Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fear Factory Reunion!!!

Earlier in the year word spread that Burton C. Bell and Dino Cazares would be working on a new project with Byron Stroud and Gene Hoglan. It is now confirmed that it is not a new project but rather a reunion of FEAR FACTORY!!!

They've already confirmed that they'll be playing Bloodstock and Sonisphere.

My only complaint, and it's only slight, is that Christian Olde Wolbers is not included. That aside, it's great news coming from an FF fan and to see that the childish animosity between Burton and Dino is over. A new album is in the works too and needless to say I can't wait!

Click here for an interview with Metal Hammer

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bazuki gig on Wednesday

This Wednesday there’s the possibility of the second coming of Christ in Eamonn Doran’s. Bazuki (the masters of Beach Boys Grunge) are launching their new single “Plaster Coated Dreams”, which is €3.

Another band called Ralph is playing and one more whose name eludes me for the moment.

Here are most of the details:
Eamonn Dorans, 8pm
Free entry
Drink promos on the night, 3 bottles of beer for a tenner I believe.

Be there if you want to be KEWL like all KEWL kids!!!!

Amazing Collaborations pt.1

Mikael Akerfeldt & Ihsahn - Unhealer
On Ihsahn’s second solo album, angL he worked with Opeth’s prog mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt on “Unhealer”. This remarkable six minute prog journey, vocally led by Akerfeldt, melded both parties’ extraordinary song writing abilities. What was also amazing was the lack of egos clashing, you’d think two geniuses would fall out over something petty; but no…. so just listen to “Unhealer”.

Robb Flynn, Howard Jones, Jeff Waters, Jordan Whelan, Christian Olde Wolbers & Andols Herrick – The Dagger
Each musician earned their chops here on the opening track of Roadrunner United: The All Star Sessions. Chimaira’s Andols Herrick’s drumming is pristine yet pummelling. Meanwhile the riffs peeled off by Jordan Whelan with Flynn are catchy as fuck and that with Wolbers’ chunky basslines and Jeff Waters’ sweet solo was phenomenal. But this track is all about the vocals, Flynn and Jones together work in perfect unison. Their trademark growls and harmonies absolutely fucking soared over everything else – a motherfucker of a tune.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amon Amarth tour in October

One of Viking metal's finest, Amon Amarth have announced a UK & Ireland tour for this October.

Oct. 22 - Cardiff, UK - Souls
Oct. 23 - Belfast, UK - Spring & Airbrake
Oct. 24 - Dublin, Ireland - Academy
Oct. 26 - Nottingham, UK - Rock City
Oct. 27 - Norwich, UK - Waterfront
Oct. 28 - Wolverhampton, UK - Wulfrun Hall
Oct. 29 - Newcastle, UK - Northumbria University
Oct. 30 - Glasgow, UK - Garage
Oct. 31 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2
Nov. 01 - London, UK - Koko

May go to this myself but I'm unsure for now. I don't know what I'm doing next week, never mind October!
I'll keep an eye out for support acts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Alexisonfire track

On first listen it sounds good and very catchy (like all of Alexisonfire's tunes, I suppose)

Anyway, if this is any indication then the new album Old Crows/Young Cardinals should be pretty good, out June 23rd

(Edit: I stand corrected, it's July 23rd)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lacuna Coil – Shallow Life

Lacuna Coil have risen from cult status, particularly in their homeland Italy to global unit shifters. 2006’s Karmacode is largely responsible for this; it was by far their strongest output yet as well as the much larger scale touring that ensued after its release.

Though after much touring some songs can sound forced and a new album was needed quite desperately and here it is: Shallow Life. Overall it’s a decent effort from the band but doesn’t scale the same heights as Karmacode, lacking the huge tunes like “Our Truth”.

The album gets off to a patchy start with “I Survive”, though it opens with some nice heavy riffing. Second up “I Won’t Tell You” has the catchy chorus but sounds quite the same. Things pick up very little come “Not Enough”, it does little to excite any newcomer, sounding very contrived and inane. The same can be seen on “The Pain”.

With that said there are strong moments on Shallow Life, these moments found mostly in the second half of the record. “Spellbound” has Christina Scabbia’s patented wail on a huge chorus one that will certainly unite crowds for many a show to come. “Wide Awake” is another solid track, it’s a slow mover where Scabbia’s voice predominates, giving a beautiful vocal delivery. On “Unchained”, the guitars shine through at the climax of this number fitting in excellently with Scabbia’s big chorus.

The closer, the title track is quite like “Wide Awake”; it’s ballady (resorting to making up words now). However it creates a delicate culmination for Shallow Life.

The album falls down in a lot of places but has its better tracks, some which signal back to Karmacode. Scabbia is impressive as always. But Andrea Ferro still feels like a fashion accessory to the band, offering very little and there’s almost no change in the rest of the band. Its weak moments are largely due to rehashing old tunes. But when songs like “Spellbound” hit they remind you of what Lacuna Coil can do, Shallow Life plods along for the most part, it's pretty average but will certainly raise the star!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Evile & Trigger The Bloodshed, Fibber Magees 18/4/09

First band, the London based Mutant deliver some fun thrashing ushering in a good time vibe. Most of their songs sound the same but still satisfy somewhat with some nice riffing and few decent solos.

Despite having little of the crowd on their side young death metallers Trigger The Bloodshed still fucking slay. With a quality new album just out nothing else would be acceptable. The new tracks pound Fibbers and those at the front are subjected to neck breaking riffs and roars of devastating numbers like “Terminus” and the title track “The Great Depression”. New vocalist Jonny Burgan carries out songs from their first album Purgation immaculately, if not better – “Retribution” and the simply killer “Laceration” being prime examples. One of the most impressive elements of Trigger The Bloodshed is the drumming. The near unholy blastbeats of Max Blunos sound amazing on record but the question is can he pull them off live and the answer is yes and then some. Tonight Trigger The Bloodshed reminded us all why they’re one of the most exciting young death metal bands on the go today.

The turnout for Evile is quite remarkable; after all AC/DC were playing the same night! Taking to the stage, they are greeted a finally filled floor – they open with “We Who Are About To Die”.

The Huddersfield based outfit peel off thrash track after thrash track showing no signs of letting up. They maintain a level of energy and intensity through out, front man Matt Drake in particular who just seems to be loving every moment of this gig, especially when blasting out the likes of “Thrasher” and “Bathed In Blood”. Meanwhile “Armoured Assault” and “Killer From The Deep” snap a few necks. There’s little in the way of moshing but the headbanging from those on hands stay constant from start to finish. The crowd still lap all the thrash up.

They play with a lot of vigour at a headline show, considering they have only one album of material to play from. However they treat the fans on hand to two new songs, “Demolition” and an as yet untitled and uncompleted song; they sound well and fit in nicely in with the rest of the set.

Closing with “Enter The Grave” and an encore of “Schizophrenia” Evile sate the appetites for some speed of the fans present, bring on the new album is the only thing left to say!


PS. Here's yours truly with Matt Drake:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Essential albums: Through The Ashes Of Empires

Putting it politely Machine Head’s fourth effort Supercharger was a complete shitfuck, from there they entered a downward spiral and got dropped by Roadrunner Records.
So when it came to recording a new record (without any label initially) the San Francisco quartet, now with guitarist Phil Demmel, needed to set about creating an album nothing less than breathtaking to prove their worth – and they did that.
Opener, “Imperium” is possibly one of the greatest pure metal tunes ever penned. In 6 minutes the mighty Machine Head of yore was reborn with ambition to bludgeon. “Imperium” is relentlessly punishing and no MH set list has been without it since.
On Ashes Robb Flynn exorcised many of his demons, particularly on “Left Unfinished” & “Days Turn Blue To Gray”; two heart wrenching pounders. Dealing with childhood abuse, drug addiction and neglect, “Left Unfinished” and “Days…” accompanied by fine riffs and a stunning vocal performance made them simply amazing.

It wasn’t until this effort that Machine Head proved that they were capable of something totally awe-inspiring. A mini epic, “In The Presence Of My Enemies” hints at the monumental stride that Machine Head would hit on The Blackening - A punishing, epic number.
Ambitious and daring, closer “Descend The Shades Of Night” had the potential to be a mass failure. However it proved to be one of the most epic, grandiose songs ever written, put frankly. The theme of death and mortality runs throughout, “Descend The Shades Of Night” is real, incalculable emotion.
Through The Ashes Of Empires was Machine Head’s battle cry and immediately became contenders for metal’s elite, a place they unsurprisingly found themselves in the coming years following extensive touring and the undisputed masterpiece The Blackening.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It grows closer everyday….

I have information on the new Killswitch Engage album; it is going to self-titled which I find odd as their first album was self titled. Anyway they’ve released the artwork:

It's ok, give it time - it may grow on me.
Song titles for the album include: "Reckoning", "The Forgotten", "Light In A Darkened World" and "Starting Over"

Howard Jones: It was time for us to step outside of our comfort zone and try something a little different with this record. It definitely still sounds like us, but we needed to be refreshed and take things a little further."
"When we all couldn’t agree on an album title, someone suggested we just keep it self-titled and we all pretty much agreed…gives it the feeling of a fresh new beginning."

It can now be confirmed that the new song they've been playing live is "Light In A Darkened World". The album is scheduled for release in June.
Needless to say I'm very excited about this one

This Is Hell, Eamonn Doran's 13/4/09

Eamonn Doran’s seems like a tailored made venue for a hardcore gig, but unfortunately its fitting surroundings salvage little of what can only be described as an average gig. Tonight’s major downfall is the lacklustre line up of support acts.

First up is Dublin based Frustration. Despite the presence of somewhat of a following, their cookie cutter brand of hardcore fails to ignite any kind of interest. Little changes come Galway’s Cut The Reins. Their songs have a little more length but the lack of attention from the crowd knocks them down a few notches.

Half way through the support acts an air of disheartenment is surrounding Eamonn Doran’s. Crowd Control, the night’s heaviest assembly do nothing to change that. Their front man attempts a visceral delivery but the crowd aren’t having any of it. More or less the same can be said for Red Enemy. Architects/Parkway Drive-esque in their output they stick out somewhat amongst some of the straight up hardcore contingent on hand. Their biggest problem is that they offer absolutely nothing new or even remotely different – yawn inducing.

This Is Hell are visibly tired. Thanks to, what one can safely assume, vigorous touring and a €500 baggage charge courtesy of Ryanair. Though they trounce the support acts there’s little in this set here to convince you of their live capabilities. On record the Long Island, New York natives can spit out some bludgeoning hardcore. However little of that vitality translated live on this occasion, though numbers like the anthemic “The Polygraph Cheaters” and “Infected” are still thunderous.

The reason for this let down in their show is not entirely their fault however; not even half in fact. Those present seem completely uninterested with little movement or energy being exerted, with the exception of 4 or 5 people. But still, a disappointing show from the crowd. Front man Travis Reilly mentions coming back to Ireland in the future; hopefully it will be better the next time round.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire

My Dying Bride have created and developed an impressive repertoire for themselves throughout their nineteen year career – they remain undoubtedly one of the pioneers of doom metal. The desperate romanticism of their music may not appeal to the everyday metalhead; but there’s a great deal of beauty here to be appreciated.

Some of the material signals back to their earlier work, particularly with the inclusion of more violins. Despite that For Lies I Sire still seems like a natural progression from A Line of Deathless Kings, their last release.

First track, “My Body, A Funeral” opens with Aaron Stainthorpe’s unmistakeable voice and after the six plus minutes the renowned air of uneasiness of My Dying Bride is set once again. “Bring Me Victory” ushers in a grandiose riffing and the always epic sounding violins, these and the harsh “loud whisper” vocals simply stun.
Stainthorpe’s voice is still the haunting backbone of the band. His, at times unnerving, croon melds beautifully with droning thud of the instruments. The backdrop of pianos and violins will send a shiver down your spine as the dense riffs heave their load of doom on your ears.

“Echoes From A Hollow Soul” is the centrepiece of For Lies I Sire. In its seven minutes, several layers unfold – the beauty of the piano, the lingering guitars and the slow, perfect doom-esque thud of the bass. “A Chapter of Loathing” ushers in a satisfying bit of speed at the start and Stainthorpe adopts a rare throaty snarl for this occasion.

From start to finish the record is one of My Dying Bride’s finest incorporating all the elements that made them such an important and influential band. The album’s foreboding artwork sets the ever present theme of their musical output, one of haunting and grand enthralment. Whether it’s the beautiful “Fall With Me” or “The Lies I Sire or the misery drenched “Santuario Di Sangue” For Lies I Sire proudly stands up as one of the doom veterans’ strongest efforts. It won’t be the best album you’ll hear this year but will certainly be up there with the best of them.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Woe of Tyrants - Kingdom of Might

Yeah, I know this album came out in January but I’m only hearing it now and am I glad I did! Despite Kingdom of Might being their second album this is my first encounter with Woe of Tyrants. One listen in and one thing is clear – these Ohio based metallers enjoy their shred.
After the battle heralding intro of “Jesu Juva” and the shred-tastic “Soli Deo Gloria” it’s certain who the major influences of Woe of Tyrants is. They’ve, rather proudly it would seem, grown up on a steady diet of Pantera and Lamb Of God, but the shred has been turned up a notch or two. This made quite evident by the staggering grooves of “Pearls Before Swine”.
Fingers definitely bled in the creation of this hooky, neck snapping and melodic riff fest. It’s difficult to think that anyone wouldn’t be humming these riffs to themselves after a few listens.
The growling and spitting vocals though fine don’t capture the listener like the guitarists Matt Kincaid and John Hehman. They shine through all else but special mention must be made to Johnny Roberts, the drummer; his performance is stellar on Kingdom of Might.

Instrumental “Sons of Thunder” further whets the appetites guitar geeks everywhere and that’s a compliment – the riffs fucking rule. Next track “The Seven Braids Of Samson” pounds the shit out of your senses and the lead solo at the 3 and a half minute mark would leave any guitarist drooling on their fret boards. Then, by closer “Golgotha” you’re floored.

Kingdom of Might
is only Woe Of Tyrants second release and it’s one to catch the attention of a wider audience. Keep an eye on these shredders because if this is what they’re capable of now then the future is bright for them.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's that time again; some things I read/came across this week

Maynard James Keenan will be making a cameo in the new Jason Statham film, Crack 2: High Voltage. All I know for now is that his role is as a dog walker who encounters Statham. Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington is also appearing; he appeared in the first film too.

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward made reference to the possibility of a Sabbath reunion in an interview lately – something worth keeping an eye on!

Killswitch Engage have recommenced touring, on the Music As A Weapon Tour with Disturbed. Their as yet untitled fifth album will be released at the end of June. As far as I know the alleged title The Grave which was rumoured earlier this year is untrue. On that note I’d like to say how I’m really, really looking forward to this record. Also, there’s a studio report in the new issue of Metal Hammer.
As I write this I’ve come across two clips of a new song performed at the first Revolver Golden Gods Awards and the Music As A Weapon tour!!!

I’ve been listening to the new Chimaira track, “Secrets Of The Dead”.
The band have utilised Chris Spicuzza’s electronics a lot more and it adds some more layers. As far as vocals go there’s little change in Mark Hunter’s style and delivery. To be completely honest the track is doing little to excite me about the album.
Listen to song here:
Their new album, The Infection is out at the end of this month; stick with me for a review.

There’s a new blog post on prog masters Riverside’s website about their forthcoming new Anno Domini High Definition album. The album has been mixed and is completed.

Italian metallers, Lacuna Coil have released a new song for free, “Spellbound”. The song is available for download through Kerrang’s website.
It’s interesting in the sense that Andrea Ferro assumes full lead vocals in the verses, which is good I feel. However vocally, the power behind Christina Scabbia will always take centre stage. “Spellbound” is another catchy, easily digestible number, it’s good – I like it. The new album Shallow Life is out at the end of this month too and should be decent, it’s what I’m expecting anyway.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10 reasons why Winger are better than AC/DC

Reb Beach is an amazing guitarist and Angus Young will always be very average

That solo…… that fuckin’ solo

Kip Winger is a god damn poet! Bon Scott and Brian Johnson could never tug on your heartstrings like Kip!

Cheese and greatness go hand in hand with Winger

AC/DC are good for a sing-along after a few brews, Winger are amazing for a sing-along no matter the occasion…. even a funeral.

Kip Winger’s hair circa 1988

Unlike 95% of all the other hair and glam bands of the 80s Winger had friggin’ integrity!

Buy one AC/DC album and you have them all. Buy all 4 Winger albums and you my friend have musical dynamism at its finest!

Mikael Akerfeldt is a Winger fan….. I’ve never heard him say he likes AC/DC
Don't believe me? Click here

What issues do AC/DC tackle in their tunes? Liking Rock N Roll and being shook all night long, that’s about it. Winger on the other hand: Politics, Sex, Love, Statutory rape, not paying the rent and blondes. Mind you, done in a very cheesy manner.

Thank you for reading

I’m down incognito bitch!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chris Cornell, the new material & Timbaland – My thoughts

You can’t blame any band/artist for wanting to expand or experiment. Any true music fan can or, rather, should respect an artist’s yearning for evolution. Countless bands have done it – it can be a make or break situation. Kiss went disco with Dynasty and were labelled sell-outs, Metallica dropped Kirk Hammett’s leads and were accused of abandoning their roots.

So, when news surfaced that Chris Cornell was to have mega star knob twister Timbaland produce his latest solo album Scream, mixed opinions from die hard fans and the not so impassioned fans were ten a penny.

Now, personally I was disappointed upon hearing this and somewhat angry. I’ve always been a fan of Soundgarden and I quite liked Audioslave and his other solo work. I’ve listened to a lot of the new material from Scream and to someone who hadn’t read anything about this they could possibly tell that it was produced by Timbaland. That of course can be construed as a compliment to Timbaland’s work.

The lead single from the album is “Part of Me”, which you’ve probably heard already. It’s also the opening track of the record. The opening track of any album is vital to setting a tone and here “Part of Me” is an unashamed pop debacle and unfortunately that’s the tone set. Sounding
like any watered down, easily digestible radio hit; “Part of Me” will undoubtedly fill the dance floors of clubs with mindless drones who just love something to shake their hips to. It’s almost painful to say such things about Cornell, a man I have so much respect for. Now, I still respect him, I just don’t respect Scream.

Like I said, “Part of Me” sets the tone; in fact it sets it for this era of Chris Cornell. Look at the title track, a slow mover but adorned with synths and other electronics. Scream rather desperately screams (see what I did there??) out for the trusty guitar! That’s needed a lot more here than a collaboration with Justin Timberlake (and I mean no disrespect to Timberlake when I say that)

That said, Cornell’s voice is still amazing, it always will be, it’s so unmistakeable. But the real fans will forever associate that voice with the likes of Badmotorfinger, Superunknown and to an extent Audioslave. The synthesizer beats and generic poppy vocals of Scream do little to ignite any worthwhile emotions. He has carelessly dumbed himself down and disrespected his own legend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Must get this off my chest

Granted I’m guilty of slagging bands and you mightn’t think it but it’s something I try to avoid. Come on, I’d rather write about something I love! But now there’s a new “breakthrough” band, you may have heard about them as they’re now on a major label, Universal in fact. They’re called Hollywood Undead. Being frank there’s a lot of god awful bands out there, we all have our hates. I believe it’s fair to say that regardless of your musical persuasion if someone said name five bands you think are shit you could recite those bands and more in a heartbeat. Now, top of that list for me is Hollywood Undead.

Donning masks and some bad ass shades and bandanas these wanks produce shit packed rapcore. That name rapcore honestly makes me cringe, sure melding rap with rock or metal seemed like a bad idea but Rage Against The Machine made it look ok but then the dirty side of nu-metal raised its ugly head. Moving on… it’s truly heart breaking when you look at a band and know instantly that you don’t want to listen to them. Unfortunately that was the case with Hollywood Undead but I did listen to them, I watched the video for “Undead” from their album Swan Songs. I’ll never get those minutes back.

I think I almost felt genuine physical pain when listening to it. It’s stuffed full of immature lyrics, like something scrawled on a whiny thirteen year old’s note book, someone who thinks they’re sticking it to the haters. Stuff like you don’t know what it’s like to be a gangsta… jesus I honestly can’t gather the words to describe its idiocy. Also, it’s an x-rated video with a load of topless women dancing around these fucktards. The video more than likely will just make you laugh at them.

Plus, I think they idolise Slipknot a little too much, I’ve heard them defend their masks but seriously they’re going for a shock factor, which fails horribly – the only shock factor here is the sheer shitness of their music.

This is my debt to society; don’t waste even a second of your life listening to Hollywood Undead. I’m guessing if they ever read this, which they more than likely won’t (but let’s just say they do), they’d be pretty pissed off. You guys say you better “watch what you say” in your lyrics. Yeah? Well, I do watch what I say; I calculate what I say, so put very simply so that even you can understand: your band is awful.

PS. If you're a fan and have been offended, give me a decent response, I'd be interested in hearing it. But if all you have is something asinine and just plain stupid to say then don't bother... just don't bother