The Czechs own the goregrind….

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WTF…These Czech Republic boys know how to thrown down the guttural sounds. I came across Spasm a few weeks ago, and had to do a double take. I thought Spasm were an up and coming band, but they have been at it for the past eight years. For fans of Carcass, Regurgitate, and Haemmorhage, you’ll eat this one up.

P.S. Every band should have a lead vocalist as charismatic as this.

 

Cradle Of Filth North American Tour announcement….

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Dani Filth and the rest of his black metal merry men will  be criss crossing North America early next year. The tour is called “FEARnet and Decibel Presents: Creatures From The Black Abyss Tour”. Support comes in the way of Nachtmystium, and Turisas. Gotta hand it to Cradle Of Filth, as they are out there fifteen years later and still going strong. Anyways, here are the dates:

Feb. 01 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

Feb. 02 – Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
Feb. 04 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
Feb. 05 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
Feb. 06 – Las Vegas, NV@ House of Blues
Feb. 08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia Live
Feb. 09 – San Francisco, CA@ Regency Ballroom
Feb. 11 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Theatre
Feb. 12 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
Feb. 13 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
Feb. 15 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Events Center
Feb. 16 – Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Feb. 18 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
Feb. 20 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
Feb. 21 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Feb. 23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Zoo
Feb. 25 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
Feb. 26 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
Feb. 27 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
Feb. 28 – Quebec City, QC @ Imperial de Quebec
Mar. 02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
Mar. 03 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Mar. 04 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium
Mar. 05 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Mar. 06 – Baltimore, MD @ Bourbon Street Ballroom
Mar. 08 – Norfolk, VA @ Norva Theatre
Mar. 09 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
Mar. 11 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
Mar. 12 – Orlando, FL @ Firestone
Mar. 13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

 

Alice In Chains live…

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Checked out Alice In Chains last week in Vancouver. The last time I saw them live was about seventeen years ago on the Lollapalooza ’93 tour. The only difference was the vocalist on stage, but other then that, my mind was blown as usual by one of Seattle’s finest. It was a great night all around, as the 10,000 fans in attendance at Rogers Arena were locked in on every note the band played.

Gone was the almighty Layne Staley (died of a drug over dose eight years ago), and in was William DuVall. Where Layne’s tortured bellows are gone from the mix, William’s soulful voice is a great addition to the bands slow and sludgy noise. Jerry Cantrell’s uniquely heavy guitar sound was up front in the mix, as well as his great vocal harmonies. My favorite sight to behold of all though was drummer Sean Kinney, who lead the charge with his patented drum style that has yet to be replicated. Sean kept the tempo slow, and in the pocket throughout the evening. The man is seriously one of the most under rated drummers of all time.

Opening the show, were The Deftones who were awesome as usual. Lead vocalist Chino is still ‘da man after all these years, and the band have that heavy, locked in groove in abundance every time I see them, and this performance was no exception. Plus they played my new favorite song of there’s “Rollerskates”. I caught the last few songs from Mastodon….meh.

Alice In Chains have gotten a second chance that so many bands would kill for out there, especially ones that have the lead singer replaced. That one is usually the death knell for a band. Somehow AIC have fallen in the AC/DC, and Van Halen category, in that not only have they moved on, but have prospered greatly. Good for them.

 

Shoegazing and the black arts….

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The London Shoegaze scene may have died a quick sad, sudden death in the mid 90′s, but the spirit still lives on in France’s beloved sons Alcest. If you’re a fan of early 90′s bands like Curve and My Bloody Valentine I’m not sure how you could not dig this. The spacious, lush, wall of noise, melancholy that made the shoegaze scene so beloved by music fans 20 years ago is here in all its splendid glory, but the groovy heaviness of Celtic Frost and Gallhammer has been added into the mix. Enjoy.

 

Deicide Tour 2011…..

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Been a while since we have all heard from the almighty Satans servant himself, Mr. Glen Benton. The man will rise from above to bring his dark message to the masses early next year. This tour is entitled “To Hell With God Tour”…man does Glen come up with the best cheezy blasphemous tour titles or what?! Deicide will cross cross (or inverted cross) the US and parts of Canada in 2011 bringing Belphegor, Neuraxis, and others to partake in the nightly black art rituals. I’m hoping they play stuff off their solid last album Till Death Do Us Part( “In The Eyes Of God” is one of the most ferocious, evil tracks ever!) Here are the dates:

Feb. 15 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade

Feb. 16 – Charlotte, NC – Tremont Music Hall
Feb. 17 – Raleigh, NC – Volume 11
Feb. 18 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero
Feb. 19 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
Feb. 20 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Feb. 21 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre
Feb. 22 – Quebec City, QUE – Imperial de Quebec
Feb. 23 – Montreal, QUE – Cafe Campus
Feb. 24 – London, ONT – Music Hall
Feb. 25 – Toronto, ONT – Opera House
Feb. 26 – Chicago, IL – Reggie Rock Club
Feb. 27 – Detroit, MI – Blondie’s
Feb. 28 – Louisville, KY – Headliner’s Music Hall
Mar. 01 – Tulsa, OK – Marquee
Mar. 02 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Mar. 04 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Mar. 05 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
Mar. 07 – Las Vegas, NV – Cheyenne Saloon
Mar. 08 – Los Angeles, CA – Key Club
Mar. 09 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
Mar. 10 – Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse

 

This years Best In Show award goes to….

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I call this rambunctious bunch the “Winter Storm Gods”. The shirtless guy holding the sword calls the shots around these frost bitten parts.

 

Uproar Festival…..

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This past Sunday afternoon in Vancouver involved yours truly to haul his ass out to the PNE Coliseum to enjoy the sights and sounds of the new crop of radio friendly metal. Since Pantera hold a close place in my heart, I had to get to the venue early to check out Hell Yeah (my buddy Geoff’s favorite band). All I can say is that Vinnie Paul still has the feet for the double kick attack, and that was the saving grace for this band. The songs plodded along one after another, each more forgettable then the next.

I decided to walk around the venue until Avenged Sevenfold came on, and man did I feel old. Most of the crowd was between sixteen to nineteen years old. Halestorm and Stone Sour were putting out the radio friendly tunes, and the fans ate em up. As soon as Avenged Sevenfold came on, you could feel the energy go up ten notches. These California boys know how to work up a crowd. I cant really describe Sevenfolds sound, as it’s all over the place, but it totally works. Cant say much about the headliners Disturbed as I left after Avenged Sevenfold got off the stage, but I’m sure they were better than the one time I saw them in 1999 opening up for Kitty, so there.

 

Madball live…

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Just saw Madball this past Friday opening up for Comeback Kid. Truly an amazing set they punched in. The last time these New York hoodlums came to Vancouver was back around 2005 on the Sounds Of The Underground tour. They must have toured a lot since then, cause five year later, they sound better than ever. I actually used to hate Madball in the past, and thought they were boring live and on wax, but after seeing them a few times throughout the years, they have won me over as a fan. This was their first date on this three week Canadian run, and Madball were exited to be performing in Vancouver again. Their loyal fanbase were totally representing in the audience which was nice to see.

Madball has aged well in terms of putting out quality records, and intense live sets. When it comes to their albums, I prefer  the excellent 2007 released Infiltrate The System over their earlier sub-par and mediocre mid 90′s albums. Infiltrate completely destroys the first two Madball records.

Freddy Cricien is also by far one of the best charismatic front men not only in hardcore, but in heavy music period. The man was one intense spectacle to see live at the Rickshaw. Not taking away from the whole band of course, as Hoya, Mitts, and Jay were a complete unit that together created a wall of thick, meaty, heavy, and tight as f**k, locked-in groove on stage. So all in all a good show and if Madball come through your town, get off your ass and go check them out. Or prepare to have Freddy hand you a beatdown.

 

End of a Dream Theater era…

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Just heard Mike Portnoy is leaving his drum spot in the almighty prog metal institution that is Dream Theater. I’ve never been a huge Dream Theater fan, but Mike Portnoy always seemed like one cool metal head to the bone dude in every interview I have seen him in. My introduction to Mr. Portnoy began upon first listening to Images & Words back in 1992.  The record still holds it together pretty well even after 18 years. Gotta also tip my hat to 2005′s Octavarium opus. That album also kicked some major prog metal ass.

Dream Theater had their amount of harmonic cheese factor, as do most prog metal bands (Symphony X = grade A cheese), but you cant deny the awesomeness of Mike Portnoy. The man keeps the flame of Neil Peart burning on. It’s gonna be pretty interesting to see where Dream Theater head with this transition. Will they continue, or will they disband? That is the question that has the minds of the metal fans of the world ignited this week. As for Mike, it will be exiting to see what will be next on his prog rock plate.

 

The lost art of the tour programs….

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One of the best things about going to hard rock shows in the 80′s was getting the tour programs. I was never the one to get a shirt each time I went to a show. I mean, how many black shirts does one really need? My prized posession is my Motley Crue Girls, Girls, Girls Tour 87 program. Still in mint condition 23 years later. Actually most of my tour programs from back then are in pretty solid condition, and would fetch a fair price on Ebay. That is not an option, as I would never part with them anyways.

Since arena shows are few and far between, I go to mostly club shows now, and bands these days no longer create print material to sell at the merch booth. It’s too bad, cause the ones from the 80′s that I own, were really well done. They were glossy, beautiful large books, and the photos were usually ones you would not see otherwise, and some cool backstage pix as well. These programs were a really good time peice of the band. Im hoping the tour program is bought back from the grave soon at future merch booths across the world.