The Native Howl at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

The Native Howl is opening for Gwar on the Black Death Rager World Tour.

The Native Howl is a murder folk band that likes to refer to their music as thrash grass – a combination of thrash and bluegrass. They do have a harder edge than, say, Amigo The Devil, with the same general vibe. This band from Detroit had a lot of fans showing up for them last Thursday at the Gwar show, judging from the people I talked to in the long line waiting to get in.

This photo gallery completes the trilogy from that night. Go out and see The Native Howl, Nekrogoblikon, and Gwar this May and June. See the tour poster below for cities and dates.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Gwar, https://gwar.net/

Nekrogoblikon, https://nekrogoblikon.bandcamp.com/

The Native Howl, https://www.thenativehowl.com/

Piere’s Entertainment Center, https://pieresentertainment.com/

© Wayne Edwards

The Native Howl at Piere’s, Fort Wayne, May 19th

Theandric, Flight Among The Tombs (2022)

Back with the first new music since 2014, Detroit’s Theandric present the four-song EP Flight Among The Tombs.

The band had early beginnings about ten years ago in Detroit. Releasing an EP called Up The Irons in 2011, and then a long-player two years later, The Door Of Faith, the band went quiet shortly thereafter. In its most recent formulation, the players are Paul Tiseo (vocals, bass, keys, and guitar), Bill Bogue (guitar), Aaron Wienczak (guitar), and Matt Voss (drums). Tiseo had the original idea for the group, and it continues now along similar paths with expanded perspectives.

The music is filled with big notions in both the narrative and the musical composition itself. It has a renaissance feel to it more than a medieval one. More Robin Hood than Lord of the Rings, you might say. Fixed in fantastic ideas and melodies, the guitars sometimes play in homage to Randy Rhoads and the vocals might be mistaken for a merry take on Ronnie James Dio.

The first pairing is “Flight Among The Tombs” and “The Battle Of Sherramuir.” “Flight” has a notably prog orientation in the keys and strings; a challenging composition. “Battle,” on the other hand, has a lighter tone, even though it is ostensibly about a violent conflict. It is rather like listening to a mage sing about a storied battle in the most entertaining way possible.

“Condemned To Death” is heavy and dark, with serious, doomy riffs and sorrowful vocals. “Ozymandias” has a more mysterious vibe to it, mystical and maybe even sinister. Big riffs and soaring vocals line the halls of both songs, expressed along somewhat divergent lines. It is good to hear the solid production in these songs and the artful execution of the musicians’ vision. If you are in the mood for traditional metal with an epic flair, Theandric is worth a look. Recommended.

Flight Among The Tombs hits the streets on Friday, February 11th. The quick grab is Bandcamp. Links below.

Links.

Theandric website, https://www.theandric.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TheandricMusic

Bandcamp, https://theandric.bandcamp.com/

Theandric, Flight Among The Tombs (2022)

Suzi Quatro, The Devil In Me (SPV Steamhammer 2021)

The unstoppable Suzi Quatro returns with a new studio album that pops and cracks with multifaceted looks at rock and roll.

The first album I ever heard from Suzi Quatro was Rock Hard (1980). There she stood on the cover wearing black leather and holding the fire engine red bass. At the time I assumed she played only hard rock, but as I started going through the earlier albums I quickly understood that she had already had an impressive career with big pop hits and a variety of albums in different styles. Whenever a new record came out from her it was a good day for me. Her music is not what I usually listen to if we go by the numbers, but I am a huge Suzi Quatro fan.

The album opens with a couple of bangers. “The Devil In Me” is a raucous rock and roll rambler with a Bob Seger spirit while “Hey Queenie” is more of a rock-sprouting lounge tune. The album takes a walk through a wide variety of styles and looks on differently seasoned rock hooks and structures. Every one of them has a familiar feel and a fresh take. The music is mostly upbeat and fast-paced, with a couple of reflective tracks and one straight-up ballad.

There are a several stand-outs for me on the record. “You Can’t Dream It” is one with its urgent pace and prominent bass work. “Do Ya Dance” hit me at an Alice Cooper angle in the 1970s sense. “Isolation Blues” is a soulful, meandering tune with a great saxophone part. And the closer, “Motor City Riders,” is the perfect guitar and piano rock and roll flashback to close the show. This album is a big win for every Suzi Quatro fan.

The Devil In Me is out now – hit the links below. Recommended.

Links.

Website, http://www.suziquatro.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Suziquatrorocks/

Label, https://shop.steamhammer.de/products/691043-suzi-quatro-the-devil-in-me

Suzi Quatro, The Devil In Me (SPV Steamhammer 2021)

Plague Years, Circle of Darkness review (eOne Music 2020)

Speed and mayhem are alive and well in Circle of Darkness, the new full-length release from Michigan metallers Plague Years.

From the beginning notes of the band’s first EP, these four Detroit musicians threw down the gauntlet in a clear sign to the world they were here to create hard, fast, crunching metal. Labeled as a crossover band, you can definitely hear Hardcore, Thrash, and Death Metal elements throughout. The new album is a continuation of 2018’s Unholy Infestation, except even faster and darker. The band on Circle of Darkness is Tim Engelhardt (vocals), Eric Lauder (guitar), Rian Staber (bass), and Mike Jurysta (drums).

There isn’t a single band to compare them to because Plague Years combines so many styles and their music shifts and moves in and across the songs in the album. They show a lot of chopping steady guitar rhythms at a mid-tempo speed in narrative moments of songs, then click into phantom blasts and thrashing ramps to sink the spikes in deeper. From the new album, songs like “Eternal Fire” rest on a modulated pace overall but have mystical lead breaks and surprising percussion eruptions that are not externalities but instead are essential elements in the composition. Flat out raging numbers are there too like “Circle of Darkness” and “Play The Victim” – and in these pieces the tempo is set high but there are also echoing ethereal moments and fascinating transition bridges.

Plague Years will get a hook into any metal fan because the range of expression and the variety of their musical appeal allows them to fit in on practically any heavy title card. Recommended.

Circle of Darkness is out this Friday, September 18. You can hear a couple singles already, and preorder the download or a hardcopy in different forms now. Their previous EP Unholy Infestation is on Spotify right now so you can go listen to that to tide you over for a couple of days

Band photo by Rian Staber.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/plagueyearsdet

https://plagueyears.bandcamp.com/

http://www.entertainmentone.com

http://www.facebook.com/eOneMusicUS

Plague Years, Circle of Darkness review (eOne Music 2020)