Carolina Rebellion 2018: Friday [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Underoath

 

After a whole year of waiting Carolina Rebellion 2018 has finally arrived. As the gates opened fans sprinted to stages all across the festival grounds in hopes to hang on to the rail at the stage their favorite band would be performing on. As we eagerly awaited tickets to go on sale, then for the lineup, and finally for the set times and keeping our fingers crossed our favorites bands don’t play at the same time. Another big thing most of us wait for is our first carton of Island Noodles of the festival season. We certainly wish we could cover every band that played this year but it just isn’t logistically possible with interviews, and other media related happenings. Friday was a day filled with great bands and if you wasn’t there you certainly missed an epic Carolina Rebellion. The day 1 lineup was pretty stacked with up and comers like Counterfeit and Dubé, then also those veteran acts like Sevendust and Stone Temple Pilots. Then you had some acts that are amazing we aren’t use to seeing in the festival circuit like Andrew W.K., and Power Trip. Then closing out the night you have Shinedown followed by the legends Alice In Chains. Friday wasn’t my favorite lineup of the festival but it certainly had a lot of talent hit the stages and some very impressive performances.

 

 

Dubé

 

Dubé was added at the last minute and it may have been a band you found yourself unfamiliar with. The group comprised of three brothers from Canada have changed their style and sound drastically over the past few years going from a clean cut alternative image to the gritty push it to the limits punk band you saw on stage. They once opened for The Beach Boys, but with their current style of music and marijuana advocacy they may not fit so perfectly as a supporting act for The Beach Boys anymore. However, Dubé has an amazing sound that needs to be heard and the band also does great charity work. Guitarist Liam also brought a little something special to Carolina as well, performing one song on his homemade hockey stick guitar. Which consisted of strings and a single pickup on the old school hockey stick, does it get any more Canadian than that? To be completely honest it sounded pretty damn good too. Their song “Alien” which they performed will put you in the mind of Helmet, and if you are a fan of them and missed their set I certainly suggest you check them out, like now.

 

 

 

Avatar

 

Avatar is a band that really needs no introduction to festival goers. For the past several years they have came upon U.S. shores and dominated the festival scene with their amazing imagery on stage and incredible performances. They have one of the best introductions to the stage you will ever see and it is always evolving. Kicking things off with their king upon his throne with guitar in hand and then quickly delving into the track “A Statue Of The King” from their new album ‘Avatar County’. They then picked up the pace substantially with the fan favorite heavy hitter “Let It Burn”. For this track of course the king himself guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby exited his throne to riff out a little more and head bang in sync with his bandmates. You will not see a show where the crowd doesn’t 100% get into Avatar’s performance. They have a way of getting the crowd into their performance without even asking, their stage presence is just that amazing.

 

 

Counterfeit

I hope you were able to catch the British punk rockers Counterfeit, their set had loads of energy and aggression. This was actually the bands first ever American Festival appearance and they are also currently on their first North American tour with their tour mates Dubé. The band opened their set with “Family Suicide” and vocalist/guitarist Jamie Bower got the crowd amped up immediately with the bands intro and instant energy on stage. To be added to the festival a little late the band had a good sized crowd at the black stage and even had some fans quickly singing along to some of their catchy songs. The track “Come Get Some” inspired a pretty rowdy circle pit, and also inspired Jamie Bower to exit the stage and get down into the crowd and sing the song along with fans and even handing over the mic to some fans momentarily to have their time on the mic. The band wrapped up their performance with “Enough” and Bower jumping high off the bass drum and bidding the crowd farewell.

 

 

 

Sevendust

 

Sevendust are one of those veteran acts that never fails to impress on stage. The band opened their set with “Dirty” from their brand new record ‘All I See Is War’ that released on May 11th. This album is so impressive I expect the band to get another Grammy nomination and possibly win this time around. “Dirty” was the only new track we got from the new album which hadn’t released yet at the time of their performance. However, the band mixed it up throwing in songs from all throughout their discography like “Denial”, “Enemy” and “Shine” and then closing out their set with “Face To Face” from their 2003 album ‘Seasons’. I expect this to be a huge year for Sevendust as old fans and new fans get turned onto the new album, don’t be late to the party.

 

Parkway Drive

What is better than seeing a band perform on the day their album is released? That was the case for Parkway Drive as they performed Friday May 4th the day ‘Reverence’ was released. They even opened their set with “Wishing Wells”, a pure octane heavy as hell song that is bound to get your blood pumping. It was the first single released from the album and it really got their performance off to a killer start. It also wasn’t the only song they played from ‘Reverence’ either as the band also played “The Void” a few songs into their set. Winston’s vocals were on point and as fierce as ever. The band has move slightly away from their metalcore sound but the new material is brutal as hell and Winston’s vocals and all the instrumentation is just on point. Jeff Ling’s guitar work both on stage and on the album are phenomenal and it’s impressive just to witness him shred in person. We had a chance to catch up with Winston for a special interview after their performance so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon. Parkway Drive has announced a lot of tour dates going through the fall so make sure to get out and experience everything they have to offer on stage.

 

 

Stone Temple Pilots

 

This was my 2nd time seeing Stone Temple Pilots, after seeing them previous in 2014 at the first year of the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky with Chester Bennington fronting the band. It’s incredibly hard for a band to move on with a different singer be it that they just split or because of a death. I feel that Jeff Gutt is likely the best candidate that could have ever filled the vocalist role with Stone Temple Pilots. No one will ever be Scott Weiland or Chester, but I believe Gutt once given the chance will please any STP fan out there. You will see he has certainly been influenced by Weiland by his vocal approach and movements on stage,  but in their newer songs you can also see he has his own style as well. The band played two of the new tracks “Meadow” and “Roll Me Under” from their self-titled 2018 album. Of course they have to throw the classics in there to appease the fans as well. “Dead & Bloated”, “Vasoline”,  “Sex Type Thing”, “Wicked Garden”, “Bang Bang Baby” , “Plush” and “Interstate Love Song” also made the setlist. Prior to “Plush” Dean DeLeo came over to the mic and said “So, we’re gonna need your help, and if you don’t know the words to this, that’s a darn shame, you’ve been living under a rock, help us sing this one.” Evidently no one in the crowd had been living under a rock because the entire crowd was quickly singing along. Gutt wasn’t afraid to get front and center with the crowd either as he jumped from the stage and got up close and personal with the fans. It’s one hell of a way to meet the new vocalist. Next year will make 30 years ago that the band was formed, and I don’t think any music fan has ever taken them for granted. Stone Temple Pilots are here to stay.

 

 

 

Stone Sour

Stone Sour as always puts on an attention getting show. For this specific performance Corey Taylor gave us a little scare as he stumbled and hurt his leg during the 2nd song of their performance “Absolute Zero”. After the song he stated “Want me to let you’all in on a little secret, I feel like I tore something in my leg, but I didn’t tear anything in my throat, so i’m going to give you everything I got.” He went on to perform the set like nothing ever happened. I’m sure being in Slipknot he has dealt with numerous injuries over the years and just played through it. “30/30-150” is always one of my favorite songs to hear Stone Sour play live and they didn’t disappoint giving us some of their heavier stuff. During the track “Song #3” we also got to see a fan crowd surf to the front in a wheelchair which is always something inspiring to see. What I find amazing is how ‘Come What(ever) May’ was release 12 years ago and Corey can still belt out the songs from that album like “Through The Glass” and his voice hasn’t aged at all, and his voice remains timeless. During the bands final song “Fabuless” which is from their most recent album ‘Hydrograd’ the band brought some guests on stage. Those guests are what I often refer to as “wacky waving inflatable arm flaling tube man” and there were several of them. Leave it to Stone Sour to bring the most obscure thing ever on stage as they bid farewell to Carolina Rebellion.

 

 

 

Underoath

 

By far Underoath stole the show on Friday at Carolina Rebellion. They had everything within their set that you would ever want to see in a bands performance, and they did all of this on one of the smaller stages at the festival. These guys are all veterans but they just released their first album in 8 years and it’s a masterpiece. The band opened their performance with “On My Teeth” which is from the bands new album ‘Erase Me’. The band quickly went back to some of their older material playing “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” from their 2004 album ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’. As if the crowd wasn’t already pumped enough the crowd was singing along, jumping up and down non stop, crowd surfing and a herd of metal horns in the air from the moment the band took the stage until the very last note. It was getting latter in the day and as if most of the crowd had saved every ounce of their energy for Underoath’s performance. It was one of the most active crowds of the day.

 

 

Alice In Chains

 

Alice In Chains is one of the pioneering bands of the grunge movement. Layne been gone now for 16 years but there isn’t a day that goes by that we as fans don’t wish that he was still hear harmonizing with Jerry Cantrell. William DuVall is the closest thing we will ever have to Layne and the material the band has put out with him at the helm has been simply amazing. ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ (2009), and ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ (2013) are amazing albums in their own right. Alice In Chains started their set off with one of the faster paced songs “Check My Brain” to really get the crowd motivated and on their feet. They cranked out a few more tunes pretty quickly with “Again”, “Them Bones” and “Dam That River” before giving the crowd the live debut of their new track “The One You Know”. The band had released a video for the song the day prior to the festival so everyone was hoping we would get the chance to hear it. Anytime you go to a show it’s always good to be able to hear something before anyone else in the world has, and the Carolina Rebellion got that extra special treat of being the first to witness “The One You Know” live on stage. The song showcases Jerry Cantrell leading the vocal arrangement a little more than usual. Each one of the older songs that Alice In Chains played it just takes you back to a different time in your life. I believe most everyone can attach a sentimental moment in their life to each song. “Hollow” was the only song they played from ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’, I was really hoping they would play the title track as it is one of my favorite DuVall era Alice In Chains songs. Of course the night wouldn’t end without the must hear songs like “Nutshell”, “Would?” and “Man In The Box”. There was moments during some of the songs where the crowd just fell silent in awe of the bands performance. If you guessed that they would end the night with “Rooster” you would be correct. What a send off! The headliners for the next couple days would have a hard time living up to the expectations Alice In Chains placed on being closing headliner.

Overall Friday was an amazing day for music, friends, food and booze. Crowd surfers and moshers alike got their fill of activity and the headbanging didn’t stop til until they forced us out. The stand out performance of the entire day in my opinion would have to be Underoath. The bands new material is some of the best music they have written as a band since they formed. Their sound has changed slightly and the direction they have gone is even more appealing to a wide range of fans. Dropping the whole “Christian band” label has also allowed them to be more honest in their lyrical content. They brought a ton of energy to the stage and they sounded flawless on stage. I know it’s difficult to ever choose anyone over Alice In Chains, but I have to give it to Underoath on this night, they not only blew me away but everyone who witnessed their domination of the stage. The biggest surprise of the day would probably be a tie between Counterfeit and Dubé. Counterfeit just has a ton of energy and Jamie Bower getting down into the crowd is a testament to how punk rock is suppose to be. Dubé just has a different style of music that we don’t get to hear very often. They are passionate about what they do and at such a young age these Canadians are already the most selfless band I have ever met. Up and coming bands like them make very little money and they are more concerned with raising money for disaster releif than putting it into their pockets and that wins them immense respect from me. If you are unaware the band raised $150,000 to help Haitian orphans after the 2010 earthquake. The 3 brothers lost their mother to cancer and found themselves connecting with orphans that had also lost a parent. It’s bands like this that deserve fan support. What was your favorite moments about Day 1 of Carolina Rebellion? Let us know! Saturday review, coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Live Review: DESERTFEST LONDON, UK 2018 – Day 1 [Photo Gallery]

Zeke @ Koko. DesertFest London 2018

The UKs very own version of Roadburn took over London over the bank holiday weekend of 4th May – 6th May. The annual 3-day DesertFest London festival hosted over 70 bands including some of the biggest names in the stoner rock scene, at the most iconic venues in Londons Camden town – from the Roundhouse to Koko, The Underworld, The Black Heart and The Dev(onshire Arms). Camden was a hive for worshipers of the scene to congregate for the 7th edition of this fundamental tour, and with headliners that included Graveyard, Napalm Death, High On Fire, Hawkwind and Monster Magnet, this year has been it’s biggest and most diverse yet!

FRIDAY 4TH

Today saw the festival at it’s busiest for it’s opening day, with 26 artists across 5 stages, not to mention the thousands of tourists bustling about Camden town – famous for it’s vast array of boutique and quirky independent shops, amazing street food and markets, weird and wonderful street performers and musicians, as well as being the absolute hot-spot for all kinds of sub-cultures to thrive. With the distinct smell of weed fresh in the air on a blisteringly hot day in the capitol, I was ready for the beginning of what would be an epic weekend of (natural) highs from the outstanding line-up at DesertFest London 2018. (Full gallery follows article). Continue reading

Review: PARKWAY DRIVE – ‘Reverence’ [Full Album Stream]

After the huge succes of the 2015 album ‘IRE’ Parkway Drive is back to destroy whatever is left with the dark and harsh vocals of Winston supported by the insane riffage of Jeff, Luke and Jia and the Earth crushing drums of Ben. So you better get ready to witness the end of the world!

Before we get into the new and stellar album ‘Reverence’ we need to dive into the deep and try to grasp the absolute beauty of their past records. Now if you have been a Parkway Drive or even a metalcore fan for a while you already know that they have held the throne from the beginning of time with the 2007 release of ‘Killing With A Smile’. This and several other past albums such as ‘Horizons’, ‘Deep Blue’ and ‘Atlas’ have all been of huge help to the metalcore world. For both musicians and for people who enjoy the music as much as I do. They have for sure set a near perfect example of how the core of metal should be delivered in its best ways. But before you come knocking on my door Parkway Drive has been released music before, they released 2 EPs which you have probably never heard of. They have done a split ep with I Killed The Prom Queen back in 2003 and the not so famous but spectacular 2004 EP ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’.

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MINUS KNIVES Feat. Ex-Spineshank, Ex-Factory 81 Members Release Debut Album [Album Preview]

Los Angeles rockers Minus Knives, featuring former members of Factory 81 and Spineshank, have just released their debut, self-titled album, ‘Minus Knives’. The band features former Factory 81 guitarist Bill Schultz and bassist Kevin Lewis, along with Ex-Spineshank vocalist Brandon Espinoza. Preview the whole album below! Continue reading

INGESTED Decimated The UK With Headline ‘The Level Above Human’ Tour and America, You’re Next! [Photo Gallery]

The past few weeks saw the mighty kings of slam Ingested bring a full on aural assault across the UK on their headlining tour, giving it’s homeland fans what they have been waiting over 3 years for… a first glimpse at their upcoming 4th album and debut on Unique Leader records ‘The Level Above Human’*! In support of this career-defining album, their headline tour kicked off across various UK venues alongside the best in the UK metal scene, including Osiah, Abhorrent Decimation and Harbinger.

Now, the Mancunian death metal titans are in pursuit of global domination, bringing this game-changer of an album to 4 headline shows across Mexico, then North America with Bodysnatcher and Signs Of The Swarm. And then will embark on a ferocious stint at this years “Devastation On The Nation” tour alongside Aborted, Psycroptic, Disentomb, Arkaik, Vale of Pnath and more, including fellow brits Venom Prison who are embarking on their first ever North America tour! You do not want to miss this!

We caught up with Ingested at the sold-out London album launch show, which coincided with the first ever (and annual) Tone MGMT/Embedded Promotions showcase, at the club/venue Birthdays in Dalston, with the action taking place in the 200 capacity basement for a whole day of in-your-face brutality. Featuring the very best up-and-coming and rising artists across the spectrum of the UK death and tech metal scenes right now, the line-up was stacked with 8 bands as supports who are all causing a stir up and down the country, and should definitely be on your radar!

Here’s the low down! Continue reading

DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT Kick Off EU “Heathen Crusade” Tour With PIMORDIAL And MOONSORROW [Tour Dates]

“[DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT is] the future of German Extreme-Metal” – Mille Petrozza, Kreator

German Black metal visionaries Der Weg Einer Freiheit have kicked off their European tour in support of their highly acclaimed and recently released album ‘Finisterre’. Alongside Primordial and Moonsorrow, the “Heathen Crusade 2018” tour will charge through multiple countries throughout the month and will showcase Der Weg Einer Freiheit at the height of their powers. A full list of confirmed dates are below, but be quick as these tickets are hot with the Paris show already sold-out! Continue reading

Live Review : SEPULTURA ‘Machine Messiah’ In London, UK! [Photo Gallery]

Arriving a half hour early to any gig is perhaps not the best idea, especially when it is freezing cold with snow in the air, but I wasn’t the only one keen to get into Londons iconic Koko in Camden town ahead of tonight’s monumental performance. On their headlining tour in support of their record ‘Machine Messiah’ that just so happens to coincide with vocalist Derrick Green marking 20 years with the band, the mighty Brazilian legends Sepultura. There was a decent crowd joining me already and the vocal topic of choice was the Cannibal Corpse gig happening right around the corner, but we were all in agreement that tonight’s line-up of Fit For An Autopsy, Goatwhore and Obscura as supports was far too appealing.

Londons Koko is perhaps one of the most beautiful venues I have been too. Formerly one of the largest theatres outside of Londons West End, the venue itself boasts numerous viewing platforms with many touches celebrating its mixed and magical past as a theatre, cinema and now as a dedicated music venue. Inside the lights were already dim with the stage illuminated red and blue spotlights gleaming across the lower floor. Many fans rushed to the pit barrier to claim their front row spot for the evening and within about 10 minutes the 2000+ capacity venue was already looking full. Continue reading

An Interview with BALLPEIN

A scene that frequently gets shoved to the wayside by the heavy-metal community is the massively influential, thriving and certainly one-of-a-kind brand of underground music that was both a worldwide phenomenon commonly known as “Hardcore punk”, and more specifically in this context a significant subculture that had begun to emerge in the wake of Thatcher-era Britain, – indeed, “Hardcore punk” has now become a very generalised term yet it barely scratches the surface of what the community did for so many young people in an era of increasing economic crisis, political unrest and social inequality. This was a chance for young people’s voice to get heard amidst all of the unravelling chaos – yet it wasn’t always easy. Continue reading

DESERTFEST LONDON Artist Preview – Full Line-Up Included!

The UK’s premier independent festival Desertfest London returns over the May bank holiday (May 4th-6th) with what can only be described, as unquestionably it’s most biggest and broadest line-up yet!

Now in its 7th year, the festivities will take place across multiple venues in London’s Camden Town including the famous Underworld and breathtaking Roundhouse. With over 70 acts announced across the whole metal spectrum, together with the biggest names in sludge, doom and psych!

Not only that, as par tradition Desertfest will be holding their annual pre-festival party at The Black Heart on May 3rd featuring a full headline set by North Carolina’s A.S.G and London’s own Flash House as support! (Pre-festival tickets here)

Read below for full headliners and bands that are not to be missed! (Full weekend line-up follows article. Weekend and day tickets available here). Continue reading

BAD WOLVES Honors Dolores O’Riordan With Their Cover Of ”Zombie” And It is Beautiful!

Bad Wolves just released their cover on the all time famous track ”Zombie” which is originally done by The Cranberries. They couldn’t have done it any better, I leaves me speechless. What a way to honor such a legend!

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