State Of The Art: South Dakota’s WORK OF WOLVES [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is South Dakota.*

This is why I absolutely adore writing SOTA articles for Metal Nexus.  You look into what rock and metal is being produced by bands from different states and find artists who are phenomenal that you never knew existed.  And then you share them with loads of music fans the world over!  Work of Wolves are a band out of Sioux Falls, but that is pretty much all the bio I have on them, except who is in the group.  Tyler Jung is on bass/vocals, Alex Foster plays drums/vocals,  Paul Pinos is on guitar/vocals and Andrew Rogers handles keys/vocals.

The band are a brilliant blend of metalcore-like riffing and some growling vocals, but they also channel emo and even power metal genres.  Their songs are melodic, memorable and very definitely metal!  I have had their songs on re-play for most of the last few weeks.  Their catalog covers one demo, two EPs and one album.  The latest is the amazing ‘Purpose’ record.

‘Purpose’ was released this month and is seven tracks of heavenly metal.  It has big time energy, verve and a restless sound that thrashes around your head.  The vocals are superb, with understated harmonies and the musicianship hits highs that make you wonder why Work of Wolves aren’t huge.  I have to say, this album will definitely make its way into any top ten records of 2020 for me, it is THAT good.

The songs on the latest E.P. have a groove that is infectious and an introspective attitude that is intelligent and moody.  I love the vocal melody of “Pull Us Under” and its minor scale riffage.  The song has some power.

Standout tracks are the hooky title track, with the bounce and evocative keys and the uptempo “Convictions”.  Listening through the collection, I am also struck by the Nu-Metal influences and it does have that certain swirl of disconnected disillusionment that resonates today.

Check these guys out and discover South Dakota’s best kept musical secret.

State Of The Art: New Hampshire’s DELANEY [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is New Hampshire.*

This is what I absolutely LOVE about writing for Metal Nexus – the discovery of bands with whom I fall in love with.  From the wonderfully brutal Space Cadaver (New Orleans) to the rock tight rockers the Granite Saints (Hawai) to New Hampshire’s pop rockers Delaney.

Delaney are a four piece from Manchester, NH.  They are comprised of Matt Gennetti on vocals/guitar/piano, Kurt Pinette on drums, Andy Mallett on bass/vocals and Derek Heidemann on guitar.  Their music is pop punk/rock/alternative and they produce one of the most beautiful sonic soundscapes in the musical universe.  Evocative, pulsating and melodic, there is a power that transcends the normal expectations of your average listener.

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State Of The Art: Montana’s THRONE OF MALEDICTION

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

2007 and the darkness came to Montana, with the blackest of Metal becoming legendary with the formation of Throne of Malediction.  I was really looking forward to writing this for Montana, as my Facebook buddy Eric Sartana Horner (a super nice dude) is leading the charge for the band.  He plays a mean guitar, sings like a Dark Prince and plays some keyboards and bass, to boot.  The sound is deeply emotional, broken spirits littering the etheral world and coming with power to charge the soul.  Eric is a musical genius, with a close grasp of European Black Metal and alternative rock across the globe.  His singing ranges from a beautiful baritone to a frenzied growl.  His guitar work is brutal and sublime in equal measure.

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State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FINEST LINE DIVIDES [Album Streams]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is North Dakota.*

Around the year 2000, Nate Hockett, Lance Meoricke, Andy Fuchs, and Josh Renner formed a band they called Memory Work in Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota. They eventually parted ways with Andy Fuchs, bringing Nick Just in on bass. The band subsequently changed their name to Finest Line Divides. Nick would later move to guitar and Matt Chalcraft would come in for bass duties. They unfortunately broke up in 2002.

10 years later, Nick Just, Lance Meoricke, and Josh Renner decided they wanted to play music again. It started with reworking old songs, which lead to new material being written. Nick would take over vocals and stay on guitar. A friend of the band recommended Keenan Miller for the vacant bass position. In 2013, Lance decided to bow out, which left the band’s future in question. Chris Vetter stepped in.  This led to two releases in 2014 and 2019’s masterwork, ‘The Ghost That’s Chosen Me’.  They are alternative, rock, metal and thoughtful. I absolutely adore the experimental approach and the completely reflective nature of their music.  It is like waking to a vista of vibrant strands of sound and a world that embraces rock, metal, rap, pop and alternative.

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State Of The Art: North Dakota’s FROSTHELM [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every week from the featured state. This month’s state is North Dakota.*

Originally formed in 2009 within the dark, icy realms of where thrash and black metal collide emerges Frosthelm. Contributing in no small part to their sound is the extreme cold and bleak environment experienced by band members Dakota Irwin (guitar), Billy Zahn (guitar), Brian Helm (drums), Tyler Pfliger (vocals), and Jimmy Cherry (bass), hailing from the frozen plains of Bismarck, North Dakota. Drawing much inspiration from their surroundings, in 2015 the band released their full-length debut, ‘The Endless Winter,’ which Irwin aptly describes as “bitter, dark, angry, and disgusted.” The LP was critically-acclaimed, landing on numerous “best of 2015” lists, and receiving multiple glowing reviews by respected metal publications. Seeking to top their monumental debut, Frosthelm has just released their second album ‘Pyrrhic’ in March of this year. ‘Pyrrhic,’ defined as “(of a victory) won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor,” illustrates its bleak theme powerfully through punishing riffage and horrifying vocal imagery. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Delaware’s BASTION’S WAKE [Album Stream]

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

This is a change of pace from my usual metal fare, but Delaware’s Bastion’s Wake are an enigmatic power/symphonic band that piqued my interest with the fantasy artwork of their first album, ‘Sea Creatures and Sky Pirates’. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Mississippi’s CLAWHAMMER [Album Stream]

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

Clawhammer is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Mississippi formed by Paul Hill and Paul Craig.  The outfit is rounded out by Stephen McNeer on rhythm guitar, Pete Lindsey on drums and Brad Litton on bass.  Normally, there would be more detail about the group, but I can’t find any!  However, I can speak to the music and it really is classic metal, forged from the steel of the South and the artistic ethic of the doom/goth scene. Continue reading

State Of The Art: North Carolina’s STELLAR CIRCUITS [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is North Carolina.*

STELLAR CIRCUITS formed in 2015 in order to create progressively-minded music. The name “Stellar Circuits” is derived from the eight-circuit model of consciousness, a theory proposed in the 1970’s about expanding consciousness and understanding the process of our mind as it relates to existentialism.

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State Of The Art: STORIES THROUGH STORMS [Album Stream]

Photo Credit: MDKC Photography

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

The clouds clear after a devastating hurricane has hit.  Life has changed beyond recognition.  You are left with with vivid recollectionsAssuming that this scenario is played out, the band Stories Through Storms from Kansas City has a vivid name and certainly are lodged in my brain as being a band telling stories in the storm of Metalcore.  They bring the thunder, the power and the freshness that follows.  On the melodic end of Metalcore, they are very welcome.

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State Of The Art: Kansas’ YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT [Album Stream]

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

Hailing from Topeka, Kansas, Youngblood Supercult brings the type of stoner rock that’s well-worthy of being more than just a local gem. Combining genuine seventies classic rock styles with more modern influences, their sound delivers the fuzz-laden doom of Black Sabbath along with the vocal soulfulness of Bad Company, wrapped up with the modern-day grit and grunge of Queens of the Stone Age. At times delving deeply psychedelic, the music never fails to immerse the listener into its ultra laidback, hazily smoke-filled atmosphere. The band’s newest album, ‘The Great American Death Rattle’ (2017) opens with the killer opening title track that features Led Zeppelin “No Quarter”-style bass effects and jaw-dropping guitar soloing. Check it out below. Continue reading