The Conceal Pull No Stunts

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I’m not going to lie, I’m fighting off a massive hangover today. The only music existing in my media library that can supplement how shitty I feel is the debut release from San Jose natives The Conceal, entitled Endless River | Stunted Prayer, which just hit the internet like a cheap whiskey-infused dirty bomb last Monday. Since then, my ears have been giving it a lot of attention and I am enthusiastically impressed by this new act coming from the South Bay (aka that place where a bunch of bands try to sound like Dredg, Circa Survive, and anything Post-Rock).

The Conceal is a reboot of Flood Peak, headed by Mike McClatchey (ex-Clearing Autumn Skies, Apiary, Early Graves) that features a few down-tuned, slower rehashes of songs from Flood Peak’s EP Filling Flasks along with mostly new material. This being said, anyone expecting The Conceal to be anything like its former incarnation will be in for a big surprise. Endless River | Stunted Prayer is a 45 minute masterpiece of doom, sludge, feedback, and industrial influenced shit-rock that brings a refreshing sense of creativity to heavy music. There is no mimicry or trend-following here, only trendsetting.

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Casket of Cassandra Debut New Single, “Breathless”

Longtime readers of Wrecked or Bay Area locals should be familiar with Casket of Cassandra. In case you need a reminder, Casket of Cassandra, the female-fronted metalcore outfit from Concord, was featured on our site when they played the Bay Area Metal Fest last summer, put on by our good buddies in Nemesis Records. Well, we take our eyes off these guys for a minute, and Nemesis ends up signing Casket of Cassandra behind our backs. Where’s our record deal, Nemesis? Whatever, any music we’d put together would just be too progressive and too ahead of its time. It’s cool.

Anyway, Nemesis has agreed to let us stream Casket of Cassandra’s new single exclusively on Wrecked for a short period of time. Check it out after the jump.

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Have A First, But Don’t Make It Your Last

In my time, I’ve had my fair share of drinks and I’ve been to a good number of bars. With each outing I would visit a different bar, trying out new beers and taking in the atmosphere, but I’d yet to find a place close to the type of bar I’d always dreamed of as a child. These days, bars are adorned with 15 flat screen plasma televisions that play every ESPN channel in every language. I would have my fun, but I always hoped that I’d someday find a bar with charm and a little grit. Somewhere that had old-timers drinking their whiskeys straight up, telling tales of their time on the seas, singing drinking songs and getting into the occasional bar fight. So another night came where drinks were expected to flow, but this time I decided to find somewhere new to enjoy. After some searching of the downtown area of Oakland, I found Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. I gathered some friends and set out for the night.

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I Was Stabbed by Sweet Tooth and All I Got Were These Stupid Pictures!

Living in the Bay Area is pretty nice.  We’re very close to three major cities, meaning there is ALWAYS some sort of event going on at any given time.  You can also make the case that the Bay is the Mecca of video games.  With such studios as Sony Computer Entertainment America, Visceral Games, 2K Marin, and Capcom (to name a few) taking residence here, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some awesome events put on by these companies.  One such event took place on February 2nd, and was put on by Sony.  It was a public and media party/tournament for the highly anticipated reboot of the bestselling car-combat franchise Twisted Metal.  I’ve been a fan of the series since I was a young lad, so you bet your ass I went.  It was a ton of fun, and it only made me want the game even more.

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February Underground Update

It’s February! You know what that means: Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Black History Month, and most important of all…another edition of the Underground Update!

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I’ve Always Wanted to Be Part of the Mafia.

Food trucks are a thing of beauty. They really are. They’re even more beautiful when they’re all gathered in one place for your gluttonous enjoyment. Can something so glorious truly exist? Yes, and it’s happening right in your own back yard.

Let me introduce you to a collective that calls themselves the Food Truck Mafia, a group of local food vendors that travel all around the bay all day, just to come together almost every night for one of the Bay Area’s best kept secrets. Though the trucks vary every week, the chance of eating something delicious is constant, so we headed to Union City last Thursday night to revel in these mobile menus.

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January Underground Update

With the new year, I present to you the inaugural edition of the Underground Update! Hear what’s coming out from the world of metal and hardcore in the Bay Area (and beyond).

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These Wings Weren’t Made For Flying

Let’s make one thing certain from the get-go: I love buffalo wings. If you were to cut me open right now, you might find the blood in my veins pretty spicy with a bit of a tangy-vinegary taste. That being said, nothing gets me more pumped than when I hear about a new wing restaurant, especially one that has a four star rating on Yelp, like the new Wing Fiesta, located in downtown Hayward, CA. So am I writing this to tell you about the new wing spot that might dethrone the commerically-booming Wingstop, or challenge the legendary San Jose-based (and nationally infamousSmoke Eaters? Not exactly.

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Need a Reason to Post-Rock?

book of hours

Like their music, Not to Reason Why has become a melodic crescendo of success since the release of their newest EP, The Book of Hours. Having only released the album not even six months ago, their local fame and success have grown exponentially in the post-rock scene.

The group originates from Petaluma, CA and has been together for roughly 4 years. Their members consist of Ian Simpson on guitar, Navid Manoochehri on bass, Paul Haile on Drums and Lauen Haile on piano. They have previously released one other EP in 2007, Who Wants Flowers When They’re Dead? and 2009’s full length album, Would You Hug Fire? With the release of The Book of Hours, they’ve shaken the foundations of instrumental rock at its core.

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Preview The Harvest Wombs

If you’re a fan of bands like The Faceless, Between the Buried and Me, and Cynic you have to check out Fallujah. Born right in our own backyard, these dudes from San Francisco write some seriously impressive tunes.  They’ve posted two of their songs from the forthcoming debut The Harvest Wombs (coming out Nov. 22 on Unique Leader Records). “Become One” features Francesco Artusato of fellow Bay Area shredders All Shall Perish.

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BAMF Spotlight: Potential Threat

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we introduce the hard-hitting Potential Threat from Redwood City, CA.

For fans of Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer

This band reminds of the glory days of metal before people argued about breakdowns, before people “danced” in “mosh pits” and before Hetfield quit drinking. This band has very solid, no-bull shit metal sound. Lots of heavy riffs, seamless transitions and the perfect sound for drinking whiskey straight from the bottle. Seriously, I’m writing this at 11:00am and I’m sitting here thinking a quick swig would be nice before this song ends.

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BAMF Spotlight: Chained Existence

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we bring you the pummeling Chained Existence from Mendocino, CA. 

For fans of old school thrash, metal, etc.

Do you remember the glory days of when punkers and metal heads united under the common umbrella of pissed off, grungy thrash with group chants and a fuck-you attitude? Chained Existence does. These guys are taking it upon themselves to bring back the energy that’s so easily forgotten with many contemporary bands. You’ll find some face melting solos, circle-pit inducing speed, and some nasty gutteral low growls to go along with all the headbanging you’ll be doing. This is the kind of thrash you expect on the newest edition of Songs to Induce Bar Fight Related Comas To, coming soon to your favorite family record store (if those existed anymore). If you’re looking to get plastered and fight people this weekend, but were a bit concerned by a lack of music to go along with it, have no fear, Chained Existence is here.

Find out more below.

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BAMF Spotlight: Kinetik

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we give you the tech-metal tyrants, Kinetik, from San Jose, CA. 

kinetik bamfFor fans of: Meshuggah, Sikth, Textures, Mnemic, Between the Buried & Me, etc…

Kinetik is a very technical and heavy metal band formed in 2007 in San Jose. Their sound is very thick and is very reminiscent of Meshuggah and Sikth, and seriously “Damn, that’s some fucking metal” was my reaction after hearing Kinetik for the first time. Each song starts with an awesome, in your face technical riff that’s pretty much designed to rip your balls off and would be best listened to during the good parts of any Michael Bay movie….explosions, guns, chicks and….over priced special effects? So if you’re looking for a dose of some down-tuned math metal, with some franticly aggressive vocals, look no further than the band on this page. These guys have a sound that can truly grab you by the throat, so make sure not to miss these guys at BAMF this July.

Click the jump to hear some of the wrath Kinetik will bring you..

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BAMF Spotlight: Embryonic Devourment

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we give you the crushingly brutal Embryonic Devourment from Willits, CA.

If you want a dose of shred with your morning cup of coffee, look no further than Embryonic Devourment, one of the big names topping this years Bay Area Metal Festival. If you like your metal with a relentless attack, full of blast beats, demonic growls, and enough shredding to give a plastic surgeon trouble putting your face back together after everything’s said and done, then you need to turn your attention to these guys. Brutality hardly comes close in describing Embryonic Devourment’s take on extreme metal. Death metal purists, proggressive enthusiasts, tech-metal lovers alike can find something to love about ED’s sound, and I fully expect them to bring the noise this July closing out the BAMF fest with Forbidden and Ulysses Siren.

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BAMF Spotlight: Ulysses Siren

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we’re bringing back the trash with San Francisco’s own Ulysses Siren.

For fans of: Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Judas Priest, etc

Never forget your roots. Where we come from, the roots of the SF Bay Area are planted with good old fashioned thrash metal. With bands like Exodus, Testament, and of course, the colossal Ulysses Siren emerging from these shores, it’s not hard to see why the Bay Area loves thrash so much. Ulysses Siren demonstrate the beauty of everything thrash should be. Their music is a relentless sonic assault, uppercutting you in the jaw with their blazing fast guitars and commanding drums, hitting you just as hard as when you first got sacked back in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out for NES. The vocals are just as ferocious, reminding me of early Slayer, but with vocal range and control not unlike Rob Halford’s from Judas Priest. It’s not hard to want to break out in an all out circle pit when blasting the tunes from these guys, which is why I can’t wait to bring in the pit with these guys this July. Hit the jump below to hear some of their stuff.

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BAMF Spotlight: Endings for Anastasia

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we’ve got Endings for Anastasia, a metalcore band from Belmont, CA. 

For fans of Whitechapel, Miss May I, Suicide Silence, Devil Wears Prada, etc

Endings for Anastasia comes raging onto the scene with a new-school, in your face, kick your ass and ask questions late kind of attitude. These guys like to throw down the gauntlets with their breakdowns and uppercut you Street-Fighter style with their angsty, pissed-off lyrics. They’ve got a slower, groovier style than most bands in their genre, but that doesn’t mean they’re not just as heavy. You can count on these guys to put on a high-energy show, especially at the upcoming BAMF Festival this July. Make sure you order your tickets soon, so you don’t miss out on these guys, and all the other great bands playing!

Check out more Endings for Anastasia after the jump!

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BAMF Artist Spotlight: Hell Fire

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. Check out Hell Fire from San Francisco, an awesome band that never turned their back the glory days of Maiden, tights and hair spray… except they don’t have tights or hairspray. 

For Fans of: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, etc

I’m a sucker for harmonies, always have been, always will be. I also have a huge soft spot for Iron Maiden. So it’s safe to say that when I heard Hell Fire for the first time, I was pretty stoked. These guys bring the wrath like Maiden did in their heyday, but with the ferocity of modern day metal. With a singer that can belt like Dickinson and a pair of guitarists that intend on shredding your faces off, there’s not a whole lot to not like about these guys. They’ve got the triumphant sing-along choruses, and the driving riffs that just make you want to fight bad guys. That can’t be a bad thing. So dig out your trapper keepers, walkmen, and jean jackets — it’s time to get 80s quick, and Hell Fire intend on giving you a non-stop, one way ticket there. Check out these guys at the BAMF festival this July.

Check out some samples of their tunes below:

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BAMF Spotlight: Casket of Cassandra

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. Check out Casket of Cassandra, the East Bay’s newest emerging metalcore outfit.

For Fans of Light This City, Bring Me the Horizon, As I Lay Dying, Himsa, It Dies Today, Manntis, etc

Casket of Cassandra is a metalcore band based out of the San Ramon area that really remind me of the old glory days when metalcore was first starting out; when the sound was fresh and I was watching these bands play at The Pound in San Francisco (RIP). Since then, metalcore has become a bit of a bad word, but I think there’s always room for good metalcore bands today. Casket of Cassandra definitely brings me back to those days, and that’s not a bad thing at all. The first thing most listeners will notice is the presence of female frontwoman, Amanda Maddera, and her vocal style, not unlike Light This City’s Laura Nichol — but that’s where the similarities end. Casket has a much more raw and in your face sound, with guitarist and back up vocalist Riley Olacsi providing appropriate doses of melody to give you something to sing along to. The band has also built up some internet-meme worthy notoriety for their metalcore cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, which you can check out here. I’m really looking forward to seeing this band tear up the stage at the BAMF festival this July.

Click the jump to check out some samples of Casket of Cassandra…

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BAMF Spotlight: Something Left Unsaid

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. Hold onto your pants, because you’re about to have your balls smashed in by Something Left Unsaid, a metalcore band from Pacifica, CA.

Something Left UnsaidFor fans of Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Shadows Fall, God Forbid, etc.

Sometimes it seems like there’s a real lack of good shredding in metal today. Something Left Unsaid fills that void with hard-hitting, chunky rhythms, technical leads, and insane solos that will make babies cry (I can literally hear a baby crying right now as I listen to this band and write this spotlight). SLU comes out of Pacifica, starting out as two close friends collaborating tracks online and in just less than a year they solidified a lineup, released an EP, and are working on a full length entitled Deconstructionism. They are definitely a mosh-worthy band dedicated to the art of metal.

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BAMF Spotlight: Lyceum

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week we have Lyceum, a melodic extreme metal band from my hometown in Concord, CA.

LyceumFor fans of Amon Amarth, As I Lay Dying, God Forbid, Testament, In Flames, Unearth, Dethklok, etc.

Lyceum, though relatively new to the local scene, is as metal as it gets: melodies that conjure images of fighting wizards, nonstop riffage, leather jackets, long, unkempt hair, and blastbeats that could make heads explode. Vocalist Blake Peterson literally sounds like Satan. I instantly thought of Amon Amarth when I first heard this band, but upon listening more intently, I discovered there was much more than just gurgled growls and rapid-fire double bass; there is something very old school about this band’s focus that is refreshing in a “stick-to-your-roots” kind of way. I’m stoked Concord still has bands like Lyceum holding down the darker metal scene and I can’t wait to see them play live at BAMF and give them some local love.

Some tunes and footage of the band tearing it up live await you after the jump…

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