TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION Brings Party To Tennessee W/ BELOW 7, DIRTY SOUL REVIVAL, & More [Review & Photo Gallery]

Texas Hippie Coalition

Big Dad Ritch and the guys of Texas Hippie Coalition (THC) made Johnson City, TN the last stop on the Haulin Moonshine Tour. THC had Below 7, The Dirty Soul Revival and Belfast 6 Pack help them make this Sunday night in Tennessee one night not to be forgotten! On a personal note, this was my third time covering THC in Johnson City, and second time in this venue, although it was under a different name the last time they played here. Doesn’t matter what the venue name or location is, one thing is certain, Johnson City loves some THC! Continue reading

Bourbon & Beyond Festival Spotlight: BLACKBERRY SMOKE [Official Videos]

 

Welcome back to our ongoing series of Bourbon & Beyond 2019 artist profiles, our weekly guide through the lineup of acts who’ll take the stage at Louisville, Kentucky’s Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center September 20-22nd in what’s sure to be one of the biggest concert events of the year. This week, we’re taking a closer look at Blackberry Smoke.

Blackberry Smoke is one of the up and coming bands to play this year at the Bourbon and Beyond Festival. Bourbon and Beyond has a new home this year. It is still in Louisville, Kentucky of course, but a different festival grounds. This new location is the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo. The former location, Champions Park, was flooded last year and day 2 of Bourbon and Beyond was cancelled along with the whole Louder Than Life festival. Bourbon and Beyond was previously a 2 day festival but this year has expanded to 3 days, so you get an entire additional day of bands. Blackberry Smoke was set to play last year but didn’t get the opportunity due to the park flooding. So, all the fans that missed out last year, get ready because they are making their phenomenal return and I’m sure they will make up for the rains that washed them away last year! Let’s talk some about Blackberry Smoke. Continue reading

Review: WOLVES AT THE GATE – ‘Eclipse’ [Album Stream]

Cedarville, Ohio is the birthplace of Wolves At The Gate. The five piece post-hardcore band have been known to balance the beauty of melody with the barbaric bite of riffs so heavy they make gravity seems weak.  ‘Eclipse’ is their fourth full length outing and is a thoughtful slice of melodic Metalcore.  I must confess, I had never heard any of their catalogue before ‘Eclipse’, but was pleasantly surprised by quality of musicianship, the strength of the songs and the production.

Vocalist/guitarist Stephen Cobucci says of the album: “We named the record ‘Eclipse’ because of how well it encapsulated the relationship the light and the dark can have. An eclipse tells you that it’s dark,but it takes truth and faith to know that the sun is still shining. All of this revolves around my walk of faith in believing the truths of the gospel message, seeking to help others find hope and peace in the love of God, as well as how to come to grips with various social/political/personal issues.

Alongside Cobucci is Ben Summers(bass), Abishai Collingsworth(drums), Nick Detty(vocals), and the band’s newest member Joey Alarcon(who co-produced with Cobucci).

The album ‘Eclipse’ follows the development path of other metalcore bands, with more clean singing and a studious dedication to melody.  This is none better demonstrated than by final song “Blessings & Curses.”  This pushes toward pop music, but with more power.

The music washes over you in waves of adrenaline and (weirdly) stillness.  It pushes you into a widescreen version of reality, where everything is epic but slowed down.  The sound makes you reflect and there is a sombre mood to the art.  Peaceful waters are moved to areas of sonic perfection, only to be brought back to life by banging songs such as my favorite, “Counterfeit” – there is nothing counterfeit about this band!  They know how to bring emotion to the boil and let it simmer on a flame of pure metal.

Epic songs?  There are more than a few on this banger.  The title track demonstrates this perfectly.  Cobucci sings like some angel and the tune is filled out with keyboards and harmonies.

Kicking songs? “Evil Are The Kings” is a great stomper, with a more old-school metalcore vibe and nice use of growling vocals.

The whole record brims with intent to be tuneful, thoughtful and emotional whilst retaining some brutal riffing.  Check it out.

Review: SUM 41 – ‘Order In Decline’ [Official Video]

 

Sum 41 found its way into my musical playground back in 2001. The album was ‘All Killer No Filler’ and the single that got cemented into my head was “Fat Lip.” Although I was deeply entrenched within the metal genre, that song was so catchy that it tattooed itself into my brain and I couldn’t stop listening to it. The band was labeled pop punk and by all accounts, based on that album, it seemed to fit but if you listened closely, and peeked through the cracks, there was more than met the eye. They found their sound on the brilliant ‘Does This Look Infected?’ record in 2002 and its follow up, ‘Chuck’, in 2004. That’s where my passion for this band reached its peak. They found a way to put punk, pop, hard rock, alternative, and metal together to create a sound that was unique. The next decade and a half saw the band losing members and dealing with health issues. They put out three records in that period and although there were some solid songs, none of them could capture that magical formula that made them such a force until now. The band is set to release their seventh studio album called ‘Order In Decline’ via Hopeless Records on July 19thand it burns a path back to those iconic albums. The songs are heavy, angry, emotional, and most of all, catchy, and those ingredients are the blueprint Sum 41 built itself on. Continue reading

ROB ZOMBIE & MARILYN MANSON Unleash Hell In West Virginia [Review & Photo Gallery]

Rob Zombie

I’ve said in the past that Big Sandy Superstore Arena knows how to host a rock show, and they do. But I’m not sure they, or the city of Huntington, West Virginia, has recovered from the all-out metal onslaught they witnessed when Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson unleashed Hell! This was only the third stop on the Twins of Evil: Hell Never Dies Tour, and if what I witnessed on this night is any indication of the Hell that’s going to be raised on this tour, the rest of the venues are in trouble! Continue reading

Top 7 Rock Music Genres You Didn’t Know Existed

7 Most Unusual Rock Music Genres

The times we’re living in can in all seriousness be considered the Golden Age of rock music. In the past, someone who had a specific musical talent could be regarded as a shaman and treated accordingly. It was even worse in the Middle Ages when musicians performing snappy music risked being burnt alive by the Inquisition. Rock music with catchy guitar riffs, powerful bass lines, rapid-fire drums, and expressive vocals is divided into a lot of genres – from light Dance Rock & Roll to aggressive Death Metal and Grindcore. To be able to appreciate all of them, you can buy college papers and rid yourself of one more academic headache. Continue reading

Louder Than Life Festival Spotlight: DEADLAND RITUAL [Videos]

Welcome back to our ongoing series of LOUDER THAN LIFE 2019 artist profiles, our weekly guide through the lineup of acts who’ll take the stage at Louisville, Kentucky’s Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center September 27-29 in what’s sure to be one of the biggest concert events of the year. This week, we’re taking a closer look at newly-formed supergroup DEADLAND RITUAL.

Not every unsigned band can grab a spot on the lineup for a festival on the magnitude of LARGER THAN LIFE. But then, not every unsigned band can unravel the certified Hall of Fame pedigree of DEADLAND RITUAL. Boasting the assembled firepower of drummer Matt Sorum (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N’ ROSES, THE CULT), guitarist Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL, VINCE NEIL), bassist Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH, HEAVEN & HELL), and vocalist Franky Perez (APOCALYPTICA, SCARS ON BROADWAY), DEADLAND RITUAL’s deft audio alchemy combines a century’s worth of hard rocks and heavy metals into a sleek and shiny new alloy that’s both classic and cutting edge. Judging from their two officially released singles, “Down in Flames” and “Broken & Bruised,” a kind of sultry doom will be the unit’s primary stock-in-trade, riding the Big Groove of the formidable Butler/Sorum rhythm section on a thick slab of power riffs and impassioned vocals underneath a desert sky of electric gray. Continue reading

BREWtally Speaking Podcast: Will Putney (FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY/END)

Will Putney, raconteur of all things metal is the guitarist in Fit For An Autopsy and END, producer extraordinaire and creator of his signature STL Tonality series guitar and bass plug in software, is the guest on this episode of the BREWtally Speaking Podcast. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Mississippi’s CLAWHAMMER [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Mississippi.*

Clawhammer is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Mississippi formed by Paul Hill and Paul Craig.  The outfit is rounded out by Stephen McNeer on rhythm guitar, Pete Lindsey on drums and Brad Litton on bass.  Normally, there would be more detail about the group, but I can’t find any!  However, I can speak to the music and it really is classic metal, forged from the steel of the South and the artistic ethic of the doom/goth scene.

For a band with not much biog detail, they have released five thundering albums/EP’s of rocking goodness.  In 2015, they released their self-titled debut, which introduced the band’s grave sincerity.  This was followed by the more polished ‘In Space’ in 2016.  2017 found the band releasing the awesome sounding ‘Diabolical’.   The six track ‘Delta Mud’ (2018) added depth to Clawhammer‘s catalogue with greater use of keyboards and sound effects.  And that brings us to the fire-powder keg that is 2018’s ‘Sons Of Sabbath’.

The latest long player  powers out the tunes with a touch of sludge and a side of classic metal.  The riffs flash through the molten grooves and the vocals of Paul Craig growl and soar with aggression.  Songs such as ‘The Fire Burns On” and “Beat The Beast” drill into your core, but the band aren’t done.  Clawhammer find a way to add finesse into their palette with the unforgettable battering that “Crazy Again” gives you.  Best song on the whole freakin’ album bro!

There is a laid back urgency (an oxymoron eh?) to the whole catalogue, but the more you listen, the better it all sounds!  It makes for a real gem of a find and I look forward to more from these prolific rockers.

 

Review: CROWN THE EMPIRE – ‘Sudden Sky’ [Official Music Videos]

With only 3 albums and 1 full EP on their name Crown The Empire quickly managed to claim theirselves a spot in the metalcore scene among bands like Memphis May Fire, Of Mice And Men and many more. And now after almost exactly 3 years since the release of ‘Retrograte’ they are ready to blow you away yet again with upcoming record ‘Sudden Sky’!

Continue reading