Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, March 31, 2016

NEWS: More announced for Bloodstock

WELL, with just 133 days until Bloodstock Open Air shatters the peace of summer in Derbyshire yet more bands have been added to the bill. As if it wasn't burgeoning enough...

The latest batch includes symphonic metal six-piece Pythia, This Is Turin, Derange and One Machine.

One Machine is a name you will be getting very familiar with when they play in Belfast on April 9th, as openers for the Overkill and Vader Limelight1 show.

One Machine is the new project of Steve Smyth. If that name rings a bell, it is because Smyth's talents have been seen on the likes of Nevermore, Testament and Forbidden.

We have it on very good information that more bands are to be added soon, so stay tuned!

More bands? How in the name of Beelzebub are we going to cope with all the clashes across the four stages?

Already there are Twisted Sister, Mastodon, Slayer, Behemoth, Gojira, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Corrosion of Conformity, Symphony X, Satyricon, Paradise Lost, Dragonforce, Metal Allegiance, Stuck Mojo, Rotting Christ, Venom, Diamond Head, Goatwhore and shit tonnes more...

Weekend camping plus VIP packages are still available starting at £139+ booking fee.

All the latest BOA news can be followed here, via twitter @bloodstockfest, or by keeping checking here.

NEWS: LIve Motorhead album set for May release

IT was almost inevitable that some sort of Motorhead album would be released in the wake of Lemmy's death in December of last year.

UDR Records, in collaboration with 'Motorhead Music' will release the live album/DVD 'Clean Your Clock' on May27th.

Recorded on November 20th and 21st at the Zenith in Munich, Germany it was the last recording of a Motorhead show as the last ever tour by the band was coming to a close.

Yes, Lemmy was ill at the time but he still got up on stage and played. Yes, he was not the same man as he had been three or four years previously, but no-one doubted that he still got up on stage and played, it was in his blood as much as there was alcohol in his blood.

Is it valid for the label to release this? Some might see it as cashing in, but that is to ignore the fact that UDR is a business, and as such they lost one of their valued assets with Lemmy's passing.

And, while the individuals on the label mourned the loss of a friend they still had these live recordings. Who knows, there may have been a contractual issue for its release. However, it would have been cynical of the label to hold on to these recordings and do something tacky such as releasing them on the anniversary of the man's death.

We here at Belfastmetalheadsreunited are glad they are releasing the album. No matter what the quality of Motorhead's final shows it is fitting that the last album from Motorhead is a live album.

No doubt at some stage in the future there will be some sort of lost recordings/rarities compilation album, but for now we can't wait to hear 'Clean Your Clock'.

Bomber / Stay Clean / Metropolis / When The Sky Comes Looking For You/ Over The Top/ (Guitar Solo) The Chase Is Better Than The Catch/ Lost Woman Blues/ Rock It/ Dr. Rock/ Just ‘Cos You Got The Power/ No Class/ Ace Of Spades/ Whorehouse Blues/ Overkill

· Coloured Double Vinyl in Gatefold with Pop-up Art
· Standalone Audio CD
· DVD of the show with audio CD
· BluRay of the show with audio CD
· BOXSET which contains the Coloured Double Vinyl in Gatefold with Pop-Up Art, DVD of the show with audio CD and the Motörhead Metal Medal
· A limited edition BOXSET will be available through the UDR shop and will contain the Motörhead Medal in Silver or Gold
· Also available as a Digital download.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

COMIN' ATCHA: Airbourne prove loyalty with yet another return to Belfast

THEY are one of the most loyal hard rock visitors to Belfast - Airbourne. In case you missed the initial announcement the Aussie four piece are playing Limelight1 on 24th August.

When the first appeared on the scene with début release 'Runnin' Wild' it was clear that they were a band intent on playing hard ass whipping ass; and when they played what is now Limelight2 they proved live they were the real deal.

When Joel O'Keefe pushed his way through the crowd while still playing to get a pint from the bar the mixture of cheers and laughter summed up what was to come.

All the way from Warnambool in Victoria Australia they have come back to Northern Ireland, with shows including Mandella Hall and Limelight1 dates the 24th August date is part of the final leg of the 'Black Dog Barking' tour cycle, which will see them play festivals across Europe - and Belfast.

Tickets, priced £17.50 plus booking fee, are on sale now from all usual outlets.

Monday, March 21, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Beholder deliver compassion and anger in equaly measures on Reflections

THE keyboard warriors of the world spout opinions on every matter under the sun - we're all guilty at tomes - but when you have a stance in the world it is the creative not the commentators who can deliver; and that is something Beholder have done on their forthcoming release 'Reflections'.

In the world of metal there is little new under the sun, but on Reflections they have taken the traditional metal trope, re-interpreted it for 2016 and produced an outstanding set of 10 songs - each with a message, each with a level of musicianship that belies its Kickstarter origins.

Indeed it is a sad reflection of times that a band as talented as Beholder needed to go out to fans to finance the release, but they can take solace in that the quality on display will surely have labels sniffing around for a full release and distribution.

It is an album jam packed with tunes that sit head and shoulders above many so-called big acts. Lyrically this is what we would all hope to understand, that we can be compassionate towards those in need, those who are isolated and persecuted, and we can rage in anger at injustice, cruelty and the worst aspects of society.

This is something that Simon Hall has done. Songs such as 'Heal The Wounds', which deals with the issues around the attempted murder of school girl Malala for daring to suggest that girls deserve an education.

The anger at those who tried to kill the young woman is balanced with the respect for her courage and the freedom to learn that is a right for all. The line "The freedom to sing, the freedom to cry, the freedom to simply walk on by" is one to send shivers down the neck.

Equally the lead release, 'Frozen Steps of Otøya is a deconstruction of the Norwegian mass murderer who killed so many young people on an island for some perverted cause. Hall takes the man's motives, destroys them and gives a voice of hope arising from the tragedy.

The power of the message is one thing, but without the music it would be just another poet in a world drowned in contrary views. Combined with the music it becomes a manifesto of hope, driving home with a package that sees a band rise to the next level in its evolution.

Make no mistake, this a heavy metal album, full stop. But it does not fall into the trap of living in the past, or trying to bask in what we sometimes expect from bands in a 'genre'.

There are riffs a plenty, but there are melodies to provide a counterpoint to the exorcism through metal. 'Danse Macbre' and 'Breath In the Silence', together with 'I, Machine' also show a band not afraid to be subtle and give space for the songs develop.

Scott Taylor, as said before, takes what can be a tired metal trope and delivers a stunning guitar display. Power and grace in solos and breakdowns will have listeners going back time and time to this album.

Si Fielding (bass) and Chris Bentley (drums) are a powerhouse of rhythm work. On 'Killing Time' and 'Army of One' they provide a foundation that enables each track's depth to be explored by all the band.

If there is one niggle it is on the outro of 'My Revolution' with its cacophony of voices, ending in a child's voice. The point of the lyric had already been driven home on the song, without the need to tell it again.]

But that is only a minor niggle, a few seconds that do not mar this release, but perhaps serves to emphasise how the 10 tracks are a true marriage of great metal and lyrical excellence.

In a world of so many false prophets of new sounds'; in a world where there are more genres than bands, some will not give Reflections the listens it requires. This is a release that needs time. On first listen it is immediately a good release, but after the third listen it emerges as a great release.

Review by Jonny

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NEWS: Massive Wagons release video for Tokyo

ON revved up anthem 'Tokyo' the fighting spirit at the very heart of Massive Wagons shines through. ‘You won’t play us on the radio’ blasts frontman Baz Mills. But this time we just might…

Because on brand new record 'Welcome To The World', Massive Wagons carry all the passion, power and party attitude missing in the slow lane of British rock.
For those who missed MW last week in Belfast here's the video for 'Tokyo':

It’s the sound of a band accelerating towards stardom and overtaking the opposition.

Guitarist Adam Thistlethwaite revealed: “Our sound has always drawn on many different influences from classic rock to AOR to heavy blues and prog.

“Those influences are deliberately more polarised from track to track on this album. We love to be able to morph from highly accessible rock to deeper cuts.

“The result is something a lot more diverse yet a lot more ‘us’. We had a much heavier hand in the production beyond just the performance.

“I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do.”

Listen to 'Ratio' – where Massive Wagons promise to ‘go to a place where the beer is cheap, the craic is good and jukebox is free’ – and you’ll want to jump aboard and party hard.

Load up 'Shit Sweat Death' and it’s as if Vince Neil is fronting Nashville Pussy. On the uplifting set closer 'Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum' fans will lap up the giant-sized hooks that put the ‘massive’ into Massive Wagons.

In fact the band’s new album is rock and roll road trip referencing everyone from AC/DC to Black Stone Cherry, Green Day to Iron Maiden. And with Welcome To The World the Wagons are surely well on the road to long-term success.

After signing to Off Yer Rocka Reordings in 2014, Massive Wagons released the critically acclaimed Fight The System – the record that persuaded label bosses no MOT was required.

“I loved their songs from day one and didn’t want to change a thing about them,” said Off Yer Rocka CEO John Davies. “They already have a huge reputation as hard-gigging live band but Welcome To The World will confirm Massive Wagons as serious songwriters.

“People won’t believe this is the sound of five guys from North West England. This is music made for North American arenas.”

NEWS: Killswitch Engage Incarnate lauch shows

KILLSWITCH Engage did 5 TINY sold out gigs, all in different venues, in New York City last week - to celebrate the launch of their new album Incarnate. Of course, the shows were totally mental (one of the venues, St Vitus, only holds like 200 people, to give you an idea). 

They've put together a little recap video of the 5 nights, inc live footage, new songs etc - 


NEWS: Raging Speedhorn Reveal Album Title, Artwork & Release Date

Lost Ritual Set For Wide Release On July 15th 2016

Corby sludge demons Raging Speedhorn have finally announced the release date of their long awaited new album.

The record, titled ‘Lost Ritual’, is set for a wide release on July 15th 2016. However, anyone who pledged on the record will receive their copy a week earlier on July 8th 2016.

Guitarist Jim Palmer had this to say on the album and its title "This album seems like a true reflection of everyone's input, a slice of all of us, if you will. It has those typical Speedhorn, pumping rock n roll moments, and some much darker ones too. Sound wise, it's got all the feedback, distortion, bad attitude and in-your-face antics you'd expect with a sound that should be more familiar to Speedhorn fans, but with a twist.

 The title of the album, “Lost Ritual”, came initially from the artwork. It just seemed to fit perfectly with the image. Subconsciously though, I think maybe the title fits even better than that, as the mojo in the band seems to be back. Speedhorn have finally returned. We are really excited for everyone to hear the new album; you won’t be disappointed!"

Fans still wanting to Pledge on the new record can do so here - http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/raging-speedhorn

“Lost Ritual”, which was produced by Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, The Wildhearts), is their first record with original vocalist Frank Regan since ‘How The Great Have Fallen’ in 2005, the band’s first record since ‘Before The Sea Was Built’ in 2008, and the first with their new line up.

Raging Speedhorn formed in 1998 and went on to release four records, the most successful being their second release ‘We Will Be Dead Tomorrow’, recorded by Billy Graziadei & Danny Schuler of Biohazard fame. The band achieved chart success with ‘The Gush’ in 2001, toured globally with the likes of Slipknot, Ill Nino, Rammstein and Will Haven, and performed at countless festivals around the world, including main stage at the inaugural Download Festival in 2004. They split in 2008 following the release of their last record ‘Before The Sea Was Built’ and a subsequent tour of Japan.