Metal is definitely a family affair. It is simply amazing who you meet by simply wearing your favorite band shirt out in public. Well, lucky me, recently I was out and about wearing my Pantera “CFH” shirt and was complimented on my good taste in music and clothing by an enormous wall of a man. Since fellow Metalheadz know no strangers we struck up an easy conversation about all-things-Rock and Heavy Metal. Turns out we both love the same types of Metal and play guitar (alright, I noodle anymore). Cool, right? Well, I’ll be damned! Turns out I was speaking with Ohio’s Norselaw guitarist Deryck Heignum who, like me, moved south to get away from the cold and he has started a new band down here. I let him know that I wrote for MN and would love to check out his band. After exchanging info, we parted on the best of terms. The following day I received an email with his bands information and links. Holy shit! I was not prepared for such a spectacular release. Stormlurker absolutely destroys!
Revocation fans have a lot to be excited about come 22 July 2016 with their release of Great is Our Sin. I have been a big fan since first hearing their debut release of Existence is Futile back in 2009 and have not looked back as they have progressed through Empire of the Obscene (2010), Chaos of Forms (2011), Revocation (2013) and Deathless (2014). While the new album is unmistakably Revocation, the growth as musicians and songwriters has pushed the potential of Technical Death Metal well beyond its current boundary.
Blues Funeral formed in 2014 by Jan Kimmel (guitar), Cory Cousins (drums) and Maurice Eggenschwiler (guitar). All three of those guys were previously members of the band Sanctus Bellum. Blues Funeral is highly inspired by the 60’s and 70’s rock and metal scene and you can hear the influence in their sound. They added experienced upright bass player, Gabe Katz, who decided to kick his upright to the side and go electric with Blues Funeral. The band’s name is inspired by the 1969 Groundhogs cut, “Blues Obituary”, is an ode to many of the group’s influences including classic bands like: Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Mountain, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and more. Blues Funeral’s goal is to explore some new musical territory and truly find their own sound. Their debut album ‘The Search’ is set to be released on July 30th. It was recorded at Lucky Run Studio in Houston, TX. The band composed, arranged and produced the album themselves and it was mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago, IL. Collin Jordan has mastered albums for Blood Ceremony, Wovenhand, Eyehategod, and The Gates of Slumber.
Blues Funeral – The Search
Blues Funeral really brings back some old school sounds with the opening track “Autumn Dream”, the slowed down guitar riffs and melodies are a throwback that is very much welcomed. 2 minutes into the track the track really ramps up the speed and you get your first sampling of vocals from singers Jan Kimmel and Maurice Eggenschwiler who sing with this incredible harmonizing style. Blues Funeral wastes no time showing off their guitar playing skills either. The band really has their own signature sound, you can hear some influence from the 70’s Rock era but they make sure to put their own stamp on their brand of rock n roll. Track 3 “Planet Void” really gets your blood pumping. The upbeat song thunders through some amazing drum beats and the cymbal hits really play a major role in the song. Again the vocal harmonies are predominant and help set the band apart from others with a similar sound. Creating a harmony with another singer is a hard task and Blues Funeral seems to do so with little to no effort at all. Their talents are showcased very well from start to finish. On “Paragon of Virtue” (which you can hear below) the organ really plays a large part in the song, especially leading into the song. They managed to fit it in perfectly and it adds a whole other dimension to the song. Lyrics like “I am the dagger that pierce the tyrants back” are just a small dose of how amazing some of the lyrics are not only on this track but the entire album. The song gives you that much need instrumental showcase about halfway through where we get some guitar solos and the bass is heard well in there as well. In today’s music the guitar solo has kind of died and we are glad to see that brought back with such authority as Blues Funeral has here. Moving on to the final track of the album that has already been a listeners dream. “Palmdale” is the 6th and final track on ‘The Search’. The band isn’t going to let you finish the album without pulling out all the stops. “Palmdale” really gives you a taste of everything they have achieved on the album. Guitar riffs at the speed of light, vicious drum beats with amped up quickness, and the vocals are just as perfectly timed and belted out as any I may have heard before. At the end of the song you get that final touch similar to what you’ll get in a live performance. It’s like an improvised moment where the band just puts their own personal spin on the final seconds of the track/album and send the listener out with a bang. If you are a fan of old school metal or rock n roll then this album will make your head spin. I assure you that there isn’t anything like this band on the market right now. They are truly a prototype for exactly what a lot of bands are trying to achieve and can’t. Don’t let this album pass you by.
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Photo Credit: Shauna Montrucchio
Southern California-based veteran sludge act, -(16)-, return with their seventh full-length album. Entitled Lifespan Of A Moth, the offering is clearly the band’s heaviest, darkest, and most complex material to date. The album is the follow up to Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds and marks the bands 3rd release on Relapse Records. The band broke up for a period of time but their love for all things heavy brought them together again and the band reunited in 2007. The new album was self-produced by -(16)- and recorded with Jeff Forrest (Cattle Decapitation, The Locust) at Doubletime Recording Studio in San Diego, California. Lifespan Of A Moth is set for release this July 15th via Relapse on CD/LP/Digital. Physical pre-orders via Relapse.com can be found HERE; digital preorders are available through the band’s BandCamp page at THIS LOCATION.
Progressive Rock fans rejoice! Steve Vantsis, David Stewart, PJ Dourley, Paul Humphreys and Robin Boult along with John Beck and John Mitchell have joined forces to create TILT. For the uninitiated, Vartisis, Stewart and Boult are better known for recording, writing and touring with legendary FISH for years. Yes, THAT FISH! Steve Vantisis was also the primary songwriter for FISH’s “13th Star” and “Feast of Consequences”. With augmentation by It Bites keyboardist John Beck and guitarist John Mitchell (Lonely Robot, Kino, Arena and It Bites), expectations are extremely high with their much anticipated release of “Hinterland” on June 30th, 2016. Metal Nexus recently obtained a copy of it from Mr. Vantsis, and let me tell you, it is simply amazing!
When news started to circulate that the legendary guitar duo from Mercyful Fate, Michael Denner and Hank Shermann were putting together a supergroup called Denner/Shermann, there was a collective breath taken in the Metal world. When the line-up was completed with Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and Dream Evil drummer Snowy Shaw, Demonica’s Marc Grabowski on bass and the spectacular vocal range of DeathDealer and CAGE vocalist Sean Peck, that breath was quickly taken away. With the band’s October 2015 release of the “Satan’s Tomb” EP, all air was sucked out of the atmosphere with a huge gasp. This is the stuff Metalhead dreams and others’ nightmares are made of. Their EP was received with rave reviews and with a deafening scream for more material. That wish, thankfully, comes true June 24th, 2016 with the Metal Blade release of Denner/Sherann’s “Masters of Evil”.
Whitechapel was formed early in 2006 in Knoxville, TN. Damn. Ten years ago. Hard to believe that it has been so long since first hearing “The Somatic Defilement” shortly after its release in 2007. Since then, Whitechapel has developed a huge, devoted fan base with their extreme brand of Deathcore Metal, made a few line up changes, released five devastating albums and landed in the top ten of the Billboard Top 200 with “Our Endless War” from 2014. Stepping up their game at every stage of their musical careers, the June 24, 2016, highly anticipated release of “Mark of the Blade” marks not only a celebration of ten years together as a band but also a musical turning point.
I’ve always said that the best music is sometimes harder to find. Well today i’ve been proven wrong. The best thing that can ever happen is when an amazing new band and album is essentially delivered directly to my front door. That’s what happened to me when singer/guitarist Aaron Williams sent me the new album ‘Ursa Minor’ by his band Red Cloud. The album was released independently by the band on May 24th, 2016. The band was formed in 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. This album is a follow up to 2013’s ‘The Cloud’s Sound EP’. Red Cloud just adds to the list of amazing bands that call the state of Oregon home. The band has this refreshing sound that gives them this overwhelming listen-ability. The straddle the fence when it comes to declaring them hard rock or metal. There are stoner rock and psychedelic elements in there but they have so much more to offer that you can’t really classify them with a few measly words. Continue reading
Sometimes you come across a band and you start listening to their music and you just don’t want to stop. This is what has happened to me when I discovered the Finland based band I, Captain. The band was formed by Axel (Vocals, Bass), Viktor (Drums) and Andreas (Guitar) in 2013. It was a year later that Lukas (Guitar) became the final addition to the band and really completed their sound. It would only take the band a couple years to release their debut in January 2015. The EP titled ‘Surf the Supernova’ was 5 tracks of mesmerizing Psychedelic stoner rock. The band recently followed up their 2015 EP with the 3 track demo ‘Mantras for Mindlessness’. They released these 3 songs in April of 2016 and advised the songs will be re-recorded for their upcoming album release. Continue reading
My lovely daughter took me to The Big Ticket festival here in Jacksonville, FL a couple of months ago. The line, of course, was blocks long to get in and not moving. As is typical in the festival atmosphere, everyone was friendly and socializing with those around them in line, discussing who they were waiting to see, who they had seen before and finding out who was going to future concerts in the area. There were also many out-of-towners with so many bands playing at one venue. After waiting for about five minutes, we were approached by Jack White, promoting his band: Hall of the Elders. We struck up and easy conversation about his band and music in general. Of course, I am always on the lookout for new tunes and emerging bands to throw my support behind! Jack is a very cool guy with a wide variety of tastes in music. We exchanged information and eventually got back in touch so that I could take a closer listen to Hall of the Elders. Consider me very impressed… Continue reading