MEMORIAM Guitarist Founds New Project, AS THE WORLD DIES [Video Teaser]

Scott Fairfax, of Memoriam (English death metal, signed to Nuclear Blast Records) fame, has been churning out a record for his new project, As the World Dies. Chris McGrath, a lifelong friend of Fairfax, will be behind the kit. McGrath has been involved with Ashen Crown (another English death metal outfit) and has also helped out Memoriam as their drummer for one live show. On bass guitar is Phil Milman (also from Ashen Crown), and second guitarist is Topher O’Meagher, from English metal band Gehtika. On vocals is former The Face of Ruin singer, Alex Mumford. Continue reading

Louder Than Life Festival Spotlight: THE PINK SLIPS [Official Videos]

Welcome back to our ongoing series of LOUDER THAN LIFE 2019 artist profiles, our weekly guide through the lineup of acts who’ll take the stage at Louisville, Kentucky’s Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center September 27-29 in what’s sure to be one of the biggest concert events of the year. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the Los Angeles based synth-punk band The Pink Slips.

 

Louder Than Life is bringing a wide variety of musical genres to Louisville, Kentucky this year. From Celtic punk rock and hair metal to southern sludge and the synth-punk rockers The Pink Slips. Formed in 2013 in the City Of Angels aka Los Angeles The Pink Slips have been building their sound and their fan base along the way. The band cut their teeth in legendary Hollywood venues like The Troubadour and the Viper Room, well before the band’s members could legally drink at the bar. The Pink slips is led by vocalist Grave aka Grace McKagan the daughter of Guns N Roses bassist Duff McKagan. Duff has also showcased his vocal talents on his side project Loaded, and he is also a member of several other talents bands like Velvet Revolver, Hollywood Vampires and various others. So it’s easy to that musical talent courses through her veins. The remainder of the band is filled out with Trent Peltz on keyboard and backing vocals, Keenan Bevans behind the drum kit and Desi Scaglione  on guitar. Continue reading

PhD in Heavy Metal Music: Australian University

The University of Newcastle, Australia, has always been an attractive place for young Aussies to study. With the announcement that it would offer a PhD program in heavy metal, it became cooler than ever. This is one of the best universities in the country, which consistently ranks among the top 10. To get such recognition for heavy metal music is awesome, but expected as well.

The problem with this genre is that it rarely gains recognition among scholars. People want to learn more about it. There are many passionate musicians who would love to study heavy metal from an academic point of view. But so far, they haven’t had such a chance.

The PhD program at the University of Newcastle will be supported by a scholarship, and it will be available for two domestic and one international candidate.

This is a highly challenging program. The candidates have to be ready to approach heavy metal music with a studious and serious attitude. They will have to write a research proposal and an actual PhD dissertation. But hey; at least the topic will be fun and they will be required to listen to music while writing.

About the Program

Professor Simon Springer is the person in charge of the program, which will be conducted under the direction of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies. This Centre is committed to research on complex political, cultural, social, economic, and environmental policies and relations that transform regions and cities.

The scholarship program is not specifically focused on heavy metal music. It’s open to those who want to study the “Geographies of Homelessness, Veganism, Unschooling, or Heavy Metal Music.” We’ll have to admit: all these niches sound cool, but who could resist studying heavy metal at university?
The deadline for applications is 15 August 2019. You better hurry up! The successful scholars will start their studies between 01 January 2020 and 31 August 2020.

Two domestic students will receive an annual living allowance of $27,596. The scholarship for one international student will also cover the cost of tuition fees (that’s not necessary for domestic Aussie students, since the Research Training Program covers their tuition).

The course will be mostly focused on the geography of heavy metal. As a global music phenomenon, the genre and its subgenres represent unique subcultures and unique scenes. Australia, despite its distance from the geographical heart of the culture, has deep connections with the countries it originated from.

The researchers who gain this scholarship will focus on exploring the relationship between Australian heavy metal and colonialism, the lyrical themes in Aussie metal bands, the cultural diversity within the heavy metal scene, gender issues, and many other concepts that turn the genre into something worthy of academic research.

How Do You Qualify?

This is the hard part. You need at least a BA Honours degree to apply for the program. The candidates with an MA degree in Geography or a related field will have a priority during the selection process. The related fields include Political Science, Media Studies, International Studies, Sociology, etc. To apply for the program, you need to send your CV and a research proposal to Professor Simon Springer’s email.

Since the application deadline is coming close, you might consider the option to ask for proposal writing help. Giving up is not an option when the opportunity is so attractive. If you collaborate with a professional writer, researcher or editor, you might have that proposal done on time. It’s just a preliminary project that would set the track of your PhD dissertation.

Are You Interested?

Heavy metal music doesn’t get too much recognition in the stiff world of academic studies. They are focused on classical music and modern sounds that appeal to the general masses. We’re finally seeing a reputable university offering a great program that would advance the research and knowledge in this field. This PhD program will help us understand the origins of metal music, and the way the Australian subculture is influenced by colonialism and other factors.

If you’re ready to approach the genre with such a studious mindset, you might be the perfect candidate for the program. It’s a scholarship offer, so the least you could do is try.

BIO: Connie Elser is a writer, researcher, and editor for her own blogs. She maintains several online projects on music, culture, and film. Connie is committed to getting more people involved in the world of music, and she chose blogging as a way to achieve that goal.

Review: KILLSWITCH ENGAGE – ‘Atonement’ [Song Stream]

 

If you’ve not heard of Killswitch Engage by now, number one: you are severely missing out on some of the best music out there, and number two: you definitely live under a rock. Killswitch has been releasing perfect album after album since 1999; they hail from Massachusetts. They are credited as one of the most successful bands from the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement. They have continued to headline international tours and have massive festival appearances. “Atonement” will be their eight LP and the follow-up to the masterpiece, “Incarnate” from 2016. The aforementioned album will be their very first release via Metal Blade Records on August 16. Killswitch Engage is metalcore perfection. If it is not already obvious, KSE is one of my all time favorite bands and I may or may not have shed a tear whilst at their shows. 

As it should, “Atonement” begins with a roar- it really does! “Unleashed” is the opening track and the first single the band shared. The first thing that many Killswitch fans will recognize is how flawless singer, Jesse Leach’s vocals sound. Many know that he underwent vocal surgery last spring, and to say he’s made a recovery is an understatement. Perhaps some of his strongest recorded performances yet are found on the new album. “Unleashed” doesn’t particularly stray too far from the tried and true Killswitch Engage formula, but that’s okay because they do it so goddamn well. The song has a verse that sticks and a chorus that ends with a sick breakdown. What more could you need?

The second track is something that many KSE followers have dreamed about for years and it has finally happened. Jesse Leach and the band’s former frontman, Howard Jones (who should need no introduction at all, but it anyone was wondering, he currently fronts Light the Torch) on one song together. This, I believe, will solve all the worlds’ problems. “The Signal Fire” comes in hot, with a deathcore introduction and it’s thrashy in your face feel. The chorus is a total earworm with such conviction. Jesse and Howard together is every girls dream… or maybe it’s just mine? Regardless, these two sound perfect and this is a standout track. 

“The Crownless King,” is such a fist pumping pit starter. This one will go over extremely well live. A great mid tempo track with soaring vocals, “As Sure as the Sun Will Rise.” Of course it’s impossible to review “Atonement” without addressing the song with the first video from the record, “I Am Broken Too.” Leach has been very forthcoming with his personal struggles with mental health in past lyrics and this one is no acception. It’s stripped down and a little more simple and incredibly powerful. Killswitch Engage both on record and live, is a great balance. Songs like this one, and older tracks like “Arms of Sorrow” and “Rose of Sharyn” deal with heavy topics and then there are just some straight up bangers. The ever amusing guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz brings the comedic relief to their sets, dawning headbands that read, “TRASH” and spurting out lewd and insane remarks. Killswitch knows when it’s time to be serious and when it’s time to be Adam.  

Like every album before and like every album will be, “Atonement” is fantastic. Currently in first place for metalcore album of the year, curated by myself. It’s out August 16 on Metal Blade and currently up for preorder. A European tour is in order for the fall, but if you are in the states you can catch them (along with many others) at the first inaugural Exit 111 Festival in October, taking place in Tennessee. This record will not disappoint and if you haven’t seen Killswitch Engage live, you’re dead to me. 

 

SHINEDOWN & BADFLOWER Bring Their “Attention, Attention” To Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

On Sunday, July 14th, hard rockers ShinedownBadflowerDinosaur Pile-Up, and Broken Hands came together for an electric evening of rock music at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Chicago. Each band brought something unique to the bill while meshing together extremely well. Check out our review and photo gallery below.

The evening began with the first of two English rock bands on the bill with Broken Hands. The quintet from across the pond brought their heavy, riffing sound to the Tinley Park stage to get the crowd warmed up for the rest of the evening. Vocalist Dale Norton waltzed from each side of the stage to the other as they whipped through a six song set consisting of material from their first major label debut album, ‘Split In Two’. The album doesn’t drop until August 9th, but the singer was cool enough to throw out a copy of the album to a lucky member in the audience. The band closed the set with their freshly debuted track “Wrong Track” as the crowd began to fill in for the evening.

After Broken Hands, one of our favorite bands here at Metal Nexus, Dinosaur Pile-Up, took the stage to round out the British bands for the night. Dinosaur Pile-Up has been on our radar since playing Louder Than Life in 2016 when they showed off their dynamic garage/alternative rock sound that was blistered with energy during their life performance. “11:11” was a huge hit to kickstart their career in the states and they have grown quickly since then. Vocalist and guitarist Matt Bigland and bassist Jim Cratchley entered the stage each with a beer in their hand before ripping into “Arizona Waiting”, from their 2013 album ‘Nature Nature’.  Aside from that and “11:11”, the set was primarily material from the trio’s new album, ‘Celebrity Mansions’. Through a set filled with headbanging and slamming English riffs, Dinosaur Pile-Up delivered exactly what was expected from us, a great, energetic set that continued to raise the bar for the night.

Rising quickly in the ranks of mainstream rock radio, Badflower has already made their way to the direct support slot for Shinedown. This is extremely impressive when you really put it into perspective. They’ve only just put out their debut album and they’re already almost at the top of the genre. They also just announced their first large headlining tour in the United States. Badflower has always been known for putting everything they have into their live performances, and their show at Chicago was no exception. Firing on all cylinders, the California quartet decimated the crowd with “x ANA x”, one of their heaviest songs to date. It’s a great crowd pleaser and really set the tone for the rest of their set. Vocalist/Guitarist Josh Katz glided across the stage on his back while strumming through the end of the song. The drive and emotion that pours out of these guys during their shows is amazing to witness. The band made sure to play all of their more popular songs throughout the set like the recent single “Promise Me”, “The Jester”, and “Heroin”. They saved their biggest songs for last as Josh hopped into the crowd and surfed across everyone in the pit during “Animal”. While he was out in the crowd, guitarist of Shinedown, Zach Myers, was kind enough to step in for guitar duties while Josh explored the crowd. After that, he made his way back to the stage to close out the evening with their most popular song to date, “Ghost”. The band puts on an electrifying, memorable set that will build a fan base for a lifetime. I highly recommend getting out to see these guys on their fall tour with Weathers and Dead Poet Society.

Over the last few years, Shinedown has grown to be one of the biggest bands in rock music today. Headlining several music festivals in the US, the band has solidified themselves as strong performers and crowd-pleasers. Their stage production has grown immensely since the last time I saw them in 2016. With fireworks, pyrotechnics, and large screens, the band delivers a live spectacle that is now bigger than just their music. The band kicked off their set with a curtain drop and sent the crowd into a frenzy with “Devil”, one of three singles from their 2018 album ‘ATTENTION ATTENTION’. Fitting the theme of their new album, the band also had screens in the shape of exclamation marks on the stage behind them. Along with the pyro and curtain drop, this made for quite the introduction. As expected, the band fully delivered the “boom” for “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”. After finishing that song, vocalist Brent Smith encouraged all of us in the crowd to shake hands with one another to get to know our seat neighbors. He followed suit with this as well by shaking hands with all of the photographers in the pit. At a Shinedown show, the band makes it a priority to make the crowd feel like a big family. Once we all got familiar with each other, the band gave us a throwback track to ‘Amaryllis’ with “Enemies”. The band then played their current hit on the radio right now, “Monsters”. The crowd roared with applause as they executed it to perfection. Whether you like their music or not, you can’t deny how close Shinedown sounds to their records when performing live.

After playing a few more songs on the main stage, the band made their way out to the crowd, each playing in different quadrants under the pavilion. They played four songs out in the crowd, including “Amaryllis”, “Second Chance”, and even “Save Me” for the old school Shinedown fans that are still supporting the band to this day. Once they made their way back to the stage, they began to bring the night to a close with their world famous cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Simple Man”. They brought the dynamic energy (along with some sick laser lights) back into the venue with “Cut The Cord”. Everyone in the venue made sure to hold up their lighters for “Get Up”. The atmosphere was nothing short of incredible, almost breath-taking with the calm piano and Brent‘s powerful voice. To close off the evening, Shinedown sent everyone home happy by giving them the “Sound of Madness” followed by “Brilliant” from their new album. “Brilliant” was kind of strange for a closer but they made it work in a way that only Shinedown could.

Everyone should’ve went home happy with an incredible performance from an artist they know and love while also discovering some new rock music as well. With three newcomers in the rock scene and an established headlining act, this was a tour that couldn’t be missed. Check out these bands the next time they’re out on the road near you. Be sure to check out our photo gallery below. Follow us on Facebook for more coverage of all things rock and metal.

Bourbon & Beyond Festival Spotlight: THE WHITE BUFFALO [Official Videos]

The White Buffalo will be one of the upcoming acts at this year’s Bourbon and Beyond. The festival now has a new home. It is still in Louisville, Kentucky of course, but will call a new festival grounds home. This year, Bourbon and Beyond will take place at the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo. The previous location, Champions Park, had a terrible flood last year and day 2 of Bourbon and Beyond was cancelled. However, to make up for that, Bourbon and Beyond is now a 3-day festival. This means an additional day of bands, bourbon and best friends! How awesome is that? This will be The White Buffalo’s debut at the Bourbon and Beyond Festival. If you have never heard The White Buffalo before, prepare yourself to be astonished! With that said, let’s discuss The White Buffalo. Continue reading

KADAVAR Release New Single/Video “The Devil’s Master” and Announce Pre-Order Info for ‘For the Dead Travel Fast’

German stoner rock trio KADAVAR will release their fifth studio album, For the Dead Travel Fast (Nuclear Blast), on October 11. In advance of this highly anticipated work, the band has just released a video for the lead single, “The Devil’s Master.”

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LIVE & BUSH Extend The Alt-imate Tour!

 

LIVE and Bush are back on U.S. soil after a successful UK tour! And to top it all, it’s the original line-up of LIVE, featuring, Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion). The enough can’t be said about Bush who have been keeping ALT rock alive since the 90’s. Led by frontman Gavin Rossdale the band still sounds as good if not better than they did well over 2 decades ago.

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