For the Love of Rock and Metal is a blog dedicated to music articles, concert reviews, CD reviews, interviews and all other things related to rock and metal. There is an emphasis on local or semi-local music in the Madison, WI area.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years! (plus Featured Video)

Generally, I like the featured video to be a local or regional band, but since its New Year's Eve, I decided to go with the Rock and Roll anthem. Please be safe tonight so that you can make it into 2012! Drink all you want, party all you want, but make sure you take a cab, bus or have a designated driver!

So, here's to 2012 - the best thing about 2012 is going to be that it isn't 2011! See you next year, hopefully with a lot more content on this blog.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seven Signs, Breech and Art of the Flesh - December 17, 2011 - Madison, WI

Art of the Flesh, Breech and Seven Signs – Saturday, December 17th, 2011 – Regent Street Retreat Stage – Madison, WI

I was very excited to hear that bands were playing at The Annex in Madison, WI again, even though it is now technically called the “Regent Street Retreat Stage,” Or “RSR Stage” for short, instead. The first chance I had to go after they closed earlier this summer was this metal show. Walking in, it did look a little different. The floorplan was the same, but it had been painted and the d├ęcor was calmer and more organized than previously.

The RSR Stage was not very busy when we arrived, but I hoped it would fill up as the night went on. The first band up was a five-piece metal band from Lily Lake, IL called Art of the Flesh. The first thing I noticed about this band was the vocalist. Sure, we often notice the singer first because they are right there in our faces, but Dan Schulz was amazing. I have seen many metal bands over the years - dozens, maybe hundreds, who really knows? But he was by far one of the best I’ve heard and I can see him going far in the metal scene.

In addition to the awesome vocalist, there were hard, fast drums combined with a unique bass and great guitarists. One thing that stuck out was that each song was easily distinguishable from the next, the backup vocals were good and different from the lead, and everything blended well without overpowering any one instrument. A common downfall in some metal bands is that the songs all sound very similar and often use the same chords over and over again, but Art of the Flesh did not have this problem. They had a great sound and great variation. Not only will I recommend them to everyone who will listen, but this is a band I will definitely be seeing again. Check them out on Facebook here

Next up on the bill was Breech, a local band from Madison, WI. Although they were my least favorite of the night, I still liked them a lot which says a lot for this entire show. Unfortunately, there were a lot of technical difficulties with the bass that made it hard for me to get the full effect of the band.

The drummer was very good and had a very swift and steady bass drum. He did a drum solo for us, and I have been less impressed by national bands drum solos. The vocalist had good variability in his sound and could easily switch from screams to the low growl and singing. Metal vocalists come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and looks and at first look he reminded me of a typical frat boy at a college, but once the band started I knew there was more to it. I will definitely have to see this band again when I can see them with the bass guitar as well. Check them out on Myspace.


The final band up was Seven Signs, another band from Madison, WI. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes you just don’t know what to expect from people in metal bands as far as what they will look like and Seven Signs’ vocalist takes the cake when it comes to juxtaposing the look and sound of a singer. When he came on stage, I was really surprised but he had a great singing voice, a good growl that fell in a nice melodic medium range, and excellent variation in his tone. The band was a little shaky because of a lineup change, but overall they were very impressive.
Often, singers in metal bands have mediocre regular singing voices since they focus primarily on the harsher sounds like growls, screams and a mix of those with singing, but this singer actually had a very nice voice that would have fit into pretty much any kind of band. He had a country twang that easily moved into a rock sound and then back to a slower ballad sound and into the typical metal vocals.

Seven Signs had excellent guitar and bass players and a very good drummer who was quick with the bass and had an intensely unique sound. The drummer was also good with stick tricks, but did keep them low-key and not too over the top. This was a band I definitely enjoyed and will be seeing again.

Here is a video of their song "FUCK" live from this show.





Overall, this show was great. I was excited to be back in The Annex (now the RSR Stage), but was disappointed in the low turnout. There was another metal show at another venue with a national band, but it was cancelled so I expected more people. It was well advertised online and on the radio on 94.1 WJJO.

Band Websites:
Art of the Flesh
Breech
Seven Signs

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Website/Magazine for Metalheads!


Photo from The Blacktooth's Facebook page

We've all been waiting for something like this... well, at least I have. It was part of the reason I started this blog. The new website The Blacktooth is up and running! It is about metal culture and music. There are videos, opinion pages, band profiles and more. I heard about this just last night at the Seven Signs show (that post will come later) and after checking it out today, I'm in love. It is an online community and information source for people who love all things metal. There are tons of places for people who like rock to go, but its hard to find good information on metal.




Check out this video that was on the site about mosh pit etiquette. The only thing I would add to it is to stress that if someone falls in the pit, PICK THEM UP.


              Check out The Blacktooth HERE.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beyond Threshold and Hatebreed - December 15, 2011

Beyond Threshold and Hatebreed - December 15, 2011 - Majestic Theater Madison, WI
I made a last minute decision to go see Hatebreed at the Majestic Theater in Madison, WI on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Of course I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed, since I’ve never been disappointed at a Hatebreed show.  I don’t remember seeing the opening band, Beyond Threshold, before but once they came on it was a familiar look and sound. I quickly found out that they are a great opener.
Beyond Threshold was formed in 2006 and is under the Turkey Vulture Records label. They are from Rockford, IL which seems to be a hotbed of great bands lately. Vocalist Erik Virgin has a great voice that could have made him millions working as a demon voice-over in movies, but is put to excellent use in this metal band. He had pretty good stage presence; although I was a little worried he was going to wear holes in the stage pacing back and forth. He spent a lot of time interacting with the crowd, including going onto the floor between the stage and barriers.
The backup vocals from one of the guitarists and the bassists fit in perfectly.  Unfortunately, while the Majestic is a beautiful location it was not original designed for metal shows, so the sound wasn’t perfect and the drums and bass were drowned out a lot. Even so, it was a great show that got the crowd moving and ready for Hatebreed. I really enjoyed the show they all put on and their sound and I will definitely be tracking them down more often. They have their first album, “Revolution,” out already and another is expected to be released in 2012. Check them out at their Facebook page.
I won’t waste my time actually reviewing Hatebreed. Anyone who has ever seen them live knows what to expect and anyone who hasn’t seen them live should put it on their bucket list. Strong vocals, great guitars and bass, and heavy double-bass drums make Hatebreed one of the best metal bands around. When Jamey Jasta comes on stage, you don’t expect the huge voice from him. In this show, they made it a very metal Christmas with decorations on all of their gear and the drum kit. The juxtaposition of a hardcore metal band and Christmas lights, stockings and a Christmas tree made the show that much better. Check out the video below of them performing Last Breath live at this show.



Band Websites:
Beyond Threshold
Hatebreed

Friday, December 9, 2011

Featured Video: Penguins With Shotguns - Sadistic Intent

This featured video was a special request. Penguins With Shotguns have been around for more than a decade and I love seeing them when I have the chance. They are from my family's hometown of Kenosha, WI and are a great metal band. This video was posted by YouTube user rubelena, who has many great videos of regional bands.


If you ever have the chance to see Penguins With Shotguns, I highly recommend it as they are a great live band with excellent stage presence. Check out their Facebook page here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Revolver Magazine posts tributes to Dimebag Darrell from friends

Check out the interviews and tributes from Dimebag Darrell's rock friends on Revolver Magazine's website:


Photo From this link


 

Today in History: Dimebag Darrell of Damageplan and Pantera Killed

Seven years ago today, Dimebag Darrell and four others were killed at a concert in Columbus Ohio. As a tribute, I am posting the MTV article that immediately followed the event. Please note that I did not write this - the link is available at the beginning and end of the post and the authors are credited below the title.


Photo from http://www.damageplan.com/

(This article reprinted from the original MTV announcement on December 9, 2004 - the day after Dimebag was shot)

Dimebag Darrell, Four Others Killed In Ohio Concert Shooting

By Robert Mancini, Gil Kaufman, Ryan J. Downey and Jennifer Vineyard

Dimebag Darrell, guitarist for Damageplan and Pantera, was killed during a shooting spree at a Columbus, Ohio, nightclub Wednesday night. He was 38.
Darrell, real name Darrell Abbott, was among the five people killed during the incident. Also dead are the gunman, 25-year-old Nathan Gale of nearby Marysville, Ohio; Damageplan bodyguard Jeff Thompson, 40; fan Nathan Bray, 23; and Erin Halk, 29, who worked at the club. Gale also wounded three people.
Damageplan had just begun their first song in front of approximately 250 people at Alrosa Villa when the gunman jumped onstage, made a comment about Pantera, and began firing at close range into Darrell's body, shooting him several times before opening fire on the crowd (see " 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott: A Larger-Than-Life Guitarist And Human Being").
A patrol officer nearby, James Niggemeyer, heard the call of shots fired at 10:18 p.m. and by 10:20 p.m. had snuck inside the club through a back door, according to public information officer Sergeant Brent Mull. After entering, Niggemeyer, who had no backup, confronted the gunman onstage, where he observed one victim and Gale holding a hostage by the neck.
"The officer was able to strategically gun this guy down before he was able to kill his hostage, and it appeared that he was about to kill his hostage," Mull said at a press conference Thursday (December 9). "The suspect had the hostage in a headlock situation and had his firearm out shooting, and it's believed he was about to take his gun to the hostage."
But the hostage wriggled out of the way slightly, Mull said, and the officer was able to kill the shooter with a single shotgun blast as the hostage escaped uninjured. Police said Gale, whose arrest record lists him as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 225 pounds, used a Beretta 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and reloaded once during the shooting. Gale's prior arrests were all nonviolent, and included driving with a suspended license and trespassing.
Police have not confirmed the names of the three wounded victims, but the club's manager told the Dispatch that one of them was a security guard who had tried to wrestle the attacker's gun away. Damageplan reps say the other two wounded were tour manager Chris Paluska, who is in critical but stable condition, and drum tech John "Kat" Brooks, who was scheduled to be released from the hospital Friday.
"If the officer hadn't acted when he did and how he did, we'd probably be looking at more dead, because this guy was actively shooting," Mull said. Following the incident, police took more than 200 patrons onto three city-donated buses, where they were interviewed by some 60 police detectives.
"The ones that were inside and witnessed this ran for their lives and were in fear for their lives," Mull said. "They are victims too, and we want to take care of them."
In 911 tapes released Thursday, one caller tells the operator, "There's been a shooting! Somebody's shooting! He's shooting the band, oh sh--, he's still shooting!" Another is heard frantically telling the 911 operator, "We need to get out, we need to get out! I can't, I can't get out."
One concertgoer, his jeans torn and soaked with blood, told CNN he jumped onstage and attempted to give Darrell CPR before paramedics arrived.
Police have interviewed friends and relatives of the shooter, attempting to establish a motive for his actions. "We may never know the motive for this," Mull said, "unless he left a note somewhere else."
One eyewitness, 37-year-old food vendor Medhat Mokhtar, told MTV News that he saw Gale lingering outside the club prior to Damageplan's set. Gale paced near Mokhtar's food cart and only entered the club when Damageplan's performance began. Shortly thereafter, Mokhtar noticed concertgoers fleeing the club and screaming, and the vendor headed inside to see what the disturbance was. He said he then made his way to the stage where a crowd had gathered around the wounded Darrell. "I tried to push them away, but people loved him too much. The people were kissing his hands and his feet and trying to give him CPR," Mokhtar said.
Searching Gale's residence is the next step of the investigation, as is analyzing amateur video footage taken of the incident, which homicide investigators are looking at now, Mull said. The venue had no surveillance footage. Mull also said he had been told there was no metal detector at the club, though he could not confirm that at press time and a club spokesperson could not be reached.
As word of Dimebag's death rippled through the metal community, the news was met with shock and sadness (see "Ozzy, Dave Mustaine, Jonathan Davis Remember Dimebag Darrell").
"I'm speechless," former Rob Zombie/ Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rob Blasko Nicholson said. "This is totally unreal. Dimebag is a f---ing legend and this is total bullsh--."
(Click for photos of Dimebag Darrell in concert through the years.)
"This is insane and this is beyond travesty," Killswitch Engage frontman and former Damageplan tour partner Howard Jones said. "This is beyond anything I've ever heard. This shouldn't happen in or outside of the rock and metal community. He will be missed and mourned as a person, as a musician, and as a friend."
"Let's for a second forget that I even knew him, [and focus on] just the fact that this was allowed to happen," Slipknot singer Corey Taylor said. "If somebody can jump onstage with a gun and shoot one of the most influential guitarists of my generation, what's next? If this is allowed to happen, what the hell? What does that say? Just that somebody would think this was a good idea in his own insane world, what does that say about where we're at right now? It's definitely given me pause. I'm an entertainer as well as a musician, so I have to look at this and think not only has one of my really good friends died, but what if that had been me?"
Damageplan also features Dimebag's brother, former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul; singer Patrick Lachman and bassist Bob Zilla.

You can find the original link here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Band News: Nonpoint

NONPOINT NEWS

Photo from Nonpoint's Facebook
Nonpoint has gone through some crazy stuff over the last few months. A few months ago, fans got word that two of the members (Zach Broderick and Ken MacMillan) were splitting from the group. It was awhile before we knew who was going to replace them, but as it turns out it is three members from the band Inn Cinema. I saw Inn Cinema in July of 2011 and they were pretty good and hopefully they will blend well with Elias Soriano and Robb Rivera to carry on the Nonpoint name. Of course, this means that Nonpoint is now a five-piece instead of a four-piece.

Many people have wondered what happened to Zach and Ken and what they were up to. Today, blabbermouth.net posted an article about a new project called Voodoo Corps, which is made up of the two former Nonpoint members and C.J. Pierce and Mike Luce from Drowning Pool.

According to the article, the new band’s mission statement is:

“From the collective bowels of the South rides forth the culmination of what can only be deemed as the kick in the ass that rock so desperately needs. Forged in the fires of what makes life truly great: friends, family, and a deep seeded love and appreciation for those who support rock music, VOODOO CORPS is here to stomp your ass and then take you out for snow cones!!!"

This link provides a sneak peak of their first song, “Lights Out.”

In addition to this new lineup, Nonpoint drummer Robb Ribera has partnered with THC: Music to form an imprint label called SSFM (Stand Strong For Music). He is going to be signing metal and hard rock bands in an attempt to help bands get heard. Every band struggles at the beginning and some never make it, but with the help of Robb, THC: Music and SSFM, hopefully more will get a chance. Check out SSFM at their Facebook page  and THC: Music at theirs here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Bands I Want to See: KILLING DISTRICT


Photo from the band's Facebook page

KILLING DISTRICT
A new band was brought to my attention through Facebook called Killing District. Some of the members were once part of the band The Rage Inside, but after some lineup changes gone bad, the band broke up. Now they are back and ready to go with a new metalcore band called Killing District.

Killing District is from Freeport, IL and they have launched themselves straight into the scene again. They opened on the local stage at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI for Gwar on Halloween of 2011. They also have other shows lined up in Chicago, St. Louis, Elgin and Rockford. The hard, fast, crisp drums were the first thing that caught my attention with the few songs I've been able to listen to. Hopefully they are as enjoyable live as on the recorded songs.

Based on the few songs I’ve heard online and the video below, they are the epitome of face-melting metalcore and hopefully they come to the Madison, WI area soon otherwise I will have to make a trip to Illinois to see them. Unfortunately, the video isn’t the best quality so I can’t gauge how they really sound live, but I will find out soon. The current lineup includes Tony Wilson on lead vocals, Jesse Kuhse and Justin Knapp on guitar, Tyler Lampe on drums and Travis on bass.


Check out Killing District at their Facebook page or their Reverbnation profile where you can check out the other songs that are available. My favorite so far is Unspoken.



Have you see this band or do you have a band you like or would like to see? Let me know!