Archive for DevilDriver

DevilDriver unveil new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 21st May 2020 by izaforestspirit

Two years after their country music covers album ‘Outlaws ‘Til The End’ was released, now the American groove metal band DevilDriver are back. They recently announced that their new studio effort will be called ‘Dealing With Demons I’.

Their front-man Dez Farara stated that this will be the first volume of a double album concept focusing on human nature, emotions and personal struggles. Here is an extract of he had to say about it:

“It’s time to lay it all out, on two records. I’m never gonna revisit these subjects again. I’ve been writing about this sort of human nature, disloyalty and dishonesty, love and loss, since the beginning of my career. I am going in a more lyrically woke direction in the future. A lot of people say my music gives them strength. But what they don’t realize is that these topics haunt me. Over the course of these last few years we fled from wildfires, my wife battled cancer and now we are going through a pandemic… so it is what it is… let’s dump it all on the table and purge. I want to go through different topics in the future, so here we are now. I’ve laid it all out on a double record for all of you to hear.”

Check out the cover art and track-listing below:

DevilDriver - Dealing With Demons, Volume I

1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

‘Dealing With Demons I’ will hit the shops on 9th October 2020 via Napalm Records.

For now you can check out the lyric video for their new single ‘Keep Away From Me’

For more information visit:
https://www.facebook.com/devildriver/

DevilDriver

 

 

DevilDriver – Outlaws ‘Till The End

Posted in Uncategorized 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

DevilDriver to release outlaw country covers album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 31st March 2018 by izaforestspirit

The American groove metal band DevilDriver have decided to stir things up in the metal scene by releasing an album of outlaw country cover songs. So if you want to hear Dez Farara’s take on Johnny Cash or Stan Jones’ classic ‘Ghost Riders in The Sky’ you’re in for treat.

The covers album will be called ‘Outlaws ‘Til the End’ and it is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide on 6th July 2018 via Napalm Records. You can see the cover art and the track-listing below:

1. Country Heroes (Hank Williams III cover)    
2. Whiskey River (Willie Nelson cover)    
3. Outlaw Man (Eagles cover)    
4. Ghost Riders in the Sky (Stan Jones cover)    
5. I’m the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised) (Johnny Paycheck cover)    
6. If Drinking Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will) (George Jones cover)    
7. The Man Comes Around (Johnny Cash cover)    
8. A Thousand Miles from Nowhere (Dwight Yoakam cover)    
9. Copperhead Road (Steve Earle cover)    
10. Dad’s Gonna Kill Me (Richard Thompson cover)    
11. A Country Boy Can Survive (Hank Williams Jr. cover)    
12. The Ride (David Allan Coe cover)

DevilDriver - Outlaws 'Til the End

For further details go to:

https://www.facebook.com/devildriver/

http://www.devildriver.com/

 

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (Part 2: Metal)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Time for the second part of my highlights of 2016, the metal edition. This part was much harder to write than the first because it took me a long time to chose my top ten metal of albums and even longer to decide on the winner. So here are my top ten favourite metal releases of 2016:

1. Vader – The Empire
Genre: Death Metal

This year, Vader strikes back with ‘The Empire’… Let’s face it, they were kind of asking for comments like this with that kind of an album title. Star Wars jokes aside, this is a really good piece of work. If you’re looking for some new death metal to check out, I would strongly recommend this album. Unlike their previous work, the masterpiece that was ‘Tibi et Igni’, ‘The Empire’ shows a back to basics approach. No complex structures or atmospheric intros, just good, old-school thrashy death metal. Best tracks: ‘Iron Reign’, ‘No Gravity’ and ‘Army-Geddon’.

2. Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Genre: Hard Rock/Industrial Metal

This year’s runner up deserves an award for coming up with the one of the longest album titles in years. I tend to refer to it simply as ‘The Electric Warlock’… Whilst still no match for his first two albums, ‘The Electric Warlock’ is Rob Zombie’s best work in years. Favourite tracks ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’, ‘In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ and the ultra cheesy but super catchy ‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’.

3. Devilment – II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal

For those of you who read my highlights of 2015, you might remember my comments on the latest Cradle of Filth album. This year their vocalist Dani Filth has been busy working on the second album for his other band Devilment. ‘II- The Mephisto Waltzes’ is a delightful opus which happily mixes a variety of metal genres including Gothic, symphonic and groove metal. There’s even a touch of humour in the lyrics and several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Best tracks are ‘Hitchcock Blonde’, ‘Dea Della Morte’ and ‘Full, Dark No Stars’.

4. Mortiis – The Great Deceiver
Genre: Industrial Metal

Ever since the Norwegian musician Mortiis started his own band in the mid ’90s, there has been some debate as to what category their music fits into. The older works are very much dark ambient, followed by the synth-pop period of ‘Smell of Rain, turning into the latest era of industrial rock. Their latest effort, the ultra creepy -sounding ‘The Great Deceiver’ is undoubtedly their heaviest and most complex album to date which is why I chose to include it in my metal top 10. Best tracks: ‘Doppelganger’, ‘Demons are Back’ and ‘Shining Lamp of God’.

5. Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Moonsorrow caught my attention after I saw them live at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival in the summer. I like some of their older material and after hearing some of the new songs live I decided to check out their newest album ‘Jumalten aika’. This is one of those releases where there are no real outstanding tracks, but rather the whole album is worth listening to in full. It’s one of the best pieces of pagan black metal that I’ve heard in a long while.

6. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
Genre: Gothic Horror Metal

German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak are back with a new album. ‘The Unknown’ struck me as being somewhat “Lovecraftian”, both in the visual concept of the cover art and the the lyrical themes. Musically it is in every bit that you can expect from a Vision Bleak album; eerie Gothic horror metal with some doom influences added creating the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Best tracks ‘The Kindred of The Sunset’ and ‘Into the Unknown’.

7. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Genre: Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal

Just in case anyone is wondering why the new Metallica is so low down on this list, the truth is that I expected it to be better than it turned out to be. After all, it’s been eight years since their last studio album. Needless to say that the expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting this to be another ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Ride the Lightning’ but I was hoping for something along the lines of ‘Death Magnetic’ which I really enjoyed. Luckily ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ isn’t as bad as ‘St. Anger’ but it’s hardly a masterpiece. To be honest I think that it would be have been better off as an EP with just four or five tracks instead of the 12 songs and 13 music videos. I definitely like the first disc more than the second one and my favourites include: ‘Moth To The Flame’, ‘Dream No More’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’.

8. Sabaton – The Last Stand
Genre: Power Metal

Sabaton are one of the very few power metal bands that I like. I’ve always enjoyed their live shows and I’m very fond of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’. As with all Sabaton albums, their latest piece of work doesn’t disappoint as far as the historical themes go. This one tells the stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles. Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. That sounds awesome in principal, if only the actual music was that good. Sadly it isn’t. It’s ok but not great and most of the time Sabaton are just recycling old ideas, changing the themes but making similar music. The only tracks that I liked are: ‘Shiroyama’, ‘The Last Battalion’ and ‘Blood at Bannockburn’.

9. DevilDriver
Trust No One
Genre: Groove Metal

DevilDriver - Trust No One

The only real groove metal entry on this list, ‘Trust No One’ is DevilDriver’s best work in years. It is an aggressive beast of guitar-driven groove metal made all the more powerful thanks to Dez Fafara’s vicious growls. Best tracks: ‘Trust No One’ and ‘Daybreak’.

10. Theatres des Vampires – Candyland
Genre: Gothic Metal

It’s been a while since the Italian Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires have released anything new. I’ve been a fan of their music for many years and so I was keen to get my hands on a copy of their latest piece of work. ‘Candyland’ is somewhat more metal-sounding than its predecessor ‘Moonlight Waltz’. There are notably less vampire themes on here compared to the previous album but other than that not much has changed. Sonya Scarlet is still the key figure in Theatres des Vampires. Whilst I still prefer their older works, back when Lord Vampyr was still a member of the band, I did enjoy this album. Best tracks ‘The Morgana Effect’ and ‘Resurrection Mary’.

 
Biggest New Discovery: Powerwolf
Best live show of 2016: Powerwolf live in Tampere
Most anticipated albums of 2017:
Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
New albums from Cradle of Filth and (hopefully) Behemoth.

That’s all from me for now. Happy New Year!

DevilDriver – Trust No One

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 30th May 2016 by mickbirchy

DevilDriver
Trust No One
Groove Metal, Melodic Metal
>Released: 13 May 2016
Via Napalm Records

Trust No One is the seventh release from DevilDriver. The album is certainly the same sound that they have been playing for years now, although it feels more revitalised and energetic. There is a distinct sense of power and command to the songs and the songwriting itself is great. All of the lyrics flowing really nicely and the sharp consistent riffs piercing there way into your head. They really come out swinging here with the tight production and stimulating melodies. I can’t really say it’s their best work, but there is definitely a drive behind this album, whereas the last couple felt a little tired.

Right off the bat DevilDriver hits you with a cavalcade of powerful and commanding groove based riffs, in that familiar way.  It’s all really nicely paced and creates an interesting sound in your head.  Opening on “Testimony of Truth” and “Bad Deeds” the album really starts you off with a blast to your senses. The lead guitar sounds distorted beyond belief with twisted and winding sounds mixed with the amazing bass work, which is really well laid.  All of it just pushes the songs forward with fantastic momentum and makes you want to keep listening.  Seriously the album flies by, forty minutes feels like ten and when you have fist pumping songs like “Above It All”, “Daybreak” and “Trust No One” it’s really no surprise.  I found myself wanting the next song to come on and it turns out that the album was over.  Forcing me to restart the whole thing again.

I’m a massive sucker for well done riffs and yeah, they’re simply spectacular here.  They’re completely solid and uncompromising.  They hit hard and let you just waver in the aftermath of their presence. When you add Dez Fafara’s insane vocal style on top of all of it it makes for one hell of a listening experience. Just simple heavy metal done really well no need for for any fancy gimmicks or weird stylistic choices. Pure heavy metal full on until the end. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this album, although they haven’t much to change their style or innovate the genre.  They have created something really pure and simple. Why change up a formula that already makes sense?

4/5

Mick Birchall

Arise in Chaos – Terminal Cognition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 11th May 2016 by izaforestspirit

Arise in Chaos
Terminal Cognition
Released 15th July 2016
Groove Metal/American Heavy Metal
Released via EMP Label Group

‘Terminal Cognition’ is the second album from American groove metal band Arise in Chaos. The band was formed back in 2010 and they released their debut album ‘Civilization Decay’ two years later. This latest piece of work was co-produced by David Ellefson (Megadeth) and Ahrue Luster (ex-Machine Head, Ill Nino).

As soon as the opening track Nero starts blasting it’s way through the speakers, it’s clear that this is all about brutality and aggression. Everything from the thrashing guitars to the relentless pounding of the drums has that violent and hostile feel to them. The vocals, or more accurately growls, are fairly similar to the likes of DevilDriver and Lamb of God. Come to think of it, so is the overall style and structure of the music.

The Divine – the first single, acts as a good show-piece demonstrating all the things that you can expect to hear from these guys. It’s a ferocious beast of a song that reminded me of early Machine Head, only with more thrash and melodic death metal tones in the guitars. And the barrage of guitar riffs, shouting and pummeling drums doesn’t stop there. Oh no… It’s full steam ahead all the way for the rest of the album. Even the occasional melodic intro, such as the instrumental part at the start of Violent Colors, is barely enough for the listener to take a few deep breaths before aggressive growling and thrashing guitars. Reflections caught my attention due to the slightly slower pace and the toned-down thrash metal guitar parts towards the end of the song.

Overall, ‘Terminal Cognition’ is an album that I would happily recommend to fans of DevilDriver and Lamb of God. As far as the style and genre classifications go, it’s essentially a mixture of groove metal with the brutality and aggression of thrash metal and some melodic death metal. My only problem with it is that there’s lots of similar sounding bands out there and Arise In Chaos doesn’t really offer anything dramatically new.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

DevilDriver to support Ministry in the UK

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 20th January 2016 by Pieni

DevilDriver have finished their 7th studio album, “Trust No One”, which is set to be released on May 13th via Napalm Records. In order to promote it in the UK, the Californian groove metal band will hit the road in support of Ministry in August:

 photo e299e6ca-380e-4bb7-b631-dbe9fb0fa7ba_zps1arfgmi6.jpg

Ministry and DevilDriver on the same bill , that’s a fucking concert worth showing up to! Al is a close and dear friend and Ministry is an iconic band for me and helped form my youth , I look forward to sharing the stage with one of the most legendary frontmen of all time! Thanks for having us aboard Al, let’s give em HELL!”, says Dez Fafara.

Pre-orders for “Trust No One” will be available shortly and tour dates announced soon.

facebook.com/devildriver

Carnifex post Condemned To Decay guitar lesson online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Deathcore behemoths Carnifex have recently posted a video online of guitarists Jordan Lockrey and Cory Anford demonstrating how to play Condemned To Decay, which is taken from the new album, Die Without Hope. The tutorial can be viewed below.

Die Without Hope was released on 3rd March 2014 via Nuclear Blast, both physically and digitally.

Carnifex online:

http://facebook.com/CarnifexMetal

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DevilDriver premier lyric video for Sail

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Groove metallers DevilDriver premiered the lyric video for their new single Sail, taken from their most recent release Winter Kills, via Metal Hammer. The video can be viewed at this location or down below.

DevilDriver are returning to Europe in Spring 2014 for a headline tour that will bring the legendary Metal institution to major cities on the old continent. Along for the ride are support bands Sylosis and Bleed From Within. The tour will kick off on 27th March in Cologne, Germany.

DevilDrivers’s sixth studio album Winter Kills was released in late August 2013 via Napalm Records and was met with overwhelming praise from fans and critics alike. Winter Kills debuted at position No. 32 at the US Billboard 200 chart and entered numerous charts in Europe (e.g. No. 24 in Germany, No. 26 in Austria, etc.).

DevilDriver European tour dates are as follow:

27.03.14 DE – Cologne / Underground
28.03.14 CH – Fribourg / Fri-Son
29.03.14 CH – Aarau / Kiff
31.03.14 DE – Munich / Backstage
01.04.14 FR – Paris / Le Trabendo
03.04.14 UK – Cardiff / Solus
04.04.14 UK – London / Electric Ballroom
05.04.14 UK – Wolverhampton / Wulfrun Hall
06.04.14 UK – Glasgow / Garage
08.04.14 IR – Dublin / The Academy
09.04.14 UK – Manchester / O2 Academy 2
10.04.14 UK – Southampton / Mo Club
11.04.14 FR – Cambrai / Betiz Fest
12.04.14 DE – Herford / CLub X
13.04.14 DK – Aarhus / VoxHall
15.04.14 SE – Stockholm / Klubben
16.04.14 SE – Gothenburg / Sticky Fingers
17.04.14 SE – Hamburg / Grünspan
18.04.14 BE – Antwerp / Trix

DevilDriver online:

https://www.facebook.com/DevilDriverOfficial1

 

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Carnifex stream new album Die Without Hope on Youtube

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

Carnifex - Die Without Hope - Artwork

San Diego’s deathcore behemoths Carnifex are now streaming their new album,Die Without Hope, on YouTube. The album is set for release on 7th March. The album can be listened to at this location.

Die Without Hope was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida and produced by the esteemed Mark Lewis (Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, DevilDriver, Deicide, Six Feet Under). Cover art for the album was created by renowned artist and longtime collaborator Godmachine. The recording also marks the introduction of new lead guitarist and longtime friend of the band, Jordan Lockrey.

Carnifex online:

http://facebook.com/CarnifexMetal
http://twitter.com/carnifex
http://youtube.com/officialcarnifex
http://instagram.com/carnifex

 

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Carnifex reveal album details

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 18th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

Deathcore behemoths Carnifex are pleased to announce the release of their Nuclear Blast debut album on 10th March 2014. The new album, entitled Die Without Hope, was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida and produced by the esteemed Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Devildriver, Deicide, Six Feet Under). The album artwork was created by the renowned artist and longtime collaborator Godmachine. Vocalist Scott Lewis comments:

Carnifex and Godmachine have been working together for many years, To be able to bring his art to the cover of this album is truly when all the pieces fell into place. The artwork here represents the tone and overall blackened feeling Die Without Hope captures.

Die Without Hope will deliver 10 tracks and over 35 minutes of crushing deathcore. Lewis states:

Die Without Hope is Carnifex at our very best. This is an album over two years in the making. We pushed ourselves every step of the process to include new elements never before heard on any previous Carnifex album.

Die Without Hope track listing:

01. Salvation Is Dead
02. Dark Days
03. Condemned To Decay
04. Die Without Hope
05. Hatred And Slaughter
06. Dragged Into The Grave
07. Rotten Souls
08. Last Words
09. Reflection Of The Forgotten
10. Where The Light Dies

Carnifex online:

http://facebook.com/carnifexmetal

 

Bleed From Within launch video for I Am Oblivion

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th December 2013 by Nico Davidson

After playing the UK leg of Metal Hammer’s Defenders of the Faith tour with the likes of Carcass, Amon Amarth and Hell, and a recent European tour with Heaven Shall Burn, Bleed From Within have launched the video for their new single I Am Oblivion. The video can be viewed below. The song is taken from the band’s current album Uprising.

Unfortunately BLEED FROM WITHIN were forced to cancel the last two shows on the Heaven Shall Burn tour due to problems with their van. The next tour is already locked in for the spring when they will be on the road with DevilDriver and Sylosis.

Bleed From Within

31.03.2014 (DE) Munich – Backstage
01.04.2014 (FR) Paris – Le Trabendo
03.04.2014 (UK) Cardiff – Solus
04.04.2014 (UK) London – Electric Ballroom
05.04.2014 (UK) Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall
06.04.2014 (UK) Glasgow – Garage
08.04.2014 (IE) Dublin – The Academy
09.04.2014 (UK) Manchester – Academy 2
10.04.2014 (UK) Southampton – Mo’club
12.04.2014 (DE) Herford – X
13.04.2014 (DK) Aarhus – Voxhall
15.04.2014 (SE) Stockholm – Klubben
16.04.2014 (SE) Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
17.04.2014 (DE) Hamburg – Gruenspan
18.04.2014 (BE) Antwerp – Trix

Other shows:
29.03.2014 (UK) Liverpool – 02 Academy
30.03.2014 (UK) Newcastle Upon Tyne – O2 Academy

Bleed From Within online:

http://www.bleedfromwithin.com
https://www.facebook.com/bleedfromwithinband

 

Bloodstock Open Air 2013: The Year of Thrash

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 5th September 2013 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2013 [King Diamond, Lamb of God, Slayer & more]
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
9th-11th August, 2012

Bloodstock 2013. What a weekend. From the 9th to the 11th of August, hordes of fans of some of the best music on the planet once again descended on Catton Hall in Derby in order to pray at the altar of metal, beer, metal, partying, and more metal. As always, I was there, this year having forked out for a VIP pitch, tent and pocket money in hand, ready to drink my way through the extensive bar and watch some awesome bands tear it up. This year was dubbed ‘The Year of Thrash’ by many, and I think I’d agree- how unfortunate for me that I’m not thrash metal’s biggest fan, then! Before I dive into the music, let me just say one thing: for the extra £100, i.e. more or less the same overall price as a ticket to Download or Reading, a VIP ticket is worth it. If you are able to save or can afford it outright, I would recommend it to anyone, just for the actual proper toilets. I know it’s a bit weird for me to be praising some bogs, but you would understand if you had the ability to use them. They had proper wooden doors, proper toilet rolls, proper sinks, proper soap, proper TOILETS. Amazing.

Right then. Let’s talk Bloodstock proper, shall we?

The Thursday night offerings had always been a bit of a mystery to me; I’d always seen Thursday as an opportunity to get in some drinking, have fun, and eventually wander over to the SOPHIE tent for the late night DJ. However, with an incredible pre-festival line up, I thought I’d better get over. Unfortunately (well, it was also pretty cool), we got chatting to the awesomely friendly guys that were camped around us and before we knew it, we had missed the first three bands! Luckily, we were able to make it over to watch Yorkshire’s finest warriors Ravenage absolutely lay waste to those assembled, with their unmistakably Medieval folk- and death- flavoured metal. Their set had everyone jigging, headbanging, horn-throwing: basically, everyone was enjoying themselves. I particularly enjoyed the tent-wide Drunken Sailor singalong. Magical!

Following Ravenage was the world’s premier metal BeeGees tribute act- yes, you read correctly- Tragedy. Never have I seen or heard a bigger crowd of bearded metalheads singing and dancing along to disco classics such as ‘You Should Be Dancing’, ‘Jive Talking’ and, of course, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Staying Alive.’ Tragedy filled Thursday evening with glitter, sequins, lipstick, hairspray, disco-balls, glamour- it was glorious. Such a perfect way to begin the weekend with a beautifully camp bang.

Friday’s main stage offerings began with Earthtone 9. These guys gave a lot of energy during the early slot, and put on a good show, but they weren’t really my cup of tea. Not what I expected, and they weren’t bad at all, but I wouldn’t choose to see them again. Followers Death Angel were everything you’d expect- brutal, straight up thrash metal- and again, they weren’t my cup of tea. However, Ex Deo were fantastic. The ex-Kataklysm troupe brought Rome to Derbyshire and they made me feel like an absolute traitor by the amount I enjoyed them- Rome are the enemy! They were immense and one of the highlights of the day for me. Even though I was really looking forward to them, Dark Funeral unfortunately suffered greatly from issues with their sound, and their frosty, evil atmosphere was completely lost in the mix. Many bands would actually suffer from this over the course of the weekend: followers Firewind, from example, were plagued with sound issues throughout their set. I’m not technically minded at all, but my brother informed me that the vocals were turned up too high. It’s a shame because Firewind were putting on a great performance.

One thrash band that I have to put up my hands and admit to loving is Municipal Waste. I can take their brand of thrash- fun and silly and all about the partying. Last time they played Bloodstock they broke the record for the greatest number of crowd-surfers during one song, so what would they do this time? A crowd-wave, of course, complete with absolutely epic wheelchair-surfer. Whoeever you are, I salute you! Next up were Voivod– another band that I have to be honest and say I didn’t really enjoy. The Canadian metallers did put on a good show if you were a fan, though. Veteran German heavy-metallers Accept thoroughly enjoyed their time on the main stage, something that was obvious and spilled out into the crowd. Their slot was a fantastic display of nostalgia and horn-throwing sing-alongs. Get your balls to the wall, indeed!

Headliner King Diamond has been requested constantly by Bloodstock fans over the past few years (myself included), and so his appearance felt like something of a coup. I will admit that his performance was probably quite confusing if you were not a fan or familiar with his material, but I have to be selfish and say that he was blinding. One of the best performances of the whole weekend! He gave us full theatrics- with Grandma, Miriam Natias and all his chums making an appearance, turning the stage into a Gothic, demonic crypt complete with wrought-iron fencing and a glowing, menacing sigil of Baphomet. King himself was absolutely on form, showing himself to be completely recovered from his near-fatal illness of a couple of years ago, and managing to reach notes with clarity he hasn’t shown in years. Completely outstanding.

I must admit that I missed Saturday’s opening act, Stormbringer. What I could hear from my tent, however, was pretty impressive. Bloodstock favourites Beholder gave it all of their energy and passion, as usual. I love watching this band- they clearly appreciate every opportunity Bloodstock is giving them, and it shows. Long may their success continue! 3 Inches of Blood were everything I expected. I only knew two of their songs, and unfortunately both of these songs were played really early within their set- something I didn’t expect at all, because if you know only one 3 Inches of Blood track, it would be ‘Deadly Sinners’, am I right? Regardless, they were very good and the crowd loved them.

Hell… what can I say about Hell? The best performance of the weekend? An utter revelation? Neither of these seems strong enough. I was absolutely blown away by Hell’s set- I had never managed to get to see them play live before, and I am kicking myself for it. Frontman David Bower clearly still possesses his Equity card, but the professionalism and sheer slick nature of his performance was still incredibly impressive. He had every single member of their enormous crowd right in the palm of his outstretched hand, and worked the stage like an infernal evangelical preacher. The moment he stepped out dressed like a giant faun, complete with pyrotechnic pitchfork, I knew that Hell were now one of my favourite bands. They deserved the huge crowd they managed to attract, and between you and me? Their crowd was bigger than Lamb of God’s. Church was in session on Saturday, my burning soul loved every second of it, and I guarantee you that Hell will be headliners within the next five years.

Kataklysm were brilliant, although struggled to follow Hell a little bit. French’s best Gojira were crushing, as usual and expected. I have to admit to being in a little bit of a daze for these two bands, but luckily this daze was lifted for Sabaton. The power metal veterans had suffered a few problems with their luggage, losing a trunk full of costumes on the journey over to the UK, and seeing Joakim Brodén step out wearing simply a plain black vest and their signature urban camo trousers was a little jarring. Thankfully, a helpful member of the crowd stepped in and lent him their own metal-panelled cyber-goth vest, and the show could go on! Sabaton have to be one of the nicest bands currently on the scene, and Joakim proved his own merits when he gifted two young fans (aged around 9 and 11, if I remember correctly) who were by the barrier with his own wristband and sunglasses.

Saturday ended on a bit of a juxtaposition. Tobias Sammet’s guest-studded Avantasia set was breathtakingly beautiful, a rock opera in the middle of a dirty field. I think everyone expected it to be a spectacle, but I was able to sit back and let the music wash over me, engrossing me totally. It was just gorgeous, and they were another highlight. ‘Controversial’ headliners (controversial for the same tired reasons that Machine Head generated controversy last year) Lamb of God, however, left me wanting, a little bit. Even the ridiculously amazing announcement that Emperor will be headlining next year’s festival couldn’t keep up the energy throughout their set. They were marred by safety issues with the barrier, with frontman Randy Blythe pleading with the crowd to watch out for each other, but there just seemed to be a little bit of a flat atmosphere. I was expecting them to be victoriously received by the crowd, given Blythe’s recent acquittal, but I think the sight of countless fans leaving before their set had finished speaks volumes.

Special mention must go to two bands on the SOPHIE stage on Saturday- Mael Mordha and PowerQuest. Irish doom metallers Mael Mordha served up a folky slice of ‘Gaelic’ doom metal and reminded me why it’s one of my favourite genres of metal. PowerQuest’s set, my brother informed me, was a bittersweet triumph, being their last ever performance as a band, featuring members of their old line up and filled with nostalgic tracks from the career of one of the most criminally underrated bands in the UK. They will be sorely missed.

I have a confession to make. At some point between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I caught a bug. I don’t know what it was, but I spent most of Sunday unable to keep any food or drink down. Subsequently, I missed the first three bands, dragging my sore self away from my tent and into the arena in time to see Fozzy. I didn’t know what to expect from these guys, being eager to keep an open mind, but I was pleasantly surprised. They were brilliant, straight-up metal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Chris Jericho was clearly over the moon to be on that stage, loving every second and I have to say- he is an absolute nutter. At one point, he climbed right up the lighting rig and sang one song from the top of the stage. Brilliant, and I might have to watch out for Fozzy in the future. Finish metallers Amorphis were excellent, delivering their strange blend of prog, folk and death metal to an incredibly receptive crowd- I have to listen to some more of their material, because I really enjoyed what I heard! I must admit to missing Exodus, but I have it on good authority that they were as brutal as one would have expected them to be. Devildriver were nicely nostalgic for me- I’m not too familiar with much of their stuff, but I was a huge Coal Chamber fan back in the day so I loved watching Dez Fafara and his cohorts do their thing. ‘Hold Back The Day’ was a highlight of a set full of metal camaraderie and a focus on enjoying yourself.

Here’s the confession that may get me lynched- I missed most of both Anthrax and Slayer, and I’m not that sorry. I spent most of Anthrax unconscious in my tent, from dehydration, pain and exhaustion: but I have to admit, the one song I managed to catch at the end was very good. Anthrax had an awful lot of energy, clearly enjoying every second of being there and grateful for every fan. The same could not be said for legendary thrash metal tyrants Slayer. I am truly sorry to say this, but Slayer were boring to me. They just got on stage and played their songs: there was no performance there at all. I also personally find their music very repetitive. However, I will concede that I am sure it was the best part of the weekend for the countless baying Slayer-heads in attendance, and I only managed to catch a couple of tracks from their set, ‘War Ensemble’ included.

I also have to mention Gibraltan metal quintet Breed 77, who tore apart the SOPHIE set earlier on Sunday. I am a huge fan of Breed 77 anyway, and they delivered song after song of underrated brilliance, peppered with insights from people living inside the Gibraltarian/Spanish political conflict. Dedicating the bruising ‘Insects’ to both an unelected UK-government and a group of Spanish fascists was a particularly genius move on Paul Isola’s part.

Other highlights of my weekend included meeting Alien Loves Predator and Judge Dredd (the latter of which was pulled up on stage during ‘I Am The Law’ in Anthrax’s set), and sampling some delicious beverages over in the VIP bar. I think the best drink I had all weekend was Bruce Dickinson’s Trooper, which is like the Iron Maiden warbler himself- mellow, laid back and easy going. You can actually buy bottles of Trooper in certain supermarkets, so I would implore you to Google and find out!

Bloodstock 2013 was a mixed barrel for me as far as the music was concerned. However, I actually go to Bloodstock for the experience and the people just as much as I do the bands. It’s always better when you like a significant portion of the line-up, of course, but I enjoyed more than I thought I would and managed to have a whale of a weekend, even with a final day marred by illness.

Emperor next year? I’ll see you there.

 

 

 

Hannah O’Flanagan, 2013

Carnifex ink deal with Nuclear Blast; Plans for new album announced

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 10th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Deathcore act Carnifex have recently inked a deal with Nuclear Blast, which is home to bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Children of Bodom and Epica, as well as bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse. Frontman Scott Lewis comments on the recent signing:

Signing with Nuclear Blast is a career defining moment for Carnifex. To be aligned with the largest metal label on earth is a true honour. This world-wide deal signals a turning point for us as a band and individuals. Together with Nuclear Blast you will see CARNIFEX like you have never seen us before. Prepare yourself for an album that crushes any and all expectations. An album that will stand as the definitive mark for modern metal.

Carnifex will begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut this July at Audio Hammer Studios in Sanford, FL with famed metal producer Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, DevilDriver). The band stated that fans should expect a release tentatively sometime in the first quarter of 2014.Carnifex also welcomes long-time friend of the band Jordan Lockrey as their new lead guitarist.

Carnifex online:

http://facebook.com/carnifexmetal

 

DevilDriver announce details for new album and confirm release date

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 31st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

DevilDriver have confirmed that the title of their new album is Winter Kills – Well, I suppose those sounds a lot more metal than something like “Summer Kills”. The album will be released worldwide on August 27th via Napalm Records.

The band recorded the album in Florida at Audio Hammer Studios and vocals in Los Angeles, CA at Dez‘s home studio with Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, All That Remains) handling production duties. The artwork for Winter Kills features a photograph by Dean Karr. The layout was done by Ryan Clark/Invisible Creature.

DevilDriver has worked with Lewis previously on Beast and The Last Kind Words and producer Mark Lewis‘s prolific leadership of the new school of metal has yet again helped DevilDriver deliver another epic heavy metal record.  This record melds what the band does best. In your face power as well as the California Groove sound the band pioneered.

DevilDriver has always been a band on a three-pronged mission: Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process. The band tours forever and has since its beginnings. Their live performances and circle pits are as legendary as their music. Dez comments on the new album:

This is by far DevilDriver’s most cohesive, powerful, groove laden record to date!

We delivered our signature California Groove sound alongside a Raw and Biting guitar tone, mixed it with massive hooks, added in thunderous drums to rethink, and reshape another different sounding unique piece of Rock-N-Roll! Cutting our own path is something to be proud of. DevilDriver has always and will forever be about thinking outside the box and delivering on something different from record to record, we cannot be assimilated into any scene or even genre of Metal and we will continue to do things our own way with a massive middle finger in the air to the status quo!

The band will be hitting the road worldwide in support of Winter Kills.  Touring as always will be a focal point for the band. The US can expect to see them this fall and winter with Europe and the rest of the globe coming in 2014 and beyond. Additional information on Winter Kills will be made available shortly.

DevilDriver online:

https://www.facebook.com/DevilDriverOfficial1/

Interview with Paul Mazurkiewicz [Cannibal Corpse]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

Being arguably one of the most respected and founding bands of death metal, Cannibal Corpse are still going strong with the release of their newest album, Torture, which came out in March of this year. Before performing at The Met in Pawtucket, RI, I got a chance to chat with Cannibal Corpse’s drummer, Paul Mazurkiewicz, about some highlights from this past year, inspiration for their lyrics, and some inspirational advice for any upcoming bands.

Cannibal Corpse is currently on their US Torture Tour with Misery Index and Hour of Penance which ends in December. They will then be touring with Devildriver for a full headlining tour in Europe.

The Black Dahlia Murder announced for Cannibal Corpse/DevilDriver tour

Posted in News with tags , , , on 13th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

The Black Dahlia Murder will join DevilDriver and Cannibal Corpse on their co-headlining tour, which kicks off in Oulu, Finland on February 9, 2013.

The Detroit outfit, now featuring Max Lavelle who replaced Ryan Williams on bass earlier this year have just finished a brutal festival run in Europe in support of their highly acclaimed Ritual album released last year on Metal Blade Records.

Also joining the tour will be Winds Of Plague. Catch them all here:

CANNIBAL CORPSE, DEVILDRIVER, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER & WINDS OF PLAGUE

09/02/13         FI         Oulu – Teatrie Oulu
10/02/13         FI         Tampere – Pakkahuone
11/02/13         FI         Helsinki – Nosturi
13/02/13         SE         Stockholm         – Göta Källare
14/02/13         SE         Gothenburg – Brewhouse
15/02/13         DK         Copenhagen – Amager bio
16/02/13         DK         Aarhus – Train
17/02/13         DE         Hamburg – Grünspan
19/02/13         NL         Tilburg – 013
20/02/13         DE         Köln         – Essigfabrik
21/02/13         DE         Karlsruhe – Substage
22/02/13         DE         Geiselwind – Music Hall
23/02/13         BE         Antwerp – Trix
24/02/13         FR         Paris – Le Bataclan
26/02/13         IT         Milan – Alcatraz
27/02/13         CH         Lausanne – Les Docks
28/02/13         CH         Zurich – Komplex 457
01/03/13         DE         Chemnitz – Südbahnhof
02/03/13         CZ         Ostrava – Garage Club
03/03/13         DE         Berlin – Columbia Club
05/03/13         DE         München – Backstage
06/03/13         DE         Saarbrücken – Garage
07/03/13         UK         LONDON – THE FORUM
08/03/13         UK         NOTTINGHAM – ROCK CITY
09/03/13         UK         MANCHESTER – HMV RITZ
10/03/13         UK         GLASGOW – ABC

Check out the video for “Moonlight Equilibrium” here.

First Leak Of Job For A Cowboy Video Series

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 16th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

Job For A Cowboy today unleash the first of a series of instructional video posts featuring guitar wizard Tony Sannicandro. Dubbed “The Leads Are Weak,” the mini clips offer playing tips and an up-close look at Sannicandro’s astounding skills and technique. Clip #1 showcases the solo From Signature Of Starving Power off the band’s Gloom EP.
To view the clip, head to the official Job For A Cowboy’s Landing Page.

The Arizona death metallers will begin a five-and-a-half week North American road journey as part of the Metal Alliance Tour next week. The live rituals which began on March 15 in Austin, Texas at South By Southwest 2012. The band are joined by The Faceless, Dying Fetus, 3 Inches Of Blood, Impending Doom, Wretched, and headliners, DevilDriver.

Job For A Cowboy will release their new full-length, Demonocracy, this Spring. Produced by Jason Seucof (Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Trivium) who recorded the band’s scorching Ruination full-length, at Audiohammer Studios, and featuring the conceptual cover design by artist Brent Elliott White, Demonocracy, will be unearthed to North American fans on April 10, 2012 through Metal Blade Records.

Bonded By Blood Studio Update

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 9th March 2012 by Nico Davidson

California metallers Bonded By Blood are currently in the studio finalising a brand new studio album coming this summer, set to be released through Earache Records.

The new album is being recorded with producer and former Machine Head/Soulfly guitarist Logan Mader, who has worked with the likes of Devildriver and Five Finger Death Punch, at Darth Mader Music in Los Angeles.  The band have been documenting the studio experience and have posted a new video to update fans on the recording process which can be watched below:

Battlecross – Pursuit Of Honor [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 1st September 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Battlecross
Album: Pursuit Of Honor
Release year: 2011
Genre: Blue Collar Thrash Metal

The true formation of Battlecross came about in 2007. With a mixture of mature and technical riffs and energetic live shows, Battlecross’ music was soon described as “Blue Collar Thrash Metal” due to their hard working attitude. They have toured with bands such as GWAR and DevilDriver, as well as being featured on local, national and global metal radios, amongst other feats. Following the release of their recent album, “Pursuit Of Honor”, it seems nothing is going to stop Battlecross.

The title track, “Pursuit Of Honor”, leaves the listener thinking ‘what the f**k is this?’ as it entirely composed of a short acoustic guitar medley. Fortunately, the next song “Push Pull Destroy” shreds its way next with a violent intro riff. The drum work is terrifyingly brutal, whilst the vocals are raw, angsty and bloodthirsty. The riffs are slightly technical in their playing and composition, however they favour a straight forward metal assault over the fancy technicalities – Until the song nears it end anyway. The guitar solo is a true display of talent and fits in nicely with the rest of the song. “Kaleb” starts with a slight death metal element to it, boosting the levels of brutality slightly more. The music, does however, show influences of thrash metal. The melodic sections work well with the savagery of the vocals and the barbaric sound of the drums.

”Deception” is another track with a brutalising and heavy introduction, though this one seems to favour its punch over its melodic riffs. Double bass is used heavily throughout the song, being used in every section of the track. There is use of melodic riffs in the second half of the track though not as heavily used as the other riffs. The solo-like introduction of “Man Of Stone” comes next before a thrash-death metal assault begins. The track becomes more thrashy as it progresses, increasing in violence as well. The vocals are full of raw aggression and power, bordering on the line of being psychotic sounding. “Breaking You” as a not so enjoyable introduction, though the vocals soon make up for it. The drums are full of violence but intelligently played as well, making the track sound ever more murderous. The riffs, for the most part, are well composed and played.

Following after is “Rupture” with an intro slightly familiar to that of “Breaking You” but it soon changes as the riffs turn slightly more melodic. The lyrics are grim and vicious, which is to be expected – Though the lyrics don’t sound to be for the faint of heart. Nor do the guitar riffs for that matter. “Leech”, though being heavy, seems laid back compared to the previous tracks. The track seems to be lacking energy and a bit of passion. “Better Off Dead” comes shredding its way next, bringing back the brutal riffs, energy and passion. The vocals are bloodthirsty and immense sounding, dominating the track massively. The riffs are masterfully played and the drums keep the track together.

“Misery” is more slow paced yet more passionate and aggressive compared to some of the previous tracks. The tempo does increase however before the vocals make themselves heard. The riffs are face-meltingly good and the drums are savage and barbaric. The album finishes with “Foreshadowing” which sounds oddly Gothic, which is a strange way to end the album. Even the solo sounds somewhat Gothic.

It’s no wonder Battlecross have done so well in their career. The band is made up for musicial genius’ and talented musicians. “Pursuit Of Honor” is perhaps one of the best albums on the modern thrash metal scene. Battlecross could easily replace one of the top 4 of thrash metal if they keep producing albums like this one.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson