State Of The Art : SPIT

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

This month’s state is Illinois!

Welcome back everyone to our weekly series of State of the Art! I’m happy to introduce a hell of a band today that I strongly want you all to checkout because these guys bring the heaviness. Say hello to SPIT! They are a five-piece metal band from the suburbs of Chicago, IL. They were founded in the fall of 2014, and they have set out to create music that is different from what is already available. SPIT consists of  the assaulting vocals of Petros Massouros, Tom Aparici and Tyler Gargula shredding on guitars, Jimmy McClanahan providing those crunchy bass lines, and  Brian Martinez tearing it up on drums. With their influences ranging from traditional metal music all the way to the new and aggressive sounds of hardcore, SPIT is working for something new to offer, with the hopes of continuing to play music to all who are interested.

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State Of The Art: ANNIHILATE THE HERO!

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

                                                              This month’s state is Illinois!

Welcome to the kickoff of State Of The Art for August! I was the one who got the honor of selecting the state for this month and thought there’s no better of a time than now to showcase the talent from my home state of Illinois. I’d like to introduce you all to a band from my area of Southern Illinois, Annihilate The Hero. Annihilate The Hero is a three-piece metal band coming out of Carbondale, Illinois with influences coming from all types of metal : thrash, progressive, and death, with others sprinkled in. Their current line up consists of Thomas Henderson (Guitar/Vocals), Justin Malinee (Drums), and Tony Lamantia (Bass).

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MASTODON To Headline Hope For The Day Benefit At Metro (Chicago)

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The Metro in Chicago, IL  is pleased to welcome Grammy Award-nominated hard rock juggernauts Mastodon for a very special 35th Anniversary Event on September 9, 2017. One-hundred percent of the show’s proceeds will benefit Hope For The Day, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that promotes proactive suicide prevention by providing outreach and mental health education through self expression platforms. Continue reading

Colucci Releases Lyric Video for “Pushing”

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The one man project Colucci has released a new lyric video for the song “Pushing”. Colucci is the solo project of Gino Colucci founder of Converse Records and also a member of the killer Chicago band Domestic Godzilla. The new song is a lyrically driven hard rock song with some nu-metal elements. Gino mentioned this when releasing the video “I recently finished this song. It’s about dealing with issues related to anxiety, depression and PTSD. Being a paramedic for over 15 years and firefighter for 8, that shit takes it’s toll mentally. It’s time for change and to get control of my health. This has been very personal and therapeutic for me. You can download it free. Looking forward to better days! I wrote, performed, recorded, mixed all instruments vocals etc., the first of many to come.” The lyrics are heartfelt and touching. Gino has risked his life and saved many throughout his career as a fire fighter and paramedic in the Chicago, Illinois area. Check out the song, download it, share it, and follow Converse Records here on Facebook for more to come.

Unsigned Band Review: Destroythm’s Self Titled EP

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Have you ever wanted to hear the pure unfiltered sound of brutality? Well look no further. Destroythm brings it to your doorstep and crams it into your skull. The thundering drum beats and echoing guitar riffs are ecstasy to my ears. The new self-titled EP has 6 tracks for you to headbang to. The EP was released in July 2014 and how they have managed to go this long without being signed I will never know. I’m sure once their material starts to circulate they will have offers from various labels, as they have a sound that really has no competition to speak of. Continue reading

Pig Champion!

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

This month’s state is Illinois!

You ever heard a band for the first time and it gets you so pumped you just want to jump up and down and smack the shit out of someone? Please make sure your mother isn’t sitting in the room with you and I will introduce you to Pig Champion. The Chicago based crossover band has been tearing up the scene since 2010. The band has released two albums. In May of 2010 they released the debut “Oppression Breeds Violence” which I may add has some amazing cover art. That album has 13 tracks that length wise are more to the punk side of crossover. Most of the tracks average around 1 minute, except for a few standouts like “Apologies” and “I Do The Work” and the almost 4 minute brutal attack of “Bone In The Throat” before the Nixon resignation speech takes over the rest of the 20 minute track. Continue reading

Sable Beldam

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

This month’s state is Illinois!

Sable Beldam is a vicious and brutal death metal band from Chicago. They formed in 2007 and have had numerous lineup changes over the years but the band is releasing some great material. They have toured throughout the U.S. and even played with another of our favorite bands Diamond Plate. So I’m sure the band has devastated fans, created some chaotic mosh pits and melted faces off with their all up in your grill brand of metal.

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Cariosus!

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

This month’s state is Illinois!

It’s time to clean the shit out of your ears, because we are about to introduce you to a new band from the windy city of Chicago. Cariosus released their debut EP in February and it’s titled “Crime & Punishment.” When an album starts with an intro of Richard Ramirez quotes you just know you have stumbled onto something great. As if the Nightstalker intro wasn’t enough the album art work is equally amazing. The band has a major brutality that entombs you on every song. Then on a few songs particularly “Contra Mores” you get to see the melodic side of the band. Slowed down guitar picking leads you into growls and gutturals at first, then midway through the song there is more delicate picking and just a touch of clean singing. The clean singing helps break up the constant screaming so it doesn’t become repetitive. When it’s done in a minimalistic fashion like this I’m a huge fan of it. The singing doesn’t take anything away from the band, and actually keeps the heaviness intact by breaking the mold of what we are used to. Frontman Alex Pfister is a talented singer on both ends of the spectrum. Every instrument seems to play an integral part in the sound. The guitar parts at times seem to be battling each other back and forth. “Misanthrope” is a stand out song on the album, the lyrical content keeps you interested. “I hate everyone, I hate the things you say” I’m sure everyone can relate to this. And, for you morbid fucks it gets a little gory for you too. The album is 6 tracks that unleash this pure heaviness and great instrumentation. (If you buy the hardcopy cd you get an extra track) At times it will remind you of Carnifex, but their own twists that put them in a region all their own. “Voluptuary Eradication” is one of the best tracks on the album. The sound is all over the place and constantly changed pace. If you are in the Chicago area I suggest you get out and see these guys play. September 4th they will be playing with our good friends in Krisiun (Who I may add have a kick ass new album out) and several other bands on the Devastation of the Nation Tour. They have some kick ass shirt designs so make sure to pick up a shirt and a copy of the cd. Chicago won’t be able to contain this band forever and I fully expect them to garner a huge fan base as time progresses. Continue reading

Interview: Brad Hursh of Love &Vengence and formerly of V Shape Mind.

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Brad Hursh (Photo Courtesy of J. Burger)

Brad Hursh was formerly in the band V Shape Mind that was formed in 1999 in Illinois. They released one album “Cul-De-Sac” in 2003 via Universal. The hit single off that record “Monsters” featured Chad Grey from Mudvayne. They toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000 as well as some other well known acts. I was fortunate enough to catch the band on tour with Mudvayne and it made me a fan instantly. One of the most in your face and quality sounding bands of that era. The catchy melodies and hammering riffs were just some of the things that made them who they were. There is no doubt that anyone who seen them live would walk away a fan for life. The band called it quits and played their last show in May of 2004 in their hometown of Decatur, Illinois. Since then Brad has done some solo work and has now formed a new band called “Love & Vengence”. The new band also features Vic Zientara who was in V Shape Mind with Brad. We were able to get in touch with Brad via email and talk about his new project and how much music has changed in recent years.

Metal Nexus: V Shape Mind released Cul-De-Sac in 2003 and toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000, What were the contributing factors to the band ending?

Brad Hursh: Yeah, we did a lot of touring that year with those bands and also got to play with some other killer bands during that time. One of the highlights for me was playing with Anthrax at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. That venue has some great history and Anthrax were one of my favorite bands growing up. There were lots of factors in the band breaking up, which are very common tales in the music industry. Our label telling us a lot of things that were just flat-out lies while doing next to nothing to promote cul-de-sac. We felt like we did everything they asked us to do and they chose to put their attention/money elsewhere. At the same time, finding out that our team of people we surrounded ourselves with, manager/lawyer/etc…weren’t the kind of people we needed to look out for us. There’s obviously more to the story but those are the main reasons we felt like we were back at square one, after busting our asses to get to the point where we were. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t really interested in “dancing” for the industry any longer.

Metal Nexus: David Bottrill produced the album, he has worked with some amazing bands like Tool, Dream Theatre, Mudvayne, Staind, and Flaw. How was it working with him?

Brad: David is an awesome guy and a fantastic musical mind. We were so stoked to have him involved. He was looking for a band to sign for his upstart label through Universal. Basically, he got us signed just from a 5-song demo that we did in Minneapolis. He was just amazing to work with, he knew how to get the best out of us a band and out of the songs I had written. Plus, I was already a huge fan of his work so I was completely stoked to be working with such a badass!

MN: Your current project is entitled Love & Vengence, The story is you had two shows booked before you had any material written and didn’t have a full band yet, How did that happen?

Brad: That is true. When I decided that I wanted to put this project together, I had mentioned it to a few people and a couple of shows were offered. I think I had 2-months time to put together a band and write a short set of material. That’s definitely not an approach that I usually take with a project, but I figured it would light a fire under my ass to make it happen. Deadlines can be a good thing, occasionally, since I usually don’t write at all unless I’m feeling inspired.

MN: The band has been formed since 2012, how has fans reacted so far to the music? When can we expect a release?

Brad: Love & Vengeance is a project that we (the band members) decide to do whenever we feel like being active. There’s no pressure that we put on ourselves for shows, etc. We may go a few months without even getting together to practice and we’ve actually only had 3 shows. We like to be picky about playing as opposed to just playing everything that comes our way. Recording an EP has been talked about for quite a while now but it’s just been a matter of everyone’s schedules lining up. That being said, I believe we’re gonna get that ball rolling very soon since it’s something we all really want to happen.

MN: The music industry has changed drastically and record companies aren’t always the best way to go anymore as I’m sure you would agree. West Virginia metal band Byzantine has recently had a lot of success with their album they self-released and are topping the charts on satellite radio. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of self-releasing an album?

Brad: I think self-releasing is awesome and the way it should be. I’m not a fan of big labels and the machine in general, so doing it yourself really appeals to me. Of course, it takes money, time and resources to do it yourself but you’re also in control at the same time. Major labels deserve the position they are in from decades of greed, so fuck them, haha! Bands now are making their own records, merch and booking their own tours. Once again, it takes money to make it all happen but at least it’s on their terms and that’s a beautiful thing!

MN: A lot of bands are turning to the fans to actually help fund studio time and production of a new album. How do you feel about Kickstarter and things like that as a way to help get money to make an album?

Brad: It goes back to the previous question/answer, but I think it’s great. Unfortunately money is what it takes to get things going and let’s face it, most musicians are poor, haha! One of the guys in L&V actually mentioned the idea of a Kickstarter-type of thing to help with making our EP. I’m not real sure how to make that happen but I’m not above asking for money…….hence the “most musicians are poor” comment 😉

LOVE&V

If you haven’t heard Brad and Vic’s former band V Shape Mind you have truly been missing out. The greed of some record companies has cost the music industry a lot. There has been many musicians call it quits because of record companies wanting a larger share of the pie, and just micro managing them. We are highly anticipating the debut release of “Love & Vengence”. You can follow the band on their facebook here.

Here is V Shape Mind’s single “Monsters” featuring Chad Grey.