In Early May I got to catch my very first Trivium Concert at Manchester Music Hall in Lexington KY. If you aren’t familiar with Manchester Music Hall, first let me say that its one of, if not the best small concert venues in Central, Kentucky. Prior to this concert, I did a little research on the band. I had heard of the band over the years and had checked out the radio-friendly cuts but I had never really dug into any of the album tracks. One thing I love about listening to tracks off a bands albums 24 hrs before going to see the band really makes me appreciate the hard work, blood sweat, and tears musicians put into making an album. Most bands track songs just for studio cuts while others track just how they would be on stage as if they were performing the songs live. Being a musician myself I can certainly say that in my many years of stage experience less means more. The more backing tracks and other electronic gear you bring to a live show other than whats necessary raises the chances for more shit to go wrong. Continue reading →
Arriving a half hour early to any gig is perhaps not the best idea, especially when it is freezing cold with snow in the air, but I wasn’t the only one keen to get into Londons iconic Koko in Camden town ahead of tonight’s monumental performance. On their headlining tour in support of their record ‘Machine Messiah’ that just so happens to coincide with vocalist Derrick Green marking 20 years with the band, the mighty Brazilian legends Sepultura. There was a decent crowd joining me already and the vocal topic of choice was the Cannibal Corpse gig happening right around the corner, but we were all in agreement that tonight’s line-up of Fit For An Autopsy, Goatwhore and Obscura as supports was far too appealing.
Londons Koko is perhaps one of the most beautiful venues I have been too. Formerly one of the largest theatres outside of Londons West End, the venue itself boasts numerous viewing platforms with many touches celebrating its mixed and magical past as a theatre, cinema and now as a dedicated music venue. Inside the lights were already dim with the stage illuminated red and blue spotlights gleaming across the lower floor. Many fans rushed to the pit barrier to claim their front row spot for the evening and within about 10 minutes the 2000+ capacity venue was already looking full. Continue reading →
Pacific Northwest punk thrashers, Zeke are set to release ‘Hellbender’ via Relapse Records on March 30th, 2018 – the band’s first full-length LP in 14 years. Their energetic, high-octane sound on ‘Hellbender’ is equal parts Motörhead-style rock n’ roll/thrash and Circle Jerks’, West Coast-influenced hardcore punk. The band takes a noticeably blue-collar approach to the songwriting by stripping things down to just the bare essentials – no frills, no fluff, no gimmicks; just pure, in-your-face, guitar-driven ferocity. With the traditional three power chords per song punk model, blazing guitar solos, and highspeed kick-snare-kick-snare drumming, ‘Hellbender’ offers a concise 15-track, 20-minute asskicker of a record that leaves no opportunity for a dull moment. Continue reading →
‘Livin’ Oblivion’, the fourth release by Vancouver-based doom-sters Black Wizard (and the second release under the Listenable label), is a genre bending, heavy metal amalgam of Iron Maiden harmonies mixed with the aggression of old school Thrash Metal! My introduction to Black Wizard was through the album ‘New Waste’ (released in 2016). At first listen I knew this would be a band I’d like! Black Wizard take influence from bands like Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath but instead of rehashing riffs and being content with sounding like a throwback band, they have found a way to take all these old school elements and push them forward to new heights! Continue reading →
Throughout history, the San Francisco Bay Area has long been deemed as the epicenter for thrash metal, whereas Los Angeles has invariably been considered the stomping ground for glam and hair metal. True, San Francisco has birthed many exceptional thrash bands since the early ‘80s, but the fact remains – Los Angeles is the rightful birthplace of three of the “Big 4” thrash bands and is the breeding grounds for unconventional thrash/punk-metal bands. From legendary thrash icons Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth, to punk/metal renegades Suicidal Tendencies and combative thrash stalwarts Dark Angel and Hirax, they all generated from this pretentious, megalopolis hellhole we call Los Angeles. Continue reading →
Throughout their 24 year career, the modern metal colossus that is Machine Head have seen their fair amount of love, hate and skepticism. A band who change with the times, not necessarily with the trends, they have shown especially interesting senses of progression most recently through adding string sections, choral chants and a bigger sense of scope to their crushing brand of metal. Fans have been kept on their toes in other words and the Machine Head brand is not easily painted into a corner. So when the band’s new record, ‘Catharsis’, was unveiled and its mission statement was to be a major statement for rock & metal music in 2018, one can’t help but let curiosity take over and see what the Cali boys have concocted this time. ‘Catharsis’ was recorded with Zack Ohren (Fallujah, All Shall Perish) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California and will be released via Nuclear Blast on January 26th, 2018.
Ornimental is a band with a mission, a mission to put the groove punch, originality, and excitement back into metal, where it belongs. The band was founded by lead guitarist Danny Perry and drummer Julio. The name itself, Ornimental, comes from the Latin prefix Orni (to celebrate or decorate) and the root word mental (of intelligence or insanity), and true to form, Ornimental delivers an intelligent, possessed sound that celebrates the origins and foundations of hard rock and metal alike. More than anything what Ornimental has come to mean with regards to the bands sound is unique. With influences ranging from metal legends like Megadeth, Van Halen, Metallica, Arch Enemy, and Pantera. The band doesn’t of course stop with influences from the metal world, within their musical you can also hear classical music influences from composers like Beethoven or Mozart. Continue reading →
Remember that Big4 show (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) back in the day in Sweden where the show was dedicated to a band called IceAge? I do and vaguely recall looking the band up, only to find a few songs floating around with a few demo bootlegs available. I dug them, but didn’t expend too much more effort once I heard the limited amount of what was available here in the US. Since then, the name has come up in passing a few times in the “whatever happened to…” context and I always wondered myself. Surprise! They’re back, and with a damned vengeance…
Stonking riffs, catchy grooves and angst-ridden vocals are all indefatigable qualities one can attribute to Athens-based thrash metal group THE CRUCIFIER. Formed in 1995, the group have released three demos, two EPs and two full-lengths. Their newest studio venture is an LP titled ‘Voices In My Head’ which is set to be released on 29 September 2017 via Punishment 18 Records. The line-up consists of Hlias Kyriazis on vocals, Nikos Gkiokas on guitars, Spyros on guitars, Themis (R A T) on bass and Dimitris Kypraios on drums. Continue reading →
When I heard that legendary thrash metal band Sepultura would be playing near me in Hedon Zwolle I instantly got my tickets to the show. They weren’t coming alone, they brought death metal band Aborted with supporting band Killing Cult Society. Even though I had never heard Killing Cult Society I had high hopes because you don’t become the support band for Sepultura for nothing! Before we go any further I need to talk about the venue, Hedon Zwolle. This has been my second time being there and yet again right after the doors were open you felt welcomed. Everything was well organized and the staff was friendly and easy to talk to. I am really happy about this venue and I am glad that I am lucky enough to live close to it. Already looking forward to being there again!