E3 Update #1:

Hey Guys! As I’m sure you know, tonight marks the end of the first full day of the E3 Convention in Los Angeles, CA. For those that haven’t already checked out the specs, here’s a comprehensive list of everything you need to know so far regarding the Big-3’s press conferences.

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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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Dredg Tries to Make You Chuckle

Dredg - Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy

From the moment I heard the title for Dredg’s new album, Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy, I knew it would be a bit different. Little did I imagine that it would not just be a little different, but the type of different where helmets are mandatory and you get to ride the short bus to school.

Dredg has a track record of taking “creative gambles” with their albums. From the Nu-Metal sounds of their Orph EP beginnings to the pop-tastic Catch Without Arms, they have shown a drive to never be contained by one genre. That being said, not ever gamble can pay off. Just like ripping a fart an hour after eating some bomb chinese food, you run the risk of that “oh shit!” moment. The real question is, did Dredg shit their pants on this one?

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2011 NHL Playoffs: Round 3

2011 NHL Playoffs Conference Finals

The Conference Semifinals were INTENSE. We had two sweeps in the Eastern Conference: the Tampa Bay Lightning swept the Washington Capitals, and the Boston Bruins, with Tim Thomas’ god like performance, swept the Philadelphia Flyers. In the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators in 6, and the Sharks…oh boy, our Sharks. I love ’em, I have a ton of confidence in them, but damn do they make me nervous sometimes.

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You Need to Watch the Trailer for Hesher

Definitely my nominee for best theatrical trailer of 2011.

I just stumbled across this gem of a trailer for a film called “Hesher” that I had never heard of before, until now. Apparently, it was screened at Sundance last year and is going to hit theaters this Friday, May 13.

Not only does this movie look bad ass because it involves fire, gasoline, explosions, smoking, wild driving, and general destruction (all while “Battery” by Metallica is blasting in the background), but also because it has a damn good cast backing it with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, and Rainn Wilson. I’m also a sucker for drama with an edge.

Anyone else pumped to see this?

-BW

DEAD ON ARRIVAL: As Blood Runs Black’s New Album Runs Dry

For fans of watered-down versions of All Shall Perish, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Bury Your Dead, etc.

I’ll give them this: As Blood Runs Black has somehow found a way to make deathcore watered down enough to appeal to a mainstream audience. But what you’ll find in Instinct is an unoriginal, uninspired, and breakdown-dependent excuse for an album, with a laughable Tron-like album cover.

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BAMF Spotlight: Dissipate

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. We’re kicking this week off with Dissipate, an 8-string wielding, progressive death metal band from Livermore, CA.

For fans of Dying Fetus, Candiria, Sikth, Meshuggah, Massive Attack, Car Bomb, The Dillinger Escape Plan, etc.

Fun fact #1: I had my nose permanently broken while moshing to Dissipate back in 2006 when my old band played a show with them at Lucky’s Pizza in Dublin, CA.

Fun fact #2: Wrecked founder, Ivan Torres, was their vocalist at the time.

It’s nice to see that Dissipate is still around melting faces like candle wax. If you want to see a band that knows how to handle their shit live, then you need to check out Dissipate. This is technical death metal that is actually interesting, in my opinion. From their Into the Moat style vocals, to their unique blend of progressive, slightly math-y, and ferociously executed death metal, Dissipate is one of those bands that always breathes something fresh into an ever-growing more stale metal genre. That and they represent Livermore, which has been a breeding ground for some pretty sick acts over the last ten years. We’ve got some tunes and a music video for you after the jump…

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BAMF Spotlight: Izeovasis

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. Check out Izeovasis, a crushing tech metal band from Livermore, CA.

For fans of: The Red Chord, Despised Icon, Ion Dissonance, Glass Casket, etc

The last time I saw Izeovasis perform live was more than a couple years ago, and man have they grown. I took my eyes of these guys for a second, only to be surprised to see how refined their music has become. If you’re a fan of technical metal, metalcore, or deathcore, you need to check these guys out. They’re based in Livermore, CA, and will be playing at the BAMF festival this year. These guys can shred your faces off with their technicality and then punch you in the gut with their devastating breakdowns. Izeovasis has everything an extreme metal fan could ask for: pummeling blast beats, a relentless vocal attack, some brutal chugging breakdowns and strong energy to do it all live. The musicianship in this band is impressive, and considering how young these guys are, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where they are headed. Check out some of their stuff below…

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BAMF Spotlight: Repaid in Blood

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. This week, we present you the San Jose based death-metalcore act, Repaid in Blood.

For Fans of  The Red Chord, The Acacia Strain, Veil of Maya, Despised Icon, Born of Osiris, etc.

One thing I absolutely love about covering the Bay Area Metal Festival is the fact that I’m discovering a lot of great bands from the Bay Area. One that really stands out to me is Repaid in Blood, from San Jose (aka Taqueria Heaven). I dig their technical, yet chugalicious approach to metalcore; think of a young, more rhythm-oriented All Shall Perish with the guitar soloing skills of Zero Hour. I can’t wait to see how their sound progresses over the next couple of years and I’m definitely stoked to see these guys in action live at BAMF. We’ve got some tunes and a music video for you after the jump!

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St. Anger to be Released on Vinyl this June

St. Anger SUCKS

Seriously. The PRP is reporting that metal juggernauts washed-up old farts, Metallica, are going to release the most awfully produced and poorly written album of all time on vinyl on June 7. Honestly, I wouldn’t buy this with a stolen credit card.

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Nintendo’s Finally Done Ripping You Off

Nintendo Selects Line Introduces Mario Kart Wii Bundle -- Hints At Wii Price Drop

According to G4TV.com, Nintendo finally announced price drops on some of its biggest titles, like Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wii Sports (previously FREE?), Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and more, bringing them to a much more reasonable $19.99 under the “Nintendo Selects” moniker. To me, this feels like a too-little-too-late move for Nintendo. I mean, taking FOUR AND A HALF YEARS to drop a single dime off Zelda’s price tag seems absolutely batshit crazy, don’t you think? Part of the speculation behind this move is that Ninty is price-dropping the big titles as well as bringing the system down to $149 to make way for the new Wii successor, code-named Project Cafe.

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BAMF Spotlight: FORBIDDEN

Every week, Wrecked will be highlighting 2-3 bands playing the upcoming Bay Area Metal Festival. We figured we’d start with the headliner, a legendary thrash band native to the SF Bay Area known as FORBIDDEN.

For Fans of: Testament, Exodus, Slayer, Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc.

The 2011 Bay Area Metal Festival is fast approaching, and looks to be one of the most historical events the Bay Area metal scene has ever seen. The mighty Bay Area based thrash metal band, Forbidden, has stepped up to headline the festival and bring spotlight to this incredible event.

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2011 NHL Playoffs: Round 2

NHL Playoffs 2011 Round 2

We’re already one game into Round 2 of the 2011 NHL playoffs and our San Jose Sharks begin their series against the Detroit Red Wings tonight. I just want to say: DAMMIT I LOVE PLAYOFFS HOCKEY! Every game that I’ve been able to watch, I’ve been glued to my TV and they’ve all been great games. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every game and every series is so addicting. I had my phone set to send me updates for pretty much every scoring change for nearly every game, which made me sound very popular for the past week and a half.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent…IN MY PANTS

It takes a lot to terrify me. Over the years, I’ve become desensitized to most scary movies and so-called creepy games. I tend to not jump or look away when my character is pulled into a dark abyss and slowly pulled apart and eaten. In fact, nothing really bugs me since the internet has pretty much single-handedly ruined me as well as an entire generation of teens. Example: just google Rule #34. Suckers.

The last title I remember that really screwed me up good and had me diving for the off button was Resident Evil and Silent Hill for the original Playstation back in 1999. Since then, very few titles of that caliber have even come close.

Until now…

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Stuck on Limbo

An amazing puzzle/platforming game for fans of Braid, Metroid, Portal, etc

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a story on the Xbox Live Arcade games sale going on, and I mentioned that I was planning on finally picking up Limbo. Well, I did, and in short: it’s incredible. I didn’t initially intend on even writing a review for this game, but there are so many gamers out there like myself that still had not gotten around to this gem. There is so much to like about Limbo, I just couldn’t keep it to myself. Old school gamers and new school gamers alike have already come together to celebrate this game’s greatness, and for good reason.

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Mortal Kombat: Back-Back-Punch is Still Scorpion’s Harpoon!

We all have memories as kids playing Mortal Kombat, whether we were at home playing it on Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo, or in the arcade because your parents wouldn’t let you own it due to the titillating amount of gore and the arcade was the only place you could get away with playing it other than your friend’s house, and he always whooped your sorry ass because he owned it.  Whatever it was, the Mortal Kombat franchise has a ton of nostalgic value to lifelong gamers, a huge fan base, and probably two of the most badass characters in fighting game history: Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The latest installment, a “reboot” of the franchise and game debut from NetherRealm Studios, makes us feel like we’re 7 years old all over again.

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Between the Buried and Me & The Ocean are Coming to Wreck SF. Be There.

As most of you probably know, Between the Buried and Me just released the incredible EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues this past month, and have already set out on a full US tour in its support. Brad gave the album a stellar 4.5/5, saying it’s the best thing BTBAM has done since 2005’s Alaska. On Wednesday, May 4th, BTBAM will be visiting our neck of the woods at Slim’s in San Francisco. I’m here to tell you how imperative it is that you all attend this show. It will be legendary!

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Fill Your Flask and Get Wrecked to Flood Peak’s New EP

Flood Peak Filling Flasks Cover

There’s something ugly brewing down in San Jose, and it sure as hell isn’t Gordon Biersch. I finally got my hands on Filling Flasks, the debut EP from Flood Peak, featuring Peter Layman, Mike McClatchey, and Jake Wright. I’ve been following Layman and McClatchey’s sonic endeavors very closely over the past 8 years (Clearing Autumn Skies, Something Must Die, Apiary, Early Graves) and they’ve always struck me as musicians who write ahead of the curve in the originality department. Flood Peak is no exception.

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