New York City melodic rockers VAJRA have been turning heads since their formation in 2011. VAJRA uniquely blends hauntingly dark and hypnotic melodic, progressive rock with Eastern Indian themes into foreboding and mysterious lullabies.The band was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self-imposed exile in India. Her story is just as compelling as the bands music. Annamaria was the child of a former monk and school teacher, she was encouraged to learn about the world around her and to question her assumptions. She believes there is divinity in creativity. Annamaria has a neurological condition called synesthesia, where she attaches color and shapes to sound. Her synesthesia seems to bring another dimension to the bands music, and it’s possibly the reason they stand out. VAJRA released their debut album ‘Pleroma’ on the Summer Solstice of 2012 (6.21.12). ‘Pleroma’ is an exploration in paradox (east vs west, soft vs pummelling, female vs male) and includes Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) co-produced the vocals and mixed. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered. The band has quickly became a must see live act. VAJRA is an extreme force selling-out their first show in November, 2011 (at The Bowery Electric in NYC). Rolling Stone Magazine named VAJRA the “Must-See Act” at the Loudwire Music Festival in 2015. With so much content out there these days it’s easy to overlook a band. AXS Magazing named the band one of the “Most underrated bands”. The band has a unique sound that not only comes across proficiently on the album but also in the live setting with ample amounts of on stage energy. The band has released a new single titled “The Mirror” from the forthcoming album, ‘Irkalla’ – the 1st EP of The Trilogy Series. It was engineered & produced by OH NO! ØKTAPUS at Red 13 Studios. The band will be playing the upcoming BratFest in Madison, Wisonsin along side the bands: Tantric, Bobaflex, Kevlar, the funk master George Clinton and many more.
Moscow’s REMARK has garnered a tremendous amount of attention with their video for the track “Falling” from their recent self titled album. The video has been out for a period of time but is still circulating heavily. The band released their debut ‘REMARK‘ in January 2016, it was produced by Andrew Konoplev. The band has stated that “Our first album was about finding our sound, style, manner of execution, and ultimately how REMARK should sound and look on stage”. I’m not sure what sound they were striving for but they hit a home run with the outcome. A true rock n roll record with a gritty edge. The 5 piece band is able to add melodic and aggressive notes within their style along with a rhythm that has that instant classic appeal. REMARK with Kuper Kukunchikov (METAMORPHOSIS Production) released two new music videos; the first one, “Falling,” brought REMARK to national attention and pushed them to the next level, winning the “Ultra Music” radio contest and a performance on Russian TV. In 2016 they appeared in rotation on many internet radio stations, and performed on many major Russian radio stations such as the RSN, L!FE, MAXIMUM live. The band raised the standards for rock n roll. Check out the video for “Falling” below. Continue reading
Floating Widget hail from the great north of Montreal, Canada. The band first made waves in 2004 with their debut ‘Praises To The Riff Monolith’. The debut was a tribute to the early days of riff heavy stoner rock. Even the title conjures up religious symbolism revolving around the beauty of the riff. By now I think you can grasp that Floating Widget truly are riff’tastic. The band has just dropped their sophomore release in the form of a 5 track EP titled ‘The Sounds Of Earth’. Yes, you heard that right, this EP is the first release from the band in 13 years. The album released March 2, 2017. ‘The Sounds Of Earth’ was recorded, mixed & mastered by Jef Fortin (Anonymus) at Bad Ass Studio. There is also a special treat on this album as well. The concluding track “Spiderzilla” features guest vocals from none other than Voivod’s Snake. Floating Widget is also playing the prestigious Montebello Rockfest alongside veteran acts like Queens Of The Stone Age, Rammstein, Iggy Pop, Megadeth, A.F.I. and a ton more. If you have the opportunity to catch this show make sure not to miss the heavy stoner riffs of Floating Widget. Continue reading
Photo by Bisse Bengtsson
SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY are the incredibly addictive, blunt rock band your ears have always craved. The Stockholm based trio formed in May of 2006. They released their self-titled debut album late 2009. A week later they were nominated in the Best Rock category at the Swedish P3 Guld Awards, and the singles “Missy” and “Heartbreaker” were played regularly on the radio. The now award winning band went on to release ‘Who Do You VooDoo’ in 2012 which included the single “Karma Babe” which was voted into the national radio station’s hall of fame by listeners. By this time the fans were flocking to the unique sounds of SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY. Their third release again was on the up and up. ‘Animal Man Woman’ hit stores in 2014. The album took the band back to their energetic style which was showcased on their debut. SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY mixes rock n roll, 60’s garage rock, and 70’s groove into their own unique blend of sounds. They have also been a must see for festival and concert goers as well. Opening up for various bands like Mustasch, Juliette Lewis and Nicke Andersson’s Imperial State Electric. The list doesn’t stop there. In 2013 they supported living legends KISS at Sweden’s new national arena in front of an audience of 30 000 people. Following the release of ‘Animal Man Woman’ Svante Nordström (drums) left the band and was replaced by Danne McKenzie (Truckfighters, Mustasch). Danne’s natural high energy level and stage charisma helped to further elevate the already amazing live performances. High on the inspiration stemming from this new line-up, work on new material started and in September of 2015 production got underway on what would ultimately become Satan Takes A Holiday’s fourth album – ‘Aliens’. In August of 2016 the band signed to Despotz Records. ‘Aliens’ is essentially an album that deals with alienation, anxiety and powerlessness – feeling out of place in contemporary culture, in social contexts as well as in oneself. To be standing in the center of the present only to be asking oneself: ’how the hell did this happen!?’ ‘Aliens’ was released on February 23, 2017. Continue reading
Industrial/Symphonic Black Metal artists Dawn of Ashes are set to release their new record. On June 9th they will release their seventh album ‘Daemonolatry Gnosis’ on Metropolis Records. Dawn Of Ashes has already released a lyric video for the track “Guardians” from the upcoming album. The band formed in 2001 and has been a dominating force in the symphonic metal genre ever since. ‘Daemonolatry Gnosis’ is a diabolical musical milestone & Dawn of Ashes‘ most brutal fusion of Extreme Symphonic Black Metal to date. Like Dawn of Ashes‘ previous album ‘Theophany’, ‘Daemonolatry Gnosis’ was mixed & produced by Mick Kenney of AnaalNathrakh. Features a cover of Black Metal legend Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon”, as well as guest vocals from Cradle of Filth’s Lindsay Schoolcraft. In support of ‘Daemonolatry Gnosis’, Dawn of Ashes will set out on a headling North America tour called “Fire Of The Phoenix” with Projekt F. Continue reading
Three Lane Road don’t care if you call them a classic rock, an 80’s band or hair metal. They aren’t worried about labels at all. The Texas based rockers are happy with their sound and want to spread it to the masses. The band formed in 2015 and have been chugging along ever since. Melodic vocal lines sang by Wayne Brito coupled together with tastefully driven guitar leads with both Allan Davis and Wayne Brito bring to life a nostalgic rock feel. It certainly drives home the old school feel of rock and the goose bumps are included at no additional charge. The bottom end rhythm section of bassist Steve Musket and drummer Chuck Geisel sear together the sound that is Three Lane Road collectively. The band draws inspiration from bands like Journey, Dokken and Skid Row. Like their influences the band doesn’t only create amazing music, but they capture your soul with their lyrics. Three Lane Road have released their self-titled debut. Recorded at Empire Sound Recording Studio in Carrollton, Texas and was produced by Alex Gerst. It was mastered by Derek Taylor at Milo Studio. Continue reading
Custom Black is a heavy doom rock trio from the plains of Kansas City. One thing that instantly let’s you know a band is good is when artist David Paul Seymour is involved. The renowned artist created the bands logo. He has done album art or logos for various bands like Wofat, Bastard Lord, Clouds Taste Satanic, and Stone Machine Electric. This of course puts their artwork in competition with some well known bands in the realm of stoner and doom music. Although often times the artwork is enough to entice you to purchase the album, Custom Black have something much greater inside the packaging. On February 21st the band released their debut album ‘Smoke Shall Rise’. The album which was self-released was recorded and mixed by Justin Mantooth at Westend Recording Studios and mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Their style is full of mouth watering riffs, copiousness amounts of groove and classic breathtaking doom vocal tones. Continue reading
DOYLE recently spoke to Joshua Toomey on Talk Toomey Podcast about The Misfits reunion and the possibility of another round of shows with the reunited lineup! You can hear the full interview below!
DOYLE, the current project of Von Frankenstein, with CANCERSLUG vocalist Alex “Wolfman” Story, and a current touring lineup rounded out by bassist Brandon Strate and drummer Brandon Pertzborn, continues the lineage of Doyle’s former projects, pairing crushing metal riffs with ferocious Punk Rock swagger. Most of you however know DOYLE from his shredding guitar work with THE MISFITS. DOYLE has been supporting their upcoming LP DOYLE II: AS WE DIE, in stores May 5th from EMP LABEL GROUP, and Doyle’s own MONSTERMAN RECORDS. AS WE DIE will be available Worldwide on CD and LP May 5, and is currently available for pre-order from empmerch.com, including several international versions with alternate artwork configurations, including art by legendary horror/comic/album cover artist Mister Sam Shearon, known for his iconic works with Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, Clive Barker, KISS, Ministry, Rammstein, X-Files, and more. On DOYLE’S Louisville, Kentucky tour stop the veteran guitar player spoke with Joshua Toomey of TALK TOOMEY PODCAST. Doyle speaks about THE MISFITS reunion shows saying “Just another day at the office”, “Hopefully we get to do another Misfits run, that would be nice”. The sheer idea of being able to see reformed MISFITS with Glenn Danzig back on the microphone instantly causes chill bumps. Their performance at Denver Riot Fest was the first show with Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle since October 29, 1983 and was billed as “THE ORIGINAL MISFITS”. The band was rounded out by Dave Lombardo on drums; Acey Slade on second guitar. THE MISFITS then went on to play Chicago Riot Fest as well making it the second and final date the band has played with the original lineup thus far. In a Rolling Stone Interview Jerry Only said of the first appearance “A lot of bands, when they do big reunions, they’ll book some small club gigs as warmup shows,” “I thought that this was the perfect warmup show for what we do. I thought us coming back to Denver out of all the places on the planet Earth was … why not?” THE MISFITS doesn’t do things on a small scale, and with DOYLE hoping for another run of shows we certainly hope it pans out. Continue reading
Lo-Pan have been dominating ear drums all over the U.S. for years. The Ohio 5 piece recently dropped their 5th release, an EP titled ‘In Tensions’. The EP continues Lo-Pan’s onslaught of infectious, riff-filled grooves that we have all came to love and admire. Each member of the band is a force to be reckoned with, bassist Skot Thompson is the mad scientist of groove, Jesse Bartz brings the beatdown on the drum kit, Jeff Martin unleashes his soothing prowess at the microphone and newcomer Chris Thompson has taken over the riff master position after Adrian Lee Zambrano exited the band. Their unique stage setup also makes for an incredible show, with Bartz and his drum kit being up front and center of the stage and vocalist Jeff Martin bellowing the songs out from the shadows in the back. Call it metal, call it stoner rock, call it what you will, but their sound is unmistakable and an instant addiction to the ears of any true music lover. Continue reading
Kentucky metal veterans Downtrend have announced today that lead vocalist Mike Jackson is stepping away from the band due to unforeseen circumstances. The band formed in 2004 and has went through a few lineup changes since then. The band retains founding members Josh Crum and Jeremy Chaney. Long time member drummer J.D. Hall completes the current lineup. Hall and Chaney were also formerly bandmates in the crushingly heavy group Voices Of Aggression. The chemistry among these three gents is amazing, which can be heard in their music and seen live when they take the stage. The band’s first lead singer when they formed was Steve Damron and at that time the band had an old school heavy metal sound similar to maybe Dio or Judas Priest. His vocal abilities along with the talents of the band made anyone within earshot of their music an immediate fan. Unfortunately, he left the band in 2004. Downtrend then took some time to regroup and reformed with Daryl Amburgey taking over vocal duties. His style drastically changed Downtrend’s style but in a positive way. He delivered not only amazing vocals but incredible lyrics as well. The music while Daryl was at the help took more of an emo or post-hardcore type vibe. The band of course stayed true to their heavy roots and shredding guitar riffs. Daryl exited the band in 2008 and the band was once again auditioning vocalists. This is when Whitesburg native Mike Jackson stepped up to the mic and became the frontman of the band for almost a decade. Mike truly added a southern metal sound to the band. Along with his harmonica playing his onstage swagger and vocal dominance would be a staple of Downtrend’s uniqueness. The time has come again for the band to search for another singer. After speaking with guitarist Josh Crum we have learned the band has auditioned a few vocalists around the region including West Virginia native Joey Ferris, Jason “Brew” Brewer, Michael McKay Combs (Voices Of Aggression) and Shawn Williams (Hollow). While the auditions are still ongoing the band had a scheduled show opening for Bullet Boys at The Appalshop Theater in Whitesburg, Kentucky. The band has stated they will have a “guest vocalist” for this show which sources say will be Michael McKay Combs. Mike certainly has the ability to take over the void left in the band. He was the deep baritone vocalist of Voices Of Aggression which bassist Jeremy Chaney and J.D. Hall were also a part of. While I’m told everyone is still in the running for this position you can see a live audition when the band takes the stage opening for Bullet Boys.
Auditions continue and if interested in becoming the new voice of Downtrend email firstname.lastname@example.org
For tickets to see Bullet Boys & Downtrend’s special performance go here.