A headbanger's blog!

Posts tagged “2012

It’s been a while…

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. In fact if I’m not mistaken it’s been the better part of a year. That’s crazy. But a lot of stuff has been happening, both metal related and not.

I’m completely finished my schooling. I now hold two degrees from Algonquin College (Broadcasting-Radio and Professional Writing) and I am ready to really start pursuing my career goals. Excited to be done, excited, and a little scared, for the future.

Marina and I

Marina and I

My wonderful girlfriend and I are in the process of moving in together. We’re looking in to getting a slightly bigger place than what I currently have, so if you’re in the Ottawa area and know somewhere (preferably in the west end) where we can get a large one-bedroom for a reasonable rate, shoot me a message here, to my gmail, or on facebook.

I’ve been working at a record store here in Ottawa for a year now. It’s called Legend Records and we specialize in new and used vinyl. It’s a pretty cool gig for a 23 year old student, especially as a stepping stone to hopefully using the skills I’ve acquired at Algonquin. If you want to pop in, our hours are 10 AM – 6 PM Monday-Saturday and 12 PM – 5 PM on Sunday.fuel-youth

In my last semester of school, I did a work-placement with two organizations. The first is called Fuel Youth Engagement. They’re a really cool company (Seriously, FHM magazine said that they were among the top ten coolest places to work in Canada!) who work in browser-based and mobile gaming geared toward children and teenagers. I did some really cool stuff with them that involved marketing and tech research, ideas for story concepts for upcoming games, in-game dialogue, etc. It was a real privilege to work with them and I would not hesitate to do so again if there were a place available for me. The people are great and it is they who truly make it the cool place it is!

Metal Blast

The second place I did my placement is a website based out of the Netherlands called Metal Blast.net. I’ve been writing album reviews for them and just recently started doing some interviews. They’ve kept me on since my placement ended and I’m having a blast (no pun intended) writing for them. It’s not a paid position but it has the potential to grow in to one. So if you’re here because you’re a metal fan, check out Metal Blast and the Metal Blast facebook page to see the awesome reviews and interviews that I and the other guys have created. They’re really an awesome, honest, incredibly passionate collective of metal maniacs! (Be sure to “Like” us on facebook and follow us on twitter)

So what does all this mean for the blog? Well, a few things. Firstly, I WILL be resurrecting my activity in these pages. Secondly, while I will still be posting the occasional review, the bulk of my reviews will be posted at the Metal Blast website. The same goes for interviews. This space will now mostly be reserved more for my observations and opinions on hard rock and heavy metal music, the scene surrounding it, and my personal travels through our metallic world. I’ll also be bringing back the weekly rare tracks (and hopefully having a little more focus on the whole “weekly” part) so that I can bring you all some relics from the hard and heavy past.

If you’re interested in some of the writing I’ve been doing with Metal Blast, here’s the page that shows my work. We’re also looking for more people, so if your grammar is good and you’re an adequate wordsmith drop us a line here. As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this post as well as upcoming content. Keep it locked and stay Metal!

– Matt


Live!: Diemonds (w/ Black Stone Hearts, Eagleson, Old James) 22/06/2012

Dirty, Nasty, and Sleazy…

Those are the best words to sum up the feeling that I had from the moment I walked up to Ritual‘s front entrance on Besserer Street. It’s a feeling that would carry through the entirety of the evening, and it was bloody excellent. This wasn’t one of the most technically awe inspiring shows I’ve seen, but it was certainly one of the most fun!

The evening started with a set from the new group Old James, a traditional Hard Rock/Southern Rock  group formed by the Stephenson brothers of Aggressor along with Spencer Levon of Fatality on Keyboard and Graham MacKrell on Bass guitar. Refreshingly different from Aggressor’s Thrash and Groove, Old James is a band that certainly knows how to get a good party started. Good Licks and tunes, coupled with the infectious energy and the jovial, almost comedic attitude of the collected musicians (especially Brian and Spencer, possibly the funniest guys in the room) all equal an entertaining band with miles of potential. The only problem was Spencer’s keyboards being nearly inaudible in the mix. Otherwise, the perfect start to the evening. (8/10)

Eagleson is a band that improves everytime I see them. Their Zeppelin-esque brand of rock continues to evolve as does their performance. This time around the band incorporated Native-American inspired, Genesis-influenced face-painting into their live and lively spectacle; a choice that could have been a bit overbearing and brow-beating had the guys not had the energy to play it off. They absolutely did, with the band members bopping around the stage and visibly having whole heaps of fun with their music. Alex De Paul’s vocals were a little muddy in the group’s live mix, but the man has enough personality to push forward the feel of his music without needing to hear every word said.  Looking forward to the next time I see this rockin’ tribal dance on stage. (9/10)

This was my first time witnessing a performance from Ottawa’s own Black Stone Hearts, and I was really unsure what to expect. What I got was a loud, raucous, sloppy, nasty joke from a group of absolute street urchins, and I mean that in the best possible way. These guys embody the spirit of Faster Pussycat and early G’NR, while channeling the blues influence of AC/DC and Cinderella. I’ve never felt closer to the Sunset Strip than during BSH’s set. Vocalist “The Surge” slithered around the stage like a reptile, spouting tales of sex, sin, and decadence, while guitarists Coup and George laid down the dirtiest riffs and the sloppiest, most drunken solos this side of Mötley Crüe (again, meant in the best way). The rythm section of Johnny (Bass) and Spliff (Drums) does a truly superb job of keeping the whole wasted, sex-addled mess from falling apart under it’s own sleaze. These guys put on a hell of a show and, mark my words, they’re a band to watch. (8.5/10)

The sleaze didn’t stop there however, as the assembled audience was in store for one more round, courtesy of Toronto rock sluts Diemonds. It’s an amazing testament to vocalist Priya Panda that she can sound 100% as crisp and clean in a live setting as on the band’s recorded output, competing note for note with her speed demon band mates. The whole group, infact, was probably the tightest of the evening, not missing a beat throughout their whole performance. This is without a doubt due to the fact that Diemonds has been a touring machine over the last weeks and months, opening for huge acts, including Slash, along the way. In any case, these guys have the feel of a fully-realized, professional outfit that I really can’t fully compare to anyone, but early Def Leppard and Australia’s Airbourne definitely come to mind at points. With a set of songs full to brimming with shout-along choruses, a high energy, booze-fueled stage show, and a gorgeous leather-lunged rock witch on the mic, well the sky’s the limit. Check ’em out before they’re selling out Scotiabank Place! (9/10)

Ultimately, if you came to this show looking for tunes that are technically challenging, ultra-heavy, or full of meaningful lyrical themes, you probably left a little dissappointed. But then you came to this show for entirely the wrong reasons ’cause this was nothing short of an honest to god rock ‘n roll party on all fronts. If it’s too loud, you’re too old!

Overall show score: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m (8.5 out of 10)

So… Maiden England tour… (Spoiler Alert!)

I just saw Iron Maiden‘s setlist from last night in Charlotte post on Metal Hammer‘s website. Needless to say, it’s pretty sick! Here’s a breakdown of what can expect to see this here in Ottawa on the 7th! Get ready Metalheads! \m/

Intro: Doctor Doctor (UFO song)

1 – Moonchild*

2 – Can I Play With Madness*

3 – The Prisoner**
(First time played live since September 21, 1991)

4 – 2 Minutes to Midnight***

5 – Afraid to Shoot Strangers****
(First time played live since December 12, 1998)

6 – The Trooper*****

7 – The Number of the Beast**

8 – Phantom of the Opera******

9 – Run to the Hills**

10 – Wasted Years*******

11 – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son*
(First time played live since December 12, 1988)

12 – The Clairvoyant*

13 – Fear of the Dark****

14 – Iron Maiden******


15 – Aces High***

16 – The Evil That Men Do*

17 – Running Free******

Outro: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python song)

* – From Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)
** – From The Number of the Beast (1982)
*** – From Powerslave (1984)
**** – From Fear of the Dark (1992)
***** – From Piece of Mind (1983)
****** – From Iron Maiden (1980)
******* – From Somewhere in Time (1986)

So there you have it. Not a perfect setlist but, when it comes to a band like Maiden, perfect would require 3-4 hours worth of material. As things are, let me tell you, I’m absolutely pumped for my personal third Maiden experience. If you’re in or around Ottawa, check out OttawaBluesfest.ca. If you’re else, check out the Tour Dates page on the band’s official website.

Oh and P.S.: Multiple Eddies!

Super pumped? You’re welcome! Up the Irons!