Archive for the Metal Category

DevilDriver – Outlaws ‘Till The End

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 18th July 2018 by mickbirchy

DevilDriver

Outlaws ‘Till The End, Vol 1.

Groove Metal, Melodic Death Metal

Released: 6th July 2018

via Napalm Records



This album is an amazing concept and something I kind of want more of. Judging by the title, we might just get it. DevilDriver, have created an album full of metal covers of classic outlaw country songs. Outlaws ‘Till The End Vol. 1. I’m a huge fan of country and metal music, so this works perfectly for me. Also, this doesn’t feel like a cheap cash-grab. There does seem to be a real effort and passion put into the album. It’s clear from listening to it that DevilDriver has a lot of respect and love for the artists that they’re covering. All of the songs pack a punch straight to the gut and give new life to these songs for a new generation, who may have never encountered them otherwise.

Covering artists like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and The Eagles. They manage to capture the soul of the original songs whilst, at the same time, putting their own mark on the tunes. Giving every song that signature DevilDriver edge that sounds really brutal. Production-wise, the album sounds great. With chugging guitars, well-executed drum work and Dez Fafara screaming his heart out. Producer, Steve Evetts, did a great job putting this project together. Every instrument sounds brilliant and Fafara roars over the top of it all, creating an energetic and fierce sound. Joining DevilDriver on the project is an all-star cast of metal artists: Wednesday 13, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Mark Morton, Lee Ving from FEAR, Glenn Danzig, Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists, Testament’s Chuck Billy, and John 5. Who all add that little bit of flavour to an already delicious sound. As well as the metal star power, there’s a cool appearance from country heavyweight, Hank Williams III. Who performs his song “Country Heroes” with DevilDriver.

The songs are already tried, tested and beloved outlaw country songs like “Ghost Riders in the Sky” by Johnny Cash, “Outlaw Man” by The Eagles and “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” by Dwight Yoakam. So as far as the songwriting is concerned, it’s great. It really is the way DevilDriver have re-imagined these songs and made something truly original out of them. Almost turning them into their own songs. The way they take the familiar elements and put their own spin on things is mesmerising and is still enjoyable on the other side.

No doubt this album might be little divisive to some. Fans who might have just wanted more original content from the band may be annoyed by a cover album. Also, country fans may not like the idea of these metal versions, “destroying the original sound”. Yet, I really like the idea here. More importantly, I like the execution and delivery. DevilDriver has made a fun, compelling record that I think people will really enjoy. The existence of the covers doesn’t ruin the originals but continues their legacy by getting new listeners on board. Be that with songs they’ve never heard, in the case of metal fans. Or a genre they’ve never considered, in the case of country fans. Since the title is “Volume 1”  all I can say is when is “Volume 2” coming?

4.5/5

Mick Birchall

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Cannibal Corpse live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , on 17th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Mörbid Vomit, Pillorian, Cannibal Corpse
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
16th July 2018

Last night was hot. Finland is experiencing a heatwave at the moment and the temperatures don’t seem to show any signs of cooling down. I was still technically recovering from Lumous Gothic Festival and in this heat I would not normally want to leave the house. This time however, I had a good reason – the world renowned death metal band Cannibal Corpse were in town. I’ve been a fan of their music for several years so I was really excited about the show.

The Finnish death metal band Mörbid Vomit were the opening act. They put on an entertaining show that seemed to go down well with the local crowd. Their music reminded me somewhat of the Swedish death metal band Unleashed. A good start to the night. 3,5/5

I couldn’t really get into Pillorian. Their sound can be best described as a mixture of black metal and atmospheric doom metal with occasional progressive elements. It’s the kind of stuff that would probably sound decent when you listen to it at home but not live. I wanted something a bit more energetic. 2.5/5

 

Luckily the headliners did not disappoint. Energy is one thing that Cannibal Corpse has in spades. This was the second time that I’ve seen these guys live, so I knew what I was in for. Right from the opening riff the mosh-pit was in full swing. It didn’t take long until I too was headbanging along with the rest of the audience. When it comes to headbanging, no one can keep up with the band’s frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. That guy is a real headbanging professional. They played some of my favorites including ‘Kill or Become’, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ along with some new material from their latest album. 5/5


In summary, I keep stating that death metal sounds great live. Cannibal Corpse definitely lives up to that description. I’m really glad that I decided to brave the hot weather and attend their show.

Iza Raittila

 

Ministry announce European and UK tour dates

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 7th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

The industrial metal band Ministry will be playing several shows in The U.K. and other parts of Europe this summer. The European leg of their AmeriKKKant tour will start at Resurrection Fest in Viveiro, Spain on 11th July 2018.

Chelsea Wolfe will be supporting them for all the U.K. dates. In other places they will be joined by special guests Grave Pleasures and Converge.

The full schedule can be seen below:

11.07.18 Spain Viveiro @ Resurrection
12.07.18 France Bordeaux @ Rocher de Palmer
13.07.18 France Paris @ Elysée Montmartre
14.07.18 Netherlands Eindhoven @ Dynamo Metal Fest
15.07.18 Belgium Dour @ Dour Fest
27.07.18 Hungary Szekesfehervar @ Fezen Festival
28.07.18 Germany Buchenberg @ Rock The King
30.07.18 Germany München @ Backstage
31.07.18 Italy Segrate (MI) @ Circolo Magnolia Open Air
01.08.18 Italy Rome @ Villa Ada
03.08.18 Switzerland Zürich @ Dynamo
04.08.18 Switzerland Geneve @ l’Usine
06.08.18 Germany Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof
07.08.18 Germany Nürnberg @ Löwensaal
08.08.18 Germany Leipzig @ Täubchenthal
10.08.18 Czech Rep Jaromer @ Brutal Assault
11.08.18 Germany Hildesheim @ Mera Luna
12.08.18 Belgium Kortrijk @ Alcatraz
14.08.18 Germany Köln @ Essigfabrik
15.08.18 Germany Saarbrücken @ Garage
17.08.18 France Saint Nolff @ Motocultor


UK and Ireland Tour
17.07.18 England Nottingham @ Rock City
18.07.18 Scotland Glasgow @ O2 ABC
20.07.18 England Manchester @ Albert Hall
21.07.18 England London @ The Forum
23.07.18 North Ireland Belfast @ Limelight
24.07.18 Ireland Dublin @ Tivoli
25.07.18 England Bristol @ SWX

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For more details visit:

http://ministryband.com
https://www.facebook.com/WeAreMinistry/

 

Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 1st July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Immortal
Northern Chaos Gods
Released 6th July 2018
Black Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal doesn’t need much of an introduction. They’ve been a part of the Norwegian black metal scene since the early 1990s. Three years ago they parted ways with their original vocalist who has since released an album under his own name. Following Abbath’s departure, Immortal decided to continue as a duo with guitarist Demonaz taking over vocal duties. Personally I like Immortal’s old works, but I wasn’t too impressed with their last offering ‘All Shall Fall’. I’m quite curious to see how this albums compares to the Abbath album. Can there still be Immortal without Abbath at the helm? There’s only one way to find out…

Without even pressing the play button, it’s pretty evident that this is an Immortal album. All the usual themes are here including references to all things grim and frostbitten and not forgetting the words ‘Blashyrkh’ and ‘Ravendark’ in two of the song titles. In many ways Gates to Blashyrkh feels like a continuation of ‘Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark). The guitar patterns are very similar and it is definitely one of the more catchy tracks on here. I also enjoyed Grim and Dark which, despite the title, is anything but grim. Aside from the harsh vocals, the song it itself is actually rather uplifting at times thanks to the rocking guitar melodies. It reminded me of the mid-career works, particularly ‘At The Heart of Winter’.

The title track deserves an honorable mention as one of more coarse-sounding black metal songs on here, hankering back to the band’s early days. If it’s pummeling drums, harsh vocals and shredding guitars you were looking for, then Northern Chaos Gods is definitely the track for you. Obviously Demonaz’s vocals take some getting used to, but that should not be a problem for Immortal fans.

In summary, ‘Northern Chaos Gods’ is far more memorable than its predecessor. In fact, it’s quite possibly the best album the band have produced in years. It proves once and for all that Immortal have a future without Abbath.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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

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