Archive for West Yorkshire

Five reasons why you must go to Damnation 2013!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 3rd October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

It’s under a month now until 2013’s edition of the UK’s darkest festival Damnation tears Leeds a new one, so Valkyrian Music editor and general Yorkshire patriot Nico Davidson has listed five reasons why you must attend Damnation 2013.

5. Yorkshire!

As you already know, Damnation is hosted in Leeds, West Yorkshire which is another reason that Yorkshire is the best county in all of the UK and of course, Yorkshire has contributed a bit to the history of metal, which pioneering bands such as My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost hailing from Yorkshire, as well as NWOBHM Saxon. Throw in Damnation into the mix and Yorkshire is definitely one of the most metal places in the UK.

If you’re unsure why Yorkshire is great or metal as fuck, then you’re probably a Lancastrian.

4. Value For Money

Given the epic line-up that is gracing this year’s Damnation, which festival director Gavin McInally described as “the best line-up so far”, the event offers a damn lot more for your money than a lot of UK events – Especially at £34 a ticket!

3. The Fourth Stage

So, unless you’ve been living in a hole or under a rock in the middle of Lancashire, you’ll be aware that this year, Damnation has added a fourth stage, which will be a blasphemous temple dedicated to doom and sludge, which means more kick ass bands to go see. Or less bands if doom and sludge aren’t your cup of tea, but they’re mostly likely are.

2. Probably The Heaviest Festival In The UK

Yeah, I said it. Damnation is probably the heaviest festival in the UK, as well as being the darkest. Anyone who’s ever been to Damnation before knows exactly what to expect but if a Damnation virgin and love your music heavy and dark, then this year’s edition is not one to miss! Plus, with it being held in Yorkshire, what more could you ask for… Aside from…

1. Carcass!

So, Carcass recently released their new album, Surgical Steel via Nuclear Blast. So, that means there’ll be a lot of new material as classic tunes that they’ll be blasting out as they lay unholy waste to the Jagermeister stage this year. Of course, if Carcass aren’t your thing then there’s other bands you can get hyped up about, but we’ll discuss that in another article.

Damnation Festival will take place on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are priced at the low price of £34 and are available at this location.

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Angelspit w/Support @ The Cockpit, Leeds

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 2nd October 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Angelspit, Uberbyte & Zeitgeist Zero
Room 3 – The Cockpit, Leeds
13th September 2012

After missing Angelspit on their UK tour last year, I wasn’t going to let myself miss them again this year. Embarrassingly, the only band I knew on the bill was Angelspit, so I was in for a treat when Uberbyte and Zeitgeist Zero supported Angelspit in Room 3 of The Cockpit.

Zeitgesit Zero began the night with the sound of air raid sirens echoing through the small room, which was soon followed by a performance full of a heavy, futuristic synth-orientated sound and hypnotic beats. The driving use of dirty basslines added a lot to the band’s sound. I found the vocals to have an interesting sound, as they flowed back and forth over the ever growing crowd. Sadly, I didn’t see Zeitgesit Zero’s full set since I was interviewing Zoog during in the latter part of their set. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to catch a full set of theirs in the future.

By the time I’d finished my aforementioned interview, Uberbyte were already dominating the stage with a mix of aggressive beats and almost-techno-like synth workings while the frontman Uberman whipped the crowd into frenzy. Jump Into Hell was certainly a stand-out track during in their set with its loud, overwhelming basslines and catchy vocal medleys, which got the crowd jumping along like crazed rabbits. It was hard to not be taken in by Uberman’s charismatic attitude on the stage, especially during in the performance of We Like The Bass and an apparently dubstep-influenced song that I never caught the name of.

And the headliners of the night, Angelspit took to the stage. With the crowd all hyped from the brilliant support acts, Angelspit blasted into a raw, violent set that almost tore the venue apart. Featuring tracks that span their whole career, Angelspit performed each song beautifully – yet sadistically – well. Tracks like Wolf and 100% sounded far more raw and distorted compared to the studio versions, though this was no issue at all as it added to the unique sound of the songs while some of the other fan favourites like Kill Kitty and Wreak Havoc were more like their studio versions but still belted out an overwhelming aggressive sound that went down well with the crowd. Hopefully the next time Angelspit play Leeds, they’ll be on a bigger stage.

Nico Davidson

My Dying Bride stream teaser taken from new album

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

An Evening With Dimmu Borgir [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 21st November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Dimmu Borgir
Location: The Cockpit, Leeds
Date: 19th November 2011

In celebration of “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”, an album released 14 years ago, Dimmu Borgir embarked on their “An Evening With” tour which took them to the musically diverse heart of West Yorkshire known as Leeds. With a band as well-established as Dimmu Borgir, there comes a certain expectation of their performance and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they lived up to those expectations.

As they took their place on the stage, they looked somewhat sinister, almost demonic, thanks to the smoke and the lights, which helped add to the ethereal and mystifying atmosphere that had come over the crowd in the Cockpit. The first set of the night was composed entirely of the tracklisting from “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”. Starting with “Mourning Palace”, Dimmu progressed into “Spellbound (By The Devil)” in which Shagrath encouraged, demanded even, the showing of horns in the air, to which the crowd happily obliged. “The Night Masquerade” was the most entertaining song of the first set.

After a short interval, Dimmu Borgir soon returned to the stage – Well, it was more like Daray at first who entertained the crowd with a drum solo before the band fully returned to the stage blasting their way through “Vredesbyrd”. After that, Shagrath recited the words “Left are the kings of the carnival creation, carrying out the echoes of the fallen” to announce the next song, which was “Kings Of The Carnival Creation”. The next three songs were taken from the new album “Abrahadabra” – The first of which was “Dimmu Borgir”, which hagrath described as a song about “strength, unity and the ever lasting flame flame that is Dimmu Borgir”. The band finished the set with a great rendition of “Puritania” which wasn’t enough for the horde of Dimmu fans who demanded more.

The encore was comprised of only three songs, “The Serpentine Offering” – which sounded strange with Vortex’s vocals being played back – “Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse” and “Perfection of Vanity”. It was strange seeing Dimmu in such a small venue considering their status as one of the biggest international black metal bands, whch was one of two down sides to the show. The other being the poor sound system which clearly wasn’t suited for the band. Aside from those two issues, it was a truly mystifying performance and a show of epic proportion. Hopefully, Dimmu will tour the UK again next year.

Nico Davidson

Severed Heaven – Incessant Darkness [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 6th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Severed Heaven
Album: Incessant Darkness
Release year: 2010
Genre: Extreme Metal/Yorkshire Metal

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Metal has always been a male-dominated scene, especially within the extreme metal scenes, though that hasn’t stopped the all-female brutalising force known as “Severed Heaven” from dominating the metal scene in their native Leeds and West Yorkshire. Severed Heaven have established a solid fan base and made a big name for themselves in the North of England.

The album starts with the intro track “The Fading Light”, composed of a majestic yet angry guitar medley. The album properly starts with the introduction of “Soul Desecration”, which has a very early Gorgoroth-like sound to it terms of the vocals. The slow use of drum and guitars at the beginning adds emphasis on the vocal work, giving them an extra bite. As the tempo of the instruments increases, the song becomes ever so much more violent sounding. The guitars are certainly impressive due to their crunchy and chugging sound, virtually multiplying the heaviness of the song. There are some slower moments in the second half of the track, which like the introduction, reinforce the vocals with an extra dose of aggression.

“Alone I Perish” blasts its way next, with a fast-paced tempo and a violent riff. The vocals are raw and harsh, adding that obscenely aggressive touch to the music. The track is basically as brutal and devastating as a collision between a monster truck and a bus. The slower sections flow nicely with the music. The introduction of “Autumn” packs a sluggish punch, heavy yet slow. The vocals stand out the most during in this song. The guitars help to keep the bloodthirsty edge of the song going from beginning to end, though the drums seem to be more enjoyable to hear.

“Desolation” brings about an old school death-meets-black metal kind of sound with a slight modern influence. Musically, it is fierce and unrelenting, like cornered wolf fighting to survive. Vocally, it could easily be mistaken for a song by Astarte. This is definitely one of the superior tracks on the album, virtually a masterpiece, due its brutalising sound and passionate composition. “Edge Of Despair” has a very melancholy sound and feel to it throughout the intro section. The melancholy sound seems to the calm before the storm as the song takes a sudden and sinister twist into something far heavier, aggressive and barbaric whilst showing signs of intelligent composition and soulful talent. The vocals sound like the hateful growls and screams of a demonic legion – Making this song that more sinister.

”Seal The Cavity” seems to lack in the heavy department, compared to the previous tracks, leaving the vocals feeling too powerful in sections. “Fallen Flesh of Worthlessness” starts with a riff too mellow for an album that has so far brought the thunder. Fortunately, the mellowness is stopped dead in its track and completely sodomised by the unexpected occurrence of a bloodthirsty guitar riff, mixed with the heavy drum work and very Hellish vocals. The bass lines are simply amazing throughout out the song, certainly adding some major low-end thunder to the guitar work.

Nearing the end comes “Traumatic Period”. The introduction is heavy, brutal and raw yet feels like its missing something. The feeling carries on throughout most of the track. Some of the guitar work during in the second half is interesting, to say the least. The album finishes with “Earth Decayed”. The intro is very old school black metal sounding in its style and the bass adds a unique sound to it as well. The riffs are well composed, bringing a certain fire to the track whilst the drums keep that ravenous, aggressive sound flowing. The vocals are impressive as well, switching brilliantly between screams and growls.

”Incessant Darkness”, put simply, is pure ingenious extreme metal in its prime – And the fact it’s an album by five lovely ladies in just a bonus. For the most part, the album excites the listener’s ears like drugs excites an addict. It’s hard to believe, after hearing this album [Incessant Darkness], that Severed Heaven aren’t being the main support for bands like Dimmu Borgir or Gorgoroth. Incessant Darkness is certainly a great addition to the extreme metal fan’s collection.

4/5

Nico Davidson