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.



State Of The Art: APE CAVE [Album Stream & Behind The Scenes Video]

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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 Oregon!

Ape Cave are a talented band from the musically rich city of Portland, Oregon. The band’s debut release was on May 31, 2015 in the form of an EP titled ‘Primordium’. It was engineered by Ryan Grunest and The Human and mixed/mastered by The Human at Human Studios. “Primordium” has been described as an eighteen minute long embarkment spanning over bountiful sonic landscapes – listeners will find themselves immersed in formidable singing, kaleidoscopic guitar solos and rigid rhythms. I have become addicted to their unique sound since hearing their latest release ‘Pillars of Evolution’. It was engineered/mixed by Fester at Haywire Studios and mastered by Stephan Hawkes at Interlace Audio. The band describes the album “Prepare to undertake a momentous odyssey through Kashmir’s bluffs, devastating Egyptian plains and volcanic panorama in Ape Cave’s LP ‘Pillars of Evolution.’ The psychedelic guitar work, roaring bass lines, thunderous percussion and dark vocals soaring to pyramidal heights are just a fraction of the elements that will leave listeners captivated. The tale of a wanderer experiencing an intensely hallucinogenic, trans-continental journey is yet to be unraveled.” Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Spotlight: BODY COUNT

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*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 Body Count.

Body Count is an Los Angeles based metal band formed in 1990. The group is fronted by Ice-T, who co-founded the group with lead guitarist Ernie C . Ice-T first made his stamp on the music industry as a rapper and moved on to metal when he formed Body Count. If you think Ice-T looks familiar you may have seen him on Law & Order from the year 2000 and forward. Ice-T took his talents to cable tv and has since become even more of a household name. Body Count released its self-titled debut album in 1992. The band encountered controversy over their track “Cop Killer”, which was thought to glamorize killing police officers. Because of this song Body Count was banned from playing anywhere in L.A. The band was already star studded but this news made them even more popular. In a recent interview with Cathouse owner and former Headbanger’s Ball host Riki Rachtman he mentioned how the band was banned and he had them play in Hollywood anyway. “Cop Killer” also cause a disturbance once in Italy when they began to play the song live and an audience member spit at Ice-T. The show was cancelled and their tour bus was vandalized by audience members and the band barely escaped unharmed. The song had got the attention of the label, several police organizations and both the president and vice president at the time. (H.W. Bush, Quayle). Ice-T decided to drop the song from the album. In an interview, Ice-T stated that “I didn’t want my band to get pigeon-holed as that’s the only reason that record sold. It just got outta hand and I was just tired of hearing it. I said, ‘fuck it,’ I mean they’re saying we did it for money, and we didn’t. I’d gave the record away, ya know, let’s move on, let’s get back to real issues, not a record but the cops that are out there killing people.” Continue reading

State Of The Art: WITCH MOUNTAIN

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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 Oregon!

Witch Mountain was formed in 1997 and became a household name in the city that keeps it weird, Portland, Oregon. The doom crew had just released mostly likely the best album thus far since the formation of the band in the 2014 release ‘Mobile of Angels’ their 8th album. Singer Uta Plotkin was belting out all the vocals on the most recent albums. Her voice became the definition of doom to most within the scene. Uta announced she would be leaving the band prior to the release of ‘Mobile of Angels’ in September of 2014. If that wasn’t already enough bassist Charles Thomas was leaving the band as well. This left only drummer Nathan Carson and guitarist Rob Wrong. Uta left some huge shoes to fill for whoever would eventually take her place. The band had a few months to look around for a singer prior to Uta leaving the band. They were in no immediate hurry to fill the spot and just wanting to ensure they had the right person. Less than a week after receiving a video audition from Kayla Dixon she was to become the new singer of Witch Mountain. Dixon spent some time with the Cleveland based band Demons Within, but the majority of her career was in theatre acting. The 19 year old Dixon was flown out to join the band and newly added bass player Justin Brown from the Portland band Lamprey. Once again the band was complete. Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Spotlight: NORMA JEAN

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*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 Norma Jean.

On Sunday, July 16th, pioneer metalcore titans Norma Jean join a stacked lineup at Chicago Open Air at Toyota Park. Norma Jean is known for their melodic, heavy sound that is perfect for driving a crowd into a frenzy. The band formed all the way back in 1997 in Georgia and there are no original members left. Former vocalist Josh Scogin left the band in 2002 right after the first full length album ‘Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child’ featuring tracks like “Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste” and “Creating Something Out of Nothing, Only to Destroy It.” Scogin went on to form acts like The Chariot and ’68. Current vocalist Cory Brandan Putman joined in 2004 and has been in the band for the longest period. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Oregon – Increate

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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 Oregon!

Like shooting fish in a barrel for this month’s State of the Art: Oregon series. No matter how extreme your Metal tastes, Oregon has something for you. Digging 80’s Pop Metal? Gotcha covered. More into old school Thrash and Power Metal? You got it. Think these are for wusses and desire to hit the extremes? There are more good Death and Black Metal bands in Oregon than you can shake a stick at. If there is one niche that stands out in the upper, West Coast, however, it is going to be Progressive Metal. Incidentally, this stands among my favorites, so this week let me introduce you to Increate.

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SEETHER Release “Let You Down” Official Video.

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Seether, the South African metal band, is set to release their new album ‘Poison The Parish’ May 12th  2017. The first single and video released is “Let You Down”. This is also the first album released under front man Shaun Morgan’s label Canine Riot Records.

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Chicago Open Air Spotlight: CANE HILL

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Photo by Porter McKnight

*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 Cane Hill.

On Saturday, July 15th, alternative metal band Cane Hill will be bringing their contagiously heavy sound to Chicago Open Air in Toyota Park. It all began back in New Orleans in 2011. Cane Hill’s name is actually taken from the name of a deserted mental asylum in the UK. The band really broke through from their very start with their refreshing take on a mix of nu metal and hardcore. Despite only having one album out, Cane Hill has already showed a tremendous amount of diversity in their sound. They cover all aspects of the two genres being very reminiscent of acts like Slipknot, Korn, and Marilyn Manson. They released their first single in 2014 “Sunday School” (check it out below) and were signed to Rise Records in the same day. Continue reading

State of the Art: Oregon – Sacrifice to Survive

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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 Oregon!

Man. Can hardly believe it is already May. With that we move from Pennsylvania on the East Coast to the West Coast to hit Oregon, our new state for our State of the Art series. Having a capital of Salem and being bordered by Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and the Pacific Ocean, Oregon became the 33rd state in the U.S. February 14th, 1859. Taking up some 98,000 square miles and having a population of about 4,000,000 residents, Oregon is the ninth largest state and the 33rd most populated, respectively. Within its boundaries lies a wide variety of geography including volcanoes, large bodies of water, dense forests, high deserts, semi-arid shrublands and beaches; driving Oregon’s economy powered by agriculture, fishing, hydroelectric power, timber and cutting edge technology. Nike, FLIR Systems, Portland General Electric and Columbia Sportswear are just a few international corporations that call Oregon home [Wiki]. In addition, the state has spawned a large number of notable bands such as Red Fang, Black ‘n Blue, Toxic Holocaust, Whermact, among many others. For my first Oregon SOTA band this month I would like to shine the spotlight on Sacrifice to Survive.

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Into The Grave Spotlight: POWERWOLF

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Powerwolf is one of the bands that is headlining besides Saxon this year at the most metal festival in Holland. The Festival we are talking about is called ‘Into The Grave’ and it has been growing and growing since it started back in 2010. The festival is just like I mentioned in my preview (read here) about the festival itself really diverse. It features bands like Amon Amarth, Life Of Agony, Whitechapel and pirate metal pioneers Alestorm. Every genre is welcome at Into The Grave and that’s exactly what people with diverse taste in metal just like me are looking for.

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Chicago Open Air Spotlight: FAILURE ANTHEM

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*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 Failure Anthem.

On Friday, July 14th, Failure Anthem will be right up with Hell or Highwater (last week’s spotlight artist) to be one of the first bands to take the Chicago Open Air stage in 2017. This will be their second Danny Wimmer Presents festival after playing Carolina Rebellion last year in 2016. The band has made swift progress after only forming in 2013 when guitarist Kile Odell wanted to form his own project after working with several other artists including Motionless in White. From Greensboro, North Carolina, Failure Anthem set out to deliver catchy hard rock songs with a positive message in their music. The band signed with Razor & Tie in 2015 and released their debut record in early 2016.

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