Chicago Open Air Spotlight/Album Review: BLACK MAP – ‘In Droves’

*Every Thursday 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.*

Our first artist is Black Map!

Black Map will be taking the Chicago Open Air stage on July 15th this year at Toyota Park and we couldn’t be more excited. This will be the first Danny Wimmer Presents festival that Black Map will be a part of . We are kicking off the artist spotlight in a special way as we also include an album review of their new release: ‘In Droves’. The alt metal trio unleashed their first songs in 2014. First, their 4-song EP titled ‘Driver’ was released in February and all 4 songs were included later on that year on their first full length album ‘…And We Explode’.  They put off a heavy 90s rock vibe with huge, blasting riffs and raw emotion all packed into one punch. Last year the band made a large breakthrough with the premiere of a new song “Run Rabbit Run”.  This song took the airwaves by storm and told us to get ready for 2017 because Black Map is quickly on their way to the top. ‘In Droves’ will drop across the US on March 10th via eOne Music. The album was produced by Aaron Hellam at Hellman Sound. You can pre-order ‘In Droves’ here on the band’s website. Continue reading

Review: Within The Ruins ‘Halfway Human’

Within The Ruins is a metal band based out of Westfield, Massachusetts. They have a new album coming out March 3rd 2017 via eOne Music, titled ‘Halfway Human. When the band was talking about the writing process for this record, they touched upon the fact that they usually rush out music and jump into the studio. Within The Ruins collectively decided they were sick of the same old formula and wanted to try something new and take the time write a great record. Within The Ruins has stated they took the time to review their older material and have tried to make something different sounding. With the time, patience and research they have put into their new album ‘Halfway Human’ I’m sure most will be impressed by what Within The Ruins has done on their 5th studio record. Continue reading

Review: DARKEST HOUR – ‘Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora’ [Song Stream]

Artwork by Shaun Beaudry

Melodeath/Metalcore band Darkest Hour has made a return to form with their new release titled ‘Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora’. The band’s ninth studio album drops on March 10th via Southern Lord Records. It was recorded in Salem, MA at Godcity Studio with producer/engineer Kurt Ballou (guitarist of Converge) and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music. The cover art by created by Shaun Beaudry. This release returns all band members from the previous self-titled record released via Sumerian Records in 2014. The Washington D.C. quintet have put together a killer release that will appeal to the old school fans that loved the early albums. ‘Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora’ is an absolutely relentless, marvelous clash of uncompromising riffs and utter domination on the vocals. The band is currently on tour with Ringworm, Rivers of Nihil, Rotten Sound, and Tombs, dates can be viewed below. You can pre-order the upcoming album here. Continue reading

Source Premieres Their Video For “The Serpent”

Source, who reached the top of my Best of 2016 list a couple of months ago has just released their long awaited video for one of my favorite tracks on their “Return To Nothing” album entitled “The Serpent”.  Guitarist/vocalist Ben Gleason, bassist Dan Crisafulli and drummer Georges OctoBous again show what great music wrapped around wonderfully lyrical themes can spiritually achieve between artist and listener. With the third dimension of visual cuing added, this already moving song takes on a life of its own, again reminding us all just how damned good Source is!  Great way to start a Tuesday morning!  Enjoy!!!

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More information on this stellar, game-changing band can be found at:

Facebook  Web  Instagram  SoundCloud  Spotify  Twitter  iTunes  Tumblr  Georges OctoBous: Return to Drumming DVD

Interview with SKY KATZ (America’s Got Talent) & UNLOCKING THE TRUTH [Song Stream]

This month we have been showcasing artists from the state of New York in our State Of The Art Series, and this just so happens to be a two for one in regards to amazing New York based artists. America’s Got Talent Season 11 star Sky Katz has teamed up with Heavy Metal band Unlocking the Truth for intense new single “Rockstar”. We have seen it before when metal and hip hop team up with various examples like, Helmet and House of PainJay Z and Linkin Park, Public Enemy and Anthrax, to Ice T and Slayer. In the metal world collaborations aren’t as common as they are in hip hop, pop or more mainstream music. Both Sky Katz and Unlocking The Truth have reached successful levels with their music at a very young age. Sky was recently on America’s Got Talent and made it through the first round and received overwhelming applause for her performance. Unlocking The Truth went from making viral videos on the streets in Times Square to opening up for veteran acts like Metallica and Guns N Roses. Both of these artists have made a name for themselves based solely on their talents. I can attest that Unlocking The Truth is the real deal, after seeing them live at 2016’s Carolina Rebellion Festival they put on one of the best performances of the weekend. This collaboration truly appeals to both the hip hop and metal communities. We felt that this song has great staying power and wanted to get more details on how the collaboration came about and how the artists were able to bring out the best in one another. We spoke with both Sky Katz, and members of Unlocking The Truth to get the lowdown about the formation of this super-collab that produced the song “Rockstar”.  Continue reading

State Of The Art: New York – Trigger Pig

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

This month’s State is New York!

So, with this week’s SOTAs, New York is in the bag. This state ended up being one of the easiest to choose killer Metal bands from and no one on our staff had any difficulties finding a plethora of deserving bands to spotlight. Hell, the difficulty for me was only covering four. This scene is nothing short of spectacular and should leave no Metal fan in the cold, looking for local talent to get behind. Overwhelming really. Well, this week, I did not even have to look because my friend David LaMay already had a band ripe for the picking sitting in his band list. Knowing his impeccable taste in music, Trigger Pig was an automatic hit with me as well! Simply blown away… Just, damn…

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Review: HATE UNBOUND – ‘Plague’

The Motor City’s HATE UNBOUND are like a high performance engine that keeps cranking. The band are the sonic equivalent of a booze fueled fist fight among friends. The band heralds a do it yourself attitude that has allowed them to lead the charge in defining today’s heavy metal landscape. Singer Art Giammarra, guitarist Daryl Mitchell, guitarist William Cundiff, bassist Sean Demura, and drummer Franklin “Foot” Hannah have a range of influences like Death and Lamb Of God. The members equally collaborate together to create their unique sound. After their formation in 2013 the band has performed along side acts like Beyond Creation, Rivers of Nihil, Warbringer, Havok, and Belphegor. HATE UNBOUND have made a name for themselves due to their energetic live performances. HATE UNBOUND released 3 track demo in July of 2015 and now things are about to heat up even more for the band. Their debut album ‘Plague’ was just released on February 17th via Inverse Records. ‘Plague’ was recorded, mixed and mastered during the spring and summer of 2016 at Elaire Studios in Detroit, Michigan. The process was delayed so HATE UNBOUND could perform at the New Jersey Metal Fest and Full Terror Assault festivals in the summer of 2016. Putting their album on hold shows to perform live shows the respect and admiration they have for their fans, and they do not disappoint when they take the stage either. HATE UNBOUND aren’t just another metal band, they are the keepers of all that is heavy. Continue reading

Interview With Skeletoon’s Tomi Fooler!

My boyz in Skeletoon are:

Mr. Tomi Fooler – Vocals
Charlie “Roxy” Dho – Bass Guitar
Henry “Sydoz” Sidoti – Drums
AndyKCappellari – Lead Guitar
Fab “BLACKIE” Taricco – Rhythm Guitar

Alright.  If you are not familiar with Skeletoon, you are in for a real treat!  Founded by Tomi Fooler in 2011 in Italy as a Helloween cover band, these guys decided to start writing their own material based on old-school Power Metal, but done a bit heavier and faster than traditionalist are used to.  I can hear the gears grinding to a halt in your head.  Great…  Been there, done that, right?  Well, here’s the kicker: these guys have a devious sense of humor and usually deals with stuff that is normally not a laughing matter.  PC making you crazy (yeah, me too!)?  Skeletoon have got you covered!  Picky as I am about Power Metal?  They more than have you covered on that front as well!  This is seriously good Power and shows not one single chink in their musical armor.  Terming their brand of Metal as Geek or Happy Metal, they already have one killer release under their belts, entitled The Curse of the Avenger (watch for references from Dr. Who, 80’s video games and superhero movies and television shows from the past) from 2015 (kick-ass album!) and are just a few days away from releasing Ticking Clock on March 3rd!  Think nerdy Steel Panther without all the sexual overture set to brilliantly done Power Metal.  Not quite visualizing this yet?  Well, go check out their music.  You will absolutely thank me for this one!  Until then, check out what Tomi Fooloer had to say to our queries!  (Be sure to check out their latest video when you finish with the interview as well!!!)

 

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DAYBREAK EMBRACE Release Video For “The Moment”!

Formed in 2009, Daybreak Embrace aims to become more than a genre. Though their foundation is firm on energetic Rock, the band members take pride in being true admirers of all music. They draw influences from bands in genres all over the board, they are true music fans and non-elitists. In 2010, Daybreak Embrace released their first EP, ‘Tomorrow Awaits’, under the direction of Producer Paul Trust, who also produced ‘Mercury’, their second EP that released in 2013. The South Florida based band has released an Official Music Video for their newest single, “The Moment.” Utilizing footage from their performance at Woodstock Poland 2016, “The Moment” was self-filmed and includes live stage shots as well as behind the scenes moments. Daybreak Embrace are one of those bands that truly appreciates their fans. Guitarist Kenny Figueroa said “The Moment” is a tribute to the fans and family gained on a cross-continent journey full of love, life and loud music.” Of course he isn’t the only member of the band that has been outspoken and thankful for their devoted fan base. Bassist Ryan “Fry” Dorries added “We realize that we are living dreams right now because of your love and support.”

Follow DAYBREAK EMBRACE on Facebook here.

ALL HELL Stream “Vampiric Lust” From Upcoming Album ‘The Grave Alchemist’

ALL HELL formed back in 2013 in Asheville and have quickly amassed fans from all over. The style of music they play sounds more European than from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Their dark and eerie Blackened Thrash sound quickly becomes addictive. If there is any other bands out there claiming to be blackened thrash I can inform you now that they aren’t doing it nearly as good as these guys. With each chorus screamed and riff strummed my jaw drops a little more. The three piece band released their debut “The Devil’s Work”, in 2014. They wasted no time dropping their sophomore release titled “The Red Sect” on October 16th 2015. ALL HELL have now finalized their latest work ‘The Grave Alchemist’ which will be their debut for Prosthetic Records. The album was produced by Kris Hilbert (The Body), who worked with the band on their earlier release ‘The Red Sect’, and mixed and mastered by Joel Grind (Toxic Holocaust), ‘The Grave Alchemist’ will be available worldwide on April 14th. The new album is a twelve-track, narrative-driven, horror concept album that weaves a tale of alchemy, necromancy, and vampirism over the span of three centuries, ‘The Grave Alchemist’ is a potent blend of violence, mysticism, psychology, and the occult, distilled into an aural elixir of Blood and Gold. The context is not surprising at all on this album, as I’ve once seen them perform live with only candle light illuminating the room. The band not only worries about their sounds but also the surroundings in which it’s experienced. Vocalist Jacob Curwen holds nothing back on this newly released track “Vampiric Lust.” The rhythm throughout the songs and his demonic growl are ferocious. This track is just the beginning of what to expect from these North Carolina natives. ALL HELL have a savage sound that refuses to be tamed. Continue reading