One of the most important scientists to have ever lived, Sir Isaac Newton and the Apple is a classic story on ingenuity. For those who might not know, Newton was sat down when all of a sudden an Apple fell from the tree and hit his head. Inspiring the idea that created what we now know in the modern day as gravity. Winding further back in humanity’s timeline to the ancient Greeks, the people proclaimed Gallileo to be stark raving mad for claiming that instead of being flat, that the earth was in fact a sphere. Not quite understanding the sheer level of intellectual ingenuity put forward people are often scared by change.
Originality in Metal is a trait that is necessary in the modern world to be able to make it. Set to release their brand new album, the incredibly catchy, Dance and Laugh Amongst The Rotten, Carach Angren are gearing up for a new chapter in their morbid story. For those unfamiliar with the band, the trio have created their own niche with the telling of ghost stories in a format of Symphonic Black Metal and their latest, dude June 16th is set to be their most ferocious yet with brand new song “Charlie”.
The Underworld. For the London Metalhead, there’s no doubt you’ll have frequented it’s halls. A beacon of opportunity to the young bands and a special treat for fans for some of the biggest artists in the game. Throughout its illustrious history the venue has seen all manner of music, though I doubt that it’s ever had African Slave Music meets Black Metal come through its halls. Intrigued? You should be.
Community has long been one of the mainstays of Hardcore. Known for their fierce sense of loyalty, Hardcore is no doubt one of the biggest brotherhoods out there. Rooted in the art of the traditional, bands go through what you could almost compare to initiation. Not known for its experimentation, the want for change can be an unwelcome thing. Though on the surface antagonistic, once through these hurdles you’ll be shown loyalty like no other. So what if you want to rewrite the rules? What then?
It’s not so often when bands that have such a substantial international following make time to play the intimate shows of the early days, but Dragonforce always seem to make time at least once every album. With a new album peering over the horizon, the power metallers organised a wee show for the die-hards at Camden’s The Black Heart.
Potentially one of the most talked about bands of late, Creeper are THE hot topic at the moment. Having somewhat buried my head in the sand regarding the band, I was somewhat late in catching the Creeper fever. Which made me wonder, what is it that is making this British group so catchy!
At last the time has come Dying Fetus will return on June 23rd.
The undisputed (for some) fathers of Death Metal, Chuck Schuldiner, the man responsible for creating the movement saw his third incarnation of Death come together for Spiritual Healing. The beginning of Death’s evolution from the macabre to the more philosophical, Spiritual Healing is essential in the development of the band’s later career and not to mention one of the most important Death Metal records too!
Like two pals who share similar yet entirely different tastes in music our Wayne and Garth of the festival world, Bloodstock and Download cater to different breeds of Metal fan. For the more mainstream approach look to the hallowed fields of Donington. However for the extreme, precise nature of Bloodstock is comparable to the more well rounded nature of Download. Perhaps not booking the likes of Aerosmith et al, instead Bloodstock is the perfect platform to truly elevate its bands to an untouchable level.
Admittedly being a bit late on the Haken train, I did feel a bit odd about being amongst 100’s of dedicated fans to celebrate 10 years of being on top of the British Progressive metal chain. It was ever so welcoming though, and an equally monumental London performance.
One of the most exciting bands to have ever come out of Poland. At The young age of sixteen, Decapitated unveiled Winds of Creation. A record that even by today’s standards is held up in incredibly high regard. Being plagued with all manner of setbacks, some far more impactful than others, tenacity has been the band’s mantra throughout their career and today they have announced a brand new chapter in the form of new album Anticult.
Celebrating the milestone that is a ten year anniversary, Dimmu Borgir’s In Sorte Diaboli turned ten on April 23rd. A landmark album for the band and vicious statement of Black Metal intent, join me as I look back at the record ten years on.
The hardships of being a band are all too familiar a story in the world of Metal. Almost expected to bare the brunt of it, young bands find it incredibly hard not only to to tour but to actually be able to make a living in the modern day. Making the idea of “breaking through” an ideal that can sometimes not even be a possibility. Thinking laterally, one Tim Charles of Ne Obliviscaris may have the answer all bands are searching for. Hailing from Australia and on the indie label Season of Mist the band were suffering the financial woes of being a band in 2016 / 2017. Launching the idea of Patreon, Charles thought up the idea of a true engagement with fans. Understanding their needs and the band’s both parties work together in ensuring both coexist peacefully. However before that the band have returned from their most recent of travels.
Staying power is one of the few attributes that are put forward in the arena of Death Metal. Hardly the most accessible of sub genres, however when you do get into bed with the genre it’s hard to get out. Belligerently sticking around amid the nineties grunge movement, Death Metal is the exact embodiment of the extreme. Understanding this pushing of boundaries both in extremity and in a quest for the experimental, Immolation are one of the genres bleak beacons. Combining their dissonant arrangements where drums, bass and guitar seem to disagree until somehow coming to a resolute understanding. Having been a year since their last visit, Immolation make a special appearance this Good Friday at London’s Underworld.
Releasing their absolutely astounding new record Heartless in February, Pallbearer have run the gamut for album of the year. Expanding on their already wonderous horizons, the soundscapes of Heartless recall a nod to the classic era of the seventies but why do people forever associate Pallbearer with Doom and not Prog?
Hailing from across the borders into Europe, Gojira are easily one of the biggest exports to come out of France since their cheese. All stereotypes aside, the band have slowly been churning away their Metallic maelstrom. Hard to believe that fourteen years ago their now eponymous The Link was released. Slowly gaining momentum the band would be leading to their most important release of their career, Magma. Unveiled last year the second the mystical single “Stranded” hit the airwaves, immediately the music world was speculating Gojira’s momentous return. Now almost one year on the band have not only grown but understood how to use their magnified power to devastating effect. In celebration and after a long stint of supporting slots the band at long last made their return last month with a headline performance in London.
There comes a time once a year when the musical world is rallied together for a unanimous decision on greatness. Recently signing to Nuclear Blast, Pallbearer unveil their third slab of quasi Doom Prog for our listening pleasure. Blurring the lines between the two genres Heartless is as much expansive as it is devastatingly heavy. Being back on UK Pallbearer make their musical pilgrimmage after longer than we would have liked along in a what looks like sold out Underworld.
The same day as the brilliant announcement that Sikth would be releasing their brand new album, so did the folks over at Download Festival announce a shed load more bands!
Today, Watford’s finest break the silence surrounding their hotly anticipated return with a brand new album in June.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to say “Black Lives Matter” if you go through history, nobody ever gave a fuck. I mean, you can kill black people in the street, nobody goes to jail, nobody goes to prison but when I say “Black Lives Matter” and you say “All lives matter”. That’s like if I was to say “Gay lives matter” and you was to say “All lives matter”. If I said “Women’s lives matter” and you say “All lives matter” you’re diluting what I’m sayin’.
Despite it only being April, there have been some absolutely staggeringly good releases so far. I thought that it might be pertinent to show just what kind of calibre of releases we have been treated to in the first four months of the year and its an absolute white wash across the board of talent.
An emerging trend in the circle of Black Metal, strangely enough has been the inclusion of major keys mixed with the traditional style of Black Metal. Giving rise to the likes of Deafheaven, Black Anvil and now Ghost Bath. Showing their cards after a long time coming following their debut Moonbather, the band have come together to present you with what could well be the strangest record I have heard this year.
Releasing their brand new album Atonement back in February, Immolation have taken even more steps to becoming one of the most volatile Death Metal forces in the world.
It seems that the Death Metal gods have smiled upon the month of June to be the month where the deluge of Metal is to be set upon us.
Realisation can be an incredibly powerful tool. Often seen as a double edged sword, the understanding can be incredibly positive yet also detrimental. The fragility of life itself is often something humans forget, with work goals and all sorts of small picture ideals clouding our judgement to what truly matters. Thinking it was nothing, Pain of Salvation‘s Daniel Gildenlöw was brought to the hospital to be told he had contracted a flesh eating virus. In an instant, current ideas began to pale into comparison when faced with his own mortality. Triumphing over adversity Gildenlöw bested the virus. Pooling his creative energies into the long standing Pain of Salvation, the band have delivered one of the most honest and truly heartfelt records in recent years. Bringing their In The Passing Light Of Day tour to London, the band begin their triumphant new chapter at Islington’s Assembly Halls.
War in the modern world is an ever changing entity. Though it’s sentiment remains the same, it’s means change with the times. With this in mind, Thrash Metal and all of it’s totalitarian prophecies has never been more pertinent. Leaders of the new movement of Modern Thrash the charge is led by Havok, whilst biting at their heels is Warbringer. Embarking on an extensive European tour together the two Teutonic bands bring with them support in the form of Exmortus, the Death Metal come Thrash Metal virtuosos and French Gorod.
A mainstay in the ever evolving world of Metal, Thrash has very much, belligerently stuck to its roots. Inspired by the atrocities committed by the common man, war is a central theme to the genre. With time being it’s ally War adapts to the use of technology often to devastating effect. Releasing their brand new album Woe To The Vanquished, Warbringer explore these themes and more but when I sat down with John Kevill I certainly got more than just a history lesson!
No doubt one of the most talked about events of March, the grand opening of Crypt of The Wizard has been at the tip of everyone’s tongues over the last couple of weeks so I decided to check it out!
The underground’s calling card, Relapse Records are THE extreme metal label. Almost anything that has that partnered “R” on it, you can guarantee, at some point or another it will rip your face off. One of the label’s biggest assets are the absolutely ferociously decimating, Dying Fetus.
Last releasing their record Reign Supreme back in 2012 the band recorded one of the album’s of the year and potentially of their career. Mixing their signature brutality with a semi melodic touch is what makes Dying Fetus just such a good band. The ability to be absolutely skull crushingly heavy whilst remaining nimble in a musical sense it’s a perfect marriage. Though we haven’t heard much other than a small snippet it’s enough to get us very excited.
Ah 1991, twenty six years ago now. A year which held an incredible amount of firsts for so many bands. None more so than that of the Death Metal arena however. Moving into more experimental phases, Death released their archetypal Human record, Meshuggah unveiled Contradictions Collapse, Entombed released Clandestine and Atheist released their second album Unquestionable Presence.