Saturday 25 September 2021

Album Review: SEPULTURA - SepulQuarta


01. Territory (feat. David Ellefson)
02. Cut-Throat (feat. Scott Ian)
03. Sepulnation (feat. Danko Jones)
04. Inner Self (feat. Phil Rind)
05. Hatred Aside (feat. Angélica Burns, Mayara Puertas & Fernanda Lira)
06. Mask (feat. Devin Townsend)
07. Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering (feat. Emmily Barreto)
08. Vandals Nest (feat. Alex Skolnick)
09. Slave New World (feat. Matthew K. Heafy)
10. Ratamahatta (feat. Joao Barone & Charles Gavin)
11. Apes Of God (feat. Rob Cavestany)
12. Phantom Self (feat. Mark Holcomb)
13. Slaves Of Pain (feat. Frédéric Leclercq & Marcello Pompeu)
14. Kaiowas (feat. Rafael Bittencourt)
15. Orgasmatron (feat. Phil Campbell)


Friday 24 September 2021

Album Review: THE AWAKENING - This Alchemy


01. Bitter Bliss
02. Into The Machine (part 1 + 2)
03. Zero Down
04. Shadow Call
05. Winter's Unknown
06. When The Fear Subsides
07. A Victory Of Love (Alphaville cover)
08. Take Me Home
09. Empty Garden
10. All Tomorrow's Saints
11. This Alchemy


Thursday 23 September 2021

Album Review: Dream Tröll – Realm of the Tormentör


Dream Tröll – Realm of the Tormentör

01. The Tormentor
02. She Got The Devil Inside
03. Winner Takes Nothing
04. Here Comes Chaos
05. Watch It Burn
06. As Death Rains From The Sky


Wednesday 8 September 2021

Album Review: 5¢ FREAKSHOW - Reanimation Of Annihilation


01. One Bite Tonight
02. Goregasm
03. That Night She Died
04. Ex-Mortis
05. Killin' Em Now
06. Co-Ed
07. Deader Together


Tuesday 7 September 2021

EP Review: CREEPER - American Noir


01. Midnight Militia
02. Midnight
03. America At Night
04. Ghosts Over Calvary
05. The Drowning Room
06. One Of Us
07. Damned And Doomed
08. Frozen Night


Monday 6 September 2021

Album Review: IRON MAIDEN - Senjutsu


01. Senjutsu
02. Stratego
03. The Writing On The Wall
04. Lost In A Lost World
05. Days Of Future Past
06. The Time Machine
07. Darkest Hour
08. Death Of The Celts
09. The Parchment
10. Hell On Earth


Sunday 5 September 2021

Gig Review: GREEN LUNG at The Bread Shed, Manchester (UK) 02/09/2021


I haven't been into Green Lung long, but I'm finding myself listening to them a lot these days. I recently witnessed their fantastic set at Bloodstock (Click for review), and decided to see them again in Manchester. I've also pre-ordered their new album, so I'll review that here when it arrives!

I arrived in time to catch the main support, Barbarian Hermit. The venue is packed. Tonight is a sold out show and the place is heaving and stinking as though Covid never happened. These guys are clearly local heroes and there are plenty of people getting into their filthy, fuzzy, mega-heavy Rock n' Roll. This was a superb slot for these guys and I have no doubt they grew their popularity quite a bit.

Having sold out The Dome in London the night before, Green Lung come onstage to a sold out Bread Shed. The atmosphere is electric, and it's been some time since I've seen a band blow up like this.

Opening with the awesome Lady Lucifer, they play for a solid hour and ten mins. It's 'all killer no filler' tonight. The new songs from their forthcoming Black Harvest album, Leaders Of The Blind, Reaper's Scythe, and Graveyard Sun were lapped up by the audience as though they'd been listening to them for years. It shows that their fan-base is very much engaged, familiarising them with the new songs as soon as they hit YouTube. 

The songs from their first record were also pure magic, especially Woodland Rites and The Ritual Tree. Ending the show with the awesome Let The Devil In was a masterstroke, albeit a predictable one. 

What I believe separates Green Lung from the countless Stoner/Doom/Sabbath-worship bands out there are the writing and the character. The songs are so well put together, with some fantastic vocal lines and interesting note choices, keeping the band away from the generic and making their repertoire catchy-as-Hell without having to compromise any crushing heaviness. Their occult lyrics and imagery are cool as fuck too. They're clearly dominating their niche scene right now, and I'm imagining how insanely huge they could become. Best of luck to them, they deserve it. 


Festival Review: BLOODSTOCK 2021 (11-15 August)


The fact that Bloodstock went ahead this year feels like a miracle. With many other festivals and tours being cancelled, it was touch and go as to whether or not Bloodstock would happen. Many bands had to drop out over the months due to Covid alerts, international travel restrictions, and whatever shit this misery of the last eighteen months could throw at us. Considering the ludicrous level of adversity the Bloodstock team had thrown at them, they made it happen. Only a prize bell-end could moan about the line-up changes given the circumstances. Personally, I'm grateful the festival happened, and was delighted with the acts that made it.

No-one wants to read a massive essay, so I'll just write a few words about a few of the bands I saw, and treat you to the mandatory crap photos I took on my mobile phone.

On Wednesday, I arrived in time to catch Beholder who were playing their last ever gig. I'm not massively familiar with them, but they sounded pretty cool with their Prog-meets-Groove Metal thing going on.

Headliner, Onslaught, were absolutely on-point. They gave an absolutely flawless performance, tearing through thrash classics as well as material off their latest record, Generation Antichrist. Their previous singer, Sy Keeler, joined them on-stage too which was a treat for fans. So many great songs, and an awesome finish to the first day! 66 fucking 6 indeed!

Thursday was the day that had the least for me, in all honesty. Living close enough to commute, I turned up early evening. 

I watched The Crawling, who were a Death/Doom trio from Northern Ireland. To my ears, they sounded a lot like very early Paradise Lost. They put on a good show with plenty of fire. Literally.

Replacing Hacktavist, who had to pull out a few days before the show, were Punk Rock Factory. They played covers of themes from various kids' TV shows including Pokemon and MASK. Despite being an odd choice of band, they were a lot of fun and went down amazingly well. 

Lawnmower Deth were Lawnmower Deth. They're more than a bit shit, but for some reason I've seen them several times over the years. OK, three times at Download Festival. Maybe I was drunk?. They are sometimes fun, but the whole 'comedy metal' thing has been done so much better since their heyday that they're just not that great by today's standards. It's a shame, but I hope their forthcoming album is strong and helps them to raise their game. 


On Friday, I arrived in time to catch Higher Power. I wasn't familiar with them before. They're kinda Hardcore with some melodic parts that sound a bit like Jane's Addiction. I shit you not. I enjoyed them and they seemed to generally go down well with the crowd, so mission accomplished.

I fucking love Venom Prison, so I was really excited to see them live for the first time. They did not disappoint and tore through their set like feral beasts! They remind me of Carcass, At The Gates, and various Death Metal bands from the mid-90's, but with a fresh modern twist. They're a perfect band for Bloodstock and I'm sure that they gained many new fans from today's performance.

The Wildhearts are one of my favourite bands on the planet. After technical problems brought disaster to their set at this summer's Download Pilot (review here), I had my fingers crossed that everything would go right for them today. Fortunately, they were amazing. The band looked like they were having the time of their lives, playing killer track after killer track. They may have seemed like an odd choice for Bloodstock, but I couldn't have been happier that they were included. 

Skindred are the perfect band for any Rock/Metal festival. After seeing them set the Download Pilot alight a couple of months ago, I knew they'd do the same here at Bloodstock. And they did. The Bloodstock crowd clearly adored them, and were well-up for the expected audience participation including the compulsory Newport helicopter. A brilliant set by a legendary band.

I checked out Haxan in the tiny Jägermeister tent, after enjoying their debut album, White Noise (review here). Their brand of straight forward, no nonsense Rock n' Roll hit the spot, and most of the crowd couldn't even fit inside the tent. You can tell when a band plays together regularly. They're a tight unit, an absolute machine, and undoubtedly impressed everyone who managed to squeeze into that tent to check them out. 

I have a few of Devin Townsend's albums, but I wouldn't consider myself to be a 'mega-fan' or anything. However, tonight I was totally won over. Considering his band were session players who he'd only been playing with for a couple of days or so, this show was an absolute triumph. He played songs from his various projects, which bizarrely seemed to sit alongside each other as part of a cohesive set, despite varying in styles. Highlights for me were the glorious Spirits Will Collide and a face-shredding Detox

After Devin's euphoric headlining slot on the main stage, Napalm Death closed Friday with some savage brutality in the SOPHIE tent. Yes, their performance was a little sloppy, and Barney looks like an embarrassing drunk uncle at a wedding party, but it's still Napalm Death. They played an entertaining career-spanning set, with highlights being Suffer The Children and Breed To Breathe.

I was a bit late to the party on Saturday, with the first band I saw being While She Sleeps. I've seen them many times, the last being their phenomenal performance at the Download Pilot in June. Today, they were as killer as always. Superb.

Paradise Lost are one of my favourite bands and today they played their classic album, Draconian Times, in it's entirety, followed by their hugely popular single, Say Just Words, to round things off nicely. As Draconian Times is one of my favourite albums ever, I was happier than a pig in shit.

Cradle of Filth brought their A-Game today and were one of the best bands of the entire weekend. There was nothing not to love here.

I love Kreator. For me, they're one of the best thrash bands on Earth. This kind of music doesn't get better than this. Dani Filth joined them for Betrayer, which was cool. Satan Is Real, Flag Of Hate, Phobia, Enemy Of God, Phantom Antichrist.. it was just a barrage of immense Metal played by masters of the craft.

I arrived on Sunday to catch a bit of Bloodshot Dawn's set. I'd never heard of them before. What I witnessed was quality thrash metal, so they're now a band on my list to check out further. 

Diamond Head do what they do well, but it's just not for me. Most of their repertoire seems to be generic classic rock that lacks anything to make it stand out from the countless other bands out there. I guess they achieve that by continuing to use the name Diamond Head. I stuck around to hear Am I Evil? which is easily their best song, and has more character than the rest of their back catalogue put together.

Glaswegian Metal-core outfit, Bleed From Within, were awesome at the Download Pilot in June, so I was well-chuffed to see them again so soon afterwards. I can see this band becoming massive over the next couple of years.

I've tried hard to get into Orange Goblin over the years, but I continue to struggle with them. I watched some of their set, but their brand of filthy Rock n' Roll/Stoner just isn't for me for the most part. For a band with a name like that, you'd expect them to be more fun and creative, but to me they sound like a boring. slower Motorhead with few memorable songs. I bailed halfway through to have a piss then watch The Injester on the Hobgoblin stage.

I was interested in checking out The Injester because, unlike the majority of up-and-coming bands that play the Hobgoblin New Blood stage, they made a massive effort to promote their show on social media in the days leading up to the festival. I took notice, listened to a song on YouTube, and gave them a go. Image-wise, they have what looks to me like a Slipknot-meets-ICP thing going on with masks and theatrics. They have some cool melodic-metal tracks up their sleeves and are well worth investigating.

I'm a life-long Therapy? fan, so it's always a pleasure to watch these guys. They busted out most of the big singles from Troublegum and a few more well known tracks such as Stories from Infernal Love, all of which went down a storm. 

I had never heard anything by Gloryhammer before. I hadn't planned on watching them because a good chunk of their set clashed with Green Lung. However, I did stick around for the first three or four songs, and I was glad I did. They were like a self-aware Hammerfall but much more fun. They had loads of fans in the pit waving plastic swords, light sabres, and inflatable unicorns (and possibly a few sheep). Some fans were wearing unicorn onesies too. What sucks is that in the few days between the show and me writing this up, Gloryhammer have sacked their super-popular lead singer, and some remaining band members have been accused of abuse, and writing dumb racist shit on the internet. How disappointing. Sort your fucking shit out boys.

I've become a huge Green Lung fan recently, and this was my first time seeing them. There's clearly a huge buzz about this band and the tent was packed. Luckily, I managed to get down the front. They sounded great and played every track of theirs I wanted to hear. Job done! If you love heavy, dirty riffs, occult topics, and early Sabbath, you need to check these out ASAP.

Despite some technical difficulties at the start of their set, Saxon delivered a strong set of Heavy Metal classics including some personal favourites like And The Bands Played On, Dogs Of War, 747 (Strangers In The Night), and ending with the awesome Princess Of the Night. If Saxon are one thing, it's consistent. 

Let's get something straight. Judas Priest is the greatest Heavy Metal band the world has ever seen, and probably ever will see. Words cannot express how much I love them, so seeing them celebrate 50 years of Judas Priest was worth the price of a festival ticket alone. There were some wonderful surprises in the set such as the opener, One Shot At Glory, Rocka Rolla, and Invader. The usual songs were there as expected suck as Breaking The Law, Painkiller, and Living After Midnight. It was lovely to see Glenn Tipton manage to join the team for the encore, despite his Parkinson's disease. When all is said and done, this was a magnificent show from the greatest of them all.

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