Tour Reviews



Uli Jon Roth, Jennifer Batten & Andy Timmons: “The Ultimate Guitar Experience”

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Uli Jon Roth. Jennifer Batten. Andy Timmons. Drop the name of any of these guitar gods and adjectives like virtuosic, spectacular and legend are sure to abound. The stars and planets have aligned now that Uli Jon Roth has chosen to tour with Batten and Timmons on “The Ultimate Guitar Experience” tour. Big words in a day when there are so many good guitarists out there. On the second night of their tour at The Plaza LIVE in Orlando, excitement and awe was palpable in the line waiting to see these three phenoms. What was waiting for us inside was beyond what any of us could have expected. Continue reading

Black Sabbath The End… with Rival Sons – United Center – Chicago, IL. 1/22/16

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Freezing temperatures couldn’t keep things from heating up in Chicago Friday night as Black Sabbath brought show 2 of their final tour, appropriately titled “The End”, to the United Center. The 23,000 Plus arena was sold out and filled to the brim by the time the metal masters took the stage. But first Long Beach, California rockers Rival Sons took the stage to get the crowd warmed up from the cold outside.

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Havok, Black Fast, Grave Rat, 1134 | Johnson City, Tennessee [Video]

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Havok

Havok

It’s not often you get to see two amazing bands at a small hole in the wall venue. When I say hole in the wall venue I of course mean that lovingly to the fullest extent. The Hideaway in Johnson City is one of the best smaller venues/bars to see a show. Havok have recently been on tour with several other bands as immediate support. Some dates had Extinction A.D., Black Breath, and Psychosomatic. While we do enjoy all of those bands we felt very lucky we got the pleasure of seeing Black Fast open for the mighty Havok. It always helps as well when a regional act is put on the bill and they step up to the stage and totally kill their set and make a shit ton of new fans. That regional act would be Wise, Virginia natives Grave Rat. Continue reading

We Sold Our Souls To Metal Tour Review – Knoxville

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Max Cavalera of Soulfly

Max Cavalera of Soulfly

Soulfly is usually always touring with amazing bands. Even a Cavalera family reunion is a great touring package aka Maximum Cavalera Tour from the past. The family tree has amassed several kick ass bands. On this particular night we would be partaking in not on Soulfly, but Swedish metal legends Soilwork, Shattered Sun, Earthside and local Knoxville natives Scent of Remains. There was a couple downfalls on this night that led to some heartbreak. First and foremost it was very disappointing that Decapitated was unable to get their visas and thus not being able to get onto U.S. soil. So can we all please raise our middle fingers to the guy in immigration that wanted to be a douche and prevent them from making the tour. We were highly looking forward to banging our heads to their particular brand of metal. With an already early start time newcomers to the tour package Earthside and Scent of Remains played before we even made it to Knoxville’s premiere music venue The International. Those bands got a start a little sooner than even listed for the event. Although we missed those bands I will tell you now that Scent of Remains is a brutal band that will be a nationally touring act in their own time. So get your ass to one of their shows you will thank me later. Continue reading

Review: Louder Than Life Festival 2015

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Louisville, Kentucky’s premier rock festival has once again come and gone. It was the 2nd annual Louder Than Life festival in Champion Park and music wasn’t the only thing drawing crowds towards the Ohio River. Before we get to the music, which was our whole reason for being there we have to chime in on the gourmet man food, whiskey, craft beer, and this year NXT wrestling was added as well. I think all of these things are amazing and just add to the reasons to attend the festival. The wrestling brings people into the festival that may not have any interest in music, it’s just another selling point the promoters came up with that seemed to work rather well. This year’s lineup of bands was a little more mellow and southern rock than it was last year. I like the idea of a theme with the bands. Last year seemed to be more of a 90’s throwback lineup and this year was more of a southern rock year it seemed. It leaves everyone curious what we are in store for next year. Continue reading

Tour Review: Toxic Holocaust, Lord Dying & All Hell.

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All Hell (Jacob Curwen)

All Hell (Jacob Curwen)

It’s not often you get to see three amazing bands packed together in one of the smallest venues in North Carolina. The Odditorium even though small in size brings some of the biggest bands in metal to the region. It was a night I had highly been anticipating. First up on stage was the hometown band All Hell who are getting ready to release their amazing new album “The Red Sect” ( You can read that review here). The band is a perfect example of blackened thrash and will quickly become a favorite for any true metalhead. In our previous review of that album I pleaded to them to play my favorite track on the album “Graveyard Dust” and they were listening. That night at The Odditorium in Asheville they played the song on stage for the first time. That was a privilege in itself. They took stage and after a few songs singer Jacob Curwen screams in his demonic growl “We are all going to die”, and until the moment the show ended I thought he may be right. The tiny packed venue was raging with people moshing, jumping, singing and screaming. Just to further explain the violent nature of this show I was bleeding when I left. All Hell were amazing on stage and left victims to their sound all around. The stage was just the perfect size for the three piece band to dominate.

Lord Dying (L-R Nickolis Parks, Erik Olsen)

Lord Dying (L-R Nickolis Parks, Erik Olsen)

Next up to conquer the stage was Portland based band Lord Dying. The band being a quartet posed some problems for the small stage. Bass player Don Capuana actually performed in front of stage left. Since I was the closest person to him I felt it as my job to keep people from running into him or causing him bodily harm in their moshing craziness. I used my body as a blockade and it seemed to work. The voice of Lord Dying Eric Olsen has a voice that resonates with any metal fan. His vocals aren’t like any you’ve heard before and seeing him unleash them live just raises the bar even more. You can see the passion and hard work in his face with each soul crushing song. The band showcased songs from their two releases and no one wanted them to exit the stage. As they played their farewell song Don Capuana broke a string. He grabbed that son of a bitch moved it out of his way and just went about his business.

Toxic Holocaust (Joel Grind)

Toxic Holocaust (Joel Grind)

Next up was Toxic Holocaust featuring main man Joel Grind who has ties to both other bands on this bill. Joel actually helped produce the upcoming All Hell album we mentioned earlier and also Lord Dying‘s new album “Poisoned Altars”. This was the second time seeing Toxic Holocaust, the last time he was touring for the ” An Overdose of Death” album in 2008. I will tell you now that Toxic just get better with age. Once they took the stage the audience went mad. They were right up in Joel’s face singing along to songs like “Wild Dogs” and “Nuke The Cross”. Circle pits were happening and the violence unending and out of pure happiness. Speed, speed, speed is how the band plays. Thrash so fast it will steal your beer and smack you in the mouth before you realize what’s going on. They really captured everyone’s hearts when they played the all inspiring song ” 666″. If you can make it through a Toxic Holocaust show and not head bang you need your ass kicked repeatedly. So they had one final song to play and luckily it was “Bitch” and everyone was more than excited to hear it, but hated knowing it was the last song of the night.

Lord Dying and Toxic Holocaust are still on this tour and have 10 dates remaining through October 3rd. If you are within a reasonable distance from one of the remaining dates and don’t attend you are doing yourself a great injustice. Get your ass out there and experience live music, watching it on YouTube is not the same as being there in person.

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You can follow the bands on their Facebook accounts below:

Toxic Holocaust

Lord Dying

All Hell

Asheville, NC: Coal Chamber, Fear Factory, Jasta & More….

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After finally releasing their first studio album in over 13 years Coal Chamber has organized one of the best touring lineups in recent years. Of course you have Coal Chamber, and co-headlining is Fear Factory who have a new album releasing August 7th entitled “Genexus”. The Devil You Know was on select dates of the tour and it features Howard Jones formerly of Killswitch Engage. On the date we were attending at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina we got Jasta. The band of course features the namesake of the band Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed and Kingdom of Sorrow fame. If you thought this was enough there are still two bands left. Motor City Metal band Saint Ridley was immediate support for the bands. They were also on Coal Chamber’s previous tour with Filter and Combichrist. The opening band was Los Angeles based nu metal band Madlife, who became the pleasant surprise of the night.

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Johnson City, TN: Poynte, Guns Out At Sundown, Sons Of Texas!

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Poynte

Poynte

How often is it that 3 bands you are dying to see come together on one bill and actually have a date within a drivable distance. (Let me tell you now, In Eastern Kentucky this doesn’t happen too damn often) First to get the crowd up and going the Atlanta based band Poynte took the stage. They immediately had the attention of the crowd. The whole audience immediately stopped talking amongst themselves and all eyes were on the stage. After the first song they scream from the stage “They say rock n roll is dead”. They began to demonstrate just how alive and well rock n roll is. They started playing the song “In My Head” and I kept thinking to myself it sounded really familiar. Upon further investigation it’s a Jason Derulo cover. Never in my life did I think a band could cover a rap song and make me like it. Check that off my bucketlist. Kenny the vocalist has an amazing singing voice, but when he screams it made my jaw drop. He sings a lot more than he screams, and let me tell you when he screams it is at that perfect moment and it fits like a glove in the song. Guitarist playing his axe with a drumstick is always good to see. Then they get the crowd involved “When I say weak ass, you say bitch”. I honestly don’t think I’ve heard “bitch” screamed so loud (except for that one time at that Denny’s in the ghetto.). When they played their final song you could see everyone in the crowd exhale. Everyone in the crowd was wanting more.

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Guns Out At Sundown

Next up was Guns Out At Sundown. I think I lost about 10 pounds just watching these guys. They are one of the most energetic bands I have seen in a really long time. Lead singer Nate had a smile on his face the entire time. I know that a lot of bands love performing, but you can tell when they can’t stop smiling. I spoke to Nate afterwards and he said “I try not to smile so much because I know it’s not metal, but I just can’t help it.” The most metal thing of all is playing music because you love it, and you could tell Nate and the rest of the band love what they do. They mentioned something on stage that I think anyone that has ever stood out in a crowd could relate to. “Fuck all those people who look at you different because of piercings, tattoos or long hair.” The song “Heart Be Still” comes across live just as fucking heavy as it does on the album. Being able to experience it live really reaches out and touches your soul. These guys are road warriors and spend almost half the year on stages across the U.S. so you can bet your ass they sound amazing on stage. I took a moment to blink and one of Chris Tepper’s drumstick comes flying at me. It hits me in the shoulder and I’m able to pick it up before the hordes of fans trying to dive on it. (Thank goodness it didn’t knock my beer out of my hand, I would have been mad). These guys are legit. They sound just as good live as they do on the album. They also had a recent dust up with a local band in New Jersey. (New Jersey explains it all really) But, Nate tells me everything is cool now and GOAS and the local band (Too Far Lost). He says they have contacted each other and apologies have been served all around. It was just great that the headlining band Trapt had the backs of their support band, and for that they deserve some kudos. If you have not seen the Maryland based band play yet, make plans. They are awesome live, take your girlfriend and they will sign her tits. Also buy their merch guy Keith a beer, he’s a pretty down to earth fella as well.

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Sons Of Texas

One of the bands I have been wanting to see for a while is Sons of Texas. They have this amazing sound that is heavy as shit and melodic at the same time. People always jump straight in to the vocals, but what stands out to me the most with this band is the groove created by bassist Nick Villarreal. His deep tones and twang in each song really set them apart. It’s often hard for a bassist to stand out in a metal band and he is able to do that. So bass players out there pay the ticket price and take notes. You can’t talk about this band and not mention Jes De Hoyos and the nonstop shredding he unleashes. When they began playing the song “Baptized In The Rio Grande” I think everyone in the crowd was singing along. Singer Mark moves around on the stage and has this deep tone to his voice that at times reminds you of Phil Anselmo. Trust me though, he can hit some killer notes that Phil probably can’t. (No Offense Phil) They have the perfect metal sound. When things couldn’t really get any better Kenny from Poynte joins them on stage. Having two great singers dominate a song was just a total bonus. Not too heavy, not too mellow. They have a killer chorus that has everyone singing along with them almost every song. One thing that makes a band great is when they kick ass on stage and then you meet them and they are just as down to earth and approachable as anyone else.

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Sons Of Texas w/ Kenny from Poynte

This has been one of the better lineups anyone has put together this year. The bands fit so well together and you can just tell they all get along well. When you are watching a band play and you see members of the other bands on the side of the stage watching you know that it’s going to be a great show. These guys have been on tour together for weeks, and they still want to catch each other’s set. We hope to catch all the bands again in the future.

Make sure to follow these guys on social media:

Poynte: Facebook, Twitterhttp://www.poynte.com/

Guns Out At Sundown: Facebook, Twitterhttp://www.gunsoutatsundown.com/

Sons Of Texas: Facebook, Twitterhttp://www.sonsoftexasmusic.com/

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Witch Mountain – Johnson City, TN

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Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

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”. 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. A tour was soon announced and Witch Mountain would be opening for the doom power house YOB.

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

   Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Metal Nexus was lucky enough to catch Witch Mountain in Johnson City, Tennessee on March 27th. Just 5 days into that tour. The show was at The Hideaway which is one of the most intimate settings anyone could see a show. The stage is close quarters, up close and personal with very good sound. Kayla seemed very composed and eager to take stage. The whole crowd had yet to hear her sing as nothing had been released, so we were all going into this deaf and blind not knowing what to expect out of the new singer. Once the show started she seemed in her own world, the left handed shredder Rob started in on guitar and she began to sing. Immediately she had everyone in the room’s attention. Her vocals stand out, much different than anything we have heard in some time. Her singing would go from hitting these very high notes in perfect fashion to these deathly growls. After the first song the crowd was more than ready for more of the new Witch Mountain. Her stage presence made it seem like she had been the leader of the band for decades. Not one person in the room could look away. New bassist Justin and Kayla were showing that they belonged in this band. The great partnership of Rob Wrong and drummer Nathan Carson had correctly added an amazing new element to the band in Kayla Dixon. They began to play one of our favorites in the song “Beekeeper”. The song sealed the deal for us. Of course we love the old Witch Mountain stuff, but this new era is here and we love it. We went into this show not knowing what to expect and by the time it was over we were begging for more. Chemistry is hard to build within a band and sometimes takes a long time. The band looked like they had been playing with this lineup for years. For 45 minutes they captured the attention of every soul in the room, and may have even kept a few souls for themselves. Sometimes doom has a beautiful voice…

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Photo Credit: Wilbur Kilb Hunter

Horns Up Against Cancer!

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Cancer is a disease that seems to have touched every family in America. Over 20 bands are donating their time by putting on an amazing show in Louisville, KY at Diamonds Pub Concert Hall to help raise money to fight cancer. Horns Up Against Cancer is an all day music festival and the money raised goes to the F*uck Cancer Foundation. The foundation uses proceeds to raise awareness, educate about early childhood cancer detection, and help victims and their families deal with the ongoing epidemic through the Dyin 2 Live Program.

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The bands honoring the stage are some great national touring acts. Headlining the show is Primer 55 who have rootd on Kentucky and were formed in 1997 and are a household name with any rock or metal fan. They will be giving “The Big F*uck You” to cancer. They are by no means the only well known band there. X Factor 1 will also be rocking out at the benefit as well. Coming down from Columbus the band has been a regional favorite around Kentucky, West Virginia and their home state of Ohio. Just a few other bands showcasing their talent to help fight cancer are In Virgo, 8lb Pressure, Eye Ov The Storm. There are far too many more bands to name. Remember that these bands are not being paid and are playing this show simply to help in the fight against this horrible disease. Other than the bands there are a lot of people behind the scenes that helped this all day music fest happen and they deserve your praise as well. Barring jail or death anyone able should attend this show, Saturday September 19th. It kicks off at 10 a.m. and you can pick up at ticket for $25 bucks. How often can you help out a good cause and enjoy some amazing metal bands at the same time? You can help make a difference! Be there!

Get your tickets at: www.hornsupagainstcancer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/847498302025103/