Friday, January 31, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Fuck The Facts) & Some New Concert Videos!!

In our likely last post of the month, we're keeping the recent busy news and big updates coming with some recent concert videos and a huge LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for the spring that you metalheads will surely be excited for, so read on below for what you need to know!

Ottawa grindcore favourites Fuck The Facts are returning to the Soo for the first time in almost two years for a headlining show at The Oddfellows Hall on Sunday, May 4th! Last seen at The Canadian in May 2012 (though we saw bassist Marc Bourgon with his other band Greber last spring), this Juno nominated quintet have developed a great reputation for their unique and extremely brutal live sets, and I'm sure the same will be said for their return in just over 3 months! Joining them from out of town are North Bay black metal standouts Empyrean Plague, also returning to the Soo for the first time since 2012 after their set at that April's Ypres Metal Fest! This will also be their first local stop with their current lineup, and if you know them well, their devastating blackened metal sound will be right at home once again, so it's great to see them coming back this direction! Fuck The Facts are slated to headline this ALL AGES show at 11:00 PM, though Empyrean Plague are actually slotted third on the bill at 9:00 PM, so who else is playing this huge show?

The second-last slot at 10:00 PM actually belongs to local/Toronto grimecore trio Shit Liver, in what is currently their first announced concert in over 8 months! We haven't heard a lot concert-wise since they moved down south, but it's great to have their crusty metal assault back in May, so keep their upcoming return in mind! A few more relocated Saultites are also opening, as local/London death metal quartet Saints & Serpents will also make their local debut in the 8:15 PM slot! Featuring the non-drumming members of the former Valentine's Day Massacre, it will be Steve, Andrew, and Adam's first local concert set since The V.D.M.'s last local date in December 2012, so this has been way too long coming, and hopefully they pick up where they left off in the early 2010s! As of right now, this show will also mark the debut of their new drummer (replacing the departed Ian Timmermans), though the search is still ongoing in the London area, so if you're down there or know someone who could try out, message Saints & Serpents A.S.A.P.!

The lineup's currently rounded out by resurgent local thrashers Pillory at 7:30 PM, local death metal standouts The Bear Hunters at 6:45 PM (though they're not 100% confirmed as of this writing), and local goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore opening at 6:00 PM, and all should fit in well in their own rights, especially as both The Bear Hunters & Shit Liver have opened for the headliners! The second announced show promoted by Pillory bassist Tyler St. Amour at Heavy North Entertainment (though they have at least one show in the interim to announce), this ALL AGES show has a $12 advance ticket price (through members of the fully local bands starting on March 1st), though the door price will jump to $15, and as announced above, C.T.W. will open the festivities at 6:00 PM. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Tyler's already outdone himself, and hopefully this is a huge success for H.N.E. and the included bands, including some missed local talent, so stay tuned for updates as they roll in!

We'll close today in Heavy North Entertainment territory, as we have a pair of extra videos from last week's weather-affected all ages show at The Oddfellows Hall, both courtesy of Blood Shed Productions' YouTube channel, including this brand new clip of The Bear Hunters playing their original "I Fear No God"! Sadly filmed on the vertical cell phone camera angle again, the quality's otherwise fine with The Bear Hunters sounding as heavy as ever, but the small crowd was somewhat inevitable given that night's storm. Give this new video a look below though!

Finally for today is that video of The Strange Coyotes' set that we alluded to the other day! Featuring members Chase Wigmore & James Watterworth amusingly decked out in their best black metal and drag outfits, this video has 7 minutes of original jamming, and though the vertical angle is still used, the energy level and enthusiasm is great as usual! I know the guys are hoping to get on the aforementioned Fuck The Facts show, and if anything happens to accomodate that, expect another enthusiastic performance like this one, which you can see below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for some more exciting news and updates as we enter February, along with next month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post on Sunday! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

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

Now, let's tackle this weekend's metal/hard rock concert previews, on this rare instance of the Friday and Saturday straddling two months! Barring any late notice announcements, I know of two metal/hard rock shows in Sault Ontario this weekend and four across the river, so let's begin this weekend's previews so you know where to head to end January and begin February!

Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will play his ninth weekly show at The Harp Bar & Grill TOMORROW NIGHT to continue his current arrangement with this Pine Street pub & acoustic venue! Note that this is the last confirmed date on his website's calendar at the former Madison's Pub, but unless we hear otherwise, there are likely dates on the horizon for February that are just awaiting an announcement. Doubling as an open mic/jam night, Tym will bring his usual entertaining blend of covers back to the stage tomorrow night, so definitely keep this in mind for a more mellow evening of hard rock! There's no announced cover charge for tonight, you must be 19 to attend, and a 10:00 PM start time is likely. Check the above links for more details, don't miss Tym's newest gig at The Harp, and for a preview, here he is at Mill Square last summer!

Moving across the river, hard rock bands will be rocking both the Sault Michigan and St. Ignace Kewadin Casino branches this weekend, including Traverse City metal trio Scarkazm in what may be their first Sault-area concert dates TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! (At least, the first I've heard about.) They'll be at The Northern Pines Lounge in St. Ignace for two nights this weekend, and while they may not be overly familiar to some readers, you're more likely to recognize drummer Jeff Hudson as the frontman of Charlevoix classic metal favourites Peril, so there's something! Like Peril, Scarkazm have original material and covers to display, but their sound is definitely more aggressive and harder-edged, so if you're up for something heavier than the norm at Kewadin Casino, take the trip down to St. Ignace this weekend! 21+ age limits and 9:00 PM start times are to be expected, and there's no announced cover charge. Check the above links for more details, don't miss them in April either, and for a preview, here's Scarkazm playing their original "One of Many"!

Back north in Sault Michigan, local hard rock quartet 415E will make their first live appearances of 2014 at The Rapids Lounge at the Soo Kewadin Casino TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! The band led by former Splitshot bandmates Dave Menard and Chris Hubbard have been on a hiatus from the stage since August, so it's great to see them picking up things again for this weekend's shows! No word on if bassist Jack Slater & drummer Devin Anderson are back too, but for what it's worth, both are currently listed as living out of town on their personal Facebook pages. As well, the Facebook page post that announced these shows said that "you're in for a treat", but whether that refers to the show itself or another surprise might not be revealed until showtime itself. Like the Scarkazm shows, there's a 9:00 PM start time, 21+ age limit, and no announced cover charge for both nights.

Check the above links for more details! After 5 months away, hopefully 415E continue rocking the stage with their fun hard rock originals and covers once again this weekend, so don't miss out, and for a preview, here's the guys last year opening for Sebastian Bach!

Finally for currently known hard rock concerts in the area for this weekend, local alternative hard rock veterans Lucky 13 will play their third show of the new year when they return to The Rockstar Bar THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! A one-night-only gig due to Cherry Crush's own one-nighter tomorrow, this will be Lucky 13's first appearance at The Algonquin Hotel in almost two months, and hopefully this union of Route 69, Turner Up, and Gully Yodelers alumni will rock the stage as good as ever on Saturday! Like usual, they'll be on at 10:30 PM that night, you must be 19 to attend, and there's a likely $5 cover charge (as usual for this venue.) For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! Lucky 13 have impressed over the past year with their gritty alt-rock sound, so don't miss their return to The Rockstar Bar on Saturday night only, and here are the guys at Toystock 2012 as a preview!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for some big concert news, some new videos, and much more very soon! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Tribune, Jack Spades, And Banned) & The Launch Of Heavy Thursdays!!

We're back with some big LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS today relating to the launch of a new regular concert series that (given it's date and location) will be sure to get your attention if you're in Sault Ontario! We also have some new shows across the river to cap things off, but for now, here's what you need to know!

Have you missed the Roosevelt Hotel metal nights since their last installment in July 2012?  Well, get ready for regular Thursday night action there once again, as local concert promoter J.D. Pearce has launched Heavy Thursdays at The Rosie, a new regular series for Thursday nights there starting next week! Along with numerous other shows, J.D. has put on nine Thursday nighters at this popular Korah Road venue since May 2012, but never on a consistent schedule, so fans of the regularity of the former Rosie metal nights should like this successor series if it takes off! Plans are for Thursday night metal/punk shows at The Rosie on each Thursday next month (except February 20th due to the Late & Loud reunion show at The Rockstar Bar that J.D. is promoting the next day), and bands are currently being sought for both next Thursday and on the 27th, so if you or your band wants to play, message J.D. at this link or above! The plan is to feature up to three bands each night, and out of town headliners are definitely part of the plans for some installments.

This is exciting news, especially for fans and regulars of the old Rosie metal night series, and knowing J.D.'s prolific success as a regional concert promoter, I have faith this will take off similarly to how it's predecessor did in 2011! Expect a very different roster of local performers though, as most of the local bands who played the old metal nights are now defunct. A lineup for February 6th is not out yet, but the second Heavy Thursday at The Rosie is already set, so who's playing then?

On February 13th, all three local openers for the Anvil concert at The Canadian Nightclub on March 15th will (likely) rock The Roosevelt Hotel for the second Heavy Thursday, with local punk/metal quintet Jack Spades featured in their first Rosie appearance of the new year, and just their second live show with new guitarist Jesse Cook! Featuring members of Frightlight, The Bear Hunters, and Winkstinger, their familiar & entertaining blend of covers and originals should be welcomed on Thursday the 13th! Newer local classic metal quintet Project 421 will play just their third live show, second with new singer Curtis McKenzie, and first ever at The Rosie as well that night, and hopefully there's no inclement weather to throw a wrench into their next local date, so prepare for a fun set of metal hits! Local thrash quartet Pillory are also pencilled in for their own Rosie debut (and just their second gig with their current lineup), but the Facebook event page still says their status is to be determined. We'll keep you posted if they're definitely playing or not!

A $5 cover is lined up for this show, but given it's status as a preview of the Anvil concert (and a kick-off for Jack Spades' Northern Ontario tour dates with Anvil), admission is FREE if you present your previously purchased Anvil tickets at the door, or buy one upon entry! A 10:00 PM-ish start time is likely, and you must be 19 to attend. For more details, visit the above links! Sounds like a fun concert so far (especially if Pillory are confirmed), so stay tuned for updates, including on other February installments of Heavy Thursdays!

The only other confirmed Heavy Thursday as of this writing is on April 17th (more proof that the series is in it for the long haul), which will be the 10th installment if no Thursdays beyond February 20th are skipped. That show will be headlined by Vancouver hardcore metal quintet Tribune, who will be making their third local stop that night! You may remember them as the headliners of the 31st Rosie metal night in September 2011, and then from opening for West of Hell at The Canadian in May 2012, so it will be nice to see their diverse metal attack in the Soo again after almost two years! Local opening bands are to be determined, but for reference, Redundant and the now defunct Borderline Divine, Changing Waves, and State of Misery have all opened for Tribune locally, in case that's of note. An admission price is to be announced, but a 10:00 PM-ish start time and 19+ age limit are likely. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and stay tuned for updates on this upcoming Heavy Thursday as they roll in, and kudos to J.D. for bringing aggressive regular music back to The Rosie like this!

We'll close today with one more LOCAL CONCERT ALERT concerning two shows at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino on April 11th & 12th (I'm not going in chronological order for the show announcements today just to group the Heavy Thursday shows together.) The shows will see Kinross hard/classic rock trio Banned returning to Kewadin Casino for the first time since their Relentless Tour rally appearance last month (though these will be their first Rapids Lounge shows in almost 5 months), and it'll be nice to see the Traynors and Jim back there this spring! Note that Banned have yet to confirm these dates officially, but they are listed on Kewadin Casino's entertainment page, which has always been a reliable source. There shouldn't be a cover charge on April 11th or 12th, you must be 21 to attend, and a 9:00 PM start time is to be expected. Check the above links for more info, and stay tuned for more as we hear it!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a bunch of videos soon, along with this weekend's concert previews as we wind down the month! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oddfellows Hall All Ages Concert Video Showcase, Including Project 421's New Singer!!

Despite the storm on Friday night and the unfortunate dropout of headliners TheKillingField and Buried Out Back, Heavy North Entertainment's first local concert at The Oddfellows Hall went on as scheduled this past weekend with some late fill-in performers and line-up shuffling, and if (like me) you couldn't make the show, collaborators Blood Shed Productions uploaded some videos from the show over the last few days onto their YouTube channel! Four were posted, but we'll touch on their clip of The Strange Coyotes in an upcoming post to spread things up & to avoid breaking up videos of Blood Shed owner Tyler Gibson's bands. We'll start though with our first look at a performing band's new lineup, so here's what you need to know!

Though the first video we're featuring today is only online via an upload on Tyler's personal Facebook page, and I normally wouldn't share it given that, it does give us our first look at new local metal band Project 421's new quintet lineup! They have officially added Punch frontman Curtis McKenzie as their new lead singer (replacing guitarist Blair Burch, who sang lead at their first show last month), and he indeed made his debut with the band on Friday. While the band hasn't officially confirmed the news, Curt revealed that he's their new frontman via a post on their Facebook page on Saturday, and he's present in this video of Project 421 covering (part of) Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" at the show. He sounds good, as we've come to expect from his and bandmate Daniel Horton's other recent work, but the vertical camera angle and jittery movements aren't optimal. Note that I don't know if this means anything negative for Punch's status, especially with Curt & Dan's bandmates in The Suicide Kings ramping up activity, but I'll keep you guys posted!

As this is our only footage so far of Project 421's new lineup, I've embedded this video here to show what we have so far, so give it a look below, and stay tuned very soon for big news regarding their next concert!

Moving to some YouTube videos from the show courtesy of the Blood Shed Productions YouTube channel, we have another new lineup debut (albeit on late notice), as Austin McRae's Brutaly Fatal project made their first appearance as a duo on Friday night with label owner Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson on drums. Lining up with prior announcements, they have indeed dropped death metal influences in their original material, with the video below showcasing two originals with Austin singing clean with no hints of growling (the hockey mask was gone too.) Solid angle for the video, and while it is hard to hear Austin clearly, he can carry a tune (as fans of his acoustic song postings should know), but he needs to loosen up his stage presence a bit, and Tyler's drumming isn't as varied as it could be. Things are bound to improve with time though, so give the new look Brutaly Fatal a watch below!

Speaking of Tyler's local band projects, his goregrind solo project Crucify The Whore was back to their usual tricks on Friday night as well, with this video showcasing the debut of one of their new original songs (but due to the potentially offensive title, I won't give the name here.) Like his 2013 C.T.W. shows, this features Tyler on vocals and guitar with a drum machine for backing music, and while the minimalist nature and style isn't for everyone, there's more of a melodic and technical bent here, and he has some more crowd engagement too! It will be interesting to see how this flows with their upcoming disc "Welcome To Earth", and check out the new Crucify The Whore video below!

Finally for this post, Ringsnaps' goregrind duo project Rotopsy made their second live appearance on Friday themselves, and they were filmed playing an untitled new track as well! Also filmed in the vertical cell phone angle, singer Dylan Taylor is hard to hear over the bass, but like their show last October, there's not a lot of audible diversity beyond scattered growls and grunts, which is something he should work on (unless it's by design.) Give this new Rotopsy video a look below, and stay tuned for more from Blood Shed Productions as we hear it!

No videos yet (that I know of) from Friday night of Pillory, The Bear Hunters, Chase Wigmore, or the new Mike Haggith & The Din lineup, but that Strange Coyotes video IS forthcoming, so stay tuned for that soon, along with some major news concerning Thursday nights! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 27, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (The Suicide Kings & Lucky 13) And Some New Videos!!

We're back with some more news and updates on this cold Monday morning, and before anyone asks, I have videos from Friday night's Oddfellows Hall concert coming in their own post tomorrow, due to the amount and so we can focus on them in full, so look for that tomorrow if all goes according to plan! For now, we have new video discoveries from a private event last summer, a recent major hair metal show, and to kick things off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for a popular local venue, so here's what you need to know!

Local alternative/hard rock cover quartet Lucky 13 will return to The Rockstar Bar for one night only THIS SATURDAY! Just announced by the venue last night, this weekend's show will be Lucky 13's third of the new year and their first at The Algonquin Hotel's upstairs bar in almost two months, so if you've missed them there, keep this upcoming show in mind! For reference sake, they're not playing on Friday due to a previously booked one-nighter by pop rockers Cherry Crush. Lucky 13's gritty and diverse sound should be nice to see again this coming weekend, so don't miss their return during your weekend concert planning! A $5 cover charge is likely for Saturday night, you must be 19 to attend, and there is a 10:30 PM start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, and stay tuned for our preview of this show later this week!

Next up, we flash forward 4 weeks to another local hard rock quartet rocking The Rockstar Bar, as The Suicide Kings will return to the site of last year's battle of the bands win for another one night only show to end the month on Friday, February 28th! Their first appearance at this venue in over 6 months, this concert date (also their third of the year) coincides with frontman Mike Gaetano's 30th birthday, so if you're in attendance, you can help keep the party going all night long with their entertaining hard rock originals and covers! Like this weekend's Lucky 13 show, I would expect a 19+ age limit, a $5 cover charge, and a 10:30 PM-ish start time. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! It's great to see The Suicide Kings' concert bookings picking up after a slow fall season, so don't forget about their return to The Rockstar Bar at month's end!

We'll close today with new videos, starting with one more video from last weekend's Bret Michaels concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Uploaded by YouTube user topshelfalpena on Saturday, this is a cover of Poison's "Ride The Wind", and this time, the camera angle is to the stage's middle-left, giving a good angle of Bret & his band! The quality's a little jumpy and bright, but the audio sounds pretty good, and Bret delivers again for you hair metal fans! If you missed the concert (or want to relive it again), check out this newest video from last weekend below!

Lastly, here's some new videos and updates from the recently relocated grind/crust metal trio Shit Liver! Since moving to Toronto last fall, we haven't heard a whole lot from Josh, Mike, and Matt, but a shared photo on January 3rd indicates that Destroilet guitarist John Conway is mixing songs of theirs (perhaps towards a release of their album, finally?) We'll keep you posted when more comes out, but a recent post on their Facebook page alerted fans to video footage from (I think) their last local concert set before the big move, courtesy of the private "Anti-Capitalist Tacofest" gig that they played in Garden River in late August. Two videos from this show were uploaded by attendee meshayeah on their YouTube channel on September 1st, including a video of their song "Helen Kellers" and (as embedded below) three of their songs, which last just under 4 minutes in true Shit Liver fashion!

Filmed on a vertical cell phone camera angle, the audio quality is not great at all, with static overpowering almost everything else, but it's an interesting look at their last show before heading south, and it looks like they had fun! Hopefully things work out well for Shit Liver in Toronto in 2014, and that we can see them back up north (with CDs in tow?) later this year, but for now, give their Tacofest videos a look below and above!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for videos from Friday night's all ages metal show at The Oddfellows Hall TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Curse The Witch

It's now time for our last monthly feature post of the month, as it's our first Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile of 2014! As you may remember, this series looks at a metal or hard rock band that, though not based out of the Soo, does feature at least one past/present Saultites in any of their lineups. This month's selected band feature a known metal veteran in their current incarnation, so read on below for this month's profile! (Updated on November 27th, 2014)
Curse The Witch (Kitchener, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics. This information is incomplete. E-mail me at if you have any additions or corrections!)

Sarah Leventic (vocals)
Frank Leventic (guitar)

Brian Musgrave (guitar)
Jon Kaye (bass)
Gary Publicover (bass)
James Farquhar (bass)
Kevin Hinsperger (drums)
Vinnie Milosevich (drums)
Jeremy Day (?????)
John Vella (?????)

Official website:
Official MySpace page:
Local Info: A long time veteran of local metal bands, recent Curse The Witch drummer Vinnie Milosevich may be best known for his work with 1990s and early 2000s with bands like Hollow, Carbon Black, and Metal Militia, even reuniting with the former in 2011 for a pair of one off dates at local venues! In recent years, Vinnie has lived out of town, where he's been part of projects like the St. Thomas metal band Buster Cherry (alongside frequent local bandmate Terry Eaton) and most recently with Kitchener cover rockers Knee Deep, though you can may have also seen him with Curse The Witch's sister band, the Evanescence tribute My Immortal.

Band Bio: Well publicized in the Kitchener & Waterloo areas since their launch in the fall of 2011, Curse The Witch immediately made an impression with the release of their debut CD "Chapter I" that November, before beginning full live dates in January 2012. Led by Sarah & Frank Leventic alongside various other musicians, one of their more recent lineups included the Soo's own Vinnie Milosevich, who replaced Kevin Hinsperger on drums circa last summer. Along with the release of their "Chapter II" CD in April 2013, Curse The Witch have been an increasingly frequent sight at Southern Ontario concert venues, including a set opening for L.A. Guns last July, along with recording numerous original songs, some of which will be on their forthcoming third album. Though online sound descriptions don't point to heavier styles, Curse The Witch have an entertaining and well performed hard rock sound that's definitely boosted by Sarah Leventic's skilled and melodic singing, and she's a great fit in the band!

Her husband Frank is also a great guitarist and he has some very catchy riffs, and while the bass and drums are generally very good for the media I've heard, I haven't seen enough of Vinnie's work with Curse The Witch to directly comment on his contributions yet. I do like the ambition and prolific songwriting that they've displayed since their debut, and their sound is accessible yet heavy, giving me vibes close to that of former Sault Michigan standouts Bad Side, if less bluesy. Give Curse The Witch a listen via the above links for plenty of solid original alternative rock songs, and buy their first on iTunes at this link! As for videos, there aren't a ton from their live concerts, but their YouTube channel above is the best source, and it includes this music video for their song "Empty Nights", so check it out!

I hope you guys liked this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile! Next month in this series, we'll be looking at Chainbreaker, the new Toronto speed metal band featuring Sault native Curtis Faux (Maximum RNR, ex-Detroit) on bass! Watch out for that on or around February 26th, and stay tuned for more news and notes this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oddfellows Hall Concert Fallout, An Inactive Band, And Much More!!

On this cold Saturday afternoon, we have an assortment of updates, including a new cover video, an inactive band to take note of, and more assorted updates (including a prominent CD reissue), but first, what went down at last night's all ages concert? Here's what you need to know!

As you may know, yesterday's heavy and persistent snowfall and weather warnings put a damper on the all ages metal show at The Oddfellows Hall, most notably preventing North Bay headlining acts TheKillingField and Buried Out Back from making the trip for the show. That's definitely disappointing, especially given how long it's been since either band played here, but hopefully they'll get a local raincheck! On extremely late notice, Blood Shed Productions metal duo Brutaly Fatal were added to the bill as the night's opening band to help fill the gap, in just their second show, their first (I think) with new drummer Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson, and their first since announcing plans to deemphasize death metal. As well, a later post on the event page said that the thought-defunct Mike Haggith & The Din were added late as well, which would mark the acid rock trio's first live set since the summer (complete with a new lineup, apparently), but details beyond there have yet to be publicized.

The weather did regrettably keep me from attending, but hopefully the people that came out had a great time! This definitely isn't the best way for Heavy North Entertainment to kick off their run as local concert promoters, but they apparently plan to reschedule the headliners in the near future, so fingers crossed that the second time's a charm, as I didn't wanna miss last night's show! Also, kudos to Ringsnaps for pulling triple duty last night (and to Pillory for headlining), and hopefully we see all the performers back soon!

Next up, I'm regrettably moving a local hard rock band to our inactive local band links, that being the second version of With Blood Build Character (originally known as Unbound.) While not past our one year threshhold for inactivity, they have issued no public updates since March, and a recent Facebook status reply from drummer Nick Kainula started with "If I had a band going", so it doesn't look like they're functioning at present. Originally fronted by the late Justin Fratpietro, his passing last year actually predated the band's public launch, with their surviving members (all formerly of State of Misery) staying together with bassist Kevin D'Orazio on lead vocals, and playing their only concerts in Justin's hometown of Thunder Bay in March 2013. Due to a naming conflict, the band recycled the With Blood Build Character name (after Ray Cowan & later addition Christopher Neveau's short lived late 2012 band) for their last show on March 29th, though activity stalled afterwards.

Unbound/W.B.B.C. had promise, especially as they deviated from State of Misery by playing a more straightforward hard rock sound, but despite optimism from Nick in personal conversations, things didn't go the way they were intended both before & after Justin's death. It would have been great to see the band power through and play some local dates last year, but at least Justin's family got to see them live! Best of luck to Kevin, Chris, Ray, and Nick in the future, and they're now in our inactive band links (albeit listed as Unbound, their longer used & less cumbersome name.)

Also today, Ashes To Dust guitarist Alex Hemy has posted yet another solo cover onto his YouTube channel, this time of Lifehouse's "You & Me"! Though it's his first proper cover video of 2014, he preceded it with a new original song named "Paradise Sunrise" that is an lively acoustic rock number, but it definitely shares more similarities with his recent covers than his band work. The new Lifehouse cover is par for the course of his recent work, featuring vocal, guitar, and drum performances, and it's well done (especially if you like this style of music), so give Alex's new video a look 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 venue name:

  • Are you curious to see local classic/hard rock quintet The Thrill Junkies' setlist? Former bassist Jamie Cameron apparently made one of sorts during his early 2013 tenure with the band via a 30 song playlist on his personal YouTube channel, which features links to songs by everyone from Alice In Chains & The Beatles to Velvet Revolver and Volbeat. Interesting mix, with a lot of metal tunes, so give it a look above (though be cautious, as things may have changed since he left.)
  • I've removed local banquet hall & sporadic concert venue The Verdi Hall from our concert venue links due to their website being taken offline, possibly due to the expiration of the domain name. The Queen Street West hall is still open (it just hosted the Ray Brown benefit last fall), but we typically only see it used for heavier concerts if there's a benefit/fundraiser component. If the website returns though, we'll re-add it!
  • Earache Records are finally reissuing one of Woods of Ypres' first three albums under their banner, as their 2008 CD "Woods III: The Deepest Roots & Darkest Blues" will be reissued on CD and in limited coloured vinyl pressings on March 24th, with some bundles including new t-shirts. Click here for complete pre-order information and details on the packages, and hopefully this new release is a success so their earlier albums (and more?) are officially seen again!

That's all for today, but stay tuned tomorrow for this month's Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile on Curse The Witch! Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 24, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (415E), Suicide Kings Concert Previews, And More!!

Before TONIGHT'S TheKillingField show at The Oddfellows Hall, we have a new news post for you guys today, so what's on tap? A new video from a recent major concert, big news from a local metal band, previews for the shows we couldn't fit into yesterday's post, and starting things off, LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS for next weekend, so here's what you need to know!

Sault Michigan hard rock quartet 415E will end a 5 month hiatus when they return to the local stage next weekend (Friday, January 31st & Saturday, February 1st) at The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! The news was just broke on their Facebook page yesterday, though the casino has yet to officially confirm the dates on their site. Last seen at the end of August last year, the band led by Nixxon Dixxon alum Chris Hubbard and his former Splitshot bandmate Dave Menard have been missed lately, and hopefully their hard hitting covers & originals are welcomed back to the stage next weekend! Note that I can not 100% confirm whether bassist Jack Slater or drummer Devin Anderson will be playing with 415E this coming weekend, especially as both of their personal Facebook pages list that they currently live out of town, but I'll keep you posted if I hear anything either way. Admission should be free for next weekend's 21+ shows, and 9:00 PM start times are likely. Check the above links for details, and it's great to see 415E coming back!

Next up, here's our remaining weekend concert previews for TONIGHT & TOMORROW NIGHT in the Sault area, as local hard rock quartet The Suicide Kings will play their first shows of the new year at The Roosevelt Hotel this weekend! Though we did last see the Rockstar Bar Battle winners at The Rosie on Boxing Day, they haven't headlined a solo weekend like this in 8 months, so hopefully this weekend's shows help contribute to a busier start to the year for this entertaining and prominent band! Note that you can also see bassist Mitch Sirie with his other band The Bear Hunters TONIGHT at The Oddfellows Hall as one of the local openers for TheKillingField, but they'll be done in time for him to get to The Rosie for The Suicide Kings! Also, for reference, The Border City Band will play a separate set there later this afternoon as the featured matinee performers. There's no likely cover charge for The Suicide Kings' shows tonight & tomorrow, you must be 19 to attend, and 10:00 PM start times are to be expected.

Click here for more details via the Facebook event page! It's great to see The Suicide Kings keeping busy, and don't miss their 2014 debuts this weekend if you can help it (and/or go see Mitch at The Oddfellows Hall tonight!) For a preview, here's The Suicide Kings at The Bushplane Museum last summer!

In some other recent news, local doom/sludge metal trio AlgomA have surprisingly announced that they now have a label deal! Yesterday, it was revealed that AlgomA are now signed with the Malaysian metal label Deadbeat Media, who will release their upcoming debut CD (whose newly confirmed title is "Reclaimed By The Forest"), though details on when it might come out aren't public yet. Awesome news, and hopefully everything works out well with Deadbeat Media and beyond for their 2014 plans! A snippet of the album cover was also shared on their Facebook page on Tuesday, as produced by notable American artist Adam Geyer, though beyond the bird visible in the sample, the full scope of the finished cover isn't clear yet. Might we learn more about "Reclaimed By The Forest" during/in time for their show at 180 Projects in March? It's shaping up to be a big year for AlgomA either way, so stay tuned as more comes in!

Finally for today, we have one more video from Saturday night's Bret Michaels concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino to share on here! Uploaded on Tuesday by YouTube user Chad Carter, this went online after our showcase post of videos from this concert (including Chad's earlier video of "Talk Dirty To Me"), hence why we have it late. This video is of Bret covering most of Poison's "Every Rose Has It's Thorn", and while it has the same muddy video as earlier, the audio quality is still solid (especially as this is a ballad), so fans of Poison and Bret should like this close side-stage angle! Check it out below, and if more Bret Michaels or FireHouse videos turn up, we'll have them here!

That's all for today, but don't miss TONIGHT's Oddfellows Hall show for TheKillingField, Buried Out Back, and 7 local acts! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (RPM) & Most Of The Weekend's Metal/Hard Rock Concert Previews!!

For this post, we're going to focus on most of this weekend's metal/hard rock concert previews, but due to the amount and some SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, I'm going to postpone The Suicide Kings' dates at The Rosie to tomorrow's post, but trust me, they're coming! Note that I know of no Sault Michigan hard rock dates this weekend, but we'll touch on any late notice ones tomorrow if I hear of them. Now, let's begin our first of the weekend previews! (Updated at 8:37 PM)

A new-ish local classic/hard rock band named RPM will make their Rockstar Bar debuts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, a Facebook event page for these shows was only just launched yesterday. While they may seem unfamiliar, you may recognize RPM as the band that played with local punk trio Redundant at the Rock For Dimes fundraiser at The Grand Gardens last March, but they appear to have been publically dormant since. I was able to find out a bit more about RPM (thanks to Rick from Redundant!), so I can confirm that their lineup still includes guitarists Dino Mazzuca & Marcel Rizzo, bassist Lindsay Pugh, and drummer Ben Pascuzzi, with all but Lindsay credited for vocals. Aside from Lindsay (who's been a prolific sight in bands like Al Wood & The Woodsmen), I'm not overly familiar with the lineup, but cover selection samples that I heard sound promising, with everyone from AC/DC and Bon Jovi to Trooper and ZZ Top mentioned, so keep their 2014 debut in mind!

A $5 cover charge is likely for tomorrow & Saturday night, you must be 19 to attend, and 10:30 PM start times are advertised. For more details, check the above links! No online pages for RPM yet, but I'm curious to see if they can gain more of a local foothold in 2014, and hopefully their first solo dates this weekend are a good start! Don't miss RPM at The Rockstar Bar this weekend!

Moving to previously announced shows, a big ALL AGES metal concert goes down TOMORROW at The Oddfellows Hall, as North Bay extreme/tech metal trio TheKillingField will make their long awaited return to the Soo! Last seen at The Rosie in September 2011 (and at The Oddfellows in 2009), their entertaining and very brutal sound has been missed around these parts, so hopefully they devastate the stage in their local return! They're headlining at 11:30 PM tomorrow night, with fellow North Bay metal notables Buried Out Back also returning to the Soo for the first time since June 2012 at 10:30 PM! Featuring former Empyrean Plague guitarist Dave Strba, their death metal & hardcore originals should fit right in for their second local appearance, so don't miss them tomorrow either! The rest of the lineup includes 7 local acts, with thrash quartet Pillory finally returning to the stage at 9:45 PM for their first show since the summer and just their second with a full lineup, following their November 2012 debut!

Marking the debuts of new members Josh Amendola & Tyler St. Amour tomorrow, I'd expect Pillory to also have copies of their new EP "Cringe At The Cross" on sale too, so pick yours up if you like their thrash assault! Local goregrind duo Rotopsy returns to the stage tomorrow at 9:00 PM, while local melodic death metal favourites The Bear Hunters will make their 2014 debut at 8:00 PM, and Rotopsy's Tyler "Ringsnaps" Gibson's solo project Crucify The Whore will be on at 7:15 PM. Funk/metal trio The Strange Coyotes will technically make their Oddfellows debut at 6:30 PM (though they were born there in October), while new local metal quartet Project 421 will play just their second live set at 5:45 PM, with Strange Coyotes frontman Chase Wigmore opening with an acoustic solo set at 5:00 PM. Note that while this is the first concert promoted by Pillory's Tyler St. Amour since launching his new concert promotion agency Heavy North Entertainment, it shares many similarities with the Devil's Night show at The Oddfellows that he promoted, with all performers except Brutaly Fatal & 3/4ths of Crimson Crusade returning, so if you loved that show, don't miss this one!

Tickets are $10 in advance (through members of Pillory & Crucify The Whore) or $13 at the door, Chase opens the day's events at 5:00 PM, and again, it is ALL AGES! For more details, visit the official Facebook event page! This should be a huge and diverse event for metalheads, and a nice early night of brutality to help kick off 2014, so don't miss it, and for a preview, here's TheKillingField's entire set from a Sudbury show last month!

Finally for today (and remember, The Suicide Kings' previews are coming tomorrow), Caveman Morrison frontman Tym Morrison will return to The Harp Bar & Grill TOMORROW NIGHT for an eighth straight solo acoustic gig in his current weekly concert arrangement! Currently the last confirmed dates in his run at the former Madison's Pub (though I assume February dates are to be announced), this will again be both a solo concert and a jam/open mic night for interested attendees, so whether you're a fan of Tym's and/or open mic, keep The Harp in your Friday contemplating! Like his other Harp events, a 10:00 PM start time is in effect for tomorrow, you must be 19 to attend, and there's no announced cover charge. For more details, visit the official Facebook event page, which is early enough for us to acknowledge this week! Tym's always a good time, and he's full of quality covers and hard rock classics, so if you go to The Harp tomorrow, enjoy the music, and for a preview, here's Tym live at Bossy's!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for our Suicide Kings previews and more TOMORROW! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

YouTube Channel Profile Series: The37533 & madrid77's Channels

It's the 22nd of the month, so it's now time for our first YouTube Channel Profiles of 2014! As usual, this monthly feature series looks at 1-3 YouTube channels that feature at least a 50% ratio of local metal/hard rock video uploads, so fans and readers can check them out and subscribe to and watch some new content from local events and bands. This month's randomly selected channels both concern bands and events from Sault Michigan, and there's two because the first channel we picked only had two distinct SMS-fitting videos. Now, let's kick off our first installment of this series with two Sault Michigan channels since April 2012!
The37533's Channel (

Owner: Tantrym Tyme frontman & former Unleashed drummer Jacob Hotlen

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 31st, 2009; Videos posted from September 2011 through April 2013

Channel Summary: Though Jacob's channel is not the official Tantrym Tyme channel, it has basically served as such since the summer of  2012, with it now featuring three videos of this young Sault Michigan metal quartet during regional concert sets in 2012 & 2013. This channel also features two "Randomness" videos of Jacob and friends (including bassist Mike East) having fun and doing random stuff around the turn of 2012, but beyond their involvement, these videos have no direct connection to the band.

Why Should You Watch: I recommend checking out Jacob's channel to see some of Tantrym Tyme's newest official videos, especially knowing their early talent and chemistry that continues to improve and mature with time, and hopefully there's more to come from them in 2014! The "Randomness" videos are worth checking out for big fans, but the humour may not be for everyone. Also, keep in mind that Jacob hasn't visibly used this channel since last spring.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out:

Tantrym Tyme Cowboys from Hell and The Trooper: The most viewed video on Jacob's channel, this June 2012 video of Tantrym Tyme (then still known as Tantrum) is one of two filmed at an outdoor event of some kind circa May of that year. Joining a separate cover of Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me", the video below features covers of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" and Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell", with the latter song in the video featuring then-new guitarist Quinton Jacobson in one of his first live sets with the band. Both videos show the then-Tantrum's development nicely, with Ethan Twardy really impressing on drums, and Jacob definitely sounds better vocally on harsher and heavier songs at this stage of the band's run!

Tantrym Tyme at SAMS Talent Show: Jacob's most recent video is this footage from Tantrym Tyme's performance at an April 2013 talent show at Sault Area Middle School (more specifically, center court of the gym.) Featuring covers of Volbeat's "Heaven Nor Hell" and Rise Against's "Make It Stop (September's Children)", I appreciate the variety, and the guys sound even better and tighter as musicians, with Jacob's clean singing the best I've heard yet from him! Also, watch for the somewhat unique sight of people walking all around a local band during a set, but given the location, it's unavoidable to a point.

madrid77's Channel (

Owner: YouTube user madrid77 (identity unclear, but I don't think he's from the Soo)

Channel Timeline: Launched on May 23rd, 2006; Only video posted on January 9th, 2008

Channel Summary: Curiously, this channel 's only video is ripped straight from Donna Hopper's SooToday coverage of hard rock legends' Kiss' first local stop at their outdoor Kewadin Casino date in Sault Michigan on July 20th, 2007, albeit 6 months later. Originally entitled "KISS Video Hightlights" on SooToday, this YouTube copy was titled "Kiss Sault Ste Marie Resumé", with both the information there and madrid77's favourite videos mostly being in French. The video itself combines news audio of the band, black & white shots of fans prior to and during the show, and brief colour clips of Kiss' first three songs that night ("Detroit Rock City", "Deuce", and "Makin' Love") from multiple camera angles. Very nicely filmed and put together, this rip of the original is of lower quality, so while the YouTube availability is convenient, check the SooToday copy above for a clearer take on this highlight package! Note as well that madrid77 has not actively used this channel in a few years.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Next month in this series, we'll profile a Sault Michigan channel in consecutive months for the first time in almost two years, as our February 2014 installment of this series will be on defunct Sault Michigan/Grand Rapids metal band End of Existence's YouTube channel, featuring 16 videos of their well done studio material from their early 2010s heyday! Watch out for that on or around February 26th, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bret Michaels/FireHouse Video Showcase!!

As previously hinted at, we are dedicating some time (a whole post, in fact) to fallout from Saturday night's Bret Michaels/FireHouse concert at The Dreammaker's Theater at the Sault Michigan Kewadin Casino! Given the popularity of Bret's local concerts from regional hair metal fans (this was at least his fifth since 2005), one had to assume we'd get a lot of videos from it, and there are a healthy amount now on YouTube, so let's kick off this showcase of what you saw or missed at Kewadin the other night!

Seven videos from Saturday night come from YouTube user Christopher Paci's channel, joining numerous other videos from recent Kewadin & Canadian Nightclub shows, including four from Bret Michaels' set! Uploaded yesterday, all of his Bret videos are of Poison covers rather than newer solo originals, and they include "Talk Dirty To Me", "Something To Believe In", "Every Rose Has It's Thorn", and (as embedded below) "Nothin' But A Good Time", so click each link to check them out! Chris' angle is roughly central to the stage, if shaky & not especially close (with no zooming again), but there's a nice clear view of Bret and his band, and attendee heads & arms aren't generally a major issue. Everyone sounds good, and Bret doesn't sound much different from Poison's heyday, and he still has a solid command of the crowd! Fans may be curious to see Bret's tease of bringing Poison themselves to the Sault this summer through the video below, which would be interesting for sure if it happened! Check out Chris' videos of Bret above, and here's "Nothin' But A Good Time!

Chris' other three clips from this concert are of openers FireHouse, as he captured the North Carolina glam rock standouts playing their songs "When I Look Into Your Eyes", "Rock On The Radio", and (as embedded below) "Shake & Tumble", so click each link to see these videos! The video quality's no different, but we get a nice look at FireHouse in action, who still have the same energy and sound that fans remember from their peak! If you missed them since their last time in the Soo in 2009, check out their videos above and below, and stay tuned for one more from their set at the end of this post!

Next up, I know of one other Bret Michaels video from Saturday night, as YouTube user Chad Carter uploaded this video of Bret covering Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me" at the show to his YouTube channel yesterday. Much closer to the stage, Chad was on the stage's far right, and his video has solid audio quality that fans should appreciate! That said, the video is somewhat muddy looking, and I think there was an auto-stability filter put on it, but it's another solid clip, and you can see Bret's engagement with close fans nicely, so give it a look below!

The last video from the show that I currently know about is of FireHouse playing their song "Love Of A Lifetime", as uploaded by YouTube user shyangel1978 yesterday, and though there's no credits to the Soo in the information, the clothing and stage setup match Chris Paci's videos, so I'm positive it's from Saturday night. More of a ballad this time, this is from a similar angle as Chad's video, but with smoother camera movements and less of a muddy look, but the audio is scratchier than on the other videos from this concert. Nice closer take though, so give this other FireHouse clip a look!

That's all for today in all likelihood, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon, including this month's YouTube Channel Profiles! Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & Our Next 2013 Poll!!

After a two day delay thanks to the voting limits error (my apologies once again for that), it's now time for the results from last month's poll and to kick off our latest poll! As you may remember, last month's poll posed this question to you guys: What was your favourite new metal/hard rock band of 2013? A stellar 151 votes came in (partially thanks to Facebook campaigns from some of the included bands), so thanks to everyone for voting and showing interest once again! So, what were the final results? They lie below!

Jack Spades (54 votes, 36%)
The Strange Coyotes (42 votes, 28%)
The Danger Cats (16 votes, 10%)
AlgomA (11 votes, 7%)
Rotopsy (8 votes, 5%)
RamWagon (4 votes, 2.5%)
Other (4 votes, 2.5%)
Brutaly Fatal (2 votes, 1.6%)
Mike Haggith & The Din (2 votes, 1.6%)
Project 421 (2 votes, 1.6%)
Bad Back (1 vote, 0.7%)
Glitch (1 vote, 0.7%)
Late Shift (1 vote, 0.7%)
Punch (1 vote, 0.7%)
Saints & Serpents (1 vote, 0.7%)
The Thrill Junkies (1 vote, 0.7%)
Plastic (0 votes)
Project Legion (0 votes)
The Side FX (0 votes)
The Throwbacks (0 votes)
Unbound (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, I'm mostly not surprised by the 0-1 vote getters given their 2013 activity levels, but I thought Plastic would get at least one Yooper vote, and I assumed Bad BackGlitch, and The Thrill Junkies would get some more attention as well given their fast assimilation. The three bands with 2 votes were pleasant surprises despite not seeing them live much last year, and despite tying for 6th place with 4 votes, Sault Michigan hard rockers RamWagon did win the poll for their side of the border! I can't speak for "Other", but sentiment for older bands who only debuted live in 2013 (like Giwakwa and 415E) would make sense. Rotopsy's fifth place spot with 8 votes is encouraging for Blood Shed Productions' growth, and AlgomA's 11 votes were impressive given their sporadic dates and lack of a Facebook vote push! The Danger Cats' third place run was solid and shows their support well, but as you can see from the totals, fans of Jack Spades and The Strange Coyotes were clearly in a dogfight over the past month for first place.

While The Strange Coyotes' fast rise and entertaining funk/metal sound has won them a lot of praise since the fall, Jack Spades pulled out the win in the poll! Their high profile 2013 gigs and opening slots for the likes of The Dayglo Abortions and The Ripcordz are bound to have helped, plus their own talented lineup of metal & punk mainstays, but of course, look out for more big things from these bands and most of the others in the poll in 2014! Congratulations to Jack Spades, and thanks to everyone for voting!

As for this month's poll, we're continuing with our "Favourite _____ of 2013" theme with a look this month at new albums and CDs, hence our newest poll question: What was your favourite new local metal album of 2013? There was definitely more albums and more heavier bands releasing them in the past year than we saw in 2012, partially thanks to digital distribution and expanded self-production from local artists, so we have a lot to get to, including some Sault Michigan-area releases, albums from now-broken up bands, and even a tribute album to a missed local band. As was the case last year, to be included in the poll, albums must have had their initial paid release in 2013 (reissues don't count unless there's new material), they must have been on sale in some form (so Sykotyk Rampage's 2013 albums aren't included), and they must be packaged as an album (rather than in a paper sleeve with no visible effort.) With that said, here are your choices for your favourite metal or hard rock album of the past year!

Any of Blood Shed Productions' 2013 demos: This independent local death metal/grindcore label has been quite busy in the past year, releasing numerous self-produced demos & split releases from affiliated artists like Brutaly Fatal, Crucify The Whore, Malignant Neoplasm, Rotopsy, and Tomgrindy. Some of these may blur together given similar lineups & genres, but the do-it-yourself mentality and outlet for some younger artists is welcomed! Did you like any of Blood Shed's 2013 demos the most?

Bring the Fallen - Stand Before: In honour of their one-off farewell reunion set at Oddzfest 2013 Metal Mash-Up in July, local death metal quintet Bring The Fallen finally released their only EP "Stand Before" that night, ending over four years of dormancy following the 2009 recording sessions. Fans enjoyed the limited release, and it helped give much needed closure to their run, but was "Stand Before" your favourite 2013 local album release?

Crimson Crusade - Upon the Eve of War: Recorded at The Smoke & Oak Room and released on June 3rd after their set opening for Skeletonwitch at The Canadian, this young local death metal quartet demonstrated a solid mix of Death-influenced originals on their debut EP, and it's definitely helped them in their continued local rise in recent months! Was "Upon the Eve of War" your #1 new metal CD of the past year?

Haggith - Deuce: Though not known to be their last studio album at the time of it's May release, local grunge quartet Haggith's third album (and second "mainline" one) kept their strong fanbase happy with a mature yet rocking blend of alternative hard rock originals, helping supply songs for their remaining 2013 concert sets. Haggith left a big impression in their brief run, and their studio material lived up to that, but was "Deuce" the top new CD of last year for you?

Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe - Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe: A surprise late release of this digital album (on a "name your price" model) came in December from The Hiroshima Mutant Mindframe, a technical death metal solo project led by talented local guitarist Matt Parr. Though it has flown under the radar somewhat, Matt's skills & high production values are clear as day on this Bandcamp exclusive, but would you agree with that?

Late & Loud - Heavy Rockin' Hard Metal: Still Hard: An expanded reissue of their 2012 demo EP, local classic metal favourites Late & Loud put out this CD (with four new recordings) in honour of the last concert of their active run at the Rockstar Bar Battle of the Bands finals in April. Their loyal Loudmouths sure enjoyed the "Still Hard" reissue, and it even made it on The Rockstar Bar's wall, but was it your favourite new release of 2013?

Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch II: Where It Ends: A sequel to Strange Coyotes drummer Mike Haggith's October 2012 album "Neighbourhood Watch", this album (Mike's 47th) was released in September, giving a lighter but more symphonic and orchestral take on his prolific solo material and extensive musical background. Well recieved and well composed, but was this your favourite new local hard rock album of the past year?

Pillory - Cringe at the Cross: Fulfilling early plans from early in their run, local thrash metal quartet Pillory released their debut demo EP last month on the one year anniversary of original guitarist Andres Duchesne's passing, featuring only his surviving bandmates and songs he co-wrote on the finished product. Early word has been good, and their full new lineup's return is in just a few days, so was their CD the best way to kick off things?

Sailor's Tongue - Pierced: Coinciding with their set at Rotaryfest's Second Stage in July, local hard rock quintet Sailor's Tongue released this demo CD as an attendee-exclusive teaser of their full debut album, which is still awaiting a release (perhaps at this year's Rotaryfest?) Though uneven in quality, "Pierced" was a good sign of things to come, but would you concur after hearing it?

Strange Coyotes - Strange Coyotes: Just two weeks after their inception (and before ever playing a show under this name), new local funk/metal trio The Strange Coyotes released their own Bandcamp-exclusive digital album with a "name your price" method, though in this case, it was recorded live in an improvised jam style. Fans enjoyed the results, and though some of the live insanity was lost in translation, did you enjoy this album the most of all?

Any of SweetKenny's three 2013 albums: The only Sault Michigan-area hard rock CD releases of last year that I know of, Dafter, Michigan hard rock veteran Ken Sutton continued his own recent prolific pace with three solo CDs this year, including the "Doo Hickey" EP in March, his longer and fuller release "Perception" in June, and his all-instrumental seventh CD "Cracks In The Wall" in November. SweetKenny has plenty of talent and creativity, and he's shown it this year, but were any of his albums your favourite?

Telephone & Address - Rotten EP: The Chris Shoust-led grunge/lo-fi acoustic project released it's newest CD last month, which is even SOCAN registered, with it available via direct message or presumably at his next shows. I admittedly have yet to hear it, but if it lives up to Chris' past work, it should be an interesting release! If you've heard the "Rotten EP", can you vouch for it as your favourite 2013 local album?

Various Artists - Heart of Gold: A Tribute to Woods of Ypres: Though not featuring any local musicians, this double disc set was in complete tribute to defunct local blackened doom metal band Woods of Ypres and their late frontman David Gold upon it's June release, with 19 bands (including a handful of David's former bandmates) paying tribute to their music by covering Woods of Ypres material. It's a great package for a great cause, but did you like it more than the other included albums?

Other: Did we miss your favourite new album release? Perhaps you liked one of Sykotyk Rampage's many free albums from last year, a non-metal release, or maybe even one from late 2012 or early this year? Or was I forgetful and missed an album for the poll? If, for any reason, your preferred choice isn't above, vote for "Other"!

VOTE TODAY!! Given the delayed start to this month's poll, we'll end this one on February 19th to slowly move back to our polls' usual placements on the 18th of each month, and I'll emphasize, voters are limited to one vote only! Cast your votes A.S.A.P., and stay tuned for more news (and hopefully some Bret Michaels concert fallout) this week! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Banned) & Much More Recent Updates!!

Finally, we have a new news post today, and I apologize for the recent lack of updates, which is due to a combination of slow news in general, and my computer being in the shop for repairs (good thing I have a spare at hand!) Today, we have upcoming concert lineup additions, a lot of updates from a rising Sault Michigan band, and more, but first, here's a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT for next month across the river!

Kinross hard/classic rock trio Banned will return to the regional stage for a show at The Runway Bar in nearby Hessel, Michigan on Friday, February 14th! As announced on their Facebook page last night, these will not be their first shows of 2014, as they'll actually be playing a date in Gould City on February 8th, but that's out of our coverage range, so if you live near there, head to the Michihistrigan Bar that night! Last seen in Hessel three months ago, Banned should be back to their usual prolific schedule next month after apparently taking January off, so keep their Hessel return in mind for a night full of originals and diverse covers! There's no announced cover charge for the 14th, you must be 21 to attend, and a start time of 9:00 PM is in effect. For more details, visit the above links, and stay tuned for more updates from the Banned camp!

Next up, here's some lineup additions for two notable upcoming metal concerts, both concerning punk bands we haven't seen lately. One is local veteran punk trio Redundant, who've been named as the final opening band for Late & Loud's one-off reunion show at The Rockstar Bar on February 21st, which will end a 6 month hiatus from the stage! At least partially related to drummer Rick White's recovery from a broken eye socket suffered last fall, it's great to see the guys back at it next month, and hopefully this is just the start of a big year for these talented punk rockers! The other addition is to the Skynet/Chronobot show at 180 Projects on March 16th, as fellow Sault Ontario punk trio The Northern Tragedy will play (as of today) their first show of 2014 as the final opening band that night! Last seen in October (conveniently also at 180 Projects), this rising young band released a demo last fall, and hopefully they build new momentum this year and give this metal show a punk flavour! Stay tuned for updates on each show as they come in!

Also today, here's the latest from Sault Michigan metal band The Eleventh Hour, who actually just changed their name yesterday to One Hour Till Dawn. A reason for the name change was not announced, but they had experimented with a name change last spring as well, so this isn't completely unexpected. Along with the new moniker, the band has had recent lineup changes, including adding Joseph Farrish as their new bassist (replacing the departed Alex Boyer) and parting ways with clean singer Zach Howe, who still lives out of town. I'm not familiar with Joseph musically, but hopefully everything works out well for the new lineup where earlier incarnations fell short! Finally for recent changes, One Hour Till Dawn unveiled a new cover setlist on their Facebook page that will see them play songs from everyone from Black Sabbath to Paramore, with new genre indications pointing to a punk/metalcore focus. Hopefully the new lineup and name serve them well so we can finally see the guys live, and stay tuned for more from One Hour Till Dawn as it comes in!

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

  • Punch bandmates Curtis McKenzie & Daniel Horton are looking for a bassist & drummer to complete a new project that they're working on that would cover a mixture of classic rock artists, including heavier acts like Kiss & Van Halen down to bands like Foreigner & ZZ Top. If you're interested in trying out, message Curt via his post on the Musicians Wanted Facebook group from last week!
  • On Friday, Curt & Dan's former Haggith bandmate Mike Haggith updated fans to the status of his next solo album "A Place Of Our Own" on his Facebook page, where he confirmed that half of the instrumental tracking is now complete, recording is on schedule, and a release next month is still in the cards. Great to hear, so follow the updates on his new album above!
  • Advance tickets for the all ages TheKillingField/Buried Out Back show at The Oddfellows Hall are now available through members of Pillory & Crucify The Whore, so message members or contact them at the Facebook event page linked above! Remember, tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door, so consider getting a ticket early to save $3, and stay tuned for updates!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for last month's poll results and this month's new poll TOMORROW! Remember, the delay from the 18th was due to the poll accidentally being set to allow multiple votes at first, so we bumped the end date up to make up lost ground. Thanks everyone!