Archive for September, 2011

Rock The Ringside [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 30th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: XIII, Pastel Jack, Self Inflicted Revolution, Sunbeam Lipstick
Venue: The Ringside, Hull, East Yorkshire.
Date: 28th September

Rock The Ringside, organised by Hull based metal webzine Denim & Leather, certainly seemed to be the place to be on a warm Wednesday evening featuring four bands from Hull and the surrounding area. The first band to take to the stage were none other than Self Inflicted Revolution, a five piece metal outfit from Hull. They started the set with an original song called “All My Crimes”, which seemed like it could have been heavier than what it was. The band did an amazing rendition of “Hurt” (Orignally by Nine Inch Nails) and a good cover of “Cocaine” (Originally by Eric Clapton”). One thing that certainly stuck out about this band was the James Hetfield-sounding vocals and tight, heavy riffs.

Self Inflicted Revolution – All My Crimes

The second band of the night were Driffield-based trio Sunbeam Lipstick, who were an interesting bunch to say the least and despite their not-so-rock sounding name, some of their set was raw and aggressive. The drummer partook in the vocal work in some of the songs which was unusual to hear, to say the least and did seem to take something away from the drums. In other songs, the guitarist did the vocal work, though his vocals did seem to be more like a drone compared to that of the drummer’s. The bassist certainly kept a nice flow to the music either way though.

The main support of the night came in the home of local Yorkshire-styled thrash metal outfit Pastel Jack. They began their set in true metal style, with the vocalist moving into the crowd and encouraging them to come forward. Part of their set included songs such as “Part 2” and “Methematic”. Pastel Jack certainly added an energetic vibe to the event.


XIII were the headliners for “Rock The Ringside” and for good reason as well. They put on a hell of a show, pulling no punches with their set, though the frontman did prattle on a bit in between some of the songs. XIII played a fair few tracks from their upcoming album “North Of Nowhere”. “Rock The Ringside” was certainly a enjoyable night for the most part and those that attended seemed entertained enough.


Nico Davidson

Photos of the event can be found here.

Capricia – Fooled by the Hush [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 29th September 2011 by corvusofmorlich

Band: Capricia
Album: Fooled by the Hush
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Metal

Being somebody who’d never heard of this band, I was quite eager to jump in and have a listen:

An interesting piece of artwork for an interesting piece of music..

On my first play through, I was taken aback. There’s a lot different genres mashed into this 5 track CD; from jazz to symphonic metal and from a more progressive rock sound to one that’s driven by industrial metal sounding guitars.

The first track is “Recline in the Fire” and it starts with a sad string section, that slowly swells with horns and drum rolls being added. This is an effective intro into the CD for sure and when the guitars and double bass comes in, it all comes together well. Then comes some choir chants which remind me of some early Nightwish. The song then slows into a drifty bridge with distorted chords thickening up the piano and vocals, followed by another verse that once again fastens the song up with orchestra hits and double kicks. After this comes the solo – primarily pentatonic with a smooth taping sections and finishing with a somewhat messily ended sweep. The outro is abrupt, but in a good way, finishing on those familiar choir chants. This song, for me, started off very well but, after the mid-point, stayed at the same level, which rendered it a somewhat bland second half. It’s still very listenable, though. The solo, I feel, could have done with a couple of more takes to get it a little less noisy and a little smoother.

The next song, “Before the Storm Arrives” starts off with majory chords and male vocals, which genuinely caught me a bit off guard. It’s then followed by a short and warm toned solo, over piano. This sets the song off in a very standard kind of rock mood before switching around completely, going into a jazz sounding verse with very soulful singing and ending the section in a couple of major modulations, that really add to the progressive feel. Silence follows but is interrupted by distorted guitar that really reminds me of Static-X. Then a couple of lead runs by the guitar and then synth with distorted male vocals following after. Then, some clean female vocals that remind me in a way of a Tim Burton movie, in terms of their neatness and drama. The song’s main guitar solo kicks in over some synth lead (mixed with rock organ) sounds which then go into their own jazzy solo over those Static-X chords again. There’s then a to and fro section between the clean female vocals and the distorted male ones. The song’s outro consists of a lead guitar following the same major modulations as before. This song required me to throw away my musical preferences to truly get into and appreciate – which I definitely do – but it didn’t rid the song of some of the things I didn’t like. The mixing and changing of genres is a cool idea on paper, but it so often takes the attention away from what the song is about and that definitely happened with me. I spent more time anticipating the next change than I did listening to the music and words as a whole. This, however, is not always a bad thing as it definitely hooked me in and kept me interested in what was coming next and the tiny gaps of silence between these different styles kept me from thinking too much about how they might not have fit together.

The next song, “Melodic Scream”, starts with a drifty and melodic clean guitar with strings joining that make the song feel very melancholic – something I adore in music. With a voice whispering in your ear, too, this is easily my favourite intro from the CD. The drums and guitar enter now and the solo that follows after is pretty darn tasty. When the vocals come in, it feels stripped down for a couple of bars before the distorted guitar comes in. The drums, I feel, fit the song really well. The singing starts off soft before an opera-esque backing ‘Ah’s come in which help complete the picture. The song strips down even more with just piano and singing which helps you really appreciate the sheer talent in the vocals. A violin comes in and it really does just sound amazing. Again, the distorted guitar comes in and the slow solo that comes in under the vocals sounds so good mixed with everything. However, the rhythm guitar feels a little out of place without drums being there. The outro is very effective – just a piano chord on its own. It ends one of the best songs on the album very well.

The penultimate song, “Chaotic”, blasts out and you can really hear some Israeli influences, led by the synth. An interesting timing sequence follows before the synth leads the song into a verse that I didn’t expect – one with harsh vocals! These are raw, but awesome because of it. It then breaks once again and goes into a slow and echoey clean singing section which almost reminds me of Opeth a little bit. This goes to show just how versatile this band is. A chuggy guitar riff is layered underneath some very Eastern sounding singing which then goes into some harsh vocals which pan from left to right – this is awesome. Later in the song, you hear the harsh vocals mixed with the female ones, though it sounds more like talking, either side of your head which sounds very dramatic. It follows a lyricless heavy section into a bloody bass solo! Followed by another awesome harsh vocals section. This is an amazing song which blends so many different sounds really, really well. This is probably tied my favourite song.

The final song is called “Something’s Wrong” and it starts with some really gruff male vocals which overlap with some clean female vocals that really remind me of Bjork. These voice switch around for the first minute or so, but sound really well. Then the guitars and drums come in with a tasty as f***k rhythm and an equally tasty guitar solo. This then gets wrapped up in some really interesting, half-harsh, male vocals that get modulate up, but very effectively, with string strikes. There’s then a section with just the guitars and drums that sounds very chunky. The next vocal section is backed by some awesome piano runs that run into a guitar solo section that sounds good with the everything backing it, although these sound a lot messier in the gaps between. The some very bouncy jazz bass comes in which sweeps the song into a guitar solo that just sounds absolutely awesome. The fade out ending happens a little too quickly and is a total let down as the bouncy bass and solo are just so good.

All in all, this album blends a lot together and is very interesting and pleasing to listen to. The genre changes that knock you off guard are well executed and flow well, albeit it sometimes distracting. The metal sections are very well written to allow the focus to be on the atmosphere and the vocals, although this means the guitar riffs are a little bland. This, however, is made up by the guitar solos that, despite being a little messy and maybe a little too frequent, show you that each musician is very skilled at what they do. This is especially apparent in the last 3 songs.

The balance of influences is perfect and there’s a real sense of drama and emotion – ranging from happy down to sad. This album blew away the expectations I had and I’d recommend to metal fans that are open-minded enough to appreciate the different influences, or to fans of progressive music in general. I think the biggest, if only, main problem I have with this album is the guitar tone. Being a lead guitarist myself, I can’t help but find problems with it – it’s not crisp enough to fit well with the pounds of the bass drum and it’s not muted enough to get that real chuggy sound and it definitely affects how professional the album sounds – everything else has been very well recorded and the guitar tone definitely adds a raw, almost demo-ish, feel to it which some people might actually like. I, however, definitely feel as though it takes something away from the album.

It’s a good album, most enjoyable It just needs a little neatening up here and there. It’s a solid album and one that’s most definitely unique and original. I’ll continue to look out for this band and I urge others too, as well.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Corvus, of Morlich.

Tersivel Video Now Online

Posted in News with tags , , on 26th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Argentinian Pagan Metallers Tersivel have now released the video for their song “As Brothers We Shall Fight”, taken from their album “For One Pagan Brotherhood”. The video is available for viewing on Youtube.

Ben Parcell – Painted By Numbers [2011]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 25th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Ben Parcell
Album: Painted By Numbers
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk/Pop-Punk
Ben Parcell has been on the rise in the British acoustic scene since the recording and release of his debut album “Humble Beginnings” though he had already established a name for himself with his old band “The Trailers”. His song “The Only One” is featured on the benefit compilation ‘Unity’ by Engineer Records which features mainstream acts such as ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ ‘Fightstar’, ‘Funeral For a Friend’ and ‘Luke Pickett’. “Painted By Numbers” is his latest release.

The title track “Painted By Numbers” starts the album with a brilliantly composed guitar section with a slight use of percussion. The vocals soon follow adding a mellow sound on top of the soothing acoustic riffs. The song has a soulful flow, enchanting the listener. The backing vocals, provided by Edwina Hayes, are powerful yet subtle, adding emphasis to the lead vocals, giving the song a certain warmth in the sound. The small use of piano is unexpected and surprising but a brilliant addition to the song. “Too Late To Say Goodbye” follows after with a solemn sound in both the vocals and music. The track is slower compared to “Painted By Numbers”, capturing the essence of Ben’s talent and musical style in a deep, emotional way. The lyrics help bring a certain touch of emotion to the song as well bringing a tear to the eyes of the listener. The vocals are very distinct and strong throughout “Too Late To Say Goodbye”, helping add to its sound and masterful composition.

“Stay In Touch” picks up the pace though staying slow and steady during in the introduction. The vocals adapt well to the changed tempo, working well with the acoustic riffs. Parts of the song make the listener feel like having a small jig along to the music. The tempo changes add character to the music as well, giving it a very original edge. The EP finishes with “Love Song” which brings back the slow pace combined with awe-inspiring vocals and well-written lyrics. The calmness of the music could easily ease the listener into a relaxed state of mind. The combination of lead and backing vocals brings about a very soothing atmosphere and the use of keyboards throughout the song add a touch of brilliance.

After hearing “Painted By Numbers”, the listener will no doubt know why Ben Parcell has been doing so well. Each track is composed in such a way that it would be near enough impossible to try replicate the sound that Ben creates with his talent. “Painted By Numbers” is certainly an EP that one could listen to over and over again without growing bored of it. Even if you’re not a fan of acoustic music, this is a brilliant EP with a happy medium of pop-punk and folk music. The only downside to it is that it’s not a full-length release, though no doubt Ben will have a full-length release somewhere in the pipelines.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Verona – We The Hunted [Single Review]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 25th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Verona
Single: We The Hunted
Genre: Melodic Post-Hardcore
Release year: 2011

”We the Hunted” is the latest single by Newcastle based hardcore sextet Verona. Straight away, the song is an aggressive and pounding assault on the ears of the listener. The vocals are raw, violent and savage keeping that hint of brutality when the melodic riffs are played. The clean vocals are very distinct and unique compared to a lot of hardcore bands that use clean vocals. The drums are well played throughout the song though seem to lack in sections. Another issue with the song is the sound quality during in some of the vocal sections, making the vocals sound extremely distorted and inaudible. The synths add a very different sound to the song as well, whilst not clashing with the hardcore sound of the track. “We The Hunted” is certainly different to a lot of hardcore-orientated songs but still retains the hardcore stylings of Verona. If their next EP or album is anything like “We The Hunted”, then we’ll all be in for a treat.

Nico Davidson

Verona will be playing Valkyrian Festival on 27th November. For more info, click here.

Equaleft – The Truth Vnravels EP [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 24th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Equaleft
Album: …The Truth Vnravels EP
Release Year: 2010
Genre: Metal/Groove/Progressive

truthvnravels
Portugal’s underground scene is mostly about thrash, death, hardcore: the “noisier” the better. So it’s really refreshing listening to something like EQUALEFT: “metal full of groove, power and melody”, to quote the band itself. To achieve that mixture, EQUALEFT uses 8-string guitars, increasing the scale range of the instruments and getting a closer approach to progressive elements. Nothing overstated, though – just the right measure. In my opinion, too much technical use and “flourishes” may sound mind-blowing to other musicians and connoisseurs, but to the simple layman (like me), it can become pretty boring. But these guys know where to draw the line in that matter, and so you have songs like “Alone In Emptiness” or “Amnesia” – the latter having Filipe Ferreira, from local veteran thrashers WEB, performing a solo.

“Cynical Plague” also gives tempo shifts a try – not as extreme as MESHUGGAH or THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, but the influence is there, on EQUALEFT’s own terms.

And “Uncover The Masks” could be easily considered an avant-garde metal song, given the crazy saxophone on it, courtesy of João Martins (LOST GORBACHEVS). Despite the vocal capacity of Miguel Inglês – who, by the way, experimented clean tones for the first time on “Suffer No More” – the band invited Paulo from metalcore band E.A.K. to contrast his higher screams with Inglês’ lower growls in “Denial”. And then, at some point, both tones meet and blend. They could have released an album instead of this 6-track EP. But either they postponed it while took the time to write more quality songs, or they recorded a few crappy tracks just to “fill the gaps” of a full-length. So they went for the EP, where all the songs are potential killers on stage. Assuming they’ll keep this philosophy for the debut album (due in 2012, or so rumour has it), we can expect something big from these guys. I’ll make sure to let you know about it when it sees the light of day.

4.5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Band Of The Month [October – Voting]

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , , on 24th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

It’s that time of the month, where you get to vote for the next Band Of The Month!

Voting will last for one week [24th September – 30th September].

The nominees are:

Heat-Ray
Obsolete Tomorrow
Old Corpse Road
[in:audium]
Lost Effect
ReVerbed
The Colour Line

Massacre On Broadway w/Support @ Shades Night Club [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 24th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Massacre On Broadway, Unlimited, The Colour Line
Location: Shades Night Club, Bridlington
Date: 22nd September

Massacre On Broadway’s UK tour brought them to Shades Night Club, the venue which has become the heart of Bridlington’s alternative music scene. Starting off the night were Hull-based hardcore outfit The Colour Line. This was their second show in Bridlington, the first being at Home From Home Fest. They played an energetic set for the packed out crowd, which was to be expected. The highlight of their set was a song called ‘Lads’, which had a slight Abigail Williams sound to it. The Colour Line received a massively positive reaction from the crowd.


The main support for the night were Canadian hardcore band Unlimited. Unfortunately, their guitarist couldn’t get to the UK for the show due to visa troubles, so the guitar sections were played back – the only downside to Unlimited’s set. Their set was still a brutalising and immense set, despite the generic sounding clean vocals. The highlights of Unlimited’s performance were ‘Shut Up And Smile’ and ‘Breeding New Machines’.


The headlining act Massacre On Broadway weren’t overly impressive. Their set was composed of aggressive and mellow parts and the band interacted well with the crowd, that had thinned out quite a bit since the interval. They played well enough but they didn’t seem to be very entertaining. The night was enjoyable for the most part though it is surprising that the supporting acts were better than the headliner.

Nico Davidson

Photos by Cardinal Photography.

Valkyrian Festival Receives Sponsorship

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 22nd September 2011 by Nico Davidson

The Macmillan fundraiser event known as “Valkyrian Festival” is now being sponsored by Viking crafts online store Asgard Online, the Viking metal-wear specialists. Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson [Real name Nick Taylor] had the following to say: “We’re extremely grateful that Asgard Online have chosen to sponsor the event and it’s exciting that our first event has received sponsorship”.

Asgard Online will also be donating two t-shirts that will be used as prizes in the raffle at Valkyrian Festival.

For more information regarding Valkyrian Festival, click here.

Asgard Online have also organised Tyr’s first ever UK headline show. For tickets, go to: http://www.asgardonline.co.uk/

Ellerker – Ellerker [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 19th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Ellerker
Album: Ellerker
Release year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Post-Hardcore


Ellerker, having formed in 2006, have done well for themselves in the British hardcore underground, receiving various sponsorships and creating a live act that they are renowned for. After a two hiatus [2008-2010], the Yorkshire quintet came back bigger and better, with 2011 seeing the release of their self-titled EP.

”An Anchor Holds Me Under” begins with a great melodic intro which has a hook that catches the ear of the listener the first time round, though the clean vocals sound somewhat generic, leaving something to be desired. The drums fit perfectly with the music though and the sound quality is superb. There are some hardcore elements that can be heard throughout the track, despite the mostly melodic and soft riffs. Already the EP is off to a better-than-average start.

“Find Your Own Way Home” has a heavier sound than the previous song whilst still keeping the clean, melodic sound. The vocals still leave a lot to be desired, staying clean as opposed to the use of hardcore screams that fans of the genre would be accustomed to. The drums are tight throughout the song. The use of gang vocals throughout parts of the song adds an interesting touch to the song as well. The third track “She Loves Machines” has a more vocal-dominated introduction, a welcome change for those who aren’t so keen on melodic intros. The guitars seem to be quite bland compared to the rest of the EP, with the vocals being the most impressive part of the track.

”Carmy” brings back the melodic intro, a welcome change to the average sounding guitars of the previous track. The vocals still leave room for improvement though the guitar sections are near enough perfect, with some obvious hints of hardcore influences in their composition. The EP finishes with “Blinded By The Rear View Mirror”. The song packs a lot more energy than the rest of the EP put together and the riffs are very pleasing to the ear, though the massive use of cymbals does get tiring after a while.

Ellerker’s self-titled EP is certainly interesting one and certainly one that will shock fans of post-hardcore. The only major issues with the EP is the bland and not-so-exciting sound of the third track and the vocals. However, the sound quality of the EP is superb and shows that Ellerker take the production of their releases seriously. The Yorkshire quintet have shown a lot of potential and talent with this EP, so no doubt there will be great things from these guys in the near future.

3/5

Nico Davidson

Letters From a Stranger – Apologies Mean Nothing [2011]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 15th September 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: Letters From A Stranger
Album:  Apologies Mean Nothing EP
Release year: 2011
Genre:  Metalcore

Apologies Mean Nothing is the debut EP from the British metalcore band Letters From a Stranger.  The growing interest in the band has resulted in a decision to make this particular EP available for free download from the band’s Facebook page.

The opening track ‘Intro’ is the product of the band’s producer Mikey R. Scott and offers a very good atmospheric start to the EP. This is the only highlight of the EP and the only track that makes it stand out from a sea of up and coming metalcore albums. Sadly most the other tracks do not offer anything new to the scene or the overcrowded genre. For instance ‘Cowards Preying on the Weak’ starts off with a promising, catchy guitar riff only to be let down by the vocals. Similar things can be said for the title track ‘Apologies Mean Nothing’ which despite the catchy guitar solos, sounds average at best.

So if you’re not a fan of metalcore style vocals then this EP is unlikely to change your mind. My advice to Letters From a Stranger would be to take some inspiration from successful metalcore bands like DevilDriver or Lamb of God for their next album.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila (formerly Iza Lesniak)

Odraedir – Pagan Forest [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 11th September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Odraedir
Album: Pagan Forest
Release year: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal/Pagan Metal

The Czech Republic, a nation drenched in both Germanic and Slavic history, tradition and culture, as well as home to the forgotten mythologies of the Slavs is undoubtedly a land full of inspiration for the unknown Czech metal scene. Such is the case with the young folk metal project “Odraedir” and their recent demo “Pagan Forest”.

The demo begins with the title track “Pagan Forest”, which has a melodic intro which sounds like Iron Maiden meets folk metal. The vocals are raw and aggressive, bordering on death metal grunts. The drums are masterfully played, keeping the rhythm flowing throughout the song. The vocals become more death metal sounding as the song progresses whilst the guitars stay melodic yet brutal. “The Dawn of Odin’s Horde in Pagan Forest” starts with an acoustic section, creating the folky feel for the song. The song progresses into a heavier riff, which is very Ensiferum-esque. The vocals have taken on more of a death metal element as well. The riffs remain very melodic throughout the track. The drums are mediocre in their playing, but at least are audible.

”Occultism And Mystic Practises in Pagan Forest” has a very dark and grim sounding acoustic intro riff, setting a sombre mood for the listener. Like the previous track, it progresses into a heavier riff. There is a great use of cymbals, adding to the metal element of the song and the vocals are more bloodthirsty in their use as well. The riffs aren’t quite as melodic on throughout this song, which is disappointing for those who enjoy melody as opposed to aggression. The more light heartedly named “Asterix and Obelix in Pagan Forest” comes next with a more cheery sounding riff. The use of melodic makes its return to the demo during this song. The vocals sound quite gruff, contrasting well with the music. The drums are well played also. The demo finishes with the track “Fine Odraedir Mead” which has a very interesting intro, sounding more folky than the previous songs on the demo. The song has more of a rock element to it as opposed to a metal element, though this doesn’t ruin the song in any way, fortunately.

”Pagan Forest” is certainly an interesting demo to listen to. The sound quality might not be brilliant but it adds to the raw energy of the music. Whilst there is a heavy lack of keyboards and other folk-like elements, the demo is still enjoyable.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Graveworm Album Update

Posted in News with tags , , , on 4th September 2011 by Nico Davidson


Graveworm will be releasing their new album, “Fragments Of Death”, on October 21 via Nuclear Blast Records. The new album is a follow-up to Graveworm’s 2009 album “Diabolical Figures”. According to a statement released by the band, “The songs are about the death in its thousand faces, which is also reflected in the album title and cover art. Musically, the album can be seen as a mixture of the best of the last four records, with some old-school roots and definitive darker than its predecessors.”

Vocalist Stefano Fiori also stated that for him, the cover artwork reflects the lyrics exactly as the album deals with death in all its forms. He also went onto say that each song represents a way to die.

“Fragments Of Death” track listing:

01. Insomnia
02. Only Death In Our Wake
03. Absence Of Faith
04. Living Nightmare
05. The World Will Die In Flames
06. Anxiety
07. See No Future
08. The Prophecy
09. Remembrance
10. Old Forgotten Song
11. Where Angels Do Not Fly
Bonus track:
12. Awake

GrimFaith – Hearts And Engines EP [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 3rd September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: GrimFaith
Album: Hearts And Engines EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Gothic Metal/Doom Metal


GrimFaith, a four piece Ukrainian metal outfit, are one of many bands that are bringing the Eastern European metal scene into the spotlight. The band’s recent release “Hearts And Engines” is the first release in three years.

The first track of the EP, featuring Lisa Johansson of Draconian, is Flower And The Bone. The track begins with a slightly symphonic metal styled introduction followed by a grim sounding scream. After a well composed instrumental section, the low, Gothic-sounding clean vocals make themselves heard. The keyboard sections add a very a dramatic sound to the music, similar to an old school Cradle Of Filth album. Lisa’s vocals aren’t heavily featured on this track though the parts she sings in are simply breath taking. The whispered vocals help bring about more of a Gothic sound to the song as well. The guitars well played but are outdone by the keyboards.

The second track is “E.V.O3 – Cyberlover” which begins with a mixture of cyber-like sounds and harps. The vocals soon follow, bringing a unique sound to the sound. The guitars and drums make the track slightly heavier but still retain the soft, fragile Gothic sound at the same time. “Dead In Soho” comes next, beginning with vocals, guitars and drums. The keyboards bring a very dark, atmospheric sound with them whilst the drums and guitars keep the heavy element of the track. The vocals switch brilliantly between strong and clean to rough and raw sounding. The final track is the extreme version of “E.V.O3 -Cyberlover” and it certainly is more extreme as there is a use of screams, growls and grunts as well as clean vocals.

It’s surprising that the Eastern European metal scenes are overlooked and not well known, especially considering the quality of this EP. The sound quality is clean and crisp, whilst each track is masterfully composed and soulfully played. Hopefully, GrimFaith have another great release in the works.

5/5

Nico Davidson

The Saxons Are Coming (Again!)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 2nd September 2011 by Nico Davidson

In October, the UK will see the return of mighty Saxon, Viking and Celtic warriors on the Warhorns Over Aengland tour. Nothgard will be touring for three days around England with support from Hull’s own Ravenage, Windrider and Infernal Creation along with Ireland’s very own Celtic Black Metal quintet Celtachor.

Dates confirmed so far are 29th October at Rios in Bradford and Relentless Garage in London on 30th October. Tickets for the Bradford show are available here for a mere £6. Tickets for the London show will soon be available.

Hull Magazine’s First Show

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 1st September 2011 by Nico Davidson


Hull-based metal webzine Denim and Leather are due to put on their first show later this month. “Rock The Ringside” will feature four bands from Hull and the surrounding areas. The headlining band are none other than XIII with support from the likes of Pastel Jack [August’s Band Of The Month], Lipstick Sunbeam and Self Inflicted Revolution.

”Rock The Ringside” will be held at The Ringside in Hull on 28th September. Entry fee is £2. For more details on “Rock The Ringside”, click here.

Cryptic Age Album Update

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 1st September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age have released news about their next album “Sounds Of Infinity” on their blog. Though the album isn’t a concept album, the band have stated that there will be an epic four-parter on the new album that will be a concept called “Sounds Of Infinity”, taking its name from the album’s title. According to their blog, the epic four-parter will be about a mysterious Manx spirit. Cryptic Age are hoping to release the new album sometime next year.

You can read Cryptic Age’s update about the album here.

Don’t forget Cryptic Age will be playing at Ravenage’s album release show later this month, as well as the SOPHIE Festival in Manchester in November.

Cryptic Age will also be headlining Valkyrian Festival 2011 in November.

Battlecross – Pursuit Of Honor [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 1st September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Battlecross
Album: Pursuit Of Honor
Release year: 2011
Genre: Blue Collar Thrash Metal

The true formation of Battlecross came about in 2007. With a mixture of mature and technical riffs and energetic live shows, Battlecross’ music was soon described as “Blue Collar Thrash Metal” due to their hard working attitude. They have toured with bands such as GWAR and DevilDriver, as well as being featured on local, national and global metal radios, amongst other feats. Following the release of their recent album, “Pursuit Of Honor”, it seems nothing is going to stop Battlecross.

The title track, “Pursuit Of Honor”, leaves the listener thinking ‘what the f**k is this?’ as it entirely composed of a short acoustic guitar medley. Fortunately, the next song “Push Pull Destroy” shreds its way next with a violent intro riff. The drum work is terrifyingly brutal, whilst the vocals are raw, angsty and bloodthirsty. The riffs are slightly technical in their playing and composition, however they favour a straight forward metal assault over the fancy technicalities – Until the song nears it end anyway. The guitar solo is a true display of talent and fits in nicely with the rest of the song. “Kaleb” starts with a slight death metal element to it, boosting the levels of brutality slightly more. The music, does however, show influences of thrash metal. The melodic sections work well with the savagery of the vocals and the barbaric sound of the drums.

”Deception” is another track with a brutalising and heavy introduction, though this one seems to favour its punch over its melodic riffs. Double bass is used heavily throughout the song, being used in every section of the track. There is use of melodic riffs in the second half of the track though not as heavily used as the other riffs. The solo-like introduction of “Man Of Stone” comes next before a thrash-death metal assault begins. The track becomes more thrashy as it progresses, increasing in violence as well. The vocals are full of raw aggression and power, bordering on the line of being psychotic sounding. “Breaking You” as a not so enjoyable introduction, though the vocals soon make up for it. The drums are full of violence but intelligently played as well, making the track sound ever more murderous. The riffs, for the most part, are well composed and played.

Following after is “Rupture” with an intro slightly familiar to that of “Breaking You” but it soon changes as the riffs turn slightly more melodic. The lyrics are grim and vicious, which is to be expected – Though the lyrics don’t sound to be for the faint of heart. Nor do the guitar riffs for that matter. “Leech”, though being heavy, seems laid back compared to the previous tracks. The track seems to be lacking energy and a bit of passion. “Better Off Dead” comes shredding its way next, bringing back the brutal riffs, energy and passion. The vocals are bloodthirsty and immense sounding, dominating the track massively. The riffs are masterfully played and the drums keep the track together.

“Misery” is more slow paced yet more passionate and aggressive compared to some of the previous tracks. The tempo does increase however before the vocals make themselves heard. The riffs are face-meltingly good and the drums are savage and barbaric. The album finishes with “Foreshadowing” which sounds oddly Gothic, which is a strange way to end the album. Even the solo sounds somewhat Gothic.

It’s no wonder Battlecross have done so well in their career. The band is made up for musicial genius’ and talented musicians. “Pursuit Of Honor” is perhaps one of the best albums on the modern thrash metal scene. Battlecross could easily replace one of the top 4 of thrash metal if they keep producing albums like this one.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Band Of The Month [September, 2011]: Ziyos

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , on 1st September 2011 by Nico Davidson

After a long, gruelling week of voting Ziyos have come out on top to become September’s Band Of The Month! Ziyos are a five piece metal band from Worksop, Nottinghamshire. They bring a fresh, new sound to the British metal scene without betraying their roots. Since their formation, they have slowly been on the rise in the UK metal underground and have even received support from the Georgia Metal Alliance.

Rating: 4.5/5

Links:

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/ziyos
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Ziyos
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/ziyos
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ziyos/156558687711611