If you haven't already heard, 96.3 The Blaze is sending one lucky winner to the 2013 Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s Rock on the Range features the be-all end-all of all rock ‘n’ roll lineups. Veteran rockers like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and The Smashing Pumpkins will take the stage along with rising stars like Volbeat, Halestorm and Bullet for My Valentine. The lineup truly offers no shortage of bands to get excited about. Even the bands near the bottom of the bill are worth making a fuss over. To prove it, I’ve gone ahead and profiled five of them.
Beware of Darkness is a three-piece alt-rock band formed in Santa Barbara, Calif. in 2010. So far, they’ve only released a single EP in 2012, but they’re gearing up to release their full-length debut “Orthodox” on May 7, just a couple of short weeks before Rock on the Range. Musically, they find common ground with alternative and blues rock bands like The White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, as well as garage/indie rock bands like The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys.
Although Heaven’s Basement has only been around for about five years, they’ve already had to say goodbye to their original vocalist, bassist and rhythm guitarist. That’s a pretty big turnover for such a young band, but luckily their lineup has remained stable since they recruited vocalist Richie Hevanz in early 2011. Since forming in the U.K. in 2008, Heaven’s Basement has released two EPs and one LP, the latter of which just came out in February. They specialize in melodic hard rock, putting them right at home with festival mates Papa Roach, Three Days Grace and A Day to Remember.
American Fangs yearn to bring back the kind of wild, unhinged, and somewhat anarchistic rock ‘n’ roll that prevailed in dive bars in the ‘70s and ‘80s. That’s the idea the band clearly wanted to get across in its official website bio. Although, frontman Gabe Cabazos admits they’ve had to tone it down in recent years. Still, you can fully expect them to give it everything they’ve got when they take the stage at Rock on the Range this May. If you happened to catch Danko Jones opening for Volbeat at The Wilma a couple weeks back, you already have a good idea of what to anticipate.
You might not have heard of Love and Death, but there’s a good chance you’re familiar with their key member. Love and Death was founded in 2012 by Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch as a re-branding of Head’s solo career. So far, the band has released a debut EP in April 2012 and a debut LP in January 2013. Musically, they’re like Korn, but with more of a “Christian” sensibility, if that makes sense. Love and Death’s performance at Rock on the Range will mark one of two appearances made by Head at the festival, as he will also be performing with Korn there.
XFactor1 formed in 2005 during one of the most brutal winters ever to hit Columbus, Ohio. Since then, they’ve been quietly making a name for themselves by opening on select dates for major traveling music festivals like Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem and Uproar. They also played Rock on the Range in 2009, and at the time were the only unsigned band on the bill. Musically, they channel a lot of their hard rock and heavy metal contemporaries, particularly Slipknot, Disturbed, Korn, Tool and Machine Head.