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Friday, July 30, 2010

No Mercy Metal Showcase # 2

On Saturday July 24th we headed to Santos Party House in Manhattan, for the second edition of the No Mercy Metal Showcase. We arrived early at the venue, and the anticipation could be sensed in the air. The bands were loading their gear, the promoters were making last minute adjustments, and the fans were waiting outside patiently. As soon as we arrived we ran into the guys from Severed, and the From Bliss to Devastation crew. Once the doors opened, the attendees didn't waste anytime and started pacing around the dance floor.

Once the music started being cranked through the PA by DJ Tim No 37, the audience put the word party into Santos Party House. Since the show was all ages, the crowd was a mix between young teenagers and young adults. We think it is very important to bring the young crowd in, in order to have them become part of the scene at a young age. Events like this might inspire them to start their own musical projects and this is very beneficial to the entire scene.

The night kicked off with We Fall As Heroes from Queens, a band that we have seen live numerous times and who make it evident that there are a few young up and coming bands with plenty of talent within the tri-state area. Following this energetic band, were Long Island's From Bliss to Devastation. A band we interviewed when they opened for the legendary Hardcore band Earthcrisis at The Gramercy. Their performances are always filled with fury and passion, and their music is very original. This elements will take this guys real far as long as they remain true to their craft.

Then it was time for the surprise of the night: Letchworth from Albany. As soon as they stepped on stage everyone started grooving to their perfect blend of heavy crunchy guitars, groovy bass and tight drum beats. Once the singer pitched in, it was refreshing to listen to a Hardcore Metal band that wasn't afraid of rapping over heavy music and then taking their music to a guttural level. The band even brought some cheerleaders, that made sure no one was standing still. We are cooking up a special on this band, because their story of perseverance is one that we must share with all of you.

Next up was Eyes of The Sun from Brooklyn, these guys brought in a unique moody sound to the night. The crowd enjoyed their set even though they sounded very different than the rest of the bands, which truly defines a music showcase. Once the crowd got doomed, it was time for Embrace Agony from New York. This band punished the entire audience with some brutal music, and then forgave them with some harmonic parts that were very well blended in.

Headlining the No Mercy Metal Showcase was the mighty Severed from New York. We have been following this band for the last 5 months and they are clearly one of the best Heavy Metal bands in the tri-state area. From all the times we have seen them live, this show stands out because simply put: they destroyed Santos Party House! They sounded very tight and heavy as usual, but the highlight was Christian Geraldino's (singer) interaction with the crowd. He had full control of the crowd and the attendees loved it!

The second edition of the No Mercy Metal Showcase was a complete success, and every band did a great job! We want to thank the great people from Gotham Rocks, Tech 9 Music and Tim No 37, for understanding the need of such an event! We are very proud to be part of this movement and hope that other cities get inspired to organize events likes this one.

Related links:
Official Site of the No Mercy Metal Showcase
We Fall As Heroes on My Space
From Bliss to Devastation on My Space
Letchworth on My Space
Eyes of The Sun on My Space
Embrace Agony on My Space
Severed on My Space

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The legendary New York Hardcore band Madball has been around since 1988. The band was started by Freddy Cricien (A.K.A. Freddy Madball), Roger Miret and Vinny Stigma from Agnostic Front, and Will Shepler. Freddy is Roger's little brother, at a young age Freddy would go on tour with Hardcore titans Agnostic Front and would often get on stage and sing with the band. Roger and Vinny saw potential in Freddy's stage performance and decided to start Madball.

Fast forward to 2010 and Madball is one of the hardest working bands in the music industry. Even when they are not on tour all over the world, the Madball crew is working on pushing the Hardcore scene to new levels. Freddy is one of the main guys behind Black N Blue Productions (the Hardcore production company). Recently, they hosted the Black N Blue Bowl (formerly the Superbowl of Hardcore) to a sold out audience at Webster Hall in New York City. Madball performed that night and they took over the stage full of fire and conviction!

At that time we spoke with both Freddy and Madball about the future of the band, and both of them mentioned how excited they were of the songs they were writing for the new record. They recently completed the tracking process at Mana Recording studio in St. Petersburg Florida studio with Producer Erik Rutan (Cannibal Corpse, Misery Index and Goatwhore) and are very happy with the results.

The band who also features Mitts on guitar, has added prodigy drummer Jay Weinberg, who is the son of Max Weinberg from the E Street Band and the Conan O'Brien show. Jay is only 19 but is definitely one of the best drummers in Rock music today. Seeing him play live up close on stage was mind blowing, and he made Madball an even tighter gripped band.

The new record is titled Empire and it will be out this October on Good Fight Records here in the USA and on Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. Make sure you pick it up!

Here is what Freddy and Hoya had to say about it:

“Erik has been great to work with,” states Cricien. “He’s definitely a perfectionist, which I have no problem with. It’s going to benefit us in the end! He’s got his own techniques like everyone does, so he’s going to bring a different dynamic into the sound/mix. I’m excited for people to hear the finish product. I predict it will be very HARD!” - Freddy Cricien

"The new record is groovy and hard, full of good Madball songs about life! It reminds me of Demonstrating My Style and Hold It Down, but the songs are definitely up to date.
We can't wait for people to hear it." - Hoya Roc

We want to thank Hoya for the pictures! \m/

Related links:
Madball on My Space
Madball on Good Fight Records

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Queen V: Queen of Rock

Last week we headed to an event called "Take Back New York", which took place at Don Hill's here in New York City. The event featured live music, mixed in with two fashion shows. The event featured the amazing Queen V, a band that plays a very eclectic mix of rock, which makes the girls groove and the guys drool. This type of events bring people together in harmony and the vibe at Don Hill's was impeccable.

That night we had the pleasure of interviewing Queen V and talk to her about music, fashion and culture. Queen V is the type of person that radiates energy on and off the stage. Her talent has taken care to places where most can only dream of. Queen V has worked with Metal God Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, guitar legends Slash and Tom Morello, and many other high profile artists.

If you haven't seen Queen V rock the stage, you need to do your ears a favor and take them to a Queen V show. On Thursday July 29 Queen V will be headlining the 2 year anniversary of the Gotham Rocks showcase, which will take place at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. Gotham Rocks are one of the gatekeepers of the tri-state Rock N Roll scene, and the event promises to be memorable.

Here is an exclusive interview with Queen V! We want to thank the girls from Sugar N Spikes for making this happen.

Related links:
Queen V's Official Site
Gotham Rocks

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Metallica's Death Magnetic: DOUBLE PLATINUM

It was announced today by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), that Metallica's latest album titled "Death Magnetic" has gone double platinum for shipments in the United States of over 2 million copies. "Death Magnetic" was released on September 12, 2008, and it was considered by many the comeback everyone was eagerly waiting for. From the moment you start listening to this album, you know it's an instant classic.

Many Metallica fans were happy with the results, but some complained that the record was over-compressed and it sounded distorted. What many don't realize is that since the turn of the century, almost every single Heavy Metal album is over-compressed. If you grab all the Pantera albums for example and play them back to back, you will realize how much louder their last album "Reinventing the Steel" is compared to all their other records. This all happened once radio became a volume competition between bands, since not that many stations were playing Heavy Metal. So if a certain record wasn't loud enough, fans would not pay much attention to it since it lacked power compared to the other records. As we know Heavy Metal is all about power, so what was all the complaining about? I think people are always going to look for something to attack Metallica with.

We remember watching VH1's "That Metal Show" when they discussed the album, and the bottom line is that it is a great album full of amazing songs. We congratulate the Metallica clan for selling over 2.5 million copies in times when people are not buying music. Here are some quotes from Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich, during an interview with "The Pulse Radio" in October of 2008:

"I listen to this record, and I listen to it every couple of days," he said. "And when I hear it, it puts a smile on my face and it blows me away, and I don't understand what people are talking about. Somebody told me the other day that there were 12,000 people that had signed a petition to remix the record. We've sold two and a half million copies (Worldwide) of 'Death Magnetic'. You do the math yourself."

Related links:
Metallica's Official Site

Fear Campaign in New York City

On Sunday July 25th, the legendary band Fear Factory brought their "Fear Campaign" tour to New York City's Irving Plaza. The bill also featured Alaska's 36 Crazyfists, After the Burial, Divine Heresy and Baptized in Blood. What we experienced was proof that the New York Heavy Music scene is standing strong. Before we entered the venue, we ran into Fear Factory's drummer Gene Hoglan. We chatted with him for a while about music, and he expressed his concern about illegal downloading. From what he told us, his new DVD "The Atomic Clock" was downloaded over 50,000 times since its release in June. That would make any artist who is constantly working on his craft, feel uneasy. Nevertheless, he signed some autographs, did some phone calls, smoked some cigarettes and was eagerly waiting for the time to get on stage and destroy.

After we parted ways with Hoglan, we arrived at Irving Plaza just in time for Divine Heresy. They delivered a vulgar display of punishing brutality. Dino's guitar work was on fire, and he definitely was not saving energy for his second set with Fear Factory. The rest of the band were as tight as a boxing glove. Following Divine Heresy was After the Burial, a band with Meshuggah like breakdowns that are well blended with brutal vocals. Then it was time for 36 Crazyfists, who definitely got the house warmed up for the mighty Fear Factory.

As soon as the lights went out the crowd started pacing around, as if a beast was about to be unveiled. Legendary drummer Gene Hoglan was the first one to come out and was very hard to miss. The man is a giant and watching him smash his drum kit is amazing. We still can't figure out how he does it. Once Hoglan sat behind his kit, bassist Byron Stroud took his spot, and then the crowd went nuts when guitarist Dino Cazares stepped on stage. Finally vocalist Burton C. Bell welcomed the crowd by saying: "New York City, we are Fear Factory and this is Mechanized"! From the second the band hit the first note, the kids went ape-shit. We started inside the pit and experienced some brotherly slam dancing through Shock, Edgecrusher and Smasher/Devourer, which are all tracks from their album Obsolete. Then we crowd surfed like very few know how to do and ended up on the side of the stage by Dino. It was surreal to be watch the band up-close and personal, and to hear how well crafted their music is.

They played an hour and twenty minutes set. During that time Fear Factory owned New York City, they definitely had the Metallic keys to the city that never stops rocking. They played classics like Replica, Demanufacture, Scapegoat, Martyr and they even played Hunter Killer, which was the highlight of the night. Before Fear Factory finished their set, they got a group picture with the entire venue and that is when the kids went the craziest! If the "Fear Campaign" tour comes to a city near you, don't be scared, Fear Factory will make sure you go home safe and sound. Perhaps with your ears bleeding, but you can't hold them responsible. You can only hold your love for Heavy Music responsible!

This sums the night up: "Headbangers come in all ages and races. We are always hungry for some aggressive music. The type of music that refreshes the spirit and washes out all the anger inside ones soul. For an outsider it seems like senseless noise, but for us the Heavy Music fans it is controlled chaos." -Jo Schüftan (Horns Up Rocks)

Pictures by: Mitchell Damien Maurer

Related links:
Fear Factory on MySpace
For the latest on Fear Factory, follow them on twitter: www.twitter.com/Fear_Factory