State of the Art: Mortalus

 *This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Arkansas!

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I have always had the opinion that there is no sense fixing what ain’t broken. As those that know me and readers of my articles know, I am an old guy that has grown up listening to all types of music and have a passion for all things Metal: new stuff, old stuff, super heavy stuff, melodic stuff; I don’t care and I simply love it all. Truth be told though, if I am looking for something guaranteed to please, however, I drop back into music that never seems to get old: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Metal Church, Savatage, Flotsam and Jetsam, Overkill, Slayer; and on and on. These are the bands of my formative years that help keep me in a youthful state-of-mind. Again, if ain’t broken…

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State of the Art: Undercover Devil

 *This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Arkansas!

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Man, let me tell you: Arkansas is turning out to be a state that is cultivating some seriously great and unique Metal bands. Anyone following our State of the Art series knows that we view it as an opportunity to expose ourselves to music that would normally never cross our radars and take it very seriously because many of these bands need to cross a lot of your radars as well. That being said, this week I would like to share with you a band from Malvern, AR called Undercover Devil.

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State of the Art: SwitchbacH

 *This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Arkansas!

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Hard to believe we are already in the month of May as we move onto the state of Arkansas for this month’s State of the Art series. As is the case with the other states that we have covered, it is always fun to search for new music where I would not normally look. A few of my current go-to bands have stemmed from my searches and have a definite feeling this is going to be another such case. The band is SwitchbacH.

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Ash of Cedars: Debut Album – Review

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Ash of Cedars is a new band in a sense, based out of the Natural State; Arkansas. The members of this band are by no means new to the scene. They have a self-titled release that will only come in two mediums. Cassette tape and digital download. The sound they create in this debut release is an ambiance of sounds. The only way to describe it is “gadarene”. If you are wondering it means to engage in a headlong or potentially disastrous rush to do something. As each track plays through it gives you this overwhelming need to break things. At times like in the track “Anti Life Venom” the vocals move to the background and the music takes the center stage, and then they change positions letting the gut wrenching screams of CT aka Chris Terry whom you may know as the voice of Rwake. Surprisingly the next song “I’m Not Done” slows things down to almost a stand still. It’s the song that would be playing at a crusty gothic black metal prom. The instruments combine and make this singular orchestrated piece that you could really refer to as a black metal ballad. The band is comprised of veterans of metal professionals. Guitarist Dustin Weedle was in the Little Rock based band Snakedriver. Jeremy “Skullcrusher” Partin was the bassist for the amazing must hear death metal outfit Vore that celebrated their 20 year anniversary last year. Drummer Tino LoSicco is non-Arkansas native hailing from Memphis, TN and comes from the band Epoch of Unlight where his drumming is very well showcased. Of course then you have CT and Jeff Morgan of Rwake.

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The album has 5 tracks in total, 3 on side A and 2 on side B if you happen to pick up the cassette. “Mother Satan Bright” is the eerie B side track that really has this racing rhythmic tone that tranquilizes you. The 5 tracks are raw, unfiltered just as they should be. The little hints of feedback and drone noise just add to everything that you will come to know by Ash of Cedars. The album is being released by Handshake Inc, who is amazing and has a great love for underground music. The digital release of the album is available July 4th, and the cassette will ship around July 15th if you chose to go the route. Make sure to pick a copy up and support hard working musicians. Order here!

Follow Ash of Cedars on Facebook.

*More to come soon on the documentary A Dead Bee Makes No Honey, directed by CT.