Heavy alt-Rock band The ReAktion has announced they are heading into the studio this fall to record a brand new album, their fourth, and their first since What A Day in 2018. Acclaimed veteran Mike Exeter (Black Sabbath, Cradle of Filth, Judas Priest) will produce the album. Exeter is also an ongoing collaborative partner of Tony Iommi, so expect The ReAktion’s trademark riffs and vocals to sound as big as ever. Their prior albums Similitude and Selknam generated a huge buzz, saw them tour internationally, including a standout appearance at Knotfest 2015. This will be one of the most anticipated albums of 2021.
Ghost Cult is proud to team up with NOWIS, the new Indie Rock project from Simon Rojas Hoces, (Singer of The ReAktion), and his new album Quarantine. Far from the music you may have connected him to in his past, NOWIS is a juxtaposition of disparate sounds and powerful emotions. Masterful musicianship and sun-drenched psychedelic rock anthems ring out with gorgeous melodies, jangley riffs, fiery guitar solos, and Beatles-esque vocals. At the same time, don’t mistake the major key mellowness for complacency. The album is a call to arms for the socially conscious, to not allow the current “World Martial Law” to infect our souls and dim our spirits. Ghost Cult is not only presenting their new video for ‘Parallel World’, but the full album stream of Quarantine right now! Continue reading →
Chillean metallers The ReAktion have made available for the single ‘The Network’ Available for free download from their Soundcloud. You can stream or download the track from their Soundcloud here:
After playing some local shows in Chile this summer, they are heading into the studio with GGGarth (Rage Against The Machine, Melvins, Chevelle) to record their new EP in Vancouver, B.C., and will be released via Mania Recordings. Their début alum The Selknam was also recorded in Vancouver as well. Managed by Sid Wilson of Slipknot fame, the band has toured extensively and appeared at Knotfest 2015 as well. The band has also released their cover of The Beatles classic ‘Across The Universe’, also for download here or below:
The ReAktion with Sid Wilson of Slipknot. Photo Credit: Melina Dellamarggio
Finding their own voice for any musical act is a challenging thing, and for Chilean alternative rockers The ReAktion vocalist Simon Rojas, it took him to venture to Vancouver to find an opportunity to have his vision heard. Their debut album Selknam was recently released (out via Mainia Recordings) and they also completed their stint on the Knotfest in Devore, CA.
He explained his thoughts on their performance at the fest. “It was a great experience. It was our first time playing as a three-piece and it’s important to us to bring the message to people and the kids and get in their minds with very good senses and a really good frequency…I mean guitars and really good tuning.”
“The band talks about waking. People need to learn how to love again. You know what I mean? That’s why it’s going to be the end of fights and competitions and wars. That’s what we’re talking with the band and the lyrics and focusing on that. That’s the things we’re talking about on our new album.”
Fusing sounds ranging from alternative rock to electronic music to acoustic sounds, The ReAktion display a wide array of influences that makes it hard to pinpoint what they sound like. Rojas talked about whether bands they were compared to, such as Linkin Park to Radiohead and Muse, and whether they were bands he was inspired by.
“I don’t know. A lot of people say different bands. Personally I really like to play what I really like to hear – what I really want to hear, like screaming with acoustic guitars or melodic vocals with Djent riffs. There’s a mix for everything with a good message like Bob Marley or what John Lennon did. We’re trying to say that message.” he said.
Reaktion, by Melina D Photography
Prior to the fest, the band completed their first US tour supporting OTEP. Following the tour, a shakeup in the lineup happened, which resulted in recruiting drummer Felipe Alvarez and bassist Garrett Wolf to round out the newly revised lineup.
“We did a tour three months ago with OTEP and we did 60 shows around the US. We toured for almost three months. After that we went back to Chile and we had this [lineup change] thing going on. So we came back as a three piece and this is the first show as a three piece. It went really well so we’re excited to see how it goes,” said Alvarez.
“We were four. Felipe was a touring member for a year. It’s a long story but it was different people in the band. Now we’re a three piece and we’re doing very well,” added Rojas, talking about the lineup change.
Photo Credit: Melina Dellamarggio
Originally from Santiago, Chile, Rojas bounced around in various bands before taking The ReAktion to Vancouver to reach a wider audience. Through mutual friends, his music was passed along to Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson, who eventually became the band’s manager.
“Almost two years ago. [We met through] mutual friends in Vancouver. We used to rehearse near the Amsterdam Café,” explained Rojas.
“These guys rehearsed in the basement of that place all the time. Sid was in town one day to hang out with mutual friends. They ended up having to work so he came there to hang out. He met up with Diego [Sagredo, ex-guitarist] who was in the band at that time and they hit it off and chatted. He listened to some of the tracks and the rest, as they say is history,” added Wolf.
Selknam was produced by veteran producer Garth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine), who also heard the band during a recording session with some students at a recording school. Impressed with what he heard, he took them on to work on songs that became their debut album at Fader Mountain Sound.
“We met with Garth, maybe three years ago in Vancouver. We met with him and did our first album called Selknam, which is out now,” said Rojas. “[It took] a whole year. They did most of the recording for all of that – the instruments in Canada and he finished most of the vocals in Chile with Garth. He went to Chile and did it with them there. That was the last bit of tweaking on the production side.”
With the downsizing of the band, the new lineup insists that aside from having less people involved, the band sounds stronger than ever.
“Simon did most of the guitars on the record. He knows how to play it but he is just being a frontman on the last tour. He had to drop the guitar and do both. [Garrett] Wolf is taking care of the bass and I play drums and take care of the sequences too. That was what I was doing before all of this changed,” said Alvarez.
Being from Chile, the band steers clear of waving attention towards their origins. Not ashamed of their home country but instead they aimed to be noticed as a worldwide act instead.
“Not too much. We’re not trying [to say] ‘We’re from Chile!’ and this is Latin American music and stuff like that. We’re from there and we’re really proud of that, but we’re trying to give strength in our message with no countries and no nothing,” explained Alvarez.
“It’s worldwide. It’s everybody – everyone. That’s it. We are one. No more flags,” said Rojas.
“Not from Santiago. From Earth,” added Wolf.
Lastly, they spoke about the differences between working in Canada versus Chile, and their thoughts on the differences between the two countries’ attitudes towards rock music. Alvarez shared his thoughts on the matter.
“Back in Chile we have…how do you say…a [backwards] cultural world. It’s really slow. Maybe 15 years and the music scene is really small. I don’t know why people from Chile love things from outside from other countries. [Maybe] because it’s cooler to listen to music from the US, but it’s growing all the time.”
“In Chile, there’s a very big festival too. It’s good. It’s really hard when you don’t know anybody. We have really good music in Chile, but there’s no business yet. For example, nobody in Chile makes tours. It goes through all of the countries and playing in all of the cities. Just a few people come. They’re into another kind of music like tropical sounding music. Those kinds of people do that, but metal and rock…”
“In Vancouver it’s similar,” said Rojas.
“A little bit but it’s got a good metal scene and stuff like that,” said Wolf.
“It’s got more of an underground scene and more studios like in Los Angeles. There’s a lot,” added Rojas.
Wolf concluded, “In Vancouver people are more willing to go to the small venues to watch a band instead of U2’s playing the stadium. Like who’s cares and we’re going to watch some local band in the area kind of thing. I think it’s a good scene to get on your feet. So it worked out very well. They met the right people it seems like for these guys.”
Slipknot brought back heavy music into their brand of a festival called Knotfest once again to Southern California as they packed two days (plus a VIP only Friday evening event for campers) full of headbanging and mayhem at San Manuel Amphitheatre in Devore, CA.
The VIP pre-party show consisted of brief sets by Khaotika, Motorbreath, Rings of Saturn and The Faceless, while Sepultura became the main focus of that evening, performing many longtime favorites from their 30th anniversary tour, such as ‘Refuse/Resist’, ‘Arise’ and ‘Propaganda,’ while working on a few of the newer songs such as ‘Choke.’
Corrosion of Conformity, by Melina D Photography
Saturday’s main stage led the charge with the return of Pepper Keenan with Corrosion of Conformity, working in favorites such as ‘Clean My Wounds’ and ‘Albatross’; then Trivium and Mastodon both brought out powerful sets of powerful guitar driven hard rock leading into Korn’s semi-setlist of their début self titled album (ie they played only half of the album but they still brought their usual powerful live show) while working in other favorites like ‘Freak on a Leash’ and ‘Falling Away From Me.’
Korn, by Melina D Photography
Mastodon, by Melina D Photography
Judas Priest, by Melina D Photography
Headliners Judas Priest came out strong with a cross-section of newer songs such as ‘Dragonaut’ and ‘Valhalla’ while working in longtime favorites such as ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Hell Bent For Leather,’ as well as ‘Turbo Lover’. Following a strong showing on their previous tour, they did not disappoint and showed that after all of these years they can still deliver classic metal the right way.
Unlike the 2014 edition, Slipknot only played one day instead of both days, and they brought back the mini roller coasters and the Slipknot museum for attendees to enjoy. Another addition to this year’s edition was the Extreme Stage with such bands as Kataklysm, Abysmal Dawn, Belphagor and Inquisition living up to their musical brand and the headbangers representing as well.
The ReAktion, by Melina D Photography
The only band who did not quite fit the stage was Chilean-Canadian alternative-metallers The ReAktion, where their synth-driven riff metal was something fans grew accustomed to but was greatly out of place on that stage. The early set time worked in their favor on Sunday, with fans enjoying sightings of Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson around their set. Despite that, their eclectic sound was refreshing and somewhat interesting to see how they evolve from here.
Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor made a brief appearance with fellow Iowans Green Death during their brief set later on Sunday. Fans got acquainted quickly with the band despite their lack of recognition prior to the show.
Stages 2 and 3 were placed on the revolving stage where bands could get going much easier. Saturday’s set began with Battlecross, Red Fang and Goatwhore getting early set calls, but the packed crowd showed up to rock out with each band. Even the well publicized Josh Barnett joined in the pit action early on.
Trivium, by Melina D Photography
At The Gates, by Melina D Photography
Veteran metallic hardcore outfit Earth Crisis brought back memories of their appearance of Ozzfest 1996 at this venue. Other highlights included At The Gates’ aggression driven set, while Body Count plowed through their set of classics (despite minor technical difficulties with Ice T killing time with his attempt at telling jokes on stage). GWAR capped out the stage with their usual antics and over the top stage show, moving forward post Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie).
Mobb Deep, by Melina D Photography
Sunday’s main stage opened with Ghostface Killa and Mobb Deep’s brief old school hip hop set that attracted curious onlookers, while Clutch came in with their usual power riff rock set that their stripped down stage show appeared a bit bare for such a large sized stage.
Clutch, by Melina D Photography
Bring Me The Horizon, by Melina D Photography
Bring Me The Horizon’s updated stage show and sound definitely caught the attention of the crowd with their LED powered backdrops with the letters to SPIRIT aligning with each word of their opening song ‘Happy Song.’ Frontman Oli Sykes had the crowd moving along with his commands, and kept the show entertaining. Plus their newer synth oriented melodic rock sound on songs like ‘Throne,’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ made their live show much more anthemic driven tunes for the crowd to sing along to. Even with the older heavier songs like ‘Chelsea Smile,’ Bring Me The Horizon showed that they have a full arsenal within their bag of tricks and is no surprise why they have the attention of the hard music world.
Slipknot, by Melina D Photography
Slipknot, by Melina D Photography
When Slipknot took the stage, they unveiled their new stage setup that resembled the carnival from hell, and they took charge from the opening minute. Opening with ‘Sarcastrophe’ and leading into ‘The Heretic Anthem’, Slipknot was on a mission to show why they are one of the biggest hard acts on the planet and can command their own festival. They even worked in ‘Me Inside’ (which they have never played live before apparently) and ‘Eeyore,’ giving the crowd more to get manic over.
The second and third stages on Sunday featured hard rockers Devour the Day and Kyng giving the crowd energetic melodic rock to nibble on, while semi-hometown favorites Snot got the crowd rocking with selections from their Get Some album while paying tribute to their late singer Lynn Strait.
Cannbal Corpse, by Melina D Photography
Helmet, All That Remains and Beartooth all plowed through power sets of rock and metal that got the crowds working up a sweat, while led into the massive stampede of fans eagerly awaiting Cannibal Corpse and Suicidal Tendencies to perform. Cannibal Corpse simply owned Knotfest’s second stage and possibly had the largest crowd of headbangers and mosh pit participants of any act, which bled into Suicidal’s already veteran LA punk rock fan base. Overall, the insanity that came with those acts simply made the observing that much more enjoyable.
Overall, Knotfest 2015 brought together a strong collection of acts within the heavy music world once again and gave fans something to be excited about. After two consecutive years, hopefully Knotfest will continue to be an annual event (or something close to it).