Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Amazing Collaborations Pt.2

Gojira & Randy Blythe – Adoration for None
Randy Blythe did guest vocals on “Adoration for None” from Gojira’s latest album The Way Of All Flesh. Blythe’s throat ripping vocals with Joe Duplantier’s and the band patented colossal sound provided for satisfactory metal brutality.

Warrel Dane with Peter Wichers, Matt Wicklund and Dirk Verbeuren – Praises To The War Machine
When Nevermore vocalist went about his solo album Praises To The War Machine he needed some top tier players and he found some in Wichers, Wicklund and Verbeuren. Aiming for something more alt metal than the true metal shred of Nevermore, Dane produced a stunning solo record, a statement I’d gladly etch in stone. On various tracks Wichers and Wicklund shared the lead and rhythm guitars and bass, while Verbeuren handled all drumming duties. Also making guest appearances were Nevermore guitar god Jeff Loomis on “Messenger” and death metal stalwart James Murphy on the brilliant “The Day The Rats Went To War”. Praises To The War Machine – an amazing solo album by one of the truly talented voices in metal.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Despised Icon tomorrow

Just a quick reminder in case you didn't know. Deathcore band Despised Icon play Whelan's tomorrow night. Support from the great Warpath amongst others, rest of the details on the poster. I won't be able to make this, but enjoy if you are. Should get some good pit action in!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead

Michael Jackson died tonight of a heart attack

First off, this is sad in one sense. He was only 50 years old. Now, (it's been said millions of times) regardless of the all the weird stuff and the sexual abuse charges Jacko was a hugely talented man and you can never deny the tunes!
But.... will people get refunds I wonder??? How many "greatest hits" compilations will be released? Are NAMBLA upset?

Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions

Sunn O))) are an anomaly, their protagonists Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson throughout their years have sculpted an almost indefinable sound, a sound that is just so unparalleled that it will remain shrouded in mystery. But it’s this mystery and perhaps will to make the listener ponder that has kept the droning soundscapes of Sunn O))) alive and well.
To those unfamiliar with Sunn O))), they began as an Earth tribute band but then morphed into a wholly independent drone entity, collaborating with many extreme metal names that are fun to drop, most notably and numerously current Mayhem vocalist Attila Csihar.

When at one of the band’s gig and you’re actually advised to bring ear plugs you know you are in for an experience. And “experience” is exactly how you would describe the art of Sunn O))), it’s something quite perplexing and make you even ask “what the fuck????”.

Across only four tracks, but 53 minutes, Monoliths & Dimensions further pushes the limits of metallic extremities that Sunn O))) have been shoving for eleven years.

“Aghartha” immediately beckons a wall of distortion, it’s excruciatingly slow but perhaps that makes Sunn O)))’s music somewhat sadistic. Csihar’s vocals enter in the form of a haunting mutter accompanied by the squeal and thud of droning excellence. A low and heavy piano, too, makes the whole endeavour an uneasy listen.

“Big Church” is an apt title for a song accompanied by a Viennese choir. It contradicts the common notion of binding a choir with a heavy band. It’s not an ethereal or delicate mix but a much more unsettling and disconcerting blend of styles that will take your breath away.
Final two tracks “Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia)” and “Alice” utilise more non standard instruments (in metal) like trumpets, clarinets, trombones and harps.

Sunn O))) have written another awe-inspiring chapter in their book of doom and drone, one that will challenge and keep challenging for many, many listens. Monoliths & Dimensions is further progress in Sunn O)))’s ever evolving nature. What they are evolving to, though we’ll pro
bably never know.


Julie Feeney - Pages

Once again, yours truly has another entry on drop-d.ie for Galway's Julie Feeney and her second album Pages

Click HERE

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New tracks round up

Poison The Well – Cinema
From: The Tropic Rot
Some traditional hardcore punishment here with some great riffing completed by a nice clean chorus to boot. But… does it scale the same heights as the like of You Come Before You? No, it doesn’t it’s enough to hype up the album.

Darkest Hour – No God
The metalcore pioneers return with a new album The Eternal Return this month. John Henry’s vocals haven’t changed but that’s not a bad thing. On this song, like on all DH songs the guitar work takes centre stage, trading consistently impressive riffs over and over again and “No God” is no different! The outro is fantastic!

Behemoth – Ov Fire And The Void
Poland’s finest metal outfit return with a new album in August - Evangelion. This is the first taster of the album “Ov Fire And The Void”. It’s heavy! Punishing double bass drumming galore together with Nergal’s vocals devastate. Evangelion could be one of the finest albums of the year.

Also, a quick mention: Arch Enemy have set The Root Of All Evil as their new album title and will be released on the 28th September

Jon Hopkins - Insides

Another review of mine on drop-d.ie

Jon Hopkins' Insides

Click HERE to read

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fear Factory collapse?............. or well, no

As the newly reunited Fear Factory edged closer and closer to their first show many fans are greeted with disappointment and confusion. This band’s new incarnation featuring founders Dino Cazares and Burton C Bell with Gene Hoglan and Byron Stroud has already seemed to be falling apart.

It began with the band cancelling its first show back in Zaragoza, Spain last Sunday as well as their entire German tour. Legalities regarding the use of the Fear Factory name were cited as the supposed reason.

Things have now gone from bad to worse with FF cancelling their Sonisphere appearance on August 1st and 2nd initially and now, cancelling their Bloodstock show (14-16th Aug) – two highly anticipated shows from UK fans no doubt.

So, what does this mean for Fear Factory?

Dino Cazares has also lambasted Christian Olde Wolber (original bassist & subsequent guitarist) over “stealing” riffs that he could “sue” him for, obviously not literally (at least I hope he’s not going to pull a Satriani!!! I jest). I thought Dino had lost the big head with this reunion but, as it would seem, he has not.

As for the legalities, what legalities? Perhaps I’m completely wrong but with Fear Factory I assumed Bell had permission to use the name freely, particularly with Cazares on board. Are Olde and Ray Herrera (original drummer) kicking up a fuss?

And now! As I write this I’ve come across statement from Bell saying the shows have been postponed to concentrate on the new album!

Interesting, needless to say expectations for the album will be high and the whole point of this post has been slightly put off…. aw well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bastila - Bastila

Click HERE to read my review of the Isle Of Wight's Bastila, the band's self titled debut.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Woeful cover versions Pt.1

Fightstar – Breaking The Law
(Judas Priest)
Sometimes the worst thing a band can do when covering a tune is attempt to make it their own and Fightstar had the gall to do it with a Priest tune. Shrieky-Simpson-shitty-screamy vocals don’t work. Rob Halford is one of the greatest vocalists of all time and Fightstar pissed on that fact.

Lostprophets – Davidian
(Machine Head)
The guitar tone is terrible; the drumming is below par, even fucking up the drum intro. Ian Watkin’s vocals are awful, he hasn’t got the depth that Robb Flynn has that made “Davidian” such a powerhouse of a song. Drummer Ilan Rubin can’t keep up with the pace and the worst part is the god-awful gang vocals come “Let freedom ring…”. Fair play to a band of this nature to attempt something like “Davidian” but jesus, they made a miserable attempt.

I'll get around to doing good cover versions eventually

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Visitor Q – Inception [Demo]

To start off I like how this is done, old fashioned approach, just put out a demo. This is Visitor Q (named after the controversial film of the same name) from Dublin and they sound like, hold on… The band themselves describe their sound as “A car full of shotguns crashing through a consecutive series of stained-glass windows, eventually bound to destroy itself in a factory full of mangled animal carcasses.” Well, em….. yeah……….. they’re a metal band. Anyway, what’s it like?

Opener “Caligula” shifts in and out of satisfying old school thrash-esque bursts complete with some tasty riffs. The vocalist sounding a tad bit too much like Phil Anselmo may become weary to some ears but the track remains alluringly heavy and just plain good!

The band wears their influences on their sleeves. The obvious sway of Pantera is heard as too is Lamb Of God. But, you can hear snippets of prog in Visitor Q’s output, like those of Symphony X and Dream Theater.

“Phenotype” opens with some impressive riffing and then cascades between some Maiden-like guitar leads. I like the guitar work on this demo; it’s quite impressive, as too is the drumming. “Unholy Depiction” continues Q’s barrage, peeling off riff after riff.

To close off this demo we have “Popular Disease”; an interesting cap off serving as an appropriate summation. Also, at the 3.16 mark the song swings into a largely unexpected mellow section with near crystal clear vocals and a superb guitar solo only to revert back to the bludgeon within a minute.

Inception shows a great deal of potential, though they seem like one of those bands that some folk will like to find flaws in, like the ever present Anselmo-isms. But look past that and what you have is a band that could do great things some day.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Faith No More in Dublin!

Remember how I've been praying and praying for the reunited Faith No More to come to Ireland, well, it's happening!

They played in Brixton Academy last night, and the tour shirt as shown says 27th August in Dublin. No venue or prices have been announced but it will probably be in the O2. I'll keep you posted. Today is a beautiful day!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If you are in a band... read this!

In case you don't know I'm writing for the site drop-d.ie

Now, starting up soon is the Drop-D podcast and they're looking for bands to play on it.

So.... if you're in a band who have recorded an EP or a demo or whatever and would like to get a track or two played than get in contact with me.

I'll send in your track, I can't make any promises that it will be played though. But I'll throw in a good word

Let me know if ye are interested


Monday, June 8, 2009

KSE Starting Over video

If you've been reading this blog regularly then you'll know that I'm counting down the days to the new Killswitch album. Well, they've just released the video for first single "Starting Over". This youtube video is out of sync, so the visual doesn't match up to the audio. But that doesn't matter

It sounds quite, dare I say it, light. But bare in mind that this is a single, it could be a lightened radio edit like "My Curse" was. The song may take a while but I definitely think it will grow on me. The video isn't great though

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

SPV goes into insolvency

The economic woes of the world have now made a huge affect on the metal and rock world. SPV, the German record label has gone into insolvency – essentially, bankrupt.
The bands affected include Motorhead, Sepultura, Helloween, Kreator, UFO, Manowar. But, as the blabbermouth report says the label will continue but for how long? Hypothetically, the label completely collapses, what will happen to said bands? .

The affects will be different for each band; some won’t have a problem getting signed by another label. Motorhead will be snapped up because well, they’re Motorhead.
Kreator have proved their worth as thrash legends and that they have some staying power. This year’s Hordes Of Chaos proved this, if a label turned down Kreator they’re idiots. I think Helloween will be ok too.

Now, the wildcard is Sepultura. The last thirteen years have been more or less dreary despite a few positive moments. The last few albums have only added to their decline especially since the departure of Igor. A-Lex, released in January, was a very lacklustre effort igniting no interest. The name Sepultura will forever be associated with Beneath The Remains, Chaos AD etc. etc.
As long as this incarnation exists in this state I don’t think a label as big as SPV will jump on them, and I certainly don’t think Roadrunner will be too keen either. But, then again they could get picked up by the likes of Metal Blade, Prosthetic, Ferret etc. They’ll still sell some records but not as much as they have before. And will they really market them the same way as say Kreator or Motorhead? So, what I’m trying to say is that Sepultura could decline further and further, if so it could be disastrous for them because let’s face it – do people really still care about Sepultura?

SPV potentially falling apart would be so detrimental to new, young, pretty much unknown bands. Will they have another label to get signed by? We’ll have to wait and see.
The label going out of business would leave somewhat of a hole in rock and metal. Granted, they weren’t as pivotal as other labels but still brought some great bands to the forefront.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Steel Panther – Just a gimmick?

I’m sure most of you are aware of Steel Panther, this new “glam revival band” if you will. They’ve a video out for their song “Death To All But Metal”, from their new album (out June 9th).

I’m discussing this because I’ve heard many criticisms of them lately. But I have to say, they are just a gimmick, they’ll die out eventually. Personally, I don’t think they have the longevity of other gimmicky bands like Tenacious D or Bowling For Soup for example. Why, you might ask. Listen to the song and more importantly the lyrics:

Eminem can suck it, so can Dr. Dre
They can suck each other just because they're gay
They can suck a dick, they can lick a sack
Everybody shout, "Heavy metal's back!"

First off, heavy metal has never been gone in the first place. Just because it’s not the 80s at the height of glam and Motley Crue aren’t the biggest band in the world doesn’t mean that metal was gone.
Second, read those lyrics. You wouldn’t expect it from The Todd and I’m not trying to dispel any humour, but they’re just plain stupid.

50 Cent's a fag, so is Kanye West
Shooting hot sperm on each others' chest
I rest my case

Metal gets enough shit from ignorant wanks who think it’s stupid. Steel Panther do not help matters.

Now, credit where credit is due. The video, I’m talking solely about the visual now, is pretty funny (just try to not listen to the lyrics). It reminds me a lot of Twisted Sister’s classic video for “I Wanna Rock”. The part with Sarah Silverman at the end nearly had me in stitches, so the guys have somewhat of a good sense of humour. The video is good…. the song is shit.

Like I said I think they’ll die out after a few months at least I hope. But for now the image and ethos they carry is annoying and somewhat detrimental to the focus real music should be getting.

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