About Odyssey

I have had a life-long love of music, but from the first time I heard Kiss and Black Sabbath with my landlord's son in Nicholasville, KY in the mid 70's, I have been hooked on Hard Rock and Metal. While my tastes in music have done nothing but expand since then, Metal remains closest to my heart. In addition, I have played bass, still play guitar and have literally 1000's of CDs/MP3s, so my knowledge is long steeped and honest. I don't buy the whole splintered, sub-genres thing and choose to like bands and music based solely on individual merits. Obviously, this is always colored by my mood, what I need at any given point and time and what is generally pleasing to my ear. I also don't like to rip any music or band, instead having an open mind and ear for it all because I have a passion for it all. It is completely subjective and in a constant state of flux. Consider me a music "nerd" not a music "snob". As an extension of this love, I hope to share this passion with everyone here and learn from your passion as well! - Odyssey -

Review of Screamking’s “Tyranny of the Sea”

Screamking is:

JoeScreamKingLawson – Lead Vocals
Rafael Hernandez – Guitar, Vocals
Clint Pagel – Bass, Vocals
Jason Michalik – Guitar, Vocals

Scott Rothchild – Drums

Artwork by Drake Mefestta

Screamking, from Michigan City, IN has been around for almost seven years now, having their first performance opening for legendary Metal gods, Anvil at Club Landing in South Bend, IN. Over the course of the next year the band spent diligently writing new material for what would become Evilibrium released in 2013, recorded at Divine Studios and spawning their first video for their “Deathwitch” single. Since its release, Screamking has continued to play with numerous notable acts like Anvil, DSG (David Shankle Group), Metal Church, Helstar and many, many others. Again, entering the Divine Studios in 2016, Screamking recorded Tyranny of the Sea, released at the beginning of March on their own Platinum Dungeon Entertainment label. Produced and mixed by guitarist Rafael Hernandez and vocalist Joe Lawson and mastered by Jon Scrip of Massive Mastering, the album hits extremely hard and sounds just as good as any A List band out there. No DIY sound from this killer band anywhere. Everything is balanced and expertly executed. In the end, this release simply cannot be picked apart. Great work from this, now veteran band!

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State Of The Art: Virginia – Trumpet the Harlot

*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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Anvil, Night Demon, Graveshadow, Hollow Leg and Rhythm of Fear Rock Jacksonville, FL!

Freaking bad ass! When I saw that Anvil was playing with Night Demon and my friend Will in Graveshadow, I flipped out. I have been dying to see them for over a year now. When I found out that Hollow Leg and my boys in Rhythm of Fear were added to the bill, I could not have been more thrilled. As it turned out, my expectations were far surpassed by this quintet of killer Metal bands at Nighthawks in Jacksonville, FL. This was my first show at this cool music hall and was not disappointed. The staff was extremely friendly and had not one ounce of “holier than thou” attitude I have encountered at a few other venues. Sound was top notch, being balanced with volumes that did not overdrive their systems. Definite props to the sound controller. If given the opportunity to hit Nighthawks again, I am there without hesitation. If you live anywhere near this place, throw them some support. One of the most fun venues around the area!

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State Of The Art: Virginia – Freedom Hawk

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

Week number three covering Virginia in our State of the Art series brings us to the barrier dunes of Virginia Beach, where, in 2005, time traveling rockers from 1970 emerged from the warp portal to create this week’s band, Freedom Hawk.

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Metal Nexus Interview With Shaun Katz, Director of Underground, Inc.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock

In our continued support of Underground, Inc., we were given the unique opportunity to interview this documentary’s director and award-winning producer, Mr. Shaun Katz!  For a taste of what has us all up-in-arms, read our queries and thoughtful insights of Katz’s genius laden with an undying passion for the musical underground that started in the 90’s and continues today.  Since first hearing of this huge undertaking, I have become more and more excited about finally having the opportunity to see what years of effort will bring to fruition about the very roots of the Modern Alternative Underground as seen from the inside, looking out!  Interviews and behind the scenes footage include Ministry, Helmet, White Zombie, Stone Sour, Bad Religion, Primus, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Bad Religion, Sepultura, Red Fang and much more.  We would sincerely like to thank Shaun for his time and insights as we prepare for what is likely to become the biggest music-based documentary of this generation.  Highly inspired material!

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Review of Virus of Ideals Debut EP, “For All My Earthly Days”

Virus of Ideals is:

Sean: Vocals/Keys
Jess: Vocals
Dylan: Guitars and Bass
Francisco: Drums

Virus of ideals is a Melodic Death/Symphonic Metal band that hails from Newington, Connecticut that is often compared to Dark Tranquility, Lacuna Coil, Scar Symmetry and Nightwish which should come as no surprise since their admitted influences include the aforementioned bands with the addition of Epica and The Gathering. After releasing their debut single entitled “Bitter Parody” in February of last year, Virus of Ideals pushed themselves to release their four song EP For All My Earthly Days in the Fall of 2016 as a small portion of a larger story to be told when the band drops their first, full-length album at an indeterminate date in the near future. No worries though because there is plenty of meat on this EP that will tide any fan over until the day comes.

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Interview With Starbynary Founder and Vocalist, Joe Caggianelli!

Starbynary is:

Joe Caggianelli – Vocals
Leo Giraldi – Guitars
Luigi Accardo – Keyboards
Andrea Janko – Drums
Sebastiano Zanotto – Bass

Starbynary is an absolutely amazing heavy, Progressive Power Metal band from Trieste / Milano, Italy. Started by friends, vocalist Joe Caggianelli and guitarist/composter Leo Giraldi in September of 2012, Starbynary was the result of a project idea after Joe left his former band Derdian. With the addition of Luigi Accardo on the keys and taking a collaborative effort with Mike LePond (Symphony X bass player), Starbynary released their full-length debut, Dark Passenger in 2014 before completing the existing lineup with drummer Andrea Janko and permanent bass player Sebastiano Zanotto in 2015. At this point, Caggianelli pitched a fifteen year old idea about a trilogy of concept albums based on Dante’s Divina Commedia and the band got to work and ultimately released the first of the series, Inferno a little over a month ago. I have to say that this huge undertaking is off to one helluva great start! Everything about Inferno has been done tastefully, professionally with mind-boggling musicianship. A real stunner. Once you read what Joe has to say, be sure to check it out on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon or wherever you get your musical fix. Well worth the time! Continue reading

State of the Art: Virginia – Valkyrie

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

This month’s State is Virginia!

After starting our State of the Art: Virginia series off with a bang last week, I would like to introduce or reintroduce a band that has been turning Traditional Doom fans on their heads since 2002. Started by vocalist/guitarist Jake Adams, bassist Eric Seaman and drummer Luke Shafer in Rockbridge County, VA, Valkyrie quickly released a five song EP in 2003 which included the track “Wintry Plains” that was later used in their most recent release, some twelve years in the future. By 2004, Jake’s brother Peter (also of Baroness) was added to the band, sharing guitar and vocal responsibilities. A second demo was recorded at a local radio station shortly before Shafer split with the band and was replaced with Mike Hoke on drums. Sunlight Shines followed along with a 7” split with VOG. By the end of 2004, the young band lost Seaman and Hoke and were replaced by Nick Crabill on bass and Nic McIntrurff on drums. Once being picked up by Twin Earth Records, their debut, self-titled, full length album was released with the assistance and engineering talents of Chris Kozlowski (Pentagram, Trouble, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Melvins, Blue Cheer). Changing the lineup once again, bass player Will BarryRec and drummer Gary Isom (Spirit Caravan, Pentagram) were recruited into the band, allowing Valkyrie to play many festivals including the final Emissions from the Monolith Fest in Austin, TX and the Stoner Hands of Doom festival in Phoenix, AZ. Isom left the band in 2007 and was replaced by Warren Hawkins. The next year, Man of Two Visions was released on their own label, Noble Origin. Valkyrie’s debut and Visions were later re-released on 12” vinyl in 2007 and 2008, the year that Pete joined Relapse Records recording artist Baroness which called him away for full time touring. In 2010, Meteorcity Records (The Obsessed, Nebula, Atonic Bitchwax) re-released the first two albums on CD. Joining Valkyrie on bass while still playing with Earthling, Alan Fary released a new split with both bands in 2013. 2014 proved to be a huge year for Valkyrie and its members. With production from Sanford Parker (Nachmystium, Pelican, Voivod), Shadows was released shortly before Pete was asked to play with Glen Danzig’s Samhain where he toured their reunion shows throughout the United States (information from Valkyrie’s online resources).

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3Eighty3 Are Up To It Again With “Error Of The Moon”

Jude Throckmorton – Vocals and Guitar
Matthew Shawn Chapman – Guitars
Zac Stewart – Bass
Kirk Evans – Drums

Error of the Moon

March 31, 2017

After having the band referred to me by my friend ‘Chelle last year, 3Eighty3 has been one of my favorite, go-to bands. Once I reviewed their kick ass debut EP, Raw Fuckin’ Power and added it to my 25 Best Albums of 2016, I have stayed in contact with them and made a couple new friends. Metal tends to do that, as you well know. One big, crazy-ass family! In rolls 2017, and I am pleasantly surprised to find out that in their busy show schedule, the band has managed to write and record a brand spanking new EP called Error of the Moon that is due for release on March 31st, 2017. Like a junkie jones-ing for their next hit, I contacted Matt on the down-low: “Uhh. Hey dude. Ca ca can you hook muh me up with tha that new CD bro? I nuh, nuh NEED some more of stu stuff you you got going on over there in Texas…” Being the cool guy that he is, he sent me the master MP3s as soon as they were completed and on the day that they were being sent out to be pressed. Big thanks my man! Been flat wearing it out ever since. So. Is that sh*t good, you ask? If my family can be used as a gauge (Electronic Dance and Young Alternative fans, the lot of them), my wife and kids f’in HATE it because it is too loud (add whiny tone) and been blasted countless times as I am driving, so, yeah, it is f*cking awesome!

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Review Of Cellador’s “Off The Grid”

Cellador is:

Chris Petersen – Vocals, Guitar
James Pickett – Bass
Diego Valadez – Keyboards
Nick McCallister – Drums

Off the Grid (March 10, 2017)

Almost a year ago, shortly after joining the staff I jumped at the chance to cover Cellador for our State of the Art: Colorado series. While the band had started under the name Aposte in Omaha, NE back in 2003 by guitarist and vocalist Chris Peterson, the name was changed to Cellador just over a year later. Once releasing The Burning Blue and Leaving All Behind they caught the ears of Metal Blade Records who immediately signed the band and released Enter Deception in 2006. The album defined the band as one of the best emerging Modern Power Metal bands but by 2009 Cellador cracked, leaving many members behind before moving to Denver, CO in search of their much deserved star. After five years of band reanimation, Honor Forth was finally released in 2011 and quickly became the band’s defining album, launching Cellador to new heights and putting them on major bills around the globe. By 2015 and early into 2016, the band had stabilized and again went into the studio; taking their time to assure a fitting follow up to, now classic, Honor Forth. With the ink barely dry on their contract with Scarlet Records in hand and being under recently acquired new management, Cellador is set to charge their way directly into the Metal throne room once Off the Grid is released into the wild on March 10, 2017!

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