Categories
Music News and Interviews

Edward “Eddie” Lodewijk Van Halen

January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020

The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a huge statue, measuring 108 feet tall, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes in 280 BC. The actual location of the original statue is disputed today, but one of the opinions on the matter is that the statue straddled the opening to the harbor of Rhodes, a foot on each side. 

I grew up listening to Van Halen with my parents. I have told the story, many times, of riding to kindergarten with my dad, and asking him to play “Little Dreamer,” my favorite at the time. Hearing Eddie play at that young age, helped bring a familiarity to all music that I would hear from then on. The sound of screaming solos and chugging riffs has always been an inviting and welcoming sound to me. In the era in which Eddie played, there were great guitarists. But he turned it up! And turned Rock on its head!

Eddie was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His family moved to California and in 1972, he and his brother Alex, founded Van Halen with original bassist Mark Stone and singer David Lee Roth. He may not have invented the “tap style” technique of guitar playing, but he sure did perfect it! More than that, though, he was the perfect expression of one’s instrument becoming an extension of one’s self. With a perpetual grin, Eddie did amazing things, both in the studio and on the stage. 

1974 – 1985: Eddie, Alex, David, and Michael Anthony (bass) delivered raw emotion and talent on Van Halen’s first 5 records, all of which have since been certified multi-platinum – Van Halen, Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, and Diver Down. The sixth record, 1984, was far more commercial than the previous records, but Eddie kept on with the kick ass riffs. 

In 1985 Roth went solo and The Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar, stepped in to vocals and as a second guitarist. The band became even more successful, producing four U.S. number-one, multi-platinum records – 5150 in 1986, OU812 in 1988, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in 1991, and Balance in 1995. Eddie introduced keyboards on the 1984 album, and carried that through this era as well. These records had a more pop-rock sound, but Eddie kept dealing out the killer guitars. 

1996, Hager leaves the band and Gary Cherone (Extreme) takes vocals for Van Halen III in 1998. He leaves the band in 1999. 

2003, Hagar rejoins for a worldwide tour in 2004, and leaves again in 2005. 

2006, Roth rejoins and Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddies son) takes over on bass. 

2012 sees the release of A Different Kind of Truth and, you guessed it, Eddie kept delivering the guitar mastery. 

The Colossus of Rhodes is the perfect imagery to me, when imagining Eddie within the larger guitar community. He stood like a Colossus with one foot in Rock-n-roll and the other in what would come to be known as Metal. He stood in welcome of travelers journeying to this new form of energy. He was the bridge between the old and the new. There are giants in the land of guitarists. There are metal-gods and titans that traverse here, too. But Eddie was a Colossus that changed the art of shredding forever. With a grin and a swagger, this Colossus stands forever. Rest In Rock, sir. 

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Non-Music News

Goodbye Tumblr, and Hello WordPress!


Ahh, today is the day that we must say goodbye. Our long, long thread of blogs on Tumblr are no more! We are now on the lovely WordPress! We have updated WKNC’s website and, y’all, it is so cool. WKNC said: “Glow up!!!!” 
 
We transitioned to our new website, which is still wknc.org, on October 1st and we love our new little baby!! The blogs can now be viewed on the website, and the home screen gives you some sneak peaks of our most recent blogs and content! Our podcasts can also be found here, too! How convenient! 
 
Now, let’s take a walk down memory lane, WKNC first started on Tumblr in January 2014.We have been on Tumblr for a little over 6 years! We have so much content on different bands/artists, albums (new and old), concert and festival reviews, interviews, and short stories on Tumblr that have made our days when we needed them most. All of those blogs will be on WKNC’s new website! YAY!! You can spend hours upon hours just reading the amazing content that. Our DJ’s and staff have created! 
 
The Saw (and her Butcher Shop) has destroyed us in her Meat Grinder and hung us up in the Meat Locker so we had no choice!! We had to switch over, the pain was tremendous in the Butcher Shop!! But we have plenty of room over here at WordPress so we are safe… for now. She might find us, oh no!!
 
But until then, Tumblr, we love you and WKNC just wants you to know: it’s not you, it’s us. We had to flex on ‘em real quick. Ya feel? So, go on over to our new website and check out all that we have to offer! We got WKNC’s history, HD-1/HD-2 schedule, our playlist so you never miss the name of your favorite songs, our podcasts, our blogs, and many many more!! 
 
Happy scrolling  🙂
 
-THE SAW 
 
-On behalf of WKNC 
Categories
New Album Review

Six Feet Under – Nightmares of the Decomposed (2020)

Have I mentioned that I love Chris Barnes and Six Feet Under?! You know that I certainly have, Butcher Crew! And Nightmares of the Decomposed is no exception. It was released on October 2, 2020 by Metal Blade Records. This record is Six Feet Under’s 17th full-length album, and as usual, it marks a difference in vocal style and musical composition. 

First, Chris Barnes’ vocals continue to evolve (or, devolve) from the early days of ‘95s The Haunted, where his gutterals were legendary; to mid-career material like Undead (2012) and Unborn (2013), where he utilized a strangely darker vocal sound – not as gravely, but more psychotic sounding – to Nightmares of the Decomposed where we find Barnes’ vocals a creepy combination of gutteral and nearly out-of-control rasp. I like it! You can tell it’s Barnes, and at the same time you’re like, what the hell is going on?! And we can’t forget his patented squEEEEEEl!!! 

Secondly, the band. Jeff Hughell (Asylum, Vile, Braindrill) has been on bass since 2012, “Lord Marco” Pitruzzella (Vile, Braindrill, Vital Remains, The Faceless) has been on drums since 2013, Ray Suhy has been a guitarist since 2015, and Jack Owen (Cannibal Corpse, Decide) joins in on guitars for this record. We haven’t seen the Barnes/Owen combination since the early days of Cannibal Corpse, and you can tell by the writing of both music and lyrics that having these two back together is a very good thing. 

And finally, Six Feet Under have returned to a more classic sound, musically. Most of the songs on Nightmares of the Decomposed are slow to mid-tempo, groovy bops (and you already know that I like that!) with the legendary Jack Owen-style riffs. Great examples of this tone are “Migraine” and “The Noose.” They just ooze along, leaking bodily fluids, as the vocals tell a horrifying story. Then, there’s another style, here, like on “Blood of the Zombie” and “Self Imposed Death Sentence.” The rhythm progressions are layered, while harmonies (yes, harmonies!) and melodies (what?!!) fill out the song with a thick beating. And finally, the faster songs – “Amputator” and “Without Your Life” – are great examples of the technical skill of the band. The latter, in fact, combines all three elements – ooze, layered beatings, and technical pulverizing for one excellent song! As Barnes says in “Labyrinth of Insanity,” enjoy the ride! 

Track Listing:

  1. Amputator
  2. Zodiac
  3. The Rotting
  4. Death Will Follow 
  5. Migraine 
  6. The Noose 
  7. Blood of the Zombie 
  8. Self Imposed Death Sentence 
  9. Dead Girls Don’t Scream
  10. Drink Blood Get High 
  11. Labyrinth of Insanity 
  12. Without Your Life 

Favorite Songs: Amputator; The Rotting; The Noose; Without Your Life

Rating: 8.5/10 – a strong offering from Six Feet Under! 

What are some of your favorite songs?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album of the Week: Death – Spiritual Healing (1990)

30 years ago the best Death album (in my opinion) and one of the greatest Death Metal albums of all time (again, IMO) was unleashed onto the world! Spiritual Healing was originally released on Combat Records in February of 1990, and was reissued (with bonus material) on Relapse Records in November 2012. 

It was Death’s third studio album, following Scream Bloody Gore (1987) and Leprosy (1988). The lyrical content was a huge leap forward for Chuck Schuldiner (vocals; guitars); leaving behind the typical Death Metal topics for the more political themes of abortion, the ramifications of drug use, eugenics, and televangelism, etc. Schuldiner had an all-star line up on this record with Terry Butler on bass (Obituary; Massacre; Six Feet Under), James Murphy on lead and rhythm guitar (Obituary; Testament; Disincarnate), and Bill Andrews on drums (Massacre). 

Spiritual Healing is a truly amazing record; with heavy riffs, winding progressions of melody, classic Death Metal double bass, incredible solos, and Chuck’s undeniable tortured rasp of a voice! There is not a single wasted song, space, or bar on this one, folks! Its simply a must have in your collection, classic! I have a favorite song, here, but every one is a masterpiece! What else can I say?! You’ve got to give it a listen to believe it. And if you’ve heard it, then you already know. 

The original Combat Records release in ’90 contained: 

  1. Living Monstrosity 
  2. Altering the Future
  3. Defensive Personalities 
  4. Within the Mind
  5. Spiritual Healing 
  6. Low Life
  7. Genetic Reconstruction 
  8. Killing Spree 

Favorite Song: (as the Butcher Crew already know) Low Life

Rating: 10/10! Simply the perfect album! 

What are some of your favorite songs?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Miscellaneous

Spooky Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, its spooky season!!! Now, here in The Saw’s Butcher Shop, it’s always spooky season, but since October is the month where being spooky is culturally acceptable, let’s talk about some TV shows and movies that will get you into the spirit of Halloween! I watch scary tv shows and movies any time of the year but it’s especially great to watch when it is spooky season. They always get me into the Halloween spirit. I will be listing some of my favorite things to watch that are sure to have you singing “This is Halloween!” 

Movies: 

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas 
  • Corpse Bride 
  • Halloweentown 
  • Butterfly Kisses 
  • Any of the Saw movies 
  • Halloween
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Scream
  • House of 1000 Corpse
  • The Conjuring 
  • The Grudge
  • The Ring 
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Beetlejuice 
  • The Addams Family
  • The Shining 
  • Hereditary 
  • Midsommar 
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • The Exorcist 
  • Carrie 
  • Us
  • The Lodge 
  • The Nun
  • IT
  • Holidays 
  • Drag Me To Hell
  • Evil Dead 
  • Insidious 
  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe 

 TV Shows: 

  • American Horror Story
  • The Exorcist 
  • The Walking Dead 
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Goosebumps 
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 
  • Supernatural 
  • Ratched 
  • The Haunting of Hill House 
  • Two Sentence Horror Stories 

What are some of your favorite things to watch during Halloween?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Artist of the Week: Doja Cat

Doja Cat is one of my favorite artists at the moment. She is so unique and talented and has her own signature sound and style that makes her stand out from other artists. I found Doja Cat through my best friend. She absolutely loves her, and she showed me Doja Cat’s song, Casual. I instantly loved her voice and her vibe. She is a bad bitch and she knows it. When listening to Doja Cat, all of her songs have a different vibe. There is never a dull moment while listening to her because she always brings something new to the table. She experiments with different beats and her lyrical flow is impressive. And don’t get me started on her music videos… THEY ARE ICONIC!!!! She doesn’t do the basic type of music videos, she adds her own spin to it; whether that be being a cat (Rules) , in love with a robot (Cyber Sex), a ‘70s throwback (Say So), and looking so elegant while in a pool of milk (Streets). She is so creative and you can see that with her music, videos, and style. Not only do I love her music, but her content on Twitter and Instagram is hilarious! She is 100% herself and is unapologetic with it. 

Doja Cat (Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini) was born on October 21, 1995 and was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began making and releasing music on SoundCloud as a teenager. At the age of 17, she signed a joint record deal with RCA Records and Kemosable Records. Doja Cat achieved viral recognition for her music video, “Mooo!,” which is iconic, 10/10. She also gained attention with her songs on TikTok because of the dances that people would do to her songs. 

Discography: 

Amala (2018)

Hot Pink (2019) 

Favorite Songs: 

Say So

Rules

Streets

Tia Tamara

Juicy 

Freak

Casual 

Like That 

What are some of your favorite songs by Doja Cat? 

Stay Metal, 

THE SAW 

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Band of the Week: The Acacia Strain

The Acacia Strain (TAS) is an American metalcore band originally from Chicopee, Massachusetts, that formed in 2001. They are currently signed to Rise Records and have 10 full-length albums. The band first started with high school friends Vincent Bennett, Christopher Daniele, and Ben Abert. They were in a band called Septic Orgasm and they wanted to take their band to the next level and make the music more technical. Their friend, Daniel “DL” Laskiewics was to play both bass and guitar, but he received a shoulder injury playing football, so the band got their friend Daniel Daponde from Blood Has Been Shed to play guitar for them. Daponde brought a heavier and technical sound to the band, so when DL returned, they asked Daponde to stay, thus creating a three-guitar lineup.

TAS has been categorized as metalcore, but I think they are predominately deathcore due to their heavy tuned guitars, their technicality, and the vocals that are used. The band has been noted to include influences from sludge metal, doom metal, death metal, and some punk rock style aesthetic. By having three guitar players, it gave a signature blend of hardcore punk, death metal, and doom metal to develop a bone crushing sound. The band sees their sound as “hardcore-influenced metal” which I can hear when listening to their music. They have some absolute skull crushing riffs and vocals, but when mixing in some 2 step riffs and other hardcore contributions, it makes for a very unique style of music. Also, when seeing TAS live, the majority of the crowd are hardcore kids. They love them some TAS!!!

When looking at the lyrics of TAS songs, they are written by their lead vocalist, Vincent Bennett, and they are generally centered around misanthropy, nihilism, misogynistic and sexually deviant imagery. He usually uses metaphors to help get his points across while keeping the songs’ overall meaning open for interpretation.


Discography:

…And Life Is Very Long (2002)

3750 (2004)

The Dead Walk (2006)

Continent (2008)

Wormwood (2010)

Death Is the Only Mortal (2012)

Coma Witch (2014)

Gravebloom (2017)

It Comes In Waves (2019)

Slow Decay (2020)


Current Lineup:

Vincent Bennett (vocalist)

Kevin Boutot (drums)

Devin Shidaker (guitarist)

Griffin Landa (bass)

Tom “The Hammer” Smith, Jr. (guitarist)

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Classic Album Review

Album of the Week: Tash Sultana – Flow State (2018)

Since the release of Tash Sultana’s first debut album, Flow State, that was released in 2018, it has been on heavy rotation for me. This is by far one of my favorite albums because it is some soothing, relaxing, and enchanting music. When listening to this album, I get very tropical, hippie girl vibes (I know… The Saw actually likes the hippie aesthetic. Who knew?). I remember when I first heard this album. I was at my friend’s apartment and he was telling me about this new album that was released, and he started playing Flow State. I instantly fell in love with Sultana’s voice, lyrical content, and the way in which they structure their songs. When listening to the songs in the order that they are on the album, it has a great transition from starting off mellow (like the song Big Smoke), and then kicking things up a notch (like the song Murder To The Mind), and then bringing things back down to a more mellow vibe (like Free Mind). Sultana did this on purpose because it gives the listener the impression of what a live show would be like. Brilliant!!! The cool thing about Tash Sultana is that they play all of the instruments themselves on the record and live!

Sultana released Flow State on August 31, 2018 on their own label, Lonely Land Records. They spent parts of 2017 and 2018 writing and recording the album, and was working with Matt Corby and Anderson Paak. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2018, Flow State won the ARIA Award for Best Blues and Roots Album. At the J Awards of 2018, the album was nominated for Australian Album of the Year.

So, why did Sultana name their album Flow State? In an interview with Indierocks, Sultana said that the term, flow state, is a term to refer to when you access a part of your mind known as your being, and when you find something you are passionate about. I think the title Flow State fits perfectly for Sultana’s line in music. When watching them play live, they completely loose themselves in the music. They embody the music and make it a part of them. It is absolutely beautiful.

Favorite Songs:

Big Smoke, Murder To The Mind, Seven, Pink Moon, and Blackbird.

Rating:

10/10!!!!

What are some of your favorite songs off of Flow State?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Band/Artist Profile

Band of the Week: Kublai Khan

You wanna talk about ass beating music? Kublai Khan is THE band for me when I need a pick me up. This is what I call my “bad bitch” music. Any song by Kublai Khan will for sure make you bop your head and groove to the riffs. You would totally lose a try not to headbang, mosh, or dance, etc. if Kublai Khan is on there. Kublai Khan has the perfect blend of grooves and anger. You can hear the intensity and violence in Matt Honeycutt’s vocals. But mixed with a bouncy rhythm and chunky riffs, the overall essence of Kublai Khan is absolute (HA! See what I did there? Because of their new album? No? Okay). I just wanna dance when Kublai Khan comes on, it just makes me so happy!

I have seen Kublai Khan several times and seeing them live never gets old. Honeycutt is great with the crowd and that crowd… is something else. Everyone loses their minds when Kublai Khan hits the stage. It’s so hard not to! They make it so easy to jam. My first few times seeing Kublai Khan, they were touring with predominately metalcore bands, but later they started touring with more hardcore-esque and deathcore bands. I think this is because of their sound. At first, Kublai Khan had more of a metalcore feel, but soon transitioned to incorporating more hardcore and deathcore type riffs and vocals. I love their evolution because they have mastered their sound. Now, I know there is some debates about what qualifies as metalcore, hardcore, and deathcore, etc. but this is simply my opinion and how I hear the music. Music is subjective and can be interpreted differently by others. Even though some of the songs sound redundant because of the usual riffs and sound, they make their songs so groovy that I can’t help but play them all the time.

Discography:

Youth War (2010)

Balancing Survival & Happiness (2014)

New Strength (2015)

Nomad (2017)

Absolute (2019)


Favorite songs:

The Hammer, No Kin, High Hopes, Boomslang, Antpile, 8 Years, Beligerent, and Us & Them.

What are some of your favorite Kublai Khan songs?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

Categories
Playlists

Shut Up and Hand Me the Aux

With being a DJ, I get very excited when my friends hand me the aux chord. I love creating playlists and setting the vibe for a car ride. I usually let my friends have aux because I like listening to new music that I could find because of my friends. But when I get handed that aux… you know it’s on!

Below are the top 10 songs that I play depending on who I am with, the vibes I’m feeling, and something that will make my car ride not feel so long. When I am with my friends who listen to metal, I tend to play more metal songs. Majority of my friends do not listen to metal so it’s a good thing The Saw is diverse in all kinds of music!! I know when I have aux that I can play anything that I want, but I like for everyone in my car to enjoy what they are listening to. It’s the DJ in me!

Metal Up Your Ass:

1.    High Hopes – Kublai Khan

2.    Grotesque Impalement – Dying Fetus

3.    Nail in the Coffin – Bent Life

4.    Nothing Left – As I Lay Dying

5.    Brimstone – Whitechapel

6.    No Other Way – Boundaries

7.    Black Pill – Ingested

8.    Evisceration Plague – Cannibal Corpse

9.    Sire of Sin – Cryptoposy

10. Burning Blood – Six Feet Under


Dumb Bitch Hours

1.    He Say She Say – Mulatto

2.    15th and the 1st – Gucci Mane

3.    Cap A Lot – Fredo Bang

4.    Wood Worm – Noel

5.    Cabin Fever – Wiz Khalifa

6.    How U Luv Dat – Young Dolph

7.    Suge – Dababy

8.    Boogie – Brockhampton

9.    1800 – Snoop Dogg

10. A Lot – Isaiah Rashaad


~~Vibing~~

1.    Bootsy Bellows – Wiz Khalifa

2.    Special Affair – The Internet

3.    Amphetamine – Smino

4.    Why Worry – Isaiah Rashaad

5.    Rules – Doja Cat

6.    Diamond & Gold – Mac Miller

7.    South Beach – Ty Dolla $ign

8.    Murder To The Mind – Tash Sultana

9.    Egyptian Joint – Young Bull

10.Gosha – $not

What is in your aux playlist?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW