Archive for Heavy metal music

The Antiquity w/Support – Scarborough, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The Antiquity, Sea Of Giants & More
Vivaz, Scarborough
13th December 2013

Situated on the east coast of North Yorkshire lies Scarborough, a thriving tourist attraction in the summer. And also apparently a town where wide-eyed fourteen year olds offer you a line of coke. But beyond that lies a virtually unknown – and for a while, non-existent – metal and hardcore scene, one that shows potential and promise.

Photo by Nico Davidson

Photo by Nico DavidsonOpening up the show were a new band known as Avalon, a band that were virtually unknown save to a few people who had seen them at their first show (this one was their second show). Described as “girly-fronted metal” by the show’s organiser, it was apparent that most of the crowd were unsure of what to expect. Fronted by the innocent looking Lottie, Avalon kick started their brief but vividly heavy set with a cover of Flyleaf’s I’m So Sick, which eerily sounded almost like the original song.

Following up from the stunning opening track of their, Avalon went onto make a use of some blistering guitar work and a cumbersome bass sound from Emi and James, as well as Jed’s precision drumming. Lottie’s clean vocals proved to be very versatile throughout the set but it was her banshee-like screams that really grabbed the crowd’s attention.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico DavidsonScarboroughian beasts Bharghest were the second band of the night. Lending their name from the old Yorkshire folklore of a demonic black dog that brings death in its wake, the three piece instrumental death metal unit proved to be a powerful force. With no vocalist and a use of programmed drums, their riffs came down faster than the executioner’s blade, leaving no time for escape from the ensuing ferocious carnage. The guitar passages were sharp and cutting, whereas the bass had all the civility of a sledgehammer being swung into a face. Bharghest ended their set with Legion, a piece that was akin to melodic death metal, only with a darker, more bestial nature. Fortunately, there was no death in their wake but there might be some people left deaf after their performance.

[5/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

The night took a turn from metal and into hardcore punk with local quartet Satanic Malfunctions. The frontman really did open some eyes as he ran around the stage looking like a psychotic murder – minus the axe – whilst unleashing a visceral assault of old school hardcore styled vocals. The music itself was typically aggressive, showing no signs of turning passive or losing the energetic drive, though it was apparently hard for the crowd to get into this as the size of the venue made it hard to whip up an atmosphere. Satanic Malfunctions however did get a rather positive response from the crowd vocally.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

The main support of the night was Bridlington’s hardcore behemoths Sea Of Giants who made a strong use of grizzly riffs, harsh vocals and heavy drumming. The use of lights throughout their set helped make their performance more exciting, as the crowd that gathered on the dance floor joined together for some synchronised head banging during in the breakdowns. Guitarist Liam’s clean vocals fit the mood of the music perfectly, opposing Mcgougan’s harsher screams brilliantly and vividly. The guitar passages and bass lines were a highlight of their set, paving a path of brutality for the headlining act of the night: The Antiquity.

[4/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

No EP launch show would be complete without the band who is releasing the EP headlining the show and in this case, it was Scarborough’s own The Antiquity though Hull’s metal cowboys were originally booked as the headliners but they pulled out a few nights before the show for valid reasons. From the moment The Antiquity launched their colossal live attack, their vocalist Luther started one pit after another in between his devastating vocal assaults while the rest of the band provided the momentum and energy with a series of venomous riffs and drums heavy enough to shattered teeth. Their titanic wall of sound collided with their live performance, creating a carnivorous atmosphere.

[4.5/5]

Photo by Nico Davidson

Scarborough still has a long way to go before its scene is recognised on the national scale but given what this show was like, it will be interesting to see how the scene begins to evolve from here and to see what Scarborough’s bands can bring to the table.

Nico Davidson

 

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Hell – The Age of Nefarious

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3rd November 2013 by Paul

Hell
The Age of Nefarious
Released October 25th 2013
NWOBHM
Released via Nuclear Blast
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Hell are one of the greatest success stories in the recent renaissance of NWOBHM. Of all the bands that have come back from the dead to play the oldest style of Heavy Metal, Hell has been one of the most successful. This EP, The Age of Nefarious offers a new song as well as three live performances from their Human Remains album. Hell have a style that goes beyond the simple punk rock/Motorhead formula that typifies NWOBHM, being more theatrical and epic, like Dante’s Divine Comedy played through a Heavy Metal filter. I managed to catch the end of Hell’s set at Bloodstock 2011, and it was clear that the band are very talented performers, the recordings here sound just about as good as they do in the studio, however the problem is that the audience is very quiet in the mix here, so it doesn’t feel like there is all that much point in listening to these over the album versions from Human Remains. It’s a good release though and a good, though short preview of what is to come on the next album. The Age of Nefarious doesn’t deviate much from the sounds on Human Remains, which is largely a good thing. It sounds like Hell are getting ready to release a great album, and I look forward to hearing it.

3/5

Paul Gibbins

Hell online:

http://facebook.com/hellofficial

 

Carcass – Surgical Steel

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 6th October 2013 by Contra Mundi

Carcass
Surgical Steel
Released 16 September 2013
Death Metal/Grindcore
Released via Nuclear Blast

I have been a fan of Carcass for quite some time. I inherited a copy of Heartwork on cassette from my sister and I never gave her it back despite her ardent requests. I now have at least 3 different copies of that album and even though it seems ridiculous, such is my obsession. Carcass have always been a band unlike any other. They share influences with other bands and are a product of what was a very exciting time for metal music in the early 90’s, but they have always held their own quietly and without a hint of pretence despite them being one of the most iconic bands in recent history that fans love returning to again and again.

Carcass as far as I’m concerned are on a pedestal and I was quite apprehensive as well as overwhelmingly excited when they revealed they would be making a return with a new album and accompanying live dates. My fear was that they would just regurgitate all that had come before, or that they would have forgotten about the essence of Carcass and their accessible grandeur. Another fear was that they would fall into the ‘faster than thou’ mentality that occupies the death metal genre nowadays; not that it is a problem, it just wouldn’t be Carcass. Everyone I spoke to wanted the new album to remind them why they still maintained their affection for Carcass. They didn’t want that affection to become shameful if the band released something half arsed and conformist; although we need never have been afraid of that.

As soon as the artwork for the new album was released, I knew that Carcass were going to deliver the goods with Surgical Steel. The perfect circle of surgical instruments on the cover was both subtle and shocking; something that Carcass are masters at and it is with that mentality that I approached my listening.

The album begins with the trademark Carcass guitar harmonies and a ringing solo over the top that draws you slowly in only to be thrown back by the aggressive and impressive Thrashers Abbatoir. This song is pure Carcass, but not only that, it is Carcass grown up and this impression shapes the feel of the whole album. It is surgical in its precision and beautifully crafted with all the necessary elements of a Carcass formula, that is enticing vocal hooks, full bodied guitar harmonies and just the right amount of technicality without being silly.

Any self-respecting guitarist would be impressed by the solos in Cadaver Pouch Conveyer System and frankly, they’re enough to make you sick with jealousy. It reminded me a lot in its technicality and youth of Children of Bodom’s Something Wild where the guitars are used as more than accompanying instruments. They are pushed to the foreground and speak as frequently and in the same tone as the growled, hoarse vocals of Jeff Walker. Incidentally, Jeffs vocals have not altered at all over the years and therein lies another boon for the album. It is as if he has stepped out of a time machine, and his growl is one of the most recognised in death metal. He is both perfectly articulated and full of malice and his great appeal for a lot of people is that you can actually follow what he is saying very easily.

The Master Butcher’s Apron with its ringing guitar harmonies, impeccable drumming and thick chugging riffs is one of my favourite on the album and is a display again of Carcass’s maturity, musical ability and incredible talent for song writing. There is variety without being random and a real sense that Carcass as a collective enjoyed making the album and that they don’t need to prove anything to anyone.

The track Noncompliance to ASTM F 899-12 Standard stampedes away and shows odd extremely impressive guitar work even further and expresses musical prowess that imitators can only dream of. Carcass are undoubtedly a set of formidable musicians and the originality of their music and song writing as progressed as much as they have, although it still retains that remarkable and age defying feel they exposed us all to during the early 90’s and their subsequent releases.

A surprising track on the album and very revealing of Carcass’s talents is the ultimate track on the album: Mount of Execution that makes use of acoustic guitars in its introduction and offers something of a remarkable contrast and display of musical ability. The latter half of the song is intense and full of menace. Jeff’s vocals really add a sense of terror that when coupled with the chugging guitars and ridiculously articulate guitar solos form a sound that we die-hard Carcass fans have been longing for over the years.

Overall, Surgical Steel is extremely impressive and worthy of all the hype it has been given. It is something of a legend and Carcass are a remarkable band for delivering so completely to a legion of fans with such high expectations. It is enjoyable, accessible and doesn’t saddle itself with a crippling narrative or unnecessary embellishment. It is just a representation of all that Carcass are and it displays all of the band’s best qualities in the best possible way. They could have easily taken the formulas of their previous releases and rehashed them, but they didn’t. They improved themselves and injected maturity as well as a compassion for their fan base into their work in order to deliver something that is true to the heart of Carcass and cannot be imitated; no matter how hard we try.

If you haven’t already got yourself a ticket for the Damnation festival in Leeds, I strongly suggest that you do so, or face missing out on an event that all of your friends will be talking about for years to come. Carcass leave a distinct impression when they play live as they articulate their albums perfectly and show off their talents almost to the point of obscenity and only a fool would willingly miss such a display of power. If in doubt, pick up a copy of Surgical Steel and have a taste of what can only be described as a monumental album.

5/5

Alex Cook

Carcass online:

http://facebook.com/officialcarcass

 

Witches Mark – Witching Metal Ritual

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 20th August 2013 by izaforestspirit

Witches Mark
Witching Metal Ritual
Released 15th July 2013
Speed Metal/Power Metal/Thrash Metal
Released via Heaven and Hell Records

 photo witchingcover_zps6cc12be8.jpg

‘Witching Metal Ritual’ is the debut album from the Texas-based, American speed/power metal band Witches Mark. It is the follow up to their 2009 EP ‘A Grim Apparition’.

Straight from the start, we’re in for a joyride with the ultra fast and amusingly titled Bringers of Heavy Metal Death taking you on a journey filled with speedy guitar riffage, solos and old-school thrash metal style vocals. Yep, they don’t call the genre “speed metal” for nothing. This music will give you quite the adrenaline rush…

With Swarm we are treated to some of the power metal influences such as the vocals, which change to a more high-pitched, story-telling style akin to the likes of their fellow countrymen Iced Earth. Even the guitar sound more melodic on here compared to the previous tracks. Similar things can be said about the next track Slaves to Their Own Sin though this one has a slightly faster pace and reminds me a little of Mystic Prophecy and..dare I say it… Manowar?

Other noteworthy tracks include: Cauldron Born, which marks a return to thrash metal with the fast and furious guitar riffs and solos giving the track the energy that was absent from some of the slower songs and the short but extremely catchy title track.

Overall this album offers a bit of a mixed bag, full of highs and lows. It’s almost as though the band was still experimenting with which style suits them best. My advice to them would be: stick to the fast and energetic speed thrash metal and leave the power metal ballads to someone else!

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

 

Narcotic Death and Grieve announced for Huddersfield Heavymetalfest

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 27th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Yorkshire death metallers Narcotic Death and Huddersfield/Leeds based metal band Grieve have been announced for the Huddersfield Heavymetalfest which will take place on 12th October at the Parish in Huddersfield. The festival will be headlined by Italian death metal overlords Fleshgod Apocalypse and the line-up also boasts Scottish death metal band Scordadtura, as seen at the North of the Wall Festival in Scotland earlier this year, and Bound By Exile. Limited tickets are available for the event from this location and are priced at £20 (not including booking fees and P&P).

Following recent events, Anaal Nathrakh will not be playing the Huddersfield Heavymetalfest but the organiser has assured that another main support of their calibre will be booked.

The full line-up so far is as follows:

Fleshgod Apocalypse (Headliner)
Bound By Exile
Scordatura
Grieve
Narcotic Death

Huddersfield Heavymetalfest online:

https://www.facebook.com/HuddersfieldHeavymetalfest

 

Epitaph added to Metieval 2013 line-up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 13th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hard rocking metal band Epitaph from Sheffield have been added to this year’s Metieval Festival which boasts the likes of opera-goth metal band Aonia, trad. metallers Alice In Thunderland and NWOBHM legends Avenger, amongst others. The all-day event will take place at The Piper Club in Hull on 29th June. Tickets are available for £10 in advance. The festival will also feature the first ever Metieval Aftershow party hosted by DJs Skullcrusher and Paul Brady.

Epitaph online:

https://www.facebook.com/Epitaph2011

 

Italian vampire metal act Lord Vampyr signs to Crank Music and announce new album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 9th June 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Italian gothic-vampire metal band Lord Vampyr – whom are fronted by former Theatres Des Vampires founding member and vocalist Alessandro Nunziat, better known by his stage name and pseudonym Lord Vampyr – recently signed to the Crank Music Group and are set to release their first album in three years. The album is titled Gothika Vampyrika Heretika and was recorded at KK Digital Recording Studio in Cosenza, Italy. The album art was made by Mathias Rat. Gothika Vampyrika Heretika, which is described as being a mixture of fear and sadness and a return to the first glories of Lord Vampyr’s productions, will be released later this year on 21st September.

Lord Vampyr online:

http://www.lordvampyr.net/
http://www.myspace.com/lvampyr/
http://www.reverbnation.com/lordvampyr