USA

Progressive Nation tour @ Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, August 14, 2009

This past Friday marked the Toronto stop of this year’s Progressive Nation tour, the now-annual summer festival curated by and starring Dream Theater as headliners – basically their chance to take out some of their favourite bands on tour with them across North America playing outdoor amphitheaters.

Sean Palmerston reviews the recent Toronto stop of this year’s traveling Progressive Nation festival.

Divine Heresy: Bringer of Plagues

For all the hype it received in 2007, Divine Heresy’s debut Bleed the Fifth was a major disappointment. Somewhere along the way, though, band leader Dino Cazares righted the ship, for the follow-up Bringer of Plagues turns out to be one of the more pleasant surprises of the summer.

Adrien Begrand reviews the new sophomore release by Dino Cazares’s new band Divine Heresy and, much to the surprise of many of us over here at Hellbound HQ, he digs it.

Burnt By The Sun: Heart Of Darkness

Burnt By The Sun has never been one to leave out groove and melody laced with absolutely fury and heaviness in an intelligent way and this continues on Heart of Darkness. As always the groove is driven by Dave Witte on drums, a man of many bands but never short on talent and ability to hold any style of music together. The drums sound huge and really pound out those heavy head banging riffs like Lexington Steele pounding a chick into submission.

Gorania: GOATWHORE is Great (Hellbound’s letter of the day is “G”)

Goatwhore is one of those bands that lights a fire under my ass. Though generally regarded as a black metal band, they’re actually so much more. There’s a rugged punk attitude, the dirge ’n sludge inherent to Louisiana metal bands is certainly present—offering some definite doom sensibilities—and never before has their thrash influence emerged as prominently as it has now with the release of Carving Out The Eyes of God, easily their career’s highlight thus far.

Death Angel: Sonic German Beatdown CD

Upon first listen, you might think this fifteen track offering is one of the greatest live albums of all time; it’s definitely one of the best to see release this year. This CD is what Death Angel is all about: heavy, thrashy, tight live playing that is highlighted by great guitar work.

Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra, Crux Of Aux, Slaughter Strike @ Casbah, Hamilton ON, August 8, 2009

Truth be told, it has been a pretty shitty summer weather-wise here in Southern Ontario so far. Instead of our usual hot, humid summers it has been the kind where you can count the truly sticky days on one hand. This Saturday was another drab, dreary one here in the Hammer, with rain coming and going all day making for a generally blah day. Thankfully, the evening’s entertainment inside at the Casbah did more than make up for the crappy weather outside. In comparison, the four bands that played the venerable King Street West venue left those in attendance positively steamy.

Keelhaul: Keelhaul’s Triumphant Return to Obscurity

Perhaps because their last release, Subject to Change Without Notice was released six years ago, coupled with the music industry’s short-term memory loss – not really anyone’s fault, as a plethora of albums are released every week – the understated brilliance of the Cleveland, Ohio quartet has largely gone unnoticed.

Clutch @ The Odeon, Saskatoon SK, August 2, 2009

Clutch’s current musical incarnation, which dates from 2004’s Blast Tyrant to this year’s Strange Cousins From the West, has been a remarkable creative renaissance, with blues superseding stoner rock, and not surprisingly, when the final third of the show focused on the newer material, things truly took off.

Adrien Begrand reviews Clutch’s most recent tour stop in his base city, Saskatoon, SK.