Concert review: Archer Nation

Archer Nation, at Vamp’d, Las Vegas Nevda

May 18, 2017 was the worst possible day imaginable.  I woke to the news that Chris Cornell had died, and I had to work all day trying not to break down.  My headspace was foggy, my eyes were watery, and my legs were numb.  All I could think about was getting to Vamp’d and fill that headspace with something other than the sadness that was overtaking me.

On my way home, a wind storm was sweeping through the valley of Las Vegas.  I hate driving in those conditions and I just prayed, “Lord, please stop this wind,“ and you know what?  He answered my prayer.  It was around 8:30pm when the storm had passed, so I got changed, hopped in the car and drove off.  On the way, Badmotorfinger was turned up to full volume as I headed down the near empty motorway.  Upon my arrival, I headed to the dark corner of the club so no one could see my pain.  There I posted on Facebook that I was at Vamp’d.  I continued by saying, “Archer Nation is gonna’ heal this broken heart.”

Archer’s set was filled with new songs that they have been writing for the coming record, due out not soon enough.  Let me tell you, the songs from the first record, Culling the Weak, are pretty heavy, but the new songs like “Not My Own” and “Shackled” are going to rattle heads!  Archer gets tighter as a band every time they roll through.  With new tunes on the rise, the sound has gotten more aggressive, more powerful, and more mosh worthy.  They make me wish I was 21 again, ‘cause in those days I could head bang till the cows came home.  These days, if I turn around to fast, I’m laid up for days!

What I really enjoy about Archer is that every song, groove, beat, and solo is different.   Dylan nails a few trademark pinched harmonics here and there, but it’s rad when he hits them.  I have seen guitar players that riff the same solo progression in the same neck position, hitting the same two top strings, using the same bends, and it gets old in a hurry like that last sentence.  Not in the Nation, my friend!  Musically, they sound like Motörhead, Megadeth, and Anthrax got in a fight and started playing hockey!  As musicians, they are learned, as songwriters they are genius, and as people, they are humble.  With that attitude, they will have longevity and a growing fan base with ne’er a complaint.

They closed the show with my favorite tune from Culling titled, “The Day that Never Came”.  I said more during that song, mainly because I was singing along, than I did the whole night, aside from small conversations with the band afterwards.

As I said, my heart was in need of healing, and that’s exactly what they did that night.  Music is a healer, and when Archer Nation is the doctor, you’re in good hands.

Archer Nation

 

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The Saturday Metal Review

PRISMIND

Disciples by Design

(Independent Release 2017)

Written by Tim Duran

10 out of 10

For about a year, I have had the fortune to hear and follow this power prog band from Canada.  Prismind (pronounced, “Prism-Mind”) has all the elements of progressive heavy metal that a band can put together, and  I would go as far as to say that they are a more insane version of Dream Theater’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.  They have a thicker tone, and the manic melodies that surround the listening device have gotten me admitted.  PRISMIND is fronted by power vox John Mamone; ultra rad bassist, Justin Faragher; cannon fire by Mike Harshaw; and one of the most technical guitar players, next to Vai and Satch, Kelly Kereliuk.  I have seen and heard many a fine axe grinder, but Kereliuk is one of the finest – another true king of the seven string for the 21st century.

As I mentioned above, Prismind has a deranged atmosphere to their music.  They suck you in with heavy metal intros and spin your head off with all kinds of musical nuances and mosh worthy rhythms.  As a bassist, I am all about rhythm and Justin kills unsoftly with his.  His arpeggios match Chris Squire and his scales are like a six fingered John Myung.  Case in point, “Our Broken Fate” has such a moving bass line; it’s like everything revolves around the bass riff.  He even gets a short (too short) solo in “Void 5:14”.

Speaking of riffs, the intros and all around mayhem of the first two tracks, “Pawns of the Dammed” and “Dagger”, will have you swinging from the chandelier while the tune, “Last Breath” drops some Anthrax vibes on you. True to speed metal, here comes “Time Unforgiving”.  It’s less prog as the others, but the breakdown is an exercise for the fingers and the thrash factor is turned way high on this track.  “Slaves to the Machine” has an interesting, clean guitar during the second part and an easy arpeggio adding grace to impending doom. “Palace of the Mighty and High” is rhythmically similar with the heavy down strokes, and Kelly even throws in some pinched harmonics for a tension builder. Lastly, “Diamond Eye” is like the anthem for the namesake of the group.  Kelly does some house cleaning with all the sweep action in this song!

Downside is moot.  Upside is that throughout the whole record, each musician takes the spotlight.  The vocals are strong and not overexerted, the drumming keeps the heartbeat of the band at break-neck speed, the bassist is percussive and takes the lead in places, and the guitars are phantasmagorical. This record and work of art was a pleasure to listen to and for me to give my thoughts on.  I cannot give Disciples by Design anything less than a ten simply because it never slows down.  It’s a bullet straight into your mind with no exit wound.

Check out PRISMIND at www.prismindband.com and www.facebook.com/prismindband

Disciples by Design available now on Spotify, cdbaby, and iTunes

Prismind at the Rivoli

Prismind/Driftglass/Slyde at the Rivoli, Toronto ON.

Thursday, June 8 2017

 

One of the hottest shows to take place last week in Toronto was tearing it up big time when Prismind, Driftglass and Slyde got together for a night of unbridled rock goodness. The show started promptly at 9pm and it was Prismind that took to the stage first, unleashing songs from the debut CD Disciples By Design.

Prismind performed about 8 songs in the set, giving the crowd a taste of what this band can offer in a live setting. I’ve long admired the progress Prismind has made with these songs over the course of three years, and to finally hear the album played so expertly by 4 guys devoted to their craft – well it all comes up smelling like roses.

They began the set with “Slaves to the Machine” and let the festivities roar into action. The song is a pure foot stomper and arguably the catchiest chorus you will find on any album of this magnitude. From there they played “Dagger” which I have a close affinity to, since the band was gracious enough to allow us usage of this track for a video package promoting an upcoming project being helmed at HMS. Dagger exhibits superb lyrics, allowing singer John Mamone a chance to really shine on stage.

The next few numbers show how diverse this progressive Canadian Metal act swiftly enthralls an audience with the power of their sound. The beefy bass tones of “Our Broken Fate” perk up my ears and I have to give it up to bassist Justin Faragher on this one. Then, “Palace of the Mighty” drives the show with Mamone’s impassioned vocals and the razor sharp riffing provided from guitarist Kelly Kereliuk illustrates how good this band is live. Of course we can’t forget the splendid “Diamond Eye” performed here to thrashy perfection and getting the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up!

The band closed the set with a pair of my favorite tracks from the album. First up we got a total thrasher in “Last Breath” – galloping to life with burning speed and bombastic riffs guaranteed to blow your head off. This track showcases the strength of both Kereliuk and Faragher; a surefire tandem if I ever heard one; not to mention Mike Harshaw’s rousing back support on the drums. The last number closing the set “Pawns of the Damned” soars into a musical flourish of synergy and energy proving that Prismind are a force to be reckoned with on any stage they play.

As a musical entity, Prismind deliver on every level, bringing together a sound from four devoted musicians with lofty goals and ideals. Having seen them play live on a number of occasions I will go on record and say the bar has been raised high and Prismind is here to take that brass ring to great heights.

Just don’t take my word for it, go and see them live!

Wormwood Prophet Society

HMS staff writer Mark Slade is back with another interesting project called Wormwood Prophet Society. It’s a thrilling book of anthology stories centering around a secret society published  by Rogue Planet Press.

We have an audio Ad posted right here! Click on the link and give this a listen to!

ACTORS: PETE LUTZ AND LAURA NICOLE. PUBLISHED BY ROGUE PLANET PRESS, WILL BE AVAILABLE ON LULU.COM.
Reserve your copy now!!
WPS LOGO 2

https://archive.org/details/WPSAD1