Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Ripples Presents New Song from Sister Midnight

New version of deep '70s obscurity drops as a Halloween treat

Ripple Music and Sister Midnight continue to enjoy marking the holidays with celebratory releases of exclusive new cover versions of obscure proto-metal, post-prog, heavy psych, junk shop glam and B-movie soundtrack tunes.

For their and everyone else's enjoyment, the label is happy to debut a new Halloween Ripples chapter from Sister Midnight in the form of their rendition of the extremely underground b-side Power of Darkness.

Steve Darrow, the mastermind behind Sonic Medusa and Sister Midnight, explains:

"Power of Darkness was originally recorded in 1971 by the band Ronno, featuring Mick 'Ronno' Ronson, best known as David Bowie‘s guitar hero and secret weapon from his rocking years from 1970 to '73.  Ronno never released a full album but just one single, and its B-Side, Power of Darkness, appeared on various promo-only Vertigo label sampler LPs alongside Black Sabbath, Warhorse, Beggers Opera and other Heavies of 1971.

"This blistering, high-energy, Lo-Fi garage rock tune has little in common with Bowie, and is more along the lines of UK heavy blues and proto-metal artists like The Jeff Beck group, Humble Pie, Deep Purple, etc. Lyrically, it’s as doomy and dark as any Sabbath, Coven or Black Widow song of the era, but with a fist pumping singalong chorus and danceable beat.

"A good buddy of ours from a notable band, performing under the pseudonym Ghengis Kowalski, is also a longtime Ronson fan, and laid down the raging vocal track on this slab of demonic decadence."

Focusing on obscure and forgotten gems from the golden era of heavy rock (late 1960s through early 1980s), Sister Midnight is an ongoing cover song recording project helmed by Steve Darrow, who plays all instruments while enlisting talented guest vocalists for each song.

All tracks are recorded old-school, loud in a room, using piles of vintage amps, guitars, drums, organs etc. with cheap recording equipment and a few microphones. No click tracks, programmed beats or other digital nonsense are used or welcome!

Sister Medusa's Power of Darkness is available now via the Ripple Music Bandcamp

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Xroadie Files

UDK – Burnt Cradles
Alejandro Espinosa – Vocals/Guitar, Rodrigo Albornoz – Guitar, Claudio Leiva – Bass, Rodrigo Leiva – Drums

Burnt Cradles gruff vocals chugging guitars pounding drums thumping bass that just rips at your senses. Vow My Words just garbs you and slams you against the wall of aggression. Like Rats fast heavy hit the pit and slam away. Judge Me Wrong crunchy chugging guitars pounding drums thundering bass and interesting vocals clean and rough. Death And All Its Bitterness slowly builds as it envelops you with some searing leads before it tears you to pieces. Becoming Hate dark aggressive thrashing ripping metal mayhem with some different tempo changes. Massacre crushing rhythms cutting guitars shredding riffs and gruff vocals. Quit just takes ahold and won’t let go. Slavery slow plodding slicing and tearing metal. Purification pounding in your head as it drives you mad.

Suicide Commando – Hellraiser
Johan Van Roy – Everything

Hellraiser (Post Mortem) industrial keyboards pounding rhythms strange sounds and voices that pull you into a dark abyss. Mindstripper (Restripped) classical music tones with industrial keyboards that take you on a very interesting mind trip. Hellraiser (Psychopath 1 Version) pulsing rhythms that just take over your very heart beat. Kevorkian (Original Version) industrial space rave music.

Captain Cheesebeard – Symphony For Auto Horns
Johan De Coninck – Vocals/Guitar, Pascal Hauben – Bass, Didier DeMeestere – Drums, Pierre Chevalier – Keyboards, Todor Stefanov – Keyboards, Vanessa Spaey – Vocals, Bart Quartier – Melodic Percussion, Maayan Smith – Tenor Sax, Eduoard Wallyn – Trombone, Mo Franken – Trumpet, Marie Ange Teuwen/Veronique Jerome – BG Vocals, Robert Martin – Guest Vocalist  

Avoid The Humanoid space rock sounds spoken words then a very jazzy strange music aka Frank Zappa. Righteousness And Wieners jazzy horns that just envelop you with a sliding rhythm that will pull you along. Symphony For Auto Horns just close your eyes and let this jazzy melodic tune take your imagination away. Tash And A Guitar is a very bluesy psychedelic tune that just envelops your senses. Coma Aroma slow jazzy bluesy music that just pulls you into a mind trip. The Hunt For The Black October horns surround your jazzy rhythms and interesting vocals. March Of The Fat Vegan Legion just kick back and let the music take you away and it swallows your senses. Bureaucratic Lullaby slow melodic music to just have your closing your eyes and drifting along.

Alchemy – Infinite Forms Of Torture
Nic Web – Vocals, Mateja Ostrugnaj – Drums, Christopher Puglia – Guitar, Daniel Saeed – Bass

Infinite Forms Of Torture just blast you in the face with aggressive anger and hate. Hadethma shredding rids double bass drums thundering bass and growling death vocals that just rip and tear at your senses. Nocturnal Forest melancholy guitars flow all around you before the aggression just rips you to shreds.

Tirade - Nothing Dramatic
Jake Tilley – Vocals/Bass, Josh Pearl – Guitar, Alex Young – Guitar, Stevo Somerset – Drums

Nothing Dramatic rockabilly punk fueled hard rock n roll. No Time has a very interesting riffs with some melodic vocals. To Be Honest a chugging riff pounding beat thumping bass and melodic vocals with interesting tempos. Burned Out just get up bop and sing along to a catchy tune. Well Spent bluesy riffs pounding rhythms and melodic vocals with some interesting changes.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fistful of Questions With Grief Collector

What do you get when you cross a former Candlemass singer, a drummer that is “deathly afraid” of snakes and one-time flutophonist?  You get a doom metal trio called Grief Collector and the recipients of this edition of Fistul of Questions.   

What is your full name?

Brad Miller - Drums
Matt Johnson - Guitars/Bass
Robert Lowe - Vocals

What bands are you actively involved with?

Brad (Grief Collector, Brähn)
Matt (Grief Collector, Signs of Reign)
Robert (Grief Collector, Tyrant)

How did Grief Collector materialize?

Grief Collector started out as just a recording project by Brad and Matt. But once the songs were actually written, we realized how powerful they were. So they reached out to Robert to lend his unique and incredible vocal abilities to the songs.

Was Robert someone that you knew personally or professionally?

(Brad) I’ve been a huge fan of Robert’s for over 25 years. One day when we were thinking of vocalists for Grief Collector, I realized I was friends with Robert on Facebook. So I reached out to him. The rest is Doom history.

What inspired the name Grief Collector?

Grief collector actually comes from the lyrics of a Candlemass song called “Man of Shadows”.

What was the first instrument that you played?

(Brad) I started off playing guitar actually, but I play it left handed so it was too difficult for me. Lol
(Matt) I started off playing the piano. Well, actually the Flutophone. Lol
(Robert) Piano at the age of 5.

Tell me about one of your first musical memories?

(Brad) I remember playing a battle of the bands in the middle of a Fudruckers restaurant during regular dinner hours. Hahahahaha, good times.

What was the name of the first band that you were in?

(Brad) My first real band was called Krystal Reign. We did a combination of 80’s cover tunes and originals.
(Matt) My first band was called Sole Hunter

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

(Brad) Kiss, Judas Priest, Candlemass, Fates Warning
(Matt) Toni Iommi, Dave Mustaine for guitar,  Steve Harris, Geezer Butler, Allen Woody for bass.
(Robert) Old Cheap Trick/Robin Zander, Hüsker Dü, Early Kiss/Ace Frehley.

I understand that someone in the band is a “sucker for 80’s metal.”  Does that extend to “hair” metal?

(Brad) Absolutely, I love the 80’s metal a lot. Even though some of those bands were labeled “Hair Metal”. The amount of talent was incredible. For instance, Crimson Glory, Leatherwolf and Lizzy Borden had amazing players and some really great albums.

If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?

(Brad) For me it would definitely be Katatonia. I absolutely love everything about that band.
(Matt) Metal Church with David Wayne, cause they are one of my all time favorite's and they do what they do no matter what.

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?  If so…  what was the song and artist?

(Brad) I really like “Wish you were here” from Pink Floyd. Such an emotional and powerful song.

Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?

(Brad) I absolutely love the band Toad the Wet Sprocket. Everything they do is so heartfelt and emotional. They are definitely one of my all time favorite non-metal influences.

What is an absolute band killer?

(Brad) Egos
(Matt) Egos and members out to serve themselves instead of the group.

Is there a non-metal song that you’d like to do a cover of?

(Brad) I’m actually in another band called Brähn. We are remaking songs from the 1960’s-1980’s in a Doom style.

You are driving cross country and you can only listen to one album.  What album would you choose?

(Brad) Katatonia - Night is the New Day
(Matt) King’s X -Faith Hope Love

One thing most people don't know about you?

(Brad) I’m deathly afraid of snakes.

What two things should people absolutely know about Minneapolis, Minnesota?

(Brad) Minneapolis has a lot of amazing bands coming out of here. The amount of talent in the Twin Cities is incredible.  It also has a very talented art scene and many great restaurants.

Give me a handful of bands from the Twin Cities that I should definitely check out. 

Chalice of Suffering, Living Through Ghosts, Cold Colours, Wolf Blood.

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

(Brad) Stretching my legs and usually having an adult beverage. Exciting huh?

The year is 1985.  Where are you at and what are you listening to?

(Brad) I was 12, probably listening to Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Dokken, Metallica.
(Matt) Graduating from High School and listening to Crue, Dokken, Metal Church, Metallica, Megadeth, Queensryche, Ratt.

Prince or Bob Dylan (if you had to pick)? 

(Brad) Prince, no contest.

Favorite guilty pleasure?

(Brad) Watching cooking and baking shows. I’m a bit obsessed.
(Matt) Häagen‑Dazs Ice Cream

Favorite book?

(Brad) Stephen King - The Stand

Favorite movie?

(Brad) That’s a hard one to answer. Probably The Shining, Salem’s Lot or The Exorcist.

Favorite album?

(Brad) Kiss Alive II

If you have yet to hear Grief Collector’s new album From Dissension To Avowal then stop what you are doing (right now) and treat yourself to five slabs of exquisite doom metal.  Seriously, right now!  You will not regret it.  Thanks mucho to Brad, Matt and Robert for taking the time to answer my queries.  I really appreciate it. 

~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson from the Fistul of Doom Show   

Ps- Be sure to check out the Fistful of DOOM show airing on Fuzz Heavy Radio every Sunday at 6 p.m. c.s.t./ 7 p.m. e.s.t.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Conversation with Jay Michaelis From Stateline Empire

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Jay here from SLE. My first musical epiphany was when I was four I saw "Animal" from the Muppets do a shredding duet with Buddy Rich. The vicious way Buddy attacked the kit was life changing. Animal obviously spoke to my spirit as well haha. Next was Cheap trick Live at Budokan, Kiss Alive I,II,and III. I would play those opening fills on the rug till there were marks and dents. Later it would be Exit Stage Left, Sabbath, Repo man soundtrack and all the Rodney on the ROQ comps as well.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

 With us, it could be a guitar riff or a drum pattern that we could build off of.  Our song "Kill It with Fire " was written off of a drum pattern. Mostly, it has been Cat coming up with a solid riff foundation and Tony and I coming in and placing our two cents. Lately it's been crazy.  Cat will send out a riff sometimes the day of rehearsal and two hours later at practice we will have another tune. This new stuff seems to be writing itself in a cryptic ouija board kind of way.

Who has influenced you the most?

Thats a tough one. From a musical perspective, I'd have to say my Dad.  I grew up with mountains of vinyl in the house. On any given day you could here Johnny Cash then Zappa into old doo wop. Pops gave me Motorhead's "Iron Fist" when I was twelve. (another epiphany!)

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

  I teach music full time so I'm always studying up on all styles. I'm a firm believer of the "perpetual student" notion. Once you think you have learned it all, that's where you flat-line. I'm constantly reminded of the beauty of music in that way. When it's authentic and from a pure heart, music unlocks the treasures of the soul.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We're from Nor-Cal. It's foggy and gloomy with a touch of sunshine. Our music definitely reflects that.

Where'd the band name come from?

Three words that sounded cool. To me, it represents a time around prohibition when if you could make it to the state line you were good.....

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

The Shining

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

I think it would be one of our new ones "Beyond the Cross."  It raises some important issues on religious extremism and pre-judgement.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

A Spinal Tap moment for me would be a show at the Whisky, I think we were supporting John 5. I was using the house drum throne and the memory lock failed and dropped. I was now sitting lower than Nicko Mcbrain. On a break in the song I had my roadie throw me another seat. It was maxed out to the highest setting. I went from sitting on the floor basically to standing up. Finished the song! haha. Also i too have played a gig at an Airforce base.  Puppets first ....then Tap

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans? 

Playing live is what we live for. It's a natural high to be able to move people with our rock. If our fans take the time enough from their crazy lives to come see us, we owe them a kickass experience.

What makes a great song?

A great song is one that takes you on an unexpected journey. It causes you to reflect and tap into a deeper meaning inside you.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

It wasn't very good ....

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Super Proud of the single "Drive Me" we did with Slash. Although we have morphed into a whole different style since then, it was an amazing experience. We worked with Mike Clink as well. I learned a ton, not only about production, but the business as well. I'm most proud of these new tunes we are about to record. Cant wait to get them out to the masses.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Dave Grohl. Great story teller.  He's basically the Tom Petty of our generation...

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?


Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Whisky. Tastes great....less filling

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Amoeba SF and 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in Oakland

What's next for the band? 

We are stoked beyond repair to be hitting the studio next month with nine new songs (written in 3 months). Next show is Oct 17 at The Whisky w/ Saliva.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

We are honored to be here. The Ripple Fam has a ton of talent within its roster. Thanks for reading and check us out on all the music platforms or

Turn that shit up!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

US psych rock masters ECSTATIC VISION share "Shut Up And Drive" video ; catch them on their European tour right now!

Philadelphia's acid rockers ECSTATIC VISION present their butt-kicking and exhilarating new video for "Shut Up And Drive" today. The band is touring Europe right now to present their new studio album 'For The Masses' released this fall on Heavy Psych Sounds.

ECSTATIC VISION have tapped into something that expands heavy rock's vocabulary and moves into a far-out sonic galaxy where there is music in the spheres, but the spheres vibrate on previously untold frequencies. 'For the Masses' is Ecstatic Vision at its most spacey, most tripped-out, most avant-garde, and most rock and roll, somehow all at once.

Rock'n'roll never dies! "Shut Up And Drive" at this location

Frontman Doug Sabolik says: "We were toying with the idea of a more digestible record but at the end of the day we had to keep it real and the result was our most psychedelic, head-trip style record to date. This record mixes expansions of the elements we have touched on in the past and with the help of producer Tim Green (Melvins, Earthless) we have delivered a streamlined, clear version of our unique blend of Neanderthal, Catatonic, Semi-Articulate, Cro-Magnon Rock."

24/10/2019 NL Nijmegen – Merleyn
25/10/2019 NL Amsterdam – OCCII
26/10/2019 UK London – The Dev
28/10/2019 UK Bristol -The Lanes
29/10/2019 BE Bruxelles – Le Bunker
30/10/2019 NL Groningen – Vera
31/10/2019 DE Dresden – Chemienfabrik
01/11/2019 AT Wien – Weberknecht
02/11/2019 AT Innsbruck – Heavy Psych Sounds Fest
03/11/2019 SK Bratislava – Protokultura
04/11/2019 CZ Prague – Cafe v Lese
05/11/2019 DE Leipzig – Naumanns
06/11/2019 PL Wroclaw – DK Luksus
07/11/2019 PL Gdansk – Drizzly Grizzly
09/11/2019 DE Berlin – Headz Up Fest
13/11/2019 IS Reykkjavik – Gaukurinn
15/11/2019 SE Helsingborg- Favela
16/11/2019 SE Stockholm – Southside Cavern

New album "For The Masses"
Out now on Heavy Psych Sounds - ORDER
After bursting onto the scene with their 2015 tribal-psychedelic LP, Sonic Praise, touring the USA with Yob and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, crushing Roadburn, then quickly releasing a for-heads-only, noisy, psychedelic-garage record to weed out the weak (Raw Rock Fury), ECSTATIC VISION have pulled themselves out of the muck to deliver their finest album to date. Recorded in Philadelphia at Retro City Studios with Joe Boldizar and mixed/mastered by Tim Green (Earthless, The Melvins) at Louder Studios in Grass Valley, CA, Ecstatic Vision's recent fuzzed-out sound has been sculpted it into a HI/FI psychedelic wonderland. This album is the closest the band has gotten to achieving the energy of their untouchable live shows on tape. EV took a simpler approach on the art this time, as if Tangerine Dream jammed with Lemmy and the Asheton Brothers and decided to play some World Music and Free Jazz in 1971.

Doug Sabolik - guitar, organ, vocals
Michael Field Connor - bass
Kevin Nickles - saxophone, flute, guitar
Ricky Kulp - drums


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Bandcamp Bonanza – 098

To start this round off, I’ll mention I recently visited Nashville, TN on a business trip. It’s unreal the amount of music down on Broadway. I also learned a bit of the local culture and met up with some musician friends on mine one night where we chatted about music until the week hours of the night. One thing I learned was the tourist scene, AKA Broadway in downtown Nashville is ALL cover bands. There great musicians and it’s a heck of a time, but its also been noted its where artists go to kill their music career and turn it into a 9-5 as you make great money playing at those clubs bringing in the tourist who get drunk and spend a lot of money. Meanwhile the original artists, those who have a passion for the arts are hesitant to fall victim to the big street. They’re bands like I’ll kick off the list with,whom I would never have known about without a one on one talk with local Nashvillians at a local bar serving locally brewed craft beer.

Year of October –Trouble Comes
As I made my way upstairs at the Tennessee Brew Works where good buds of mine Zach and Tom of the band Howling Giant work at, on a Thursday night I was greeted by Zach and another local band made up of husband and wife. These guys are doing quite well touring as of late and I’ve been following the band for quite sometime.

“An eclectic barrage of pop-stricken heavy blues, sweltering vocal melodies, and swanky riffs with a groovy garage rock swagger.”

Chico – Ballet for Bastards
After being introduced to Phlecia and Josh of Year of October I was introduced to this long wavy dirty blonde-haired dude that kind of looked like a young Robert Plant. Carson Mays who Zach had highly recommended I check out his band Chico who were a great local band. Surely enough on my plane ride home I had their album Ballet for Bastards queued up in my Bandcamp Wishlist and I adored what I was hearing. A mixture of styles ranging from progressive rock, to psychedelic garage rock back to poppy alternative at times. Check these guys out. Imagine they’d be great to see live and getting to know Carson briefly I can attest they’re solid people.

Oginalii – Cause & Affection
Carson and I ended up getting into some pretty deep political, societal conversations, but they were grounded in music and his top recommendation of a local act I had to check out was a band called Oginalii. Not only does that band name roll off the tongue with class, the music absolutely lives up to the hype set by Carson of Chico. Man, this one is both dark, light, heavy and fuzzy. I think many of you will really dig this and it’s the kind of music that if the right person pushed into the spotlight would blow up. I’m doing my part to push it, now you should go click the link and have your mind blown as well.

Ttotals–Skyview Drive
Hot damn, although this band wasn’t brought up in our Tennessee bar talk on my visit, I recently stumbled onto this band on an Instagram post of my buddy Matt Bacon of Dropout Media. He preaches a ton of best practices in the music industry on how to utilize technology, social media, and trends in the current market and ironically, I was reading the comments on one of his posts and saw a band name commenting I hadn’t heard of before. I clicked over to their profile and noticed it was a rock band from Nashville. That was enough to dig a little deeper. Since they didn’t link Bandcamp in their profile I had to go the old-fashioned route and type their name into the Bandcamp search and there it was loud and clear. Fairly established band with multiple full-length albums out on vinyl. I hit play and was pleasantly surprised. The tags on the page were accurate and the music kicked ass. If I wasn’t on a vinyl budget right now, I’d have bought up their available albums right then and there, but I am testing my self-discipline right now and its painful.

Okay enough about Nashville, it was miserably hot there anyway. Let move onto some more albums that were just as hot as the record drought conditions in Nashville in early October, except minus the humidity. In fact, lets just head south down to Austin, TX for a couple albums in my collection to share.

Mortales – Death Rattle Valley
Death Rattle Valley shakes the desert floor with another round of scorching doom, high octane rhythm and groove and vocals dry-aged with smoky grit. Insta-purchase over here.

Sheverb – Chapter One
Gotta love that band name. What a great dose of spaghetti western licks, complete with killer groove and bluesy swagger. I wish there were more vocals, but it works great as is.

One Eleven Heavy – Desire Path
I practically wore their previous album out on vinyl and bought the splatter version here without hesitation. They're that kind of band and after digging in, I can confirm I made the right choice. Every song is brimming with progressive Americana twang and psychedelic intent. These albums just keep growing better each listen.

Charley Crockett – In The Night
As a matter of fact, I am listening to this stud as I write up this review. The vinyl is spinning on the turntable as the entire discography available was purchased after been given a recommendation to check him out from a friend on mine on Facebook that kind of knows I’m into the Honky Tonk sector of country music. Charley Crockett is an enigma within country circles and as soon as I pushed play on the album In The Light, I completely lost my shit. I told all my friends who I know would love, I bought all their records online, I checked the tour schedule and booked a weekend trip to Sacramento to see him in just a couple weeks. I haven’t been more stoked on an artist find as I was when I found Charley Crockett. He’s only got this album on Bandcamp but be sure to go online and seek out his other albums, they are all gold. His latest called “The Valley” was recently released and is growing on my top albums of the year list as we speak. Combined Texas blues, Cajun soul, and good old Honky Tonk making it his own, this singer songwriter is a power to behold and has a great story to go along with where he’s at now.

Black Pumas – Black Pumas
Well, just so happens we have another Austin Texas band here. This one I shared on social media a few weeks back claiming album of the year accolades depending on what circles your hanging in. This is Texas Soul to the finest degree. Holy god damn shit another band coming out of nowhere found while digging around on the outskirts of the underground Bandcamp feed. Vinyl ordered and patiently awaiting as of today. Starting to get nervous as Black Pumas is surely an album you can plop on the turntable and turn some heads in the room. So much energy, groove and overall style. Check it out for yourself.

-The Huntsman

Friday, October 25, 2019

Enter OZZY OSBOURNE Halloween Costume Contest To Win An Autographed 'See You On The Other Side' Box Set


Channeling your inner rock star?

Now's your chance to be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter OZZY OSBOURNE this Halloween AND win a copy of his new SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE box set, due out  Friday, November 29 on Sony Legacy. Watch a video with more details here.

The Halloween costume contest launches October 23 and runs through November 1 on all OZZY's social media channels.  Ten lucky winners will receive an OZZY autographed bone, similar to the one featured on the box set cover, and a chance to be featured in costume on OZZY's social media.  Please click here for all contest details.

Just follow these steps to enter the Halloween costume contest


Dress up as your favorite version of Ozzy Osbourne


Snap a pic


Upload your pic for a chance to win a signed bone from Ozzy himself!

The SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE box set is the definitive vinyl collection of all of OZZY OSBOURNE's original solo material (click here to see the contents).  The package includes 16 albums of 24 Pieces of vinyl (173 songs total), a 7" flexi disc, 10 posters, 12 AR (Augmented Reality) experiences, and an individually numbered vellum certificate of authenticity, personally autographed by Ozzy Osbourne.  Click here for full details on the box set.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Ripple Conversation with Nico and Tibal of the New Project, Sapiens

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Nico : Oh I had a few ! The first names that come to my mind are “Led Zeppelin IV”, “Master of Reality”, “Nevermind” and “The Black Album”. But I can mention dozens more! One day just for fun, I even made the list of my 100 favorite albums. I'll publish it maybe someday if it interests people!
Tibal : Mine were actually quite different from Nico's. I believe the first one was Simon & Garfunkel's “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”, then Clapton's MTV Unplugged, then Ben Harper's “The Will To Live”, and Metallica's “S&M”. And the second wave included Sick of it All's “Yours Truly”, Incubus' “Morning View”, & John Butler Trio's “Sunrise Over Sea”. These are the Albums that shaped the way I play music today.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Nico : For Sapiens, the principle was basically to leave a total freedom to the singers, so I absolutely did not intervene on the lyrics and just a little on the song melodies. My role was to write music that matches their musical landscape while taking them out of their comfort zone. I have listened to these singers for so long that I knew deep inside where I could bring them. The question was: Can I do it? I bought a new acoustic guitar and I totally fell in love with it and I started to put together ideas of songs that I had in my drawers for years and that I hadn’t had the opportunity to use with LDDSM. One idea leading to another, I started to have some pretty cool songs. The Sapiens project came like this. I thought "if only this song could be sung by Julien of “Mars Red Sky”, or Cédric of “Hangman's Chair” etc, it would be awesome!". So I contacted them one by one and they said yes. When I started to have some material I called my friend Tibal to help me finalize the writing and we started doing demos. The composition phase only lasted 4 months. Our guitar playing are very complementary and Tibal is an excellent arranger.
Tibal : As Nico said, I'm more of an arranger, though one of the songs on the album was actually written by me. Most of the time, I need a working idea to begin with. Nico having plenty of those, and me, rather few, I'd say it was a match made in heaven.

Who has influenced you the most?

Nico : For this project in particular, I will say that my 2 acoustic albums of reference were the “Unplugged” of Alice in Chains and “Skin and bones” of the Foo Fighters. I love 90's rock and  Grunge. And in parallel to that, I constantly have the shadow of Jimmy Page hovering over me and inspiring me. His approach to the acoustic guitar with its different tunings and its sonorities both harmonious and full of surprises has always fascinated me.
Tibal : Skin and Bones, for sure, and, for me, there's a lot of Butler and Harper, when it comes to the open-tuningy slidy dobroey stuff. I was an acoustic guitar player to begin with, electric guitar came later on, but when I chose so. I didn't start the guitar hoping to shred on an electric, my first love was a steel string acoutsic. And the instrument itself is its own inspiration.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Nico: In fact I don’t ask mysel that question  too much. Or rather, I stopped asking.  I realized over the years that inspiration cannot be controlled. It is here, or it is not. It's in you. Either you are in a creative phase and then, everything comes on its own without any effort, or you are not and you can spend hours on your guitar, nothing good will come out. As I told you, this new acoustic guitar was a real love at first sight for me and the songs were written on their own. The slightest chord sounded exactly as it did in my dreams and I could string together the compositions each other very easily. In the end, we left very few ideas behind with Tibal, and we tried to keep the best of them. The inspiration is hidden in your being and at specific moments it wants to go out. It can come from anything, a sound, an image, an encounter, a joy, a pain, it's magic!

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Nico : Well we come from Strasbourg in the North East of France. It's a very beautiful city. I wasn’t born there, but I really feel perfectly adopted and integrated here. I will say that what pleases me in this city, is this form of elegance married to a very strong personality. This is what we also tried to do with this album, to record extremely worked and harmonious songs but also with a great singularity.
Tibal : And Strasbourg has the advantage of being less than an hour's drive away from what I call “the greens”. Forests, mountains, lakes, nature. It's good to be able to escape the business of the city and rest in a more quiet environment. I tend to associate music with colours most of the time, and the feeling of certain material (stone, wood, fabric...). In that aspect being somewhere between the harshness of concrete and the cool woodland breeze was quite helpful.

Where'd the band name come from?

Nico : Well first as I always say, Sapiens is not strictly speaking a group. It's a concept. I proposed this name to the project for its universal and egalitarian aspect. I didn’t want so-and-so or so to be more prominent than any other. I wanted every musician and singer to be at the same level, because one without the other, the project couldn’t have existed. So what unites us all without exception? We are all Homo Sapiens. And this word has the advantage of being pronounced in the same way in all languages.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Nico : I will say a film of the Coen brothers. I love the atmosphere of their films, between black humor and poetry. I think I'll enjoy doing it!
Tibal : I would go for a Christopher Nolan movie, but would be in way over my head. :-D

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Nico : hum… I will say probably a Pink Floyd song. Maybe "Shine on you crazy diamond", for its incredible composition, the legendary sound of Gilmour (this entry bend is so sublime), the text and the story it tells, the character it refers to and his journey and also because I associate a lot of personal feelings towards people I have lost in the last few years and to whom I could have sung this song: "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun etc ..."
Tibal : I think I would choose “Thistle and Weed” by Mumford and Sons. There's so much of a particular dark and angry atmosphere it that song, and the heaviest instrument playing would be, I don't know. A semi-acoustic barely distorted guitar ? I mean it's the archetype of what makes a song great. It can convey emotion outside of its own musical context. Quite like making people headbang with acoustic guitars. Which is what I believe we've done with Sapiens.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Nico : On a project like this, it's hard to give you Rock n 'Roll anecdotes! But I will say that the whole process was Rock n 'Roll! Indeed, create 10 songs with 10 different singers and thirty additional musicians who have never seen each other and never played a single note all together, with sound recordings of dozens of recording studios from all over the country, all between the birth of my daughter, the work of my house, my job, my band LDDSM course, touring ... Yes it was sporty! very sporty! And for Tibal it wasn’t easy either! But I'll let him explain his situation better than me. But we do that for Rock n 'Roll don’t we?!
Tibal : Now there were some pretty cool moments, like, enlisting my 9 year old nephew to play snares and toms on one of the songs, or recording a dobro track in the church where I later got married. I mean, was it a logistical fuckin nightmare ? Hell yeah ! But who cares. We got to film LDDSM's drummer hitting a damn tambourine with his index finger. That alone was worth it.

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Nico : unfortunately for this project, it will be impossible to tour. Indeed, I cannot afford to bring all 10 singers together from all over France, to make them sing only one song. And even if we study a formula where everyone could harmonies another, it would still take weeks of work to propose something really good. I don’t want to do a low-cost, half-improvised gig, it's not my way of working and seeing music. I have too much respect for people who come to see a concert and pay their ticket to offer them something not completely accomplished, especially after such a work in the studio. We will see perhaps to make some small showcase formula for 2 singers, something quite intimate, but nothing is planned yet. I dream to be able to play these pieces live, but this impossibility is also part of the charm of the project. It's a pleasure that can only be enjoyed on your turntable!
Tibal : Not to mention that there is one song that would actually require me to play 3 guitars at once, one of them changing tunings between verses and choruses. Hahaha.

What makes a great song?

Nico : I will say that the most important thing is the melody. Whether simple or complicated, mild or violent, it has to be good. And especially on a grid of atypical chords. I can’t stand to hear the same 4 chords all day anymore, everywhere, all the time. It's unbearable! Of the 12 original Beatles albums, dozens of n°1 charts, they only used these 4 chords once! So, it is possible to write great songs without these 4 chords! Dig your head!

Tibal : To me, it's more of a “can it hold itself with only one instrument” kind of thing. Every Sapiens song works perfectly well with just a guitar and a vocal line. The arrangements were not “needed”, they were just pure fun.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Nico: I think I remember it was a very bad Heavy Metal song that looked like nothing. The tones, the riffs, the tempos, nothing was coherent! A disaster! But you have to start with something, right?
Tibal : Mine was a weird folk acoustic open tuning intrumental song, very long, and not very good. But fun anyways, so...

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Nico : On the Sapiens album, I think the song I'm most proud of, is the one with Julien Pras from Mars Red Sky. It’s called “Surreal Estates”. Whenever I listen to it, I get chills and I think that this project was already worthwhile only for this song. I find it perfect and my son loves it too and that is priceless!
Tibal : Same here. Though I love what we've done with my song, Forest Pooky' « Cognitive Dissonnance », it i very special to me, that song I wrote like 12 years ago, and was never meant to be anything more than me noodling around on an acoustic guitar.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Nico : To be totally honest, I will have a hard time giving you a band that slammed me as much as I was when I was a teenager, but some bands really disappoint me very rarely. On the international scene, I'm never disappointed with Maynard James Keanan's work. I am a big fan of his 3 projects: Tool obviously, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. His way of placing his voice, his words, his intensions, his diction and of course the intellectual work that’s behind, my God, that pure art! Ditto for Mastodon who always manages to surprise me and give me a smile when I listen to them. Their approach to the guitar has revolutionized my playing. On the French side, I think my two favorite bands are Mars Red Sky and Hangman's Chair. Their albums have been on my turntable for years and don’t age. Moreover, they improve from year to year! I’m very proud to have these 2 guys on the album.
Tibal : I love Dave Grohl's songwriting, and Marcus Mumford's. They're a bit mainstreamy, maybe, but the truth is these are damn great songs. Julien Pras from Mars Red Sky too. Particularly his solo albums. His songs, whatever the project, all place the listener directly in his very odd and eerie universe within seconds. And that's the magic of it all.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Nico : I’m a big fan of vinyl ! I love the object, the process of cleaning and putting your disc on the turntable and of course the sound quality. I'm sorry, but if you have a good sound system, the analog sound is incomparable to digital sound, it's undeniable! However, I listen to a lot of streaming music. I have my Spotify subscription that I use every day. It allows me to discover many bands and to have my favorite albums wherever I go. I listen to music a lot in my car and it also allows me to introduce good bands to my 5 years old son. He is the first to ask me to put "Monkey Wrench" of Foo Fighters or "Thunderstruck" of AC / DC or even "Roots bloody roots" of Sepultura when we go on the road. I think it's great !

Tibal : Digital for the car, Vinyl for everything else. It can be argued that CD's have “more information on them” than vinyls, that loss-less digital format are the best because there is no loss, at the end of the day, when I sit down and listen, there is a physical element to listening to a record on vinyl, or on tape. The sound may not be “as good”, from an engineering standpoint, and sure, you might not even tell the difference if you're listening to music while doing something else, but if you force yourself to stop everything else, sit down and actually listen to music, vinyl is the most agreeable way to do it.

Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice

Nico : Without hesitation: beer. Firstly because I’m not really able to appreciate a good whiskey and especially that I can’t learn to do it now because my stomach doesn’t support it anymore. It's hard to get old man!
I am fond of good beers. I love craft beers. Wherever we play with LDDSM, we always try to taste a local beer and if possible from a micro brewery. And in Strasbourg, we are close to Belgium and Germany and there is also a lot of brewery here, so we have something to do!

Tibal : To me it's a bit like choosing between a Espresso and a Latte. Many people will proclaim that one is best, and the other is shit. I don't think choosing is the point sometimes you need the strong, coarse, and full aroma of an Espresso, sometimes you need to softly let yourself have a cup of a sweet caffeinated beverage. Wait what ? The question was about beer ? No, I think you read the question wrong. But then again, maybe that's because I barely drink any alcohol, so what do I know.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Nico : in Strasbourg, my 2 favourite record stores are « La case de l’oncle Tom » et « 33 and co ». 2 independent record stores in which you will find new or old vinyls at a good price, but not only! Also books, DVDs, gadgets etc ...
Tibal : You stole my answer, Nico. Not cool, dude, not cool.

What's next for the band?

Nico : First, officially release the album in physical and digital. The release date is scheduled for October 25th. Then do the PR as best as possible and try to place the disc in a maximum of stores because as I said, it will be almost impossible to tour with, unless a brave booking agency wanted to embark on the project and  find gigs (me, I won’t do it haha!). A video clip is also being shot for the title of Bukowski's singer Mat Dottel. We will also try to offer small videos of live session with the different singers when it is possible. Each singer will have several copies of the album in CD and vinyl with him, so you can get it at their merchandising stands during their concerts. And who knows, sometime, maybe a Sapiens II?

Tibal : Yeah, I believe we're rather committed to putting this album into as many ears as possible, cause we worked our ASSES off for this, and we're very proud of the result. And yeah, maybe a Sapiens II. Maybe it should be called Sapiens Sapiens. But that would complicate the name of the third album... I'm gonna shut up now. =D

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Nico : Thank you for taking the time to read us. I hope you were inspired to listen to this unique album wich is here to prove that the French Rock scene has nothing to envy the rest of the world. It's the most personal musical project of my life and we put a lot of energy into it to achieve a result we’re very proud of. I sincerely hope that you will take the time to listen to it and that you will enjoy listening to it as much as we took to make it. Cheers!

Tibal : Guys, when you listen to this, wether it's on digital, vinyl, CD, morse code. Just stop anything else. Just sit down and listen. In fact, do this at least once a week. And not necessarily with Sapiens. Just take the time to really listen to what it is that you're listening to. Beyond anything else, you'll just spend a far better half hour / 45minutes than if you had not. I don't do this enough. Please don't be like me. :D

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Xroadie Files

Spread Eagle – Subway To The Stars
Ray West – Vocals, Rob De Luca – Bass, Rik De Luca – Drums, Ziv Shalev – Guitar

Subway To The Stars sounds of the subway then a crunchy riff pounding beat and thundering bass kick in get ready to rock with one of the best back after 26 years. 29th Of February fast heavy fist pumping sing along metal stand up and shout. Speed Of Sound fast feel good get up and rock out music. Dead Air classical music envelops you then crunchy guitars pounding drums thundering bass and vocals that just take you away. Grand Scam is a great song to hop in your car or on your bike and just jam on down the highway. More Wolf Than Lamb has a very heavy bluesy feel that will pull you in with some emotional playing and singing. Cut Through scorching leads catchy rhythms great vocals hard rock metal magic. Little Serpentina fist pumping sing along melodic metal that will have the crowd on their feet. Antisocial Butterfly another great song to just jam to while crushing down the road just enjoy the trip. Gutter Rhymes for Valentines amazing melodies and vocals just pierce your heart then get ready to enjoy the musical journey. Solitare kick back with the band and some friends just letting the music flow thru your senses.

The Holeum – Sublime Emptiness
Paco Porcel – Bass, Pablo Egido – Vocals, Miguel Fernandez – Drums, Luis Albaladejo – Guitar, Julian Velasco – Guitar

Obsidiana the music just envelops you and pulls you into your dark imagination. Geometric Dance heavy slow moody melancholic doom metal. Protoconciousness the music pulls you into the black abyss of nothingness. Drake Equation the pits of hell open and demons slither out to devour all. Fractal Visions fist in the air head banging doom metal. Metempsicosis eerie melodies just envelop and pull you down into darkness.

Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio -  Lets Play (Two Girls And A Goat)
Tomas Pettersson – Vocals, Rose Marie Larsen – Vocals, Ronnie Back – Guitar, Fredrik Leijstrom – Bass, Nicolas Van Mierhaeghe – Drums/Percussion

Forty Years After Null (There’s No Answer To The Riddle) the eerie music just envelops your senses with some interesting vocals. Two Girls And A Goat ( I Never Knew) moody industrial gothic music. Evil Wears A Mask With Your Name pulls you into the dark recesses of your mind. I Met Jesus In A Dream (Till Illusions Fall Apart) lost in a dream that turns into a nightmare never being able to get out. Lets Play Said The Rose To The Goat moody rhythms just slide and slither all around you. This Life This Is War (Lets Play Make Believe) classical tone envelop you with many emotions. This Knife Will Steal Your Heart ( Lets Waken The Judas In You) just let the music take over and pull you into a strange dimension. There’s No Pride Love Is Dead (Kiss My Eyes And Crush My Head) pounding drums strange vocals and a weird musical journey. Anoint Me With Vomit (And Desecrate My Beliefs) the music just takes over your very soul and pulls you into a dark place. There’s A Chalice With My Semen (And Another With My Blood) walking thru the woods sounds enveloping you as the sun goes down and darkness envelops all. Social Darwinist Contortion (Who Is Born To Rule The World) wild dreams that you can’t escape just swallow you. Ménage A Trios (There Is Nothing To Regret) just a strange musical journey. The Hierophant The Devil (You Taste Like Innocence And Broken Dreams) classical music strange vocals and a rhythm that just takes over your senses.

Ankhara – Sinergia
Pacho Brea – Vocals, Sergio Martinez – Bass, Alberto Marin – Guitar, Cecilio Sanchez
Robles – Guitar, Matt De Vallejo – Drums

Te Toca Sufrir screaming guitars pounding drums thundering bass crunchy riffs and soaring vocals. Ayudame hit the pit slam and sweat till you are spent. Suena fist pumping head banging speed thrash metal mayhem. Libertad melodic guitars flow all around then the music builds with crunchy riffs and thundering beats with soaring vocals. Sigo En Pie get out the air guitar and just jam away to a song that sticks in your head. En La Oscuridad soft melodic guitar just envelop you with searing leads and emotional tones. Tu Ultima Vez fist pumping head banging metal magic. De Que Lado Estas stand and shout as the crowd just get totally involved in this metal masterpiece. Un Buen Dia Para Morir searing leads slow bass pounding drums fast rhythms and interesting tempo changes. Un Paso (Live) fast heavy metal music. Hasta El Fin (Live) the music gathers everyone and just has the crowd singing and swaying. Acordes Magicos (Live) just stand and get totally involved in this metal tune.

Lord Of The Lost – Till Death Do Us Part
Class Greyande – Bass, Chris Harms – Vocals/Guitar/Cello, Gared Dirge – Guitar/Drums/Keyboards, Niklas Kahl – Drums, PI – Guitar

Disc One – Till Death Do Us Part (2019) just stand sway and sing along as the gothic music envelops your senses. Loreley just get up and dance to a catchy rhythm. Morgana powerful majestic music that just envelops you with emotion. Black Halo close your eyes and let your imagination run wild. Drag Me To Hell just a dark industrial gothic tune. In Silence melancholic sounds full of emotions that are dark and dreary. Raining Stars industrial gothic dance music. Full Metal Whore pounding industrial gothic music that just makes your heart race. Dry The Rain (2014 close your eyes and just drift along.) La Bomba heavy pounding industrial gothic music. Six Feet Underground plunking keyboards pounding rhythms just get up and dance. Fists Up In The Air starts slow then just pummels you into submission. Beyond Beautiful lots of emotions just flow all around. Die Tomorrow just get up and let the groove take you along. Blood for Blood has a very rave dance quality to it. See You Again slow melancholic goth music. Sex On Legs will have the crowd on its feet swaying and singing. Prison has a very catchy danceable rhythm and emotional vocals. Break Your Heart just let the music flow thru your very imagination.

Disc Two – One World No Future hit the floor and just dance till you fall down. Death Doesn’t Kill You I Do a very industrial gothic tune. Built To Break just dance sway and sing along. The Most Radical Thing I Do is a very dark gothic tune. La Bomba (Version Espanol) heavy fast Spanish version. Do You Wanna Die Without A Scar let the music envelop and pull you down under. This War fist in the air head banging industrial metal. When Your Asleep loe rumbling bass dark vocals and slow rhythms. Morsal just a slow melancholic goth emotional tune. Another Sunny Day In Paradise hard industrial dance music. Take This Pain Away piano melodies crunchy guitars pounding drum thumping bass with emotional vocals. I.D.G.A.F hard heavy industrial space metal mayhem. One Day Everything Will Be Ok close your eyes and just let the music take your sense to a new horizon. Trisma stand bop dance and slam away. Words Of Sadness emotions just envelop you. Zillah hard pounding riffs and beats that just take over you. Marching Into Sunset a very heavy riff that just cuts right into your soul. Love In A Time Of War flowing melodies and emotional vocals that pierce your heart.

Disc Three – Raining Stars (Solar Fake Remix) a dance version. La Bomba (Remix) a dance version. See You Soon (Subway To Sally Remix) an industrial melancholic metal . Six Feet Underground (Chrom Remix) a slow dark gothic dance. Die Tomorrow (Staubkind Remix) just get up and dance along.   Afterlife Of Death (Afterlife Remix) industrial gothic metal. Blood For Blood (A Life Divided Club Remix) a dance version. Break Your Heart (Stahlmann Rebuild Mix) just a pulsating rhythm that takes you over. 666 Feet Underground (Death Valley High Remix) pulsation industrial metal music. Full Metal Whore (Dope Stars Inc. Remix) dance and sweat the night away. Kill It With Fire But Kill It Good (Rabia Sorda Version) lost in the darkness of an industrial nightmare. Sex On Legs (Formalin Club Mix) bodies swaying grooving and sweating against each other. Blood for Blood (Coppeluis Version) slow melancholic gothic music. LaTin Bomba (Not Very Dark Mix) just dance the night away with a jazzy feel. Die Tomorrow (Swing Tomorrow Version) in a old jazz bar dancing the night away. Dry The Rain (Re Encoded Version) industrial dance. Dry the Rain (Remix)is a disco version. Dry The rain (Orchestral Version) close your e=yes and just drift with majestic tones.

Disc Four -  (Demo 2008) - Till Death Do Us Part  slow gothic metal full of emotions. Dry The Rain has a very catchy riff and sing along vocals. Sooner Or Later melodic piano and vocals. Nothing Words Can Say has a very catchy riff that just takes you over. Not From This World slow moody and gothic. (Vagueness Version 2004) Fragmenting Façade dance and groove along with some catchy riffs. Beyond Beautiful emotional music that builds as it goes along. Seven Days Of Anavrin slow melancholic music and vocals. (Chris Harms Demo 2000) Angel7 lots of emotional singing and playing. (Philiae Demo 1999) Revelation 777 get up fist pump head bang or just close your eyes and drift along. Heaven Holds A Place slow melancholic sing along music. Eclipsed By Eternity acoustic guitar and emotional vocals with a steady beat. (Philiae Demo 1977) Heaven Holds A Place just an earlier version. The Eyes of Love Are Blind builds as the industrial gothic classical music just grabs you and pulls you in.

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