Ultimate Jam Night Rocks Whisky-A-Go-Go With ‘Ultimate Band Night’

By Andrew Bansal

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June 14th 2016, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: For its 66th edition on June 14 2016, the think tank behind the all-star ‘Ultimate Jam Night’ event held every Tuesday at the Whisky-A-Go-Go decided to freshen the format a little, and called it ‘Ultimate Band Night’ instead, shedding more of a spotlight on bands rather than on random all-star jams as they’ve done in all past editions. But as always, it was an all-ages, no-cover event, and drew a large audience comprising fans, tourists, curious passers-by, media paparazzi, and of course, a plethora of seasoned musicians. Even for regulars, this promised to be different from Ultimate Jam Night’s typical weekly affair, and it remained to be seen how this band-centric format would work and what bands would make their mark. Continue reading

Taake Plays First Ever Los Angeles Show

By Lisa Burke

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June 11th 2016, The Regent, Los Angeles CA: Black metal is where my Saturday night metal story begins and ends, but before it even begins, it’s important to understand that while there are many different styles within black metal as well as ritual practices and beliefs behind the tunes, one ideology of this genre is always clear, and that is to invoke evil upon the soul. While this may sound satanic and humanely incorrect, it is actually a practice that can purify the soul by exposing oneself to all that is evil and becoming free in a way that actually releases the hate and negative thoughts out into the open without harming others. In other words, listening to black metal, if used properly, is a peace offering and alternative to murder despite the number of churches burned, animals sacrificed, or murders that the band members may or may not have committed in the past. On Saturday June 11th 2016, I visited the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles for the aftermath of The Sound And Fury Fest which had taken place earlier that day as well as the previous day. This was a very special late show featuring headliner Taake making their first ever Los Angeles appearance, with support acts Young And In The Way, and Wolvhammer. Continue reading

Ironaut, Monolith, Blackwülf & Black Prism Unite For ‘SoCal/NorCal Stoner Metal Summit’

By Andrew Bansal

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June 10th 2016, Silverlake Lounge, Los Angeles CA: Arguably the most popular sub-genre of heavy music these days, the resurgence of stoner metal is undeniable. Bands such as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble and the like have been around for ages, but it appears they are being discovered by the younger generation via the internet only now, and the interest in stoner rock/metal has heightened like never before. Subsequently, stoner rock bands that had faded away and were broken up, inactive or irrelevant, are coming back in prominence. But the popularity of this style has also meant that there is a vast plethora of such bands now on the underground level that are pursuing it and are vying for attention. California alone has several unearthed gems of this nature, and last Friday June 10th 2016 at the Silverlake Lounge, the SoCal/NorCal Stoner Metal Summit showcased the talents of four of them. Continue reading

Grindcore In Glendale: Rotten Sound Headline Complex

By Andrew Bansal

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June 8th 2016, Complex, Glendale CA: Following the early 2016 release of their typically devastating seventh full-length studio album and Season Of Mist debut ‘Abuse To Suffer’, Finnish grindcore quartet Rotten Sound embarked on a North American headline tour, revolving around their appearance at the prestigious Maryland Deathfest. Towards the end of the run and on their way into Mexico, Rotten Sound arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday June 8th 2016 for a gig at Complex with support acts Scalafrea, Graf Orlock and Doesn’t Matter, put together as almost always, by Church Of The 8th Day. Continue reading

Armored Saint + Metal Church Co-Headline Tour Steamrolls San Diego

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Chad Alexander

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June 5th 2016, Brick By Brick, San Diego CA: Los Angeles old-school heavyweights Armored Saint and their San Francisco counterparts Metal Church joined forces for a seven-date U.S. West Coast co-headline tour in June 2016, promising to deliver to the masses one of the finest traditional heavy metal shows of the year, and made their way to San Diego for a gig at Brick By Brick on Sunday June 5th that also featured opening acts Sin Circus and Alchemy. Armored Saint with their unanimously well-received latest album ‘Win Hands Down’ (2015) and Metal Church with the return of singer Mike Howe and the new album ‘XI’ (their first in 23 years to feature Mike Howe), these are two bands that aren’t just relying on the nostalgia factor to pull in the crowds, but focus on the new material as much as the ‘classics’. The San Diego metalheads turned up in good numbers to support this event, and all was in readiness for an evening of fist-pumping, horn-raising and relentless head-banging. Continue reading