Archive for Megadeth

Stone Free Festival announce headliners

Posted in Festival, Misc., News with tags , , , , on 10th March 2018 by izaforestspirit

London’s prime classic rock event Stone Free Festival is now in its third year. This time it will take place on Saturday 16th June – Sunday 17th June 2018 at The O2 in London, The UK.

This year the headliners will include Scorpions, Megadeth (exclusive UK shows) along with YES and former Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson. 

In addition to the main performances the festival will also have a range of other unique attractions such as the Speak Easy Lounge, an acoustic beer garden and a vinyl record fair.

Here’s the official poster:

For more information visit:
http://stonefreefestival.com/

https://www.facebook.com/StoneFreeFestival/

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 Review

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24th August 2014 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014 [Down, Emperor, Megadeth & more]

Catton Hall, Derbyshire

8th-10th August, 2014

Bloodstock 2014 came and went like an almighty clap of thunder. Before I even knew it, it was August and that time of the year when the bearded horde descends upon the sleepy Derbyshire countryside for the UK’s most metal weekend. A line up chock full of interesting names that promised to deliver crushing sets, more beer than I could comprehend and a surprising number of costumes and Native American accessories awaited me. As always, I’d coughed up the extra money for a VIP ticket- again, I will say that it is WORTH IT- but this year, let me start by giving a negative review. The VIP toilets were shocking. Usually they are cleaned regularly, supplied with toilet paper and soap and all the mod-cons that help to make the price that much more acceptable. This year, however, it was horrific. I realise that with the weather they were going to get dirty- but I would have been okay with mud. Little brown fishes are not so okay.

Anyway…  After being thoroughly slaughtered by the Thursday night pre-party and starting to pick my way through the VIP bar’s 103 real ales and ciders, I awoke on the Friday morning, blinking with bleary eyes into the blazing sunshine. Fitting that the opener was Bloodshot Dawn, then. A good start to proceedings, followed by the always satisfying Entombed A.D. It’s the second time I’ve had the pleasure of watching these guys and they were just as good as before- even though they’re in a different form from last time. Irish extreme metallers Primordial followed, with an absolutely stellar set. I’d caught a bit of their set the last time they played Bloodstock, and made sure I was able to see the whole thing this time round. It was a good choice, because their particular brand of black-ish metal is excellent live. A smidgeon of thrash was added to the mix by Flotsam & Jetsam, who entertained for the whole of their set and were a good choice, as were industrial metallers Prong. Both bands were received enthusiastically by the crowd and there were few heads still during their slot on the main stage.  

Controversial opinion time- I don’t like Triptykon. I will never forgive Tom G. Warrior for the glam metal Celtic Frost ridiculousness, and even though on paper I should appreciate Triptykon’s doomy line of metal, I just don’t like it. It was all very grim and frosty and plenty of people did like it, but it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. Hatebreed, however, reminded us exactly why they were one of the best received bands of 2012. Perfectly on form, as always, they were energetic and exciting and definitely one of the best acts of the weekend. The same cannot be said for Dimmu Borgir, and frustratingly it wasn’t their fault. I was looking forward to Dimmu Borgir; they are one of my favourite bands and their 2012 set is still one of the best I have ever seen. But this year they were plagued by technical difficulties and a sound mix so bad keyboardist Gerlioz left the stage. Arriving at least twenty minutes late, and forced to stop and start throughout, when they did play they proved that they could have been great this year. Such a massive disappointment. Friday night headliners Down took the stage to an arena buzzing with anticipation and excitement and baying for blood. And, whatever you may think of him as a person, you have to hand it to Phil Anselmo– he is the perennial frontman. They filled Catton Hall with their groovy brand of metal and crushing riffs, and teased the horde with ten to fifteen seconds of Pantera classic Walk.

Saturday morning started with, in my opinion, the performance of the weekend. Evil Scarecrow. I need to take a moment to dedicate this whole review- and, at the very least, an entire paragraph- to Evil Scarecrow. Eleven o’clock in the morning and the arena was absolutely rammed. We’re talking Special Guest to Headliner amounts of people. Very much a story of success against the odds, Evil Scarecrow are something special. They manage to be simultaneously funny and extremely clever, and also just extremely fucking good. They turned Bloodstock into a heavy metal ballroom, filled with waltzing Cyclopes (cyclopi? Just what is the correct plural term here?), they commanded first an army of (totally in sync) shuffling Crab(ulon)s, then an army of Robot(atron)s, and finally managed to get almost every lucky bastard assembled there to war-march around the sound desk. We are talking an arena wide march. Even if we only moved about ten foot forward, that’s still an impressive feat. Every single person there had a huge grin on their face. If you weren’t watching, you missed out on history.

Shining had a bit of a hard act to follow, unfortunately, and it was a shame to see such a reduced crowd watching them. Their somewhat bizarre jazz-extreme metal fusion was quite refreshing, however, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a saxophone on the RJD stage before- or will again. Decapitated were as expected- brutal- and Israel’s Orphaned Land were a nice surprise. I’d never really heard any of their music before, but their progressive tinged metal was much better than I thought it would be. Crowbar were awesome, with bass lines so shuddering and crushing that I could feel my liver shaking. Following their set with Italian pseudo-goths Lacuna Coil seemed a bit of an odd choice- in fact, in general I felt that the line up could have been re-arranged across all three days- but Cristina Scabbia and her cohort were on fine form. There was a nice selection of new and old, including some of the better tracks from latest album Broken Crown Halo. I know a lot of people criticize Children of Bodom for being one-trick-ponies. In my opinion, that just shows that they know what the winning formula is and stick to it. Alexi Laiho and Janne Wirman deliver guitar and keyboard solos with sickening ease that almost borders on laziness, but Laiho was his usual ball of boundless energy. An unexpected setlist including fan favourites such as Hatecrew Deathroll and Lake Bodom, they were fantastic as always.

Controversial opinion time the second- I think Carcass are past it- or at least, Jeff Walker is at any rate. It almost seemed like they were going through the motions, tearing through a set filled with classics with an almost clinical, sterile precision. Apt for a band whose latest release is called Surgical Steel, true, but it seemed like they lacked heart. Saturday evening was all about one band, anyway. Emperor took to the stage to celebrate 20 years since the release of their seminal album, In The Nightside Eclipse. They were flawless. There was an almost reverent atmosphere in the arena as they turned the temperature frosty and filled the venue with their chilly, eerie brand of black metal and reminded us all why they are and will always be one of the best in the business. Plus- when are we ever going to see Ihsahn, Samoth and Faust playing together ever again? It was an incredible moment, something I will never forget.

I will admit something now- I only saw four bands on Sunday. The celebrations from Emperor nearly killed me, and I slept through both Arthemis and Aborted. However, I have it on good authority that Arthemis put on a valiant performance, and that Aborted were savage. I managed to rouse myself from the darkness in order to make it down to watch Valkyrian favourites ReVamp perform in an absolute downpour. Floor Jansen is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s easy to see why she has been nabbed by Nightwish. She had those assembled to watch in the palm of her hand and did well despite the odds. I then returned to my tent to recover some more, only to discover that a veritable tempest was beginning to blow. The first tent to fall victim to the wind was- ironically- the Tangerine Dreams tent-hire company’s reception tent, followed swiftly by a gazebo that took to the skies with captivating elegance before landing with one leg impaled in another thankfully empty tent. A quick conversation led to the decision to pull up camp and leave later that evening, so by the time we had cleared up and packed everything in the car, we’d missed both Biohazard and last-minute stage-switchers Avatar. Obituary, however, were worth catching for some decent, straightforward and relentless death metal.

Saxon were everything I expected them to be- cheesy, fist-pumping and glorious. Good old Biff was on fine form, and they were well received by a crowd of an incredibly diverse age range. By the time they played Denim and Leather, the whole arena had been brought together and it was easy to see why so many people got on board with Saxon’s campaign to have Heavy Metal recognised as a religion in the last UK census. Amon Amarth were absolutely outstanding. Fire-breathing dragonheads, upon which guitar solos were performed,  filled the stage and Johan Hegg led the Viking hordes through a set that perfectly represented their catalogue of greats. They reminded me why they are one of my favourite bands and why I will always throw my horns up in the air when I hear any of their songs. Unfortunately, this is where my Bloodstock experience ended as we made a run for it as the weather worsened and the storm moved in. This does mean that I missed MegaDave- sorry, I mean Megadeth– but controversial opinion the last? I wasn’t particularly bothered. Had I been more in the spirit of things and had imbibed a fair bit of cider I’m sure I would have enjoyed them, but being sober and eager to leave before the wind picked up again it wasn’t much of a loss.

Bloodstock 2014 was a rollercoaster ride of technical problems, triumphant performances and crazy weather. But I would not have missed it for the world. The performance of the weekend, as I feel I have already clearly shown, was definitely Evil Scarecrow, and I will give them less than five years until they are special guests, if not headliners. Even though we’re still waiting for any announcements, there’s nowhere I’d rather be from the 6th to the 9th of August next year. I will see you then.

 

Hannah O’Flanagan

Three more bands confirmed for Bloodstock

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Hannah

Lacuna Coil, Carcass and Primordial have been announced as the latest acts on an increasingly epic bill for Bloodstock Open Air 2014!

Italian metallers Lacuna Coil will be bringing their sonic wall of Gothic-tinged sound to Catton Hall for the second time, performing the Ronnie James Dio stage on the Saturday. Frontwoman Cristina Scabbia reflected on their return with a sneak peek of what fans can expect from their set:

“It will be LACUNA COIL’s second time there and I’m curious to see how the festival has grown.  We will have songs from the new album and some LC classics, so see ya all in the summer!”

The legendary Carcass will be acting as Saturday’s Special Guests , and after their triumphant debut release with Nuclear Blast, Surgical Steel, gained wide acclaim and rave reviews, they have promised to be ‘firing on all cylinders’ with their set. Also announced are Irish gaelic metal outfit Primordial, returning after a victorious set in 2011. This may be one of your only opportunities to catch them next year, so don’t miss it. All three bands join an exceptional roster including Emperor, Down, Megadeth, Saxon and Amon Amarth, and with Early Bird tickets selling fast, it might be time to secure your place at what is promising to be the metal event of the year.

As Jeff Walker commands, “Let there be rot!”

Primordial confirmed for Bloodstock 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Gaelic metal warriors Primordial have announced that they’ll be playing Bloodstock Open Air Festival in 2014, with bands such as Carcass, Lacuna Coil, Emperor, Megadeth and more, as well as label mates Amon Amarth.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Keep up to date with the very latest info on Bloodstock’s official sites at this location (Official Facebook) and this location (Official Website).

Primordial online:

http://primordialweb.com
http://facebook.com/primordialofficial

 

Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta discusses returning to Bloodstock Open Air

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

Hatebreed were recently announced to play Bloodstock 2014 and since the band were recently in the UK for the Vans Warped Tour, Nuclear Blast’s UK team decided to quiz frontman Jamey Jasta about his favourite memories from the band’s 2012 appearance at the renowned festival. The video interview can be viewed down below.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 7th-10th August 2014. Tickets for 2014’s event are still on sale at special EARLY BIRD prices – a total snip at £115 for a 4-day weekend ticket with camping. There is only a limited number of early bird tickets left. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and tickets revert to full price! Get your tickets at this location.

With the three 2014 headliners already announced, the event is shaping up to be the strongest yet. Friday night’s bill toppers are New Orleans sludgemeisters, Down. Joining them to head up Saturday night are black metal overlords, Emperor and closing out proceedings on Sunday are the mighty thrash legends, Megadeth. Also announced so far are Carcass, Hatebreed, Children Of Bodom, Decapitated, Lacuna Coil, Primordial, Amon Amarth, Obituary, Crowbar, Saxon, Prong, Flotsam & Jetsam and Evil Scarecrow. 

 

Hatebreed online:

http://hatebreed.com
http://facebook.com/hatebreed

 

Bloodstock Amon Amarth Exclusive!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19th November 2013 by Hannah

Bloodstock Open Air 2014 continue their run of amazing announcements with three more great bands added to the bill. Swedish melo-death giants Amon Amarth have been announced as filling the Sunday Special Guest slot, with their BOA performance a UK-exclusive show for the year. Joining them over the weekend will be metalcore stalwarts Hatebreed, returning after their triumphant 2012 performance, and Prong, who will be making their BOA debut performance. Running order is still unconfirmed as the BOA website is currently down for maintenance, but you can be assured as soon as we at Valkyrian HQ know the updated order of ceremonies we will let you know!

The date for the start of VIP Serpent’s Lair ticket sales has been confirmed as being the 16th of December, and ordinary weekend camping tickets are onsale now. BOA 2014 is looking to be an unmissable metal experience, with three solid headliners in the shape of Down, Emperor and Megadeth, and an array of fantastic bands during the weekend. Valkyrian will, as always, be in attendance and we hope to see you there!

Hamerex – IX

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th November 2013 by Nico 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

 

Bloodstock 2014 Announcements

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 8th November 2013 by Hannah

The bill for Bloodstock 2014 is further heating up following the announcement of two exclusive UK-only appearances and one only UK-festival appearance. Metal giants Children of Bodom have been announced for the Ronnie James Dio stage, who along with legends of death metal Obituary are performing their only UK show of 2014 at Catton Hall, as well as the announcement of a UK-festival exclusive performance by sludge-titans Crowbar. Bloodstock also announced the long awaited main stage debut of long term fan favourites and parody-metal connoisseurs Evil Scarecrow, who will be opening the festivities on Saturday. Already on the bill are headliners Megadeth (also performing their only UK show of 2014), Down and a reunited Emperor, along with British NWOBHM legends Saxon, Flotsam & Jetsam and Decapitated.

Many more bands are still to be announced, as well as the dates for the 2014 Metal to the Masses competition, in order to find a band to perform at Bloodstock as well as a number of other European festivals, including Wacken. Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014 will fall over the 7th-14th of August, and tickets are available from the Bloodstock website now.

Famous Underground – Famous Underground

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 9th May 2013 by izaforestspirit

Famous Underground
Famous Underground
Released 7th June 2013
Hard Rock
Released via Dust On The Tracks Records

 photo FamousUndergroundcover_zpsea0e36c2.jpg

‘Famous Underground’ is a self-titled album from this Canadian hard rock band. This is the new project of Nick Walsh (ex-Slik Toxik, Revolver) and features Laurie-Anne Green on bass.

Straight from the offset you are in for some catchy hard rock with sleaze/glam rock style vocals and heavy guitar riffage. Think Guns’n’Roses meets Megadeth and you have a pretty good idea of what I’m referring to. Dead Weight is probably the best example of the band’s signature sound which comes complete with simple yet catchy choruses and hooky guitar melodies. There’s also some ballads such as the melodic rock style Forever And A Day.

The heavier, more metal sounding tracks like Necropolis remind me a little of Megadeth mostly due to the similarities in the vocal style. Another noteworthy track is the catchy, guitar solo infused Bullet Train, which is also leaning towards the “metal” direction.

Overall, this is a well produced and skillfully executed hard rock album. I have no doubt that it will appeal to fans of Slik Toxik and Nick Walsh’s other projects. If Megadeth or Guns’n’Roses rocks your boat then this album is for you.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

MadMaze – No Time Left…

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 2nd August 2012 by mariadodarmata

MadMaze
No Time Left… (EP)
Released
 February 2011
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

Image

When it comes to metal, if you said Italy, my mind went directly to power metal. But that changed recently when I first listened to MadMaze.

The Italian quintet started in 2002 as Absence of Light, a project that never came to anything concrete. They wondered away into other projects only to get back together in 2010.

The Not Time Left EP starts with Lord of All that Remains and Mad Maze, catchy songs with not too fast rhythms that I can easily picture being played in the local bar while I drink some beer.  The transition between the two songs is perfect and goes almost unnoticed. These two are a perfect introduction to the band.

Mad Maze ends with the soothing sound of rain to give place to the 1.42 minute instrumental ballad Memories. Beautiful melody with a splash of Spanish guitar in there, prepare you for the last song of the EP, Retribution. It gets your heart pumping with catchy rhythms and pleasant drums that kick start your headband reflex. The solos fit the album perfectly, not too long, not too flashy. This band has a Megadeth feeling to it.

This EP makes you want to listen to more from MadMaze, and believe me, you won’t regret it if you do.

5/5

María Mata

Gorod – A Perfect Absolution [2012]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 26th January 2012 by Nico Davidson

Band: Gorod
Album: A Perfect Absolution
Release Date: March 2012
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Jazz
Label: Listenable Records

It’s not every day that you come across a French metal act [unless you actually follow the French metal scene in the same manner that people follow their favourite celebs on twitter], so it was a shock I found Gorod’s upcoming album in my e-mails. The band are described as progressive death metal and jazz on their official Facebook and they’ve been around since ‘97 – Originally formed under the moniker Gorgasm (sounds like the name of a dodgy pornographic snuff film, doesn’t it?). Anyway, Gorod’s newest release A Perfect Absolute, due for release in March, is based on the history of 10th century Kiev. More specifically, in the year 945 when Igor, King of Kiev was murdered (probably in a brutal manner) while collecting a “tribute” while visiting his Pagan neighbours the Derevlians, who lived in a forest. After the incident, his widow, Olga, avenged him in an extremely harsh manner before converting to Orthodox Christianity. That’s your history lesson for today, readers.

I find the genius combination of subtle birds singing and tragic orchestration to work well as a build up for the main part of “Birds Of Sulphur”. The guitars virtually smash it up with strong back up from the drums and vocals. The melodic licks are quite reminiscent of Lamb of God and to a broader extent, Amon Amarth.  The second half of the track sounds more along the lines of Death, only heavier and faster. “Sailing into the Earth” stomps on the ears with its guitar work like a herd of raging elephants, the only different being is that the former is much more pleasing on the ears, especially the brutalising use of drums. The third track “Elements and Spirit” might sound like the name of some sort of Wiccan book of shadows but musically, it’s more on the power metal-meets-Mario sounding side of things with a hint of Children of Bodom mixed in with it as well provided by the keyboards – though this could be a sound caused by the 70s jazz influences. The most shocking thing about this track is the vocals… Don’t worry, they’re still barbaric enough to melt your next door neighbour’s face but as I was saying, the vocals do come as a shock due to the slight use of clean vocals for one line and then a more semi-raw vocal style later on.

The vicious sounding axe-work and thundering rhythm sections of “The Axe of God” are to the ears like flagons of mead are to a Viking: Pure enjoyment. The solo reminds me, for some strange reason, of Megadeth while the slower section seems to have a sense of grandeur mixed with sorrow. “5000 at the Funeral” take the album down the slow lane with a solemn, possibly jazz-like musing of guitars, strings and piano giving the album a unique sound compared to most death metal releases. The percussion seems to be quite industrial and alternative before the wailing of Arch Enemy-sounding riffs hurl themselves into the fray with an epic-yet-harsh narration that gradually evolves into a fierce snarling roar of metallic growls. For the most part, the track seems very drum-orientated which will please any drummers that listen to the album. And for any guitarists reading this, don’t worry, there’s plenty of neck-braking riffs.

The romantically named “Carved In The Wind” brings back the epic, poweresque guitar sections mixed in with the overpowering vocal work and bonecrushing rhythm section. The track is pre-dominantly Lamb of God sounding, especially towards the end which does make the song as tasteless as water. Nearing the end comes “Vangarian Paradise” which really does spice up the album with its mix of metal and funky jazzed up riffs. The snarling roars that are the vocals oddly sound brilliant with the unique sounds on the track. The album coms to its end with “Tribute In Blood” which is a dangerously good mixture of blasphemous vocals and demonic riffs as well a brilliant way to finish the album.

Gorod are certainly masters of their trade when it comes to welding together metal and jazz into an unholy yet enjoyable union of blasphemous, face-melting music and “A Perfect Absolution” is no different. Gorod literally take the good parts of 70s jazz and death metal to create the masterpiece that is this album.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

Megadeth – TH1RT3EN [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 5th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Megadeth
Album: TH1RT3EN
Release year: 2011
Genre: Thrash Metal

Megadeth, one of the big four of thrash metal, have enjoyed a very illustrious and legendary career since forming after Dave Mustaine’s forced departure from Metallica. The band have gone to realise a number of brilliant releases such as “Peace Sells…” and “Countdown To Extinction”. “Th1rt3en” – despite the lame title – has received mostly positive reception from both fans and press alike.

“Sudden Death” demonstrates the thrash-stylised speed that Megadeth clearly enjoy. The bass riffs are outstanding, possibly better than the well-constructed guitar sections. The guitar riffs display the wide of talent possessed by both axe-men in Megadeth. You can literally feel the energy and aggression bursting from the guitars like a tidal wave smashing through a dam. Mustaine’s vocals are as unrefined and untamed as they’ve ever been. “Public Enemy No. 1” – despite its slow paced intro – thrashes its way down a similar vein to “Sudden Death”.

”Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” is one of the two singles released from the album as part of its promotion. While not displaying the same speed as the last two tracks, it still has the typical Megadeth elements but Mustaine’s vocals do sound different to an extent. The guitar solos are mind blowing to put it simply. The drums deliver a tight, rhythmic assault upon the listener’s ears, making a perfect alliance with the bass. “We The People” starts with a radio voiceover – much like those found on “44 Minutes” and “Washington Is Next”. The guitars and vocals offer up a very progressive-meets-jazz-esque minus the low-end vocals and saxophone solos. The lyrics contain the usually political theme found in Megadeth’s work. The solo is a reminder of some of the guitar work from “Holy Wars” due to the Arabic-like elements used.

The intro of “Guns, Drugs & Money” makes itself heard like the roar of a crazed beast. The guitars are structured well enough though they give off the feeling that they could do with a bit of tweaking in parts. The drums feel limited though this is probably due to the guitars. This is definitely a weak track for the most part and would probably have been better off being pushed to the bottom of a very large bin. “Neverdead”, which was written for the third person action and fantasy game NeverDead, starts with a slow, almost-Gothic introduction before the fierce and unrelenting blitz of fast paced guitars shred their way onto the track combined with merciless inclusion of drums. Mustaine’s vocal work is on top form, his vocals at their finest – Shame that the track probably will be wasted on gamers with no appreciation for Megadeth.

Originally written on the Clash Of The Titans in 1991, but never being featured in full in Megadeth’s back-catalogue “New World Order” starts with an old-Megadeth sounding riff. The vocal work is rough, creating a perfect mixture of “Vitamin Megadeth” with the music. The only bad thing about the song is the awful realisation that Illuminati-conspiracy theorists will probably use it as evidence for Megadeth being one of them. “Fast Lane” is appropriately named as some of the riffs and drum work feel like race cars whizzing past the ears of the unsuspecting listener. Other parts are pretty laid back in comparison. “Black Swan” is featured in its entirety on the album with its high-speed introduction and strong structure. The vocal work is like an orgasm in the ears. The guitars can only be described as a musical Van Gogh.

“Wrecker” has a more technical guitar structure applied to it. The vocals don’t live up to the expectations of the guitars and the drums fit their part well enough. The solo really does put the rest of the song to shame. “Millennium Of The Blind” starts with a melodic sound, which carries on in a different form when the vocals enter the track. Mustaine’s vocals sound quite harsh in the softer parts of the song. The song gives off the atmosphere of a ballad, similar to that of A Tout Le Monde. “Deadly Nightshade” begins with a quick female giggle before the pounding of guitars and drums come in. The song, overall, is pretty solid but feels to be lacking in speed, like a crippled cheetah that tries to move faster but can’t. The bass work has a nice twang in parts, giving it the song more punch.

”13” is the final – and yes, you guessed the thirteenth – track of the album beginning with an oddly calming acoustic section. The metal elements slowly come in after the vocals but overall the song is pretty weak and as light as a feather compared to the rest of the album. The only good parts of the song are the acoustic riffs, the solos and the part where it ends though the vocal sections are pretty strong, compared to the music anyway.

Ignoring the poor choice of the album’s name, “TH1RT3EN” is definitely one of Megadeth’s finest pieces – Being as musically intelligent as Youthanasia, Countdown To Extinction and United Abominations. Hopefully future Megadeth releases will be in the same vein as “TH1RT3EN” – But with better title choices.

4.6/5

Nico Davidson

Metal Heaven For Mexico

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th October 2011 by Nico Davidson

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The line-up for Mexico’s biggest metal festival “Heaven And Hell” is now complete. Legendary thrash metallers Megadeth will be headlining the event on 19th November in Guadalajara, Mexico. Other acts confirmed for the event include Moonspell, Fear Factory, Overkill and Tristania. This is the second edition of the festival – the first one being back in October, 2010.

MaYaN have also been booked for the festival as part of their South American tour. Henning Basse [MaYaN, Sons Of Seasons] had the following to say regarding both the festival and the MaYaN tour: “Well, it’s definitely a killer thing to me – it’s just awesome and honouring! You know this whole tour will be an huge release of pure energy to me. I will show my skills every night and kick ass!”

For more details on the festival, go to: http://www.hellandheavenfest.com/

For more details regarding MaYaN’s South American tour, visit either their official Facebook page or their official website.

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66crusher – Blackest Day [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 20th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: 66crusher
Album: Blackest Day
Release year: 2011
Genre: Progressive Thrash Metal

66crusher have been on the rise since the release of their debut album “in 2005. Since then they have been fighting their way to the top of the worldwide metal scene, gaining new fans each year. “Blackest Day” is the next step in their journey.

The title track, “Blackest Day”, is the first track of the album. It begins with a very thrash-influenced guitar riff whilst the drums are more laid back in comparison. The vocals are classic metal in their sound, standing out from the music – In an epic way. The vocals work well with the soft riff about half way through the track, giving the track a slight progressive edge. The track ends in true thrash metal style. “Recreated Destiny” has a slower, more emotional sounding introduction. Both the guitar riff and vocals are soft yet majestic, whilst touching a very deep emotional level not usually found in thrash metal. The track’s pace increases with the appearance of the drums, which again are quite laid back compared to the guitars. The vocals sound more powerful later on during in the track.

Following after is “Unsaid”. The intro is slow, heavy and dominating. The vocals, again, are soft to begin with, as is the piano medley that joins them. The drums slightly overpower the piano, which is somewhat disappointing. The track switches between light and heavy – Which is a nice emotional effect for the song. Next is “Concept of Elimination”, beginning with a choppy guitar section, which soon replaced by a more consistent, melodic guitar riff and an acute drum pattern. The vocals are strong, with a hint of a Judas Priest-sound. There is a good blend of progressive-sounding softer sections and heavier, savage thrash-styled riffs throughout the track, which makes up for it being almost ten minutes long.

”Recreated Reality” blasts next with an immense riff of violent proportions. The drums are barbaric yet precise to the beat. The vocals are still going strong, keeping the track interesting. Some of the riffs leave much to be desired though it is mostly a decent track. “Borderline” is another track that begins with a choppy riff, which can be off-putting for new listeners and just seems to drone on for the first few minutes. Another issue with the track is the length of it – Just over twelve minutes – Which again, can be off-putting for new listeners. The other riffs are well composed and sound great, as do the vocals and drums.

Nearing the end of the album comes “Shipwrecked”. Like some of the other tracks, the intro riff is soft and melodic, though it is short lived. The heavier riff certainly brings more excellence to the track though the drums are lacking in comparison. The vocals seem deeper yet more defined. They seem suitably combined with the acoustic riff. One thing that stands out the most about this track is the emphasis on the acoustic riffs, though the heavier riffs do play an important part of the track. “Shipwrecked” is certainly the best track of the album.

”Diminished Mind” starts with a mediocre sounding riff, which is a let down compared to the previous track. The vocals seem weaker as well and the drums also are lacking in power. The track does improve later on however, with some very Megadeth-styled riffs. “Us Beneath The Sea” is the final track of the album. Like some of the previous tracks, its intro is a soft riff, as are the vocals and drums. The riffs later become more wild west-sounding for a short while but they stay soft for the majority track, making for a good chill out track after eight brutalising tracks. The guitar solo towards the end does make the track slightly heavier though not by much.

”Blackest Days” features a strange yet wonderful mixture of progressive metal and thrash metal combined with some old skool sounds. 66crusher have certainly out-done themselves with this album, though there are some sections that could have done with more work.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Eternal Fear – Embraced In Darkness [2010]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th April 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Eternal Fear
Album: Embraced In Darkness
Release Year: 2010
Genre: Metal

Eternal Fear are one of those rare metal bands that don’t seem to fit into any sort of sub-genres in the metal scene. With influences from Paradise Lost, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden to Running Wild, Megadeth and Motorhead, Eternal Fear have broken out o the stereotype that all Swedish metal bands perform death metal. “Embraced in Darkness” is their newest release.

“Exit:Darkness” is the first track of the album; composed entirely unique percussion sounds and the use of a synth, setting a very macabre atmosphere. “Wasted Life” comes next, which begins with a very death metal-sounding intro which soon accompanied by rough power metal-styled vocals. The drums are well played and certainly heavy enough to go toe-to-toe with the guitars. The guitar solos certainly add some new flavour to the track as well. The track finishes on the last note of the second solo, making way for the title track “Embraced in Darkness”. Its intro is loud and brutal, just the way metal should be. The intro riff soon changes into a Iron Maiden-meets-progressive metal style of riff. The vocals sound more raw and rough. The drums and based also seem to have an Iron Maiden sound to them. The guitar solo is astounding, fitting in well with the main riff of the track.

“Cold Rays” come next, with a heavy guitar intro. The drums soon join in, along with the bass and vocals, which pretty much complete the track. The vocals get rougher in sections of the track, giving it an old skool kind of feel. The guitar solo leaves room for improvement. Next with a hard rock sounding intro is “Piece Of Me”, which sounds like an old skool fighting song. It is slightly softer compared to the previous tracks but it is still a brilliant piece of music. The guitar solo is simply brilliant, with plenty of melodic parts. “No Quarter” is next, start with just a drum intro which is soon accompanied by bass and a Trivium-styled guitar riff.  The vocals don’t seem as rough on this track, but they are just as powerful. The thrash-styled guitar solo would have to be the best part of this track.

Next is “Beast Within”. The intro is slow but heavy, though the guitars do sound as if they’re overpowering the drums ever so slightly. The vocals seem to have opted for less roughness again. For the most part, this track seems to have a power metal sound. The only down side to the this track is that the drums don’t seem that heavy. The guitar solo, for the most part, is great. Beginning with the fast-paced but consistent tap of the high-hat the track “Bleed” makes itself known. A very melodic guitar riff soon accompanies the intro, bringing heaviness to the track. The vocals have gone back to being rough, which is always a good thing. “Burn” comes next, with an intro heavier than a ton of steel. The bass can be heard clearly when it makes its appearance on the track. The vocals are rough again, added an element of aggressiveness to the track. The guitar solo pretty much makes the track perfect. The final track is “Look Inside” which begins with a heavy yet slightly melodic guitar riff, followed by the drums.  The track itself isn’t too impressive and it is a bad way to finish the album. Only the guitar solo is the interesting part of the track.

“Embraced In Darkness” is proof that Swedish blokes know how to perform metal that isn’t “death metal”. It’s a well-produced album with plenty of ear-splitting brutality and face-melting riffs. Most of the tracks have the potential to become mosh pit anthems and instant classics.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson