Archive for June, 2018

Urne – The Mountain of Gold

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 30th June 2018 by mickbirchy

Urne

The Mountain of Gold

Groove metal, stoner metal

Released: 27 July 2018

Self-Released

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It always sucks when a band with so much potential, doesn’t go the distance. Hang The Bastard are a prime example of this. An excellent groove metal band that always brought the extra something to their live performances and it really sucked when they split in 2016. Well hopefully, this will go some way to easing that loss for the fans. As a new band formed by two former members of, Hang The Bastard emerges. Bassist, Joe Nally and guitarist, Angus Neyra have come together once again to make something new and special within the same vein of music, with their new group, Urne. Armed with their new drummer, Rich Wiltshire they’re ready to unleash their new EP – The Mountain of Gold. I’ve had the chance to listen to it prior to its release and I have simply loved what I’m hearing.

The album kicks off with this atmospheric build up to the debut single “Dust Atlas”, which then kicks into a powerful bombastic riff. Already establishing a commanding presence, they manage a great balance between heavy and melodic as Joe’s vocals come in. The music’s production sounds simply phenomenal, with the guitar roaring away, the bass pulsating and the drums sound as sharp as a tack. The riffs are groovy as hell and the whole EP packs one big punch. The bands also add that groove flavour to the riffs to keep the songs fluent and easy to listen to. In all honesty, I like the simplicity of the sound. It’s definitely bare bones metal but it’s really effective.

The only thing that I am not a fan of is the vocal effect that comes in from time to time. It’s I find the echo distraction and makes the production cluttered. However, I think that’s just my personal bias, toward vocal effects. On the other hand, I did like Joe’s screamed vocals. Although it sounds like he is straining himself at times, there’s real emotion to connect with when it comes in. I can’t think of much else that I didn’t like here. Urne really presents a great EP, it has a dynamic sound that keeps you entertained from start to finish.

It’s really good to hear new and fresh music from musicians that have already proven themselves in the arena. The Mountain of Gold is a well made first step into this new venture for the groove metal trio and I’m excited for what comes next.

4/5

Mick Birchall

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Hatchet – Dying to Exist

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 24th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Hatchet
Dying to Exist
Released 22nd June (USA) / 29th June 2018 (Europe)
Thrash Metal
Released via Combat Records/EMP Label Group (SPV)

Hatchet - Dying to Exist

‘Dying to Exist’ is the latest album from the American thrash metal band Hatchet. These guys have been around since 2006 and they are from The Bay Area, California – the same place where many world-renowned thrash metal bands started out back in the ‘80s.

It’s pretty clear that these guys like their ‘80s thrash metal. The influences are hard to miss; with Testament being the most prominent influence, combined with the speed and aggression of Slayer. Oh yes, speed and aggression rules the day here. Throw in some Testament-style guitar harmonies to the mix and you will have a fairly good idea of what Hatchet sounds like.

At their fastest, their music is bordering on speed metal, with songs such as the Desire For Oppression offering more than enough energy and aggression to get a mosh-pit going. On the other end of the spectrum you get the more technical tracks like Where Futures Regress, which starts fast before mellowing down towards a more melodic, yet still very guitar-centric part mid-way through the song. Illusions of Hope reminded me of Kreator mostly due to the similarities in both the vocal style and the twin guitar harmonies.

In summary, ‘Dying to Exist’ is proof that old school thrash metal is having a revival. Had I not known that Hatchet have only been around since 2006 I would have assumed that they were from the ‘80s themselves. They are continuing the tradition introducing a new generation of metal fans to the Bay Area Thrash Metal.

4/5
Iza Raittila

More details about the new Rob Zombie movie 3 From Hell

Posted in Misc., News with tags , on 20th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

So we will have to wait a little longer for a new album from hard rock artist Rob Zombie. On the plus side, if you are a fan of his movies then you will be pleased to know that he is currently working on a sequel to ‘The Devil’s Rejects’.

His wife Sheri Moon Zombie will reprise her role as Baby Firefly.  Bill Moseley and Sid Haig who played Otis Driftwood and Captain Spaulding are also expected to return. Not much has been revealed about the plot but the following images have been shared on Rob Zombie’s website and instagram pages:

‘3 From Hell’ is due to be released in 2019.

For more information visit:
https://robzombie.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RobZombie

 

Fields of The Nephilim announce UK shows

Posted in Misc., News, Rock with tags , , on 14th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

The legendary Goth rock band Fields of The Nephilim have announced that they will be headlining three shows in The U.K. this autumn. The dates will include All Hallows Eve (Samhain) and The Day of The Dead. This mini tour also marks the 30th anniversary of one of the band’s biggest hits –  ‘Moonchild’.

They will be joined by the special guests, Austrilian psych-rock band The Church.

See the poster below for the schedule:

For more details visit:

https://fields-of-the-nephilim.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FieldsOfTheNephilim

South Park Festival 2018

Posted in Festival, Live, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 10th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Helloween, Accept, Amorphis
Eteläpuisto, Tampere, Finland
8th-9th June 2018

Tampere’s prime metal festival South Park was back on this year after a brief hiatus in 2017. It’s a two day event but I only attended the Saturday. This year marked the return of the band that I discovered at the same festival three years ago – the one and only German power metal legend Helloween.

I arrived a little later so I missed the first two bands but just in time to see some of Amorphis. They’re one of the most recognizable bands within the Finnish metal scene and they seem to feature in most of the country’s festivals. I’ve seen them live a bunch of times before so I pretty much knew what to expect. I like their old albums though I lost track of them after ‘Silent Waters’. This was another solid performance, well executed melodic death metal. It’s always good to hear ‘House of Sleep’ and other favourites. So a good start to the night. 4/5

Next up was the Finnish thrash metal quartet Lost Society. They played some fairly decent-sounding thrash metal; sadly I’m not too familiar with their music so I could not appreciate it fully. 3/5

I did enjoy watching the Swedish heavy metal outfit Mustasch though. Their music is a mixture of Motörhead-style heavy metal with some elements of stoner metal. It’s probably not the kind of thing that I would listen to at home but it was fun to watch at a summer festival. 3.5/5

This was the second time that I’ve seen S-Tool live. For those who haven’t heard of them before, it’s a new band from Ville Laihiala (ex-Sentenced, Poisonblack). As a big a fan Mr. Laihiala’s other bands, particularly Sentenced, I was looking forward to seeing S-Tool. Music-wise, it’s essentially picking up from where Poisonblack left off only without the Gothic elements. Good show! I enjoyed it a bit more than the last time. 4/5

German heavy metal legends Accept were one of the day’s headliners and one of the main bands that I wanted to see. They put on one hell of a show. I’m not familiar with their recent material but it was great to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Balls to The Wall’, ‘Fast as a Shark’ and my personal favourite ‘Metal Heart’. 5/5

There’s not an awful lot I can say about Mokoma. They have a sizeable following here in their home country. Their performance was good but I’m not familiar with their music. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s main headlining act Helloween. This show was special because it featured all three of the band’s vocalists from past to present together on stage. That’s right, all of them – Kai Hansen (the original founder of the band), Michael Kiske and their current vocalist Andi Deris performed together as part of the Pumpkins United tour. It was really good to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Heavy Metal (Is the Law) and ‘Halloween’ along with some of the more recent hits such as ‘Are You Metal?’ They also played one of my personal favorites ‘If I Could Fly’ from ‘The Dark Ride’ album. Fantastic show! 5/5

 

In summary I had a great time at South Park even if it was just for one day. It was worth it especially for Accept and Helloween. Amorphis and S-Tool were pretty good too. If the line-up is this good next year I will definitely come back again.
Iza Raittila

Sick N’ Beautiful + Supports @ Manchester Aatma

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th June 2018 by mickbirchy

Sick N’ Beautiful w/ Bad Pollyanna & Novacrow

Venue: Manchester Aatma Date: 02 June 2018

This was an interesting show, to say the least. First of all, I struggled to find the venue. I like to think that I know Manchester pretty well but I had to lap the building a few times to even find it. So that wasn’t the best start. Also since this was one of the last dates of the tour and this date was a last minute addition to the tour, there wasn’t much of a crowd in the venue. Still the bands really brought the energy and intensity, resulting in a fun time regardless. I have recently reviewed the new album from Sick N’ Beautiful and I really liked it. It had so much personality to it, so naturally, I had to check out what a show from them would be like. Also for an added bonus the support came from Liverpool’s mad rockers, Novacrow. Also, one of my favourite bands, Bad Pollyanna. With all that in play I knew I was going to have a good time.

Novacrow


Straight from the get-go these guys brought so much fire. They just went absolutely crazy on the stage. The guitars roared and the bass pulsated as they brought their tunes to life. Unfortunately their drummer was absent but nothing that a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito and a drum machine couldn’t fix and to be fair it was mixed pretty well into the set. They wouldn’t stand still for one moment and I liked that. Lead vocalist, Kitty was a mad woman, roaming around the venue and screaming with such passion. They were a lot of fun and I was really into it. Every moment they were playing the audience were captivated by their antics. I haven’t seen them in a long time and I have to say they haven’t missed a step for a single moment.

They’re just as fun and enjoyable as ever and they’re clearly having a good time when they play. The only real problem I had with the set is that the balance was out at times. There would just be moments where the distortion was just a little too much and you couldn’t hear the actual music more just noise. However they made up for that with their personalities. They were beaming with big grins as they played great tunes like “Fight The Horde” and ending the set on the ever popular “Fat Frog”. Where the band went into full on crazy mode. Definitely an enjoyable opener and it made me realise that I need to see them more often. They put on a great live I hope more and more people catch on to them.

Bad Pollyanna


I’ve already kinda gave this away but yeah Bad Pollyanna are one of my favourite bands. I could go to see them again and again and never really get bored. They have the really nice balance of rock and electronica. Once again they didn’t disappoint. They blasted full force on the stage and I think a lot of the audience knew who they were as well which added to the show immensely. I loved the set list, each song followed into the next, it all felt like it really flowed well. Songs like “Pull the Trigger” and “Bionic Heart” got the people moving and I was really enjoying myself. The electronic sections really add layers to their live set. It was mixed really well with the live instruments and the vocal performance was sublime. Frontwoman, Olivia Hyde and bassist Nikki Kontinen had some really great moments of vocal harmony as well. The whole set just felt so fluid. “Define Me” was really well received as well, as one of their biggest hits. They just injected so much charisma and energy into their set. Their performance was engrossing. Maybe a little more restrained that Novacrow’s set, but still really fun to watch. It was really hard to take your eyes off of them.

There wasn’t too much in the way of negatives in this set. To be perfectly honest I was enjoying myself too much to really notice. The mark a really good set in my opinion. The only thing I wish is that there was some new material for them to play. As much as I love the two albums they have I wish there was some new music just to spice up the set list a little more. To be fair though that’s not a bad criticism to give, I want more music.  Bad Pollyanna continue to be one of my favourite bands to watch live. Everything they do while on stage is really enjoyable and their songs are very entertaining.

Sick N’ Beautiful


Okay…This was actually really good. Very much worth the wait to see. Sick N’ Beautiful really know how to put on one hell of a show, even the smallest and cramped of spaces. Seriously talk about making the most of the space given to you. They really brought their set list to life in the best of ways. Their music was excellent as they played some of my favourite tunes from the album. Their performance was out of this world with strobe lighting and a very interesting presentation. The sound was pretty damn good as well. The songs were well played.

Unfortunately the crowd had thinned out even more than before so there wasn’t quite as much energy as there was for the openers. I would love to see them play to a much bigger and more energetic crowd because I think a show like that would be quality. They clearly put a lot of time into their stage personas. I really loved them for the short time they were on stage. The setlist was great I really liked “Megalomaniacal” and “All Wanna Go To Heaven”. They just performed really well. I loved that they put their all into the set, I can really respect that. They clearly have a passion for performing and it shone through here. I wish there was more of an atmosphere to the show, but beggars can’t be choosers and I had a great time listening to them.

Mick Birchall

Bullets and Octane – Waking Up Dead

Posted in CD, Punk Rock, Rock with tags , on 3rd June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Bullets and Octane
Waking Up Dead
Released 25th May 2018
Hard Rock/Punk-rock
Released via Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records

No automatic alt text available.
‘Waking Up Dead’ is the latest album from the American hard rock band Bullets and Octane. These guys have been around since 2003 and they have had several successful tours all over the world supporting bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Korn and Deftones.

This is my first encounter with their music. I have to admit that I chose to review this album because of the amusing cover art and the band’s name. They are allegedly a hard rock act but the cover screams punk rock to me. So, let’s see what we have here…

From the opening track Bad Mother Fucker and lyrics such as “I live life for the rock n’ roll…”, it’s pretty evident that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. Perhaps I wasn’t far off with the punk rock tag because there is definitely a certain angry, angsty punk feel to the music. It’s catchy, energetic and fun to listen to. The vocals also have that punk rock edge and the same can be said about the lyrical themes. Some of the tracks, particularly the ones at the start of the album reminded me of mid-career works by The Offspring.

Others such as Fuck You Song and more mellow-sounding ‘Hostage’ have more of a hard rock feel. There is a greater emphasis on the guitars while the vocals take more melodic tone; the lead vocals that is, there’s still some shouting in the background. Murder Me Baby is another good hard rock tune, simple but very catchy thanks to the guitar work.

Overall, ‘Waking Up Dead’ is fun to listen to even for someone like me, who has had very little exposure to punk rock since high school. Genre-wise it’s probably sandwiched somewhat between punk rock and hard rock. There’s no deep philosophy to be discovered in the lyrics but the music sure is entertaining.

4/5

Iza Raittila