Flub Signs With The Artisan Era!

Flub has now officially joined the great ranks of upcoming record label The Artisan Era.  The experimental metal band has been working on new tunes, and to sweeten the pot the band is officially signed! Once again, TAE proves its value in the metal community.  I’ve been a big fan of Alvarez’s voice since his limited stint with Alterbeast and totally impressed us at the Stamps show last summer.  Can we also give a shoutout to the most underrated and hard working drummer out there Jared from Rivers Of Nihil and a bunch of other projects? What an exquisite lineup! Flub is also playing select dates on the recently announced Inanimate Existence headliner tour featuring select appearances with  Aethereus, Waforged,   Æpoch,  and Eye Of Horus.  This tour is totally stacked featuring now 4 Artisan Era bands! Lots of shuffling going on this tour, so you’re going to need to pay attention who is playing where.  Congratulations to the Flub guys on this wonderful signing! Cheers mates!  Check out their latest EP “Purpose” below as we patiently await more potential music from this group! They also have two other releases, as well.



Vocals: Michael Alvarez (Ex- Alterbeast)
Guitars/Programming: Eloy Montes (ex-Vale of Pnath)
Bass: Matthew Mudd
Drums: Jared Klein (Rivers of Nihil, Grindfeld)



The Ritual Aura- Red Year & The Fall Guitar Playthrough Premiere

By a show of hands, who enjoyed that first song that The Ritual Aura premiered?  Well, we aren’t done yet folks! We have a guitar playthrough from band mastermind Levi Dale….of ANOTHER new song! The man was extremely kind to lend us this fun playthrough of a tastefully somber, heavy and melancholic composition.  Both songs are very unique that they’ve released so far, and am even more excited after checking this song out.  The Ritual Aura can really do NO WRONG. The band and us here at TMR hope you enjoy the new track and playthrough! Cheers!

March 2019’s Featured Band is… Contrarian!

Guys! Dave’s letting me do my first featured band! How dope is that!

It’s been a minute since TMR has done a band close to home, nonetheless one that has enough material to saturate an entire month’s worth of social media posting without repetition. That being said, there aren’t a lot of bands in this area that I’m so smitten with. Not like Contrarian, anyway. And even if you’re new to TMR, I think you should know that by now. Are you sick of it yet? Because I think Contrarian are already sick of it.

But like, it’s perfect, man. Rochester’s progressive death elite are just about to release their third full length, Their Worm Never Dies on the 15th. And guys, it’s a positively phenomenal album. I seriously cannot wait for everyone else to jam this album. I think it’s impossible to be disappointed with this one, as Contrarian do not produce sub-par music. But they have certainly pushed their musical prowess to new levels with this one.

Earlier this year, guitarists Brian Mason and Jim Tasikas were kind enough to let me pick their brains about a whole mess of things, including their upcoming release, why they play progdeath to begin with, and their other musical endeavors. There’s some good stuff in there, and I absolutely encourage you to take a few minuets and check that out.

Ahhhhh and check out this sweet feature in January’s Decibel magazine!

And on top of all that goodness, Brian and Jim have recruited a stellar live lineup for an upcoming tour run. Bassist Bill Bodily (Inhumatus), former vocalist Cody McConnell (Goemagot, ex-Abdicate) and Patrice fucking Hamelin (Gorguts, Beneath the Massacre) will be joining our Rochester natives for an outstanding tour (regardless who else is on the lineup). It’s definitely been a minute since Contrarian have played out live, so this tour won’t be one you want to miss.

You have 31 days to fall in love with this band. And if you give them some time, you will.

Warforged releases “We’ve Been Here Before”

Artisan Era newcomers Warforged have released a new song today from their upcoming album titled “We’ve Been Here Before”.  It’s a stellar progressive blackened death metal opus packed with so many blast beats, tremelo riffs and amazing vocals it’ll make you preorder this upcoming album in a heartbeat.  I’ve been into this band since their EP, and I totally think this upcoming full length will demolish it.  These guys have grown as artists, and are on a great up and coming record label that will push them.  Check out the album information here.  Enjoy the new blistering Warforged track! Oh, and thank you Artisan Era for your amazing ears for signing quality talent…….you’re perfect.

Cognitive/Monotheist/The Machinist/Alukah/Sastruga 2-9-18 Casa Di Fransesca’s

So we helped keep this show in Buffalo, and we got assigned jobs.  Vick was running doors and collecting teh monies, and for some reason they trusted Dave to do sound.  It went okay, unusually enough! Dave took some crappy pictures but was right on stage side, so we just won’t put them up on here out of respect for these solid bands.  And some of the mosh pits kinda made it tough……so yeah no fuzzy pics.


For some reason, Vick and myself asked like 10 (close to!) bands and NOBODY could hop on as local support.  We were legit fishing for a couple weeks….so fucked Vick even memed us on our journey looking for a local band.  After we cast a line to at least 8 closing on 10 bands, we FINALLY got a bite…..from Rochester tech freaks SASTRUGA.  We both love the band, and they chomped at the bait.  I first saw them open up for Seplophile and was beyond blown away.  Buffalo couldn’t pull off a band as technical, heavy, and entertaining as Sastruga.  Vick is a Sastruga veteran and has been harping about them for so long I’ve finally seen the light this time was the convincing show. The fret work is absolutely blistering, technical and also well written…..not Brain Dill wild, but enough that you won’t be lulled to sleep or feel like they’re repeating the same licks.  Sastruga not only is a technical powerhouse, they put on a hell of a show to backup their enormous talent.  Alex’s drumming is an absolute treat to see live, and their bassist Dan has some tasty licks when the guitarists aren’t going batshit crazy.   Guitarist and Vocalist Dan (YES THERE’S TWO DANS!) voice is as stellar as his fretwork, having them consistent gutturals almost like Steffen of Obscura who is kinda like these Rachacha tech powerhouses…..wait did I just type that? According to my colleague Vick, the guys are working on an actual full length which will be wild. The guys made Western New York proud that evening…..and even Cognitve embraced them at the end of the night, who headlined the show.  If that’s not respect, I don’t know what is. The demo doesn’t do them any justice but at least you have some tunes to backup these wild words until that full length is done.


Vick being Vick HAD TO CHOOSE the photo I put online of wearing the poop emoji hat I won at a local fairground a few summers ago.  She’s good at these memes.


This band was a last minute add-on, literally a few days before the show.  They were supposed to play somewhere in Rochester and the show fell through is what I remember hearing? Either way, they put on a powerful performance and didn’t slack one bit.  This death metal crew from Baltimore brought the extended range pain, and really proved their worth in my opinion. The brutal 5 piece kept the train a rollin’ that Sastruga started earlier in the evening. I talked with their drummer Dan before they played (ANOTHER DAN HOW ODD!) and was as nice as could be.  The rest of the band was thankful for the show, and even got some props for running the sound board. You can check out their EP and one of their newest tracks below!




Enter New York City’s THE MACHINIST……..yeah, wow.  This progressive metal band really, really grooves. And, they really tore the roof off. The energy this band was just absolutely influential and radiating.  I did my homework and checked out one of their albums a few weeks before the show, and dug their interesting sound.  I wasn’t totally familiar with them and they totally surpassed any expectations I had.  Very, very solid live band to say the least.  The energy started from their vocalist Amanda and was a constant force to the rest of the band their whole set, and to the crowd as well. I didn’t even know their vocalist was female, until I listened to the album and checked out the band! Without even looking up any info, you’d think it was a guy with how heavy her voice is……and yeah I’ll say it’s even BETTER live. Way to go against the stereotype.  Her stage presence was probably the best of anyone that evening. If you want to try a new band and has the talent to back up the show (rhythmically speaking, as well!) give The Machinist a try if they every play near your neck of the woods.   TOTALLY WORTH your time, trust me.  Check out their music below and TRY not to break your neck, I dare you.




Next up is one of the biggest reasons I wanted us to help keep this show in our area.  If you remember I loved the band’s latest release “Scourge” from last year.  The Florida progressive death metal band by far had the most unique sound on this absolutely bonkers tour package.  Their heavy track layering, emotion, melodic guitar solos and interesting rhythms are just the beginning of the sound of this underrated band.   I wasn’t disappointed with the set by any means, being slightly new to the group for almost 2 years it just brought everything together.  I was so happy they made the trek to hit up my small town, coming from so far away.  They blend the perfect mix of technicality, melody and emotion to their songwriting.  Monotheist won’t go Necrophagist crazy on you, but there’s plenty of stellar riffs and beautiful guitar solos they’ll throw in your face.  And some pretty heavy vocals, as well.  The sound is absolutely comprehensive considering they’re a newer band (“Scourge” is only their 3rd album). You need more of a reason to check ’em out? There’s also some saxophone, flute and conga drums on the latest album as well!  I HIGHLY SUGGEST THIS BAND! If you desire an original progressive death metal band pushing the boundaries of the genre, Montheist will be a stellar choice for you.  You can check out their latest album below!


Enter the tour headliners, my Jersey boys COGNITIVE.  These guys have always been brutal and heavy as fuck, and did they ever prove it.  Their latest release from last year “Matricide” was absolutely head turning, if you never heard of the band.  I never, ever questioned the bands sound….but what really pleased me was they got a GREAT production, with more guitar leads and even better grooves than their earlier work! The mix turned out beautiful, and is a listenable record production wise.  Don’t need to question the band’s talents, the guitar work is absolutely flawless and a huge standout. An okay production can deter you from listening to a band and honestly may have been guilty of it with Cognitive, but man I’ve had “Matricide” on repeat for MONTHS now. The band overall has matured and on that album had better song structures. There are even greater vocals with an equally diverse range as well.   Their performance that evening was absolutely mind-blowing and tight as could be.  Ansh (Wormhole’s vocalist) filled in for their other guitarist on this tour, and seeing his talents well just put me through the roof.  I already know how stellar of a vocalist he is, but man he didn’t hold back playing guitar. Seeing him and Rob Wharton rip it up on guitar was one hell of a treat, I have to be honest.  You can check out their super impressive and most polished album “Matricide” right below.  DON’T FORGET TO SUPPORT THESE BANDS FOOLS!

Every band was a serious treat, and a diverse bill with something for many metalheads who are sub genre nerds (some tech, prog, death metal for everyone!).  For the price of admission, the audience got one heck of a show many people missed out on.  Every band was extremely nice and helpful, as well.   As much as I liked these bands, interacting with them and seeing their human side increased my respect for these artists.  Everyone was down to earth, and a great time was had by all.  Y’all done fucked up A-aron, if you didn’t show up!


Archaic Decapitator- The Apothecary

Progressive Melodic Death Metal outfit Archaic Decapitator is releasing their upcoming EP “The Apothecary” on April 19th and we have our extremely invaluable opinion on that upcoming effort! The band recently added Xenosis drummer Gary Marotta to their lineup as their drummer, and didn’t hesitate at all to get familiar with this band.  If anyone in Xenosis (their album from last year was totally overlooked) has a hand in a project, I’m sure as heck going to check it out.  And here we go!

The guys have a very melodic sound on their frantic EP, but add a little bit of progressive and black metal structuring to some of their sound.  A couple of the tracks are longer, with track length not in mind as they seamlessly put together a stellar effort.  If you love mixing your metal genres without sacrificing quality, Archaic Decapitator totally fits that to a tee.


You can check out the song they JUST released this week titled “Skyward” right below!



Kyle Quintin: Vocals 
Craig Breitsprecher: Bass & Backing Vocals
Yegor Savonin: Guitar 
Gary Marotta: Drums 
Christopher Ridley: Guitar 
Marotta’s drumming is a foreseen highlight on “The Apothecary”. Craig locks down the bass, adding a lot of depth and low end to the band’s sound. I really dig the guitar duo of Yegor and Chris, blending together a heavy influence of Opeth’s first 3 albums and classic black metal like Dissection that add some melody to their raw heaviness.  Kyle’s awesome vocals really stand out on this effort. The band will most likely fly under the radar with the plethora of music that gets released, but make sure you pin this band down and highlight them so you don’t forget! You can check out the band’s two previous offerings right here and also get your preorder in! Don’t worry, you have plenty of time with about 2 months until the release date.  I would do it sooner than later, to be honest. I loved this EP and highly suggest this to you metalheads!



Warforged announce new album “I:Voice” album out May 10th with teaser video

Chicago’s progressive blackened death metal band Warforged announced their debut full length (they have an EP “Essence Of The Land” from 2014).  These guys have been on the road playing all kinds of shows, and been recording their first full length for a while.  In celebration of their accomplishment the band compiled a teaser video with their record label The Artisan Era.

This video was more unique than about every teaser video for an album, because it included quick snippets of guitar playthroughs of every song on the album……maybe they are also going to launch a FULL album playthrough? Either way you slice it, it’s a sweet way of promoting your upcoming album.

What is even wilder is the all star cast of musicians that lent their talents to this record…Dallas Toller Wade (Narcotic Wasteland, Ex-Nile), Christian Munzner (Ex-Obscura, Alkaloid), Dan Garguilo (Revocation, Artificial Brain), Steve Boiser (Tethys, Inferi, Equipoise, Ashen Horde), Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), Will Smith (Artificial Brain), Poh Hock (Native Construct), Craig Bruenger (Ahtme) and even MORE GUEST MUSICIANS! I know, it sounded like a terrible middle of the night scam advertisement on TV…..but there really is a laundry list of seasoned musicians on this Warforged album.


This progressive melodic blackened death metal (i THINK i got every genre in there?) is set to release “I:Voice” on May 10th and can be preordered already for you early birds!



The Ritual Aura Official Premiere Of New Song “Elysian Flesh-Divinity”

How fitting that TMR’S 300th article is a premiere from an amazing band?! No disrespect to the awesome music I’ve premiered before, I didn’t know of those bands before we communicated.  This instance however…..I’ve been following The Ritual Aura shortly after the debut was released and have an emotional connection and already know the band.  I am extremely honored and excited with permission from the guys to premiere their first single from their upcoming album “Velothi” titled “Elysian Flesh-Divinity”.  The Ritual Aura still bring the heat, don’t worry people.  And how freaking sweet is that we got this track, just in time for their monthly artist showcase for this month? Dumb luck I gotta say, but awesome! What I dig about the band is their personal will, and listening to their own artistic desires and what to write…..their guitarist Levi personally told me that “this album has been no-rules so far as writing goes”.  Well hot dang, are they EVER accomplishing that.

Maybe you all might give them the Irreversible Mechanism treatment, but open your ears and minds people.  It took me a few listens to come around to “Immersion”, and to understand their sound and mission as artists.  I love “Infinite Fields”, but the second album is a different sound I legit had to “immerse” (HA HA) myself in it and be taken away figuratively to another world.

In regards to The Ritual Aura, it’s not as “tech” as their previous work….but I’ll be damned. It’s a progressive, melodic adventure with SO MANY LAYERS! Strings, singing, and shredly guitar work from their amazing duo.  There’s a bit of black metal influence here channeling their inner Immortal or Dissection and that raw black metal sound Opeth had on their first 3 albums.  I love it, because it’s different.  TRA never had a black metal sound I’ve seriously noticed until now…..and I love it.  I didn’t need a few listens to enjoy the new song…..I think it was a great change in pace from their wildly technical sound, and something more melodic with some black metal and strings mixed in for a wild song.  I hope you all enjoy the track as much as I did!



Equipoise release “Waking Divinity” Guitar and Bass Playthrough

It’s no secret to the metal world Nick doesn’t tour…..but his bandmates Phil Tougas (guitar) and Hugo Doyon-Karout (bass) have time to do an Equipoise playthrough of “Waking Divinity”!  You shouldn’t be shocked at the wizardly fret work of both players, always worth seeing such wild songs translated to a playthrough is always mesmerizing…..and that’s what these lads just did.  The real question is……where’s Nick? Is he in the back of a dumpster at Chili’s again? It’s HIS band…..why isn’t he in his OWN videos? He started the band…..he doesn’t know his own songs? What the heck? Anyways, check out the amazing playthrough video below courtesy of their label The Artisan Era.  Maybe if Nick toured, he would be in his own band’s playthrough videos…..maybe.


Hath drop “Currents” as second single from upcoming album “Of Rot And Ruin”

Blackened Death Metal group Hath premiered another song from their upcoming effort “Of Rot And Ruin” through Metal Injection today.  You already know with the link in the previous sentence that I really dig this band, and am in love with the album as much as the upcoming Ceremony Of Silence (Willowtip doing serious work signing great bands, yet again!).  The band is sonically heavy with that extra added black metal influence to their death metal style, with those prog elements here and there that pop up…..although in this case “Currents” is a straightforward blackened death headbanger for the most part.  The album as a whole is fantastic, and this single also is a testament to that notion.  Enjoy the track and don’t forget to preorder “Of Rot And Ruin” on their bandcamp or through Willowtip Records.