ODIOUS MORTEM “Stream of Synesthesia” (Willowtip Records)

Psychedelic Tech-Death Masters Return After 13 Years

Synesthesia is the third release from California technical death metal legends Odious Mortem. Listening to this album puts you back in time of the age of early Unique Leader Records. The brutality, production, and distinctive techniques from virtuosos leaves you reminiscing of what the record label represented back then. Continue reading

WRVTH – “No Rising Sun” (Unique Leader Records)

“A Resonance Lingers in WRVTH’s Farewell Album”

Winds of sorrow, aggression, hope and introspection push through in the Northern California band’s final album No Rising Sun. Rain in summer vibes keep coming to mind when figuring out the stance on this record. Continue reading

Equipoise – “Demiurgus” (The Artisan Era)

Equipoise’s LP Debut is a Blistering Fury of Virtuosity and Complexity

Following up to their 2016 EP Birthing Homunculi, Equipoise’s first full-length “Demiurgus” sets the bar even higher with relentless talent and in-depth compositions. An album cover that depicts a possessed, space-traveling leviathan is fitting to the intense soundscapes. The flawless musicianship on this body of work can leave even non-metal listeners speechless and humbly perplexed. Continue reading

Failure by Proxy Thrills a Packed Ace of Spades

Vet-Traxx artist Failure by Proxy was selected as main support for the mainstream rock band Puddle of Mudd at Ace of Spades on January 26, 2019.  Failure by Proxy was recently nominated for a 2019 Sacramento Area Music Award (Hard Rock Category), and was a natural choice for the show.  When the big day arrived, the venue was packed from wall to wall with fans staking claim to their spots for the sold-out show.  Continue reading

Concert Photo Review: Devildriver at Holy Diver – November 17th, 2018

Devildriver recently performed at Holy Diver on their “Outlaws ‘Til The End” U.S. Headline Tour. Nikon shooter Jennifer Black was there to capture the excitement. Continue reading

An Evening With Behemoth In San Francisco, California – November 23rd, 2018

Almighty black and death metal legends Behemoth tore up the stage at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Friday night, November 23. This was my first time seeing the Polish Satanic-lyrical themed powerhouse. I knew after all of these years listening to them as my main gym playlist that their shows would be like no other. Continue reading

Philip H Anselmo and the Illegals pack Holy Diver

Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals packed Holy Diver in Sacramento Sunday night, November 11. I’ve seen Pantera at least four times in New York and California, I’ve seen Down a few times, I’ve seen the Illegals twice before Sunday night, and I’ve seen Superjoint a.k.a. Superjoint Ritual at least three times in New York and California, in addition to meeting my favorite vocalist a couple times, and what I can say for sure is that he is still a force. Continue reading

Alchemy Chamber – Opus I: Subtle Movements From Within (self release)

Released October 6th 2018, Canadian Neo-Classical instrumental band Alchemy Chamber’s debut self-released album Opus I- Subtle Movements from Within features a lineup of instruments one could find from a lot of bands (drums, bass, guitar) with the added enhancement of a saxophone and cello. The group has a sound that is a great balance of classical elements found on the cello and saxophone which are rooted in metal with the other instruments. With all of the compositions on this album written by Anna Kuchkova (cello) it is interesting to hear how the metal elements (heavy guitar, double kick drums, electric bass) blend with the classical style melody lines and harmonies played between sax and cello. It’s also great to hear the two stylistic elements work together to form a cohesive sound that when listened to on a closer level do not sound far removed from either a small classical ensemble or an instrumental number from heavier sounding bands.

Without vocals at the forefront drawing most of the attention in these songs I find it more accessible to appreciate the skills each musician is showing on their respective instruments. I love the sound of the group and feel that the unusual instrumentation for this neo-classical band gives this group an overall unique vibe that sometimes feels left out in many bands the modern era. Overall Alchemy Chamber will deliver a refreshing twist to the standard heavy band delivery and has the possibility to open the doors to enjoying a wider range of music.

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Author: Derek Bean

Clutch – Book of Bad Decisions (Weathermaker Music)

Maryland’s Clutch, return to the recorded music scene, with their twelveth album, “Book Of Bad Decisions”. The fourth being, on their own label, imprint Weathermaker Music.
With fifteen tracks of bluesy, funky stoner rock, Clutch serves us up a platter of juicy goodness. With a wide array of instruments, ranging from Hammond B3 organs, vibraphones, saxophones to trumpets and trombones. It appears, that the band is taking us on a not too distant, trip through time with their Americana hard rockin’ sound.
On a “A Good Fire” vocalist and occasional guitarist Neil Fallon takes an almost Volbeatesque vocal approach to the bass heavy groove that carries on in the fine tradition of the Clutch that we all have grown to love.