Concert Review – Sons of Apollo @ Music Factory, Battle Creek, Michigan + Videos + Pics…

Concert Review – Sons of Apollo

The Music Factory, Battle Creek, Michigan – February 17th, 2018

Review by Eric Layhe 

Photos by Eric Layhe & Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler


Speaking as a fan of Progressive Metal, this show was basically a dream come true.

On a chilly February night in Battle Creek, Michigan, a seemingly endless crowd of people representing nearly every age demographic (albeit almost entirely male) crammed themselves into a fairly small music venue for the opportunity to see a group of veritable giants of the music industry play- but more on that later. The night consisted of three musical groups, each of a different distinct sort of progressive metal. As we entered the venue, the stage was packed with instruments, including two normal-sized drum sets and Mike Portnoy’s drum kit, which is so ridiculously large it should have its own zip code and no fewer than five keyboards including a full-sized Wurlitzer Organ.

This jam-packed stage presented something of a challenge for the first act, Dark Trilogy. Dark Trilogy are an instrumental, progressive metal band from South Bend, Indiana with (rather fittingly) three members. Nevertheless, they seemed a bit cramped on the already jam-packed stage setup. That said, I have to say that they made the most of it, delivering a short but well-crafted setlist consisting mostly of shredding prog that gave each member more than enough opportunity to showcase their considerable talents, the peak of which was an excellent drum solo featuring entertaining theatrics and an impressive display with LED drumsticks!!

After a relatively quick reprieve between bands and the removal of one drum set, second act Sifting took the stage. Sifting are a Progressive Metal band from Los Angeles, California. Sifting, the touring opener, has a very radio-friendly but still proggy sound, as if Avenged Sevenfold took some songwriting lessons from Claudio Sanchez of Coheed & Cambria. From the first note, it was immediately apparent why Sons of Apollo chose Sifting to tour with them; While they are indeed a young band, they have immense talent, expertly blending complex guitar work with classically-influenced songwriting and well-executed vocal harmonies.

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After the clearing of one more drum set, finally leaving enough room for a band to perform, Sons of Apollo took the stage, and they did not disappoint. For the uninitiated, Sons of Apollo is a Supergroup, comprising of former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, Mr. Big Bassist Billy Sheehan, Former Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and former Journey vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. This virtuoso pedigree made itself apparent right out of the gates with their album’s opener, “God of the Sun.”  The band transformed and contorted with incredible aptitude to fit each and every song from their epic album “Psychotic Symphony”, including several covers (see below). In Sons of Apollo’s case, each member (debatably barring Portnoy) had an entire song peppered throughout the setlist to showcase their world-class talents.

Band Pic_Good


Sheehan and Sherinian each had an original (and possibly improvised) solo section for each of the two, while Thal had a beefed-up cover of Henry Mancini’s famous theme to “The Pink Panther” and Soto had given himself the previously-thought-to-be-impossible feat of covering Queen. He began by mimicking the now-famous call and response schtick popularized by Freddy Mercury and then transitioned into a downright exquisite cover of Queen’s deep track “Save Me”, tastefully backed by Thal on guitar.


Re-sized Singer_Drummer

The aspect of the show that was most impressive was just how comfortable Sons of Apollo felt with each other on their very first tour. The entire group, even the famously stoic Derek Sherinian, were smiling like goofballs through the entire set, and were playfully joking with each other throughout the show, with special mention going to the mesmerizingly energetic Jeff Scott Soto. Most important, they were clearly having the times of their lives, and if you want to as well, do not miss Sons of Apollo on their continuing tour.

Re-Sized_Singer_Guitarist Singing


Sons of Apollo Set list:

  1. God of the Sun
  2. Signs of the Time
  3. Figaro’s Whore
  4. Divine Addiction
  5. Just Let Me Breathe (Dream Theater Cover)
  6. Labyrinth
  7. Bass Solo
  8. Lost in Oblivion
  9. Prophet’s Song (Queen Cover)
  10. Save Me (Queen Cover)
  11. Alive
  12. The Pink Panther Theme (Henry Mancini Cover)
  13. Opus Maximus
  14. Keyboard Solo
  15. Lines in the Sand (Dream Theater Cover)
  16. And the Cradle Will Rock… (Van Halen Cover)
  17. Coming Home

Music Video Premier!! Electric Age’s “Silent King” Lyric Video…

Music Video World Premier!!

Taste Nation is Honored to Premier Louisiana’s Electric Age’s New Lyric Video “Silent King” from their Acclaimed Debut Album “Sleep of the Silent King” on Italy’s Argonauta Records. 

The Video was edited & mixed by Gryphus Visual!!  


Sleep of the Silent King_album cover


Additional Information and Links:
Electric Age – “Silent King” From Album “Sleep of the Silent King”

Electric Age:


Argonauta Records:…

Black Space Riders Releases New EP “Amoretum Vol. 1” – New Video + Links!!

Black Space Riders

Video Feature:   Another Sort of Homecoming

Amoretum Vol. 1 – Vinyl // CD // DD

Release Date: January 26, 2018



Amoretum_Album Cover



German Riffonauts BLACK SPACE RIDERS will release new EP Amoretum Vol. 1 on January 26, 2018. The LP can be pre-ordered on all digital platforms, including Bandcamp, as well as at

The album flows from song to song as if from a single cast. The listener wonders after 45 minutes whether everything is really already over, and wants to go back to the beginning again immediately.

But of course everything is not over after 45 minutes in the world of BLACK SPACE RIDERS. The band also announces a second chapter for 2018 … Amoretum Vol. 2 is waiting for us, while we are looking forward to Amoretum Vol 1.

Track List:
Lovely Lovelie
Another Sort of Homecoming
Soul Shelter (Inside of Me)
Come and Follow
Friends Are Falling
Fire! Fire! (Death of a Giant)
Fellow Peacemakers

JE: Lead Vocals, Guitars, Organ, Piano, Electronics
SEB: Lead vocals, Keyboards, Electronics
C.RIP: Drums, Percussion, Didgeridoo
SLI: Guitars
SAQ: Bass Guitar
MEI: Bass Guitar

Distribution partners:
Germany/Austria/Switzerland: Cargo Records

USA/ Canada:  MVD Entertainment

UK:  PHD (plastichead distribution)

BeNeLux:  Suburban records

Scandinavia: Border Music

Italy: Goodfellas

Frozen Planet…1969 – Featured Video Teaser + 1st Single – New Album…

Frozen Planet…1969

From The Centre of a Parallel Universe – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Headspin Records // Pepper Shaker Records – August 30th, 2017


From the Centre of a Parallel Universe_Album Cover


Frozen Planet…1969 have a new album being released on The 30th of August. “From The Centre Of A Parallel Universe” will be available on 12 inch vinyl through Headspin Records.  Available in Black and Orange Splatter Vinyl and black vinyl at Shiny Beast Music Mail-Order in Europe. The digital, compact disc and vinyl will also be available through the band’s own Pepper Shaker Records Bandcamp Page.

Frozen Planet…1969 has returned from their Space travels of an unknown universe somewhere between Saturn and Mars.  They have returned and reported back their findings through their new release “From The Centre of a Parallel Universe.  Their findings are nothing less than than stellar.   Enjoy the first of their Chronicles……


Video of the Day – Electric Age’s ‘Robes of Grey’….


Sleep Of The Silent King – CD / DD

Argonauta Records – releases February 27, 2017


We here at Taste Nation LLC love the band Electric Age so much we decided to revisit and showcase them once again.  This time in the form of a featured video ‘Robes of Grey.’  This is one of the many killer tracks from the band’s stellar debut concept album “Sleep Of The Silent King” on Argonauta Records.”

In case you missed our review back in February of this year, here is a blurb from our writer Ric “Suiyko” Dorr:

“From the deep South, southern Louisiana to be exact, the birthplace of sludge-metal, comes this hybrid of all things resonating traditional metal, elements of folk / blues / stoner / doom / progressive, and a pure rock dynamic to morph it all into this, the debut offering from this three piece named ELECTRIC AGE. While this is the first release from this line-up as a unit, I was informed directly that these seasoned players have decided to forgo sharing their collective pedigree to let this album stand on its own merits in the here and now. After taking it in, I believe they have created something amazing that can indeed stand tall as an accomplishment of songwriting, musicianship and something that has been so lacking as of late in American metal; the art of storytelling. Dripping with the archetypal concepts of good, evil and the divine throughout this sojourn, the band states that this is “A conceptual and mythological journey through the threshold of time and consciousness, into the heart of darkness and divinity, through death and redemption, and finally into the inexorable void.” So, not just another “Wankfest” but actually thinking-man’s metal?? The pulse quickens…”


Sleep of the Silent King_album cover


Read the rest of the review here:

Album Review – Electric Age “Sleep Of The Silent King”

Links to buy the album and Connect with this Power trio from the Deep South…..Louisiana!!
Available on Augonauta Records February 2017


Robes of Grey shot by Mike Holderbeast with Cement Level Studios – NOLA.

Audio recorded by Jason Ogle

Music mixed and Mastered by Zuess

Featuring Kyle Thomas(Trouble, Exhorder, Alabama Thunderpussy). Special thanks to Caro Bab and Renee Thomas for being awesome

Tau Cross Releases New Video ‘Deep State’ from New Album “Pillar of Fire”…

Tau Cross

Deep State – Vinyl // CD // DD

Relapse Records – released July 21, 2017 


Pillar of Fire_Album Cover


TAU CROSS, the multinational punk/heavy metal collective featuring Amebix bassist/frontman Rob “The Baron” Miller, Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin, and members of cult crust outfits Misery and War // Plague, has announced their second full-length album, Pillar Of Fire, due out July 21st on CD, Double LP, and digital formats via Relapse Records.

Comments TAU CROSS on the new album: “Pillar Of Fire is the continuation of some of the ideas that were explored on our first album. This time we have managed to share the songwriting more equally and introduce some other textures to the songs. This should help to establish TAU CROSS as less of a one-off phenomenon and more of an ongoing musical collective producing our own distinctive sonic environment.”

Pillar Of Fire was recorded across three different countries and co-produced by “The Baron” in the same manner as their eponymous debut. The drums were tracked in Montreal, guitars in Minneapolis, bass in Seattle and Minneapolis, and vocals on the Isle Of Skye in Scotland.

Physical preorders and exclusive bundles are currently available via at THIS LOCATION. Digital preorders are available via Bandcamp HERE.

Pillar Of Fire further expands the group’s unique musical approach ranging from dark folk witchery to industrial punk metal brutalism; a moody melting pot of Killing Joke’s metallic post-punk and Motörhead’s anthemic, hard rock with flourishes of traditional instrumentation and an infusion of 16th century English mysticism. Pillar Of Fire is a musical unearthing of TAU CROSS‘ philosophical preoccupations: mythological motifs, ultra-terrestrial hypotheses, surreal, social political landscapes, and the endless search for meaning in a controlled universe.



Rob “The Baron” Miller – bass/vocals
Andy Lefton – guitar
Jon Misery – guitar
Michel “Away” Langevin – drums
Tom Radlo – bass
James Adams – keyboards


THE BUZZARDS OF FUZZ To Release New Single [Streaming]; To Play 828 Rockfest II

Atlanta’s swaggering smooth alternative rockers The Buzzards Of Fuzz are preparing to release a new single “You Never Bring Me Any Flowers” b/w “How Could You?” on July 15th. The band’s laid back, heady demeanor is a real blues-infused treat for rock fans as evidenced by the Soundcloud embedded streams of the songs below. They serve as the The Buzzards Of Fuzz first new material since their critically acclaimed debut EP Buzzard Custard was released.

In related news, The Buzzards Of Fuzz were recently named as one of the many bands that will perform at Asheville, North Carolina’s “Only Real Rock N Roll Music Festival”: the 828 Festival 2! The latest round of this event sees it growing to encompass three stages at The Boilerroom, Scandals and Club Eleven. It all happens in AVL on Sunday September 17th, 2017 from 2pm-2am. Find more info and details here.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

828 Fest

RESCUE RANGERS To Release ‘Join Hate’ In September; Streaming New Song

September 1st, 2017 will see the eagerly awaited release of the third studio album, titled “Join Hate“, from the French rock band Rescue Rangers. The album was produced by none other than Page Hamilton (Helmet) and will be issued via F200 Records. The band is sharing the new song “Khalil” today, a song that firmly unveils the band’s tight, melodically appealing style. Join Hate is sure to be an out-and-out treat for fans of heavy rock and electrifying song writing. Ballsy, voluminous and best of all stacked with promise, for anyone just discovering the band it’s an ear opener, and for those already in the know, a real statement on just how far they have progressed since day one.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Track Listing:

1. Join Hate
2. Khalil
3. Moped Synch
4. Choke
5. Malcontent
6. Treading Water
7. Repetition
8. Vibe Hotel
9. Keep Smiling
10. Broken Faces
11. Tiger
12. Join Hate (Reprise)

THE NEW ROSES To Release ‘One More For The Road’ In August; Video Premiere

Wiesbaden, Germany-based 4-piece, The New Roses, are about to return with their brand new album, One More For The Road, set to be released on August 25th via Napalm Records. The 11 song (14 with the special edition with bonus tracks) album is a bluesy ode to melodic rock, one rife with Eighties overtones and southern rock styling. You can check out that style and sound via the band’s brand new Official Video for the song “Every Wild Heart” below.

The band comments: “One More For The Road is 100% New Roses, straight in your face rock’n’roll, no compromises, based on the experiences of the countless shows we played over the last year, dedicated to our great live audience. We can’t wait to play it live on our upcoming tour, because these songs were written for a hot stage, a loud crowd and a kick ass rock’n’roll band!

Available on CD, LP Gatefold or as Digital Download, you can pre-order ‘One More For The Road‘ right HERE!

In support of their new album, The New Roses will be of course heavily touring this year again! The “One More For The Road” tour, presented by Rock Hard, Rocks, EMP,, Tätowier Magazine and Stormbringer, as well as Radio B.O.B. and Star FM, will kick off on September 29th in Aschaffenburg, Germany. You can find all of the band’s upcoming tour dates at this location.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

One More For The Road tracklist:

1. Quarter To Twelve
2. My Own Worst Enemy
3. Forever Never Comes
4. Dancing On A Razor Blade
5. Consider Me Gone
6. Life Ain’t Easy (For A Boy With Long Hair)
7. Every Wild Heart
8. Fight You Leaving Me
9. The Same Moon
10. Piece By Peace Of Mind
11. One More For The Road
12. Do I Look Scared To You [Bonus Track]
13. The Storm [Bonus Track]
14. Nitro Nights [Bonus Track]