Category Archives: Album review

Album Review//The Age Of Truth- ‘Threshold’

The Age Of Truth is a band, a brotherhood, and a mission. Four brothers-in-arms from Philadelphia united in the singular pursuit of making the most honest heaviness this broken world can handle. As our modern lives bathe us in constant unraveling lies and deceptions, there is only truth in what they create. Their debut album, Threshold, available through Kozmik Artifactz, was released November 1, 2017, appeared multiple months on the DoomCharts and was ranked at #8 of the Top 20 Albums of 2017 by Mr. Fuzz at MoreFuzz.net.

The first song of this album is “Host” which starts out with a heavy doom-blues riff, a sign of the nature of this song. It’s occupied by soulful vocals in this detailed account of demonic possession. We are then led into “Come Back A God.” Dark, gritty doom riffs; The Age Of Truth has a groove of their own. This is the tale of an excavated Pharaoh now unleashing his wrath and returning as a risen God.

We now reach the title track, “Threshold.” The song begins with a short guitar intro which melds right into another bluesy, driven riff. Jazzy vocals packed with soul tells the story of a ritual rise of culture brought to the threshold of success to catch a glimpse of great potential, only to fail unknowingly. This is how you truly succeed- for lack of comprehension of the place that they have reached is what will get you there. There are two different styles of classic doom breakdowns to conclude this song.

“Holding Hands Like Thieves” is a tune that starts out with clean vocals and a clear melody. Then, it kicks into another gritty blues riff and more of those soulful vocals. It tells the journey of a soul as it goes through a transformation. This tune is followed by “Caroline” which is a very jazz-classic song that tells the story of a hard-luck gal that attracts all the wrong people in her life through a series of self-inflicted choices. It would seem that all of us know a ‘Caroline.’

Track six is “Oceanbones.” The melody of this song is lead with warm, fuzzy bass tones accompanied by a brassy blues guitar highlight. The vocals are scat-jazz style with a lot of reverb. This all marries very well in the overall style of this song. The chorus is an upbeat rockin’ groove. There is also a sweet blues breakdown that leads into a chanting vocal 70’s classic call out chorus while ending with a traditional rock lead on the guitar; The story seems to be of a wandering voyager who stumbles into an old ruin and tries to implore ancient souls to help guide his way home.

The seventh track is “Higado de Hierro” which, simply put, is a short yet tasty musical interlude. “Supernatural Salesmen” is next in line. This tune has a thick blues groove to it. The subject of this story is that of religion and false promise- and those who sell it.

Our final track “Honeypot” is a bonus track. It is ‘sweet as honey.’ Heavy blues and doom influences, as commonly found throughout the album, as well as warm fuzzy tones. It has a beautiful medium drive to the riffs as the sound rounds out the overall talent of this band from Philly, concluding an album full of wide variety of expression musically as well as lyrically.

I truly enjoyed the journey that The Age of Truth has taken me on. Please be sure to follow them in the links below!

Track List for ‘Threshold’
1. Host
2. Come Back A God
3. Threshold
4. Holding Hands Like Thieves
5. Caroline
6. Oceanbones
7. Higado de Hierro
8. Honeypot

Age Of Truth Line Up
Kevin McNamara: Vocals
Mike DiDonato: Guitar
Scott Frassetto: Drums
William Miller: Bass


Connect With Age of Truth online:
Bandcamp
Facebook

 

Don Niesen

Edited by: Samantha Crocker

Album Review//Letters To A Liar-‘Still Breathing’

Letters To A Liar is a four-piece metalcore band from Alliance, Ohio who are influenced by Oceans Ate Alaska, Asking Alexandria, Miss May I, and Memphis May Fire. In May they released their album ‘Still Breathing’ which is available for purchase now! Check out the link to their video for “Midnight Life” HERE:

‘Still Breathing’ is a techno-metal, scene-dream album. This is the album for your club life if you are a metalhead who wants to go out and party with all the other creatures of the night. Letters To A Liar combines several different styles of music within it to deliver a well-rounded jam out session that takes me back to the early to mid-2000’s. Part of me was starting to feel bad for those of you who were in the scene back in the day. There isn’t much left for you guys to jam to. I know a few of the bands are hanging around like Panic! At The Disco and Breaking Benjamin, but there hasn’t been anything new out there – until NOW! This something that gets you moving, especially if you were to have the opportunity to see them live. Which, luckily, Letters To A Liar is planning a West Coast tour!

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Track List for ‘Still Breathing’
1. Into The Storm
2. Falling Behind
3. By The River
4. Courage Is Cowardly
5.Eye Of The Storm
6. Pins and Needles
7. Midnight Life
8. Still Breathing
9. It’s Illegal To Hunt For Whales In Ohio On A Sunday
10. Draw The Line

Letters To A Liar Line up:
Keith Greggs (Vocals)
Tyler Goodman (Guitar/Backup Vocals)
Justin Bean (Bass)
Robert Bendel (Drums)

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To keep up with what is going on with this upcoming metalcore band follow them in the link below!
Facebook

-Don Niesen

Edited by- Samantha Crocker 

Album Review//Unitra-Lock Up Your Daughters

Hello Music Maeniacs! Welcome to our review feature for the band Unitra! Now, I know what you all have been thinking, we need a new wave of British heavy metal. Well, look no further! The 80’s are back with this killer album ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’!

“UNITRIUM (The Heaviest of Heavy Metals)” is a short intro track to the epic metal journey we are about to embark on. It blends flawlessly into the next track “Enforcer” which comes at you hard and heavy with classic 80’s guitar riffs while proclaiming: Metal is the reason we live. This track continues to describe the metal lifestyle with a catchy chorus- ENFORCER! There is also a cool breakdown with some sweet bass licks that remind me of another 80’s British rock star, Steve Harrison.

Next in line is “Violent Storm” which has a unique intro that highlights the drums. This tune is a full speed thrasher that will wreck your neck. If you aren’t in the pit during this tune, you are seriously missing out! This tune is full of wailing guitar solos and bass beats that get the blood moving. “Total Annihilation” keeps that energy on a high. Full of force and aggression; this is another tune for the brutal bassist. This track taps deep into the metal soul with many of our favorite elements of classic metal throughout.

“Tyrant Rex” is a chant-worthy track. This tune has a lot of the epic Iron Maiden flavor. The guitar and bass lead the way in this tune, and the drums keep everything tight and clean. I can also feel an Iced Earth kind of vibe in the track as well, especially in the vocal pattern and content; that being said, the finish is very much a great homage to Iron Maiden. You can check the track for yourself in the link below!

“(We are) UNITRA” is the epic battle cry of the band. It lays out the attitude and foundation for what Unitra brings to the table. It’s also sort of a “part 2” to the track “UNITRIUM (The Heaviest of Heavy Metals)” which takes this album in a solid full circle. This album ends us on a high note that has you craving for more! Which, lucky for us, Unitra was kind enough to fuel our metal-wanting souls with their bonus track: “American Girl.” I’m going to let you check this one out for yourself below, but take it from this American girl; It’s a f*ckin’ jam!

I am happy to have discovered the gem that is Unitra! They are something I needed to have on my playlist and a delightful blast from the past! Their energy is everything we are craving in the metal scene! Each member brings full force, passion, and brutality to the table and we can’t get enough!

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Line Up
Max Speed – Vocals, Bass
Ben Cross – Guitars
Marty Jupiter – Drums

Tracks for ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’
1. UNITRIUM (The Heaviest of Heavy Metals)
2. Enforcer
3. Violent Storm
4. Total Annihilation
5. Tyrant Rex
6. (We Are) UNITRA
7. American Girl (Bonus Track)

Purchase your copy of  ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’ HERE

Follow UNITRA in the links below!
YouTube
Facebook
Twitter

Emily Mae

Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review// Floyd Turbo- ‘Through Wolves Teeth’

Wisconsin’s favorite ‘middle-aged rock and roll’ band Floyd Turbo is back in action with the release of their newest full album- ‘Through Wolves Teeth.’ Earlier this year we dug into their EP release ‘Orange’ which you can read for yourself HERE

Check out the teaser trailer to ‘Trough Wolves Teeth’ here!

“Something Afoot In The Mistletoe” is the first track of ‘Through Wolves Teeth.’ The progression of just the intro of this song leaves me interested in the full sound of the album. The mix of a stoner/doom vibe and almost Queensryche vocals gives them a unique sound that has me hooked from the very first note. This song builds on a very thick foundation of groove and has a strong ending. We are then taken to the title track of the album- “Through Wolves Teeth” which kicks things up a notch! I feel as though I have rediscovered the feeling that I can recall from the first time I heard Mastodon’s album “Blood Mountain” The dynamics of this song gives me some insight into the vast pool of influences that they have. Getting heavy and then “pulling it back” at just the right times, showing the true experience and talent of these musicians. The doom style solos are very fitting, but also unexpected in the best of ways!

In “Death Of The Sun” it continues a sort of storytelling theme. I love that each track has a tale of its own. These all have a beginning, a climax, and all end wonderfully. A vocal driven turn on this song takes me back to late 80’s style progressive vibes like the Queensryche above, Control Denied, and Dream Theater. The high energy rhythm under the epic leads creates something comparable to a unique life’s experience.

“Gold Tooth” has a little bit of growly back vocals that add a nice touch throughout this track. The drawn-out vocal patterns make you want to push your voice right along with them! The drummer’s techniques shine in this song for me as well. I dig his fulfilling style; never letting it drift while exploring an array of other fills and expression. The next track “Pillars Of Regret” has a vibe that matches the title perfectly. You can feel where Floyd Turbo is coming from with the one. The bits and pieces of reverb and production build an intriguing story as you explore the desperation in the vocals and lyrical content.

“The Dirt, The Devil and Me” is bringing back the groove. This tune rides a wave that feels like it never ends. The acoustics in the background gives a nice touch to the voyage type of feel. “The Dirt, The Devil and Me” is another neck-wrecker, if I do say so myself, however, it still keeps that vintage sound. “ITHAVOLL” is the final track from ‘Through Wolves Teeth.’ The clean, progressive tone is well placed at the end of this album. It gives a conclusive intention that allows you to build your interpretation to the ending and it sounds beautiful.

The overall levels of this album are even and appealing. I enjoy listening to each layer. I was a big fan of the originality and eclectic tendencies of Floyd Turbo. It had me grinding a lot of nostalgic styles all at the same time, and I loved it! The composition was excellent and if you’re one that is all about the story or music that paints you a picture- you will dig ‘Through Wolves Teeth’ without a doubt!

Physical copies of this album are available HERE

Soon to be available on other media outlets!

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Dean + Mark + Nick + Jim = Floyd Turbo

Through Wolves Teeth Tracks
1. Something Afoot In The Mistletoe
2. Through Wolves Teeth
3. Death Of The Sun
4. Gold Tooth
5. Pillars Of Regret
6. The Dirt, The Devil, and Me
7. ITHAVOLL

Check out Floyd Turbo online!
Official Site
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Mitchel Fulcer

Edited by Samantha Crocker

Album Review//Shadow Witch-Disciples Of The Crow

Shadow Witch is a Heavy Psych/Stoner Grunge/Metal band from Kingston, New York. They recently released their newest album, Disciples Of The Crow, which follows their first release, Sun Killer, from the year 2016. They released Disciples Of The Crow in 2017 under the label Salt Of The Earth Records! You can connect with them online in the links below!

https://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/

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Shadow Witch returns with an amazing new release filled with mood, atmosphere, and killer riffs and vocals. Eight songs are all that’s needed to raise you above the light, surround you in darkness, and bind your ears, hearts, and mind as one.

Shadow Witch is coming for you.

I had the opportunity to see Shadow Witch Perform live at Reggie’s in Chicago, IL during the Doomed and Stoned Festival. Shadow Witch is a perfect name for this band because it represents their musical style. Hidden in the shadow of the upbeat riffs is a dark doom theme. Smoke and mirrors for the message, if you will. This LP starts out with an upbeat rocker-“Love Could Be Like This.” A tale of a conflicted soul who experiences a dream of a dark shadow illusion of love; the conflict of temptation and of a desire to be loved, but what love is this? Within the lyrics, it states Love is like a scream, which is a play on the phrase Love is like a ‘dream,’ suggesting that this type of love is more nightmarish than welcoming.

“Reap” is the second track; this tale is an expansion of the story of creation-like Genesis. Its groove takes us into the dark karma of humanity. We are then lead to the third track, “Cruel” which seems to represent the fact that just because people possess ‘sparkly’ things does not mean that they own anything. This is because there is no justice or freedom in actuality. For all the so-called ‘valuable’ things people own, they are born to be subjugated, and they do not desire to be genuinely free.

Track four is the title track of this LP- “Disciples Of The Crow” The song starts out with the haunting cackles of a crow deep in the woods, calling you in. The beat is dark and menacing. Grinding riffs of doom paint the backdrop for this tale of the Raven King, which spells an apocalyptic end and suffering for all of humanity; suggesting the fall of an empire.  The fifth track is “Stranger Skies” which is another groovy upbeat rocker. This tune describes the awakening of the Dragon King. This yellow beast offers no relief, only grief, and nothing can stop his impending rise.

 

“The Sea” is the next track which begins with the sound of rain and distant thunder. The song kicks off with a slow, soft intro, then builds to a rockin’ slow verse riff. The cymbals seem to play the role of flashing lighting as the lyrics describe a beckoning to take to the stormy sea. It tells of the spell cast by the sea that lured men to their demise. “Beneath The Veil” picks things up a bit, as this track is a fast-paced, groovy tune. Essentially, we have all been sold to be a feast for the beast.

The final track “Dead Heros” is the conclusion of Disciples Of The Crow. This one starts with a sweet, crunchy doom-groove. The message I get out of this one is a reflection of too many lost heroes of war, which creates a feeling of hopelessness. This album has lead us from a more of an upbeat track to a downslope track. This, to me, is the perfect doomy outro for an album adventure such as this.

Overall I was very impressed with this album. They have a unique quality of sound to their flavor of the doom metal genera. I loved how the music was groovy and upbeat, but the subject matter was dark and in depth. This created a fascinating moody tone to the whole thing.

Thank you once again to Shadow Witch for being one of the main contributors to our Doomed and Stoned giveaway. We thank you for your support!

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The tracks of Disciples Of The Crow are:
  1. 1. Love Me Like This
  2. Reap
  3. Cruel
  4. Disciples Of The Crow
  5. Stranger Skies
  6. The Sea
  7. Beneath The Veil
  8. Dead Heros

Shadow Witch is:

Doug Beans-Drummer

‎David Pannullo-Bassist

Earl Lundy- Vocals

Mellotron-Loops

Jeremy Hall-Guitar

Catch Shadow Witch at their next show! August 3rd at The Anchor ins Kingston, NY
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For more on Shadow Witch find them online in the links below!
-Don Niesen
Edited by: Samantha Crocker 

Album Review//Color Killer-Generation Z

We head out once again to Marlborough, MA. to re-visit the legendary prodigy punk band Color Killer! These kids have been making a statement in the music scene. They have been working tirelessly, playing shows and now have released their very first album which is appropriately named Generation Z.

For those of you who maybe haven’t been with us here at Music Maehem since the beginning, Color Killer was one of the very first bands we had the opportunity to interview, which was a great honor for us and we thank them! If you wish to read that article you can view it HERE.

For those of you who might not have the time, Color Killer band members are:
Lincoln – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Nate – Bass & Vocals
Matt – Drums
Dylan – Rhythm Guitar

They are accomplishing so much at such a young age. It’s not only mind-blowing, but also inspiring!

We kick off Generation Z with “A.D.D” which is full of all the nostalgic riffs and beats that we remember from the 90’s punk era. This style holds true throughout the style of the album, but in the first track you get stricken with the ‘feels.’ From “A.D.D” we are lead into the next track “Spiders” which opens with a groovy bass lick that reminded me of one of my favorite bassists of all time: Mike Dirnt. This tune is where the bass shines, which, to anyone who has read my articles, know I genuinely favor. I also really love the backup vocals that have begun to be inserted in the songs as well. This is a fun punk tune that gets you up and moving like I suppose you would do if you had a spider on you.

Next in the line up is “Down With Winter.” This track is very relatable to us who live here in good ole Wisconsin. This time we open up with the drums and a great hook riff that is an attention grabber for sure. This little riff easily gets stuck in your head, which is good! “Down With Winter” has been one of my favorite tracks from the beginning of my Color Killer Fandom, so it’s cool to finally be able to experience the recorded version of their jamming tune.

Track 4 is “Super Hero.” This song reminds me of the style of my favorite Japanese 90’s punk band-The Pillows. It’s a fun and somewhat uplifting song about not holding yourself to other people’s expectations. Basically, it’s saying that you don’t need to count on anyone and that you should do things for yourself, something I could personally relate to, for I feel that a lot of people seem to count on me for things and that in itself is something that can become a bit overwhelming at times. There’s a punk song for that emotion, and here it is! “They Call Me Steve” is a cover tune from Teenage Bottlerocket and still has a similar Pillows-esque vibe, but it also reminds me of the style of punk tunes that came from Green Day’s early years; I’m talking way early, like 39/Smooth. Especially in the way that the vocals are presented.

“Football” is another fast-paced punk tune for you. This one has The Offspring flavor to it. It brings back some of the cool guitar riffages that we were introduced to in “Down With Winter.” This tune is not the traditional way in which most people look at playing Football. This is more of the raw and unruly energy that I remember the boys in my neighborhood had when they played. It’s cool to see a punk song that captures that kind of moment from our youth.

“Toothless Wonder” is a short and sweet tune about what it’s like during that awkward phase of youth when you begin to lose your teeth. It’s got a catchy chorus for sure and a lot of great hook riffs. “Go To Bed” made me laugh because I was the kind of kid that never slept (I’m still that way). Thankfully being a child in the 90’s meant there was plenty of awkward late-night television shows to watch. I’m sure that is part of what formed my charming personality and psyche, but, I digress. This track has a cool guitar solo in it, and I continue to be blown away by the young talent in this band.

“Generation Z” is the namesake track of this wonderful album. This is a great track musically as well as lyrically. It’s the perfect climax track to this album as well. It talks about everything that is going on in the current generation; including how they have a better grip on the technology surrounding us. They have a breakdown chorus in this track as well as a lot of back up vocals and things that give you the feeling that you hear the voices of Generation Z. This track is pretty much the perfect anthem for that youth that is coming into the world today. We millennials thought we were pretty rad, well we better move on over, that’s all I’m saying.

“Michael Doesn’t Like Me” is truly the track I would name as the ‘fan favorite.’ This is a great tune about that school bully. You know who I’m talking about, that one guy who is just a dick to you for no reason even though you try to be cool? I think we all have someone like that in our lives. I know I keep on reflecting on the 90’s era here, but in the 90’s the classic bully was often something that was brought up. Usually, they had red hair and squinty eyes; like the reoccurring character O’Doyle from the Adam Sandler films of the decade. This track is a jam though, and I like it. In all honesty, it’s my second favorite track on the entire album.

“Strangers” is a friendly reminder not to talk to strangers. Yes, even when you grow up, don’t talk to strangers. No one is to be trusted, especially these days. I mean, don’t be a total shut-in, but definitely be aware of your surroundings and don’t go anywhere alone; paranoia is that you?? Anyways, this is another pretty short tune, but it’s jammy and fun to listen to.

“Maci” is a slow acoustic apology tune. It’s sweet and endearing. Following in the footsteps of the types of slow tunes that Green Day has performed, it’s the perfect type of tune to start getting us to the end of the album. It has just the right amount of humor in it and pretty much sums up what it means to have ‘young love.’ Childhood is never too serious after all. However, all humor put aside; it’s awesome that Color Killer can switch from playing fast and punk to acoustic styles. Even when it’s more of a comedic style tune, it shows a lot about their range of talent.

We now approach the final track of Generation Z- “I Just Wanna.” This is a relatable tune about all of those life obligations getting in the way of what you want to do in your life. Even when you’re a kid, there are all kinds of things you don’t want to do. Go to school, do your homework, clean your room, etc. You sit, and you’re like “I can’t wait to grow up, so I don’t have to do this crap” Then you grow up, you have a job, you have to pay bills, you have to grocery shop!? All of this when all you want to do is rock out! DAMN IT! I won’t spoil the very end for you, that part you will have to check out yourself.

Overall I am VERY-SUPER impressed with this album. It’s fun and nostalgic. You find a lot of relatable content no matter what your age. Color Killer has a great playing style that reminds us of all of our favorite punk elements. The band is very tight as well. I strongly encourage you to get your copy of Generation Z.

Get your copy of GENERATION Z HERE

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1.A.D.D
2.Spiders
3.Down With Winter
4.Super Hero
5.They Call Me Steve
6.Football
7.Toothless Wonder
8.Go To Bed
9.Generation Z
10.Michael Doesn’t Like Me
11.Stranger
12.Mac
13.I Just Wanna

Check out more from Color Killer in the links below!
Facebook
YouTube
Twitter

To help COLOR KILLER save punk, you can donate HERE!

-Emily Mae

Edited by: Samantha Crocker

Album Review//Brume-Rooster

Hello and welcome Maehem readers to another killer album review. Recently we took a trip to Doomed and Stoned Fest down in Chicago, IL where we found a band that stood out to us: Brume. Brume rhymes with “doom,” and that’s precisely what you get!

There was a buzz going on among all the bands at Doomed and Stoned about the fantastic quality of their newest LP- Rooster. Right away I knew this band had the goods. I was able to speak with the drummer of the band, Jordan, while I was there which you can see more of in our Article On The Road//Doomed and Stoned Fest- Chicago. They also donated a copy of Rooster to us to give away in our drawing which we featured earlier in the week.

Right from the first bass drop in track one, “Grit and Pearls” you know this band means business. I have to say that the bass tone has somewhat of a Motorhead flavor to it, but the riffs are pure doom; the tone has that punch though. As I listened, I was brought to a smooth, peaceful trance with the groove of this tune. Susie, lead vocal and bass guitarist, has a uniquely haunting quality to her voice that accents the harmony of the strings and cuts cleanly through the thunderous grooves of the drums. By the end of this track, I just wanted more. The message of this tune, to me, seems that there was a time before we humans let ego overcome empathy and there was harmony. Suggesting that we need to find our way back to harmony and balance to stop participating in tyrannical behaviors. We need to unite and stop dividing humanity.

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The second song is titled “Harold.” This song continues the grinding doom riffs. I am sensing a quality of the Jefferson Airplane influence to the vocals; harkening back to the psychedelic age. I’m not saying exactly, but the clear cutting vocal quality through the riffs seems to bring this thought into the light. With a short pause and a clean strum of the guitar, we are brought to our next track “Reckon” I enjoy the journey this track takes you on. It describes the ominous character of reckon. It starts with a western style riff which leads to the dark tones of the “meat” of this one. Definitely, more of the Jefferson Airplane influence in the vocals here as well while a spiritual ritual is taking place.

The more we progress through the album, you will start to notice a Keith Moon influence in the drumming style as well. The guitar tones have a Black Sabbath feel and marry well to the bass tone I was speaking about earlier. I can say that it was already at this point in the album that I started falling in love with Brume. “Reckon” was honestly one of my favorite tracks on the album as well. Track four is “Call The Serpent’s Bluff” which comes at you heavy with a slow drum roll. The track is a tune about what seems like the haunting of an evil entity waiting to prey on your soul.

Track five is “Welter,” I couldn’t help but laugh to myself about the irony of the fact that in the following lyrics:

Oh welter, Meet the clouds halfway, oh welter, Summon another raining day

At this point, while I was listening to the album for review, the rain was coming down hard. The thunder and lightning dancing outside my window were bringing this track to life. I was getting the true psychedelic experience as my imagination ran wild with the story I was being told.

The final song on the album is “Trade Wind.” We included a video link to the live performance below!

This tune was the perfect strong finishing hat to the album’s vibe overall. The poetic meter of the lyrics lends themselves naturally to the rhythm of this tune. This is a quatrain style poem, which adds a unique structure to the whole song overall.

Rooster was a very impressive LP.  When I listened to the LP and then reflected on my experience of seeing them perform live, the quality was just as amazing as it was in person.  In fact, I was so impressed with the album overall that I was sure to head over to their online shop and get myself a tee!! You can get one in the link below!

https://www.brumeband.com/

To experience Rooster for yourself check out the link below! Also follow them on Facebook as well!

Bandcamp: https://brumesf.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brumeband

You can catch them at their next show at Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco, CA July 12th!

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-Don Niesen

Edited by Samantha Crocker 

 

Weekend Warriors//Metal Interviews//Dread

Hello and welcome to Weekend Warriors! We are featuring one of the newest members of Rock Syndicate’s arsenal of brutal heavy metal: Dread! Currently located in Los Angeles, CA, Dread just released their newest album, From This World To The Next. If you are like myself and love old school 80’s style thrash metal, then this is the band for you! They are the epic combination of Judas Priest and old Iron Maiden (when Paul Di’anno was around) and we at Music Maehem just can not get enough!

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http://rocksyndicaterecords.com/

We had the honor of speaking with Taylor Dread (drummer and vocals) on what it means to come togetheri in celebration of their newest release!

For starters, you just released your newest album From This World To The Next, which is your first release since 2010’s album, Brace For Destruction. Was the newest album in the making for that long or had you guys taken time away from the scene?

Actually, it wasn’t that long at all. AD and myself wrote the whole album and recorded it in under three months all in all. We always knew at some point we’d make music together again, whether in Dread, or something completely new. In 2015, just before I had moved to Los Angeles, we did one last “farewell show,” and even though AD and myself merely only talked about it in passing, that show seemed to be the spark that lit the fire again. Now, it took a couple of years before we really got something going. I started to build this festival, the Los Angeles Strikefest, and I couldn’t imagine Dread not being apart of it. So we talked about possibly reuniting for the fest, but that if we did, it would have to be full time. If we’re gonna do this again, it’s gotta be all chips in. So, at the time, we decided to just do a short, three song EP. But as soon as AD sent me over the riffs to Blitzkrieg, I knew that it had to be a full length. We both just dove right into the creative process head first. It was almost as if all of this material was just boiling inside of us, waiting to be let out.

You’re newest album, not to be that guy, but it was amazing! I could definitely tell you are influenced by bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but with that being said, what are some of your personal inspirations for this album?

Hey, there’s never anything wrong with being THAT guy! That’s what keeps music alive, all the love and support we show to bands. We are honored.

But yes, as far as influences, the more obvious ones are on our sleeves so to speak. Priest more than Maiden though. For our other influences, I think you might be surprised. We’re music lovers, and the stuff that actually inspires us not only musically and creatively, but also emotionally, ranges from spectrum to spectrum. Our biggest influences range from Billy Idol, The Cult, Thin Lizzy, to Loudness, Ratt, LA Guns and Armored Saint.

With every new release comes a new tour! Tell us where Dread is headed?

Well, right now, our comeback show is on June 22nd, on the first day of The Los Angeles Strikefest, which features Nasty Savage, Exciter, Razor, Nocturnus AD, Morbid Saint, our brothers in Night Demon and our brothers (and sister!) in Blade Killer, plus a whole lot of other incredible bands. We figured we’d get our teeth sunk into this show first, and then plan accordingly afterwards.

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Speaking of touring, I myself am a thrasher at heart. Absolutely my favorite metal genre. So, we all do this I know it: Put together one killer tour with your dream bands, your band included and tell me what you would call the tour. No pressure. Ready? GO!

Well, that’s a hard one. For me, it would be Billy Idol, The Cult, Ratt and LA Guns. It would never happen, so I’d call it “The Tour that Never Was.”

What words of wisdom can you pass on to aspiring bands? How do you keep the Dread dream alive?

Hmmm. Well, I would say you gotta stay driven and work hard. You have to constantly take risks and put yourself out there. Never give up, and always look at failures as lessons. Don’t give up, and always pick yourself back up when you get knocked down. And the most important thing, chase the dream. Not the money, not the girls, not the ego boosts, but the dream. Which lies in the music.

Would you like to give any special shout-outs to anyone who has helped you all along the way?

Personally, I’d like to give a huge shoutout to Dan Dismal. On top of being a partner on the Strikefest festival, he’s been like a big brother. I’d also like to thank Jarvis Leatherby of Night Demon for being a good friend and linking me up with Dan, it has forever changed my life.

Also, who is your artist and where can we find their other work? I love me some Satan-tastic artwork!

Thank you! That means alot! The artist is Mario Lopez, and you can find his work here: marioestuardol.wixsite.com

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Any final thoughts?

Not much besides a big thank you for taking the time to interview a band like this. Be on the lookout, it goes up from here.

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From all of us here at Music Maehem, you are super welcome! Thank you as well! It’s the support from the band’s who take time with us and the fans who support us that keeps our dream alive!

For more one Dread, check out the links below!

https://www.facebook.com/Dreadmetalrocks/

https://dreadmetalrocks.bandcamp.com/album/from-this-world-to-the-next

-Emily Mae

Edited by: Cat Sullivan

Music Maehem Exclusive// SQUIDHAMMER METAL- POWER REMOVAL SERVICE

Check this out Music Maeniacs. All of you who follow and support us are in for a special treat! As a thank you for being cool, our friends and brothers in metal Squidhammer Metal have decided to give us all an EXCLUSIVE look at their new album Power Removal Service! This album has been among the most anticipated releases of the summer for our Wisconsin metal scene, and now it is finally on its way!

Squidhammer Metal always has lively and memorable performances. They take the stage with a primal force that can only be described as something to the effect of the spiritual reincarnation of the legendary band, Pantera. Their shows feature not only the thunderous voice of metal, but also pyro-performances, explosions, and a few unique character features from the Squidhammer cast, including the infamous Jack Gas and their seductive Squidhammer Babe! If you have spent time with the members of Squidhammer Metal, you’ve likely been left with a tale to tell at your next gathering for years to come. I know I will never forget my first evening at Camp Hammer!

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Before we dive headfirst into Power Removal Service we have a little word from The Squids themselves in the video below:

 

 

Anyone who’s anyone on the scene here in Wisconsin is more than ready for this badassery of an album. Power Removal Service starts us off hard and heavy with “Spark.” This tune is the perfect introduction to that which is Squidhammer Metal, in fact whenever I see them; this is the song I imagine playing behind them. You know, like the in the movies when people are walking around a bar in slow motion with explosions in the background? That’s it. “Spark” is the perfect metal party anthem, and sure to be the song of the summer! Just remember you heard it here first! Track two is “Rock The Fuck On!” which keeps the party going without a hitch. Those of you who have had the chance to see Squidhammer Metal live know that this tune is one that commands your attention to the front of the stage. The pit opens, and everyone is in the moment chanting: “ROCK THE FUCK ON, ROCK THE FUCK ON!!!!” Metalheads are united as one.


“Power Removal Service” is next in line and the title track of this brutal album. This one is one of our personal favorites! Loaded with high-octane riffs that hit you right in your metal soul and are backed up by a powerful rhythm that gets your blood pumping. The vocals, as always, are packed with a primal rage that brings this tune to life and makes it the perfect namesake for the album. It is a tune that highlights the attitude and force of Squidhammer Metal. Now its time to “Take It Back” and you better watch the fuck out because there is definitely a circle pit going on by now. This track is especially one for all the drummers out there. It’s full of blasting, brutal kicks and glass shattering cymbal crashes. “Take It Back” reminds me of those tunes you jam after a whole day of dealing with those people that get under your skin and you just want to tell them to “shut the fuck up” because you are just too metal to deal with that shit.

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“Hide for Hide (Beast)” brings to life the tale of man versus beast! Whenever I jam this tune, I picture someone around a campfire telling a tale of the beast waiting just beyond the light to shred you limb from limb. I’m sure there is a metaphor in there about society if you look hard enough, I mean, music is all about the interpretation after all. Personally, on my end, I much rather take it as is and enjoy the beautiful word picture painted before me of a beast ripping off faces and chowing them down under the full moon.

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“Speedball” is a shredding guitar solo track that reminds me of the much more superior metal version of “Eruption” by Van Halen. This track stands out on its own in full metal glory as it leads us to “Perfect Storm.” This tune is the perfect headbanger and just an all around jam. The Pantera Spirit is strong with this tune. The chorus of this tune is my favorite. Something about the groove of it sticks strongly with me. As we progress through the track to the end, it picks up the pace for a vicious outro that gets us ready for “Hatred Energy.” I am always in favor of a good hate-filled tune. Maybe it’s because I am kind of a hateful person, and hey, I’ll own up to that. No shame. If you are looking for a track that will help you channel that energy, this track is the one for you!

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“New Found Tribe” takes us away from the hate and back to the happier times of jamming. This is what we call “Squid jiggin’ ” music. We are lifted right back into party mode. This tune is where I feel the guitar truly shines. The guitar is wailing, ripping, and roaring throughout the entire tune and ends on a smooth, solid note. This is the tune that always gets stuck in my head for days, which is fantastic! That’s how you know it’s got all the right hooks.

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“Killtest” is another headbanger for sure. It’s hard and heavy while still giving you the chance to catch your breath now and then. Not too long though, it still has those fast pace blasts from the kicks and those lighting strikes from the guitar! Especially in the solos, you’re just like “holy shit man!” I mean, to be honest, there isn’t a time in the whole album where I am not thinking that. “Chapter Two” is getting us prepared for the ending of the album. It’s a slower tune compared to the rest, which is more than okay because I am sure that you are getting tired from all of that partying by now. However, you aren’t ready to give up yet! Get your ass up! You’ve got it in you; I know you do! “Chapter Two” gets your ass up for that second wind and ready for the pit! This is an amazing tune about redemption and perfectly timed in the album. It’s that good wholesome reminder not to give up even when you feel like you are on the brink of doing so. This is reflected in the lyrical content as well:

I fuckin’ got this| You fuckin’ got that| Order’s up| No time to chew the fat|

You can’t stand this| I can’t stand that| Jump ship| You know where the plank’s at

I got this| I got this| I fucking got this| I got this| I got| I got…

The final chapter of Power Removal Service is one of the classic metal anthems of all time “Cowboys From Hell” a cover of the all mighty Pantera. This rendition still has that same Pantera attitude and soul, but the Squids give it a breath of fresh air with their personality and drive. It’s fair to say that if there was a band out there that truly captures all of which Pantera had given us as a metal scene, Squidhammer Metal is the band keeping it alive. However, that being said, they certainly stand out all on their own and are bringing a new life to the scene as well. They have their own very unique style that says nothing but SQUIDHAMMER METAL!

Power Removal Service was well worth the wait! This is an album that hits you with undisputed attitude and unrelenting force that gets the blood pumping and the mosh pit swirling. I can’t get enough of this album, and it’s not leaving my playlist EVER!! Get your copy of Power Removal Service July 7th and CRANK IT!

ROCK THE FUCK ON METALHEADS!

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The overall quality of the album is outstanding as well, and we all have Russell Hollar of Russell Hollar Music Productions to thank for that! So, Thank you! Check him out in the link below!

https://www.facebook.com/russellhollarmusic/

Here’s the scoop: PREORDER IS AVAILABLE 6/23!!!!

When you pre-order your copy of Power Removal Service from iTunes you instantly get your copy of “Cowboys From Hell” as a sneak peak of the greatness that is to come your way!! Full album is available for digital download 7/7!

Best digital zone to get your copy of Power Removal Service is definitely from CD BABY if you don’t flow with iTunes! On 7/7 get it in the link below!!

https://store.cdbaby.com/artist/SquidhammerMetal

****BUT WAIT!! HERE IS THE BEST PART!!!!!!!******

As a special thank you to all of you wonderful fans out there supporting us here at Music Maehem as well as the Squids and of course the scene: PHYSICAL copies are available starting Saturday, June 23rd at the SquidHedz Gearshop in the link below!!

Order your copy and use our EXCLUSIVE PROMO CODE: MUSICMAEHEM2018 and get FREE SHIPPING!! This code will be valid this year only so don’t miss out!! Get your copy before it’s gone!!!!

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Connect with Squidhammer Metal in the links below!

http://www.squidhedz.com/

https://www.facebook.com/squidhammermetal/

#GETCHASQUIDON

-Emily Mae

Edited by: Samantha Crocker

Photo Credit: Emily Mae|https://www.facebook.com/Emilymaehem25/

Video:

Filmed by Emily Mae Don Niesen Ian Gray

Edited by Cat Sullivan

Extended Play//The Divide-Those Dirty Thieves

 

Welcome Music Maehem readers and subscribers to Extended Play with the Illinois punk/metal band, Those Dirty Thieves!

They just dropped their new single “So What” on 4/20, which was then followed by the release of their newest EP The Divide! Personally, I have been waiting for this EP since I saw it announced way back in February, so it was my pleasure to bring it over here for a review!

For those of you who haven’t seen these guys killin’ it on stage, you should get out there ASAP! They have the amazing energy of metal combined with the attitude of punk, and have an extraordinary talent of turning the entire room into a pit with ease. I got to witness this firsthand one evening at the Pollock Inn in Wausau, Wisconsin. Ever since that night, this band has stayed stuck in my brain, so I have just been waiting for the first chance I had to jump on a feature for these guys!

This EP enthralls you from the very first note. As soon as it begins, I couldn’t help but think, “Ooooh shit!” –I knew I was in for something sweet!

The first track is “Full Moon”, which is full of attitude and rage. It gives you the feeling of being chased by wolves, or maybe even fighting wolves! Either way, you feeling the mighty wrath of wolves and it gets your blood pumping!  I’m sure that has something to do with the name of the track, but that being said, as Marceline The Vampire Queen of Adventure Time once put it, “The only thing women love more than fun is excitement. She needs to feel her blood pump, man! She needs to… BE CHASED BY WOLVES!”

“Full Moon” fades perfectly into the next track, “Growing Old”. Those Dirty Theives have adopted the tagline “WRECK YOUR NECK”, and this track is guaranteed to fulfill that goal for the listener! Fast, thrashy, and relentless with plenty of killer bass licks to peak your heart’s desire. This track has so much drive and force to it, it’s a tough call, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be this one. I’m in love with the thrash metal influence throughout, but that very punk ending reminded me a bit of the old Offspring albums as well.

“So What” was the first track that Those Dirty Thieves revealed to all of us. It’s easy to see why, as it is the perfect highlight of what to expect from this EP. It has great hooks and heavy riffs as well as the powerful drums and catchy lyrics that are all married together into this track. When I first heard this tune, it hooked me instantly.  Just to be nice, here is the link to the single below for your listening pleasure, but don’t stop there!

Things slow down just a bit in  the next track, “Chasers”. There are heavy breakdowns that hold some of the nu-metal flavor. Of course though, things speed back up and the thrash returns once again, featuring one HELL of a sick guitar solo!

We finish out this EP with “Back From The Dead”. This track is also a little bit slower at times, but still keeping the fast, brutal and definitely face melting style that is Those Dirty Thieves. This is the perfect ending for this EP– the fact that it had to end at all was a real bummer, but all good things come to an end as they say, and if it HAS to end, this track is the best way to do it. Continuing to show they are heavy as fuck, it ends just in time for you to give your neck a much needed break.

Overall this EP is an absolute must on any playlist worth having. Each track is pretty short, so it helps you get your energy and anger out right in time to finish your lunch break and get back to the grind. If that’s not enough for you, just put this bad boy on repeat!

The Divide by Those Dirty Thieves is available now–hit that link below and prepare to WRECK YOUR NECK!

You can also join them in person with the neck-wrecking at their next show on May 11th at Smith’s Downtown!

Be sure to follow Those Dirty Thieves on all the social media you can find!

https://open.spotify.com/album/0NbWXRaDKY2MyzHDU66aAL

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/those-dirty-thieves/id1092872590

https://www.facebook.com/thosedirtythieves/

Want to see them live? Check them out at Smith’s Downtown May 11th!

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-Written and co-written/edited by Emily Mae and Cat Sullivan, respectively