Despite a heavy music scene that is abundant in talent, not many of India’s Metal bands have appeared on the radar outside of their native country. Aside from the likes of Demonic Resurrection especially, Bhayanak Maut and (although more an international band) Skyharbor, India’s Metal scene is still a hidden entity to many on the outside. With a formidable live presence and with an exciting debut full length in Miasma (self-released), if there is any justice, Mathcore mentalists Orchid should be poised to be the scene’s next breakout.Continue reading →
It doesn’t seem that long ago that “Grease” was the word. In fact it was the word right around the time that Black Sabbath were threatening to implode and spilled Ozzy out of the band and out of the back-end of the crest of a tsunami they’d been riding since their début. And then came the 80’s, a decade where every man, woman and child involved in rock and metal tried to distance themselves from the fuzzy, darkness of the Sabbath sound. The 90’s ushered back in a reverence for Sabbath and Zeppelin through the scuzz of grunge, before the nau/oughties eschewed the doom in favour of clinical metal(core) once more.
And so we find ourselves mid-way through another cycle, one where the Hand of Doom is not just welcomed, but feverishly worshipped and celebrated by the cult, the kvlt and the cunt alike. And here sit Kirk Hammett’s favourite occult doom quartet Orchid on their fourth EP, Sign of the Witch (Nuclear Blast) a four-track stop gap en-route to their third album. With bell-bottomed production values deeply steeped in the seventies, this is a warm EP of 70’s fuzzy doom.
The issue is that, while this is lovingly crafted and the first two tracks in particular are decent songs, Orchid are so close to being a Sabbath tribute band that Tony and the boys may be getting their copyright lawyers on the case. Theo Mindell warmly apes Mr Osborne, while Keith Nickel’s fuzzy, wandering basslines are pure Geezer worship.
Despite a strong start, matters lose impetus, meandering off down the blandest of paths with ‘Strange Winds’. There is a multitude who have taken the works of Sabbath and created many varied and beautiful things. Orchid have slavishly recreated the works of the masters, but without the requisitve song-writing skill.
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett (aka Kirk Von Hammett) will be throwing the second installment of his annual Fear FestEvil horror convention at the RockBar Theater in San Jose, CA on April 11-12, 2015, with Meshuggah, Agnostic Front, Orchid, Blues Pills (North American debut), High On Fire and Asada Messiah performing.
SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal host José Mangin and Nikki Blakk of Bay Area rock station 107.7 The Bone will preside over the musical mayhem at the RockBar, where another exhibit of some of the finest pieces in any modern collection of horror memorabilia will be on display.
“It has always been my intention that Fear FestEvil events carry both the weird and the loud,” states Kirk Hammett, “and what better way to achieve another extension of what we want to do than eat dinner in a haunted house while solving criminal acts before a weekend of super kick-ass music?!”
For details and ticket information on this unique event, visit FearFestEvil.com.
Scion AV’s annual free music fest, The Rock Fest returns to Pomona, CA after the last one in 2011, and turning the Glass House and Fox Theater into a mini music mecca for the day. The fest is held in a different city each year and bringing it back to Pomona with another strong lineup gave fans something to be excited about once again.
Four venues within the area (The Glass House, The Fox Theater, Sky Fox Lounge, and Acerogami) housed the bands who performed throughout the day. Wristbands for those who RSVP’d for the event were handed out in advance and arranged much better so attendees did not have to wait in long lines like the last time the event was held there.
Sky Fox Lounge and Acerogami were the two smaller venues which held some of the up and comers within the stoner rock, doom and experimental bands on the scene today. Much of the crowd in those venues preferred the intimate atmosphere of those two venues and the more underground vibe of the acts playing within those venues.
Sky Fox Lounge featured such acts as riff rock acts such as MOAB and Lord Dying, sludge/doom acts such as Black Sheep Wall, experimental acts such as Windhand and Jex Thoth, and extreme acts such as Japan’s Coffins, who made a rare US appearance. Fans who congregated at the venue definitely felt the vibe there, and were there to soak in sounds they would not normally get to see.
Acerogami’s lineup was largely lesser known stoner rock and hard rock acts who were making their first time appearances on the West Coast and gaining more exposure thanks to the help of Scion AV. Much of the bands within this room were coming from the stoner rock and doom realms, where bands like Pittsburgh based Pins of Light and San Francisco based Carousel both set the vibe and got the early comers with lots of cool riff sounds and lots of excitement overall. Another San Francisco based act Hot Lunch have quickly become a rising name within the genre circles and put on another strong performance, as did Nashville psychedelic rock act All Them Witches. of the French psychedelic rockers Aqua Nebula Oscillator drew some much curiosity from the attendees and became one of the much talked about acts of the night.
The Glass House held the punk and the experimental acts of the evening. Veteran acts BL’AST featured former Queens of the Stone Age rhythm section Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo alongside frontman Clifford Dinsmore, blazing through their classic tunes with a mini-pit circling alongside the band. Veteran speed metal/punk outfit Midnight kept the momentum going with the same energy despite the crowd coming and going in between venues. Veteran Bay Area death freaks Exhumed made another one of their regular So Cal appearances and once again put on another powerful set. Power Trip and In Cold Blood both represented the classic crossover hardcore/thrash styles that sometimes get overlooked in the So Cal area. They both played strong sets and gave lessons to the crowd in the genre. Speed metallers Speedwolf and Nekrogoblikon rounded out of the day with early set calls and gave the early attendees a taste of metal that flying under the radar.
The Fox Theatre held the high profile names of the event, with King Buzzo of The Melvins opening with his acoustic set similar to what he previously performed a recent Scion AV event at LA’s Satellite. Big Business followed with a loud and powerful set who are no stranger to the Melvins world. Quite the opposite of King Buzzo’s set, but still made an impact and set the tone for the day.
Orchid’s classic riff rock stylings became the lead into a much anticipated Crowbar appearance, where they grabbed the attention of the crowd and never let down throughout their set. Red Fang followed with their usual set list of heavy riffing and a set full of energy that kept going from Crowbar. High On Fire put on their usually ear bleeding loud set of riff rock tune and also never let go of the crowd.
Headliners Machine Head did an unusually longer set list of songs that spanned across their history and more. Their newest song ‘Killers & Kings’ was featured within their set list, as well as a few songs from each of their albums. A good mix of old and new (and yes “Old” was one of them they played), Machine Head does not disappoint and a longer set from these guys is always a treat to witness.
Overall, Scion AV Rock Fest is a whole lot of music for free during a time when the music world is struggling to attract audiences towards live shows and buying music. Events like these should help attract fans of the genre towards newer bands and getting reacquainted with older bands they may have once enjoyed.
Vintage rock and metal is quite the rage nowadays. One of the leading bands in the genre is San Francisco-based Orchid. Bassist Keith Nickel was keen to tell us more about his upcoming new album, his views on the rising popularity of vinyl and his personal secrets on how to survive the rigours of touring.Continue reading →
Doom rock. Two words that are designed to strike apathy into my heart like a blunt spoon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of rock and I’m a fan of doom. However, when the two are put together, I generally tend to lose the will to live because I’m just not a fan of the 60s-70s inspired retro rock sound that this marriage generally creates. I pretty much have all the music that I want from that generation to be brutally honest. One look at the album artwork and I feared the worst and after about twenty seconds of the opening title track, these fears were realised. I knew then that I was in for a bumpy ride.Continue reading →