Archive for January, 2015

Diesel King – Concrete Burial

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 30th January 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Diesel King
“Concrete Burial”
Sludge/hardcore/death metal
Release: 02nd February 2015
Via When Planets Collide Records

Diesel King - Concrete Burial

Having only heard the freely available sample track from this release, Brainhammer, I immediately knew I had to hear the full thing as soon as possible. Cue pestering Diesel King’s manager for an advance copy for the purpose of this review. It was the right move, too, as I’m already on a second spin, and loving every minute of it.

The overall character of Diesel King comprises a collision of sludge, 1990’s hard-core, death, and straight up extreme metal, with none of these losing out to the other. Some influences seem obvious, such as Crowbar and Stampin’ Ground, but there is an individual atmosphere pumped into every living note, and it far exceeds the heaviness of either of those aforementioned artists. Think more in the realms of Nile or Dying Fetus, but with a penchant for Earth-crushing doom in place of the need to shred, and you’ll be somewhere near the level of musical obesity incorporated.

Unbelievably guttural, yet comprehensible, vocals drag, determined, across a shattered wasteland of churning riffs and tank-heavy bass. There’s nothing overly complex or technical, here. Just well written music that reaches out, grabs you by the soul, and drags you into the maelstrom. When at speed, this is a gunship opening fire on endless hordes of the undead; when slumping back into a groove, it’s Unicron colliding with the Death Star. Either way, destruction ensues, though swamped in waves of emotion. Hell, they even make the occasional beat-down sound like full-on, intelligent, real music!

Concrete Burial is the band’s first full-length, and it’s some way to introduce yourself as a potential major player on the UK extreme metal scene. Although their previous Ep – The Grey Man – is nothing to be sneezed at, it does pale a little in comparison to this new beast. Having already graced the stage alongside Eyehategod, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Entombed at UK and European gigs and festivals, the groundwork is already laid for them to launch an attack further afield, and it would be no big surprise to see them landing slots at many of the growing fests these fair isles have to offer in 2015.

If I sound a little like a kid in a candy store here, that’s pretty much bang on the nose. I just recaptured one of those golden rays of youthful excitement, and I’m absolutely buzzing. All in all, this album has totally blown me out of the water. One of the heaviest and most addictive things unleashed in some time. Absolute classic. Absolute keeper. Keep a close watch on these guys!

5/5

Paul Macmillan

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Vader “blitzing over Europe” in March

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th January 2015 by Pieni

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“VADERMANIAX!!! The European part of Blitz! is COMING !!!! Together with ‘Rock The Nations’ agency we are pretty much ready to visit 19 cities in March 2015. This first part of the VADER tour – promoting the last album ‘Tibi et Igni’ released by Nuclear Blast in 2014 – includes 11 countries (as well as England , Scotland and Ireland). We come together with our dudes from HATE. We can’t wait to bring Hellfire to you soon. THE GATES OF HELL OPEN JUST NEXT TO YOUR HOUSE!” – no one better than frontman Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek to announce Vader‘s ‘Blitz! Over Europe 2015’ tour. Still promoting their latest killer album “Tibi Et Igni”, this tour includes five dates in the UK and Ireland (click links for ticket information):

17th March – UK Plymouth, The Hub
18th March – UK Nuneaton, Queens Hall
19th March – UK Glasgow, Audio
20th March – IRE Dublin, Voodoo Lounge
21th March – UK London – Underworld

vader.pl

facebook.com/vader

nuclearblast.de/vader

Death Angel to play 4 shows in the UK this Summer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 28th January 2015 by Pieni

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Thrashers Death Angel will return to Europe this Summer, both for festivals and a string of indoor shows. The latter include four gigs in the UK, one of them as headliners (Wolverhampton) and the other three supporting progressive heavy metal act Queensrÿche. All dates listed below:

Jul 16th – Germany, Bang Your Head Festival
Jul 18th – Netherlands, Dynamo Metalfest
Jul 23rd – Slovenia, Metaldays
Jul 25th – Germany, Headbangers Open Air

Jul 27th – Oslo (NO), Revolver
Jul 28th – Gothenburg (SE), Sticky Fingers
Jul 29th – Stockholm (SE), Debaser Medis

Jul 31st – Germany, Wacken Open Air

Aug 4th – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms (headline show)
Aug 5th – Bristol, Marble Factory (supporting Queensrÿche)
Aug 6th – London, Electric Ballroom (with Queensrÿche & Armored Saint)
Aug 7th – Brighton Concorde (supporting Queensrÿche)
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Aug 8th – Belgium, Alcatraz Metal Festival
Aug 12th – Germany, Summer Breeze

deathangel.us

facebook.com/deathangel

nuclearblast.de/deathangel

Blind Guardian – Beyond The Red Mirror

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 27th January 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Blind Guardian
Beyond The Red Mirror
Release: 30th January 2015
Symphonic progressive metal
Released via Nuclear Blast records

Blind Guardian - Beyond The Red Mirror

I really have to be in the right mood for music centred on specific themes throughout a band’s career. Battle, pirate and fantasy focussed discographies don’t feature highly on my radar, and those that do lose out to more varied catalogues. However, it’s the same as any other genre (or sub-genre) on the go: if it’s done well, it’s done well. Few could argue that Blind Guardian imitators rather than progenitors of their own bombastic soundscapes, but in all honesty, I half lost track of them after the turn of the century.

Beyond The Red Mirror is massively produced to great effect, and displays a new stage of development in Blind Guardian’s sound. Much like A Twist In The Myth and At The Edge Of Time (incidentally, one of the track titles), this new offering is equal parts Iron Maiden, Wagner and Pirates Of The Caribbean, although it has stripped away yet more of the speed metal element that had been at least partially retained from their early incarnation. It favours, instead, bombastic moments which would put Heavy Devy’s most overblown tongue in cheek moments to shame.

There are still plenty of thrashier sections throughout, particularly from the album’s mid-way track Ashes Of Eternity onward, but equally, a surprising industrial edge is brought to bear in songs such as ludicrously epic opener The Ninth Wave, and it’s a good thing! If nothing else, Blind Guardian have always had their own sound, and these changes appear to have further exemplified this. The old dogs have learned new tricks, indeed.

Penultimate number, Miracle Machine, is one of the most genuinely old fashioned pieces I have heard in a crow’s age, harking back to the golden age of hard rock. Strongly reminiscent of Queen (seemingly a major influence on Blind Guardian), it stands alone as a truly intelligent musical interlude between the riffing and heavy orchestral power of the rest of the album.

The whole release has a far more upbeat, positive atmosphere than I was expecting. It lends the affair a very heroic bent, leaning away from the darkness of previous releases. It’s hard not to feel lifted while giving this platter its day in court, and as much as it’s not going to make my top ten, it is both accessible and powerful, and for that reason alone, it is definitely worthy of repeat listenings. If power metal and its ilk is your game, this may well make it into your memorable releases of 2015. Personally, while it’s a good release, I’ll hold my breath a while longer.

3 / 5

Paul Macmillan

Six Gun Saints – Ashes [EP]

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 24th January 2015 by mickbirchy

Six Gun Saints
“Ashes” (EP)
Hard Rock
Released 14 October 2011
Via Dead Island Records

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Six Gun Saints, are a hard rock quartet hailing from Concord, CA.  Their debut EP “Ashes” is influenced by so many sources, yet it comes off a just standard metal.  Described to me as follows “Their EP ‘Ashes’ was shaped by drawing from various musical influences of each band member, forming their unique sound”, yes it’s quite cliché and I feel like I’ve heard this sound somewhere before.  Don’t mistake that as bad; it’s just being advertised incorrectly.

The EP itself is a fun heavy metal romp and feels like a Bullet For My Valentine/Avenged Sevenfold-esk type sound.  The riffs are well structured and easy to listen to, this isn’t something that’s going to challenge you as a listener but it’s good all the same.  The track “Spotlight” opens with a gorgeous bit of very atmospheric music and kicks right back into the same vibe.  The reason I point this out is that, for only the second track on their first EP this is really well composed and feels really nice.  The twin guitar is pretty pretty cool too and complements the overall sound nicely with the bass and drums creating a great framework for the band to shine.

The production quality varies throughout and some points are really night and they hit just mark that’s needed, but other moments it feels really disjointed and and the timing feels weird too. The riffs are always nicely structured and when it comes to transitioning between chorus and verse it just feels like they stopped playing for a little while then started again and someone just mixed it badly.  I can imagine these songs sound a great deal better live, or hell, this might even just be their style.  I don’t know, the disadvantage of reviewing a debut is you don’t know what you can and can’t criticise, as it could just be the way I listen to music.  For some parts to sound so good and then the other parts are sloppy, it just sounds disjointed in my head.

Overall, this is a good EP.  I couldn’t say it’s any more than good.  Six Gun Saints show a lot of promise and I do genuinely look forward to more from them, they could be the next big rock band they have all the necessary skills, they just need a little tighter production and more focus and they could be set.

3/5

Mick Birchall

Despite announce new bass player

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23rd January 2015 by Pieni

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After enrolling Zoran Panovic last month for the third guitar, prog/melodeath metallers Despite have now announced Anthony Cui as their new bass player, replacing Mathias “Matte D” Dagerhed, who left the band in November due to lack of time and other personal reasons. With the line-up complete, the band from Gothenburg, Sweden, is ready to hit road, while writing the follow-up to their latest EP “Epic”.

Says singer Peter Tuthill: “It feels absolutely killer to have Anthony on board! I had a gut feeling about him right from the get go, and I’m positive he will be a fresh blood injection into the veins of Despite.”

As for the man himself, he claims: Despite is a killer ride and I’m absolutely stoked to be on board. Home is where the gut tells you it is, and thanks to Despite‘s warm welcome I know where I’ll be. The future is NOW!”

“Epic” was released in January 2014 and in November the band brought to light the single “Chaos Trigger”:

http://www.despiteofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DespiteOfficial

Remember When People Could Wear What They Wanted To Gigs Without Been Mocked Online? – A Response To Paul Cooke

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , on 21st January 2015 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Edit: The original article by Paul Cooke has been removed from the online publication that published it. This article will remain up for archive purposes only.

An article came to my attention as it flooded my newsfeed on Facebook. The article, titled Remember When Metal Gigs Were Populated By Metal Fans? – A Rant by Paul Cooke, appears to have invoked the ire of a lot of my metal loving Facebook friends. Paul took it upon himself in the article to begin moaning about various going ons by people at one of the recent shows on the SlipknotKorn Prepare For Hell UK tour. So, Paul, my question for you is, if you are reading this, what makes it acceptable for you to “rage” about people not wearing the typical attire of gig goers? Do you remember the days when people could wear what they wanted at gigs without fear of been mocked online by the press? I certainly do.

Remember the days when metal gigs were populated by metal fans? I mean people who actually looked like they were into metal? There are still gigs like this but Slipknot etc attract a fair share of the NEXT, TOP SHOP, TOP MAN, MISS TWATTIN’ SELFIDGE brigade and it winds me the fuck up. Are you so ashamed of the music you like that you can’t even be arsed to look remotely like a metal fan?

Any real metal fan will tell you that they couldn’t give a damn what they dress in as it’s the music that matters. So what if Slipknot attract people that wear clothes that are typically sold at outlets like Next and Top Shop? I’m sure Slipknot don’t care, since these are the people who have come to see them play live, not strut down the proverbial catwalk to see who looks the most metal.

Last night I sat next to a (young) couple who looked like they’d just walked out of Top Shop and Top Man respectively. Taking selfies of themselves, they never spoke a word to each other as they fannied with their phones and fooked about on Facebook between bands.

Le gasp! How dare people take photos of themselves! Oh, the inhumanity! And they “fooked about on Facebook” between bands? Oh no! They should be locked up for life! I mean, it’s not like Facebook is probably more interesting to do than watch the stage crew set things up for the next band.

Just before Slipknot hit the stage they pulled matching Slipknot t-shirts from a carrier bag and slipped them on over their clothes. They left 2 songs before Slipknot ended, removing their tees and placing them back in the bag. Total Cocks.

People do this a lot at shows. Some people – myself included – have been known to change shirts numerous times throughout a show or festival to show support for the different bands on the bill.

And to the woman in front of me who was just following Chelsea FC’s Twitter feed all night – I hope you die a horrible obesity related death.

That’s really mature. Maybe she wasn’t into the music and she was accompanying her friend/family member/significant other? But what I’d like to really know is, why did you spend so much time and energy paying attention to which Twitter feed she was following “all night”? Surely, by your logic, you should “die a horrible obesity related death” as it’s apparent you didn’t watch the bands that much.

And one the bus home I felt compelled to watch an irritating couple going through all the shit images they’d taken that night on their phones. I nearly banged their heads together. It didn’t help that she had a set of teeth that could eat an orange through a fence plus an annoying face.

I’m sure a lot of people, just like me, are wondering what this actually has to do with the show. So what if a couple were going through “all the shit images” they’d took? Why did that mean you almost banged their heads together? And why does her teeth and face have to come into the equation?

Really, Paul, are these your gripes at shows? When people go to shows, they go to enjoy themselves, not to write an article afterwards about how people just aren’t metal any more. To say that watching bands, by your logic, is more important than Facebooking or following feeds on Twitter, you certainly watched a lot of non-band stuff go on.

With no due respect, your article comes off like the whining of a 14 year old kid that’s been told by their parents that they’re banned from the X-Box for a week. All I can suggest is that next time you go to a show, ignore everyone around you and just keep your attention on the bands and the amount of beer in your glass.

Sincerely
Nico