Archive for YouTube

Foscor release entire back catalogue digitally

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Dark metallers Foscor have released their entire back catalogue digitally, including the band’s first three albums: 2004’s Entrance to the Shadows’ Village,  2007’s The Smile of the Sad Ones and 2009’s Groans to the Guilty. Each album includes lyrics and information. For the first month, the albums will be available for free download from this location. The band’s back catalogue is also available for streaming on YouTube.

With over a decade in the music scene, Foscor recently announced that the band’s natural musical progression and development has led to a change in style away from the traditional 90’s Black Metal mixed with other classical and modern extreme styles, for which they became know.  Breaking free from the restrictions the genre places on bands has enabled Foscor to expand their sound to include shades of Doom and Dark Rock, majestic interludes and a healthy flirtation with Prog.  Frontman Fiar is quick to point out though that fans will still recognise the distinctive Foscor style, which the band have not rejected, but have made better, and which will be very much in evidence in the band’s newly completed  fourth full-length album Those Horrors Wither.

Currently in search of a label for Those Horrors Wither, Foscor have chosen a somewhat unusual direction with the guest appearances on the album.  Instead of the expected vocals or instrumental solos, the notable guests have written and performed connecting passages between the tracks.

Foscor online:

http://foscor.com
http://facebook.com/foscor.official
http://soundcloud.com/foscor
http://twitter.com/FOSCOR_Official
http://youtube.com/user/FOSCORbcn
http://foscor.bigcartel.com
http://myspace.com/foscor
http://reverbnation.com/foscor

 

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Carnifex stream new album Die Without Hope on Youtube

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27th February 2014 by Nico Davidson

Carnifex - Die Without Hope - Artwork

San Diego’s deathcore behemoths Carnifex are now streaming their new album,Die Without Hope, on YouTube. The album is set for release on 7th March. The album can be listened to at this location.

Die Without Hope was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida and produced by the esteemed Mark Lewis (Arsis, The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, DevilDriver, Deicide, Six Feet Under). Cover art for the album was created by renowned artist and longtime collaborator Godmachine. The recording also marks the introduction of new lead guitarist and longtime friend of the band, Jordan Lockrey.

Carnifex online:

http://facebook.com/CarnifexMetal
http://twitter.com/carnifex
http://youtube.com/officialcarnifex
http://instagram.com/carnifex

 

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Vulture Industries stream behind the scene documentary and confirm first US appearance

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

Turning Golem which is the theatrical product of the collaboration between Norwegian post-avant-garde metallers Vulture Industries and the Happy Gorilla Dance Company has proven to be a crowd pleaser, to the point where the band have been booked to play various venues and festivals this year and next. Interest in the show, which is part rooted in the heavier segment of experimental/progressive metal which features Vulture Industries performing music from their latest release The Tower, and part theatre performance which features the Happy Gorilla Dance Company, has grown, and as a result journalist Andrea Chirulescu has produced a “behind the scenes” documentary which explores the ideas and concepts behind Turning Golem.

Featuring interviews with Vulture Industries frontman Bjornar E. Nilsen, who explains how the whole idea came about and how it developed, as well as with the other members of the band – guitarists Oyvind Madsen and Eyvind Huse, bassist Kyrre Teigen and drummer Tor Helge Gjengedal, who talk about the difference between performing as a band as opposed to being part of a performance ensemble, whilst members of the Happy Gorilla Dance Company explain their part in the project.  The documentary, which is in English, was filmed in Bergen when Turning Golem was recently performed at the Garage, and is currently streaming on the YouTube Channel of the Norwegian webzine Eternal Terror. The documentary can be viewed down below.

2013 has proven to be a busy year for Vulture Industries who released their third album The Tower via Season of Mist in September, this year. As well as collaborating with the Happy Gorilla Dance Company, the band also worked closely with Romanian multi-media artist Costin Chioreanu, whose video Lost Among Liars, a track from The Tower, recently featured at this year’s Kort and Kortkino Film Festival in Sandnes, Norway. The video can be viewed below:

Next year will also mark the first appearance of Vulture Industries in North America, with the band set to play at the prestigious Music, Film and Interactive Festival, South by Southwest, better known as the SXSW Festival, in Austin, Texas in March.  Other confirmed appearances by Vulture Industries in 2014 include The Headway Festival in Amstelveen, Netherlands, on the 11th January, Prog Power Europe, in Baarlo, Netherlands on the 4th October, and performances of Turning Golem at the Boule Noire in Paris, France, on the 21st February and at Metal Days in Tolmin, Slovenia, in July.

Vulture Industries online:

http://vulture-industries.net
http://facebook.com/vultureindustries
http://soundcloud.com/vulture-industries
http://vultureindustries.bigcartel.com/
http://myspace.com/vultureindustries
http://reverbnation.com/vultureindustries

Hecate Enthroned post new song online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 20th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

With the impending release of Hecate Enthroned’s latest masterpiece, Virulent Rapture, on the horizon, the legendary black metal coven have posted a track from the album to YouTube as a teaser, so fans can get an idea of what to expect from the new album. The song can be heard below.

The song, To Wield The Hand Of Perdition, is a completely new direction in the band’s career, focusing less on the symphonic melodies – though they do remain –  and more on a crushing assault that will render one’s ears bloody.

Hecate Enthroned online:

http://hecate-enthroned.co.uk
http://facebook.com/hecateenthroned

 

Ashes Of Ares unveil track by track of upcoming album

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

The newly formed American trio Ashes Of Ares, which features former Iced Earth vocalist Matt Barlow and former Nevermore drummer Van Williams, plus Freddie Vidales, also formerly of Iced Earth, have released via YouTube the track by track for their upcoming album. You can hear snippets of each track down below, as well as listen to Matt explain how the album came about.

The self-titled album is due out 9th September via Nuclear Blast.

Ashes Of Ares online:

http://ASHESOFARES.com
http://facebook.com/ASHESOFARES
http://twitter.com/ASHESOFARES

 

Seeker premier video for Unloved and announce pre-order package options

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Seeker recently unveiled their music video for Unloved, which is the title track for their new album which is set to be released 29th October. The video captures the band’s monolithic wall of sound and can be viewed below.

There are currently four pre-order packages available for Unloved, which include a copy of the album, a choice of t-shirt, zip-up hoodie and an advance MP3 copy of the title track, Unloved. Packages can be pre-ordered at this location.

Seeker online:

http://www.victoryrecords.com/seeker
http://www.facebook.com/seekertx

Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King hits 400k within first 24 hours online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 17th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

California’s behemoth rock unit Avenged Sevenfold hit the 400,000 view mark on their latest single Hail To The King within 24 hours of posting it on YouTube. If you’ve not heard it yet, you can listen to it down below.

Hail To The King is taken from Avenged Sevenfold’s upcoming sixth studio album of the same name which is set to be released on 26th August and will be released via Warner Music. The album was produced by Mike Elizondo. Above is the album artwork for Hail To The King.

Hail To The King track listing is as follows:

1. Shepherd Of Fire
2. Hail To The King
3. Doing Time
4. This Means War
5. Requiem
6. Crimson Day
7. Heretic
8. Coming Home
9. Planets
10. Acid Rain

Avenged Sevenfold online:

http://avengedsevenfold.com/
http://twitter.com/theofficiala7x
http://youtube.com/avengedsevenfold
http://instagram.com/theofficiala7x
http://theofficiala7x.tumblr.com/

 

Savage Messiah confirm plans to enter studio next month

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 20th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Savage Messiah have confirmed plans to enter the studio on 1st July to begin recording their as-yet untitled new studio album. The band will be working on the follow-up to 2012’s Plague Of Conscience with producer Scott Atkins (Sylosis, Behemoth) at Grindstone Studios in Suffolk, having already worked with him on the band’s last two albums. Savage Messiah frontman Dave Silver comments:

We’re beyond excited to be fast approaching the day when we’ll head off back into Grindstone Studios, to work once more with Scott Atkins on what we can promise will be the most metal Savage Messiah CD yet!  We’ve approached the writing process in a totally old school manner; just four guys in a rehearsal space getting a vibe going, playing heavy metal!  Which has really allowed us to express the chemistry within the band and build on the musical foundation we laid with ‘Plague of Conscience’.

We’re pleased to be working with Scott Atkins for the third time, as he understands the band and has always delivered above and beyond for us and we’ve no doubt that he’ll get the best out of us once again.  We’ll be releasing titles, track listings, artwork etc. in due course.  In the meantime, look out for plenty of studio video updates which we’ll be posting over at our official YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/savagemessiahmetal).  So stay tuned!

See Savage Messiah live on tour at the following shows:

Savage Messiah w/ Witnersun & Bloodshot Dawn

Jul. 16 – London, UK – The Garage
Jul. 17 – Manchester, UK – Club Academy
Jul. 18 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
Jul. 19 – Newcastle, UK – O2 Academy 2
Jul. 22 – Bristol, UK – O2 Academy 2

Savage Messiah w/ RSJ

Oct. 29 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control
Oct. 30 – York, UK – Fibbers
Oct. 31 – Birmingham, UK – The Temple
Nov. 01 – London, UK – Borderline

Savage Messiah online:

http://www.facebook.com/SavageMessiahMetal
http://twitter.com/savagemessiah

Oceano post studio update; new album to be released later this year

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

Oceano recently posted a studio update video on YouTube for fans to watch, whilst recording their upcoming release, Incisions.

The five-piece act, who hail from Chicago, are hard at work on the follow-up to the 2010 release Contagion at Electrowerks Studio in Downers Grove, Illinois.  The new studio video includes interviews with the band as they record Incisions, and also introduces new guitarist Michael Kasper, who replaces the departing Devin Shidaker. The studio update can be viewed below.

Oceano also recently released the official lyric video for Slow Murder, which is taken from Incisions. The lyric video can be viewed below.

Incisions is due for release later this year, via Earache in Europe and through Century Media/Earache Records in the US.

Oceano‘s first two albums, Depths and Contagion, are available now on the Earache Webstore in North America at this location and in Europe here.

Oceano online:

http://facebook.com/oceanometal
http://twitter.com/oceanometal

 

Enslaved launch competition for fans to create a lyric video for RIITIIR

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 29th January 2013 by Nico Davidson

Norwegian progressive extreme metal band Enslaved have launched a brilliant and killer competition for fans to create a lyric video for the title track off their new album, RIITIIR. Fans can get their hands on signed Enslaved merchandise by creating their own lyric video, as well as a video message from the band thanking them for their efforts. The video will be uploaded to both the Nuclear Blast (Europe) and Enslaved YouTube channels too!

Competition details and rules are as follows:

1. Download the track here.
2. Create your video for RIITIIR using all original material. Do not use any copyrighted footage or other people’s material.
3. Upload your video to YouTube and be sure to include NUCLEAR BLAST FAN VIDEO CONTEST in the title.
4. Send your Youtube link to: fanvideo@nuclearblast.de, with the email subject ENSLAVED FAN VIDEO SUBMISSION. Please also include your full name, address and country of residence.

First place:

  • Your video will be announced as the Official Lyric Video for the track ‘RIITIIR’ and will be uploaded to the band and label YouTube channels.

You will also receive:

  • ENSLAVED’s new album ‘RIITIIR’ (Vinyl- and Digi-Version), signed by the band
  • 1 x ‘RIITIIR’ tshirt
  • A special thank you from the band

Second place:

  • The runner up will receive 1 copy of the CD/Digipak version of ‘RIITIIR’ and 1 x ‘RIITIIR’ tshirt.

The contest ends on 28 March 2013. The winning clip will be chosen by the band and the winners will be contacted by Nuclear Blast.

Enslaved‘s UK dates rack up as follows:

14 March – NQ LIVE, Manchester UK
15 March – HAMMERFEST, Wales UK
16 March – Button Factory, Dublin IR
17 March – Limelight 2, Belfast UK
19 March – The Corporation, Sheffield UK
20 March – The Fleece, Bristol UK
21 March – The Underworld, London UK

Tour dates and tickets can be found on the band’s Facebook page, here.

Buy ‘RIITIIR’ on CD at this location.

Buy ‘RIITIIR’ on iTunes at this location.

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse release new video for The Forsaking!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 22nd December 2012 by Nico Davidson

Fleshgod Apocalypse have released their new video for The Forsaking, taken from their most recent album Agony.

The video was originally meant to premiere on Metal Hammer’s website but  the band released the video via Nuclear Blast’s YouTube channel. The video can be viewed below. The band stated the following on their official Facebook regarding the change of plans for the video’s release: “Folks! Apparently we must fix this Fleshgod Apocalypse style. The wait is enough for everybody. Since nothing seems to move on Metal Hammer, we decided to release the video through the Nuclear Blast channel! It’ll be featured on many zines and portals. We want to thank you all for being patient and for keeping on supporting us. We’re sure the wait has been worthy. Now it’s up to you: SHARE AND MAKE SURE ALL THE FUCKING PEOPLE YOU KNOW SHARE IT!!! \,,/”

 

Destruction release teaser clip for the official Carnivore video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 9th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Legendary German thrashers Destruction are set to release their 30-year-anniversary album Spiritual Genocide on November 26 and in anticipation of the album release, Nuclear Blast has uploaded a teaser clip for the upcoming Carnivore video to their YouTube channel.

The video was produced at Polish Mania Studio and will premiere exclusively on November 12 on the Metal Hammer UK site, before being uploaded to the band and label channels.

Mallory Knox – New Video & Reckless Love Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , on 8th August 2012 by izaforestspirit

Mallory Knox unleash ‘Death Rattle’ Video & Announce Tour With Reckless Love

On Monday August 6th Mallory Knox released ‘Death Rattle’ the first official single from their forthcoming debut album. The single has recieved a tremendous response from their fans which saw ‘Death Rattle’ climb to no.7 in the iTunes Rock Singles Chart on the day of its release.

Last night saw ‘Death Rattle’ beat tough competition from the likes of Mumford & Sons and Drake to be crowned ‘Favourite Track’ of the week on Edith Bowmens BBC Radio 1 Review Show.

Today at 11am Mallory Knox unleash their brand new video ‘Death Rattle’ on their YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/MalloryKnoxOfficial1 as well as announcing a 17 date UK tour this October as main support for Finish rock n rollers Reckless Love.

Mallory Knox/Reckless Love October Tour Dates:

THU 04: PETERBROUGH – CLUB REV (Mallory Knox Headline Show)

FRI 05: SHEFFIELD – CORPORATION

SAT 06: NEWCASTLE – ACADEMY 2

MON 08: GLASGOW – CATHOUSE

TUE 09: SOUTHAMPTON – THE CELLAR

WED 10: STOKE – SUGARMILL

THU 11: LONDON – BARFLY

FRI 12: NORWICH – WATERFRONT

SAT 13: NOTTINGHAM – ROCK CITY

MON 15: MANCHESTER – CLUB ACADEMY

TUE 16: BRISTOL – THE FLEECE

WED 17: READING – SUB 89

THU 18: WREXHAM – CENTRAL STATION (Mallory Knox Headline Show)

SAT 20: LEEDS – COCKPIT

SUN 2: OXFORD – ACADEMY 2

TUE 23: EXETER – CAVERN

WED 24: BRIGHTON – THE HAUNT

Napalm news extravaganza!

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

DUST BOLT ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM RELEASE

Following their recent streak of success – “Demo of the Month” in Metal Hammer GER and winner of the Wacken Metal Battle 2011 – the Thrash combo Dust Bolt are finally unleashing their highly anticipated debut album! “Violent Demolition” which will be released at the end of July!

Vocalist and guitarist Lenny comments:
“The record deal for our debut album is an important step in our career. We are more than happy to cooperate with such a well-respected and established label. It was hard work to find a suitable label for our debut ‘Violent Demolition’, but now it’s gonna be unleashed! ‘Violent Demolition’ will bring you a serious whiplash! Come to our shows and get a dose of Toxic Thrash! Prepare for toxic attack!”

http://www.facebook.com/dustbolt
http://www.myspace.com/dustbolt

GRAVE DIGGER: Album Cover Competition

Name the title of the new Grave Digger album and win a Meet & Greet! The new Grave Digger album will be released at the end of August 2012! To ease the anticipatory wait, the band revolving around vocalist Chris Boltendahl will post 4 new pieces of the artwork and 4 new letters of the album title every week. The contest can be found on all Grave Digger channels.

http://www.facebook.com/gravediggerofficial
http://www.myspace.com/gravediggerclan
http://www.grave-digger-clan.com/

NACHTBLUT: New Clip

The Dark Metallers release the clip to their new hit “Ich trinke Blut“! The video may be watched on Napalm’s YouTube channel. The new album “Dogma” is out now!

http://www.facebook.com/Nachtblutgefluester
http://www.myspace.com/nachtblutgefluester
http://www.nachtblut.com/
http://www.napalmrecords.com/product_info.php?products_id=14786
http://www.youtube.com/napalmrecords

VAN CANTO: If I Die in Battle Clip

The epic fantasy clip to “If I Die in Battle” may be watched here.

http://www.facebook.com/vancantoband
http://www.vancanto.de/
http://www.napalmrecords.com/product_info.php?products_id=13835

LEAVES’ EYES: On Tour in Asia

Leaves’ Eyes have just announced three shows in Asia!

LEAVES’ EYES / ATROCITY

13.07.12 CN – Beijng / Star Live House
14.07.12 CN – Shang Hai / Mao Live House
15.07.12 TW – Taipei / KHS Hall

http://www.facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial
http://www.myspace.com/leaveseyespage
http://www.leaveseyes.de/

Cerebral Bore premier new track

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th February 2012 by Nico Davidson

A brand new track from Scottish death metallers CEREBRAL BORE, titled “Horrendous Acts of Iniquity”, is premiering now exclusively at Infidel Amsterdam YouTube channel.
The band recorded the new song at Foel Studio in Wales with producer CHRIS FIELDING, who also produced the band’s debut album, MANIACAL MISCREATION.  The track will be released as a digital single on iTunes on Monday, February 20th.

Listen to “Horrendous Acts of Iniquity” here:

CEREBRAL BORE guitarist PAUL MCGUIRE comments:
“We are all really excited about getting some new material out and starting a new chapter for Cerebral Bore.  The song is a taste of what will be on offer on the next album, and it will hopefully get people perked up nicely for its release later this year, so be sure to listen to it a thousand times and sing along when it comes to show time!”
CEREBRAL BORE are due to kick off a North American tour on Sunday with GOATWHORE and HATE ETERNAL.  See them live at the following shows:

CEREBRAL BORE w/ GOATWHORE, HATE ETERNAL, FALLUJAH

Feb. 19 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Feb. 20 – El Paso, TX – House Of Rock
Feb. 21 – Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse
Feb. 22 – Hollywood, CA – Whisky A Go Go
Feb. 23 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Atrium
Feb. 24 – Portland, OR – Branx
Feb. 25 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
Feb. 26 – Boise, ID – The Venue
Feb. 27 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
Feb. 28 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
Feb. 29 – Kansas City, MO – Beaumont Club
Mar. 01 – St Paul, MN – Station 4
Mar. 02 – Des Moines, IA – House Of Bricks
Mar. 03 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club*
Mar. 05 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck**
Mar. 06 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick’s**
Mar. 07 – Montreal, QC – Les Foufounes Electriques**
Mar. 08 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz**
Mar. 09 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus**
* No GOATWHORE
** HATE ETERNAL and CEREBRAL BORE only

CEREBRAL BORE w/ SUFFOCATION, CATTLE DECAPITATION, HATE, BLOOD RED THRONE, SEPHIRAH

Mar. 13 – London, UK – The Underworld
Mar. 14 – Derby, UK – The Old Bell
Mar. 15 – Liverpool, UK – O2 Academy
Mar. 16 – Dublin, Ireland – The Pint
Mar. 17 – Plymouth, UK – The White Rabbit

In the Studio With: Kidney Punch

Posted in Studio Report with tags , , , , , , , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

It was cold and miserable Saturday morning when I set off to Powerstage Studios with two men – Well, one man known as Adam and a half man, half hobbit called Oli. For those who don’t know, it was the day that I was due to head into the studio with a new and upcoming band called “Kidney Punch”, formed by former Torsohorse and Filth Wizard members. Kidney Punch are a trio made up of Adam Towse [Vocals, guitar], Mikey Bolton [Drums] and Tim [Bass].

We arrived at the studio to be greeted by Mikey and Tim. Everything had been set up from Mikey’s mammoth-like kit to Cu-Base, the rogram that Mikey uses for recording when in his studio. We all got ourselves settled in and Adam began the sound check for the drums, starting with the kick drum then moving onto the snare and the other parts of the kit, while Mikey sorted all the levels and did some other fancy studio work that baffles the mind of a writer like myself. After the drum sound check was done, the band proceeded to do a few quick runs of their songs so that the half-man, half-hobbit could set the levels for the bass and guitar while Mikey battered – I mean played – the drums.

Adam and Tim checking their instruments

When the recording process properly began, the drums were recorded with relatively fast speed. Four out of five of the drum tracks were recorded with a click track, though the other one didn’t need a click track as it has a “natural tempo fluxuation” – Adam’s words, not mine. I’m surprised I still remember that term to be honest. The rest of the day was spent eating, drinking, smoking and recording the guitar tracks – Though I did spend a good hour or so sleeping – Tiredness is not a good thing for the studio!

Drum recording

The guitar recordings took up most of the day but it was certainly entertaining listening to the songs that I’ve only heard in the band’s rehearsals being recorded. When we left Saturday evening, the tracks were sounding great – despite the bass not being recorded on that Saturday and it clearly says something about the band if they’ve almost finished the recordings completely with such ease.

Kidney Punch will hopefully be booking gigs soon as well as releasing their first EP. Until then, all we can do is wait for these metal dominators to unleash their Yorkshire-styled heaviness on the UK’s metal underground.

Nico Davidson

Other studio videos of the band are available from the Valkyrian Music YouTube channel.

Iron Maiden w/Airbourne @ Motorpoint Arena [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 25th July 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Iron Maiden, Airbourne
Location: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Date: 24th July 2011

Airbourne and Iron Maiden – a Match ‘Maiden’ Heaven

Australian heavy metallers ‘Airbourne’ and home-grown titans of metal ‘Iron Maiden’ stormed Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena last night.  The sold-out stadium thrummed with the energy of thousands of metalheads – from very young to very old, from Maiden virgins (losing their ‘maidenheads’?) to veteran fans – all eagerly anticipating what was certain to be a night of metal that would never be forgotten.

Airbourne –

I feel genuinely sorry for any band who supports Iron Maiden – such is nature of most Maiden fans that if (through dark voodoo witchcraft) a Maiden support band was created with Janis Joplin and Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Mozart on keyboards and Cliff Burton on bass, the crowd would still watch with politeness and mild disinterest, wandering to and from the merch table and the food stalls, killing time until Maiden started.

However, Airbourne held the crowd’s attention and more – exploding onto the stage from the outset with ‘Raise the Flag’. As driving riffs, supported by heavy, thundering bass, flew toward the heavens, Joel O’Keeffe hurdled monitors, playing ferociously. Ably supported by David Roads and Justin Street on backing vocals, the chorus instantly incited the crowd, shouting ‘Raise the flag!’ with fists pumped high into the air.  Screaming scales throughout the solo and outro reminded the audience that, while the main riffs in this song sound simple, the band is made up of talented musicians whose guitar playing will tear your face off.

Slowing the pace down with ‘Cheap Wine and Cheaper Women’, Airbourne brandish their heavy rock influences both in the almost country rock-style build up but also in their stage show, with synchronised headbanging and guitar swaying.

Ryan O’Keeffe’s drumming is clear; he drives the tempo changes and adds some unexpected syncopation at times, which suggests that, while these guys are firmly rooted in classic hard rock and heavy metal, they aren’t bound by the expectations of the genre – they are willing to experiment and create their own identity.

Justin Street’s bass playing is solid as a rock, providing a strong foundation upon which David Roads and Joel O’Keeffe can build their pyramids of power chords under spiralling riffs and complex solos. Roads’ rhythm is animated and pounds along, giving the set a feel of consistent acceleration.

Joel O’Keeffe’s voice is like a laser – precise, strong , and cutting – capable of destroying cities or performing intricate surgery. He tactically uses it, oscillating easily between a powerful, classic rock style falsetto that appears to slice through the stage fog as it drifts down from the catwalk and a lower, gravelly baritone timbre that reverberates against the stadium walls.

Throughout their set (which continued – Steel Town; Diamond in the Rough; Blackjack; No Way but the Hard Way; Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast; Stand Up for Rock & Roll; Runnin’ Wild), Airbourne continued to prove themselves as future legends of rock, ready to receive the torch from the bands who established the genre (and clearly inspire their playing) begin to retire.

Iron Maiden

As the stage crew performed their duties, shrouded behind a mysterious black curtain, the atmosphere in the venue steadily climbed, zeppelin-like, toward the sky. The scent of beer and hot dogs pervaded the air and such was the excitement that even the quick line checks on the guitars and vocals brought cheers from the enthusiastic crowd. As the opening strains of UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor’ tantalised the ears of the waiting crowd, the sense of euphoria and anticipation reached the stratosphere.

The lights dimmed and ‘Satellite 15’ began. Frenetically flashing red lights and on-screen video melted with the surreal, progressive music, masking the removal of the black curtain and the reveal of the set. Behind the flashing red lights, all that could be seen of the set was a dark back cloth, studded with the pinprick lights of stars – a thousand points of light. This was mirrored in the crowd with the pale glow from mobile phones and digital cameras, ready to record the moment for posterity – or possibly for YouTube. (Good luck to Motorpoint with enforcing their ‘no cameras or recording devices’ policy!)

As the band crashed into ‘The Final Frontier’, the stage lights illuminated a set which can best be described as ‘retro-futuristic’ with white ‘communication’ towers either side and a grey semicircle which suggests a 2001-style satellite (labelled ‘S-15’ as a clear nod to the opening track). The starscape remained illuminated throughout tracks from The Final Frontier, though a number of dropcloths were used throughout the show to support and occasionally introduce the more classic Maiden tracks.  Throughout ‘The Final Frontier’ and the second song (‘El Dorado’) Steve Harris commanded the stage with his signature stance, using his bass like a rifle and pretending to shoot crowd members.  Janick Gers rested his heel upon the edge of the set as if he was stretching out his hamstring – and, judging by the marathon he proceeded to run on the Motorpoint stage, this is, most likely, exactly what he was doing!

The first of the old classics ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’ brought the crowd to a frenzy, desperately shouting ‘Two! Minutes! To midnight!’ as they press toward the stage. Dickenson strikes a good balance with this song, bringing the crowd in and allowing them to feel a part of the moment, while still singing most of the song himself.  It can be a temptation for bands as well established as Maiden (with a strong fan base who know their music) to allow their vocalist to become somewhat lazy and let the crowd sing most of their well-known songs – yet Dickenson remains in control the entire time.

‘The Talisman’ could easily become a muddy mess through the jangling, occasionally discordant beginning; however, Nico’s skilful drumming keeps the song moving forward and somehow the discord and non-standard timing… just works. It proves that Maiden are willing to keep changing, keep pushing themselves as musicians, keep progressing – rather than simply sticking to a tried and true formula.  ‘The Talisman’ also shows off Dickenson’s low bass range, proving that – despite being known for his screaming, soprano-like falsetto, he can provide just as much power in the bellows of the basement.

The first song introduced by Dickenson was ‘Coming Home’. He explained that whenever they go on a world tour, they always fly the same way – so that they are ‘coming home’. Dickenson again strikes a balance with the crowd – the audience feels as if it is a part of the Maiden community, with millions of people worldwide, without bordering on the cheese exhibited by other musicians who can often come across as a motivational speaker in their crowd interactions! Dickenson also assured the crowd – to wild applause – that, despite the album and tour being named The Final Frontier, Iron Maiden are not retiring.

For this reviewer, personally, the gig was really kick started as Iron Maiden revealed the dropcloth for and spoken introduction sample to ‘Dance of Death’.  The stage darkened to create a mysterious mood and Dickenson was illuminated in pink and orange dancing lights that suggested a mystical fire. The first tempo change in this song seemed to be slower than other live recordings of the song; however, this was very effective as it allowed for more time to establish the story and atmosphere. This was the first song in the set that was highly theatrical and Dickenson’s storytelling skills were ably supported by  the lighting – dramatically ending with Dickenson ‘blowing away’ the spirits, at which point the gold faded from the lighting palette and the band were bathed in blue light, throwing larger-than-life shadows against the dropcloth.

As the final strains of ‘Dance of Death’ faded, the dropcloth for ‘The Trooper’ was revealed. The audience’s raucous cheer was the entire introduction Maiden needed – the iconic, harmonised opening, perfectly synchronised, blasted throughout the arena as all four guitarists took centre stage. Dickenson’s mid-song costume change into classical British military regalia, along with triumphant waving of larger-than-life Union flags charged the atmosphere further and created a fevered air of celebration.

The dropcloth which suggests ‘The Wickerman’ was next to be revealed behind the set – and, again, the cheers of the crowd careened into the introduction. Strong, chugging guitars from Adrian Smith and Dave Murray drove the song forward, train-like, and built a bridge which brought the tempo down from ‘The Trooper’ to…

‘Blood Brothers’. Dramatically drenched in blood-red lighting and sentimentally introduced by referencing recent tragedies in Oslo and Japan, a sense of togetherness was created – without relying on references to an ‘army’ of fans, as so many other bands do. Bringing 13,500 people together in a sense of belonging and collective identity should be challenging – however, the anthemic chorus passionately delivered by all members of the band – and belted by all members of the crowd – created a sense of unity and wholeness which was reinforced by mobile phones being held high, swaying in time – the modern version of swinging a lighter in the air!

The final song of the slower portion of the programme takes the audience back to The Final Frontierwith ‘When the Wild Wind Blows’. Already feeling banded together from ‘Blood Brothers’, the band now creates a sense of intimacy during the plaintive atmosphere of the introduction, with precision harmony from the guitars and bass. So many Maiden songs are unfathomably complex, with riffs that intertwine like ivy and gallop faster and more frenetically than a racehorse. ‘When the Wild Wind Blows’ is the opposite – the simplicity of the guitars and vocals evokes a feeling of emptiness, innocence and sorrow backed by a thinly veiled passion. Inspired by the graphic novel ‘When the Wind Blows’ (which details the tragic subject of radiation poisoning from nuclear fallout), the lyrics overbrim with human emotion – sympathy, terror, pity, heartache. The circular nature of the song creates a sense of finality and though the themes fit into the futuristic ‘Final Frontier’ concept, there is a terrifying premonition that this could, one day soon, be very real. The audience becomes still, almost unmoving as the song concludes, before exploding with excitement for…

‘The Evil That Men Do’. Following the dramatically harmonised introduction, all guitarists – while energetic before – start to really come out of their shells. As I watch the musicians dashing back and forth across the stage, I can’t help but wonder if, like Michael Flatley of Lord of the Dance, the musicians in Maiden lose half a stone of body weight in each performance.

As the band ‘winds up’ to play ‘Fear of the Dark’, again, the tempo of the introduction felt more in keeping with the studio version than with live versions – however, as soon as the distortion kicked in with Dickenson’s powerful scream, the band returned to the delirious pace with which they had bombarded the rest of the set. This is the second piece which was highly theatrical and skilled camera work from the crew displayed Dickenson’s exaggerated facial expressions to the arena. Dashing back and forth upon the top of the set, he was upstaged by the appearance of the robotic ‘Eddie’ who arrived onstage to boisterous cheers. Gers took the opportunity to spend the remainder of the song repeatedly running between Eddie’s legs and around his back – to the great amusement of the crowd – which was emphasised by the display of the ‘Eddie Cam’, which gave the audience a clear point-of-view shot from Eddie’s perspective. Adrian Smith’s solo was delivered with a gargantuan grin as he leaned over the crowd, holding his guitar off to one side.  During this song in particular, it was obvious that the musicians in Iron Maiden love what they do and are genuinely thankful to their fans – who ensure that they have the best job in the world.

Ending the main set on the iconic ‘Iron Maiden’, the tumultuous pace continued. Gers, in particular, swung his guitar around his neck, played under his arm and behind his back, all while constantly dancing his way around the stage, his intricate footwork highlighted by his white trainers, aglow from the blacklights –all without missing a note.  Harris’s hands seem to positively fly around the neck of his bass, plucking the strings faster than the speed of sound. Through the lens of the onstage camera, his hands seemed like two spiders that had taken several amphetamines and then had a spider-sized cup of coffee. Eddie made another appearance here – this time as a larger-than-life animatronic creature who arose from behind the set and perused the arena, surveying the audience and band. Finishing on a legendary crash ending, McBrain shows his true skills, circling his oversized kit at a deranged pace, which was reflected by the electrical storm of lighting. As the guitarists threw their plectrums to the crowd, McBrain his drumsticks and Dickenson his sweat-covered hat (ew), the arena became a lion that roared for more.

Personally, I find the notion of encores irritating. The audience knows that the band has more songs – the band knows they have more songs – just play them! However, it has now become an expected convention of live music that headlining bands leave, wait for a shout and then come back to finish the set. Maiden judged the timing effectively, returning to stage after letting the tension build but not after so long that the audience lost momentum.
The first encore, ‘The Number of the Beast’ garnered high accolades from the crowd, complete with dramatic red lighting and an animatronic devil who crouched threateningly upon the set. Dickenson again proved his legendary lung capacity with his striking, theatrical scream that bridges the introduction and the main riff.  Straddling monitors in their symbolic poses, Maiden reaped more commendation from the crowd. From above, the sea of arms, clapping, waving, pulsating toward the stage, in time with the vigorous beat of the drums and bass, was reminiscent of the surface of an alien planet and reflected the earlier, futuristic theme of the evening.

The second encore, ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’ was simply phenomenal. The passion in Bruce’s voice belies the terror of a man about to die, questioning God’s existence and motives. Similarly passionate playing creates the atmosphere of terror, placing the audience into the perspective of the persona of the song. More behind-the-back playing, swinging, twirling in circles from all band members encouraged an already enthusiastic crowd – they must have played the song thousands of times, yet still make it seem fresh, which shows the respect they have for their fans. Though the band has repeatedly played this song, each gig is someone’s first Maiden experience and for that reason, the band keeps their performances special. (Besides, if I had written a song as epic as ‘Hallowed’, I would want to play it thousands of times too!)

Happy, bouncy positivity ends the encore with the feel-good ‘Running Free’ and it is pleasing to see that, after so many years, Dickinson still introduces the band, giving everyone a time to shine. Metronomic drums and bass keep the rhythm going as the guitars and vocals seem to almost play, child-like, over the top.  Laughter and merriment reign throughout the dancing audience as the song finishes and the band retreat offstage – genuinely, this time.
As the exiting audience is reminded to ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, I personally left with a buoyed spirit – with metal in my heart and tinnitus in my ears.

Melissa Adams