Category Archives: Hardcore

The Suck: Poison The Well’s Van & Gear Stolen

Further proof that some people out there just SUCK.

Miami’s Poison The Well have just announced that after the first night of their US tour w/ Canadian rock act Billy Talent, in support of their new album The Tropic Rot (out now on Ferret Music), the band has been robbed of both their touring van and all of their instruments and personal belongings.

The band had this to say about what happened:

So this morning we woke up at our delightful Marriott Courtyard hotel (priceline, get into it) and walked outside to get in the van to head to Chicago for our second show of the tour. Only problem, it isn’t there. Either someone is pulling some Merlin shit on us and just waiting for the perfect moment to unveil it and calm our shot nerves, or a talented scumbag stole our van and trailer with literally everything we own inside. Needless to say, we’re crushed. Our most beloved instruments are gone, and trust me, we’re gear nerds.

After a great deal of scrambling and deliberation, we found a way to stay on tour, after a few days off to get some gear and a rental van together. Having something like this happen is the worst thing that can happen to any band short of someone dying, and we’re incredibly stoked to finish this tour with Billy Talent and play every night doing what we love.

Our most sincere thanks to everyone who offered to help us in any way, our friends mean the world to us and everyone who has reached out today is absolutely mind blowing. Huge huge ups to the entire Ferret Records Family (Carl cause hes got the cash and Rick cause he calls the shots), Issac and the entire Indie Merch and Jakprints family, Tour Dog Leasing and Rental (thanks for driving to detroit to come get us), Jimmy and First Act Guitars, Russel Blair and Orange Amps, Derek at Ernie Ball, Tyme Rogers and Tech 21, Evan Obrien and Korg, Scott Uchida and Jim Dunlop, Jon “Shabba on the spot” Linton, John “Badge” Chidley. Some of these people have always helped us out and are further making our lives better. Some of these people barely know us and have helped us this with this shit time.

If you want to help out, we’ll have a limited edition shirt online sometime soon that makes fun of our situation and is awesome, and all proceeds from that will go to wiping away our tears and some new tumbleweeds for the insides of our wallets.

See you in a couple days. Pissed about our gear and passionate about this band as ever.

Love,
PTW

Good luck guys.

Poison The Well – Exist Underground

Thanks to Solid PR for the heads up.

It Dies Today Next Week…

Just received word that one of my favorite metalcore/hardcore/screamo bands out there, It Dies Today, is dropping an album next week.

The Buffalo, NY band formed in 2001 at a very young age and impressed me with their furious sound and mature way of handling the scene.  I love the way they incorporate hardcore with metal and even add a little harmonious singing.  Their songs have been blasted out of my car windows more than once this summer and I can not get enough of them.

Teaming up with Trustkill Records they will be releasing Lividity on Sept. 15th.  I have high hopes of the release and will be sure to review it as soon as I get my hands on a copy of it.  My only concern about the new album is that I learned the band has a new singer since their last album and I am curious to see if he can keep the momentum going that was left in my ears from the previously release Sirens.

Until the CD releases next week I have no idea what to expect, but I was able to find the first single off Lividity entitled “Reckless Abandon”.  The song is freaking awesome.  Give a listen for yourself and see why I dig these guys so much.

DOWNLOAD THIS!It Dies Today – “Reckless Abandon”

I actually like It Dies Today’s take on Depeche Mode‘s “Enjoy The Silence”:

Converge Posts A New Track From Their Upcoming Release!

Are you in the mood to listen to something that very well may damage your eardrums in the best way possible?

If so you should head over to Converge‘s MySpace page and check out their first track titled “Dark Horse” off of their upcoming album Axe To Fall that is scheduled to be released on October 20th on Epitaph Records.

I can not even tell you how pumped I am to see that they are dropping a new album.  After all it’s been about three years since their last studio album.  I am sure this will be just as amazing as the previous. 

I’m feeling a little old here too realizing that the band has almost been together now for 20 years.  That is impressive and it really looks as if this band has no intention at all of slowing down. 

As an added bonus Converge will be going on tour in support of the album as well as will be opening for Mastodon and Dethklok for their [adult swim] tour.  That tour is going to be insane. 

Converge will be making a stop in Cleveland with High On Fire, but they will be without Mastodon and Dethklok.  The good thing about this is that the stage will be all theirs providing for a longer and more intimate set.  The bad news is the obvious.  If you want to see that amazing freaking [adult swim] tour with Mastodon and Dethklok headlining you will have to venture to another city.  Click the picture below for more info on that.

The following comes from a press release from the good folk over at Epitaph Records:

CONVERGE’S AXE TO FALL ON OCTOBER 20

Essential Hardcore Outfit Announces New Album and Fall Tour

August 18, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA. – Groundbreaking hardcore-metal band Converge will release their long anticipated new studio album, Axe To Fall, on October 20 via Epitaph (vinyl on Deathwish). Considered one of the most intense, important, and influential metal/hardcore bands ever, Converge continue their uncompromising evolution, experimenting and manipulating the fiercest form of music with the most aggressive album of the year, Axe To Fall.

Fitting like a puzzle piece in their all but flawless catalog, Axe To Fall is an undeniable progression in the band’s canon of cacophonous sound, dexterous skill and ingenious art, as thirteen of the most viciously powerful songs Converge has ever written reign down on listeners in a surge of sonic fury. True to their meticulous DIY style, guitarist Kurt Ballou helmed production duties once again from his infamous GodCity studios in Salem, MA.

Without warning, Converge lets their metal flag fly on Axe To Fall when drummer Ben Koller’s galloping beats meet Ballou’s lightning fast riffs as bassist Nate Newton provides a pummeling backbone and vocalist Jacob Bannon takes command with menacing growls on the album’s shattering opener “Dark Horse.” Perhaps Converge’s heaviest music they’ve ever recorded, the foursome invited a slew friends to contribute to the album, and the result was a wall of metal-infused hardcore on a level that’s never been heard before.

Songs like the hardcore pit-swirling “Effigy” (feat. Steve Brodsky/Lead guitar, Adam McGrath/Guitar, J.R. Connors/Drums), the furiously relentless neck-breaker “Wishing Well” (feat. Ulf Cederlund/Lead guitar/backing vocals) and the blazing thrash-track “Cutter” (feat. John Pettibone/backing vocals) keep the album moving with power and energy. As defiant as ever, Bannonroars through songs about despair and self-indulgent choices warning that “we’ll show the demons for what they are.” As the album comes to a close it takes a doom-ridden turn as Neurosis’ Steve Von Till shares vocal duties with Bannon on the brooding track “Cruel Bloom” and Genghis Tron’s Mookie Singerman providing lead vocals on the beautifully dark post-metal album closer “Wretched World.”

After 19 years as a band, Converge still maintain the steadfast individuality and uncompromising artistic vision they had when they formed. The band has been credited with giving rise to a genre of music and influencing bands worldwide, yet by never wavering have created a sound that is entirely their own.

Withthe release of Axe To Fall on the horizon, Converge are readying an arsenal of music from their storied catalog to unleash on audiences across the US when they tour with Mastodon, Dethklok and High On Fire in October.

Prepare yourself for the year’s most vicious album, Axe To Fall.

Axe To Fall Tracklisting:
1. Dark Horse
2. Reap What You Sow
3. Axe To Fall
4. Effigy
5. Worms Will Feed
6. Wishing Well
7. Damages
8. Losing Battle
9. Dead Beat
10. Cutter
11. Slave Driver
12. Cruel Bloom
13. Wretched World

Converge Tour Dates:
09/05: Los Angeles, CA @ F Yeah Fest w/ F*cked Up, Cold Cave, and more
09/24: Durham, NH @ UNH w/ TBA
09/28: Iowa City, IA @ The Picador w/ TBA
09/29: Gillette, WY @ Knights Of Columbus w/ TBA
10/02: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/03: Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/04: Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/06: Calgary, AB @ Big Four Building w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/07: Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/09: Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Saltair w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/10: Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/12: Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire 10/13: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/14: Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/15: Nutty’s North @ Sioux Falls, SD w/ High On Fire
10/16: St. Paul, MN @ Myth w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/17: Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/18: Milwaukee, WI @ Eagle’s Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/19: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop w/ High On Fire
10/20: Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/21: Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/23: Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/24: Buffalo, NY @ The Fairgrounds w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/25: Albany, NY @ Armory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/27: Boston, MA @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/30: New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/31: Washington, DC @ Patriot Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/01: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/05: Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/06: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire 11/07: Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/08: Pompano Beach, FL @ Pompano Beach Amphit w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/11: Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/12: Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/13: Austin, TX @ Austin City Music Hall w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/14: Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/16: Las Cruces, NM @ Pan American Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/17: Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Ampitheater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/18: Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
05/28: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/29: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/30: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more

More Warped Memories…

So tomorrow the all day punk rock summer camp, also know as the Van’s Warped Tour, returns to Cleveland.  Once again I, along with a few of my friends, will make way through the endless crowds of kids to check out some amazing punk rock bands including Bad Religion, NOFX, Flogging Molly, and Gallows.

Armed with my trusty camera (the pics in this post are from the 2007 & 2008 Warped Tour FYI) I plan on doing my best to take some killer photos to share with all my readers.  I always have fun mingling with the fans and the bands and already know tomorrow will be an amazing day.  I may even sneak in a couple of photo sessions or interviews too.

I can not even tell you the number of Warped Tours I have been to but I know I have attended over half of them that rolled through Cleveland since 1996.  There were good times and bad times as well as times I do not even remember.

I’ve seen the festival blossom into what it is now and have watched grow as it moved from venue to venue in Cleveland.  I even remember the one time it was held at the Agora!  I think that was in 1997 and I do not remember any of it except for it being very cramped.

Having already recapped the 1996 Warped Tour in a previous blog, I though I would continue the fun stories although I am not sure my other Warped memories can top that dog choke chain story…

Here are a few select years I remember:

1998
I remember this Warped Tour being at the Nautica Stage / parking lot in the West Side of the flats in Cleveland.  Utilizing the parking lot the festival did not seem too cramped but I know that a whole ton of kids snuck in without paying as the fences were unguarded and short.

There were a few bands I can recall without looking them up on the internet that played including Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid, Deftones, Kid Rock, MXPX, Unwritten Law, and the The Aquabats.

It was a good time although I was not feeling very well.  I was having stomach issues and just did not want to be bothered by anyone.  During Rancid a girl was punching people and kicking the guys in their lower abdominal area.  I yelled at her for her to stop kicking people in the junk after she got me once.  She went for round two to my crotch with her Doc Martin and I grabbed her foot and…well that’s all I have to say about that.  Everyone in the pit cheered.

My long time friend Gary was with us and I remember him flicking off the Goodtime III as it sailed past us.  The horror on the people’s faces was priceless.

Kid Rock…wow.  Kid Rock was one of the closing bands for the day and I kid you not (no pun intended) there were less than twenty people checking him out.  No one seemed to like him.  In fact, after a couple of songs my friends and I took off as did most of the crowd.  (Not even a year later Kid Rock would be opening up for Metallica)

2004
Ha, this was the year my pal Anthony and I collectively spent over $211 on beer.  Yes, $211 of our hard earned money was spent on overpriced draft beer.  I had brought a lot of cash with me planning on getting some merch from a lot of the bands I was a fan of and instead thought it would be a good idea to spend it on rounds of beer.

I think the Casualties played as well as NOFX, Bad Religion, Lars Frederickson & The Bastards, Anti-FlagYellowcard…umm…that’s all I got.  I was pretty hammered at this Warped Tour.  Ok, pretty was an understatement.

About 10 beers into the day my friends and I found an area to the left of the main stage that we pretty much staked ground at when there were bands we did not care to see.

“Eiffel Tower” was born that day too.  No, I am not talking about the Paris landmark, I am speaking of a cheers that takes 3 or more folk to engage in.  Anthony and I would hold our beers up high in the air to a random beer drinking attendee and scream “Eiffel Tower!!!!” expecting them to hold their beer up too.  At first people looked puzzled at the gesture but soon the beer drinking folk loved it and honestly I think we started something awesome that day…in fact I know we did.

In case you need more proof how much of an a-hole I can be, Yellowcard had just finished up their set and the younger crowd was leaving the main stage area because I think Bad Religion was playing and they needed to get to some other pop-punk stage.  Drunk and annoyed we started yelling at the kinds “get you of here you jerks” as well as called them “phonies”.  The looks of their faces was priceless.

I was that guy, that drunk guy, that annoyed everyone.  Hey, I was having fun so I guess that is all that mattered.  Thankfully we sobered up before the show’s end and then killed even more time afterwards ensuring no dangerous/stupid decisions were made.

2006
This was the first year that I got a VIP pass to the Warped Tour thanks to my lady and to the Transplants‘ guitar tech Jay Bastard.  This year I actually went to Cleveland and then the very next day to Cincinnati.

Avenged Sevenfold, Senses Fail, Transplants, No Use For A Name, My Chemical Romance, Dropkick Murphys, and others were on this bill.

In Cleveland I was tame but Cincinnati was a different story.  I was reunited with Anthony and even though the two of us planned on only spending little money on beer we still got hammered.  “Eiffel Tower” was introduced to Cincinnati that day.

Later during the festival Anthony and I were beyond wasted looking for our girlfriends who were actually on a tour bus with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Jay Bastard enjoying the AC.  Anthony and I were hanging on a fence trying to watch the Dropkick Murphys having no idea where to find the girls while sweating our asses off.  Eventually the girls found us drunk morons and walked us back to the car.

I swore to never again get hammered at the Warped Tour.  That sun was lethal and drinking did not help it one bit.  In fact I think it made us drunker…haha.

2007
This was one of those years I will never forget in my life.  Not because of the festival but because of mother nature’s fury.

This was actually the first festival I would not only attend but also review for the blogging site Blogcritics.org.  I was pretty psyched to have the opportunity to review the festival yet a little nervous becuase it was the first time I had ever really reviewed a festival.  I was so clueless what to do or where to go but I soon figured it out.  See below for a link of my review.

I drank one beer this time.  My friends…did not.  “Eiffel Tower” returned to Cleveland.  I kept a good eye on my friends this time to make sure they stayed out of trouble.  I should have kept my eye on the sky.

Around the 3 o’clock hour the blue skies turned dark and a freak thunderstorm rolled in to the Cleveland area.  I remember calling my lady asking her if she was getting hit by the storm.  She was at a dog park by our house and she stated it was still blue skies and had no idea what i was talking about.

This devil of a storm for some reason decided to slowly pass downtown Cleveland causing just horrible conditions, especially for folk like myself who were stuck outside with only tents to protect.  The storm pounded the area with heavy rains and winds so strong I swore we were in a tornado.  Everyone made the best of it because honestly, what the hell were we to do?  Luckily I was under the main tent surrounded by a ton of other folk.  Some kids were not so lucky hiding under bridges and wherever else they could find cover.

After the storm I walked around the grounds and it looked like armageddon.  Almost all of the merch tents were either packed up or blown over and destroyed.  The power was out in most of the city and there were hints of the Warped Tour not going on.  Even though the rumors were brewing, not many fans left and stuck it out waiting for an official announcement.

Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Warped Tour, made way to a stage where Coheed & Cambria were to play stating that the storm was one of the worst he has ever seen.  He also added that the show would go on and that they had two generators to power the two main stages.  He also offered all the storm survivors an added bonus and told everyone that their ticket stubs were good for admission to any Warped Tour for the duration of the summer.  I did not take advantage of that offer but some of my friends did.

As the sun set Bad Religion took the stage with a single hanging light bulb hovering over the stage.    It was a bittersweet ending to one heck of a day.

Click here for the review I did for the 2007 Warped Tour on Blogcritics.org

2008
Pretty tame year actually.  Since earlier in the year I put drinking on a hiatus I just flooded myself with water and enjoyed such acts as Against Me!, Story Of The Year, Gallows, Gym Class Heroes, MC Chris, 3OH!3, Beat Union, The Briggs, Pennywise, and Bouncing Souls.

Click here for the review I did for the 2008 Warped Tour on Blogcritics.org

2009
The day starts tomorrow at 11am.  I am sure I will have some stories to share.

Until then, have a good one.

Bleeding Through – Declaration – CD Review

Photo by Cindy Frey
Photo by Cindy Frey

Straightedge metalcore sensations Bleeding Through continue their mission to rock your face off and implode ear drums while doing so with their latest release Declaration. Combining heavy metal, death metal, punk rock, and even a little black metal, Bleeding Through has their own unique style that is just brutal, and that is an understatement. Having been around since 1999 the band was labeled one of SPIN’s 2003 “Artists To Watch” as well as have been featured in a Revolver “Future of Metal” article. This is the band’s third release once again on metal label Trustkill Records.

Formed by members of other heavy acts such as Eighteen Visions and Throwdown, the band caught my ears when I heard This Is Love, This Is Murderous, the band’s first release with Trustkill Records. I will never forget that day as my ears were introduced to just pure fury. I had just finished up a day at the record store and I was cleaning up getting ready to go. My friend asked if I wanted to hear something heavy and of course I told him to go for it. The moment he hit play on the CD player I was hooked.

This Is Love, This Is Murderous was in heavy rotation on my playlist for years. I was highly disappointed with their next release on Trustkill called The Truth as perhaps I was expecting more from such a strong intro to the band in This Is Love This Is Murderous. I can not say I was that pumped to hear Declaration as I was afraid that their sound may still not compare to taste I enjoyed but that all changed once I finally checked out the CD.

The opening of the CD “Finis Fatalis Spei” was a black metal, evil circus sounding, melodic introduction that set me back for a second until a quote from the movie 300 ended the intro with “Tonight we dine in hell!” From there the CD was an all out mugging on your ears with “Declaration (You Can’t Destroy What You Can Not Replace)”. Death metal, heavy metal, black metal, and even speed metal combine for a powerful first song on this album with Pantera guitar hammering moments thanks to help from As I Lay Dying’s Tim Lambesis.

“Orange Country Blonde and Blue” followed continuing a insane death punch to my ears. Again I can not help me being reminded of Phil Anslemo and crew in this track as well as 90’s metal bands with the chorus. “Germany” really reminded me of Bleeding Through’s earlier years with just non-stop drumming and almost so much guitar that I felt as if the song flew by way too fast.

“There Was A Flood” slowed things down a notch at the beginning with a track that really set well with me. Musically the song was something along the lines of a slower Cradle Of Filth song but I assure you as soon as the song started it seemed to put me in place. Lyrically the song spoke about checking on a mistake from the past and reiterating the high hate for that mistake. For the first time on the CD lead vocalist Brandon Schieppati sings for a moment on the track but is fast to get back to Mastodon-like vocal shredding.

“Reborn From Isolation” has it’s head banging moments until the song actually started making me want to swing my arms carelessly about and attack the air with my fists. It’s songs like these that make me happy I no longer stand in the pit at live shows because I am pretty sure others feel the same way about this track.  “Death Anxiety” had that same fight everyone and everything around you feel.  If you were a fan of This Is Love, This Is Murderous, you agree that this song sounds like it was left off that album.

“The Loving Memory Of England” took a break from the others and had kind of a Pantera “Planet Caravan” moment. The song not only gave me a chance to let your heartbeat settle but it also proved the band has a softer side. “Beneath The Grey” soon dismissed any chance that the CD was going to end mellow with a full blown hard beginning that made me take a second listen when I discovered that the song that had a guitar solo from No Use For A Name’s Dave Nassie.

Closing the CD was “Sister Charlatan” one of my choice cuts on the CD. With a well orchestrated introduction the song still kept with the heavy and has a It Dies Today similarity with a nice mixture of death screaming and harmonious singing. Add intense guitar solos, double bass drumming from hell, and even some beautiful piano playing over a thunderstorm, the song made me feel like I was a schizophrenic with the change ups.

Declaration is everything I was looking for in a Bleeding Though CD including the loud screaming, forceful drumming, and vicious guitar playing combined with enough force and hate to push you down to the ground. Don’t look for this band to clot or heal up anytime soon as there is just too much flowing out right now. If you like your metal loud, heavy, and most of all fast Declaration needs to be in your collection.

Here is the video for “Death Anxiety”:

Did you know that Bleeding Through was featured on Inside Edition report years ago?  It’s true.  The band was on tour and was involved in an accident while traveling.  The band was on their way to a show in Colorado when the bad’s van hit ice and crashed into an already disabled vehicle.  The whole accident was captured on a police cruiser dash-cam as police were on location tending to the previous accident.  Luckily no one was hurt.