*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.
Two guys that grew up with old school 90’s death metal joined forces and formed the band Kemerov in 2013. The quartet hail from Serres, Greece. They could never really choose between the metal sound and the rock n’roll feeling, and their sound meshes the two together perfectly. Giving in to these schizophrenic tendencies, they are inspired by bands like Entombed, Cathedral and Turbonegro and various others. Kemerov decided to throw all their influences into the mix, which created this new hybrid sound you won’t find anywhere else. In 2013 they got the ball rolling with guitar, voice and occasionally bass and drums. By the summer of 2015, the band had acquired permanent members for both drums and bass. This would become the first ever full Kemerov lineup. The lineup was now stable and in November 2015 they released their debut self-titled EP, and they’ve began to hit the stage in support of acts like Rotting Christ, Septicflesh and Jucifer, among others. During this time the band was also working on new material for their debut full-length release. The full length titled ‘FMKD’ was released on January 31, 2017. The album was produced by Kemerov & Emmanouil Hermano Tselepis. The band recorded at various studios including Flow Recordings Studio, Galdemi Studio and Steve’s studio and then it was all mixed and mastered by Emmanouil Hermano Tselepis. Continue reading →
ArcadeMessiah is a solo project spearheaded by cult Hasting band, Kingbathmat frontman JohnBassett 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.
It’s not often I get to write about some fellow Kentuckians. Not only do these guys hail from the Bluegrass state but they are putting us on the map for their brilliant musicianship. Stonecutters have successfully released 3 albums including their last kick ass release titled “Creatio Ex Nihil” that was unleashed in 2013. I was fortunate enough to see them back in 2006 with Eye Hate God and Nachtmystium in support of their debut album. Time has done nothing but make this band better and better. The brand new album “Blood Moon” is some of their best work to date and was recorded with David Barrick in Glasgow, Kentucky. Continue reading →
Creedsmen Arise are a relatively new band, and they hail from Boras, Sweden. They haven’t even been together a year yet, that anniversary isn’t until November. Guitarist Simon admitted to me that the band didn’t really find their sound until March. In a span of several months the band was able to not only find their sound but also perfect it. They went a certain direction and didn’t slow down. Unfortunately, shortly after the release of their debut EP “Temples” the lead singer Gustaf has split from the band. They are now a 3 piece for the time being but are seeking a new singer and will hold auditions soon. They again may have to find their sound, or adapt to whomever they choose to fill void in the band. Continue reading →
The band SpaceMetal have released their debut album and it is pretty far out. After getting an earful of what they have to offer you may think they are from a planet far far away. However, they are indeed from planet earth and yet another product to come from the great state of Louisiana. The self titled debut has some space themed lyrics but the song that first garnered my attention was “Witness to the Witch”. The song with very meaningful earthbound lyrics can connect with most anyone. It’s one of those songs that make you want to take a long drive. They really champion the retro rock sound, with a dash of doom mixed in as well. The riffs come tearing at you in warp speed. It sounds like the band was locked into a time capsule in 1973 and is just now being opened. The retro sound has been making a huge comeback with lots of bands, but the sound Spacemetal achieve is really what everyone is after. The album was recorded in a 1970s analog recording studio, so that can be attributed to the sound somewhat. Singer Travis Acosta has this attention grabbing voice, it keeps lingering in your ear and the melodies are suddenly rolling off your tongue and before you realize it you are singing along. The guitar players John Maracichin and Chris Trentecosta are bound to have bloody fingers by the way the riffs ring out through this album. “The Millipede” starts out with this dominating doom stomp type sound and then the guitars chime in and take over. It has all the ingredients for a classic rock song. Of course the guitars and vocals are up front but the songs would sound completely incomplete without the backbeat of the bass and drums. In songs like “Terra Cat” the drummer Chris Kain is the most integral part of what makes the song have this pace setting groove. The bass lines aren’t without notice either, those thick low tones laid down by Rob Norton help the guitar work stand out even more.
Spacemetal is a band that could and should become a household name. The debut album is independently released and I’m sure they will soon be having labels beating down their doors. There is a demand for the great tunes they provide and hopefully we will be able to see them out on the road soon as they will be gathering fans all over this planet and others as well. The album was released April 2nd and while we wish we had heard it sooner we are now wishing they will go into hyper speed and have another album completed soon. You can pick up this album for $6 from the bandcamp page they have set up (Link Below). The album is a through and through album that has a tremendous re-listen value, pick it up today.
Clutch is known as one of the hardest working bands in the business. The Maryland based group has announced their next masterpiece titled “Psychic Warfare”. Mark your calendar for an October 2nd release date. The band is releasing the album on their own label Weathermaker Music. The label was formed in formed in June of 2008. The label mostly consists of Clutch side projects like The Company Band, and The Bakerton Group. Outside of Clutch they have their managers legendary band The Mob, and groove rockers Lionize. The band is very well known for putting on an amazing show and always having great caliber bands on the bill with them. Clutch has already released 10 studio albums, and the material continues to impress. The new album will have alot of shoes to fill in comparison to the last hit album they released “Earth Rocker”.
Album Art by: Dan Winters
“Psychic Warfare” track listing:
01. The Affidavit
02. X-Ray Visions
04. A Quick Death In Texas
05. Sucker For The Witch
06. Your Love Is Incarceration
07. Doom Saloon
08. Our Lady Of Electric Light
09. Noble Savage Clutch
10. Behold The Colossus
11. Decapitation Blues
12. Son Of Virginia