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.

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 décor 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
Seven Signs

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