USA

Jucifer/ Mendozza/ Ahna @ Funky Winkerbean’s, Vancouver BC, August 6, 2010

Jucifer live is Total Ritual: Thick smoke and hot underlight, howling fury and gnashing of teeth, sonic overkill pouring forth from Amber Valentine’s monolithic wall of cabinets. From the second she steps onto the pitch-dark stage to begin her rite of setup to the moment the cloak is removed and the Flying V is strapped on and she begins beating hell out of it like it’s some faltering beast of burden, ritual is the only way to properly sum up the band’s live oeuvre.

Kyle Harcott reviews an appearance in Vancouver, BC of touring machine, JUCIFER.

Jucifer: The Hellbound Interview Part 2

“We’ve always known that as an entire band—both live and everything on our albums—we’re asking listeners to have a very open mind, more open than a lot of people are capable of. Depending on what song somebody hears, we could fit so many different categories. So if somebody sees we’re “black metal” and then listens to “Japanese and Lovely,” they’ll think we’re “false metal,” or that the person who called us black is an idiot. Vice versa if somebody’s told we’re indie rock and then, God help them, comes to our show, screaming for the door.”

Part two of Jay H. Gorania’s interview with Amber Valentine of JUCIFER.

Primus @ Sound Academy, Toronto, ON, July 27, 2010

“While avoiding the bookend records (Suck On This and Antipop) completely, Primus pulled together a set tailor-made to please the devout and focused on fan favorites like “Eleven,” “Pudding Time,” “Golden Boy” and “Southbound Pachyderm” rather than reaching for any “Wynona” or “My Name Is Mud”-sized brass rings (“Jerry Was A Racecar Driver” represented the only bonafide hit in the set) or throwing any curiosity-seeker that may have been in attendance a bone.”

Bill Adams reviews the July 27th Toronto performance by the reuinited PRIMUS. TOM FUN ORCHESTRA opened the show.

Slayer/ Megadeth/ Testament @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, July 29, 2010

“Testament and Megadeth have both been around as long as I have been alive; Slayer is two years older than I am. These bands have been around for a very long time and have gotten exceptionally good at what they do. More that that, they have defined their genre. Watching Slayer perform, it suddenly hit me: this is what everyone else is going for. This is the aesthetic so many other bands attempt to emulate. Not just the sound, either, but the presence, the charisma of the band members.”

Natalie Zed reviews the July 29th performance by SLAYER, MEGADETH and TESTAMENT at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Jucifer: The Hellbound Interview Part One

“We wanted an album that we’d be excited to play. As much as we appreciate that people love a song like “Amplifier,” we don’t want to play it. So with Throned… we can finally give fans a set with songs from the current album that we actually get off on playing. Maybe we’ll disappoint some people who like our albums because they’re not so abrasive. But in the end, we have to consider what pleases us. And arguably, the fans that don’t attend our shows are not the ones we should aim to please.”

Part one of Jay H. Gorania in conversation with JUCIFER’s Gazelle Amber Valentine about the release of their new album Thrones In Blood

Fates Warning @ Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT., June 4, 2010

Fates Warning went out on a high note, however, in ending their set with “Through Different Eyes”, taken from 1989’s Perfect Symmetry. Though this was probably the only point in the set which mirrored the awesomeness of Parallels, the feeling of true disappointment never really set, and the audience—ourselves including—left the Webster Theatre on this night feeling fairly satisfied that we’d just witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime engagement.

Ted Nugent – Setlist: The Very Best Of Ted Nugent Live

Even without any accompanying video footage too, Nugent’s Setlist translates incredibly well; culling essential tracks from the extended edition reissues of Free For All and Cat Scratch Fever as well as essential tracks from Intensities In 10 Cities and Double Live Gonzo and Live At The Hammersmith ’79, Setlist assembles a very vivid track list that does conjure the images of a wild-eyed Nugent (check out how “Just What The Doctor Ordered” leads in, and you’ll get it) relishing in the moment – the lights, the attention, the spectacle – and it is the guitarist’s element; he loves every minute.

HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE: The Metal Blade Reissues

San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune have recently signed to Metal Blade, and as a result, the label has reissued their entire back catalogue in hopes that it will get the due recognition it missed the first time around. With no expectation and no foreknowledge of the band, I tossed myself in at the deep end to review these four reissues and wound up discovering something completely fresh.

Kyle Harcott reviews the new Metal Blade reissues of the Hammers Of Misfortune back catalogue.