Aetherial Disturbs the Waters of Oblivion with New Album “The Still Waters of Oblivion”

The Still Waters Of Oblivion

Album review by William Dibble

Australia. Land of kangaroos, the vast deserts of The Outback, the Sydney Opera House, and death metal. Aetherial is a melodic death metal band hailing from Melbourne. They released their debut album, The Still Waters of Oblivion, on November 10th of this year. Their new album clocks in at twelve tracks and forty-seven minutes.


The Still Waters of Oblivion opens with the track “The Penitent Man”. Opening with a brutally screamed line, “The penitent man shall pass no more,” this track launches from a slow intro right into a devastatingly heavy guitar and drum riff. One of the notable things right off the bat is the fact that the vocals are very easy to understand, something that is sometimes lost with bands that use screams. This is no problem for Aetherial, as you can easily discern the words in every line of the song. “The Penitent Man” is followed by the blistering “Obscurus”. Where the previous song had a plodding, deliberate feel to it, “Obscurus” is fast, frenetic, and lethal. Right from the first second, it takes you on a journey of killer riffs and lead guitars. “The Fallen Will Mark The Way” continues this pace. One of the things that is remarkable about the first few songs, including “The Insignificance of Us”, is that they maintain a distinct individual sound. The style between songs is consistent, yet you don’t feel like you are listening to the same song over and over.

Ætherial Promo Hi Res

“Back to the Earth” gives an initial impression is a much slower song. Featuring a clean guitar and singing intro, it catapults you straight into a blastbeat-centric death metal song. “One of the Departed” sounds extraordinarily similar to “Back to the Earth” in structure, but features short bursts of relatively clean guitar sound throughout. While they may share similarities, they are two distinct songs. The next track mostly serves as an interlude, marking the halfway point of the album, before “Perpetual Night” begins. “Perpetual Night” is a powerful, heavy track that lets us know that Aetherial has no intention of slacking off during the closing half of their album. “We Who Know the Tempest” is not as strong of an entry as the prior songs. While it is still a great song, the song begins to feel overly long and repetitive by the end. That being said, it is by no means a bad song.


“Spirit Against the Flesh” is a shorter song with similarities to punk and hardcore. Coming in at track nine on the album, it offers a sudden and surprising change of pace and tone while keeping with Aetherial’s honed death metal style. “Three Poisons” and “The Unavoidable Conclusion” offer a crushing finale to a very potent album, closing out on notes just as heavy, if not heavier than, the opening songs.


It is difficult to believe that The Still Waters of Oblivion is the debut album of a relatively new band on the international scene. Aetherial’s initial offering offers callbacks in style and composition to early-era Gojira and Arch Enemy, two titans in the melodic death metal scene. Fans of death metal will certainly enjoy this work. It is easy to point to technical reasons to enjoy the album, too. The instruments are clearly separate and listenable, and the vocals are crystal-clear. The composition of songs and album are expert, showing finesse beyond what even some seasoned bands do. Pick up The Still Waters of Oblivion today!

CKY’s Jess Margera: New Record “The Phoenix” is a Rebirth and Return to Writing ‘Timeless’ Songs [Interview]

CKY have released “The Phoenix,” their first album in eight years, with guitarist Chad Ginsburg taking over vocal and frontman duties for the group, joined by Jess Margera (drums) and Matt Deis (bass), and signaling a rebirth of the band that has held a cult following for two decades.

Rei Haycraft was able to catch up with drummer Jess Margera as they performed on the HIM “Bang and Whimper” Farewell Tour at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC.


REI: Rei Haycraft here at the Fillmore Charlotte with the Jess from CKY! How’s your tour been thus far?
JESS: It’s been really good. Today’s a little rough. Like I was saying earlier, I’m kind of hungover, because Brent from Mastodon came to the Atlanta show last night, and that’s always a good time, but now… I’m paying the price.

REI: That’s awesome! Did he get up on stage with you guys for his solo?
JESS: No. We were talking about maybe doing the song that he’s on the record [“Days of Self-Destruction”] but he kind of just wanted to hang. He showed up a little late, and stuff, so we were like, alright just have a good time. We’ll party later.
REI: What was it like working with him on a song?
JESS: I actually was not there. We did the record and Rancho De La Luna … well we did most of the music there, and then Chad went back to his place in LA and cut the vocals, then he had to go to Henson Studios to record Brent’s solo, because, I guess Mastodon was mixing at Henson Studios, which is pretty funny. There’s probably an Elmo taping going on next door, or something.

REI: Eight years since the last CKY record. You’re probably getting a million questions about what is it like coming back after all that time and as a three-piece. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
JESS: I think it was really good to take a bunch of years off. You know, go mess around and do some solo projects, and stuff. Chad did a solo record. I did some stuff with the company band, which is a band I’m in with Neil Fallon from Clutch, and Jim Rota from Fireball, and Brad from Crew Manchu. So, that was fun. Yeah, after a few years, you get itchy and you’re like, “Alright, I gotta go back to home base. The band I’ve been in since high school.” It was pretty great getting back together with a new energy to the band, because we got pretty burnt out for a while.
REI: Do you feel like The Phoenix is a rebirth for CKY?
JESS: Absolutely. We kind of hit a wall, I guess 2009-ish, and we did that record Carver City, which it has its moment, but it’s kind of like CKY on steroids, and we just went completely over the top and focused more on creating a crazy sounding record versus writing super catchy songs. We really wanted to get back to writing good hooks, and catchy melodies, and timeless choruses. Like we used to do on Infiltrate, and stuff like that. More about the song, less about the, “Hey, look at me. I’m a good musician,” or whatever. You know musicians appreciated Carver City and stuff, because we went a little over the top with it, but at the end of the day, most people just want to hear a good song.

REI: The latest music video that came out was “Head for a Breakdown,” but that was tour footage, kind of compilation.
JESS: Yeah, that was kind of funny how that worked out. We were doing a UK tour, and then we were playing two nights at this place in London, and the Costa Sisters came out. We’d known them forever, and they were like, “Let’s film something.” We’re like, “What?” They’re like, “We’ll just follow you guys around London.” It worked out perfect, because we had a press day, and then pretty much everything got canceled because of the Arianna Grande thing [the Manchester bombing of 2016] happened right then, and so we just had all day to cruise around town. It’s kind of funny. I’ve been to London probably 20 times, but I’ve never done the whole thing. Like, went to see Parliament, London Bridge, and all that stuff.
REI: Did you see where Harry Potter was written?
JESS: I don’t think so. I went to a bunch of cool pubs, where William Shakespeare used to drink and stuff. I nerded out on a lot of stuff like that. I love old pubs. It’s funny, because right by my house in Pennsylvania there’s a 300-year-old pub that’s really cool, but over in England it’s like, “Yeah, this was built in 1210,” you’re like, “Holy shit, the Knights at the Roundtable and shit were drinking there probably.”
REI: It puts things in perspective for sure.
JESS: Yeah.

REI: Then your other music video for Replaceable, that’s a little bit more on the whacky fun side. What was that like to shoot?
JESS: Yeah, it was cool, but it was stressful because we had basically one day before we left for Warped Tour when we found a director and everything. It was like… we were just so busy putting the finishing touches on the album and they’re like, “You guys got to shoot a video for this,” and it’s like, “Well, we have Warped Tour coming up any day now,” so we just scrambled and found a director. Luckily, he was a somewhat local guy. We just made it happen. It all came together.
REI: What was the process like of shooting it with all of the actors, all the props and sets. Do you all have a big hand in that?
JESS: The director, Joffe, he hooked everything up and came up with the concept. We were going to try and maybe somewhat recreate that Phil Collins video where he just keeps firing directors and stuff, like, “hey, you’re replaceable.” We loosely based it on that, but made it our own as well.
REI: Did you keep the sock puppets?
JESS: I think, yeah, I think Chad has them maybe. Chad’s like really into puppets and … you know I’m sure he loved going to Henson to record Brent Hinds. He loves like the Muppets and stuff.
REI: That’s not where I thought that was going.
JESS: Yeah. I know. He came over to my house once. I have four kids. He was just armed with Muppet videos and stuff and was like, “Scarlotte, did you ever see Muppets Take Manhattan?”

REI: What song do you feel has been resonating the most with fans since the record came out?
JESS: I think “Head for a Breakdown.” That was my pick to go to radio with first. I guess a lot of other people saw it differently, so they went with “Replaceable,” but it’s funny, man, you could see as soon as we dropped that video it got … I think it’s up to 200,000 views already, or something. Only came out a week and a half ago. I’m stoked to see people really getting into that song, because probably one of my favorites off the record.

REI: What’s your favorite to play live?
JESS: I have a lot of fun with “Escape from Hellview.” We’re not doing it on this tour, but on our headliner shows, we wrote this whole intro before it kicks in. It’s super Stranger Things-y, John Carpenter-y. It’s fun. We only get a certain amount of time on this tour, so we kind of had to chop that, but yeah, that’s probably my favorite song to play live.

I kind of want to say The Phoenix is the album that should have came out after Infiltrate in my opinion. We kind of branched off on An Answer Can Be Found and Carver City, and tried new things. It was hit or miss. Some songs really clicked, and some were kind of whatever. Most people like the first two albums the most, and I feel like the new album is very on par with those. I feel like “Head for a Breakdown,” or something, could have came out with Infiltrate. It would have fit pretty well on that record in my opinion. It blends good, flows nice, and gets a great reaction every night.
REI: What do you hope that fans take away from this new album?
JESS: We really wanted to try something new, and we went to Rancho De La Luna in the desert, and Joshua Tree, because we’re huge fans of that whole scene, you know Kyuss and Queens of Stone Age, and Eagles of Death Metal, and stuff. The opportunity popped up to go there and record. I mean, it’s just such a one of a kind place. The amps. Everything about it. We were trying to make it sound like if Quincy Jones recorded an album at the place where Kyuss made Welcome to Sky Valley.
REI: I think I heard a quote where it said this album was “as if Quincy Jones had run amuck with CKY”?
JESS: Yeah. Somebody said that I was like, perfect. That’s completely accurate description of that because we love those bands … like stoner rock bands from the desert, and we like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson stuff, so try to blend that together somehow.

REI: What also would you like fans to know about the band or things for them to look forward to?
JESS: Well, we’re definitely going to keep touring and keep making records, much more faster pace than we have been. Yeah, those days are over of taken five years in between albums and stuff. We want to stay busy. We feel extremely fortunate that we still have a pretty impressive cult following after 20 years. Not every band can say that. We don’t take it for granted at all. It’s just really cool to come out here, and do tours with our friends. We’re going to UK with Skindred coming up. Really cool band that we’ve been friends with for a while. Now, we’re doing our own headlining tour in February and March. Yeah, it’s mainly just getting out there again, and touring, and letting people know we’re actually back for real this time.
REI: No more hiatus.
JESS: Yeah. Lots of apologizing. Damage repair or whatever. Half these clubs we’ve played it’s like, “Sorry about last time, man. I think we lit that couch on fire, or something backstage…. Sorry about that.” We’re not like that anymore. It’s been a lot of apologizing and repairing damaged relationships.
REI: In a good way, and giving people new music to boot.
JESS: Yeah.

REI: Do you have any last words of wisdom for fans back home?
JESS: Have a good time, all the time.
REI: Unless you’re burning couches.
JESS: Right. That’s a Viv Savage quote from Spinal Tap, of course—
REI: And, as a drummer it’s dangerous to quote Spinal Tap, because your own fate may hang in the balance.
JESS: I might implode on stage or something.
REI: Well, let’s hope that’s not the case, or else all of your promises of new records are going to go flat.
JESS: If I’m going to implode, it’ll probably be today, because I’m very hung over, but I just had a Hair of the Dog beer, and a bunch of coffee, so I feel a lot better now…. ’cause, this morning was rough.
REI: I’m sorry. [laughs] Well, thank you so much for taking time with us and have a fantastic set!
JESS: Absolutely. Right on. Thank you.

Welcome To Rockville 2018 Lineup Revealed!

Stone Temple Pilots Join Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville For Special Saturday Appearance; Wolf Alice, He Is Legend & Toothgrinder Added To Festival Lineup

Florida’s Biggest Rock Experience Expands To Three Days • Friday, April 27, Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29, 2018 • At Metropolitan Park In Jacksonville, FL

With Sets From Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters,
Avenged Sevenfold, Queens Of The Stone Age,
Along with Billy Idol, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Stone Sour & More
General Tickets, VIP Packages, Hotel & Camping Options On Sale Now

Stone Temple Pilots — who just debuted their new singer Jeff Gutt last night — have been added to the unparalleled music lineup for the eighth annual Monster Energy Welcome To RockvilleFriday, April 27Saturday, April 28 & Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, FL.

Florida’s Biggest Rock Experience grows to three days in 2018 with Foo FightersOzzy OsbourneAvenged SevenfoldQueens of the Stone AgeBilly IdolGodsmackStone Sour, and Five Finger Death Punch leading an incredible talent lineup not seen at any other U.S. rock festival. Other additions to this unprecedented rock experience—created by Jacksonville native Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents—include Toothgrinder (Friday), He Is Legend (Saturday), and Wolf Alice (Sunday).

The updated daily band lineups for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville are as follows:

  • Friday, April 27:

    Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, The Used, Parkway Drive, Underoath, Trivium, Atreyu, Power Trip, Texas Hippie Coalition, ’68, Toothgrinder, Palisades, While She Sleeps, Bad Wolves, Them Evils

  • Saturday, April 28:

    Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Temple Pilots, Hollywood Undead, Killswitch Engage, Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Andrew W.K., Avatar, Butcher Babies, Red Sun Rising, Joyous Wolf, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, He Is Legend, Stick To Your Guns, Palaye Royale, The Wild!

  • Sunday, April 29:

    Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, Clutch, Bullet For My Valentine, Thrice, Greta Van Fleet, Baroness, Quicksand, Red Fang, Wolf Alice, The Sword, The Bronx, Turnstile, The Fever 333, Black Foxxes, Fireball Ministry, Spirit Animal

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville tickets, VIP packages, as well as hotel and camping options are on sale now. Discounted online hotel rates are also available through Curadora. Visit for details. As in the past, General Admission ticket discounts are also available for active military through Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville partner GovX (

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville flyer with band lineup and venue details

As previously announced, for the first time, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville is offering car and RV camping spots for attendees. Camping spots at Tailgaters Parking lots include four nights of camping in a secured lot featuring indoor restrooms, shower trailers and access to a full restaurant and general store.

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville kicks off the annual World’s Loudest Month festival series and will also feature a variety of onsite experiences, including the Monster Energy Experience (featuring Monster Energy tastings and signings with select Rockville artists), The Music Experience (an interactive exhibit and musical instrument retailer), F.Y.E. Fan Experience (purchase your favorite album and get it signed by select Rockville artists), Zippo, and Take Me Home nonprofit animal rescue organization, among others.

Attendees will enjoy local and regional food favorites in the Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville “Grub” zone, while fans 21+ can wash down Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville‘s over-the-top food offerings with a variety of beverages, including selections from the Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Arizona resident Maynard James Keenan, co-founder of international recording acts TOOL, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer), Heavy Tiki Bar (an oasis filled with killer cocktails and shade), and local craft beer.

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville is fueled by Monster Energy. Additional 2018 sponsors include: The Music Experience, F.Y.E., Zippo, and more to be announced.

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, a producer of some of the biggest rock festivals in America, including Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Chicago Open Air, Bourbon & Beyond, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Northern Invasion and more. Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville kicks off the annual World’s Loudest Month festival series.

For more information on Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, visit:

Trivium and Arch Enemy are no Trivial Display of Power at Summit Music Hall

Trivium 31

Review and photography by William Dibble

Denver has many music venues, with several of them within a few blocks of each other. Summit Music Hall is one of the larger ones. The venue is located just blocks away from the Nuggets baseball stadium squarely within the center of Denver night life. Most shows are general admission, which includes access to an upstairs balcony section with plenty of room and a fantastic view. The lower floor has a huge area dedicated to merch to the right of the stage, with enough room for several bands to host their merch comfortable while fans line up. Over on the left of the stage is a small dining area and window, from which you can buy pizza and hamburgers. There’s a second, smaller stage near the bar, situated near the entrance of the venue. Tonight’s show promised to be crowded – Summit Music Hall was reporting that it was sold out.

The venue was already filling up even before any of the bands had taken the stage. They’d posted the night’s time schedule next to the door on the way in. Fit For An Autopsy was scheduled to open the night around 6:30pm. Right on time, the metal tracks went quiet, and the lights dimmed. Sometimes, you get shows where the opening bands are relatively new to touring and the stage, and while their music is fantastic, their stage presence is not as notable as the headliners. Tonight is an exception. Each of the four bands are seasoned veterans. Fit For An Autopsy took over the stage right away. They only had thirty minutes, but they made the best of it.

They opened up with two tracks from The Great Collapse, “Hydra” and “Heads Will Hang” before going further back in their discography to play “Absolute Hope Absolute Hell”. While their set was only six songs long, they smashed their way through it energetically. There was no lag between the opening acts and the headliners here- the crowd was energized from the very first moment. All too soon, their set finished, and they were packing up the stage.

It took only fifteen minutes to get their gear off stage and the next band started. Like a well-oiled machine, While She Sleeps was ready to go right on schedule. Like the other bands on tour, they were supporting a new album. They opened with the title track from You Are We, before playing mostly new songs and two older songs. Hailing all the way from Sheffield, England, they were ready to throw down with the Denver crowd. At one point, the singer even climbed into the crowd, riding atop the hands of adoring fans, before closing out with the new song “Hurricane”.

Despite being a changeover of the entire stage from the two supporting acts to one of the two headliners, the stage was ready to go in just fifteen minutes again. Arch Enemy was up next, and they hit the stage like an explosion. The crowd was ready before they’d even started playing “The World Is Yours”. Alissa White-Glutz, who joined the band on their last studio album as well as new release Will to Power, absolutely owns the stage. Not once did her energy flag through their monstrous seventy-five minute setlist, comprised of fifteen songs. Relative band newcomer Jeff Loomis, formerly of Nevermore, fit right in with the Swedish death metal. They drove through a powerful mix of new and old songs, with Alissa showing off her ability to both belt out the songs she’d recorded on, as well as the classics from the band’s other singers. It was clear within moments why Arch Enemy was one of the legendary staples of death metal. Despite having a set well over an hour long it felt like they were leaving the stage almost as soon as they’d come onto it, closing out with “Nemesis”. They left Trivium, the co-headliner, with a lot to live up to, between their honed stage show and their costuming and lights.

Trivium, however, was not about to be upstaged. Trivium’s Matt Heafy may not have an elaborate jumpsuit and costume like Alissa, but he doesn’t need it to command a powerful stage presence. Where Arch Enemy feels both welcoming and imposing, Trivium feels like they’re there to have a great time together with the audience. They opened with the new song “The Sin and the Sentence”, followed by “Down From the Sky” from 2008’s Shogun album. Similar to their co-headliner, they played a wide range of old and new material. Part of what makes Matt’s stage presence so endearing and unique is that he frequently flashes the most friendly, happiest smiles at the audience. At one point, he stopped mid-song. “Are you okay?” he asked, gesturing out to the mosh pit. “I saw you fall. You looked like- Oh you’re okay? Cool! I want to make sure everyone’s having fun.” Trivium had an absolutely amazing set, and was great fun to watch.

Summit Music Hall is a fantastic venue. The sound quality there is absolutely impeccable. Whether you were getting pizza and drinks at the food window, or buying merch, or in the back at the bar, sound is both loud and clear. It never feels muddy or distorted. There is a lot of space for moving around, and two wide stairs to the upper floors. This becomes important at bigger shows, especially sold out ones like this one. The stairs happen to be great viewing stations overlooking the stage at an angle. In fact, you can see that angle from some of our shots. The railings can become decently crowded, so it is important that there is still room to navigate up and down the stairs. There are restrooms both next to the stage and near the entrance.

All four bands are touring in support of new albums. Fit For An Autopsy just released The Great Collapse. While She Sleeps released You Are We, with one song featuring Oli Sykes. Arch Enemy’s Will to Power is available as well, and Trivium recently released The Sin and the Sentence. All albums are available from Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and other music distributors!

You can view the complete set of photographs from the show here: 11-17 Summit Music Hall

The Arson Choir Won’t Be Convicted of Arson with EP “Trophy Nation”

trophy nation cover

Album review by William Dibble, images provided by The Arson Choir

In the last five years, the hardcore scene has truly exploded. Many bands have found unique sounds or niches to fill, and many more found other things to differentiate them. Genre-leaders Converge and Zao consistently produce powerful tracks with amazing instrumental work and fantastic vocals. Bands like Sharptooth and Stray From the Path offer uncompromising songwriting combined with strong political viewpoints. Dillinger Escape Plan made a name for themselves with eclectic rhythms and constantly-changing time signatures and sounds. Newcomers to the scene The Arson Choir have just released their EP, Trophy Nation, last month. Consisting of members of several other musical projects from both LA and Chicago, they promise a truly unique and powerful take on hardcore.

The Arson Choir describes their album as an audio assault from beginning to end. This is an accurate description. The first track, “Just the Tip”, immediately launches into a frantic riff with screamed vocals. Their bio document says that the song is about self destruction, and the chaotic sound of the song can certainly be said to embody that. “Tracker Jacker” is notably more coherent in sound and construction, and borrows its name from the Hunger Games book series. In both of these songs, the screams are the most powerful part of the vocal tracks. The sound of the chorus is very similar to the late 2000’s and early 2010’s metalcore movement, especially reminiscent of the clean vocals of later work by All That Remains.

Thrive Artist Agency - The Arson Choir 8

Track three, “White Girls”, has very powerful and consistently good guitar riffs and drumming. Unfortunately, the half-screamed half-clean vocals clash heavily with the sound of the rest of the song when the lyrics aren’t being outright screamed. The song’s breakdowns work well, but there are parts of the song that don’t mesh well with the rest. There is a spoken word section near the end that sounds like it was part of an entirely separate composition. There are parts of this album that are pretty good- but “White Girls” is not the album’s strongest song. It is followed up by “ABQ Blue”, which is possibly the album’s strongest track. It has stellar vocals, combined with lethally heavy instruments and breakdowns.

“Knife Me For It” is a close contender with “ABQ Blue” for best track on the album. A blistering hardcore piece, this sounds more like the bands that inspired their work. It switches between yelled and screamed vocals without ever making you feel like you lost your place in the song, or feeling like the vocals came from another song. The album closes out with “Lot Lizard”, a frantic and blistering track that follows in the footsteps of the prior two tracks. This song is a good choice to close out the album, finishing on a strong note.

The Arson Choir sets out some pretty high expectations, talking down about djent and metal in Los Angeles, and talking about how hard it was for them to find a vocalist that fit their needs. They set out to reproduce a sound similar to bands like Every Time I Die, The Chariot, and Eighteen Visions. In the latter half of the album, they effectively do that, setting down three powerful and blasting tracks. The mastering on the album is excellent, and each instrument and the singer are always easy to hear. The song names are also clearly inspired by older bands within the genre, similar to tracks from ETID and DEP. Those nostalgic for a day when the genre was ruled by testosterone and song names that you weren’t-quite-sure-are-ironic will enjoy that aspect. While it may not be groundbreaking, Trophy Nation is not necessarily a EP you should skip. Pick it up at their bandcamp page today!

Long Live the Spirit of Tour Life — Exclusive Interview with A LIGHT DIVIDED

Interview by Rei Haycraft at The Milestone in Charlotte, NC.

We caught up with Winston-Salem, NC native rockers A LIGHT DIVIDED as they set out on the “Long Live The Flame Tour,” their ninth regional tour and their first run through the Mid-Atlantic to talk about tour life, their forthcoming album, and some of their best (and worst) tour memories!

Learn more about A Light Divided by following them on Facebook, Reverbnation, Spotify, YouTube, and at their official website at


Smoke From All the Friction isn’t just making smoke in new single “The Clumsiest Waltz”


Review by William Dibble, images and video by Smoke From All the Friction

The music scene in Raleigh, NC, is a vibrant and diverse place. While it may feel like the metal scene gets all the press coverage, there are a number of artists in other genres. Smoke From All The Friction is one such artist. SFAtF is a indie rock band that combines elements of dark pop, rock, and electronic music that was born from the minds of two talented musicians.

Smoke From All the Friction has an established hit single, “Cross & Tattoo,” that plays on several local radio stations. “Cross & Tattoo” is a rhythmic and soothing track that is easy on the ears. It combines soft electronic beats with a soft, clean vocal track. It is a bit heavy on bass, but that mostly serves to emphasize the tempo and rhythm. If you were to take the band Owl City and combine it with indie rock elements, you would have a rough idea of what to expect from this track in the best possible way.

Their new single, “The Clumsiest Waltz”, opens with a combination of vocalizations and piano. The song focuses not on love, or coming of age, in a direct sense, but more about one aspect of relationships. Smoke From All the Friction discusses and covers the fact that two people may not meet all of each other’s needs and expectations, and also that this is okay. “The Clumsiest Waltz” is musically appropriate to this theme, as well. It is soft and poignant, and almost has an ambient feel to it. A person could easily visualize a relationship-themed montage as they are listening. This ambient feel also applies to the drums, and continues through the end of the song. It is a mesmerizing and fantastic track.

As far as local pop and electronic bands go, Smoke From All the Friction is definitely one to keep an eye on. The leveling and mastering in the tracks keeps each instrument easily separated from the others, allowing you to enjoy both the instrumental aspects and the vocals without struggling to listen. This is something that is not always achieved by groups, with the vocals sometimes getting lost in electronic beats, so it is definitely an achievement. Pick up their music on ReverbNation today!