Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

NEWS: Saxon to release live album Let Me Feel Your Power double live albun

NWOBHM legends Saxon will unleash Let Me Feel Your Power, their 10th live album, on October 7

The 16 track album was recorded in Munich during November 2015 and Brighton in January 2016, with bonus materials from Chicago in September 2015, Let Me Feel Your Power will be available in several formats, including DVD/2CDs, Blu-Ray/2CDs, digital download and a deluxe vinyl version which will also include the Blu-Ray and 2CDs (limited to 1500 copies).

The track-listing is as follows:

The bonus material track listing is as follows:
[*only available as video content; not available on CD or digital]

The format breakdown is as follows:
DVD+2CDs (digipack format)BluRay+2CDs (digipack format)Deluxe Vinyl Version, (Double vinyl plus BluRay+2CDs) limited to 1.500 unitsDigital
th via UDR Music.


NEWS: LA Guns set to Rip and Tear Belfast in March with Tracii and Phil line-up

FOR those of us with lengthy memories it seems such a ling time ago when LA Guns began their mid-80s odyssey, but they were among the acts that brought all the Hollywood sleaze rock to our lugs and the romanticism of that scene to MTV.

Now, billed as LA Guns, Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns are back on the road and are set to 'Rip and Tear' Belfast this spring. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

They have signed on the dotted line to play Limelight2 on Friday, March 10th, just before a slot at HRH in Wales.

With word that a new album is in the works this looks set to be a great evening of nostalgia and new tracks - a perfect rock 'n' roll combination.

In the meantime here's that classic track...

COMIN' ATCHA: Chariot, The Crawling, Drakonis, Terminus, Valpurga - this Saturday

THIS Saturday evening there are two nice heavy shows for y’all. NWOBHM act Chariot are playing The Diamond Rock Club, with support from Terminus.

Earlier The Crawling, Drakonis and Valpurga provide the entertainment for The Distortion Project in Limelight2 from 5pm

Before their Diamond show we caught up with Pete from Chariot, who revealed some nice news for fans and the band’s plans for the next few months

“Chariot will be giving another free track to download this week so keep an eye on the Chariot page,” he said.

“After playing the Diamond club we will be playing the HRH Xmas Rocka festival on the 3rd December at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Girlschool & Rock Godess & many others on the bill.

“Hope we see a few old friends there too! Also in November we will be giving away a brand new track from our new album to download for free from our Chariot Facebook page. Enjoy!”

Terminus are also looking forward to a busy time in the studio.

“We’re currently started on writing the second album,” said David McCallum of the band. “We’ve one more gig after the Diamond show lined up supporting Diamond Head, with others in the pipeline.

“Live appearances will be sparse until the task in hand is complete.”

New stuff! We can’t wait, but until then see y’all on Saturday!

NEWS: Vivian bringing Last In Line back to Belfast

LAST In Line will play a Belfast headline show at The Limelight 1 on Saturday, 3rd Dece mber 2016. Formed in 2012 by former members of the original lineup of Dio.

Last In Line released their debut album ‘Heavy Crown’ in February 2016..and if you want to hewar it and the Dio classics tickets on sale Friday from www.limelightbelfast.comwww.ticketmaster.ie Katy’s Bar & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

When he left Black Sabbath in early 1982 to form his own band, the late, great Ronnie James Dio took powerhouse Sabbath drummer, Vinny Appice with him.

Ronnie knew that he wanted a European flavour to balance-out the band, so he asked his former Rainbow bandmate and Scottish native, bassist Jimmy Bain to join him. In turn, Jimmy recommended Northern Ireland’s own Vivian Campbell to complete the line-up.

When the four of them met and played for the first time in a North London rehearsal room in September 1982, the magic was evident and the classic Dio band line-up was born.

Between 1983 and 1985, in quick succession, that line-up wrote, recorded and toured the first three Dio albums. Widely considered to be the crown jewels of the Dio catalogue, Holy Diver, Last In Line and Sacred Heart went on to sell millions as the band, now reinforced by keyboard player, Claude Schnell, played to audiences worldwide.

By 1985, however, trouble was brewing and the fabric of the band had started to unravel. Beginning with Vivian Campbell’s firing during the Sacred Heart tour, one by one the other original band members left the fold and slowly the magic was lost.

30 years after the recording of Holy Diver, and without trying to replace the singular sound that was Ronnie’s voice, the original band have started playing the songs they created together again. Joined by the passionate, powerful and unique voice of vocalist Andrew Freeman, Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain and Claude Schnell have united under the name of their classic album, Last In Line, to perform and tour their original songs again.

When any group of musicians write and record together, they create a sound that becomes uniquely theirs. Last In Line brings to life those early, classic Dio albums in a way that only they know how. In a way that only they can.

Saturday 3rd December 2016

Doors 7pm *EARLY SHOW*

Tickets £17.50 + Booking Fee

18+ Only

NEWS: Black Star Riders new album and tour including Belfast March slot

BLACK Star Riders play Belfast on March 5th as part of a full UK tour in support of their new album ‘Heavy Fire’, set for release in early 2017.

After a full year off the road, Black Star Riders  (Ricky Warwick, Scott Gorham, Damon Johnson, Robert Crane and Jimmy DeGrasso) will play a 16-date UK & Ireland run, joined by Gun and The Amorettes.

Ricky Warwick said: “It seems like ages since we did the Leppard / Whitesnake tour so we are all really looking forward to be back out on the road with BSR.

“Our third album will be out just prior to the dates so it’s going to be great to play tracks from that along with favorites from the first two records also.  Having my old friends from Gun and The Amorettes out with us too is just icing on the cake to make a great tour!”

The band are currently in the studio in Nashville, once again with producer Nick Raskulinecz putting the finishing touches to ‘Heavy Fire’. Scott Gorham said: “It’s great to be back with Nick, after such a great job on The Killer Instinct it was a no brainer to continue the relationship and this album is going to blow everyone away”.

Following on from their critically acclaimed albums ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ and ‘The Killer Instinct’ which have paved the way for Black Star Riders to be recognized as a power force in the modern day of rock n’ roll, ‘Heavy Fire’ will be once again released by Nuclear Blast Entertainment.  The band have also brought in Pledgemusic, one of the most innovative and successful platforms of the modern music world, to give fans extra special product and experiences to go along with the album’s release.

The tour lands in Ireland on Saturday, March 4th, with a slot at the Academy, Dublin before playing the Limelight on Sunday, March 5th.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

NEWS: Bloodstock 2017 is GO!!

After a record-breaking year in 2016, BLOODSTOCK is excited to hit the ‘go’ button on 2017!  Early bird weekend camping tickets are already on sale at a discounted £120 and now, due to exceptional demand, a limited number of VIP packages will be going on sale earlier than usual for 2017 on a first come, first served basis.

VIP sold out well in advance in 2016, so for those 100% set on guaranteeing VIP for 2017, or those wishing to purchase a VIP ticket as a Christmas gift, click to the ticket store at 9am on 1st September to be sure of securing yours.

VIP upgrades (for those who’ve already bought an early bird ticket) will be available from 16th December, when remaining VIP tickets will go up for sale.

In other great news, BLOODSTOCK is very proud to announce it shattered last year’s fund raising total for official charity partner, THE TEENAGE CANCER TRUST.  This year, via guest list donations and other on site contributions, BLOODSTOCK raised over £15,365, thanks to the festival attendees generosity!  

BLOODSTOCK takes place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 10th-13th August 2017.

As well as VIP packages, early bird weekend tickets with camping are available now, priced from £120 (+ booking fee) at http://bloodstock.seetickets. com/event/bloodstock-2016/ catton-park/902838.

Children’s weekend tickets are also available, priced £35 (+ booking fee) and a limited amount of camper van pitch tickets which always move quickly.  If you want a camper van pitch, we suggest you purchase ASAP to avoid disappointment.

No announcements yet, but we declare ‘Camp Midgard is go too’

Pictures credit -  Katja Ogrin

EP REVIEW: Finsterfrost go mad in fun release #Yolo with added Miley Cyrus

OKAY there are some releases that leave you scratching your head and wondering what the hell is going on, are you tripping, hungover or still drunk.

Such was the case when Finsterfrost's ep '#Yolo' descended into metal mansion. After their impressive 2015 release 'Mach Dich Frei' we had high hopes for this ep from the German folk metallers.

Five new tracks and four cover versions and a trad song really means this ep is more a min-album than an ep, so with much stroking of the chin we dived in...

Well it was not what we were expecting...

Sure the new songs are what we would expect, with mad but great instrumentation. Surging, rolling tracks that are infused with folk sensibilities. So far so folk metal.

We like that.

But...but what the heck is 'Wrecking Ball' doing on here? For those, like most of the Belfastmetalheadsreunited team we had to do some research. Death metal corr, Zakk, reported that this was a Miley Cyrus song that had been subjected to much internet piss take.

We them embarked upon that thing called 'googling' and found loads of songs of the same title but we braced ourselves and listened to that Cyrus version. Reeking of auto-tuning Finsterfrost take it, play with it and well....it is okay; one for parties with a smattering of pop fans as well as metallers.

Equally, a beefed up 'Beat It' is one for drunken party revellers. There's also a cover of a German hip-hop act called K.I.Z. but the less said about that the better.

It all ends up with a cover of 'Wild Rover'. With the guitars on first listen this turns this song into something resembling a dirge. Second listen and we get it. At the end of a raucous party, as things are winding down, some are dozing and the taxis have been ordered this is 'Wild Rover' sounds like to anyone sober enough to actually hear what the fading revellers are 'singing'.

So where does this leave the ep? The new songs are as good as you would expect from Finsterfrost and the covers are insane, yet close enough to the originals to perk interest.

What this does come across as a placeholder. Something in between albums, something to cop a few tour dates. We may not forgive them for having to listen to the godawful Cyrus woman, but when this review is published we'll be cracking a beer later in the evening and toasting #Yolo. We'll, however, skip 'Wrecking Ball' lest we be further contaminated.

Review by (a confused) Jonny

Monday, August 29, 2016

NEWS: The Distortion Project fundraiser Number two - be there...no excuses

RIGHT you feckers,  sit up and pay attention. No slouching at the back and no hiding yer sleeping eyes with yer long hair because this is important.

Here in Norn Iron we have some tremendous promoters bringing the rock and metal from far afield and close at hand, Derwin brings the hard rock to The Diamond Rock Club, Philip with SO:NI, Ciaran bringing eclectic bands, and Jonny at Shizznagh with even more eclectic acts.

If you want to keep up to date with what they are doing Mark Ashby has a Facebook Group (NI Rock and Metal Bands) in which he keeps us all up to date on what is happening. [And, it would be remiss of me to mention that he and his wife Carolyn celebrated their wedding anniversary by taking control of Uber Rock - good luck people!]

But, let not your attention wander...

One promoter who continuously takes risks to keep our wee metal hearts beating is Mr James Loveday. The Distortion Project keeps us occupied on Saturday evenings and is bringing acts such as Buckcherry, Meshuggah and Napalm Death and coming up fast, Raging Speedhorn.

But with all this risks means The Distortion Project is holding a second fundraiser to keep the metal tearing up our senses, ears,  necks and livers..

Put Saturday, 17th September in your diaries, write it down in blood. Be there at 4pm. Hand over £6 and buy some raffle tickets. Your reward? You'll help The Distortion Project bring more acts to our wee shores.

And, you'll have your teeth rattled.

For from 4pm until the heady hour of 9pm you can watch Neamhni, Fuckhammer, Shrouded and Bad Boat (and one more yet to be announced).

Value for money? Five bands is value for money.

I see that has got your attention, you've pencilled it in blood in your diaries (those using their mobiles and tablets are excused from using blood on their tech, but carve it into a visible part of your anatomy) and you'll be there, Right?

And, because Mr Loveday is a nice guy you can recover from any hangover the next day by catching Raging Speedhorn at the Voodoo with our own hardcore heroes By Any Means and Dublin's Dead Label. See we told you he was a nice guy. Until then we'll this coming weekend you can catch The Crawling, Shrouded and Valpurga at Limelight2 in a DP show and bomb up to the Diamond Rock Club to see Chariot and Terminus afterwards...

You may find one of the Belfastmetalheads team wandering about, but DON'T forget 17th September.... 

NEWS: Attica Rage release new single and bonus live track ahead of autumn tour

ATTICA Rage descent upon Belfast’s Limelight2 on October 22nd in a power line-up that includes Donum Dei and Conjuring Fate.

Ahead of the UK and Ireland tour the band have released their new single ‘All Summer Long’ via Off Yer Rocka Recordings along with a bonus live track of fan-favourite ‘Crazy Horses’, a rocked-up cover version of The Osmonds' 70's chart hit.
Watch the video below:
You can buy on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/…/all-summer-long-sin…/id1148029101 or the full digital catalogue: https://atticarage.bandcamp.com

All Summer Long is the second single taken from the new Attica Rage album Warheads Ltd, available in CD Digipack & digital formats from Amazon, HMV, iTunes and all major music stores worldwide as well as direct from the band at http://atticarage.bigcartel.com

The video for ‘All Summer Long’ was filmed on location at Ardeer Beach, Stevenston in North Ayrshire, Scotland on one of the hottest days of summer.

INTERVIEW: Maverick front man David Balfour looks forward to bright future for the band as Big Red launches

MAVERICK stormed Limelight2 on Saturday 27th August to officially launch their second album, the stormer slab of rock that is 'Big Red'.

Shortly before he took to the stage we caught up with vocalist David Balfour to discuss the album, live shows and the bright future ahead for Maverick. Worth a watch for Maverick fans...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

LIVE REVIEW: Maverick go large for Big Red launch with spikey Kildare metal crew Stereo Nasty

WHEN you have a 'product' that is a massive step up in terms of everything you have done before then you might as well make a big deal of it - and Maverick went large when it came launch their new album 'Big Red' on 27th August.

Rock and metal luminaries from across Northern Ireland were among the healthy numbers crammed into Limelight2 to celebrate the massive Maverick release.

To help the occasion kick off with a bang the County Kildare metal crew Stereo Nasty, who have been faithful visitors to Northern Ireland.

They have become more poised since their first tentative steps and their presentation has upped the stakes. From the first days with spikes through denim jackets now to spiked armoured shoulder pads and spiked leather.

All would be for naught were it not for the songs and the ability of the band. Mick dominates the stage, and sings as if his life depended on it. Adrian is an accomplished player, ably assisted by Rud's bass playing, who commands his side of the stage as if there was a legion of Roman soldiers about to storm it. They'd have no chance.

Fran sits behind his kit, headphone monitor and shades, a picture of concentration.

What Stereo Nasty have in proverbial spades is a succession of songs, with massive riffs and massive choruses, traditional heavy metal played well.

Maverick have grown up in front of many in the crowd at Limelight2 who turned out on to see what is close to being a band who can challenge many of the so-called big names across Europe and the US who are re-treading licks and producing samey songs.

None of what Maverick does is samey. Nothing they perform - live or on album - is a re-tread. Yes, there is homage to their influences of the 80s, but there is no sense as the 10-legged rock monster is living in the past - even if they did one cover version that harkens back to 'the day'.

Sure, the 80s heyday is celebrated, but the tightrope of hard rock and metal sensibilities is walked with sure feet and balance to give each track the sound of 2016 rock.

Not only are the songs strong, but the performance is superb. The dynamic stagecraft sees them move constantly, working every inch of the stage - and David grins like a hyperactive Cheshire Cat at every opportunity.

However, it never comes across as contrived - rather this is a band who understand that we listen with our ears but watch the performance. And, it is clear that they are fans of the bands that use that same principle.

The new songs may be unfamiliar to many, but they work superbly on stage, and instantly garner support and unanimous approval. 'Forever' is so much stronger live to what was already an impressive recorded track.

The party anthem 'Whiskey Lover' sits a well in the set as the detailed storytelling of 'Beyond The Gates'.

Ryan has developed more tricks to his already impressive array of licks, but with the flash there is form and structure. As always Richie and Mike are formidable holding the songs together, but the addition of Terry to the line-up had enabled them to step up even further live.

Of course, Maverick are great at the little twists in the set and the aforementioned cover version of 'Get The Funk Out' has the Limelight complex bouncing.

'In Our Blood' from Quid Pro Quo is a statement that resonates with everyone in attendance no matter the age. Yes, quality rock 'n' roll is in all our veins - and when Maverick play we feel that pure musical joy course throughout our bodies.

The boys "done good" in the past,  but this was men who strode on to the Limelight stage, they were great, and we believe they can only get better still.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Jonny and Lizzie Torbitt
Big Red is out now - Maverick play The Diamond Rock Club on October 15th

Saturday, August 27, 2016

LIVE REVIEW: Scimitar, Donum Dei and Midnight Force bring metal to the Eglantine

IN a shift of venue The Distortion Project upped sticks from its normal Limelight residency and brought a tonne of heaviness to the Eglantine Bar on Belfast's Botanic and the locals may now understand the metal - or be totally confused by it.

It was a night of sheer excellence from three bands, in relatively civilised surroundings - at least civilised until the music came raining down.

Openers Scimitar are evolving with every show. Their hyper speed thrash is a wall of noise, with Jonny growing with each show as front man, capable and using all of the small stage.

Ryan and Chris are a titan sized rhythm section, a thunderous noise that at times threatens to overpower John's lead work, but when he kicked in for solos there was no doubt about who was leading the charge.

All the shout outs from Bloodstock were there for the night but the humour never threatened to overshadow songs such as 'Behead The Beast' and the always awesome 'Act of War'.

Donum Dei were rerturning to live shows, this time with new bass player, Neil Toal. Having taken some time off gigging to get the new line-up settled.

Their core songs and attitude remain unchanged, and even though the set was a bit ragged in places the presence of Thomas manages to help carry them through - even  mounting the fixtures and fittings of the room á la Joel O'Keefe.

Neil and Stuart have stepped forward more in the backing vocals role than seen previously and Alastair seems more comfortable behind the kit.

The usual songs are on display and the likes of 'Justice Fails' has the crowd energised and baying in front of the stage - evidence of the faith that their fans have kept in the band.

Midnight Force travelled to Belfast from their hometown of Glasgow for a couple of dates on this fair isle and instantly they had those in attendance on their side with a smooth, well executed classic metal assault.

Vocalist John roamed stage and throughout the venue, cajoling the crowd, prowling ready to strike at any not willing to join in.

As well as the classic metal sound there is sufficient elements of power metal to make sure the sound is up-to-date and fresh. Ansgar and Brenden are tight, with enough to vary the pace when needed.

Pete is a more than solid drummer, adding backing vocals to strengthen the sound.

Midnight Force were unknown to the audience, but took little time to win over all. Speedy return please guys.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Dave Kerr
Reproduction only by explicit written consent.