Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ozzmium are Worse Than Ever!

Ozzmium...Worse Than Ever? NO WE ARE NOT dissing Ozzmium!

We're simply giving you the chance to have a wee gander at the official video for their track Worse Than Ever!

Enjoy and let us all know what you think!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stand-Up Guy for Download!

Wanna help local act Stand-Up Guy get a slot at this year's Download.

It's simple, just visit this link and signup, then rate/comment on the rather nice video!

C'Mon, ya know you want to!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Using articles from this site

AFTER the super response to the idea of reader reviews etc, thought I would offer up a few things from this side.

If you want to use an article from this site (review, interview etc) please feel free to use it for non-commercial ends. Only condition is that you credit it to the site with a link to the site. If the article is marked as by-lined by an individual you'll have to contact us to get the nod. Otherwise fire away!

If it is for commercial use, then email us here.

Now, those reader reviews etc...where are they :) \m/

Volbeat to support 'Tallica

Seems that Danish act Volbeat are to support Metallica at the Odyssey on 11th and 12th May.

Described by that venerable organ Metal Hammer as Danish Rockabilly rockers...well everything has to have a label...they're a humorous bunch, which might serve to lossen up us old metalheads before the intensity of 'Tallica!

The source of the story is the Odyssey Arena's Twitter feed, re-posted by Metal Hammer. Hat tip to Redskull for the Facebook tip off.

Tune into FM in May

BACK the 80s once again - pop rockers FM are set to play the Spring and Airbrake on 22nd May - more details to follow.


KIP Winger, led his band to more than seven years of hard rockin’ glory at the tail end of the 80s, before rock and metal’s fortunes dipped as the fashionistas and scenester label bosses cuddled up to grunge and the dubious world of rap and hip hop.

Now Kip is bringing his band and their brand of uniquely skilled hard rock to Belfast.

In advance of the Spring & Airbrake date on March 27th, Kip took time out to speak to Belfastmetalheadsreunited.

Looking back at the Winger’s heady chart domination, and wrongly being labelled as a ‘hair metal’ band Kip spoke about the days when MTV led off shows with hits such Headed for a Heartbreak and Seventeen.

“The videos where done 20 years ago.. no big deal. We had a great time making them and have fun playing the music now.”

For some the videos were the big deal. But Kip is clear that the few that paid too much attention to the set pieces were missing the point about the band’s skills and the ‘look’ foisted on so many acts that looks a little bit ‘old’ from today’s perspective.

“Of course every genre can tend to look dated after 20 years, and anyone who is stupid enough to think you actually play your instruments in a video needs their head examined! It's SHOWBIZ baby...”

And that showbiz laid the groundwork for many, many highs for Winger, both personally and for the band

“Getting the gig playing with Alice Cooper.. for Winger the first gold record. Playing Wembley arena.. etc etc, so many!”

At the height of their early career, awards, multi platinum sales and fan adoration, there was some unjustified criticism of Winger. From the 80s to the present day Kip has been outspoken. His words painted him as a fierce defender of the band, and now he has the chance to let the music do the talking.

“A fierce defender... hmmm... well, I'd say that I always tried to point out where people might be accepting what the media is feeding them they’d be better actually listening to our music.

“Regardless of that, Touring with the band is very fun, actually that's the only reason I do it anymore. We have a great time! Other than that, I'm working on other musical projects and staying busy.”

Since re-uniting in 2001 Winger have issued several platters, the latest Promise Land, [Erratum - should be Karma] of which he promises to let Belfast hear “three or four tracks, no telling”.

But of the hits of the past, what ones still feel fresh and which ones are on the set list?

“All of them feel fresh.. come and see for yourself which ones we play”!

Kip comes across as someone content to back playing with Winger, and with a “symphonic” side project to keep the man personally interested.

Winger are band whose legacy will be seen as proving that the schlock tales of sordid hair metal biographies too often masked the real talent in the music at the time. But then again while the west coast of USA hair metal was built upon image as much as anything else, Winger were an east coast of the US band; where the blue collar work ethic and the real deal in terms of songwriting and making sure rock melodies really mattered proved that there was depth and passion aplenty.

When Winger hits the stage at the Spring & Airbrake make sure you’re there. Kip and co straddle the years that have seen so much glory for those with a passion for hard rock and heavy metal (in the broadest sense!).

In the 80s, as today, the groundswell of support bubbled under the radar, while occasionally, breaching the boundaries of the mainstream. When the fickle flare of fashion dips for a moment it is the music that keeps going.

Rock on Winger!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quick catch up

I don't know, you take a wee break of a day and what happens! ZP Theart leaves Dragonforce, Skindred's Spring & Airbrake show on March 21st is made all ages (don't worry you can still grab a pint in Katy Day's, but not carrying it through) and more and more gigs have been listed in the comments section of the earlier post about kidneys!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soundstone's forthcoming dates

After the exhaustive gig listing last night Wayne reminded me that Rage Against the Machine, supported by media darling refusniks Gallows play the O2, Dublin, while Adrian of Soundstone sent me a listing of their forthcoming gigs:
11/3/10 - The Pavillion, Belfast - headline show with support from Sister Marko and The Dead Presidents.
26/3/10 - The Terrace Bar, Omagh - supporting Jaded Sun
17/4/10- RockD @ The Limelight with Trucker Diablo
23/4/10 - Banbridge Football Club - Gacys Threads headliner with support from Soundstone, Dwell in Sun and B.O.Y
26/6/10 - The Black Boat, Bangor - Soundstone with support from Kobi, Third Harvest

Now, is there anything else I missed :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dan Reed Interview

There's an interview with Dan Reed, before last weekend's return to Ahoghill on the Belfast Telegraph's website. Find it here - hat tip to Bel Tele video journo Gary Grattan.

Just how many kidneys do you need?

Just how many kidneys do you really need? How much will your granny (alive or deceased) sell for on eBay? Can you cut down on alcohol consumption from 100 units per week to the government recommended maximum of 20-odd units?

Okay, scrub that last one - there some things self-respecting metalheads and rockers should not be expected to give up.

The point is that already 2010 is proving to be a bumper year for all things noisy, but with all the ear-ringing delight comes the monetary cost (doubly so when you take your kid to Machine Head: we have all the MH back catalogue, but now he wants all the Hatebreed and Bleeding Through back catalogue too!).

So we thought it opportune to list what's in store to leave piggy banks broken and empty and the journey to the ATM a soul-destoying trek to see what you can't afford. Here goes:

Ozzmium/Murdock/Circadian/Last Known Addiction - March 11th, Auntie Annies (Ozzmium video launch)
(HED) P.E./Threat Signal/Attila - March 12th, Spring & Airbrake
Honey for Christ/Darkest Era/Death Warrant - March 13th, The Limelight
Tinn Lizzy - March 17th, St Patrick's Day at the Spring & Airbrake
Devil Makes Three/Sirocco/Hybris - March 20th, The Limelight
A Little Bitter/Inch High/Black Freeway - March 20th, Diamond Rock Bar
Skindred - March 21st, Spring & Airbrake
Winger/Stormzone/World's End - March 27th, Spring & Airbrake
Eyehategod/Black Cobra - April 4th, The Limelight
Ricky Warwick - April 5th, Diamond Rock Club, Ahoghill
Ashanti/Pay*ola - April 10th, Spring & Airbrake
Airbourne/Black Spiders - April 13th, Mandella Hall
Glamour of the Kill/Yashin/Escape Fails - April 24th, Auntie Annies (GOTK UK tour closer)
GMT - April 24th, Diamond Rock Club, Ahoghill
Cathedral/Church of Misery/Gates of Slumber - April 28th, The Limelight (Cathedral currently streaming new song 'Edwige's Eyes' at www.myspace.com/cathedral from the album 'The Guessing Game', due out on March 26)
Negura Bunget/Fen/The Way ofPurity - April 29th, The Limelight
Bolt Thrower/Rotting Page/Overoth - May 3rd, The Limelight
Kiss - May 7th, O2 Dublin
Decade of Aggression - Distortion Project 20th Birthday (Primordial,Orange Goblin +19 other bands, stalls and all solrts of good shit) - all over Ormeau Avenue!
Metallica - 11th & 12th May Odyssey [HELL YEAH!]
Tygers of Pan Tang - 15th May, Diamond Rock Club, Ahoghill
Megadeth - 14th June, Live at the Marquee, Cork
Pearl Jam - 23rd June Odyssey
Deep Purple - 28th June Custom House Square

I'm sure I've missed some, and some details may need corrected: and if there are gigs beyond Belfast let me know too! If so, y'all know what to do.
Deicide - 28th June, Spring & Airbrake

Friday, March 05, 2010

Where do we go from here?

THE Machine Head gig at the Ulster Hall represents something of a watershed for this blog. All involved have been touched and pleased by the response from readers contributing their thoughts, views and reviews.

But it leaves tbe question, as posed in the coda of Sweet Child O' Mine, where do we go from here?

Certainly the idea of readers posting reviews seems to be popular. It would be presumptious of me to say that my reviews were more worthy than those of readers. Equally it is clear that I cannot go to all the gigs I want to. With way too many years of professional writing I have the awards etc to prove I can waffle with the best of them, but I also have the experience to sub-edit appropriately the same said reviews.

Would readers be willing to submit reviews via email that I would sub-edit? And would they be willing to review gigs that I, or one of the contributors, could not attend? And, should their reviews prove consistently coherent, would they want to be able to post directly?

Since this blog started I have wanted to develop it to further the cause of 'eavy fuggin' metal. As such the community has meant more to me than the statistics on the visitor charts.

But what if it was to be taken further?

What if it was to become more than a source of information?

Could it be a vehicle that local bands use to sell merch and CDs?

Could it be a vehicle for fans of hard rock and metal to show off their talents in other ways such as graphic design, or web design - a sort of hard rockin; marketplace.

I really don't know  - but I do know I think that it could be a resource for local fans and bands - as well as being a place to reflect and rumminate over gigs.

For example what if bands were to sell merch via the site? Or even run a competition, via the site, to design a t-shirt or album cover, with the winner getting a cut of the eventual sales?

I want to be very clear here that I do NOT want to tread on the toes of existing sites such as the wonderful Metal Ireland: indeed if other sites want to develop these ideas and it benefits the metal community I'll not be shedding any tears.

But I believe that readers of this site can forge ahead to come up with ideas to develop the rock and metal scene using this medium. For example: If someone has web design skills could they develop a site with a shop that they get a cut of sales from t-shirts shifted? Could a t-shirt designer and band get a cut from sales on the site?

Even, should there be any money generated from what is essentially a fan site (yes I am a sad 42-year-old metal fanatic, who with two kids - one shortly off to uni - that should know better!) that was created by a fan - that would be me - for fans.

Ultimately, this blog will go on no matter what (well if there is a nuclear attack on Belfast we may have to shorten the posts!) but I want to make sure that I hear your views on development.

Until then, thanks to y'all for reading, thanks for commenting and reviewing, but most of all thanks for your faith in all things loud and feckin' proud!

Now, gotta think of questions for Winger and Airbourne interviews....

Video launch

Quick note to note a video launch...Ozzmium launch their new video at Auntie Annie's next Thursday with a gig that will see them backed by Murdock, Circadian and Last Known Addiction.

Doors are at 9pm with the first band on stage within half an hour of you rushing up the stairs and racing to the bar.

A video launch, a gig and beer....mmm wonder if the Oscars could organise a metal night for their flicks? Avatar with Hatebreed for the battle scenes? Hurt Locker with Pink Floyd as a backdrop? The Educator with Metallica playing Welcome Home (Sanitorium)?

Or just any James Carey movie with a Motley Crue soundtrack?

Ozzmium video will be live here shortly after the launch. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Your Machine Head Black Procession reviews

MACHINE Head open reviews was the first attempt by this site to 'crowd source' - that is to see if the wider community could 'source' content from our faithful readers in the form of reviews. Much thanks to the ever popular Anonymous, Bill 'Redskull', Wayne and Tara posting comments on the page that contained the request for the crowd sourcing reviews. You can read them here.

Before reading them what do y'all think about the idea of allowing more people to provide reviews to this blogs? We're not talking about just plain comments and discussions - the likes of the Metal Ireland gig discussion pages are better suited to that, and we'd never want to usurp that wonderful resource and source of views, news and opinions.

What we're talking about is opening up the potential for readers to review gigs. We've had some guest reviewers before and their posts have proven popular. Basically the idea would be to email the review and we'll post it, with byline to the blog?

Views please...

In the meantime below are two other reviews from Matthew and Conor.

By Conor McCormick:

GOT in just in time for Bleeding Through, absolutely raging that I missed Man Must Die, doors at 7? Dont think so!

Bleeding Through were really powerful, sound for them was immense! Even though the keyboards weren't that high in the mix (Possibly a good thing!) Played a blinder of a set, although I may be slightly biased as a bleeding through fan.

Hatebreed were awesome. Not really a thinking man's band, but I think thats a big reason as to why there so good live. You can switch off your brain and just mosh. Suprised Jasta took getting hit with a bottle so calmly, was good to see though, any further attention to it may have antagonised the situation. Also suprised by the lack of bro-dudes present, last two times I've seen Hatebreed its been full of macho brodudery. The energy that band create is fantastic. Perfect opening band for a headliner in a venue such as the Ulster Hall.

Finally there was Machine Head Must admit im not their biggest fan and after the fiasco at the Kings Hall a few years back I wasnt overly keen on seeing them again. In saying that, the sound in the Nugent Hall was a key factor in the muddiness of their sound, they would have sounded clearer playing a cave!

The Ulster Hall is a good venue and the sound for the support bands was tight and cohesive which is why I know it can't be blamed on the venue or the PA they had with them.

It was simply too loud, they sacraficed clarity for volume. From what could be made out it did sound like the on stage sound was good but that was hard to make out. Stood everywhere, from front of stage, to the sides to the middle of the venue, even beside the sound desk and for a few minutes upstairs we managed to sneak up onto the balcony. Pretty much everywhere it was uncomfortably loud. Worst gig for that I've ever been to. Will be investing in a set of plugs incase this happens again. Machine Head's sound man has been with them for many years so he knows what he's doing, he looked to be pissed off at times. Not sure whether this was to do with the sheer volume or for alternate reason. Sound issues aside they did appear to be playing a sweet set and I know those up the front had no issues as the fans were going mad. Although it did them no favours in gaining myself as a new fan, it didn't seem to do any harm to current fans.

All round it was a pretty good show by all bands and maybe now people will refer to Machine Head as the loudest band to play Ireland as opposed to the messiest.

By Matt Dougherty

THE Ulster Hall is a venue renowned for its great sound across Ireland, but on Monday night Machine Head weren’t quite so clear. Indeed, it’d be easy to argue the support bands benefited more from the acoustics than the headliners.

Unfortunately, we missed all but the last two songs of Man Must Die, but the two songs left a lasting impression. The first was that they were heavy as fuck. The second was, somewhat ironically in hindsight, that the sound was pretty good. Unfortunately the latter would not join the first to become a recurring theme through the night.

Bleeding Through had a relatively short time slot, and were much like the first group to perform in that they were brutally heavy. For many, the female keyboardist was a memorable highlight, even if her input on songs was questionable, if present at all. Certainly, with their death metal stylings, keyboards wouldn’t be the first instrument to jump to mind, but towards the end of their set she proved her presence was more than one purely for aesthetics.

Not long after Hatebreed took to the stage, a stray cup filled with water landed on frontman Jamey Jasta’s head, who didn’t react to it at all. This seemed to echo the attitude of the band – if you don’t like it, that’s your problem. Meanwhile, Hatebreed were here to perform for both dedicated fans and curious newcomers alike, and boy were they were out to impress. Their impressive setlist comprised of 15 songs – albeit short ones – won them many fans, with a particular highlight being the anthem In Ashes They Shall Reap. Simple lyrics which are no doubt relevant to everyone meant most of the crowd could appreciate them, even some of the more sceptical punters towards the back, with a great deal of headbanging and moshing happening throughout the hall. Thanks from the stage were genuinely heartfelt, and it was apparent that the band were enjoying themselves as much as the near capacity crowd in the Hall.

And then came Machine Fuckin’ Head. Opening with Clenching the Fists of Dissent from the new album before taking things back with older tracks like Imperium and Ten Ton Hammer, it was clear that if the Machine Head boys have learned anything from their support of Metallica, it’s that the crowd wants to hear a mixture of material old and new. Five tracks from the new album were played, including the tribute to Dimebag Aesthetics of Hate and the nine minute masterpiece Halo, with a mixture of many older songs, including Exhale The Vile and the recently premiered Vim padding out the setlist. Indeed, Machine Head played a great mixture of material that both dedicated fans and new recruits could enjoy. The operative word being could. By this time, the sound had unfortunately decayed to a muddy, murky mess, with any sound from the guitars or the vocals being drowned out by the thunderous drums and the rumbling bass. It’s a pity too, because somewhere under the sound it was evident the band were on top form, performing their songs flawlessly and genuinely thankful for the support of the people gathered to see them. It’s pretty clear why they’ve cemented a reputation as being immense live – but in Belfast it just didn’t go their way.

Vader, Blaze Bayley, Dan Reed, Cathedral, Deicide etc etc

THANKS to everyone who has posted/sent their views on Machine Head - I'll be amalgamating these for an opinion piece tomorrow, but in the meantime there's Vader tonight, Blaze Bayley on Thursday, Dan Reed on Saturday (still tickets available for the bus from Belfast). Again, as part of the experiement email me details.

And look out for further details about the Cathedral and Deicide gigs and other gig news.

Right off to see if the ringing in my ears has eased any \m/

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

We want YOUR Machine Head review

SOUND problems aside (see comments on previous post) last night's Black Procession tour closer in Belfast's Ulster Hall was a brutal exposition of how metal should be delivered.

Usually at this point we sit down and compose a carefully worded review. But, this time out we're going to have an experiment. We want YOU to review the gig!

Was the band line-up balanced? Was it a triumphant tour closer for Machine Head after three years touring The Blackening? Were Bleeding Through a good match? Did Hatebreed's passiom come across?How good was the lighting rig compared to the at times ropey sound? And was the stand-in opener a suitable way to get things underway?

How to post a review:
1: Comment on this post, as per normal
2. Email us here with longer pieces.

No prizes (sorry) apart from bylines for your review.

If this works wse may throw the doors open to a wider net of contributors.

Looking forward to reading your views - our review will come within 48 hours.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Machine Head after-show party

After yer ears have been blasted, and yer senses are over-loaded by the aural assault of Machine Head, Hatebreed, Bleeding Through and All Shall Perish there is a chance to chill to some more metal.

The Distortion Project's own James Loveday will be spinning some heavy vibes at the Limelight for an after-show party. A sound way to relax after Machine Head and plan the week ahead...y'know the week with Blaze Bayley, Vader and Dan Reed!