Thursday, 7 February 2013

Entropia's Crimson Empire (Review)

We could write over 2500 words and it would not relay the depth of this masterpiece.   So before you read the review, listen to the music.

Good listen? Now when your body is able to be still again, you will realize this is by far the best work from Vancouver's Entropia (  We've seen this band many times and have followed them from the days of their first album Disciples of Agression through to the Electric Circus.  With the beginning of the third CD the band is finding it's own sound and has truly solidified as a unit.

Darin Wall plays a thundering bass at speeds that would frighten hummingbirds.   Angus's vocals have the ability to range from the melodic Rob Halford to the most guttural crunge (we had to invent a word to describe it).  Dave Watson and company fill in the rest of the band with a deep talent pool.  Despite the complexity of their music, this is not a typical metal band that stands on stage.  Entropia delivers live  with a vigor and energy second to none.

Back to Crimson empire, the band clearly stems from early Iron Maiden influences yet has found their own sound.   By the time a band has settled in to a third album this is to be expected and the staying power is a testament to their strong will and dedication.  In our opinion, this will be one of the best releases in 2013.  A solid 9.5/10 for this track.

To compare from earlier Entropia, watch the video Ashes below.



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

DOA, Rebel Spell, Randy Rampage and Fierce Creep

Friday Jan 18, 2013 will go down in Vancouver music history.  It is simply one of the best rock/punk shows ever held in the terminal city and those lucky enough to get tickets to the event witnessed rock history in the making.  To recap the evening, it was billed as DOA's last show.  Two of DOA's original founders were there, Joey Shithead and Randy Rampage.   Chuck Biscuits failed to make an appearance however yet several of DOA's members did.

The show started out with what can only be described as a phenomenal evolution of the band known as The White Stripes called Fierce Creep.   The trio can only be described as the "best 3 piece quartet" one will ever hear.  Consisting only of drums, often heavily distorted bass and the piercing vocals of Karla, they sound more like a four piece act.  High energy from start to finish with blistering bass riffs and thundering, syncopated drumming accented by a driving undertone that makes it impossible to stand still.  Fierce Creep is self described as a semi-serious jam band but our impression is they have not yet realized how talented and original they are.

The second act was DOA co-founder Randy Rampage's new band simply billed as "Rampage".  The band consists of veteran drummer Zippy Pinhead, lead guitarist Duane Chaos and Tim Bitz on bass.   When !Rampage took to the stage, the audience energy and size had built to the point the theatre was full.  Opening up with one of Randy's classic songs "Bytor", the antics of Randy pushed the crowd over the edge with a 200 person strong mosh pit breaking out by the time they hit their second song "Slave to my Dick", originally from the Subhumans.  An epic rendition of Randy's Fox Seeds winning My Evil Ways also sent the crowd over the edge with tight rhythm and blistering heavy metal quality lead guitar work.    The band's climax came as they dropped into another anthemic Subhumans song "Fuck You!".  The band was quickly brought back for two encores by a hungry crowd.

The Rebel Spell mesmerized us as they launched into a psuedo celtic punk set.  The Rebel Spell  released their first album, Expression in Laymen’s Terms way back in 2003. This was followed by 2005's Days of Rage and the 2007 EP Four Songs about Freedom.  2011 saw the release of It’s a Beautiful Future.  Despite being in an awkward position to continue to build energy after the first two acts, the Rebel Spell conquered the stage and drove the audience into a frenzy.  Normally a four piece, the celtic feel partly came from the addition of a fiddle.

After the three opening acts, chants of "Joey, Joey, Joey" started to erupt through the theatre.  The intensity level now amplified by the expectations of a two hour DOA set had reached a climax.  By the time Floor Tom Jones, Dangerous Dan Yaramenko and Joey hit the stage, room was literally upside down.   DOA always performs well live and this show held up to expectations.  Thrashing around with more energy that most teenagers,  Joe Keithley and crew played to perfection.  Instead of sticking to the tried and true formula of playing only recent songs, the band chose to mix in relatively obscure and older songs to the delight of all.  Songs like Human Bomb, 13, I'm right, you're wrong and He's got a gun.  It also struck us as odd that Dan appears to be about 30 years old.  He was likely born 6 years after DOA's first show yet he fit in as if he was bred for yet a single purpose.  His bass playing is phenomenal and whatever he does next, we'll be there to watch.

The grand finale happened when several ex DOA members and friends including Randy Rampage and Wimpy Roy (aka "Brian Goble") showed up on stage for the encores.  Truly a set to be remembered.

One item that left an impression with us is Joe's move into politics.  Joe is a statesmen, representing a large segment of people.  He has probably set the world record for the most charity or fundraising gigs of any musician in his 35 year career with DOA.  His stance on education being the pillar of a rich nation is not original; in fact it has been proven successful in India and China as they transitioned their population to prosperity.  As much as we hate to see what could be our last DOA show ever, we support Joe and urge everyone in Coquitlam to get to know Joe.  He is very approachable and a breathe of fresh air is required in BC politics.    Joe's political page.

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