never like this. Back in December, I shared some videos by the former local hardcore band Barred 4 Life (featuring future Destroilet alumni) on the site, as uploaded (and likely filmed) by the aforementioned Boyd Rendell on his YouTube channel. Well, when I was browsing there to see if he posted the Frightlight video there too, I found this re-upload of Barred For Life's cover of The Dwarves' "Backseat of My Car" in 3D! That's right, a 3D local concert video, as it looks like Boyd Rendell converted the original video into 3D for a later upload in January of this year. It's in anaglyph 3D, so you'll need the red/blue 3D glasses to get the full experience (which I do have), and I have to say, he did a good job converting this! You can tell it's a conversion, but there's clear depth, and it gives this video a unique feel compared to the majority of other local concert videos out there. Almost makes me wanna get a 3D camera for SMS purposes (it's a future possibility), but huge kudos to Boyd for the work he did to give this old concert video an extra dimension! Check out The Dwarves (and guest singer Dave Stokes) in 3D below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Theatre of Night album review and more shortly! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anvil Concert Videos, The Return Of Case's Music, And More!!

Here's one more news post for this Saturday night, and if you missed it, check out our all-Rotaryfest video post from this morning below this one! Tonight, we've got some assorted shorter stories, news on the return of a local music store and what's going on there now, and kicking things off, new videos from a major recent metal concert, so read on below for all the details!

First up today, here's one of the brand new videos from Wednesday night's Anvil concert at The Canadian Nightclub! BeeFMouTH alum Kevin Campbell (who was on hand doing film work with 62nd Chamber Productions during Frightlight's set) got some footage from the Toronto metal legends' headlining set as well for his YouTube channel, including two of their earlier songs that night, those being "School Love" and "Winged Assasins" (and yes, he filmed Lips' Ranger Lake Road story as well!) Complete with on screen titles, this is a nice video with solid audio quality, but the video quality is hit & miss. Some type of filter was on the camera which gave everything a more fluid dreamlike motion, which looks cool sometimes and too blurry at other times. That, and attendees heads & devil horns do get in the way, but Kevin did a good job shooting and compiling this video, and kudos for the footage for sure! Check out this new Anvil concert video below, and stay tuned for more from 62nd Chamber Productions' filming that night as it comes in!

Also new from said concert are two more videos of new local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven's set, including their original "Destination Unknown" (not pluralized as I had earlier) and, as embedded below, their cover of Stone Sour's "Come What(Ever) May"! Uploaded to the band's brand new YouTube channel earlier today, these were likely filmed on a stationary camera that the band had set up on the floor during their set, but as tall as it was, fans heads are still in the way on the original, as there was more people on the floor by then. The videos have an old look to them by the quality, but the audio's nice and it's nice to hear the vocals a bit louder than I remember at the show! Nice work, but I wonder if we'll see the Breaking Benjamin & Avenged Sevenfold covers from that night too on Skeyes of Seven's new channel? As we haven't shared this song on here before, and you can see the band better, here's Skeyes of Seven's cover of "Come What(Ever) May"!

Thirdly today, in case you haven't heard, Case's Music is officially back open in it's new home! After leaving their old Spring Street location on June 22nd, the popular local music store re-opened in the old Frame Center building at 636 Queen Street East on July 16th, and though they're still partially under construction, I've heard great things about the new larger location! Regular hours are now 11:00 AM-5:00 PM daily except Wednesdays, when they're open until 7:00 PM, and they're even planning to host weekly acoustic performers outside of the building on Saturday nights, adding to a very musical stretch of Queen that already includes The Grand Theater, LopLops Lounge, and the new Coch's Corner within walking distance. As well, Case's Music have opened up the floodgates for local bands/musicians to sell their albums and merchandise there, and though no metal artists have took them up on this yet, they're eager to support local talent and have the store as a saleground for local music, so if you're interested, message them at their Facebook page or drop in with some stock to sell! It's great to see Case's Music off to a great start at their new home, so check the above links for more on their on-sale items, instrument lessons, and much more!

And finally for tonight, here's three assorted shorter news stories from the last little while, and as always, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:
  • Already no stranger to the Sault area, Poison frontman Bret Michaels made a special video greeting for local Catholic summer school students on Thursday, in congratulations for those students for raising money for the Canadian Diabetes Association via a Celebrity Apprentice-themed fundraiser (Bret won that show's third season.) That's an awesome gesture, and thanks to Bret for filming that for some local kids! Click here for The Sault Star's coverage of this story from last week!
  • Local solo guitarist Shane "The Shaner" Solomon has posted two newer songs onto his Reverbnation page, including a solid hard rocking instrumental named "Righteous Own" and a cover of the Storm Eagle theme from the video game Mega Man X. The latter's a well done faithful cover, but the former is heavier and has a nice groove, if it's a bit repetitive, so check the above links to hear these and much more from Shane's solo work!
  • I've moved ex-Silver Dream drummer Steven Flint's solo project to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity. He hasn't posted any real updates since late last July, and he's since deleted his only song "Run To You" for unknown reasons (it was good though, he should bring it back!) Disappointing, but I imagine Steven's keeping busy with his new classic rock cover band Limelight, and if I hear of anything of theirs that might fit on the SMS, I will let you guys know!
That's all for tonight, but stay tuned for some more news and videos tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

More Rotaryfest Fallout, Including Lots Of Videos!!

Hey guys, it's time to take a look at some new videos, as ever since we reviewed some of the Second Stage activities last weekend, a pile of videos have popped up online, including some of a metal/hard rock relevance! We'll look at those today, so read on below for all you should know & watch! First, here's some new videos from Second Stage headliners Garden of Bedlam's set on Saturday night! Another new YouTube channel has been launched for this successful local metal band, adding to the GardenofBedlamBand and GardenofBedlam channels that were launched in 2008, and while I have no idea why they can't just add these to one of the older channels, they have uploaded two nice quality videos from Rotaryfest there a couple of days ago! They are of Garden of Bedlam playing their songs "Everything Will Die" and "Your Disgrace", and the filmer's iPhone got some solid quality footage, though the lighting really looks painted on through this camera. Pretty good videos here, so check out "Your Disgrace" below, and stay tuned later in the post for another Garden of Bedlam/Rotaryfest-related video!

Next up is a hard rock cover from the main stage at Clergue Park, which is one of numerous videos from the main stage that local news website Local2 shot for their YouTube channel (which still has the old SooNews name.) All more or less uploaded yesterday, these were uploaded individually and as one 86 minute long video, so choose your fancy, though note that only the 86 minute video has any footage of the 1812 historical moments, which look to have been short War of 1812 reenactments. Almost every band was filmed for Local2's coverage, aside from the out of town historical bands from Friday afternoon, the non-Katy Perry Pop Idol tributes, Mike Case's Jr. Rock All Star Tribute Band (though the junior country one was filmed), and local classic rock band Fusion, who were strangely not filmed last year either. Do the guys at Local2 have a grudge with Fusion, or is this just a coincidence? Sticking more or less to one cover for each act, I just have one major gripe with the videos, that being the editing. I like the multiple camera angles, but many of the transitions from camera to camera aren't fluid and cut off parts of the songs, and at times, it sounded like they only shot portions of different songs & strung them together. That aside, I'm glad to see them upload these videos, complete with on screen performer credits, and on YouTube, they're easier to spread!

That said, the only hard rock cover of the 24 main stage videos is surprisingly of local cover rock quintet Mustang Heart, who covered Van Halen's "Jump" on Friday night at the main stage! Consisting of singer Marci Chindamo, her husband Dama on bass, Lorenzo Fabbri on guitar (and lead vocals on this cover), John Muise on drums, and Vito Tassone on the keyboard, Mustang Heart are a frequent sight at local bars and shows, and though their general setlist doesn't skew heavier, they do a good job with this cover! I prefer Van Halen's heavier material generally, but they know the track, and Lorenzo's vocals fit well! Also of note for the Main Stage videos: new local indie rock band The Pesto Shirts didn't play on the main stage itself in their video (I have no idea why, but they did play first on the day they played), YouTube user dtwalker79 uploaded Mike Case's Jr. Country All-Star Band's entire set onto his YouTube channel if you're interested, and fellow YouTube user marnac filmed Coverfly's cover of Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" as well, so give those and the rest of the links above a look for Rotaryfest Main Stage videos, but below, check out Mustang Heart's cover of Van Halen's biggest hit!

We'll close with short video footage of the two hard rock bands from the Second Stage, starting with some short clips of reunited local hard rock quartet Sailor's Tongue's set! These are part of a Rotaryfest compilation video that local news website SooToday posted onto their YouTube channel last Friday after that day's entertainment wrapped up, and though it mostly concerns the activities and buskers that local attendees saw, there is 36 seconds of Sailor's Tongue cobbled from (I believe) two of their original songs, one of which featured new guitarist Liam Seymour on vocals, which is good to see knowing how strong his singing was with his Superior Heights cover band! It's not a long glimpse at Sailor's Tongue's return, but it'll do for now, so check it out below! (Their part begins about 3:52 in, and part of headliners Hollerado's set caps everything off)

Finally, here's an amusing little video from Garden of Bedlam's set, and though you can hear them in the background, they're not entirely the focus. On Sunday, bassist Evan Belleau's wife Kerry uploaded a video onto her YouTube channel of their son Damien dancing to Garden of Bedlam playing "Around The Bend" during their Second Stage set on Saturday! I say this is a good sign to help him get into metal in the future, and hopefully more kids in the area get some metal 101 at an early age! Cute enough little video, so check it out below!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news shortly, along with our review of Theatre of Night's second album! Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Powerslug & Riding Shotgun) And Weekend Concert Previews!!

We're late for this post, so let's get right to everything, as we have previews of this weekend's metal & hard rock concerts and LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for shows TONIGHT & next week, so here's what you need to know, and check out our Anvil concert review in the post below this one!

After a weekend off, Sault Michigan hard rock trio Powerslug are apparently playing at The Corner Pub Bar & Grill TONIGHT! I apologize for the short notice, guitarist Chris Gurnoe only publically announced this concert a few hours ago on his personal Facebook page, and they still don't have an online page to announce advance gigs. Though I don't know if tonight's concert is outdoors or indoors, Powerslug's brand of hard rock should attract a solid crowd tonight, so if you're up for some live hard rock across the river this weekend, keep tonight's show in mind! Admission should be 21+, there's no announced cover charge, and I'll assume they'll be on at around 10:00 PM tonight. Also, I don't believe they're playing tomorrow, but knowing how much word we hear about their gigs in advance, they could have something going on for all I know. Check the above links for more details! Powerslug have the talent and experience to rock very hard tonight, so go check them out if you can at The Corner Pub and get weird with Powerslug! For a preview, click here to see the only available video footage of Powerslug in action!

Also in new concerts is a show that I only heard full details about thanks to posters that were up at The Canadian Nightclub when I was there for the Anvil concert (I don't even know who's promoting it), but a solid lineup of bands is lined up from out of town! Toronto hard rock quartet Riding Shotgun are coming to Sault Ontario on August 3rd (one week from today) for a headlining concert at The Canadian on their Canadian Buckle Up Tour, and I'm liking what I'm hearing from them so far! Deep voiced & very heavy brand of hard rock, and they have a familiarity that I can't place off hand, but they're well worth checking out, so click here to hear some of their original material! Ottawa alternative hard rockers Project Mars will open for them next Friday, and they have an interesting sound that mized hard driving riffs with some more classic sounding vocals, and they should set the tone well at this concert! As far as I can tell, there's no local openers, a 10:00 PM start time wouldn't surprise me, you likely must be 19 to attend, and I'd expect a cover charge of around $5. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This sounds like a very good concert for hard rock fans, and hopefully a huge crowd turns out for it! If I hear anything extra on this show, you guys know I'll have it here!

Now to previews of this weekend's previously announced hard rock concerts, starting with the return of Turner Up TONIGHT at The Speak Easy! The local classic hard rock quintet will hit the stage for the first time in almost 2 months (though members have played with Havadder in the interim) for the first ever appearance by either Turner Up incarnation at Algoma University's campus bar & concert spot! Notably, this will also be the first heavier concert at The Speak Easy in about 4 months, so if you've missed shows there in 2012, don't miss this one, as who knows when a heavy concert will return? Turner Up's energy fueled brand of female fronted hard & classic rock covers will be sure to excite, and a stop by The Speak Easy would probably pay off well for local hard rock fans! Admission is free tonight, a 10:00 PM start time is likely, and though I'd expect a 19+ age limit, there could be a deal for underage Algoma students to get in (which isn't a new idea.) For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a great show in it's own right, so consider it for your Friday concert plans, as Turner Up definitely don't turn 'er up as much as they used to! For a preview, here's the old Turner Up covering Guns N' Roses' "Mr. Brownstone" last year!

And finally for this weekend, local hard rock trio Caveman Morrison will return to The Nicolet Tavern TONIGHT AND TOMORROW NIGHT for their latest shows in their busy summer schedule! Though I still don't know who their current bassist is (online pages haven't been updated to mention that yet), they'll be sure to melt many faces at The Nic this weekend with their brand of classic tinged hard rock and metal covers, and Caveman Morrison have a wide array of songs in their repertoire that could be broken out tonight or tomorrow, so I'd keep these shows in mind for your weekend plans! Admission should be free tomorrow & tonight, you must be 19 to attend, and I'd assume both night's entertainment will kick off at around 10:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Caveman Morrison always have plenty of great material for their fans, and hopefully this weekend's shows are no different, so if you're up for some hard hitting covers, you know where to be! For a preview, here's Caveman Morrison covering Ozzy Osbourne's "I Don't Know" at what's now Coch's Corner in 2010!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for an all-Rotaryfest video post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Anvil Concert Review!!

Finally, here's my review of Anvil's headlining concert at The Canadian Nightclub, in our first of two posts on this Friday morning! Before we get to the bands, just noting that the crowd on Wednesday was VERY impressive, and though I can't judge firsthand, the attendance was comparable (if not better than) the Ypres Metal Fest in April at the same venue, which is encouraging for shows at The Canadian! Now, how about the bands?

First, let's discuss the new local hard rock quintet Skeyes of Seven, who made their live debut as the night's first band. They played a 5 song set comprising of Breaking Benjamin, Stone Sour, and Avenged Sevenfold covers alongside their first original song "Destinations Unknown", and for the most part, they shown a lot of promise for the future! Their past band work never hurts in that regard, and if I had to compare their sound to any of the members' old bands, it'd have to be Sense of Truth (though that's partly because they share 2 members.) Aside from longer hair since we last saw him live 2 years ago, Cory Murchison's singing was familiar and went with their material nicely, though he was really hard to hear on the A7X covers, but I found the vocals were low for most of the bands on Wednesday. Alain Fletcher and Ron Baxter tore through each song well on guitar, Mike Mannarino's bass work was really solid, and all of the promise from Jonny Amendola's drum videos are put to good use with Skeyes of Seven (he's a young talent to watch, for sure!) For a first show, all I'd change would be a longer set, louder vocals, and maybe switching "Bat Country" for a heavier A7X song, like "Almost Easy", but that speaks more to my personal preferences. Overall, very nice debut show, and hopefully we'll see Skeyes of Seven back on stage soon!

Next up was local metal standouts Garden of Bedlam, and if you saw them at Rotaryfest, you could expect a similarly heavy set of originals from them on Wednesday night (just with less room to maneuver.) Their set was largely the same as their Second Stage set, though with "Stand Your Ground" & a cover of Pantera's "Mouth For War" replacing "Around The Bend", "New Rain", and "The Truth Shall Set You Free", so if you're not picky about specific songs, you'd have definitely enjoyed them on both nights! I often find it hard to critique a band if I see them twice in a short span, and this was the case here, as aside from the restricted movement, they played with the same professionalism and talent that Garden of Bedlam fans have come to expect! Fans definitely enjoyed them (and responded in kind for the Anvil shoutouts), and from Josh Belleau's shredding solos to Buzz's melodic heavy singing, all I'd really want different would be a longer set, and hopefully another solo headlining gig of that kind is on the horizon! Great set overall!

Co-headlining this huge concert was local horror punk quintet Frightlight in their first show in about two months, though their lineup was partially changed, as guitarist Rick Styles only played on 4 originals in the middle of the set for personal reasons. I won't go into details, but they're valid & very understandable! As such, T-Rex Manning guitarist Tiffany Stocco filled in on lead guitar for the other 6 songs on Wednesday (similarly to their January show at The Canadian), and she even had a Frightlight-esque stage name this time around, Stiff Tocco! (I sense innuendo there.) It was good to see Frightlight again, as they played all the songs from their live EP along with "World War Z", "The Ballad of Buffalo Bill" (formerly "Dead Skin Mask"), and two Misfits covers, and their metal-flavoured horror punk assault went over well, but timing issues did come into play early in the set, and like the earlier bands, they could have used some more freedom on stage. Johnny Pints' vocals were on form from the last times I saw Frightlight, and the rest of the band played capably and seemed to enjoy being back on stage, and hopefully we'll see them back at it soon!

And the main attractions were (of course) ANVIL!!! The Toronto heavy metal legends finally returned to Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday night, and even if you're not a fan, no one can deny a band that pulls in a crowd of this size AND gets chants of their name without singing one verse! Aside from two songs from "This Is Thirteen", their set was split between tracks from their first three albums ("Metal on Metal" primarily) and their new CD "Juggernaut of Justice", giving us a glimpse at Anvil at both of their peaks, and luckily, the guys can rock just as hard as ever! Steve "Lips" Kudlow's guitar work was great, and though his vocals are softer live than in studio, he could incite some metal fury when need be (and he shared some funny stories in the process!) Sal Italiano proved to be a great fit on bass, and Robb Reiner's drum work was stellar, and kudos for his awesome drum solo as well! The guys still have it, and when Lips jumped into the crowd during "March of the Crabs" at the beginning of their set, and during some of their customary antics and songs. you could feel the energy! If anything, I'd have wanted to hear more songs from their 4th-12th albums (like "Doctor Kevorkian"), as there's 20 years of largely underrated material that should see an audience, but it's all good!

On Wednesday, Anvil proved why they're Canadian metal legends, and their speed/thrash material definitely wowed their Saultite fans! Hopefully Lips, Robb, and Sal come back soon, as their brand of metal is needed around here! Overall, this was an awesome concert, and if you missed it, you missed out! I got a bunch of photos, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook page, which also has this show's "Tag Yourself" photo! As for videos, here's Skeyes of Seven's song "Destinations Unknown", Garden of Bedlam playing "Stand Your Ground", Frightlight (ft. Stiff Tocco) playing "C.H.U.D.", and Anvil playing "School Love", with a little story from Lips about Anvil's "shortcut" to their show in the Soo in 1979!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post later tonight, featuring a new concert and more! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Under Earth

It's time to look at our 38th band in our Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile series, and yes, my Anvil review's coming! These videos just take forever to upload. In our penultimate monthly feature post of July, we're taking a look at a recent project from a prolific Sault Ontario native that has some merits, if not an abundance of material, but it's another worthy chapter in our series of bands from out of town that have a local musician in their ranks! Read on below to learn more, and if you have any additions or corrections, please tell me! (Updated on November 26th, 2014)
Under Earth (Windsor, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED)

Delina Rees (vocals)
Ash Richtig (all instruments/backing vocals)

Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/underearthmusic
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/underearth

Local Info: Under Earth is one of the many Windsor-area music projects headed up by Sault Ontario native & St. Mary's graduate Ashley Richtig, who you may best recognize from his drumming & bass work in bands like The Heatseeking Moisture Missiles and NeanderTHRALL! He's also made waves down south as bassist in The Line Drawn and the now-defunct Repetitions and as one the administrator at The Windsor Zene which covers the area's music community and shows. Though his bands aren't frequent sights back home, his local connections are strong, and his talents as a musician are always present!

Band Bio: Launched by Ash Richtig in July 2006 as a solo project, Under Earth didn't visibly gain an online presence until November 2011 when their online pages were created, with Ash adding partner & fellow Windsor Zene contributor Delina Rees as the project's new singer. Planned to be a metal project from varying influences, Under Earth was called a "polar opposite" from anything Ash had done before musically, and they were working on material towards a debut demo concept EP from last fall through at least early 2012. Following a posting of a 2006 demo track onto their Reverbnation page in January, visible online updates for Under Earth dried up, and they're likely considered inactive currently. Though there isn't a lot to say on Under Earth, their only available song "First Wave" does have some promise! I have a feeling they would be heavier than any of Ash's other bands, and the riffing is very heavy, but the guitar solo needs a lot of work, and as it's an early demo, the audio quality isn't high. I can't say how Del's singing would affect this material, but she'd likely add something interesting if there's any recordings with her on them, especially as Ash's singing on the demo is fairly monotone.

Under Earth have promise, and if Ash revisits the project, I'd like to see him branch out more and explore every area of metal if possible, as he has the talent, but if nothing else, his current bands should entertain most metal & punk fans! Check out "First Wave" below, and hopefully Under Earth pop up again down the road!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we're taking a trip back to the early 2000s for the Montreal/Windsor metal band Mister Bones, as they briefly featured late Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold as their drummer! That should be an interesting post, and somewhat of a challenge, so look out for it on or around August 26th! That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Anvil concert review either tonight or tomorrow morning! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Anvil Concert Preview, F.A.T.I.L. Requiem Updates, And A New Metal Cover Video!!

One more news post for this Tuesday evening, but remember to check out this morning's post below this one for news on two newly announced concerts, some great recent radio coverage of the scene, Rotaryfest fallout, and some Coch's Corner updates! Now, this newest post features a new metal cover by a non-metal local band, updates on some of the bands at a Laird show next month, and leading off, a slightly extended preview of a major mid-week concert that you guys should really enjoy, so here's what you need to know!

First up, it's a huge concert preview for TOMORROW NIGHT, as Toronto heavy metal legends Anvil will make their long awaited return to Sault Ste. Marie at a headlining show at The Canadian Nightclub! Potentially making their first local stop since 1984 (though I may be missing some in between), the Juno nominees and stars of the hit 2008 documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" will bring their highly influential brand of speed metal to their Saultite fans tomorrow, and they have tons of classic and very heavy songs to break out tomorrow, so I definitely wouldn't miss this concert if I were you! Three local bands have been signed to open this concert, including local horror punk/metal notables Frightlight (last seen at The Canadian headlining the Dead In The Van fundraiser), and it'll be good to see their eerie Misfits-inspired brand of music back for this show, and kudos to frontman J.D. "Johnny Pints" Pearce for booking this show! Also to note: 62nd Chamber Productions will be on hand to film their set for upcoming media uses, and they're encouraging fans to wear costumes as part of the video plans, so keep that in mind if you wanna appear on camera! Fellow local metal standouts Garden of Bedlam (fresh off of headlining the Rotaryfest Second Stage) will also open tomorrow's show, and they're definitely on a roll right now, so expect only the best and heaviest from them tomorrow!

The concert will be opened by the debuting Skeyes of Seven, the new local hard rock band featuring Sense of Truth alumni Cory Murchison & Ron Baxter alongside Half Past guitarist Alain Fletcher, ex-Tripod the Dog bassist Mike Mannarino, and Cherry Crush drummer Jonny Amendola, and just on the surface, that's quite an impressive lineup! Media has yet to be released to preview their sound, but I'd expect some solid stuff in their live debut, so be there bright and early to check them out! Tickets should be available in some capacity at the door tomorrow for $25, but I believe advance sales have wrapped up, so if you wanted to save $5, it's probably too late now. An 8:00 PM start time has been announced, which seems early (if I hear a correction or change, I'll have it here), and this show will be ALL AGES! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be an awesome concert, and you know I'll be there to cover and review it for the site! That, and I'm a fan of the bands, including Anvil, who I have great respect for as musicians and people, and hopefully my Metal Pounders Union card will come in handy tomorrow at the merchandise table! I will absolutely see you guys there, and for a preview, here's a well done compilation video for their song "Flying Blind"!

Next up, here's the latest updates on the F.A.T.I.L. Requiem taking place at Neebish Road in Laird next weekend! A new band is being sought for this show, as local/North Shore metal band Crimson Crusade have pulled out of the event. A reason for their withdrawl has not been announced, but the Facebook event page had hinted that their participation wasn't final, so this isn't really a surprise. If you or your band are interested in replacing them in the 7:00 PM slot next weekend, message promoters A.S.A.P., or if you have available P.A. equipment for the concert! My other note concerning this show is for co-headliners The Valentine's Day Massacre, as the F.A.T.I.L. Requiem might be one of your last chances to see them the local death metal quartet in the Sault area for a while. Though not publically addressed on their online pages until Sunday, the band's members are all moving to the London, Ontario area for school in late August, and frontman Steve Rhodes mentioned on his personal Facebook page over the weekend that it'd be their "second last show" before the move took place. As far as I know, The V.D.M. will still be active as a band down there (similarly to Infrastrate after they moved to Ottawa), and local shows will take place when they come back home for breaks and such.

While it will be disappointing to see The Valentine's Day Massacre move down south for the forseeable future, hopefully they can make some inroads in the London scene and hit all of their educational goals in the process! With that said, I'll make it clear that we won't stop covering them after the move, as they were formed here and will always count as a local band as a result. We didn't stop covering Sue Inside after they moved away, did we? No matter what, The V.D.M. have a bright future, so stay tuned for more news from them as it comes in, and don't miss their last local gigs before the move next month!

Lastly for today, here's a new metal cover by a local band! As you may know, we'll mention metal/hard rock covers by non-metal local bands if I come across them (like Fusion's AC/DC cover that I missed at Rotaryfest), but this one actually comes from a Sault Michigan band, that being the local indie rock quartet The London Gentlemen. This past weekend, the new band featuring the members of local acoustic duo Fallen Heroes alongside Nixxon Dixxon/Splitshot alumni Kyle Beaumont & Jake LaLonde were rocking The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino, and two videos were filmed over one of the nights for their YouTube channel, one of which is a surprising cover of Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name"! Nice throwback to Kyle & Jake's past metal work, but how does this performance sound? Pretty good, though Mike Russo's singing is fairly soft compared to a song this potent and aggressive (but at least it's not forced!) Well done, but I have a feeling this won't be terribly common, as I know their sound is similar to Mike & Steve's Fallen Heroes work (just fuller & plugged in), and their other video is a Black Keys cover, but hey, this is a nice diversion, so check out The London Gentlemen's R.A.T.M. cover below!

That's probably all until Thursday, but I'll see you guys at the Anvil show tomorrow night! Thanks everyone!

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Turner Up & The Shotgun Dolls), The Local Scene's Radio Spotlight, And More!!

Back to some news in this packed news post this morning, so today, we have updates on what music we can expect at a recently re-opened concert venue, Rotaryfest fallout, and some awesome press on the local metal scene on a prominent internet radio station, but leading off today, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for shows over the next two weeks!

Local classic hard rock quintet Turner Up are making their return to the live stage THIS FRIDAY, and at a new venue for them! After an almost two month break, the guys (and girl) will rock The Speak Easy on Friday night in what I believe is the first ever concert from either Turner Up incarnation at Algoma University's on-campus pub. It's also the first heavier concert (that's been announced, at least) to go down at The Speak Easy in over 4 months, and I welcome more shows there for sure, especially from this talented local band! Though we didn't get a chance to see them at Rotaryfest, their hard hitting classic covers will be sure to entertain on Friday night at The Speak Easy, so keep this show in mind! Admission should be free, a 10:30 PM start time has been announced, and though I expect this is a 19+ event, some type of all ages availability might be there for existing Algoma students, which isn't unheard of for this venue. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's always good to see Turner Up back on stage, and hopefully they pull in a sizeable crowd on Friday, so consider a trip to The Speak Easy this weekend on your local concert calendars!

Also in new shows is a punk concert with some metal flourishes on August 2nd at The Roosevelt Hotel, to be headlined by Calgary heavy rock n' roll trio The Shotgun Dolls! Likely stemming from inquiries into local bookings earlier this year, this band (who remind me of Lion Ride at times) bring a lot of styles and influences into their catchy punk-inspired hard rock sound, and they'll fit well for a local concert next week on their From The Roots 2012 Canadian Tour! Three local bands have been signed to open things, including one heavier act, that being the returning Sykotyk Rampage, who will bring their "blue Chinese metal crash punk" back to the local stage for the first time in over 3 months next Thursday as well! With 6 albums still awaiting an impending release, this unique quartet will be sure to entertain with some creative improvised originals and drinking songs at this show, so don't miss them! They're sandwiched between two local punk openers, including co-headlining classical punk trio RedD Monkey (fresh off their Canadian tour run) and first up at this event, local punk rockers Redundant, and it's good to see them back at a show like this, as they always entertain! Admission will be free, a 10:00 PM start time has been announced on the Facebook event page, and unless I hear otherwise, this is probably a 19+ event. Check the above links for more details!

Note however that this is not the 48th Rosie metal night (that I can tell), as despite the Thursday timing & the flow with the recent bi-weekly schedule, this is being booked by Frightlight/T. Rex Manning frontman J.D. Pearce, similarly to the Die Mannequin show he booked on a Thursday in May, so I think it's just convenient timing (but if I hear of an official return for Rosie metal nights, I'll let you guys know!) Either way, this sounds like an entertaining concert with some quality punk-tinged bands, and definitely keep it in mind for next Thursday! I hope to be there!

Next up, in case you guys didn't get the Facebook memo last night, the local metal scene got an awesome spotlight on a Toronto internet radio station yesterday! Sault native Andrew Keachie anchored a special Sault Ste. Marie metal scene-based episode of the radio show St. David's Ward on the internet radio station Radio Regent last night at 9:00 PM, and for the full hour, he touched on the local scene (especially concerning bands at the 3 Inches of Blood show at The Rosie earlier this month, which he was in attendance for), and it was a fun listen! The hour long show included interview segments with members of The Bear Hunters & Winkstinger, 3 Inches of Blood bassist Byron Stroud, 3IOB show promoter J.D. Pearce, and myself, alongside playing the 3IOB song "Metal Woman", two live tracks from the local openers of that show, part of Gates of Winter's "Winter Flight", and a rare 1968 track by the old local band (Those) Rogues, who you could say were a proto-metal influence locally. There's some great insights into the benefits the scene has over a larger city, and Andrew definitely seems to appreciate what's grown back home, and it was a great listen! That said, what if you missed the broadcast of St. David's Ward on Radio Regent last night?

Well, you guys may be in luck, as I recorded the vast majority of the show using my audio recording program, and if I get the all clear, I may post it online soon for you guys to check out! That said, my program hit it's maximum recording time during The Bear Hunters' song, so I don't have their interview recorded or the tail end of the episode, but hopefully Andrew or someone out there can hook me up (if I get the end, I'm more likely to share the episode online.) It's an awesome listen, but there's so much left unsaid, and hopefully Andrew does a part 2 down the road! Hope you guys checked it out, but if not, stay tuned, as I may have the full thing ready to share in the near future!

Also today, here's some fallout from Rotaryfest's stages in the local news media! SooToday's Donna Hopper was present at our local summer festival this past weekend, and she posted a recap at this location, which features more high quality photos! These largely consist of activity on and around the Tenaris Second Stage on Queen Street East, and amongst her photos are a few of heavier local participants Garden of Bedlam (who she called "explosive") and Sailor's Tongue, though like many of her other concert photography albums, the photos are not in a discernible order. That said, if you wanna go straight to the photos of the heavier bands, Garden of Bedlam's are numbers 6, 7, 16, 21, 30, 38, and 44, while Sailor's Tongue's are 14, 25, 36, 39, and 42. As well, the fallout on the Local2 side of things is so far very minimal on the music side of things, as all I've seen so far is this article summing up the event, which includes a video of assorted events and elements (including some main stage bands, but the audio is replaced with a backing track.) Last year, they filmed portions of most main stage bands, but did they do the same this year, or is this all we're getting? Either way, at least Local2 did some coverage. If I hear of any more Rotaryfest fallout, you know I'll have it here!

And finally for today, here's a note on the current state of live music at a local concert venue. Well over a month after Coch's Corner re-opened at it's new home at the old Foggy Notions location at 708 Queen Street East, they're slowly getting back into the groove of things as a live concert venue, but compared to the old Coch's/Foggy's incarnations, things sound like they're a bit softer. Employee/local concert promoter J.D. Pearce revealed on one of the bar's Facebook groups on Sunday that Coch's Corner is "fast becoming THE SPOT for live local acoustic performances", including posting a schedule of weekly entertainment & bands to watch out for. I've never heard such an emphasis on unplugged acts at either venue in the past, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is a way to avoid future noise complaint calls, which dogged that location when it was Foggy's & Feedback. That said, I don't know for sure if that's the reason or if something else is at play here (I haven't been there since last year), but if it's now permanently an acoustic-only venue, hopefully they bring in some metal bands for some special unplugged sets! Remember how well Gates of Winter's was at Loplops way back when? Redundant are playing an acoustic set at the new Coch's soon as well, so this could be an interesting change if they attract a wide spectrum of bands!

As updates roll in for any possible heavier bands at Coch's Corner, I'll have them here, but hopefully the over 6 month drought for metal at 708 Queen will end sooner or later, plugged in or not! That's all for now, but stay tuned for our Anvil preview and more in our next news post! Thanks everyone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

YouTube Channel Profile Series: GardenofBedlamBand, TheDimebagmikey, and taylortrecroce's Channels

A day later than I had hoped, but today, we have this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! For a second straight month, we're looking at three YouTube channels with a 50% or higher concentration of local metal/hard rock concert videos, as the first one we selected only had one video available. As usual in this series, we're looking at the videos, information, and reasons to check out said channel(s), and there's some nice quality stuff here, including some familiar local sights and more footage from a major local concert, so read on below for this latest installment, and if there's anything incorrect or missing, please let me know! (Edited on October 16th, 2013)
GardenofBedlamBand's Channel (http://youtube.com/user/gardenofbedlamband)

Owner: A member of Garden of Bedlam (my guess is bassist Evan Belleau), but the channel is credited to the band as a whole

Channel Timeline: Launched on December 2nd, 2008; Only video posted later that month

Channel Summary: At the time, this channel was intended to be the official YouTube channel for prominent local metal band Garden of Bedlam, who had publically launched in early 2008. Only one video was posted onto this channel before it fell inactive by the end of the year, and it has since been succeeded by two newer official channels, this one most recently. The only video posted on the GardenofBedlamBand channel was of Garden of Bedlam playing their song "Shallow" at the then-Lock City Grand Theater on December 17th, 2008 as part of the Sick Jams For Sick Kids fundraising concert, where they & four other bands performed to raise money for the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. The camera isn't well centered when stationary, and the heavy music sounds distorted at points, but this is a nice early look at Garden of Bedlam in their first year of activity, and it's notable on that basis! Just remember that their newer channels are better sources for up to date video footage.

TheDimebagmikey's channel (http://youtube.com/user/thedimebagmikey)

Owner: Former Skull After Betrayal/Devastation of the Heavens frontman & Bear Hunters guitarist Mike Vincent

Channel Timeline: Launched on April 1st, 2010; Videos posted between June 2011 & January 2013

Channel Summary: Though still in active use, Mike has only posted two metal videos onto his YouTube channel, both coming on June 2nd, 2011, during his most recent active live band Skull After Betrayal's heyday. The videos are of all 4 members of the band playing their originals "Enemy" & "Dagger to the Heart" (which is embedded below) at a jam session around that time period, and they showed their skills well here! Though the members are each partially obscured by their placement in the video, they have some well played metal in store for the most part, and the lack of vocals in these videos don't hurt the quality, as Mike's live vocal work wasn't as varied and refined as it could have been. With nice video quality and audio clarity to boot, these are some quality videos from Skull After Betrayal's run, and look out for introductions of the band members at the end of the "Dagger to the Heart" video! (Note that Mike's only video since 2011 is this clip of him investigating a horde of Pokemon figurines, which works for what it is)

taylortrecroce's Channel (http://youtube.com/user/taylortrecroce)

Owner: Soo Thunderbirds announcer Taylor Trecroce, who also works with game night staff for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 25th, 2009; Videos posted on December 9th of that year

Channel Summary: Taylor's only videos both come from Norwood, Ontario hard rock band Three Days Grace's second headlining concert at The Essar Center from December 8th, 2009, and they're among the best YouTube videos from this concert that I've found! He got a solid angle of 3DG playing their songs "Never Too Late" and "The Good Life" (embedded below, as it's heavier), though hands can get in the way, and the camerawork is very shaky. The audio's pretty clear, though it does sound slightly muffled and tinny here and there, and "Never Too Late" is harder to hear thanks to the song's quietness combined with singing fans. It's great to see more good video footage from the last non-contest won hard rock headlining show at The Essar Center, and Three Days Grace fans and attendees of this concert would be wise to check Taylor's videos out!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month, we'll be looking at multiple channels for the fourth time in the last 5 months, as the first channel I randomly selected only had two distinct videos, so I added one more to fill things out. So next month, keep an eye out for As It Stands drummer John Mignacca's YouTube channel and YouTube user sarahforcexo's channel, so if you like Out Of The Mouth Of Babes or Bret Michaels, pay close attention to next month's installment, which should go up on or around August 22nd! That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Garden of Bedlam at Rotaryfest Review, Bands Looking To Play Here, And More!!

Hey guys, it's time for my review of Garden of Bedlam's set at the Tenaris Second Stage at Rotaryfest, plus some extra news afterwards, so let's get things rolling! Last night, I decided to check out some of the other activities at Rotaryfest before Garden of Bedlam's set, including some strolls through the vendor area (the potato tornadoes get cold way too quickly), and I did briefly check out a couple of the main stage bands! I saw a part of KT, Kyle, and The Pocket's set, and while they were definitely talented, their set was a lot more mainstream than KT & Kyle's old Turner Up/Full Circle work tended to sound (I think.) I also saw a part of Fusion's set (featuring Middle of Nowhere alumni), and they played some entertaining rock covers from all eras and styles, and I have no major complaints from them! I almost filmed them covering "Jailbreak" by AC/DC (the only heavier song they played), but I missed the opening, and I don't like filming/posting incomplete performances, but hopefully I'll get another chance! Nice to see some bands I don't tend to see much yesterday, but I'm not used to a venue so full of chairs. I will say that the main stage definitely skews towards a noticeably older crowd, but the seating was fairly full when I was there, so while I don't agree with the all-cover band setup, it is pulling in people!

Now to Garden of Bedlam, as they took the stage as the headlining and final band on the Tenaris Second Stage this year, which was pushed down Queen Street East a bit further than it was in 2010 (disappointing, especially with the ambiance that being right outside The Grand Theater gave.) That said, the guys ripped through an awesome set of originals, and the fans on the road definitely ate it up! Their set was largely similar to their 2010 set on the Second Stage, only with "Torment" replaced by "With A Spark", along with their 2009 EP track "The Truth Shall Set You Free" as an extra addition, and for the most part, they sounded on fire! It wasn't a flawless set though, as Josh Belleau had a very rare malfunction with one of his guitars early on, and Buzz's singing voice sounded strained at points, but on the whole, they sounded excellent! Evan Belleau's bass work sounded clear and heavy for their set especially, and Derek Turner's drumming was as fast and proficient as you'd expect! If anything, I'd have thrown in "Emptiness Without A Name" or another older original to vary things a bit more from 2010, but I thoroughly enjoyed Garden of Bedlam's set, and I hope this convinces Rotaryfest's music selection committee to integrate more heavier and alternative music in coming years!

Thanks to Crank Sound Distribution for the awesome sound, and hopefully all of the musical and other activities went flawlessly this year! I did get photos from their set, so click here to check them out or visit our Facebook event page! Nice to get photos this time, as in 2010, I filmed their whole set instead. This time however, I just got one, that being of their song "Three Days", which was well done as you'd expect, so check it out below, and stay tuned for more Rotaryfest fallout as it rolls in!

Next up, here's a couple of bands we're long overdue to give some press to on here, as both are reportedly looking for local concert dates in Sault Ontario! One is the Winnipeg southern hard rock quartet Prophet, who are looking for a late August concert in the Soo during their latest tour run. Bassist Martin Lafreniere messaged the SMS earlier this month looking for some help in finding a local booking, and I'd definitely wanna see them play live around here! Unique sound from what we tend to hear, a nice mix of southern styles and hard charging metal, hopefully someone out there wants to book them! If anyone out there is interested, message Martin on Facebook at this location, and check Prophet out above! Another band looking for a local booking is the Montreal death metal band Fateless, who are apparently looking for shows in Ontario for a future tour, and they are willing to open for bands in order to get some dates in the province, including in the Soo. Fateless guitarist Alexander Clarke messaged the SMS this month as well inquiring about booking contacts, so I sent him some, but I've heard nothing since, so can any of you guys help? Nice brutal death metal sound with some progressive touches, they'd be welcome here, so if you wanna help Fateless play here in the future, message Alexander at this location, and check them out as well at the above links!

Finally today, here's some final updates for our Battle of the Bands Rewind Mini-Series to make them more accurate! Well, not absolute final, just for this latest batch before we update another series next. On the 2008 Case's Music Battle profile, I added a brief note for high school division winners Stillbroke's early 2012 activity as Borderline Divine and current hiatus to the section on the competitors' later moves & statuses, while also adding the new hardcore band With Blood Builds Character (with Fountain of Betrayal bassist Tyler St. Amour & Unforgiven guitarist Ray Cowan) to the section of newer bands replacing battle alumni. For profiles on battles that Bring The Fallen were in, I edited mentions of March Into Regression in the same section to remove Dan Souliere, as he's not in their last full lineup. In another band substitution on that section for the Kiss Battle profile, I replaced Mustang Sally with local rock cover band Fusion, who feature Kiss battle competitors Anthony Fabiano (Gsis Murphy) and Lino D'Orazio (Middle of Nowhere), and I added Fusion to that section on the Sault College/Scotties Tournament battle profile as well, as Middle of Nowhere also played at that event. Finally, I noted that local punk band RedD Monkey now have two albums for their battle aftermath part of the Algoma University battle profile.

Hopefully things are now up to date in that series, so check the above links for all the updates! I'll have some updates for one of our other monthly feature post series soon as well, but that's all for today, and stay tuned for some all-video specialty posts tomorrow! Thanks everyone!