Three Inches Of Blood/Skeletonwitch – Ravari Room – 4/22/2011

This marks the first time I’ve seen a truly heavy show at the Ravari Room here in Columbus, and I gotta say – I was skeptical. I mean, the stage can be hard to see depending on where you stand, and the place isn’t as large as the Alrosa or the Newport (which could be a concern when a pit opens up). Still, I’ve enjoyed Hellsfire Sinners and Bigelf at this venue, so I thought ‘what the hell’.

In retrospect, the place is awesome! Beers were cheap, I had no trouble seeing the stage, the vibe & staff were cool and if I had needed food, Hound Dog’s pizza adjoins the venue (I didn’t get that far this time around).

And what a lineup! First up was Infernal Death, a Death tribute act from here in Columbus. Now I’m naturally hard on tribute bands; I know not every tribute act tries to emulate the look of the band they’re honoring, but sound is not negotiable. You must sound like the band, or you’re a COVER band, not a tribute band.  Thankfully Infernal Death is a TRIBUTE act, in fact they’re even in touch with the estate of Chuck Schuldiner so that they continue to legally pay homage to that guitar god.  Having never seen the real Death in concert, Infernal Death made me feel like I finally had.   Tight & well rehearsed, the band tore through selections from “Scream Bloody Gore” with fervor, with especially sharp performance on “Zombie Ritual”. I also liked how they would remind the audience on more than one occasion it wasn’t their music.  To quote an intro by guitarist/vocalist Mike Lare, “Here’s another song we didn’t write”.  

Next up, another awesome Columbus band, and one that I’ve mentioned here at the RoH several times before – Locusta.  These guys keep getting better and better, with an intense stage performance featuring excellent Technical Death Metal played proficiently & full of heart.  Their wide range of influences can be felt beneath the aggression-laden riffs and growling vocals to create complex, somber passages that are both mesmerizing & brutal. Definitely pick up their CD if you haven’t already.

3 Inches of Blood were next and their set was an oldschool pummeling onslaught that had them stirring & churning the moshpit like sweaty barbarian cooks.  Galloping rhythms, clashing guitar riff-age and the lung-wrenching screeches of aptly named vocalist Cam Pipes all made for a high energy performance that was one part Battle metal, one part Power/Thrash – and 100% awesomeness in my book. On a side note these guys get my vote for ‘true metal warriors’ for leaving IMMEDIATELY after the show to begin a 50+ hour, non-stop trek back to Vancouver, BC – by van. OUCH!

Headliners out of Athens, Ohio were the neo-Thrash pile-drivers known as Skeletonwitch. The ‘Witch sew together classic metal with elements of Death & Black like rotting appendages to an unholy zombie creation, building a beast both familiar & eldritch all at the same time. Vocalist Chance Garnette’s raspy yet articulate stylings lend an almost Scandinavian flavor to the NWOBHM-influenced guitar progressions and double-pedal drum blasts (from none other than legendary skinmaster Tony Laureano!) to stir nightmarish imagery from the darkest corners of the abyss. These lads have really grown into an extreme metal powerhouse, and I look forward to watching them charge headlong into greater metal glory.

Special thanks to Starwood Productions for arranging this amazing line-up, follow the link to their Facebook page which has some pics from the show.

Concert Review: Bobaflex

On April 20th, I decided to attend an unusual radio event sponsored by one of my favorite rock stations here in Columbus – 99.7 The Blitz. The station was hosting a ‘Town Hall’ at the LC Pavilion, providing listeners an opportunity to learn how the station was doing presently and most importantly, it provided a forum to offer suggestions/insight into how we (the listening audience) thought they could improve. As someone who works in the media business, I’ve often admired The Blitz’s other marketing efforts, especially their social media work which allows unprecedented access to their on-air staff via Facebook, Twitter et al. It’s not surprising to me that a station as forward thinking in those areas would be bold enough to host an event like this – and frankly, I applaud them for doing so. You can hear the entire audio from the meeting at the Blitz homepage HERE.

As a reward for our participation, The Blitz scheduled a ‘special guest’ to perform after the meeting – none other than local favorites Bobaflex (who owe some of their current success to support from The Blitz).  This was great news for me because Bobaflex has been on my ‘To-Do” list for several years now.  And boy do they live up to the hype!

Bobaflex, despite sounding like a workout device, is actually a high energy, polished metal act featuring brothers Shaun & Marty McCoy (as in ‘Hatfield vs. McCoys’ – yeah, THAT family tree) who trade vocal/guitar duties depending on the song.  Powerful & aggressive, this band is every bit as good as anything on the radio today – I completely support them and hope they continue to find success.

Their set featured two of their hits I recognized – “Bury Me With My Guns On” and “Home”, the later being one of the best songs about touring I’ve ever heard.  The video is included below for your consideration.  Other songs included “Vampire”, “Dangerous”, “Better Than Me” and an awesome heavy metal cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”.

I see a lot of live acts folks, and these guys are the real deal.   Check’em out if they come to your area – and be prepared to be blown away.

Happy SkyNet Day!

If you followed “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” during it’s short run on network TV, then you may recall that technically today, according to the storyline, is when SkyNet launched it’s assault on mankind (after having become self-aware on 4/19). Notice the clever avoidance of anything special on 4/20, those wacky producers.

In a related coincidence, I heard from a friend that the Playstation network had some outages today, so yeah – IT HAS BEGUN! Stock up on toilet paper, maybe ammo too!!

Anyhow, have a great weekend everyone. Reviews forthcoming of the Bobaflex and Skeletonwitch/3 Inches of Blood shows I recently attended.

In the meantime, c’ya near the Rim.

Kidzboppin’ “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”

I learned today that on May 15th, a new Kidzbop CD will drop – “Kidzbop Sings Monster Ballads”.   I don’t normally cruise the Kidzbop site, thank you very much -  I got a press release (so no need to alert Chris Hansen just yet).

Anyhow, what’s significant about this edition of the long running & popular kids series is Poison front-man Bret Michaels will be playing guitar on his hit ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’, with daughters Raine & Jorja handling the vocals.  The threesome will even be hosting an air guitar contest on Kidzbop.com, so definitely check it out if you’ve got young ones who might be interested.

Then I got to thinking; there’s some “kid unfriendly” lyrical content to this song. Specifically, the following passage;

I know I could’ve saved a love that night
If I’d known what to say
Instead of makin’ love (!!)
We both made our separate ways

I’m sure the good producers of Kidzbop run into this problem all the time what with some of the artists they cover, but just in case I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to offer some suggestions of my own.   Please consider the following lines each substituted directly in place of the original line 3 above;

  • Instead Of Having Fun (this was my wife’s idea – still kinda suggestive IMHO)
  • Instead of throwing mud (YEAH!)
  • Instead of eating subs
  • Instead of drinking rum (a pirate version, maybe?)
  • Instead of playing dumb (it rhymes, it just doesn’t make any sense)
  • Instead of chewing gum
  • Instead of shooting guns (this would be in the W. Virginia version)
  • Like flying Turtledoves (poetic, ain’t I?)
  • Like Michael Jackson’s glove (now I’m gonna get sued)
  • With a friendly shove
  • Hereinabove (no idea, but it rhymes)

Ok ok, you get the idea, hundreds of possibilities.  It will be interesting to hear how the producers choose to handle this conundrum.  Glad I don’t have to be the one to tell Bret that they need to change the lyrics of his mega-hit song so his daughters can sing it. Yikes!

The Horror! William Shatner To Release New CD!!

Blabbermouth.net – File this under “Signs of the Apocalypse”, but William Shatner is working on a new CD. . . and it’s got a metal edge to it. Yeah, really. Revolver magazine even made him an Honorary Headbanger. See – signs of the apocalypse!

And check out ole’ Bill’s list of guest musicians; Zakk Wylde, Richie Blackmore, Johnny Winter, Bootsy Collins, Ian Paice, Michael Schenker, Brad Paisley, Alan Parsons (he’s still alive?), Peter Frampton, Dave Davies, Steve Howe, many others. Of course, no self-respecting guest list would be complete without Carmine Appice on the drums (I think he’s actually part of the US copyright process, in that a song isn’t copywritten unless Carmine Appice plays on it).

Read the whole linked article on Blabbermouth. . . and shiver a little. I mean did you ever hear Shatner’s rendition of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”? OMG – I’ve heard cats mate with more musicality. Here’s hoping with this level of talent in the studio alongside him, something good comes out of it. Or someone has the common sense to destroy the tapes.

T-shirts, Get Your T-shirts Heah!

No, this isn’t a blatant attempt to sell you anything (although we DO still have a nifty Rim Of Hell collection over at Zazzle.com – just look at our Merch tab). Anyhow, I’m not sponsored by anything or anyone I’m about to mention here. If you know me personally, then you know I probably own about 200 or more t-shirts – most are concert shirts acquired the old fashioned way by being purchased AT THE SHOW (not Ebay). Sometimes, if I don’t feel like wearing a concert shirt per se’, something weird & eclectic will always suffice nicely.

That being said, my lovely friend Vanitas turned me on to a great T-shirt site called Tshirtbordello.com. Lots of nerd-ish goodness there, especially if you like zombies, Sci-Fi movies, H.P. Lovecraft (!) or in the case of this little beauty HERE, Spinal Tap. Awesomeness, total awesomeness.

Another shirt site I’d recommend checking out, and a lot more controversial, is the notorious T-Shirt Hell. Rude, tasteless but still funny in a “OMG, I totally shouldn’t be laughing” kinda way – these guys make blasphemy an art form & slurs against any group on the planet practically an Olympic level event. Here’s a prime example that is definitely NOT SAFE for work (you’ve been warned).

So check’em out, and t-shirt up like the good Reverend does. Everyday is casual day . . . IN HELL.

New Look

As part of my renewed commitment to this site, I’ve updated & upgraded the theme. Thanks to the wonderful folks at New WordPress Themes, The Rim Of Hell is now fully WordPress 3.1 compliant & has more bells & whistles than I can shake a stick at (not all of which have been enabled, but stay tuned).

Also, you’ll probably be seeing more frequent updates here, but smaller in length for the most part. Content will keep an eye towards news items & commentary that continue the underlying concepts on which I built this blog in the first place; music (mostly metal, industrial & punk but not exclusively), movies (Horror and Sci-Fi but again, not exclusively), and the strange & bizarre.

Should be fun to see how things evolve. Keep coming back & do your part to join in the mayhem. 🙂