New Katatonia, Cult of Luna, Intronaut, Tesseract Road Report
11/21/2013 4:23:19 PM by Etiam
For one band it was an affirmation; for the other, a culmination. When Sweden's Cult of Luna and Katatonia set out on a co-headlining tour this fall it marked the former's first U.S. appearance since a 2005 support slot for Mastodon. Over those same eight years, Katatonia toured the States a whopping six times, frequently as headliners and otherwise as special guests. Both bands are icons in their respective genres, but before this tour I would never have thought to combine them on a bill, much less with support from the UK's Tesseract and California's Intronaut. Yet the tour seems to have been a success, drawing strong crowds across the nation and making good use of Chicago's capacious Bottom Lounge. And after seeing each act command the stage in turn, uniquely and completely, a unifying and deeply encouraging theme emerged: progress.
Link: [Full Road Report]
Made in Japan 6: Vorchaos!
(Japan's Vortex of Chaos)
11/7/2013 2:18:44 PM by Grim Gaijin
Last month, I met Ushi – drummer for Vorchaos – through a mutual friend after checking out the Leprous/Ihsahn gig in Shibuya, Tokyo. He mentioned that his band will be playing a special gig at the beginning of November and strongly urged me to come and check it out. Although I knew nothing about them, I decided to check out their show with no expectations. To make a long story short, I was completely blown away not only by their performance, but their music as well! They combine many elements of hard rock and metal that will definitely please fans of all genres of heavy music. I bought their debut CD immediately after the show and have been listening to it non-stop ever since. For such a young band, they have a tremendous amount of talent and writing abilities way beyond their years.
As I mentioned before, their music combines many genres of music such as metalcore, Gothenburg-style melodic death metal, screamo, & hard rock. Their debut album – Vortex of Chaos – displays all of these elements across 15 songs (over an hours worth of pummeling music). The guitar work is amazing, as the wall of riffs never stop. Many great solos are present on this album, as well as twin guitar leads that would please die hard Iron Maiden fans. Galloping bass lines are in perfect sync with the drums and perfectly augment the guitarists on the low end of things. Ushi – who studied percussion at the Berklee College of Music – creates massive drum tracks filled with double bass, the occasional blast beat, and everything in between. The vocals are some of the best I've heard by a Japanese metal band as they range from beautiful melodic singing to screamo and even death growls.
The video clip below is a performance of one of their songs from May 2013. I can honestly say they sound just as good live as they do on their CD. Full of energy, they have no problem drawing the crowd in with their performance. Keep an eye on these guys and keep checking YouTube for performances from this band. --Grim \m/
New Esoteric, Velnias Road Report
11/1/2013 3:37:07 PM by Etiam
A full quarter of 2013 may be left, but there's already no doubt which concert of the year will have been best suited to its weather: after September 28th at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago, that award unequivocally goes to Esoteric, Velnias, and Saturnalia Temple. Chill winds swept in bracingly from Lake Michigan, the waning crescent moon was obscured by clouds full of stinging rain, a congregation gathered deep into the night, and the first rites began only during the witching hour. In other words: a stormy night, doors opening at 11:30 PM, and the warm-up acts only starting at midnight. Downright gloomy.
For all three bands the tour began out on the West Coast at the Stella Natura Festival in California—a three-day quasi-mystical bacchanal of neo-folk, experimental, gothic, black, doom, and dark metals set in the untrammeled expanse of Tahoe National Forest. Once it was through, each band packaged up some of that mysticism along with their rigs and brought it along to the Midwest.
Link: [Full Road Report]
New Interview with the "Shredlord" Joe Stump!
10/25/2013 3:19:31 PM by Vinaya
Renowned shredder and Berklee College of Music Associate Professor Joe Stump doesn't just play fast; he also does it with alarming regularity, maintaining enough of a workload lately that intense speed may be required just to get it all done in time.
Towards the end of last year, Stump released his latest all-instrumental solo album, "Revenge of the Shredlord," an album that showed him continuing to hone his fleet-fingered Malmsteen and Blackmore-influenced neoclassical metal guitar work. Since then, he has been busy serving as touring guitarist for the band Raven Lord, recording with various high-profile collaborators and working on his first instructional book for Berklee Press/ Hal Leonard, the completion of which he announced in August of this year. Titled "Joe Stump's Metal Guitar Chop Shop," the book is ten chapters in length and is expected to be available in early 2014, according to Stump.
VS: I think it's the best sounding of your solo records I've heard.
Stump: Yeah, it's not like I have a massive budget to do stuff. But I think, all things considered, it really came out quite good. And I'm really proud of it. It's a very heavy record, very aggressive, very dark, Classical, and [with] some of my best playing and stuff. There's a lot of solos and stuff where I was just kind of going forward, [feeling] very inspired and stuff, so it's always nice to capture that stuff.
New Interview with the "Space Lord"--Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet!
10/18/2013 3:29:32 PM by Strutter
"Influences are weird and aren't always welcome...I'm a fan of what is considered really bad music because it's so gloriously horrible, you know? There's that...I hope I don't ride off the rails too much but that's an example of how influences can be. Kind of like me walking around saying, "have you ever listened to Rick Wakeman's, "Journey to the Center of the Earth" it's like this overplayed album of Prog rock and excellently played but overall awful and it's in my head and I can't get rid of it, so I write it.
But modern influences? It could be anything from Rihanna to the 13th Floor Elevators to Tori Amos, Brian Eno. There are so many great songs, not just artists but songs. I mean that's what makes music so great because there is this big pool for you to dive in. For your enjoyment, your personal inspiration, for lift, stealing, you can steal it (laughing)...There's almost no control on what influences me until that record button is pushed. It's always a matter of omission--I move this influence out so this one can come forward. In that respect it's the most fun in the world, it seems to me to be never ending. Musically, there's stuff that made me happy as a kid—chords—there's a set of chords that everybody has in their brain that makes them go "ahhh huh huh"- There's the kind of stuff that makes you horny, makes you sad, it's amazing--music really is human magic."
New SOiL Album and Show News
10/18/2013 6:56:00 AM by Nailer
Chicago native heavy rock band SOiL will be performing at Double Door on October 18th in support of their newly released album, Whole.
Their new album marks the return of the band's original singer Ryan McCombs, his first album with the band since 2004's Redefine following a 5 year stint singing for Drowning Pool.
20 years...Criss Oliva
10/17/2013 2:24:10 PM by Nailer
Today is the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva. He was an enormous talent taken too soon from the world, but his legacy carries on.
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