*This is part of our State Of The Arts series, showcasing bands every Monday from the state of the month*
This month’s state is Ohio.
Cleveland, Ohio is home of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and Lebron James, but most importantly it’s home to one of Ohio’s best rock bands in The Great Iron Snake. The band is a trio of hard rocking guys that have some chemistry when it comes to being in a band together. The comradery and stage presence they have may seem like déjà vu, but that’s only because they are ¾’s of the band Red Giant. The guys have been together sporting this new band name since 2012. You have Damien Perry at the helm on vocals and rocking out his Gretsch White Falcon guitar that sounds absolutely amazing. Brian Skinner is setting the low tones on bass, and behind the kit is Eric Matthews on the sticks. The band recently released a single in February entitled “Pungent Porcelain”. Like a trucker in a roadside brothel, the song gets right to business. The guitar work leads the song through its paces, from start to finish it’s an uphill to downhill rhythm. Playing off every up tempo and downtempo change the song perfectly showcases the talents of the band. They have been playing live shows in and around the Cleveland area with some other bands we enjoy like Trouble, and Black Pussy. Presently The Great Iron Snake is unsigned to a label, which we don’t think will last very long. With a unique sound and with as much chemistry Damien, Eric and Brian have together it won’t be long before they are fighting away offers. Other than the one song “Pungent Porcelain” that has been recorded and is streaming on Bandcamp there are a few good quality live videos available of the band as well. The song “Elipsis” (which we will link below) has this great little bluesy groove to it that just has this amazing energy to it. We always say that the best way to see a band is live and in person. We look forward to catching these guys on the road soon.
Rising out of the country music capital of the world, All Them Witches formed in 2012 and quickly became one of our favorite bands. They released their second album entitled “Lightning at the Door” in 2014 and it’s an album that never grows old. They can be called anything from desert rock, stoner rock, to psychedelic. The sound they create is like a potluck, where everyone in the band brings something to the table. Last year’s release is going to be hard to compete with in regards to a follow up, but they announced they have been working on their 3rd release. Unlike “Lightning at the Door” the 3rd All Them Witches album will not be self-released, as they recently signed with New West Records. They have been making the festival rounds this year as they just played Bonnaroo on June 13th and have been added to the Louder Than Life festival taking the stage on October 3rd in Louisville, Kentucky. They are by far one of the best bands on the bill that is filled with other big names. Not only is the music they play different from some of the rest that will be playing at the festival, but you can expect them to have a breakthrough live performance that will leave you wanting more. They are a raw talent that has a beautiful and unpolished sound that is sure to create fans by the masses. Festival goers who aren’t familiar with the band will be pleasantly surprised and we think All Them Witches will be leaving Kentucky with a much larger fan base. They are just one of many reasons to attend the festival this year as we will continue to showcase the bands appearing at Louder Than Life.
Sons of Huns are from the Pacific Northwest. The trio are currently set to release the upcoming album “While Sleeping Stay Awake.” The album will release on July 21st . Pack your bags and get ready for a trip, this album is going to take you places. I’ve heard two songs from the album and both are straight up retro psychedelic rock and does not disappoint. The song “An Evil Unseen” is already up for streaming on their website and is just a small tease of how great this album is. The song “Philosopher’s Stone” is packed with an extra helping of riffs. At times it almost has a Saint Vitus feel going on, bringing a little bit of doom into the acid washed sound they have. The album is the follow up to their previous album release “Banishment Ritual.” The combination of riffage and vocals make them a stoner’s paradise. Imagine sitting in a carpeted VW van and turning on the radio, that is Sons of Huns that would be blasting from those speakers. Listening to them will put you in a time machine and send you right back to the 70’s, so spark up and put on your best leather jacket. If you are a fan of psychedelic inspired stoner rock then this album is a must for you.
Pitch Black Forecast…ever heard of them? If your answer is “No” then allow me to inform you to what you’ve been missing. You’ve been missing a savagely abrasive, leaden groove-laden Metal band from Cleveland, Ohio that could actually be described as a “supergroup”. Really, an honest-to-god supergroup and that term fits the bill in this case because Pitch Black Forecast resulted as a band after Jason Popson (A.K.A. singer J-Mann of masked act Mushroomhead got lined up with the drum deity we call “The Atomic Clock” Gene Hoglan of such great bands like Dark Angel, Death, Testament, Meldrum, Strapping Young Lad among others. The duo soon recruited former Integrity bassist Steve Rauckhorst (after recording their 2008 debut album “Absentee” with earlier bassist Craig Martini) and guitarists Rob Reinard and Tom Shaffner of local Cleveland faves NDE and Keratoma.
Working originally under the moniker of Absentee, the band did manage to record a debut album during 2007 that became titled “Absentee” as the band underwent a name change. That debut album featured manic, aggro-metal harshness benefited with the inhuman drumming assault provided by Hoglan and capped off by the ultra pissed off vocal stylings of Popson. It also featured guest appearances by Devin Townsend, Ringworm’s Human Furnace, Lamb of God’s Randall Blythe, and Avenged Sevenfold‘s M. Shadows. 2012 brought yet another release in the form of the 5 song EP “Burning In Water…Drowning In Flame” and then summer of 2014 brought news that Pitch Black Forecast would be releasing a compilation of previously-released songs remixed and re-tracked to become “closer” to the vision Popson desired from the start. The title of the album was revealed to be “As The World Burns” and was released on Oct. 21st of that same year and as an added bonus it includes a 4 song EP from Jason Popson’s post-industrial project Bitch Wrangler titled “Spitefuck”.
If you like harmfully face-ripping and outright angry as all hell metal then you should definitely get out from under the radar and take heed to Pitch Black Forecast.
Foul Spirits are based out of Kent, Ohio and they have this evolving sound from song to song that turns every listener into a junkie wanting more. Has amazing elements of thrash, punk and metal. The vocals have these deep gutturals and then to a more thrash based vocal. The quick pace of each song keeps your head banging almost instinctively. They carry with them this amazing sludge like vibe. At times it brings to mind many a great NOLA based bands, but then they throw a wrench into the machine and come out with a sound all their own. The album “Volatile Versatile” released in December of 2014 is worthy of a trophy case. The album is one of those that will get you pumped and ready to raise all out hell. The song “Devil in Me” hits every possible tempo change it could. Starts with a racing guitar and drum beat, then the vocals run through like a bull in a china shop. The end of the song comes together and brings with it this sound that would remind you of Louisiana cult legends Acid Bath. By no means are these guys fucking around. Each song has a fierce and raw sound that just grabs you by the throat. Check these guys out. – Fist