Archive for the Featured Category

Nico’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

So, it’s that time of year when everyone picks out their highlights of the year. I figured that this year, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. So here are my highlights of 2013… Including a few non-metal releases!

Best Albums Of 2013:

1. Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies Of The Night

2. Azylya – Sweet Cerebral Destruction

3. Wretched Soul – Veronica

4. Seduce The Heaven – Field Of Dreams

5. Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Best Live Acts of 2013:

1. Re-Armed

2. Azylya

3. Delain

4. The CockRockets

5. Bharghest

Best Yorkshire Bands of 2013:

1. Severed Heaven

2. Bharghest

3. Narcotic Death

4. XIII

5. Skull Branded Pirates

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Best Non-Metal Albums of 2013:

1. Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek

2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

3. Ben Parcell – Expectations

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First bands announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The fourth edition of Valkyrian Festival has been confirmed for Friday 21st November through to Sunday 23rd November. Tickets are currently available for pre-order from this location and are priced at £20 (excluding P&P). Valk-Fest 2014 will be in aid of Rape Crisis.

Scottish blackened folk royalty Cnoc An Tursa have been confirmed to headline the opening night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 on Friday 21st November. Hailing from the historic settlement of Falkirk, Cnoc An Tursa have become one of the most respected and well known bands from north of the wall and without a doubt will bring something new to the masses at Valkyrian Festival 2014. Joining Cnoc An Tursa on Friday 21st November will be Yorkist metallers Pantheon who have been confirmed as main support.

Confirmed as the headlining act for Saturday 22nd November are Belgian gothic metallers Azylya, who made their UK debut at a sold out Dames of Darkness Festival earlier this year, where they supported Dutch symphonic rockers Delain. Since then, Azylya have played a few more times in the UK and were featured at Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival earlier this year in October. Azylya frontwoman Jamie-Lee comments:

It is an honour to be headlining Valkyrian Festival, especially in aid of such a worthy charity. We’re looking forward to playing to our UK fans again. We hope to see you all there.

Solo artist Sakara will be main support on Saturday 22nd November. The alternative pagan solo artist, who spent a brief stint as frontwoman for Apparition earlier this year, released her debut album Blood & Stone via Ravenheart Music in 2011 and since then has received positive reviews. The follow-up album will be released in 2014 via Ravenheart Music. Sakara also comments:

I am over the moon to have such a great opportunity to play Valk-Fest 2014. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m also looking forward to sharing the stage again with Azylya!

Also added to the Saturday line-up are West Midlandic symphonic metallers Divided We Fall and Yorkshire metal mobsters Hamerex.

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is sponsored by Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums and custom Gothic jewellers The Crypt of Curiosities. Weekend tickets are available from this location for £20. The event is in aid of Rape Crisis.

 

Valk-Fest line-up changes; Old Corpse Road replace Gone Til Winter as headliner

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Both Gone Til Winter and Shades of Avalon have withdrawn from this year’s Valkyrian Festival. Gone Til Winter withdrew from the festival and postponed their entire UK tour, which was to take place next month, due to ill-health whereas Shades of Avalon withdrew form the line-up due to their recent parting with their drummer. Glaswegian black metal suits Maelstrom have also withdrawn from the line-up due to work commitments.

Old Corpse Road will now replace Gone Til Winter as the headlining band on Saturday 30th November and Leeds metallers Bludger have replaced Maelstrom. This will also be Bludger‘s last UK show before they tour Europe’s holy land of metal: Finland. Tour dates can be found here. Newly formed metal band Bharghest will also be opening up the first night of Valkyrian Festival on Friday 29th November, making it their second show – their debut show will be at Shades Nightclub on Friday 22nd November, supporting Finnish death metal lords Re-Armed. And last but not least, Twilight’s Embrace have been confirmed as main support on the final night of Valkyrian Festival 2013, supporting the co-headliners Severed Heaven and Andraste.

There are still two slots spare on the second day of Valk-Fest. The bands to be booked for these two slots will be picked by public vote. The poll can be found at this location.

The bar will also be open throughout the festival but valid ID will be required for the purchase of alcohol. There will also be a raffle hosted on the second day to help raise funds. Prizes will include a limited edition Valk-Fest 2013 mug, items donated by Victory Records, Napalm Records and Meta

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Shades Nightclub in Bridlington from Friday 29th November through to Sunday 1st December. The festival is in aid of Rape Crisis and weekend tickets are available for £5 from this location.

 

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Liv Kristine is best known for her work as the vocalist for Leaves’ Eyes and former singer for Theatre of Tragedy. As well as fronting one of the most iconic symphonic metal bands on the scene, Liv is also a solo artist and has collaborated with a number of different bands including Cradle Of FilthAtrocityDelain and most recently she appeared on the track The Lay Of Our Love, which is featured on Tyr‘s new album Valkyrja.

With the release of Symphonies Of The Night just around the corner and a UK tour confirmed for January 2014, Nico catches up Liv Kristine to discuss all things Leaves’ Eyes as well as popular TV series Game Of Thrones, her solo project and rumours about Leaves’ Eyes appearing at the next Dames of Darkness Festival…

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: I’m good thank you. It’s been a busy day, but in a positive way, you know. Lots of interviews and we’re rehearsing because we’ll be playing the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium in a couple of days. I’ll be there with my solo band on Friday and with Leaves’ Eyes on Saturday so yes, we’re busy!

Nico: Sounds like you’ll be having fun though. Is there a meaning behind the title of the new album Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: Um, a meaning or the concept in general?

Nico: A bit of both really.

Liv: Okay, well we came up with the title pretty late in the recording process. I actually had a song called Carmilla from Sheridan Le Fanu’s horror novel from 1871. So the song, which came to be titled Symphony of the Night, was originally titled Carmilla. But we were discussing the title within the band and we weren’t really sure. What happened was pure luck: I was typing an interview and the journalist was asking me about my influences and I mentioned Tchaikovsky, who wrote the Symphony of the Swan Lake and I thought that’s it! This is an album of eleven symphonies of the night, so there we go! So Carmilla is still the main character in the title song, but the title got changed. Things happen, we are a very creative band.

Nico: I was listening to the previews of Symphonies of the Night that Napalm uploaded to YouTube earlier. There is a definite evolution in the band’s sound, changing direction compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums. Is this what you were aiming for with this album, and will this be a future direction you will be taking for future releases?

Liv: Well, I’d rather put it this way: Leaves’ Eyes isn’t a planned thing when we start composing. We throw everything into pre-production and what was already there, were two songs: Eileens Ardency and Saint Cecilia. They just didn’t fit on the Meredead [released in 2011] album when it comes to atmosphere. So they weren’t leftovers but they were on no album after the release of Mededead,  so we decided to start working on them. And then we realised that this was a good point to start from. You know, this year we have the anniversary of 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes so we have experienced a lot of being on the road, and all these albums we released and we’ve gathered a lot of experiences. For most of the band members Leaves’ Eyes is twenty, twenty five years of experience. Everything is there on this album, you won’t miss anything. It’s a very powerful album, I agree on that.

Nico: On previous Leaves’ Eyes albums the use of different languages made an appearance on the tracks. Will this be the same with Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: On Symphonies of the Night we’ll have modern English of course, Shakespearean English, some Norwegian, a little bit of French and a little bit of Irish. That’s five languages, I think on the Njord album we had eight languages and on Meredead six languages. I just love languages and I studied linguistics for years so it’s something I really like doing.

Nico: What would you say is the track that stands out on the new album?

Liv: Well that’s the most tricky question you could’ve asked me. Right, um.. This morning in my car I was listening to Ophelia, which is the final track of the album. Of course it’s Shakespeare’s Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, in Hamlet. That’s my main character, and Ophelia is a quite straightforward and rocky song. It might sound like it doesn’t have a complicated structure like for example Saint Cecilia or Nightshade but Ophelia was the second to last song we recorded. We needed quite a lot of time for Ophelia to finish it in the way we wanted it. All of us: Alex, my husband, our producer, Thorsten my red-haired guitar player and myself are perfectionists. It’s great to have our own studio because then we can keep working until the three of us are satisfied. Ophelia was a tough one but I think it turned out great and at the moment it’s my favourite, if I’m allowed to have one.

Nico: You recently featured on The Lay of Our Love which is on Týr’s latest album Valkyrja. What was it like, recording that track with Týr?

Liv: Actually, I recorded my vocals here in our studio in Germany. But every time I think about doing a duet it’s always the music itself which decides. If I like the song I’ll do it. Heri from Týr helped me out in Wacken last year when Leaves’ Eyes headlined Wacken Open Air. He helped me out on Solemn Sea, one of our tracks. So when Heri asked me ‘Liv would you mind? I have a duet and you would fit very well on it’. I just loved the song and I have good news because we’ll be shooting a video clip for that track in a month! I’m really looking forward to that, it will be in Belgrade.

Nico: Ooh, excellent! I’m looking forward to that. With the recent collarboration with Týr, do you think it will help expose Leaves’ Eyes to Týr fans and Týr fans to Leaves’ Eyes?

Liv: I hope so, I really hope so! If Heri wouldn’t mind, we should tour together some day cause I think we have a potential common fanbase. The thing is, Leaves’ Eyes hasn’t toured a lot in Scandinavia. We should to that very soon, especially in my homeland. Týr is very well known in Scandinavia so that would be an absolutely amazing package.

Nico: I completely agree. A Leaves’ Eyes/Tyr tour would be amazing.

Liv: Thank you. We now have told the universe.

Nico: Speaking of touring, Leaves’ Eyes is scheduled to return to the UK next year in January with Atrocity and Pythia. Are you looking forward to the tour? Which cities are you excited about?

Liv: Absolutely! We toured the UK and Northern Ireland last year with Firewind and that was absolutely amazing. We played at places where Leaves’ Eyes had never played before and for Firewind as well it was absolutely amazing. I remember Cardiff very well because I spent a couple of months there when I was an exchange student. So Cardiff is pretty well-known to me. But of course Manchester is always packed, London is always packed. We will play in some of the venues we played with Firewind as well. We’re building up a fanbase in those places so I’m really looking forward to be back over there in the UK. We have an amazing fanbase in the UK and Northern Ireland. I was really surprised to see that there are so many fans who know about our music in the UK, and many journalists as well. I’ve had quite a few UK interviews this week so that’s good.

Nico: Last time I interviewed you, which was in Manchester last year, when Leaves’ Eyes was there with Firewind, you mentioned that you were a fan of Game of Thrones. So, if you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would you be and why?

Liv: That’s an even trickier question than the one you asked me before! Oh dear, oh dear… I’m not really sure. It must be Daenerys. Well okay, she’s blonde so it should be her.

Nico: She’s a good, strong character.

Liv: She’s great, she’s amazing yes.

Nico: Going back to touring, are there any future plans for you to tour your solo project around the UK?

Liv: I hope and pray that there will be next year because it’s certainly time to play some solo shows in the UK as well. The only shows I have this year for Liv Kristine, for my solo project, is Nagold in Germany and Pratteln in Switzerland. So those are the two gigs, but they are exclusive gigs. Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity will be touring most of the rest of the year so we will be very busy. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Belgium. Lot of things happening! The end of December is the right time for exclusive solo shows but the UK, 2014..let’s cross our fingers.

Nico: That’s what I’m hoping for.

Liv: Me too.

Nico: Speaking of shows. I’ve heard a few whipserings around the internet from associates of mine that Leaves’ Eyes might be playing the Dames of Darkness festival in the UK next year. I was wondering if there is any truth to this?

Liv: Wauw, I mean that would be absolutely killer! It would be fantastic. Well you know, bookers know things before the rest of the band does so..let’s make it happen.

Nico: I hope it does happen because Dames of Darkness this year was phenomenal and it would be so much better if Leaves’ Eyes was playing it.

Liv: Thank you, thank you very much! I’d love to be there.

Nico: Last question. This is a fan question, asked by April Mccaffrey: if you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why?

Liv: A superpower… Okay, you took me by surprise there! When I was a kid I always thought it would be fantastic to be able to look into the future, to know what is going to happen. But I’m not sure if I need that anymore. It’s a very good question actually. Sometimes I wish I could change things for the better of it. Sometimes, especially when it comes to children and children suffering on this planet, it feels like we are just sitting here being comfortable and warm while on the other side of the planet children are dying because of hunger. That’s when I think I would just like to be able to beam myself to that place and do something. Maybe that’s a project for the future. If I ever get tired of playing gigs and singing that would be something I would like to do, to be part of helping projects concerning children who are suffering on the other side of the world.

Nico: I wasn’t expecting that answer. You’re certainly a kind and caring individual. Thank you for your time Liv, I hope you have a good night.

Liv: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you again. Take good care and hope to see you in Manchester in January.

Nico: You too, Liv! Have a good night!

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.com
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Ibanez Iron Label RG 7 String RGIR27E

Posted in Featured, Gear Reviews, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 16th October 2013 by vmteam

Specs:

  • 3 piece Maple/Bubinga neck
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Basswood body
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Jumbo Frets
  • EMG 707 Pickups (bridge and neck positions)
  • 3 Way Blade Switch
  • 1 Volume
  • Latching Killswitch
  • EDGE-ZERO II Bridge

The Ibanez RG is probably one of the most recognisable and iconic guitar shapes in the long history of the guitar. Its sharp points and beautiful curves give it elegance with a touch of venom. Through its many iterations, the RG has been the workhorse model of choice for guitar players around the world, from jazz to metal. In the metal world it has secured its standpoint by morphing its uncompromising playability to suit the needs of six string players, seven stringers and 8 string djentelmen alike. The range of options is vast on this particular model, with hardtail versions for players who want absolute stability, and vibrato models for those that want to drop bombs and scream the place down.

The Iron Label series has been a welcome refreshment to the ideas of building the shred machine. The series combines all the features and playability of the existing models, the variety of fixed bridge or double locking vibrato units, string count and gorgeous looks with that one thing we all find hard to swallow when we look for our guitars; affordability. Ibanez threw it all on the line and created an affordable, reliable, uncompromising weapon of maximum shred, and have been reaping the rewards.

This particular model, the RGIR27E, is one of two 7 string examples on show within the body shape. Its main feature is the double locking EDGE-ZERO II Floating vibrato unit. The other version of this is a fixed bridge affair, denoted by the F in the model number (RGIR27FE). Both feature EMG 707 pickups for the ultimate sound of brutality, a 25.5 inch scale neck to handle not only the standard six strings with outstanding stability, but cater for the low B string with ease. It aptly manages to retain the string tension, whilst allowing great articulation of the low notes. If you find that low B isn’t brutal enough for you, slap some heavier strings on and tune down to A or G and unleash a fire breathing monster of death and destruction, and it will even hold a low F with a good amount of accuracy, (and a damn good set up job).

The EDGE-ZERO II is a development of the original Ibanez Edge series of double locking vibrato units, and it certainly lives up to the reputation built by it’s forbearers. Because of the unit being double locking (strings lock at the bridge and at the nut of the neck) the system allows extreme changes in pitch, both up and down and tuning stability is rock solid. As the strings terminate at the locking saddle on the bridge, the transfer of vibrations through the bridge to the body is a direct transfer. This allows the guitar to sustain notes whilst being manipulated by the vibrato, and harmonics can be held for extended periods of time. The fine tuners on the bridge allow for precise tuning when the strings are locked down, and allow quick tuning changes if a string slips out of tune. As if that wasn’t enough, the bridge is a recessed floating affair, so the strings can be pulled sharp and allows for all sorts of musical devilry.

The neck on the RGIR27E is fast, flat and wide for all kinds of shred play. The unfinished Maple feels extremely comfortable and rigid, combined with the Bubinga stripe running through the centre to enhance the rigidity and tone of the neck. The older Ibanez necks were a combination of Maple and featured a couple of Walnut stripes and were a multi-ply neck configuration, that were superbly sturdy, and featured some of the thinnest neck profiles imaginable. This particular neck feels ever so slightly thicker, but still feels amazing to play, both from a lead standpoint and a rhythm perspective. With a 400mm radius, the neck is fairly flat, and that allows for lower string heights, so the super low action is a breeze to play with. Some people find these necks hard to adjust to, because they have had to compromise with other necks, which are rounder, fatter and harder to contend with. Ibanez have given the best of both worlds and taken the neck into another dimension. A Rosewood fret board warms up the sharp attack of the Maple, whilst keeping the clarity of the notes. The absence of fret markers can be off putting at first, but take comfort in the fact that the side markers are visible even under stage lighting, so you shouldn’t get totally lost whilst wandering around slaughtering innocent victims with your brutal shredding.

The audio department is covered with the addition of one of the best, if not the best, active 7 string pickups on the market today, the EMG 707. The 707 has been the pickup that companies have tried to emulate for many years now, and some consider it to be the only 7 string pickup worth talking about. EMG asked their line up of 7 stringers what they were looking for in a pickup and almost all of them reported back saying “We want the 81 in a seven string format”. And thus it came to pass that the 707 was an 81 with a bit more, and gave rise to the demonic soapbar pickup that adorns the guitars of some of the best guitarists who utilise the un-natural 7 string guitar with great destructive power: players such as Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Dino Cazares, Christian Olde Wolbers and many more besides. Because of the ceramic magnets inside the 707, the notes are crystal clear, and have a remarkable bark and bite under crushing amounts of gain. The 9 volt battery that powers these pickups allows for true power, (there is even an 18 volt mod to soak the power and give even more output from the guitar).

When choosing a body wood, most people overlook Basswood as a cheap, undesirable wood. But as many more companies offer Basswood as a body wood choice nowadays, it is becoming a very popular choice among Pros and bedroom shredders alike. Lighter than mahogany, but just as full sounding, but with more emphasis on the lower end with a well defined mid range, Basswood is an excellent compliment to a maple neck. Add in the EMGs and an EDGE-ZERO II Bridge, and you are ready to decimate your audience with the first note.

Finally, we get to the all important bit of price. For most signed artists, endorsements will either pay for, or discount their instruments. For us mere mortals who can’t even get money off our shopping, this is a dream, one that is very rarely achieved. We scrimp and save just to afford a set of strings most times and purchasing a new guitar only happens when a store has a sale, or someone we know has had enough of their axe and wants their newest toy (or needs to buy toys for the new arrival in the form of a screaming, puking firstborn). Quite easily the best thing about the Iron Label series is the price range. The standard fixed bridge 7 string is offered, without it being a sale or having a big discount, for the miniscule price of £515.00 at Andertons music store in Guilford (online prices/store prices may vary). The EDGE-ZERO II version is priced at the tiny price of £599.00 at Andertons (again prices may vary) which is an amazing price for such quality craftsmanship and for a guitar that will rip audiences in two.

And so to recap, the Ibanez Iron Label RG, in either version, is a great addition to your arsenal, whether it’s your first 7 string or just another weapon to use. The Ibanez Iron Label series has you covered.

Dan Eastwood

Damnation 2013: Bands you must see!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The days are counting down until Damnation Festival once again lays waste to the city of Leeds with a truly heavy, dark and spectacular line-up. Here’s our list of bands you must go see at this year’s Damnation…

Rotting Christ

Chosen by Iza Raittila.

For those who are fed up with all the gimmicks present in today’s black and death metal scenes, be sure to check out Rotting Christ at this year’s Damnation Festival. These guys prove once and for all that there’s really no need for corpse-paint or fancy, “evil” looking stage-props to put on a great show. They rely solely on their energy and skills as musicians to win over the crowds. You won’t be disappointed.

Carcass

Chosen by Alex Cook.

The legendary Carcass are due to headline this year’s Damnation festival and I have heard from many people that they are the ONLY band that they are bothered about seeing. This in many ways is a shame, but such is the power of a band that so many metal fans grew up listening to. Carcass are easily one of the more accessibly Death metal bands, although suitably graphic in their lyrics, their real strength lies in the accessibility of their riffs and the urge they produce in us to bang our heads with complete abandon. I was listening to my copy of Heartwork recently (on cassette no less) and was struck by the fact that despite it being 10 years old, it still sounds fresh and heavy without being over-bearing. It is an album that leaves on imprint on your musical memory, so that when anyone mentions the band or you hear a snippet of No Love Lost, Embodiment or Doctrinal Expletives to name but a few, you are reminded why you first fell in love with the genre in the first place. That, and Carcass’s new album Surgical Steel is something of a quiet masterpiece. Unpretentious and all-encompassing, it delivers on everything we expect from Carcass which is solid, accessible and memorable material. If you’re still not sure about the merits of Carcass, let them entertain you at Damnation festival. I am certain that even if you just stick your head around the door, you will be enchanted and undoubtedly end up in the pit that ensues whenever Carcass play live.

God Seed

Chosen by Hannah O’Flanagan.

If you’re asking me why you should go and see God Seed, I’ll ask you why you’re attending Damnation at all. Made from the fall out of the Gorgoroth name dispute saga, God Seed is Gaahl and King ov Hell‘s new project that delivers insanely atmospheric black metal as only Gaahl and KoH can. They’ve triumphantly appeared at Wacken and supported Cradle of Filth on their Manticore tour, and I can guarantee the experience of watching God Seed perform will be like no other. Their 2012 debut I Begin is a good place to start if you still don’t believe me. But stand before the infernal glory of God Seed and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Vallenfyre

Chosen by Alex Cook.

Vallenfyre are also a band to look out for at Damnation. They are something of a super-group for those whose hearts belong to early 90’s Doom and Death metal, and they do not disappoint. Featuring Gregor Mackintosh from Paradise Lost, Hamish Glencross from My Dying Bride and Adrian Erlandsson of At the Gates, you get the impression from their releases that it is just a bit of fun and that the members are stretching their wings and proving they have a capacity for a genre separate from how they have made their names. Their album A Fragile King’is engrossing and infectious and just pure, crushing, dirty death metal. Tracks such as Desecration, Cathedrals of Dread and A Thousand Martyrs reek of the infamous Boss HM2 pedal which makes any Entombed fan salivate at the mouth and it is used to spectacular effect. Expect nothing but great things if you catch them at Damnation and be sure to pick up a copy of A Fragile King beforehand so your appetite for the old school is suitably whetted.

Dyscarnate

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

No Damnation line-up would be complete without a slab of face-crushing, ear-splitting death metal and that’s exactly what Dyscarnate offer. Be it recorded or live, Dyscarnate‘s crushing use of riffs will utterly abuse you and leaving you begging for more like a glutton for punishment. Having already devastated venues across the UK and toured with bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and most recently Psycroptic and Hour Of PenanceDyscarnate are at the front of the UK’s death metal and represent everything good about it!

Katatonia

Chosen by Lauren Gowdy.

Although their songs aren’t as fast as a majority of the bands playing Damnation Festival, Katatonia is one band that everyone should check out. Their playing is heavy and slow but filled with so much emotion that it literally will suck you into their set. Not to mention that their stage presence is captivating, and you may either find yourself headbanging slowly along with the riffs or just standing and observing the sheer awesomeness of their set. Anyone who is a fan of Opeth should definitely check out Katatonia because both bands are very similar only difference being that Katatonia does not have as many heavy songs as Opeth. They will be worth sticking around to see towards the end of the day, and I guarantee you will remember their set!

Iron Witch

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

Liverpudlian doom noise mongers Iron Witch are definitely one to keep an eye out for at Damnation this year. Straying from the classic doom sound, the Scouser quintet incorporate hardcore punk vibes and gritty riffs with their doomesque connoction that has helped put themselves on a map. Being relatively young compared to the vast majority of the Damnation line-up and other bands on the British doom scene, Iron Witch have had their fair share of success and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t reach the same level as Liverpudlian doom overlords Anathema.

Twilight Of The Gods

Chosen by Ian Foster.

One of the many band who will be appearing at the Damnation Festival 2013 are Twilight Of The Gods, a five piece band who were initially formed with the intent of paying tribute to the legendary Bathory and writing music inspired by them. The band have just released their debut album Fire On The Mountain. The band includes members of Primordial, Lock Up, Einherjer, Thyrfing and Aura Noir so there’s some real pedigree involved here and there’s far more than Bathory worship going on. You can definitely hear a lot of influence from the classic metal bands on the Fire On The Mountain album, but after all it’s what the band set out to do. Definitely a band for fans of old school heavy metal to check out at the festival.

[Editor’s note: If you didn’t see Primordial at last year’s Damnation, TOTG are the next best thing]

Damnation Festival will take palce on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are available from this location.

Happy Yorkshire Day! Yorkshire’s Top Five Bands

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

In celebration of Yorkshire Day (WOO!), we decided – Well, more like our Yorkshire loving editor – that instead of drinking (Yorkshire) tea and eating (Yorkshire) pudding and just being generally Yorkshire, to compile a list of Yorkshire’s top ten bands. Of course, it probably would have been more appropriate to compile a list of ten reasons to as why Yorkshire is official more metal than Lancashire.

5. BAL-SAGOTH

From their ridiculously long album and song titles to having once boasted Dan Mullins (My Dying Bride) and Dave Mackintosh (Dragonforce) amongst their ranks, this band have remained underrated and largely unknown compared to other acts. Also, vocalist Byron Roberts’ lyrical stories are soon to be expanded into short stories and graphic novels, written by Byron himself and illustrated by fantasy artist Martin Handord. Also, they look rather metal in the below picture.

4. EVILE

Hailing from the lovely market town that is Huddersfield, Evile pretty much burst onto the scene, kicking as much ass as humanly possible – Which by Yorkshire standards is a lot. Having toured extensively through the UK from 2004 – 2006, as well as the Netherlands in 2006, Evile managed to land a contract with Earache and since then have toured with the likes of Kreator and Megadeth and supported bands like Machine Head and Sabbat, Evile are keeping Yorkshire on the metal map.

3. PARADISE LOST

Perhaps one of the most influential bands to ever appear on the British doom metal scene, Paradise Lost, who hail from Halifax, were pretty much worshipped by Katatonia – As stated by Jonas Renske  that Katatonia started off as“ Paradise Lost fanboys” – Pretty metal, huh?. Being apart of the Peaceville Three, alongside fellow Yorkshire doom band My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost pretty much pioneered what has become to be known as gothic metal.

2. MY DYING BRIDE

Dark, dreary and typically northern, My Dying Bride embody all the qualities of Yorkshire in their Yorkshire, from their sorrowful violins to the mournful vocals. Regarded by some as the “Godfathers of Doom”, My Dying Bride, alongside fellow Yorkshire folk, Paradise Lost, were at the core of the gothic metal movement – Though none of the newer gothic metal bands even hold flame to My Dying Bride.

1. SAXON

Originally known as Son of a Bitch, Saxon are the front-runners of the NWOBHM scene and probably are the most successful Yorkshire metal band on the scene. They’ve also established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest acts!