Mastodon Takes Music To The High Road In Pomona

By Jason Williams

October 17th 2014, Fox Theater, Pomona CA: Deja Vu: The feeling that one has seen or heard something before. Earlier this Spring, ever-rising barrier-breaking progressive metal band Mastodon came to the States, bringing along France’s best-kept war secret Gojira and Norway’s black metal/rock outfit Kvelertak. Six months later, the same lineup would come back to North America, the only difference being Mastodon having just released their astounding new album ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’. Considering how fantastic the show I attended in Las Vegas at the House of Blues in May was, I was soundly sure tonight would be no different. Give or take a couple of hundred miles, tonight’s affair would take place at the Fox Theater in Pomona, California. With the buzz enormous for this show, as a line rounded out the venue before doors opened, metal would be heavily represented on this fine Friday evening. Continue reading

Gus G Brings The Fire To Los Angeles

By Jason Williams

October 15th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: From fretboard shredding to being Ozzy Osbourne’s current guitarist, Gus. G has been a more surging name in the metal community. With his guitar skills, collaboration with various singers, and a new album ‘I Am the Fire’,  Gus G isn’t slowing down. Performing with his band at the Whisky with former vocalist of Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Scott Soto laying down the pipes, and a various group of rock bands including glam group Lynam as the support act of this short US West Coast tour, this evening brought something different for me. While I do enjoy rock extensively, I rarely get to attend a show where the only metal band is the headliner. Drifting out of your comfort zone is always a healthy thing to do, especially when musically it could open your mind to something better for yourself. The famous Whisky A Go Go on Sunset Blvd was the right setting for a rocking evening. Continue reading

Gigan Bring Sonic Landscapes To Glendale

By Jason Williams

October 3rd 2014, Complex, Glendale CA:  With every year, music continues to develop and break boundaries. Through different instruments, time signature complexities, vocal approaches and redefining melodies, the level of quality inspires. Enter Gigan, who have for the past 8 years, shared their style of experimental progressive death metal with the masses. Named after the monster that fought Godzilla in the franchise, Gigan’s music could absolutely be portrayed as gigantic and ever fierce to even the most open minded extreme music fan. They were supposed to play earlier this year in CA, but due to some vehicle and personal problems, it was postponed. Now coming back strong, with New York’s own Pyrrhon and also hailing from the same city, newly rising to the scene, Artificial Brain. This would be no ordinary death metal show, and I anticipated this promising concert with genuine excitement. Continue reading

Eluveitie & Tyr Perform In Los Angeles

By Jason Williams

October 2nd 2014, House Of Blues Sunset Strip, West Hollywood CA: Over the past several years, the folk metal genre has undergone quite a few changes. From using growls, to adding more folk-sounding instruments to the mix, bands are incorporating various ways to enhance their sound. Eluveitie, hailing from Switzerland, are one of the bigger metal bands that show true variey in their style of folk/melodic death metal. Having just released their newest album ‘Origins’ Eluveitie set out on a US tour alongside Tyr from the Faroe Islands and Estonia’s Metsatoll. Sadly the weather in California in very recent time would not reflect the fall/winter mood as this tour would let you think. Nevertheless, this would be my first time seeing any of these bands perform live, and making it a mission to attend more folk metal shows as of late, tonight would hold in store a festival of folk, taking place on Hollywood’s famous House of Blues on Sunset Blvd.  Continue reading

Exumer & Sadistic Intent Play One-Off Los Angeles Show

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal
[Videos by Arturo Gallegos]

September 28th 2014, The Avalon, Hollywood CA: Following their 2012 Metal Blade Records album release ‘Fire & Damnation’ which was their first in 25 years, German thrash metal band Exumer are now hard at work on their next batch of tunes but before going into full-on writing mode, they made a rare US appearance with a one-off headline gig in Los Angeles last night, only their third show in the United States overall. Taking place at the Avalon in Hollywood, the gig was put together by promoters False Cause and featured a support cast of Sadistic Intent, Merciless Death, Morbid Saint, Sakrifcer and Social Overload. Despite concerns about the ticket price in local circles in the weeks leading up to the event, LA’s entire thrash community appeared to have come out in large numbers to support all these bands as the venue was packed soon after the doors opened at 6 PM, and all was in readiness for an all-thrash affair. Continue reading

Monte Pittman Performs At Whisky-A-Go-Go

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 27th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: Primarily known as Madonna’s touring guitar player and former member of Prong, Metal Blade recording artist Monte Pittman has focussed more on his solo career in recent times, having released his third studio album called ‘The Power Of Three’ last January, produced by Flemming Rasmussen and certainly Pittman’s most metal release till date, signaling his return to heavy music as his next two albums are also written along a similar vein. He headlined the Whisky-A-Go-Go last April, appeared on stage as guest vocalist for Prong earlier this month, and returned to the same venue for a show last night, featuring bassist Max Whipple and drummer Scott Fuller (Abysmal Dawn) in his three-piece setup. This being a one-off event, the show’s lineup did not have any ‘touring’ support acts and comprised merely of Monte Pittman and a stack of local openers, making it a long Saturday evening at the Whisky. Continue reading