State Of The Art: Michigan’s CUSTARD FLUX [Album Stream]

from official Custard Flux Facebook page

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

If art were just painting, Custard Flux would be Salvador Dali, with its unique take on life.  Custard Flux are the brainchild of Gregory Curvey.  For the last 30 years, Curvey has been the guiding light behind cult psych-prog-pop band The Luck of Eden Hall.  The band is described as being “electricity free psych prog pop rock” and this nicely details their character.

They have released just two albums, the 2018 ‘Helium’ and last year’s ‘Echo’.

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State Of The Art: South Dakota’s WORK OF WOLVES [Album Stream]

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

This is why I absolutely adore writing SOTA articles for Metal Nexus.  You look into what rock and metal is being produced by bands from different states and find artists who are phenomenal that you never knew existed.  And then you share them with loads of music fans the world over!  Work of Wolves are a band out of Sioux Falls, but that is pretty much all the bio I have on them, except who is in the group.  Tyler Jung is on bass/vocals, Alex Foster plays drums/vocals,  Paul Pinos is on guitar/vocals and Andrew Rogers handles keys/vocals.

The band are a brilliant blend of metalcore-like riffing and some growling vocals, but they also channel emo and even power metal genres.  Their songs are melodic, memorable and very definitely metal!  I have had their songs on re-play for most of the last few weeks.  Their catalog covers one demo, two EPs and one album.  The latest is the amazing ‘Purpose’ record.

‘Purpose’ was released this month and is seven tracks of heavenly metal.  It has big time energy, verve and a restless sound that thrashes around your head.  The vocals are superb, with understated harmonies and the musicianship hits highs that make you wonder why Work of Wolves aren’t huge.  I have to say, this album will definitely make its way into any top ten records of 2020 for me, it is THAT good.

The songs on the latest E.P. have a groove that is infectious and an introspective attitude that is intelligent and moody.  I love the vocal melody of “Pull Us Under” and its minor scale riffage.  The song has some power.

Standout tracks are the hooky title track, with the bounce and evocative keys and the uptempo “Convictions”.  Listening through the collection, I am also struck by the Nu-Metal influences and it does have that certain swirl of disconnected disillusionment that resonates today.

Check these guys out and discover South Dakota’s best kept musical secret.

State Of The Art: New Hampshire’s DELANEY [Album Stream]

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

This is what I absolutely LOVE about writing for Metal Nexus – the discovery of bands with whom I fall in love with.  From the wonderfully brutal Space Cadaver (New Orleans) to the rock tight rockers the Granite Saints (Hawai) to New Hampshire’s pop rockers Delaney.

Delaney are a four piece from Manchester, NH.  They are comprised of Matt Gennetti on vocals/guitar/piano, Kurt Pinette on drums, Andy Mallett on bass/vocals and Derek Heidemann on guitar.  Their music is pop punk/rock/alternative and they produce one of the most beautiful sonic soundscapes in the musical universe.  Evocative, pulsating and melodic, there is a power that transcends the normal expectations of your average listener.

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State Of The Art: Montana’s THRONE OF MALEDICTION

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

2007 and the darkness came to Montana, with the blackest of Metal becoming legendary with the formation of Throne of Malediction.  I was really looking forward to writing this for Montana, as my Facebook buddy Eric Sartana Horner (a super nice dude) is leading the charge for the band.  He plays a mean guitar, sings like a Dark Prince and plays some keyboards and bass, to boot.  The sound is deeply emotional, broken spirits littering the etheral world and coming with power to charge the soul.  Eric is a musical genius, with a close grasp of European Black Metal and alternative rock across the globe.  His singing ranges from a beautiful baritone to a frenzied growl.  His guitar work is brutal and sublime in equal measure.

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State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FINEST LINE DIVIDES [Album Streams]

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

Around the year 2000, Nate Hockett, Lance Meoricke, Andy Fuchs, and Josh Renner formed a band they called Memory Work in Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota. They eventually parted ways with Andy Fuchs, bringing Nick Just in on bass. The band subsequently changed their name to Finest Line Divides. Nick would later move to guitar and Matt Chalcraft would come in for bass duties. They unfortunately broke up in 2002.

10 years later, Nick Just, Lance Meoricke, and Josh Renner decided they wanted to play music again. It started with reworking old songs, which lead to new material being written. Nick would take over vocals and stay on guitar. A friend of the band recommended Keenan Miller for the vacant bass position. In 2013, Lance decided to bow out, which left the band’s future in question. Chris Vetter stepped in.  This led to two releases in 2014 and 2019’s masterwork, ‘The Ghost That’s Chosen Me’.  They are alternative, rock, metal and thoughtful. I absolutely adore the experimental approach and the completely reflective nature of their music.  It is like waking to a vista of vibrant strands of sound and a world that embraces rock, metal, rap, pop and alternative.

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State Of The Art: Fargo’s SWING LOW [Album Streams]

Swing Low are a 4 piece Hardcore band from Fargo, North Dakota. These guys would make any old school hardcore fan proud with the music they have created. They include the basic elements of hardcore, but they also include their own spin and a modern take as well making them more unique than your average hardcore band. Fargo is one lucky city to have these guys playing shows around that area. Swing Low released their debut EP ‘MMXIV’ on September 21, 2014. The album was recorded at Howl Street Recordings by Shane Hochstetler (Satan’s Dealer, Corpse Donor, Speed Freaks). They followed that up with another EP titled ‘Learned Ignorace’ which released January 25, 2016. This time the band recorded with Aric Ficek at Winterland Studios. The next release by the band came on July 10, 2017 in the form of a split with the band War Prayer. Swing Low contributed two songs to the split including “Malice” and “Regression.” When the band was in the studio recording for the split they also recorded an additional track which they held onto for 6 months and released on January 6, 2018. The single was a cover of Disembodied’s “Gone.” Disembodied is a hardcore punk band that formed in 1995 in Minnesota. They reunited in 2008 and 2 of the founding members also formed Martyr A.D. when the band originally broke up. Last May Swing Low released 2 tracks on what they called the ‘Summer Promo.’ The two tracks include “Death Tax” and “Built From Shame” and is the most recent release from the band. One thing to note is that the band has recorded every release in a different studio and producer/mixer. I believe this has aided in keeping their music fresh and allows them to let their music progress. Continue reading

Bourbon & Beyond Festival Spotlight: BEN SOLLEE [Official Videos]

Ben Sollee will be one of the upcoming acts at this year’s Bourbon & Beyond festival. Bourbon & Beyond has a new home. It is still in Louisville, Kentucky of course, but will call a new festival grounds home. This year, Bourbon & Beyond will take place at the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo. The previous location, Champions Park, had a terrible flood last year and day 2 of Bourbon & Beyond was cancelled. However, to make up for that, Bourbon and Beyond is now a 3-day festival. This means an additional day of bands, bourbon and best friends! How awesome is that? This will be Ben Sollee’s debut at the Bourbon & Beyond Festival. If you have never heard this band before, prepared to be amazed! With that said, let’s discuss Ben Sollee. Continue reading

State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FROSTHELM [Album Stream]

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

Originally formed in 2009 within the dark, icy realms of where thrash and black metal collide emerges Frosthelm. Contributing in no small part to their sound is the extreme cold and bleak environment experienced by band members Dakota Irwin (guitar), Billy Zahn (guitar), Brian Helm (drums), Tyler Pfliger (vocals), and Jimmy Cherry (bass), hailing from the frozen plains of Bismarck, North Dakota. Drawing much inspiration from their surroundings, in 2015 the band released their full-length debut, ‘The Endless Winter,’ which Irwin aptly describes as “bitter, dark, angry, and disgusted.” The LP was critically-acclaimed, landing on numerous “best of 2015” lists, and receiving multiple glowing reviews by respected metal publications. Seeking to top their monumental debut, Frosthelm has just released their second album ‘Pyrrhic’ in March of this year. ‘Pyrrhic,’ defined as “(of a victory) won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor,” illustrates its bleak theme powerfully through punishing riffage and horrifying vocal imagery. Continue reading

Bourbon & Beyond Festival Spotlight: WHITE REAPER [Official Videos]

White Reaper will be one of the upcoming acts at this year’s Bourbon & Beyond festival. Bourbon & Beyond has a new home. It is still in Louisville, Kentucky of course, but will call a new festival grounds home. This year, Bourbon & Beyond will take place at the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo. The previous location, Champions Park, had a terrible flood last year and day 2 of Bourbon & Beyond was cancelled. However, to make up for that, Bourbon and Beyond is now a 3-day festival. This means an additional day of bands, bourbon and best friends! How awesome is that? This will be White Reaper’s debut at the Bourbon & Beyond Festival. If you have never heard this band before, prepared to be amazed! With that said, let’s discuss White Reaper. Continue reading

Louder Than Life Festival Spotlight: GRAVEYARD [Videos]

 

Welcome back to our ongoing series of LOUDER THAN LIFE 2019 artist profiles, our weekly guide through the lineup of acts who’ll take the stage at Louisville, Kentucky’s Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center September 27-29 in what’s sure to be one of the biggest concert events of the year. This week, we’re taking a closer look at Swedish neo-psych blues chooglers GRAVEYARD.

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