30 Years Later: Bass Players Unite In Honor Of Cliff Burton!

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SEPTEMBER 27TH, 1986 is a day that forever changed the music world and the lives of many. 30 years ago on this day Cliff Burton’s life was taken far too soon. Metallica was touring in Europe. Cliff won a card game which gave him the power to chose his bunk that night. He chose to sleep in guitarist Kirk Hammet’s bunk, and Kirk was to sleep in the front of the bus. While traveling to the next city their bus crashed in the early hours of September 27th, 1986 in Sweden. Cliff was thrown out the window of the bus. The whole band was distraught by the tragedy. Though he was only 24 years old Cliff’s time with Metallica had made a huge impact on music. His playing style captivated audiences around the world. Metallica had just released ‘Master of Puppets’, their third album and first for a major label, Elektra Records. The album was a showcase for Burton’s signature playing style. The album went gold, selling over six million copies world wide. A complete success. Burton’s music has inspired many. He not only inspired fans but also was revered by fellow musicians as well. Cliff has even inspired bassists that wasn’t alive at the time of his death. Through videos and live footage like ‘Cliff Em All’ those born well after his death are able to experience the legend and his passion for music. From the grave he is able to inspire many to create music. We can’t imagine how his music would have progressed over time. Metallica has had very talented bassists since his passing but no one will ever hold a flame to Cliff Burton. He personified bass playing. On this day we celebrate the life of Cliff Burton, he has been gone for 30 years and though he lays at rest now, his soul and his music is forever immortalized and lives on in his music and everyone he’s inspired. Continue reading

State of the Art: Cold Kingdom

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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 Minnesota!

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Well, sadly this week we say goodbye to our State of the Art: Minnesota series for September. I have to say, it has been an absolute pleasure searching for bands to cover this month. I have found tons and tons of good music and wish we had time to cover all of them all. I will absolutely be revisiting some of my other discoveries this month for independent coverage and for additions to my personal play lists. If you are looking for some new material, I would strongly encourage you to do some searching through Minnesota’s Metal scene and discover more for yourself. As we always say: there is always a first time you hear your new, favorite band and the Metal scene will die if it is not supported, no matter where local is. That said, this week I present you with my final band pick: the mighty Cold Kingdom.

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An Interview With Tim Narducci Of THE WATCHERS!

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We have been keeping you informed about everything associated with THE WATCHERS since we first heard about their formation. Vocalist Tim Narducci has long been a favorite musician of mine and I’ve followed and loved every band he has been a part of. The band has had a fast paced upstart. Since they began less than 6 months ago the band has formed, recorded their EP, released a video, signed to the amazing label Ripple Music, and booked their first west coast tour. We were lucky enough to speak with Tim about THE WATCHERS and his experience as a musician.  Continue reading

Review Of Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper: Walking In The Shadows

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Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper is:

Steve Grimmett – vocals

Ian Nash – Guitars

Mart Trail – Bass

Paul White – Drums

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After a twenty-nine year hiatus, Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper is back with a vengeance as they prepare to release Walking in the Shadows on September 23rd, 2016 on Dissonance Productions, whom they recently signed on with. This has been highly anticipated for almost a year now and we just recently secured a copy for review. Here’s what I found…

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Interview With Helion Prime’s Jason Ashcraft!

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After recently reviewing Helion Prime here on MN, I was contacted by Online Metal Promo asking if I would like an interview with founding member, guitarist and songwriter Jason Ashcraft. Um, let me think about it… No thank you. Yeah right! Helion Prime has rapidly gained a spot in just about all of my playlists, of course I want to pick Jason’s brain. Who wouldn’t, right?!? Damn, I love my job here!  If you are not familiar with Helion Prime, do yourself a favor and check out Helion Prime and listen to their hard science based Power Metal. When you are up to speed, please read on… (I’ll wait).

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Review Of Italian Powerhouse Icy Steel: “Through The Ashes”

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Icy Steel is:

StefanoIcy WarriorGaleano – Guitars and Vocals

Pietro Bianco – Guitars

FlavioAthanor F.D.H.”Fancellu – Drums

Carlo Serra – Bass

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Traditional and Power Metal fans definitely have something to look forward to on September 23rd when Icy Steel releases Through the Ashes on Germany’s Pure Steel Record label September 23rd, 2016. Spanning two physical disks, thirteen songs and sitting right at an hour, Icy Steel deliver a solid album that will thrill the Metal purist while having a broad enough sound to engage and entertain the new legion of fans recognizing just how right the founders of our genre have had it for over thirty years now.

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REVIEW: Knocked Loose “Laugh Tracks”

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If you want to talk about an album that will put you back on your heels, slap the taste out of your mouth, and stomp a mud hole in your ass then walk it dry, then you need to be talking about Knocked Loose‘s debut LP “Laugh Tracks“. Oldham County, Kentucky’s Knocked Loose have been impressing and causing random acts of violence for the past few years with the “Pop Culture” EP in 2014 and a split with Damaged Goods in 2015. Continue reading

Review Of Allegaeon’s “Proponent For Sentience”

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Allegaeon is:

Riley McShane: Vocals
Greg Burgess: Guitar
Michael Stancel: Guitar
Corey Archuleta: Bass
Brandon Park: Drums

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Being a huge fan of Technical Death Metal, I have been listening to Allegaeon since they released Fragments of Form and Function back in 2010. Simply awestruck. I continued to follow them through Formshifter in 2012 and Elements of the Infinite in 2014 as they progressively pushed the bounds of their craft. Their playing and songwriting abilities appear to have no limit. When given the opportunity to review Proponent For Sentience, due out September 23rd, 2016, I immediately got dibs before someone else snatched it from grasp. Thank goodness, because Proponent For Sentience is devastatingly good!

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State of the Art: Maeth

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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 Minnesota!

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Not in the mood for my norm this week. Just not feeling it. Need something different to clean my palette. Something out of my comfort zone. Black Metal? Nah. With a few exceptions, I just shut down. Maybe some good Death Metal then? I found a ton of good bands but I am not really in a bad mood, just tired. Good Death usually calms me down, allowing me to let all the frustration out through the aggressive music. Again, not feeling it. Look long enough and am am sure to find something that strikes the right chord (pun intended), so I continue. Then, bang, in drops St. Paul’s Maeth to save the day.

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Album Review: THUNDERBIRD “Heavyweight”

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Hailing from the great white north THUNDERBIRD has a refreshing sound that harkens back to the glory days of hard rock music with a spirit out of the 70’s and 80’s.  They have the a rhythmic feel that would make any AC/DC fan happy.  But amazingly they pair it with vocals that are very comparable to the legendary PAUL STANLEY of KISS.  Originally formed in 2003 the band consists of Marc Lafrance (Vocals), Rod Coogan (Guitar), Kelly Stodola (Drums) also Tim Rath and Rob Becker (Bass). The group disbanded after their 2006 release “What’s The Word?”.  A decade later the rockers are back with vengeance supporting their all new 2016 release “Heavyweight” Continue reading