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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Concert Review: Metal At Warehouse 21

Unfortunately, Anomaly broke down and were unable to make it to this gig. Those of us who just had to see them got a second chance tonight at Hooligan's Nightclub in Albuqurque. Anyway, the incredibly talented Savage Wizdom took their place at the last minute, and drew in a huge audience of loyal fans. 

The night was started off by Exalt, who play a fusion of Hip-Hop and Metal. Their musical style is in the vein of Rage Against The Machince, Faith No More, and pretty much all the other Nu-Metal bands ever. They were decent, considering the fact that I don't care for Nu-Metal. If you're into that kind of thing, more power to you. Exalt is pretty great, just not my cup of tea. 

Colossal Swan Dive was more to my liking, with heavier riffs, aggressive drumming, harsh vocals, and a more crusty musical style in general. This was Metal to which I could headbang in all good conscience. There's not much more I could say here... They have no gimmicks or novelties. Colossal Swan Dive is just three dudes playing good ol' Metal. 

I don't even remember Gutwrench playing at all. They must have cancelled at the last minute as well. This is very unfortunate, since they are a throwback to old-school 80's Doom Death Metal. Then again, they are from a completely different country (Mexico), so maybe red tape prevented them from playing last night. That really sucks, I bet they could put on one hell of a show! 

Headlining in the place of Anomaly was Savage Wizdom, a local favorite. If you don't know by now, they are the best Power Metal band in New Mexico. So think catchy riffs, clean vocals, lyrics about dragons, and  a front row full of headbanging fans. Like all Savage Wizdom concerts, this one was glorious. 

The afterparty was pretty sick too. Or so I assume, since I don't really remember it.  This morning, I woke up next to a Chihuahua in Savage Wizdom's studio. Things went from good to better when I realized there was tons of booze left over. Hair of the dog!  

So it was a pretty good night, full of drunk metalheads and uncertain circumstances. The bands who performed were all talented, but I must admit that I am disappointed that Anomaly and Gutwrench didn't make it. I would love to see them both in concert in the near future. 

As it stands, I give the night a rating of four stars outta five. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Upcoming Shows: Part 2

This idea of posting flyers for shows throughout the country was so great in theory. In practice, it's a pain in the ass to scour the internet for Death Metal concerts in the Bible Belt. Then again, "treat others how you want to be treated." If I was a headbanger stranded in the middle of a conservative hell-hole, I would want someone to tell me when Goatwhore comes to town, too. Here's part 2, covering the Deep South and beyond. 

Deep South

I'm sure some crazy Deliverance-esque shenanigans go down at a Deep South venue called The Plughouse. Yikes.  

The Plughouse is on this flyer too. Wait, look at that background. Is that the same  river from Deliverance?! If you hear banjos, fucking run. 

Who wouldn't love a line-up this sexy? The tour dates are as follows: 

5/10 - Tampa, FL - The Orpheum
5/11 - Miami, FL - Churchill’s
5/12 - Jacksonville, FL - Roc Bar
5/13 - Gainesville, FL - The Atlantic
5/14 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall*
5/15 - New Orleans, LA - Hangar 13*


My geography is a little rusty, so I'm not sure if Connecticut is considered part of the Northeast or the East Coast. I'm not even sure if I spelled Connecticut correctly. 

We all love Tech-Death. This sweet line up takes the stage at the Palladium Upstairs in Worcester, MA.  June 3rd at 6 pm.  Tickets are $15. Also, check out that fuckin' background on the flyer. I could stare at that bleak landscape for hours on end. 

East Coast:

I have nothing funny or clever to say about this flyer. Sorry. 

This is quite obviously a Stoner Metal show. The venue, called The Pinch, is located  at 3548 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010. 
Wait, it's a Stoner Metal show in Washington DC?! Personally, I'd be really paranoid about the Secret Service or the Illuminati or some other creepy government agency busting me for being toasted at a concert. But don't let that ruin your good time or anything. 

Lock up yo daughters, lock up yo wives. I'm coming to Maryland. 


I couldn't find any recent flyers for Alaska, but there is this cool contest.  Seriously, how could I not find any flyers for a cold, harsh region that's pitch black 80% of the time?! Alaska is like the Norway of the Western hemisphere. 


Oh no, Hawaii. Not you too. There wasn't much to find except this Guns n' Roses tribute happening tonight. Dying Fetus did just play at Hawaiian Brian's Showroom in Oahu, but that was on May 2nd. I wish I told you in time.  If I could change the past, I would. 

Whoo boy, what a hell ride. I hope I don't get any more crazy ideas. What will I think of next, posting flyers for INTERNATIONAL shows?!


Upcoming Shows: Nationwide Edition

I'm going to try something new: Instead of focusing on New Mexico's local shows, I'm going to post flyers for shows throughout the country. Simply scroll down until you see your region, then check out what shows are coming to a bar/warehouse/slum near you. The U.S.A is a pretty big place, so this will be broken up into two parts: Part 1 will focus on the West and it's various sub-regions, and Part 2 will tackle the rest. You ready? Me neither. Let's do this.

West Coast:

Ghoul is fuckin' ace. The rest of the line up is pretty good too, but let's face it. Most of us would pay the $30  just to see Ghoul. 

So-Cal goes old-school. This show is happening in Ponoma, CA. Having never been there, I can't give you directions. I hope it's literally in a Glass House. 


Holy crap, that's alot of bands in one day. I'm proud to say that Defleshment hails from my home state of New Mexico, and they have even been interviewed by Native Entertainment magazine. They will be sharing the stage with tons of talented bands at the Rocky Point Cantina in Tempe, Arizona.  Brutal Fest is happening this Saturday, so get your tickets before they sell out!

Speaking of Arizona, that's the place that Anomaly calls home. They will be playing at Warehouse 21, Santa Fe's only all-ages venue. I thought that this show was tomorrow, but since it's currently 2 A.M, I guess it's technically tonight!!

Later on, in the fine month of June, Warehouse 21 once again hosts an epic Metal show. Scalafrea from Colorado is one hell of a band, and Eat A Helicopter is Experimental DeathCore. Basically, if you come, expect some insane mosh pits. Not to mention the rest of the line up, which is comprised entirely of shredders.

This one is in Albuqurque's own Hooligans nightclub. Once again, the line up is pretty righteous, but I have a feeling that Torn Between Worlds will be the band that draws a crowd like moths to a flame. 

Torture Victim is releasing their new album! It's about damn time, too. Not for the faint of heart, lest you have a faint heart attack. 


This beast of a concert will take place in Studio Seven of Seattle, Washington. Fun Fact: Seattle is also home to the brilliant Stoner-Metal group Serial Hawk!


Goat Entertainment presents Shawn Whitaker at The What's Up Lounge in Mankato, Minnesota. I wish I could post more flyers in this region, but it took me about an hour just to find this gem. 

Wow, this is harder than I thought. And I'm not even half-way done! Iron-clad deals suck. Stay tuned for Part 2: Eastern America.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Iconocaust: Judas Complex

Before I even heard any of their music, I already assumed that Iconocaust would be devoid of clean vocals. With this band, however,  melodic singing coexists with the growls and screams we all know and love. In addition to these contrasting vocals, some songs feature no vocalizations at all. Strategically placed instrumentals pepper Judas Complex. Speaking of instruments, the guitars and bass are a nice flashback to the thrashy, catchy hooks that skyrocketed The Big 4 to fame in the late 80's/early 90's. The drumming is awesome, as the band seems to be characterized by an extremely rhythmic musical style.

Although I usually prefer indecipherable vocals that sound like a rabid devil, there will always be a place in my cold black heart for melodic singing. With Iconocaust, even the harsh vocals are intelligible. This is actually a refreshing change of pace, because sometimes it's just a pain in the ass to read lyrics while listening to a song just to know what the hell is going on. Which brings us to our next subject: The lyrics!

I am not authorized to post full lyrics here, but believe me, they're wicked. My favorite line from the whole album is "Your body won't be found." It's so brilliant in its simplicity. This is the genius of the band: They seem to be characterized by subtlety rather than the over-the-top style that defines most Metal bands. 

The orchestration and musicianship of the band is pretty sick, but what really gives them a cutting edge is the kick ass lyrics. One thing I've noticed about underground Metal groups is that their break-up songs are INCREDIBLY bitter. (Note to self: Never cheat on a musician. His subsequent compositions will make me notorious for being a skank.)

Last but certainly not least,  Judas Complex has some awesome artwork. Last I checked, a hooded dude with a noose isn't supposed to be sexy, but then again, who cares. I am also delighted by the fact that the CD itself looks like a coil of rope.

All in all, Iconocaust is clearly inspired by old-school thrash, but since Judas Complex was released recently in 2009, elements of modern Metalcore are apparent. It's not bad, but you should still see them live. I love their instrumental style and harsh vocals, but frankly, I don't care for the clean singing.  3 stars outta 5.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Savage Wizdom: A New Beginning

This post is dedicated to the recently deceased Jeff Hanneman. 

Savage Wizdom has some epic tricks up their sleeves for their upcoming album, tentatively titled A New Beginning. This gem will feature guest vocals of the legendary vocalist/songwriter/sex god Blaze Bayley! This alone would make A New Beginning  a turning point in Savage Wizdom's career, even though it's the only full length CD after the debut of No Time For Mercy. This album promises all-new material as well as remastered tracks.

Although they've been busy with production and events like Dungeonfest, Savage Wizdom performed live at their studio on Friday night. I would have spread the word prior to the event, had I known myself. As it stands, those of us who just wanted to hang out with the band for a member's birthday party, were pleasantly surprised by a huge crowd, live radio DJ's, video cameras, and most importantly, booze. Opening up for Savage Wizdom was their guitarist Steven Montoya's side project, Heavensake. Their first time playing on stage was filmed live, taped live, and broadcast internationally. Metal World Radio is to thank/blame. Here is a link to the video, which is impossible to embed for some fucking reason.

Not bad for their first gig. However, the spotlight shone even brighter on Power Metal veterans Savage Wizdom. Their magnum opus thus far is Shattered Lives, based on true stories of WWII Europe. Even those who escaped the horrors of the deathcamps were suffering from poverty and destitution. At that particular place and time, Jewish children would have to hide in squalid conditions, scavenge for food, and struggle to survive. Shattered Lives is an intense, virtuosic song inspired by, and dedicated to, those children.  The agitated guitars play a brutal melody, while the vocals are melancholy and haunting. No online content is available, so this song alone would be worth the purchase of A New Beginning.

 The sneak peek itself warrants five stars. The album is still in production, but stay tuned for updates!