Meet The Staff

Nico Davidson (Real name: Nick Taylor)


Hi, I’m Nick but I’m more commonly known by my pen name “Nico Davidson”. I’m 25 years of age and the editor for this site.

Top Five Albums:
Iron Maiden – Number Of The Beast
Epica – Th Divine Conspiracy
Ravenage – Hardrada’s Fall EP
Megadeth – United Abominations
Amon Amarth – Twilight Of The Thunder God

Iza Raittila

Hi there,
I’m Iza, a multilingual marketing graduate originally from Warsaw,
Poland. I grew up in Manchester then studied in Southampton where I
met my husband Pekka. I got into metal when I was about 14 and I’ve
been a fan of it ever since. I love going to gigs and festivals. If
that means travelling to other cities and countries, even better. I’m
also a judo brown belt and a huge fan of ice hockey.

Top Five Albums:
Metallica- Master of Puppets
Children of Bodom- Follow the Reaper
Rammstein- Mutter
Cradle of Filth- Cruelty and the Beast
Vader- Black to the Blind

Renata “Pieni” Lino


Hello, people! My name is Renata but many people call me Pieni, or simply Pi. I’ve been listening to hard’n’heavy – all kinds of it – since I was 13, which means it’s a loooooooong time. Born and living in Portugal, but I travel quite a lot to attend concerts, which I photograph and write about – here, Front Row Forever and Sound(/)Zone.

Top Five Albums:
W.A.S.P. – The Crimson Idol
Sonic Syndicate – We Rule The Night
Children Of Bodom – Hate Crew Deathrole
Paradise Lost – One Second
Hardcore Superstar – Hardcore Superstar

Mick Birchall


I’m Mick. Fan of hard-rock, heavy metal, blues, folk and most other types of music. I’m from the North-West of England and you’ll usually find me at a gig in Liverpool or Manchester, and on rare occasions, I might step into the forbidden territory that is the rest of the UK. I write reviews on here, Manchester Rocks, Get Your Rock Out, Black Phoenix Rising Forums and Rock Transmission, so you’ll find my work somewhere in the metal community.

Top Five Albums:
The Replacements – Tim
Tantric – After We Go
Corrosion of Conformity – Blind
Orange Goblin – Thieving for the House of God
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Diamonds in the Dirt

Paul Macmillan


Hello there! Agent Paul Macmillan reporting for duty, aka Big Paul, BHP, Big Nasty, Slow Dragon, etc, etc. I’ve been knocking about the metal scene for donkeys, but only started writing for Valkyrian in 2014. I also play in a death-thrash-sludge band called Threshold Sicks, run shows and do a little PR under Critical Events, and some other reviewing outside of here. Hons degree in music business being put to good use! I’m also a massive geek and still play table-top RPGs whenever I can, despite being in my 30s. I’m terrible at favourites, so by the time you’ve read the list below, it will have changed!

Top Five Albums:
Down – Nola
Gojira – Mars To Sirius
Crowbar – Odd Fellows Rest
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
Megadeth – Rust In Peace

Hannah O’flanagan (Hammi)

Hammi is a born and bred fan of music, music in all its’ forms and functions. She’s studying for a Masters in Viking and Anglo-Saxon Studies at Nottingham, and hopes to one day use her studies to become a professional Viking, or Beowulf impersonator. Usually, you can find her dancing like a lunatic to anything- be it jiggable folk metal or chugging gothy industrial stuff, or even a bit of chart cheese. She’s not fussy, really. On a quieter day, she’s probably poring over some ancient Norse or Old English text, reading Harry Potter or wasting money on World of Warcraft or Magic: The Gathering. Or on real ale and cider.

Top Five Albums:
Amon Amarth- Twilight of the Thunder God
Florence + The Machine- Lungs
Ensiferum- Victory Songs
Turisas- Battle Metal
Finntroll- Ur Jordens Djup

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