Formed less than six months ago, Mememories is a five-track, fifteen minute demonstration of what this New Jersey quartet offer the progressive metal scene. Citing influences from Converge and Between The Buried And Me to death metal scumbags The Black Dahlia Murder, Mememories is probably best looked at as an EP by a band who know what they want to sound like but, despite some promising moments, are still some way from reaching their potential.
Day two of Bloodstock and all talk was of the return of US metal legends Lamb Of God who were making their first UK appearance since the release of vocalist Randy Blythe from a Czech Prison.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from Woke, the debut offering from Ohio-based brutalists Legion. I think that when I read they had a tour booked with Fit For An Autopsy I had mentally begun to prepare myself for more of the same generic, textbook deathcore/metalcore fodder. Thankfully, when the quintet drilled into the furious "And Then The Devil Said" it became obvious that there is more to this band than meets the eye.
The squalling, screeching feedback that greets the listener upon pressing the play button certainly sets the tone for the rest of Romance, the new album from Birmingham hardcore maulers The Catharsis. From there on in, The Catharsis have you by the throat as they spit and snarl through the rest of this thirty minute outpouring of emotion.
Arriving on site, we're greeted by a troop of knights marching towards the VIP entrance. However, this is Bloodstock so we expect no less. The UK's premier metal festival returns with a line-up that is a heavy metal fans wet dream, but there is a long way to go until thrash titans Slayer bring the festival to a thunderous finale on Sunday night. Day one of Bloodstock Open Air opens up with Municipal Waste, Dark Funeral and headliner King Diamond amongst the acts to grace the stage.
Manchester rockers Obsessive Compulsive are four mates who have had a career longer than most who've graced the cover of Kerrang! yet they’re still touring the UK in battered transit vans, sleeping on floors while scraping together the money to pay for petrol and record their own albums. This is a group who do it for the love of their band and no other reason. Sure, for effort alone, they deserve all the success in the world but, you know what, listening to Seculo Seculorum, you get the impression, these punk rockers would be happy with enough money to pay for petrol and a hot meal at the end of the night, if it meant they got the chance to rock out in front of a room full of smiling punters.
In part two (part one can be found here
) of our chat with horror fanatic and heavy metal legend Phil Anselmo, the frontman tells us what he thinks makes a good horror movie and talks more about his long-awaited book.
I was trying to think of a phrase to describe DevilDriver when I opened the press release accompanying their latest album and, there it was, "metal institution". It is those two words that describe the American heavy metal titans down to a tee but, at the same time, pre-warn the listener what they can expect from Winter Kills. Yes, Dez Fafara may be dallying with his buddies in Coal Chamber again but, as Winter Kills smashes into track two "Ruthless", it’s obvious that he's lost none of that burning desire to produce some of the most raging pit anthems around.
There are some bands who just don’t get the recognition they deserve and, over the years, Quebec death metal technicians Gorguts have been one of those very groups. Constantly pushing the boundaries of the death metal sound, extreme metal lost an immense band when the Canadians went on indefinite hiatus in 2005. Well, having reformed with little fuss in 2009, the guys are ready to unleash Colored Sands onto a music scene that shifts the boundaries almost weekly so, how will their brand of crushing heaviness fare in 2013?
80,000 rock fans made their yearly takeover of Donington Park in Leicestershire, England for a weekend that featured awesome sets from Motorhead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Papa Roach, Korn and headliners Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein.
You all know the My Ruin story by now, so I won’t waste time going over old ground; much in the same way you know that when you put on a My Ruin album the rock n' roll couple will get straight to the point, giving their loyal fan base everything they demand. So, while there is no questioning as to whether or not The Sacred Mood is another full-force, kick-ass rock n’ roll record, the question is how does it stand up to previous My Ruin offerings?
Before I even started listening to this collection of wall-shaking anthems, I had read the press release that accompanied Full Blast Fuckery about five times and had built up this mental image that Wilson were the coolest, baddest, craziest band on the planet. They’re described as "five dudes with beards and big dicks" and when you hear the pissed-up, smashed off their tits rock n’ roll on Full Blast Fuckery, like me, you’ll wish that they were your best mates, your brothers, and your drinking partners all rolled into one.
I have to be honest and admit that, as the opening riffs to "I Am The State" ripped this album into life, my ears certainly did prick up. You see, having grown up in the '80s as a bit of a "thrash kid", the familiar Testament style sound to the guitars brought back a lot of good memories of sweaty mosh pits and hunting down bank-balance breaking amounts of obscure thrash vinyl however, sadly, times move on and, for me, a lot of this modern take on the thrash scene of old is not hitting the spot. Listening to Unnatural Selection, I’m sorry to say that I find myself listening to another album that suffers from exactly the same problems as the rest of them.
Like Emmure, Atlanta party-deathcore boys Attila just make it so easy for the world to hate them and their generic party-deathcore. The thing is, as they are at pains to point out numerous times during "Middle Fingers Up", the opening track to their fifth album, they give precisely zero fucks as to what you think about them going as far as to encourage all the haters (and, let’s face it, there are plenty) to suck their cocks.
Horror-metal titans The Black Dahlia Murder sit uncomfortably in that area where traditional metalheads turn their nose up at them for their "deathcore" tendencies while some "scene kids" dismiss them for lack of breakdowns and swept fringes. Thankfully, to the more open-minded metal fan out there, The Black Dahlia Murder are a group who perfectly blend horror-inspired sledgehammer death metal with scintillating musicianship, an art demonstrated perfectly on their new album, Everblack.
"I am the Huntress, I'm on your trail. When I want you here you'd better not fail" screams Jill Janus, vocalist with California bangers Huntress. The track? "I Want To Fuck You To Death". The creator of these lyrics? One Sir Lemmy Kilmister. So, let’s take those elements – awesome lyrics written by a heavy metal legend, a female vocalist with a voice capable of shriveling testicles at fifty yards and a song called "I Want To Fuck You To Death" – how can Starbound Beast, the new album by the California quintet, be anything other than heavy metal magic?
It doesn't take much time spent in the company of the filthy swamp metal peddled by Death Valley Driver before you’ll find yourself comparing their grizzly, sludgy groove to that churned out by Pantera towards the end of their career. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact it is most definitely not, but it does give you a good starting point for the rest of this grimy album.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that Almost There is going to be one hell of a personal album, and you only have to have a quick glance down the song titles for proof of that. "Home/Sick", "Sleeping Alone", "Old Tattoos", "Life Goes On" – the list is endless (well, runs to 13 actually) and it all points to an emotional album inspired by memories, relationships, life experiences, and loneliness.
I fucking love it when you get albums like this one from Enemy Reign, the Denver brutalists who cite "Slayer, metal, and shredding" as their influences, because you just know it’s going to be nothing but unashamed, head-smashing brutality. And it is exactly that. There is no "scene" influence on this album. There are no fancy haircuts among the members of these Denver slammers. Nope, this is just four mates from Denver who've decided they don’t just want to spend their evenings getting shit-faced and listening to metal, they want to be part of something.
Everything about this is just fucking ace! It’s got Kurt from crossover Kings D.R.I fronting the band, their Facebook page has a chick with massive boobs brandishing two massive machine guns and the first song on the album is called "100 Beers With A Zombie". What is there not to like about this? You can forget your Municipal Waste’s and the rest of that modern crossover thrash stuff because, regardless of how good that stuff is, anything called Pasadena Napalm Division is instantly going to be so much better!