Archive for XIII

Nico’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

So, it’s that time of year when everyone picks out their highlights of the year. I figured that this year, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. So here are my highlights of 2013… Including a few non-metal releases!

Best Albums Of 2013:

1. Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies Of The Night

2. Azylya – Sweet Cerebral Destruction

3. Wretched Soul – Veronica

4. Seduce The Heaven – Field Of Dreams

5. Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

Best Live Acts of 2013:

1. Re-Armed

2. Azylya

3. Delain

4. The CockRockets

5. Bharghest

Best Yorkshire Bands of 2013:

1. Severed Heaven

2. Bharghest

3. Narcotic Death

4. XIII

5. Skull Branded Pirates

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Best Non-Metal Albums of 2013:

1. Janet Devlin – Hide & Seek

2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped In Red

3. Ben Parcell – Expectations

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XIII – Deeds of the Saints: Chapters I-V

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 3rd October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

XIII
Deeds of the Saints: Chapters I – V
15th November 2013
Metal
Self Released

Just over a year ago since XIII released their debut album, North of Nowhere (Review of which can be found here). The Hull 3 piece metallers are back, this time with their new 5 track EP, Deeds of the saints: Chapters I – V, which is the first part of a 2 EP set, which combined will complete the Deeds of the Saints package.

Opening things up with the 7+ minute We Are Everywhere. It’s clear from the first few minutes that this is not just an extension of their debut but more of a complete transformation as far as song writing, skill and production go. The song itself is a barrage of riffs, booming bass, blast beats and aggression, the only thing that stays in tact from the earlier release is the vocals of Dan Murray, this could lead to a marmite type situation as I can imagine people will either love it or not care for it much as he doesn’t sing, growl or scream… He shouts aggressively and in a way, this is what separates XIII from a lot of bands and you can instantly tell who you are listening to from the first lines of the song. It’s also worth mentioning that if the infectious riff halfway through the song doesn’t get your head nodding then you’re clearly not a metal fan.

As mentioned earlier, the production on the EP compared to North of Nowhere has drastically changed, whereas North of Nowhere had more of a defined, almost clean production to it, this has a very raw, almost live sound to it and if anyone has ever seen XIII live then you’ll know this is not a bad thing whatsoever and this really suits the new sound of the band. Whether this kind of production suits everyone’s taste may be a different matter but I am pretty sure this is exactly the sound that the band went for.

Narcotics another 7 minute epic is the second track up and out of all the songs on the EP, this is the only one which possibly could have possibly been featured on their debut. The song has a more old school thrash vibe and riffs to it and it’s also a reminder that XIII haven’t totally dismissed their thrash roots as this reminds me a little of Master of Puppets with its fast riffs, slow centre parts back into the thrash assault. Dan Murray‘s guitar solos on this EP, especially compared to some off of their debut seem a lot more focused and fit in a lot better and a played to a higher standard.

Acta Sanctorum is the third and if you thought XIII were just a band based on fast songs then think again. This is a stoner and doom metal song of the highest order but without losing the XIII sound and despite it being the slowest, it’s by far the angriest song on the album both musically and lyrically. The song starts with a bluesy type riff before breaking out into a dirty beast of a riff. The chorus is possibly the catchiest guitar riff I have heard in while, think of it as if Down were jamming with ZZ Top, then you should get the idea.

The thing I am noticing about the EP is that none of the songs are sounding too similar to each other or like anything they have recorded before but they all fit together nicely as Deliverance carries on that tradition. It’s a pretty mid paced song, that in parts features some rather subtle but nice piano parts mixed with bassist James Oxtoby‘s vocals on the pre-chorus’, that is until you get to the mid section and it explodes into a thunderous mix of riffs and double bass madness from sticksman Alex O’Dwyer. Its clear that all of the band have upped their game on this, having said that, there are a couple of parts that the vocals seem a little strained and worn but having gone with the live, raw production they pretty much get away with it.

We have all heard that saying ‘save the best til last’, well that’s exactly what XIII have done here. Not only is this the best written song on the EP, its possibly the best written song XIII have ever come up with and unlike anything else the band have recorded. Nothing Is True… Everything Is Permitted is the perfect way to end this quite frankly awesome and relentless EP. The song is not particularly a fast song, nor does it have the riffs which match that of Narcotics or Acta Sanctorum but what it does have is many sections, clean and dirty which all blend all together to perfection. The guitars, especially on the cleaner parts and layered upon one and other which creates a really nice atmosphere for the song. How this works live only being a 3 piece I have no idea but I am sure they’ll come up with something. The ending of the song as was Forever off their debut ends in a classy fashion with the piano parts and makes you want to listen to the whole 35 minute EP again and again.

Deeds of the Saints: Chapters I – V‘ is a prime example of a band who have stepped up their game tenfold and the stigma of XIII been thrown simply been into the Thrash category can be tossed right out of the window. This is not a thrash record, this is just a fantastic collection of Heavy Metal songs from a band who don’t pretend to be something they’re not.

5/5

Nico Davidson

XIII online:

http://musicbyxiii.com
http://facebook.com/musicbyxiii

XIII announce new EP titled Deeds of the Saints: Chapters I–V

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 29th July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hull’s premier thrash trio XIII have announced details for their new EP Deeds of the Saints: Chapters I – V. The band will be going into the studio 10th August to record the new EP.

The EP will be the first part of a two EP set, the first being released in November 2013 and the second in the first half of 2014 with both EPs combined forming one whole Deeds of the Saints package.

Track-listing for D.O.T.S: Chapters I – V EP:

1. We Are Everywhere
2. Narcotics
3. Acta Sanctorum
4. Deliverance
5. Nothing Is True… Everything Is Permitted

XIII online:

www.musicbyxiii.com
www.facebook.com/xiiirocks
www.twitter.com/musicbyxiii

 

Band Of The Month [November – Voting]

Posted in Band Of The Month with tags , , , , , , , on 25th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

It’s that time of the month, where you get to vote for the next Band Of The Month!

Voting will last for one week [25th October – 31st October].

The nominees are:

XIII
Cryptic Age
Windrider
Northern Oak
Her Dark Embrace
Sea Of Giants
Infernal Creation 
Aonia 

Sarah Jezebel Deva W/Support @ Ringside, Hull [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 23rd October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Sarah Jezebel Deva, Pastel Jack, XIII, Our Innocence Lost & Heartless Angels
Location: The Ringside, Kingston Upon Hull
Date: 22nd October

The Hull show for SJD’s UK tour was left in turmoil due to unprofessionalism from the original promoter. Fortunately enough, The Ringside’s manager, Music HQ and the tour manager were able to sort things out, allowing for the show to go ahead as originally planned. The first band of the night were none other than Hull’s newest band “Heartless Angels”. A lot in the crowd were wondering how they got onto the bill as they didn’t seem to be the type of band that would usually open up for SJD. Heartless Angels set was very alternative-meets-punk sounding but two things made their set disappointing. The first was the lack of energy from the band, none of them seemed to move around on stage or seemed to be enjoying themselves – Aside from the guitarist. The second thing was the generic sound of the music, as it sounded like the band have taken too much of a sound from their influences to the point where there isn’t any uniqueness to their music. Aside from that, they were a good opening band.

XIII were the second band on the bill and as to be expected they entertained the crowd with their thrash-like riffs, aggressive drumming and charismatic stage presence. After XIII, alternative-hardcore quartet Our Innocence Lost took to the stage keeping the energy flowing from XIII’s set. OIL put on one hell of a show, keeping everyone entertained with their brilliantly composed music and strong vocals. They were the best act of the night – Aside from SJD. The main support for the gig was, oddly enough, Sarah Jezebel Deva which did confuse a lot of people as it was originally planned for her to be the headliner. Sarah stated that it was for the best and earlier in the night she had said she was ill, but hearing her sing her heart on stage, no one would have even know she was ill. Some of the highlights of her set included “God Has A Plan For Us All” [From the Angtoria album of the same name], “The World Won’t Hold Your Hand” and “I’m Calling”. SJD’s bassist looked to be enjoying himself as well on stage as he helped keep the crowd entertained and the two guitarists helped out with entertaining the crowd as well. Sarah and the band lived well up the expectations of the crowd and then some. Hopefully, SJD will consider hitting Hull again on the next tour!

The headliner for the night were Hull-based Pastel Jack though by the time they got to the stage, the crowd has seriously thinned out as a lot of the audience had come just to see SJD. However, Pastel Jack still put on a great performance with the frontman keeping constant interaction with the crowd during and in between songs. For the most part, it was a seriously enjoyable night though some were disappointed that SJD wasn’t the headliner. The highlights of the night were definitely SJD’s and OIL’s performance.

Nico Davidson

Rock The Ringside [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 30th September 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: XIII, Pastel Jack, Self Inflicted Revolution, Sunbeam Lipstick
Venue: The Ringside, Hull, East Yorkshire.
Date: 28th September

Rock The Ringside, organised by Hull based metal webzine Denim & Leather, certainly seemed to be the place to be on a warm Wednesday evening featuring four bands from Hull and the surrounding area. The first band to take to the stage were none other than Self Inflicted Revolution, a five piece metal outfit from Hull. They started the set with an original song called “All My Crimes”, which seemed like it could have been heavier than what it was. The band did an amazing rendition of “Hurt” (Orignally by Nine Inch Nails) and a good cover of “Cocaine” (Originally by Eric Clapton”). One thing that certainly stuck out about this band was the James Hetfield-sounding vocals and tight, heavy riffs.

Self Inflicted Revolution – All My Crimes

The second band of the night were Driffield-based trio Sunbeam Lipstick, who were an interesting bunch to say the least and despite their not-so-rock sounding name, some of their set was raw and aggressive. The drummer partook in the vocal work in some of the songs which was unusual to hear, to say the least and did seem to take something away from the drums. In other songs, the guitarist did the vocal work, though his vocals did seem to be more like a drone compared to that of the drummer’s. The bassist certainly kept a nice flow to the music either way though.

The main support of the night came in the home of local Yorkshire-styled thrash metal outfit Pastel Jack. They began their set in true metal style, with the vocalist moving into the crowd and encouraging them to come forward. Part of their set included songs such as “Part 2” and “Methematic”. Pastel Jack certainly added an energetic vibe to the event.


XIII were the headliners for “Rock The Ringside” and for good reason as well. They put on a hell of a show, pulling no punches with their set, though the frontman did prattle on a bit in between some of the songs. XIII played a fair few tracks from their upcoming album “North Of Nowhere”. “Rock The Ringside” was certainly a enjoyable night for the most part and those that attended seemed entertained enough.


Nico Davidson

Photos of the event can be found here.