A Brief Interview With Periphery’s Misha Mansoor!

Photo Credit: Alex "Pressplay" Wohleber

Photo Credit: Alex “Pressplay” Wohleber

We were lucky enough to catch up with Periphery guitarist Misha Manoor prior to their set at Chicago Open Air this past weekend. Rain started to fall as the band took the stage, but that wouldn’t keep their dedicated fans away. Swarms of fans stood in the pouring rain as Periphery brought their personal brand of metal to the first annual Chicago Open Air. Their set was unfortunately cut short due to weather, but fans at Chicago Open Air did get a special treat that the rest of the world had to wait on. Misha talks about the festival, their new album ‘Select Difficulty due out 07/22, an upcoming tour, and their new video. Continue reading

Stormlurker – A New Twist On Deja Vu

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Metal is definitely a family affair. It is simply amazing who you meet by simply wearing your favorite band shirt out in public. Well, lucky me, recently I was out and about wearing my PanteraCFH” shirt and was complimented on my good taste in music and clothing by an enormous wall of a man. Since fellow Metalheadz know no strangers we struck up an easy conversation about all-things-Rock and Heavy Metal. Turns out we both love the same types of Metal and play guitar (alright, I noodle anymore). Cool, right? Well, I’ll be damned! Turns out I was speaking with Ohio’s Norselaw guitarist Deryck Heignum who, like me, moved south to get away from the cold and he has started a new band down here. I let him know that I wrote for MN and would love to check out his band. After exchanging info, we parted on the best of terms. The following day I received an email with his bands information and links. Holy shit! I was not prepared for such a spectacular release. Stormlurker absolutely destroys!

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‘Great Is Our Sin’ – Revocation Again Ups The Ante…

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Revocation fans have a lot to be excited about come 22 July 2016 with their release of Great is Our Sin. I have been a big fan since first hearing their debut release of Existence is Futile back in 2009 and have not looked back as they have progressed through Empire of the Obscene (2010), Chaos of Forms (2011), Revocation (2013) and Deathless (2014). While the new album is unmistakably Revocation, the growth as musicians and songwriters has pushed the potential of Technical Death Metal well beyond its current boundary.

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State of the Art: The Artificer

*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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I love our State of the Art Series! It gives us the opportunity to shed some light on bands that are likely not in many readers’ field of view (and my own, for that fact) but absolutely should be. This week I would like to introduce you to my next band pick from Alaska: The Artificer out of Fairbanks.

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MN Exclusive! On the Road With Lydia Can’t Breathe!

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Pop culture. Clean vocals. Movies. Heavy Metal. Television programming. Reggae. Humor. Screaming. Honesty. Weed. Hard Rock. Integrity. A list of seemingly unrelated subjects, right? Nah. With a name based on a Beetlejuice character, one can only expect that Lydia Can’t Breathe embodies everything in the list and so much more.

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State of the Art: Vicious Mammals

*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

*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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