Gretchen

About Gretchen

I live for breakdowns, I'm stuck in the heyday of metalcore. Symphonic, progressive, and when I need to dumb it down... 80's glam. Will crowdsurf for beer. If I tell you my favorite band, you'll probably hate me.

Gretchen Piening’s Top 10 Albums Of 2018!

2018 was just like every other year. It felt like it went by at the pace of molasses, and then all of a sudden it’s October. But seriously, this was my first year writing for Metal Nexus and it has been a blast. Reviewing sick albums, interviewing some fabulous people and having to immerse myself into music, helping me enjoy it more and more each day. Honestly, my top 10 list came together a lot easier than I anticipated. Having a handful of metalcore records this year built the 10, basically upon their release. I’m just such a sucker for that sound- hence my #1 pick. Often times I box myself in with what I listen to but keeping an ear open all year helped me to realize that there is beauty and fun in a diverse palette. The Spotify yearly wrap up did a hilarious job of reminding me of just that. So with all that said, here are my picks (begrudgingly without any of the country music I loved this year) for the top 10 rock and metal albums of 2018. Thank you for taking the time to read not just this, but any of my work this year published on Metal Nexus. It sincerely means the world. Metalcore 2019!

 

 

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Progressive Metalcore Group ROGUE Is Redefining The Genre! [Official & Lyric Video]

Metalcore is a genre that continues to reinvent itself. Though it may seem like another lifetime since the mid-2000’s, new ideas infiltrate, artists reinvent and arguably somehow create these intricate subgenres of subgenres. Sub-subgenres? Progressive metalcore has been on the up and up since. Exquisite musicianship and sophisticated songwriting allow these tremendous new acts to standout in a crowd where everything is tucked under one umbrella. Continue reading

State of the Art: Iowa’s BLEEDCHAIN [Track Stream]

Barking vocals, chugging bass and anger. Waterloo, Iowa natives, Bleedchain find balance between new school death metal, old school groove and partying. Keeping the band on tempo, Joe Bartruff on the drums. Scott Carey holds down the low end on bass and vocals. Guitar duo consists of Mike Tucker and Michael Tucker and Lucus Johnston fronts the band.

The band has been around for a little over a decade and have released one demo and two full lengths: 2010’s “Rise of the Goddess” and “Martyrs Throne” from 2016. Bleedchain are hard hitting, fast paced and unforgiving. Experimenting with layered vocals and excessive shredding on top of some NOLA influences, check out the songs, “Viliscas Axe” and “Pile Hammer” Influences from Pantera and DevilDriver are present. Anyone seeking chugging riffs and chugging beer, Bleedchain is the here.

Bleedchain are often playing local gigs in Iowa which can be found on their Facebook page. Listen to their music on ReverbNation.

Duff McKagan Taps Shooter Jennings To Produce His New Solo Album!

Photo by Scott Dudelson

Legendary Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan taps producer Shooter Jennings for his new solo record in the works. The two came together earlier this spring to begin the recording process in Los Angeles. The unnamed album is due out next year. It is a musical supplement to McKagan’s 2015 book, How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions), a New York Times bestseller. A followup book was put on hold for the time being as these songs seemed to write themselves. These new songs were inspired by McKagan’s experience traveling the world with Guns N’ Roses’ on their extravagant Not in This Lifetime tour. McKagan stated “The heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide I have experienced over the last two and a half years of traveling this globe of ours coerced these words into songs that tell my truth, and one that I hope will spread and help us all. I do this for my daughters … I do this for my love of where I grew up …I do this because I truly feel it must be done and said right now.” Continue reading

DEF LEPPARD Release Video For Cover Of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”

Glam metal heros, Def Leppard have a way of making anything original. Perhaps it is the 80’s layered and harmonized vocals, or the even more 80’s reversed drum slap, but they have managed to reinvent the Depeche Mode classic, “Personal Jesus.” An accompanying music video is streaming for the single now. A black and white, minimalistic approach not to distract from the sonic groove. Continue reading

State of the Art: Wisconsin’s KNAAVES [EP Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Wisconsin.*

Absolutely everything about Knaaves sounds so incredibly pissed off you can’t help but call out, “GET THE FUCK UP” in your car alone while enjoying their 2018 EP, ‘January’, that was released in February. Knaaves is a four-piece modern beatdown hardcore unit from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Andy Parmann fronts the group with venomous vocals. The rhythm section consists of Jamie Kerwin on guitar and Amanda Daniels on bass. Rounding out the bunch on drums is Antonio Ninham. The band formed in 2016, coming together from various local projects such as Amora Savant, Die Alone and Enabler Continue reading

Jayden Panesso (SYLAR) “I Was Afraid Of Seeing What I Was Capable Of”

 

Sylar have been dominating the music scene lately, not only with new tracks but also with their killer performances on stage. The band formed in 2011 and quickly started pumping out material. They released the EP ‘Cutting Ties’ in the same year as their formation, and followed it up with another EP in 2013 titled ‘Deadbeat’ produced by Caleb Shomo (of Attack Attack!). Sylar then released their debut album ‘To Whom It May Concern’ a year later via Razor & Tie. This is the album that truly got the bands feet firmly planted in the music world. With powerful and emotional tracks like “Prescription Meditation” the band put a little bit of themselves in each track. The New Yorkers went on to sign with Hopeless Records and one up themselves releasing ‘Help’ in August of 2016. This would give them one of their biggest hits thus far in “Assume”. The album charted as high as 8th in Heatseekers Albums in September of 2016 on Billboard. The band already had 4 releases under their belt and on October 5, 2018 the band released another full length studio album marking their 5 release titled ‘Seasons’. The album is their second release on Hopeless Records. The single “All or Nothing” was the first release from ‘Seasons’ and it helps get fans pumped for the release. ‘Seasons’ was produced by Erik Ron who has worked with bands like Motionless In White, Blessthefall, I See StarsAttila, and Godsmack.

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State of the Art: Rhode Island’s GOLDENHALL [Track Stream]

 

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Rhode Island.*

Rhode Island may be one of the last places that comes to mind when pondering anthemic, symphonic metal. Goldenhall, however is about to change that entirely. Since their formation in 2014 by way of numerous local bands, they have lent credence to idea that Rhode Island has been a hidden hotbed for heavy music. Started by guitarists Ryan Spahr and Greg Rosche, formerly of Condolence; it did not take long before recruiting Nico Cannella (Acerose) and Matt Young from Chaos Before Creation, on bass and drums, respectively. Goldenhall is fronted by classically trained vocalist, Jason Shealy. All of the music is recorded and produced by this independent band. Continue reading

Review: SEVENTH WONDER – ‘Tiara’

It has been eight years since the release of their last full length, “The Great Escape,” so “highly anticipated” is an understatement for their fifth record. The Swedish, melodic and progressive metal phenomenon, Seventh Wonder are finally ready to grace the world with their latest musical endeavor from Frontiers Music s.r.l. One one hand, eight years is quite some time. But on the other hand, vocalist Tommy Karevik joined Kamelot in 2012. Perhaps that may be the greatest reason of all for such a delay. No longer must we wait though, as “Tiara” drops on October 12th.

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State Of The Art: Florida’s CHOROSPHERE

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Florida.*

Groovy. Progressive. Symphonic. It sounds like it comes straight out of Scandinavia. However, this all comes from the brain of one man from Jacksonville, Florida. His name is Andrew Howington and his project is called Chorosphere. Howington plays every instrument, programs, writes, sings and probably gives exceptional life advice. The amount of depth and flavor in Chorosphere is akin to the orchestration done by Ayreon, Epica, Sonata Arctica and  Mayan.   Continue reading