THE GROUND BENEATH -“SELF TITLED” CD REVIEW

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1. Choke
2. Say It
3. Signs
4. It’s You
5. Blame
6. The Passing
7. Lost In Me
8. Blind
9. Memphis
10. RLS
11. Back Door Alley Girl
12. Disappear
13. Mine
14. Flounder Piano
15. Burjay

The Ground Beneath is:
Steve Civerolo – Vocals/Electric & Acoustic six & Twelve string guitars, Brian Scott – Drums, Hunter McCoy – Bass guitar

Guest Musicians on “Self Titled”:
Brian Ostrom – Four string bass guitar on “Memphis”, Paul Civerolo – Guest lead electric six string guitar on “Lost In Me” (Paul appears courtesy of Howlin’ Dog Records), Laurie Selby – Cello on “It’s You”/”Blame”/”Not Me” (Laurie appears courtesy of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra), Jonathan “Jonny Law” Jonah – Guest lead vocals on “Burjay” (Jonathan appears courtesy of Rancho Relaxo Records), Rick Fusco & Kenny Davis – gang vocals on “Mine”

     I have had this CD for a couple of weeks now. The official release is going to be on January 17th 2013 at the Launchpad in Albuquerque, NM.

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Let’s get into the CD itself. The Ground Beneath is one of those bands that just plain and simply gets it. Steve Beneath is one hard-working SOB, always at shows, doing radio guest spots, texting about upcoming shows, anything it takes.  That tenacity shows in the latest release from The Ground Beneath “Self Titled”. “Self Titled” is actually the name of the new CD, a little bit of humor from the band.

Let’s get the technical stuff out-of-the-way first. The CD is clean and I mean CLEAN, the production quality is top-notch. The mix is great and the sound is not muddied in any way. Kudos for the guys on their attention to detail. This CD is meant to be played LOUD and is sounds great at those ear bleeding volumes.

Now for the fun stuff! I have been listening to this CD pretty regularly and this just so happens to be my third rewrite of this review. I keep coming back to this CD and discovering more stuff that I like about it. I love it when a band makes music that is inspired by other artists and yet sounds new. Let me explain, I know Steve is inspired by bands like Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Pantera, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, HELLYEAH, Strapping Young Lad, Deftones, U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Damageplan. You can hear elements from all of these bands in the music and yet it remains distinctly The Ground Beneath.

“Self Titled” is , dare I say, a groovy record. While the world must be obliged with the obligatory single, which is “Blind”, I think the CD needs to be taken as a whole. The flow of the songs is just that good. I actually forget this is a local band out of Albuquerque, New Mexico when I am listening to it. Which leads me to ask “Why isn’t stuff like this being played on national radio?”

Steve handles all of the writing of the lyrics and music which is a testament to his talent. The band as a whole plays the songs that Steve has envisioned with a fervor and passion that will quickly infect you. Steve’s vocal work and guitar skills are right on par with some of the music world best. Brian “Bearface” Scott goes from flat-out pound your skull in drumming to tribal like beats keeping the band anchored with a solid back beat. Hunter McCoy anchors the package together with some bass lines that will have your heart pounding trying to keep up.

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In conclusion “Self Titled” is a record chock full of solid Rock N’ Roll tunes, pinch harmonics, throbbing bass lines, pounding drums, melodic compositions, hypnotic vocals and yes even a cello. Solid 10 out of 10 in my book, definitely a necessity in everyone’s music collection.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s THE GROUND BENEATH

– the Hellion

 

Road trip to ROCK N’ ROLL – KILL DEVIL HILL!!!

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I cannot say enough good things about Kill Devil Hill. Paul Gargano of Century Media made sure I received the new CD Revolution Rise for review, set up an interview with vocalist Dewey Bragg, and arranged for me to shoot their show and meet with the guys. Thank you Paul and Century Media. Here is the interview link in case you missed it:

     I have to give thanks to Rancid Savage Productions for making it possible for my very good friend guitarist Mike Araiza (Of The Earth, Frank Hannon Band) to attend the show with me.

     ROADTRIP!!!

    I want to thank my friends guitarist Mike Araiza (Of The Earth, Frank Hannon Band) and vocalist Dion Tejada (Scars Blue) for sharing this epic road trip with me. We talked music, life, and basically had a great time. It was reminiscent of the glory days of Rock concerts. The vibe were chill, the road music was great, and the conversation flowed.

     We rolled up to the historic El Morro Theater in Gallup, NM and saw the infamous Dimebag tour bus. From that moment we knew we were in for a kickass night of Rock N’ Roll!

the Dime bus!

the Dime bus!

     We parked the Hellionmobile and walked to the venue as cool as we could. As we passed a small cafe we saw the legendary Vinny Appice sitting there on his laptop. We got to the venue and found it locked and the guest list was not available yet so we just chilled a bit. I called my friend Rob Traynor (vocals/guitars for Black Water Rising who was on the bill) and he said he’d meet us in a few. It was then we were told to go around the back and come on in. The bands were still loading in and equipment was everywhere and we were geeked for a killer show. My brother Mike Araiza offered to use one of my cameras and shoot from a different angle than me. It was a welcome addition to my show shoot and Mike managed to squeeze in 2400 shots!! Thanks Mike, much love brother!

El Morro theater preshow!

El Morro theater preshow!

     Testify

     First up on the bill was local Gallup band Testify. Identifying with their local heritage this young band brought some seriously good music to the mix. Definitely looking forward to more from these guys.

Testify

Testify

BlinDDryve

     Ahhh BlinDDryve, a band near and dear to my heart. I have seen this Albuquerque band grow and evolve into the powerhouse that they are today. They delivered a great set today and left the crowd wanting more.

BlinDDryve

BlinDDryve

Revocation

     Revocation is a band new to me and I have already interviewed them and caught them twice. Hard, aggressive, and LOUD!!! Revocation is a band on the move in a big way. Kicking ass and taking name is their game. Don’t miss out on them if they come your way.

Revocation

Revocation

Black Water Rising

     I was busy with something menial the first time I heard Black Water Rising, and it grabbed my attention fully. “Brother Go On” was the track and I was hooked. I found the CD and stayed in touch with what they were up to. Eventually I was able to do a phone interview with vocalist/guitarist Rob Traynor. I stayed in touch with Rob and was excited to hear about their new release Pissed And Driven. It was with great pleasure when I heard they were on the bill for this show. I will be doing a feature piece on them and their set.

Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising

Eyes Set To Kill

     A lot of people were excited to see this band and they drew a positive crowd response. New, fresh, with solid shared vocals and hooks, this band has been making waves across the globe. A band for the new world Eyes Set To Kill is coming to your ears soon.

Eyes Set To Kill

Eyes Set To Kill

KILL DEVIL HILL!!!

     Vinny Appice, Rex Brown, Dewey Bragg, and Mark Zavon are collectively known as Kill Devil Hill. The crew closed the curtains as the crowd prepared themselves for complete devastation from the band.  The crowd roared as the curtains finally opened and the band exploded on stage.

Kill Devil Hill

Kill Devil Hill

Having heard both of the KDH records I knew the sound that the band had in the studio and was stoked to see what they sounded like live, I was not disappointed. The band was stellar with their live performance. While true to the songs from the records, they infused them with the magic one can only see in a live show. Rex Brown played to the crowd drawing them in to the show and feeding off of their energy.

Rex Brown firing up the crowd

Rex Brown firing up the crowd

The legendary Vinny Appice brought the thunder to Gallup, NM that night. Pure magic came from behind the kit as Vinny pounded out the songs of Kill Devil Hill. We owe Vinny a debt of gratitude for giving us this incredible new music.

Vinny Appice the legend!

Vinny Appice the legend!

Mark Zavon has some serious chops. This is guitarist that I feel is seriously underrated and then some. From shred to clean riffs Mark did it all effortlessly. Although Mark is a newcomer to most people, he took the stage with swagger and confidence many veterans of the stage do not. He is rapidly becoming one of my favorite players.

Mark Zavon owning the stage

Mark Zavon owning the stage

And then there’s Dewey Bragg, my favorite new vocalist. There is a magic in his voice and you can feel it reach into you when you listen to the songs of Kill Devil Hill. From brain shattering screams to haunting harmonies Dewey hits it all. The thing about Dewey is that he sees his voice as an instrument and treats it accordingly, and it shows. Besides the voice and the company he keeps Dewey remains humble and grateful. I asked him in our recent interview if he ever looks around while on stage and says damn that’s Rex Brown and damn that’s Vinny Appice, his repsonse: : “Every Night”.

Dewey Bragg filling our ears with joy

Dewey Bragg filling our ears with joy

Kill Devil Hill are a classy group of gentlemen indeed. After busting their asses onstage they took the time to hang out and meet the crowd, take pictures and sign stuff for them. The Crowd lined up in anticipation and you could see the joy on their faces as Rex, Vinny, Mark, and Dewey acknowledged them even if for only a moment.

Rex Brown and Dion Tejada

Rex Brown and Dion Tejada

Vinny Appice with a fan

Vinny Appice with a fan

Kill Devil Hill with some VIP  purchasers

Kill Devil Hill with some VIP purchasers

Rex Brown with the Hellion

Rex Brown with the Hellion

As a bonus to people attending these shows Rita Haney (DimebagzHag) is running the merch table for Kill Devil Hill. She took the time to talk, sign things, and take pictures with the fans. A class act indeed.

Rita Haney with a fan

Rita Haney with a fan

Rita Haney with Mike Araiza

Rita Haney with Mike Araiza

And then it was all over and everyone had to go back to their regular lives, but at least, they were all carrying the magic of the nights show with them into their dreams.

Thanks to all of the bands for delivering a great night of Rock N’ Roll!!! Thanks Mike Araiza  and Dion Tejada for the company!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL

the Hellion

My conversation with KILL DEVIL HILL vocalist Dewey Bragg

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Lightning struck when  Kill Devil Hill exploded on the scene with their debut record in 2012. Lightning struck twice with the release of their sophomore album Revolution Rise. It was with great excitement when I received an email from Paul Gargano from Century Media, that contained Revolution Rise for me to review. A few weeks later Paul and I were able to arrange an interview with vocalist Dewey Bragg. Dewey and I had  a casual conversation rather than an interview and we discussed a myriad of things. Here is the link for your enjoyment:

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Be sure and pick up BOTH Kill Devil Hill records, catch them on tour in support of the new release Revolution Rise. They are on the web at https://www.facebook.com/KillDevilHillMusic?ref=br_tf and http://www.killdevilhillmusic.com/ Kill Devil Hill is breathing life back into serious Rock N’ Roll as we speak!!!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s KILL DEVIL HILL!!!

-the Hellion

PHILIP H. ANSELMO Talks Record Store Day and the Comeback of Vinyl Records with FORBES MAGAZINE‏

PHILIP H. ANSELMO Talks Record Store Day and the Comeback of Vinyl Records with FORBES MAGAZINE

Earlier this week, Forbes Magazine (Forbes.com) posted an in-depth piece on the comeback of vinyl and Record Store Day, written by Tim Clark. In a time where people are quick to label the current state of the music industry as “failing” or “experiencing a downfall”, Tim Clark points out that the independent record store experience illustrates otherwise.

 

Down vocalist and Housecore Records CEO Philip H. Anselmo was interviewed for the piece, and gave his personal thoughts on the rise in record store activity and how it supports growth in the music business and community. As one of the leading voices of the recent indie label and independent music takeover, Forbes looked to Anselmo has a voice of authority.

 

From Forbes piece: “When he was younger, Anselmo used to constantly scour underground record stores and to this day still believes in the vinyl format. “Record Store Day promotes this type of passion of having the actual product in your hand instead of just a download,” said Anselmo. “I love having the full album, art, lyrics and I think vinyl sounds better. And as a label owner, it makes me happy to see that people slowly but surely want to have this tangible copy in their hands instead of a free [expletive] download, which is driving me [expletive] bananas.”

 

Record Store Day is now celebrated on the third Saturday every April is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Forbes calls Record Store Day, “an industry phenomenon.”

 

To read the full article, visit this direct location.

 

THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS: New Quote Snippets from Kerry King and Philip Anselmo Released!‏

THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS: New Quote Snippets from Kerry King and Philip Anselmo Released!

 

Hitting Stores April 9, 2013 — Written by NYC Music Scene Veterans Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins

 

Featuring Exclusive Photography by Iconic East Coast Photographer Frank White

 

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The Merciless Book Of Metal Lists, compiled by Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins, is the ultimate look at the world of heavy metal via the ease and convenience of a list. No stone is left unturned here, and I mean no stone. If you think you have a list about metal that isn’t in this book, chances are you’re wrong. Both Jenkins and Abrams have exhaustively researched and brainstormed Merciless and delivered a look at their beloved genre that is informative and fun.” – Iann Robinson, CraveOnline.com

THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS, written by NYC music scene veterans Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins, is set to be released on April 9, 2013. Touted as being “the most opinionated compendium ever written concerning Heavy Metal”, THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS is comprised of 208 jam-packed pages representing all that is glorious across the world of Heavy Metal. The book features dozens of never-before-seen photographs from iconic East Coast photographer Frank White.

The foreword for THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS comes from one of the most respected names in the genre, Slayer guitarist extraordinaire Kerry King, with a candid and passionate afterword from Pantera/Down frontman Philip Anselmo.

“This book will appeal to metalheads because it’s what they love. They’ll get to laugh at the industry and at themselves. Any information is good information, and metal kids want it.” – Kerry King (Slayer)

“I am an unabashed heavy metal fan, and I know as well as anyone, that metal fans can be an extremely loyal lot. But we are a very critical lot too. With each new movement, a new, defiant, outspoken, and sovereign audience is born. Music is older than all of us, so its history is ours to writhe in and absorb.” – Philip Anselmo(Pantera/Down)

There are numerous other contributions from key metal luminaries and industry personnel like:

Scott Ian (Anthrax)

Gary Holt (Exodus)

Max Cavalera (Sepultura/Soulfly)

Katon W. DePena (Hirax)

John Gallagher (Raven)

Danny Lilker (Nuclear Assault/SOD)

Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show)

Jon & Marsha Zazula (Megaforce Records)

Brian Slagel (Metal Blade Records)

Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica Producer)

ILL BILL (Heavy Metal Kings/La Coka Nostra)

MC Serch (3rd Bass)

Richard Christy (Charred Walls of the Damned/The Howard Stern Show)

Monte Conner (Roadrunner Records/Nuclear Blast Records)

Borivoj Krgin (Blabbermouth.net)

Shaun Glass (Soil/Dirge Within)

Betsy Weiss (Bitch)

Presented in the form of dozens of factual, random and often outrageous lists, THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS dares to call many out for being the worst instead of being the best. It points out the triumphs, as well as the miserable failures concerning metal, from a diehard fan’s point-of-view.

TMBML leaves no stone unturned, often blurring the lines separating fact and hilarity. You want to know about album covers that feature goats on them? WhatMotorhead icon Lemmy’s warts might tell you if they could speak? The achievements Iron Maiden would never have reached had their original vocalist Paul Dianno remained in the band? Well then, this book is for you.

To pre-order THE MERCILESS BOOK OF METAL LISTS, please visit Amazon.com. You can learn more about the book at the official Facebook page orAbrams Books.

 

 

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact Adrenaline PR and Maria Ferrero at 732-462-4262 or maria@adrenalinepr.com.

About the Authors

HOWIE ABRAMS:

Howie is a former…lots of things, including record label A&R rep, music publisher and artist manager. Abrams grew up in his beloved NYC as part of its Metal and Hardcore scenes and has always carried the torch for aggressive music. He was the co-founder of the influential hard music label In-Effect Records, where he signed bands such as Agnostic Front, Nuclear Assault and Sick of it All among others. Later, as the Senior Director of A&R at Roadrunner Records, he inked Vision of Disorder, Madball, Shelter and others, plus, he handled marketing duties for groups such as Sepultura, Type O Negative, Biohazard and more. Howie also worked at Jive Records/Zomba Music, as well as Warner Music.

SACHA JENKINS:

Sacha Jenkins loves heavy music. He grew up in New York City, and has produced books about both hip-hop and also graffiti, including ego trip’s The Book of Rap Lists, and Big Book of Racism. He’s produced some television too, and plays guitar in a band called The White Mandingoes along with Darryl Jenifer of the legendary Bad brains.

 

Marking the Band’s First U.S. Live Performances in 10 Years, COAL CHAMBER Announces Co-Headliner with SEVENDUST, Featuring Special Guests LACUNA COIL — CANDLELIGHT RED and STOLEN BABIES to Open Select Dates‏

Marking the Band’s First U.S. Live Performances in 10 Years, COAL CHAMBER Announces Co-Headliner with SEVENDUST, Featuring Special Guests LACUNA COIL

 

CANDLELIGHT RED and STOLEN BABIES to Open Select Dates

 

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Marking their first U.S. live performances in over 10 years, 90’s alt-metal band COAL CHAMBER is pleased to announce that they are back in action and kicking off a co-headline tour with Sevendust this spring. The tour will also feature special guests Lacuna Coil as direct support on each date, as well as Candlelight Red and Stolen Babies opening on either half of the run (see the split below). See below for a full listing of North American tour dates.

 

Each member of COAL CHAMBER had words to share about the announcement.

 

“I’m STOKED to be bringing COAL CHAMBER back to the United States,” exclaims vocalist Dez Fafara. “These shows are going to fucking rule! The line-up is perfect! Hope to see you all there!”

 

“The past has fuelled the fire to bring COAL CHAMBER back stronger than ever,” adds drummer Mike Cox. “I couldn’t be more excited to tour the states on an amazing tour. HERE WE GO!”

 

“I’m really excited and grateful to be a part of such an awesome bill! We will be slaying it across America and the world,” adds guitarist Meegs Rascón.

 

Bassist Chela Rhea Harper states, “America is where COAL CHAMBER started; where the music first came to life.  The entire experience in Australia and South America has been so surreal up until this point, and to be able to continue this adventure on the band’s home soil is an honor. The support from all has been tremendous.”

 

Tickets go on sale this Friday, January 18th! See below for all currently confirmed tour dates and stay tuned for more ticketing information.

 

 

COAL CHAMBER with Sevendust, Lacuna Coil, Candlelight Red and Stolen Babies:

3/28 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee*

3/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia LA Live*

3/30 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom*

3/31 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades*

4/2 – Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre*

4/3 – Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion*

4/4 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom*

4/5 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s*

4/6 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave*

4/8 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights*

4/9 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes*

4/11 – Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s*

4/12 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s*

4/13 – Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy**

4/14 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Theater**

4/16 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium**

4/17 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater**

4/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory**

4/19 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom**

4/20 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom**

4/22 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live!**

4/23 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore**

4/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle**

4/26 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom**

4/27 – Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheater**

4/28 – Dallas, TX @ The Palladium Ballroom**

 

*feat. Candlelight Red

**feat. Stolen Babies

THE HELLION ROCKS 2012 ALBUM OF THE YEAR – ALL HAIL THE YETI!

ALL HAIL THE YETI CD COVER

With  long hard thought about the subject of my favorite release of 2012  I ended up picking All Hail The Yeti for several reasons. Every listen to this CD something new is heard  that was missed before. To me that takes a lot of talent to add such depth and dimension to songwriting. This CD reaches into you and grabs a hold of your soul. The intensity and emotion in Vocalist Connor Garrity’s vocals is out of this world amazing. Connor reaches deep within himself and pulls guttural screams, and then compliments them with clean vocals. My good friend and brother Craw NeQuent  compliments  Connor’s vocals exquisitely. From searing leads, to background fills, Craw gets it done . Nicholas Diltz lays down some killer bottom end that crushes your chest. Combined, band puts down some great harmonies that add to the power of All Hail The Yeti.

1. “Deep Creek” –  A powerful song that imparts the fear of some THING that’s coming to get you. This track is an all out assault on your senses, and you can almost feel the fear of the monster from Deep Creek.

2. “When The Sky Falls” – Carries on the power of the record and tells a disturbing story, listen to the lyrics. Connor’s vocals are all over the place from spoken, to scream, and then to harmony.

3. “Suicide Woods” – Fe Fi Fo Fum I smell the blood of everyone. Well put together track.

4. “The Weak and Wounded (Prelude to Flames)” – With a haunting back track that sets your hair on edge this leads you into the horror to follow.

5. “After the Great Fire” – My personal favorite track. This tells the tale of a horrible, tragic event. I can feel the terror of the children crying out for help and feel the evil of the “being” responsible. This song has so many layers that you can truly find something new every listen. The chilling line “I am the Devil, I am the Smoke” really gives me the chills. Here is the lyric video:

6. “Bloodguilt” –This track is one of the two that shows the guitar skills of Craw. Reminiscent of Pantera, the vocal/guitar combos fit nicely in your ears.

7. “The Art Of Mourning” – Crackling fire and an old time folk song start this tale of violence and retribution off. This was the first track by All Hail The Yeti to fill my ears. The video for it is a stellar piece of work depicting a tale of the old west. Haunting harmonies combined with powerhouse vocals, and some kick ass harmonica hold this track up. check out the video:

8. “I Am Wendigod” – A tale of a Native legend of a flesh eating spirit being called the Wendigo. You can feel the cold of its haunts…what’s that looking in your window? Growling, snarling, Connor almost makes you believe that he is channeling the Wendigo….hmmmm???

9. “Axe Murder Hollow” – This is the second track of the two that showcases the talent of guitarist Craw. All over the map with his playing, Craw is a guitarist that the world needs to hear. Carrying on the dark theme of the record, this one is another personal favorite.

10. “Ruby Ridge (Every Knee Shall Bow)” – If oyu don’t know the story of Ruby Ridge you should do your homework and look into it. A solid doom laden track with a great hook.

11. “Judas Cradle” – This track powers the album just as you were brought into it. Raw power is the only way to describe it. This is something you have to experience.

Every track is anchored most solidly by extraordinary bassist Nicholas Diltz. He sets the solid background that I dare anyone to shake. This guy has become one of my favorite bassists in a hurry.

There you have it, the experience of All Hail The Yeti. You MUST get this record and help to support a band that should be heard by everyone.

the Hellion

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