Another Round Bar and Grill – Richmond, VA

This was a Tuesday night show and there was another, competing show across town, so the crowd was not what we might have hoped to pull otherwise. The good thing is the crowd we had were glad to be there and wanted to see these bands play. It was also $1 soft taco night, so I got myself stuffed for a miniscule fee. I will always celebrate inexpensive food, especially if they are tacos. I’m old enough to remember when Taco Bell had 39 cent tacos. For $20 you could get a six pack of tacos and a case of beer. Here’s to the good old days…. This was a great night of food and an even better night of music. Keep reading to see why.


Band Members:

  • Kristin Lewis – Female Vocals
  • Cole Coleman – Male Vocals
  • Curtis Lewis – Guitars/Harsh Backing Vocals
  • Rendell Gary – Guitars/Backing Vocals
  • Daniel Vieth – Bass
  • Matthew Patrick – Drums


  1. Origin
  2. Atoms
  3. Shadows
  4. Of The Storm
  5. Seven Gathering

I ended up spending a lot of time talking to Curtis and Kristin Lewis, the husband and wife duo who built this project. Together with Rendell, they are the longest standing members of the band. Everyone else is new and this iteration of the band is only a month old. Cole is a whopping 18 years old and learned four songs just for this show, though I do hope he might consider sticking around as he seems to fit well. Arkaza welcomed the chat and even told me they were looking forward to hearing what I thought of the music. Little did they know I would be taking notes, though they did find that out.

The show was a little rough around the edges, but what do you expect for a first live gig with a band who have only been playing together for one month? Despite those few little hiccups, the show was a lot of fun to watch. I found out they submitted a song to some weird service that determined they are mostly Doom as far as genre goes. AI does not know how to classify Metal. There, I said it. They do have Doom elements, but that is not the base of their sound. They shift back and forth from Rock to Metal hanging mostly within the Alternative and Progressive genres. That is where they really shine.

Cole’s voice was more aggressive, but not harsh or distorted, with a lot of Melodic and even Folk intonations depending on the lyrics. Kristin’s vocals are haunted and ethereal with folk stylings. There is a darkness to their tones that is appealing and fits the music beautifully. I don’t know if they are going to recruit Cole permanently, but I would support that decision. Kristin also provides a lot of ethereal vocalizations to enhance the music that is being played. After the show, the only thing I really wanted to see them do is to bring Kristin forward physically on stage and in the mix. She is not a backing vocalist, so should be on the level as the male vocals.

Rendell is a freaking amazing guitarist. He can shred, he can play melodic interludes, he can riff like crazy. Curtis tends to work the riffs and rhythms more, allowing Rendell to spiral off into some unique, creative areas. Daniel and Matthew were locked in with the bass and bass drum connected very well for only having worked together for one month. The drumming leaned heavily into Tech/Prog stylings, using some interesting tempo shifts to give the songs more character. There were Tribal rhythms built in to some songs and the intro to the instrumental “Seven Gathering” had one of the better builds I’ve heard in recent times.

Arkaza has room to improve. They are also actively asking for help on how to do that. I had so much fun chatting with them, discussing what I thought they did well and what they could improve. This is a band looking to take their music to the next level and I have no doubt they will do just that. They have a new song, “Origin,” coming out May 7. They were kind enough to send me the track ahead of time and I can tell you it will worth listening to.

Spiral Fracture

Band Members:

  • Javier Ramos – Vocals
  • David Givens – Guitars
  • Brian Tanner – Bass
  • Brian Fisher – Drums


  1. Derelicts Of Delusion
  2. Soul Allegiance
  3. Defiance
  4. Scars
  5. Decapitated Lies
  6. Chasm
  7. Burning
  8. Ctr Alt Del
  9. Doldrums
  10. Relentless Dissonance

The poor drummer for this band ended up playing two shows on the same day within two hours of each other at two different venues. It’s a good thing he can handle it. Spiral Fracture is more of a Heavy Metal band than the rest of the groups on this bill, which had more Progressive Rock and Metal to them. Spiral does have a few Progressive elements mixed into their music, so they fit, they were just the heaviest of the four bands.

David is a lot of fun to watch. He doesn’t wander the stage or anything, nor doe she do magic tricks or anything, but his fingers are magical. He has some great Melodic riffing and his hammer-on technique during one solo is beautifully fluid and rhythmic. Brian Tanner on bass ranges from Funk to Prog to Melodic Power Metal. He can fly through tempo changes without missing a beat, he can just noodle out a tune that will drop your jaw, or he can link up with the drums and set a blistering, almost Thrash/Hardcore pace to deliver you something heavy and epic.

Javier controls the backing tracks and samples that lead from one track to another. They have designed those to take the audience from one song to the next and keep the mind engaged while shifting to the track you are about to hear. The samples hold your attention and keep you at the edge of you seat or on your toes, depending on where you are in the venue (I’m old, so I have to sit a lot). Javier uses his higher register for most of the vocals, hanging out in upper chest and head voice. Some of his vocal deliveries use uncommon patterns, giving them an almost Funk feel to the delivery while sticking to the Heavy Metal tone. It’s an impressive feat.

Spiral Fracture is one of those bands with a wide array of influences that comes through the music. If you listen carefully, you will hear the Progressive, Hardcore, Thrash, Funk, Power, and Melodic Metal tones woven into the songs. For me, this is a killer blend of sounds that strike many different chords within my Heavy Metal brain and I love hearing it live because it carries a lot of power.

Pyramid Theorem

Band Members:

  • Samuel Ermellini – Vocals/Guitars
  • Giovanni Campanelli – Keyboards
  • Christian Di Mambro – Bass/Vocals
  • Vito De Francesco – Drums


  1. Under Control
  2. Highway Star (Deep Purple cover)
  3. Closer TO The End
  4. Tornado
  5. Toxic Holocaust
  6. Lifeline

I learned about Pyramid Theorem a couple of years ago. I bought the CDs and decided I love their brand of Technical Progressive Metal. Imagine my pleasure finding out they were going to play at my favorite club! I got there early and had some fun speaking to the band members. When I mentioned I already owned their CDs, they were almost surprised as they are more popular in Finland than America. Go figure, Canadian Progressive Metal plays better in Europe than the US. It’s too bad, though. These guys are amazing musicians.

Vito is an excellent drummer. He plays in a very Technical/Progressive style, shifting patterns and phrases frequently, using drum pads to cue in additional tones and using tubular toms (I think I remember that’s what they’re called) to introduce non-standard sounds to the music. The bass drum and bass guitar were connected to drive the rhythm while the guitars and keyboards traded off leads and riffs. Christian handled both bass rhythm duties and shared vocals, covering both lead and backing vocals.

Speaking of the guitar/keyboard use, those two are both outstanding musicians. Both played rhythms and riffs as well taking on leads, fills, and solos. They use their instruments interchangeably, all while having fun. The band played their instruments and horsed around, creating a vibe that was more than just a concert. The use of odd time signatures and creative phrase shifts were quite stunning and very technical. They had mellow, almost Yes/ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) sections mixed with heavier Progressive Metal.

The use of vocal harmonies added even more power to the musical soundscape, especially when they did a killer rendition of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” The band was both humble and gracious when speaking with me before and after the show. I had so much fun I bought the vinyl record they had with them, and it turns out I was the first one to do so. I take that as a point of pride. I do hope our paths cross again at some point in the future. They are an excellent band and very cool people.


Band Members:

  • Zach Copeland – Vocals/Guitars
  • Sean Venner – Guitars
  • Christian Di Mambro – Bass/Backing Vocals
  • Chance LaBrie – Drums


  1. Something Man
  2. Naked Truth
  3. Monarch
  4. Lullabies
  5. Medulla Oblongata
  6. PVPP3TS
  7. Give

Falset considers themselves Modern Hard Rock. I do not disagree with them, but they are so much more. They bring in Alt Rock and Metal, Melodic Rock and elements of Progressive, Groove, and Metalcore. There was even one song that brought a Heavy Pop, using a more Pop style beat with a Hard Rock tuning. There is nothing singular or standard about this band, all of which you will notice within 30 seconds of them hitting the stage.

There was a lot of interesting stuff going on within the songs. Falset is well versed in shifting from mid-range to fast tempos within a single song, moving back and forth multiple times with the greatest of ease. There was a Doom Metal breakdown in one track and Chance used drum pads to add tone and texture in some places to augment the rest of the tones and help shift tempos mid-song. They use samples and backing tracks to help with that as well, adding keys and bringing more depth to the soundscape.

The vocals were mostly clean with Zach throwing in some grit at times. There are some harsh vocals that are mixed in and they seem to use the backing track to handle those. Considering how close they are, sometimes overlapping, there is no way one vocalist could have done all of that live. I think they made the right choice of having the harsh vocals backed up as it let Zach stay consistent for the live show. The guitar solos were a mix of Melodic and Shredding, showcasing Sean’s skill.

Falset is now another band discovered by seeing them live. They absolutely dominated the stage, bringing their own brand of beefed up Modern Hard Rock to a club in Virginia and representing Canada incredibly well. They could easily call this the “Canadian Metal Ambassador Tour” and I would 100% agree that the title was a perfect fit. As with all the other bands on this magical night, Falset was both gracious and polite (they are Canadian, after all). I am most definitely a fan now.