Only In Canada, Eh! – May 2012: DANKO JONES, SOUTHERN CROSS, THE ORDER OF CHAOS, And HAIL THE VILLAIN Vocalist Bryan Crouch Returns With SIX SIDE DIE

Your semi-regular update on Maple metal and associated rock continues…

Toronto rocker Danko Jones is gearing up for the release of a new DVD entitled Bring On The Mountain. The package features a documentary on the band spanning the early years all the way up to the present day, 14 live performances, and a whopping 19 (!!) official video clips. This one’s a keeper for the diehard fans, and for the diehard fans that pre-order (shipping date is June 13th) a free 10 minute preview is available online. Go to the band’s official website here for pre-order details and DVD formats. A three-minute documentary trailer can be found here.

French Canadian unsigned progsters Southern Cross are currently one of the featured artists on the BW&BK website, in support of their new album From Tragedy. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with frontman David Lizotte – story can be found here – an assignment I took on because I actually enjoy the new record. Song-oriented prog-metal is hard to come by, and it’s rarer still to find a band of this kind penning songs of the foot-stomping kind (see ‘Tightrope’). Fans of Ayreon, Pain Of Salvation and Parallells-era Fates Warning would do well to check them out.

My review of From Tragedy can be found here. Continue reading Only In Canada, Eh! – May 2012: DANKO JONES, SOUTHERN CROSS, THE ORDER OF CHAOS, And HAIL THE VILLAIN Vocalist Bryan Crouch Returns With SIX SIDE DIE

INTO ETERNITY – Amanda Kiernan: When Opportunity Knocks…

By Carl Begai

It takes remarkable strength of character to throw yourself to the wolves knowing you’re going to get bitten and potentially ripped to shreds. So it goes that, regardless of what Into Eternity fans may think of vocalist Amanda Kiernan stepping in to replace Stu Block – now a member of Iced Earth – for the band’s live activities, they have to respect her for willingly putting herself in harm’s way. With a few gigs under her belt at the time of this writing, Kiernan had made more friends than enemies amongst Into Eternity fans even as they mourned Block’s absence, the majority seemingly able to give her the benefit of the doubt. It’s anybody’s guess how the future will play out now that the band essentially has two singers and Block’s Iced Earth career has exploded, but the bottom line is that Kiernan is committed to shedding even more blood, sweat and tears to make things work.

Kiernan’s journey began in November 2011 when Into Eternity put out the call for a “touring only” singer. She jumped in with both feet.

“I found out about the audition and called (Into Eternity drummer) Brian Newbury right away,” Kiernan says. “I just wanted to push myself to the top and prove to myself and others that I can actually do this, and that there are no limitations. After I called him we both went to my studio and spent two days recording the audition songs that Tim Roth (guitars / founder) wanted me to do.” Continue reading INTO ETERNITY – Amanda Kiernan: When Opportunity Knocks…

INTO ETERNITY – Tim Roth: Keeping It Real

By Carl Begai

When word came down in March 2011 that Canadian bashers Into Eternity’s vocalist Stu Block had replaced Matt Barlow as the singer for Iced Earth, it caused major confusion amongst fans in both camps. Iced Earth followers that were aware of Block’s shriek-and-growl style were convinced guitarist / founder Jon Schaffer had lost his mind, while Into Eternity fans were left wondering if the band had a future without Block’s unique vocal talents. Both he and guitarist Tim Roth have maintained that Block is still with Into Eternity – a claim that rang true with the recent release of the single ‘Fukushima’ – but news that The Order Of Chaos singer Amanda Kiernan had been brought in as Block’s live replacement so the band can tour served up another barrage of questions. With that in mind, Roth was happy to hook up and set the record straight.

“We were rehearsing on a Friday, and after a whole weekend of rehearsals he hit me with the news that he’d joined Iced Earth,” Roth recalls when asked how Block broke the news of getting the gig. “And then he hit me with a CD of him singing some new Iced Earth stuff. So not only did he tell me, he showed me some of the material they’d already recorded. I was just floored. Stu and I are best friends, and we weren’t doing anything at the time, so it makes sense that someone would come in and invite Stu to join their band. Jon Schaffer knows talent, I know talent, and Stu has always been that shining diamond in the rough. When I’d seen him in his previous band he really impressed me. I knew I had to have a guy with his kind of vocals in Into Eternity.” Continue reading INTO ETERNITY – Tim Roth: Keeping It Real