I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord’s son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70’s, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000’s of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don’t buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don’t like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music “nerd” not a music “snob”. As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! – Odyssey –
This was one of those shows that I could not wait to get to; kind of like Christmas a few weeks late. Not only was I waiting to see a now legendary band, but also to see some friends I have not seen in quite a while, see a couple of bands I have not seen before and able to see a couple of favorite local bands that I have become friends with over time. Great being part of the local Metal scene here in Jacksonville! Some of the best people playing some of the best music available anywhere! Gotta love it! Thanks to GoBig Entertainment for making this show happen!
Wyatt “Screamin’Demon” Anderson – vocals JonLeon – bass/guitars JamesJLaRue – lead guitars and keyboards/orchestration DylanMarks – drums
As an answer to the angsty, low tuned, screamo music that has taken over since the early 2000’s, Los Angeles, CA’sWhiteWizzard was formed by bass/guitar player and songwriter JonLeon in mid-2007. Stressing the importance of superior songwriting, melody and appropriate harmonies, Jon set out to add all of the fun and good times back to HardRock and Metal that had been all but abandoned since the late 80’s and early 90’s when Metal was in its infancy and heyday. Since their inception, WhiteWizzard has released a couple of EPs, a number of singles and four, full-length CDs entitled OvertheTop (2010), FlyingTigers (2011, and one of my favorites!), TheDevil’sCut (2013) and, released Friday, January 12th, 2018 on the M-TheoryAudio label (a first for the band), InfernalOverdrive.
Any fan of Symphonic, female-fronted Metal is intimately familiar with, now legendary, Leaves’ Eyes. Over the course of the last fourteen years, the band has released a total of six albums including Lovelorn(2004), VinlandSaga(2005), Njord (2009), Meredead (2011), SymphoniesoftheNight (2013) and KingofKings in late 2015. Based on a myriad of Nordic themes such as the mystical, underwater world of the mermaid, adventures of the ancient mariner, Celtic folk songs, tales of heroic women over the course of mankind’s existence and, most recently a concept album revolving around the first king of Norway, Leaves’ Eyes has carved their epic status in stone and set a firm foundation for the entire Symphonic sub-genre of Metal. By April 2016, Finnish vocalist ElinaSiirala replaced long-standing front-woman LivKristine amid much drama and controversy. Fans from all over the world held their collective breaths as the first act of the band played out to its close. Once Elina proved herself at Hammersonic in Jakarta, Indonesia, MetalFemaleVoices, WaveGotik, Treffen, MastersofSymphonicMetal, FullMetalCruise and many other, fans breathed a sigh of relief knowing that Elina had what it takes to carry the standard. This should come as no surprise since Liv had a hand in choosing her replacement. Last year, Leaves’ Eyes ventured on their most bold world tour yet, hitting Europe, Asia, North America and South America; even being joined by one of my favorite bands, Sabaton, among many others and selling out shows throughout. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of seeing Leaves’ Eyes live but are said to have “shows [that are] are spectacular events featuring breathtaking stage sets like a Viking ship or the unforgettable ‘SwordsintheStone’ monument.”
Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple and Black Country Communion) – Bass
ChadSmith (RedHotChiliPeppers) – Drums
MikeFraser(AC/DC, TheRazor’s Edge and long time Satriani collaborator since CrystalPlanet) – Producer/Engineer/Mixer
JoeSatriani certainly needs no introduction and remains one of my favorite guitarists of all time. What will be sixteen albums over the course of thirty one years, teacher of many other great guitarists (KirkHammet, AndyTimmons, SteveVai, AlexSkolnick, CharlieHunter, LarryLaLonde, KevinCadogan, RickHunolt, DavidBryson, GeoffTyson, PhilKettner, to name a few), member of supergroup Chickenfoot, undeniably one of the most influential guitarists of all time, multiple GrammyAward nominations, headliner of G3 since 1995 featuring a veritable who’s who of the greatest the guitar world has to offer and a man that just exudes passion and fun on every stage he has ever landed on are just a few meager mentions of this man’s incredible talents. I have had the pleasure of seeing Joe quite a few times over the course of his long career and he so obviously loves what he is doing now more than he ever has. He just keeps getting better and enjoying it more and more as the years wear on. Where a jaded view of the music business has tainted the passion of so many other bands I have seen lately, Satriani hits the stage with continued wide-eyed wonder. Honestly, I think Satch enjoys playing more than his fans like watching him slay his beloved Ibanez.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Nebraska!
On this week’s Stateofthe Art spotlight of Metal from Nebraska, I would like to introduce a Progressive/PowerMetal band that call Omaha home. Members include guitarist/vocalist JodyKermoade, bass player LeighJamieson, drummer AndrewPace and RockyPulley covering keyboards during live shows and will be featured on their forthcoming album. The band is FallenReign.
Little did we know that Allegaeon, whose album ProponentforSentience hit our lists for best of 2016 (check out our extensive review here), recorded not one, but two spectacular Rush covers! Those of us that heard “Subdivisions” immediately fell in love with their rendition of it and made it their most streamed song off of the aforementioned album. Celebrating today’s date, January 6, 2018, the date version of the band’s song “1.618”, Allegaeon have just cut loose with “Animate” worldwide on all of the digital music services. It can be sampled and bought at your favorite source here.
April Rose – Vocals and Guitar Oscar Garcia – Drums DennisBurns – Guitar JusticeMaynard – Bass
AuditoryArmory is a female fronted AlternativeMetal band that manages to take the best of HardRock, Metal, ProgressiveRock and even some Jazz and cleanly distills them into a sound thatcan only be identified as theirs. This is the advantage of taking on music with wide, curious and wandering eyes instead of within the confines of what is and what should be for any certain genre/sub-genre of music and the die-hard fans that constantly in-fight these categorizations to death. This has always been a pet peeve. Categories should be used simply as a way of describing a sound to someone that has not heard of the band, not as some confining boundary of what music should sound like. Imagine, if you will, a musical landscape where Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Gershwin, Coltrane, WesMontgomery, MilesDavis, CharlieParker, TheBeatles, Elvis, Hendrix, Yes, Rush, MichaelHedges, PinkFloyd, EddieVanHalen, IronMaiden, JudusPriest, TheBig4, ChuckSchuldiner, Pantera, CannibalCorpse and Venom chose not to think outside of the box. Got it worked out? Not a pretty picture, huh? This is precisely the reason I actively search out and share bands that throw the whole “writing within a box” thing to the wind. AuditoryArmory is, obviously, one such band that fits the mold of not fitting in one.
Like every year, we have been inundated with tons of killer, new Metal in 2017. Thankfully, we here at MetalNexus have the freedom to share what we personally liked over the course of the year. No sales numbers. No record label affiliation or pressure. No sub-genre infighting. No BS. Just an honest list of what struck us individually. Like past years, my list is as broad as my musical tastes and covers everything from instrumentals, to TechDeath, to PowerMetal, to Thrash and even a top-notch ProgressiveRock band. Hopefully, some of my favorites will become yours and will propagate the audience for each and every band listed below. I sincerely hope that 2018 brings bands and albums this good. Enjoy and continue expanding our Metal family!
Just as the year passes from 2017 into the dawn of 2018 it seems appropriate to look backwards and forwards at the same time in preparation for Part2 of TheCentauriConspiracies, due out in the early part of the year by one of Florida’s premiere and unique bands, Sunshine&Bullets. While the first album, TheCentauriConspiraciesPart1 – TheAwakening was released about a year ago, it deserves a review to get those that have not heard of this incredible band before caught up and jonesing for the new release.
Support local music. We keep saying that because bands of the future almost always start with a local fan base; the exceptions being, so called, super-groups or bands that are put together by someone already on a label. There is no shortage of bands busting their collective butts to get a name for themselves so that they can make what they love their career or simply as an outlet to share their musical perspective with a wider audience. The constantly evolving music business is tough, ultra-competitive and many times frustrating for “undiscovered” talent throughout the world. They work so hard and, many times, get so little in return outside of the pride of producing something from their souls that they can call their own. Support local, no matter where local is. Today I would like to share some local talent from all over Florida through our annual, A Not So Silent Night 2017 concert held at MavericksLive in downtown Jacksonville, FL, showcasing some of our best Rock and Metal bands. Special thanks going out to BrianWoodward of BleedingInStereo for not only hosting, but putting us on their guest list. Always a good time brother!