CD Review: Behemoth “A Forest” EP

“A Forest”

Behemoth

Metal Blade Records

Tracks: 4

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

On May 29th Polish death metal legends Behemoth will release a new EP titled “A Forest” via Metal Blade Records. Dark and demonic, the EP consist of four unique tracks which instantly pull you away from the ongoing chaos of 2020 and is a welcomed taste of new Behemoth music.

The title track “A Forest” is very little like The Cure song you may be accustomed to. The phantom spirit of the original is still there, however Behemoth have managed to lace it with their own brand of black metal infused energy. Along with the help of Shining front-man and recognizable demon caller, Niklas Kvarforth, the songs very much stands on its own and fits right in to the bands catalog. 

The live version of “A Forest” is from the Merry Christless 2018 show in Warsaw, Poland and again features Niklas Kvarforth. Though not a bad inclusion there is nothing really different from the studio recording, besides a small dose of Behemoth’s live energy. The remaining two tracks are unreleased songs from the “I Loved You At Your Darkest” album sessions. “Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha” is probably my favorite track on the EP and better than some songs on ILYAYD. Inferno’s drumming is relentless from the beginning and adds fist-pumping adrenaline to the otherwise less extreme release. “Evoe” is more akin to other tracks on ILYAYD and probably would have felt repetitive if included on that album. It works well here, but reminiscent of other more recent Behemoth offerings.

“A Forest” certainly is different, yet classic Behemoth at the same time. Niklas Kvarforth’s vocals on the title track and live version help make this release something truly unique while the other two new songs are worthy additions even if they do echo the band’s last album. Overall a great EP which is very much appreciated during this crazy time in history. It’s reassuring to know we can count on Behemoth to make things a little crazier for us all.

Track Listing:

1.) A Forest (The Cure Cover)

2.) A Forest (The Cure Cover) [Live from Merry Christless Warsaw Poland December 2018]

3.) Shadows ov Ea Cast Upon Golgotha

4.) Evoe

CD Review: DIO’s Studio Album Collection: 1996-2004

The Studio Albums 1996-2004

“Angry Machines”, “Magica”, “Killing The Dragon”, “Master Of The Moon”

Dio

BMG

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you’re on the hunt for long out of print Ronnie James Dio solo albums, you’re in luck. Ten years after his passing, BMG has reissued the classic final four Dio albums. Each stunning release is fully re-mastered and features previously unreleased recordings and rarities.

Kicking things off is “Angry Machines”, originally released in 1996. The original album’s here in its entirety and damn it sounds great. Included is a bonus CD featuring 12 live recordings from the Angry Machines Tour 1997 featuring classics such as “The Last In Line” and “Rainbow In The Dark”. Next we have “Magica”, originally released in 2000. Not only do you get the long sought after album, but the bonus CD is packed with goodies. Included you’ll get 8 tracks (all from the “Magica” studio album) recorded live on the Magica Tour 2001. As well as the rare studio track “Electra” and the rare 18 minute “Magica Story” spoken-word piece, which is real treat for hardcore fans. “Electra”, originally intended for Dio’s never released “Magica II & III”, plays like a classic Dio track and is a great addition to your collection.

A personal favorite of mine is the “Killing The Dragon” reissue. The album was originally released in 2002 as somewhat of a concept album, Dio’s middle-finger to the digital age. Mascot Murray stands tall, bloody sword in hand, over a slain dragon in the badass Marc Sasso artwork. The bonus CD accompanying the original album includes 6 tracks recorded live on the Killing The Dragon Tour between 2002 and 2003. Not a whole lot new here, considering tracks like “Heaven and Hell” are on every live bonus disc besides the aforementioned “Magica”.

Last but not least is Dio’s epic “Master of the Moon”, originally released in 2004. The album that gave us headbanger’s like “One More For the Road” and “Shivers”. As with each release, the album sounds better than ever. The bonus CD included with “Master of the Moon” features four live tracks recorded on the Master Of The Moon Tour between 2004 and 2005. Also included is the rare studio track “Prisoner of Paradise”, originally included on the Japanese album pressing.

Each release is a must have for hardcore Dio fans, the re-masters are bar none. If you’ve already procured these albums in the past, the bonus live tracks and rarities are a special treat. The CD releases are gorgeous, featuring a solid media-book packaging and vibrant artwork. The colors of each cover pop brighter than ever before. Throughout the lyric pages more great artwork can be found and within the books themselves.

If you are a vinyl fan you are in for a treat as each of these four albums come pressed on heavy weight 180 gram vinyl packed in colorful gate-fold sleeves complete with lenticular covers and full color inserts. Overall a rather stunning release of reissues across all available formats.

“Angry Machines”

Disc One:

  1. Institutional Man
  2. Don’t Tell the Kids
  3. Black
  4. Hunter of the Heart
  5. Stay Out of My Mind
  6. Big Sister
  7. Double Monday
  8. Golden Rules
  9. Dying in America
  10. This Is Your Life

Disc Two:

  1. Jesus, Mary & the Holy Ghost – Straight Through the Heart
  2. Don’t Talk to Strangers
  3. Double Monday
  4. Hunter of the Heart
  5. Holy Diver
  6. Heaven and Hell
  7. Long Live Rock and Roll
  8. Man on the Silver Mountain
  9. Rainbow in the Dark
  10. The Last In Line
  11. The Mob Rules
  12. We Rock

“Magica”

Disc One:

  1. Discovery
  2. Magica Theme
  3. Lord of the Last Day
  4. Fever Dreams
  5. Turn to Stone
  6. Feed My Head
  7. Eriel
  8. Challis
  9. As Long As It’s Not About Love
  10. Losing My Insanity
  11. Otherworld
  12. Magica – Reprise
  13. Lord of the Last Day – Reprise

Disc Two:

  1. Discovery
  2. Magica
  3. Lord of the Last Day
  4. Fever Dreams
  5. Feed My Head
  6. Eriel
  7. Challis
  8. Losing My Insanity
  9. Otherworld
  10. Electra (Studio)
  11. Magica Story (Studio)

“Killing The Dragon”

Disc One:

  1. Killing the Dragon
  2. Along Comes a Spider
  3. Scream
  4. Better in the Dark
  5. Rock & Roll
  6. Push
  7. Guilty
  8. Throw Away Children
  9. Before the Fall
  10. Cold Feet

Disc Two:

  1. Holy Diver
  2. Heaven and Hell
  3. Rock and Roll
  4. Speed at Night
  5. Killing the Dragon
  6. Stand Up and Shout

“Master Of The Moon”

Disc One:

  1. One More for the Road
  2. Master of the Moon
  3. The End of the World
  4. Shivers
  5. The Man Who Would Be King
  6. The Eyes
  7. Living the Lie
  8. I Am
  9. Death By Love
  10. In Dreams

Disc Two:

  1. Heaven and Hell
  2. Rainbow in the Dark
  3. Rock and Roll Children
  4. The Eyes
  5. Prisoner of Paradise

CD Review: Warbringer “Weapons of Tomorrow”

“Weapons of Tomorrow”

Warbringer

Napalm Records

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Warbringer returns with their highly anticipated sixth studio album, Weapons of Tomorrow, their second release on Napalm Records. The Californian thrash metallers leave no neck unbroken. This album is a pure adrenaline heavy metal powerhouse. Modern influences and old school thrash clash into an intricately woven, expertly produced metal classic. Have your neck brace handy, this release is relentless.

In a blaze of gunfire the album begins with “Firepower Kills,” a fiery tornado of riffs burning behind John Kevill’s earth scorching vocals. Not to mention a guitar solo surely to melt any face presented to it. Warbringer has never disappointed when it comes to guitars and Weapons of Tomorrow is no exception. All five members are at peak performance and every track from the very start shows this.

Pressing the pause button on your annihilation, “Defiance of Fate” creeps in. A melodic black metal thrash fusion you’ve needed desperately in your miserable life. Blended throughout the album are thrash metal ragers, as well as sweeping jaw-dropping epics. The former, “The Black Hand Reaches Out” is sure to go down in thrash history or at least open up some brutal circle pits. With never a dull moment, Weapons of Tomorrow is a metal genre fusing modern masterpiece.

Over ten years in, this band isn’t here to party, they’re here to destroy everything in their wake. A legit modern thrash metal band that trades in the red cups for ammunition boxes. The New Wave of Thrash, a genre this very band helped create, is over. Warbringer cement themselves as straight to the point, no nonsense, pure fucking thrash metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Firepower Kills
  2. The Black Hand Reaches Out
  3. Crushed Beneath The Tracks
  4. Defiance of Fate
  5. Unraveling
  6. Heart of Darkness
  7. Power Unsurpassed
  8. Outer Reaches
  9. Notre Dame (King Of Fools)
  10. Glorious End

Take Two guitarist Adam Lawton talks about the bands latest release “We Aren’t Big”

Take Two have been performing in and around the Tri-State area since the groups formation in 2012. The four piece band who lists Corning, NY as their home-base bring a unique mix of sounds and styles to the pop-punk genre which they associate themselves with. The group’s latest release “We Aren’t Big” is set for release on March 13th and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with bands guitarist Adam Lawton about the band, the new release and making the transition to a heavier sound.     

Ryan Albro: What can you tell us about Take Two?

Adam Lawton: The band is made up of Josh Cavaluzzi, AJ Kish, Nick Murray and I. The original line up of the band formed in 2012 while some the guys were going to college together in Upstate New York. After a short time they were looking for new guitarist and that’s when I joined the band. We put out our self-titled debut shortly after.  Around that same time we got hooked up with the Cold Cock Whiskey artist program which allowed us to connect with a bunch of other bands and play some new places around NY, NJ and PA. After a couple more lineup changes including Josh moving from drums to vocals and downsizing to a four piece we released two EP’s (Weekend Warriors and Natures Chicken) Through the release of those and connections we made we joined the Dirtbag Clothing Artist program and also started working with ACE Products Group both of which have been amazing! Because of them we were able attend our first winter and summer NAMM shows which took us to Los Angeles and Nashville. Now on March 13th we are set to release a brand new album titled “We Aren’t Big”   

RA: Can you give us some background on the new album We Aren’t Big?

AL: “We Aren’t Big” is the bands 4th studio release. It consists of 9 tracks four of which are brand new. The other five come from two previously released EP’s (Weekend Warriors and Natures Chicken). We re-recorded those with the current lineup of the band

RA: What was the inspiration for the album’s title?

AL: (Laughs) that started out as a joke between the guys in the band. We were on our way to a show one day and we stopped for some food. A couple of us had already ordered when the cashier asked our singer Josh if we were in a band. He replied “Yes, but we aren’t big”. Of course we all lost it and we were like “what do you mean we aren’t big!?” We are huge in our own minds. (Laughs) So since that day we all would joke with each other about being a band but it’s not big. When it came time to decide on an album name that one liner came up and it instantly stuck.

RA: Which songs are you most proud of from We Aren’t Big?

AL: We worked hard on all the songs so to pick just one or two is kind of tough. When you are putting these things together you get really attached to certain parts as you spend a lot of time playing them over and over to get them just right. For instance the breakdown in “Fall”, the verses of “Burner” and the solo of “Lock Up” are ones that stick out for me and fun to play.   

RA: What were your inspirations to blend metal and punk on the album?

AL: That was something that happened organically over time. Each time there was a lineup change we tweaked our sound a little bit. We have had this same line up now for quite some time and we are all into various forms of heavy music along with punk. One of the first new songs we had was “Burner” and being that song is fairly aggressive we figured that the other new songs we were going to include with it should follow suit.

RA: What are your thoughts on current influences in the punk genre?

AL: I think if you look at punk over the years it’s a genre that is always evolving and expanding. “Punk” is such a broad term now and there are just so many sub-genres of punk like Folk-Punk, Afro-Punk, Celtic-Punk you name it. I think punk is more of an idea or thought process in that you are doing something different than what is considered the “norm” at that time. You can be “punk” without looking or sounding any one specific way and that’s really cool.   

RA: What are Take Two’s upcoming touring plans and what’s next for the band?

AL: Coming up on March 14th we will be playing in Buffalo, NY with a bunch of great acts from up there. Being it’s the day after the record comes out we have decided to stream our set via facebook.com/official.taketwo starting at 8:30pme EST. We thought that would be cool way for more people to be able to check out the show and hear the new music in a live setting. From there we will be appearing at this year’s Launch Music Conference in Lancaster, PA. We will be making the rounds that weekend and promoting a song of ours that is featured on the Conference compilation record which they put out each year. Another cool thing we have coming out is we got hooked up with Phameless Records from Philadelphia and have a song appearing on a compilation they have put together so that’s going to be really cool as well. Aside from all of that we have shows booked through the fall around NY and PA and are always looking to add more whenever we can.

For more information on TAKE TWO and to get a copy of “We Aren’t Big” visit the bands official web page at www.officialtaketwo.com

CD Review: TAKE TWO “We Aren’t Big”

“We Aren’t Big”

Take Two

Tracks: 9

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Punk rockers from upstate New York, Take Two have unleashed a brand new album “We Aren’t Big” upon the world. The album (the band’s 4th release) stampedes onto the scene like a mohawk clad rhinoceros whose metallic punk riffs run you over while the catchy choruses bring you back for another beating. From the vintage comic book cover art, to the New Found Glory and Descendents influences, “We Aren’t Big” screams PUNK ROCK! directly in your face.

Featuring nine raging tracks with a little something for everyone, I found “Hearts Will Remain” to be the stand out hit on the album. Its a classic pop punk track with a chorus capable of getting stuck in your head for eons. 90’s and early 2000’s fans of the genre will definitely approve. Going a little deeper thought provoking tracks like “Shots & Scars”, as well as “Red Eye”, are also solid stand outs as both recount tales of the road and the determination of a band never willing to give up. Now if you’re more in the mood for lights out, fist pumping mosh pits, look no further than “Burner” as nonstop head-banging will certainly ensue as the track closes out with a mega mosh riff which beckons a bloodbath of furious spinning back kicks and seismic circle pit activity measurable by the Fujita scale.

Take Two’s influences certainly shine through, making for a familiar listen However, the new territory the group covers brightens up an otherwise usual punk-fare. The metal riffs and intricate drum fills are a welcome flourish not to mention the heavier vocals and powerful choruses. Much of the album will inspire car ride sing along’s, as well as the previously stated mosh pits and neck cramps. Listening I couldn’t help but reminisce of said trips, beers with friends, and the girl at the rock show.

If you’re a fan of old school pop punk sing along’s, but also smashing beer cans on your forehead before jumpin’ in the pit, “We Aren’t Big” is a must for you! Every track brings something different to the table by mixing what you already love about punk with something new and fresh. The sky is the limit for the ambitious Take Two and I’m eager to see what they come up with next.

Track Listing:

1.) Lock Up

2.) Delf

3.) Shots and Scars

4.) Day Dreaming

5.) Red Eye

6.) Fall

7.) Hearts Will Remain

8.) Nothing to Lose

9.) Burner

Head over to Officialtaketwo.com for links to download “We Aren’t Big”

CD Review: Gatecreeper “Deserted”

“Deserted”
Gatecreeper
Relapse Records
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s October and what better time of year to unleash a crusty death metal album upon the world? After three long years and numerous splits and EPs later, Arizona death metal band Gatecreeper return with possibly the best death metal album of 2019. Deserted, released October 4th on Relapse Records is a shear force of nature. Upon listening, the album summons desert twisters of sand and sidewinders it’s so heavy.

There should be no worry of a sophomore slump here. These guys take their art seriously and have only honed in on what makes them so great. The musicianship and songwriting has elevated to new heights on this album. Every riff soaked song is seeping with what you love about Gatecreeper, with some new elements thrown in. Songs like “Puncture Wounds” will be a welcomed breath of fresh air for those growing tired of the early-90’s era death metal revival. While tracks “Everlasting” and “Sweltering Madness” may be the best material the best has ever released. Three minutes into the former and any self-respecting metalhead is telling their friends to “shut-up and listen to this part.”

They stick to their guns on this one and stay true to the Gatecreeper formula. Yet they still manage to bring something new out of the coffin and continue to impress. All of the bands influences are on display here, granting some nostalgia to old school death metal fans. Chase Mason’s vocals are as low as ever, while his blood-curdling metal shrieks have really tightened up compared to earlier releases. Guitar riffoholics Jack Maniacky and Eric Wagner have improved their skills and completely plastered this album in thick, heavy riffs. While the rhythm section, bassist Sean Mears and drummer Matt Arrebollo, have impressively made every song on the album engaging and great for head-banging. Let’s not forget about the amazing as always Godcity mixing done by the legendary Kurt Ballou.

This album should be listened to at high volumes and while you’re punching someone in the face. It’s heavy, grimy, and sometimes slightly melodic and creepy. Everything you need in a death metal album. If you’re sleeping on this band you need to get to the nearest record store or on the internet and become the next biggest Gatecreeper fan. Death metal and the metal scene at large needs bands like this to keep putting out quality music and make us all proud to be fans of this often overlooked genre. Check out “Deserted” today and be sure to catch Gatecreeper on tour with Exhumed throughout the end of 2019

Track Listing:
1. Deserted
2. Puncture Wounds
3. From the Ashes
4. Ruthless
5. Everlasting
6. Barbaric Pleasures
7. Sweltering Madness
8. Boiled Over
9. In Chains
10. Absence of Light
11. Anxiety (Bonus Track)

Gatecreeper’s Chase Mason Discusses the Bands New Album “Deserted”

Media Mikes had the chance to sit down with Chase Mason of the metal band Gatecreeper to talk about the band’s sophomore album “Deserted”, out now. Chase also shared with us info on the groups upcoming tour, his approach to standing out in death metal, and his friendship with fellow artist Post Malone.

Ryan Albro: What would you tell people about Gatecreeper that have never heard of them before?

Chase Mason: Gatecreeper is a death metal band from Phoenix, Arizona. We play a catchy, mid-tempo style mixed with old school death metal. Even if you don’t like death metal you will like Gatecreeper.

RA: What would you tell eager returning fans about the new album, Deserted?

CM: If you liked the last record, Sonoran Depravation, you’re going to like this one. It shows a natural progression for the band and is a better, more concise, version of what we’ve already been doing. We’re not trying to experiment or be progressive here. It’s overall better than the last record.

RA: Gatecreeper has been gaining a lot of popularity as of late. How do you maintain relevance in today’s music scene so well?

CM: It’s important to use all the tools that you have to your advantage. I’ve seen a lot of bands that think they’re too cool to use social media or don’t play shows with bands they don’t think are cool. It’s better not to turn your nose up at certain things. It’s about being comfortable and staying true to who you are. As far as standing out in a sea of a million bands and artists, I think it’s really important to provide a full package. I try to pay attention to every aspect of the band. You have to have good songs to start out with, but the visuals are important as well. There are a lot of bands with really good songs that may not get noticed because they’re lacking in other areas. The music first, then your art, whether it’s album art, tour flyers or tour merch. I’ve tried with Gatecreeper to have a full package and have everything flow together and be distinct so that we stand out. There are new bands putting out records every day, there are a million shows that come into your town a year, so if you want to stick out, you’ve got to pay attention to all the little details.

RA: What can you tell us about the Brad Moore album artwork?

CM: It’s crazy. Anybody who sees it will think it’s crazy, in a good way. It’s important to me to have cool art. If someone’s at the record store or they’re online and they see that album cover it will grab their attention. Even if they don’t know who we are, they will listen to the record.

RA: Which tracks from “Deserted” are you most looking forward to performing live?

CM: Puncture Wounds is a very fast, up-tempo song for Gatecreeper. That song will be a great circle pit song. The end of the song Ruthless was written with playing the song live in mind. There’s a part in the song that as soon as it hits you’ll know it’s time for a circle pit. Since we toured so much on the last record, we learned what works well live. Deserted was the first record, while we were writing, where we knew a part would sound cool on the record, as well as live.

RA: What are the band’s touring plans for the album?

CM: We’re going to do two record release shows, one in LA, the other in Phoenix. Phoenix will be our hometown record release show. Starting on Halloween, we’re co-headlining a tour with Exhumed, with Necrot and Judiciary until December. After that we play the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest in LA. That’s what we have lined up for the rest of the year after the record comes out. We’re still finding out what we’re going to do, but next year we’re going to be doing some more touring for sure.

RA: When can we expect the Gatecreeper / Post Malone collaboration?

CM: I think you’ll be waiting forever [laughs]. I like Post Malone’s music, I like him as a person. I like rap and a lot of things that aren’t metal, but I don’t feel the need, nor do I ever want to combine them. I would play a show with Post Malone for sure. Will we ever do a song with him? Probably not. I think there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

Concert Review: Styx, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Tesla. Syracuse, NY

Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tesla
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legends of Rock Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and special guests Tesla made their stop in Syracuse, NY on June 28th at the beautiful (newly renamed) St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. The venue was packed with fans from all walks of life, eager to hear their favorite hit songs. The beautiful summer night was the perfect background for a concert such as this.

Tesla opened with outstanding energy starting things off with the more recent track “I Wanna Live” however, It wasn’t long before vocalist Jeff Keith led sing-alongs to hits like “What You Give” and “Signs” Guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude expertly wowed the audience later on in the set with the always pleasing “Love Song.” The band which is celebrating 30 years together are performing at the top of their game adding a nice shine to their already legendary status. Joan Jett and her band The Blackhearts would take the stage next where they performed a fairly stock set of Jett standards including “Bad Reputation”, “Cherry Bomb” and of course “I Love Rock n Roll”. Though the founding Runaways members set mostly consisted of older more well known tracks it was nice to see her the band include the song “Soulmates to Strangers” from Jett’s most recent album “Unvarnished”

The true dominating force on the night was hands down Styx as their set was nothing short of captivating. All eyes were glued to the veteran performers as they played hit after hit including the return of “Mr. Roboto” a song which had been missing from the Styx live show for sometime. As the band performed song after song each member brought their own signature flair to the nights performance. From scene-stealer, Lawrence Gowan’s spinning and dancing to James Young’s soaring guitars solos not to mention the always captivating Tommy Shaw and thunderous bass sound of Ricky Phillips. All this performance power combined in one band made for a very memorable evening.

All three bands gave top-notch performances on this beautiful night by the lake with plenty of singing and swaying making for great concert experience. This is definitely a show I will be talking about for some time and I highly recommend checking out these veterans when they come to your town.

Tesla Set List:
1.) I Wanna Live
2.) Hang Tough
3.) Heavens Trail (No Way Out)
4.) What You Give
5.) Signs
6.) Love Song
7.) Little Suzi
8.) Modern Day Cowboy

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Set List:
1.) Bad Reputation
2.) Cherry Bomb
3.) Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)
4.) Victim of Circumstance
5.) Soulmates To Strangers
6.) You Drive Me Wild
7.) Light of Day
8.) Fake Friends
9.) Love Is Pain
10.) A Hundred Feet Away
11.) Fresh Start
12.) Love Is All Around
13.) I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll
14.) Crimson and Clover
15.) I Hate Myself For Loving You
16.) Everyday People

Styx Set List:
1.) Overture
2.) Gone Gone Gone
3.) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
4.) The Grand Illusion
5.) Lady
6.) Ms. America
7.) Radio Silence
8.) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
9.) Too Much Time On My Hands
10.) Khedive
11.) Bohemian Rhapsody
12.) Come Sail Away
13.) Mr. Roboto
14.) Renegade

Concert Review: The Black Dahlia Murder & Whitechapel “Nightbringers/This is Exile” Tour

“Nightbringers / This Is Exile Tour 2018”
Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Aversions Crown, Shadow of Intent
Wednesday, June 13th, 2018
Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our score: 5 out of 5 stars

Death Metal staples The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel made a stop in Rochester, NY with special guests Shadow of Intent, Aversions Crown, and Fleshgod Apocalypse as part of a co-headlining tour which has the tours headliners each performing a selected album in full from start to finish

With the rarity of both headliners playing each of these albums (Nightbringers/This Is Exhile) in their entirety it was well before the first notes rang out that those in attendance knew they were in for a treat. Shadow of Intent opened up the evening with a brief yet ferocious set which was the perfect catalyst the evening ahead. Aversions Crown would follow performing tracks from their new album including the song “The Breeding Process.” Standout Italian metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse were a welcomed breath of fresh air which helped diversify the bill. Drummer David Falchitto was an absolute show stealer throughout the set especially on the song “The Violation.” If you have never checked out this band before defiantly give them a listen.

The Black Dahlia Murder would hit the stage next where they proceeded to rip through their latest album “Nightbringers”. Highlighting the set were songs such as “Catacomb Hecatomb” and “The Lonely Deceased”. Longtime fans worry not, as the band did sprinkle in a few classic ragers including “Everything Went Black” and “Deathmask Divine.” The Black Dahlia Murder continues to execute their live sets masterfully earning them status as a modern death metal powerhouse. Whitechapel would close out the night with a full performance of their second album “This Is Exile”. The universe imploded when vocalist Phil Bozeman and crew unleashed the crushing “Possession” which fueled the bands momentum as they continued on through the night. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical upon first hearing the band was performing this album in whole. However, it transitioned very well live and the band delivered on all levels.

This tour is an absolute must see for fans of Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. Fans of modern death metal, metal-core, and slam will not be disappointed as the package has a little something for everyone so if the tour is in your town I highly suggest you check it out!

The Black Dahlia Set List:

1.) Widowmaker
2.) Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake
3.) Matriarch
4.) Nightbringers
5.) Jars
6.) Kings of the Nightworld
7.) Catacomb/Hecatomb
8.) As Good As Dead
9.) The Lonely Deceased

Whitechapel Set List

1.) Father of Lies
2.) This Is Exile
3.) Possession
4.) To All That Are Dead
5.) Exalt
6.) Somatically Incorrect
7.) Death Becomes Him
8.) Daemon (The Procreated)
9.) Eternal Refuge
10.) Of Legions
11.) Messiahabolical

Concert Review: Ghost “Rats! on the Road”, Syracuse, NY

“Rats! on the Road”
Ghost
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Crouse-Hinds Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Grammy award winners Ghost brought their love of theatrics and Lucifer to the city of Syracuse, NY on May 16th as part of their current “Rats! on the Road” tour. The tour which features Ghost with no opening act is an intimate fan pleasing experience that needs to be seen in-person to truly understand the bands power of performance.

The evening was filled with spectacular moments featuring several new songs from the bands upcoming release “Prequelle” including “Rats”, “Spirit “and, “Dance Macabre”. Fan favorite Papa Nihil made an appearance on the song “Miasma” providing a smooth saxophone solo that would have brought Kenny G to tears. The nameless ghouls shined throughout the night, each interacting with one another for some great moments including a stellar and a good ole fashion acoustic sing along to “Jigolo Har Megiddo”. All of the hits were present in the extended 24 song set which was nicely split into two acts complete with an intermission.

Despite all of the drama that unfolded within the band last year, Ghost is still steamrolling forward and staying very true to themselves. The band continues to up their game each time they embark on. If “Rats! On the Road” comes to your town we suggest clearing your schedule and grabbing some tickets.

 

Set List:
1.) Ashes
2.) Rats
3.) Absolution
4.) Ritual
5.) Con Clavi Con Dio
6.) Per Aspera ad Inferi
7.) Devil Church
8.) Cirice
9.) Stand by Him
10.) Miasma
11.) Jigolo Har Megiddo
12.) Pro Memoria
13.) Dues in Absentia
14.) Spirit
15.) From the Pinnacle to the Pit
16.) Faith
17.) Year Zero
18.) He Is
19.) Prime Mover
20.) Mummy Dust
21.) If You Have Ghosts
22.) Dance Macabre
23.) Square Hammer
24.) Monstrance Clock

 

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Concert Review: John 5 and The Creatures “It’s Alive” Tour 2018

“It’s Alive” Tour 2018
John 5 and The Creatures

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Lovers and the broken hearted gathered in Syracuse, NY for an unforgettable night of haunting guitar tones and blistering solos courtesy of guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures. The Rob Zombie guitarist is currently out on the road in support of his latest solo release “It’s Alive”. Only a true virtuoso such as John 5 could turn a quiet love filled Valentine’s Day into the loudest Halloween themed shred-fest the month of February had ever seen.

As the final notes of the opening act rang out the inflatable Halloween decorations rose up from the depths of the intimate Lost Horizon stage. Shortly thereafter master of ceremonies John 5 appeared with a colored flashing LED grin flanked by his band misfits. The trio kicked of the show with “Here’s to the Crazy Ones” which set a face melting pace for the evening. The makeup adorned 5 danced around the stage with various incarnations of his trusted telecaster which only further mesmerized the slack jawed onlookers. Creatures, bass player Ian Ross and drummer Rodger Carter, kept pace as the band followed up with rippers like “This Is My Rifle,” “Season of the Witch,” and “Guitars Tits and Monsters.” As the night wore on the charismatic leader John 5 even dedicated “Behind the Nut Love” to the Valentine’s Day crowd and even offered free lap dances to all in attendance. Easily the most captivating moment of the night was when 5 donned his laser guitar for a medley of hard rock and heavy metal classics which included snippets of “Enter Sandman” and “Thunder kiss 65” to name just a few.

Just when the place was about to burst at the seams, John 5 and Company closed out the night with an encore performance of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” The crowd was overjoyed and as the guitarist took his final bow of the evening and appeared confident that he had made the traditionally lovey-dovey holiday into his very own spooktacular shredathon. The “It’s Alive” Tour runs through April so I highly recommend checking it out.

Waylon Reavis discusses his new band A Killers Confession

Former Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis has returned with an exciting new band, A Killer’s Confession. Never being afraid to speak his mind or shy away from certain topics Reavis and company come out swinging with their debut release titled “Unbroken”. Media Mikes caught up with the singer recently to discuss the new album prior to the bands performance in Syracuse, NY.

Ryan Albro: How did A Killer’s Confession come together?

Waylon Reavis: Last year, I told everybody I wanted to sing on other band’s albums. What people didn’t realize was is I was actually scouting for talent. I had started working on some things and got to the absolute last track I was going to record from a Dark Lit Sky. It’s called A Killer’s Confession. This is the song Brian “Head” Welch from Korn ended up playing on. I had said to Brian if I could make this into a band would you produce it. Brian said he didn’t have the gift of producing but he’d play on it. In my mind I said, “that’ll work!” That was what told me this was the band. I’ve got the best group possible. I love this band. I’ve known JP since Three Quarters Dead. He was my first bass player. The bass player I have now was my bass player since day one. I can’t love those guys enough.

RA: What inspired you to blend so many styles of music into your own music?

WR: A lot of bad shit has happened to us. A lot of people are trying to stop the band from happening, but I don’t think you can. A.K.C. is doing it’s own thing. We are not really against any band, my former band included. Some people might see it otherwise, but we’re not here to cause drama. We’re here to just be a band. The fans are speaking for themselves. We’re not out here begging for nothing and you either like us or you don’t. People like what we’re doing because we’re bringing back Nu-Metal with elements of new school. We took everything we loved from the 90’s and then everything we love in modern music and put that stuff together. We want to take every genre and put it together to make a brand new sound. Taking aspects of say Math Metal and Thrash Metal and combining it to create a cohesive metal band. I’ve always been a chameleon with my vocal style. Everyone knows what I sound like when I’m singing, but I also can do a lot of other styles. Metal has branched off to so many different sub-genres; it’s time for a band to bring those all together. It’s great to have Korn’s stamp of approval on us, but that’s not enough. We want to go out there and do it like Korn did back in the day and speak our message. We want to speak against social media and inspire people to be more of an individual. We’re going to push all boundaries. We’re not afraid to say what’s on our minds. We’re going to teach people how to be tough. If you lose, you need to learn and come back even stronger. America’s divided right now. We’re a multi-racial band. We’re against anything separating people, race, and gender. We love everyone but we want people to understand that we have message. We want people to be tough Americans again.

RA: What inspires the raw energy in your music?

WR: My songs are reality; they’re what plague me from day to day. For example, the song “1080p” is about my problem with social media. A Killer’s Confession is about me and my other personality. That is the battle of Ying and Yang. That song is about those conversations and battles that you have with yourselves. These issues come to the forefront in my writing. These are real emotions on this album. My mother always told me that strength lies in the dark. If you’re shoved into the dark learn and become stronger from it and that’s what I’ve done for the last year.

RA: What drives you to put on such a great live performance?

WR: I love the fans. I understand what it’s like to go out there and work 9-5 for nothing, just to pay your bills. You give me an hour out of your life to take that away. I owe it to you to take that burden off of you. I have to, you made my dreams come true.

RA: What can we expect coming next from the band?

WR: We have started writing for a new and we have some more tours coming up. You’re going to see a lot of A Killer’s Confession. We’re putting out an album in 2018 and after that, an album a year for the next ten years. We’re going to do ten albums, ending in 2027. We’re also going to have a new live show coming that’s something nobody else has ever done before.

For more info on A Killers Confession head over to www.akillersconfession.com

CD Review: Alestorm “No Grave But the Sea”

“No Grave But The Sea”
Alestorm
Napalm Records
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Ahoy, mateys! Gather ‘round for Alestorm’s 5th full-length album: “No Grave But The Sea”! An adventure filled to the brim with awesome pirate tales and party tunes from this trusted metal band. The album’s 10 new tracks contain a lot of what we know and love from Alestorm, but with some new added flair. There are plenty of great metal jams throughout, with just as many anthems and catchy choruses. The album embraces more use of harsh vocals on some tracks, blending them together with frontman Captain Chris Bowes’ great piratey vocals he’s known for.

Alestorm stays fun with jams like “Mexico”, which has a hilarious video, “Pegleg Potion”, and as to be expected their rager “Alestorm,” which is also a great blend of old and new in the band’s sound. Anthems are also present on songs like the title track and one of my new favorite Alestorm songs: “Treasure Island.” The whole albums leads you to an almost 8 minute long epic pirate metal masterpiece that has to be blowing out your speakers this summer.

Fans will love these songs paired with the rest of the band’s back catalog, adding more tales to the metal pirate journey. At some points the pirate tales begin to sound the same, but the band does a great job at really emphasizing on the newer additions. “No Grave But The Sea” is a ton of fun and definitely worth checking out. You can also catch Alestorm on Vans Warped Tour this summer!

Track Listing:
1.) No Grave But The Sea
2.) Mexico
3.) To the End of the World
4.) Alestorm
5.) Bar und Imbiss
6.) Fucked with an Anchor
7.) Pegleg Potion
8.) Man the Pumps
9.) Rage of the Pentahook
10.) Treasure Island

Concert Review: “Mockstrosity Tour” Syracuse, NY

“Mockstrosity Tour”
Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Okilly Dokilly
Friday, March 24, 2017
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Mac Sabbath frontman, Ronald Osbourne, summed up the Mockstrosity Tour best, shouting “Good luck describing this show to your friends!” A night of heavy music and big laughs was served up by perhaps three of the more unique parody bands in the business today. The classic Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY was rocked by the likes of Phoenix Arizona’s Ned Flanders themed metalcore act Okilly Dokilly, Metalachi the self proclaimed world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band and rounding out the night’s lineup Los Angeles Mac Sabbath, picture Black Sabbath dosed in radioactive ketchup and mustard from the world’s favorite fast food chain.

Okilly Dokilly ripped through their “Nedal” (Ned-metal) crowd pleasers like “White Wine Spritzer” and “Nothing At All” which paved the way for the bands call to arms of all left-handed neighborinos for the song “All That Is Left”. Each member donned Mr. Flanders signature garb which added to the bands show allowing those in attendance to envision good ol’ Ned bellowing out vicious metal growls like no other in the Springfield zip code. Metalachi garnered a lot of attention with their mariachi flared renditions of classic hard rock and heavy metal jams, donning what can only be described as mariachi meets hair metal attire. The band crushed through classics like “Holy Diver” and “Raining Blood,” but really showed their talents with surprises like “Santeria” and the infamous “More Than Words,” during which the band invited a fan up on the stage to aid in the more romantic, bump and grind, portion of their set while violinista, Queen Kyla Vera stole the show shredding through solo after solo with every bit of intensity as a well-seasoned axe man.

The Mockstrosity would come to an end only after Mac Sabbath had their turn at the crowd of eager fans. The band’s sound was tight and their stage presence hilarious. The lighting and pyrotechnics further accentuated the group’s costumes and props, which were not limited by any means. The members of Sabbath had a good time with their stage banter between songs like “Frying Pan” and “Sweet Beef,” and at one point Ronald Osbourne himself was funneling PBR through a gigantic red, yellow, and white straw. Sabbath played on their strengths well, and did not seem to be too gimmicky, really backing up their act with musical talent and their performance. Overall, the night was a blast, and anyone looking for a great time needs to check out this tour when it rolls into town.

CD Review: Revocation “Great Is Our Sin”

“Great Is Our Sin”
Revocation
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Zeuss

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Great Is Our Sin” is the 6th studio album released by the Boston, MA metal band Revocation. This is the bands second release via Metal Blade records and it features 10 new tracks which were produced by the one and only Zuess. “Great Is Our Sin” is also the first album from the band to feature 3 Inches of Blood drummer Ash Pearson who joined the band in 2015.

If you thought you loved Revocation before, you know nothing until you hear this album. The band is on top of their A game in every sense. Standout tracks include, “Arbiters of the Apocalypse”, “Monolithic Ignorance”, “Communion”, and the more melodic “Cleaving Giants of Ice.” As if there wasn’t enough mind-blowing guitar work, the album even features legendary guitarist Marty Friedman guest shredding on “The Exaltation.” The album also brings back producer Zeuss who previously worked with the band on the “Teratogenesis” EP and their last release, 2014’s “Deathless”.

Long time fans won’t be too surprised by the album’s content, but improvements in songwriting and production can still be heard. Newcomers should absolutely check out this album as it has everything. From thick riffs and blistering guitar solos to lightning fast precise drumming which is topped off by front man Dave Davidson’s signature growls. If you had any concerns about original drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne being replaced, do not fret (pun intended), Ash Pearson is a perfect fit for the band as his style further extenuates what Revocation is presenting with this new album. Revocation never disappoint as they seems to only get more fine-tuned (pun also intended) with each release. “Great Is Our Sin” is a staple in Revocation’s catalog and a must listen for any metal head.

Track Listing:
1) Arbiters of the Apocalypse
2) Theatre of Horror
3) Monolithic Ignorance
4) Crumbling Imperium
5) Communion
6) The Exaltation
7) Profanum Vulgus
8) Copernican Heresy
9) Only the Spineless Survive
10) Cleaving Giants of Ice

Be sure to also checkout our exclusive interview with Vocalist/Guitarist Dave Davidson in the interview section of the site.