MUSIC DISCOVERY MONDAY – 3/19/18
Music Discovery Monday shines a light on artists that are not getting the radio attention that they deserve, while also showcasing new singles by established bands that are likely to get airplay in the future.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher/Editor, Hard Rock Daddy)
RIOT V – “Victory”
Although Riot V has only been in existence since 2013, the band’s history dates all the way back to 1975. Founded in New York City by guitarist Mark Reale, the band changed their name (Riot) at the request of Reale’s father after his son’s passing in 2012. Over the past 40+ years, the band has had numerous members, and has been affiliated with several record labels. Not many bands last this long in any incarnation, especially those that have spent most of their career flying under the radar. Riot V is one of the exceptions to the rule.
What started as a pure heavy metal band back in the ‘70s eventually evolved into a power metal force to be reckoned with. The band’s popularity may have peaked in the ‘80s, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of the material that they continue to put out to this day (albeit under a slightly different moniker).
“Victory” is an epic, majestic, power metal anthem off of Riot V’s upcoming release, Armor Of Light. A frenetic, thunderous, double-bass drum clinic by Frank Gilchriest is the engine that powers the heart-racing pace of the song. The dual guitars of Mike Flyntz and Nick Lee take you back in time to the glory days of the ‘80s with an Iron Maiden-esque sound and speed metal precision. Todd Michael Hall’s soaring, melodic vocals help take “Victory” to another level.
The name of the band (and the members themselves) may have changed, but in the immortal words of Led Zeppelin…“the song remains the same.” Riot V has found a formula that works, and has stuck to it. Though power metal is woefully underappreciated in the United States, it is greatly appreciated in other parts of the world, especially Europe.
LAST PHARAOH – “The Headless Horseman”
Continuing on with a sound that dates back to the glory days of heavy metal (like Riot V) in America is one thing. Starting a “Power Metal Neo-Classical” band in America in the current climate takes balls. New York’s Last Pharaoh not only has the balls to go against the grain and buck all current trends in their homeland, they also deliver their brand of heavy metal with unabashed fury.
“The Headless Horsemen” melds the intense thrash of early Megadeth and Metallica, the us-against-the-world anthemic vibe of Saxon, the shredding of Yngwie Malmsteen, and the European power metal influence of Helloween together into one killer tune. Fair warning…this is an intense listening experience that grabs you by the throat from the first note and never lets you come up for air until the song ends. If you have an appreciation for outstanding musicianship, or just want to lose yourself for nearly seven minutes of headbanging, make sure to check these guys out.
KURT ARFT – HRD Music Scout
VYCES – “Thin Luck”
For me, the difference between a pretty good band and a great band is determined by a number of variables. Songs, music, and image are obviously important, but there are other factors to take into account, such as audience connectivity. Are they active on their social media sites? Do they update and share content regularly? Do they have a cool website that’s maintained? Are they interactive with their fans through social media and at live performances?
Speaking of live performances, now more than ever, rock bands rely on them to build their fan bases. For a band to be considered great, they need to have energy on stage, engage with the crowd, and most importantly, entertain. Music fans not only go to concerts to be stimulated through our ears, but also through our eyes. The great ones offer the total package of entertainment value. Watching a band that brings it on stage with energy and conviction is what makes the experience much more enjoyable than the ones that just stand there on stage and look down at their feet.
The band Vyces, out of Los Angeles, CA, checks all those boxes (and more), for me. Making it even more impressive is the fact that they don’t have any major label backing or support.
Vyces was born in the summer of 2014 when vocalist/frontman Dave Naruszewicz was looking for a new project after the disbandment of his former band Heart-Set Self-Destruct. Vyces has a great sound that brings the Active Rock, Metal, and Electronica worlds together.
With their latest single, “Thin Luck,” they have crafted a balance of heavy groove, melody, hooks, and aggressive/passive heartfelt vocals/lyrics. There are also some great beats, sounds, and effects used throughout the song that ties it all together. It’s gotten great reception from their fans throughout social media and also on SiriusXM’s Octane.
Vyces will be heading out on the road this spring with Mushroomhead. I see great things ahead for this group. Pro sound, pro image, pro everything. Be sure to give them a listen and follow them on all their social media outlets, and go see them LIVE!
LOCUST GROVE – “Menace Of Society”
Another new band on my radar is Locust Grove, based out of Oklahoma City, OK. Their heavy, aggressive sound with groove has perked up more than just a few ears. They are a true working man’s band, much like Pantera was back in the day.
Locust Grove was formed by guitarist/lead vocalist Zain Smith, who had some success with his former band Anti-Mortem. Unfortunately, that band abruptly came to an end just as they were starting to gain some traction and popularity. However, Smith got right back on track. He called upon fellow shredder/guitarist Vincent Charles Lindstrom, bass player Quentin Williams, and drummer Joey Mandigo to embark on the musical journey that is Locust Grove. As a unit, they crush it, taking the vision that Smith had with Anti-Mortem to a new level.
“Menace of Society” is a ball-breaking, ear-bleeding, headbanging tune featuring deep grooves in the verses, big, melodic choruses, and some great leads. Smith is really starting to find his voice in his first endeavor as a lead vocalist. He has a gritty, soulful sound, which is on full display in this tune. The rhythm section of Williams and Mandigo really locks it down, and Lindstrom’s playing complements Smith very well, offering some great balance and tonality to the track.
Locust Grove is another indie Metal/Rock band that proves you can do it at a pro level with the right attitude and the right people without a label or any sort of backing. I see a refreshing outlook and determination from these guys. If they continue on the path they are travelling, it should deliver amazing results for them.
Locust Grove is set to hit the road soon for an American tour. Go out and support these indie bands. They really do depend on us all as music fans to keep them going. LIKE, FOLLOW, SHARE all their social media sites and music. If they come to your town, be sure to hit the merch table and get some of their swag. It can’t be emphasized enough that bands like this truly depend on us to get to the next city/venue/destination.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com