State of the Art: Elephant Gun Riot

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

This month’s State is Washington!

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After a week off, I am back with you here at MN. So we are off to Washington this month. Population of 7.062 million spread over 71,300 square miles in the upper, northwest corner of the continental United States. Known for its snow capped mountains of the Cascades and the rainforests of Olympic National Park, tech industry and cultural diversity in music, art and business, Washington definitely deserves a month in the spotlight. For my first SOTA lets head just a little north and all the way east from Washington’s capital of Olympia to Spokane and check out Elephant Gun Riot

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State Of The Art: Washington – Wolves in the Throne Room

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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 Washington!

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One of my all time favorite black metal acts, Wolves in the Throne Room make their home in the misty forests of Olympia, Washington.  Brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver have been playing stellar ambient black metal epics since 2003, and released their first full length in 2006 with “Diadem of 12 Stars“. This album really made people reconsider what made black metal “BLACK METAL“.   WIITR effortlessly juxtapose haunting ambient and choral passages with the usual blasting and tremolo riffing that BM is so well known for. The addition of waterfalls, wind blowing, and other sounds one would hear whilst traveling across the Cascade Mountains bring life to a genre of music that is most often associated with the cold and the dead. Continue reading

State of the Art: 3 Kisses

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

This month’s State is Alaska!

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3 Kisses. Where the hell do you start describing a band that has been around since January 2004, performed thousands of shows, has nine albums under their belts, been in endless music magazines, on countless radio stations, been on ABC’s “Wife Swap”, had their own reality show, been featured in numerous commercials, video games, movies and TV shows (including the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards; Restaurant Impossible; Diners, Drive Ins & Dives; Dallas Card Sharks; Disaster Decks; Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare; Sonic Boom; Lifetime movies, and Hot Wheels spots), had songs in the Top 15 by Rock Solid Preasure, is currently rated #1 for Alaskan Alternative Music on ReverbNation, heavily supports breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society and been inducted into the Independent Artist Registry? I honestly don’t know, but let’s give it a shot. Here we go…

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State of the Art: The Artificer

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

This month’s State is Alaska!

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I love our State of the Art Series! It gives us the opportunity to shed some light on bands that are likely not in many readers’ field of view (and my own, for that fact) but absolutely should be. This week I would like to introduce you to my next band pick from Alaska: The Artificer out of Fairbanks.

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State of the Art: Vicious Mammals

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

This month’s State is Alaska!

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Alaska is turning out to be one of the easiest states for our State of the Art series. So much good music from our 49th state. This week, let me introduce you to a band that grabbed my attention from riff number one. Dirty, straight forward Rock ‘n Roll with a heavy hit of Punk and Hard Rock from Big Lake, AK. I give you Vicious Mammals.

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State of the Art: Griffith

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

This month’s State is Alaska!

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So, on we move to our next state for July: Alaska. Our northern most state is home to a remarkable amount of really good Metal. Hidden gems that have yet to make it out of our northern-most and most sparsely populated state. Look up Metal bands on Wikipedia and you get precisely one. Spend about five minutes going a little deeper and this lack of interesting music becomes an instant misconception. One good band after another emerges. Maybe being isolated from the rest of the continental United States limits the ability to get past the borders but these bands are way too good to remain so. One such band that was actually chosen by a couple of our staff this week is Griffith.

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State of the Art: RC.Budaka

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

This month’s State is Maine!

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Since this is the last week of our State of the Art: Maine series, I wanted something special. Something different. Something spectacularly good. I won’t lie. It took me hours upon hours to find what I was looking for. Hell, at more than one point I was about ready to give up and use others that were good, but not what I was looking for. So glad I kept looking because what I found is the best Roots Rock band I have heard in years. Brilliant guitar, soulful and emotive vocals; all done with the true feeling associated with 70’s Rock and Hard Rock that is all too often lost today and so hard to emulate. RC.Budaka is that band and their recently released debut CD “Right Hear Right Now” is way too damned good to be any band’s first album. Continue reading

State of the Art: RipFence

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

This month’s State is Maine!

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Lewiston, Maine. North of Portland, South of Augusta and Bangor. It is the second largest city in Maine with a population just South of 40,000. Only about 92 square miles and sits squarely in the middle of Androscoggin County. A quaint, historic town founded in 1854. Sigh. That is until you start digging around. Back in the corner, where the dust and cobwebs reside (and what is that aweful smell?!?) and it is found that this town is not immune from a brutal form of Melodic Death Metal outfit called RipFence.

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State Of The Art: DEAD SEASON

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

This month’s State is Maine!

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Formed in 2003 DEAD SEASON was Founded by brothers Matt and Ian Truman. Ian is the lead vocalist for the group while Matt plays guitar and does backing vocals. They were later joined by bassist Steven Church (2007) and drummer Dustin Fitzpatrick (2014). DEAD SEASON has sold over 25,000 cd’s, an amazing feat considering the band has done it all on their own w/out the help of a record label. The group hail from Paris, ME and have held their own with some of the biggest names in hard rock history. In their 13 year history they have managed to score gigs on the “ROCKSTAR MAYHEM FESTIVAL” and DISTURBED’S “MUSIC AS A WEAPON TOUR” to name only a few. They have also played gigs with and shared the bill with rock icons like SLIPKNOT, AVENEGED SEVENFOLD, GODSMACK, KORN, MEGADETH and MOTORHEAD. Trust me, that was the short list. These guys have played with everyone.

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