Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Weekend's Sault Ontario Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

Let's wind down this relatively slow month of February with one last post, as we have a busy weekend of metal and hard rock shows in the Twin Saults to preview today! I'm gonna move the lone Sault Michigan previews (Nudge's latest local concert weekend) to tomorrow's news post to spread everything out better, so as a result, we'll focus on three notable concerts from today through Saturday in Sault Ontario. Without any further adieu, here's what you need to know for your weekend concert plans as we close up one month and enter another! (Updated at 5:47 PM)

We start TONIGHT at The Rockstar Bar, where Hamilton hard rock quartet 40 Sons will make their long awaited return to Sault Ontario! Last seen here at the old Coch's Corner in late 2009 & early 2010, this band is sure to be familiar from both their first local stops and from a long successful run in Southern Ontario, opening for numerous major artists, and even seeing their song "Hurricane" used at the UFC 152 pre-show! It'll be good to see their unique blend of modern hard rock back in the Soo after a 3 year absence, and thank local concert promoter J.D. Pearce for bringing them back! Uniquely for The Rockstar Bar, there will be NO COVER tonight, but there is still a 19+ age limit for this 9:00 PM event. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a solidly entertaining concert for you hard rock fans, so don't miss out! The vocals are unique for the genre, but the music is reliable, often heavy, and very catchy, so head to The Rockstar Bar TONIGHT for 40 Sons! For a preview, here's the video for their single "Hurricane"!

Keeping in the vein of J.D.-promoted concerts, a somewhat unique show hits The Canadian Nightclub tomorrow night to help kick off March, as Apocalypse: The Musical brings 3 tribute bands to the local concert stage! Similar in theme to last January's Merves/Frightlight gig at The Canadian, all three bands tonight feature local musicians playing tribute sets of one major artist's material, including a headlining out of town band featuring a local frontman, and this time around, the headliners are Welland doom metal trio Xanadu! Playing their first gig in over 4 years (I think), Xanadu features prolific local metal musician Jonathan Tiberi on vocals & bass alongside his old bandmates Mike D'Agostini on guitar & Scott Brady on drums, and for the occasion, they'll cover a set full of Black Sabbath classics for their Sault Ste. Marie debut! The Facebook videos that I've seen of Xanadu show a promising metal sound, but who knows how they'll do tomorrow after such a long break? I'm very curious to find out though! Also on board for tomorrow night is Misfits tribute band The Fiend Brigade, who are essentially T-Rex Manning (J.D. Pearce, Tiffany Stocco, and Bill Bennett) alongside J.D.'s Frightlight bandmate Rick White (not the previously announced Frank McCormick) on drums in place of the relocated Daniel MacDonald.

Whether this is officially the new T-Rex Manning lineup or just a one-off tribute set is yet to be determined, but the guys (and girl) do have the chops to do justice to The Misfits, and I'd expect another fun set of covers from them tomorrow night! The opening band was originally slated to be local thrash band Pillory (covering Metallica), and then the returning Late & Loud, but with both dropping out for various reasons, we instead get the one-off tribute band Loud Lazer, who will be covering Motley Crue classics as Late & Loud had intended! The name implies a combination of Late & Loud (via guitarist Jon Tiberi & bassist Benn Garside) and local rock quintet Lazer Queen (via frontwoman Kate Drew & Pillory drummer Bret Shuttleworth), but the complete band is almost a full Lazer Queen lineup, just with Benn on bass instead of the absent Josh Hatherley. This lineup has a lot of chemistry already, and the four members are all quite talented, so I'd expect them to knock out some solid Crue classics tomorrow night!

Apocalypse: The Musical has a $5 cover charge and a 19+ age limit, and everything starts at 10:00 PM tomorrow night. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! I'll definitely be there for this local tribute metal/punk extravaganza, and hopefully many of you guys will roll in for all of the action! For a preview, as Xanadu have no embeddable YouTube videos, here's The Fiend Brigade (more or less) covering The Misfits' "Bullet" at the Humane Society Battle of the Bands last year!

Finally for the Sault Ontario metal/hard rock shows this weekend, Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to The Road House Bar & Grill on Trunk Road tomorrow night, in his latest of many recent gigs at the East End venue! As always, these shows will see Tym covering tons of unplugged version of metal, hard rock, and classic rock hits, and he knows tons of them, so there's a little something for everyone at every Tym Morrison solo gig! This latest solo date will of course be tomorrow at 10:00 PM, with a likely 19+ age limit in place, and no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! If you're up for something a little more reserved and intimate than the norm, why not take a trip to The Road House on Trunk for some unplugged metal covers tomorrow night? For a preview, here's Tym covering Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" at Bossy's!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for the Nudge concert previews, a new local band and label, and more! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aftersight - "Waiting For Lightning" Review!!

It's now time for our 44th monthly local metal/hard rock CD review at The Sault Metal Scene, and with no new heavier albums released this month (handwritten paper sleeve demos & free postings aside), we've dipped into the archives to take a long overdue look at defunct Sault Ontario hard rock quartet Aftersight's only album "Waiting For Lightning"! Recorded at Easter Island Studio in Sudbury in August 2003 and released later that year, this features Aftersight's classic lineup, including singer/guitarist Ed Vowels (now of Lucky 13), lead guitarist John Albury, bassist Jacob "Maybe" McEachern, and drummer Jeff Marshall. Though copies of "Waiting For Lightning" were distributed at concerts as recently as 2008, this album is long since out of print, but I did upload the whole thing onto the SMS' YouTube channel to stream for free, so do so at this location, and each song title is linked below to the YouTube copy! With 8 songs clocking in at around 32 minutes in total length, let's begin this review with the album's opening song "Wide Open Sky"!

"Wide Open Sky" opens slowly before kicking into gear as a mid-tempo hard rock number that shows the guys' talented pretty well! Ed's vocals here are a bit higher than they tend to be nowadays, but they have an interesting mix of punk and post-grunge sounds that give the material a bit of a kick! Jacob's bass work stands out well, especially in the pre-chorus sections, and Jeff's drumming is paced nicely with the rest of the music! I'd probably prefer this song to be a bit faster or heavier, or throw some variance into the structure, but "Wide Open Sky" is a solid album opener that has a timeless sound that would still be a good fit on hard & alternative rock radio! Next is the album's shortest track, "Days Go On", which has a bouncy and faster guitar riff to lead off, and it has more energy to it than "Wide Open Sky", taking on a poppier (yet more 1990s) feel. The lead vocals are slightly more aggressive, and even if the music isn't quiet as serious as on the opening track, it's more proficiently played. Jeff Marshall also supplied backing vocals late, but their grittiness and low volume seemed out of place given the tone. This is a good song, but I liked the tone and edge of "Wide Open Sky" a bit more.

Third is "Falling From Nothing", which starts with a lone guitar intro and some low STP-esque clean singing before slowly introducing other instruments. The drumming stands out a lot, and I like the build into the heavier choruses, but couldn't Ed have amped the energy into higher and heavier singing like in the opening songs when they got there? Jacob had said on the YouTube comments that they couldn't capture the "haunted" quality of this song's demo track in studio, and I do agree with that assessment for the most part. It never feels haunted, just lower and more intimate (aside from the harder rocking ending), but the music's well played, if not overly varied! Good song, but I bet it felt more natural live. Next is the CD's title track (and the longest overall) "Waiting For Lightning", which again starts softly like the prior song, but it suddenly jumps into an aggressive verse section that adds some nice diversity and energy that the last song lacked! If anything, the title is sung verbatim a bit too much, and there could be some better transitions between the softer and heavier stretches, but the guys show their talents throughout! Ed's vocal range is on full display, Jacob's bass lines are clear, and the guitar work succeeds despite the lack of a real guitar solo. Solid stuff overall, and a nice swing upward!

The next song is "Rd. Trip Breath",  which has a quality bass intro from Jacob McEachern (if a bit long), and some nice singing, before launching into an awesome heavy stretch with nice guitar effects and well suited vocals! Good pacing and it's the best mix of heaviness and catchiness so far on this album! The structure's a bit unique, with no real consistent verse/chorus definition, and John's lead guitar work is great to go along with it all! Aside from the bass solo going a bit long, this is by far my favourite song on "Waiting For Lightning" so far, and it mixes their heavier and softer sounds to great results! Song #6 is "Life To Call My Own", which has a lighter rock feel which reminds me of "How Your Remind Me" by Nickelback a lot, and while it's well played, it never seems to get legs compared to most of the earlier songs. Ed's vocals seem more tired than on many earlier tracks, the instrumentation rarely picks up (guitar solo aside), and it just seems too safe and by the numbers. It's good, just not overly memorable in comparison to songs like "Road Trip Breath"

The penultimate song on "Waiting For Lightning" is "W/O a Trace" (W/O's short for "without"), which has perhaps the heaviest start of any song on the album, and I like the groove of the guitar riffs especially! I just wish the vocals were more energetic, as they seem too reserved and low given the harder spark this song has. Couldn't at least the choruses have had vocals like on "Wide Open Sky"? The music though is among the best on the album so far, with possibly John Albury's best guitar solo yet, and really solid drumming, but the lack of vocal energy hurts the overall quality. Despite that inconsistency, it's one of the CD's best songs! This album closes with "Lost But Not Forgotten", which opens with a short bass intro before launching into a heavy modern rock sound with some thankfully more energetic singing and a catchy overall sound! A good choice to end the album (and their old concerts), I like how Ed's singing builds near the end of the choruses, and the overal structure is well composed, but it could stand to be a bit riskier. Very nice ending to the album though, and it showcases the whole band's respective musical skills to a good degree!

So what do I think of Aftersight's only CD overall? I'd say it's a very good album full of catchy and well performed modern and alternative rock songs, and while it has inconsistencies, it's aged very well and would still be a good fit on a station like Rock 101! Individually, I liked the different vocal ranges that Ed Vowels employed, and his and John Albury's guitar skills suited the material throughout, with some very cool riffs and grooves, as well as some quality guitar solos! Jacob McEachern and Jeff Marshall also held up equally on bass and drums, and for their young ages at the time, they were clearly talented! While there were a lot of really good songs on "Waiting For Lightning", like "Rd. Trip Breath" and "Lost But Not Forgotten", it wasn't a perfect release, and there were a lot of inconsistencies. I found that Ed's vocals didn't always flow with the songs' general tones or heaviness levels, and some tracks did feel very familiar without a lot of risks being taken.

None of them were really that long (neither were some guitar solos), and most tracks followed a general structure without a lot of variance or unique twinges, and like with "Falling From Nothing", a darker haunting feel could have helped with certain songs. Still, this is a well produced and entertaining modern hard rock album that has nicely aged in the past decade, and hopefully Aftersight will reunite down the road to bring these songs back to the live stage! Check out the full album at the above links!

I hope you guys liked this month's CD review, but what album will get a look next at the SMS? I'm not sure, but I have plans in place. Of course, preference will go to a new local album release (as in, one with a paid & formally packaged release, no loose paper-sleeved demos or free postings), and you can get previews of what could be next in our next Where Are The New Albums? feature post on Saturday! I've heard rumours for many, but time will tell if something does come out by the end of March. The exceptions to that would be albums by Haggith or Mike Haggith, as it's too soon from our last reviews of either, but I'm looking at a likely review of "Deuce" or "Apocalypse" in April. If no other new albums are released, I'll do an archive review, and if I can't tie in a review of any available metal/hard rock albums with a March concert, we'll likely review Woods of Ypres' 2008 compilation album "Independent Nature: 2002-2007", as we'll be past our 6 month buffer from the "Woods III" review, and it will be a nice lead-in to the Juno Awards in April. Regardless of what review is next, keep an eye out for it by the end of March!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow as we wrap up the month of February! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: The Line Drawn

Today marks our second-to-last monthly feature post of the month at the SMS, and it's this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! As always, this series looks at a band from out of town that just happens to feature at least one past/present Sault Ste. Marie-area resident in any of their lineups, and this month, we're looking at a fifth out of town project from one of the most prolific relocated metal musician Saultites of recent memory! Read on below for what you need to know, and if anything's missing or incorrect, tell me! (Updated on November 27th, 2014)
The Line Drawn (Windsor, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED)

Jay Buston (vocals)
Chris "Sugar" Wilkins (guitar)
Ash Richtig (bass)
Mike "Mihilo John" Kryworuchko (drums)

Official Facebook page:
Official Reverbnation page:
Official Twitter page:
Official YouTube channel:

Local Info:  Already well represented in past installments of this series, Sault Ontario native Ash Richtig is the current bassist in The Line Drawn, one of many current music projects of his in his current Windsor home! Likely otherwise best known as a drummer with The Heatseeking Moisture Missiles and NeanderTHRALL, he also plied his bass skills in the Line Drawn predecessor band Repetitions, and played all instruments in the late 2000s Windsor metal project Under Earth. He also continues to leave a mark as an administrator at regional music webzine The Windsor Zene, and even though his bands aren't common sights in the Soo, his links back home are still clear & present! 

Band Bio: Launched just weeks after Jay Buston & Ash Richtig's prior band Repetitions' July 2012 breakup, The Line Drawn saw them join forces with Ash's former NeanderTHRALL bandmate Chris Wilkins and ex-Gunsmith drummer Mihilo John, while playing a hardcore punk style close to that of Repetitions. After a few months of preparation, the band debuted in St. Thomas, Ontario on November 24th and in Windsor on December 1st. Since then, they've played and scheduled a number of metal & punk concerts in Southern Ontario (including opening sets for bands like Gypsy Chief Goliath & KEN Mode), and have also released original studio material, so be on the lookout for further news and notes from The Line Drawn! So far, there isn't a lot of live videos of The Line Drawn yet, but they are similar in many ways to Repetitions musically! Having Jay and Ash in the fold helps, and like earlier footage, the higher punk-tinged yelling vocals and hard hitting old school sound is familiar and very brutal!

I will say that Repetitions had a fuller sound than The Line Drawn (utilizing two guitarists helped in that regard), but they have fleshed out some of the messier rawness of earlier shows. The Line Drawn sound very exciting though, so keep an eye on them as they rise up the Windsor scene, and check out their first live video below!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month, we'll keep with Sault Ontario projects, this time looking at Brynhildr, the new black metal project from Sault College alum & Winter of Silence mainman Ryan DeWinter (a.k.a. Geiravor Hrist Herfjotra), so watch out for that on or around March 26th! That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news & weeekend concert previews soon, along with this month's review of Aftersight's only album! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Winkstinger's Bassist Search, New Videos, And Info On Our Next CD Review!!

As the last week of February winds down, we have more news and notes to get to at the SMS, and in today's post, we have new videos from a pair of recently prolific bands, the identity of our next CD review at the site, and leading off, a local metal group's new member search! Here's what you need to know!

We have a surprising lineup change from a prominent local band to announce, as Sault Ontario extreme metal standouts Winkstinger have apparently parted ways with bassist Ryan Sherman. The news was revealed on their Facebook page last night, and while the band stated that "it's time to do a shuffle, unfortunately", a direct reason for Ryan's departure hasn't been announced. Ryan joined the Battle for the Blood winners in 2010 to replace another Ryan (Disano) as their bassist, and had played at every Winkstinger show through their most recent live appearances last summer, along with the recording sessions towards their yet-released EP. This is disappointing news, but hopefully the split was amicable, and best of luck to Ryan in the future, as he's a talented bassist that would be an asset down the road! With that in mind, Winkstinger are looking for a new bassist, and have a lot of new songs to unload, so message the band on Facebook at this location if you're interested in trying out.

This could be a huge opportunity for any aspiring local metal bassists, so I encourage you guys to give Winkstinger a shout! I have no idea why they've been so quiet in recent months, but maybe a new bassist will spark the guys back onto the stage sooner rather than later, so keep this in mind, and stay tuned for updates!

Next up, here's our first glimpse of Kinross, Michigan quintet Banned's new lineup, and potentially, a sign of their current/future sound?  Uploaded to the band's brand new YouTube channel on Friday (no word if they're now formally abandoning Ashley Traynor's channel for new videos as a result), this is of Banned covering the Carrie Underwood song "Blown Away" at Todd's Tavern in Moran (presumably on February 16th), but how does the new lineup sound? I expected some female-sung covers now that Tara Starr's in the fold, and while Carrie Underwood seems like a jump from their classic/hard rock base, she does have a good voice that seems adaptable for varying material! New rhythm guitarist Denny Smith fits well too, but I'd like to see them play some more challenging covers. Plus, Tara needs to loosen up her stage presence a bit (though she's more active than Mike Straw was in their older videos), and the angle of the camera barely shows bassist Jim Pentland behind the one speaker.

It remains to be seen if they're going a lighter and more accessible path (a'la the original Turner Up becoming Full Circle in 2011), or if this is just some diversification given their new singer, but Banned still have a lot of visible talent and chemistry, so give their cover of "Blown Away" a look below, and no matter where they're uploaded, stay tuned for more Banned videos when they roll in!

Also in new videos, Sault Ontario grunge rockers Haggith have uploaded a pair of new studio versions of their song "75" onto their YouTube channel! Posted yesterday, the files are of the normal version (as embedded below) for their third album "Deuce", and a radio edit with muted explicit lyrics. A composition by drummer Mike Haggith & featuring backing vocals by guest performer Kristi-Lee Marshall, it's a medium rocker that fans of Haggith should gravitate to, so check out the links above and the embedded file below to hear "75"! I won't fully review it yet, as I'm still waiting for our next Haggith album review in the spring.

And finally for today, I wanted to announce the identity of this month's CD review at The Sault Metal Scene! With no new local metal/hard rock album releases that I know of (free online postings don't count), I've decided to dip into the archives for the first time since September, and for this next review, we'll be looking at defunct local hard/alternative rock quartet Aftersight's 2003 debut (and only) album "Waiting For Lightning"! As I generally like to link archive reviews in with recent concerts featuring band members, this is tied in with frontman Ed Vowels' recent gigs with his current band Lucky 13, who share a similar (albeit covers-centric) sound with Aftersight. Recent local metal/hard rock fans may not be entirely familiar with Aftersight, but they remained scatteredly active through the late 2000s with occasional concert appearances (including at the Sick Jams For Sick Kids benefit in late 2008), and their sound will be familiar to many. Watch out for this review by Thursday, and to bone up on "Waiting For Lightning", check it out online at this location!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, including a brand new local metal act, as well as this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on The Line Drawn tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Nudge), Woods Of Ypres In The Sault Star, And Much More!!

Let's clear out most of our remaining news on this Sunday afternoon, so what's on tap today? Among some assorted shorter news stories, we have new solo performance videos, the latest Haggith updates, and information on a major news article relating to a recent big story in the scene, but first, here's some LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for this coming weekend!

Marquette/Ishpeming hard rock quartet Nudge will make their first Sault Michigan stops of 2013 this coming Friday and Saturday at The Satisfied Frog! As quietly announced a couple of days ago, these will be their first local gigs in 4 months, and they should have some solidly entertaining sets of covers and originals for their fans in the area once again! This will also be just their third local concert weekend with former Gin Blossoms drummer Scott Kusmirek in the fold, and I've heard great things about him with Nudge, so hopefully the good vibes continue this coming weekend! Both shows have 10:00 PM start times and 21+ age limits, while there's no announced cover charge. Note as well that no solo acoustic gigs have been announced for Wednesdsay or Thursday at The Frog, unlike their 2012 local dates, but keep an eye out just in case. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see Nudge back in the area, and hopefully their local contingent of fans go wild both nights for their entertaining hard rock performances! If any updates come in, I'll have them here!

Next up, the recent news of Woods of Ypres' Juno Award nomination have attracted some more local news coverage via this article from The Sault Star! Wrote by Michael Purvis and entitled "Juno-nominated album is son's legacy, says mother", it was posted online on Wednesday (and likely included in the Thursday issue of the paper.) It focuses on the defunct local metal band's album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" and it's nomination for a Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year Juno last week, and it features remarks from late frontman David Gold's mother Esther, final Woods guitarist Joel Violette, and myself on the album & nomination. I encourage you guys to read the article, but it offers some nice insights from those who Michael talked to, including Esther's response to Woods of Ypres' Juno nomination, the recording process for "W5", and the lyrical themes now that David has passed away, among others. The article also reveals that the Gold family have already booked hotel rooms in Regina to attend the Junos on April 20th-21st, and Joel also plans to be there.

It's a good article overall, with some interesting thoughts and statements on Woods of Ypres & David Gold's impact and musical legacy, so check it out at the above links, and stay tuned for further updates as we inch closer to the Junos in April!

Thirdly, here's the latest news from Sault Ontario grunge quartet Haggith! On Thursday, the band unveiled the final track listing for their projected third studio album "Deuce" via an image file, so what tracks are coming on it? Alongside the previously announced "Leon the Janitor", "75", and "Safe on the Outside", the album will also include recent live track "Loverbeam", an already implied untitled song, a cover of the Mike Haggith solo track "To Whom This May Concern", and new songs named "That Cold Winter Breeze", "Clifton Hill", and "To Stay Alive", though "Public Enemy" curiously did not made the cut, despite being plugged on their Facebook page on Thursday as well. To promote the planned album, Haggith have posted some new media files on Facebook, including acoustic variants of "75" & "Clifton Hill", and both work to the strengths of their main performers (without giving anything away), so check them out above! Plans are for "Deuce" to be released in the spring (possibly as soon as next month), so stay tuned to the above links for all current updates!

Also today, relocated local musician Ryan Harrison has uploaded some new solo performance videos onto his YouTube channel to check out! The RedStone Riot/ex-Elipzis bassist and former Riot! By Night frontman posted acoustic vocal/guitar covers of Paolo Nutini's "Last Request", Story of the Year's "Anthem of our Dying Day", and (as embedded below) Breaking Benjamin's "Breath" onto YouTube yesterday, and all are part of his "pajama sessions" that he started last fall from his current Muskegon home base. The new videos are similar in vein to his past solo covers (albeit at an oddly placed camera angle where his guitar playing isn't visible), but overall, his singing and guitar work are on form! Vocals are a bit scratchy at points, but overall, pretty good stuff! I'd be curious to see Ryan do some plugged in electric material like this, or at least some heavier covers in general, but give his latest "pajama sessions" covers a look above & below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band or artist name:

  • Former Fingerbone/Pisstanks bassist Charles Gibson is looking to re-enter a local music project, and if anyone's willing to jam, send him a message on Facebook at this location! Charles originally posted about his search on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group yesterday, and his talents would be nice to see active again locally!
  • I've moved Pickford hard rock quintet NoXcape to our inactive Sault Michigan band links due to a year's inactivity. The Absolute/Riot! By Night successors last updated their online pages a year ago yesterday, and they hadn't plugged any announced shows after September 2011, so they likely parted ways last year. NoXcape had promise from the members' past band work & chemistry, and hopefully the guys come together for another project down the road!
  • Two weeks ago, cellist and former Woods of Ypres guest studio performer Raphael Weinroth-Browne uploaded his cover of the "Woods V" song "Adora Vivos" onto YouTube at this location, so give it a listen! It's from the forthcoming "Heart of Gold" tribute album, and it's similar to the Australian cello cover of "Allure of the Earth" in some ways, so check it out, and stay tuned for album updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news this week, including this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on The Line Drawn on Tuesday! Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 22, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Caveman Morrison) & Axed Theory Night Concert Review!!

Tonight's post was supposed to be 100% devoted to our first concert review since November (believe it or not), but we have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT to announce as well, and I don't wanna force a third post today and get everything lost in the mix, so I'll plug that first before the show review! Read on below for details, and don't forget to check out this month's YouTube Channel Profiles in the post below this one! (EDITED, 9:37 PM)

Local metal cover trio Caveman Morrison will be playing at The Roosevelt Hotel TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT! I apologize for the short notice, but the band just launched the Facebook event page for it last night (even admitting the gigs wERE announced last minute), so maybe they're a late replacement for a cancelled act? This comes just one night after drummer Johnny Belanger rocked The Rosie with The Bear Hunters (more on that in a second), and I believe these will be Caveman Morrison's first concerts since Redundant bassist James White returned to their lineup, so hopefully the guys get back into the same rhythm they had during James' first stint with the band! Admission should be free for these 10:00 PM shows, and there's a 19+ age limit in place. Check the above links for more details! Late notice or not, Caveman Morrison are known for their entertaining and prolific metal & hard rock covers, so don't miss them at The Rosie TONIGHT & TOMORROW! For a preview, here's Caveman Morrison covering Foreigner's "Blue Morning, Blue Day" from James' original run as their bassist!

Now, here's my review of last night's "Axed Theory Night", which marked the first multi-band Thursday night concert at The Rosie at 5 months, and the first all metal Thursday nighter there since the last regularly scheduled Rosie metal night in July! The Roosevelt Hotel was how I remembered it last, and there was a decent crowd all things considered, but how did the bands, all of which were making their 2013 debuts, do last night?

Opening the night was local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters in their first local concert since August (not counting their Sudbury show in December), and it sure didn't feel like that long since they last played here, as they were back to their usual brutal tricks! Their set was full of established originals like "Render This Void", "Dominate", and "Karma", along with an instrumental demo of a new song named "Servitude" that sounds promising in itself, and the guys seemed to be in fine form overall! Aside from some muddled guitar audibility early on, Mitch Sirie & Josh Stephney were great and very technical, and Nik Deubel's vocals were very brutal and devastating as I expected (though I wish he threw clean chorus singing back in some songs.) Overall, it's great to see The Bear Hunters bringing their melodic death metal attack back to the local stage, and hopefully it won't be another half year wait for the next one, but keep a trip to Sudbury in mind next month for their second gig outside of the Algoma District!

Taking the middle slot (and replacing dropped headliners Annex Theory) were the Sault's only blue Chinese metal crash punk quartet Sykotyk Rampage, and while I did see some more negative responses to their set from some fans, I enjoyed what they did! As long as you come into their sets with an open mind and focus on the fun drinking & party atmosphere, you'll find stuff to like, as the fan sing-a-long during their "Fuck You, I'm Drunk" cover should attest to! Their somewhat shortened set included a mix of newer songs like "Bucket of Ham" & "Never Ending Life" with their established drinking songs like "Drinking on the Weekend", while guitarist Dirk Becker got into full anger mode on two songs, trading the guitar for a pitcher of beer to focus on angrily yelling & singing while jumping on tables, which was cool in & of itself! Their set also went by the smoothest, with no microphone issues (ust their usual rampage) and new bassist Tony Briglio's really coming into his own live, including more effective backing vocals! Though different from the death metal bookending sets, Sykotyk Rampage put in a fun middle act, and stay tuned for updates on their next studio work!

Headlining last night were local death/grind trio Shit Liver in their first public local concert since July (though they also played in Sudbury in December), and I regretfully had to leave really early in their set, as I had to be up early this morning for some personal commitments, but I made sure to stay long enough to get a few photos and a video! From what I saw, they put in a very brutal set of original material that brought a wall of moshable noise and crust to their fans, and the moshpits were lively! Their set included older originals like "Contribute Or Perish" and "Shift Liver" along with some visibly newer tracks like "Hate Shit Sooer" and "Liverated", and while their set was very delayed due to microphone issues, I can't complain about what I saw compared to earlier sets of theirs! I wish I could have stayed longer, but hopefully Shit Liver's set was as devastating and brutal as people expected, and I promise I'll see the whole thing next time out! (Also, if you noticed a burned CD at their merchandise table, that was an "unmastered demo" of their album featuring 5 originals. I don't think they were selling it at all, but I can't wait to hear the tracks!)

Overall, it was great to finally see another local concert after almost 3 months! I could blame the lower show amount recently and my own personal life, but that was still too long for me to not see anything, and I'll try my hardest to ensure that doesn't happen again! All 3 bands were on their games, and I'm sure we'll see much more of them in 2013! I got dozens of photos as usual, so click here to check them out (or visit the SMS' Facebook page), and I have videos of The Bear Hunters playing "Overthrown", Sykotyk Rampage playing "Hay Zeus", and Shit Liver playing "Helen Kellers", which you can check out below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes likely tomorrow, including info on the recent Woods of Ypres/Juno Awards article in The Sault Star! Thanks everyone!

YouTube Channel Profile Series: WoodsOfYpresVEVO, reneepaigefecteau, and sonorri's Channels

As promised, today marks this month's latest YouTube Channel Profiles, where we once again look at & profile up to 3 YouTube channels with at least a 50% concentration of local metal-relevant videos! This month, we're looking at the 3 channel maximum due to the first channel we randomly selected having just one video, so we added more until we had a full installment. What videos lie in these channels? Why should you watch or subscribe? What else should you know on each? Read on below to find out, and if anything's wrong or missing, please let me know!
WoodsOfYpresVEVO's Channel (

Owner: Major label music video website/company Vevo (though the individual identity of this channel's creator is unknown)

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 19th, 2011; Only video posted on August 1st of that year

Channel Summary: Vevo are a familiar sight for YouTube users who frequently watch music videos online, but there wasn't a direct connection to the local metal scene until mid-2011, when a Vevo account was started for blackened doom metal standouts Woods of Ypres to host their music videos under their branding. Only their last video for "I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery" was uploaded there, which is now the most viewed version of the video on YouTube (even more than the band's official copy from 6 months prior.) Had Woods of Ypres frontman David Gold's not passed away in December 2011, future music videos of theirs would likely have been posted there, but with events happening how they did, the channel hasn't been updated in over a year. As a video source, it's redundant due to multiple other more active channels featuring it, but this epic doom ballad from 2010's "Woods IV" is still a great & haunting song & video, and it's worth checking out (unless the Vevo watermark is an irritance)

Reneepaigefecteau's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user and likely Sault Ontario resident Renee Paige Fecteau

Channel Timeline: Launched on January 28th, 2008; Videos posted that same day

Channel Summary: One of the shortest local metal-relevant channels by average video runtime, Renee's two videos amount to just 39 seconds in total length. One is an 18 second video of a friend "making a fool out of himself" at a bar, although it's so dark, short, and oddly angled that it's hard to tell what he's doing. The other video is definitely fits on the SMS, and it's a live video from South African hard rock/grunge band Seether's set opening for Three Days Grace at the then-Steelback Center on January 24th, 2008! It's 21 seconds of them playing their ballad "Broken" (which ex-3DG singer Adam Gontier guested on), and while it's short with fuzzy video quality, the audio's pretty good despite the length, sounding close to the studio track! Note however that Renee has not visibly used this channel since shortly after these videos were posted, in case that changes your mind on subscribing.

sonorri's Channel (

Owner: Former Sense of Truth drummer Ryan "Kev Riain" Haryett

Channel Timeline: Launched on August 14th, 2006; Only video posted on November 24th, 2009

Channel Summary: Though still used for personal needs, Ryan only uploaded one video onto his YouTube channel, which comes from a concert that his old local hard rock band Sense of Truth played in 2009! I believe this came from their set at the Skate 4 Cancer fundraiser at The Grand Theater on May 14th, 2009, and this features their entire 2008-2011 quintet incarnation. The video features Sense of Truth covering Tool's "Stinkfist", which Ri complimented as being "the most fun I had playing a tune" (despite dropping his drumsticks late), and the flowing video quality backs up their talents well! Strong vocals from Cory Murchison and quality bass work from Curtis Beauchamp especially, and it's well filmed videos like this that make me wish Sense of Truth had stayed active following their 2011 breakup, but at least we have the similar Skeyes of Seven now!

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month, we'll return to Sault Michigan for a one channel profile, as we randomly selected YouTube user Dino Capriata's channel, which features a number of videos from assorted hard rock concerts at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Stay tuned for this profile on or around March 22nd, and stay tuned hopefully tonight for our first concert review in way too long! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Lucky 13) & This Weekend's Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

Today at the SMS, we're focusing on this weekend's metal and hard rock concert previews in the area (five heavier-leaning shows in total), and while most have been announced (including a big metal show in Sault Ontario), we also have a SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERT on this side to announce as well, so here's what you need to know for your concert planning through the next few days!

New Sault Ontario alternative/hard rock quartet Lucky 13 will play just their third ever live concert THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at The Rockstar Bar! I apologize for the short notice, but I only just heard about this show via this Facebook event page launched yesterday from the venue (despite the band confirming it on their Facebook page in a comment reply 3 weeks ago, which I profusely apologize for missing!) Coming over a month after their Rockstar Bar debut, the band featuring Route 69, Turner Up, and Gully Yodelers alumni should be raring to go with a set full of 1990s-leaning hard & alternative rock covers, and hopefully a huge crowd turns out on Saturday for Lucky 13's entertaining addition to the local music scene! A $5 cover is likely, you must be at least 19 to attend, and there's an announced start time of 10:30 PM. Check the above links for more details! I like Lucky 13's grittier take on alternative rock, and they tackle songs most local cover acts don't do, so there's all the more reason to consider seeing them live on Saturday night at The Rockstar Bar! For a preview, here they are covering a Stone Temple Pilots classic last fall!

Next up is a familiar sight, as there's a metal concert going down TONIGHT at The Roosevelt Hotel! While the dormant Rosie metal night series has yet to make a full scheduled return from it's hiatus, this is the first Thursday night metal with a metal majority at this venue since July of last year, so no matter what you call it, this has been a long time coming! Originally scheduled to be headlined by Winnipeg progressive metal sextet Annex Theory (who dropped out the other day due to road closures & inclement weather in Manitoba), the current lineup boasts three local metal bands, all of which are making their first live concert appearances of 2013, but who's on tap? From what I understand, the headliners will be local grimecore trio Shit Liver in their first public local concert in almost 8 months, and their polarizing yet exceedingly heavy sound is sure to be welcomed back by their devoted fan base tonight! There have been hints that their debut album might be done by this show, but will we see any glimpses of new material, recorded or live? Tonight, we'll know!

The middle band (who replaced Annex Theory on the lineup) is local alternative/blues/crash quartet Sykotyk Rampage, who'll bring their prolific and ever-evolving set of creative originals back to the stage in their first Roosevelt Hotel gig in over 6 months! Their current lineup has been playing more frequently than ever before, and you never know what they'll do next! Opening tonight's festivities will be the returning local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters, themselves playing for the first time in Sault Ste. Marie since August (though, like Shit Liver, they played live in Sudbury in December.) Also with their own original recorded material in the works, The Bear Hunters' proficient melodic take on the genre has a strong following locally, and they've been missed in recent months, so don't miss out on these Rosie favourites! This show is being presented by Frightlight frontman J.D. Pearce (who booked three other metal/punk Thursday gigs at The Rosie last year), and it's cleverly being called "Axed Theory Night" on the new poster, referencing Annex Theory being "axed" from the bill.

There will be a $3 cover for this 19+ concert, and a 9:00 PM start time is listed on the Facebook event page. Check the above links for more details! It's about time that we see these bands back on stage, especially the two death metal bands, as it's been far too long for a local public audience to mosh out with them! Even if this doesn't mark a full return of the Rosie metal nights yet, this has the spirit and flavour of one from the band selection alone, so you won't wanna miss out! For a preview, here's Shit Liver at The Rosie last May, and I hope to see you guys there for a long awaited SMS concert review!

We'll close this post in the Eastern U.P., where two popular bands will be playing within an hour of Sault Michigan this weekend, including Charlevoix metal trio Peril TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT at The Northern Pines Lounge at the St. Ignace Kewadin Casino! One of the area's favourite touring hard rock bands, these will be Peril's first "local" shows of 2013, and until we get some schedule updates from Kewadin Casino, their only currently scheduled dates in the region so far this year, and with their long history and entertaining covers, you won't wanna miss the action! Admission should be free for these 10:00 PM-ish concerts, and you must be 21 to attend either tomorrow or Saturday night. Check the above links for more details! Peril's classic metal approach should be sure to appeal to a wide variety of fans, as usual, so keep a drive down to St. Ignace in mind this weekend! For a preview, here's Peril covering "Crazy Train" a few years back! (They need more online videos)

Finally for today, Kinross hard rock quintet Banned will return to The Cozy Corners Tavern & Grill in Barbeau, Michigan (a half hour south of the Soo, an hour north of St. Ignace) on Saturday night for their second gig at this venue this month! Their new lineup will very likely be in attendance, as I can more or less confirm from new Facebook photo postings that they have indeed added Tara Starr & Denny Smith as their new singer & guitarist, replacing Mike Straw and Alex Schrovenwever. Reasons for their departures weren't announced, but considering that Mike's band status was downgraded to "occasional" last year, and Alex has been away at college since August, there are assumptions to be made, but best of luck to both in the future! I wish nothing but the best for the new members, and while hearing Banned with a female singer will be an adjustment, hopefully Don & Alex Traynor still get vocal opportunities going forward, as both are very good on the right material!

The new look Banned will be sure to rock the house with their covers & originals on Saturday night, with no announced cover charge, 8:30 PM start time, and 21+ age limits in tow. Check the above links for more details! Hopefully Banned build on their current lineup's first gigs with a smash success at The Cozy Corners on Saturday night, so keep it in mind this weekend! For a preview, here's Banned covering an Alice In Chains classic last year, and hopefully we'll see some new lineup videos online soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this month's YouTube Channel Profiles TOMORROW, plus if all goes according to plan, our first live concert review since November! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Woods Of Ypres' Juno Nomination, Apocalypse: The Musical Updates, And A Possible Local Concert!!

Here's one more news post before we preview this weekend's metal and hard rock concerts tomorrow morning, and in today's entry, we have a possible show for the spring that needs a booker, a lineup change for an upcoming local metal show, and leading off, huge news relating to a major award nomination for a local band, so here's what you need to know!

Woods of Ypres have been posthumously nominated for a Juno Award! As revealed during yesterday's announcements of the nominees (viewable here), the defunct local blackened doom metal band were nominated in the Best Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year category for their final studio album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", which is absolutely huge news for both the local metal scene and the band as a whole! (for Yooper reference, the Junos are essentially the Canadian Grammys.) "W5" is up against the newest albums from The Cancer Bats, Castle, The Devin Townsend Project, and Ex Deo for the honour, ensuring some stiff competition for the award (KEN Mode beat the likes of Anvil & Fuck The Facts to win the first Juno in the Metal/Hard Music category last year). The 2013 Juno Awards will be held on April 21st in Regina, Saskatchewan, but the metal category will likely be a part of an untelevised private gala dinner the night before the main ceremony, as was the case last year (but those awards are acknowledged on air during the main ceremony on CTV.)

This is fantastic news, and I think in some ways, totally unexpected, as you don't picture the Junos and local metal bands going hand in hand, but the introduction of a full metal category is great in that regard! This may seem like a late nomination given the "Woods V" release last spring, but eligible songs/bands/albums for this year stretch from the end of 2011 through most of last year, so it came out too late for the 2012 awards. I don't know as of yet if anyone connected to the band will be able to attend the awards (guitarist Joel Violette & Gold family members would make perfect sense), but it is still sad that frontman David Gold isn't with us anymore to fully realize how well "W5" has been received. This just adds to the mark he left as a musician locally and nationally, and if this helps spread Woods of Ypres to a larger fanbase (even posthumously), their legacy will benefit, win or lose! I just wish the metal awards were broadcast in some form. If any updates come out concerning the category or ceremony that would impact local Woods fans, we'll have them here, but keep the Junos in mind come April! David would be proud!

Next up, here's another lineup change relating to Apocalypse: The Musical at The Canadian Nightclub on March 1st, as Late & Loud have dropped out of the all-tribute concert. A reason for their withdrawl wasn't announced, but seeing as two members are still playing at the show, I imagine there's either individual scheduling or personal reasons involved. Hopefully we'll see Late & Loud back soon though, as their recent shows have been way too sporadic! In their place, a one-off tribute band named Loud Lazer has been formed, ostensibly because it's a combination of members of Late & Loud (guitarist Jonathan Tiberi & bassist Benn Garside) and local rock quintet Lazer Queen (singer/guitarist Kate Drew & drummer Bret Shuttleworth.) This "new" band will still be playing a set of Motley Crue covers, as Late & Loud had originally intended. I'll note that Bret's involvement returns him to this show following his & Jon's thrash band Pillory's exit earlier this month, while the complete Loud Lazer lineup is almost the same as Lazer Queen, but with Benn Garside on bass (not keyboard) instead of Josh Hatherley, there is a unique direct L&L connection.

This "new" band should be interesting to hear, especially with the added lead vocal possibilities now that Kate's involved! Make sure not to miss Loud Lazer along with The Fiend Brigade (essentially T-Rex Manning) and Xanadu (Jon Tiberi's metal band from Welland) one week from Friday at The Canadian! Click here for all current details, including the updated poster above!

Finally for today, wanna help bring a touring metal band here for a concert? Last week, I received an e-mail from Aaron Homma, a guitarist in the Ontario/Quebec grindcore supergroup Killitorous, and he's hoping to get a booking for both them and Hamilton groove/hardcore metal band Skynet in Sault Ontario in May. I sent him some promoter contacts, but can you help? Killitorous' lineup has a lot of local concert connections, as Aaron played here with Immersed in July 2011, while they also boast members of Blind Witness, Today I Caught The Plague, and Blessed By A Broken Heart in their lineup, all of which you're bound to remember from late 2000s hardcore/metal shows! Skynet themselves have local links too, as members Blake Prince & Adrian Levasseur are alumni of local concert headliners Straight Reads The Line, and they were briefly advertised to headline the Locals Attack show at The Canadian in November before dropping out, so if this show goes down, it will be very familiar!

Musically, both bands are very cool, with Killitorous employing a brutal moshable grind/death sound, and Skynet having a djent-inspired technical style that has some Meshuggah influences, and I recommend checking both out! In the event that the contacts I sent don't work out, can you help promote or book Killitorous & Skynet in May? Message Aaron at this location if you're interested, and hopefully we'll see the guys here in the spring!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for this weekend's metal/hard rock concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Annex Theory Lineup Change, New Videos, And More!!

On this extremely snowy Tuesday, why not stay in with a new news post? Today, we have new videos from recent Kewadin Casino events (one you'd expect, and one you wouldn't), along with a few assorted shorter stories from recent days, but first, here's a big update relating to an upcoming metal show!

There's been a big change to the lineup of this Thursday's metal concert at The Roosevelt Hotel, as headlining Winnipeg progressive death metal band Annex Theory have been forced out of the show due to weather-related road closures, which have shut down the highways where they currently are (my source is their Facebook page.) This is extremely disappointing, especially for local metalheads who enjoyed Annex Theory's show here in 2011, but hopefully we'll see them back in the area at some point soon! Never fear though, as a replacement band has already been found, that being the original crash band, Sykotyk Rampage! As confirmed in comment replies on the Facebook event page, this will be Sykotyk Rampage's first live concert appearance of 2013 & their first show at The Rosie in over 6 months, and with their addition, they'll now take the middle slot on Thursday, likely making The Bear Hunters the new headliners at the concert.

It's great to see Sykotyk Rampage back in the new year, and while they are a stylistic change from The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver, they should entertain with their varied improvised hard/alternative rock originals! Plus, if guitarist Dirk Becker's doing sound already, that'd make the choice even more fitting! Stay tuned to the SMS tomorrow or Thursday for more on this show when we preview the weekend's metal & hard rock shows!

Next up, we finally have a video from a recent Dreammaker's Theater hard rock concert, as this video of the Steve Priest version of Sweet at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino is now online! Uploaded by YouTube user yoopergraywolf43 on Friday, this is of the April Wine openers playing their song "Love Is Like Oxygen", and it's a decent video! The filmer had a good angle of the band, though the quality is very mixed, with cell phone camera dimensions and staticy audio, but at least the filmed song isn't overly heavy (if yoopergraywolf43 had filmed "Ballroom Blitz", I imagine it wouldn't have came out as well.) This version of Sweet sounds good though, and it's great to finally see any videos from the April Wine concert, so check out this new video below, and hopefully someone has more waiting to be posted!

Also in the realm of new Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino videos is something a little different. On Saturday, this video was uploaded to YouTube by Grand Rapids live entertainment act Piano Party, who specialize in solo and dueling piano concerts at corporate and private events. Such appearances make the audience the stars of the show, with almost entirely audience-requested setlists and crowd participation combined with humour and widely varying songs, and it all definitely sounds like a fun time, but where's the direct metal connection? Piano Party performers Charlie Bauman and Nick Ayoub were recently booked for an event of some kind at the Soo Kewadin, and they were filmed during their performance of the Queen classic "Bohemian Rhapsody", which is very well done for an impromptu duo version! Great singing, and piano work, though some parts of the song definitely work a lot better than others (i.e. the opera part suffers, despite solid audience call & response.) Different, but fun in it's own way, so check out Piano Party's local Queen rendition below!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter stories from the last little while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by band name:

  • I've deleted Sault Ontario metal project Meatplow from our inactive Sault Ontario band links. One of the more recent local projects from ex-Amethyst drummer Phil Temporao, they were active from 2009-2011, but with the deletions of their videos and almost all online pages, there's very little surviving online at present to document them. Hopefully Phil revisits the project down the road, or at least re-posts their videos, as their industrial tinged sound was a neat addition to the scene!
  • A new instrumental demo song has been posted onto Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's Reverbnation page! Entitled "Dreams of Winter Symphony", it's a slower and more emotional sounding track compared to some of their more recent output, but it's very well performed and still has an epic feel, so check the link above to hear it!
  • An interview from last fall with ex-Woods of Ypres guitarist Joel Violette for Thunder Bay college radio station LU Radio's Iron Maple radio show was just posted online this month, so click here to give it a listen! It's largely about his New Brunswick black metal band Thrawsunblat & their upcoming 2nd album, but Joel does briefly address the reception to "Woods V" and the David Gold tribute shows last spring, and it's a solid interview overall, if patchy for audio quality!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews and more as the week rolls along, plus this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Thanks everyone!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's Latest Poll!!

It's the 18th once again, so it's time to look at the results of last month's poll at the SMS and unveil our newest poll! As you may remember, last month's poll explored this question: What was your favourite local metal/hard rock album of 2012? We got a solid 59 votes, which is a nice total overall, but what did you guys pick as your favourite CD of the past year? The final results are below!

Late And Loud - Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal (44%, 26 votes)
Haggith - Dragon Joy Ride (19%, 11 votes)
Destroilet - Destroilet (14%, 8 votes)
Woods of Ypres - Woods V: Grey Skies And Electric Light (10%, 6 votes)
Haggith - Apocalypse (5%, 3 votes)
Theatre of Night - The Dawn's Early Light (3%, 2 votes)
Insipid Brutality - Insipid Brutality (2%, 1 vote)
Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch (2%, 1 vote)
Other (2%, 1 vote)
End of Existence - End of Existence (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm very surprised that End of Existence's debut CD got no votes, especially with the months of anticipation for it! Maybe the slowed activity after it's release helped dull it's impact? I can't effectively comment on the "Other" vote (maybe they meant for Sykotyk Rampage?), but I'm not surprised with the other 1 vote totals, especially as both aren't current live acts. Theatre of Night's album seems low in the voting (but it did top the Sault Michigan albums), but again, they're not a live band yet,. Haggith's second album seems a bit low too, but maybe I figured fans would show more parity between their albums in the results. I'm very shocked that Woods of Ypres' last album only got 6 votes, especially given it's notoriety and impact last spring, but the top three are pleaant surprises for their results! Destroilet & Haggith's 3rd and 2nd place finishes are indicative of devoted fanbases, especially as both albums only got late 2012 releases! However, the winner with 26 votes and 44% of the total was Late & Loud's debut EP "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal"!

While I know that Late & Loud were among the bands who promoted the poll on their fan pages, it's encouraging to see a demo with just a single concert to release it get this much support, and hopefully the response for it helped encourage Late & Loud's impending return to the stage on March 1st at The Canadian, and hopefully this EP is on sale for it too!

Thanks to everyone for voting! Now, what poll is coming this month? We're still deep into our "favourite _____ of 2012" polls, and today, we're posing this question to you guys: What was the biggest local metal news story of 2012? Simple enough question, as the previous year was full of noteworthy concerts, events, album releases, and more that helped shape the local metal scene in good and bad ways! I've chosen 25 of the biggest local metal moments from last year (for better or worse), plus "Other", to choose from in this poll , and for inclusion, the choice must have happened or been held in 2012, not the last couple of months (January 2013 doesn't count.) Also, this poll is supposed to reflect the biggest & most newsworthy stories of last year, not the most popular through individual band campaigns, so please keep things fair to ensure we get a real subsection of the local scene's thoughts on the topic. So, of all of the stories, events, and news items from 2012 in the local metal scene, what was the biggest to you? The choices lie below!

3 Inches of Blood headline at The Rosie: On July 9th, Victoria, B.C. power metal standouts 3 Inches of Blood made their long awaited return to Sault Ontario with a jam-packed concert at The Roosevelt Hotel, along with fellow touring death metal quintet Wretched & local openers The Bear Hunters & Winkstinger (who won the Battle for the Blood the previous month for the privilege!) It was an awesome show, but was this the top metal story of last year?

Andres Duchesne passes away: While this was by no means a good story, much of the holiday season was dominated by the loss of Pillory/ex-Bear Hunters guitarist Andres Duchesne in December. His talents and personality haven't been forgotten by his friends and family, and he's missed to this day, but would you consider his passing to be the biggest story in the local metal scene in 2012?

Anvil returns to Sault Ste. Marie in July: A huge month of July ended with a bang on the 25th when Toronto metal legends Anvil finally returned to Sault Ste. Marie for a night of metal on metal at The Canadian Nightclub! Their set was well received by the huge audience, and they also responded warmly to a stacked lineup of local openers, including Frightlight, Garden of Bedlam, and the debuing hard rock supergroup Skeyes of Seven! Did Anvil's return top the year to you?

Battles of the bands return to Sault Ontario after 2 years: With no battles of the bands since May 2010, many Sault Ontario music fans were excited at the return of these competitive fan favourite events last year, including the Humane Society battle at The Grand Theater in April & the Battle for the Blood at The Rosie in June, with Late & Loud & Winkstinger scoring victories at each! Each battle was successful, but was their return more newsworthy than other stories?

Borderline Divine (Stillbroke) ends 2 year concert hiatus: Last seen on stage in March 2010, many local metalheads were surprised and excited for the return of Stillbroke (renamed Borderline Divine) at the West of Hell/Tribune concert in May at The Canadian! Despite an exciting heavier sound & a lot of promise from their new lineup, they only played two further shows before going on hiatus in July, but was their long awaited return still the biggest metal story of 2012?

Buckcherry & Fuel rock Kewadin Casino: Arguably one of the biggest 2012 hard rock/metal shows at The Dreammaker's Theater, multi-platinum hard rock notables Buckcherry returned to Sault Michigan with 1990s favourites Fuel in tow, and The London Gentlemen provided local support with their own cumulative big show experience! Generally a well received concert from Allstar Promotions, was it your favourite regional metal moment last year?

Case's Music moves to Queen Street: After many successful years at their old Spring Street location, popular local music instrument/lessons store made the big move to the old Frame Center building at 636 Queen Street East on July 9th, and by all accounts, things are going great at their new downtown home, though their old home did welcome Colosimo's Music shortly afterwards. Did Case's Music's big move top last year's news stories?

Clownsack disbands: Despite their slowed activity levels since the end of 2010, many fans of Clownsack's energetic funk/metal sound, on-stage clown personas, major Michigan concert appearances, and two CDs were disappointed by their quiet breakup last year. Easily one of the most prominent Sault Michigan metal bands of recent memory, band members can still be seen live in the area as themselves, but was Clownsack's dissolution the biggest story of 2012?

Coch's Corner moves into Foggy's, becomes all acoustic: In a sense, Sault Ontario lost two metal concert venues last year when Coch's Corner moved from the now-Holiday Inn Express on Bay Street to the former Foggy Notions/Feedback location at 708 Queen Street East in April. After re-opening in June, the venue's music climate shifted to an all acoustic format, which I hear has worked out well, but was the Coch's/Foggy's merger the most notable story last year?

Dead & Divine rock The Canadian on their farewell tour: Already no strangers to Sault Ontario with at least 3 prior local concerts, Burlington hardcore quintet Dead & Divine stopped in town one last time on August 22nd during their farewell tour! Featuring touring metal openers Mychildren Mybride and Liferuiner along with local standouts As It Stands' only live set in the past 8 months, The Canadian was buzzing for this show, but did it top 2012 to you?

Destroilet resurface with new album: Despite a two year hiatus from the live stage, Destroilet quietly stayed alive in the studio, and they resurfaced with a vengeance in December with the release of their second CD and first full length album! The self-titled disc served as a half reissue of their 2011 debut EP, along with 6 new recordings, and it got a good response from Destroilet's old school hardcore fanbase, but was it's relese the biggest story of the past year?

Evans Blue headline Kim Rogers/Kelsey Raffaele benefit: Over a year and a half after they opened for Pop Evil under very similar circumstances, Toronto hard rockers Evans Blue returned to the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on September 29th to remember the memories of late local students Kim Rogers & Kelsey Raffaele, with fellow touring rockers State Your Cause and Detroit hard rock favourites Fifth Way joining in! Was this great charitable sell-out event your top show of the year?

Haggith release "Dragon Joy Ride" & "Apocalypse": Operating at a surprisingly fast pace following their mid-2012 launch, Sault Ontario grunge quartet Haggith have already released no less than two self-recorded studio albums in the latter half of the year, each of which supported by some big local concert appearances! Haggith have succeeded at bringing grunge back to the scene, but were these album releases your favourite news stories of the year that was?

The Halloween Party moves from Coch's to The Algonquin: Following the relocated Coch's Corner's shift to acoustic music, local concert promoter J.D. Pearce's popular Halloween party moved down the road to The Algonquin Pub, returning metal to the The Algonquin Hotel's downstairs bar! It's first new installment last October was a hit, with three talented local metal/punk bands and Toronto punk standouts The Fairmounts, but was the big move your big 2012 story?

Late & Loud returns from breakup with debut EP: After a brief breakup following the Skull Fist show in August, Humane Society Battle winners Late & Loud suddenly resurfaced on November 10th to open for The Saigon Hookers at The Rockstar Bar, with their first EP "Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal" in tow! Despite a positive reception for both the CD and the show, they haven't been seen since, but was their return engagement last fall the #1 news item of the year?

Lion Ride breaks up: An early disappointment in the area came when local/Toronto metal quintet Lion Ride broke up in February 2012 after a successful (yet increasingly sporadic) five year run. With numerous high impact local and Southern Ontario concerts under their belts, along with their 2008 EP "Awesome", Lion Ride's energetic original material and live shows left a deep impression, and even though most members still play live, was Lion Ride's end more newsworthy than the rest?

Rich Moreland moves to Alberta: Arguably the most prominent metal concert booker of the last 7 years, Dismembertainment founder & former local guitarist Rich Moreland moved to Alberta in September to pursue new work opportunities, having last promoted concerts in May. Though he hasn't closed the door on booking local shows, his high profile booking history & brief venue ownership left a great impression on local metalheads! Was his move the biggest 2012 news story?

The Roosevelt Hotel metal nights go on hiatus: Following the popular Thursday concert series' first ownership change in 2011, scheduling for the series' 7 installments in 2012 was somewhat erratic, and then it stopped after July 5th. Though J.D. Pearce still promotes occasional Thursday night shows at The Rosie (including the Annex Theory show this week), a formal return for the series has yet to be announced, but is it's ongoing hiatus a major news item?

Rotaryfest's Second Stage welcomes back hard rock bands: In 2011, no heavier bands played at the Tenaris Second Stage at Rotaryfest, but the drought didn't continue this year! 2010 headliners Garden of Bedlam returned to the outdoor Queen Street East stage in July with a very heavy set, while local hard rock notables Sailor's Tongue reunited after a long breakup to a good response in their own right! Did the return of hard rock to the local summer festival's second stage top last year?

The Sault Riverview Music Festival debuts in September: With so many local music/entertainment festivals in August, having one in September couldn't hurt, as Sault Michigan welcomed the first installment of The Sault Riverview Music Festival last fall! Featuring a wide assortment of local bands (including hard rock acts like Monkey's Uncle, Banned, & Tantrym Tyme), was this new family friendly festival a success to you among the other 2012 news stories?

Sebastian Bach comes to the Soo for "Swearnet": Five months before rocking Sault Michigan, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach was across the river in Sault Ontario for very different reasons, as he was filming scenes for the upcoming Trailer Park Boys movie "Swearnet"! His local weekend in August included some stopovers at local bars (including karaoke night at The Canadian), but was this unique appearance by a metal legend the biggest story of the year?

Stryper, Slaughter, and Lynch Mob hit Sault Michigan: The first metal/hard rock concert at The Dreammaker's Theater of 2012 took place on February 23rd, where a trifecta of 1980s hair/classic metal stormed Sault Michigan, with plenty of hits between them! Also notably featuring Slaughter's first regional show since opening for Jackyl in Sault Ontario in 2008, this concert earned a good response, but are you among the fans who'd rate this the highest?

That's Chester parts ways after 8 year run: One of the longest running hard rock bands in Sault Ontario at the time, local classic hard rock quintet That's Chester surprisingly announced their breakup in October after 8 years together, which saw them play tons of live concerts with their varying frontmen. Though their members are all still active in other projects, That's Chester's talent & chemistry was always evident, but did their breakup have the biggest impact last year?

Woods of Ypres posthumously release "Woods V": Less than two months after frontman David Gold's sudden passing in December 2011, the first release of their final studio album "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" took place last February, with the album available worldwide by April. Recieving the best reviews of Woods of Ypres' career for their doomiest and most accessible album yet, it served as a fitting farewell to the band & David, but did it top 2012 to you?

The Ypres Metal Fest held to remember David Gold: On April 7th, 12 bands gathered at The Canadian Nightclub to pay tribute to David Gold, with most covering Woods of Ypres songs on this brutal but emotional night! Featuring notable out of town bands like Kittie & Novembers Doom, five local bands, and an acoustic tribute from three ex-Woods of Ypres members, The Ypres Metal Fest won't soon be forgotten, but was it the biggest local metal story of the year?

Other: Did I miss a bigger news story in 2012 that you would rather vote for? Maybe you had a band debut in mind, like Skeyes of Seven or The Suicide Kings? How about another CD release, like one by Theatre of Night or End of Existence? Maybe you had a big concert in mind, like a Rosie metal night, one of the last Dismembertainment shows, or a local concert festival? Did anything else come to mind from the past year? Vote for "Other" if your preferred option isn't above!

VOTE TODAY!!! You have until March 18th to cast your votes in this month's poll, and as February's a shorter month, the timeframe is a bit less than usual, so make your voices heard in the next month or so! The poll is on your left, so cast your votes A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for a new news post hopefully tomorrow! Thanks everyone!