Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NEWS: New album and North American tour ahead of Diamond Head's Belfast date

DESPITE being referred to unfairly as veterans, Diamond Head are still touring and are set to release a new album ahead of their 23rd September date in Belfast's Voodoo.

The band have just announced an extensive North American tour, and will be releasing a self-titled album shortly.

Oh, and they are playing Bloodstock too!

The North American tour will see the band play coast to coast, and from Texas to the mid-west.

Brian Tatler had this to say about the new album: “I had no interest in doing another record but after working with Ras on the 2014 European tour that suddenly changed.  I wanted to make a record with him.

He’s a confident singer and he’s not trying to fill anyone’s shoes”.

Recording of the album commenced last July with the band and engineer Adam Beddow at the helm.
Tatler said: “I gave Rasmus some music to listen to last January.  He selected songs or riffs that he wanted to work on and we began rehearsing. We whittled things down to fourteen songs by April”.

Eleven songs were selected in the end for the album; all mixed by Dave Nicholls and mastered by John Davis at London’s Metropolis.

NEWS: The Mission launch pledge campaign ahead of Belfast date and UK tour

THE Mission are hitting their thirtieth birthday with a tour including a Belfast date, and a new pledge campaign

Here's the blurb:
Back in 1986 the band were coming off a run of #1 independent singles, signing to major label Phonogram (now part of Universal Music) and going on to sell several million albums through the 90s before taking a break in 1997. The band reconvened in 2001 to begin a similarly successful career back in the independent world, releasing #1 albums in Germany and several European territories, touring the world and expanding their incredibly loyal fan-base from S. America to Asia.

That fan-base is what now brings The Mission into PledgeMusic and the new 30th Anniversary album is available to pre-order at Pledge, alongside special offers including deluxe 2 x CD + DVD and vinyl editions, handwritten lyric sheets, anniversary merchandise, VIP touring experiences and even a very special visit to the band’s rehearsal studio. All of this and more can be found on The Mission’s PledgeMusic campaign page http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/the-mission 

Speaking of the new campaign The Mission’s Wayne Hussey said;

“I never dreamt all those years ago as we first set foot on stage at the tiny Alice In Wonderland club in London that we would be celebrating our 30th birthday with a brand new album produced by Tim Palmer and extensive world tour.

“I am really happy with the new songs and I feel that our audience are going to really love this record”.

The Mission play Belfast's Limelight on 2nd October.

COMIN' ATCHA: Planet of Zeus, Two Tales of Woe and more

IN case you missed the announcement, The Distortion Project has announced that the biggest rock band in Greece, Planet of Zeus, will be making a return visit to Belfast on November 23rd, at the Voodoo in Belfast.

If you saw them last time with Clutch (review is here) you'll know that their groove stoner rock/metal is highly entertaining. If you missed them, make a point of inking this date in your diary.

As well as Planet of Zeus, the DP shows return on 18th June with the mighty Two Tales of Woe - supported by Bad Boat and Erosion - in the usual Saturday 5-9 slot.

And, on July 2nd batten down the hatches for Heaviness Can't Wait, Midsummer Murder with War Iron, Nomadic Rituals and Molarbear. That should shake your fillings!

Feck sake, and with Pentagram playing on 11th October that is just some of the any DP shows.

NEWS: High Fighter's new video released

HERE'S one to blow thoughts of sunshine away...
Stoner power doom and sludge metal outfit High Fighter have just unveiled a first music video from their upcoming debut album 'Scars & Crosses' for the track 'Blinders'!
Before you watch this is the blurb:
"Formed in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis, this band is a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs fuelled by beer and the mighty weedian riffs.

"Add a heavy dose of the blues and these deadly schizophrenic vocals, and these guys and girl offer something special to the Sludge, Blues and Stoner Scene. After their critically acclaimed debut EP 'The Goat Ritual' released end of 2014, followed by numerous shows over Europe including UK dates, festivals, several tours and shows with bands such as Ahab, Mammoth Storm, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, The Midnight Ghost Train & many more, HIGH FIGHTER will release their first & full length album 'Scars & Crosses' on June 10th 2016 with Svart Records!

"While the band follows their DIY- attitude, the self-produced video for 'Blinders' has been filmed and edited by HIGH FIGHTER's bassist Constantin Wüst.
Vocalist Mona Miluski said: “This shot was fun, 100%-DIY. I also think this track perfectly represents one of the main issues we deal with on our debut record. 'Scars & Crosses' is about a dark past, about the wounds and scars of your soul that life may have given you. It's about your inner demons, and especially people in society or in any relationships will find your scars as a bad attitude, a bad character.
"You often need to be a 'Blinder', change yourself until you will be accepted, liked or loved. On this album we say no, having your scars are not a bad character and you should not change yourself or try to ignore these scars until you're “worth” to be loved. Learn to also love those who have their scars, we all have them...these darkest days, moments and demons in life, your entire history, our scars engrave us, they belong to you as much as the good sides.“

 Here's the video:

ALBUM REVIEW: Devildriver unleaash seventh album Trust No One

AS part of my other writing life there are times when a press release drops into ye olde inbox that makes you halt the wee typing fingers and pause. One such release announced the release of 'Joe and Seph's' Marmite Popcorn.

Marmite famously trades on the schtick that you either love it or hate it (which makes all sane people wonder about the wisdom of marmite popcorn...). Similarly there used to be amongst the metal community those that either loved Devildriver or hated Devildriver.

But now, seven albums later Devildriver have not only won over most of the metal community, but have delivered a consummate distillation of all the strong points from the previous releases.

'Pray for Villains', 'Beast' and 'Winter Kills' all had a unique take on the DD sound, but now Dez Fafara and his cohorts have harnessed those albums and the earlier released to produce what is probably their most mature album, without losing the sheer heaviness of the Californian crew.

What really distinguishes this release is that Devildriver have allowed some of the tracks breath, with Mark Lewis's production doing so without losing the intensity of the songs. Examples are such as 'This Deception' and 'Above It All', but above all the so-called groove metal albums are still in place.

The clichéd term of groove metal has always slightly belied the other elements of Devildriver's sound. The speedy title track has as much thrash in its elements as groove.

Throughout guitarists Mike Sprietzer and Neal Tiemann tear it up - some of the riffs and licks are amongst the best they have ever delivered, while Austin D'Amond's drums provide power and punctuation.

Lyrically Dez seems angry with the world and certain individuals - although the line about "Mercury in Retrograde' gives away some of the singer's more esoteric beliefs...

What the music and lyrics provide are a combination of corrosive chaos that provides a cathartic release, tracks to pummel the wall with your fists and yell into the abyss.

Trust No One? Perhaps, but you can trust Devildriver. Now, where is that Marmite Popcorn to accompany the beer?

Trust No One is out now on Napalm

Review by Jonny

COMIN' ATCHA:: NWOBHM feast as Saxon, Fastway and Girlschool land in Limelight in October

SAXON have once again proved they are true warriors of the road, with announcing yet another tour, and making sure they come back to Northern Ireland.

Biff and co are landing in Limelight1 on October 30th, and are bringing Fastway and Girlschool along for the ride.

Biff said: "Gonna be a great tour with Fastway and Girlschool. I think this line up is unique, you don't wanna miss it. Looking forward to battering some halls...Welcome to the metal church!"

Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

NEWS: Demons of Old Metal release video for Raising the Horde

SUMMER 2016 promises to be a defining period for everybody's favourite denizens of hell, Demons of Old Metal.  Following a storming performance at the Mosh Against Cancer festival in Coventry this April, D.O.O.M. are now gearing up for four summer festivals starting with Wildfire in Scotland on June 24th.  This will be followed by their headline slot at SOPHIE Fest, Coventry on July 16th, then on to the Phoenix Alternative festival in Wales on August 13th and last, but not least, a return by popular demand to Beermageddon during the last weekend of August!

Demons of Old Metal are looking forward to adding to their burgeoning army of fans, 'The Demonic Horde' and have released a montage-style video for their nu-thrash classic, 'Fakeskin' to give potential new recruits a taster of what to expect when the band hit the stage. You can watch it below.

Formed at the tail end of 2010 by four veterans of the UK metal circuit with the sole intention of cranking out classically tinged metal and engulfing venues in a sea of blood, sweat and beers.
Coupling a cracking knack for writing quality songs, their penchant for schlock horror imagery and an otherworldly stage show, DOOM set about putting together their debut record; “The Demonic Chronicles Vol I”. Released on Halloween 2012, the response from fans and the media alike was overwhelmingly positive and saw the band begin making a name for themselves.

In 2013 the band released “The Demonic Chronicles Vol. II”; a further addition to their stunning repertoire. This was followed in 2014 by the final part of "The Demonic Chronicles Trilogy" which was greeted with critical acclaim in Europe and the U.S. They proceeded to hit the road and carve their mark viciously into the psyche of the British live scene; scoring slots at Beermageddon in the UK, as well as shows in Ireland.

Simultaneously, they began work on their new record “Dominion”. Set for release on December 7th 2015, “Dominion” stands as a huge leap forward, as the band have pushed their musical boundaries and created a work that will no doubt appeal to fans of both the new and old schools. Tracks like ‘You Version 2.0’, ‘Fakeskin’ and ‘Behind The Mask’ are groove laden gems on a record full of brilliance. Tall and short of it; you need Demons Of Old Metal in your life.

NEWS: By Any Means to support Raging Speedhorn on summer tour, with added Stoneghost

BY Any Means are confirmed as support for Raging Speedhorn for their June tour in support of their new album 'Lost Ritual'.
Also on the tour are Stoneghost, who after seeing them at HRH Ibiza Road Trip 7 are well worth watching

Speedhorn’s new album, “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.

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.

LIVE REVIEW: The curious incident of the Vegan Festival and its reprise...

SOME weeks back at a Vegan Festival in Belfast's Ulster Hall four rock bands were scheduled to play on stage - but given that loud rock, punk and metal is, loud the vegans didn't take too kindly to the volume emanating from the stage.

Thus, Eighty Four were asked to leave the stage, and Tusks, Skypilot and Zlatanera were not allowed to entertain the gathered vegetarians, vegans and samplers of craft beers. Their loss...

But all bands need gigs. And, Belfast's own white metal knight, James Loveday, rode to the rescue and booked the bands for Saturday 28th May, in a Distortion Project show.

Unfortunately Tusks weren't able to make the show, so Baleful Creed stepped into fill the gap.

Openers on Saturday, Eighty Four, provide a fresh set of metal-edged punk. There is a verve and energy about their performance.

To a large extent Eighty Four recall the halcyon days of Northern Ireland punk in the late 70s and early 80s, but without re-treading the same licks. They are taking an enforced break until later this year, but it will be worth the wait to hear them again.

Baleful Creed produce the type of groove and stoner licks, infused with NOLA vibe that make them amongst the top proponents on the island.

There is a real sense of purpose as they deliver familiar tracks and some new tracks. Even with Fin wearing a self-declaring 'brilliance' t-shirt, it was hard to fault their set.

Skypilot also bring a groove and deep rhythmic metal that engages through its insistent rolling and rumble.

There is no doubt that the recent resurgence in Skypilot is as a result of taking recent shows as an opportunity to improve each time they hit the boards, and they are constantly improving.

In terms of live shows Zlatanera also are keeping on getting better. With their début album,

'Legerdemain' under their belts the band are one of the best of the current crop of NI acts.

Their performance carries menace and wit, musically delivering Sabbathy licks and a contemporary take on groove metal.

The entire band gels on stage, a single unit that are already planning their next step, delivering to The Distortion Project audience a new song.

The Satan schtick still works, and the wit lyrically shines through in the music and words. Zlatanera deserve a much wider audience - hopefully they will get that soon.

Review by Jonny - pictures by Darren McVeigh - Reproduction by written permission only


LIVE REVIEW: Majestic Magnum roll back the years in a live tour de force

IT may have been 1978 when Magnum released their first album, but in 2016 they have proved that they can still record epic albums and perform live with majestic magnificence; with power and presence as they proved in Belfast's Limelight1 on Friday, 27th May.

Of course, it helps to have the songs that are known and familiar songs that the audience can recall line by line..

That is something that support act Vega have yet to achieve, but at least they are not unknown to the audience, as this was their second show in Belfast, something which vocalist Nick Workman recalled fondly from the stage.

Vega's AM radio-friendly rock enjoyed a warm reception from those who recalled their previous appearance. Smooth, easy listening, with a certain panache. Not all enjoyed it, but certainly an accomplished performance.

There was a sense of anticipation from the almost sold-out venue as the moments ticked by to Magnum's appearance.

And, they opened with a flourish with 'Soldier of the Line' from 1982's 'Chase The Dragon', as Bob Catley, dressed all in white, began to wind the crowd round his finger.

What was particularly notable was the balance of the set. Newer tracks mixed with hits from the 80s, each sounded in the right place. Title track from their latest album, 'Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies' came directly after the mass singalong to 'On A Storyteller's Night'.

Tony Clarkin and Mark Stanaway managed to intertwine the melodies and flourishes with ease that belied the complexity of the musicianship.

While many fans are familiar with the songs from the string of hit albums from the Magnum heyday, from 2002 they have been releasing stunning records. And, each 'newer' track fitted well.

However, the likes of 'Les Morts Dansant', 'Vigilante' and 'How Far Jerusalem' drew the loudest cheers, that is until the veteran fans got their treat in the encore...

The two songs of the captured the formative yearsof the band, and had the venue bouncing. ‘The Spirit’ from 82 release ‘Chase the Dragon’ was but an introduction to a fantastic version of ‘Kingdom of Madness’ from the eponymous 1978 album.

Rolling back the years it may have been, but this wasn't a band engaged in a nostalgia trip - the Brummie quintet are still a vital force - and if you haven't checked out their recent releases you should do now.

Review by Jonny - Pictures by Darren McVeigh - Reproduction by written permission only.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

INTERVIEW: Cursed Sun reveal plans for 2016

ON a grey May day Cursed Sun were atop Belfast's Europa Hotel for a photo shoot. We grabbed 'em for discussions about what their plans are for 2016 and their forthcoming e,p.

Here's what they said:

Interview by Jonny
Filming by Darren

Thursday, May 26, 2016

NEWS: Tarja announces release of prequel album 'The Brightest Void.

While waiting for August 5th and the release of Tarja’s new album “The Shadow Self”, the queen of heavy rock has yet another surprise for her fans:
Tarja and earMUSIC proudly announce the release of the new album’s prequel “The Brightest Void”. With over 50 minutes of new music, the extra album will sweeten the wait until August!

Tarja explains:
“Surprise, surprise! I genuinely hope that ‘The Brightest Void’ is a pleasant surprise to each and every one of you. During the long process of recording the songs for my new studio album ‘The Shadow Self’, I realised that there were so many tracks, too many too dear to me, for just one album. So this time I decided to keep nothing for myself and to share all my favourite new songs with you, the fans, who have shown such passionate and constant support.
“ ‘The Brightest Void’ gives more than a first taste of ‘The Shadow Self’; it is a full album filled with 9 songs! I am sure that everyone will immediately discover how much ‘The Brightest Void’ and ‘The Shadow Self’ are entwined with each other but, at the same time, are two independent records which stand on their own. I hope the release of the prequel sweetens the wait until August and that you will like the songs as much as I do. I will present songs from both albums already in summer festivals and in my headliner tour later this year.

“As always, keep your eyes open. There might be further surprises down the road.”

“The Brightest Void” will be released on June 3rd, 2016 on earMUSIC as 1CD Digipak, 1LP+Download Code and Digital. The specially priced prequel to Tarja’s upcoming studio album “The Shadow Self” will be available for physical and digital pre-order starting on April 8th, 2016.

‘The Brightest Void’ features not one but three incredible guest artists: fellow Finnish star Michael Monroe, icon of the glam rock scene and former front man of inspiring band Hanoi Rocks; Chad Smith (who doesn’t need any further introduction) and a new mix of Within Temptation’s collaboration “Paradise (What about us)” carried out with Tarja and world renowned sound engineer and producer Tim Palmer. The prequel presents Tarja’s new single “No Bitter End” as the album opener and furthermore shakes you with an incredible cover of Sir Paul McCartney’s overlooked gem “House Of Wax” and adds a new twist to Dame Shirley Basseys’ James Bond main theme hit “Goldfinger”.

Tracklist ‘The Brightest Void’
1. No Bitter End -Video Clip Version
2. Your Heaven And Your Hell - with Michael Monroe
3. Eagle Eye - with Chad Smith on drums
4. An Empty Dream
5. Witch Hunt
6. Shameless
7. House of Wax
8. Goldfinger
9. Paradise (What About Us) - New Mix of the collaboration with Within Temptation and Tarja


Monday, May 23, 2016

BLOODSTOCK - fights and strength in the field of metal...

RIGHT, you know this Bloodstock thing - music festival, loads of great bands like Slayer, Twisted Sister, Anthrax, Mastodon, Gojira, Rabid Bitch of the North, The Crawling, Acid Rein, Goatwhore etc etc etc.

Well if think that's all that goes on in Walton-On-Trent over that mad weekend (August 11th-14th) you're wrong!

This year sees the return of the Battle of the Nations UK - which is allegedly a demonstration of medieval fighting with teams from across Europe. Now, when the say demonstration, what they mean is teams in full armour, grab a pile of heavy weaponry and proceed to beat the livin' bejaysus out of each other.

Field Captain Rob ‘Moose’ Morris comments, "Bloodstock is always the most popular event we host in the tournament calendar. The unique atmosphere and amazing music always combine to a complete unreal experience. Showing the music fans what being a real metal-head involves; wearing 16kg of armour and caning the hell out of your opponent in August!" Wish them luck with their Bloodstock warm up this month, taking on the Battle Of The Nations World Championships in both the classic 5v5 Bohurt and female fighter categories.

And, after sampling the many fine ales at Bloodstock you may feel a little tender...then you will welcome the news that BOA will be hosting some of the strongest people in the world.

For the first time, Bloodstock and the 100% CA team will host two  special strongmen events. On Saturday, 20 top athletes from across Europe will compete for the title of ‘Europe’s Strongest Man Under 90kgs’.

Then on Sunday, see what pure strength is all about, in the ‘BLOODSTOCK’s Strongest Man’ challenge, showcasing some of the biggest and strongest competitors handpicked from around the world. Don’t worry, they’re not planning a face-off with festival attendees, but we wouldn’t recommend spilling their pint.

Over the 2 days, the athletes will complete 2 events in each title, including a max deadlift event, and we hope to see 400kgs pulled on Sunday! Plus, an overhead log-press for reps, a loading medley consisting of 5 objects, 2 which weigh 19 stone! Not to mention, a gruelling back-to-back tug of war. Joining us, will be World’s Strongest Man and Arnold’s competitor, the South of England’s Strongest Man Rob Frampton, and Dave Meer, the local Tamworth multi-record-breaking strongman who has competed in the UK’s Strongest Man numerous times. With the support of XplosiveApe, USN, and Rebel Strength, we will be bringing you the best in the country!

All this AND bin jousting...


VIDEOS - Cheer yourself up with these offerings from Gojira and Cattle Decapitation

MONDAY -blah, boring, weekend so far away.

Well here are a couple of videos that are sure to blow the cobwebs off. First up is Gojira with the official video for 'Silvera'. [Don't forget they will be on Bloodstock's Ronnie James Dio stage on Saturday, 13th August].

Next we have Cattle Decapitation with 'Clandistine Ways'.

There -I bet you feel better alreadY

COMIN' ATCHA: Legendary doomsters Pentagram set for Belfast

PROBABLY one of the true founders of doom metal, Pentagram, are confirmed to play a Belfast date on Tuesday, 11th October in Limelight2.

Bobby Liebling's vision of doom started tentatively way back in 1971...and is still going today.

Eight full length albums and more members past and present than Deep Purple, Pentagram have had a turbulent history of breaking up and reforming, but that doesn't mean that they remain both influential, but relevant in 2016.

As the proto-metal of the likes of Iron Butterfly merged into heavy metal with Black Sabbath's first two albums Pentagram took the template and added an American twist from the town of Alexandria, Virginia and spread it across the US and further afield.

The confirmation of a Belfast is one that new and old doom fans will welcome, but the chance to see this act is one that any fan of metal. Support is from Atomic Bitchwax

Tickets go on sale on Thursday, 26th May priced £20.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Massive Wagons welcome us to their world on latest album

OPENING with grunt and ending with a roar Massive Wagons deliver a widely diverse set of tunes on their latest release 'Welcome To The World' and although they shouldn't in theory they meld together on the album so well as it is an almost seamless release.

It is a hard trick to achieve, almost impossible for most, but Massive Wagons pull it off on this their third full length release.

There is sense on this that they have taken the rock clichés, poured a pint or six down their throats until they are spitting fire and kicked into new life.

But for a band readily billed as rock opener 'Nails' introduces a metallic edge, with a snarl and a tasty edge to the track. No sooner as you take a breath 'Tokyo' brings a satisfying radio friendly song, with lyrics that will make sure it won't get played on the radio (which they declare).

That balance of heaviness and melody permeates the album, allowing Baz (vocals) the perfect foil against Adam and Carl's guitars.

Guitarist Adam said: "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."

Whether it is the blues of 'Sh1t, Sweat, Death' or the bite of 'Fighting Jack' elements have been carefully drawn together.

Bowz (bass) and Alex (drums) make sure that there is a solidity to the songs, rolling along with a sensibility to know when to flourish and when to let it ride. There is real depth to the rhythm pieces.

Add in a sense of fun, and this is the killer punch. Laughter abounds on closer 'Fee Fi Fo Fum' as the band kick into party mode.

If you are a fan of Northern Ireland label mates, Trucker Diablo, you'll love this album. And, if you loved the previous Massive Wagons' releases then you'll want this on your hi fi a.s.a.p.

Welcome To The World is out now on Off Yer Rocka.

Review by Jonny

LIVE REVIEW: The riff comes down hard in Limelight as Triggerman bring it accompanied by Bosco Ramos and Hornets

THERE is no such thing as too many riffs - if you like you're rock and metal you want them in abundance. And, when Triggerman come to town the riffs rain down in a tsunami of musical terror that raises everyone's spirits.

And on Saturday, 21st May at The Distortion Project's Saturday celebration of metal the riffs were brought aplenty.

Opening the proceedings were Bosco Ramos, a two-piece (bass and drums) who delivered a fuzzed-out set, with distinctive leanings towards punk.

Their sound is a little like Oaf, without Larson's lengthy stand-up routines, a sort of post-punk fuzz sound that is not unlikeable, but may be a little full-on for some.

Full-on is something that Hornets understand and deliver with extra layers of heaviness. Ever-developing, ever pushing the boundaries of their sound. No, they aren't ever going to be a prog rock act, but it is refreshing to hear and see a band challenging themselves.

There is more of a stomp to some tracks, while others retain that dark marriage between Belfast punk and blackened metal. Continuous improvement should be a goal of any act, and Hornets are doing just that.

Then came the riff...

Triggerman really deserve a proper record deal, or at least global distro. They are that good.

Like a rumbling eight-legged beast from the opening track to the last Bap and co power through a set containing old favourites and new songs.

Opener 'The Drift' laid down the template for the set, a new song with an intro that built and built until it hit into full flow; sheer metal joy.

Another new track, 'Big John' has been aired a few times live, and already feels familiar. Of course, tracks like 'I Got The Lurgy', 'Hail To The River Gods' and 'Rise of the Woodsmen' are familiar to all Triggerman fans, and are greeted with obvious enthusiasm.

But what is the alchemy that the Triggers deploy? It might sound simple, but few can achieve that masterful mix of dirty rock 'n' roll, humorous story-telling, a big sound, and a rolling heavy load of riffs. It has almost become a cliché when talking about Triggerman to mention the riffs.

Therein is where the band achieve a groove; where lies a deep well to plumb for song structure and allow the breath within each track for melody to emerge.

The riff, does indeed hold sway.

Review by Jonny - Pictures by Darren McVeigh. Reproduction by express written permission only