First show in a while, and ohhhh, what a doozy! Gotta love supporting such a huge variety of incredible bands ranging from Rap to some of the heaviest Metalhas to offer and everything in between! Some of the best music available today remains in the underground and, invariably, right around the corner, no matter where you live. Well, June 1st at 1904 Music Hallserved as the launch point for SuckerPunch’s release of UndergroundAnthem reviewed here. Not only was I stoked to hear some bands that I have heard and loved again, but also for the bands I have not heard of. Not only are they beyond talented, but I made some new friends and hope that you will give them a shot once you read my review of the CD release party. Enough chatter. Let’s get down to it!
April Rose – Vocals and Guitar Oscar Garcia – Drums DennisBurns – Guitar JusticeMaynard – Bass
AuditoryArmory is a female fronted AlternativeMetal band that manages to take the best of HardRock, Metal, ProgressiveRock and even some Jazz and cleanly distills them into a sound thatcan only be identified as theirs. This is the advantage of taking on music with wide, curious and wandering eyes instead of within the confines of what is and what should be for any certain genre/sub-genre of music and the die-hard fans that constantly in-fight these categorizations to death. This has always been a pet peeve. Categories should be used simply as a way of describing a sound to someone that has not heard of the band, not as some confining boundary of what music should sound like. Imagine, if you will, a musical landscape where Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Gershwin, Coltrane, WesMontgomery, MilesDavis, CharlieParker, TheBeatles, Elvis, Hendrix, Yes, Rush, MichaelHedges, PinkFloyd, EddieVanHalen, IronMaiden, JudusPriest, TheBig4, ChuckSchuldiner, Pantera, CannibalCorpse and Venom chose not to think outside of the box. Got it worked out? Not a pretty picture, huh? This is precisely the reason I actively search out and share bands that throw the whole “writing within a box” thing to the wind. AuditoryArmory is, obviously, one such band that fits the mold of not fitting in one.
Morbid Angel’s latest studio album, released December 1st, 2017, ‘Kingdoms Disdained’ is a return to form following their previous, polarizing release, ‘Illud Divinum Insanus’ which left many longtime fans feeling alienated. As part of the original Florida death metal scene, Morbid Angel was formed in Tampa in 1983 by guitarist Trey Azagthoth, the only remaining original member, and original vocalist, Mike Browning. Since their inception, the God-hating, Satan-loving death metal pioneers have released nine studio albums to date and are regarded as being among the forefathers of American Death Metal. Their 1989 debut album, ‘Alters of Madness’ is frequently recognized as one of the greatest death metal albums of all time. Continue reading →
Smoke Mountain formed in 2015 in Florida. The band is comprised of Sarah Pitt on vocals, her husband Lee Pitt on guitar and Lee’s brother Brian Pitt (Switchblade Cheetah, Neon Lushell) on drums. The band recently completed and released their debut self titled EP on May 1, 2017. The EP was writen recorded and produced by the band themselves and was mastered by Carl Saff (LoPan, Attalla). Lee also played the bass parts during the recording of the EP, but they don’t use a bassist in their live shows. In their live performances Lee runs his guitar through a guitar and bass amp, which I’m sure gives them an even more unique sound. Though this EP is just 3 tracks it is a beautiful introduction to the band. I certainly can’t wait to hear more.
Last week on Talk Toomey Podcast, Josh Toomey interviewed Obituary guitarist Trevor Peres. Trevor and Josh discuss adapting to the digital age, why they went with a self-titled album for the new release, other great Florida death metal bands, working at Morrisound Studios with Scott Burns and the story behind their 1994 music video, “Don’t Care”. The interview starts at around the 20 minute mark and can be streamed below. Also check out Obituary‘s newly released video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” below. ‘Obituary’ is available everywhere now. Continue reading →
Sunday, December 4th, 2016. JackRabbits, Jacksonville, FL. MetalBladeRecords’ artists NecromancingtheStone, Allegaeon and Battlecross take the stage for an evening hammering down some of the most engaging and hard hitting Metal around. This is the third such outing for headlining act, Battlecross, on their annual WinterWarriorsTour where veterans are allowed free admission to the shows and a portion of all proceeds land in the coffers of local veteran charities. The Metal community has no heart and is just a bunch of Satan loving hooligans wearing black t-shirts and leather jackets. Psh! No matter where I go, you people are the biggest hearted group, supporting our military vets, children charities and each other at every opportunity. Hell, there was a Metal show down the street from JackRabbits set up by local promoters and bands in support of a wonderful family that recently lost a child. I am truly honored to call each one of you brothers and sisters, even if we have never met! Thank you! In addition to the music, when it comes down to brass tacks, our solidarity is what grows the genre.
Man! When we first got wind that FlotsamandJetsam, Helstar and Hatchet were hitting the road together, all of us here at MN (particularly Dragon and me) were praying this would stop somewhere within striking distance. Not just to see this collection of top shelf bands but also to get this match made in heaven available to our loyal readers. Who wouldn’t want to see this? Love Hatchet. Been listening to them for since around 2013 when DawnofEvil hit. Helstar. Hell, I have listened to them on and off for the better part of thirty years. Don’t even get me started on FlotsamandJetsam. They have ranked among my favorite bands consistently since DoomsdayfortheDeceiver way back in 1986. Saw them on their tours supporting NoPlaceforDisgrace and Cuatro at Bogarts in Cincinnnati and one other time in Indianapolis in the late nineties. I have relentlessly listened to them even with my long hiatus seeing them live. While I like some of their releases better than others, Flotz is one of those bands that apparently cannot put out a bad album. I can only think of a couple of other bands that I hold in equal regards. To say the least, this was a dream show for me and was elated to find that it was coming to JackRabbits in Jacksonville, FL; just minutes from my house! So, you ask: “How was the show?”…
“What happened to the Metal scene here?” “Man, this sucks! I gotta drive to <pick a town> to see any good shows anymore.” “Nobody is playing around here this weekend.” “There are only a couple of good bands here and I have seen them a million times. Uhhhghh!” “We never get any good shows here anymore.” These are all statements that I constantly see, hear and read just about every day, from folks all over the world. Thankfully, these sentiments do not apply to my home state of Florida. No matter where you live here, there are almost too many shows to choose from on any given evening, especially on the weekends. The more difficult decision usually becomes “Do I go to see ‘X’ or do I see ‘Y’ or drive a little further to see ‘Z’?” We have also seen the rise of legendary bands like Death, Deicide, Obituary, Nonpoint, Trivium, Shinedown, Savatage, Cynic, IcedEarth, Kamelot, SixFeetUnder, MollyHatchet, AlterBridge, LimpBizkit, ADaytoRemember, LynyrdSkynyrd, BlackTide, Creed and many, many others over the years. The pool of talent seems to be bottomless here. All of these bands had to start somewhere and the next generation of bands continue to emerge in Florida at an exponential rate. Such was the case with the Halloween show at TheHaven in Winter Park, FL, Saturday, October 29th, 2016 which highlighted some of the premiere Metal acts available from Central and South Florida. Although it is exhilarating to see national and international acts in a large venue, local bands have the fire and talent at a comparable or higher levels in our own back yards.
As a special treat, all pictures are credited to my guest photographer MatthewDegele!
Jacksonville’s premiere music festival is slowly approaching. A mere 70 days or so away. Once again the promoters have amassed a slew of amazing bands from varying genres. Rockvillans like myself anxiously wait all year long for the gates to open and the first note to be struck. If you haven’t made plans to attend you are doing yourself a great injustice. Be there. Continue reading →