“a striking and wonderfully diverse album that has plenty to offer fans of dark, brooding Metal in all its forms” 

Metal Temple

In regards to first album "When Morning Came"

“a good choice for those who like to hear a mixture of several different styles” 

Sonic Cathedral

In regards to first album "When Morning Came"

“the band has absorbed nearly every variation from the recent metal and rock history and created something that has not yet existed”

Rockin' Paparazzo

In regards to first album "When Morning Came"

“They play with enough melody to hook you in and plenty of power to keep you off balance” 

Metal Nexus

A general review of Plague of Stars

“Daedalus is a heavy 9 out of 10!”

Lyrical Spell Magazine

In regards to second album "Daedalus"

“Plague of Stars has this ‘secret sauce’ element that keeps things extremely fresh and lively”

Twin Cities Media

A general review of Plague of Stars


Merry Krampus To All

Something about this holiday season has felt weird. I don’t know what it is but I’m just not feeling the holiday spirit. Blame it on the unseasonably warm weather, maybe the lack of snow, or maybe just the fact that life keeps on getting in the way of everything– whatever you want to blame it on, it just doesn’t feel like the holiday season. Thankfully, Friday night’s show with Impaler changed that. Some people use cheesy Hallmark holiday movies to get into the spirit, some may use the smell of freshly baked cookies or a nice fire in a fireplace– for me, it was the Merry Krampus show headlined by Impaler at The Turf Club that finally got me into the holiday spirit.

It looked like Santa had thrown up all over the upstairs of the Turf Club when I walked in on Friday. Christmas lights and tinsel garlands were hanging all over the stage giving the typically dull and dark venue (that’s not a knock on them, The Turf will always be a favorite of mine) a sense of life and a festive look. Add to the overall scene the sense of undeniable energy and fun radiating throughout the large crowd there and you were left with a feeling that was enough to get even the Grinch into the holiday spirit.

Kicking the show off was the local duo New Rocket Union. It has been quite a while since I have seen this band but, as soon as the two men took the stage, I was reminded just how much I love this group. There are. no-frills when it comes to New Rocket Union’s sound and that’s what makes them so perfect. Their sound dabbles between rock and punk but, regardless of which genre you pick up on throughout their set, you are given a solid and bombastic sound that is as catchy as it is flawless. Being the opener on a stacked four-band bill, New Rocket Union didn’t have long on stage but they made every second count and definitely got the night started off on the right foot.

Plague of Stars was up next. This is another local act that it has been far too long since I last saw them. They brought a sense of rage and power to the stage that was undeniable but also brought a sense of beauty through the vocals provided by vocalist Liz. Although I know a couple of the members of this band and have seen them before, watching them perform on Friday night was watching a whole new band. There was just something so polished and serious about their performance. Don’t get me wrong, there was still passion clearly coming through with every note but this band was super into their music leaving an almost serious feeling set. Although I was in party mode and was ready to have some fun, the clear dedication that Plague of Stars showed throughout their set had me stunned and falling in love with the band all over again.

It was honestly a bit odd to go from the seriousness of Plague of Stars to whatever you want to call Dumpster Juice but it also made the night so perfect. I have written about Dumpster Juice multiple times before but seeing them never gets old. Whereas Plague of Stars took themselves a bit seriously (while still giving the audience a great performance), Dumpster Juice is far from a band that takes themselves seriously. I mean, come on, this band is known for a vocalist that uses his belly as a drum. The band was up to their usual antics on Friday night and it wasn’t long before Rowland (their vocalist) had taken his shirt off to expose the “drum”. I knew it was coming yet it was still so fun. Musically, the band never changes. For better or for worse, I feel like they always play the same songs but that’s fine by me. They are a fun group with hilarious on-stage antics and sometimes that’s all you need on a Friday night.

Between Dumpster Juice and the headliners, Impaler, The Turf Club was treated by a visit from Minnesota Krampus. I won’t get into the whole backstory of the half-goat, half-demon monster that punishes children who are naughty at Christmas but feel free to look into it yourself because it’s a super cool folk story. Long story short, Minnesota has this Krampus group that has the most intricate (and terrifying) costumes depicting this monster and they go around to different functions to add to the holiday spirit. Okay, that may not be accurate but that’s what their visit did on Friday night. Although these creatures scared the absolute crap out of me and I may or may not have had nightmares about their glowing eyes as I tried to sleep, having these amazing creatures at the show added a little razzle-dazzle to an already stunning night.

Closing out the festive celebration were the kings of the shock rock world- Impaler. I have truly lost count of how many times I have seen this band perform live so I won’t bore you with the backstory of this band but, long story short, they are legends and the fact that I live in the same town as them and get to see them perform time and time again is truly a dream come true. Much like Dumpster Juice, Impaler was up to their usual games on Friday night. Their set came complete with glam-rock leaning metal-infused music, live on-stage wrestling, and vocalist Bill dripping with blood after chewing on the neck of a severed head (that’s one that you just have to be there to see for yourself).

Although Impaler’s set was more or less the same as I’ve seen from them numerous times, something is exciting and thrilling about seeing this band time and time again. I honestly can’t quite put my finger on what it is but I could see Impaler do the same set night after night and never get bored with it. Maybe it’s their energy or the way the members of this band play with a sense of precision while giving the audience a true show. Regardless, their set on Friday was flawless to me and, with the festive decor scattered around the venue, definitely had me finally feeling the holiday spirit.

Overall Score – 10 out of 10

Merry Krampus To All



MARCH 1, 2022

It has been a number of years since The Birthday Massacre and Julien-K played here and based on the crowd size it was obvious this was a much-anticipated show.

Minneapolis-based quintet Plague of Stars, with their doom/gothic metal, seemed a nice fit to be the opener with their dark brooding tones accompanied by vocalist Melissa Ferlaak’s powerful and sometimes opera-like vocals. They played a mix of slower, moody songs and some outright aggressive metal.

Julien-K, consisting of Amir Derakh on guitar and synth, Ryan Shuck on vocals and guitar, and Galen Waling on drums, delivered an intense level of infectious energy to their performance, leaving audience members who were unfamiliar with them a bit awe struck.  Their mix of industrial, metal, and electronica won the crowd over easily. Shuck was 110 percent with his energy on stage both physically and vocally. Waling’s drum set was positioned to the right side created a new perspective for the crowd as he was more prominent to fuel the energy from his position on stage to the crowd.  To end their set, they surprised the crowd with “Blue Monday”, a cover of a band called Orgy , of which they are former members.

Birthday Massacre played a 20-song setlist including old favorites and newer songs, the crowd got their money’s worth.

There was no slowing down as they swayed and jumped around the stage for over an hour. Bathed in violet light most of the set, it helped set the tone of the dark wave, gothic, and new wave songs that included “Red Stars”, “Under Your Spell” and “Looking Glass.” The setlist varied from dark and bleak, or as Chibi Taylor said “sad, but beautiful.” to heavier electronic rock. The audience also got to experience “Stars and Satellites” and “Fascination”, the title-track of their most recent album release live for the first time. Bleak yet beautiful, dark but romantic. If you’re a fan of Julien-K or The Birthday Massacre, you owe it to yourself to see them live. You won’t be disappointed.

Earthless Empire

Last night was yet another showing of just how amazing the local metal scene is. It was one of those shows that as soon as I walked into the venue, I felt at home and was instantly greeted by friend after friend. I can not put the feeling I get at a show like this into words. Surrounded by some of the biggest guys you’ve ever met that look more like wrestlers than anything else, this is what makes me feel comfortable. They may be the people your parents warn you about when growing up but, to me, they are my family and any Saturday night I can spend celebrating their music and accomplishments is a damn good Saturday.

Kicking the night off in the most perfect way was Krawg. I’ve seen these guys a couple of times now and I feel like every time I see them they get a little more tight and a bit more polished. Last night was no exception. The five men took the stage and wasted no time jumping into a set that was definitely the best I had seen from them thus far. Evil and sinister while still being approachable, Krawg’s music is unrelentingly heavy. Unfortunately, one of the two guitarists broken a string right before their last song and, without a back up guitar (probably the one time said guitarist didn’t have multiple guitars with him) he had to leave the stage. I thought it was game over but instead of just calling it a set, the band went on without him for a final song. The song sounded great but definitely proved that each member of this band brings something to the table. Krawg is one of those bands with so many different influences that come from each member that the second you take one out, although you may not notice it when it comes to the wall of intense sound, you can feel that a small element is missing.

Witchden was up next and took the stage looking like a band of WWE wrestlers. With black and white facepaint and a sinister look, the band took the stage and proceeded to captivate the crowd with their power and fury. Very little was said by the band other than a small “We are Witchden” towards the end of their set but honestly, this band needs to introduction. Much like Krawg and the other two bands to follow, Witchden has a clean and concise sound to the point where it’s hard to keep in mind that this is just a local band full of guys that you drink next to at various other local shows. Their power both musically and with their stage presence left me breathless and lost in the palm of their hand. It was a perfect night for them to film a couple of live music videos and although the audience was modest, it was mighty and you could easily tell that Witchden is one of those local bands that is only going to get bigger and bigger in the near future.

Plague of Stars was the only band on this four band line-up that I had never heard of before but as soon as I saw vocalist Melissa Ferlaak take the stage I got excited. I’m never one to make the lack of female musicians and concert-goers in the local metal scene a thing but there is a reason why I have a “Sausage Fest Meter” at the end of every one of my posts. It’s just a fact of life that there are very few females in this scene and even fewer that take the stage. I could probably count on my hands how many local bands have females in them and to catch one without being prepared for it definitely made my night. Melissa’s operatic and dramatic ranged voice juxtaposed the heavy instrumentation of Plague of Stars in the most perfect way. Even beyond the female vocals, this band had a sound that definitely stood out from the other bands of the night. Clearly each band brought something different to the table but these guys just had something so interesting and creative that it definitely caught me a bit off guard. I know these guys have been around for awhile and I’m a bit late to the game but I truly can’t wait to watch this band grow. Their unique sound definitely has a lot of potential making them a band I have my eye on for this year.

I almost felt bad for headliners Echoes of the Fallen for having to follow the three powerhouses that performed before them but they definitely held their own. Within the first song I was old. Again, a sound that was a bit too clean and perfect to be just another local band, these guys closed out the night with their heavy and aggressive sound. I have some history with two of the members of this band. I used to manage their old band but lost touch with them over the years. I can not explain to you how happy I was to see that both of them hadn’t given up on music like many other people in the friend group we shared back in the day. I knew before their set that they had the passion but to see that passion be mixed with the passion of the other members almost swept me off my feet. From what I gathered from last night, Echoes of the Fallen took a wee bit of a break there for a bit and last night was kind of their “welcome back” show. Good thing too- this band is definitely one I hope to see a lot more of this year.

Last night wasn’t a huge show. The crowd was modest but when it came to the admiration for the band members that graced the stage and the sense of love in the room, it felt like a sold out show. You don’t need to be at a big show at a trendy bar to be in your happy place. Sometimes these small shows in a dive bar surrounded by friends both old and new is a million times better.

Overall Score- 7.6 out of 10