Archive for my dying bride

My Dying Bride return with ‘The Ghost of Orion’

Posted in Misc., Studio Report with tags , , on 7th January 2020 by izaforestspirit

Good news for My Dying Bride fans. It’s been five years since the British doom metal group’s last studio effort ‘Feel The Misery’. Now the wait will finally be over soon. The band have recently announced that their long-awaited new album will be called ‘The Ghost of Orion’. This is will be My Dying Bride’s first studio release with Nuclear Blast Records.

Here is an official statement from the band:

A new album for a new era of MY DYING BRIDE with fresh faces and a more accessible style compared to some of their past, highly technical releases. ‘The Ghost of Orion’ features compositions not only of epic proportions but of intimate quality too, from death metal vocals to the pained cries of a vocalist in longing, the L.P. will raise and fall like the beautiful landscape of Yorkshire in which it was recorded. With layer upon layer of guitars both heavy and harmonic, Andrew Craighan has created a rich soundscape that is beautifully epic, enhanced with violins and keys from Shaun MacGowan along with the ominous murmur of cello from acclaimed cellist Jo Quail. And speaking of guest artists, the wondrous voice of Lindy-Fay Hella (WARDRUNA) adds an ethereal beauty to the album. Adding his particular style of drumming this time round is Jeff Singer whose percussion exploits have elevated the bands’ rhythm section to another level aided by the effortlessly stylish Lena Abe on bass guitar. Aaron Stainthorpe delivers a compelling and often disturbing performance with his own particular style of vocals offering sincere eulogies along with the visceral carnage of a soul in pain, with poetic lyrics of a quality not often seen in this genre. This collection of songs is the bands most brilliant yet, honing 30 years of experience into the well crafted offering that is ‘The Ghost of Orion’.”

You can check out the cover art below:

My Dying Bride - The Ghost of Orion

‘The Ghost of Orion’ will be out worldwide on 6th March 2020. There will also be a music video for the first single ‘Our Broken Shore’ coming later this week.

For more details visit:
http://www.mydyingbride.net/
https://www.facebook.com/MyDyingBrideOfficial/

 

 

Iza’s Highlights of 2015 (part 2: Metal)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2015 by izaforestspirit

Metal music has been close to my heart since I discovered the genre as a teenager. This year many of the bands that I grew up listening to have released some new material. Although this section of my highlights is entitled “metal”, my top 10 list also features two rock albums which didn’t fit the industrial category. So here are my favourite albums of 2015:

1. Lindemann – Skills in Pills
Genre: Industrial Metal

Prior to writing the first part I wasn’t sure whether I should stick this in the industrial or the metal section. In the end I went with metal because I’ve always regarded both Rammstein and Pain as metal, so naturally a collaboration between Mr. Lindemann and Mr. Tägtgren belongs in that category too. I can’t think of any better way of describing this album than how I summarized it in my review: “It takes you on a journey during which you will experience a whole range of emotions including fear, laughter and disgust.” Best tracks: ‘Fish On’, ‘Praise Abort’ and ‘Yukon’.

2. My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery
Genre: Gothic Doom Metal

The second entry on my list couldn’t be much more different than the first. Whereas ‘Skills in Pills’ was fun to listen to, making me dance and laugh along to the outrageous lyrics, ‘Feel the Misery’ is true its namesake. There’s nothing uplifting about this album, just eight beautifully crafted songs of doom and gloom. In short, it’s a classic case of My Dying Bride doing what they do best. Best tracks: ‘And My Father Left Forever’, ‘Feel the Misery’ and ‘I Celebrate Your Skin’.

3. Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches
Genre: Extreme Gothic Metal

At the time when I reviewed this album, I gave it a very conservative rating of 3.5/5. Since then I have listened to it on numerous occasions and I’ve grown to appreciate it. If I were to do the same review today I would probably rate it much higher. ‘Hammer of the Witches’ is easily Cradle of Filth’s best album in years. The best tracks are ‘Blackest Magick in Practice’, ‘Enshrined in Crematoria’ and ‘The Right Wing of the Garden Triptych’.

4. Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker
Genre: Symphonic Heavy Metal

This was a tough album to review mostly because it’s so distinctively different to anything that Apocalyptica has ever done before. As with the new Cradle of Filth, it took me a few listens to fully appreciate it. The cello sounds were an instant hit but Franky Perez’s vocals are not the easiest thing to get used to. Luckily I discovered that once you do become accustomed to it, you will be rewarded for your patience. Best tracks: ‘Shadowmaker’, ‘Cold Blood’ and ‘Riot Lights’.

5. Lacrimosa – Hoffnung
Genre: Gothic Rock/Gothic Metal

Lacrimosa is one of my favourite bands. Their music isn’t the easiest to classify. I and many other people I know have always regarded them as Gothic rock, but if you ask anyone from the Goth scene they are viewed as Gothic metal. ‘Unlike its predecessor ‘Revolution’, which had a lot of metal influences, Hoffnung’ marks a return to the symphonic and orchestral style of Lacrimosa whilst still retaining the Gothic elements. Best tracks: ‘Unterwelt’, ‘Die Unbekannte Farbe’ and ‘Thunder and Lightning’.

6. Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor
Genre: Alternative Rock

Whilst Lacrimosa’s classification as “metal” may be subject to debate, this one is definitely not metal. However since Marilyn Manson’s latest album has nothing in common with industrial music I decided that it was better suited for the “metal edition”. ‘The Pale Emperor’ isn’t a masterpiece like ‘Antichrist Superstar’, but it’s the best album I’ve heard by him since ‘Eat Me Drink Me’. Best tracks: ‘The Third Day of a Seven Day Binge’, ‘Deep Six’ and ‘Cupid Carries a Gun’.

7. Children of Bodom – I Worship Chaos
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal

I Worship Chaos’ is another solid effort from the world-famous Finnish extreme metal band. I must admit that I was apprehensive when I heard some of the previews on Youtube. Luckily after getting my hands on a physical copy and listening to it in full, I’m happy to report that it’s better and more memorable than their previous work ‘Halo of Blood’. Best tracks: ‘Morrigan’, ‘Horns’ and ‘I Worship Chaos’.

8. Melechesh – Enki
Genre: Black Metal

I only discovered Melechesh recently after reading one of the reviews on this album. I like their unique style and the mixture of middle eastern folk music elements with black metal. It’s also a great way to learn about Sumerian mythology. Best tracks: ‘Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged’, ‘Lost Tribes (feat. Max Cavalera) and ‘Metatron and Man’.

9. Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed
Genre: Technical Death Metal

For those who don’t know death metal is one of my favourite metal sub-genres. Nile is one of the bands that I grew up listening to. I briefly lost track of them after the mediocre ‘Ithyphallic’ album but after reading a review of this album I decided to give them another go. I’m glad that I did. It’s great to see that these guys haven’t mellowed down or changed their style drastically. Best tracks: ‘Evil to Cast Out Evil’ and ‘In the Name of Amun’.

10. Ranger – Where Evil Dwells
Genre: Speed Metal

I don’t know much about speed metal. The chances are had it not been for Ranger’s highly entertaining performance at Radio City South Park festival, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to this album. Their debut ‘Where Evil Dwells’ treats you to seven tracks of ultra fast and energetic speed metal. A must for fans of the likes of Exciter and Witchburner.

Best New Discovery of 2015: Helloween (not new but new to me!)

Best live show: Cradle of Filth live in Helsinki

Most Anticipated Albums of 2016:

The Vision Bleak – Into the Unknown

And who knows… maybe we will finally get a new Metallica album?

Happy New Year Everyone!

My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 6th August 2015 by izaforestspirit

My Dying Bride
Feel the Misery
Released 18th September 2015
Gothic Doom Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

‘Feel the Misery’ is the latest album from the British gothic doom metallers My Dying Bride. It is the follow up to ‘A Map of All Our Failures’ and ‘The Manuscript’ EP. This release marks the 25th anniversary since the formation of the band as well as the return of their original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw.

First up is the sombre, doom metal ballad ‘And My Father Left Forever‘ which highlights all the elements that make My Dying Bride such a great band. Everything from the heavy, death metal -style guitar riffs, Gothic metal keyboards, the beautiful and melancholic sound of the violin down to Aaron Stainthorpe’s haunting and wonderfully melodic vocals can be found in this song. Similar things can be said about the title track.

Yet as usual with this band, there’s always a balance between the harsh and the soft melodic sounds. For those who are craving to hear some of that harsh, death metal -style growling can rest assured that there is plenty of it to be found on this album, for example on the tracks ‘A Cold New Curse‘ and ‘Within A Sleeping Forest‘.

Another thing which makes this release fairly typical for My Dying Bride is the complex structure and the long duration of the songs. As with many of their albums, this one requires a lot of patience from the listener. Then again, if you’ve been listening to them for as long as I have, you’re probably accustomed to such lengthy ballads. Based on my experience, their music sounds best on a cold and stormy autumn night when you’re sat down with a good book and either a glass of red wine or a hot beverage of your choice.

In summary, ‘Feel the Misery’ is every bit as good as its predecessor ‘A Map of All Our Failures’. It’s a fantastic way for the band to celebrate 25 years of Gothic doom metal. I can safely say that this is easily one of my favourite releases of 2015. As a long-time fan of their music, I’d like to add that it’s one of the best My Dying Bride albums along with ‘The Dreadful Hours’ and ‘Songs of Darkness, Words of Light’.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

My Dying Bride reveal more details about the new album

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 30th June 2015 by izaforestspirit

The British Gothic doom metal band My Dying Bride have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘A Map of All Our Failures’ will be entitled ‘Feel The Misery‘. The album is being recorded at Academy Studios in Dewsbury West Yorkshire, which has played an important role in the band’s history as many of their earlier works were created there. ‘Feel The Misery’ also marks the return of the band’s original guitarist Calvin Robertshow after a long absence.  You can check out the cover art here:

The tracklisting will be as follows:

1. And My Father Left Forever
2. To Shiver In Empty Halls
3. A Cold New Curse
4. Feel The Misery
5. A Thorn Of Wisdom
6. I Celebrate Your Skin
7. I Almost Loved You
8. Within A Sleeping Forest

‘Feel the Misery’ is expected to hit the shops on 18th September 2015 via Peaceville Records. It will be available in the following versions: standard CD, vinyl, plus a special edition 2CD/2×10” vinyl set in deluxe earbook format, with exclusive music and an expanded booklet.

http://peaceville.com/bands/2340

http://www.mydyingbride.net/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Dying-Bride-Official-uk/282179138510618?fref=ts

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

 

Happy Yorkshire Day! Yorkshire’s Top Five Bands

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st August 2013 by Nico Davidson

In celebration of Yorkshire Day (WOO!), we decided – Well, more like our Yorkshire loving editor – that instead of drinking (Yorkshire) tea and eating (Yorkshire) pudding and just being generally Yorkshire, to compile a list of Yorkshire’s top ten bands. Of course, it probably would have been more appropriate to compile a list of ten reasons to as why Yorkshire is official more metal than Lancashire.

5. BAL-SAGOTH

From their ridiculously long album and song titles to having once boasted Dan Mullins (My Dying Bride) and Dave Mackintosh (Dragonforce) amongst their ranks, this band have remained underrated and largely unknown compared to other acts. Also, vocalist Byron Roberts’ lyrical stories are soon to be expanded into short stories and graphic novels, written by Byron himself and illustrated by fantasy artist Martin Handord. Also, they look rather metal in the below picture.

4. EVILE

Hailing from the lovely market town that is Huddersfield, Evile pretty much burst onto the scene, kicking as much ass as humanly possible – Which by Yorkshire standards is a lot. Having toured extensively through the UK from 2004 – 2006, as well as the Netherlands in 2006, Evile managed to land a contract with Earache and since then have toured with the likes of Kreator and Megadeth and supported bands like Machine Head and Sabbat, Evile are keeping Yorkshire on the metal map.

3. PARADISE LOST

Perhaps one of the most influential bands to ever appear on the British doom metal scene, Paradise Lost, who hail from Halifax, were pretty much worshipped by Katatonia – As stated by Jonas Renske  that Katatonia started off as“ Paradise Lost fanboys” – Pretty metal, huh?. Being apart of the Peaceville Three, alongside fellow Yorkshire doom band My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost pretty much pioneered what has become to be known as gothic metal.

2. MY DYING BRIDE

Dark, dreary and typically northern, My Dying Bride embody all the qualities of Yorkshire in their Yorkshire, from their sorrowful violins to the mournful vocals. Regarded by some as the “Godfathers of Doom”, My Dying Bride, alongside fellow Yorkshire folk, Paradise Lost, were at the core of the gothic metal movement – Though none of the newer gothic metal bands even hold flame to My Dying Bride.

1. SAXON

Originally known as Son of a Bitch, Saxon are the front-runners of the NWOBHM scene and probably are the most successful Yorkshire metal band on the scene. They’ve also established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest acts!

Legendary UK drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels joins Severed Heaven

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 26th May 2013 by Nico Davidson

Shaun Taylor-Steels, better known by his pseudonym and stage name Winter, has recently replaced Hayley Morgan as drummer for Yorkshire black metal act Severed Heaven. The announcement was made on the band’s official Facebook page. Shaun is best known for his work with Yorkshire doom metal bands Anathema and My Dying Bride, whom he is currently the studio drummer for. Shaun commented on his newly appointed position as Severed Heaven’s drummer:

I’m really happy to be involved with Severed Heaven and I’m looking forward to recording and playing their particular brand of darkness!

Severed Heaven are currently working on the follow-up album to their 2011 album, Incessant Darkness. The band will also be appearing at Khaos Festival in August in Rotherham and Valkyrian Festival in December in Bridlington.

Severed Heaven online:

http://www.severedheaven.com/
https://facebook.com/severedheaven/
http://myspace.com/severedheaven/

My Dying Bride – The Manuscript EP

Posted in Featured, Review with tags , , , , , , on 1st May 2013 by Nico Davidson

My Dying Bride
The Manuscript
Released 13th May 2013
Gothic/Doom Metal/Yorkshire Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

My Dying Bride are possibly the best thing to come out of Yorkshire since… Yorkshire puddings. Though unlike their savoury tasting kin, My Dying Bride have reigned on the British scene with a dark and foreboding career of soul crushing darkness and doom-laden music.

The Manuscript is a cascading sea of melodic riffs, tinted with the band’s Yorkshire-flavoured sound of forthcoming doom, transforming into a different flow of ghastly tones with each song. Aaron Stainthorpe’s vocals echo almost ethereally, lending a sound to the EP that is more haunting than a midnight walk through one of Whitby’s graveyards. The violin passages, as provided by Shaun MacGowan, are oddly entrancing and hypnotic, gently calling out like a gothic siren’s call whilst the bass, offered up by Lena Abe, and drums supply the ever bold backbone of the music, thundering down like a violent storm of hail.

The poetic introduction of Only Tears To Replace Her With rings out like church bells, conjuring up darkened visions of a romance gone wrong. The pace of the music helps to reinforce this image, as the vocals float coldly throughout the song. Var Gud Over Er sticks with the melodic passages of the EP but rushes in a heavier approach as well, complete with Aaron’s signature growls.

Painting a bleak picture with their music and lyrics, My Dying Bride have produced another beautifully tainted piece of musical craftsmanship, that will drag the listener down to the deepest depths of despair and agony whilst tantalising one’s natural audible devices at the same time.

5/5

Nico Davidson

My Dying Bride online:

http://www.mydyingbride.net
http://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Dying-Bride-Official-uk/282179138510618
https://twitter.com/MDB_The_Band

 

Hanging Garden – At Every Door

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 2nd December 2012 by izaforestspirit

Hanging Garden
At Every Door
Released: January 2013
Melodic Death Metal/Doom Metal
Released via Lifeforce Records

‘At Every Door’ is the third album from the Finnish melodic death metal band Hanging Garden. It is the follow up to 2009’s ‘TEOTWAWKI’. It is also the first album to feature the new singer Toni Toivonen who joined the band in 2010.

The droning guitar intro to ‘Ten Thousand Cranes’ proves that categorization of this band as “a mix of doom and melodic death metal” is very accurate. Their music is melancholic, often ponderous with melo-death -style semi-growls, clear vocals and sombre-sounding melodic guitars. At the same time the pace is too fast to be pure doom metal and a little slow to be classed as melodic death metal. There’s also some slower tracks with acoustic guitar parts such as those in the atmospheric ‘Ash and Dust’ which also features some melodic keyboards.

The melancholic feel seems to permeate its way through the album as the subsequent tracks maintain the mood and overall atmosphere of gloom and despair. Fans of bands such as My Dying Bride, Anathema and early Ghost Brigade should enjoy this kind of music. The keyboard-infused ‘Wormwood’ is a good example of this sombre atmosphere, created by the combination of atmospheric keyboards, melodic guitar and clean vocals. Then there’s the soothing, ambient-style, instrumental title track ‘At Every Door’. Similar things can be said about the lengthy and droning, melancholic ballads ‘The Cure’ and ‘To End All Ages’, which are the closest the band has to offer as far as doom metal is concerned. Luckily there’s also ‘Evenfall’ which features more of the melo-death -style growls and some heavier, mid-paced guitar riffs proving a sharp contrast to the melodic keyboards and clean vocals.

3.5/5 – This album tends to sap all the energy out of the listener. Some of the tracks are good but I wouldn’t recommend listening to this whilst tired.

Iza Raittila

 

Damnation Festival 2012 @ Leeds University

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 7th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

My Dying Bride, Belphegor, Vreid
Leeds University, Leeds, West Yorkshire
3rd November 2012

It was a cold day as hundreds, probably thousands of metal fans clad in leather, denim and band shirts made their way to the Leeds University for Damnation, which boasted some of the best bands on the doom, black and death scenes. Before the doors had officially opened, there was already a might horde gathered throughout the area, each one discussing their plans for the day, familiarising themselves with the venue’s layout and buying merch.

I think that Ravens Creed must have pulled the short straw when I was asked to cover their set as Nico interviewed Witchsorrow – Mainly because I’m a fan of symphonic metal. Never the less Ravens Creed offered me the well needed break from the (what seems to be) repetitive symphonic melodies and orchestrations that forms the base symphonic metal, with the heavier use of guitars and death growls that instead of easing you into this year’s Damnation, threw you into the festival’s main concept… Hard, heavy and face-melting metal! Though unable to catch the name of the first three songs the bands third song, Slaughterhouse opens up with quiet heavy guitars before being met by the frontman’s harsh vocals again.  A couple of songs later and free from a speech from the lead vocalist about how some people in the music industry are complete knobhead’s the band begin to play their next song; Stand Up and be Counted, a strong and terrifying song. While being a great band that put on an entertaining performance, I do wonder if they could have done more with their set if they had been on the Terrorizer or Jagermeister stage. Though only on for 30 minutes, Ravens Creed are towards the top of the bands that I really enjoyed both in terms of both performance and music.
[4.5/5 – DE]

After the interview with Necroskull of UK doomsters Witchsorrow, I navigated my way to the Eyesore Stage where they were due to play. By the time I had got there, I struggled to squeeze into the room – It’s nice to see people supporting bands on the smaller stages at festivals, rather than just going for the bigger names. I could barely see Witchsorrow as they began playing but I heard perfectly the unholy anthems of doom that churned out. Combining heavy, droning riffs with a crisp bass sound and haunting vocals, Witchsorrow conjured up a grim, terrifying sound and performed a truly bewitching set – Though the sunlight coming through the windows did ruin the apocalyptic atmosphere of the music.
[3.5/5 – ND]

I’ll admit Hawk Eyes aren’t exactly what I’d consider Damnation material but they proved to be an excellent opener for the Jagermeister stage as they belted out ferocious wailing riffs and destructive rhythm sections while displaying a unique sound as well. Definitely an impressive live act.
[4/5 – ND]

Wodensthrone were one band that I really wanted to see at Damnation and I feel awful that I missed most of their set due to getting lost. However, when I had found the stage they were playing, I was more than pleased with what I was welcomed by. Heavy pounding guitars and an ambiance of grim were offered up by the British black metallers, along with distinct and snarling vocals and cold keyboard symphonies that added to the final touches to the band’s set. A shame that I could barely see them though due to the crowd size!
[4/5 – ND]

Devil Sold His Soul were one of the bands on the line-up that I had actually heard of, I knew nothing about them or their music but was quite looking forward to seeing them perform live and was gutted when we arrived towards the end of their set. This was something shorted lived and the image of what I had of Devil Soul His Soul was the complete opposite to what they we’re like. I was very surprised to learn I was experiencing a post-metal band from London.  Upon the first listen I thought they were akin the likes of Bring Me The Horizon but getting away from that I do feel that they are a talented (and I have started to listen to them since seeing them at Damnation). I do feel that they have a lot of potential to become as big as the other names in the post-metal scene. Their performance was good though there wasn’t much crowd interaction and I feel that they were average while on stage – Nothing that you could complain about but yet nothing that would blow you away!
[3/5 – DE]

Winterfylleth were another band I’d wanted to catch after hearing a number of great things said about them at Warhorns Festival earlier this. I can see why they’re reading as one of the finest black metal bands on the UK’s underground scene. Aside from packing a full-on assault of vicious riffs and ethereal screams, the band know how to keep a crowd entertained as well when on stage. Unfortunately I hadn’t had the chance to watch the full set due to an interview with Vreid but hopefully, they’ll be appearing again at Damnation in the future.
[4/5 – ND]

I’ve been a casual listener of Vreid for the past few years and have always wanted to know how their live sound would compare to their studio work. Well, I was more than pleased when their terrifyingly brutal live sound was just as good, if not better than their studio work. As the light show corresponded acutely with Vreid’s use of snarling vocals and raw, gritty riffs, especially during the performances of songs such as Speak Goddamnitt and Pitch Black, I found myself mesmerised by their lively performance. Other tracks such as Raped By Light went down a treat with the fans as well due to the sheer heavy assault of barbaric drums and screeching riffs.
[4.5/5 – ND]

Being a fan of Celtic-styled music (be it proper Celtic folk or just Celtic-orientated metal such as Cryptic Age or Celtachor or Cruachan), I was stupidly excited to see Primordial and I can safely say that i was not let down by the Irish metallers. As frontman AA Nemtheanga put it “We are in the eye of the great storm” and he was correct as Primordial unleashed a blasphemous performance of Celtic elements and violent riffs upon an unsuspecting horde of metalheads. The darkened lightshow only added to the unholy sounds that Primordial churned out with unrelenting fury.
[4/5 – ND]

Opening up their Hadean set with Kneel Til Doomsday, Yorkshire doomsters My Dying Bride proceeded to entrance the packed out crowd at Jagermeister Stage with their unique blend of droning riffs and cold vocals, while the violins and keyboards added to the tragic flavourings of the band’s tragic sounds of the music. Aaron looked like some ethereal prophet of doom as he worked his vocal magic. One surprising part about their set was the performance of To Remain Tombless – A great song but it doesn’t strike me as a fan favourite but it still eased its way into Bride’s set like depression easing its way into one’s soul. The performance of Like Gods Of The Sun was a truly mystifying one, while their performance of The Dreadful Hours was more akin to haunting, which was a magnificent way to end their set at Damnation.
[5/5 – ND]

After seeing My Dying Bride, I headed straight to the Terrorizer stage to catch the rest of Belphegor’s set as I’d really wanted to see them but sadly they clashed with MDB. I think I got my hopes up a bit too much as I didn’t think much of Belphegor’s set. As I arrived at the Terrorizer stage, there was a cold and hellish wind blowing into the room as I was greeted by the aggressive stylings of Belphegor, though it wasn’t enough to entice me to stay interested in their performance. While they are a talented band, I found myself bored with their performance. The drums sounded tinny in sections and while blasphemous riffs and vocals were belted out aplenty, the performance just didn’t match up to their studio work (of which I am a huge fan of), and the faux-gruff voice of the frontman in between songs wasn’t quite as comical as the crowd found it to be – If anything, it was irritating. Never the less, the crowd enjoyed them and that’s what matters.
[2.5/5 – ND]

The heavy droning that was Electric Wizard’s set was one that took me by surprise. Having never been familiar with Electric Wizard, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The use of cinematic images in the background intrigued me as Jus Oborn’s vocals echoed hauntingly across the room, carried on the gloomy riffs like a raven on the wind. It was hard to not become entranced with Electric Wizard’s unique brand of doom metal as the dark riffs and hypnotic percussion came out so enchanting. My only regret is not being familiar enough with Electric Wizard’s music to truly appreciate the artistic value of their performance.
[5/5 – ND]

Well, it was one hell of a day and the early train ride to Leeds was well worth it. Damnation is definitely up there in our top five events of 2012, so we’ll gladly be raising a pint to Damnation 2013, which can’t come soon enough!

Nico Davidson & Danielle Eley.

Amateur photography by Danielle Eley.

Interview with Aaron and Hamish [My Dying Bride]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 6th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Nico interviews Aaron and Hamish from My Dying Bride at Damnation 2012, where the three talk about A Map of All our Failures, the band’s inspirations and the Yorkshire and Lancashire metal scenes.

 

Damnation 2012: Valkyrian Music recommends…

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on 4th October 2012 by Nico Davidson

 

Damnation Festival has been spreading darkness over the UK since its unholy birth in 2005 and has proven to be one of the best festivals in Europe. In celebration of this year’s Damnation, the team got together to compile a list of bands that we recommend you go see at this year’s Damnation Festival!

ELECTRIC WIZARD
Chosen by Hannah O’flanagan

In all honesty, if you’re attending Damnation and planning to miss headliners Electric Wizard for any reason other than death, you should hand over your ticket, give back your ‘Metal Fan’ club card and go to HMV to pick up Justin Bieber’s latest album. Aside from being one of the UK’s seminal trad-doom bands, Electric Wizard produce a gut-rumbling, earth shaking sound with sludgey, stoner-tastic elements that is not to be missed. After their recent triumphant return to the US, you should give them the welcome home they deserve and remind them that the UK audiences are the most ferocious.

WODENSTHRONE
Chosen by Iza Raittila

Why? Well, for starters they’re one of the most promising British black metal bands on the scene at the moment. They sing about heathenry and ancient tales, what’s not to like about that? Their take on atmospheric black metal is likely to appeal to fans of Graveland and Drudkh. And their music has an epic and mythological feel to it! Also, Curse is a great album.

PRIMORDIAL
Chosen by Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

One of the most immersive, intense bands ever to come out of Ireland, Primordial are one of the best Black Metal acts of the age. Their live shows are renowned for being some of the most crushingly heavy, as they blend the essence of their native melancholic Celtic folk melodies and the dark, bleak sound of Epic Black Metal. A totally unique force, and responsible for one of my favorite albums of all time, "To The Nameless Dead", not to mention what many considered the best album of 2011, "Redemption at The Puritan’s Hand." Flawless.

BELPHEGOR
Chosen by Nico Davidson

Ignoring the fact that they look like if they’ll sodomise your corpse with a rusty razor, Belphegor are one of the top bands on the international extreme metal scene. With a sound that could crack a mountain, Belphegor have proven time and again that they can raise hell and brutalise your ear drums like no other extreme metal act. They’re also probably nice guys as well, once you get past their intimidating image.

WINTERFYLLETH
Chosen by Hannah O’flanagan

England’s home grown black metal monsters Winterfylleth have had an absolutely cracking year, storming Bloodstock, Wacken Open Air and Hellfest during the summer. These brilliant performances have shown that they are on a roll at the moment, performing at the top of their game, and subsequently their performance at Damnation should be a blinder. They have a wonderful frosty quality to their music, and they make lyrical nods to their Anglo-Saxon heritage, which is a brilliant take on the black metal scene as a whole. Winterfylleth are fresh and energetic and should be an absolute definite on your list of bands to see.

MY DYING BRIDE
Chosen by Hannah O’flanagan

Melancholic gothic-doom giants My Dying Bride are a definite must-see this year. There’s not much I could possibly say to recommend them enough that a quick listen wouldn’t say anyway, but I will try my hardest! With their roots firmly in death-doom metal, their slow, languorous metamorphosis into the goth-tinged doom they produce these days has helped them to create a solid, distinguishable sound that is unashamedly theirs. There are many imitations, but none of them can come close to the original. My Dying Bride perform darkly romantic music that is decadent in its’ gloominess and triumphant in pain and misery. Make sure you bring a smoking jacket and a bubble pipe, and insist on getting your ale served to you in a deep crystal chalice to get the full effect.

EXTREME NOISE TERROR
Chosen by Tobias Gray

Godfathers of grindcore, crust punk legends and controversial British extreme metal band – Extreme Noise Terror return to drop punk infused mayhem on Leeds. With almost 25 years experience and a huge catalogue to choose from, expect a hardline, political set to ignite the expectant crowd and fuel crazy moshpit antics. The lineup might have changed over the years, but Extreme Noise Terror‘s passion and fury survives, and Damnation is stronger for having them on stage.

HAWK EYES
Chosen by Nico Davidson

Not exactly a band I’d pick to open Damnation Festival but they do have more musical talent than Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and Girls Aloud put together. That and after a quick listen, I think it’s safe to say that Hawk Eyes will be rocking the roof of Leeds Uni when they open up Damnation in November.

PIG DESTROYER
Chosen by Lauren Gowdy

Pig Destroyer is a band definitely worth checking out because their energy and stage presence is great, and for a grindcore band, their sound is tight and easy to head bang to. I understand that grindcore is sometimes hard for people to get into, but they’re some of the best I’ve heard since I’ve started listening to metal. This band’s commanding of attention will definitely get you pumped and they’ll definitely be a very memorable performance.

And there you have it, Valkyrian Music’s list of bands to check out at Damnation this year. Of course, you’re free to check out the other bands that are playing as well, since we’re pretty sure that they’re all great as well (otherwise they wouldn’t be on the bill).

Anyway, for more info (or tickets), go to the following links:

http://www.damnationfestival.co.uk/
http://www.facebook.com/damnationfestival
http://www.myspace.com/damnationfestival
http://www.twitter.com/damnationfest

My Dying Bride stream teaser taken from new album

Posted in News with tags , , , on 25th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Legendary British doom metal My Dying Bride are streaming a teaser of their upcoming album A Map of All Our Failures. The album will be the West Yorkshire band’s first full length studio album since 2009’s For Lies I Sire (which featured new bassist Lena Abe) and isscheduled for release in Europe on October 15th. It will be available in the following formats: CD, double vinyl and special edition CD/DVD.

My Dying Bride have described the forthcoming album as ‘a further voyage into the darkest depths of humanity, religion, folklore, love & death’. The new track, Kneel Till Doomsday, is now available to listen to at the band’s official website; and it can also be downloaded for free if you are signed to the mailing list.

The album will also feature Shaun “Winter” Taylor-Steels as a session drummer.

Current track listening:

Kneel till Doomsday
The Poorest Waltz
A Tapestry Scorned
Like A Perpetual Funeral
A Map of all our Failures
Hail Odysseus
Within The Presence of Absence
Abandoned As Christ

Damnation sponsored by Peaceville Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Peaceville Records is proud to announce that, to coincide with celebrating 25 years of the label’s existence, we will be joining forces with Yorkshire’s own Damnation festival, as sponsoring partners. Damnation Festival, based in Leeds, UK, has brought a high-caliber of extreme metal’s finest & most diverse acts from around the globe to the north of England since launching in 2005.

Representing Peaceville on the night will be local doom heroes and heroine My Dying Bride – themselves a long-standing act on the label over a 20 year period of metallic tyranny – as the band return to the stage in support of their upcoming album due on Peaceville.

Since its inception in 1987, Peaceville Records has brought consistent quality & evolution to the metal universe, from early crust punk releases, to the death metal of Autopsy & At the Gates, through the black metal of Darkthrone, to being a leader of the gothic doom movement with the ‘Peaceville 3’; namely Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride & Anathema – all cementing the label’s legendary reputation as the home of doom. Later years saw numerous internationally renowned acts such as Katatonia & Opeth brought to the fold, & more recently the UK’s own Cradle of Filth.

“Damnation Festival are thrilled to be partnering up with Peaceville Records for the 2012 edition of the festival. It’s a killer label with an amazing history and we wish them a very happy birthday. Damnation fans will benefit from this fantastic partnership in the form of a free CD sampler featuring some of the best Peaceville tracks from the past two and half decades. There will be 2000 samplers on offer, so don’t forget to collect one alongside the complimentary programme courtesy of Terrorizer magazine. Here’s to the next 25!”

Interview: Mist [Dead Summer Society]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 27th May 2012 by izaforestspirit

Dead Summer Society is the latest addition to the Italian doom metal scene. Iza caught up with the mastermind behind the project, the multi-instrumentalist Mist to discuss his influences and aspirations.


Iza: Hi there! Aside from being the main member of Dead Summer Society you are also the guitarist of How Like a Winter. What influenced your decision to start this project?

Mist: – Hi, and thanks for the review of “Visions from a thousand lives”. Well, How like a winter is a project “on hold” at this moment, but as a musician I need to create music, you know, is a sort of “soul outburst”. Moreover I wanted to create something more “personal”, something without “compromises”, a project in which I could put all my musical influences and experience, with a sort of “experimental” approach. I consider DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY as a place to search something new but in a spontaneous way, a place to completely express myself, to try new things and even experiment new sounds.

I: You often list yourself as the sole member of Dead Summer Society yet the album features a female vocalist on some of the tracks. Who is she and what’s her role in the band?

M: DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY is a one-man band considering that I write all the music and lyrics, but I like to have collaborations able to enrich the music with personality (and I can say now that I’ll have more collaborations in the future). They have the freedom to try what they want and experiment on their own. Regarding female vocals…well, there are two female vocalists on “Visions..”: Federica Fazio is the singer, Claudia M. Luisa Murella is a dark poetess who has written and performed the recitative parts on the album. They enhanced the dark/gothic approach to the music, and I’m very happy about their contribute.

I: According to the press kit you have also collaborated with Trismegisto (Cult of Vampyrism, Teeth and Thorns). Is the partnership likely to continue in the future?

M: – Of course! Our collaboration will definitely go on! Trismegisto (Stefano) is both a great singer and musician, I came in contact with him during recording sessions of his project Cult of Vampyrism’s debut album. He’s able to transform all my ideas in something every time more beautiful!

I: Some of your songs, particularly “The King’s Alone”, remind me of works by other gothic doom metal artists such as My Dying Bride. Have any of these bands had some influences on Dead Summer Society?

M: – Well, doom/gothic music surely influences my music…My Dying Bride is among my favourite bands, and “The King’s Alone” is a sort of “homage” to their genius. Other bands I love and that inspire me are Katatonia, Anathema, Paradise Lost, Opeth, Samael, Tiamat, as well as Depeche Mode and Sopor Aeternus. On the other side I feel I’m on the right way to reach a Dead Summer Society’s own style, intended as a personal and spontaneous approach to make music.

I: I’ve also detected elements of dark ambient in your music. Are there any particular dark ambient artists that inspire you?

M: – Dark ambient and also electronic are so fascinating, and I like to enrich music with these elements. I think music sounds more interesting, more captivating, more experimental. Besides metal I’m starting listening to more dark ambient and electronic music.

I: Do you see Dead Summer Society as mostly a studio project or would you like to do live performances?

M: – To be honest I think that DSS will remain a studio project, I like it as it is, I like the idea to write music and enrich it with many collaborations. Besides DSS, I’m going (slowly) on with another doom/death band which could eventually do live performances: Temple of Prometeo. Just need more time to do everything eheheeh!

I: In the event of Dead Summer Society going on tour in the future, which bands would you like to tour with and why?

M: – Well…first of all, Katatonia! Is the band at the moment I like the most, and together with Opeth I think they gave freshness to their genres. Katatonia’s music is simply great, pure emotional art. Of course I’d like to tour with My Dying Bride, a dream…but I’d also like Samael, they’re so energetic and special…

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

M: -Mmm…not so easy…a musician I really like and respect is Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), think is really passionate and professional, a musical genius…I’ve seen Opeth many times on stage and he’s a great front man, a fantastic musician, the best growl/clean vocals in my opinion…

I: What’s been your best memory of Dead Summer Society since its formation?

M: – Well…I was really glad about the feedback “the heart of autumnsphere” demo got from people, I received a lot of kind words and even some proposals from labels (which didn’t take to anything concrete, but we will see for the future!)…I was particularly happy for a nice review about “the heart…” on a French webzine…but a nice moment has also been when I had the “Visions from a thousand lives” cd (self produced) in my hands…satisfaction!
Well, to end…thanks for your support, and thanks a lot for the time you dedicated to DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY, both for review and interview…and of course greetings to all the readers.

Here you’ll find some links to find info and updates about DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Summer-Society/140007062732886
http://www.myspace.com/deadsummersociety
deadsummersociety@libero.it
Thanks again!
Emiliano (Mist)/ DEAD SUMMER SOCIETY

My Dying Bride Commence Work On New Album

Posted in News with tags , , , on 2nd April 2012 by Nico Davidson
My Dying bride

My Dying Bride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Dying Bride have just entered the studio to commence the recording of the follow-up to 2009’s epic For Lies I Sire, with the album currently scheduled for an Autumn 2012 release on Peaceville Records.

With the tracks to be laid down at Futureworks Studios, Manchester with long-time production partner Mags, the new album will feature more punishing doom from the legendary Yorkshire metallers. My Dying Bride have been deep into the writing process since last year when they marked 20 years of existence with the special orchestral Evinta release, plus the dose of supreme doom metal that was The Barghest O’ Whitby; a single 27 minute track exploring the dark and immensely heavy side of the band, ranking among their heaviest and most ferocious material ever written, as well as being the first studio recording to feature new keyboard/violin player Shawn McGowan.

My Dying Bride – The Barghest O’ Whitby [2011]

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

Band: My Dying Bride
Album: The Barghest O’ Whitby
Release year: 2011
Genre: Doom Metal

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My Dying Bride – Part of the “Peaceville Three” – have never been commercially successful compared to most metal bands but they always remained one of the most respected and influential bands to ever come ascend from the murky blackness that is the British underground – More specifically, Yorkshire (which is the best part of the UK – both musically and culturally). Anyway, I better stop writing about the geographical origins of the band before I cause another Yorkshire/Lancashire argument. As I was saying, My Dying Bride are definitely one of the most respected metal bands from Britain – Be it due to their status in the underground or the fact that they’re musical geniuses is a reason unknown to me in my current state of excitement. The excitement of course being about the new EP: “The Barghest O’ Whitby”.

Anyone who has ever read a book on Yorkshire folklore will that the barghest is an ominous sign that foretells death of the person who lays eyes upon it or the death of one of their relatives. A grim portent to come face to face with indeed. Well, that is if you believe in folklore and fairy tales. It’s no surprise that the ethereal legends of night fallen depression that are My Dying Bride have based an entire EP on such a grim and macabre legend. If you do think it’s a surprise then where the hell have you been living?!

I’ll admit, the EP being only comprised of one track (“The Barghst O’ Whitby”) did take me by absolute surprise. The first minute or so is composed entirely of the ominous howling of wind creating that unique otherworldly atmosphere. The first guitar section feels like it’s taking you back in time – Not in the sci-fi, let’s change the course of the future kind of way but more in the kind of sense that they sound similar to the riffs that can be heard echoing throughout the “Turn Loose The Swans”. The violin turns the sound awfully cold, much in the way that snow adds that extra chill to a quiet December morning – Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad effect, in fact, it helps enforce the classic My Dying Bride sound. The raw snarling of vocals offered up by frontman Aaran Stainthorpe complete this first section of the track.

For most, it would feel as if the song does drone on but that’s part of the genius hidden within the music. Obviously the song does progress into something a little faster, featuring a cleaner, more Gothesque vocal range provided by Stainthorpe combined with a dark musical sound. The violin, once again, adds that cold and frostbitten [Is frostbitten a term that can be used for doom metal?] sound that gently echoes through the speakers. The bass work, provided by Lena, through out the song, so far has been a pleasantry for the ears as well. The track progresses once more into a new sound, showing a slight use of melodic riffs in the guitar section though not enough to be considered melodic, unfortunately. The drone of music and vocals is almost mystifying, verging on the lines of being a hymn sung by the grimmest of divinity.

One of the guitars slowly fades out leaving only the hollow echo of a string being slowly picked, which also fades away into a void of empty of silence. But fear not, young readers (or listeners when you listen to the EP), for it is not the end just yet as whispered winds and chanting of guitars return with a more melodic sound. The bass and drums add that extra weight to the guitars like depression to the soul – Just to be clear, I mean that positively. The howl just after the vocal section is masterfully placed, reinforcing the concept of the barghest in the song. For lovers of heavier music, you’ll be pleased to know that the EP ends on a violent and aggressive note with the additional roar of thunder at the end.

”The Barghest O’ Whitby” is possibly one of the best releases of 2011. My Dying Bride have done what they do best and created a musical masterpiece that will give Andrew Lloyd Webber a run for his money. While the EP has a very raw edge compared to previous releases, it still echoes the sound of the band’s earlier releases – Something that many bands struggle to do with their new material. “The Barghest O’ Whitby” is definitely one that could rival My Dying bride’s first release “Turn Loose The Swans”. I would seriously advise buying this EP and keep it on repeat for a long, long time.

5/5

Nico Davidson