Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Last Call Chernobyl - Set Adrift EP

When my ears first beheld Set Adrift, the recently released EP from Halifax, Nova Scotia's Last Call Chernobyl, my first thought was "Oh great!" Sarcastically. My first impression was a vision. A vision of the band bouncing on stage in synchronicity to the syncopated rhythms. I wasn't entirely wrong but I will admit I was a bit harsh. I'm not going to make any grand proclamations of amazingness but I'm not going to throw them under the bus either. The main weapon LCC utilizes is the aforementioned syncopation. That stuttery chug-a-chug approach is used by a plethora of bands but it's not without it's merits. It's a highly effective tool for whipping a crowd into a slammin' pit. However, it is also accompanied by arm-spinning and karate moves. Something I still can't wrap my head around. The difference maker for me, and what prompted me to give my time to writing this review, is the lack of self-indulgent, masturbatory guitar wankery prevalent in other bands of this ilk. I hear it all too often. Yes, you can play every note there is all in one song. So.Fucking.What. That's not to say guitarist Matt Moulton (Not the New York Islander. That's Moulson.)is a hack. Far from it. At times, the all too brief melodies he plays have reminded me of the likes of Satriani and Vai. Some of the songs I heard from their previous EP have reinforced that feeling. Let this guy loose and he could shred. The rhythm section of bassist Jason Szeto and drummer Josh Pellerine are a tight tandem providing a solid base for screamer Kyle Mahar to shred his vocal chords over. His two-pronged death growl/screech approach can sound awkward at times but it's still not something that will totally turn me off.
Set Adrift might not be the most original or most engaging thing you'll hear this week but try as you might, the catchiness will find a way to bury itself in your brain stem. It's presence there might even go so far as to induce random use of garden tools or axe handles as makeshift guitars. Not that the other day..or..fine you caught me! (I actually broke my axe slamming it into a log in unison to one of the songs. Then used the handle as a guitar.) So if you're into some brutal breakdowns (and I can't argue with the abrasive tone either) with some added flair and bad cop/bad cop vocals you could do a lot worse than Last Call Chernobyl. In fact, I'd rather listen to Set Adrift than many of the bands LCC lists as influences. How's that for praise! The crazy thing is, when I started this review, I thought I would just slam the band, but they turned it back around on me. Just don't expect me to "dance" to it.
Set Adrift is available now from Diminished Fifth Records.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Huge False Tour!!

Minnesota black metal titans False are set to embark on a huge US tour in a few weeks. Man, do I wish I could make any of those shows but it's not in the cards. As if gas, food and passports cost money! Do yourself a favor see False live. Tell me all about it.  And try to look more interested than most of these folks.

8/31 - Minneapolis

9/1 - Milwaukee - House early show, late show at Quarters.

9/2 - Ft. Wayne, IN - Harrison House

9/3 - Detroit, MI - House

9/4 - Huntington, WV

9/5 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter

9/6 - Baltimore, MD

9/7 - New Brunswick, NJ

9/8 - Brooklyn, NY - Acheron

9/9 - Philadelphia, PA - Golden Tee

9/10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Roboto Project

9/11 - Columbus, OH - Carabar

9/12 - Indianapolis, IN - Vibes Music

9/13 - Chicago, IL

9/14 - St. Louis, MO

9/15 - Columbia, MO - Hairhole

9/16 - Kansas City, KS

9/17 - Omaha, NE

9/18 - Denver, CO - Blastomat

9/19 - Albuquerque, NM - House show

9/20 - Las Cruces, NM - The Trainyard

9/21 - Phoenix, AZ

9/22 - San Diego, CA

9/23 - Los Angeles, CA - Blue CafŽ

9/24 - Los Angeles CA - Vacation Vinyl (early show), LAPP Pad (late show)

9/25 - San Jose, CA

9/26 - Oakland, CA

9/27 - San Francisco, CA

9/28 - Santa Rose, CA

9/29 - Sacramento, CA

9/30 - Chico, CA

10/1 - Salem, OR

10/2 - Portland, OR - Beach House (early show), The Space (late show)

10/3 - Olympia, WA

10/4 - Seattle, WA

10/5 - Missoula, MT - Zoo City

10/6 - Billings, MT

10/7 - Minot, ND

10/8 - Fargo, ND

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Toronto's Vesperia to release live DVD

VESPERIA Releases New Video Clip From Upcoming Live DVD 'Untamed in Toronto!'

     Every week during the month of July, Toronto-based Celtic Viking Metal quartet, VESPERIA will be previewing to fans a selected video clip from their upcoming live DVD 'Untamed in Toronto!' that was filmed by AX Media during the bands past show at the Hard Luck Bar.

'We are very excited to reveal our first-ever live DVD that we filmed in our very own hometown of Toronto on our last tour." says lead vocalist and bassist Morgan Rider. "For anyone who has not been able to see one of our live performances, this will give them a unique opportunity to see the primal nature behind a VESPERIA performance; fully equipped with a high-end lighting rig and in high definition!"

To view the first video clip titled 'The Swordsman' please visit the following link here.

vesperia - the swordsman (live in toronto)


1. The Swordsman 04:42
2. Huntress 03:28
3. To Times End We Ride 07:47
4. A Silence Prolonging (In Longing) 04:58

I'm kinda wishing I didn't skip out on Bolero when they played near me!

Heads up, Western Canada!! Into Eternity tour! Laika too!

Into Eternity to tour Western Canada

INTO ETERNITY has returned! Revamped and stronger than ever, the Saskatchewan-based Canadian extreme progressive metallers will embark on a Canadian Headlining Tour on July 20th
at Vern's Tavern in Calgary, AB. Following the tour's wrap-up in Brandon, MB on August 7th, the critically acclaimed act head right back on the road for The North American Devastation Tour with SINGLE BULLET THEORY and RIKSHA, which begins August 9th at the Blue Pig in Cudahy, WI. All tour dates are listed below. Guitarist Justin Bender had this to say about the band's return to the stage:
"We are back, and we are extremely excited to see all of you again at our upcoming shows across North America! It's been a slow, but steady uphill climb getting back on our feet and getting ready to tour again. We are making sure we do everything right, and that we put together a killer show for you guys - our best yet! There is a lot of new material being worked on as well, but the focus right now is getting back on the road, and re-establishing the band... which reminds me, more dates are coming for this year - but that's all I can say for now... 
This is our first trip to the U.S. with our drummer Bryan, and with our touring singer Amanda as well. They are both great musicians, tons of talent and drive - you will NOT be disappointed! We also have too great bands, Single Bullet Theory and Riksha, joining us on the Devastation tour. We are long time friends with Matt from SBT - should be killer!
See you out there!
Canadian Headlining Tour:

07/20 - Calgary, AB - Vern's Tavern
07/21 - Armstrong, BC - Armstrong Metalfest
07/23 - Vancouver, BC - Funky Winkerbeans
07/24 - Victoria, BC - Lucky Bar
07/25 - Prince George, BC - The Generator
07/26 - Edmonton, AB - Pawn Shop
07/27 - Red Deer, AB - Scott Block
07/28 - Regina, SK - The Exchange
07/29 - Saskatoon, SK - Lepp's
08/07 - Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn

Laika also embarks on tour out West.

Canadian Melodic Death Metallers LAIKA have announced their return to the western part of its home country with several dates in July. Dubbed Laikaruptour 2012, the tour also features local technical death metallers Abhorupt. It has been a busy year for LAIKA after completing a massive Eastern Canada tour and the band is now gearing up to record their second full length album. The band has issued the following statement about the upcoming tour (dates below).

"With this new tour we are showing the newer sound of Laika and exposing fans to true Winnipeg Melodic Death metal.  We have enlisted Ronnie Ladobruk on guitar to join us on the journey out west. If this name sounds familiar, you may know him from this year's Canada's Got Talent! He was part of the Winnipeg Auditions. Ronnie has been putting a crazy amount of effort to make this tour a successful one. He's an awesome guitarist and we can't wait to show him the tour life."

After the tour LAIKA will be heading into the studio with Ryan Forsyth again to record the long overdue follow up to 2010's Crafting the Cataclysm, which was self-released and made available for free download at this location.


July 20th - Winnipeg, MB - Ozzy's
July 23rd - Regina, SK - Exchange/the club
July 25th - Prince George, BC - Pizzaricos
July 26th - Vancouver, BC - Red Room Lounge
July 27th - Edmonton, AB - Avenue Theater
July 29th - Calgary, AB - Lord Nelsons
July 30th - Saskatoon, SK - The Fez
July 31st - Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn

From the Archives

I was digging through my email trying to find something and I came across a curious message. I sent this message to a guy I met at an all-weekend bachelor party for one of my best friends back in 2005. We were shotgunnin' beers and passin' around joints and we got talking about music. Specifically stoner metal/rock. He asked me to send him a sort of, stoner rock primer if you will. Here is what I sent him. (I changed nothing)

ok, stoner rock. I would start with Kyuss, Sleep and High on Fire (I did)
if you want more 60's groove feel try Fu Manchu, Nebula, Orange Goblin
and Alabama Thunderpussy
sHEAVY is good too (singer sounds like Ozzy)
heavier stuff, Electric Wizard, Goatsnake, Sons of Otis, Bongzilla,
Sunn O))), Sloth
Canadian stuff:  Sheavy, Sons of Otis, Sea of Green, Electric Magma,
Flatblak, Nice Cat, Puddy, Floating Widget, fiftywatthead

Kyuss' guitarist is the leader of Queens of the Stone Age.
QOTSA's original bass player (who just left before their new album)
was also in Kyuss but now is the leader of Mondo Generator.
Kyuss' singer was in Slo-Burn, Unida, Hermano
Kyuss' drummer is Brant Bjork, he does solo stuff and Brant Bjork and
the Operators
Sleep and High on Fire have the same guitar/vocalist
Sleep's bass and drums are now in OM, only bass, drums and vocals,
it's really cool
Sleep's old guitar and drums were in the Sabians ( I fucking LOVE the Sabians!!)
My favorite band is Clutch. Best ever! if  you like them, check out
Sixty Watt Shaman and the Mighty Nimbus and Speedealer

There's some bands on there I haven't thought of in ages, let alone listened to. Nothing incredibly informative here but it is kinda neat to see where my head was at back then. I actually never got a response to the email. Meh.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Anhedonist - Netherwards

Anhedonist - Netherwards CD - Click Image to Close
Anhedonia can be defined as the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable. So it is not without a sense of irony that a band whose moniker suggests a lack of enjoyment would create an album so enjoyable. Yet that is precisely what Seattle, Washington's Anhedonist have done with Netherwards. That is of course, if you can find something enjoyable in music this depressing.
Whether unfolding at an evolutionary pace, rolling like a severed head away from the chopping block, or chasing down quarry from horseback, Netherwards is soaked in the sweat pooling on the floor from the walls of a dismal dungeon. The blackened shrieks and unearthly growls of guitarist/vocalist V.B. anchor the album to the sinister side of the psyche. Joined by guitarist K.H. and bassist D.F., the trio weaves a blanket of despair across the album's four tracks. Whether pointed or thundering, drummer Z.S. builds the foundation upon which the crushing filth of Netherwards is built.
The listener is subjected to a bevy of the darkest of emotions. The haunting aura of the album is cloaked in a fog of negativity. The listener's soul is torn asunder by the fear and anguish wrought forth over the course of the album's merciless 41 minute playing time. Much longer could prove unbearable for those not as seasoned as myself in this breed of blackened doom. Netherwards is the kind of album that takes root inside the body. There is no superficiality to be found within Anhedonist. This is music fed by the ugliness of humanity. It is meant to penetrate deep into the mind and saps the listener of satisfying serotonin.
Anhedonist may not rob music of its ability to please, but they certainly do not project any feelings of joy or happiness. Netherwards exists in the cold, dark recesses of doom and gloom where no light may reach. It is in these lightless environs that the album is best enjoyed. The full value of Netherwards would be left unfulfilled on a sandy beach or a walk in the park. Nay, to be fully disaffected by the most all-encompassing of art forms, the album beckons for a listening environment lit only by the blood red candles dripping wax over yellowed skulls. Multiple listens are essential for experiencing the full measure of the grimness contained within the bowels of Netherwards. Sink into your lair and release yourself to its vibrations.
Netherwards is available now from Dark Descent Records.