State Of The Art: WITCH MOUNTAIN

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

This month’s State is Oregon!

Witch Mountain was formed in 1997 and became a household name in the city that keeps it weird, Portland, Oregon. The doom crew had just released mostly likely the best album thus far since the formation of the band in the 2014 release ‘Mobile of Angels’ their 8th album. Singer Uta Plotkin was belting out all the vocals on the most recent albums. Her voice became the definition of doom to most within the scene. Uta announced she would be leaving the band prior to the release of ‘Mobile of Angels’ in September of 2014. If that wasn’t already enough bassist Charles Thomas was leaving the band as well. This left only drummer Nathan Carson and guitarist Rob Wrong. Uta left some huge shoes to fill for whoever would eventually take her place. The band had a few months to look around for a singer prior to Uta leaving the band. They were in no immediate hurry to fill the spot and just wanting to ensure they had the right person. Less than a week after receiving a video audition from Kayla Dixon she was to become the new singer of Witch Mountain. Dixon spent some time with the Cleveland based band Demons Within, but the majority of her career was in theatre acting. The 19 year old Dixon was flown out to join the band and newly added bass player Justin Brown from the Portland band Lamprey. Once again the band was complete. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Oregon – Increate

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

This month’s State is Oregon!

Like shooting fish in a barrel for this month’s State of the Art: Oregon series. No matter how extreme your Metal tastes, Oregon has something for you. Digging 80’s Pop Metal? Gotcha covered. More into old school Thrash and Power Metal? You got it. Think these are for wusses and desire to hit the extremes? There are more good Death and Black Metal bands in Oregon than you can shake a stick at. If there is one niche that stands out in the upper, West Coast, however, it is going to be Progressive Metal. Incidentally, this stands among my favorites, so this week let me introduce you to Increate.

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State of the Art: Oregon – Sacrifice to Survive

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

This month’s State is Oregon!

Man. Can hardly believe it is already May. With that we move from Pennsylvania on the East Coast to the West Coast to hit Oregon, our new state for our State of the Art series. Having a capital of Salem and being bordered by Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California and the Pacific Ocean, Oregon became the 33rd state in the U.S. February 14th, 1859. Taking up some 98,000 square miles and having a population of about 4,000,000 residents, Oregon is the ninth largest state and the 33rd most populated, respectively. Within its boundaries lies a wide variety of geography including volcanoes, large bodies of water, dense forests, high deserts, semi-arid shrublands and beaches; driving Oregon’s economy powered by agriculture, fishing, hydroelectric power, timber and cutting edge technology. Nike, FLIR Systems, Portland General Electric and Columbia Sportswear are just a few international corporations that call Oregon home [Wiki]. In addition, the state has spawned a large number of notable bands such as Red Fang, Black ‘n Blue, Toxic Holocaust, Whermact, among many others. For my first Oregon SOTA band this month I would like to shine the spotlight on Sacrifice to Survive.

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Chronostasis

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

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

So, with this week, our State of the Art: Pennsylvania series is comes to a close. So much good music to choose from and from a scene that is bursting at the seams with new ideas, creative concepts not heard anywhere else and a diversity that is nothing short of stunning. Finding interesting and engaging bands was never a problem but choosing among such a large swath of sounds did become a rather daunting task; and this week was no exception. I was down to three or four bands that fit my bill this week until I came upon Chronostasis. This is exactly what I was looking for. Once I got my chin out of my lap, bought their debut CD and got over my initial shock and awe, I got to work.

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Tungsten

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

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

Week number three of our State of the Art: Pennsylvania series takes us back to Philadelphia where we find an extremely unusual band that pulls influences from all over the musical landscape: Metal, Psychedelia, Progressive Rock/Metal and everything in between to create a sound like no other. My spotlight band this week is Tungsten.

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Gun Metal Gray

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

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

Week number two of the state that brought us bands like August Burns Red, Halestorm, Poison, Cinderella, Britney Fox, A Life Once Lost, Motionless in White brings us a kick ass Metal/Thrash band out of Pennsylvania’s capital of Harrisburg. Winning the QWIK Rock 105.9 Battle of the Bands at the Arena Bar and Grill in State College just a few weeks ago comes Gun Metal Gray.

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State of the Art: Pennsylvania – Assayer

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

This month’s State is Pennsylvania!

April takes our State of the Art series to Pennsylvania. One of the first thirteen colonies of the United States and becoming a state in 1681 and second to ratify the United States Constitution, Pennsylvania is bordered by Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario; being split in the center of the state by the Appalachian Mountains. Of the fifty states, Pennsylvania is the 33rd largest, 5th most populous (pop. 12,802,503) and is the 9th most densely populated. With its large population and density, Pennsylvania boasts the 5th highest gross state product of $644,000,000 and houses about fifty Fortune 500 companies. Named after William Penn, the state was originally organized as a Colony of New Sweden along with what is now Delaware. Pennsylvania covers some 46,055 square miles, 490 of which are covered by inland waters. While the capital is Harrisburg, I take you to the largest city of Philadelphia where we find one helluva destroyer band called Assayer. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Virginia – LOINCLOTH

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

Virginia’s tenure as our featured State of the Art concludes this week, as I present one more noteworthy artist hailing from the Old Dominion – Loincloth. With members in Richmond and Raleigh, perhaps the band could fit in the Virginia or North Carolina State of the Art series. Nevertheless, the instrumental prog trio is a hard-hitting powerhouse to be reckoned with, featuring concise, syncopated movements of progressive metal riffage and dissonance.  Continue reading

State Of The Art: Virginia – Trumpet the Harlot

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

If you are a fan of the most extreme end of the Metal spectrum, Virginia has a plethora of formidable offerings. Doom, Death, Black and Thrash Metal bands absolutely abound from this month’s state. An interesting feature of Virginia Metal bands that arouse over the course of this month is that they tend to stay together for extended periods of time instead of splintering into other projects on a whim. Usually when searching there are a bevy of brand new bands with limited releases and few that have been together for more than a couple of years or longer. While this does not necessarily relegate to the quality of the music, a focused and fully developed sound can be tough to find from extremely young bands. My State of the Art spotlight falls into the former category, being at least seven years old. This week’s nod goes to Trumpet the Harlot.

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State Of The Art: Virginia – WINDHAND

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

Flashback to Fall 2015: I’m beginning to expand my musical horizons as a listener, discovering the real power behind Bandcamp… I stumble upon this album called, Grief’s Infernal Flower, a, then, bestseller on the website by a quintet from Richmond, Virginia dubbed Windhand. I saw Windhand’s third album sported some beautiful cover artwork, but it was the sound that I found within Grief’s Infernal Flower that made me admire this band the most. Featuring bludgeoning, thick guitar tones and soaring, ethereal vocals – Windhand has comprised some of the best elements of stoner and doom since their inception in 2008, to produce something so gracefully heavy.

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