Archive for Scotland

HEAVY SCOTLAND announce first bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 26th August 2016 by mickbirchy


Brand new heavy metal festival HEAVY SCOTLAND is delighted to announce its first wave of bands for its debut year, to be held in Edinburgh between the 1st-2nd April 2017.

Announced already are the first headliners, melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy; plus acclaimed brutal death metal band Sodomized Cadaver; resurgent death metal favourites Dyscarnate and Scottish thrashers Disposable. Plenty more huge bands to come so stay tuned.

Early bird tickets are now available to purchase from here, for only £70: http://www.ticketor.com/heavyscotland

VIP ticket bundles are available but already close to selling out so get yours while you can!

Set to be the biggest and best new festival dedicated to all things dark, heavy, and vicious, Heavy Scotland is borne out of a love of metal. Aimed at supporting a famously dedicated metal scene but until now without a big festival, Heavy Scotland looks set to put Scotland on the map.

With accommodation options, more bands, and ticket options to announce, Heavy Scotland is already on the way to becoming the surprise festival success of 2017.

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/heavyscotland
http://www.heavyscotland.com/
https://www.twitter.com/heavyscotland

Inquisition announce UK & Eire tour dates

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 25th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

The darkening stars of black metal, Inquisition have announced the dates of their unholy conquest around the UK and Ireland. The blasphemous conquest around the British Isles will begin on 23th July at The Boston Arms in London before the sinister plague of black metal spreads to Scotland and Ireland before the final battle at Manchester’s Sound Control on 17th July. The full tour schedule is as follows:

13th July – London (UK) Boston Arms
14th July – Glasgow (UK) Audio
15th July – Belfast (UK) Voodoo
16th July – Dublin (IE) Voodoo Lounge
17th July – Manchester (UK) Sound Control

Inquisition online:

http://facebook.com/inquisition.official

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First bands announced for North of the Wall 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 12th January 2014 by Nico Davidson

Morgul, the organisers of North of the Wall, Scotland’s only metal festival featuring only Scottish metal acts, have announced the first bands for this year’s North of the Wall Festival which will take place on Saturday 29th March at Classic Grand in Glasgow. Firebrand Super Rock, old school death metallers Bonesaw, thrash unit Amok and Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta are the first four bands to be announced for the festival.

Ticket information is to be announced and further news on the festival can be found at this location.

 

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Common Gods – Helveien

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Common Gods
Helveien
Released 4th August
Trve Glasgy Death Metal
Self-Released

Hailing from Scotland, a land whose metal scene goes unnoticed the majority of the time, Common Gods have been dwelling within the darkest and grimiest depths of Glasgow. Having made an appearance at the first ever North Of The Wall Festival, Common Gods has been a name that is slowly making its way onto the lips of Scottish metal lovers from John O’Groats to Hadrian’s Wall and even to the lands south of the wall.

A crushing wall of riffs and a barrage of drums begins I Used To Pray, the first track on the EP, and is soon joined by a wrecking ball of vocal passages. Some slivering melodic pieces find their way into the song, taking away from the crushing effect of the guitars but adding to the fiercely sharp feeling of the song. Extinction parades a heavy, somber sound allowing for the guitars to create an almost doom-like atmosphere while the drums create that devastatingly brutal effect for the track – Something which is only enhanced by the sirenic keyboards.

Severed Tongue is begun with a colossus-sized wave of riffs, which are soon accompanied by the bloodthirsty vocals. Overall, the track is a snarling beast who’s bite is worse than the initial bark. A gentle passage opens up the title track, Helveien, before a sudden metamorphosis into a heavier, dulcet piece of guitar craftsmanship. The vocals, for the first two vocal passages, sound blunt but soon become a horrendous wailing of aggression later on in the song.

Helveien not only embodies the talent of Common Gods but the sound that makes up Scotland’s fiercely vehement extreme metal scene. Combining an iron wall of titantic riffs and melodic passages, with bestial vocals and cumbersome drums, Common Gods could easily become one of the best acts Scotland has to offer.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Common Gods online:

http://facebook.com/CommonGods

 

Common Gods reveal artwork for new EP; Helveien to be released 4th August

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

Glaswegian metal monsters Common Gods have revealed the artwork for their upcoming four-track EP Helveien which will be released this Sunday (4th August 2013) for free through BandCamp. The four track EP was recorded and produced at Devil’s Own Studio in Glasgow and the artwork was produce by Norderobring drummer and North of the Wall Festival organiser Alasdair Dunn. The release of Helveien coincides nicely with the band’s next gig at Pivo in Glasgow on Sunday.

Common Gods online:

http://www.facebook.com/CommonGods/
http://soundcloud.com/commongods

 

Further three bands to Valkyrian Festival 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Already bolstering a line-up that spans from viking metal to industrial and touching on other genres in between, Valkyrian Festival have announced a further three bands to this year’s bill. Confirmed for the Friday are Nottingham’s very own buccaneers of pirate metal Red Rum, who have also recently been confirmed for the Warhorns Festival. Red Rum will be joining Ravenage, Dead Man’s Conspiracy and Scotland’s djentlemen Storm of Embers on the first night of Valk-Fest.

Added to the more extreme metal stylings of Saturday are Leeds-based extreme metal tyrants Lammergeier who will be bringing their devilishly heavy sound which will no doubt go down well alongside the other other extreme metal acts on the bill such as Scottish corporate black metallers Maelstrom and fellow Yorkshire band Narcotic Death whose vocalist can apparently castrate a cat from a distance of 400 yards. And for industrial fans, Sheffield-based industrial duo The Gifted have been confirmed to play the final night of Valk-Fest 2013 with acts such as Spekulus, Powercake, Dakesis and Yorkshire’s most violently brutal band Severed Heaven.

With another four bands to be announced, this year’s Valk-Fest is already shaping up to be its most diverse line-up.

The full Valkyrian Festival line-up is as follows:

Friday 29th November:

Ravenage (Headliner)
Dead Man’s Conspiracy
Red Rum

Storm of Embers

Saturday 30th November

***Headliner TBA***
Nya
Narcotic Death (Special Guests)
Aonia
Old Corpse Road
Lost Effect
Shades of Avalon

Maelstrom
XIII
Lammergeier

Sunday 1st December

***Headliner TBA***
Alice In Thunderland
Innersylum
Severed Heaven
Dakesis
Spekulus
The Antiquity
Powercake

Terra Omnia
The Gifted

This year, Valkyrian Festival is in aid of RapeCrisis. Information on RapeCrisis can be found at this location. Donations can be made direct to the charity via the Valkyrian Festival JustGiving page which can be found here. Weekend tickets can be found at this location for the low price of £5 (excluding P&P).

Valkyrian Festival 2013 is now officially sponsored by online gothic and custom-made jewellery store, The Crypt Of Curiosities.

In related Valkyrian Festival news, Aonia will be headlining a Valk-Fest fundraiser at Shades Nightclub, in Bridlington on 7th September with support from Powercake, Spekulus and Penance, the latter of which [performed at last year’s Valk-Fest. Further support acts to be announced and a lot more bands are still to be announced for Valkyrian Festival 2013. Further Valkyrian Festival announcements and info can be found here.

 

Narcotic Death and Grieve announced for Huddersfield Heavymetalfest

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

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

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

The full line-up so far is as follows:

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

Huddersfield Heavymetalfest online:

https://www.facebook.com/HuddersfieldHeavymetalfest

 

Gloryhammer announce first UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Gloryhammer, the new power metal project featured Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes, have announced their first headlining tour of the UK for September and October. The tour which is in support of the band’s debut album Tales from the Kingdom of Fife, will start off in the historic kingdom of Fife before the band make their way gradually down south. Tour dates are as follow:

Sept. 25th DUNDEE – Reading Rooms
Sept. 26th GLASGOW – Classic Grand
Sept. 27th SHEFFIELD – Academy
Sept. 28th MANCHESTER – Sound Control
Sept. 29th BRISTOL – The Fleece
Sept. 30th LEICESTER – 02 Academy
Oct. 1st LONDON – The Garage
Oct. 2nd BILSTON – The Robin 2

Gloryhammer will also be appearing at this year’s MetalDays Festival in Slovenia, alongside acts such as Benediction, Arkona, Nya, Bloodshot Dawn, Alestorm, Powerwolf, Ensiferum and many more. Kingdoms from the Tale of Fife was release on 29th March 2013 via Napalm Records and is available from all the usual retail outlets.

Gloryhammer online:

http://www.gloryhammer.com
https://www.facebook.com/gloryhammer

Interview with Thomas Winkler [Gloryhammer]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , on 17th April 2013 by ianf666

Thomas Winkler is the vocalist of Gloryhammer, the Power Metal side project of Alestorm‘s Christopher Bowes. The band have just released their debut album Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife and Ian caught Thomas for a quick chat about the album amongst other things.

Ian:  How did you decide on the name Gloryhammer ?

Thomas:  The name Gloryhammer expresses in an emotional way the fundamental essence of our band – Heroic Fantasy Power Metal. A hammer is heavy and able to smash the heads of goblins and trolls. So it brings glory to those who use it for the good fight. And besides, Gloryhammer is easy to find on Google.

Ian:  Which bands would you say are Gloryhammer‘s biggest influences ?

Thomas:  All the cheesy Epic Power Metal bands of the early millennium. Plus Elvis Presley. Because he was an extra-terrestrial. You will find out what I mean when we release our second album.

Ian:  The band have just released their debut album Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife, how has the album been received by fans and the media alike ?

Thomas:  I read a lot of reviews and reactions of fans which was pretty entertaining. I also do like the very negative ones. At least as long as they are only a small part of the overall reactions. Some media did’nt realize the idea behind Gloryhammer though, and we were expecting that. Because it needs a certain sensitivity to understand the complex meaning of the lyrics and the story.

Ian:  What is the main concept of the album ?

Thomas:  It’s about unicorns. Undead unicorns of war. But they once were good and just went mad because of some evil sorcerer dude, called Zargothrax. He hates the citizens of Dundee, which once was a Kingdom in Fife, Scotland. So we tell about Scotland. And we’ll also go into space with the next album so there is certainly something for everyone in this mighty concept.

Ian:  With the members of Gloryhammer been from different bands and in different countries, how did you find the whole recording process for the album ?

Thomas:  I only met the other guys once before in London for a photo shoot so it was kind of an experiment how it would work in Luebeck/Germany when I had to sleep in a small and (at least after some nights) smelly room with some constantly horny young men. But luckily with Lasse Lammert we had a great host and also very capable producer so I forgot about these circumstances with time. And to say the truth, we had a superb time and I’m happy that Zargothrax didn’t assault me at night !

Ian:  Have Gloryhammer got any plans to go on tour in support of the album, if so, where can fans expect to catch the band live ?

Thomas:  Yeah, we’ll be on tour by the end of the summer. The first ever show will be on a very well-known festival which takes place in July in Tolmin/Slovenia. I am not supposed to tell you which one yet. But it’s said to be beautiful, especially because of a lake and the woods. A propos: the woods are a good thing. I will be able to hide by wearing my armour. That’s really cool, I think.

Ian:  A question I’m sure fans must have. Is Gloryhammer and the Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife album a one off or can fans expect to hear more from the band ?

Thomas:  As mentioned above, there will be another album and the story will be settled in space in the year 1992. According to Chris there will be a total of 21 albums until Gloryhammer is history.

Ian:  If you could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why ?

Thomas:  I wouldn’t replace a film soundtrack but the soundtrack of a video game. Since I am a big fan of The Legend of Zelda and its music, I wouldn’t replace that one. Rather I would replace the original Tetris soundtrack. I can’t stand this one because it’s so catchy.

Ian:  Have you got any words for our readers ?

Thomas:  May the Force be with you, for the Glory of Dundee !

Gloryhammer‘s debut album Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife is available now via Napalm Records.

For more info on Gloryhammer visit the following pages …

http://www.gloryhammer.com

https://www.facebook.com/gloryhammer

 

Gloryhammer – Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

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

Gloryhammer
Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife
Released 1st April (UK)
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Gloryhammer, a five piece power metal band, is the side project and brainchild of Alestorm‘s Christopher Bowes who swaps his pirate outfit and dons a suit of armor to tell us the story of a battle between good and evil on the bands debut concept album Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife. The story tells of how our hero Angus McFife fights the evil wizzard Zargothrax to free the oppressed people of Dundee, Scotland in a fantasy battle with unicorns, dragons, thunderbolts and lightening galore.

The album opens with an instrumental, a symphonic orchestral piece called Anstruther’s Dark Prophecy before blasting into track The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee , the title alone brought a smile to my face I have to say. All the usual power metal attributes are here, big chugging guitar riffs and face melting solos (Paul Templing), thunderous double kick power drumming (Ben Turk), galloping bass runs (James Cartwright) and an added symphonic edge courtesy of the keyboards supplied by Christopher Bowes. The vocals are majestic, the voice of Thomas Winkler suits this genre of metal music perfectly.

Into the fray comes Angus McFife in the next track, a similar composition to the previous song, but more mid-paced with an anthemic chorus. The pace eases a bit on track four Quest For The Hammer Of Glory, McFife’s weapon of choice, a slower song that brings the quality of Thomas Winkler’s vocals to the fore. Next up is Magic Dragon a fast paced stormer which is probably the cheesiest track on the album lyric wise, but this is pure power metal heaven with a chorus that will have you punching the air and singing along with delight. Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess is the album’s obligatory power ballad, slow paced but none the less epic before normal service is resumed with the tracks Amulet Of Justice and the Sabatonesque war cry Hail To Crail.

Another instrumental follows in the form Beneath Cowdenbeath, a track which cries out for lyrics as I would like to know what goes on down there. The last track The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder is by far the longest on the album, at over ten minutes, and it brings the curtain down perfectly in true power metal style with time changes, the addition of female vocals in the slower passages, awesome guitar work, great vocals and thunderous voices from above. Epic stuff.

If you are a fan of power metal, you’ll love this album. If not, you’ll overlook it as the normal cheesy and over the top music that, unfortunately, this genre of metal music has been tagged with but if you give it a listen with an open mind, which I suggest you do, you’ll hear that this is a very solid Metal album both musically and lyrically, even if a bit tongue in cheek at times, with a production and mix that is first class.

Hails to Gloryhammer, a power metal album of pure quality.

5/5

Ian Foster

Storm Of Embers – I

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 14th March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Storm Of Embers
I
Released 19th January 2013
Progressive Metal/Rock
Self-Released

Storm Of Embers are a three piece band from Glasgow in Scotland. The I EP is their debut release and features five tracks of the band’s own brand of progressive rock and metal. This band are diverse and their sound is hard to pigeon hole as they draw influences from across the spectrum of the genre. It says on their official Facebook page under genre: You Decide, and after listening to the EP it’s easy to hear why.

A piano intro opens the first track Only In Memory which soon gives way to a solid guitar riff as the band launch into a mid paced rocker of a song with some quality guitar work, bass runs, solid drum beats with heartfelt vocals. This theme carries over into the second track The Cage, for me it’s easily the best track on the EP, which shows a definite harder, faster metal edge to the band’s sound.

The next two tracks Esh and Beyond The Pyres Of Night see the band change style completely – two longer, slower paced almost ballad like songs with a far more progressive feel to them due to a few harder guitar passages and a couple of nice solos thrown in for good measure. Bringing the EP to close is the faster paced Signs Of Remorse which see’s the band return to their harder rock and metal styles of the first two tracks, a great way to bring things to an end.

The quality of the production is top notch resulting in a crystal clear sound with a perfect balance between the music and the vocals. If you are a fan of all genres of rock and metal, Storm Of Embers are certainly worth a listen. Quality songs, quality musicianship. A solid debut EP.

3.5/5

Ian Foster

Gloryhammer release first music video; debut album to be released 29th March

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , on 7th March 2013 by Nico Davidson

Gloryhammer, the new epic power metal band formed by Alestorm’s Chris Bowes, have released their first ever video for Angus McFife which is taken from their upcoming debut album; Tales from the Kingdom of Fife. The video can be viewed below.

Tales from the Kingdom of Fife is a concept album and tells the story of an alternate -history medieval Scotland, a realm of dragons, wizards, magic and dark sorcery. It is the legend of the glorious hero Angus McFife, who wages a long war against the evil wizard Zargothrax, in order to free the people of Dundee. The album will be released through Napalm Records on 29th March 2013. The album can be pre-ordered at this location.

 

Cnoc an Tursa – The Giants of Auld

Posted in North of the Wall, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 2nd March 2013 by underthenorthernstar

Cnoc an Tursa
“The Giants of Auld”
Released: 25th February 2013
Folk/Black Metal
Released via Candlelight records

I’ve been waiting for the new Cnoc an Tursa album to be released for a good while now; their 2008 demo has sterling songwriting, and their sound was begging for a bigger release. So when I heard that they had been signed to Candlelight Records in October last year, I started getting excited; the number of folk/black metal bands who have released near-perfect albums on candlelight is staggering – Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Falloch, Altar of Plagues, the list goes on. So, what was the result of such an immaculate pairing? The newly released The Giants of Auld, of course.

With a scream of “Sons of Alba, rise in the face of tyranny!” the album begins. And what an album; the sound is an intense blend of folky melodies, intense black metal and haunting, deeply emotional choirs and flute – the closing track, Blаr na h-Eaglaise Brice, is a purely instrumental, minimalistic celtic folk piece, and one of the best of its kind that I have heard – bringing together a hugely immersive atmosphere. Despite Cnoc an Tursa not being a band in quite the same pigeonhole as their contemporaries, the achieve a very similar sound that, to me, is equally conveying of the band’s passion for its country’s history. One could be forgiven for worrying, having listened to the 2008 demo, that their earlier songs (which, for the most part, comprise the first half of the album) could have become over produced, too clean. Thankfully, this is not a problem; the album is not without an edge, not without its humanity.

The songwriting (let me leave no doubts about this) is flawless. The Lion of Scotland and Hail Land of my Fathers are completely full of hooks, and you will find yourself humming each and every individual melody in those songs, which is something very hard to achieve on what is very predominantly a black metal album. Something that this album “gets”, is that you can have huge, catchy melodies without being at all cheesy. I never for one moment found myself saying that a particular section was misplaced. In addition to this, the band never lets melody cheapen the album; a problem that many bands have is they oversaturate their sound with keys, making the songs “catchy”, but far less powerful. Keys are definitely present in this album, but they very much provide a supporting role, building the sound from the foundations up.

So, I have not been disappointed; more encouraged. Cnoc an Tursa continue to be a fantastic band. This album is consistent, immersive, and above all, genuine. Very few metal bands can communicate quite this level of passion through their music, and I will come back to this album time and time again. Fantastic work, and one of the best releases of the year from one of the best bands to come out of Scotland.

5/5
Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

Norderobring announced as local support for I AM I

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 5th February 2013 by Nico Davidson

Epic Scottish folk metal sextet Norderobring have been confirmed as local support for ex-Dragonforce vocalist ZP Theart’s I Am I at Stereo in Glasgow on 28th March. Details of the event can be found here.

 

Interview with Stuart McLeod [Storm of Embers]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Scottish power trio Storm of Embers are hot on the tail of the release of their new EP, I. With a string of shows coming up throughout the year, Nico grabs Storm of Embers bassist Stuart McLeod for a chat.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Storm of Embers?

Stuart: When Al and I were coming up with the band name we wanted it to represent the musical ideas we had in mind and nearly all of the other names we were kicking around didn’t seem to suit the music. In our last band the music was very much thrash metal, so the name of that band kind of reflected that. To us, Storm of Embers suits our music perfectly. We don’t really have a meaning behind it, but if you listen to the music then it seems to be the only way to describe what we do.

Nico: Storm of Embers recently released the EP; I. What are the main themes that run through the EP?

Stuart: The main themes with the I EP, aside from giving a glimpse at what we are all about, lyrically speaking the main themes are life, change and the trials one goes through. Musically speaking this comes over as sometimes rather melancholic but with moments of, we like to think, beauty in amongst the melody and metal elements. Already we are working on the rest of the material for the upcoming full length release and it’s taking a pretty dark shape!

Nico: Describe Storm of Embers sound in five words or less.

Stuart: Dark, melodic, progressive music.

 

Nico: Are there any bands you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Stuart: Rather than recommend individual bands, we would like to encourage everyone to check out a new movement in Scottish music. There are so many amazing bands coming from Scotland we would be here all day if I were to try and name them all! We are part of the Hollow Earth Collective. This is a group of musicians and fans who are interested in all music progressive, post and experimental. Already there are plans for setting up a Hollow Earth Collective tour, I strongly recommend people to check this group out and listen to the bands, there are so many talented musicians and bands in Scotland, so that alone is a reason to check out any band from Scotland!

Nico: Where do you think the band will be in five years?

Stuart: In five years my hope for the band is to be working with a label to help further our career and help us get the music to as many people as possible. We are in this for the love of it, but having a 400 million pound contract wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Nico: When it comes to writing new material, where does the band draw inspiration from?

Stuart: Inspiration behind our music really depends on whoever the main writer of that particular song is. For me, when I write a song usually all it takes is an idea for a melody or feeling, then let the song write itself. Al is very much the lyric man of the band. So I present the music to the guys and we then flesh it out in funereal and develop the song into what it wants to be, and Al puts a message behind the song with his lyrics. So what may inspire the music may not necessarily be the same feeling that inspires the lyrics. Other times we jam riffs or melodies out in the studio and write it as a band jamming things out. I usually get nervous when Al comes in with songs as it usually means playing some sort of crazy riff in an even crazier time signature! But it’s all good, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who wrote what because once the three of us start playing, it’s Storm of Embers.

Nico: As the Scottish metal scene in rarely spoke of, let alone mentioned much by the press, outside of Scotland, what can you tell us about the Scottish metal scene?

Stuart: The Scottish metal scene is great! There are so many amazing bands, so many different styles. You can pretty much find a metal gig any night of the week, especially in Glasgow where we are from. All scenes have their good and bad points, but overall its good. Again I urge you to check out the Hollow Earth Collective.

Nico: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Stuart: To your readers all I can say a massive thank you for the support, it means the world to us for people to check us out, or buy our merch or come to our shows, and above all else enjoy the music and we hope to play near you soon! Stay inspired, support underground music because that’s where its at!

You can check out Storm of Embers at this location.

 

Dragonforce/Alestorm @ O2 ABC Glasgow

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19th October 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Bands: Dragonforce, Alestorm, The Defiled, Cavorts
Location: O2 ABC, Glasgow
Date: 28/09/2012

In order to be fair to the first two bands who were playing this gig, I have to not say my honest opinions – I’m sure they have their respective fanbases (proven by the legion of moshing 14-year-olds), but they really weren’t my thing.

Moving on. It must be said that I had been looking forward to this gig for a very long time; the last time I had seen Dragonforce was in 2009 when they had toured with Sabaton, a fantastic gig by all accounts. (Incidentally, Sabaton are also doing a UK tour with Eluveitie in November; if you’ve not seen them live, I highly recommend it.) Since then, they had gone through a lineup change, recorded and released a new album, and highly impressed me, as you can see from my review here. Naturally, I was interested to see how their new singer Marc held up live; the man has a fantastic voice, but I had to see for myself.

But before Dragonforce would take the stage, another one of my favourite live acts were playing; I interviewed Alestorm last time they had played here, which was an incredible gig, so of course I was really rather stoked to be not only seeing them again, but interviewing them again (That previous interview can be seen here). Some arrangements were made with Alestorm before the gig that we would do the interview later on that night, as they were staying with a friend of mine and it would be convenient for everyone. This did, however result in a very slightly drunken interview at 3 in the morning, which shall be on the site very soon, I promise.

But I digress. Alestorm played an excellent set; Keelhauled, Wenches and Mead, Nancy the Tavern Wench; a fairly standard set by all accounts, but no less entertaining, especially when, like you should be at an Alestorm gig, you are ever-so-slightly drunk. Leviathan was a particular highlight for me, mainly due to the fact that the crowd enjoyed it quite a fair amount. It must be said though; the amount of crowdsurfers and pre-pubescent “moshers” was somewhat off-putting. Can’t be helped, I suppose, but when I’m trying to windmill I would appreciate it very much if you weren’t landing on my neck thank you very much (Blah blah blah old man complaining blah). Excellent set guys, well done!

However, Dragonforce… well, I’m a self-professed Dragonforce lover; something that gains me a great deal of ridicule. I enjoyed myself hugely at this gig – I was somewhat taken aback that singer Marc Hudson could hit the notes he did. Managing old songs (Fury of the Storm, Valley of the Damned etc.) and new (Cry Thunder, Seasons) alike, he actually managed to distract my view away from the frantic and blister-inducing guitar work of Herman Li and Sam Totman, ever the centre of attention. Managing for the most part to steer away from technical difficulties, the set seemed flawless; even the crowd became far better. The unity felt by all to Cry Thunder was a fantastic feeling. I even caught one of Sam’s picks; so frankly, the night didn’t feel like it could get any better.

This was, of course, before Alestorm, Dragonforce, I and a multitude of others ended up at Glasgow’s Cathouse venue, singing Rhapsody, Sonata Arctica, Lost horizon and Meatloaf into the small hours of the morning.

5/5

– Alasdair “Scotch Egg” Dunn

Rumahoy–Yarr Demo

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 27th August 2012 by Nico Davidson

Rumahoy
Yarr Demo
Released: 15th August
Trve Scottish Pirate Metal/Heritagecore
Self-Released

Rumahoy - Yarr Demo 2012 Cover

Hailing from the apparent ancient fishing village Auchtermuchty (which is shown as being inland on Google Maps), come Scotland’s finest (and probably only) heritagecore outfit Rumahoy. Dubbing themselves as the first and original Scottish pirate metal band, the quartet formed in 2010 and released a song entitled Blackbeard’s Mighty Treasure which when down well in Scotland’s underground metals scene, as I’m told. With very little information about the floating around on the seven seas of the internet, I couldn’t help but think this was some sort of elaborate hoax but the demo was passed onto me by a trusted contact and the demo does indeed contain four genuine, if somewhat, tongue in cheek tracks.

Oceans of Treasures begins with the alluring sound of the tides coming back and forth before a soothing use of acoustic guitars and drums sail onwards before the track takes a turn down the heavier tides of the track. The riffs are genuinely and intelligently performed while the vocals (and lyrics) seem to bring about the tongue-in-cheek sound, mixing cheesily deep clean vocals with screams. The use of folk instrumentation sallies forth a folky and pirate sound, making it almost Celtic.

Digging For Rum rushes in with a strong thrash sound, which is soon found sailing alongside a more folk orientated sound however the clean, deep vocals really do put me off from wanting to listen to this track again. Questing Upon the High Seas makes up for the previous track, to an extent, bring some really epic passages and poignant lyrics though the vocals are pretty much like marmite. The samples (which I’m assuming are taken from different pirate films) really add a unique sound to the song. The keyboards add some truly dark sounding voyages to the song, especially when the harsher vocals make a proper appearance after a sample taken from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The demo ends with the black metalesque piece that is Ahoy, Wenches! To be honest, I expected it sound more folky and like a drinking song but the dark, almost evil screams of the guitars work well. The vocals ring in a similar vein to early 90s Bathory, adding a slight but distinct epic part to the track.

I’m really in two minds about this release; the overall musicianship screams out with a serious metal vibe while the vocals and lyrics make it almost… Like a joke. If you’re not too fussed about lyrics that are bursting with cheese then Yarr Demo is definitely something to get your hands on to place in your treasure trove of metal. The release is enjoyable enough though it is let down in areas by the vocals.

3/5

Nico Davidson

WeCameFromWolves – Cope

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

WeCameFromWolves
Cope
Released: September 2012
Post-Rock
Released via Engineer Records

WeCameFromWolves are one of many bands lurking in the unspoken-of-Scottish music scene. The band are described as being all about harmonic, melodic soundscapes and euphoric choruses. It was only recently that the band signed to Engineer Records with their debut EP due for release in September.

The melodic opening of Cope, the title track, begins the EP is truly memorable fashion as the riff is one of those that will stay in your head for a long time, for better or for worse. The vocals are typically Biffy Clyro sounding (or maybe I’m just being ignorant because of the strong Scottish accent that rings out from the vocals, yet the accent really does go well with the music). Like the opening riff, the vocal melodies are memorable. Crosses has a different intro to what I was expecting, being composed of sounds I don’t quite recognise mixed in with some rocker-like riffs and other influences giving the song a fresh taste. The vocals sound ever more energetic and lively (and less like Biffy Clyro!). The riffs have a strange, lively jig to them – the kind that gets your foot tapping along to the rhythm.

The middle point of the EP is Blood, which is another track booming with life, hypnotic riffs and enchanting vocals. Tidals strays away from the overall sound of the EP, taking a slower approach to the music but it still contains some amount of energy that prevents the track from becoming too dull and boring. The gloomy sounding intro of For All Our Sins, We’re Golden begins the end of the EP before turning more upbeat but retaining that solemn essence that is carried well by the lyrics.

I’ll be honest, this was the first first I’ve listened to any form of post-rock and I am impressed. WeCameFromWolves are clearly a talented band and they bring their own distinct sound to the table in a world where music is becoming too generic sounding.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Alestorm w/Support @ Garage, Glasgow

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 2nd March 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Bands: Alestorm, Claim The Throne and Darkest Era

Location: The Garage, Glasgow

Date: 10th February, 2012

Having arrived at the venue a total of 4 hours early, escaping the tedium of normal life, I proceeded to get into a suitably piratey mood for the reason the horde had gathered (well, there were 6 of us at the time, but it grew). Having been backstage to interview Gazz and Elliot, grabbed a beer or two and engaged in all manner of forms of lunacy, I returned to the ever-swelling mass and entered Glasgow’s Garage on a mighty quest for gold, rum and Pirate metallers, self-proclaimed “Useless Drunken Bastards” Alestorm.

Opening the gig were Irish metal warriors Darkest Era, a personal favourite of my own. They thundered through a glorious half hour set, playing mostly from their new album, “The Last Caress of Light,” but “On the Crest of Doom” sneaking in from their “The Journey Through Damnation” EP. Whipping the Glasgow crowd into a frenzy wasn’t difficult with such incredible sings as “Heathen Burial,” “The Morrigan” and the 11 minute wonder of “The Last Caress of Light Before the Dark.” The latter in particular I didn’t expect to see, due to its epic scale, but it was somewhat more than welcome. One of my favourite bands certainly proved that night that they were more than worthy of the awesome reception they got. Get them back here, is all I can say!

Claim The Throne, of an Australian origin, followed. A band that I had not heard much of, until that point, they proved extremely entertaining, with the first use of tambourine at any metal gig I’ve been to.  The crowd loved them though; songs like “Set Sail on Ale” resulted in copious amounts of moshing. The appearance of Alestorm’s Gareth Murdock with a beer funnel went down with ecstatic applause, especially when the keyboard player drank the whole thing. While playing. She also got lost crowdsurfing at one point. Safe to say, this is a brilliant band, with a brutal edge and a horde of fans. No doubt they would be welcomed back with reckless abandon as well!

Of course, there was no stopping the onslaught of our Scottish (well, two of them are Scottish) brethren, and to the tune of a dance remix of “Shipwrecked,” Alestorm leapt heartily onto stage. Alestorm are one of those bands that it is desperately important in your life to drop everything to go and see, and without a doubt, it was one of those nights where everything went brilliantly.  “Shipwrecked” into “Wenches and Mead” into “Leviathan”… it was relentless, and all the better for it. Of course, one doesn’t just go to see Alestorm for the music, oh no… the in-between song banter literally had me in tears of laughter. When a Glaswegian crowd begins to shout “CHUG CHUG CHUG” at your buckfast-occupied hands, you’d normally do what they say… Chris Bowes dismisses this with “Yer all Dicks!” Getting “A wee bit slow… and homosexual,” they jumped straight into “Nancy the Tavern Wench,” which had the entire crowd swaying like Glaswegians on a Friday night… which, coincidentally, they were. Other highlights included “No Quarter” and it’s brilliant Pirates of The Caribbean theme, which had a massive singalong , the black metal brutality of the epic “Death Throes of the Terrorsquid,” a wall of death and the amount of crowd surfing indicated that the crowd would make incredible seamen… or, at least, were incredibly drunk. They go hand in hand really.

A truly brilliant gig, all in all, and one that had to be experienced… this review in no way does it justice. Get Drunk or Die!

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring

Interview: Tom Keeley [Feb 2012]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 12th February 2012 by Nico Davidson

Cryptic Age are a York-based folk-power metal band consisting of your members. In the last year, they’ve played several gigs around the UK and have gone onto support acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well headline our own Valkyrian Festival. With the future looking bright for this young band, Nico catches up with Cryptic Age’s bassist Tom Keeley.

Nico: When did you start learning bass and why?

Tom: Started playing bass when I was about 16. Some mates were big into AC/DC and wanted to start a tribute band and they said I looked a bit like Cliff Williams. So I bought a bass and started learning.

N: How did you become a part of Cryptic Age?

T: I was looking for a band as I had been floating in between bands, nothing special, some dodgy metal bands that were going nowhere. So I saw an ad that looked promising and took it up. I was the first to reply luckily, glad I was.

N: What’s the progress of the upcoming album, Sounds of Infinity?

T: The songs are almost all written, I think we might try for another two, maybe a cover, nothing is set in stone. But the bulk of the song writing is finished and we’re all really happy with the sound and looking forward to recording the new material, it’s going to sound massive! We have about half of the album recorded, songs we’ve had for almost a year. So progress is damn good.

N: Will you be touring when the album is out? If so, will you be touring Scotland as well as England?

T: A tour would be incredible but it all costs money, and with only two of us working it’s difficult to fund for just ourselves. But we certainly have gigs booked in the future, trying to get on some big dates. And we are always looking to play further away from home to spread the word, so Scotland would be great, I’ve heard there’s some fantastic venues in Glasgow.

N: Speaking of touring, which band would you most like tour with?

T: Personally I would love for us to tour with Rhapsody, that would be a dream. But in terms of bands we’ve played with already, I would love to play more with Infernal Creation, they are an awesome live band and the more chances I get to see them the better. Would be going to see them support Fleshgod [Apocalypse] but I already bought tickets for Steve Hughes!

N: Later this month, you’ll be supporting Tyr with your other band, Ravenage. How are you feeling about that?

T: It’s of course a great honour to support such a great band and it’s sure to be fun. Also a special gig for me, but maybe I’ll keep that to myself.

N: It’s still early on in 2012, aside for recording and releasing the new Cryptic Age album, what are your plans for the rest of the year?

T: We don’t really have a plan set out for the year. We had one goal last year that we came close to achieving but got pipped at the last hurdle. Maybe this year we can achieve it. Apart from that I guess the overall goal for the band is to get a label behind us to promote the music and play to larger audiences.