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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Concert Update: Knotfest Lineup Change

Due to the current situation with Lamb of God's Randy Blythe still being denied bail and still incarcerated, Lamb of God and Dethklok have cancelled their tour and will not be at Knotfest. So far, one replacement has been announced as Machine Head was added to the lineup and another one should be added in the next day or two.

The lineup is still completely awesome. On Saturday August 18th, 2012, Slipknot will be joined by Deftones, Serj Tankian, Cannibal Corpse and many more in Somerset, WI at the Somerset Amphitheater. Tickets are only $45 and still available!

New Release: Art of the Flesh EP “Redemption”

Just this week, Art of the Flesh’s new EP became available on CD Baby for purchase.

I have been listening to this CD for about 2 weeks and I must say that I love it. The EP features four songs and two bonus tracks. This EP has a unique and divergent sound that cannot be mistaken for anything else.

Neurological Apocalypse is a steady, easy to follow beat that leads into a song that can only be described as a strobe light for your ears. Redemption has an opening that is misleadingly simple but gradually flows into a more complex sound that I have come to see as the trademark sound of this band. As my mother says, “It sounds like someone poked him with a red hot poker.” Now, that may sound like an insult (which I’m sure she meant it as), but I think it shows the raw emotion that comes through in this entire album.

Thy Insidious Illisions and If These Walls Could Talk highlight Art of the Flesh’s amazing talent and sound in the unclean vocals, swift and crisp sounds, and amazing clean vocals. I had to go as far as to ask the vocalist, Dan Schulz, if he did the clean vocals for the album because the difference between the clean and unclean vocals and the pure talent is undeniable. It is remarkable that one person was able to create the different sounds.

The bonus tracks, With Devils Speed and Born To Suffer (available at the YouTube link below) are just as good as the four songs preceding them. With amazing vocals, guitars and drums it is easy to get lost in the music. I’ll be honest: I can’t listen to this just once. I get to the end of the CD and start it over again. I’m a little concerned that I’m going to wear the down the track for If These Walls Could Talk. It is my favorite Art of the Flesh song and I love the entire thing, from the slow start to the “laugh” sound leading into the crushing thrash metal to the clean vocals.

So, here’s what you do. You go to this website and you buy their EP. And while you’re at it, you can also get the first CD Aalakaa on there. Together, you’ll pay less than $16 for both. And go check out their Facebook and like them. Now do it. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What a weekend...

4 shows in 5 days. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it was. But totally worth it.

On Thursday, Seven Signs played at the RSR Stage in Madison, WI and did a great job (despite being minus one bass player). I was disappointed in the lack of a crowd again and would definitely encourage people to get out and see these local bands. That's the only way the local music scene can survive. If you always say "Oh, I'll catch them next time," there may not be a next time for long. So get out there and support your local musicians!

Friday was Murderstock, which I've been looking forward to for quite some time. Murderstock was really a 2 day event, but I could only make it Friday to see Seven Signs again, along with Ultrea and many other bands. Honestly, I was there just to enjoy it and not to review it, so I'm not going to review any of the bands (although, everyone knows what I feel about Seven Signs and I definitely recommend people check out Ultrea). I will say that I could probably watch BT and Seven Signs every night of the week, but I doubt they have the time or energy to play every night especially since they are busy recording their new album in the studio.

WJJO Band Camp

Yesterday (Saturday) was 94.1 WJJO Band Camp #9, which is an all day outdoor festival at Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. I have been to every Band Camp so far, starting with July 24th, 2004. I will admit that this was not the best lineup I've seen at Band Camp, but it was still a lot of fun. Eye Empire tore up the stage early and Ghosts of August, Slaves on Dope, Nonpoint and Hurt kept the crowd going. The show ended with headliner Korn. I may get a lot of flack for this, but I was disappointed in Korn. Yes, they did an amazing job and they ended the show well, but I was hoping to hear more of the older tunes and less of the newer stuff (that I don't really like much). But, they have to do what they have to do and I know there are some people who enjoy their new music and they did end the set with a bunch of their older songs, but only after I saw and heard a lot of old school fans leaving (and not very happy). All in all, it was a good a show and I'll definitely be going next year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thank You Nonpoint!

Nonpoint Video Shoot in Madison, WI

Last night, Nonpoint filmed the music video for one of their songs off their new self-titled album, "I Said It". When I arrived around 7:00 pm, there was already quite a line going and by the time they let us in (much later than expected), there was even more of a line. To film the video, they used the track playback and played the song a few times to get different shots and position people differently. At one point, Elias was down in the crowd and at another time, a bunch of people were invited on stage with them.

After listening to the same song repeatedly, it was awesome to hear that they were going to play us a few live songs for taking the time to come out. They played "Hands Off" and "What a Day" and even though the crowd was tired, sweaty, and drunk, there was still a ton of energy in the room. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm happy that I went down there on a Tuesday night.

So, I really just wanted to say thank you to Elias, Robb and all of Nonpoint for choosing Madison, WI to shoot this video. Madison loves you and we were honored that of all of the places to shoot this video, you chose to do it here. There was apparently even a mini pre-party going on in line (based on the pizza boxes and empty beer cans and cases).

Check out the interview that the 94.1 WJJO morning crew with Elias talking about the video shoot.

And don't forget to go to Band Camp on Saturday, July 28th to check out Nonpoint (and Korn and other great bands).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nonpoint Filming "I Said It" Music Video in Madison

If you're from Madison, you've probably heard that Nonpoint is filming a music video for one of their new songs, "I Said It" at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI. The filming is expected to go from about 8pm until 10pm on Tuesday, July 24th. The line starts at 7pm and admission is free but is not guaranteed. There are some restrictions on what you can wear (no stripes, no logos), but you can wear Nonpoint gear. This is not a full show, but instead will just be "I Said It" a bunch of times. So what's the perk of going? Well, it never hurts to see Elias live, plus you get a chance to be in the new music video. Check out Nonpoint's Facebook, and the event page at the Majestic's website. 

And make sure you listen to "I Said It" here...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Music - Art of the Flesh - Thy Insidious Illusions

It's no secret that I love this band. I think they are amazing and I stand by my original assessment that vocalist Dan Schulz has one of the best metal voices I have ever heard. So, you can imagine my excitement when they released a brand new single off of their upcoming EP. Check it out!

Show the band some love on Facebook and Reverbnation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Update: The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey by M. Shawn Crahan

Has everyone checked out Clown's new photo book The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey? I posted about it a few weeks ago. While its a little pricey ($55 new), it is a great chance to get into M. Shawn Crahan's head (Clown from Slipknot). The photos range from band members to family to abstract to dead animals. Going through the almost 200 page book was breathtaking and disturbing all at once. The book starts out with an introduction by Jon Wiederhorn and a short one from Clown himself.  Each chapter has a name indicating what the photos in the pages to come will show and begins with a short introduction by Wiederhorn and Clown. At the end of the chapters, you can find captions for each photo that bring you deeper into Crahan's world.

 My favorite chapter is "Blood, blood" and my favorite photo of the entire book is surprisingly not the random or disturbing, but the one on page 113. The caption simply says
"113 - Mother, giver of my life, sorry for your pain, goodbye forever, love you, see you in a dream, never grow with age, stay sweet and always remind us all to be better in this Hell" (Crahan, 2012).

After buying this book the day it came out, I carried it around and showed it to everyone I knew. Two days later, Clown was at the local Barnes and Noble for a book signing. He was extremely sweet, very philosophical when he explained the meaning of the name Slipknot and explained why he loved the picture on the back insert for the CD Iowa. He not only signed the books, but also signed other items that people brought with them.

Inside of the book he inscribed something that has stuck with me. It is simple, but says so much...
"Live your life. Enjoy our pain."

Now, get out there and get this book. You can find it on Amazon (and you can get it for a lot less than cover price now) or check out your local bookstore.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Featured Video: Chains on Fire - Lords of the Trident

Check out the official video for Chains on Fire from Madison, WI metal band Lords of the Trident.


If you like it, check them out on Facebook or on their website. You can also check them out live at Day 2 of Murderstock at the Wisco in Madison, WI on Saturday, July 28. Go to their Reverbnation page to see all of their upcoming shows.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Want to Help the Local Music Scene? Here's Your Chance...

I've heard it again and again... "I wish I could do something for local music but I don't know what to do." For those of us who live for music and are always trying to find a way to be involved, it can be hard. Personally, I  can't play any instrument other than the violin (though I've never tried any other instrument). I prefer to watch and help behind the scenes. Starting when I was 16, I basically appointed myself as the manager, web developer and photographer for a local band. I loved doing it and hopefully they enjoyed it too. Now, I am involved by going to shows, writing reviews, writing for The Blacktooth and helping wherever I can. I buy t-shirts, support the bands and try to spread the word.

This week, I found another way to get involved. Madison, WI metal band Seven Signs is trying to get their album off the ground. For anyone who knows anything about the industry, they know that it is very time consuming and costly to record a studio album. Many bands can't afford it and many more go broke as individuals paying for it, so Seven Signs reached out for help. Through their Kickstarter page, they are offering awesome reasons to donate toward their new album.

They aren't asking for something for nothing. Instead, they are offering incentive rewards. The rewards are based on the level at which a backer pledges. 

$15 - Receive a copy of the debut album (so, basically you are just pre-ordering the album and helping them reach their goal).
$30 - Receive a signed copy of the debut album and a sticker pack.
$55 - Receive a signed copy of the debut album and an exclusive T-Shirt
$100 - Receive a signed copy of the debut album, an exclusive T-Shirt and a special mention in the album and on the band's website. 
$175 - Receive a signed copy of the debut album, an exclusive T-Shirt, a special mention in the album and on the band's website and a limited Dickies-style shirt (10 available). 

So, its easy enough - click this link, pledge whatever you are comfortable pledging and pass it on to everyone who may want to help an amazing local band. Like I said, the lowest level of $15 is just pre-ordering the album essentially. Get out there and do it! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dreams Will Fade, Mind Drop, Vintage Burning and Silence Is Broken - Saturday, June 30th in Madison, WI

Silence is Broken Farewell Show – Saturday, June 30th 2012 – Regent Street Retreat – Madison, WI

I waited for a long time for the Silence is Broken Farewell show. Now, I didn’t really want to go to a farewell show, because it is no secret that I love this band and the lead singer in particular. Unfortunately, change happens and bands sometimes break up and go their separate ways.

The Farewell show started out with the band Dreams Will Fade, a rock band from Wisconsin. I really enjoyed this band’s bass heavy drums and showmanship. The vocalist had a good voice that ranged from a deep, gravelly singing voice to metal growls. The guitarists and bass players were confident and spirited on stage.

 I can’t pick out anything in particular that makes Dreams Will Fade truly exceptional or unique, but they were definitely enjoyable and highly talented musicians.  Although it seemed disorganized at times to me, the lyrics were memorable, there was a strong backbone in the drums and the entire band was satisfying to watch.

Up next in the show was Mind Drop, a 5 piece rock band from Rockford, Illinois. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I usually do not like female singers in hard rock and metal bands. That is just my taste; however, I have found some that I like. For the first few songs of this set, I was really impressed with Shauna Lisse, the vocalist.

A few songs in, the band covered the 1980s song “Send Me An Angel” and I will admit that I didn’t enjoy it. I really did like the rest of the set and can appreciate how hard it can sometimes be to be a female in a predominantly male position.  Overall, Mind Drop’s members were really great. The drums were strong, the guitarists were beautifully blended and the bass was very steady and distinguishable.

After Mind Drop came Vintage Burning, an amazing band from Beloit, WI. I have seen them before and always love it. Vocalist Amy Kroning was wonderful, fiery and talented as usual, despite a slight wardrobe malfunction. Bassist Charles Yount was incredible to watch. He knows how to entertain the entire crowd and the entire band seems to truly love what they are doing. There isn’t much I can say about Vintage Burning except get out and see them whenever you have the chance.

Last but not least was the main event. Silence is Broken took the stage for the last time.  They played an amazing set, including the songs One Bullet Away, A Plague Called Failure and one of my favorites, Demons played acoustically. Vocalist Aaron Fishel definitely played to the crowd and was as sexy as ever. He has the frontman gig down really well. Guitarist Jamison Parker helped keep the crowd involved, true to SIB style.

It is sad that Silence is Broken is done, but they are going their own ways and moving on with life. They gave 7 years of their life to this amazing band and they will be missed by myself and many others. I have been a fan for about 5 years and have seen them over and over again. I may be a little biased and must admit I've always had a little crush, but this is one of the best regional acts I’ve seen in a long time and they are definitely hard to top. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In the News: Randy Blythe

Randy Blythe Arrested on Suspicion of 
Manslaughter in Fan's 2010 Death

Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe was arrested last week on suspicion of manslaughter in the 2010 death of a fan who repeatedly rushed the stage. Ultimately, it is alleged that Blythe pushed the fan back into the crowd after the 3rd time he rushed the stage. He hit his head, slipped into a coma and died two weeks later as a result of the injury.

It was originally announced that the singer was released on bail and ordered to remain in Czech Republic until the investigation is completed, but has now been released that he posted bail but they are still holding him and refusing his release. The rest of the band has returned to the US and is requesting that fans do not inquire about the case as it would be "irresponsible" for them to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Blythe's family, friends, band mates and the entire metal community have rallied around him.  Supportive messages are being seen from Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), David Draiman (Disturbed), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Slash, Scott Ian (Anthrax) and other big names in the metal community. Many are citing the December 8th, 2004 shooting death of Dimebag Darrell while on stage.

Unfortunately, sometimes bands have to fear for their safety as public icons. In my opinion, the fan should have been escorted out and should not have been given the chance to rush the stage and Blythe 3 times. Also in my opinion, Blythe had every right to defend himself from a fan that was behaving erratically and unpredictably. Yes, fans jump on stage. And yes, sometimes bands don't mind. However, if a fan is removed from the stage twice, then obviously they shouldn't be on stage. The fan's death is sad. It really is. But should we really hold Randy Blythe responsible for something that was not malicious or (in my opinion) negligent?