State of the Art: Vicious Mammals

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Alaska!

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Alaska is turning out to be one of the easiest states for our State of the Art series. So much good music from our 49th state. This week, let me introduce you to a band that grabbed my attention from riff number one. Dirty, straight forward Rock ‘n Roll with a heavy hit of Punk and Hard Rock from Big Lake, AK. I give you Vicious Mammals.

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State of the Art: Old Hounds

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Alaska!

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Old Hounds

For my second State of the Art from Alaska, I bring you the bad ass Hardcore Band Old Hounds from Anchorage. The band is formerly known as The Harlequin State and was formed in May of 2010. In just 6 short years the band has really came a long way. They have really done big things this year. The band participated in Battle of the Bands at warped tour in June and they will be releasing a new record in the first week of August entitled “Tooth & Nail”. The band includes 5 members: Alberto (Vocals), Argel (Lead Guitar), Joshua (Guitar), Toph (Bass) and Mac (Drums). The band members are all very talented and dedicated to their music. Old Hounds has an aggressive and energetic vibe thought all of their songs. The band really seems to be  building up a strong fan base not just with local fans in Alaska but with people all throughout the United States.  They have an amazing sound and amazing lyrics that go right along with their sound. The bands music is something that you are sure to enjoy. Their upcoming album release is something that everyone should be looking forward to. If you haven’t listened to these guys yet, I suggest you do so now!

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Review: BLUES FUNERAL – The Search

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Blues Funeral formed in 2014 by Jan Kimmel (guitar), Cory Cousins (drums) and Maurice Eggenschwiler (guitar). All three of those guys were previously members of the band Sanctus BellumBlues Funeral is highly inspired by the 60’s and 70’s rock and metal scene and you can hear the influence in their sound. They added experienced upright bass player, Gabe Katz, who decided to kick his upright to the side and go electric with Blues Funeral. The band’s name is inspired by the 1969 Groundhogs cut, “Blues Obituary”, is an ode to many of the group’s influences including classic bands like: Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Mountain, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and more. Blues Funeral’s goal is to explore some new musical territory and truly find their own sound. Their debut album ‘The Search’ is set to be released on July 30th. It was recorded at Lucky Run Studio in Houston, TX. The band composed, arranged and produced the album themselves and it was mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago, IL. Collin Jordan has mastered albums for Blood Ceremony, Wovenhand, Eyehategod, and The Gates of Slumber.

Blues Funeral - The Search

Blues Funeral – The Search

Blues Funeral really brings back some old school sounds with the opening track “Autumn Dream”, the slowed down guitar riffs and melodies are a throwback that is very much welcomed. 2 minutes into the track the track really ramps up the speed and you get your first sampling of vocals from singers Jan Kimmel and Maurice Eggenschwiler who sing with this incredible harmonizing style. Blues Funeral wastes no time showing off their guitar playing skills either. The band really has their own signature sound, you can hear some influence from the 70’s Rock era but they make sure to put their own stamp on their brand of rock n roll. Track 3 “Planet Void” really gets your blood pumping. The upbeat song thunders through some amazing drum beats and the cymbal hits really play a major role in the song. Again the vocal harmonies are predominant and help set the band apart from others with a similar sound. Creating a harmony with another singer is a hard task and Blues Funeral seems to do so with little to no effort at all. Their talents are showcased very well from start to finish. On “Paragon of Virtue” (which you can hear below) the organ really plays a large part in the song, especially leading into the song. They managed to fit it in perfectly and it adds a whole other dimension to the song. Lyrics like “I am the dagger that pierce the tyrants back” are just a small dose of how amazing some of the lyrics are not only on this track but the entire album. The song gives you that much need instrumental showcase about halfway through where we get some guitar solos and the bass is heard well in there as well. In today’s music the guitar solo has kind of died and we are glad to see that brought back with such authority as Blues Funeral has here. Moving on to the final track of the album that has already been a listeners dream. “Palmdale” is the 6th and final track on ‘The Search’. The band isn’t going to let you finish the album without pulling out all the stops. “Palmdale” really gives you a taste of everything they have achieved on the album. Guitar riffs at the speed of light, vicious drum beats with amped up quickness, and the vocals are just as perfectly timed and belted out as any I may have heard before. At the end of the song you get that final touch similar to what you’ll get in a live performance. It’s like an improvised moment where the band just puts their own personal spin on the final seconds of the track/album and send the listener out with a bang. If you are a fan of old school metal or rock n roll then this album will make your head spin. I assure you that there isn’t anything like this band on the market right now. They are truly a prototype for exactly what a lot of bands are trying to achieve and can’t. Don’t let this album pass you by.

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Interview With Chris “OJ” Ojeda Of Byzantine

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Chris “OJ” Ojeda of Byzantine

We were fortunate enough recently to sit down with Byzantine founder/guitarist/singer Chris “OJ” Ojeda when the band headlined the Summer Slam Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee. The band was recently signed to Metal Blade Records after they received national success with their 5th and latest release “To Release Is To Resolve”. The band still has a handful of dates left on their short tour. Their next release is highly anticipated and will be the bands first release on Metal Blade. We’d like to thank OJ for his time as it was a pleasure to not only see him and the band perform live again but to speak with him one on one is much appreciated. Continue reading

The Universe of Isolated Antagonist

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The year was 1992. Science fiction classics like Aliens 3, The Lawnmower Man, Freejack and Universal Soldier were playing in theaters along with the ever-so-humorous Army of Darkness that still illicit bouts of uncontrollable laughter some twenty four years later. Sci-Fi bestselling books like Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (one of my personal favorites), Quarantine by Greg Egan and Stephen Gould’s seminal classic Jumper were in first print and flying off bookstore shelves (pre-Amazon Kindle days, kids). Boyz II Men, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Kriss Kross, TLC and Vanessa Williams topped the musical charts (*sigh*). Hell, many of you were not even born yet and may not have even heard of any of this literature, music or movie selections. Know what also dropped in ‘92? How about Fear Factory’sSoul of a New Machine”. That’s right. Their debut that took the Metal world by storm and still remains relevant today. Fast forward to today and tell me what happens when classic Science Fiction story meets old-school, Industrial Metal? Isolated Antagonist happens, that’s what…

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State of The Art: Delirium Tremors

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Alaska!

Delirium Tremors was actually born in Colorado as a recording project by singer/guitarist Jamie. The band since then has seen some location changes and is now based in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s not only mountain men living in The Last Frontier, Delirium Tremors unleash some hard hitting metal with a mixture of both harsh and melodic vocals. They have recently shared the stage with Sick Puppies and Mos Generator and competed in the Van’s Warped Tour Battle of the Bands. The band has an upbeat tempo pace and perfect melting pot of sounds. You want some in your face lead guitar parts? You got it. The well timed drum beats are well placed leading into and out of the chorus. The song writing encased in these tracks show that the band is experienced in both composing and performing. It’s not often I’m only able to hear 2 tracks from a band an then compelled to write about them. However, the songs “Witness” and “Shimmer” are great examples of what I think Delirium Tremors really does well. They have a throwback sort of sound kind of melding alternative, hardcore and nu-metal all together. While those genres may not be appealing to you when isolated by themselves, I can assure you this is something you will want to listen to. Some of the best bands out there right now are trying to fight the right median between clean vocals and harsh and find a contrast or mixture that work. What Delirium Tremors has here is find the answer to what a lot of bands attempt to do and can’t never seem to get it right. I certainly look forward to hearing more from what this amazing Alaskan releases as I’m sure it will be impressive.

Check out their music on Reverb Nation and follow them on Facebook!

State of the Art: DECEPTICIDE

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Alaska!

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For my first State of the Art from Alaska, I bring you DECEPTICIDE. They are 4 piece Thrash/Death Metal band that formed in 2008 in Anchorage, Alaska. Currently the band has 3 original members and a Bassist who joined the band later on. The members include: Enzo Montana (Guitar), Brian Harris (Drums), Ryan Hull (Vocals) and Kev Stevenson(Bass). Their music has an amazing mix of sounds that really come together for a bad ass sound. The amazing guitar riffs played by Enzo really sets the tone for their music. The explosive raspy vocals by Ryan really take their sound to the next level and gives the band an overall killer vibe. The members are all super talented and their skills are displayed throughout their music. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing anything new from these guys and I’m sure you will be too!

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State of the Art: Griffith

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Alaska!

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So, on we move to our next state for July: Alaska. Our northern most state is home to a remarkable amount of really good Metal. Hidden gems that have yet to make it out of our northern-most and most sparsely populated state. Look up Metal bands on Wikipedia and you get precisely one. Spend about five minutes going a little deeper and this lack of interesting music becomes an instant misconception. One good band after another emerges. Maybe being isolated from the rest of the continental United States limits the ability to get past the borders but these bands are way too good to remain so. One such band that was actually chosen by a couple of our staff this week is Griffith.

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THE KING MUST DIE Releases Video for “These Later Years”!

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Bay Area thrashers The King Must Die have released a new video for the track “These Later Years”. The clip for “These Later Years” is a nostalgic look back at The King Must Die’s first five years together, as well as a look back into the long-time connections between the band members who have been in and out of bands together since the late-80’s; all this, combined with an intense performance in their “home-base” rehearsal studio. The band are able to set their self apart from the competition and succeed in one of metals most beloved genres. The King Must Die is a thrash metal band formed in 2011 and operating out of the San Francisco Bay Area. All five members of TKMD came of age at the height of the Bay Area thrash scene and those influences are evident in their aggressive, riff-driven, uptempo music. 2016 saw the release of their new record, ‘Murder All Doubt’ which picks up where their 2014 debut, ‘Sleep Can’t Hide the Fear’, left off and shows a continued evolution of TKMD’s signature sound. If you love their sound as much as we do make sure to pick up the album here.

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Review: Summer Slam 2016 Featuring BYZANTINE & More

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Scent Of Remains

Scent Of Remains

2016’s Summer Slam in Johnson City, Tennessee got started off with a bang. Promoter Sean Carden and sponsor Roberson’s Tennessee Mellomoon Moonshine put together an amazing line-up of bands from start to finish. If you wasn’t there to witness the onslaught of metal you should be ashamed of yourself.It was a perfect Friday night to throw some horns in the air. The night didn’t get off to a slow start by any means. Scent of Remains took the stage and began their set with speed and authority. The band had recently obtained a new singer, but after practicing with the band for a period of time he left the band leaving them without a singer for this show. However, original singer Michael Yates comes to the rescue and steps up and takes the mic . It shows how much chemistry and brotherhood the band has that he was able to come back play the show with them so they wouldn’t have to cancel. That is something that fans appreciate. The only reason he exited the band is because he relocated a couple hours away. Every note they struck was with complete perfection. The guitarist Jeremy Powers has an amazing playing style. He doesn’t play guitar he caresses it. His hands move in a way that just glues your eyes to him. Their aggressive in your face music style makes them one of Knoxville’s premier metal bands. If you haven’t heard the music look them up and get yourself a big whiff of Scent of Remains. Continue reading