Band of the Week #1: Artificial Pathogen (04/03 – 04/10)

Artificial Pathogen

We are proud to present you our first band of the week: Artificial Pathogen is an uprising Slam/Deathcore juggernaut group formed on the 7th of January 2015. The original line-up consisted of Alexander Sévigny & Aaron Gregory. Recently signed to Transcending Records, Artificial Pathogen has shown dedication and pure brutality in progression along their newly found journey. The group took part in the deathcore compilation “Collected and Harvested”  with now label-mates Despondent and a variety of other deathcore talents. Artificial Pathogen released their debut Bio Organic Destruction in early February of 2015. The track “Apocalypse Escape” was very popular among their listeners. During this time they started on Tears Of A Goddess. It was an album that’s certainly love or hate in sound but, the group personally felt a lot of pride from what they’ve put into Tears Of A Goddess. After a few months of the release they began preparations for Lilith, the EP that changed everything they stood for. “It was a drastic change in sound but in the same breath it was what we wanted. It was our sound, our take on the music world, that EP to date is our best in our minds and we hope to build on that aspect.” Alex Ives, the vocalist, has mentioned to New Transcendence. New Transcendence has gladly chosen Artificial Pathogen to feature because of their sheer raw power behind each track, their dedication to their fans, and to the scene. Artificial Pathogen recently released the first single “Maria The Tormentor” (You can find below) a single that has only just started the ball rolling for how their new sound will take its grip. Keep an eye out for a new album later this year! 

 

Artificial Pathogen on Facebook

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Versus Me Premieres Futuristic Lyric Video for New Single “EXP”

Versus Me Premieres Futuristic Lyric Video for New Single “EXP”
Single Now Available On iTunes

If you haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to Janesville, WI’s Versus Me, please allow us the opportunity to do that for you now. In collaboration with Ghost Killer Entertainment, we’re excited to bring you the futuristic lyric video for their new single, “EXP!” “EXP” sees the band expanding on the signature post-hardcore sound that they created with their debut album, Changes, but also sees them stepping in a new direction. Founded by current Alesana guitarist Patrick Thompson and also featuring the immense talent of James and Lee Milbrandt (ex-Serianna) along with the incredibly gifted Clint Greendeer, Versus Me is the band that the post-hardcore scene needs and 2017 is going to be the year that they see their rise to stardom. Fresh off a tour with Revival Recordings bands Famous Last Words and The Funeral Portrait, they’re ready to begin this new chapter and it’s quite clear that this is only the beginning. Unclean vocalist James Milbrandt finds himself digging deeper into his lower, more guttural range, while Thompson has honed his singing to a fine point. You can check out the lyric video below:

On the release of “EXP,” Patrick had this to say: EXP is short for experience points, like in any video game where your character gains experience points. The song is about seeking a life ripe with experience instead of living only for what you’re told you should want. When you watch any sports of any kind the commercials are brainwashing. So many people base their lives on fitting that mold.

Follow the band on their social media pages and look for an exclusive interview with Patrick which will give you more into as to what they’re up to for 2017! One thing’s for sure… they’re a band to watch this year!

“EXP” (Official Lyric Video)


Buy EXP – Single
iTunes

Buy Changes
Physical | Digital

Follow Versus Me on Social Media:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

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Local Band Spotlight – Letters To A Friend

    There is a plethora of local bands within the lovely state of Oklahoma. Many of different styles, genres, whatever you’d like to draw attention to. For now, we will be drawing our attention to the band Letters To A Friend. This is a band that is mainly based in Seminole, OK. Letters’ members consist of Brandon Burns on lead guitar/vocals, Jordan Hurley on bass guitar, Tj Miley on rhythm guitar, Jordan Johnson on drums, and Randy Runge on vocals. Together, this creates a band that makes a sound that is its own and stays true to it with a fair consistency. Letters’ sound even takes inspiration from video games and pop culture. Below is an interview held via social media giving answers to some questions that readers and future listeners may want to be in on.


Here is the interview, questions and answers:

NT: How did you form as a group?

 

LTAF: A lot of us were part of this band that started limiting us majorly, creatively, and the fun was kind of being sucked out of it, so, we decided we would form a new band with more creative freedom and make our main goal friendship and having fun. We’re trying to spread our philosophy  to make new friends as well as new jams.

 

NT: What were and continue to be your goals as a band?

 

LTAF: Like I mentioned before, our goals are making friends, new music, and having fun doing it. Our goal at the moment is getting our new members broke in and recording our new album.

 

NT: What inspired the music you are making?

 

LTAF: We like to think we have our own sound, but, we have so many influences all across the board it’s hard to name most of them. Our sound is kind of like a refreshing take on the roots of metalcore and post hardcore bands for the golden era of 2003-2010.

 

NT: Any projects in the works? Shows, Music, Etc.

 

LTAF: We are currently finishing the writing for our full length album which should be recorded later this year. Thinking April-ish.

 

NT: Lastly, How do you plan to continue to move onward as a band?

 

LTAF: We will continue to do our best to stay original and stay true to our core sound while still creating new experiences for our fans and not to mention meeting new people and making more friends and fans along the way.


 

    You can find Letters To A Friend’s music via YouTube. Letters’ also has a Facebook page. Give them a like and show them some support as they make their way into the industry. Links will be placed below the article. Keep on showing that local support for your scene! You never know who’ll get signed!

 

Facebook: Homepage

YouTube: “LTAF – New Game+”

 

-Hiei

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REVIEW: Second Death – Casket [2017]

Artist: Second Death

Album: Casket

 

Your friends and family gather around. Every acquaintance you’ve made and maintained—every relationship you’ve fostered past a scant “hi,” every woman you loved, your awkward roommate from your first year of college—they’re all here, assembled in a morose semi-circle around your funeral plot. The sky is overcast—grey, and unremarkable—with a breeze that raises the hairs on the exposed necks and backs of hands for all those in attendance.

They lower you into the ground. One shovelful of dirt thuds atop your coffin. Then another. And another.

This is your funeral; but what isn’t readily apparent is that, you aren’t dead…at least not permanently.

Dramatic though it is, this is the story of Georgian gritty, gruesome and groovy metalcore act Second Death, and their debut release, Casket. Risen from the grave of their previous name, Beware the Neverending, Second Death are more than an ambling, animated corpse serving as a crude reminder of their former selves. Instead, Second Death are reinvented—reinvigorated with a ruthless, no-holds-barred groove-infused style of heavy, slightly-southern metalcore reminiscent of A Plea for Purging and A Life Once Lost rolled into one furious and filthy display of aggression. Catchy one minute and crushing the next, Casket is aptly named—not because it’s the death of the band, but because it’s the formal death of Beware the Neverending, and more importantly, lethal enough to serve as the death of the listener as well.

At the crossroads of quick, bouncy, groovy candor and oppressively heavy, downtuned and dissonant metalcore, Casket is a remarkable throwback to the heavier metalcore acts of the late 2000s in a contemporary and crushing, current and relevant context. Percussionist Giovanni Casanova makes this abundantly clear, dominating the entirety of Second Death’s debut effort (under their revised name and attitude, that is) with drumming that ranges from relentless to ruthless. “Answer” and “Claim Culture” see him doing this with energetic expertise, keeping the tempo in the band’s upper extremes without losing the listener. Meanwhile, his fleet fills and fast feet slow it down a notch on songs like “Worth” or “Malfunction,” where he works diligently with bassist Clark Gargan to create grisly, hefty patterns that batter and bruise the listener into bitter, bone-busted submission. Gargan—much like Casanova—plays double duty. On one hand, during Second Death’s faster moments, his grooves and thick basslines are fluid, a dynamic firmament keeping the percussion sounding thick and full. Meanwhile, during the album’s more brooding, dark and brutalizing moments, Gargan’s bass drops the floor out of the mix, adding a positively absurd low end to the band’s dynamic that makes every chug and thick kick drum smack feel like a punch straight to the jaw. This works to amplify the fretwork from guitarists Christian Snow and Joshua Claxton—who practically define the band’s groovy-yet-gritty metalcore sound and style. Claxton and Snow’s guitars sound like rusty chainsaws cutting through rotting flesh. From the first seconds of “Answer,” the duo’s guitar tone is oppressive to an almost intolerable level. By the time the listener gets to the end of “Worth,” it feels as if their head might just fall straight off of their neck; even with the rare moments of cleanly-played and crystalline, ethereal atmosphere on “Pendulum” and “Self-Portrait” both—scant though they may be.

The distinct, low and turbulent roar of Second Death’s sinister and deadly instrumentation is complemented by the band’s furious frontman, Josh Claxton, whose voice is low, burly and full—adding heft and stocky, solid intensity to the entire dynamic presented within Casket. “Answer” and “Claim Culture”—just as they saw the band’s more fluid and peppy instrumental aspects in top shape—see Claxton’s vocal candor equally energetic, roaring along like a jet engine—deafening, intimidating, loud, yet fast and incessant. Meanwhile, the more intense tracks that close out the album—especially his work with Kaonashi’s Peter Rono on “Worth”—see Claxton’s low growls vicious enough to rip the listener’s larynx out and induce blunt force trauma with it. Claxton’s voice, even while it bears devastating and oppressive tone and thickness, spits lyrics that are passionate and meaningful, to himself and to others. “Claim Culture” is an excellent example, as is his work with After Me the Flood’s Taylor Whiddon on “Pendulum.” Whiddon’s voice is a welcome change from Claxtopn (whose vocals, while an excellent complement to the band’s music, find themselves bordering on monotonous for portions of Casket), and the lyrics he howls are akin to those in his own band—immensely emotional and almost overwhelming at points. This isn’t to say Claxton isn’t capable of that, either; as he most certainly is, be it with the rough and callous cleanly sung portions of Casket or the otherwise brooding, bitter and derisive syllable-splitting that occurs throughout the album’s remainder.

Casket is crushing; there are a cornucopia of reasons it might be named what it is, and there are a million corny one-liners and puns I could liken it to funerals, death, or mourning (half a dozen of which I’ve already exhausted). The point is that Casket take the “Death” part of Second Death’s name and give it a finite, nearly-tangible meaning, but in the process, they also provide life and vigor—energy over the course of several songs that make Casket bustling and brutalizing with nothing but pure, raw energy. So—cliché though it is—Casket tells the story of vivacious, full, blossoming life that ends in bitter, sour and dismal darkness. It is uplifting in spirit and energy, but depressive and devastating in terms of absolute heaviness. It brings together elements of groove and grisly, gritty metalcore from the genre’s annals and combines it with a contemporary twist that positively begs to be heard.

 

8.5/10

For Fans Of: A Life Once Lost, A Plea for Purging, Counterparts, Like Moths to Flames

By: Connor Welsh

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Interview: Never Say Die Vocalist Reid Henry

A classic much to the sound of hard rock comes driving over the airwaves when you plug in your player and head out on the open road. There is something undeniably freeing to the rock sounds that emanate and transpire between the squeal of your tires on the pavement and the driving guitar/drums/bass and vocals of Reid Henry.

 Never Say Die hailing from the rock capital of the Canada, come reaching out from Toronto to the states as they take a rock n roll path you will not soon forget. Their debut album- Destroy + Rebuild is the primo hard rock album from beginning to end. Catch Never Say Die out on tour through April in the states.

                                                                                PC: Matthew Wonderly

 

Song River: What is it about long drives that inspires some of us to think so much that we have to create?

Reid Henry: Any chance I get to write or play music I take it.

SR: Many will ask, why the hiatus, especially on the heels of great success… however, looking at this from another perspective wouldn’t that be the perfect time to stretch and possibly explore another avenue of creation?

Reid Henry: Our singer Matt got a once in a lifetime opportunity to play with his brother in Three Days Grace. For me, it’s an opportunity to challenge myself to rise with the tide.

SR: Was the intention there all along to take Never Say Die from a studio project to where it is now?

Reid Henry: Yes absolutely. I’ve always dreamed of being a singer. 

SR: There seems to be a definite importance behind the band’s name, as we see the words, “Never Say Die” show up quite often in titles, and phrases.  What was it for you to take these words and hold it as your band title?

Reid Henry: “Never Say Die” is a British idiom that means to not give up. We thought it was a fitting name for our band. Plus it sounds metal.

SR: The tune “Automatic” has a great hook immediately. It’s rock. Talk a bit about the structure of the song.

 Reid Henry: “Automatic” is a robot love song… we wanted to make the instruments on the track live up to the words in the song.

SR: Listening to “Like A Nightmare” and reading over the YouTube comments, one fan asked how in the world you got your guitars to do what they do in that song- yeah tell us!

Reid Henry: The reaction to “Like A Nightmare” has been really exciting. It was one of the first songs we tracked for the record. 

And to how those sounds happened? I had made a bunch of evil sounding 8 bit keyboard parts in Ableton that are underneath the guitars, I think that sets the song apart. 

SR: Would you class some of your music darker and heavier towards the days of when you were performing in the band My Darkest Days?

Reid Henry: Although we borrow from the style of My Darkest Days, I think this band is unquestionably heavier.

SR: How would you clearly define for your fans where Never Say Die is by comparison?

Reid Henry: Our music and content define us better than I ever could. 

SR: Toronto produces some of the best rockers- who have been some of your favorites from back home and abroad?

Reid Henry: We love Three Days Grace, Finger 11, Cancer Bats, Protest The Hero, Dilly Dally, and a ton of others.

SR: How important do you find the technique in what you are creating in this band?

Reid Henry: My technique in terms of songwriting is sort of whatever works… I try and use a fresh approach to each song and allow inspiration to come as organically as possible. 

SR: As this tour continues through the Spring in the U.S. have you found more times to pull out that laptop and write along the roads across the states?

Reid Henry: I have 5 or 6 ideas in really excited about and we another 20 or so raw riffs and ideas that we think could be really cool. The laptop is always out. 

SR: 2017 has so much yet to live, rock, and roll… What does the rest of the year hold for Never Say Die?

Reid Henry: All the touring… we’ll be out on the road for the rest of the year and into next.

Check out our tour dates at www.facebook.com/neversaydietheband or our band site: http://neversaydie.ca/

Never Say Die:

Reid Henry – Vocals, Guitar 

Dane Hartsell – Guitar, Vocals 

Brendan McMillan – Bass, Vocals 

Mike Langford – Drums

 

Tour Dates:

 Another Lost Year | Never Say Die | Lullwater Tour Dates:

2/25/2017 

Diamondz Event Center 

Jerome, ID

2/28/2017 

Herman’s Hideaway 

Denver, CO

3/5/2017 

OUR PLACE TAVERN 

Bismarck, ND

3/8/2017 

The Nestor Tavern 

Fargo, ND

3/9/2017 

Whiskey Dicks 

North Sioux City, SD

3/10/2017 

Shamrock’s Bar And Grill 

Omaha, NE

3/17/2017 

Bada Brew 

Crest Hill, IL

3/18/2017 

The Firebird 

St Louis, MO

3/19/2017 

Rail II 

Peoria, IL

3/23/2017 

Diesel Concert Lounge 

New Baltimore, MI

3/24/2017 

The Music Factory 

Battle Creek, MI

3/26/2017 

Big Shots 

Valparaiso, IN

4/1/2017 

Dawg House 

Waynesboro, PA

4/30/2017 

The M Resort Spa And Casino * 

Las Vegas, NV

No Never Say Die  www.facebook.com/neversaydietheband or our band site: http://neversaydie.ca/

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REVIEW: Bungler – The Nature of Being New [2017]

Artist: Bungler

Album: The Nature of Being New

 

Who among us hasn’t wished for a fresh start? Even those otherwise happy with their situation have days where, maybe, just for an hour, day or week, you wish you were someone else. Or maybe you’re among the perpetually discontent, waking every day hoping to find yourself in the shoes of someone else. Someone richer, prettier, taller, someone who has better teeth…

The point is that very few of us are content with the hand we’ve been dealt, and the ones who are aren’t content for very long before they find themselves in want once more. And for all you who desire that feeling of a new life—a fresh start, free from the burdens you’ve buried yourself beneath—Buffalo-based chaotic three-piece Bungler are the band for you. With their live performance alone being an eye-opening experience many equate with a spiritual rebirth, their Innerstrength Records debut record, The Nature of Being New, captures that and distillate it into twelve tracks that are truthfully unlike anything else hardcore—alternative or otherwise—has seen to date. The Nature of Being New is energetic, spastic, carefully-crafted yet carelessly crushing, showcasing the tremendous talent of this New York trio whose sound defies simple genre limitations.

I suppose it might make sense to try and liken Bungler’s sound to what they seem closest to, stylistically—as difficult as that is. Imagine Every Time I Die’s Last Night in Town got in a fist fight with Every Time I Die’s Ex-Lives, leaving a pool of blood, sweat and spit inches deep on the floor. Then, along came the melodic touches of Great American Ghost and the gloomy-but-catchy nature of Old Wounds: both slip and fal, coating themselves in Every Time I Die’s bloody aftermath.

Maybe we’re getting close that way.

In all honesty, while Bungler may draw influence from all of the above, their sound is wholly their own. Percussionist Sky Harding hardly slows down throughout the entirety of The Nature of Being New, and when he does, it’s only for atmosphere or unholy aggression—with prime examples being the closing seconds of “Feed Him Gravel” or the spazzy “Smooth Hysteria” (whose name is somewhat of a misnomer). With Bungler existing as a three-piece, Harding has a lot of space to fill, but his percussive expertise and seemingly unlimited energy enables him to do so with ease. From the first seconds of the album’s opening number, through “Double Glare” and its two-steppy entirety and “Drowning in Oil,” Harding is a veritable force to be reckoned with—especially when his belligerent patterns and mile-per-minute candor line up with the efforts of guitarist (and studio bassist) Ryan Ankenbauer. Ankenbauer’s grisly, downtuned riffs sound like something a metal head-turned-mountain man might think up—with ever-so-slightly southern-dusted segments that slide and jive into sharp, shreddy periods and moments of murderous, soul-rotting heaviness both. Once more, the listener’s attention is turned to “Smooth Hysteria,” and the witty “In God We Trustfund,” both of which see Ankenbauer annihilating any notion of subtlety. Through lengthier and more languishing, heavy tracks like “Feed Him Gravel” and “Rotting Fruit (Is for the Birds),” Ankenbauer maintains his attitude in a slightly different form; adding variety in the form of gloomier grooves that segue into sparse seconds of scathing speed—putting Harding through his paces to boot.

With a sprawling and stellar hyper-dissonant and devastating musical soundscape created by but two men, it would be practically criminal for Bungler to spoil it with a sub-par vocal element. Enter frontman Greg Kolb–who knows this and definitely doesn’t disappoint. With a live performance that is simply second to none and a presence that even manages to expand to his sound on record, Kolb’s talent when it comes to capturing raw, ravenous and ravaging entropy with his vocal cords and spewing it at the listener simply cannot be denied. From “Finders-Keepers, Takers-Leavers” and “Ex Wheels” through guest appearances by Adaliah’s Jorge Sotomayor on “Smooth Hysteria” and a dynamic performance to conclude “Feed Him Gravel,” Kolb’s vocal talents are absurd. With a shrill voice that soars into attitude-soaked pitched singing and gruff, mid-range yells, Kolb is a driving, energetic force applied constantly throughout The Nature of Being New, never slacking when it comes to energy or endurance, always sounding at the very top of his game—as true live as it is in the studio.

This is normally the part where I say something like “as good as Bungler are, they might not be for everybody,” but in reality, they do appeal to fans of just about any style of aggressive music. With a solid foundation of chaotic hardcore spiced up with groovier, contemporary and metallic portions as well as some searing southern heat, The Nature of Being New is dynamic and diverse, heavy and melodic, bold, yet (rarely) tactful. Their first true full length record, Bungler show the music community they have what it takes not just to craft a full-length record, but to keep the listener engaged for its duration, roaming from ruthless heaviness to peerless, poignant and passionate energy without skipping a beat.

 

9.5/10

For Fans Of: Every Time I Die, Until We Are Ghosts, Great American Ghost, Old Wounds

By: Connor Welsh

Posted in All Posts, Bands, Experimental Hardcore, Genre, Hardcore, Metal, Metalcore, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on REVIEW: Bungler – The Nature of Being New [2017]