Kentucky metal veterans Downtrend have announced today that lead vocalist Mike Jackson is stepping away from the band due to unforeseen circumstances. The band formed in 2004 and has went through a few lineup changes since then. The band retains founding members Josh Crum and Jeremy Chaney. Long time member drummer J.D. Hall completes the current lineup. Hall and Chaney were also formerly bandmates in the crushingly heavy group Voices Of Aggression. The chemistry among these three gents is amazing, which can be heard in their music and seen live when they take the stage. The band’s first lead singer when they formed was Steve Damron and at that time the band had an old school heavy metal sound similar to maybe Dio or Judas Priest. His vocal abilities along with the talents of the band made anyone within earshot of their music an immediate fan. Unfortunately, he left the band in 2004. Downtrend then took some time to regroup and reformed with Daryl Amburgey taking over vocal duties. His style drastically changed Downtrend’s style but in a positive way. He delivered not only amazing vocals but incredible lyrics as well. The music while Daryl was at the help took more of an emo or post-hardcore type vibe. The band of course stayed true to their heavy roots and shredding guitar riffs. Daryl exited the band in 2008 and the band was once again auditioning vocalists. This is when Whitesburg native Mike Jackson stepped up to the mic and became the frontman of the band for almost a decade. Mike truly added a southern metal sound to the band. Along with his harmonica playing his onstage swagger and vocal dominance would be a staple of Downtrend’s uniqueness. The time has come again for the band to search for another singer. After speaking with guitarist Josh Crum we have learned the band has auditioned a few vocalists around the region including West Virginia native Joey Ferris, Jason “Brew” Brewer, Michael McKay Combs (Voices Of Aggression) and Shawn Williams (Hollow). While the auditions are still ongoing the band had a scheduled show opening for Bullet Boys at The Appalshop Theater in Whitesburg, Kentucky. The band has stated they will have a “guest vocalist” for this show which sources say will be Michael McKay Combs. Mike certainly has the ability to take over the void left in the band. He was the deep baritone vocalist of Voices Of Aggression which bassist Jeremy Chaney and J.D. Hall were also a part of. While I’m told everyone is still in the running for this position you can see a live audition when the band takes the stage opening for Bullet Boys.
Auditions continue and if interested in becoming the new voice of Downtrend email firstname.lastname@example.org
For tickets to see Bullet Boys & Downtrend’s special performance go here.
Quickly: what comes to mind when you think of the state of Kentucky? Hillbillies? Country music? Horses and bourbon? Maybe UK basketball? Whatever it is, I highly doubt that death metal is among what pops up. Defying what outsiders think they know about the Bluegrass State, Louisville (aka Louis-evil) based Order Of Leviathan has launched an all out assault on convention via an “eternal quest for total darkness through transcendent art.” Founded in March 2012, these guys pulled the band together not for the promise of fame, but to create art purely for the sake of art.
Comprised of vocalist Nathan Bowling, Levi Crandell-guitar, Derek Tipton-guitar, Dustin Rawlings-bass, and Mike Hargrave-drums, Order Of Leviathan have released two full albums thus far, and have played with such acts as Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation. 2013 saw their first full length release, “The Infernal Path To Total Darkness”, an absolute BEAST of a debut, and more recently, the sophomore satanica offering of “Death Worship” in August of 2016. This band of nihilistic misanthropes are only growing in scope and skill, and with razor sharp intent, they’re hellbent on opening your eyes to ultimate nothingness of life. Continue reading →
Darkening was formed in 2004 by guitarist Oscar Pita in Havana City, Cuba. That same year the band released their first EP ‘When The Soul’ and played numerous venues around the island of Cuba. Oscar in 2008 moved to the U.S. and the band was on a hiatus for a period of 7 years before he started to reform the band on American soil. He was able to reform the band with several other Cuban musicians in the bands new hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Over 1,000 miles from where the band originated it was rebuilt. They began to write music and it was somewhat different than the previous material, but it stayed true to the bands brutally heavy roots. The band recently finalized their sophomore release ‘In Exile United’ and it released on December 9, 2016. The album was produced by Artifex Pereo guitarist Jordan Haynes (We Were Giants, Greyhaven, Intent To Kill) at Earlygrayce Studios in Louisville, Kentucky. The band also recently recorded a music video for the track “Time” from the EP. The video was filmed and directed by YoYo Lopez, and is expected to release in March, in the meantime you can see a small clip of the video below.
Crimson Croft was formed in Glasgow, Kentucky in December of 2014. Founding member Eric Croft is no new comer to music. His various music projects makes him a veteran musician. Crimson Croft is comprised of vocalist Eric Croft & drummer Nick Gabow of Circled In Black. The band formed when Circled In Black went on a long & still lasting hiatus due to issues of extensive travel between band members. The band performs in a two piece & sometimes three piece set with bass player Ricky Hodge. They have released material on various online mediums such as Bandcamp, Reverbnation, YouTube, and Soundcloud. They have graced stages at various venues around Bowling Green, Ky, Louisville, Ky & Nashville, Tn. They often perform with various other acts such as Chest Rockwell, Heron & Crane, The Creatures and All Deeds Done. Eric is a master when it comes to lyrics and has played in bands since his teens, and his romance with words came long before that. His way with words allows his darkest revelations to escape his soul and into our ears. We were lucky enough to speak with Eric about his music, influence and some other tid bits of information. Continue reading →
Rock N Roll was alive and well Friday night in Pikeville, Kentucky. The coal mining town doesn’t often see kick ass rock bands like Ted Nugent and Grimsley Rose. The town usually sways more toward country and bluegrass when it comes to music. But not on this faithful night. The crowd was pumped before the first note was struck at the East Kentucky Exposition Center. Ted of course is touring in support of his 2014 release ‘Shut Up And Jam’ which features one of the best rock songs released in quite a while. “She’s Gone” featuring the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar. The honor of opening the show went to a rock band that consisted of Kentucky born musicians. The members hailing from various towns around the Bluegrass State like London, Paintsville and Salyersville they pretty much felt at home in Pikeville.
Flaw is one of the legends as far as Kentucky metal bands go. They put the Bluegrass State on the map for something other than country when they hit the airwaves in the late 90’s thru early 2000’s. Their last major release was 2004’s ‘Endangered Species’. The band has been back together and playing some live shows over the past couple years and we even got a taste of the new album pretty early with “Bleed Red”. At the Louder Than Life festival in 2015 we had a chance to speak with the band about the upcoming album and music in the current era. Singer Chris Volz and guitarist Jay Daunt both stated that rock and metal was on a 10 year cycle and that it was time for popularity to sway back towards rock rather than pop. After hearing the latest record by the band ‘Divided We Fall’ not only do I agree that rock is making its way back but I believe Flaw is leading the way. The new album will be released via Pavement Music. The album was recorded with Rick Lander (Dead Horse Trauma, Under Pike Skies) at Crisis Lab Studios. The album is the monumental comeback record we have all hoped for. It was always FLAW fans’ connection to their songs that carried the band on. “We would not be where we are today without our hardcore fans,” says Volz. The Flaw Family is the motor that drives the band and this album will just double the size of that family once it’s released. ‘Divided We Fall’ is scheduled to hot stores August 19th. Make sure to pick the album up directly from the band on their upcoming tour with Dope and Motograter, or pre-order here. Continue reading →
Under Pike Skies is a band based in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The band is comprised of 5 talented young men that are destined to have their music heard around the world. Not only are they musically amazing but their lyrics really hit home and are emotionally driven. The band is preparing to head into the studio to record their debut album with an amazing team at Crisis Lab Studios (Flaw,Saturate) in Mississippi. The group has quickly drawn the attention of fans all over the region and was even showcased on Eastern Kentucky Broadcasting’s Mountain Music segment. The band is from a poverty stricken section of Kentucky and isn’t financially stable to pay for the entire recording process themselves. They have created a GoFund Me campaign for fans that would be interested in helping them make history by recording their debut. Under Pike Skies is offering some rewards for people that make a donation toward their dreams coming true. For instance certain donations could garner you a live Skype performance by the band, your name in the “thank you” section of the album once released, a shout out on their social media pages and a few other things. They are really special and can’t really be compared to anything else in modern music right now. Continue reading →
Under Pike Skies hails from the heart of Eastern Kentucky. The band is comprised of 5 individuals with very diverse musical influences. Their sound can’t really be put into any single genre. The band has various acoustic songs that have really become fan favorites, but they also electrify things with some melt your face off metal as well. The way that the bands songs vary in sound so drastically makes their music all that much more appealing. You will never hear two songs that sound alike from these guys. Singer Brandon Leslie has this gravely voice that is different than anything else you may have heard recently. His vocals are rough yet pleasing to the ear. Backing vocals are sang by drummer and sometimes mandolin player Anthony Sturgill. His vocals are the opposite to Brandon’s, but they play off one another in perfect harmony. Bassist Tyler Coleman creates these thundering bass lines to contrast with the guitars and helps keep the tempo of the songs on track. The band is jam packed with talent as guitar players Cody Compton and Sean Lindsey are constantly picking away and even breaking out acoustic solos that will blow your mind. The song writing talent of the band is also a major contributor to their success thus far. Living in this area of the Appalachian Mountains has only fed their souls the motivation to sing their way out of the mountains and to a town near you. The band was recently showcased on Eastern Kentucky Broadcasting’s Mountain Music segment where the band played part of their song “Change” and talked briefly about the inspiration of the song. If you have yet to hear Under Pike Skies I urge you to check them out. Their next show is May 21st at 10pm in Elkhorn City, Kentucky at The Apple Blossom Festival.
(We would also like to thank Sean for sporting his Metal Nexus as well)
Flaw has been back together for a few years now and touring all over the country. Three of the bands core member remain in the band. Vocalist Chris Volz, Guitarist Jay Daunt, and Ryan Jurhs have an amazing chemistry together that is seen and heard in their music. Drummer Corey Sturgill was a great addition to the band and he has helped add another dimension to the band, and he is an entertaining drummer to watch. The band has released one new single in the past year titled “Bleed Red” which dominated air play on Sirius XM Octane when it was released to them exclusively. This song shows the band can still put out emotionally driven heavy music that touches a nerve with any listener. The band last release major release was “Endangered Species” back in 2006. Flaw has a loyal fan base that has been craving new music for quite sometime and they just got the news they have been waiting for. We spoke to the band back in October at the Louder Than Life festival about the new album and their timeline to release it. The band signed a deal with Pavement Entertainment and have no announced a date for the release of their new album Divided We Fall. Continue reading →
One of Kentucky’s best metal bands is about to showcase their talents all over the East Coast. Stonecutters are touring in support of their recent album “Blood Moon” which made our Top 25 albums of 2015. If you are anywhere near any of their stops on tour you will want to make sure to get your ass out there and see them live. Buy a shirt, get the album and raise hell in the pit. Coming to a town near you…