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Review: OTEP live at Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA 10/13/13

Posted in All Metal, Artist Watch, New Music, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by Randy

                Currently on the road with some great up and coming bands like Stolen Babies and New Year’s Day is one of the most popular and most influential metal artists in of the last decade:  Otep Shamaya.  Otep is a band that has broken down many barriers over their last twelve years of existence; not just musically but socially due to Otep Shamaya’s involvement in the fight for equality and her strong political views.  Having a front-woman with such strong beliefs in those areas made their “claim to fame” a little easier than most bands that came into the scene around the same time.  Not taking anything away from them musically though; given the fact that the band has undergone some member changes (like nearly every other band) they’ve been able to maintain the same standards musically that they started with, while still evolving and separating themselves from all other metal artists.

                Getting back to the current tour,  the Inner-Galactic/With a Vengeance Tour, which is certainly a must see; regardless if it’s your first or tenth time seeing Otep, the opening acts on tour with them are amazing.  Stolen Babies and New Year’s Day are both bands that blend so well with the style brought to the table by Otep, it doesn’t matter if you’ve heard of them or no…if you’re an Otep fan these opening acts will certainly keep you entertained.  It’s after their sets are all done and over when the energy hits you square in the face. Once Otep steps onto the stage, get ready for hell to be unleashed because she pours every ounce of her being and demands the same from the crowd. The better the participation, the better her set is because she feeds off of her fans and gives in return what she receives from the audience. Long story short, if this tour is still coming to a city near you, take the few dollars it costs to see this show and spoil yourself with four hours of fun.  Don’t forget to stick around after the show to meet Otep at the merch table and buy an autographed CD.  Even if you can’t afford to buy something, she is humble and loves her fans all the same and will be more than happy to have a picture taken with you… free of charge, unlike some performers now a days that request money for a measly cell phone photo.

-Logan Rendulic, ©The Rock Tribune (Pittsburgh)

Darkest Hour – Disarm the Descent Tour with Killswitch Engage [Review]

Posted in News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , on July 15, 2013 by Randy

In all honesty, all that can be said about this tour is “WOW!” A solid line up from start to finish.  Veteran acts like Darkest Hour and Killswitch Engage to one of the hottest up and coming metalcore acts in the last few years, Miss May I. Cleveland Ohio’s stop on the tour was near the end, and with all the intensity that every single act put forth one can only imagine how nuts the first leg of the tour had to of been.

On to the most seasoned act on this tour, Darkest Hour; these guys have been together since 1995.  Yes 1995.  That means most of the guys they were playing with on this tour were barely out of diapers when Darkest Hour signed with their first label. With that being said, you never would’ve known because they came out on stage and put a heartfelt effort in and went just as hard, if not harder in some regards than the rest of the other bands.  Playing new fan favorites like “Love as a Weapon” and “Demons” to some old school metalcore such as “An Epitaph” and “The Saddest Nation.”  There was a little something in their set that can appeal to metal heads no matter what age.  Speaking of these older metalcore bands that have paved the way, there is one thing that The Word Alive did during their set that has to be mentioned.  As most of you know, Tim Lambesis is currently not allowed to leave the state of California due to some unforeseen circumstances and had to cancel going on this tour, which left The Word Alive filling the void for As I Lay Dying.  Regardless of how that predicament turns out, no one can take away what good As I Lay dying has done for metal and The Word Alive showed their appreciation by playing a cover of As I Lay Dying’s hit “94 Hours.”  Much respect goes to The Word Alive for doing so as a way to show thanks to someone who has inspired them musically.  Last but not least, Killswitch Engage put on a killer show, especially with the crazy stage antics of Adam D.  Let us take a minute to welcome back Jesse Leach (original vocalist for KSE). They played it all during this show, old time favorites like “Fixation of the Darkness” from Jesse’s first stint with the band, to hits that were made popular when Howard Jones was in.

This tour was amazing and if you didn’t make it, well you certainly missed out. Hopefully these bands will tour again together someday…but if they don’t, everyone in this line up is worth the price of admission.  Keep an eye out for the next time any of them come to a city near you.


-Logan Rendulic, The Rock Tribune

Another Lost Year – Better Days [Review]

Posted in All Metal, News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by Randy

Rock is dying once again.  Another break-up album filled with gloomy tracks and cookie cutter vocals.  Charlotte, NC’s Another Lost Year cut the album with Justin Rimer (12 Stones, Breaking Point), and in the process, they may have actually lost a year.  The couple bright spots are two solid tracks, Broken and Angels, with the latter including guest vocals from Lish.  I could go on and on about the album, but in short the actual recording quality isn’t up to par…the drums sound muffled, the guitar tracks sound distant, and Clinton Cunanan vox sound nasally.

Another Lost Year: Clinton Cunanan (Vox), Adam Hall (Vox, Guitar), David Whitaker (Guitar), Lee Norris (Drums), Jason Lovelace (Bass)

Produced By Justin Rimer
Thermal Entertainment

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