Monday, October 22, 2007


Friday, October 12, 2007

Some Canadian Metal News

Former Helix drummer Brian Doerner suffered a heart attack on Oct. 5, 2007.

Fortunately he is expected to make a full recovery, and will resume drumming in the future. The attack has forced him to withdraw from Saga's current tour. Replacing him will be Chris Sutherland of Kim Mitchell's band.

In other news, Rush was the 6th highest grossing tour for the summer of 2007. The number 1 spot was taken by The Police's reunion tour, which made a staggering $91 million. Rush was actually the 3rd highest rock band, after The Police and The Dave Matthews Band. Other rock artists in the top ten where John Mayer, Roger Waters and Tool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On The Mend (I Hope...)

You may have noticed the lack of a new Tapping the Ether last weekend, which I deeply regret.

The reason was that I was at home suffering from pneumonia--as I still am. I wasn't diagnosed until Sunday evening, but I spent most of Friday and Saturday asleep and it was pretty obvious that I was in no fit state to be on the air. Much thanks to Wayne for finding and playing a copy of the previous week's show at such short notice.

I'm feeling 100% better by today (which is to say I still feel like shit, but a higher quality shit) and I'm hoping that by Saturday I will be back on the air. I've been warned that it will take weeks to recover fully, and with that in mind I apologize in advance for any detrimental effect it may have on Tapping the Ether in the near future.

Bear with me, and keep watching this space!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Under the Radar Pt. 1

It happens.

You're waiting with bated breath for the new release by a band that piques your interest. If the band is, say, an Iron Maiden or a Judas Priest, then you know exactly when it's coming out and can plan accordingly. But what happens if it's a younger, lesser known band on an indepedent label? Then it gets released to little fanfare and slips right under your radar. Like I say, it happens.

There's two such releases out right now that I just found out about last week. Hopefully they will be arriving at the station in the near future, as both bands have gotten excellent response from listeners with their debuts.

The first is Norway's Circus Maximus, whose "The 1st Chapter" made for an impressive introduction to their innovative Prog-metal sound. The new release is called "Isolate" and from the reviews I've seen so far is a worthy follow-up. I've heard a couple of sample tracks, and if anything I liked it even more than "1st Chapter"

The second release is from the engimatically (some would say downright oddly) named Spheric Universe Experiment is called "Anima" and it appears to have slipped under Amazon's radar too. S.U.E are from France, and their first CD, "Mental Torments" was a juicy slab of Dream Theater-influenced Prog-metal. I've heard one track from Anima, and it picks up where "...Torments" left off--perhaps a little more accessible, but that's impossible to state for sure without hearing the whole release.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

On The Horizon Pt. 3

Back in 1990, Queensryche was facing a bit of a dilemma. Two years earlier they'd released the phenomally successful Operation: Mindcrime and the question was on everyone's lips "How are they gonna follow this up?". Immediately releasing another concept would have resulted in cries of "sellout!" and so the band made a daring move by releasing the very accessible "Empire ". With short, catchy songs well suited to commercial radio, the band sidestepped the problem and soared to even greater heights.

When Queensryche finally got around to releasing Operation: Mindcrime II in 2006, the problem was compounded. because the band had to both prove that the new release was not a cynical attempt to cash in on past glories and record a kick-ass album that lived up to the brilliance of the original. And they did it!

But now the dilemma rears its head again, if anything bigger than before. Buying some time with the live release Mindcrime at the Moore, Queensryche has now again sidestepped the problem by recording the third CD on my wishlist:

Queensryche: Take Cover

Okay, anyone who listens to the show on a regular basis knows I'm a sucker for a good cover tune, and now one of my favourite bands is about to release an entire CD of them. Does life get any better?

Other than a downright creepy cover of Dalbello's "Gonna Get Close To You" (from Rage for Order), Queensryche hasn't released any cover tunes on a studio album (there were a couple of excellent ones on The Art of Live) so Take Cover represents something relatively new in the Queensryche universe.

Just because they are recording other people's material, Queensryche is by no means playing it safe with this CD. Not only are they recording songs by Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Queen, but also songs by The Police, Peter Gabriel, Buffalo Springfield and the O'Jays. There's even an opera track and a song from Jesus Christ Superstar in the mix.

What few covers Queensryche have recorded in the past have managed to do the original justice while still sounding like Queensryche, so I'm confident that they will pull this release off nicely. Keep an eye out for Take Cover, due out November 13th.

On The Horizon Pt. 2

Okay, it's my guilty secret. I've been a Lizzy Borden fan since I picked up a vinyl(!!!) copy of "Love You To Pieces" back in 1985. I admit that at first I liked Lizzy Borden for what they promised, rather than what they necessarily delivered. Usually 3-4 kick-ass songs a the rest filler. Until they finally hit their stride with "Visual Lies": Nine tracks of sheer brilliance that still hold up 20 years later. Continuing the trend with "Master of Disguise", Lizzy appeared to finally be on the verge of major success before dropping off the face of the planet.

Fast forward eleven years and the band reforms to release "Deal with the Devil", which was decidely iffy. Half the songs are the vintage Lizzy Borden , and as good as anything they ever recorded-the other half were an ill-advised attempt to update the sound. The result was a mishmash of industrial-pop-nu metal that did nothing for me (sorry guys). That's the background, which brings me to the second release on my wishlist:

Lizzy Borden: Appointment with Death

I'll let the official press release describe what's coming up:

Like all past Lizzy Borden recordings, Appointment with Death is a conceptual piece; this concept is centered around the theme of, as the title implies, Death.

“Oddly enough, writing eleven songs about death was no easy task for me; lyrically being graphic or grotesque would have been too easy, and being overly morbid would bring nothing new to the concept. I wrote this just like I have all of the other LB recordings, as a play or a movie. There is a beginning, middle and an end with the lead character taking us on a journey. Death is all around us, lurking, waiting to pounce, striking fear and antagonizing the living in many different ways, I tried to explore some of those ways in the most poetic way that I know how” commented Lizzy.

The music on AWD was composed by Lizzy, Ira Black, Marten Andersson and Joey Scott .

AWD is epic, Heavy, dark and melodic, everything a traditional Lizzy Borden recording should be and more. With new guitarist Ira Black along with Marten Andersson on Bass and co/founder Joey Scott on the drums, the Lizzy Borden sound has evolved into a multi-dimensional ever-lasting-gobstopper working just as well in an ipod as it has always done on stage.

Works for me!!

On The Horizon Pt.1.

The next few weeks are looking great for new releases. Here's what's coming up that I'm particularly looking forward to:

Pagan's Mind: God's Equation

A firm favourite of The Cincinnati Metal God, Wheezer, Pagan's Mind finally release the follow-up to 2005's excellent "Enigmatic: Calling" in Nov. 9 2007 (Jan. 15 2008 in North America). You can hear the advance track "United Alliance" on the the Limb Music Products website, or just click on the picture :)

There's a special 2-CD edition as well that includes 6 extra tracks, MPEG video clip, poster, sticker & wallpapers. Wheezer believes that the American release will likely feature a censored cover, or possibly a completely different one. I hope he's wrong, but I have to concede he's likely right about that.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Patrick Bourque R.I.P

If you've been listening to the show the last couple of month's you are probably aware that we've been playing the new Mystery CD "Beneath the Veil of Winter's Face" a lot.

I learned this morning that Mystery bassist Patrick Bourque died suddenly at his home around the 25-26 September. No details have been released regarding his death.