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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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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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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23 Days with the Motorola Atrix 4G

Motorola Atrix 4G

I’ve had an iPhone 3G for the past 21 months. The last 12 of those months have been irritating, annoying, frustrating and inconvenient thanks to Apple and the iOS4. I thought “Oh cool, an update to iOS4 for my phone…it should make improvements!” Wrong! It slowed my phone down so much that, at times, it was almost unusable. It shouldn’t take three minutes to type out “Hey man where are you?”. After a few updates with minimal improvements, I went to my local Apple store to see what I could do about it:

“Hey my phone is messed up because of your update, how do I go back to iOS3?”

“Sorry sir, you can’t revert back to iOS3 once iOS4 is installed”

“So you can’t fix it? I can barely use this thing”

“Well you can replace it for $200, but at that point you might as well get the iPhone 4”

“Or I can get an Android…”

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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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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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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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I Hate Protest The Hero Live

Protest the Hero live at Slims SF

I really do…

This hate does not spawn from anger because one of the members killed my cat or stole my girlfriend, but rather because this band showed me that I have a long way to go before I can write and perform music of this caliber. Needless to say, I went home the next day and feverishly practiced scales for the first time in months, maybe even years.

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Between The Buried And Me Blow Minds With The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Back in February, like most of you, I had the chance to listen to the first half of “Specular Reflection”, the first track off Between the Buried and Me’s latest EP, The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (why the fuck does Google always try to correct “dialogue”?!). At first, my reaction was a bit lukewarm… BTBAM has always impressed the hell out of me with their creativity and technical capabilities, but have lacked serious replay value ever since Colors for some reason. After listening to The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues in its entirety, all I can say is “holy shit”.

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Super Street Fighter IV 3D: Blanka Balls And Beer Goggles

SSFIV-3D's New Dynamic Mode

This past Wednesday, Ivan and I had the privilege representing Wrecked at Capcom’s Street Fighter 3D event held at IGN’s office in San Francisco. When we got there, we miraculously had parking right in front even though they PROBABLY had a spot reserved for us. Anyways, we walked up, they checked our names off the list, handed us our tickets, and escorted us in and up the elevator. We entered the room and was met with a warm welcome from an IGN staff member. She showed us where the games were and showed us to the free pizza…both equally good. Being the big Street Fighter fan I was, I was both very excited and very skeptical.

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The Vices & Virtues Of Panic! At The Disco

A guy like me could lose a lot of credibility listening to bubblegum pop like this, but don’t deny it, you LOVED Panic! At the Disco when A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out hit the airwaves like a nuclear panty dropping bomb back in 2005. I’m not embarrassed to admit the fact my friends and I used to sing that album word for word on many drunken occasions and I’ve had long conversations with the most metal of dudes about how the band is the epitome of music you can’t escape from. And to be fair, Panic! deserved it: they had a fresh new sound, catchy melodies, and lyrics that could talk the habit off a nun.

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Top Dog: Put This Wiener In Your Mouth

“I heard these hot dogs are made out of chupacabra meat and unicorn tears.”

I’ve been going to Top Dog (the one on Durant Avenue in Berkeley) for years and I still get treated like shit god dammit! Not treated like shit in a bad way, but in the fun, semi-asshole, sarcastic kind of way. When you walk in and it’s busy, you’ll usually get the guy working the counter who will yell over everyone “WHAT ARE YOU HAVIN’?!”, and if your next words aren’t your order, you’ll usually hear “NEXT!” and be promptly skipped, regardless if you want to argue that they’re being rude or have bad customer service. You’ll almost feel guilty, like you fucked up and somehow wronged these people. I think that’s what makes their hot dogs and sausages taste so good.

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Why So Scurrilous? Protest The Hero Are Back

So, a while back, I dated this girl who told me a story about the time she saw DragonForce at The Pound (R.I.P.) in San Francisco. Supposedly, there was this band called Protest the Hero that opened up for them and the whole time they were performing, the entire plastic sword-wielding crowd was yelling at them to get off the stage because they wanted DragonForce. This story is hilarious to me now because 1) My ex girlfriend is stupid and wouldn’t know good metal if it shit in her cereal, and 2) No one has given a shit about DragonForce since 2006, meanwhile, Protest the Hero are still relevant and crushing it (without the help of countless guitar effects and studio wizardry).

Well, it looks like the Canadian Kings of Prog are back with another release entitled Scurrilous, which is due out March 22 (next Tuesday). I’ve had the pleasure of giving it tons of playtime and I am diggin’ it. A lot.

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TACO OVERLOAD: Acapulco Taqueria Bar & Grill

I love tacos. Anyone that knows me knows that I love tacos, so much that one year, everyone wanted to buy me gift cards for Taco Bell for my birthday. They settled on gift cards for In-N-Out, which I have to say was a much better investment.

Living in the Bay Area, we have a ton of diversity which leads to a variety of food and restaurants readily available during waking hours. My hometown, Hayward, has a large population of people from south of the border. This leads to choices. Important choices. Like, where to get some of the best tacos for cheap. At the top of my list of choices? Acapulco Taqueria Bar & Grill on West A Street in Hayward.

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