Music Discovery Monday – 11/16/15

Music Discovery Monday - Shaman's Harvest, Revolve, RJD Cancer Fund

Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 11/16/15.

Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.

In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.

In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.

In this special edition of Music Discovery Monday, we celebrate rock and roll cancer survivors, and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.  For the first time ever, we have two featured artists…Shaman’s Harvest frontman Nathan Hunt and Revolve guitarist Debbie Barlow.  Both of these cancer survivors (who are about to go on tour together) share their personal battles in a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive.



 ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)

***NOTE:  As mentioned above, this is the first time that Music Discovery Monday has two featured artists.  The featured artists (Shaman’s Harvest and Revolve) are about to go on tour together.  Each band features a cancer survivor (Nathan HuntShaman’s Harvest and Debbie BarlowRevolve). Beneath each of their featured songs, Hunt and Barlow share personal stories about their respective battles, and the role that music played in their healing process. Please make sure to check out the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment as well for more rock and roll cancer survivors, and a very important fund that was established after the passing of Ronnie James Dio.***



If there is one word to describe Shaman’s Harvest, it would be “diverse.”  It would be easy to shower them with a number of other positive adjectives, but what sets them apart from most is their ability to deliver a variety of musical experiences on one album and make it work so well.  The two previous singles (“Dangerous” and “Dirty Diana”) off of Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns both garnered radio attention, and it looks as though they are poised to enjoy similar success with “In Chains.”   Whereas “Dangerous” was a straight-forward southern rocker and “Dirty Diana” was an inspired, bluesy cover of a classic Michael Jackson song, “In Chains” offers yet another side of Shaman’s Harvest.  There is a seamless transition between the verses (which would be an ideal fit for a modern western film), and the choruses, which feature larger-than-life gospel theatricality.  Need more?  How about some soulful blues shredding thrown in for good measure?  Nathan Hunt’s vocals are impressive enough on their own.  They become even more awe-inspiring when you take into account that he was receiving treatment for throat cancer during the recording of the album.


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Nathan Hunt discusses his battle with cancer…


What role did music play in your life when you were battling cancer?

“Making music was everything in getting over that darkness…that feeling of being alone.  I was fortunate enough to be making a record at the time. So, the cancer and treatments took a back seat (at least in my mind) to the studio work.  I didn’t have to focus on being sick or how my throat felt like sandpaper from the radiation.  I just found ways to sing around it and get it done.”


What challenges did you face with your music career after being diagnosed, and how did you overcome those challenges?

“Well, I kept it a secret for as long as I could (a year or so).  I wanted the record to be out, and the world to hear it before they took any other factors into account.  The songs needed to speak for themselves.  And besides all that, I wanted to deal with it privately.  It was aggressive and experimental treatment, and I reckon that I didn’t want to field the questions and awkward well-meaning hugs ‘n’ shit.”


What does it mean to you to be touring with a fellow cancer survivor?

“Debbie (Barlow) is a great person.  I don’t think of her as a cancer survivor; nor myself.  She’s good people; and I like touring with good fuckin’ people.”


What advice would you give to others that are battling cancer right now?

I’d tell them find something bigger than themselves to focus on.  I truly believe making Smokin’ Hearts n Broken Guns saved my life.  It gave me the will to deal with those pesky docs ‘n’ shitty treatments, cuz I knew that after, I could head to the studio.  Doesn’t have to be music, but if there’s somethin’ there that’s pushing you to fight, I figure it wills that cancer bullshit right on out of ya.”


REVOLVE – “Believe”

Talent and connections only take you so far in today’s hard rock music climate.  Though the days of huge record deals have long since passed, the reality is that it still takes money to rise above the din in a very crowded genre.  Since their inception, Revolve has been one of the ultimate DIY bands.  Much of the burden to promote the band thus far has fallen on the strong shoulders of guitarist, Debbie Barlow.  Her hard work is finally beginning to pay off in a meaningful way, as this independent band is about to hit the road with Hinder and Shaman’s Harvest.  Like Shaman frontman Nathan Hunt, Barlow is also a cancer survivor, and a testament to what can be achieved in the face of adversity.  Revolve’s entire debut EP is rock solid.  Any of the songs could have been chosen for this forum, but “Believe” was selected because it fits so well with the cancer survivor story, and the fact that her unwavering belief in Revolve is now taking the band to new heights.  This hard-hitting tune features an infectious melody to go along with impressive guitar work and vocal harmonies.  If you’re a fan of bands like Sevendust, Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin, make sure to check out Revolve!


In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Debbie Barlow discusses her battle with cancer…


What role did music play in your life when you were battling cancer?

“Music has always been my saving grace in life, with many things that I go through.  When I wasn’t writing music during treatments, I was staying inspired by listening to some of my favorite music.  It was truly one of my main motivators to stay focused on battling cancer. Music was never what I did, but rather ‘who I am,’ and I used it to fuel my will for life to be able to come out a survivor.”


What challenges did you face with your music career after being diagnosed, and how did you overcome those challenges?

“I was in a band at the time that was heavily writing recording and touring. We had big dreams to take over the music world (laughs).  Sadly, it was all to be put on an indefinite hold after hearing that ‘C’-word.  I was diagnosed with, and began treatment for, ovarian cancer.  Statistics show that most ovarian cancers are more common in women in their mid-late 50s.  I had just turned 30, so it was a rare find, and the treatment was pretty damn aggressive.  I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life, and step down from the band, so that I could really focus on kicking cancer in the arse!  When I could find the energy in between treatments, I would grab my guitar and write a little…one song turned into two, and soon, more.  At some point, my focus changed from fear to being sort of fearless.  I think in creating music (or any art), you have to be fearless, you know?”


What does it mean to you to be touring with a fellow cancer survivor?

“I’m just excited to be heating up stages before Shaman’s Harvest’s set on this winter tour.  They’re a great band!  I met Nate (Hunt) at the KROCKATHON festival that we played together in Syracuse, NY over the summer…amazing pipes!  I later found out he was a cancer survivor too.

Since then, It had been on my to-do list that, if we ever had the opportunity to share a stage again, we would shed some light on being cancer survivors and working musicians.  I think that we both know that it takes a lot to overcome the diagnosis and treatment.  I went through some dark days, and I’m sure that Nate did as well.

Coming out a survivor is like a HUGE fist punch in the air that screams…‘hey  look, we  went through this crazy time of uncertainty, fear and sometimes broken confidence, but guess what, we’re not done yet…so much more music to make and stages to play!’  I really hope that more musicians/artists will share stages and their stories and be a source of encouragement.  It’s real life for us all.”


What advice would you give to others that are battling cancer right now?

“FIGHT!!  Stay in faith (if you are a believer).  Don’t let the disease and treatment define you, or who you really are.  You are still the same person on the inside.  You may temporarily look and feel a little different, but you’re still YOU!  Find others who are going through (or have been through) battling cancer.  There are some great stories and strengths to be shared.”





CYBERSTAR – “Eye For An Eye”

Drowning Pool vocalist Jasen Moreno and Fozzy guitarist Billy Grey are joined by Allele drummer Dusty Winterrowd for the lastest supergroup configuration to arrive on the scene.  The debut single is on target for Active Rock fans, and provides a promising introduction to this talented trio.


MAVERICK – “Got It Bad”

The third single from the debut album of this U.K. band is a straight-ahead rocker that puts a bit of a fresh spin on a familiar sound.  The guitar work is a particular highlight to me on this one, but there are no obvious weaknesses on display across the lineup.  Just a nice, solid track that could (unfortunately) fly under the radar far too easily in today’s crowded rock scene.





DIVINER – “Come Into My Glory”

Guitars are chugging and heads are banging in Greece, with the release of this first single from Diviner’s first album.  Set for a November 20th debut, Fallen Empires promises metal in the tradition of Judas Priest and Ronnie James Dio, but with a modern twist.


DARK MOOR – “In The Heart Of Stone”

Spain’s Dark Moor has been delivering power metal with symphonic influences for 20 years. Their tenth album, Project X, continues to match the guitar of founder Enrik Garcia with the smooth vocals of Alfred Romero, and various other elements layered behind them.  A science fiction theme permeates most of the album, but is not as noticeable on this song, which gallops along playfully with some classical influences.






Alabama rockers Shallow Side deliver on “Stand Up,” an upbeat, alternative, hard rock tune that is the title track off of the band’s latest EP.  Aggressive, driving rhythms, with really good, active guitar work accompanies the bright vocal delivery of Eric Boatright that is both melodic and inspiring.



A “beauty and the beast” track here, with delicate lead vocals in front of rough power/symphonic metal behind it.  The contrast works well on “Fire & Ice.”  Italy’s Sleeping Romance showcases their precision and talent on this up-tempo track from their sophomore EP.


To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to –





BLACK SABBATH – “Children Of The Sea” (1980)

In 1979, a legendary vocalist (Ozzy Osbourne) was replaced by another legendary vocalist in Ronnie James Dio (who had parted ways with Ritchie Blackmore and Rainbow).  In an ironic, serendipitous twist of fate, Dio first met Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi at the Rainbow Bar & Grill (a.k.a. “The Rainbow”) on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.  At their first “getting-to-know-you” session in Iommi’s Los Angeles home, the duo collaborated on “Children Of The Sea.”  The rest, as they say, is history.  This incredibly moving song, brought to life by Dio’s soaring vocals, was featured on Heaven & Hell, one of the defining albums of each of their careers, and of heavy metal for that matter.  This song probably doesn’t fall under the “discovery” category for most hard rock and metal fans, but the interesting backstory and significance of the song cannot be understated.  This dynamic duo would go on to make music history together.  They would also both go on to be diagnosed with cancer later in life.  Like our two featured artists this week, Iommi is also a cancer survivor.  Unfortunately, Dio succumbed to this dreaded disease on May 16, 2010.  Though he has been gone for over five years, Dio’s legacy remains, as does his impact on funding for cancer research.  After his passing, Dio’s wife, Wendy, launched the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.


DIO – “Gypsy” (1983)

After a short (but memorable) stint with Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio went on to form Dio, a band that bared his name, but was much more than a solo project.  Although much of the band’s first album (Holy Diver) was already written before his arrival, guitarist Vivian Campbell was thrust into the spotlight of hard rock and heavy metal upon its release.  Campbell and Dio did, however, collaborate on “Gypsy” (one the classic album’s more underrated songs).  Some guitarists have a sound that is so distinct that you recognize their playing from the first note.  Campbell’s work with Dio absolutely falls into that category, particularly on Holy Diver“Gypsy” not only features signature Campbell riffs, but also impressive leads surrounding Dio’s stellar vocals.  Like Dio’s former bandmate, Tony Iommi, and the two featured artists on Music Discovery Monday (see above), Campbell is also a cancer survivor (although he has had to fight another battle this year when the cancer returned).  In keeping with the Dio influence, Campbell will be releasing the first single from his latest band, Last In Line, on November 17th.  The band’s debut album will be released this coming February.





ART OF DYING“You Don’t Know Me” (2011)

From the album Vices and Virtues, this cut has an almost punk-influenced feel to me, but this talented Canadian band makes that work for them well enough, keeping the song accessible and listenable.   “You Don’t Know Me” is a deeper cut from a strong album.


NONPOINT“Hands Off” (2007)

From the album Vengeance (which featured “March Of War” as the lead single), this album cut has become one of my favorite songs from this Florida band’s entire catalog, which spans almost two decades.  Nice hard edge to the song, with a lot of energy.  There’s just a lot to like about this hidden treasure.





LAST TRIBE – “The Chosen One” (2008)

Magnus Karlsson wrote all of the music and played nearly all of the instruments for Sweden’s Last Tribe.  Vocalist Rickard Bengtsson shines along with Karlsson on this power metal tune from their 2008 album, Uncrowned, which features some aggressive riffs and a killer guitar solo.  Karlsson has since moved on to other projects, including Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall and Primal Fear.


LAND OF TALES – “Fading Away” (2008)

In 2008, Finnish melodic rockers Naiskala looked to broaden their audience by appealing to the English-speaking world.  The band was renamed Land Of Tales and singer/guitarist Kristian switched his vocals to English.  He sounds amazing in any language; even moreso on this beautiful ballad, with bandmate Palle contributing some haunting keyboards.





AXEL RUDI PELL – “Hole In The Sky” (1996)

Classic ‘90s metal from Axel Rudi Pell, who has always surrounded his fantastic guitar-work with talent.  This is especially true of Jeff Scott Soto’s vocals, which are front and center on this great track from Black Moon Pyramid.  Excellent rhythm and the requisite killer guitar solo make this an overall stand-out track.


AMOPRHIS “Silent Waters” (2007)

Amorphis has been around since 1990 (originally as a death-metal band).  However, with time and line-up changes through the late ‘90s, their signature sound has evolved into cleaner, more melodic, progressive metal.  This track is indicative of the shift.  There is a grave undertone of loss to the story line of “Silent Water,” but also a determination to retrieve what was lost.  The vocals and musicianship are both very good, conveying passion and power while also featuring an excellent guitar solo.


About AW

Hard rock journalist and father of two amazing rock and roll children.

Posted on November 16, 2015, in Hard Rock Music Time Machine, Music Discovery Monday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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