December 4, 2003
Test Spin: Nightfist
| December 4, 2003
If a heavy metal band existed that my mother would listen to, it would be Nightfist. Aside from the ominous voice-overs that start and end their album, The Epic EP sounds like somebody placed John Tesh and Metallica in an audio blender and mixed it all up — a decidedly un-kosher practice. The music on this CD might very well be the most soothing hard metal ever known to mankind. One could study or fall asleep to this stuff.
Admittedly, the composition of the songs on this album is not bad, certainly not for a band that’s biggest gig to date has been at a Portland, Oregon YMCA. That being said, it’s nothing new either; it’s an unremarkably derivative album. But part of you wants to like them.
Their press kit proudly proclaims that the band is comprised of teenagers barely out of high school, their music influenced by the likes of Metallica, Yes, and the Grateful Dead, and it shows, badly. With ten-minute teenage opuses of the likes of “Acidrainfuckhell” that harp back on the same tired riffs repeatedly and no teen-angst lyrics to be distracted by, the album leaves a lot to be desired, even if some girlfriend of a band member labeled them as “the greatest instrumental heavy metal band in America” (they conveniently fail to cite such lauds). We’re talking Yanni-esque rote scale playing here. To top it off, the songs are padded with a prologue and epilogue, complete with voiceovers.
I simply can’t imagine anybody listening to more than five seconds of this EP without laughing uncontrollably. It’s just asking to be scoffed at and forgotten about, but I sat there, mesmerized throughout the EP, shaking my head and chuckling to myself. There is something endearing in all of its sophomoric trying. This might be just what we need at this point in the semester — something that takes itself far too seriously so that we can remember not to fall into the same trap ourselves. As they so proudly decree, Nightfist is “not ironic” and they are “for real.”
Archived article by Matthew Nagowski
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December 5, 2003
Last March Cornell won its first ECAC title since 1997, but that’s only part of what makes the game memorable for senior captain Ryan Vesce. The other half of the celebration was because of who the Red beat — Harvard. “The ECAC finals last year, that overtime when Sam [Paolini ’03] scored is my most memorable moment,” said Vesce. “Winning the ECAC championship, and beating your rival to do it — it doesn’t really get any better than that.” While Cornell won’t have the opportunity to win the ECAC title this weekend, it will be able to butt horns with Harvard, and that has all the players ready to go. “It’s a great rivalry, and it’s easy for our guys to get up for this game,” said assistant captain Ben Wallace. “When we play here, our fans are amazing, and when we go down to their rink it seems like a home game as well because the fans are all there.” “It’s just a great atmosphere and I hope it will continue,” Wallace added. Yet, according to the players and coaches, the electric atmosphere fans create is only part of what makes a great rivalry. There also has to be a strong history on the ice. “I’ve always said that it’s so special because the teams have been so good. You get rivalries because the teams are good and the programs are outstanding,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “They’re obviously well ranked, and they’ve got a great team and we’ve got a great program,” said Schafer. “Over the history of time, that turns into a rivalry when the programs have been recognized that way.” For Schafer, that history began as a student in the ’80s. His most memorable moment comes from a game many considered to be a lost cause. “There’s so many of them in the games that have involved situations here where we’ve been way behind, and came back and won,” said Schafer. “The biggest memory was probably back in 1984 when we were down 4-0 in the game against a [Harvard] team that was ranked in the country, and we came back and won it 6-5.” As a coach, however, Schafer’s most memorable Harvard game is a more recent affair, coming in his first season at the helm of the Red. “When I first came here back in ’95, the team hadn’t beaten them in a long time,” he said. “To see the crowd be so excited, the players be so excited, to kind of get back on track and be a factor in the rivalry — that was probably one of the best coaching moments I’ve had as far as the rivalry.” And the win was just the first of many against the Crimson. Cornell swept Harvard in all of its meetings last season, and has a two-year win streak at Lynah. For the coach, the series has become a blur. “Overtime, they’ve been around so long now that the event just kind of rolled one into another, and it’s always special. Again, it’ll be just a great college game,” said Schafer. “They’re a very successful program, just like us,” agreed Vesce. “Good games and good hockey makes good rivals.”Archived article by Matt Janiga
December 5, 2003
Fish, fur, fight songs and fans will fill Lynah Rink this weekend as the ECAC’s No. 1 team takes to the ice. Yet, unlike seasons past, it won’t be Cornell (3-0-1, 3-2-4 ECAC). Instead, first-place Brown (6-1-1, 6-1-0), and third-place Harvard (6-4-3, 3-3-1) enter Ithaca looking to add to their recent strings of victories. The Crimson burst out of the gates in its first non-conference game, railing the Boston University Terriers, 5-2, on Nov. 25. Senior Tyler Kolarik and classmate Dennis Packard each notched a goal and assist in the win, while junior netminder Dov Grumet-Morris backstopped the team with 34 saves. The Crimson’s biggest outburst came in the second period. Freshmen Kevin Du and Steve Mandes worked the puck past BU’s Sean Fields for the Crimson’s third goal. Harvard added to its lead with a power-play goal, and later capped the night with a fifth score in the third period. Harvard went on to shut out St. Lawrence on Friday night, posting 26 shots en route to three goals and its third-straight win. Grumet-Morris saved 25 shots in the win, and repeated the feat again on Saturday against Clarkson. The effort proved not to be enough, however, as Clarkson slipped two by Grumet-Morris and another by his backup, winning the game 3-0. While Grumet-Morris may be playing well, Brown brings the stronger netminding threat to town. Senior Yann Danis was recently named the USCHO.com Defensive Player of the Week, and ECAC Player of the Week for his efforts in net. Besides stopping 108 of the last 110 shots he’s faced, the senior posted a season-high 39 saves against Providence. Yet, while the goaltender may be hot, he may not be impenetrable. “He is a very good goaltender,” said Cornell senior captain Ryan Vesce. “Goaltenders like that usually make the first stop, but banging in rebounds, the second the third chance — you’ve just got to bear down and put them in the net.” “They make a lot of saves look easy, and he does a great job of making himself very square to the puck in position,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “We’re going to have to, like many other teams, put a lot of traffic in front of him and let him not see the puck. That’s always the key to our success, and we’re going to have to do that against him because he’s such a good goalie.” Though Danis has always been a presence between the pipes for the Bears, this year, Brown seems to have also found an offensive punch. The team is fresh off of an 8-0 shellacking of St. Lawrence, with five players netting goals. The difference for Brown appears to be its freshman class, as Brian Ihnacak currently leads the team in scoring with 12 points. His most recent successes came this past weekend, as he notched two goals and three assists on the way to collecting the ECAC’s Rookie of the Week Award. “They’ve played a lot of games in the league, and that can be an advantage or that can be a disadvantage,” said Schafer. “It can be an advantage that Brown is hot right now — it can be an advantage that they’re in that situation where they’re playing very well. “All aspects of their game are hitting on all cylinders right now,” he added. Yet, that’s something Schafer and his team have known for a while. Last year, Cornell battled Brown in three tough contests, including a physical home contest and 2-2 away tie. The last time the two teams met, it was the ECAC playoffs, Cornell escaped with a 2-1 victory after a grueling defensive battle. Harvard has also offered a strong challenge in recent meetings. While Cornell downed the Crimson 5-2 last fall, the games became closer as the season progressed. February’s meeting was a 4-3 shootout, with Harvard rallying for two goals within five minutes during the second, and a third goal at 2:19 in the third. The Crimson also rallied during the ECAC finals last season, forcing an overtime period before letting Sam Paolini’s ’03 game winner slip through. “We had three tough games against them last year, and had three very difficult games against Harvard,” said Schafer. “We expect nothing different this year.” With it’s 0-2-3 home record, however, Cornell may appear more vulnerable than it has in the past. Still, the Red is confident and relaxed about this weekend’s slate of games. “It’s not really a concern,” Vesce said when asked about the pressure of finding a win on home ice. “We’re playing better hockey each week.” “It’s going to be an exciting game — obviously it always is with Harvard,” echoed assistant captain Ben Wallace. Still, while the team may not feel pressured, it would still like to finish this weekend with two home wins “We’re excited to get a win for this crowd, we want to win at home for ourselves, but I don’t think it’s a concern,” said Vesce. “This would be a great time for us to get a win, obviously, but we’re just worried about us playing our own game,” Wallace added. “We’ve played some very good hockey at home the last couple weekends and have come up empty,” said Schafer. “But the process is just to continue to get better, and do the things to generate offense and become better defensively, and that’ll benefit us by the end of the year.” “We’re just going to work hard, and whatever happens, happens,” said Wallace.Archived article by Matt Janiga