The first thought that popped into my mind as "The Gold Room" sparked into life was how similar vocalist Robin Graves was to Sempiternal-era Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon). That's where the similarities end though because Red Seas Fire are much more about bludgeoning you with crushing, juddering riffs, if "The Gold Room" is any indication.
Welsh rockers The Dirty Youth have been knocking around the scene for almost six years now and their full-length debut, Red Light Fix, certainly brought them to the attention of the UK rock scene. Moreover, it resulted in them twice being personally invited onto the Download Festival bill at the request of Download head honcho Andy Copping. Well, we're now into 2014 and "Alive" is the first taste of their forthcoming album Gold Dust and what a way to start the ball rolling on a massive year for the band.
Signed to Retro Futurist Records, the label started by three members of stoner outfit Kylesa, Canadian psych/metal trio Sierra have the honour of being the first release on the label and, after listening to the psychedelic, lazy riffs pouring out of this album, we're very much hoping this is an indication of what is to come from both the band and their label.
Norwegian music was once infamous mainly for its Christianity baiting black metal scene but, while that scene is still producing some explosive bands, it seems like the Norwegian punk scene is also producing some fairly nasty bands. One of those groups, Shevils, have been knocking around since about 2011 and Lost In Tarturus is their latest slab of snotty punk issued towards the tail end of 2013.
When a great big filthy riff booms out of your speakers you just pray the rest of A New Life, the new EP from New York rockers Mother, manages to maintain this high level of adrenaline-fueled rock debauchery. Thankfully, the New York quartet certainly don't disappoint delivering track after track of ballsy, grungy modern hard rock.
It's been just over two years since Howard Jones parted ways with US metalcore titans Killswitch Engage and while his former band have been shredding away with former singer Jesse Leach, Jones has been quietly working away on his new band Devil You Know, readying themselves to unleash their debut offering, The Beauty Of Destruction, to a fanbase who are probably quite intrigued to see what his next move is.
Employed To Serve are a female-fronted quartet who describe their sound as miserable post-hardcore and, as opener "Change Nothing" smashes you in the face, you'll have to admit they've got it pretty much spot on.
Blimey, when Metalsucks big up a band you know they must be doing something right and they've got it bang on the nail with their write-up of the debut mini-album from Swiss metalcore quintet Scars Divide. Straddling that line between the more accessible metalcore bands like Architects and the outright chaos of bands like Every Time I Die and Dillinger Escape Plan, their debut six-track affair is both accessible and hooky and jaw-droppingly intricate.
"No Model", the debut single from Tunbridge Wells rockers Ugly Love sees them smash together a cocktail of pop, punk and rock to create a rather fun four minutes. With a hook the size of an elephant, their sound is one that will instantly get your foot tapping or, should you catch them live, have you nodding along with your pint.
Progressive metallers The Kindred are currently out on the road jammed on a bill with Between The Buried And Me, Deafhaven and Intronaut, which should give you some idea of where there Sumerian-signed Canadians sit musically. They've also been name-dropped alongside everyone from Clutch to Protest The Hero, so make of that what you will because if, like me, your head starts to hurt when you think of the big riffs of Clutch mixed with the intricacy and depth of the progressive-metal scene, you wait till you actually give Life In Lucidity a spin because you're in for a real experience.
I must admit that when I heard the name Hemoptysis (which I discover, after a quick visit to Google, means coughing up blood), I expected a bit of an old school, Cannibal Corpse-inspired death metal. Instead, I find myself listening to a bit of razor sharp old school, traditional thrash.
It takes a brave band to release a fourteen minute track these days but, then again, Canadian rockers No Assembly Required are no ordinary band, they're a group who've been peddling their grungy wares since 1999 so why shouldn't they do what the hell they want, even if that includes sticking a fourteen minute track on the end of their seventh album?
Is being predictable a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to metal? Look at the metalcore scenes, the glut of deathcore bands, in fact, any scene that produces a success story or two usually ends up with a whole league of run-of-the-mill bands who do nothing but churn out second rate versions of their influences. On the other hand, in the case of the gore metal scene, predictability can be a good thing as is the case with Bristol stalwarts Amputated.
It's been almost five years since we last heard any studio output from Orange County bruisers Throwdown and as "Borrowed Time" smashes our ears, we find ourselves listening to something akin to Pantera at their most visceral. From Dave Peters throaty Anselmo-like roars to the heavy-as-hell yet accessible groove metal that fills their latest album, Intolerance is a full-throttle, fist-in-the-face slab of metallic hardcore.
There's nothing like discovering a massive sounding rock album full of huge booming anthems to put a smile on your face, so it's nice to stick on the self-titled debut from LA rockers Stars In Stereo and find yourself listening to an album that does precisely that. Putting themselves under pressure right from the outset with gargantuan opener "The Broken", the LA rockers do themselves no harm by following it up with an album full of arena-filling gems.
Last time Cancer Bats came to Reading they were playing in a tent in a field to 10,000 people. This time the venue is lot more intimate, even hotter and certainly more suited to the chaotic thrash-punk of the Canadian outfit who manage to turn a sold-out venue into one big pit despite attempts to put a halt to the carnage by the venue's over zealous security.
Making their eagerly awaited return to the UK. US metal titans Lamb Of God headlined the main stage on the second day of Bloodstock delivering a set that lived up to their top billing. Airing old and new tracks including "Ruin" and "Ghost Walking", Lamb Of God signed off day two of Bloodstock Open Air in brutal style.
Heart of a Coward, Blitz Kitds, Heart In Hand, Ghouls, and Emp!re have been announced as the final acts to pack out the frankly astounding bill at the 2014 Takedown Festival which will take place at Southampton University on the 15th March 2014. With an aftershow brought to you in conjunction with Uprawr and various guest sets, the UK festival season kicks off in style. Tickets and further information are available now from the Official Takedown Festival website
Killswitch Engage and Skindred head up the latest amazing round of additions to this year's Download Festival which will take place at Donington Park over the weekend of the 13th-15th June. The full list of new additions (already joining a bill headlined by Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park and Aerosmith) is listed just below. For further information and ticket details on Download Festival visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk
The bitch is back! Having ducked out of the music scene for a few years, the original rock queen Lita Ford is back. Marking her return with the brilliant Livin' Like A Runaway album, the ex-Runaways rocker recorded some of the tracks from the album, along with some of her classic moments, for a new live album, appropriately titled The Bitch Is Back. Ahead of the release of the live disc, I had a chat to Lita about the past, the present and the future.