State Of The Art: Hawaii’s NESTA [Track Stream]

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

In the land of tropical paradise with its picturesque beaches, near perfect weather, and aloha vibes, it may be hard to imagine heavy music coming from the Hawaiian Islands. It was certainly no easy task finding metal amidst the vast sea of island reggae and ukuleles for this month’s SOTA, but this pick from the Honolulu underground is one I’m sure metal fans will enjoy. Hailing from Waianae, Hawaii, Nesta proves that their volcanic brand of metal can not only compete with its mainland contemporaries, but also push the envelope in some unexpected and highly innovative ways. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Missouri’s SORRY, SCOUT [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 Missouri.*

Sorry, Scout describe themselves as an “Indie rock/pop punk/ Americana” hybrid out of St. Louis that write songs about “love, gentrification, police brutality, bigotry and survival in an increasingly oppressive reality.

The band is made up of Randi Whitaker (vocals), Nate Jones (guitar), David Anson (bass) and Zack Schultz (drums).  They are fresh, melodic, powerful and driven. They hammer home their ideas about society with the charm of a well versed poet, armed with a supreme sense of purpose.  Their one release to dste is the anthemic artistically authentic EP ‘Never Asked For It’, which was issued in August 2018. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Iowa’s SPACE BURIAL [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 Iowa.*

Space Burial formed in 2015. They are a psychedelic/stoner/prog rock band from Dubuque, Iowa. Created as an outlet by singer/guitarist Pinky, Space Burial became, in their own words, “an excuse to stay out late and buy vintage instruments and recording gear.

Space Burial‘s self titled EP, along with their sophomore release ‘Celestial Seed’ is available on BandCamp.

The band eat heavy musical food, with a mind-altering content. They have successfully fused modern sounds with Seventies prog influences. In addition, they write tunes that matter and have urgency. They pepper spray the listener with spoken word parts in songs and know when to put the hammer to the floor and drive off into the stratosphere.

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State Of The Art: Wisconsin’s MY MEMORY REMAINS [Album Stream]

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My Memory Remains

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

My Memory Remains formed in June of 2015. The band consists of Nicole Steinmetz on vocals, Aaron Aull and Justin Perry on guitar, Kyle Miller pn drums and CJ Schmidt on bass.

They are based in Eau Claire, WI and have appeared on the same bill as killer bands such as The Devil Wears Prada, All That Remains and Otep.

From their biography, the band “write music in a way that everyone can relate to and can feel a connection with.” They are a hard rock band with Metal leanings and a singer with an incredible voice and range.

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State Of The Art: Florida’s ELEMENT OF ECLIPSE [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 Florida.*

Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Sin Scythe (Kevin Nichols) is the one-man mastermind behind the brutally dark and aggressive, blackened death metal project Element of Eclipse. On wax, you’d never know by the immense atmospheric sound that it was created and performed solely by one person. Scythe recorded his first demo for Element of Eclipse back in 2003 and has since released five full-length albums, with 2015’s ‘HeretiKvlt Manifesto’ being the most recent. The first album ‘Apocalyptic Life’ (2006) was an all-acoustic project with synth and vocals that began laying the groundwork for much heavier things to come. As a distinct evolution from his acoustic beginnings – and packed with high-speed, distorted riffing and blast beats – ‘HeretiKvlt Manifesto,’ is one of Scythe’s most refined and crushing works to date, improving upon the format that was solidified on the previous two records. With a sound that’s equal parts Immortal and ‘Alters of Madness’-era Morbid Angel, Element of Eclipse delivers powerful extreme metal with a well-executed and crisp production value that propels the music’s power and atmosphere to the limits. Continue reading

State Of The Art: West Virginia’s SCARLET REVOLT

Photo Credit: Rogue Crayon

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

A gritty blend of classic rock and stoner/doom metal is what’s on the menu from female-fronted quartet, Scarlet Revolt. Lead singer Eve Marcum Atkinson’s striking vocals will seductively draw you into the murky, moody sonic depths on tracks such as “Bleed” which presents an imaginative interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” The fuzzily-toned, Orange-amplified guitar riffs ooze and chug along with purpose under minimal production polish that allows for a pleasingly unaltered, natural sound. The song and music video come from the band’s 2017 CD release, ‘Cold Town’ via Von Artists. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Indiana’s WOLFTOOTH [Album Stream]

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

This month’s state is Indiana!

What do you get when you mix equal parts ‘Master of Reality’-era Black Sabbath with ‘Stained Class’-era Judas Priest, and then add a few generous splashes of ‘Meantime’-era Helmet? Hailing from Richmond, Indiana, Wolftooth are delivering bluesy stoner metal through a fuzzy haze of modern freshness. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Alabama’s EMBER [Official Video]

 

 

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

This month’s state is Alabama!

One would not expect beautiful Birmingham, Alabama to be pumping out some seriously dark sounds. Ember has managed to create an approachable, drony doom sound with vocals that channel early European symphonic metal elements. In fact, Alabama is the last place one might guess this band is from. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Alabama’s ORACLE [Video/Album Stream]

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

This month’s state is Alabama!

Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, Oracle offers extreme metal with intention.  Ranging from melodic to outright bludgeoning brutality, it’s the elaborately well-conceived song structures that bring together all of the interesting musical elements for a truly exciting listening experience. Like an intricately crafted movie plot with multiple twists and turns, Oracle takes the same approach with their music. Tracks transition through multiple moods, tones, and tempos not simply because they can, but because they need to in order to achieve such monumental levels of depths and dynamics this band delivers. Continue reading

State Of The Art: SPACE CADAVER [Album + Video Stream]

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

This month’s state is Louisiana!

New Orleans’ Space Cadaver are a band that have fury and finesse, with a groove that stomps all over their songs. They have a sci-fi style and power to match the best in the universe. Guitarist/vocalist John Baleine, bassist Beto Arias and drummer Jason Meserole bring dark and light in equal measure.  Formed in 2015, Space Cadaver have shared the stage with heavyweights such as Conan, Acid King and Ufomammut. Their message of spacey doom is spreading quickly!

Their debut self-titled album has been available since 2017.  Guitarist/vocalist Baleine commented that “this album is a benchmark of 3 years of hard work and determination – an opportunity to grow…and have closure with a lot of dark things… It was a cleanse to purge the pent up frustrations around the suicide and murders of loved ones, drug addiction and the struggle to break free from the things that are no longer serving me.

Space Cadaver have a sound that melds Death, Doom and Stoner in a rock hard package. Their self-titled debut album is a tour de force of genre-defying metal. They may only have a bass, guitar and drums to work from, but they know how to work that to make an amazing cinematic sound that sonically destroys everything in the mainstream metal world.

The album kicks off with the riffy ‘The Infinite Black Sun‘.  This sets the band’s stall out, with Baleine’s growling vocals and thoughtful lyrics.  The sound that a three piece make is genuinely impressive.  The bass is high in the mix and the drums splatter through the fuzz storm of guitar.  There are light passages that bring the sound into a different sphere and the dark parts take you to a back alley and mug you.

The guitar dominates “Day Ruiner“, as the groove is augmented by a superb guitar solo that is full of heart and power.  “Storm” follows with the sound of hell coming out to play.  A grunge-type melody lends the song a spirit that cannot be dismissed easily.

Insufficient Reward” is a masterpiece in cinematic metal.  It ebbs and flows with an approach that composers of movie scores love.  I can imagine a video of someone escaping evil forces, running down dark corridors in space.  The drumming is superb on this tune.

The commercially accessible “Clock Hoarder” continues with its fantastic bass/guitar interplay. It also manages to tip its hat to old school thrash.  “Nowhere, Now Here” continues the album with a progressive, minor key insurgency. Once again, a cinematic sound, focusing on a picture in space of desolation and regret.

The closing two numbers, “Sword of the Lord” and “Draco’s Revenge” are urgent, epic sound songs that veer from blast beats to progressive jazz in the space of minutes.

Overall, Space Cadaver are a band that everyone should check out, before they check out (in space, naturally).