Chicago Open Air Spotlight: Knocked Loose

Today’s artist is Knocked Loose.

On Saturday, May 18th, Kentucky hard hitters are bringing down their gritty, beatdown sound to the Chicago Open Air stage at SeatGeek Stadium. Similar to Vein, the heavy sounds of Knocked Loose typically just make their way into the small and dark venues to fit the type of music that they bring to the table. They have grown immensely in popularity though and are making their way up to larger venues. Before making their way to Chicago Open Air, the band will be on the road for roughly a month with The Acacia Strain, Harm’s Way, Sanction, and Higher Power. Their huge, heavy sound filled with slow-tempo breakdowns are sure to impress and devastate all the metalheads in the stadium that day to prep them for the bands following them like Code Orange and Meshuggah.

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Epicenter Festival Spotlight: BOSTON MANOR [Official Videos]

*This is part of the Epicenter Festival Spotlight segment where we help you get to know some of the non-headlining bands performing at the festival. This week we introduce you to Boston Manor!*

Boston Manor is a pop punk band which formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, England in 2013. The band certainly isn’t of the heavier variety of bands performing at the Epicenter Festival, but they help give a break in all the heaviness throughout the day. Boston Manor released their debut EP ‘Here/Now’ the same year they formed in 2013. In 2014, the five piece released both a split with the band Throwing Stuff, as well as another EP titled ‘Driftwood.’ Then in 2015, Boston Manor signed to Pure Noise Records and released a four-track EP titled ‘Saudade.’ In 2016, Boston Manor released their first full-length album titled ‘Be Nothing.’ Continue reading

Sonic Temple Spotlight: WAGE WAR

If you think that you’ve already heard it all when it comes to heavy music, you just haven’t heard Wage War.  The group — which is composed of vocalist Briton Bond, guitarist/vocalist Cody Quistad, guitarist Seth Blake, bassist Chris Gaylord and drummer Stephen Kluesener — formed in Ocala, Florida in 2013.  After playing shows around the area and picking up steam, they were quickly signed to Fearless Records, and did it the old-fashioned way: By sending a song to the label.  From there, the group linked up with the production team of Andrew Wade (Neck Deep, Motionless In White) and A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon who produced their 2015 debut ‘Blueprints’ together and returned to produce the sophomore full-length ‘Deadweight’, and most recently, “Low”, the band’s newest single released earlier this year – check it out!
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State Of The Art: EXISTEM [Official Video & 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 Kansas.*

Originally forming in May of 2010, Existem have emerged as a progressive force in the Kansas City music scene, combining bursts of technicality, subtle progressions, ambient instrumental passages and jazz phrasing to express their unique sound. Existem was formed by Brad Trinkl on guitar, Chris Gochis on guitar/vocals, Ben Chipman on bass/vocals, and Matthew Chipman behind the drum kit. The band released their self titled debut EP on April 21, 2011 that consisted of 4 tracks. The band went on to release their first full length ‘Years Of Winter’ on September 14, 2012. They would follow that up with another EP in February of 2014 titled ‘Phoenix’ and also a single “Closed Eyes” in November the same year. Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Spotlight: Code Orange [Official Videos]

 

*Every week from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Today’s artist is Code Orange.

To close out the epic trio of hardcore acts on Saturday, May 18th, Code Orange brings their off the wall sound to the Chicago Open Air stage at SeatGeek Stadium. This group has been on my radar for quite a while. ‘I Am King’ dropped in 2014 and absolutely scared the hell out of me when it was released. The ferocity, fury, and anger that the record brought changed the way that I listened to extreme music. This was the last album that they released as Code Orange Kids before eventually dropping the “Kids” from their band name. I got to see the band once at this stage at Rock on the Range and was left thoroughly impressed. The ability that Jami Morgan had of controlling a crowd while killing it behind the kit was awing to watch. They have came a long way from then though in terms of live performances and with their music.

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State Of The Art: Kansas’ YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT [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 Kansas.*

Hailing from Topeka, Kansas, Youngblood Supercult brings the type of stoner rock that’s well-worthy of being more than just a local gem. Combining genuine seventies classic rock styles with more modern influences, their sound delivers the fuzz-laden doom of Black Sabbath along with the vocal soulfulness of Bad Company, wrapped up with the modern-day grit and grunge of Queens of the Stone Age. At times delving deeply psychedelic, the music never fails to immerse the listener into its ultra laidback, hazily smoke-filled atmosphere. The band’s newest album, ‘The Great American Death Rattle’ (2017) opens with the killer opening title track that features Led Zeppelin “No Quarter”-style bass effects and jaw-dropping guitar soloing. Check it out below. Continue reading

Epicenter Festival Spotlight: FEVER 333 [Official Videos]

 

Fever 333 is one of the most anticipated live bands of the summer. Vocalist Jason Aalon Butler formerly of Letlive is well known as a showman on stage. Having previously saw him perform with his previous band at the inaugural Chicago Open Air fans saw him not only sing with complete perfection but also climb to the top of the scaffolding on the stage approximately 400 feet up in the sky. Everyone eye in the crowd was watching Butler as he ascended to the top still screaming out vocals to the top of his longs. That is just one aspect of what you should expect when seeing him live and in the flesh. Of course he isn’t the only accomplished musician that makes up this stellar group. Following Butler’s Letlive break up, he teamed up with former The Chariot guitarist Stephen Harrison and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta to create Fever 333 in July 2017. The singer also announced in the last few days the formation of his new hardcore band Pressure CracksFever 333 trio quickly signed to Road Runner Records and released their 7 track EP ‘Made An America’. The band has said their focus is on “community, charity, and change” and Butler adds: “The movement is much greater than the music. The art is only a contingent piece. We want to make sure we’re just as involved in the activism and actual activation. By no means do we expect other artists to take on this task. “Most of the people who made big improvements were either assassinated or just called crazy. We make it ostensibly clear that everything we do is in an active effort for change. It’s about bringing back that socio-political mindfulness. We’re trying to write the soundtrack to the revolution that we know is about to happen.”  Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Spotlight: Vein [Official Videos]

*Every week from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Today’s artist is Vein.

On Saturday, May 18th, the fast rising hardcore band Vein makes their debut at Chicago Open Air. It’s going to be extremely interesting to see what the band is like performing in a large venue like SeatGeek Stadium as they usually play in much smaller venues so that people get the full experience of how intense they are live. Since forming in 2013, hardcore punk band Vein has made a strong case for themselves as one of the best up and coming metal bands out there right now. The quintet’s ability to put together crazy and unpredictable shows similar to The Dillinger Escape Plan has got their name out there to fans looking for a thrill in live performances. Touring with bands like Code Orange (also on Chicago Open Air) and Twitching Tongues gives you an idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into before going to see them.

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Sonic Temple Spotlight: BLACK PISTOL FIRE

Photo Courtesy of Black Pistol Fire Official Website

Sleep on these guys at your own risk, because what they did to BMI on Friday afternoon was unholy… leaving a trail of scorched earth and melted minds.”
– Consequence of Sound, Lollapalooza 2015

Black Pistol Fire is a high-octane rock duo based out of Austin, Texas by way of Toronto, Canada; composed of Kevin McKeown on guitar/lead vocals and Eric Owen on drums.  Drawing inspiration from blues, R&B and rock greats such as Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Buddy Holly and Muddy Waters, BPF’s gritty and dynamic performances are fueled by undeniable musicianship.  Dubbed the “next big thing” by Huffington Post after SXSW 2013, BPF has developed a reputation for their untamed live performances. Continue reading

Sonic Temple Spotlight: AVATAR

Each week we’re bringing you several different spotlight segments from the Summer’s biggest rock festivals including Epicenter Festival, Chicago Open Air, and, of course, Sonic Temple!  This week, we’re showcasing Göthenburg, Sweden’s Avatar – a melodic metal act with demented circus theatrics, making for one hell of a show! Continue reading