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Written by Daniel Drexel*

There are certain things in this world which complement one another perfectly: milk and cookies, pizza and beer, or owning a Prius and being a horrible driver. However, one such shamefully overlooked complementary duo is listening to doom metal while watching Bob Ross. This duo is so intrinsically fitful that one cannot help but wonder if Bob Ross looked to Black Sabbath and Candlemass while looking for inspiration in his paintings.

There are obvious similarities between Bob Ross and doom metal, such as the fuzzy beards and long hair or the appreciation for landscape imagery. But there is also beauty found in their differences, for us humans host an innate fascination with notable contrast. The duality finds its contrast in the quiet voice of Bob Ross and the smothering volume of doom, or dooms nihilistic apathy and the moral and ethical purities of Bob Ross. It is the juxtaposition of these complements and contrasts – coupled with the fact that doom metal is as boring as watching paint dry but Bob Ross makes watching paint dry enjoyable – that make Bob Ross and doom metal an undeniable union worth experiencing.

This article serves as a guide for the best pairings of classic doom hits and beloved episodes of The Joy of Painting. My research is still under development, so I encourage everyone to experiment with different blends and share them with your friends and I. Together, we can prolong the legacy of history’s most wholesome human being by establishing a culture of revering Bob Ross and doom metal in the same manner we revere milk and cookies.

1) “Black River” (S2 E6) and “Black River” (The Highest Leviathan)

 

What better way is there to kick off this list than with a song that was not only written by the man who was a catalyst in discovering the duo discussed in this very article, but was also inspired by the episode itself?

It was December 23rd of 2015 when I was in my home city of Rochester, New York visiting the apartment of my two good friends in The Highest Leviathan. In one room doom records were spinning, as they usually are with these guys, and in the adjacent room an episode of The Joy of Painting was on the TV. As I sat to relax on the couch my ears focused on the music, my eyes on the painting, and my mind on the mental journey instigated by the combined stimulus. At this moment, through pure coincidence, the hobby of watching Bob Ross painting while listening to doom metal was born.

It was confided to me down the road by Tyler, The Highest Leviathan’s guitarist, the song was written with inspiration from Bob Ross’s “Black River”, and reflected deep meaning and impact in his personal life. I’d say the deep rumble and echoed timbre of the instrumentation perfectly complement the dark shading of the painting. Do you agree? You be the judge.

Song: https://thehighestleviathan.bandcamp.com/track/black-river

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O4sfJd8G_M

2) “Valley Waterfall” (S23 E8) and “The Mental Tyrant” (YOB)

 

The music of YOB is diverse enough such that where one song starts and ends is often quite different, with contrasting mood and instrumentation along the way. The Mental Tyrant is an adventure in of itself, transcending via a gradual ascension of clean and somber to harsh and smothering. Such a song needs pairing with a painting diverse in color, texture, and scenery such that our imagination may run wild – “Valley Waterfall” does just the trick.

The song’s moody intro complements the cool canvas back drop. Reverence is instilled as Bob invokes a mighty mountain right before our eyes. The song’s escalation proceeds to smother us in massive guitars, allowing us to audibly detect the weight of the mountain. The chromatic and dissonant tonality complements the haunting evergreens resting at the base of the intimidating monolith. We as viewers feel the inspiration to scale the harsh terrain, but the chaotic and unresolved outro of the song reminds us that this will be no easy endeavor. In the same way the song abandons its peaceful intro and throws us into a maelstrom of doom, we abandon the peaceful valley waterfall and prepare to venture into the unknown by scaling the great monolith before us.

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsDpbqWTsbs&t=189s

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYcsYzzRae4&t=1132s

3) “Mighty Mountain Lake” (S16 E12) and “Nightfall” (Candlemass)

 

“Mighty Mountain Lake” constructs a landscape reminiscent of the Scandinavian Fjords; a place fitful for being accompanied by Swedish doom legends Candlemass. The music of Candlemass differs from the more depressive styles of doom in that it is vigorous. It utilizes animated riffing as opposed to sustained, bellowing chords. Its mighty and epic atmosphere screams to traverse forbidding mountain terrain.

Examining Candlemass more specifically, it is revealed that Nightfall’s groovy yet ominous riffing host’s movement that yields the texture of jagged stone cliffs and mystifying highland evergreens comparable to those found in “Mighty Mountain Lake”. It’s as if Bob Ross is conducting The Well of Souls as he carves the mountain faces with his palette knife. Taking into consideration that “Mighty Mountain Lake” aired only three months after the release of Nightfall, this compatibility is questioned to be more than a coincidence.

Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXWB37JUZxo

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vXB2R8ybDE&t=1178s

 

4) “Cactus at Sunset” (S8 E10) and “Life” (Taurus)

 

Prepare for a half an hour of psychedelic existential crisis.

 

Bob Ross is a man of the Alaskan mountains and forests, which means there’s something unsettling in the air when he decides to paint a desert setting. Furthermore, the final product generated in this episode is surreal and unearthly enough to make one wonder if perhaps Bob’s mind was in a more dark and otherworldly place than his comforting demeanor on camera indicates. What was on your mind, Bob Ross? Perhaps the best way to venture into the unexplored catacombs representing the dark side of Bob Ross’s subconscious is to indulge in Taurus’s cosmic thirty three minute masterpiece while joining him in generating this painting.

Life is as discomforting as music can get (aside from Blink 182 being in their forties and still playing music that appeals to high schoolers), so turn off your phone, dim the lights, and observe the manifestation of the doorway into the void right before you. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not to embrace the temptation of stepping inside – but let’s hope you’ll find your way out.

Album: https://taurusisdust.bandcamp.com/album/life-3

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBqD3QhKU24

 

5) “Frozen Beauty in Vignette” (S23 E11) and “Antithesis of Light” (Evoken)

 

Evoken’s “Antithesis of Light” is depraved, hopeless, and downright miserable. It is the soundtrack to the life of a man whose existence is so devoid of meaning that he is not even warranted the privilege of suicide. A man in such a state has no choice but to fade from existence, without a trace, by escaping in solitude to a nameless place where he is never touched, seen, or heard. His retreat from civilization ends in a desolate cabin in unchartered lands so unforgivingly frigid that no sane man would choose to live out his days there. Such a place is depicted in Bob Ross’s “Frozen Beauty in Vignette”. A place where a man can become what is the very opposite of existing – the mere antithesis of light.

Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM-Xnrf-dYo

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H15kV1wbDG4&t=655s

 

6) “The Old Weathered Barn” (S28 E7) and “Ritual Abuse” (Cough)

 

Not all of us wish to escape in isolation like the nameless man in the “Antithesis of Light” (entry #6). Most of us would rather relax in the countryside on a warm autumn afternoon with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other. Cough’s “Ritual Abuse” may be as misanthropic as the majority of doom metal, but it’s thick and muggy timbre hosts a certain comfort reminiscent of hazy afternoons where relaxation is prioritized over obligations. “The Old Weathered Barn” booms with cadmium yellow, bright red, and the beloved alizarin crimson; thus producing a hazy and comforting autumn setting perfect for relaxing in while serenaded by Cough.

Album: https://cough.bandcamp.com/album/ritual-abuse-deluxe-edition

Episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NAcN8-xkU0

 

7) Any combination of episodes and “Mirror Reaper” (Bell Witch)

 

Previously in this article I spoke of the attraction humans host towards contrast, yet with each entry have spoken heavily of the similarities. As this article comes to a close, it’s time to have a discussion of the importance of contrast.

Opportunities to immerse oneself in Bell Witch’s mournful 90 minute masterpiece are few and far between. Tag on the overwhelmingly melancholic atmosphere and catastrophic back story and not many of us wish to sacrifice valuable time to loathe introspectively. A journey into the realm of “Mirror Reaper” confronts you with thoughts of mortality and regret that soak into the conscious and dampen the spirit lastingly after departure. The reaper in the mirror represents both the pathologies within oneself and the wickedness among the world. This creature breaks through the mirror while simultaneously standing as our reflection, reminding us that if the evil isn’t within us then it is among us.

Bob Ross is the mere antithesis of the Mirror Reaper. He stands for everything that is pure, comforting, and selfless. Consequently, he is the antidote to the anguish in life we are afraid to confront, the saving grace for that which we cannot change, and a friend among enemies. He will grant the strength needed to enter the realm of the Mirror Reaper, and see to it you reach the end. Bob Ross is – and always will be – the most wholesome human to have graced this Earth. The rest of us are at risk of being a failure, agonized by the guilt of our convictions. Even a purist, innocent at the face of judgement, still risks mourning over the inevitable suffering embedded into existence. In either case, Bob Ross is there for us.

There is no pairing provided for this song because the experience is best self-defined. It is up to you to decide what setting provided by Bob Ross grants you solace – and there is enough length in the song to choose multiple. Just be aware that one day you may be so broken down by life and death that you must journey through the realm of the Mirror Reaper. If you lack the courage to face this endeavor alone, know there is one man who will stand by you. His name is Bob Ross, and may he be your guide in this life, the next, and everywhere between.

Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10q1ZJyLXFk&t=1716s

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Welcome to our 2019 show listings! Please scroll down and browse all the awesome local metal gigs we have coming our way. If we’ve forgotten a show you’d like to see on this list, please write to us either in the comments below or in a private message on Facebook. Thanks!

MAY 2019

JUNE 2019

JULY 2019

AUGUST 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

OCTOBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

DECEMBER 2019

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I just started coming to Music Matters in Niagara Falls at the end of last year. I can’t believe how long I slept on this store. Record stores are slowly becoming a myth in today’s music scene, so people like Robert Bourque are nothing short of inspiring. I’ve got a pretty lengthy discussion going with Rob, so I decided to make these interview articles into a little miniseries. To set up Part One, let’s look at the basics:

Mike Marlinski: How long has Music Matters been in business?

Robert Bourque: I opened it on my 40th birthday, May 25, 2008. Best gift I ever got myself.

MM: Did you start the store by yourself or did you have former partners, investors, etc.? Any former store names or has it always been Music Matters?

RB: I originally had a business partner whom will remain unnamed (I’m a pretty private person that likes to stay as drama free as possible) but at the very last minute they flaked and went on to sell diet pills in the mall called Metabolife or something like that. It was a huge blow at the time but better I had known then than actually opening with them and going through the ‘divorce’ of a business partnership in New York State. It’s always been Music Matters, but I did sell online under another name for about 20 years before that. Music Matters is now a trendy name and I now hate the name of the store because I am in no way a ‘trendy’ specialty shoppe. I guess the generic name basically does work for most of the family people that shop here etc. If i had my way, I would for sure change it though. If I ever move to another location, the name will be killed off.

MM: Now that I’m a well retained shopper of Music Matters, I’ve heard almost every genre of music imaginable played in the store. Is it safe to say you’re a fan of most styles?

RB: I for sure have been a music lover my whole life. My heart lies in jazz fusion and straight ahead heavy metal. I guess the only genres I do not care at all about are dance, rap, country and certain sub-genres of certain musical styles. There are actually few exceptions to rap and country but I detest any sort of disco and dance “music”.

MM: As a vinyl collector, artwork must be a huge factor of your habit. List some of your favorite album covers of all time.

RB: Oh man, there are lots of cool covers out there (and some awful ones) but I actually never really cared about that side of it. It’s the music that matters to me. Some of my favorites are the Coney Hatch debut album, Deep Purple In Rock, Blackfoot Vertical Smiles and Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here.

MM: Talk about some shows you’ve checked out over the past few years that stuck with you.

RB: For a few years there, when I had employees, I got out and saw a decent amount of mainly underground shows at various venues. Due to my job in the 1990’s and 2000’s, my job on the road prevented me from seeing so many incredible shows that I don’t even wanna hear about to this day (laughs). But, I will specifically try to answer each question. So two that I think of right away are, I saw Deathhammer in Buffalo in a DIY venue and I saw my favorite musician of all time for about the 10th time, Mr. Allan Holdsworth, may he rest in peace!

MM: You mentioned Frizb’s on Elmwood having a relation to Music Matters. Can you elaborate?

RB: Jeff Avery, the owner of Frizb’s is a good friend of mine and he helped me out a lot when I was beginning. I also do consignment on records out of his store.

There’s lots more to come from this series, but this is where I’m going to leave it for now! In the next segment, we’ll be hearing from Greg DiPasquale and few other voices from the scene. Thanks for reading!

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Today’s a pretty somber day in the Buffalo metal community, as we’re gearing up for Bret Hoffmann’s memorial benefit at Rockin’ Buffalo Saloon. As a token of respect, I thought I’d offer a look back at Malevolent Creation’s 1991 LP, The Ten Commandments. I’m fairly certain this one came out on Roadrunner in April of 1991, and it’s only fitting that the record kicks off with a sample laden intro called, “Memorial Arrangements”.

It should go without saying that when it comes to “Memorial Arrangements”, this is how almost all death metal albums should start. Then again, maybe this style of intro would quickly lose its flavor if that were the case. The Ten Commandments kicks off slow, with heavy impacting cymbal crashes and chord strikes, and layered over the top, is a cool sample involving a man’s soul being cast into the valley of death by the Holy Trinity. Then, from there, it’s all speedy tremolo picking and blast beats until the vocals make their way in.

By now, we’ve made our way into “Premature Burial”; a textbook classic death metal track by anyone’s standards. In this, the first full song on the album, Malevolent Creation choose to go with a quick, steady downbeat in the verse, followed by a fist pump worthy chorus. The backup vocals on “Premature burial!” make the song whole.

Subsequent tracks like “Remnants of Withered Decay” and “Multiple Stab Wounds”, keep the heavy riffs, steady downbeats and hefty mob chants in the choruses coming. Malevolent Creation, even early on, excelled at inciting crowd participation with their songwriting. You can’t listen to this album without singing along and banging your head. Many modern death metal bands have lost that appeal. These days, it’s all about note-cramming, odd time signatures and vocal patterns that constantly fall off “on purpose”. I’ll take early Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation or Deicide recordings any day.

Evidently, 1987 was the year MC was formed in Buffalo. I was three, so don’t quote me, but I’ve noticed that it’s commonplace for everyone to know about Cannibal Corpse’s origins, while having never even heard of Malevolent Creation. Between Anthropic (Buffalo grindcore) and Hellcannon (Buffalo thrash), I’m looking forward to a few MC covers at today’s memorial benefit, but who can guarantee such things?

Getting back to the album, I’m still not over how tasteful guitar solos in death metal used to be. In the song, “Impaled Existence”, the leads are comprised of dark melodies, ripping runs and perfectly timed dive bombs and such. Sadly, it’s just not like that anymore with a lot of these newer bands. “Fret vomit” is a real thing and it’s infecting the very core of today’s death metal market. If at any point I ask myself, “What are you even playing?”, I usually stop listening. Malevolent Creation, even twenty-eight years ago was very riff oriented, groovy, dark, mysterious and catchy all in one. Phil Fasciana and Jeff Juszkiewicz really had their shit together in the name of death riffing. And who can forget about Bret Hoffmann? I’m pretty bias since MC was one of the first death metal bands I ever heard, but I think he had one of the most iconic death vocal voices in genre history. Bret used a very natural, gritty yell with a lot of deep, bass-y throat expansions to accent his words. It also helps that his diction was usually on point. It’s pretty easy to understand most of the lyrics on early MC material without using the album or the internet as a reference.

To close this out, a lot of people think it’s corny, but I usually like it when a band names a song after themselves. Though, it helps to have a badass band name. The song, “Malevolent Creation”, which closes out the band’s 1991 debut, is a killer fast note to end on. Much of the song carries an old school punk vibe to me, with a quick tempo and equally quick lyrics making up the majority of the tune. A lot of bands like to end their records slow and heavy, but for a band like MC, I prefer this method of a send off. I think that keeping the listener apprised of all that is yet to come is the way to do it, and that’s what MC did here.

“Awaken in sweat, my skin chilled and cold. May have seen my own death, but can’t see what I know. Attempt to piece it together, illusions of the mind. Dark starts to alter formations of my find. Fulmination termination of your life to be. Malignant euseration that the body cannot flee.”

Bret Hoffmann (February 8, 1967 – July 7, 2018)

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If there’s one thing this publication craves, it’s powerful death metal releases with an abundance of old school influences. Last month, Embludgeonment from Atco, New Jersey released an absolute banger called Barn Burner. From the very first riff of the opening track, this album locks its demon claws around your throat and doesn’t let go until the final note of the final song.

As the band classify themselves as death metal mixed with grindcore, we’re hardly in a position to disagree. Embludgeonment are most appropriately comparable to Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Disgorge and even Napalm Death at times. The guitars show off their heavy chops, utilizing a versatile array of low, heavy chord progressions, fast tremolo picking, subtle harmonies, thrashy speed picking and much, much more throughout the album. Guitarists John Hartman (Mortal Decay) and Lee Cozens excel at giving their ’90s death metal sound a modern, crisp feel.

Vocally, things are just as diverse as they are in the guitar realm. Ken England has mastered all the appropriate uses of harsh vocals in a death metal band, and he implements all of these into the vast majority of Embludgeonment’s material. Expect the deepest of growls, the shrillest of highs and a crisp supply of various mid pitches. Ken also has great diction, which is essential in this genre. Even in the heaviest of sections, most of the lyrics can be clearly understood.

To complete the puzzle, Mark Green flies on the drums. His style is absolutely terrorizing. What impresses me the most about the drumming on Barn Burner is Mark’s ability to seamlessly transition from blasts, to quick double bass with slow hands, then to insanely fast double bass with intricate fills, etc. Each drum choice is ideal for the riffs and you can really hear all the attention to detail put into every section of every song.

Embludgeonment have announced that they are currently seeking a bassist. Anyone interested is advised to contact guitarist, John Hartman. We’re also pleased to announce that Embludgeonment will be joining us at Rockin’ Buffalo Saloon on Friday, August 16, where we’ll be hosting Pathology, Narcotic Wasteland and Contrarian on their summer 2019 tour.

Barn Burner is a really solid modern day death metal album with classic death metal influences. Fans of this album will definitely appreciate Mesonoxian by Buffalo’s own death metal titans, Seplophile, or vice versa.

Catch Embludgeonment this summer at Pathology and keep your eyes peeled for some more exciting stuff from John Hartman, as he is now a Buffalo area resident!

Embludgeonment are:

John Hartman- Guitar
Mark Green- Drums
Lee Cozens- Guitar
Ken England- Vocals

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Welcome to our 2019 show listings! Please scroll down and browse all the awesome local metal gigs we have coming our way. If we’ve forgotten a show you’d like to see on this list, please write to us either in the comments below or in a private message on Facebook. Thanks!

MAY 2019

JUNE 2019

JULY 2019

AUGUST 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

OCTOBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

DECEMBER 2019

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The Metal by Mike Marlinski - 2w ago

Good instrumental acts are few and far between in Buffalo. InstruMETAL acts are even harder to find, yet Protopilot do the job nicely. They’ve been around since 2017 as far as I know, and last week, they finally released their debut full length, simply titled, Volume I. 

I first discovered this band at Stamps about a year ago, where they opened for a pretty impressive technical death metal lineup. I’d never even heard the band name before and had no idea what to expect, but what I got was a full-on progressive metal sonic assault. It’s always better to see bands live first in my opinion, because you know exactly what you’re in for right off the bat. Studio magic bands aren’t my thing and Protopilot hardly fit in that category.

Volume I was recorded by the one and only Doug White at Watchmen Studios in Lockport, NY. He’s been slowly working his way back into the core of the metal scene, ever improving on his sound engineering talents as time goes on. When we first started this blog, we did an interview with Doug I’ll be sharing here:

https://welcometothemetal.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/this-weeks-meeting-of-the-metal-minds-an-interview-with-doug-white-from-watchmen-studios/

Since 1995, Doug has been churning out demos, EPs and LPs for countless bands of just about all genres. But most recently, Doug sat behind the board for Contrarian’s latest album, Their Worm Never Dies and the forthcoming Gutted Alive album, both of which we’re so stoked on.

Getting back to the Protopilot album however, I’m so impressed with Doug’s production, the band’s playing, as well the band’s integration of spacey guitar effects, electronica elements and other nifty samples and surprises I won’t dare spoil here. This album is whole package and you need to go on Bandcamp and listen to it right now! I think that fans of Dream Theater, Rush and the lighter side of Animals As Leaders will most readily accept and appreciate Protopilot, however they have a sound designed to cater to the vast majority of fans of metal and rock. It’s very likable stuff and with the right marketing push, it can go far.

The song titles are just as simple and straight forward as the album title : “Opus” (I through V). But titling the songs this way sends a message to the listener that the album is meant to be listened to in its entirety in one sitting. My recent vinyl addiction has informed me that Volume I would be an ideal vinyl release for this reason. This album is roughly a thirty-five minute voyage into the unknown, spiraling out and retracting without warning. The transitions, tempo changes, effects and emotional conveyances are all expertly applied. And while Protopilot isn’t the most technical band out there, they could just as easily become the soundtrack to your life. Personally, Protopilot is my new go-to band for all road trips, but you can judge for yourselves. Check out Volume I below and get some great local instrumental prog in your lives this summer…

Protopilot are:

Ray Balcerzak – Guitar
Paul Giazzon – Bass
David Andrew Polycoder – Drums/Electronics

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Written by Tyler Hammer*

Jay Gambit is ambitious, a trait made apparent in the well-crafted and vast discography of his band Crowhurst. While starting off as a solo noise project, the current band took shape in 2015 with the self- titled release, kicking off the start of the metal trilogy leading us up to where we are 4 years later with the release of III. The thing about Crowhurst and Jay is that because it is coming from the mind of a noise musician, I have no idea where this project can develop. I can imagine what the next Immolation or Undergang release will sound like, but noise artists push the envelope of sounds and while the trilogy albums have a metal and rock framework it is hard to see predict a direction compared to most typical metal and rock bands.

If I had to define these albums it would be a combination of black, post, sludge and industrial metal. Throw in some noise rock and harsh noise elements and you have a rough outline. However, III pushes a lot of the sounds of the previous releases out of the way to focus more on melody. The album opener “I Will Carry You to Hell” kicks off the album with a quick black metal song involving blast beats and a choir but quickly mellows out with “Self Portrait with Halo and Snake” which has a post rock/sludge vibe to it. Jay showcases his clean vocals which are droning and hypnotic and features them much more on this release. The songs on this are focused and tight and while most hit the 6 to 7-minute mark the length feels natural and it never feels like a part has dragged on.

Following “Self Portrait with Halo and Snake” is “The Drift” which centers on layers of guitars and a free-floating song structure. The female singing in the latter half are a nice touch but are a bit repetitive with not much change. “La faim” is where we see a more noise rock side of Crowhurst. With chaotic guitars, thick bass and a solid groove, we see Jay (presumably) belting out a solid Danzig impression. It’s possibly my favorite of all the songs as it reminds me of off the wall punk bands like Flipper but with a heavier edge to it. “Ghost Tropic” is a good follow up starting with some clean guitars playing off each other’s and Jay’s commanding voice eventually building up to a solid tremolo and blast beat section.

The album ends with the song “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” which moves from heavy black metal/sludge to harsh noise to a more industrial/noise driven beat. It’s a good song but I feel the intro is the weakest as the transition from “Ghost Tropic” to this song is pretty abrupt compared to every other song.

Production wise, the guitars and bass are flawless for what Crowhurst is going for. My biggest irk is the drums which is either a drum machine or triggered. In 2019 I could care less about this but sometimes the mix is a bit off like in the opening track where the blast beats are overpowering at points. However, the mix issues are far and few in between. This album seems to have the least amount of noise involved besides the last track and I had hoped there would have been more thrown in. The biggest issue I can find is that the album is almost too short which is a phrase I hardly find myself saying in 2019. This is definitely a top of year album for me as it does so much in such a short time but feels very natural and well thought out. As I mentioned before, I have no idea what the next Crowhurst release will sound like but as always, I am looking forward to whatever Jay and company have to offer.

Crowhurst - Ghost Tropic (Official Video) - YouTube
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Someone once told me Vertigo Freeway was a deathcore band from “Tuffalo”. That person was wrong. Anyways, I cracked into VF’s self-titled debut this morning and got a chance to take in all of their vibes in one sitting. Funnily enough, these guys list themselves as a blackened death metal band, but I don’t necessarily agree with that either. I can’t say that there’s no black metal or death metal involved in this album, but I also can’t concede to the notion that that’s all Vertigo Freeway are.

VF are a band that seems to pride themselves on a sultry blend of both traditional and modern influences. Vocally, the album is a journey into an extremely versatile range of harsh insanity. Nick King and Alex Gross both do a nice job getting their points across through the shrillest of highs, the deepest of the lows and the most diverse array of mids I’ve heard in awhile.

Guitar wise, and this is not a jab, the band likes to keep things simple, straight forward and in the pocket. Each track throws down a nice arrangement of broken up chug riffs, epic tremolo progressions, nasty, fast chord riffs and decent alternate picked note-y compositions. The guitar work on the album is fun and in your face, while keeping things grounded and heavy. I consider most of the leads to be melodies as opposed to solos, but as a melodic death fan, that’s hardly a complaint.

The rhythm section has no choice but to remain steadfast in a band such as this. The bass and drums are beautifully intertwined to keep the guitars and vocals anchored throughout these epic, heavy songs. There are many points in these songs, where the bass and drums need to drop out with simple chug/tom accents to make room for all the dissonant build-ups VF loves to throw in. That’s where the modern influence seems to slink its way into the fray most often. But almost immediately after, VF will answer the call with a classic BM chord progression or a tasty guitar harmony to counter.

All in all, a very interesting band. I’d only heard snippets months ago at Studio A Recordings during a session, but those hardly did this album justice. It’s a fun listen and we can’t wait for it to drop.

Sadly, these guys are notorious for really short YouTube promos, so here’s our favorite (JUST A TASTE):

"The Indited Disrepair Of The Modern Human” Album Promo - YouTube

Vertigo Freeway are:

Nick King – Vocals
Alex Gross – Vocals
Jon Lambert – Guitar
Will Doherty – Guitar
TC – Bass
Mike Marion – Drums

You can also check out their previous album, Paranoia on Bandcamp by clicking here.

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Welcome to our 2019 show listings! Please scroll down and browse all the awesome local metal gigs we have coming our way. If we’ve forgotten a show you’d like to see on this list, please write to us either in the comments below or in a private message on Facebook. Thanks!

MAY 2019

JUNE 2019

JULY 2019

AUGUST 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019

OCTOBER 2019

NOVEMBER 2019

DECEMBER 2019

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