A little over a month ago I introduced you to the band Faetooth. Their first single off their debut album “Echolalia” had just been released and what a treat that was. Now here we are on release day of their album Remnants Of The Vessel and HOLY HELL… What a debut record it is. The band is self-described as “fairy-doom” and it is most definitely a best of both worlds description. One one hand you have this thunderous and hard charging sound and on the other is this more delicate and dreamy style that echoes in the shoegaze realm with lush textures and soothing melodies and the occasional roar. Remnants of the Vessel is one of those debuts you will be talking about for some time.
Throughout the albums ten songs, you quickly realize that there is more to this band than meets the eye. The way the album flows it has a bit of a Neurosis vibe meets Chelsea Wolfe. The dark shrouded elements mixed with the glistening brightness adds to the tension of theses songs. When you listen you get pulled into quite a trance as the music guides and then the vocals and lyrics hit you. Something else about the way this album grabs you is the way Faetooth sinks their teeth into you bit by bit. When “that moment” comes, not only do they go in for the kill but they leave nothing left once they are done. Songs like “Echolalia,” “La Sorciere,” “Remains,” “Discarnate” and closing track “Saturn Devouring His Son” leave you utterly breathless. The sheer brute force that drives this album is on another level all together.
The musicianship among the four members is astounding. This band can not only play, they sure know how to write a song. I’m personally quite impressed that this is their debut album. After listening you’d think they’d been around for at least a few records. Faetooth are definitely not your run of the mill doom band. There is so much more and the deeper you delve into this album, the more you crave it.
Faetooth are without a doubt a band to watch out for. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard a debut album of this quality and precision. Do yourself a favor and sit down with this album and let it take you over. You won’t be sorry at the end. In fact, you are more likely to want to start it over once you reach the end because you are hooked and want more!
The new album by Dead Cross is one twisted and interesting ride. Made during a very turbulent time not just in the world but also personally for a couple of the members. Guitarist Michael Crain was diagnosed with cancer and progressing through chemotherapy while laying down his guitar lines. Singer Mike Patton developed severe agoraphobia and a bit of a drinking problem. That though didn’t interfere with Dead Cross delivering this thought provoking and pummeling record.
Their first output was a band finding their niche within all the genres and subgenres. This new album is a lot more focused and driven to make your head explode. Dead Cross II is more than just a blast of energy. It’s subject matter and lyrical approach does make you a bit more intrigued and you tend to listen a bit closer. It’s definitely an album that grows on you with each listen. The songs are more intricate and complex than the first album and I have to say too that having Justin Pearson’s vocals on more tracks adds a bit more “charm” to the album as a whole.
Through the nine songs and 35 minutes of this album you get an onslaught of brutality but with tinges of some fun things you’ll pick up on as you listen closely. One of my favorite tracks on the record is “Christian Missle Crisis.” This one has Justin on lead vocals and DAMN, this one goes HARD! Having the different vocal takes this song to a whole other level. Yes Patton is Patton but at times it’s too much Patton and you start to crave a bit more variety and that’s what makes Justin Pearson’s vocals stand out. Plus his delivery on this song is impeccable. My other favorite song on the album is “Reign Of Error.” Once you hear this one, you’ll understand why.
One thing that’s not to be dismissed about this album is the musicianship. Michael Crain’s guitar work on this album is superb. The tones and playing are top notch. There has always been an intensity to Michael’s playing (his days in Retox come to mind) but, he definitely seems to be channeling his cancer and treatment into this one and boy, does it pack quite the punch. Dave Lombardo is crushing on this album. His versatility as a drummer is on display here and it’s awesome. Justin Pearson’s bass rips through these songs with precision and razors and his vocals!!! One more thing to add about Dead Cross II and that is the production. While the first one is a bit more “raw” this one is more focused and concise, which actually makes for a better listen through. Dead Cross II is an album for the times that is for sure. It’s got almost everything you’d want and expect from those involved in this band and when it shines it makes you want to punch through glass (in a total good way). Hooray for ). Hooray for a new and anticipated Dead Cross album. I’m sure the live show this go round (when that time comes) will be one hell of a trip!
Yesterday I had a Stone Temple Pilots song stuck in my head (it was “Trippin On A Hole In A Paper Heart” in case you were wondering). While I had that song replaying in my mind, I found myself delving into the very underrated and unsung masterpiece album that is Tiny Music… From The Vatican Gift Shop (which I will get into on another day because that album is truly great). During that time in 1996, while out promoting the album, Stone Temple Pilots stopped by the Howard Stern show for an interview and performance. Howard, who you can tell is a fan of the band and had them on the show throughout their career, as well as just Scott Weiland, mentioned that he loved their recent cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days,” and low and behold, STP would go on to perform it that day on the show (they also performed “Seven Caged Tigers” as well). I truly think this cover is spectacular. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this version over the years but, it’s definitely up there. I just love the honest and pure approach STP had to their music and time together. It’s performances like this that make me miss Scott Weiland. What a talent and voice! You are missed Scott!
Stone Temple Pilots (Led Zeppelin)- Dancing Days on Howard Stern:
Last night while looking for something to watch before bed, I found a movie I haven’t seen in a little bit. Thankfully too it just started. One thing I forgot about is the first song used in the movie and it inspired this post. While watching it dawned on me that the song that kicks the movie off is “New Noise” by Refused. What a perfect song to start this movie! It’s seriously very fitting for the scene and the things that happen next. Take moment and watch! And if it’s been a minute since you’ve seen Crank, I suggest a good re-watching! I’m now waiting for Crank 3 hahaha!
A few new tunes have come out this week that deserve your attention. No need to worry, I got you covered with all the goods. Let me know what you are digging and not. On tap we’ve got new jams from Faint On Call, Powder Pink & Sweet, L.S. Dunes (members of Coheed, My Chemical Romance, Saosin, & Thursday), Gojira, Black Map, and GWAR featuring Lzzy Hale.
Over the years as an avid concert goer I’ve seen so many bands and shows. My very first concert was in 1989. I was almost 5 years old when I went to that show (my birthday was only a couple weeks after I attended the show) and from that point I was hooked. 30 plus years later and I’ve seen some of the best bands in the world put on some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. One day I will actually sit down and try to put together a list of my absolute top ten shows I’ve ever been to. Through the years as my tastes have changed, I’ve not gone to see certain bands for many different reasons. Most of the time it’s because I don’t really like all the bands on the bill and don’t want to sit through things I won’t enjoy. I’ve already done and sat through enough opening bands in my life. During the whole world shut down, I started to go back and listen to a few bands that I haven’t listened to in a while and things started to shift for me. One of the bands I went back to was Lamb Of God. It was right around the time that they released their self titled album that I went back and delved into their catalog again. By doing so it revitalized me into a fan again. I’ll admit they had lost me a bit for a couple albums. Anyways, their self titled brought me back into the fold but, when I heard the first few songs released off their latest album, I knew what I had to do and that was go see Lamb Of God live again for the first time since 2008.
Lamb Of God are without a doubt one of the best live bands around today. Their most recent tour and stop in Los Angeles proved that. Riding high on the release of their savage and wicked album, Omens, Lamb Of God delivered one hell of a show. When the black curtain rose to cover the stage with just the band name on it and the beginning of “Memento Mori” starting, the excitement from everyone in the venue hit a level of anticipation that was about to explode, and as soon as that curtain dropped and the song kicked in, IT WAS ON! “Walk With Me In Hell” followed by “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For” absolutely kicked the audience into high gear. What a way to start the show. Through the course of the night, new songs like “Nevermore” and “Omens” were stunning to hear and live they are a whole other beast. The older songs played like “11th Hour,” “Vigil,” and “Ruin” were played with such precision and intensity that you’d think they were new songs. Other classics like “Laid To Rest” and “Omerta” were more than welcomed by the audience who seemed to get louder with each song that was played. Through the 80 minutes that Lamb Of God was on stage, they not only put it all out there, there was a definitely a renewed sense of being. The addition of Art Cruz on drums is the spark that they needed. His energy is contagious and it was found in each and every member of the band. As I mentioned before, it had been a while since I had seen Lamb live, and I’m sure glad I came back to it. Randy Blythe is one of the best frontmen. The way he takes over a crowd and has them in the palm of his hand is uncanny. His vocals have gotten better and better! Mark Morton and Willie Adler are one of the best guitar duos in the game. Both have their own style and together it makes for something quite intriguing. John Campbell is an underrated gem. His thunderous tone matches with the hard hitting and super energetic playing of Art Cruz. The five of them together have found their groove and I can’t wait for what they do next.
Joining Lamb Of God on this tour was Killswitch Engage. It’s been about ten years since I’ve seen them live and they were just as good as the last time. One of the best things about Killswitch live is that they always seem to have a good time and that filters out to the audience as well. Their set list was full of sing along songs that had the crowd singing louder than the band at times. Especially with “The End Of Heartache,” “My Curse,” “Rose Of Sharyn,” and “In Due Time.” I did hope for some more songs off of Alive Or Just Breathing but, that’s ok. We did get Howard Jones to come out at the end to join the band for “The Signal Fire” off of the bands most recent album, Atonement. Killswitch was a great band to have before Lamb destroyed.
This tour with both Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage was a really fun throwback to when they both started to come up in the early 2000’s. I remember seeing both bands back in 2003/2004 and was totally into it. Now here we are quite a few years later and both bands are still alive and kicking ass. I’m interested to hear what Killswitch does next. I’d love to hear them branch out a bit and explore some new ideas. Lamb Of God’s new album, Omens, is their best in years. It feels like a new band again. Plus I have to say it again, Art Cruz brought new life into this band that was in need of it. I would gladly go see Lamb Of God again.
01) Memento Mori 02) Walk With Me In Hell 03) Now You’ve Got Something To Die For 04) Resurrection Man 05) Nevermore 06) Ruin 07) 11th Hour 08) Omerta 09) Omens 10) Contractor 11) 512 12) Ghost Walking 13) Vigil 14) Laid To Rest 15) Redneck
Killswitch Engage Set List:
01) Strength Of The Mind 02) This Is Absolution 03) Rose Of Sharyn 04) To The Sons Of Man 05) Unleashed 06) The Crownless King 07) Hate By Design 08) Know Your Enemy 09) My Curse 10) This Fire 11) The End Of Heartache 12) In Due Time 13) Holy Diver (Dio Cover) 14) The Signal Fire (with Howard Jones)
I really dig on bands that push boundaries and combine genres that on paper you’d think would conflict but, once it’s all put together, it makes magical sense. Recently I was introduced to a band that has combined post-hardcore, blackened noise, punk, metal, and screamo into an onslaught of awesomeness. Allow me to introduce you to Gillian Carter. This band is the brainchild of vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Logan Rivera. Logan is accompanied by Bob Caruso [bass] and Tony Oriza [drums] to complete the lineup. Their new album Salvation Through Misery is and in your face barrage emotions that push an intensity that feels natural and passionate. All of this put together turns the darkness into a wave of empathy that is very relatable and true. Being able to shift from genres within the songs is not an easy task and Gillian Carter does it seamlessly. There is not one song of the 12 on the album that isn’t an explosive catharsis the needs to be purged from the system. If you are looking for an extreme band that you can sink your teeth into, I highly suggest Salvation Through Misery by Gillian Carter. It’s one of the most surprising albums I’ve heard in 2022.
Before there was Korn and Deftones, there was a band that really started it all and they were called Human Waste Project. The band formed in 1992 when Jeff Schartoff and Scott Ellis decided to start a band. Aimee Echo was picked as the vocalist/singer after finding out she could “scream.” After going through different guitarists for a bit they finally found Mike Tempesta and off they went. The next thing they were playing with large bands like Helmet, Korn, Deftones and Sublime. Eventually the band signed with Hollywood Records. Human Waste Project also wound up in the UK and Europe with bands like Tura Satana and Coal Chamber and also part of Ozzfest 98 in the UK. Human Waste Project was enjoying a bit of success especially in the UK but back in the states, things weren’t the same. Their debut album, E-Lux, which is an absolute fantastic album and debut, was considered a commercial failure and that led to the band being pegged as a nu-metal band and it left Aimee feeling uncomfortable and being typecast as such. So on July 8, 1998 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Human Waste Project performed their last show as a band. From there, Aimee Echo and Scott Ellis went on to form The Start alongside former Snot drummer, Jaime Miller. Scott Ellis would also later go on to be the drummer for She Wants Revenge. Jeff Schartoff would go on to form Professional Murder Music and be a part of Peter Murphy of Bauhaus’s solo live band. And Mike Tempesta would go on to join Powerman 5000.
Their album E-Lux was produced by Ross Robinson and it’s not your typical nu-metal album. While there were definitely some ties to the incoming music movement, Human Waste Project had more in common with the likes of Jane’s Addiction in that they were always a step ahead of the curve. They had more to their music and lyrics than their peers and it shows very much on E-Lux. There was also a versatility to HWP that other didn’t have. Aimee had a range to her voice that could go from sweet and innocent all the way to rip your face off. Musically, there was more than just dropped tuned guitars, as they explored different styles and gravitated more towards 90’s alternative rock than metal.
Over the years, there have been a few reunions of Human Waste Project. I happen to have been at a couple of them and it was quite awesome. At a show for The Start in 2008, the remaining three HWP members came on stage and played “Dog” and “Shine” with Aimee to end the night. I have to say that was one hell of a surprise. I do remember seeing Mike Tempesta at the show and wondering if perhaps he’d jump up on stage for something and low and behold he did. Later in 2008, Human Waste Project reformed for one night (minus Scott Ellis) to be a part of Snot’s return (the one they did with Tommy Vext, we don’t need to go into that) at the Key Club in Los Angeles. I was at this show too and HWP was absolutely awesome. If anything they actually stole the night for me. Aimee stated that this would be the only full scale reunion show and the band would not be getting back together to tour. And finally at a couple other shows for The Start in 2009, Mike Tempesta joined them on stage to perform “Dog” and “One Night In Spain.”
Human Waste Project was a band that never got their due and should’ve been one of the biggest bands of that era. For whatever reasons why they didn’t, it’s a shame. They were one of the best bands of the time and their debut album is still one of my favorites of that time. In fact, the other day while on a drive up to Santa Barbara we had it on the stereo on the way up and it was glorious. So much so that I felt compelled to write this piece today. Human Waste Project was such a talented and wonderful band. If you never got to see them live, you truly missed out. I for one would love for one more show to happen. There is such a need for this band, it’s not even funny. They were true pioneers of the time and their style would show all these young bands who are trying to cop that style how to do it and do it right. Plus, how awesome would it be to just have them back again! So let’s put it out in the world that we need another go round with Human Waste Project!
Human Waste Project- E-Lux:
Human Waste Project w/ Jonathan Davis of Korn- This Town:
With the news that Depeche Mode is releasing a new album and touring in 2023, I’ve been pretty excited about that. While going back through their catalog and trying to piece together what I’d love to hear I remembered the awesome video for their song “Wrong” off their 2009 album Sound Of The Universe. This video is quite spectacular. It was nominated for a Grammy for best short form video as was the record for best alternative music album. The video was directed by Patrick Daughters (who you might know from Anonymous Content). The whole video is worth watching a few times to pick up on all the intricate things and subtleties that are meticulously placed in there.
Lamb Of God are one of those bands that when you hear them, you know it’s them. There is such a distinctive sound to them that it is quite recognizable. Throughout their career they’ve found what works for them and doesn’t. Their 2020 self titled album saw a member change and the resulting album while good was a very safe introduction to Art Cruz becoming a full time member. Now, in 2022, Lamb Of God has thrown that safeguard away and taken steps to make an album that is urgent and representative of where the band is headed. Now, I’m not saying Lamb reinvented the wheel, this is still Lamb doing Lamb but, this time, it’s different and it feels fresh and evolving.
Omens was recorded live as a band (you know the way records used to be made) and that vibe is felt through all 10 songs and 41 minutes of this pure, unapologetic and vicious album. This album definitely feels like it’s the record that they wanted to make but also had to make. The varying styles and influences heard on Omens stretches further than they have gone before. It’s more impactful and immediate than previous albums. There is a sense that everyone in the band has a say in these songs and that energy radiates through the entire album.
There are plenty of songs on Omens worth mentioning so, I will pick a few of my favorites to entice you a bit. Kicking off the album is “Nevermore” a song that is the epitome of what a Lamb Of God song is. It has everything a fan of this band loves and then some. “Vanishing” is one of those songs that shows a bit of the bands evolution sonically as the tones on this track are ripping. Not to mention that Randy’s vocals on this are damn near punishing. Track number 4 “Ditch” is my favorite on the album (as of this writing). This song is a banger through and through. It’s got this huge anthemic feel to the way the vocals are, then you add in the music which grooves but also decimates as it goes. I have a feeling that if/when this song is added to the bands set list in the future, the pits will erupt. “Gommorah” is epic and heavy. Personally, I’d have loved to hear this one go on a little longer as it shows more of the band evolving and getting more intricate in how they craft a song. This is another that needs to be added to the set list. “Grayscale” is a straight up barn burner. It’s got a total punk rock vibe to it while still being a classic Lamb song. Ending the album is “September Song” a track that is possibly one of the best the band has ever written. It’s song that is the perfect culmination of what Omens is all about. I love the dynamic shifts on this song.
Omens is Lamb Of God spreading their wings a bit more and in a very welcome way. There are always going to be the songs on the album that hark back to the “classic” sound but, now there is a better feel to the band. Art Cruz is finally able to show why he was picked to replace Chris Adler. His energy is found constantly on these songs and it’s very welcomed. Randy Blythe has not just grown as a vocalist, his screams sound great and his lyrics have reached new heights of being introspective whether personal or taking on topical subject matter. John Campbell continues to be a thunderous secret weapon of the band. His tone and style really ties it all together. Mark Morton and Willie Adler continue to be one of the best guitar duos in rock/metal. Mark seems to be even more motivated than ever to push himself to add different flairs to the songs making them memorable and crushing. All in all, Omens is a record new and old Lamb Of God fans will enjoy. The future is bright for Lamb as they continue to be torch bearers for the metal community.