By: Susan Dusse
It is a sad day today. Malcolm Young, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of AC/DC has died at age 64 after his long battle with dementia.
AC/DC is a band that everyone knows. Whether it’s a lyric, an image, an instrument, a riff, something about AC/DC has impacted all of us at some point in our life. Always taking a step back and allowing the spotlight to shine brightly on his little brother, Angus, Malcolm was an important force in AC/DC, and will be sorely missed.
“Malcolm Young died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side.” – Per a published statement via Rolling Stone Magazine.
“As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special.” – Angus Young – Taken from AC/DC’s Facebook Page.
Malcolm Young leaves behind his wife, O'Linda; children, Cara and Ross; son-in-law, Josh; three grandchildren; and his sister and brother.
The band plans to set up a memorial website for fans to send words of condolences and share stories.
It has been asked that instead of sending flowers and gifts, that donations be made to The Salvation Army.
All of us at MIRP send our condolences to his family, bandmates, friends, and fans.
See his last performance with AC/DC here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/live-reviews/flashback-ac-dcs-last-show-with-malcolm-young-20141118
Why it is popular to say you don’t like Nickleback, it is really such a weird phenomenon if you think about it. We all know their songs, they are hugely popular, and rightly so. You can’t deny that they are talented musicians and great song writers. We may not all love popular rock. Maybe we are secretly jealous of their great success? Yeah, some of their songs are cheesy, but really…many of their songs are simply great! “The Betrayal Act III” is one of them.
The video is creatively shot black and white band performances for the most part. It’s well done, and communicates with some degree of success the aggression of the song. Daniel’s drumming stands out the most, Mike’s bass is great, Ryan’s long held notes and guitar cries are fantastic, and Chad’s solo is effective. There will be no question that it is Nickleback, but the construction of the song and execution of it is really well done and leans heavily on the heavy and aggressive side. While Chad overdoes the visual communication of the aggression a bit, besides that I have no complaints. It’s a solid, heavier than you’ve come to expect Nickleback song, yet clearly Nickleback.
While I’ll always hear, “I’ll have the Quesadilla,” in my head, in every Nickleback song… that instinct was quashed quite a bit in “The Betrayal Act II.”
The acoustic start of the song is very pretty, and the sharp turn to the rest of the song is smart. It’s heavier than you’ve heard from Nickleback, and their aggression and direction feels natural. I look forward to seeing if this is a one-off heavy song, or if it is the new direction. I'm hoping it's the new direction.
I loved the pick flick at the end…as if to say… “Yeah, we can be heavy….FU haters...and….I’m out!” mic drop!
By: Susan Dusse
Separation of Sanity “Prophecy” – Single review
By: Susan Dusse
Separation of Sanity, one of Portland’s most stable and popular bands, released “Prophecy” on November 12th, 2017. I’m always more nervous to write reviews for local bands that are my friends, than national bands that I’m a fan of. I’m always honest, but also nice about it.
In this instance, I truly have nothing bad to say. It’s a great single. I love songs that, upon first listen, you are a bit disappointed when it ends. I love compositions that are executed well, and have enough groove and prediction to “feel it” and anticipate where it might go, yet enough element of surprise to be interesting. This track has all of that.
Always ready to perform on short notice, opening for some of the biggest acts that pass-through town, Separation of Sanity seem to always be creating as well. “Prophecy” is an interesting song that appears to have influences from most all metal genres. While I listened, I visualized that all members jammed together while writing this song, each bringing to the table their own influences and preferences, and at the end of the jam, they created an interesting, nearly six minutes of great metal.
It starts off like a cool rock song, then the drums chime in (pound in really) to let you know that was just the opening few bars. Very soon thereafter, you are 100% sure it’s going to be a killer metal song. Jackson’s drumming is stellar, Ivar’s bass break is bad ass, and the cool NuMetal part that goes into a Prong-esque part is unexpected and satisfying. The vocals are a bit different for Carpenter, but feel mature and appropriate for the song. I’m sure during the recording process there was spit flying out of his mouth due to the aggressive and intense nature. Within this one song, you’ll hear groove, thrash, sludge, Nu Metal, Metalcore, death metal, old-school metal, and my favorite part was the pummeling Priest “Painkiller-ish” part. If all of that wasn’t diverse and interesting enough, at just after the four-minute mark there is a unique solo.
Separation of Sanity are excellent at giving you audio that makes you visualize what they are saying.
Yeah, I know the members of Separation of Sanity; they are my friends. But I’d say if it was crappy (of course I’d say it nicely). But I guarantee it just isn’t. It’s an exceptionally clever song, full of all genres of metal, written smartly, played well, recorded beautifully, and a great precursor to more to come.
Check it out here: http://separationofsanity.bandcamp.com/track/prophecy
Connect with Separation of Sanity here: https://www.facebook.com/separationofsanity/
Released November 7, 2017, I wish there were more than five songs on this release, but the five songs are great! Within Reach, from Southern California, are definitely on the right path. With what is becoming classic Metalcore, they are really doing it right. Think a heavy Parkway Drive and August Burns Red…Within Reach pummel you from the very start. Their killer breakdowns and bouncy melodies catch you immediately. Their dirty vocals sound like they are straight from Satan himself, and keep your attention throughout. As with classic metalcore, there are clean vocals, but the dirty vocals rule this release. Within Reach will no doubt be a fast fan favorite, and if they can bring this intensity live, they will be serious contenders in this genre.
There is one video available for the song, “Beetlejuice.” In addition to showcasing the band, they provide a much-needed anti-suicide message that so many need during this time of year.
Their limited tour is in progress, but they won’t hit Portland or Seattle this time around (but we will be able to see them this winter…so keep your eyes peeled here.)
Follow the band here: https://www.facebook.com/withinreachCa/
Order the EP and merch here: http://withinreach.bigcartel.com/
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY To Release No Cross No Crown Full-Length January 12th, 2018 Via Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Album Marks First Recording With Vocalist/Guitarist Pepper Keenan In Over A Decade; Preorder Bundles Available
Preorder No Cross No Crown at THIS LOCATION
Whenever CORROSION OF CONFORMITY releases a new album, folks take notice. But their latest is a true event. It's been a dozen years since CORROSION OF CONFORMITY recorded new material with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. In that time, there have been rumors, whispers, and outright allegations that the legendary Southern rock outfit would reunite to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup Down, Keenan reconnected with the core CORROSION OF CONFORMITY trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. "Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows," Keenan recalls. "I said, 'Let's just go to Europe and see if it works.' So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year... We toured for a year and then started tracking about ten or eleven months ago."
And now, the long wait is over. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY returns with No Cross No Crown -- an album that somehow sounds as though no time has passed between 2005's In The Arms Of God and today.
Recording in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY cut No Cross No Crown in about forty days over the course of a year. "We took our time and didn't put any pressure on ourselves," Keenan says. "I'd go up from New Orleans and we'd do four or five days at a time, just hacking away at it. It was fun because we did it like a demo, but in a studio. We were writing and putting it on tape at the same time. We took what parts we thought were great from the old days and weren't scared to go backwards. It kinda wrote itself that way."
Some of these new jams sound like could've easily been on Wiseblood or Deliverance, two of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's most revered records. On No Cross No Crown, beefy Southern stompers like "The Luddite," "Little Man," and "Forgive Me" are interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like "No Cross," "Matre's Diem," and "Sacred Isolation" -- just like Sabbath used to do in the '70s. "We started doing that on Deliverance," Keenan points out. "My theory on that is that if you're trying to make a record flow, you need to break it up a little. When you need a breather, write an interlude. I like writing those mellow pieces just to space things out and make the next thing come in heavier."
The album's iconic title comes from a recent tour stop in England. "We were playing this old church from like the 1500s that had been turned into a performing arts center," Keenan recalls. "The dressing room had stained glass windows and one of them showed this poor fella being persecuted. Underneath it said, 'no cross no crown.' So I just took that idea. We're not trying to be on a soapbox, but we used it as a catalyst to write songs around."
Which is to say that No Cross No Crown has a lot less to do with politics or religion than its title implies. "I think everyone needs to get away from that mindset in general," Keenan offers. "It just seems to be a mess out there nowadays. We need to get back to being humans and taking care of each other and simple things like that. For us, the terminology 'no cross no crown' is a theme. It's mentioned in like three songs throughout the album. We just weaved it through as we went."
No Cross No Crown stands as irrefutable proof of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's ability to overcome. "CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and the prior records I've done with them didn't just go away," Keenan observes. "It's an honor to be back out there and have an opportunity to do it again in a real way and not some washed-up reunion thing. Even before we wrote the record, we were out there for a year seeing there was a demand for it and that there was a void that we could fill. That's been CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's deal from day one. We're not chasing anybody around. We're not gonna worry about what the new trends are. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is CORROSION OF CONFORMITY."
No Cross No Crown will be released via Nuclear Blast Entertainment worldwide on January 12th, 2018 on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various preorder bundles are currently available at THIS LOCATION.
No Cross No Crown Track Listing:
1. Novus Deus
2. The Luddite
3. Cast The First Stone
4. No Cross
5. Wolf Named Crow
6. Little Man
7. Matre's Diem
8. Forgive Me
9. Nothing Left To Say
10. Sacred Isolation
11. Old Disaster
13. No Cross No Crown
14. A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)
15. Son And Daughter
In advance of the release of No Cross No Crown, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will join Black Label Society for a mammoth North American live takeover. The tour begins December 27th, 2017 in Denver, Colorado and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities, the journey coming to a close February 27th, 2018. Additional support will be provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. See all confirmed dates below.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 - 1/20; 2/11 - 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 - 2/9):
12/27/2017 Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
12/29/2017 Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Sioux City, IA ^
12/30/2017 Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO ^
12/31/2017 Pop's Nightclub - Sauget, IL^
1/02/2018 Sokol Auditorium - Omaha, NE^
1/03/2018 House Of Blues - Chicago, IL ^
1/04/2018 Egyptian Room at Old National Centre - Indianapolis, IN ^
1/05/2018 The Fillmore Detroit - Detroit, MI ^
1/07/2018 Upstate Concert Hall - Clifton Park, NY ^
1/08/2018 M Telus - Montreal, QC ^
1/09/2018 Rebel - Toronto, ON ^
1/10/2018 20 Monroe Live - Grand Rapids, MI ^
1/12/2018 Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK ^
1/13/2018 Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX ^
1/14/2018 Emo's - Austin, TX ^
1/15/2018 House Of Blues - Houston, TX ^
1/17/2018 House Of Blues - New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works - Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage - Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live - St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues - Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz - Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring - Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater - New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium - Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura - Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End - Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE - Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage - Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live - St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O'Brians Event Centre - Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse - Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place - Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall - Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo - Seattle, W ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater - Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades - Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues - Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee - Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA ^
^ Dates With Eyehategod
* Dates with Red Fang
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan - vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman - guitar
Mike Dean - bass, vocals
Reed Mullin - drums, vocals
Death, Politics & American Standards... Phoenix metalcore band comes together to release an album about falling apart
Sometimes strong emotions can make you lose focus. That’s not the case for Phoenix, AZ based four-piece American Standards. After losing their founding guitarist to suicide, then shortly after the vocalist Brandon Kellum’s father to cancer, the chaotic hardcore band founded in 2011 released their most emotionally and socially poignant album to date.
“ANTI-MELODY” released on April 28th, 2017 displays the political noise-punk outfits ability to navigate the troubled waters of depression and loss while still incorporating the social commentary that the band has become known for. More so, once signed to an imprint of Victory Records, the band took a new approach of self mixing, producing and independently releasing the album after recording at Kingsize Soundlabs (Mars Volta, Letlive, Bad Religion). The result is a raw and powerfully resonate glimpse into the group’s minds during the troubled times.
Now more focused then ever, American Standards has hit the road playing over 300 DIY booked shows to date, sharing the stage with bands such as; Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Zao, Comeback Kid, Stick To Your Guns, Stray From The Path, Knocked Loose, He Is Legend, Emery and Atreyu.
ANTI-MELODY which had premiers on Revolver Magazine, Alternative Press and Lambgoat; is available now on iTunes, Google Music, Amazon and Spotify or you can pick it up along with exclusive merchandise through the American Standards Bandcamp page.
Today MIRP was able to coordinate schedules and make our donation to the West Linn Youth Music Project from the 2017 Dimebag benefit held earlier this year. Through our donation, we were able to pay for a handful of kids, who could otherwise not afford it, to attend an entire term of music lessons for free. We are so blessed with great and generous friends who support the causes we support, and we can’t thank you enough.
MIRP would like to thank:
· Amerakin Overdose and its members
· Annie’s Hang Ups
· Aseitas and its and its members
· Ash Street
· Barrett Stole
· Chronological Injustice and its members
· Darrell Richardson
· Damage Overdose and its members
· Gerrit Swearingen
· Gravewitch and its members
· Heather Soundgurl
· Jackie Kellogg
· Jaimie Burke
· JerBear Photography
· Katie Portland
· Liz Welch
· Melody Death Nova
· Mike Linton
· Mike Morning
· Nihilist Nation and its members
· Rebecca and Bobby Pipher
· Revocation and its members
· Sammy Stiles
· Shannon and Steve Ritter
· Smoochknob and its members
· Violent Majority and its members
· Von Doom and its members
· Everyone who paid to get in
· Everyone who purchased a raffle ticket
· Everyone who placed a bid on the silent auction
And, the custom guitar signed by Hammerfall and Arch Enemy…well it has seen its last Dime Benefit. It enjoyed many winners and re-donations in the past few years, and today its new owner gave it back to MIRP and asked us to donated it to the Youth Music Project. They were very pleased with this gift, mentioning that they had nothing like it in their school. They will display it proudly, and then use it as a top selling item at their own benefit fundraiser next year.
Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You all are very special.
Please check out this amazing beneficiary. They do really good work. https://www.youthmusicproject.org/
Jerimia, Susanna, and Susan
By: Susan Dusse
After a long hiatus, YouTube superstar Anthony Vincent has released what will surely become a Halloween classic. In the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Vincent sings 12 classic Halloweenish songs. From Frank Sinatra to Rob Zombie, from Oingo Boingo to Slayer, Vincent shows off his creativity and Halloween spirit. Drama at its finest; executed well.
1. “This is Halloween” (Citizens of Halloween)
2. “Monster Mash” (Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett
3. “Dead Man’s Party” (Oingo Boingo)
4. “Dead Skin Mask” (Slayer)
5. “Witchcraft” (Frank Sinatra)
6. “Black Magic Woman” (Carlos Santana)
7. “I Put a Spell on You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)
8. “Dragula” (Rob Zombie)
9. “Halloween Theme” (Movie Soundtack)
10. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
11. “Somebody’s Watching Me” (Rockwell)
12. “Black No. 1” (Type O Negative)
You can check it out here:
Two Headed Beast – Wizard Mountain – Show and CD Review
By: Susan Dusse
Wizard Mountain was technically released in February of this year, but officially celebrated last week in an epic show. I heard the advanced demo in late 2016, when Singer Brian Allen let me accompany him to the Dark Tranquility show. He picked me up and as we drove to the venue, he played a few unmastered songs off of Wizard Mountain. He then switched to the new Watain. Now, I love Watain, but I made him put Two Headed Beast back on. Soon thereafter, he gifted me an official copy of Wizard Mountain, and it has been in my car for over six months, and on rotation with Gojira’s Magma. While I have lost the jewel case, and the CD is now a bit scratched…it is familiar, like an old friend. So, to see Two-Headed Beast live…. well, it was comforting and invigorating.
The show, held at the Portland favorite, Rock Hard PDX, was one of my favorites to date. It was a rainy, blustery night, but we showed up in force. Starting off the night was Tacoma favorites, Sons of Mercury.
I arrived early, and had a quick dinner prepared by the master chef, Christopher Richardson. I sat and chatted with Vicious Rumors/Two Headed Beast Singer Brian Allen, and Chronological Injustice’s manager, Darrell Richardson. As we were eating, in walked a man I wasn’t familiar with. He was talkative, and really nice, and we shared dinner and talked reptiles. It turned out that he was Sons of Mercury’s fill in guitarist James Nelson, who is a rock star in his own rite.
I ventured to the front to secure a spot to see the Tacoma neighbors, not sure what I’d hear, but always ready to check it out….AND THEY BLEW ME AWAY. Their seriously polished perfected tributes to Dio, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest were totally incredible. They were fun to watch, and their interpretation was reminiscent of being back in the 80s, seeing our beloved bands live. They kept true to the music, and were a delight.
Up next was Two Headed Beast. After all, it was their CD release party…It was their night. First of all, you’d think it might be a weird combo…sludgy, stoner rock in the vein of Red Fang and Orange Goblin, blended with this stand out singer, who has mastered the vocal kings of the 80s, but it’s not weird at all. It’s actually ridiculously awesome. Allen pranced on stage with a Cheshire cat grin, and the smoothness and comfort of a veteran arena vocalist. Guitarist Scott Speelman stood low key and cool. Shawn Ferguson, with eyes full of passion, laid down the fuzzy, sludgy guitar grove. John Hughes pounded on the bass (complete with an outfit straight out of Deliverance,) and rounding out the band was Jason Dunn on drums. All five talented musicians share a vision not realized by many, but certainly a vision that is pleasing to the eyes and ears.
Allen toyed with the crowd, and didn’t miss a note in his ambitious set. He taunted the crowd, calling them “fuuhhhh kers” and bending down to his knees a he hit that special note that only a few can hit. When he indicated there was one more song left…I was actually really disappointed. They are refreshing, yet tried and true, with an inspirational sound that will be hard for anyone to dislike.
Following these two amazing bands was the young and very talented Chronological Injustice. Guitarist Gunnar DüGrey, also guitarist for Vicious Rumors with Allen, was top-notch as always. Having returned from his first tour in Europe with Vicious Rumors this summer, he came to the show with an even more-polished persona. It is obvious he is now a veteran professional musician in the truest sense. He is modest and appropriate, gracious and friendly, and I have no doubt will always be that way even when he is considered among the elite, which will no doubt happen soon. James Sumner throws down like no one, Alex McDonald is a solid, great drummer, Gabriel Wright…always sturdy on bass, and Cody Green adding to the full and technical guitars.
It was a night of rain, darkness, new friends and old…and a great variety of music. Catch any of these bands and you’ll not be disappointed.
Now, Two Headed Beast’s CD review. I have to say…It is so familiar to me, because I’ve had it for so long that the underside is worn almost thin. I almost can’t distinguish one song from the other…. it’s a blended one-trip experience for me.
Valley of Skulls. This song is just plain catchy and infectious. Its slow groove will penetrate you, and you’ll remember the song for a long, long time.
Two Ton Sky. Well, it’s a sexy song. I don’t know what the lyrics are, but the song exudes sex.
Wizard Mountain. It’s the title track. It’s simple but effective. Another infectious groove and Allen’s sinister laugh…well, it’s sinister.
Apollyon the Destroyer. It’s the longest track at almost five minutes, is similar in style and sound to old Corrosion of Conformity, but made exclusively Two Headed Beast.
Hail to the Chief. The song has a fast pace and built in history lesson. Ask Allen about this song sometimes, and you’ll get a very thorough history lesson. The lyrics are pulled straight from quotes from the American President. I received a call from him (Allen, not the deceased president) on my drive home after the show. We met up for coffee and had a nice chat about the night. The lyrics in this song are historical, and Brian’s “smarts” about the mentioned Chief are impressive.
Boneyard. Another slow sludgy seductive groove; another great song.
Blackball. When the guitars can’t go any lower, Allen’s voice goes higher. It’s a great showcase of talent in this song.
Curse of the White Owl. It packs a serious groove… and it’s one of my favorite songs.
Tail of the Owl. It’s the shortest song on the album at just over a minute. There must be a story here for the need for this song. It’s an instrumental song full of uncomfortable ambient noise. I realized during my 6-month relationship with this cd in my car, I must have skipped this song often, because it feels unfamiliar.
Two Headed Beast are unapologetic and deliberate; they don’t seem to do anything willy-nilly. They have purpose, they have fun. They are set on a course that might be unconventional, but they do it with flair and conviction. Mixing classic high 80s vocals with sludgy 90s stoner rock seems weird, but Two Headed Beast make it feel like a tested genre. You’ll have fun with this band via release or live. They are just a bunch of super nice guys who love playing music.
By: Susan Dusse
“Shoot” starts out with a creative emergency broadcast warning of a Nuclear Missile Launch. Behind the alert is a great buildup in the background. Together those two elements set the tone properly for the onslaught that occurs when guitarist Michael Tindall busts in with his grungy, muddy guitars. Played in a bouncy, edgy, and groovy pattern, the pace of the song is appealing. Spattered throughout the release you’ll hear underlying tracks of sirens, emergency vocals, and chaos…which are effective and aid in the fullness.
Portland, Oregon’s own Break the Maker’s single, “Shoot,” is a nice groove-driven song with well-sung and interesting vocals. Musically, it’s fat and full. Vocally, David D. Gray's vocals are smart and done right. Providing the backbone are Cameron Plesa on bass, and Bryan Ehrenfeld on drums. The duo do a great job laying down the foundation and keeping it there.
From start to finish, all elements of this song are well thought out and impressive. From the song’s structure to the disaster-laden undertone, the song begs to be listened to multiple times. Break the Maker has made a solid, timeless metal song in “Shoot.” Currently recording with producer Pooya Entezari at Perfect Audio, I’m really excited to hear the full release.
You can listen to the song here: https://www.reverbnation.com/breakthemaker
You can follow the band here: https://www.facebook.com/BreakTheMaker/