KATATONIA, CASPIAN, UNCURED Take Over Washington, D.C. [Photo Gallery]

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Katatonia

Last Thursday night I found myself doing something I absolutely despise, taking the horrid DC metro rail, to do something I dearly love, enjoying live music. Katatonia, was opening the North American tour in support of their album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. A small venue with a prominent stage with excellent lighting and sound system, many consider 9:30 Club to be the heart and soul of the music scene in Washington D.C. And I have never been to this iconic venue in our nations capital, despite having lived in the area for multiple years. This, combined with the excitement of seeing Katatonia live for the first time, my excitement was palpable. Still, I had little idea how good a night this was going to be. Katatonia is one of the finest heavy metal bands to have emerged from Sweden, and their ten studio albums bear testimony to that. The last album ‘The Fall of Hearts’ was released mid last year, which garnered excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. On this North American leg, they are supported by Caspian and Uncured.

Uncured

The first band of the night was Uncured, which I was not very familiar with, so them taking the stage was when I really discovered their music. It has been a long time since I have been this utterly impressed by a new band with only a debut album. And how often do you see a progressive metal band with two vocalists unleashing harsh vocals with intense yet melodic riffs ? The vocals were shared nearly equally by the two guitar wielding vocalists on more than one song. The young lads with their youthful energy, technical prowess behind their instruments and blistering speed set the stage on fire. Listen to the riffs in the later part of the song “Opium Den” and tell me if it does not remind you of Liquid Tension Experiment. The lads totally had totally earned the rousing applause they got once they were done with their set. This is one band that I earmark for nothing but stellar things in future and will certainly be keeping a close watch on.

Caspian

Caspian was the second band of the night, a largely instrumental band with fast riffs, yet they can sound melancholic at times, something that not too many bands can lay a claim to. I had no idea they had such a fan following in the D.C. metro area, the crowd erupted as soon as they took the stage. The imperious drumming and the excellent guitar play lays the basis for the six member strong band. The rapidly changing stage lighting in sync with the fast yet melodic guitar play contributed to this spellbinding show. I can’t really do justice to their musicianship on the show by trying to explain it in words, one needs to see them out live. If you are not familiar with their music, check them out and get ready to be captivated.

Katatonia

Katatonia was one of the first Swedish metal bands I discovered. Over the years Katatonia has progressed to be more melodic from the harsh vocals of the early days. Opening the set with the track “Last Song Before We Fade”, the band burst in to intense guitar play and luscious rhythms. The following tracks “Criminals”, a song from the album ‘Viva Emptiness’, and “Serein”, a standout track from the latest album, kept the crowd really going. The delivery of Jonas Renske was flawless, the guitar work and drumming impeccable and overall the band treated the crowd to an album quality performance. The graceful interaction with the crowd only enhanced the experience of this fabulous night. I won’t bother going in to discuss the performance of each song of the nineteen songs long set, you are better off attending the show than trying to experience it through my words. This is one tour that you don’t want to miss, especially if you are a fan of melodic or progressive metal. If you have a chance to see them on this tour, which has just started, don’t miss it!

Follow the bands online: Katatonia, Caspian, Uncured!

State of the Art: Invasive

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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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Very cool the way the Metal family works. I have stated before, that Metalheadz know no strangers. We all share a bond in the music, the bands, the musicians and for one another. What’s especially cool is when that camaraderie is perpetuated from band to band as well; not as competition, but as influences, friends and fans instead. Such is the case with my next SOTA band who was suggested to us by BloodRedRose’s band Homewrkr earlier this month and shared the stage with a number of my bands including Mechanism and Elephant Gun Riot. Let me introduce you to Invasive.

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State of the Art: Lust for Glory

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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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Just about everyone likes Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Eagles, old Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult and other late sixties/early seventies Hard Rock favorites. If you like Rock in any form, you are not likely to find friends with similar tastes saying they hate these bands, right? Heavy riffs, bluesy, heavy hitting solos, blasting drums and booming bass lines were the foundations for everything that we listen to today, much of it having direct underpinnings paying homage to these gods. As good as the music has always been, the live shows were where all of the glory was, however. Festivals that lasted weeks in a time of free love, fun Rock ‘n Roll and overt illicit drug use are pillars on which today’s Metal grounds itself. Such is the case with my SOTA band this week. Lust for Glory flies in the face of just about everything modern in favor of their Lo-Fi take on what music should be.

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State of the Art: Mind Vice

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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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Not looking for the normal fare this week. I was looking for something different, but couldn’t quite put my finger on what specifically I was looking for. When I heard it, I would know, right? Washington has, so far, provided a bevy of super music, so I figured it couldn’t be too difficult. Two hours later I found EXACTLY what I was looking for. Heart of 70’s Rock with elements of Funk and fuzzy Psych they have termed as “Head Banging, Ass Shaking, MoltenHotSludgefunk”. I’ll buy that. Saves me the trouble of trying to categorize them and sounds much cooler than anything I would have come up with anyway. So, without further ado, let’s check out what makes Mind Vice such a kick ass band.

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State of the Art: Mechanism

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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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So I was on vacation last week and, as a result, did not post a State of the Art: Washington showcase article. Well, when looking for Washington bands to cover this week, I was almost overwhelmed with the number of really good bands deserving some attention and have decided to make up for last week by posting two this week. So, let’s go to Tacoma, Washington, just northeast of Olympia, home of Melodic Hard Rock/Metal monsters, Mechanism.

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State of the Art: Elephant Gun Riot

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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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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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