Archive for November, 2011

Spires + Incassum + Support @ The Ringside, Hull [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 27th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Spires, Incassum, Infernal Creation
Location: The Ringside, Hull
Date: 26th November

As part of their Terrorizer-sponsored tour, the Manchester-based Spires and Incassum arrived in the grim city of Hull. The original line-up for the night consisted of Mister Sister Fister, Infernal Creation, Incassum and Spires. Unfortunately, Mister Sister Fister had to pull out last minute due to their drummer already being booked for at work for the night. After reviewing Incassum and Spires earlier this week for the site – and Infernal Creation for my “rivals” over at Denim and Leather, I already had an idea of what the night would consist.

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Though I was tending the doors for the promoter, I had a perfect view of the stage as Hull’s very own misanthropic beast of a metal band, Infernal Creation, graced the room with their presence of stage. They’re definitely a band who need no introductions, however when the voice of misanthropy, Neiph, did introduce the band, he took the opportunity to announce their next song as well, by stating in a grim, almost-messianic way: “We are Infernal Creation… And we speak of the Insidious Gospel”. As I stated earlier, I already had an idea of what to expect for tonight but I didn’t expect Infernal Creation’s sound to be so aggressive and heavy live. The snarling screams and roaring of guitars, topped off with thunderous drums just made their performance so much better. The band played a few songs such as “War Is Worship” and “The Angel Of Endless Hunger” from the new album, The Serpent Seed Doctrine, and in all honestly, they sounded as good as the studio versions.

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The female-fronted force of violent melodic metal that is Incassum wasted no time getting to the stage – Something that did impress since some bands do like to pansy foot around in the interval. In fact, they were all set to play when I was half way through smoking a roll-up. Fortunately I could hear them clearly outside while I was smoking. With female-fronted bands, there seems to be a stereotype that they all have operatic vocalists but the good thing about Incassum is that they don’t cater themselves to such stereotypes. Their In Vain EP is an example of this and their live performance certainly showed that they’re better than most female-fronted bands. The violent sounds of the guitars echoed well throughout the venue and the band’s set showed some clear influences of melodic and technical death metal. The thing that really did impress me the most about Incassum’s set – aside from the music – was the way that the frontwoman, Sharleen, so easily transited between roaring vocals mightier than thunder and a softer, more angelic vocal style almost as if it was as natural as breathing. Incassum made Arch Enemy sound like pop rock, a potentially blasphemous comment no doubt but if you’ve seen them live, you’ll agree. Their song “Cut Loose” certainly seemed to go down well with the crowd.

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The headliner of the night were the extreme-prog. metal quartet that are Spires. I had already been assured by the guys in Infernal Creation that these guys are great live as Infernal had done a gig with them roughly a year and a half ago. They performed a truly tight set that displayed a masterful combination of progressive elements, more brutal sounds and a strong use of vocals. The solos were easy of the ears as well. Spires performed a new song as well – I think they said it was called “The Fevered Spirit”, either way, it was a masterful combination of aggression, progressive metal and strong vocal work. These guys are definitely a band I’d recommend everyone go see live. Though the opening act had dropped out last minute, the night’s entertainment was still provided by three great bands. Any of them would have gone down well as the headlining act as well and the people certainly got their £3’s worth.

Nico Davidson

Sworn To Oath – Leave You For Dead [2011]

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

Band: Sworn To Oath
Album: Leave You For Dead EP
Release year: 2011
Genre: Metal

Sworn To Oath are one of the UK’s most talked about live bands since their formation two years ago with their sound being compared to bands such as Pantera, Audioslave and 36 Crazy Fists. Their hard work ethic has seen them play over 300 shows and festivals including their current UK tour – one of which brought them to my town of Bridlington. They’ve supported acts such as Hatebreed, Meshuggah and Young Guns. After handing the band my contact details at the Brid show, I was quite surprised when their new EP arrived through the post, courtesy of their management Skratch The Surface.

The EP begins with the fierce snarling guitars of “Last Call”, a track that features some seriously thunderous drum sections. The vocals are like a mixture of hard rock and power metal. The song pretty much slams itself into the listener’s ears like a door to the face – Only it being much easier on the face and ears. “(Everything) Reminds Me Of You” might sound like the name of some whiney emo song about heartache but I assure you, it doesn’t even come within a mile of being emo. The drums pound their way through each section like Thor’s hammer cracking a jotun’s skull. The guitar riffs throw in a powerful, raw sound full of pure aggression while the bass creates a happy medium of the two. Vocally, the song is mighty, adding a “36 Crazy Fists”-like element to the music. “(Everything) Reminds Me Of You” finishes with a very destructive sounding verse with back-up from some very angry gang vocals.

”False Promise” focuses more on the bass, drums and vocals for a lot of the time. Fear not though, the guitars do still bring the metaphorical thunder in an Olympianesque style, adding the power of an earthquake to the music and vocals. The distorted bass stylings introduce the final track “Leave You For Dead”, taking the tempo down several notches but increasing the strength like steroids being injected into a muscle-bound weight lifter. The bass riffs feel somewhat very-Pantera styled along with some of the guitar riffs in the second half. The vocals border on a thrash-stylised snarl in a similar vein to Mustaine or Hetfield [Before the St. Anger release].

Not only do Sworn To Oath put on an exciting live performance, they also make their recorded material just as exciting. Listening to the “Leave You For Dead” EP felt like being back in the underground venue that is Shades in Bridlington. If you like riffs that would tear the face apart of the average Joe, drums that could easily topple the Walls of Jericho and vocals that can toe-to-toe with the of Dickinson [Iron Maiden] and Hetfield [Metallica], then this is an EP for you. I see big things for these guys in the near future. Sworn To Oath could be the next Iron Maiden minus the skeleton mascot.

Not Above Evil- The Transcendental Signified

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 23rd November 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: NOT ABOVE EVIL
Album: THE TRANSCENDENTAL SIGNIFIED
Release year: 2011
Genre: MELODIC DEATH/BLACK METAL

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‘The Transcendental Signified’ is the second album from British melodic death metal band Not Above Evil.

The opening track ‘Crossroads’ features a very promising melodic intro proceeded by fast guitar riffs and black metal vocals similar to those of Dimmu Borgir or even old Agathodaimon. There is also a clear Lamb of God influence in the bass guitar riffs and drums structures in tracks such as ‘Capture the Dawn’.

‘Against The Tides’ is one of the best tracks on here with memorable guitar solos that allow you to look past the slightly cheesy sounding lyrics. The only major let down is the progressive intro to ‘Nexus’ which doesn’t seem to fit the style set by the rest of the album. I’m not quite sure what they were trying to achieve with this. Luckily that track does have certain redeeming features such as the guitar solos towards the end.

Another notable track is ‘As The Curtain Falls’ which continues where ‘Against The Tides’ left off with more memorable guitar riffs and solos that have enormous mosh-pit potential. The final track ‘The Duel’ seems like the perfect way to end this album with its deceptively slow and melodic intro that ensures the listener is all the more unprepared for the intensity of the remainder of the song.

Overall this is a very solid release.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Odessa w/Support @ The Ringside [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by conorclaustrophobia

Bands: Odessa, Calasis, Not Another Code Red, Gratitude, Scrimshaw, The Stanford Prison Experiment, A L E T H E I A, The Colour Line
Location: Ringisde, Hull
Date: 20th November 2011

Odessa’s UK tour them to the musically diverse city of Hull at the Ringside as part of an all-day event. The first act of the night were a new band known as A L E T H I A. This was their first gig and it was no surprise that their stage presence was poor, though this might have something to do with it being their first gig as well as the nerves getting to them. They struggled to get the crowd excited with their metalcore sounding set – a feat only accomplished by bands that the Hull folk are used to seeing. The roaring of their guitars sounded more akin to a distorted explosion of unpleasant sounds as opposed to something the crowd could get into and the snarling vocals left much to be desired. Another notable thing about this new band’s set was the lack of song names being announced, almost as if they expected the crowd to automatically know the names of their songs, in some form of vain arrogance, despite it being their first gig.

The Stanford Prison Experiment took to the stage afterwards and they weren’t any better than the first band. The frontman had his back to the crowd throughout most of the set, almost like he was just performing to the rest of the band – Not really something that should be done if a band wants to entertain people or even gain some new fans. The next band Scrimshaw completely upped the quality of the show so far with a mixture of good stage presence and some humourous statements that lightened up the mood of the crowd. So far, they were the best ‘core band of the night. Gratitude were next in line to play. Before they went on stage, a lot of people were outside having a quick smoke but the second they knew Gratitude were on a lot of them came rushing back. They played an energetic and heavy set that had some progressive rock sounds to it and an even a song that sounded like a Foo Fighters track. “Relentless” and “In Smoulders” went down well with the crowd.

The Hull based pop-punk-meets-post-hardcore outfit Not Another Code Red were on of the definite crowd pleasers of the night, especially with their cover of “Black And Yellow”. Calasis were a no show due to a run-in with the long arm of the law at a gig the night before, so let’s move onto the main support The Colour Line. Without a doubt, they stole the show on Sunday night with great sounding vocals, a strong, post-hardcore sounding set and a lot more energy and charisma than the other bands. The headliners, Odessa, failed to reach the bar set by The Colour Line. The performance was lacking heavily and there’s definitely room for improvement.

The show was mediocre at best due to the differing quality of performances from each band and the headliner really did fail to impress – Perhaps The Colour Line should have had their slot instead.

Conor Taylor

Spires – Spiral Of Ascension [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Spires
Album: Spiral Of Ascension
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Metal

Manchester based prog. metallers Spires began initially as the brain child of vocalist, frontman and producer Paul Sadler [ex InSlience/Tomb]. After completing the line-up, consisting of Paul Cuthbert [Guitar], Alex Jolley [Bass] and Chris Barnard [Drums] the band soon began gigging, making their live shows a testament to their dedication and passion for the music they write. November 2010 saw the release of their highly anticipated album Spires Of Ascension.

“Equilibrium” starts with a very progressive sounding introduction, similar to those that can be found on an Opeth track. The vocals are calm and soothing, an odd contrast with the guitars – Well, that is until the vocals turn more raw and aggressive with elements of a death metal style thrown in as well just to spice things up. The drums hold their own nicely through out the track. The guitar solo feels too early on in the track, being virtually at the halfway point. The second guitar solo feels more at home towards the end. The album moves onto “The Infinite End”, beginning calmly before slowly changing into a hulk-like raid of furious metal. The vocals keep things interesting with their death metal stylings, especially when combined with the technical and melodic guitar licks.

“Nightfall” starts with the relaxing sound of rain before the acoustic riffs coolly walk into the song, giving the listener a small break before 13 and a half minute track that is “Broken Hourglass”. The use of thunder during in the song gives the track some form of atmosphere. “Broken Hourglass” is quite eerie at the beginning – Whether this is due to the sound of the guitar or the riff being played, I will never know unless I ask the band, which at this time of morning would be a stupid idea. Anyway, back to the review – The song progresses into heavier and technical musings but still retains that eerie sound in certain sections. The clean use of vocals make a mighty return to the album during in the track. The guitars switch between clean and heavy, though mostly staying clean and melodic adding for a very progressive sound for the first half of the track. The main negative issue with the track is its length – It’s too long for the casual listener of progressive metal and may even seem dull after a few minutes. Roughly half way through, the demonic-like growls can be heard, adding a spark of freshness to the song.

”Symmetry” has a very soft rock ambience to its sound, perfect for chilling out to though this may or may not have been the intention of the band during its composition. The vocals are strong, blending well with the music. The ten piece composition that is “Martyr” follows after, beginning in a more progressive and alternative vein before evolving into something heavier and more technical. After a while, it does revert back to the softer, progressive sound, which a shame since the death metal sound is catchy in a weird sense. The vocals are diverse, like the music, which is to be expected and there’s even a cheeky use of female vocals as well to add that extra bit of spice to the already tasty mix of sounds. Coming towards the end of the album is none other than the title track, “Spiral Of Ascension”. Like the previous tracks, it has a soft, progressive sounding introduction that is both melodic and easy on the ears. The vocals begin out clean and it is a while before the song turns from a Dr Jekkyl-like sound into a more beastly Dr Hyde-like sound. The track definitely demonstrates the different influences the band have and they clearly merge them together into a masterpiece with this one track.

“A New Prayer”, which is the bonus track, finalises the album with a soft but mystifying guitar riff that slowly grows into a loud, volcanic roar of unrelenting force and power with little nibbles of melodic compositions. The other parts of the track are more along the lines of a furious assault of gunfire-styled drums and guitars before retreating back into a soft section.

“Spires Of Ascension” is kind of like the British offspring of Emperor and Opeth minus the symphonic elements. The album is enjoyable for the most part though a fan of progressive metal might struggle to find the enjoyment straight away. Definitely an album worth checking out for fans of Emperor, Opeth and Mastodon.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

Spires will be touring with Incassum later this month. See below for dates:

24/11 NEWCASTLE TRILLIANS – FREE ENTRY!
25/11 BRADFORD RIOS
26/11 HULL RINGSIDE
27/11 GRIMSBY YARDBIRDS
30/11 KINGSTON THE PEEL
01/12 READING FACE BAR
02/12 DERBY OLD BELL
04/12 MANCHESTER ALTER EGO + ‘SWORN TO OATH’

Incassum – In Vain [2008]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Incassum
Album: In Vain
Release year: 2008
Genre: Melodic Metal/Gothic Metal

Incassum are a five piece female-fronted melodic Gothic metal outfit hailing from Manchester. They’ve supported big acts such as Blaze Bayley [Former Iron Maiden frontman], Breed 77 and others. The band have also headlined their own shows at venues such as Manchester Academy. 2008 saw the release of their EP “In Vain”.

The EP takes up a dark and tense beginning in the form of “The Beckoning”. Before the vocals are heard, the guitars display a beautiful use of melodic riffs that are combined an intelligent use of drum work. The guitars create a very tense, dramatic and atmospheric feel that is usually only achieved by keyboards. The vocals do take the listener by surprise. The vocals are along the lines of death metal and black metal, so definitely a bonus for fans of Astarte and Arch Enemy. In true Gothic metal style, there is a use of clean, harmonic vocals as well, though not overly operatic as is the stereotype with Gothic metal these days. Musically, the track is like a raging bull charging its way through the crowds at the “Running of the Bulls”.

“History Repeats” hits the listener like a mortar hitting a tank, beginning with a catchy, face-melting riff followed by a powerful vocal section. The drums offer up a deliciously rhythmic taster of what’s to come during in the rest of the track. The guitars tease the listener, keeping their attention while the vocal sections progress into a happy medium of harsh and clean. The most hypnotic and enchanting aspect of the track is the solo. “Space To Breathe” takes the listener down a heavier, brutal path with a masterful combination of clean female vocals and harsher male vocals. The guitars conjure together a well-constructed wall of musical genius and the drums force upon the listener an assault of metallic proportions. “So Red” ambushes the listener’s ears with a delicate guitar intro which is joined by strong yet gentle vocals and a calm drum section. The song hints at heavier progressions though the real heaviness doesn’t occur until the second half of the song.

“All These Lies” starts with drums and bass – Not the techno/dance music kind either – before a crash of thunderous guitars shred their way through the track. The clean vocals are powerful, strong and oddly more impressive than the growls – Which are still pretty beastly. The drums fit their placement well, keeping everything tight. The use of backing growls fits in perfectly with the cleaner vocal style as well, adding a certain beauty and the beast effect to the music. The breakdown – Well, I’m assuming it to be a breakdown since I have difficulty recognising one – does throw the track off a little. The EP comes to a melodic end with the title track “In Vain”. The melodic-styled intro lulls the listener into a calm state of mind before unleashing a raging storm of metal that sounds like a combination of death metal and speed metal – Not that there’s anything wrong with that! The drums certainly add that extra special vitamin known as pure brutality to the song while the contrasting vocal styles keep the track diverse – on a vocal level at least. The guitars are intelligently structured and awe-inspiring like the metal version of the pyramids. After a massacre of aggressive solo work, the track sadly comes to a slow, melodic end.

”In Vain” is definitely not your typical Gothic metal release – In fact, it’s probably better than your typical Gothic metal release. The music shows strong elements of death, black and speed metal while the vocals portray a more Arch Enemy meets Astarte meets Evanescence sound. Each part of the EP has had a lot of thought and work put into it. Its hard to believe that “In Vain” is their only release!

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

Incassum will be touring with Spires later this month. See below for dates:

24/11 NEWCASTLE TRILLIANS – FREE ENTRY!
25/11 BRADFORD RIOS
26/11 HULL RINGSIDE
27/11 GRIMSBY YARDBIRDS
30/11 KINGSTON THE PEEL
01/12 READING FACE BAR
02/12 DERBY OLD BELL
04/12 MANCHESTER ALTER EGO + ‘SWORN TO OATH’

An Evening With Dimmu Borgir [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 21st November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: Dimmu Borgir
Location: The Cockpit, Leeds
Date: 19th November 2011

In celebration of “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”, an album released 14 years ago, Dimmu Borgir embarked on their “An Evening With” tour which took them to the musically diverse heart of West Yorkshire known as Leeds. With a band as well-established as Dimmu Borgir, there comes a certain expectation of their performance and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they lived up to those expectations.

As they took their place on the stage, they looked somewhat sinister, almost demonic, thanks to the smoke and the lights, which helped add to the ethereal and mystifying atmosphere that had come over the crowd in the Cockpit. The first set of the night was composed entirely of the tracklisting from “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”. Starting with “Mourning Palace”, Dimmu progressed into “Spellbound (By The Devil)” in which Shagrath encouraged, demanded even, the showing of horns in the air, to which the crowd happily obliged. “The Night Masquerade” was the most entertaining song of the first set.

After a short interval, Dimmu Borgir soon returned to the stage – Well, it was more like Daray at first who entertained the crowd with a drum solo before the band fully returned to the stage blasting their way through “Vredesbyrd”. After that, Shagrath recited the words “Left are the kings of the carnival creation, carrying out the echoes of the fallen” to announce the next song, which was “Kings Of The Carnival Creation”. The next three songs were taken from the new album “Abrahadabra” – The first of which was “Dimmu Borgir”, which hagrath described as a song about “strength, unity and the ever lasting flame flame that is Dimmu Borgir”. The band finished the set with a great rendition of “Puritania” which wasn’t enough for the horde of Dimmu fans who demanded more.

The encore was comprised of only three songs, “The Serpentine Offering” – which sounded strange with Vortex’s vocals being played back – “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” and “Perfection of Vanity”. It was strange seeing Dimmu in such a small venue considering their status as one of the biggest international black metal bands, whch was one of two down sides to the show. The other being the poor sound system which clearly wasn’t suited for the band. Aside from those two issues, it was a truly mystifying performance and a show of epic proportion. Hopefully, Dimmu will tour the UK again next year.

Nico Davidson

Interview with Morgue Orgy

Posted in Interview with tags , , , on 20th November 2011 by izaforestspirit

Interview with Morgue Orgy, at S.O.P.H.I.E. Festival, 19th November 2011 by Iza Raittila

The Birmingham based melodic death/ thrash metal band Morgue Orgy has caused quite a stir in the world of British underground metal. Iza caught up with Gray, Carter, Uncle Holloway, Prok, Pence and Tom before their first performance as the headlining band of S.O.P.H.I.E. festival.

Iza: So how did you guys find out about this event and what’s your involvement with the charity?

Morgue Orgy: We saw it on Facebook and we obviously all know about the charity and what happened to Sophie Lancaster. So we basically messaged the organiser and just told him straight up that we wanted to get involved, to raise some money for a good cause and that was pretty much it. Then they put us on the bill straight away. As easy as that! An exchange of emails…

Iza: You’ve had a really good year so far. You have played at Bloodstock; you’ve also been featured in Terrorizer and Zero Tolerance. What’s been the highlight so far? Any favourites?

Morgue Orgy: Seeing Bad Religion at Sonisphere was amazing! Regarding Morgue Orgy…? Playing loads of gigs and going to Burger King every time. That’s actually a really serious answer! Another issue was obviously getting our EP ‘Murders Most Foul’ released and we did our first video was well. But as for Morgue Orgy’s career it was probably Bloodstock. The live highlight for us this year was supporting Evile.

Iza: Could tell me a bit more about the new EP you’ve got out- ‘Murders Most Foul’?

Morgue Orgy: Well, obviously it’s called ‘Murders Most Foul’ and it’s a collection of short stories to music. All of them being about murders that were most foul. It was… We felt that it was a big step up from our first recording in terms of the quality of the songs and the quality of the recording. It’s been a big boost for us. We’ve had a lot of good feedback and really we just want to get more people to hear it and write more I suppose. That’s pretty much it.

Iza: One of the tracks from the new EP features guest vocals from Dave (Anaal Nathrakh). Could you tell me what it was like to work with him?

Morgue Orgy: It was pretty easy because he’s one our mates anyway and obviously we look up to Anaal Nathrakh, they’re from Birmingham. So it was really easy, it was great and it turned out brilliant. Really great! It was cool that after he finished recording the vocals he asked us what we thought of it. That was quite funny. You know, I mean we should have been asking him what he thought of it.

Iza: So what’s next up for Morgue Orgy? What are your plans for the future?

Morgue Orgy: We’re going try and get as many gigs as we can around the U.K. really, take on as much as we can. And obviously look towards our next recording. We will do an album, a full album at some point. Don’t know when.

Iza: Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?

Morgue Orgy: To our fans, thanks for the support, thanks for coming out to gigs, buying the merch and spreading the word. We do this because we love it. We’re six mates and if we come to places like Manchester, Leeds, Swansea etc. which we’re not from, and the crowds will turn up for us. We think that’s really good. You know, we’re doing something right for the music that we do. So I just want to say thanks. Oh and one more thing, after our show at Scruffy Murphy’s last year with the likes of Stoner Wars etc, to whoever found my Black Dahlia Murder T-shirt could I please have it back!
And anyone who comes to our gigs wearing a Bad Religion T-shirt gets free merch!

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S.O.P.H.I.E. Festival @ The Guzzlin’ Goose, Ashton Under Lyne [Live Review]

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , on 20th November 2011 by izaforestspirit

Bands: New Deity, Gods of War, Savage Outlaw, Revival, Yakavetta, Bisonhammer, Candid Iniquity, Morgue Orgy
Location: The Guzzlin’ Goose pub, Ashton Under Lyne
Date: 19th November 2011

“Because it is a charity event, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong!” Despite several hitches, venue issues, last minute line-up changes and advert infused Spotify radio DJ sets between the bands, the first ever S.O.P.H.I.E. festival took place yesterday. The festival was created to raise to money for the anti hate-crime charity The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. As with the Foundation, the festival takes its name from Sophie Lancaster, a young Goth girl who was beaten to death by a group of thugs just because she looked different. Photobucket

And so it was that on a sunny Saturday afternoon The Guzzlin’ Goose was packed with metal-heads, Goths and other alternative people who all came to see the local underground bands. First up was New Deity who delivered an entertaining set with melodic tunes that helped to get the night in motion. Photobucket

Liverpool thrashers Gods of War’s energetic performance captured the attention of the crowds with catchy guitar solos and the memorable tracks such as ‘Pillage and Plunder’ which proved to be one of the highlights of the night. Photobucket

Savage Outlaw’s take on old school thrash/heavy metal got my attention due to the vocalist’s unmistakable similarity to mid-career Metallica and the catchy guitar solos. I even took one of their demos home! Photobucket

Revival was a late addition to the line-up and struggled to capture attention of the audience. Luckily their efforts paid off in the end with thanks to a very good cover of Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’.
Yakavetta proved to be skilful players and produced some catchy tunes which were sadly let down by the vocal style which did not seem to fit the music. Bisonhammer’s performance was energetic and at times the guitar riffs worked well but the metalcore vocals wrecked it for me.

Candid Iniquity was a bit too metalcore for my liking but their stage performance proved a big hit with the crowds thanks to their charismatic frontman Paul Harrop. They also produced an excellent cover of Reel 2 Real’s ‘I Like To Move It’! Photobucket

Despite the late start the headliners Morgue Orgy were worth the wait. It’s difficult to describe their unique sound which incorporates a mixture of At The Gates -style vocals with symphonic black metal keyboards and melodic death metal guitars. Highlight for me was a melodic track called ‘The Modern Prometheus’. Photobucket

If you want to know more about Morgue Orgy check out my interview with them also available on this site.

Iza Raittila

Dakesis – Trial By Fire [2011]

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

Band: Dakesis
Album: Trial By Fire
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

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Dakesis – Birmingham based progressive power metal quintet – are considered by some as one of the UK’s fastest growing independent artists. Mixing progressive and power metal, the band have established a strong and loyal fan base over the last two years. Looking at the album cover, one would easily get the impression that the album is a mixture of Tolkien’s work and Greek mythology.

The epic and majestic sound of “Shield Of Achilles I” starts the album. The orchestration brings about a dramatic and tense sound, much like the theme to Jaws. The title track “Trial By Fire” comes blazing next with a mixture of highly energetic guitars and strong vocals topped with intelligently played drums. The vocals have a strong and heroic sound to them, almost Odysseus-like in their strength. The guitars show hints of some European metal influences – Without the overly cheesy sound that has come to be associated with stereotypical power metal. The keyboards offer up a brilliant sagaic flavour throughout the track as well. The only other parts of the track that truly deserves praise would have to be the guitar and keyboard solos – Both of which are well composed and well cleverly placed like the Spartans at Thermopylae.

”Liar” takes a less power metal approach in its intro though the high pitched wail that soon follows changes that. The guitars and drums are well structured and the keyboards are strategically placed to reinforce the rest of the music. The combination of male and female vocals – the latter of which are brought into the song by the band’s keyboardist Gemma – are pretty easy on the ears, feeling a tad like the combination of vocals in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic “Phantom Of The Opera”. The track however is obviously dominated by male vocals, slightly disappointing, but hey, what can we do about it? For those of you who like keyboard introductions, you’ll love the harmonious yet solemn keyboard heavy beginning to “After The Storm”. The vocal work is primarily female – And before anyone says anything, no, the song does not sound like a Nightwish track! Wayne’s vocals make a slight appearance in the song without taking away from the sound already established. The speed metalesque styling of “On Wings Of Steel” takes the album by storm with its keyboard dominated introduction. Wayne’s vocals lead the charge into the musical fray of masterfully composed guitar sections and keyboard riffs, followed by Gemma’s vocals that don’t feature as heavily throughout the song – Either way though, the combination of their vocals makes the track more exciting.

”Broken” starts with a depressed and slow-paced section being composed of Gemma’s vocals and piano before the melodic guitar work joins in, keeping to the slower march of the song. Wayne’s vocals can be heard as well, adding extra strength to the song. “Into The Light” starts with the sound of bass that grows stronger as it progresses before the rest of the instrumentation dominate the track much like the way the Roman Empire dominated Europe. The vocal work, provided by Wayne, is diverse on this one, offering up a mixture of high and low notes. The solos keep everything in the song – and the album – sounding fresh so need to worry about the sound going stale after a few listens. The slow but epic musings of “Valhalla” add a sound of Eddic proportions to the album. The vocal work is grand, blending with the music well. The lack of emphasis on the keyboards does make the song feel a bit bland, though it does give it a very old school power metal sound – Iced Earth meets Helloween kind of power metal. “To The End” brings back a faster tempo to the album as well as emphasis on the keyboards in sections. Wayne’s vocals are coupled up with what sounds to be growls in the background, making the song more aggressive and violent sounding – much like the violent sound heard coming from a raiding party of berserkers mixed with metal. The guitar solo is placed in an unusual section of the song and ambushes the listener before the keyboard solo carries on the onslaught of masterfully played musical craftsmanship. Gemma’s vocal work has the proverbial last word of the song, ending on a solemn note with the piano.

”Shield of Achilles” casts forth an ethereal sound that could only come from the depths of Hades – or some other eerie and misunderstood mythological afterlife. The track progresses into a sound as mighty and as powerful as the legendary Achilles himself, truly a song worthy of the legend. Thankfully Homer [Author of the Iliad] never composed music, otherwise he’d have probably written this centuries before hand! The album’s end comes in the form of “440 (King Of The Road)”. The song takes a less fancy musical approach, favouring a raw sound with the guitars over any fancy technical work. Wayne’s vocal work is once again quite diverse while the guitars offer up a virgin sacrifice of musical goodness to the ears of the listener. They keyboards keep flow nicely in their designated sections, keeping that European power metal in place.

If Homer, Beethoven and Iron Maiden had a love child together, Dakesis would be the clearly epic sounding result. Never has there been such a perfect sounding debut full length album like “Trial By Fire”. The vocals are more diverse than the usual vocal styles found in power metal and the instrumentation show a range of influences from classic metal to prog. metal and European power metal. It’s easy to see why Dakesis are considering one of the fastest growing independent acts.

5/5

Nico Davidson

In the Studio With: Kidney Punch

Posted in Studio Report with tags , , , , , , , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

It was cold and miserable Saturday morning when I set off to Powerstage Studios with two men – Well, one man known as Adam and a half man, half hobbit called Oli. For those who don’t know, it was the day that I was due to head into the studio with a new and upcoming band called “Kidney Punch”, formed by former Torsohorse and Filth Wizard members. Kidney Punch are a trio made up of Adam Towse [Vocals, guitar], Mikey Bolton [Drums] and Tim [Bass].

We arrived at the studio to be greeted by Mikey and Tim. Everything had been set up from Mikey’s mammoth-like kit to Cu-Base, the rogram that Mikey uses for recording when in his studio. We all got ourselves settled in and Adam began the sound check for the drums, starting with the kick drum then moving onto the snare and the other parts of the kit, while Mikey sorted all the levels and did some other fancy studio work that baffles the mind of a writer like myself. After the drum sound check was done, the band proceeded to do a few quick runs of their songs so that the half-man, half-hobbit could set the levels for the bass and guitar while Mikey battered – I mean played – the drums.

Adam and Tim checking their instruments

When the recording process properly began, the drums were recorded with relatively fast speed. Four out of five of the drum tracks were recorded with a click track, though the other one didn’t need a click track as it has a “natural tempo fluxuation” – Adam’s words, not mine. I’m surprised I still remember that term to be honest. The rest of the day was spent eating, drinking, smoking and recording the guitar tracks – Though I did spend a good hour or so sleeping – Tiredness is not a good thing for the studio!

Drum recording

The guitar recordings took up most of the day but it was certainly entertaining listening to the songs that I’ve only heard in the band’s rehearsals being recorded. When we left Saturday evening, the tracks were sounding great – despite the bass not being recorded on that Saturday and it clearly says something about the band if they’ve almost finished the recordings completely with such ease.

Kidney Punch will hopefully be booking gigs soon as well as releasing their first EP. Until then, all we can do is wait for these metal dominators to unleash their Yorkshire-styled heaviness on the UK’s metal underground.

Nico Davidson

Other studio videos of the band are available from the Valkyrian Music YouTube channel.

Solstice Coil – Natural Causes [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Solstice Coil
Album: Natural Causes
Release year: 2011
Genre: Alt. Rock/Prog. Rock

Israel has never really being noted for its music scene – Especially the rock scene – But now a new band have emerged on the scene known as Solstice Coil. Being Israel’s first alt-prog-rock band, they are set to bring exposure to Israel’s diverse music scene. Their first album, Paper Cuts, which was released in ‘05 was well received by both the media and the public.

“Questions Irrelevant” begins the album with the sounds of telephones ringing and people talking. The drums and guitars soon enough replace the sound samples, creating a raw, melodic sound. The vocals are soft and mystifying, like the soothing effect a lullaby has on a baby. The song has a few changes through out its progression but none of the changes ruin the song or its composition values. The guitar solo that acts as the outro is brilliant but it does feel as if it was place in the wrong section. “Outcome Inevitable” seems to carry on from where “Questions Irrelevant” finished. The song feels more like a progressive-meets-jazz track before it turns into a heavier rock composition.

The third track “Fall Schedules” starts with a very alternative based introduction. Like the first track, the vocals appear in the softer track for the most part though when the guitars turn heavier, the vocals do make a few appearances. The combination of the usual instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums coupled with some other sounds makes for an interesting experience for the ears. The slightly more melodic-yet-softer guitar riff eases the listener into the track entitled “I Know”. The drum work is weak on this track, as are the guitars, leaving the vocals being the only strong point of the song. “Human Again” has a slower approach to the music. The drums do well to adapt to the progression of the song. The vocals are soft and harmonious, very easy on the ears.

Though it has somewhat of a grim and macabre name, “Singalong Deathtrap” is certainly not a grim track. Though it starts slow, the tempo soon increases, making the song feel more energetic and powerful. The vocal work is much more diverse, featuring a mix of high and low notes. The keyboard sections certainly add a unique sound to the music as well whilst the guitar solo adds that final perfect detail. The sound of vocals and acoustic guitars usher in the next song “Walking Graveyards”. If acoustic guitars aren’t your cup of tea, you’re in some form of luck as the track features the use of electric guitars as well. In one part, the synth section sounds almost jazzy. “Too Many Regrets” has a somewhat soft-Goth feel and sound at the beginning, which is no doubt created by the synths. While it’s a good effect, it doesn’t work with the guitars, leading the listener to be tempted to press the skip button. The vocals however save the track from total devastation.

“Moral Oxidation” is a mediocre song with nothing standing out too much to make it something superb. “Replacing People” has a good intro, being composed of a piano and a melodic guitar section. The vocals, when combined with the piano, make the song sound like an 1920s love song from the States. The guitar solo is a welcome break in the song for those who aren’t a fan of pianos. “Designed Instincts” brings the rock back to the album, though in what sounds to be a palm muted way at the beginning. The guitars are raw sounding but strong, as are the drums. The vocals keep the alternative sound flowing through the song as well. The album comes to an end in the form of none other than “Recipe For Eternity”, which begins with a combination of melodic guitar work and violins which are eventually joined by the vocals. The song progresses into a very dramatic song due to the use of violins coupled with the guitars and drums. The organ-synth sounds do take something away from the song however, making it less enjoyable.

”Natural Causes” requires a few listens before one can make a proper judgement if they’re not used to alternative progressive rock. Solstice Coil have proven themselves to be a talented band with some well constructed songs and catchy riffs, though there are parts of “Natural Causes” that do still need some work. Regardless, the band are certainly paving the way for the next generation of rock bands in Israel and potentially the world.

3.6/5

Nico Davidson

Devil Down [Band Review]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Devil Down
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Metal
Site:
http://www.facebook.com/devildown

Devil Down are a metal quintet from Stoke-on-Trent, England. They’re currently on hiatus but have some big things planned for 2012. Musically, the band are a destructive force of pure hate-fuelled metal, similar to old school Slipknot (pre-Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses) mixed with a dash of extreme metal. The riffs are well constructed, strong and face-meltingly brilliant. Devil Down pull no punches with the music. Vocally, they’re hard to compare to anyone else, due to the diverse range of their vocals. “War Drums” is one example of this, as it features a number of screams, grunts, growls and clean vocal work, all of which fits in well with the band’s music. “Havok” is another song that shows their diverse use of vocals, as well as some of their powerful and ingenious riffs and slaughtering drum work. Devil Down are definitely going to b act to keep an eye out for in 2012.

Nico Davidson

GWAR Tour Still Going Ahead

Posted in News with tags , on 16th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Following the tragic news that Cory Smoot,image001 better known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, GWAR and their management have confirmed that they still to still go ahead with their 12 date UK tour in January next year. A full statement regarding the guitar position will follow as soon as possible.

Frontman Dave Brockie, otherwise known as Oderus Urungus, has officially announced the retirement of Flattus Maximus in honour of Cory:  “I heard Cory tell a story about how some 20 years ago he was fourteen years old, at his first GWAR show, grabbing at the rubber feet of our then-current Flattus, and how blown away he was at the fact that now HE was the one getting his feet pulled by the same kid that he used to be. Cory was always in awe of the patterns of life and went through it with a wide-eyed amazement that translated through his playing. I’ve never known anyone who could pick up literally any instrument and rock it the first time he touched it, and more than that make it look easy. Behind that rubber monster outfit, and sometimes even obscured by it, was one of the most talented and beautiful people I have ever known. I know everyone who’s life was touched by Cory truly loved him, as do we, his bandmates and brothers.”

Dates for the tour in January are as followed:

12th Jan. Bierkeller. Bristol

13th Jan. Electric @ Brixton. London.

14th Jan. Kasbah. Coventry.

15th Jan. The Ritz. Manchester.

16th Jan. Spring & Airbrake. Belfast.

17th Jan. Button Factory. Dublin.

18th Jan. Central Station. Wrexham.

19th Jan. The Duchess. York.

20th Jan. Sin City. Swansea.

21st Jan. Rock City. Nottingham.

22nd Jan. Sub89. Reading.

24th Jan. Highlights. Portsmouth.

BDM Announce UK Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , on 15th November 2011 by Nico Davidson
Bart Williams of The Black Dahlia Murder

Image by Metal Chris via Flickr

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have announced a mammoth 21 date UK tour which kicks off with two shows at The Underworld in London on January 11th and 12th, 2012.

The band were last seen on these shores destroying at Sonisphere 2011. Trevor Strnad comments:

“We in The Black Dahlia Murder could not be more excited for our upcoming tour of the UK.  We are loaded up and ready to launch a full scale attack in support of the new album. Prepare for Ritual madness!!!”

Support on all dates comes from SKELETONWITCH

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER + Skeletonwitch

January 2012

11th    LONDON – Underworld

12th    LONDON – Underworld

13th    COLCHESTER – Arts Centre

14th    NORWICH – Waterfront

15th    NORTHAMPTON – Roadmender

16th    BIRMINGHAM – Academy 2

17th    NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms

18th    MANCHESTER – Moho Live

19th    SHEFFIELD – Corporation

20th    NEWCASTLE – Academy 2

21st    ABERDEEN – Tunnels

22nd    GLASGOW – Cathouse

23rd    DUNDEE – Beat Generator

24th    LEEDS – Cockpit

25th    WREXHAM – Central Station

26th    STOKE – Sugarmill

27th    PLYMOUTH – White Rabbit

28th    BRISTOL – Fleece

29th    SOUTHAMPTON – Joiners

30th    READING – Sub 89

31st    MARGATE – West Coast Bar

TICKETS GO ON SALE ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2011

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER captured footage while recording their latest album, Ritual, with producers Mark Lewis and Jason Suecof. Fans will see tracks being laid down by all members, as well as the band’s infamous brand of humor a la their acclaimed Majesty DVD. The 12 minute behind-the-scenes video can be seen now on HERE: http://www.metalblade.com/bdm

Ritual is a collection of 12 tracks that see the band staying true to their sound and style while progressing in both writing and musicianship. Guitarist Ryan Knight has delivered truly searing leads that will without a doubt daze and lay waste the ears of both loyal Black Dahlia diehards and burgeoning fans alike. Music for Ritual was recorded in early 2011 in Detroit, MI with Mark Lewis (Deicide, Unearth) and the band producing with vocals and mixing taking place at Orlando, Florida based studio, Audio Hammer with Jason Suecof (BDM, Beneath the Massacre, Job for a Cowboy, All That Remains).

The Ocean Between Us W/Support @ Shades Nightclub, Bridlington [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 9th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Bands: The Ocean Between Us, Sworn To Oath, Sea Of Giants
Location: Shades Nightclub, Bridlington
Date: 7th November 2011

The Ocean Between Us made their return to Bridlington’s music scene as the headlining for one of many shows put on by the East Coast Collective. The first act of the night were Bridlington’s own Sea Of Giants, who recently released their EP “To The Deepest Depths”. A large but lifeless crowd were gathered at the front of the venue for SOG’s performance. As their set went on the crowd became active and noisy, giving appreciative responses at the end of each song that the band played with energy, adding to their established yet violent sound that could be heard clearly both inside and outside of the venue. Sea Of Giants finished their set off with a brutalising rendition of their own song “Bloodshot Eyes”.

The main support of the night, as part of their UK tour were Midlands-based metal outfit Sworn To Oath. For their first time in Bridlington, they went down well with the crowd. The vocals sounded like a strong mix of classic metal and hard rock with a hint of 36 Crazy Fists. The band utilised heavy riffs, strong drum sections and great interaction with the crowd. Sworn To Oath are definitely a band worth checking out. The Ocean Between Us were the headlining act though they failed to impress the crowd that almost packed out Shades. While they possessed great stage presence mixed with powerful melodic riffs, powerful drums and destructive vocal sections, they did little to whip the crowd into a frenzy – Which might have been due to the technical difficulties they were having with the sound. It definitely wasn’t one of their best performances. The crowd enjoyed most of the night judging by their reactions to Sea Of Giants and Sworn To Oath.

Interview: Pepe [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 9th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Danish thrash-death metal outfit Hatesphere have been a big part of the European metal scene for several years now. Nico has a chat with lead guitarist, Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen.

hatesphere07122011
Nico: Do you feel that the new album, The Great Bludgeoning, differs from your previous albums? If so, how?

Pepe: We still sound like HateSphere no doubt about it. But as on all of our other albums it’s the small details that make the difference. I think we have returned a bit to more old school sounds on the new album, both musically and lyrically.

N: Do you have any plans for a UK or European tour in support of the new album?

P: As we speak we are touring on the first of two small headliner runs around Europe in the fall of 2011. The tour should take us to the UK in December on a couple of dates. Furthermore we have plans on a European tour in the spring of 2012 as well, before concentrating on Scandinavia in April and May of 2012. During the summer we will play festivals before returning to the US in the fall of 2012. So, we should have enough to do.

N: Since 2010, there have been two line-up changes in terms of bass and vocals, do you feel these line-up changes have helped develop a new sound for the band?

P: Absolutely. Not only sound-wise but also internally in the band we feel better than ever. The members fit way better in HateSphere. They have tried lots of stuff before, they therefore know what to expect and what not to expect. They are both HateSphere fans, so they also know the music and how they want it to sound. Furthermore we know them from before, so they also fit personally in the band. We are all about the same age, we have tried some of the same things, and this make us stronger as a unit for sure.

N: [Reader’s question] What made you want to play music and how did you come to play metal?

P: I went to school with this guy who played guitar in a band. I got drawn towards it, started listening to hard rock and metal and then finally got my own guitar and started playing. I never dreamed of ever doing albums and touring but having achieved that is just fantastic. The first couple of years I just played by myself but then got into the band that actually later became HateSphere. That was in 1993, so I have been in the band for almost 20 years! It took us 7 years to finally record and album and get good enough to get a record deal but since then things have just developed.

N: As a band, what has been the highlight of your career so far?

P: Touring the US, Japan and China… And to play at some of the biggest festivals in Europe for sure!

N: Are there any bands in Denmark that you would recommend that our readers check out?

P: No new bands have really caught my attention. But check out the older brigade of Danish quality bands like Raunchy, Mercenary, Mnemic, Illdisposed, etc.

Infernal Creation- The Serpent Seed Doctrine [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 8th November 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: Infernal Creation
Album: The Serpent Seed Doctrine
Release year: 2011
Genre: Black Metal/Extreme Metal/Misanthropic Yorkshire Black Metal

‘The Serpent Seed Doctrine’ is the first full length album from British black metal band, Infernal Creation. In addition to being active supporters of the British underground metal scene, Infernal Creation are also starting to gain attention of the bigger crowds.

One of the main disappointments is that the opening track ‘We The Serpent Seed’ has a very ponderous ‘built-in’ intro which fails to attract the interest of the listener. Not the best way to start an album!

The album reveals an interesting mix of musical influences ranging from Immortal, particularly in the guitar riffs in the intro to ‘Plague Upon Plague’ via the grim, harrowing vocals and song structures of Satyricon in tracks as such as ‘The Faceless Prophet’ to the eerily atmospheric or dare I say it…Cradle of Filth-esque intro to ‘Cruciatus Vobiscum’. The latter is easily the best track on here.

There are also a few surprises such as acoustic, folk-esque intro to the aforementioned ‘The Faceless Prophet’ and the opening riff to ‘The Insidious Gospel’ which bears strong similarity to Bolt Thrower.

Overall this is a very promising debut album but it is clear that the band have some work to do in order to establish a style and a refined sound that suits them best.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Megadeth – TH1RT3EN [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 5th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Megadeth
Album: TH1RT3EN
Release year: 2011
Genre: Thrash Metal

Megadeth, one of the big four of thrash metal, have enjoyed a very illustrious and legendary career since forming after Dave Mustaine’s forced departure from Metallica. The band have gone to realise a number of brilliant releases such as “Peace Sells…” and “Countdown To Extinction”. “Th1rt3en” – despite the lame title – has received mostly positive reception from both fans and press alike.

“Sudden Death” demonstrates the thrash-stylised speed that Megadeth clearly enjoy. The bass riffs are outstanding, possibly better than the well-constructed guitar sections. The guitar riffs display the wide of talent possessed by both axe-men in Megadeth. You can literally feel the energy and aggression bursting from the guitars like a tidal wave smashing through a dam. Mustaine’s vocals are as unrefined and untamed as they’ve ever been. “Public Enemy No. 1” – despite its slow paced intro – thrashes its way down a similar vein to “Sudden Death”.

”Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” is one of the two singles released from the album as part of its promotion. While not displaying the same speed as the last two tracks, it still has the typical Megadeth elements but Mustaine’s vocals do sound different to an extent. The guitar solos are mind blowing to put it simply. The drums deliver a tight, rhythmic assault upon the listener’s ears, making a perfect alliance with the bass. “We The People” starts with a radio voiceover – much like those found on “44 Minutes” and “Washington Is Next”. The guitars and vocals offer up a very progressive-meets-jazz-esque minus the low-end vocals and saxophone solos. The lyrics contain the usually political theme found in Megadeth’s work. The solo is a reminder of some of the guitar work from “Holy Wars” due to the Arabic-like elements used.

The intro of “Guns, Drugs & Money” makes itself heard like the roar of a crazed beast. The guitars are structured well enough though they give off the feeling that they could do with a bit of tweaking in parts. The drums feel limited though this is probably due to the guitars. This is definitely a weak track for the most part and would probably have been better off being pushed to the bottom of a very large bin. “Neverdead”, which was written for the third person action and fantasy game NeverDead, starts with a slow, almost-Gothic introduction before the fierce and unrelenting blitz of fast paced guitars shred their way onto the track combined with merciless inclusion of drums. Mustaine’s vocal work is on top form, his vocals at their finest – Shame that the track probably will be wasted on gamers with no appreciation for Megadeth.

Originally written on the Clash Of The Titans in 1991, but never being featured in full in Megadeth’s back-catalogue “New World Order” starts with an old-Megadeth sounding riff. The vocal work is rough, creating a perfect mixture of “Vitamin Megadeth” with the music. The only bad thing about the song is the awful realisation that Illuminati-conspiracy theorists will probably use it as evidence for Megadeth being one of them. “Fast Lane” is appropriately named as some of the riffs and drum work feel like race cars whizzing past the ears of the unsuspecting listener. Other parts are pretty laid back in comparison. “Black Swan” is featured in its entirety on the album with its high-speed introduction and strong structure. The vocal work is like an orgasm in the ears. The guitars can only be described as a musical Van Gogh.

“Wrecker” has a more technical guitar structure applied to it. The vocals don’t live up to the expectations of the guitars and the drums fit their part well enough. The solo really does put the rest of the song to shame. “Millennium Of The Blind” starts with a melodic sound, which carries on in a different form when the vocals enter the track. Mustaine’s vocals sound quite harsh in the softer parts of the song. The song gives off the atmosphere of a ballad, similar to that of A Tout Le Monde. “Deadly Nightshade” begins with a quick female giggle before the pounding of guitars and drums come in. The song, overall, is pretty solid but feels to be lacking in speed, like a crippled cheetah that tries to move faster but can’t. The bass work has a nice twang in parts, giving it the song more punch.

”13” is the final – and yes, you guessed the thirteenth – track of the album beginning with an oddly calming acoustic section. The metal elements slowly come in after the vocals but overall the song is pretty weak and as light as a feather compared to the rest of the album. The only good parts of the song are the acoustic riffs, the solos and the part where it ends though the vocal sections are pretty strong, compared to the music anyway.

Ignoring the poor choice of the album’s name, “TH1RT3EN” is definitely one of Megadeth’s finest pieces – Being as musically intelligent as Youthanasia, Countdown To Extinction and United Abominations. Hopefully future Megadeth releases will be in the same vein as “TH1RT3EN” – But with better title choices.

4.6/5

Nico Davidson

The Welly Warmer @ The Ringside [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th November 2011 by conorclaustrophobia

Bands: ReVerbed, Heartless Angels, Frisky Biscuit, Blue Eyes Don’t Lie
Location: The Ringside, Hull
Date: 3rd November 2011

The Welly Warmer has been a part of the local music scene in Hull for a long time now, with Music HQ and Arcade Promotions each taking it in turns to put it on every Thursday night at the Ringside. Due to some bands dropping out last minute, Frisky Biscuit and Heartless Angels stepped in as the replacement acts for the night.

The first act to play were the acoustic quartet Frisky Biscuit. To say that I’ve never been interested in acoustic music, this quartet really did impress me. Their set started with two covers before they performed their new original song called “Breathe In” which was a masterpiece of a song. Frisky Biscuit’s members also displayed a very diverse vocal range. They’re certainly a band I would like to see play again at the Welly Warmer.

Heartless Angels brought a pop punk influenced set to the Welly Warmer with them. Their set was a mixture of mediocre songs and some truly great ones. They sounded to have improved since they shared the stage with former Cradle of Filth vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva, as they were more active on the stage. The frontwoman reminded me a bit of Hayley Williams from Paramore – Both vocally and visually. The main support of the night were Blue Eyes Don’t Lie. To say they’re a pop rock band, they sounded more like a hard rock outfit. Though the crowd seemed to enjoy them, I found to be not as entertaining as the first two bands.

Doncaster-based ReVerbed were the headlining act and no wonder – They put on a truly tremendous show. In all honestly, they were the best band of the night. They had a great sound and kept what was left of the crowd entertained. Their alt-rock sound really did blow the minds of the crowd, especially songs like “Obsession”, “Beautiful Lie” and “Burn”. The combination of male and female vocals worked well and did the music a lot of justice. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of ReVerbed in Hull and other parts of the UK as well.

Conor Taylor