Rising out of the country music capital of the world, All Them Witches formed in 2012 and quickly became one of our favorite bands. They released their second album entitled “Lightning at the Door” in 2014 and it’s an album that never grows old. They can be called anything from desert rock, stoner rock, to psychedelic. The sound they create is like a potluck, where everyone in the band brings something to the table. Last year’s release is going to be hard to compete with in regards to a follow up, but they announced they have been working on their 3rd release. Unlike “Lightning at the Door” the 3rd All Them Witches album will not be self-released, as they recently signed with New West Records. They have been making the festival rounds this year as they just played Bonnaroo on June 13th and have been added to the Louder Than Life festival taking the stage on October 3rd in Louisville, Kentucky. They are by far one of the best bands on the bill that is filled with other big names. Not only is the music they play different from some of the rest that will be playing at the festival, but you can expect them to have a breakthrough live performance that will leave you wanting more. They are a raw talent that has a beautiful and unpolished sound that is sure to create fans by the masses. Festival goers who aren’t familiar with the band will be pleasantly surprised and we think All Them Witches will be leaving Kentucky with a much larger fan base. They are just one of many reasons to attend the festival this year as we will continue to showcase the bands appearing at Louder Than Life.
Iron Maiden are set to release their 16th studio album on September 4th worldwide. The new album titled “The Book of Souls” will be a double album and was produced by Kevin Shirley and recorded in Paris, France. He has worked with other well-known bands in the past such as Aerosmith, Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Journey, The Black Crowes, Silverchair and Rush. Finishing touches on the highly anticipated album from the metal stalwarts was just recently completed, and in many ways answers the questions that were posed when Bruce Dickinson had shockingly released news he had a tumor on the back of his tongue back in 2014. Chemotherapy and radiation have helped and Bruce has been given the all clear from his medical staff, although most recently it has been said the band may have to postpone a full scale tour until next year. The new album contains 11 tracks, and is a whopping 92 minutes long. This will be the first double studio album that Iron Maiden has released. The cover art was completed by 62 year old British artist Mark Wilkinson who is well known for his work on Judas Priest albums Ram It Down, Painkiller, Jugulator, Nostradamus and Redeemer of Souls. Eddie is looking as fierce as ever I might add as well.
The Louder Than Life festival is the event that no one wants to miss. Thousands of people have been anxiously awaiting the release of bands that will be taking stage on October 3rd and 4th in Louisville, Kentucky. This is year two for the festival which had an amazing turn out for its inaugural festival last October. Anyone that visited the festival in 2014 would probably purchase a ticket prior to even knowing the bands playing. Louder Than Life is a collaboration of everything a festival should be, as well as the perfect time of year. Gourmet man food, need we say more? This festival isn’t home to that overpriced hot dog and nachos. You want sushi? A lobster roll? Jack Daniels ribs? Noodles? Or maybe even a doughnut? All of this and more will be there, and I might add that it is also top quality food at an affordable price. Rock and metal festivals have always taken place during the hottest months of the summer. October is by far the best month to have such an event. Not too hot, and not too cold, it’s perfect. Louder Than Life is happens to take place in the bourbon capital of the world, so you can bet there will bourbon available at the show as well. Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, Eagle Rare, Jim Beam, Makers Mark, and Town Branch are just to name a few. They will have the perfect bourbon for whatever your palate desires. If you aren’t a fan of liquor there is also craft beer. Some of Kentucky’s finest breweries will be there pouring pints. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a favorite of ours. I’m sure by this point you already have your shoes on and are ready to make your way to Champions Park, but remember there is music too!
Louder Than Life 2015
Just like with the food and beverage when it comes to music there is also something for everyone. Rob Zombie, Godsmack, ZZ Top, Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Slash w/ Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators are just some of the headlining bands to grace the stage at the sophomore outing of Louder Than Life. There are 47 total bands rocking out through the 2 day festival. The headliners will close out the show but the other bands on the bill are some of our favorites. We urge everyone to get there early so they won’t miss one of our personal favorites All Them Witches. They released the album “Lightning At The Door” in 2014 and quickly became one of our favorite albums of the past couple years. Another band not as well known to some is London, England based band The Temperance Movement, they have a 70’s influenced rock sound and they bring this energy to the stage that is unparalleled. Anyone seeking a retro sounding band would be thrilled to hear the music they create. Nothing More is a repeat band from last year’s festival, and they definitely earned their spot. The 4 piece put on one of the most interesting stage shows that we have seen in recent years. If you haven’t seen them before you are in for a treat. Newly formed supergroup Saint Asonia is also gracing the Louder Than Life stage after making a surprise performance at Rock On The Range. The band consists of rock veterans Adam Gontier vocalist of Three Days Grace, Mike Mushok guitarist of Staind, bass player Corey Lowery from Eye Empire and Finger Eleven drummer Rich Beddoe. The lineup could not be better.
We were fortunate enough to attend the show last year and it is one of the best festivals we have attended. Louder Than Life brings everything a person could want to one place and the ticket prices remain affordable. If you like to camp there is camping packages available as they have a campground directly beside the Louder Than Life festival grounds. Weekend tickets and single day tickets are available. We will see you there!
Sons of Huns are from the Pacific Northwest. The trio are currently set to release the upcoming album “While Sleeping Stay Awake.” The album will release on July 21st . Pack your bags and get ready for a trip, this album is going to take you places. I’ve heard two songs from the album and both are straight up retro psychedelic rock and does not disappoint. The song “An Evil Unseen” is already up for streaming on their website and is just a small tease of how great this album is. The song “Philosopher’s Stone” is packed with an extra helping of riffs. At times it almost has a Saint Vitus feel going on, bringing a little bit of doom into the acid washed sound they have. The album is the follow up to their previous album release “Banishment Ritual.” The combination of riffage and vocals make them a stoner’s paradise. Imagine sitting in a carpeted VW van and turning on the radio, that is Sons of Huns that would be blasting from those speakers. Listening to them will put you in a time machine and send you right back to the 70’s, so spark up and put on your best leather jacket. If you are a fan of psychedelic inspired stoner rock then this album is a must for you.
Slayer has released the cover of the new upcoming album “Repentless” which is due out September 11, 2015 from Nuclear Blast. The art work was created by Brazilian native Marcelo Vasco who worked from ideas given to him by Tom Araya and Kerry King. Slayer has always been carefree when it comes to offending people, as I’m sure most of us recall “God Hates Us All.” There is bound to be a firestorm of arguments and media surrounding the artwork in conjunction with the date of the release as well being 9/11. We personally like the art work and think it is very tasteful and a classic Slayer move.
Imagery has always been a key ingredient when it comes to Slayer. The art work, stage show, symbols and everything shocking that goes with the band is just as important as the sound. All those things combined make Slayer what they are. We can’t wait to hear the album!
Pitch Black Forecast…ever heard of them? If your answer is “No” then allow me to inform you to what you’ve been missing. You’ve been missing a savagely abrasive, leaden groove-laden Metal band from Cleveland, Ohio that could actually be described as a “supergroup”. Really, an honest-to-god supergroup and that term fits the bill in this case because Pitch Black Forecast resulted as a band after Jason Popson (A.K.A. singer J-Mann of masked act Mushroomhead got lined up with the drum deity we call “The Atomic Clock” Gene Hoglan of such great bands like Dark Angel, Death, Testament, Meldrum, Strapping Young Lad among others. The duo soon recruited former Integrity bassist Steve Rauckhorst (after recording their 2008 debut album “Absentee” with earlier bassist Craig Martini) and guitarists Rob Reinard and Tom Shaffner of local Cleveland faves NDE and Keratoma.
Working originally under the moniker of Absentee, the band did manage to record a debut album during 2007 that became titled “Absentee” as the band underwent a name change. That debut album featured manic, aggro-metal harshness benefited with the inhuman drumming assault provided by Hoglan and capped off by the ultra pissed off vocal stylings of Popson. It also featured guest appearances by Devin Townsend, Ringworm’s Human Furnace, Lamb of God’s Randall Blythe, and Avenged Sevenfold‘s M. Shadows. 2012 brought yet another release in the form of the 5 song EP “Burning In Water…Drowning In Flame” and then summer of 2014 brought news that Pitch Black Forecast would be releasing a compilation of previously-released songs remixed and re-tracked to become “closer” to the vision Popson desired from the start. The title of the album was revealed to be “As The World Burns” and was released on Oct. 21st of that same year and as an added bonus it includes a 4 song EP from Jason Popson’s post-industrial project Bitch Wrangler titled “Spitefuck”.
If you like harmfully face-ripping and outright angry as all hell metal then you should definitely get out from under the radar and take heed to Pitch Black Forecast.
Foul Spirits are based out of Kent, Ohio and they have this evolving sound from song to song that turns every listener into a junkie wanting more. Has amazing elements of thrash, punk and metal. The vocals have these deep gutturals and then to a more thrash based vocal. The quick pace of each song keeps your head banging almost instinctively. They carry with them this amazing sludge like vibe. At times it brings to mind many a great NOLA based bands, but then they throw a wrench into the machine and come out with a sound all their own. The album “Volatile Versatile” released in December of 2014 is worthy of a trophy case. The album is one of those that will get you pumped and ready to raise all out hell. The song “Devil in Me” hits every possible tempo change it could. Starts with a racing guitar and drum beat, then the vocals run through like a bull in a china shop. The end of the song comes together and brings with it this sound that would remind you of Louisiana cult legends Acid Bath. By no means are these guys fucking around. Each song has a fierce and raw sound that just grabs you by the throat. Check these guys out. – Fist
Stockholm, Sweden has always been home to an amazing array of bands over the years and standing out in the crowd there has become increasingly hard. Sideburn is one of those standouts, and has been since Morgan Zocek helped form the band in 1997. The style they play brings you back to that old school classic rock sound with some blues and a pinch of doom. The new album “Evil or Divine” does not disappoint. Released May 22, 2015 it has become a favorite of ours and often does not leave the playlist or cd player. The opening track “Masters and Slaves” starts out the album with some amazing retro guitar work and eases you into the vocal style of singer and guitarist Dimitri Keiski. . Guitar solos by founding member Morgan Zocek seem like they are never going to end. The guitars are just the beginning of the unblemished musical perfection that they bring to this album. The next track is where Dimitri really brings out his full potential and range in “Sea of Sins” hits both highs and lows and takes the listener on this musical journey. The crashing of the cymbals and beat of the drums by Fredrik Haake clears a path for everything else to chime in. Musically Sideburn has an amazing progressive style with various hints of other genres, and when you add the vocals it just brings in that retro feel that fits perfectly like an old pair of pants. With a song title like “The Day the Sun Died” you know that it will summon the darkness and doom that lives inside a black heart. Things are slowed down and everything hangs on each note. The deep tone of the bass riffs by Martin Karlsson bellow out and help steer the song in the right direction. The chorus comes through like a flawless symphony of sounds, and lurks around from the ear to the tip of your tongue and has you singing along. The album is the soundtrack to the journey it takes you through while listening. The sound Sideburn has is not watered down, and needs to be consumed by all.
Photo taken by Jonte Strömberg
Edited by Morgan Zocek
Art, food, wine, the Eiffel Tower and maybe a few other things are what commonly come to mind when thinking of Paris, France. Abrahma is one of the great products of France and should be added to that list as well. The impeccable music they create will not escape you. Flawless and well orchestrated throughout, it’s like a maze made perfectly for the ear. From the city of love is where they reside, however the darkness truly comes out with their retro doom sounding music. They have released one of the best through and through albums I have heard this year in “Reflections In the Bowels of a Bird”. Released in May the album starts with “Fountains of Vengeance” and has that fuzzy wah wah sound that in a way sets the tone for the entire album. The intensity changes several times really keeping you on your toes. By the time the second song comes on you are really ready for anything. “An Offspring To The Wolves” has that amazing doom sound. This is the first single on the album in which they have also released a video as well. Not only is this album amazing in sound but the album art is also vibrant and is likely to stand out on any record store shelf. The vocal style changes somewhat throughout the album, not drastically but just enough to make every song sound refreshing. At times vocalist Seb Bismuth sounds like an early era Brandon Boyd from Incubus. Track 3 “Omens Pt. 1” starts a 3 part series of songs on the album. Some of the guitar work really casts out a Sabbath like sound. The music seems just perfectly melded together and then the vocals are the final touch to it. It’s so well orchestrated that each chord seems perfectly timed. The song winds down to such a somber drawn out ending that leads greatly into the next song. “Weary Statues” starts out with some drone like sounds and then gets into the drum beat at which point it’s off to the races. This song sets a fast pace and is my favorite track on the album. It has a mean chug along guitar and vocal sound that lead into this surprising melodic portion of the song and then right back to up tempo. I won’t give the rest of the album away but it is the type of album that will stand the test of time. It is 52 minutes of 70’s inspired bluesy doom rock that will keep you listening til the last second.