*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Virginia!
If you are a fan of the most extreme end of the Metal spectrum, Virginia has a plethora of formidable offerings. Doom, Death, Black and ThrashMetal bands absolutely abound from this month’s state. An interesting feature of VirginiaMetal bands that arouse over the course of this month is that they tend to stay together for extended periods of time instead of splintering into other projects on a whim. Usually when searching there are a bevy of brand new bands with limited releases and few that have been together for more than a couple of years or longer. While this does not necessarily relegate to the quality of the music, a focused and fully developed sound can be tough to find from extremely young bands. My StateoftheArt spotlight falls into the former category, being at least seven years old. This week’s nod goes to TrumpettheHarlot.
Freaking bad ass! When I saw that Anvil was playing with NightDemon and my friend Will in Graveshadow, I flipped out. I have been dying to see them for over a year now. When I found out that HollowLeg and my boys in RhythmofFear were added to the bill, I could not have been more thrilled. As it turned out, my expectations were far surpassed by this quintet of killer Metal bands at Nighthawks in Jacksonville, FL. This was my first show at this cool music hall and was not disappointed. The staff was extremely friendly and had not one ounce of “holier than thou” attitude I have encountered at a few other venues. Sound was top notch, being balanced with volumes that did not overdrive their systems. Definite props to the sound controller. If given the opportunity to hit Nighthawks again, I am there without hesitation. If you live anywhere near this place, throw them some support. One of the most fun venues around the area!
West Virginia’s best hidden secret Byzantine have long been the underdog in the metal world. Their last album ‘To Release Is To Resolve’ along with the powerful single “The Agonies” really propelled the band out of the Appalachian Mountains and into the ears of metal heads worldwide. The band self released the album and it was well received and got tremendous airplay on Sirius XM radio. The hard hitting progressive band also snagged a record deal with powerhouse label Metal Blade. The band has wrapped up recording and are set to release their Metal Blade debut ‘The Cicada Tree’ in June. Byzantine also has a Pledge Music Campaign For album pre-order which includes some exclusive bundles and even guitar lessons or person phone calls from the band. You can pre-order and check out the bundles here. Byzantine also recorded their first music video for a track from the upcoming album ‘The Cicada Tree’ at The V Club in Huntington, West Virginia on March 19th. We can’t wait to see what the guys came up with, and eager to hear the new material. The bands founder/singer/guitarist Chris “OJ” Ojeda is one of the nicest guys and a true ambassador for metal heads everywhere. In addition to being in Byzantine OJ is also a true music lover. We couldn’t think of anyone better to kick off our new segment THE BUCKETLIST with. As music obsessed fans we always keep a list of bands we want to see live that we haven’t had the chance to see. Touring musicians have the opportunity to see a lot more bands than the common band through friends in the industry and while touring. OJ recently sat down with Metal Nexus to let us know some of the bands and artists that he has on his own personal bucketlist. Without further ado we give you the inagural segment of THE BUCKETLIST with Byzantine’s Chris “OJ” Ojeda. Continue reading →
*Every Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*
This week’s artist is Whores.
On Sunday July 16th, noise rock band Whores will be bringing their raw, massive sound to Chicago Open Air at Toyota Park. The trio formed in 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia and released their first EP, ‘Ruiner’ in 2011 via Brutal Panda Records. Following this, Whores released their second EP in 2013 titled ‘Clean’. It was produced by Ryan Boesch, who has worked with various bands like Helmet, The Foo Fighters, and Norma Jean (who is also playing Chicago Open Air). Last year, the band switched labels to eOne Music and released their first full length album, ‘Gold’. The record received a enormous amount of recognition from different websites and magazines like Rolling Stone, Invisible Oranges, and Metal Insider. The band delivers a loud, garage heavy sound that has caught the eye of several people.
Throughout the years, Whores has grown grittier with attitude and crazier with their performances. Lead singer and guitarist Christian Lembach brings forth his booming, screechy vocals that will make the lovers of underground music go crazy. The sludgy guitar tone is the most recognizable signature of the band created by a killer rig to make a gargantuan sound. Casey Maxwell sends fuzzy bass vibrations through your spine on his debut album with Whores on ‘Gold’. The resounding grooves are perfect for some hard moshing to excite the crowd. Donnie Adkinson, also making his debut on ‘Gold’, beats the hell out of the kit with lots of crashing cymbals and hard hitting on the snare. The band’s explosive sounds have took them out on the road with the likes of Red Fang, Melvins, Deafheaven, Kylesa, The Sword, and many more big names. The band is heading over to Europe next week to open up for Big Business until the end of April. Shortly after that they’ll be hitting the road for a headlining run presented by New Noise Magazine with Wrong and Bummer as support. You can view those tour dates below. Be sure to catch Whores at Chicago Open Air on Sunday, July 16th, you can buy tickets here. Follow the band on Facebook here.
Christian Lembach: Vocals and Guitar
Casey Maxwell: Bass
Donnie Adkinson: Drums
WHORES / WRONG / BUMMER
5.12 ATLANTA – THE DRUNKEN UNICORN
5.13 MEMPHIS – GROWLERS
5.14 LOUISVILLE – HAYMARKET
5.15 COLUMBUS – ACE OF CUPS
5.16 CANTON – BUZZBIN
5.17 WASHINGTON DC – DC9
5.18 PHILADELPHA – KUNG FU NECKTIE
5.19 BROOKLYN – SAINT VITUS
5.21 BUFFALO – MOHAWK
5.22 MONTREAL – TURBO HAUS
5.23 TORONTO – COALITION
5.24 DETROIT – LOVING TOUCH
5.26 MILWAUKEE – CACTUS CLUB
5.28 KANSAS CITY – RIOT ROOM
5.29 DENVER – HI DIVE
5.30 SALT LAKE CITY – URBAN LOUNGE
6.01 SEATTLE – THE HIGHLINE
6.02 PORTLAND – ASH STREET SALOON
6.03 SACRAMENTO – STARLITE LOUNGE
6.04 OAKLAND – ELI’S MILE HIGH CLUB
6.05 LOS ANGELES – THE ECHO
6.06 SAN DIEGO – SODA BAR
6.07 PHOENIX – THE REBEL LOUNGE
6.09 OKLAHOMA CITY – THE BLUE NOTE
6.10 AUSTIN – BARRACUDA
6.11 DALLAS – THREE LINKS
7.16 CHICAGO OPEN AIR FESTIVAL With The Dillinger Escape Plan, Pig Destroyer, Code Orange, Clutch, Slayer, Lamb of God, Ozzy Osbourne and many more
7.22 MINNEAPOLIS – BASH 17 W/ MELVINS, MUDHONEY, CHERUBS AND MORE
Founded in 2011 Melodic death metal act Lost To The Waves are about to release their latest EP ‘Nightfall’ on March 31st. The follow up to their 2015 EP ‘Elegy’. The Massachusetts 5 piece don’t only want your attention they demand it with their fierce riffs and deadly to the core vocal approach. With their technical approach to deathcore they are easily one of the best up and coming bands in all of metal. Their upcoming EP was recorded by Sean Fitzpatrick at The Brick Hithouse, and it was mastered by the famed Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Four Year Strong, Defeater, Code Orange). Lost To The Waves are exclusively premiering the track “Ghosts Of Autumn” right here on Metal Nexus. The song begins with a somber tone but quickly delves into the bands much heavier style. The band showcases riff’centric style along with those deep harsh vocals they are known for. The technical aspects of the guitar playing is mesmerizing as they dance around inside your ear drums. Lost To The Waves showcase the perfect ratio of vocals and instrumentation. Allowing each the appropriate amount of time shine. This track is just a snippet of what’s to come on this EP. March 31st can’t come soon enough for most fans to get their hands on this release. Until then use “Ghosts Of Autumn” as an appetizer until we can feast our ears on ‘Nightfall’ in its entirety. Continue reading →
Defeated Sanity’s Facebook page had hinted at a major announcement coming, but I did not expect anything as huge as this! Without a doubt, this has to be one of, if not THE, sickest North American tour happening this summer. And its official, folks – Gorguts will be trekking across the states with both Defeated Sanity and Exist! Perhaps Metal Nexus will be covering one of these shows??
Making their return to the Western hemisphere, Gorguts are fresh off the roads of Australia and New Zealand, having toured down under with Marduk throughout this month of March. Now before the tech death legends embark on this tour of the states, they will be heading out next month for some Canadian dates with Dysrhythmia, the prog metallers who share members with the reincarnated Gorguts. Ultimately, Luc Lemay and the gang will be headlining Covenant Montreal which takes place April 13th-15th – this festival is sister to Covenant Festival in Vancouver, both of which are weekend gatherings to celebrate the music of Death with performances by multiple extreme metal bands, comprising lineups that can be found here. After this tour of their homeland, Gorguts is state-bound, kicking things off in Syracuse at Lost Horizon on June 3rd. Rest assured, I think we can expect to hear some of the critically acclaimed Pleiades’ Dust EP performed on this tour! Continue reading →
Portland, Oregon is rich with music history. The home to such bands as Toxic Holocaust, Red Fang, and YOB. However, the Northwest extreme death metal horde DEAD CONSPIRACY herald something that no other Portland based band can take from them. DEAD CONSPIRACY is credited with being Portland’s first-ever death metal act, and one of the first in the world. Formed in 1986, the band was a pioneering influence on multitudes of blackened death and thrash metal bands worldwide. A series of demo tapes followed before the band sunk into the shadows in the early-90s. Hells Headbangers Records contacted the band in 2006 in an effort to release their demos on a compilation album. The result was the 19-track ‘Gore Drenched Legacy’. That release awakened the beast and in 2012 the band returned with a new lineup including Mike Abominator formerly of Gravehill on vocals and new drummer Eric A. DEAD CONSPIRACY’s first live appearance took place at 2012’s Goregon Massacre Festival III. Since then the band has been brutalizing their way back to their rightful place in the Portland metal scene. Now the band has recently released their long-anticipated first full-length LP of new material in November. The self titled release is available on CD, vinyl and digital formats through Necromantic Press Records. Exile Music will release the album on cassette. The CDs will feature the 1987 demo and a cover track recorded for Tribute To Headhunter Death Cult are offered in Brazil by Funeral Rites Records. DEAD CONSPIRACY have released a lyric video for “In the Wake of the Butcher,” a track from the band’s 2016 self-titled album. Continue reading →
I once ran into a guy at a China Buffet off of I-57. The guy wore a Krisiun shirt, so I had to at least shake his hand in between trips for more General Tso’s chicken, as not many people around these parts would have any idea as to who or what Krisiun is…. So, I come to find out that this fan of Brazilian metal is not only a die-hard fanatic of brutal death metal, but also happens to be one of the guys behind Chicago’s premiere death metal festival, Chicago Domination Fest. His name was Jesse Denton, and he, along with his fellow patrons of brutality, are hosting the fourth annual ChicagoDomination Fest this summer at Wire in Berwyn, IL! Jesse was gracious enough to answer some of my questions about promoting Chicago Domination Fest – he also elaborates on the brutal death metal community as a whole, and his relationship with death metal label New Standard Elite!
Hailing from Thessoloniki, Greece, Until Rain is the prog metal band that you’ve probably haven’t heard but definitely should if progressive music catches your ear in any shape or form. The sextant, whom have been together in various incarnations for thirteen years now, have honed their sound steadily over time, taking bits and pieces of whatever musical styling catches their ear, and mashing it with the long form/steady build up pacing of prog to formulate their own master blend. Until Rain’s third full length album, “Inure“, is set to drop in the US on May 12th and to give a little taste of what promises to be their darkest album yet, we’ve got our hands on the band’s visual accompaniment for the lead single ‘Because Something Might Happen.’ Thematically, the video fits the album and the song well. Dealing with a female protagonist that’s reliving the nightmares of being abused throughout her life, the nine minute epic track covers the broad range of emotional devastation and mental fallout that can haunt a survivor, and how just getting out is just the beginning of a much longer story. It’s a tough story to tell adequately within the time frame, but visually, the video pulls it off quite well as the images fit the band’s narrative and song like a glove. Until the launch of the full album, Until Rain has promised to be releasing new videos and teaser streams along the way. If you like what you see and hear below, give ’em a follow on Facebook here or check ’em out on Bandcamp here to stay updated for upcoming teasers and announcements!
Last Thursday night I found myself doing something I absolutely despise, taking the horrid DC metro rail, to do something I dearly love, enjoying live music. Katatonia, was opening the North American tour in support of their album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. A small venue with a prominent stage with excellent lighting and sound system, many consider 9:30 Club to be the heart and soul of the music scene in Washington D.C. And I have never been to this iconic venue in our nations capital, despite having lived in the area for multiple years. This, combined with the excitement of seeing Katatonia live for the first time, my excitement was palpable. Still, I had little idea how good a night this was going to be. Katatonia is one of the finest heavy metal bands to have emerged from Sweden, and their ten studio albums bear testimony to that. The last album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ was released mid last year, which garnered excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. On this North American leg, they are supported by Caspian and Uncured.
The first band of the night was Uncured, which I was not very familiar with, so them taking the stage was when I really discovered their music. It has been a long time since I have been this utterly impressed by a new band with only a debut album. And how often do you see a progressive metal band with two vocalists unleashing harsh vocals with intense yet melodic riffs ? The vocals were shared nearly equally by the two guitar wielding vocalists on more than one song. The young lads with their youthful energy, technical prowess behind their instruments and blistering speed set the stage on fire. Listen to the riffs in the later part of the song “Opium Den” and tell me if it does not remind you of Liquid Tension Experiment. The lads totally had totally earned the rousing applause they got once they were done with their set. This is one band that I earmark for nothing but stellar things in future and will certainly be keeping a close watch on.
Caspian was the second band of the night, a largely instrumental band with fast riffs, yet they can sound melancholic at times, something that not too many bands can lay a claim to. I had no idea they had such a fan following in the D.C. metro area, the crowd erupted as soon as they took the stage. The imperious drumming and the excellent guitar play lays the basis for the six member strong band. The rapidly changing stage lighting in sync with the fast yet melodic guitar play contributed to this spellbinding show. I can’t really do justice to their musicianship on the show by trying to explain it in words, one needs to see them out live. If you are not familiar with their music, check them out and get ready to be captivated.
Katatonia was one of the first Swedish metal bands I discovered. Over the years Katatonia has progressed to be more melodic from the harsh vocals of the early days. Opening the set with the track “Last Song Before We Fade”, the band burst in to intense guitar play and luscious rhythms. The following tracks “Criminals”, a song from the album ‘Viva Emptiness’, and “Serein”, a standout track from the latest album, kept the crowd really going. The delivery of Jonas Renske was flawless, the guitar work and drumming impeccable and overall the band treated the crowd to an album quality performance. The graceful interaction with the crowd only enhanced the experience of this fabulous night. I won’t bother going in to discuss the performance of each song of the nineteen songs long set, you are better off attending the show than trying to experience it through my words. This is one tour that you don’t want to miss, especially if you are a fan of melodic or progressive metal. If you have a chance to see them on this tour, which has just started, don’t miss it!