Wednesday, September 06, 2006

8/22-23/2006 - Black Earth, WI

Able I was, 'ere I saw Black Earth, WI. I'll bet you'd like to know how this city got its name. I sure would. Unfortunately, I can't find that information on line. Not even in Wikipedia.

What I can determine is that Black Earth has about 2,200 people in it (700 in the smaller Black Earth Village). Many of them are married. Some of them wish you to read the notes from the last town meeting.

Well, dear readers, I am going to have to punt. Here is what I did find on line about "Black Earth:"

Formed in 1999 and based in The Midwest, Black Earth set out on a challenge: bring back the attitude of 70's and 80's hard rock/metal and add the aggression and grist of today’s nu metal – without sounding dated."Look at the differences in the bands that the tributes are for," says guitarist Travis Crider. "Pantera sounds nothing like Queensryche. Suicidal Tendencies sounds nothing like Dio, and so on. I think that being able to cover this vast spectrum of bands, and do it well, shows how diverse we can be with our original music."

What they produce is an unrelenting force of hard rocking sound that screams allegiance to the metal heroes of days gone by with the kind of crunch that is unmistakably contemporary. Their four-song demo provides a handful of examples. In each, the rhythms are the driving pulse ("Down") that carry an emotive and often demanding vocal intensity ("Together We Stay").

Along with Crider, Black Earth is and Dale Christie (vocals), Duane Conn (bass), Brian Tonne (drums) and Craig Savage (guitar). The band's versatility and diverse influences are clearly intertwined with each other. All of Black Earth's songs come from the heart. The lyrics usually come from the darker side of life experiences -- what they've felt at a certain time: loss, gain, decline of the western civilization -- you name it. The band doesn't sit down with the intention of writing a song that sounds one way or another. In the end, the songs are the feelings of five guys crafted into a single statement.That statement says metal didn’t start with the nu-metal band's of today – but with many bands before, through many other heydays. Black Earth keeps that in mind with every versatile step. "

Hey, it's not every town in Wisconsin that rates its own Heavy Metal band.

36,000 head-banging steps on these two days. Cheers,


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