Artist Showcase

One of our main goals here at Metal Nexus is to turn you on to new bands that you haven’t heard before.



Oldschool Sunday: DBC (Dead Brain Cells)

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Multi-instrumentalist Erik Larson (Backwoods Payback, Alabama Thunderpussy, Birds Of Prey, Hail!Hornet) recently brought to mind a band that had not actually crossed my mind in many a year: Dead Brain Cells, or as they’re commonly known, DBC. The band itself was a Montreal-based thrash metal band that originally formed in 1986 after beginning under the name of Final Chapter in 1985 with guitarists Eddie Shahini and Gerry Ouellette. The pair began looking for a drummer and soon entered former Unruled and Vomit & The Zits drummer Jeff Saint-Louis and guitar player Phil Dakin, who switched to bass for the band. Also joining at the time was former Vomit & The Zits singer Dave Javex Ray-O-Vac (David Leone) as the band’s vocalist. Realizing they were on to something serious, the guys took the new name of Dead Brain Cells, one of three suggestions by Leone, the other two being “The Mental Pukes” and “The Retarded Assholes”. However, before the band could really get going or perhaps even record, Leone had to exit due to employment commitments and so Dakin decided he would sing and play bass at the same time in DBC. By 1987 Dead Brain Cells were signed to Combat Records for whom they would record their landmark debut self-titled full-length album, Dead Brain Cells, that very same year. Produced by the famed Randy Burns (Nuclear Assault, Ludichrist), the album contained 13 tracks of ferocious, well-executed thrash metal with elements of hardcore and thought-provoking, socially conscious lyrics. The album elicited positive reviews from the likes of Metal Hammer, Burn and others as it quickly gained acceptance with fans in the metal underground as well.
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State of the Art: New York – The Last Alliance

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York!

New York, take two. This week we head off in a completely different direction. Progressive Instrumental last week, Traditional Power Metal this week. So good, in fact, that one would expect to hear this quality of music over the pond in Europe and not from Queens, New York. Hell, there are even songs sung entirely in Italian! This week’s State of the Art: New York goes to The Last Alliance.

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State Of The Art: New York – MOON TOOTH

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York

Hailing from Long Island, Moon Tooth took the local scene by storm when they formed in 2012. The band has been gaining a ton of national attention in the last two years since putting out their debut EP and first full length LP. The talent of the group has took them across North America with the likes of Intronaut, Entheos, Astronoid, Thank You Scientist, and Toothgrinder. They’ve even opened up for Killswitch Engage, and next month they will open for New York’s own, Candiria. Moon Tooth takes an eclectic amount of inspiration that you will hear in their music and it stands out. They blend in several different sounds but like to be referred to “aggressive progressive”. The four piece creates a chaotic sound that will please fans across different genres. Their unique style of progressive, blues, rock n roll, and just about any subgenre you can think of, provides something to like for any fan of music. Continue reading

State Of The Art: New York – BLACK WATER RISING

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York!

BLACK WATER RISING

Brooklyn is home base for one of the absolute best Hard Rock bands in the music underground, above ground, stratosphere or where the hell ever…Black Water Rising! With a sound that is rooted in a semi-metallic Rock approach founded on incendiary guitars, throbbing rhythms, and empowering drums, Black Water Rising wield a powerful style of infectious music that’s hard to resist. Formed back around 2008 by former Dust To Dust singer/songwriter Rob Traynor (guitars & vox) who would later recruit bassist Oddie McLaughlin, former Stereomud guitarist John Fattoruso and former Boiler Room drummer Mike Meselsohn, the guys went to work as an active musical entity. In 2009 they recorded and independently released their incredible 11-song self-titled debut Black Water Rising, producing the hit song “Brother Go On” which ultimately received major airplay on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Octane channel and other outlets. The album achieved the #6 album in the Top 20 for October 2009 (the only unsigned band on the chart!) and #2 most requested phone-in for the Top 20 weekly chart at that time also, all of which fueled the band to issue an Official Video for the hit. Another song from the self-titled release, “No Halos“, also received the video treatment and both are streaming below.
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Oldschool Sunday: LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT

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LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT

Liquid Tension Experiment was (and still may be) a progressive rock project from the drumming dynamo that is Mike Portnoy during his time while still in Dream Theater. It was 1997 when Portnoy got the itch to play some music outside of his day job in DT so he formed the earliest incarnation of LTE with Jordan Rudess (keyboards) and guitarist John Petrucci along with the iconic bass/Chapman Stick player Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel). Petrucci’s initial involvement was intended to be temporary as Portnoy was trying to land other guitarists ranging from ‘Dimebag’ Darrel (Pantera) to Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) and Steve Morse (Dixie Dreggs, Deep Purple). Another intriguing fact is that Jordan Rudess was not a member of Dream Theater at this time, instead having opted to join Dixie Dreggs after having declined an offer to join the DT group in 1994. The chemistry in Liquid Tension Experiment was clearly a cohesive, inspiring formula and the band recorded then released their self-titled Liquid Tension Experiment album for Magna Carta Records in 1998. They also began playing a handful of live shows around that time too including ones in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and London.
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Milestones In Music: STRAPPING YOUNG LAD ‘City’

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By the time that Strapping Young Lad issued its second album “City” via Century Media in early 1997, the project had actually metamorphosed into an actual band. Where 1995’s debut “Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing” was the result of Devin Townsend writing and doing mostly everything with help from the occasional studio musician, “City” was the rendering of a full-on collaborative band. Joining Hevy Devy on the offering was drum deity GeneThe Atomic ClockHoglan (Dark Angel, Testament, Pitch Black Forecast), guitarist Jed Simon (Zimmer’s Hole, Vimic) and bassist Byron Stroud (City Of Fire, Fear Factory, 3 Inches Of Blood). In fact, there were myriad differences between SYL’s debut and this sophomore outing such as a conscious effort to just create chaotic, over-the-top extremity on the first record but not necessarily so with “City“. Sure, the second effort had whiplash-inducing speeds and ratcheted up musical intensities but there was melodic elements embedded within the semi-industrial sonic content. The extremes were still intact but here they were governed with a bit more of a controlled chaos approach..just listen to “Oh My Fucking God“, perhaps the heaviest song ever recorded depending on whom you ask. This is the album where Strapping Young Lad not just became a band but also found it’s truest, most defining sound that would dominate the unique body of material lauded on three more studio albums after “City“.
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State of the Art: New York – The Mantle

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York!

Moving on from Idaho, we travel to the Northern, East Coast state of New York. Named after the 17th Century Duke of York and having the capital of Albany, it is bordered by New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, it is the fifth most densely populated state with a population estimated to be about 8.55 million and boasting the most populated city in the United States. New York city also serves as the premier gateway for legal immigration and is considered a hub for international trade and diplomacy. While 40% of the population resides within the city, Upstate New York is dominated by the Appalachian Mountains which include Allegheny Plateau, the Catskills, the Adirondack Mountains, Thousand Island archipelago and Saint Lawrence Seaway. Waterways include the Hudson River, Mohawk River valleys, the Erie Canal, the Finger Lakes and, of course, world famous Niagara Falls. In addition New York houses internationally known landmarks such as Times Square, Central Part, Grand Central Terminal, Columbia, Cornell, New York and Rockefeller Universities and the Statue of Liberty. New York is also a haven for legendary Metal bands like Anthrax, Type O Negative, Helmet, Carnivore, Prong, KISS, Agnostic Front, White Zombie, Biohazard, Nuclear Assault, Manowar, Stormtroopers of Death, Living Colour, Black Anvil, Beastie Boys, Candria, Winger, Foreigner, Liquid Tension Experiment and many, many others. This opening week, I would like to add The Mantle to this list of greats.

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State Of The Art: New York – Long Island’s CALL IT HOME

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York

Call It Home are from Long Island, New York and have been local powerhouses ever since they formed in 2012. The band has been playing iconic venues around the area like Revolution Bar, Webster Hall and even Andrew WK’s co-owned venue Santos Party House. The band are hard workers and have quickly built a huge following thanks to their energetic stage presence and unique sound. The once local band is now becoming more known around the county. Call It Home boast a classic pairing of clean and harsh vocals. The group is made up of 5 musicians who have a passion for music, and the chemistry within the band can be easily heard throughout their music. During the formation of the band their goal was to combine the styles of hard-hitting, heavy breakdowns and poppy choruses to create a sound that many listeners can enjoy. The way in which they can cohesively compose music that includes heaviest of heavy and melodic moments is one of the reasons fans flock to their sound.

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State Of The Art: New York – ETERNAL BLACK

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is New York


From the harsh, gritty streets of NYC, the borough of Long Island to be exact comes the sludgened behemoth of doom that is Eternal Black. These guys don’t merely take a bite out of the Big Apple, they stomp and crush that shit to applesauce! Comprised of a three-headed sonic monstrosity, Eternal Black‘s gtr./vox Ken Wohlrob, drummer Joe Wood, and bassist Hal Miller have been gradually introducing fans of heavy music to their own dense slab of rock in recent years. Inspired by the likes of Spirit Caravan, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Church Of Misery and others that provide some of the most volatile aural pummelings on Earth, these guys issued their self-titled EP (review here) back in 2015. They were already actively gigging at the time as well and managed to land a prestigious spot on 2016’s Maryland Doom Fest. It was the perfect jumping off spot to bring their thick, massive riff-driven doom machine to a larger number of fans and they astounded all in attendance with it.
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Oldschool Sunday: SUPERSHINE

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SUPERSHINE (L-R Pinnick, Olsen, Franklin)

In current times, the term ‘supergroup’ is as common as rock and roll itself as we are subjected to one unification of well known, established artists after another. Sometimes as a one-off where they issue one singular release or sometimes they become an actual recording entity or actual band and deliver repeated releases. Today, we are going to take a look at one of the earliest, true supergroups that released one official album and nothing else ever again and that collective is the trio known as Supershine. Supershine saw the teaming up of bassist/vocalist Dug Pinnick of King’s X along with two members of Trouble, guitarist/vox Bruce Franklin and drummer Jeff Olsen. In the late 1990’s, both King’s X and Trouble were at the top of their games so to speak, the former with a string of successful, highly popular albums and solid fan support. The latter was a legendary U.S. Doom band by this point as well, one also well revered with numerous iconic albums out and an already established place in music history.

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