Review of The Caveat’s Absolutely Brilliant, Self-Titled Debut

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The Caveat is:

Michael Stancel – Lead Guitar

Kyle Neeley, Guitar

Nik Schafer – Bass

Paul Christiansen – Drums

Artwork by Mikey Stancel

After recently reviewing The Caveat (Review) I was given the opportunity to get my hands on a signed, pre-release copy by the generosity of the band. I have listened to the singles extensively since being introduced to this killer band by my friend Ben Gleason, the guitarist/vocalist for my number one spot on last year’s best album, Return to Nothing by Source, but was not quite prepared for the difference that organizing the singles into a cohesive CD makes. The singles are obviously good by themselves and stand strong individually but as a full album, they are nothing short of amazing! This is already a peremptory favorite for Best of 2017! There must be something in the water in Colorado…

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Review of The Blue Sunshine Family Band’s Dazzling, Self-Titled Debut

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The band’s name is The Blue Sunshine Family Band. They are from Santa Rosa, California. Now, go ahead and check out the beautiful and cool artwork by David Paul Seymour (also of various Wo Fat albums, Hendrix: Electric Ladyland (Redux), The Vintage Caravan, Ironaut, Doomstress and many others). Don’t listen to it yet though. Get a sound in your head that you think is going to fit. Thinking it is some sanctimonious, rehashed peace, love, rainbows and unicorns, hippie, acoustic crap? Maybe some weird, ethereal, atmospheric stuff with annoying, Far Eastern dissonance and sitars? A Pink Floyd tribute band maybe? No, no and, uh no. Said to have the “Heart of Metal. Mind of Jazz. Soul of Blues.”, The Blue Sunshine Family Band is a very heavy, fuzzy guitar based instrumental band that will simply blow your f’in mind!

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Review Of Flotsam And Jetsam, Helstar, And Hatchet Show At Jack Rabbits In Jacksonville, FL

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Man! When we first got wind that Flotsam and Jetsam, 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 Dawn of Evil 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 Flotsam and Jetsam. They have ranked among my favorite bands consistently since Doomsday for the Deceiver way back in 1986. Saw them on their tours supporting No Place for Disgrace 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 Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, FL; just minutes from my house! So, you ask: “How was the show?”…

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Naga “Sophia” Review and Stream: Emotional Math

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Naga is:

Richard Park – guitar

Nick Popoawski – guitar

Luke Robinson – bass

Juan Franco – drums

naga-album1

Naga:

(From Indian mythology) A member of a semi-divine race, part human and part cobra in form, usually associated with water and sometimes with mystical initiation.

A member of a group of peoples living in or near the Naga Hills of Burma (Myanmar) and northeastern India who practiced head-hunting until the early 20th century.

Any of the Tibeto-Burman languages of the Naga.

A Bhuanese war axe.

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Review of Arcade Messiah’s “III”: The Status Quo Defied

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Artwork by Michael Kerbow (michaelkerbow.com)

Arcade Messiah is a solo project spearheaded by cult Hasting band, Kingbathmat frontman John Bassett who currently resides in Sligo, Ireland. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett was raised by his ex-convent nun mother and meter reading father, who fed and looked after him as long as they could. By sixteen, he quit school and left home with little more than the clothes on his back. This left his employment opportunities limited to dull and mundane tasks; guitar and songwriting being his primary source of solstice. His love of music developed at a young age after picking up an acoustic guitar in the family home. Once able to figure out and play along with a number of songs, he found a guitar teacher in Tottenham to assist with chording. What John discovered was that he was playing a right handed guitar left handed, even though he was, in fact, right handed. Playing backwards was simply more comfortable. With this straightened out and a proper, left handed guitar was purchased, chords became natural and progressed directly into songwriting that has evolved into a life long passion.

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Metallica Unleashes “Now That We’re Dead” Official Video

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And so we continue with our all day (and likely) all night coverage of Metallica’s unprecedented video drop of every single song on their Hardwired…To Self Destruct album due out in two days. This time around, let us introduce “Now That We’re Dead” to you. This beast is directed by Herring and Herring, which represents the partnership of world renowned fashion photographers, Dimitri Scheblanov and Jesper Carlsen, and caters to celebrities from all walks of fame, including the Osbournes and Metallica’s own, Lars Ulrich. So far, there has not been one, even mediocre song in the bunch. This is the Metallica we all grew to love! Intense and intelligent; with their trademarked and brutally honest in-your-face attitude. Only Metallica can serve up this level of eardrum rupturing madness and have us consistently begging for more. Cannot wait to see what the hours ahead hold for Metalheadz all over the globe. Hold on tight, this regalia of bone crushing Thrash is nowhere near being finished yet!

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Colin Tench Project: “Hair In A G-String (Unfinished But Sweet)”, The Prog Mad Hatter!

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A domino falls and strikes another, causing a chain reaction that continues until there are no dominoes left to fall. Such is the case with this review of Hair in a G-String (Unfinished but Sweet) by the U.K. artists in the Colin Tench Project. Mr. Tench is also known for his work with Corvus Stone and, wait for it, Coalition. There it is! The first domino! After recently reviewing Coalition’s spectacular new release, Bridge Across Time, I was offered a listen to Colin’s solo project, which is due for CD release on the 28th of November. Refuse new music that is related to a newly found gem? Nah, I’ll pass… Yeah right! Keep believing that! Hell yes I am interested. In a single listen, I was sold. Killer guitar? Check. Good song-writing skills? Absolutely. Entertaining? In freaking spades and in a manner few albums have been able to. So, as he so eloquently puts it on his website: “Who the hell is Colin Tench?”

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Review: OOLUU ‘Ophus’ [Stream]

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OOLUU was forged from the remains of the band Oompalunatiks. Eric Davindra and Asa Holloh were members of the band and Wychdoktor later joined the band during a lineup change. The three had an unbreakable chemistry that remained standing even after Oompalunatiks ceased to exist. In 2013 they rechristened themselves Ooluu and in December of that same year the band truly found their sound and released their first single and video for “Powder-White”. Since that first single the band’s sound has evolved and progressed exponentially. A few months later in February of 2014 the band released their debut EP ‘Mannequin’. The band continued to compose music for future releases but took a hiatus from live performances to further hone their craft. Ooluu has elements of industrial and alternative metal within their sound. The band recently emerged once again and released their latest album ‘Ophus’ on January 23rd, 2016. Continue reading

Review: DEATH TRIP ‘Professional Asshole’ [Stream]

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I hope this isn’t the first you’ve heard of Death Trip. If it is, let me tell you now I’m highly disappointed in you. Death Trip is from the Big Stone Gap, Virginia area of the Appalachian Mountains and while the area may be rural their music certainly echos outside of the hills of Southeastern Virginia. Their first release was 2013’s ‘Distracted’, followed by the sophomore effort ‘So Far, No Good’ in 2015. The band of course wastes no time and now have released their new record, ‘Professional Asshole’, on October 29th. The album is 13 delicious tracks of brutal punk with a side order of hardcore. They meld these styles so well that it is hard to decipher where one ends and the other begins. The style in which they play music seems a bit chaotic at times but that chaos has developed into a finally wrapped gift when it’s fully unveiled to their fans. Continue reading

Review: DOOMED ‘Anna’ [Stream]

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Doomed is a one man army conjuring up amazing doom from Germany. Pierre Laube is the man that does it all. Instruments, concepts, vocals, artwork and production he is fully in charge of his art and it knows no boundaries. The band was formed in 2011 and have 4 albums released thus far. The most recent album marks their 5th album which released September 26, 2016 titled ‘Anna’via Solitude Productions. The new release ‘Anna’ is a concept album about the repercussions of war and the album is full of those haunting, emotive moments without straying away from the solid death/doom music that they’re known for. The album features guest appearances from members of Hail Of Bullets, The 11th Hour, Camel Of Doom and others. Continue reading