Archive for Bal-Sagoth

Hamerex – IX

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hamerex
IX
Released 7th October 2013
Metal
Self-Released

Yorkshire has a tradition of popping out some talented metal bands from the well known acts such as Saxon, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, to the lesser known bands such as Sworn Amongst, Lost Effect and Bal-Sagoth. Hailing from the western reaches of Yorkshire, from a town known as Wakefield, come modern metallers Hamerex who blast out with an old school twist on their music.

The album opens up straight away with the title track IX Circles (the title sounding like a reference to the nine circles of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy). A cryptic use of whispering begins the track before leading in a repetitive riff. The song itself isn’t exactly inspiring, failing to entice with any sort of flavouring save a bland use of guitars and other instrumentation but it does give a small teaser of what’s to come. The Life Of Death marches in with a stronger style, taking on a Megadeth sounding fashion in the bass workings with a use of melodic guitars and typical NWOBHM vocals.

Inferno carries on the subtle humming of melodic riffs with the bass ringing out more prominently. The throaty use of vocals doesn’t match up to the style of riffs during in the verses but goes down a treat throughout the chorus. Edge Of Madness belts out a stronger Megadeth sound than The Life Of Death, slipping in some pleasant licks in there. The flow of drums, back and forth, keep the song as fresh as bread that’s come straight out of the oven, allowing the guitars and bass to do their thing in an old school manner.

The Extremist is probably the most extreme track of the album, with the vocals nearly going through a metamorphosis into a raspy death metal style and the the riffs taking a turn down a road of heavier bombardment where as Mortuary goes down the highway of hard rock anthems, screaming with catchy passages and soaring vocal sections. The Stranger (Anyone else automatically think of Game of Thrones just then? No? Just me? Bugger.) isn’t quite as dusky as would be expected, parading strong NWOBHM elements and some vicious bites from the guitars.

Descent Of Angels thrashes about, becoming as extreme as The Extremist and possessing an essence of Venom in the music. The Night Of Samhain differs from the rest of the album completely, easing its way in a combination of acoustic guitars and thundering yet distant bass workings. The hidden use of keyboards in the background add a certain atmospheric embrace to the song, gently dancing between the guitar and bass. The vocals sound their best throughout this song. The shifting phases of the track makes it easy to mistake it for multiple tracks, as opposed to one long epic. The album is finalised with the last track; Still The wall Remains. A gentle piece in its beginnings, with soft, harmonic vocals, the song does take a turn down a heavier route before going back to gentle sailing. The guitar solo is the highlight of the song though, adding some chaos to the harmony.

Hamerex prove that Yorkshire’s metal scene is well and truly thriving. Whilst the album had a bumping start to its journey, it soon made up for it with the differing elements each member bring to the band and the music. From Megadeth sounding bass lines to roaring NWOBHMesque vocals and everything in between, IX is certainly one album to grab for the collection.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Hamerex online:

http://www.hamerex.com
http://www.facebook.com/hamerex

 

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!

Kull confirmed as headliners for first night of Warhorns 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 25th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Sheffield-based black metal act, Kull, who recently formed from members of Bal-Sagoth and Dyscaphia have been confirmed to headline Friday 27th September at The Warhorns Festival which will take place at The Duchess, York.

Also making their UK debut at Warhorns will be Dothbogria, the Latvian pagan metal act whom are well known for their use of Germanic lyrics.

Warhorns Festival will take place at the Duchess in York on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September with ticket details to be announced.