Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, June 30, 2016

EP REVIEW: Punk and hip-hop? Nova Twins confound on début releas

WHEN we hear the words "hip-hop" we normally wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - and probably wearing a hazmat suit and airport issue hearing protectors. But add the word 'punk' and we are intrigued.

Approaching the début release from Nova Twins cautiously, one gentle play at a time, slightly nervous that we might like it, members of the team circled around as each track emerged.

The death metal correspondent cast evil looks, muttering spells to protect his black heart, but we dared to give it another listen...

To our surprise, we actually liked some of the tracks - not all but some of them.

'Drums' has that hip-hop edge, but bass has a real feel, an almost garage rock feel to it, while 'Hit List' has an urban punk edge.

The Nova Twins are Amy Love & Georgia South, and this release is issued through Robo Tunes. Why they decided to release it remains a moot point. But on reflection we decided to focus on the word punk.

To often punk is bracketed into the clichéd buzzsaw guitar sound, but the true spirit of punk is best encapsulated by the likes of The Clash, who had almost as much reggae and blues tracks as they did jagged punk.

As such, while Nova Twins will not be on our decks too much, we still have to respect that there is something unique and intriguing on this release. Worth at least a listen, even if it is only to try something different. 

Review by Jonny

Don't forget - RHCP play Tennent's Vital

C'MON, there are plenty of gigs coming up as you'll have seen from recent posts. While we can't wait for some of the heaviest of the heaviest play Belfast, we still have a soft spot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they're playing Belfast's Tennents Vital on August 25th.

Sure there will be torture beforehand in the shape of Fall Out Boy and Cage the Elephant, but it surely will be worth it for RHCP.

Anyway here's the promo video:

NEWS Sludge lords (16) release new song ahead of album outing

Sludge veterans -(16)- have just shared "Landloper," another brand-new single from their forthcoming seventh full-length album Lifespan Of A Moth via heavy metal portal Cvlt Nation! 

The band's Cris Jeru had to say about "Landloper,"

"The song ‘Landloper’ is a tension-filled little ditty that deals with the inner craving to quit everything and live off the grid. Or take up residence on a blanket at the beach. Or subsist in the doorway of a bank. It doesn’t fucking matter. Just get yourself anywhere else as soon as possible and become a free, unfettered hominid before time runs out. It’s easily the most negative, positivistic song on the record."

Hear the crushing song now here.

Additionally, -(16)- recently shared a new music video for the new track "Peaches, Cream, And The Placenta" via Decibel Magazine - watch the video now here. You can also hear "The Absolute Center Of A Pitch Black Heart," the debut single from the album, here.

-(16)-'s Lifespan Of A Moth is the band's heaviest, darkest, and most complex material to date! Self-produced by the band and recorded with Jeff Forrest (Cattle Decapitation, The Locust) at Doubletime Recording Studio in San Diego, CA, Lifespan Of A Moth sees the band sounding uglier, rawer and more visceral than ever. Down-tuned feedback-driven riffs and bludgeoning rhythms violently clash with vocalist Cris Jerue's distorted, tortured howls across eight tracks of -(16)-'s signature blend of hardcore punk, thrash and sludge. Lifespan Of A Moth is the sound of a band that has spent 25 years wallowing in addiction and anguish, and will leave you feeling crushed and confronted by the negativity of existence.

Lifespan Of A Moth is set for release this July 15th via Relapse on CD/LP/Digital. Physical pre-orders via Relapse.com can be found here; digital pre-orders are available through the band's Bandcamp page here.

SoCal sludge stalwarts -(16)- are among the most consistent and most underrated purveyors of the heavy riff. The band was formed in Santa Ana, Ca. by Bobby Ferry (guitar), Cris Jerue (vocals), and Jason Corley (drums) in 1991, and was later joined by bassist Tony Baumeister in 1993. The band's debut 7", Doorprize, was recorded at the end of 1991, and was shortly followed by their first full-length album, Curves That Kick (released in 1993 on legendary artist Pushead's label Bacteria Sour). Working with Pushead enabled the band to have the album released in Japan and gave them the opportunity to tour Japan, which happened in the summer of 1994. Soon after, the band performed select live dates with Slayer, the Melvins, Unsane, and Jawbreaker. -(16)-'s follow-up record Drop Out was released by Pessimiser/Theologian records in 1996 to critical acclaim, which the band followed with a series of local and semi-local performances

Jason Corley was ejected from the band at the end of 1994, and was replaced by Andy Hassler. Phil Vera was also added as a second guitarist. The band released Blaze of Incompetence in 1997 (again on Pessimiser/Theologian), and completed a US tour with Grief in 1998. Andy Hassler was fired shortly after the tour. R.D. Davies replaced Andy, but he overdosed on heroin 6 months later and was replaced by Mark Sanger. The band's next album, Zoloft Smile, was recorded in 1999/2000, but wasn't released until 2002 via At A Loss Recordings. By the time the album was actually released, Bobby and Tony had both quit the band. The rest of the guys carried on, while Phil Vera remained as the band's lone guitar player. Phil then took over vocal duties in 2003 after Cris was forced to go to rehab for alcohol and drug dependency. -(16)- toured the US and Japan as a three-piece (Phil, Mark, and Rafa) before calling it quits in 2004.

The band couldn't fight its love for heavy music, though, and reunited in 2007 with a lineup consisting of Bobby, Cris, Jason, and Tony. -(16)- subsequently inked a record deal with renowned independent label Relapse Records and released their Relapse debut Bridges to Burn in Jan. 2009. The band parted ways with Jason Corley yet again (notice a pattern?), and recruited Mateo Pinkerton (ex Buzzov-en, Crom) as their new drummer. In early 2012 they released the album Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds via Relapse to widespread critical acclaim. Deep Cuts was followed by an eastern US with labelmates Tombs and still more lineup changes: in 2013 Dion Thurman joined as the band's new drummer, and Barney Firks entered the ranks on bass. In support of Bridges to Burn and Deep Cuts, -(16)- have toured Europe twice, even appearing at major festivals such as Hellfest in France and Roadburn in The Netherlands. Additionally, the band has performed at US festivals Day of the Shred and Southwest Terror Fest and has shared the stage with a wide range of artists, from Neurosis, Nails, Indian, and Inter Arma to Noothgrush, Graves at SeaASG, and dozens of others. Despite constant lineup changes and internal turmoil, -(16)- have persevered, and the new album Lifespan Of A Moth is sure garner the band the recognition they so sorely deserve.

-(16)- is:
Cris Jerue (vocals)
Bobby Ferry (guitar, vocals)
Barney Firks (bass)
Dion Thurman (drums)

NEWS: Tarja video for single 'Innocence' released ahead of new album

WITH the release of Tarja’s upcoming studio album “The Shadow Self” only being six weeks away, the queen of heavy rock released the official music video for her new single “Innocence” last week. (See below)

Directed by Argentinean movie director Mariano Cattaneo and filmed in Buenos Aires, the video has a movie like optic and a corresponding, emotional plot.

“Innocence” captures the essence of Tarja: her unique way of melting heavy rock and classical music.

Adding a melancholic piano etude inspired by Chopin, a driven beat and a striking chorus, the first single from “The Shadow Self” leads the way to even more inspiring music of Tarja.

The song is available as iTunes Instant Grat with immediate effect as part of the preorder of “The Shadow Self”: smarturl.it/Tarja_TSS_iTunes

The single and video versions of “Innocence” will also be available as part of the limited box set of “The Shadow Self” in an exclusive 7”vinyl+CD format.

“The Shadow Self” is to be released on August 5th, 2016 in various formats, including 1CD Standard Edition, Special Edition Digipak CD+DVD, Limited Box Set (CD+DVD “The Shadow Self”, 7”vinyl+CD “Innocence”, 7”vinyl+CD “No Bitter End”, picture frame, 3 postcards, poster, t-shirt in size L), 2LP+Download and Digital.

You can read Andy Gillen's review of the prequel album, 'The Brightest Void' here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEWS: Hotly tipped Welcome Back Delta to release second album ahead of Hard Rock Hell & other fest slots

MUCH touted hard blues act, Welcome Back Delta, are set to release their second album ‘Sucker on August 12th, ahead of their festival slots at Hard Rock Hell, Wychwood and Giants of Rock festival slots.

The album was recorded at Abatis Studios near Coventry, and produced and mastered by Jon Priestley – sound engineer for The Damned.

Welcome Back Delta is:
Joe Kelly - Vocals & Rhythm
Rob Duncan - Lead Guitar
Phil Davies - Bass
Steve Roberts - Drums

Here’s the blurb…

“Don’t get them wet, keep them out of bright lights, and never feed them after midnight…

“Formed in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - Welcome Back Delta are a dynamic four piece rock outfit that ooze infectiously sexy sounds. They emerged onto the local scene in 2011, into the bosom of Cheltenham’s less regent establishments. It didn’t take long for word to spread that a dirtier, blues groove had arrived in town.

“Likened to the catchy beats of The Black Keys, and akin to legendary acts such as Deep Purple and Clutch, Welcome Back Delta have been slowly spreading their own naughty twist of rock and roll over the country.

“The years have seen WBD survive several national tours whilst supporting massive artists such as Clutch, Nick Oliveri’s Death Acoustic Tour, And So I Watch You From Afar, Lionize, and Karma to Burn.

“In 2014 their first album ‘Shocker’ was released with great feedback. 2016 will see the release of their second album – ‘Sucker’.

“Their live shows provide an impressive set, full of energy, great humour and a timeless love for hard blues rock. Darting from mellow to metal, and every hook in between.

“So, if you love no nonsense, hard rocking, whiskey fueled music, with more hooks than a fisherman’s tackle box, give Welcome Back Delta a spin.”

NEWS: Grunge supergroup Hater's 1993 album to be re-released

REMEMBER grunge? Remember when there were actually some 'grunge' acts that were actually not too bad? And, out of that Seattle hotbed came an act that were sort of a grunge version of a supergroup.

While many might have missed out on their release in the hype of checked shirts and posing you can now have a chance to find out more with UMC re-releasing the 1993album...here's why it's worth checking out.

Ben Shepherd returned to his garage rock roots and assembled a group of musicians that became Hater, in Seattle, playing guitar alongside Soundgarden band mate, drummer Matt Cameron, as well as ex-Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain, Devilhead vocalist Brian Wood, brother of the late pre-grunge outfit Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, and fellow Devilhead bassist John Waterman. Their self-titled debut album was recorded in between Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger,1991, and, their Grammy Award winning album Superunknown,1994.

Hater was released on A&M Records on September 21, 1993, and is now being reissued on CD and for the first time digitally and on vinyl by UMC on July 15th.

Two singles, “Who Do I Kill?” and “Circles,” were released from the album, which also included a cover of Cat Stevens’ “Mona Bona Jakon.”  Shepherd, McBain and Wood wrote the majority of the songs, with Cameron co-writing “Sad McBain” with Waterman.  The album also features country songwriter Billy “Edd” Wheeler’s 1963 single, “Blistered.” Wheeler was most known for penning “Jackson,” a Grammy Award winner for Johnny Cash and June Carter.

The band contributed a song to the 1995 compilation album, Hempilation: Freedom Is NORML, to support marijuana legalization, with bassist Alan Davis joining Shepherd, Cameron and McBain. Hater recorded their second album, The 2nd, that same year following Soundgarden’s tour for Superunknown, but its release was delayed until 2005.

Hater disbanded in 1997, with Shepherd and McBain going on to play in the Desert Sessions with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, and Cameron becoming Pearl Jam’s drummer.

Hater’s second album, The 2nd, was released in April, 2005, through indie label Burn Burn Burn. Shepherd recruited Broadcast Oblivion/Droo Church bassist Andrew Church, Void guitarist Bubba Dupree and Zen Guerilla drummer Andy Duvall to play shows supporting the album.

The complete album track list is as follows:
1. Mona Bona Jakon
2. Who Do I Kill?
3. Tot Finder
4. Lion And Lamb
5. Roadside
6. Down Undershoe
7. Circles
8. Putrid
9. Blistered
10. Sad McBain

NEWS: Jaz brings Killing Joke to Belfast....on Halloween night

FIRST we had Saxon, Fastway and Girlschool were announced for October 30th. Then DistortionFest, with Warrior Soul and Lord Volture was announced for October 29th.

And, now you'll have to make sure you have enough beer tokens as Killing Joke are playing Belfast on Halloween night.

The iconic goth/industrial/electronic metal act led by the insanely talented Jaz Coleman are confirmed by to play Limelight1 on October 31st.

The band are currently riding on a high after the release of their latest album 'Pylon' last October.

Tickets, priced £18.50 (plus Booking Fee), go on sale on Friday, July 1st.

Here's the official blurb:

Rock’s most iconic, influential and contrary outfits, Killing Joke is pleased to announce a headline Belfast date at The Limelight 1 on Monday 31st October 2016. The bands live show has never been better, gathering a host of glowing reviews throughout the media, their most recent album 'Pylon' was released in October 2015.
Tickets on sale Friday July 01st at 10am from www.limelightbelfast.comwww.ticketmaster.ie Katy’s Bar & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers 0844 277 44 55 & Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300 

Their story (a genuinely extraordinary tale) dates back to 1978 and the post-punk scene of West London where classically-trained musician / vocalist  Jeremy ‘Jaz’ Coleman, drummer ‘Big’ Paul Ferguson, guitarist Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker and bassist Martin ‘Youth’ Glover set about establishing a new, idiosyncratic manifesto for reinventing the rock ‘n’ roll wheel…
Right from the start, Killing Joke were unwilling to conform to the artistic restrictions of a particular scene; rather, they took a broader view, fusing together a host of musical elements to create something both different and timely. Pitched somewhere between the snub-nosed aggression and bleak primitivism of UK punk and the epic grandeur and cool detachment of German electronic rock bands like Tangerine Dream and Can, the band’s sound emerged fully-formed and ready to go – a vibrant, punishing antidote to virtually everything else happening in music at that time. 
Both their self-titled debut album and its 1981 follow-up, ‘What’s THIS For..!’, cemented their reputation as a maverick and creative force, and due to a penchant for controversial imagery plus a refusal to pull punches in terms of the truth (as they saw it), the quartet rapidly became the most notorious band in the UK. For Coleman and his fellow musicians, conventional notions of politics or propaganda were not to be accepted blindly; they urged people to think for themselves, to question old orthodoxies and their surroundings in general, conjuring up images of an impending apocalypse with music that was never meant to be pretty yet often attained a ragged and glorious beauty, a tattered flag in the wind.
As a result, an intense and passionate relationship started to grow with an ultra-loyal international fan base, a relationship that remains intact to this day, with the group’s philosophical stance and soundtrack to the modern age – a deep, dogmatic howl documenting our calamitous descent into chaos – seeming more and more plugged-in as the years progress…
And those years have witnessed a run of truly remarkable recordings underpinned by some of the most unpredictable behaviour in the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Book Of Strange Practices’, with Coleman – a man most at ease in remote places devoid of technology – occasionally going AWOL for extended periods, and choosing to record in locations dramatically outside of the norm, i.e. the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
The results of that momentous session appeared on the ‘Pandemonium’ album (1994), one of the most celebrated and successful of the band’s career; and whilst it’s difficult to spotlight individual releases, there’s no question that ‘Pandemonium’ stands shoulder to shoulder with 1985’s ‘Night Time’ (featuring the Top 20 single, ‘Love Like Blood’), 2003’s second self-titled album (produced by Youth with Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill and featuring Dave Grohl on drums) and 2010’s ‘Absolute Dissent’ (which saw the original line-up reuniting for the first time in almost 30 years) as key moments in the band’s (ongoing) body of work.
In addition to building up their formidable catalogue, the KJ members have chosen to develop their talents in a variety of different ways; triple Grammy winner Coleman, for instance, has carved out an international reputation working with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, becoming a ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ in 2010 for his achievements with the arts; Youth, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the UK’s most celebrated producers, supervising albums from the Verve & Primal Scream amongst others, as well as gaining major success as one half of highly-regarded duo, The Orb. 
 Now based in the US, Ferguson – who once famously described the band as “the sound of the earth vomiting” – devotes his time to restoring ancient artefacts when not positioned behind his kit, leaving Geordie to define the black beating heart of the KJ sound with an acclaimed and eclectic guitar style delivered at arresting volume through a resonating hollow-bodied Gibson ES 295.
 It’s as a unit, however, that the four musicians are best able to truly channel the elements, creating three decades-plus worth of recordings that have been covered by some of rock’s foremost players, including Metallica (‘The Wait’), Foo Fighters (‘Requiem’), Helmet (‘Primitive’) and Fear Factory(‘Millennium’). Artists of the stature of Jimmy Page and Billy Corgan have long shown their support and respect, whilst the band’s considerable musical legacy can be heard through acts such asNirvana, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails – celebrated names whose rise to fame never saw them cutting ties with the underground / alternative scene.
 Now, with the original line-up continuing to hold firm, Killing Joke are on a mission to take their music of resistance to a whole new level, with latest studio album ‘Pylon’ – the 16th of their career and their third for Spinefarm Records, following on from ‘Absolute Dissent’ (2010) and ‘MMXII’ (2012) – having been released worldwide on October 23rd 2015, supported by a touring plan that saw the band headlining shows around the world, starting with a UK run in October / November of last year…

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NEWS:The boom is coming as DistortionFest brings Warrior Soul and Lord Volture for 16th birthday party

AFTER the success of last year's 15th Anniversary of The Distortion Project party, Mr James Loveday has announced DistortionFest 2016 - a 16th birthday show with 14 bands across the Limelight complex on 29th October

Headlining will be - all the way from the US of A, Warrior Soul.

Also appearing will be the awesome Lord Volture, as well as Bloodway from Romania and Valborg from Germany.

Confirmed local acts are Rabid Bitch Of The North and Zlatanera.

And there are eight, yes eight, more bands to be announced in a show that will kick off at 12:30pm and last until we all collapse....

NEWS: Wacken release DVD and CD of 2015

LOUDER Than Hell and also Rain or Shine, both are W:O:A  slogans and true it is, a great festival that will enlighten also in 2016  again 75.000 Metalheads having the best time of their summer.

Just in time for this year’s festival - and check out the tracklisting below!

Live At Wacken 2015 – 26 Years Louder Than Hell will be released and everyone can reminisce and indulge oneself with this fabulous line up. So many highlights and the heart of every fans is gonna beat faster. 

Where else do you get such load of springing charge and concentrated passion of the coolest heavy and rock bands? And with this release you are not only enjoying the CD you can also watch the bands again on the double DVD.  Just to drop some names: Judas Priest, In Flames, Annihilator, Danko Jones, Uli Jon Roth, Europe, Cradle Of Filth, and newcomers like Beyond The Black and many, many more.
n 8 stages, more than 120 bands were performing. Gigantic!
This DVD can only cover an excerpt of all the performances , otherwise it would go far beyond the scope but be sure that everything you want is on there!
This double live DVD / CD is a must have for all fans!

Formats:       2 DVD/2 CD DVD Digipack
                        2 Blu-Ray / 2CD BR-Digipack
                        Standard Digital Audio (35 tracks)
                        Longform Video

Technical details for DVD and Blu-Ray:
NTSC/Dolby Digital 5.1/Dolby Digital 2.0/ Stereo PCM/ Region Code 0/
FSK 12/ total running time: ca. 261 minutes


DVD1 / Blu-ray1:
01. JUDAS PRIEST – Painkiller
02. IN FLAMES – Paralyzed
03. IN FLAMES - Everything’s Gone
04. AMORPHIS - My Kantele
05. AMORPHIS - Magic And Mayhem
06. RUNNING WILD - Under Jolly Roger
07. RUNNING WILD - Riding The Storm
08. BEYOND THE BLACK - Rage Before The Storm
09. BEYOND THE BLACK - Songs Of Love And Death
11. ARMORED SAINT - Left Hook From Right Field
12. ANNIHILATOR - Creepin’ Again
13. ANNIHILATOR - Alison Hell
14. DEATH ANGEL - Voracious Soul
15. DEATH ANGEL - Buried Alive
16. EXUMER - Possessed By Fire
17. BURGERKILL - Under The Scars
18. SABATON - To Hell And Back
19. SABATON - Night Witches
20. DANKO JONES - The Twisting Knife
21. DANKO JONES - Full Of Regret
22. ULI JON ROTH - Dark Lady
23. ULI JON ROTH - Virgin Killer
24. THE POODLES - Night Of Passion
25. EUROPE - War Of Kings
26. EUROPE - The Second Day

DVD2 / Blu-ray2:
01. BIOHAZARD - How It Is
02. BIOHAZARD – Punishment
03. KATAKLYSM - As I Slither
04. KATAKLYSM - To Reign Again
05. CANNIBAL CORPSE - Scourge Of Iron
06. CANNIBAL CORPSE - Evisceration Plague
07. CRADLE OF FILTH - Burn In A Burial Gown
08. CRADLE OF FILTH - Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
10. SKINDRED - Kill The Power
11. SKINDRED - Proceed With Caution
12. OOMPH! - Augen auf
13. OOMPH! - Gott ist ein Popstar
14. SANTIANO - Gott muss ein Seemann sein
15. SANTIANO - Lieder der Freiheit
16. IN EXTREMO - Himmel und Hölle
17. IN EXTREMO – Feuertaufe
18. KÄRBHOLZ - Ich hör mir beim Leben zu
19. GODSIZED - Welcome To Hell
20. THE ANSWER - Raise A Little Hell
21. MY DYING BRIDE - Turn Loose The Swans
22. MANTAR - Into The Golden Abyss

01. JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller
02. IN FLAMES - Paralyzed
03. AMORPHIS - My Kantele
04. RUNNING WILD - Under Jolly Roger
05. BEYOND THE BLACK - Rage Before The Storm
07. ARMORED SAINT - Left Hook From Right Field
08. ANNIHILATOR - Alison Hell
09. DEATH ANGEL - Buried Alive
10. EXUMER - Possessed By Fire
11. BURGERKILL - Under The Scars
12. SABATON - To Hell And Back
13. DANKO JONES - Full Of Regret
14. ULI JON ROTH - Virgin Killer
15. THE POODLES - Night Of Passion
16. EUROPE - War Of Kings

01. BIOHAZARD - How It Is
02. KATAKLYSM - To Reign Again
03. CANNIBAL CORPSE - Evisceration Plague
04. CRADLE OF FILTH - Burn In A Burial Gown
06. SKINDRED - Proceed With Caution
07. OOMPH! - Gott ist ein Popstar
08. SANTIANO - Gott muss ein Seemann sein
09. IN EXTREMO - Himmel und Hölle
10. KÄRBHOLZ - Ich hör mir beim Leben zu
11. GODSIZED - Welcome To Hell
12. THE ANSWER - Raise A Little Hell
13. MY DYING BRIDE - Turn Loose The Swans
14. MANTAR - Into The Golden Abyss

NEWS: JOANovARC release new single and video

The band JOANovArc have been on our radar for a while, and have been picking up nods from the likes of Maiden frontman, Bruce Dickinson.

Now the band are set to release their new White Trash single through Red Vixen Records and unveil a brand new video (see below).

JOANovARC a four piece and explain “White Trash is about “believing in yourself and not letting anyone treat you like you are worthless. Past personal experiences inspired us to write this song.”

“We are role models, we want to inspire young females and empower them”. The lyrics for White Trash express how JOANovARC have overcome many hurdles, always carried on striving to achieve their dreams and never given up.

Describing themselves as ‘Puss In Boots’ JoanOvArc recorded White Trash at the legendary Rockfield Studios, with producer Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters).

He “brings out the best in each of us” encapsulating and distilling perfectly JOANovARC’s live energy.

The video is a "rag to riches’ tale and tell0s the story of a woman fulfilling her dream and making a choice to change her life. JOANovARC’s Shelley came up with the story about a dancer who is negatively objectified and then realises she no longer wants to live that life. Indulge now in the ‘rag to riches’ White Trash video

JOANovARC are set to appear in a new independent film by award winning director Joe Scott. Both White Trash and the previous single Live Rock’n’Roll will also feature in the film and are to be included on JOANOVARC’s forthcoming debut album , set to be released later this year.


Laura Ozholl – Rhythm Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Sam Walker – Lead Vocals/Bass/Rhythm guitar
Deborah Wildish – Drums/percussion
Shelley Walker – Lead guitar /Backing Vocals

NEWS: Notts metallers release video for Winters track from next ep

TECH. melodic metallers – The Five Hundred – have released a new video from their forthcoming ep (watch below and enjoy!)

The band say this about the video for the track 'Winters' and it may resonate with a lot of bands here and further afield.

"The track is about the miserable and negative people that try to bring you down to their level.
The lyrics go:
‘The winters of your grief
Shut off that sound it’s deafening
Ripping away belief
A worry that weighs a ton…'

“Every musician or band starting out has had to deal, at some point, with the naysayers, the killjoys and the downers - the people who are so miserable in their own existence that they spend their energy and time trying to bring others down. ‘Get a real job. Get a career. Get a mortgage, a pension plan, financial security. Quit this rock n roll pipe dream. So, this song goes out to them. All of that noise and negativity just spurs us on, and we wouldn't be where we are now if it wasn't for their inspiration.”

The video was recorded by Shaun Hodson of Loki Films, who's recently done some wicked videos for bands such as Black Tongue, Heart In Hand, and TRC. Filmed in some undisclosed location in the woods of Nottingham

“It was cold, rainy and miserable, which is exactly what we needed it to be for this video. "

Their first EP was released in November 2015 with their debut single premiering on Kerrang! Radio, The Radio 1 Rock Show, and playing on Kerrang TV and Scuzz.

They are due to release a second EP in 2016, with a full album to follow in early 2017 (all released produced by Justin Hill – SiKth, Heart Of A Coward, Betraying The Martyrs, etc.)

NEWS: Blackfoot coming back

HERE'S a blast from the past...
Blackfoot, the Southern American rock band who were originally formed in 1970’s by current lead guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rickey Medlocke, are back with a new line-up and will release Southern Native on Loud & Proud Records, August 5, 2016.  Over the last two years, Medlocke wrote, performed on and produced Southern Native.

Blackfoot has always been defined by their hard rock edge as evident on their most successful singles “Train, Train” and “Highway Song.”   In 2012, under Medlocke’s sturdy guidance, he recruited a completely new ensemble. The Jacksonville, Florida-based foursome, including lead guitarist/vocalist Tim Rossi, guitarist/vocalist Rick Krasowski, bassist Brian Carpenter and drummer Matt Anastasi, are carrying the torch for the next generation with their hard-driving sound.

  "This record is head to head old school meets new school, classic to new rock for a brand new generation!" says Medlocke, “Turn it up loud!”

“Rickey bridged the generations by having his grandfather Shorty Medlocke play on those early Blackfoot records,” said lead guitarist/vocalist Tim Rossi “so having Rickey play slide and other guitar with us on this record bridges the modern gap. It’s a full-circle kind of thing.”  That forward-moving proof can be found deep within the music of Southern Native, from the proud heritage callbacks of the title track to the tasty slide-driven travelogue of “Take Me Home” to the harmonic ramrod-riffage twist on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s powerful “Ohio” (which includes quite a shrewd lyrical shout-out at the end).

Blackfoot have toured extensively over the past few years re-igniting their fanbase while introducing the new Blackfoot music and its members to fans of other Southern rock artists such as Skynyrd.  Blackfoot will be touring all summer in support of Southern Native.

Track Listing:
1. Need My Ride
2. Southern Native
3. Everyman
4. Call Of A Hero
5. Take Me Home
6. Whiskey Train
7. Satisfied Man
8. Ohio
9. Love This Town
10. Diablo Loves Guitar

Saturday, June 25, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Don't let the silly title put you off - Acid Age's latest release has class in its hyper speed grooves

WHEN you sit down to consider what to call your album, it can be a laborious chore; writer's block can cripple all thoughts, a wrenching agony trying to decide what best encapsulates your sound, your vision and the passion you put into the platter you are about to unleash into the public realm.

Then it must only be 'Like A Combine Harvester In A Field Of Crippled Rabbits' if your band is Acid Age'. No other choice really.

Of course it's full throttle thrash metal with a  healthy dose of punk chaos, but lest you be mistaken, this is not just a blatter through life, beer and mayhem. You can only get away with that one trick pony a single time.

Instead there must be substance within the maelstrom. There must be ability to change up and down when necessary. There must be some real musicianship.

From the pedal to the metal of the title track opener there is much more on display than speed. The intricacies of 'Shotgun In Your Mouth' are there from the opening, but with plenty of deft touches in the manic riffing and solos.

Milk's guitar work is stirring throughout, ranging far and wide along the fretboard to produce a feast of axe fun.

And, it's not a simple case of sweep picks, runs and all the tricks in the armoury. There is a sense of purpose in the arrangements that allows for changes in tempo and even references to classical composers works...Yes, seriously.

Bumble-Bee (bass) and Iran (drums) will neeed to hit the gym when they play this live. And, a metronomic sense of timing when the tunes dip and shift in rythms.

'Hell Is In The South Sea' is a perfect example of this as it changes dramatically from a doomy opening to thrash and then into blues lines. Class!

The entire album's running length is just over 26 minutes, but what Acid Age have done is cram everything they have learned live and on previous recordings to pack pure energy into this recordings.

Having said that Limbs may need a throat transplant after playing some of these tracks live. When they describe themselves as "hyper thrash" you know everyone has to be at the top of their game.

And they set that stall out clearly on 'Manifesto de Hyper Thrash'. Say it as it is and all that.

Once you get past the velocity there is many layers to the Acid Age sound. The riffs on closer 'Try to Hide From Frankenstein's Bride' (which has nice punk touches) are well placed and managed in the context of the song's structure. And, despite occasionally dropping into pure silliness there is wit in the lyrical content.

Overall this is a release that deserves a wide audience for those that like their thrash, well at hyper speed and with subtlety in the volume.

Review by Jonny

Like A Combine Harvester In A Field Of Crippled Rabbits is out now on Witches Brew

NEWS: Jon Anderson back on record on new release with Roine Stolt

Here’s some news for you prog fans…

Anderson / Stolt, the brand new duo of Yes vocalist & singer/songwriter Jon Anderson, and progressive rock veteran Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic), have released their brand new collaborative album ‘Invention Of Knowledge’ on InsideOut Music.

Jon Anderson said this about the new record: “.....Music is always the driving force in my life...working with such a wonderful musician as Roine Stolt made the creation of this album very unique, we are very excited with the release of 'Invention of Knowledge'.“

Roine Stolt adds: “It is not aiming at being new Yes music; just new music, modern and classical, rock and ethno, tribal and orchestrated, grooving and floating. Hopefully in the true spirit of “progressive” - leaning forward, surprising and also comforting with familiar run-arounds. We’ve been “inventing” as we go along - Jon is an endless source of new ideas.

“We’ve been bouncing ideas back and forth for months and as a result there are probably dozens of versions of these songs.  It’s been a very interesting and rewarding time and the result is just insanely detailed.”

InsideOut label-head Thomas Waber comments: “I have been talking to Jon for ages about making an album of ‘Yes music’ – as Jon calls it - and Roine seemed like the perfect guy for him to work with. I am really happy that it has finally happened and I am also thrilled with the material they have come up with. I think it will please a lot of fans!”

The idea came to life swiftly, off the back of a performance from Roine’s band Transatlantic, and Jon Anderson on the Progressive Nation At Sea Cruise in 2014, and was initially instigated by InsideOut Music label boss Thomas Waber.  The duo set about crafting new music in the spirit of early epic works such as ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ & ‘Olias Of Sunhillow’ , but giving it a modern twist.

Written and recorded over the course of one and a half years, the tracks have been in a state of constant change as Roine and Jon swapped & refined ideas by sending tracks to each other via the internet.

In March 2015, an ensemble was put together by Roine to realise the music live in the studio. Joining him there was Tom Brislin (who played on the Yes Symphonic tour) and Lalle Larsson on keys, Jonas Reingold and Michael Stolt on bass and Felix Lehrmann on drums.

The sessions were also bolstered by appearances from Daniel Gildenlöw, Nad Sylvan, Anja Obermayer, Maria Rerych and Kristina Westas who all provided backing vocals.


ALBUM REVIEW: The Amorettes on blistering form - true White Hot Heat

HARD working three-piece, The Amorettes, have earned their stripes on the road, with solo shows and support slots with the likes of Danko Jones and Europe to name but a few. Most recently they had a Download slot when they had a chance to air some new tunes.

Those tunes have emerged like a slick snake of fun from their release on Off Yer Rocka of the album 'White Hot Heat'. And, what an album it is!

This is a collection of 10 tunes that put you in the mood to party, grab a beer and get set for one mad night out.

Those hard hours on the road have been captured in the studio by Thunder's Luke Morley who rests the best from Hannah, Heather and Gill.

Bursting with energy, riffs, licks and infectious melodies this is an album that shows that the band have evolved into a mean hard rock machine.

'Come 'n' Get It' moves the songs along at a blistering pace after the openers set the mood, especially the party anthem 'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops'.

This has the sound of late 70s, early 80s rock - as if Suzi Quatro, Joan Jett and Lita Ford were thrust into 2016 and given a shed load of good drugs.

But this isn't generic. On first listen there may be a temptation to just nod away, but soon the feet are tapping, and the smile on your face grows wider.

There is no one fixed tempo, no song when you can just put the band into a single frame of reference.

The mood is changed up on 'Pervert Alert' with it's middle finger to lecherous males and misogyny.

What is clear from every song is that 'The Amorettes' pen great tunes, play with a sense of enjoying what they do, and just get their heads down to the hard work.

Morley's production, and Nick Brine's work on engineering and mixing may be an important factor in the sound on this release, but you can't work studio miracles on a rock album if the raw material isn't really good in the first place, and no miracles were required here.

The Amorettes have the sense and sensibility to know that they're not re-inventing rock 'n' roll, but are instead adhering to its essential spirit, distilling that unique drum, bass and guitar formula into a fiery liqueur that will blister your throat with each delicious sip you can take.

Party? Yes, I think we shall with 'White Hot Heat'.

Review by Jonny

Friday, June 24, 2016

NEWS: NWOBHM pioneers Grim Reaper set for a new album.

BACK in the days when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was still young Grim Reaper were among the pack getting the plaudits and play listings on The Friday Rock Show as well as features in Sounds and latterly Kerrang (when it was a metal mag).

Now titled officially Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper the band has signed with new label Dissonance Records, and they are set to release their new album 'Walking In The Shadows' on September 23rd, the band's first release since the 1987 'Rock You To Hell'.

Vocalist/band leader Steve Grimmett shared to fans via a Facebook posting in early January saying:

“2016 has started and that means only 29 days until I start touring again.  This year it’s Europe then North America, South America, plus a new album... bring it on!”

He continued in discussing the new album saying, “I am tremendously proud of the album.  It has taken a long time because it has been fraught with problems, but we have ended up with the best thing I have done in decades.  We’re all looking forward to bring it to the fans and excited to be doing a world tour, starting straight after its release, and carrying on until 2017.”

Surrounding himself with an all new band, Grimmett recently completed a 22-date North American tour.  The tour, including stops in New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Austin.  Due to its success, the band recently announced a planned return in the autumn to support the new album after release.

Grim Reaper’s story began in 1979 after successfully fighting off hundreds of bands in a local Battle Of The Bands competition.  This win, combined with an already sizeable following, aroused the interest of Ebony Records.  Signing with the small UK label, Grim Reaper released three albums in rapid succession to international acclaim.  Due to legal turmoil with Ebony, the band disbanded in 1988.

Grimmett would go on to record with Onslaught, Lionsheart, and more recently The Sanity Days debut Evil Beyond Belief.  His renowned vocal range remains one of metal’s most identifiable with loyal fans turning out in numbers to hear him perform.

Since reforming in 2006, Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper has made several European festival appearances including Germany’s Keep It True, England’s British Steel, Belgium’s Heavy Sound, and Sweden’s Muskelrock.  The band will also headline London Camden Underworld on the 23rd September, the show will be the European launch event for the new album.

NEWS: Motionless In White release new track

MOTIONLESS in White - who played in Belfast earlier in the year – have released a new single, entitled ‘570’ and have signed to Roadrunner Records.

The track is out today (24th June) and is streaming on the band’s YouTube Channel (see below).


Motionless In White said: “We are very honoured to finally announce that we have signed with Roadrunner Records. Over the past few months, we’ve had the privilege of getting to know the hard working team that makes up Roadrunner, and felt a connection with their company immediately.

“It has been a dream of MIW for years to someday sign with their label, and we are elated to find that it is a perfect home for the band to continue building our career. We are very excited to start this new chapter and to keep working hard every day with Roadrunner by our side. Thank you to Roadrunner Records for opening your home to us, and thank you to all of the fans that have supported our band tirelessly over the years. Your support and contributions have helped lead to all of these amazing developments taking place for our band. We’re looking forward to many more years of this with all of you.”

Motionless In White is currently working on their fourth studio album and full-length Roadrunner debut, slated for 2017. “570” marks the band’s first new release since 2014’s chart-topping “REINCARNATE,” which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Rock Albums” chart as well as at #9 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200. Motionless In White’s third studio album was highlighted by the blockbuster title track, a top 20 Active Rock radio favourite in the USA accompanied by a striking companion video now boasting close to 10 million views. 

Motionless In White launch “570” with nearly a set of tour dates, kicking off in the USA with this year’s Vans Warped Tour ’16.

Founded in 2005, Motionless In White – whose frontman, Chris Motionless, graces the cover of Alternative Press’ current Vans Warped Tour ’16 special issue – are among the top nominees for the 2016 Journeys Alternative Press Music Awards Fueled By Monster Energy, with nods including “Best Live Band” and “Artist of the Year Presented By Monster Energy.”  

ALBUM REVIEW: Six Feet Under dig into the vaults for Graveyard Classics IV - The Number Of The Priest

A COVERS album. What's the fucking point, you've heard the songs before. Except when its a covers album by Six Feet Under.

Truth be told we never really 'got' the whole Graveyard Classic thing before. It was all well and good and a little entertaining. However, on number four they have nailed it impressively, Barnes practically losing it in an effort to extract each ounce of fun in his death metal delivery of 11 classics.

With the title 'Number of the Priest' it encompasses five Priest and six Maiden tracks, apparently picked by Metal Blade CEO, Brian Slagel.

Whether or not that's the case we couldn't give a flying shit, because this is just excellent. To test whether it was really as good as we thought, we played the version of 'Murders In The Rue Morgue' to one of the editorial team who is an avowed Maiden devotee. Their laughter when Barnes' vocal kicked in was immediately replaced by a bout of headbanging. A ringing endorsement!

Of course, this all comes under the title of novelty, but that doesn't detract from the sheer enjoyment of the extraordinary renditions on display here.

Musically they're pretty faithful to the originals, with subtle twists here and there for purists to listen and smile Ray Suhy's work on guitar and bass has a lightness of touch given how heavy the delivery is, while Josh Hall's drums must have been a challenge given how many different drummers' styles he had to master.

There is no doubt that the aforementioned track 'Murders In The Rue Morgue' is the stand-out track, closely followed by 'Prowler' and 'Night Crawler'.

While some of the tracks on Graveyard Classics sometimes seemed flat, on IV one senses that these were formative tracks in Barnes' metal journey, tracks that were etched into his mind as he began the journey that led to Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under.

Sounding rather ebullient Barnes had to say (excuse the obvious hyperbole):

"Get ready to have your ears violated and your mind blown! 'Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest' just crawled out of the Heavy Metal Cemetery! Having a good time playing music is what it's always been about since day one, and that's what the 'Graveyard Classics' albums are to me... a good fucking time! I hope you all enjoy our twist on these legendary songs!"

Graveyard Classics IV: The Number of the Priest was produced by Chris Barnes and Phil Hall. Drums were tracked by Josh Hall at A.O.P. studios, and all other instruments were tracked by Ray Suhy at Cessation Engine Studios. Vocals were recorded by Carson Lehman at The Loft in Seattle, WA. The album was mixed by Jesse Kirkbride at Kirkbride Recordings in Cape Coral, FL and mastered by Alan Douches at West Westside Music.

Review by  Jonny

ALBUM REVIEW: Stampeding thrash - Enrage The Beast second release from Bull-Riff Stampede

THRASH. When it is done well there is no purer adrenaline rush, that feeling that your face has been dragged through s barbed wire fence, yet you are still smiling.

The new Bull-Riff Stampede release, 'Enraging The Beast' has that effect, but with an added smack to the face. Yet, you'll still be smiling after they kick you in the ass all the way into the mosh pit.

From the title track opener, through to closer 'Lone Ember' they rarely put a foot wrong; no let-up, no remorse, just thrash.

That's not to say that it is one dimensional. 'Mindless Heresy' drags in hardcore and raw punk to the riffage, without ever losing its metallic edge, while 'Bite The Nail (Reborn) has a classic metal intro that threatens to have you humming before the accelerator pedal is floored.

Dave and Jay deliver a masterclass in how to play thrash, with their guitars rolling along, combining the more brutal Bay Area sounds and a pinch of Teutonic thrash.

At times Dave's vocals veer towards death/black metal, such as an on '4125' but it enhances rather than detracts from the overall feel of the album, meaning that the listener never gets complacent.

Co-produced by Gabriele Ravaglia and the band it was mixed and mastered at Fear Studio in Italy by Ravaglia, and it is the production that once or twice falters with a few of the drum sounds. That is only a minor niggle as there is little to fault here, certainly not the performance of James as he tortures his kit relentlessly.

Aided and abetted by Rod's bass the rhythm section is remorseless, a platform that enables the band to teeter almost out of control, but with enough composure to beat you into gleeful submission.

This is a real development from 2011's 'Scatter The Ground' both in terms of sound and song writing. You sense that 'System Shocker' would not have had the legs earlier in the band's career, nor would the brilliantly technical opening to 'Lone Ember' been so well balanced in a song that doffs its cap to Gojira and Mastodon but is not a slavish copy of their sound.

And, that is the key to this album. Bull-Riff Stampede have managed to refine their sound, take what could be formulaic, draw in influences, add a distinctive British edge and allow the sound to flow.

'Enraging the Beast' is out on July 13th, we suggest you get a copy and have your face kicked in the best way possible.

Review by Jonny

NEWS: Only seven weekends until Bloodstock and more band announced

THERE’S just 48 days until your wait is over for Bloodstock - the biggest heavy metal party weekender of the year!  Bloodstock HQ is a hive of activity; the sunshine is on pre-order and there are still more bands being confirmed!

And, don’t forget that Northern Ireland acts Rabid Bitch of the North and The Crawling will be on the line-up…

New bands added incluse are rising Century Media metalheads, Heart Of A Coward (https://www.facebook.com/heartofacoward) who have a Sunday slot snagged. Check out the video for ‘Hollow’ from last album ‘Deliverance’ at: https://youtu.be/C-h3c2VnA7A.

Joining Friday’s Sophie Stage bill are German symphonic metal outfit Beyond The Black (https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheblackofficial), Wigan’s own progressive sludgelords Boss Keloid (https://www.facebook.com/bosskeloidband), and self-described ‘epic fantasycore’ group Fury from Worcester (https://www.facebook.com/furyofficial).   

Meanwhile, snagging a Sophie Stage slot on Saturday are heavy psych merchants Vodun (https://www.facebook.com/VODUNBAND) fresh from Stone Free festival last weekend and fast-rising London melodic metallers, The Raven Age (https://www.facebook.com/TheRavenAge).

Bloodstock is very pleased to welcome back TEENAGE CANCER TRUST as their official charity partner once again.  After shattering all previous fundraising records in 2015 with a colossal total in excess of £13.5K, Bloodstock hopes you’ll join them to raise even more cash in 2016 to help TEENAGE CANCER TRUST support young people with cancer all over the UK.

Maybe you waded through D(r)ownload?  Or you’re paddling off to Glastonbury?  First timers and old timers, everyone’s welcome at BLOODSTOCK.  If you’ve a little ‘un under 4 yrs old, they can even join you for free.  No mates to go with or a bit unsure on your first visit?  Make new friends with the “Bloodstock Loners & Newbies” camp, a Facebook group set up by some regulars (https://www.facebook.com/groups/171715506329753/).

Already announced for 2016 are our three headliners, TWISTED SISTER (in their last ever UK show), MASTODON and SLAYER, plus special guests BEHEMOTH, GOJIRA and ANTHRAX.  Also on the bill are FEAR FACTORY, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SYMPHONY X, SATYRICON, PARADISE LOST, DRAGONFORCE, METAL ALLEGIANCE, STUCK MOJO, ROTTING CHRIST, MISERY LOVES CO, AKERCOCKE, GHOST BATH, VENOM, UNEARTH, DIAMOND HEAD, GOATWHORE, ACID REIGN and many more.  Additional bands are still to be announced.

Weekend tickets with camping, plus various VIP packages, are available now priced from £139 (+ booking fee) at http://Bloodstock.seetickets.com/event/Bloodstock-2016/catton-park/902838.  Learn more about VIP via https://youtu.be/fAzkTVvjnn0 but don’t hang about, as these tickets always sell out in advance!!

BLOODSTOCK will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 11th-14th August 2016.  Keep up to date with the very latest info on BLOODSTOCK’s official sites at www.facebook.com/Bloodstock and www.Bloodstock.uk.com, or via Twitter on @BLOODSTOCKFEST.

Monday, June 20, 2016

NEWS: Frontiers go all metal with new festival

FRONTIERS Records have announced the first edition of the Frontiers Metal Festival, which will be held on Sunday, October 30th at the Live Club in Trezzo Sull’Adda (Milan), Italy.

After the success of the first three editions of the Frontiers Rock Festival, the Italian-based label decided to create a spin-off event to highlight the incredible talent of the heavier bands on the roster. The bill is made up of seven international and Italy based bands, all of whom will please fans of the power and progressive metal genres.

Trick Or Treat will kick off the festival, playing songs from their awesome new record, “Rabbits' Hill Pt. 2,” which will be released on July 8th.

Spanish metallers Lords Of Black, featuring new Rainbow singer Ronnie Romero, will follow with their exciting mixture of classic heavy metal combined with power and prog metal.

From there, DGM, an Italian band, who will release their highly anticipated eighth album, “The Passage” on August 26th, will take the stage and show of their incredible progressive metal stylings.

With no rest for the wicked, Italian symphonic metallers Secret Sphere will take the stage, spearheaded by the fabulous singer Michele Luppi, now keyboardist and background singer in Whitesnake.

The Festival will continue on with a theatrical approach – Prog and Symphonic – from the magnificent German band Vanden Plas. Their live return to Italy is certainly one of the most anticipated events of the day.

The two headliners will be: Labyrinth – a new Frontiers signing, recently finalized – one of the most successful Italian metal bands of all time, which will see the return of singer Roberto Tiranti to the line-up, and fans can look forward to a live rendition of their classic masterpiece “Return to Heaven Denied” from start to finish, in addition to some of the most acclaimed songs from their storied catalogue.

The last slot of the evening could not have been left to anyone else other than Germany's mighty Primal Fear, one of the most successful metal bands around, fresh off the successful, chartbusting album “Unbreakable,” which charted in their home country of Germany, as well as in the United States and many other countries around the world.

Doors will open at 14.00 hrs.
Early bird tickets, available until June 30th, will cost 31.00 EURO (+ presale). Then the price will go up to 35.00 EURO (+ presale) until the day of the Festival.
Tickets purchased on the show day will cost 39.00 EURO.

NEWS: Grab a listen to LLNN's new album before its release on Friday

WE don’t usually recommend that you head off to another site, but ahead of the official release on Friday, LLNN have streamed their debut album, ‘Loss’. The four piece from Copenhagen, conjure up abrasive hardcore influenced rawness in abundance.

The band said: “The making of this album has been a creative joyride of watching a bunch of our favorite VHS 80s sci-fi flicks and afterwards trying to get that mood and “visual” feeling transferred into the sound of heavy and sludgy post-hardcore. 

“We’re huge fans of the work of John Carpenter, Brad Fiedel and Vangelis to name a few.

“Loss is about the loss of innocence and is lyrically meant to describe the transition from a naïve idealist to a solipsist nihilist. We were raised to believe in the good nature of people, an ideal we naively still hold on to for dear life, but growing up and watching the realities of life unfold in front of you, can be a soul sucking experience. It’s about the insurmountable immovable object that is the will of man and how utterly devastating it can be to witness at times.

"We hope that you will enjoy the album and that it will be as cathartic for you to listen to, as it was for us to write it.”

Loss is the follow up to LLNN's 2014 Marks EP, and will appeal to fans of His Hero Is Gone, Neurosis, Coalesce and Amenra.

Loss will be released on June 24 and is available to order HERE via Pelagic Records. 

NEWS: Derange prep for Bloodstock with new single

LONDON based tech-metal quartet Derange are preparing for their Bloodstock appearance by announcing ‘This is the End’, the new single from their acclaimed album ‘The Awakening’.

‘This is the End’ is a hugely melodic slice of tech-metal, balancing the unbridled power and haunting melodies that have firmly established Derange as one of the hottest young bands in the UK tech-metal scene. 

Formed in London in 2012, Derange have been slowly building up to the release of their incredible debut album ‘The Awakening’.

Produced by Russ Russell (Dimmu Borgir, Napalm Death, Sikth, Amorphis, Evileetc…) ‘The Awakening’ is a glorious tech-metal affair, referencing forward thinking bands like Karnivool, TesseracT and Periphery, all topped off by the haunting and powerful vocals of Cat Pereira. Described by Russell; ‘one of the best vocalists I've ever come across’, Pereira is a formidable talent, bringing equal parts aggression and melody to Derange’s complex and powerful music.

With the singles ‘Ego’ and ‘Unleash’ making their mark soon after the band’s inception, Derange would take their time to produce their acclaimed ‘Change’ EP (featuring the single/video ‘Pretty Ones’) and once released it brought the band to a much wider audience.

Since then the band have been hard at work bringing ‘The Awakening’ to fruition, spending long hours under the expert tutelage of Russ Russell, honing their songs into their final form.

‘The Awakening’ is out now!

NEWS: New album from Heart, including Papa Het, and a summer tour too

Headline tour with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Cheap Trick
ROCK and Roll Hall of Fame members Heart return on July 8 with Beautiful Broken, their sixteenth album and their first on Concord Records. HEART has sold over 35 million records, and this anticipated album is their first in four years. Beautiful Broken finds Ann and Nancy Wilson exploring new songs, but taking some of their favorite “cherry picks” from their catalogue and rerecording and rethinking them. The title track and first single features a dynamic guest vocal contribution by Metallica’s James Hetfield with Ann Wilson.

“There is really a seventies feel to this record both in the sound, and the way we got to the emotional core of each song,” says Nancy Wilson. “We picked songs that we always wanted to re-do, plus we’ve added three new tracks. On both new and old, we have the band playing together the way we used to. This is classic Heart.”

The seven tracks that were pulled from the Heart catalogue were tunes both Nancy and Ann wanted another shot at, due many times to how they were initially produced. Songs like “City’s Burning,” “Down on Me,” and “Sweet Darlin’” have always been live favorites of the sisters, and of HEART’s fan base, but they had somewhat languished. “Those songs may have fallen through the cracks, in a way, because of where radio was at the time when they were first released,” Ann Wilson says. “Rediscovering those songs, I found ways they emotionally still speak to me.” Two songs are from Passionworks, two from Private Audition, and two are from Bebe Le Strange.

Beautiful Broken’s title track had been a bonus song off Fanatic, Heart’s last album, but this version is essentially an entirely new song with barnburner vocals—and even some lyrics—added by Metallica’s James Hetfield. “It blows the previous version out of the water,” says Nancy. “James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent.”

Beautiful Broken was co-produced by Nancy Wilson with Heart’s bassist Dan Rothchild. Rothchild had previously produced Better Than Ezra’s platinum-selling Deluxe, but he also comes from rock royalty: his father was legendary Doors producer Paul Rothchild. Beautiful Broken was recorded at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, the same studio the Doors cut their best work. “There were eerie echoes in the hallway,” Nancy says.

Rothchild said his goal was to capture the human feel of Heart live in the studio. “On these classics, some of which had suffered from eighties-era over-editing-production-curse, we stripped the paint off and found the beauty underneath,” he says.

For Ann, the album allowed her to revisit, and re-sing, songs she felt “never reached their full development.” For Nancy, the lyrical heart came alive: “I felt these songs were poetic pieces that were lost in translation with the sounds of the eighties, which was harder and more digital. We wanted to drape them in velvet, and make them shine.”

One example is “City’s Burning,” originally on the 1982 album Private Audition. “The first time we recorded that was in 1981,” says Ann, “and it was in a key that was a bit ‘show-offy,’ and sped-up. On Beautiful Broken, we put the key in the right place, and the song really bore fruit.”
  Nancy Wilson sings one of the new songs, “Two.” The song had a different genesis than many Heart classics, as Wilson first heard it on a demo made for a television show her husband Geoff was working on. She reached out to the song’s writer--R&B sensation Ne-Yo--and asked if he’d consider giving her the song. “I went to work begging for the song,” she says. “Ne-Yo said, ‘sure.’ It ends up he’s a HEART fan. He may still release his own version at some point, but to me the song feels like mine now.”

One of the unique aspects to Beautiful Broken is the string arrangements on four songs done by legendary arranger Paul Buckmaster. Buckmaster’s resume includes work with the Rolling Stones and Elton John (“Levon”). “We were talking about how we wanted ‘Paul Buckmaster-type’ strings at one point,” Nancy said. “So then we decided to call Paul himself.”

Buckmaster’s work on “Sweet Darlin’” is, in particular, a standout, but only because the strings highlight Ann’s powerful vocals. Ann had always wanted another shot at “Sweet Darlin’” so it was an ideal choice for Beautiful Broken. “To me the original sounded somehow incomplete,” Ann says. This version, with Buckmaster’s strings, finishes the song properly, but it also showcases how Ann’s voice has remained strong over the decades.

Ann and Nancy Wilson formed Heart when the idea of two women leading a rock band was still groundbreaking. From the moment 1976’s Dreamboat Annie was released, they became stars. With hits like “Magic Man,” “Crazy On You,” “Barracuda,” “Alone,” “What About Love,” and “These Dreams,” the band became one of the biggest hit-makers in the seventies and eighties. In 2012, their memoir ‘Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll’ became a New York Times bestseller, and in 2013 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold more records than any sister act in the history of popular music, but they’ve done so keeping their vision--that women can both rock and put forth emotional intimacy--central to their sound.

Beautiful Broken follows in that tradition, an album with pure rock power on the title track, but also tender sexual yearning on “Language of Love.” It’s a contrast that has always been the essence of Heart. “We still make records like we always have, and they are always impossibly romantic, because Ann is always an impossibly romantic singer,” Nancy says. “In a world where there is less poetic lyric writing, we’ve always tried to plant a flag for poetry.”

That may seem “broken” in a way, in a world of machine-created pop music, but it is also certainly a beautiful vision. This year Heart will bring that vision to half a million fans during their summer concert tour, and Beautiful Broken extends that relationship with radio-ready songs, and deep album cuts.

Click here to pre-order the album.

The dates for HEART’s headlining summer tour with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick are here:http://www.heart-music.com/tour – no Belfast date L

COMIN' ATCHA: Metal community sues for bankruptcy as more shows announced...includi ng Onslaught, Alient Ant Farm, and much, much more

THIS promises to be one of the best years for hard rock and heavy metal in Northern Ireland in our long, proud history of hosting shows from bands across the globe. It's going to cost us all a fortune in beer tokens alone.

And, given that so many talented bands exist and play on this tiny patch on land this is going to be a fantastic few months...

Latest announcement is Onslaught's show on 6th November in the Limelight, which will see the band celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the release of the seminal album 'The Force'.

Good to see a band keep the faith and return to Belfast once again.

Way back in the mud we saw Alien Ant Farm at Download, and we have to say that we really enjoyed these bonkers pop punks. They play Belfast's Empire on Friday, 21st October, with (Hed)pe, Sumo Cyco, and Kaleido.

Other shows announced include a run of dates in December across Northern Ireland is the return of Ritchie Ramone.

Bands playing here in 2016 also include the following:
  • Danny Vaughn
  • Gama Bomb
  • The Dead Daisies
  • Mastodon
  • Airbourne
  • Diamond Head
  • The Mission
  • Pentagram
  • Buckcherry
  • Attica Rage
  • Saxon
  • Kadavar
  • Dan Reed
  • Ugly Kid Joe
  • Planet of Zeus
  • Beartooth
  • Meshuggah and
  • many, many more.

In fact we can't list them all, nor can we list right now - but we tip our hat to Mark Ashby, who maintains the gig listing at the Facebook group 'NI Rock and Metal Bands' - for those that don't follow all the announcements from promoters, follow this group. It's the one place you can plan your year in music!

ALBUM REVIEW: Welsh rockers Buffalo Summer hit and miss on second release

THERE is a current trend amidst the depths of labels to sign anything with a faint hint of blues rock, and there will come a time when it reaches saturation point - thankfully for Welsh act, Buffalo Summer that point hasn't come.

With a distinct sense of riding the crest of this current blues wave they have released their second album, 'Second Sun' and while it is a bit hit and miss there are thankfully more hits.

In particular the pop rock of 'Make You Mine' and the brooding 'Neverend' stand out as not just solid, but well executed tracks.

Having said that opener 'Money' sounds too derivative compared to the nicely balanced 'Light of the Sun', which has enough breath to allow the influences of the band to be explored and developed.

Andrew Hunt has a warmth to his vocals that suits the tracks, while the balance between guitarist, Johnny Williams, drummer, Gareth Hunt and bassist Darren King is well honed, with some of Williams solos superb.

In common with the opening track 'Into Your Head' hasn't sufficient depth and at times almost teeters into cliché.

However, the closing duo of songs, 'Bird on a Wire' and 'Water to Wine' are more solid. 'Bird...' has a slowed down swagger and insistent riff, while 'Water...' has a real feel of the band's intent.

While this is by no means a perfect release, it has enough strength in the writing and Brett Martin's production gives the sound depth and just enough heat and humidity to give the impression that it was recorded in Louisiana.

Out now on UDR, 'Second Sun' displays potential and these are tracks that will grow when played live.

Review by Jonny