Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, September 29, 2008

Under the glare of the TV spotlight

UTV have to be commended for undertaking their Limelight unsigned band series, and despite the indie, shoe-gazing crap that will no doubt feature strongly, they at least let Banbridge's finest kick things off on Sunday night.

Confusing intros (including the link man forgetting the band's name!) and trying to work out the cues from UTV's woman on the spot might have put many a band off their game, but Soundstone rose to the TV challenge.

With healthy support down the front and beardy, indiffernt spectacle wearers at the back, Soundstone took a brief moment to warm to the task. But after a minute of 'Devil on My Back' they hit the groove.

By the time 'My Crime' was blasting the indifferent into action Declan was strutting as if playing to a stadium, and Adrian was slipping into excellence on the axe.

No doubt the saddos and UTV execs would rather not have songs of addiction and killing partners as their chosen 'winners' but Soundstone's penchant for mixing classic rock grooves with dark tales hit the right nerve at the right time in the Limelight.

And to prove they are totally 'nice guys' Ryan helped the stage right camera man to make sure he wasn't bashed by an errant swish of the four string.

Well done to Soundstone for tearing towards the heart of why the Limelight has been so key to the local rock scene - that is bands playing what they believe in, not what the NME says is the fashion of the day/week/month.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sad news

It is with deepest regret we have learned that Blaze Bayley's wife Debbie passed away this morning in hospital. You can read a statement from the band's drummer on the official website's news section.

Blaze was planning to play the Rosetta on 8th October, but I'm sure we'll all understand if he now does not.

Our condolences to Blaze, the band and Debbie's family and friends.

Duff's shopping trip

We all sort of hope bands come to Belfast to play to us rabid fans...turns out it's for the shopping.

Check out this BBC story about Duff McKagan dropping into Belfast's Apache

Live at the Limelight

Want to cheer on a local hard rock act in a battle against the indies? Then head along to The Limelight tomorrow night! Soundstone are being filmed alongside other acts (most of which will not interest our readers!) for a UTV programme being broadcast later in the year.

Simply turn up at 7pm and say....it's the only time you can say this without it being cheesy..."I'm with the band" then head in and and cheer on Soundstone - they'll be playing a couple of tracks (go to their myspace site to listen in advance)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ahhhh Shogun you be aheavy Jap dude

Shogun is defined as a senior Japanese military commander, a dodgy novel and mini-series by James Cavell or... the new Trivium album.

Groans all round by the self-appointed guardians of 'true metal'? Hope not, because this is one seriously heavy album. It has better structure than the flawed Crusade, and a better balance than Ascendancy. Both these albums revelled in the band's reverence for the Floridian death metal scene and a love of Metallica and Megadeth.

At last Trivium seem to have found their own identity and by sweet fuck it is heavy and good. The blurb from the band, for once, stands up well to the bullshit test. It reads:

'.... an album of songs that proudly surpasses everything the band have achieved in the past, available from September 29th.

“It was all very natural,” explained frontman Matt Heafy. “We didn’t care what was going to come out, and that’s why it sounds this way. We all still love extremely heavy music with the brutality and no melody, but we also love stuff that’s incredibly melodic and simple and memorable, so that explains the two extremes. We like to have everything. Vocally we tried everything from the lowest note I can sing to the highest note, from the lowest growl to the highest scream, and everything in between. We wanted to try it all. That was the whole concept behind the record. No limits. Just try anything and see what comes out.”

'With nearly one million album sales to date, Trivium launched Shogun with a free MP3 of bludgeoning opening track Kirisute Gomen. The unusual song title is a dynamic paean to the ways of the Samurai. The release of the new Madden NFL [that's American Football not Gaelic football...] game treated fans to a second hook-laden track, Into The Mouth Of Hell We March.

'From monolithic first single Down From The Sky to the towering steel-plated genius of the 13-minute Shogun itself, this is truly Trivium’s defining album.

“We wrote this album exactly the way we wanted to,” concludes Heafy. “We did our own thing. When people check it out, they’ll realize that we’re not an exclusive band. We’re not doing this for one specific kind of person. If you want to come to a show and rock out, that’s what we’re here for. We’re four normal guys who just happen to be able to play for lots of cool people around the world. And that’s what we’re gonna do. The first shows we do for this album are gonna be just us, our instruments and the music. There’s not going to be any fancy shit going on. It’s just gonna be raw, brutal and exactly what this album is. It’s about the music, and that’s all we’re about. We hope everyone comes out to see us and we hope you all dig the record. We’re really fucking proud of it.”

Out in your local record emporium from Monday, Shogun previews and streamed downloads are available from their Myspace site.

Tickets for Trivium's December 3rd Nerve Centre gig and December 4th Mandella Hall set are available now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wasting of Belfast confirmed

Municipal Waste's Belfast gig on December 6th, as many of you know by now, has been confirmed for The Limelight. Providing support are Iron Lung and Waste's Earache stablemates our very own Gama Bomb.

More to come on this Revenge Therapy promoted gig soon...but we here are Belfastmetalheadsreunited are still wondering how we're going to cope with Mastodon on the 4th, Trivium on the 5th and this now on the 6th. Still it beats a December office Christmas party hands down!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Speed Theory rocking with My Ruin

You can sort of tell when a band is serious. They remember to reply to comments, drop a line every now and again. Such a band are Wolverhampton's Speed Theory. For those trying to catch up with this cryptic thread, suffice to say Speed Theory will be joining My Ruin (see earlier post) at The Limelight on October 26th.

With these two noisemeisters (on a Jagermeister backed Irish tour natch!) will be Illuminatus and Sanctorum.

All four bands are well worth a listen, and much kudos to Alex from Speed Theory for replying to random posts and messages. He can rest assured more are to come!

In the meantime go to their myspace site and, as well as checking out the tunes, take a look at the Neo Testament video...oh and their new album, Blood Money, is out in November, on Anthill Records.

Make yer mind up!

Thin Lizzy's European tour was called off last week according to Total Rock, Blabbermouth and a host of other sites. This week, Lizzy reps told this site..."It's back on..." No information on why the indecision though.

Monday, September 22, 2008

An interview for older readers...and new ones interested in NWOBHM

As mentioned here previously Sweet Savage are returning to Belfast on October 3rd, with a homecoming gig at the Spring and Airbrake.

On other forums there hae been a few philistines who seem to know nothing about the mighty Savage (did they think Garage Inc was all original 'Tallica tracks!).

Quick resumé - back in the days when bombs and gunshots still echoed across Belfast's overcast skies punk paved a musical path (all hail SLF and their ilk), with renegades such as Terri Hooley instilling a DIY attitude. From thence a small metal scene grew.

Over the water a new breed of metal band, led by Maiden, Saxon, Leppard, Diamond Head et al rose clenched fists, and a movement was dubbed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

Here a few misfits gathered together, and from those denim clad few grew a gathering of like minds. Among these Sweet Savage grew to prominence, and yes, a veritable metal legend - hell even James Hetfield has been known to come on stage and singalong with SS!

A wee while back Sweet Savage reformed, and on a combined wave of nostalgia and a hunger from younger fans for something other than jaded re-runs from American obsessed newbies Savage have come back fighting...it's a Belfast thing!

‘We have been playing in London, Sweden & Germany lately and have been getting fantastic responses to the shows, we had no idea we were so popular and were quite surprised to hear the people singing out songs back to us," Sweet Savage guitarist Ian 'Speedo' Wilson told Belfastmetalheadsreunited.

"We all can’t wait to get back to Belfast, we are just so looking forward to playing in our hometown and the the Spring & Airbrake is a brilliant venue to really show the band off to maximum effect.

"We have learned so much over the past year playing Wacken & Headbangers festivals in Germany , Sweden Rocks and by guesting with Metallica."

As to the current 'scene' Speedo is no doubt where we are in our hard rocking world.

"Metal is bigger now than it ever was. We were among the pioneers and we came onto the scene at the same time as Iron Maiden so it is great to be part of all again, great to be involved in the new wave of Metal out there, and we know that it is getting bigger all the time.

"The popularity and social acceptance of Metal has been surely proven by Metallica, at their show there was a huge divergence of fans, from 8 to 80, all in their black t shirts, it was awesome to see."

In the early and mid 80s when Sweet Savage were regulars supporting touring acts and headlining the few medium sized venues here (I hazily remember one gig at the QUB Speakeasy and a few more clearly at the Ulster Hall).

There was a swagger many bands struggled to match. But the swagger came difficulties and line-up changes that led to a hiatius - oh and Vivian Campbell pissing off to join Dio (and then Whitesnake..and then Leppard, where he denies his metal roots much like a Christian trying to convince all he was never a Satanist) didn't help at all.

But after all these years could Sweet Savage still draw a fanbase...

"At all the Metal shows we were unsure where, or if, we would fit in, but we played our thing and have returned home feeling very much a part of that Metal community, and we are ecstatic about it."

Playing 'our thing' epitomised the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The diversity of the acts (search yer Wikipedia for Blitzkreig, Raven, White Spirit, Venom and combined with Maiden, Leppard etc and you'll see how diverse it really was!).

Sweet Savage deserved the recognition afforded by Metallica covering Killing Time, but more than that they can really be cited as an influence, an original. And yet more than that, they continue being original. There's no need to be unsure.

And being original they know the value of mentioning who they will be playing with. Speedo again:

"Our old friends ‘Worldsend’ (Formerly known as ANNEX) will be guesting on the night & they are sounding red hot at the minute, so it should be a great package for everyone to witness, I’m looking forward to seeing the lads play.

"Also, we like to encourage up and coming acts & we have ‘Jane Doe’ doing support. They are a great bunch of guys & I think they will do very well.”

Tickets are £10 for the 3rd October gig.

Metal and hardcore night at The Bunker

Escape Fails, Hand of Death, Gacy's Threads, Red Enemy, Shiro...Sunday, 5th October, Laverys Bunker, £5...nuff said :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wasting Belfast...

Rumours are that Municipal Waste and Iron Lung will be playing Belfast in December...but with Trivium and Mastodon occupying early December dates hard to see how it could fit in...well here's hoping!

UTV rocking the Limelight...with Soundstone

Soundstone will be taking to The Limelight on Sunday, 28th September as part of a UTV backed show airing unsigned bands.

The Live at The Limelight will be aired later in the year, and as yet we hear at Belfastmetalheadsreunited haven't a baldy notion who else is lined up among the16 bands who are playing.

Let's say that the UTV press office was less than helpful...I've been a PR professional for 13+ years and have more awards than you can shake a stick at. Prior to that I was a full-time journalist. In addition I currently write for a number of publications and give the occassional lecture, chair a charity's advisory panel and sit on three voluntary organisation's committees. But in my career in PR and journalism I have never told someone or heard, "The press release is on th website, just down the bottom..."

Much more helpful was Adrian of Soundstone...who even went so far to say that free - yes that is free! - tickets are available for you faithful readers by emailing this address.

If you haven't heard Soundstone, make it your business to head over to their myspace site and grab a listen to the tracks off their excellent (and that is a hard compliment for me to give!) Scratchin' At My Door EP, with it

After hearing that we hope you'll make a point of heading to The Limelight to cheer Soundstone to the rafters of the beloved rafters of The Limelight.

I don't know whether other rock or metal acts will be playing in the run-up to this UTV venture. Cheers for UTV for trying it out, but I have a sneaky suspicion that many of the acts will be indie noodlers and suitably wasted and sincere young gents with dodgy glasses. But then again if the UTV press office had been more helpful I would know who else was on the bill!

NOTE TO UTV PRESS OFFICE: Between 300 and 1,000 people read this site every week. From the emails and comments we receive we know they are passionate about their rock and metal music (correct us when we're wrong, laud us when we are right). In the common parlance: 'They know their shit'. If this is an audience that you would rather ignore, well that shows you don't know the core Limelight audience

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The president's chick and Metallica

Metallica's promotion of Death Magnetic continues apace, but their reach is getting all weird. The 'Tallica dudes turned up on Jools Holland show. Also with Holland was the French President's wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Now, as far as I know Carla has sold a few wee records, but nowhere near the 100million plus of 'Tallica, and they topped the album charts after just two days of sales... But she's "hot"* and sleeps with a man who will hold power in France for a few years.

The BBC, and other broadcasters are, of course, obsessed with this sort of thing. Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy is no doubt talented within her chosen genre, but her music has neither relevance nor is it particularly outstanding music.

But that never stopped the Beeb promoting her on telly. Well, at least they gave Metallica some airtime. Although no doubt it was through label promotion rather than Jools Holland's initiative. After all he was the man who announced, with real disdain, Judas Priest on the 80's Channel 4 show as "World Ranked Noisy Bastards" - and he didn't mean it as a compliment.

*"hot" and other sexist terms about Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy are copyright of sad git tabloid sub-editors and we disassociate ourselves from them. It may be right but has no place in responsible blogging...hontesly!

UPDATE: Metallica have entered the record books in the US, and knocked The Beatles off a coveted perch. Death Magnetic débuted at Number 1 in the Billboard charts, the fifth 'Tallica album to do so. The Beatles held the record for having four albums début at number one, a record in existence for over three decades.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lizzy cancel tour

Total Rock and Blabbermouth are reporting today that Thin Lizzy have cancelled their European tour. No reason has been given, and no dates of potential re-scheduled dates either.


Quick note to mark the passing of Richard Wright, founder member and keyboardist with Pink Floyd, at the age of 65. A short debate on the relevance of Floyd is underway at Slugger O'Toole. Join the thread here

Monday, September 15, 2008

Free Presbyterians promoting Black Metal acts Belfast date

Ok, the Free Presbyterians aren't really promoting Gorgoroth's November date in the Limelight, but as always they seemingly go out of their way to give extra publicity to black metal acts.

In today's News Letter a story, bylined Aaron Tinney, that has the usual suspect, Rev David McIlveen urging a rethink of the Distortion Project's November 23rd Gorgorth date. Apparently all who attend the gig are going to be 'psychologically scarred'. Whether this is because of the Free Presbyterian protest or Gorgoroth's weird philosophy of Satanism as freedom remains unclear...

However, it is gratifying that in the same way the extreme Christian factions helped promote Ackercocke last year on the Nolan Show, they're doing the same for Gogoroth. Even for an atheist like me it can make you wonder if there is a god. After all his mate Rev McIlveen is working to hard to get headlines for metal acts! How often would a band like Gorgoroth get a Page 7 lead billing in a Belfast daily paper?

Final word goes to Ian 'Speedo' Wilson who in response to McIlveen's rant has a statement which ends "It's Just Music".

Friday, September 12, 2008

Let's Get Rocked...Again!

Top Def Leppard tribute act back in town

Lepps tribute - maybe not enough metal for some, but just right for us 'older' metalheads :) - play The Empire on Saturday (okay, if you really want some heavy metal head to Sorrowfall at Katy Daly's in the afternoon!). Here's the Lepps press release...

AS if there wasn’t enough Def Leppard at the Odyssey in June the Sheffield acts top tribute band – Deft Leppard are back to get Belfast rocked again.

Deft Leppard are back for their seventh Belfast gig – and they can’t wait to return to the hallowed stage of The Empire on September 13th to hear the crowd ‘Rock Till It Drops’.

Frontman Ashley Cooper, a.k.a. Joe Elliot on stage, has no doubt about the reception the Botanic Avenue venue will give the band – no different to any other time that they’ve displayed ‘Hysteria’ for Leppard tracks.

“Belfast always gives us a rabble-rousing response,” he said. “We’ve never been less than stunned by the enthusiasm of The Empire crowd!”

Bassist Mike Thomas (Rick Savage) can’t wait to hit boards in Belfast.

“When we play in Belfast it isn’t a night’s work – it’s playing for and meeting up with old friends – even those we haven’t met yet! The audience is always ready for a Leppard party and we always try to lay the soundtrack down for that party.”

Ashley won’t be drawn on what songs will be on the set list, but fans can be assured Leppard faves old and new will be delivered with aplomb and a fire that few tribute bands can deliver.

“We’re coming to rock the place – we’re going to have a helluva lot of fun playing Leppard’s greatest hits and delivering some Leppard surprises,” he said.

Tickets for Deft Leppard’s Empire show are available from The Empire at the door for the amazing value of £10 – A great chance for those who missed out on the gig of the year at the largest millenium project out of London, these Lepps rock, which as all aficionados know is a Rock of Ages!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rockers and physics

Some of the more curious amongst us have been paying attention to the huge physics experiement in Switzerland to find all sorts of missing particles, dark energy, extra dimensions. While the sheer scale of the Large Hadron Collider is enough to qualify as Heavy Metal there is a weird link to hard rock and even good old Belfast 80s Metal...

One of the physicists involved - and fronting much of the BBC coverage - is Brian Cox. Dr Brian Cox was keyboard player for Dare . Dare was a spin-off band fronted by former Thin Lizzy keyboard player Darren Wharton.

Cox played keyboards with Dare for two years before quitting music to study astrophysics and other really hard thinking stuff.

Dare played in Belfast in eith 1986/1987 supporting Gary Moore on his Out in the Fields Tour, which featured an appearance from the late great Phil Lynott singing on Parisenne Walkways and Out in The Fields.

See, if you look very, very closely you'll find links to rock and metal and Belfast everywhere - even in weird science.

SAD FOOTNOTE: Cox's brief hard rock CV is tarnished by the fact that while an undergraduate he joined D-Ream and helped record that annoying fucking record 'Things Can Only Get Better'. Well if the Large Hadron Collider goes wrong they sure as hell won't get better as the world will disappear up the backside of a rapidly growing black hole...and Slipknot's album 'All Hope is Gone' will be much more appropriate. On that happy note...if the world hasn't ended by the time you're reading this...see y'all at a gig soon

PS: If they had the sense to read Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy they'd know the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is 42!


Whiplash fest organisers have unveiled their October line-up. Held in the Leitrim Bar Sligo, from the 24th to 26th, on the bill are Corral, Steel Tormentor, Warpath, Dyslucsic and Visceral Attack.

Tickets are on the door only.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Truvium Belfast date confirmed

As hinted at very broadly in an earlier post Trivium have confirmed a Belfast Mandella Hall date as part of their brief tour of this island. December 5th, Mandella Hall - tickets £20.50.

So that's Mastodon on the 4th, Trivium on the 5th...plus all the gigs in the previous post! More details and blurb to be added later.

Friday and Nickleback...

Friday sees Nickleback play the Odyssey on the back of the success of the Rock Star single. They've also announced the release date of their next album - November 17th - with lead off single 'If today was your last day' out at the end of September.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Gigs, Beer tokens, merch money - busy autumn & winter schedule

Was just adding the My Ruin Belfast date (26th October, see below) when it dawned on this cash-strapped writer just how many gigs were coming up this autumn and winter...tickets, beer tokens and merch money can be sent to the usual postbox -used, unmarked, non-sequential notes in a brown envelope as normal...

Here's the list. If there's any I missed, let me know and I'll add them:
Sorrowfall Saturday 13th September – Katy Daly’s
Deft Leppard Saturday 13th September – The Empire Music Hall
Duff McKagan’s LOADED Thursday 25th September – Spring & Airbrake
Sweet Savage - Friday, 3rd October – Spring and Airbrake
Blaze Bayley/A Little Bitter/Fireland/Darkest Era – Thursday 9th October
Dragonforce/Turisas (Over 14’s) Saturday 11th October - Mandella Hall
Whitesnake UK – Saturday 11th October – Empire Music Hall
Funeral For A Friend/Cancer Bats/In Case Of Fire/Attack Attack - Wednesday 15th October, Spring & Airbrake
Kill Hannah (Over 14’s show)/My Passion/Gyndogs/Serpico Sunday 26th October S&A
My Ruin – Sunday, 26th October – The Limelight
Grand Magus/Serpent Cult/Honey for Christ – Monday 27th October – Auntie Annies
Sorrowfall/Darkest Era/others TBC – Saturday 8th November – Black Box
Extreme - Sunday 9th November – Spring & Airbrake
Airbourne / Stone Gods Tuesday 11th November – Mandella Hall
Feeder - Friday 21st November – Mandella Hall
Paul Gilbert - Friday 21st November - Spring & Airbrake
Gorgoroth/Averse Sefirah/Zebediah Crowe – Sunday 23rd November - Limelight
Mastodon – 4th December – Spring and Airbrane
Trivium – 4th December – Nerve Centre
Trivium - 5th December - Mandella Hall
Black Stone Cherry - Wednesday 17th December - Limelight
Spitknot - Sunday 28th December - Spring & Airbrake

Ruinous Belfast date

LA-based hard rockers, My Ruin, will be playing Belfast's Limelight on Sunday, 26th October thanks to the Distortion Project team.

The Belfast date is part of My Ruin's 'ReligiosiTour' celebrating the release of the their first live album & DVD 'Alive On The Other Side'.

The new live album was recorded live in Leeds, UK on My Ruin's January 2008 'Tell Your God Tour' of the U.K. and is the follow up to My Ruin's 5th studio album 'Throat Full Of Heart' which was released earlier this year.

Special guests for the tour are UK bands Speed Theory, Illuminatus & Sanctorum. http://www.myspace.com/distortionproject

The blurb:

'My Ruin don't do things by halves. It's all or nothing and you'll either love or hate this fearsome return. We'd bet the former.' 4/5-Steeve Beebee/Kerrang!

'A heavy dose of Southern rock, an unforgiving slab of hardcore and more hard rocking melodies than you can shake a stick at.For anyone who thought My Ruin were just another generic female fronted metal band, stick 'Throat Full...' in your player and prepare to be surprised.From the opening thunder of 'Ready For Blood' to the sudden ending of 'Through The Wound' this band just gets better and better.'

Friday, September 05, 2008

Trivium Irish/Norn Iron tour

The first dates have been announced for Trivium's December Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland tour.

Expected to be a four-date wrap after the Unholy Alliance slots with Slayer and Mastodon, the Trivium mini-tour kicks off in L/Derry's Nerve Centre on December 4th - the same night Mastodon are playing the Spring and Airbrake.

The only other confirmed Trivium date is in Cork on December 7th...so between the 4th and 7th - go figure it out for yourselves :)

Trivium divide opinion. On some of the forums, and among those that consider themselves (rather foolhardily for ones so young - said the wrinkly rocker who writes this crap!) the true voice of metal.

There is no 'true voice of metal' just opinions.

If you don't like Trivium, fair enough (As Baal said: "We were there first time around) but there are many who do. And it is these, who through the likes of Trivium, Bullet for My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold etc reprensent the next wave of young people who get firmly hooked on metal. It is this next wave that will learn to experiment with the wider metal genres, who will when they reach 18 head to the bars to listen to local acts, buy local acts CDs and even form bands themselves.

So if you feel tempted to slag off this crowd of younger metallers, perhaps you need a wee bit of growing up yourself! Encourage them! Better their going to a metal gig than listening to rave, Kylie or Satan help me Beyonce...

(PS - I pretty much like Trivium - yes the writing is a hybrid 'Tallica and 'Deth, but so what!)

PPS - Belfast and Dublin dates - if they happen will be announced early next week

We're all sensitive types really

No really, all us metalheads are creative, senitive types - with personality types close to fans of classical music...

Psychologists say that all who listen to metal can be defined as having: "low self-esteem, creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, at ease."

Errrr, I'm sure we're creative and some of us may have low self-esteem at times, but gentle? Sensitive? The authors of this research have obviously never been in the middle of a full-on mosh pit, or headbanged along to some classic metal and thrash.

As for not outgoing...that must explain why air guitaring is going out of fashion...

Reach the story here and if you want you can even take part in the survey by following the links. Be at ease with yourself and be creative when your filling it out, and remember to show your sensitive side!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Death Magnetic

Okay, I confess....while there are those that are backsliders I have always kept the faith. Metallica (along with Maiden) have always held a special place in my twisted heart. Quite simply Metallica and Maiden are simply the behemoths that stride above mere mortal bands.

On September 12th Metallica release Death Magnetic. I have taken the morning off work to make sure I have a copy in my grubby mits when the doors of my chosen record emporium are cast open (and it shall not be Zavvi - see last post)

Some doubted the mighty Metallica, but from the three tracks available to date for streaming there is no doubt that James, Lars, Kirk and Rob have delivered an album that stands head, shoulders and sweaty ball bag above all the pretenders.

Doubt me (and I'm sure many of you do!)? Head over to Metallica.com and check out the tracks released to date and the video for 'The Day That Never Comes'.

Birth, school, Metallica, Death

Oh, and they're mates with our very own Sweet Savage...'nuff said!

(Sweet Savage are playing the Spring and Airbrake on October 3rd...rest assured Killing Time - the song Metallica covered on a B'side and on Garage Inc will be given an airing)

Are Zavvi Lemmy haters..?

Walked into record emporium Zavvi on Monday intent on purchasing the latest CD offering from the Godfather of Heavy Rock and grandfather of oh so many hard rock and metal bands, Lemmy.

Knowing that Motorhead's latest offering, Motorizer, was due to hit the shelves on Monday, I was looking forward to slaying the pathetic with Lemmy, Mickey and Phil's latest...

Errr, then to my utter surprise, it was not on the latest release shelf. It wasn't even in the 'metal' section. Nor was it to be found in the rock and pop racks...

Ahh, thought I! I shall seek out the staff and ask. With a staff member detected wandering amongst the DVD section for the slow of thinking I asked, and lo he did consult the Zavvi computer....and no, neither the Abbeycentre or the Belfast Zavvi had stocks of Motorizer.

He expressed how perplexed he was at this unexpected development.

While my anger has now subsided (well a little) I pondered on this...Could it be that unless a rock or metal act is being promoted (Slipknot, Black Stone Cherry, Dragonforce) Zavvi were not going to stock it? Or could it be they don't really give a damn about keeping up to date?

Anyhow...said CD is now tearing up the laptop's speakers thanks to one very prompt online service. I'd rather have the pleasure of browsing the shelves, but Zavvi, c'mon it's fucking Motorhead - institution and legend! Get your act together

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Savage coming home

SWEET Savage - Belfast pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal - are coming home to bring their classic metal sound to the Spring and Airbrake on Friday, 3rd October.

It has been widely noted that it was the influence of the music of Sweet Savage were among those that inspired the young members of Metallica to start the band in the early 80’s.

The energy and sound of Sweet Savage proved to be what they were looking for in a band of their own. With Metallica being named as the most inspirational Heavy Metal band in this years Kerrang! Awards, perhaps Sweet Savage could claim the inspiration to the Inspired Award...

Sweet Savage formed in 1978 with band members including Vivian Campbell on guitar, Trev Fleming on guitar, David Bates on drums and Ray Haller on bass and vocals.

In 1980 Sweet Savage released their first single " Take No Prisoners " Which included the NWOBHM classic track " Killing Time " reaching No. 1 in the NWOBHM charts.

During this period they toured Britain with bands such as Budgie, Motorhead, Wild Horses, Wishbone Ash, Ozzy Osbourne. They also toured with Thin Lizzy and was the opening act at the first Slane Castle Concert which included U2 and Thin Lizzy. In fact Sweet Savage was the first act ever to play at Slane!

After recording two further singles ( never released ) Vivian Campbell left the band to pursue other music projects including DIO and Whitesnake, finally settling in as a lead guitarist for Def Leppard after the tragic death of Steve Clark.

It has been widely noted that it was the influence of the music of Sweet Savage that inspired the young members of Metallica to start the band in the early 80’s, the energy and sound of Sweet Savage proved to be what they were looking for in a band of their own.

In the late 90's Metallica covered Sweet Savage track "Killing Time" for their Garage Inc. record, after its mainstream release and performance live in concert, there was large interest in music of Sweet Savage and as a result the band released 2 new studio records. The first full length studio release was 1996’s Killing Time, the second release was 1998’s Rune, both of which were brought out on UK label, Neat Metal Records. Despite this initial success, the band later split up.

Sweet Savage has now reformed, as a favour to a promoter and since then things have unexpectedly began to bloom for the boys, the current lineup included two of the founder member and is in full: Ian Wilson on guitar, Trev Fleming on guitar, Jules Watson on drums and Ray Haller on bass and vocals.

As well as being invited over to London as special guests of Saxon as part of their St George’s day celebrations, Sweet Savage have been playing some of Europe’s Premier music festivals.

If you are don't remember them from first time arouund (I'm old enough to remember a raucous Queen's set and some excellent Belfast Hall support slots) and are into no nonsense Heavy Metal then Sweet Savage is the band to see!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nebula cancel October date

The following statement has just been released on The Distortion Project's Myspace site:

"We've been informed by the band's agent that due to unforseen circumstances, Nebula have been forced to cancel their show in Belfast on Sunday October 12th. All those who bought tickets can obtain refunds from the point of purchase."

Here's hoping for an early return...looks like it'll just be Dragonforce and Turisas the night before to warm the cockles of our metal hearts that weekend...unless you want to see Whitesnake UK tribute band...