Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

NEWS: Stage Times Announced for this weekend's Ramblin Man Fair Festival

FOR those making their way to this year's Ramblin Man Fair they have released the stage times to help you plan your days.

SATURDAY – Gates open 12pm

Planet Rock Main Stage
Mott The Hoople  21:15 – 22:45
Steel Panther  19:25 – 20:25
The Cadillac Three  17:40 – 18:40
Therapy?   16:10 – 16:55
GUN  14:45 – 15:30
No Hot Ashes   13:30 – 14:00

Outlaw Country Stage
Steve Earle & The Dukes  19:45 – 21:15
Myles Kennedy   18:15 – 19:15
Skinny Molly   16:45 – 17:30
Me and That Man  15:30 – 16:15
The Adelaides  14:30 – 15:00
Thomas Wynn and The Believers   13:25 – 13:55

Classic Rock Rising Stage
The Rising Souls   19:55 – 20:55
The Dust Coda   18:40 – 19:25
Henry’s Funeral Shoe  17:30 – 18:10
The Rocket Dolls   16:20 – 17:00
Gorilla Riot   15:20 – 15:50
Dead Man’s Whiskey   14:35 – 14:55
Icarus Falls   13:25 – 13:55
Those Damn Crows   12:30 – 13:00

SUNDAY – Gates open 12pm

Planet Rock Main Stage
The Cult   20:45 – 22:15
Halestrom   19:00 – 20:00
Blackberry Smoke   17:15 – 18:15
Sons Of Apollo   15:50 – 16:35
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown   14:30 – 15:10
The Last Internationale   13:10 – 13:55

Prog In The Park
Fish  19:15 – 20:45
Mostly Autumn   17:30 – 18:30
Von Hertzen Brothers   15:50 – 16:45
Voyager   14:35 – 15:15
Goldray   13:25 – 13:55
Second Relation   12:30 – 13:00

Blues Stage
Gov’t Mule   19:15 – 20:45
Chas & Dave   17:30 – 18:30
Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind   16:00 – 16:45
Laurence Jones Band 14:35 – 15:15
Kris Barras Band  13:15 – 13:55
Connor Selby Band  12:25 – 12:55

Following on from the critically acclaimed and commercially successful third year in 2017, Ramblin’ Man Fair returns in 2018! This year the festival will move from its traditional end of July slot to the 30thJune and 1stJuly 2018.

The festival takes place in the beautiful Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent – the garden of England.

Tickets are available now priced as below:

VIP Admission Saturday & Sunday - £256 plus booking fee
General Admission Saturday & Sunday - £156 plus booking fee
Camping Starts at £49
Tickets available from http://ramblinmanfair18.eventbrite.co.uk

To keep up to date with all Ramblin’ Man Fair announcements like, follow and visit:

NEWS: THERAPY? launch music video for Callow, pre-order Cleave now via Pledge Music

WITH the announcement that Therapy? will release their forthcoming album 'Cleave' CLEAVE was to be released on 21st September 2018 through Marshall Records.

The band have now unleashed an accompanying music video for their single ‘Callow’ that sets the tone for the new record, which is now available for pre-order.

You can view the music video for ‘Callow’, which was directed by Sitcom Soldiers here.

Andy Cairns talks about the inspiration behind the track Callow, taking influence from the likes of Stephen Fry, Lil Peep and how the videos visuals are representative of a zombified society under pressure to utilise Xanax as a form of therapy.

“Callow is one of two songs on the album that I wrote start-to-finish.

"Everyone who knows anything about our band know that I love Hüsker Dü and The Buzzcocks and Ramones, and this is another melodic punky song in the vein of Nowhere and Screamager and Lonely, Cryin’, Only, with maybe a hint of the Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible too.

"My son Jonah is really into a rapper called Lil Peep, which sounds to me like emo with trap drum beats, with lyrics about how fucked up and lost and lonely he feels, and I managed to get Jonah a ticket for his show in London last year.

"A few months later he said to me, ‘Lil Peep is dead’, and I could see that he was really affected by it: I realised that, for him, this was like the passing of John Lennon or Ian Curtis or Kurt Cobain.

"In some of his music, Lil Peep talked about the antidepressant Xanax, the over-use of which has become a real problem in the UK, and while I was thinking about that I remembered a Stephen Fry quote where, after he was prescribed antidepressants to combat his manic depression, and he said that he felt like a zombie for months.

"He said something like, ‘If you take away my demons, you’ll also take my angels.’

"His point was that, yes, there were dizzying heights and terrifying lows without antidepressants, but he’d rather have that than constant numbness. So this song is talking about how we negotiate the chaos of life right now, and to understand why someone might numb out so that they don’t notice our divides.”

CLEAVE (auto-antonym) i. To prise apart ii. To bring together

Therapy?’s fifteenth studio album, Cleave will be released on September 21st 2018. Roughly themed around notions of duality and division, the band’s follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed Disquiet - and their first recording for new label Marshall Records – is a sharply focused, fiercely intelligent, impassioned and empowering set of songs from a band operating at a creative and artistic peak.

A scathing, incisive state-of-the-nation address, investigating the schisms in contemporary society and the motivations of those seeking to propagate disjuncture, it’s a powerful, challenging, uncompromising collection from a band never afraid to confront and dissect humanity’s darkest impulses.

From the thrillingly propulsive assault of Wreck It Like Beckett via the addictive Callow (the album's first single, out now) and the unsettling I Stand Alone to the disquieting, bleakly beautiful No Sunshine, the ten tracks which make up Ceave coalesce to paint a portrait of a fractured, dislocated world rent by unprincipled, mendacious masters.

 You can pre-order the album via Pledge Music alongside the following items

Signed CD
Signed Vinyl
Signed exclusive marbled vinyl
Signed Test Pressing
Signed, numbered and dated handwritten lyrics for Callow
Exclusive T-shirt
Bundles of the above

 The album artwork and track list for CLEAVE has now been revealed.

1. Wreck It Like Beckett
2. Kakistocracy
3. Callow
4. Expelled
5. Success? Success Is Survival
6. Save Me From The Ordinary
7. Crutch
8. I Stand Alone
9. Dumbdown
10. No Sunshine

Andy Cairns is justifiably proud of the unified drive and restless creativity evident in this powerful, questing collection and says this about the forthcoming opus

“I know that we can be a difficult sell, because we have no particular niche and no desire to conform,” he admits, “but Therapy? have always been the kind of band that when people discover us, they immerse themselves deep and keep us close to their hearts. We’ve never been part of a trend, so we’ve never been cast aside when fashions changed. CLEAVE, to me, is Therapy? at our most focused. I love our more experimental side, but I also love that this record sounds like it was made by a band who’re all reading from the same script and moving forward with the same determination and hunger.”

“We’re living in a time riven by conflict,” Andy Cairns states baldly. “You look at what’s happening in the United States at present, what’s going on with Brexit in the UK, with North and South Korea, with Palestine and Israel, and it’s impossible not to see turmoil and turbulence.

Some of these conflicts have been going on as long as I can remember, but they seemed to really reach a head again around the time we were writing the album. CLEAVE is our response to the divisions we see all around us.”

The result is one of the most formidable, provocative and impactful albums of Therapy?’s storied 29 year career, once again proving that the band’s pre-eminence as one of the UK’s most inventive, fearless and individualistic musical artists.

Therapy? play a variety of summer festival slots before their UK tour. No Belfast date as yet...
SAT - Jun 23, 2018 Genk Onstage Festival - Genk, Belgium
FRI - Jun 29, 2018   Ramblin' Man Festival 'Friday Night Live' show - Maidstone, UK
SAT - Jun 30,2018 Ramblin' Man Fair (w/Steve Earle, Gun, Steel Panther) - Maidstone, UK
FRI - Jul 06, 2018 Nell's Jazz & Blues (acoustic headline set) - London, UK
SAT - Jul 07, 2018 Feis Festival (acoustic festival set w/Van Morrison, Chieftains etc) -Liverpool, UK
SUN - Jul 08, 2018 Amplified Festival - Gloucestershire, UK

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

NEWS: Damon Johnson announces Pledge campaign for new solo album Memoirs Of An Uprising

Damon Johnson has announced a Pledge Campaign for his forthcoming new solo album 'Memoirs Of An Uprising'. The album will receive a full release later in 2018.

The forthcoming album features ten brand new songs from Damon – and he is currently finishing the mixing, mastering and packaging around the album.

The album will be available on both CD and vinyl and the Pledge site features a whole host of very special options including signed CDs, merch, mystery bundles, guitar lessons, signed guitars, acoustic house performances and even a round of golf with Damon amongst others..

Full details here: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/damonjohnson

Damon said, “The fact that I’m getting to make this album at all is purely down to the support and love you all have shown for my music over the past three decades.

"And, as I discussed this fact with PledgeMusic, they have encouraged me to “un-earth” and make available one-of-a-kind items during this campaign…things like bundles of exclusive photos and memorabilia from all my various band endeavors; my small Peavy practice amp that I’ve written songs on ever since Brother Cane’s ‘Seeds’ album; a “still-in-the-shrink-wrap” copy of my long time out-of-print ‘Dust’ CD; even autographed guitars…and much more.

"Again, this is the first time for me to work with PledgeMusic as a solo artist. And the catalyst is absolutely this new music I’ve created. The songs are inspired and my band (Tony, Jarred & Tony) played and sound amazing as always. And I feel these songs deserve as much exposure as possible, even in this day and age where the business of making and distributing music has change dramatically.

"I’m asking for your help. I need your help! I’m at LEAST asking you to check it out what we’re offering through this PledgeMusic campaign.”

The album will then receive a full UK release later in 2018.

Damon will be conclude his UK and Europe tour in 2018 with band mate Ricky Warwick at Belfast's Limelight2 in October 15th.

The two will be playing acoustic numbers throughout their two illustrious careers as well as speaking about their experiences in music.

NEWS: Bloodstock day tickets released on Friday, new bands announced and tonnes more fun planned

AS the countdown to Bloostock continues apace the festival has announced day tickets will go on sale on Friday as well as a tranche of new bands, joining Northern Ireland's Oracle and Sinocence.

All the news - including some more entertainment is in the press release below,

"With just six weekends to go, BLOODSTOCK release a limited number of day tickets at 9am this Friday, 29th June!  Adult day tickets are priced at £65 (+ booking fee) and child day tickets at £20 (+ booking fee) and will be available at http://bloodstock.seetickets.c om.  You can still also pick up four-day ‘weekend tickets with camping’, priced £145 (+ booking fee), and children’s weekend tickets at just £35 (+ booking fee). Children under 4 years old go free!  Weekend tickets are selling faster than ever and just like last year, are highly likely to sell out in advance, so don’t delay if you want to guarantee access to the UK’s best metal weekender!

"BLOODSTOCK can also share that blackened death metal band DEMONIC RESURRECTION (www.facebook.com/DemonicResur rection) are joining the Sophie Lancaster stage line-up on Sunday, replacing BIO CANCER who have regrettably had to cancel. Jetting in from Mumbai, India, DEMONIC RESURRECTION released their fifth album 'Dashavatar' earlier this year. Get familiar with their video for 'Narasimha - The Man-Lion', taken from that album, at: https://youtu.be/DVQkEAdVwUU.
The mighty Priest

"The regional METAL 2 THE MASSES finals have continued to storm across the UK, helping BLOODSTOCK to add the best of up n’ coming, grassroots talent to the New Blood stage for your attention this August! Friday brings melo-death Cardiff winners DEMOCRATUS (www.facebook.com/democratusba nd), Somerset champs KINASIS (www.facebook.com/Kinasis) with their brand of technical extreme metal, and Nottingham’s top dogs UNDERDARK (www.facebook.com/Underdarkuk) - think Alcest, Oathbreaker, Deafheaven with a touch of Cult of Luna. Also snatching a guest spot are filthy, southern-fried, metal n’ rollers KING BISON (www.facebook.com/kingbisonuk) .

"Joining the New Blood stage on Saturday, are thrash-tinged Newcastle victors KILONOVA (www.facebook.com/kilonovauk), hard rockers EQUINOX (www.facebook.com/EquinoxBandU K) who took first place in the Merseyside final, and Wrexham’s winners CADANCE NOIR (www.facebook.com/cadencenoir) , who describe themselves as goth folk n’ roll! 

"Sunday’s New Blood bill welcomes Devon/Cornwall conquerors ETHYRFIELD (www.facebook.com/ethyrfield), whose guitarist has even been mentored by the legendary Tony Iommi, doomy sludgers BARBARIAN HERMIT (www.facebook.com/barbarianher mit) who brought along all the riffs to win in Manchester, and from their excellent CD application, SERVERS (www.facebook.com/serversUK), described by Metal Hammer as "Mastodon meets Queen’s brand of intelligent riffs." Adding some international flavour, are Polish winners, the anonymous mask-wearing PSYCHOTYPE (www.facebook.com/PsychoType) and Norway victors SKYBRUDD (www.facebook.com/skybruddband ), a melting pot of doom/sludge/black/dark metal, as well as black n’ roll troubadours, SRD (www.facebook.com/SrdOfficial/ ), via our band swap with Slovenian festival Metaldays!

BLOODSTOCK’s also pleased to reveal a load of brand new entertainment will take place over at the Sophie Lancaster stage after the bands finish. For those of you less keen on sleep, the tent will transition into ‘The Lock In’, a fully immersive club night presented by Old Blue Last Beer and hosted by comedian Andrew O’Neill. Each night will feature a different DJ, celebrating a decade of metal! Thursday sees DJ Krusher unearthing tracks from the ‘70s, Friday rocks out to the ‘80s with dark lord Alexander Milas, on Saturday metal encyclopedia Dom Lawson brings you the best of the ‘90s, and Metal Hammer editor Merlin Alderslade rounds out Sunday’s fun with top tunes from the ‘00s. Not only that, you can expect movies, world record attempts, games, prizes, a giant can sculpture(!) and even more.

"Want to meet like-minded metalheads who’re going to BLOODSTOCK? Got tips to share, want a camping buddy, or just to chat about bands? Maybe you want to ask if you’re the only one taking a Hawaiian shirt for Cannibal Corpse’s set (https://youtu.be/8dM_TN7I5m8) ? Join these fan-run Facebook groups - Bloodstock Metal Forum 666 at  www.facebook.com/groups/bmf66 6/ and/or Bloodstock Camp Loners & Newbies at www.facebook.com/groups/171715 506329753/.


BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 9th-12th August 2018.  Get additional information at www.bloodstock.uk.com.

NEWS: Coheed and Cambria set to release epic album

Coheed and Cambria have announced details of their long awaited new album and label debut on Roadrunner Records, 'The Unheavenly Creatures'.

The sprawling fifteen track, self-produced, 78-minute epic finds Coheed and Cambria returning to the conceptual narrative of The Amory Wars.

The band has launched pre-orders for the album’s deeply immersive Vaxis – Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set. Pre-orders for The Unheavenly Creatures standard album will begin Friday, June 29, with new music from the forthcoming LP arriving next week.

01. Prologue
02. The Dark Sentencer
03. Unheavenly Creatures
04. Toys
05. Black Sunday
06. Queen Of The dark
07. True Ugly
08. Love Protocol
09. The Pavilion (A Long Way Back)
10. Night-Time Walkers
11. The Gutter
12. All On Fire
13. It Walks Among US
14. Old Flames
15. Lucky Stars

The box set includes an exclusive eighty-plus page hardcover illustrated sci-fi novel with strikingly realistic colour imagery by Chase Stone, as well as the complete Act 1 novella written by frontman Claudio Sanchez and his wife, Chondra Echert.

The set also houses a fully-wearable hard-plastic mask of the main character in The Unheavenly Creatures, a CD copy of the album, as well as the exclusive bonus album, The Crown Heights Demos, showing the songs in their original written form.

Additional items include a three-panel fold out poster of expanded album cover art, and the Unheavenly Creatures Black Card which will allow all card holders early access to tickets and early entry to Coheed and Cambria headline dates (including this summer’s tour).

For more information on Vaxis – Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set, visit www.coheedandcambria.com.

Coheed and Cambria recently released The Unheavenly Creatures’ 10-minute prog manifesto, “The Dark Sentencer,” which was leaked to fans by frontman Claudio Sanchez along with the opening paragraphs from the album’s aforementioned novella.

A UK tour will take place later this year, however there is no Belfast date.

“’The Dark Sentencer’ opens with prickly guitars that build into a stadium-sized thump,” noted Rolling Stone while Revolver declared, “the soaring song with its rolling guitar riff could soundtrack the montage to any intergalactic underdog story.”

Consequence of Sound hailed “The Dark Sentencer” adding, “Gang vocals and ephemeral harmonies underscore the band’s trademark shredding.”

Furthermore, Coheed and Cambria celebrated the 60th anniversary of NASA earlier this month by joining the National Symphony Orchestra as guest performers at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The event - NSO Pops: Space, The Next Frontier - featured music inspired by space—both fact and fiction—and saw Coheed and Cambria deliver a poignant performance of their song “Here To Mars” backed by the NSO Pops. The performance has quickly garnered over 700K views on The Kennedy Center’s Official Facebook.

For  more information please visit www.CoheedandCambria.com.
Comprised of Claudio Sanchez (Vocals / Guitar), Travis Stever (Guitar), Josh Eppard (Drums) and Zach Cooper (Bass),

Saturday, June 23, 2018

NEWS: Halestorm release latest track from upcoming album

WITH a slew of festival dates, a US tour and a September UK tour - including Belfast - Halestorm have released 'Black Vultures' the lead track on their upcoming album, Vicious, out July 27.

The song is the second unveiled from the album, following the lead single, “Uncomfortable.”

A new companion visual for the song will premiere next Friday, June 29th via the band’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/HalestormRocks.

On album release day (July 27th), Halestorm will kick off the second leg of their US tour with In This Moment and New Year’s Day, with UK dates this September.

1. Black Vultures
2. Skulls
3. Uncomfortable
4. Buzz
5. Do Not Disturb
6. Conflicted
7. Killing Ourselves To Live
8. Heart of Novocaine
9. Painkiller
10. White Dress
11. Vicious
12. The Silence

Halestorm play Dublin's Academy on 19th September and Belfast's Telegraph Building the next night.

Friday, June 22, 2018

NEWS: Blind Giardian prepare first tranche of re-releases from their back catalogue

ON September 14th 2018, Blind Guardian will re-release their first 4 studio albums via Nuclear Blast.

The back catalogue has been remixed and remastered, and will be available as 2CD-Digi and black vinyl formats, as well as via individual coloured vinyl for each album.

At the end of this year and also in early 2019, more re-issues are due to follow, so in total there will be 10 Blind Guardian re-releases.

The first four studio album re-issues due for 14th September 2018, can be pre-ordered right now in the following formats:

1. 'Battalions Of Fear' (1988), remixed 2007/remastered 2018
- 2CD-DIGI (remixed/remastered CD + original CD)
- Black Gatefold LP
- NBUK Store Limited Edition Gatefold Violet Vinyl

01. Majesty
02. Guardian Of The Blind
03. Trial By The Archon
04. Wizard‘s Crown
05. Run For The Night
06. The Martyr
07. Battalions Of Fear
08. By The Gates Of Moria
09. Gandalf‘s Rebirth

2. 'Follow The Blind' (1989), remixed 2007/remastered 2011
- 2CD-DIGI (remixed/remastered CD + original CD)
- Black Gatefold LP
- NBUK Store Limited Edition Gatefold Green Vinyl

01. Inquisition
02. Banish From Sanctuary
03. Damned For All Time
04. Follow The Blind
05. Hall Of The King
06. Fast To Madness
07. Beyond The Ice
08. Valhalla
09. Don‘t Break The Circle
10. Barbara Ann

3. 'Tales From The Twilight World' (1990), remixed 2012/remastered 2018
- 2CD-DIGI (remixed/remastered CD + original CD)
- Black Gatefold LP
- NBUK Store Limited Edition Gatefold Gold Vinyl

01. Traveler In Time
02. Welcome To Dying
03. Weird Dreams
04. Lord Of The Rings
05. Goodbye My Friend
06. Lost In The Twilight Hall
07. Tommyknockers
08. Altair 4
09. The Last Candle
10. Run For The Night (live)

4. 'Somewhere Far Beyond' (1992), remixed 2012/remastered 2018
- 2CD-DIGI (remixed/remastered CD + original CD)
- Black Gatefold LP
- NBUK Store Limited Edition Gatefold Blue Vinyl

01. Time What Is Time
02. Journey Through The Dark
03. Black Chamber
04. Theatre Of Pain
05. The Quest For Tanelorn
06. Ashes To Ashes
07. The Bard‘s Song – In The Forest
08. The Bard‘s Song – The Hobbit
09. The Piper‘s Calling
10. Somewhere Far Beyond
Bonus (not on vinyl/only on CD):
11. Spread Your Wings
12. Trial By Fire
13. Theatre Of Pain (classic version)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Khemmis stretch themselves in wondrous Desolation release

TAGS, genres, sub-genres, pigeon holes and definitions matter not a bit
when a band stretches themselves beyond these. Such is the case with Khemmis as their third album, 'Desolation' comes roaring like a slow moving articulated truck.

The Denver four-piece have produced a six-track masterpiece that merges classic metal, doom and smatterings of prog-metal to defy anyone trying to classify them.

Six-tracks that are given breath to live and explore the themes - the shortest track and lead single 'Isolation' clocks in just shy of five minutes and the closer 'From Ruin' is nine and a half minutes of wonderous gloom.

Dark melodies of misery ooze from every chord and refrain; with every terror explored the human soul is exposed to its worst fears.

Phil Pendergast's vocals are hauntingly beautiful until the clean gives way to harsh guttural cries.

While the first four tracks would stand proud in any collection of songs, 'Maw of Time' and 'From Ruin' raise the bar to heights that few could seek to achieve.

While their first two albums promised much 'Desolation' feels as if they have managed to fully capture their vision - melancholic and majestic, with arrangements that serve the song rather than be an end of themselves.

What they do in a clever way is not be constrained - 'Isolation' almost veers into NWOBHM territory briefly in its intro riffs, before settling down into familiar Khemmis' soundscapes. Opener 'Bloodletting' never allows clichés to exist in its prowess.

Phil and Ben - the Pendegrast brothers nail each riff throughout, while Daniel Beirs (bass) and Zach Coleman (drums) have a rhythm foundation for each movement in the songs.

This is an album to wallow in, to seek each miserable message out as metal catharsis for the jaded interior we all hold inside. And, after listening to it you emerged cleansed...but wanting to listen to it again.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Desolation is released by Nuclear Blast on June 22nd

ALBUM REVIEW: Madball maul on For The Cause

"You want the truth, start a revolution." This is the declaration from Madball on 'Rev Up', the second track on their latest album 'For The Cause'.

And, this is a band that has emerged in 2018, furious, angry and as vital as they have ever been: in fact it may be in the course of time seen as one of their best.

For the past quarter of a century the NYC hardcore crew have challenged the easy path, railed against mediocrity and the perceived wisdom polluting music, politics and society.

'For The Cause' is their ninth studio album and from the off it mauls the listener aurally with a set of lyrics that may raise a single finger, but is at the same time is life-affirming. The anger is harnessed and used in a sense that there is a positivity.

Sure, the sentiments are inevitably going to be a little bit of preaching to the converted, but if that spreads.

Freddy's voice is as always dripping with intent such as on 'Old-Fashioned' but the precise intonations and inflections make the message clear. "Too many of you living on your knees" -  time to get up.

Matt Henderson is back on guitar for the first time in 18 years and his riffing merges seamlessly with Freddy, Hoya and Mike.

Ice-T's contribution on Evil Ways turns it into a righteous declaration against murder. It like 'Damaged Goods' take the classic Madball Template and give it another kick in the arse.

Rancid's Tim  Armstrong stepped in behind the production desk, and seems to have managed to add a wee bit extra in the right places.

Their commitment to being good people for their families and Madball is exemplified in the brooding anthem 'For You'. This is a track that blasts with such upbeat defiance that it will be an essential live track.

On many albums guest appearances can be a distraction, but not on 'For The Cause'. The aforementioned Ice-T joins Tim Armstrong and The Business' Steve Whale on 'The Fog', and Psycho Realm's Sick Jacken on 'Rev Up'. It feels natural.

The full-on title track is tempered with a little dub to temper the fire before 'Confessions' rounds the album up in fine fettle.

In a world of 24-hour rolling news to scare the populace, when the music 'industry' demands quick returns from a succession of insipid clones, where politicians rule by soundbites and misinformation we need the words of Madball, "Get an education" Freddy declares, and you could do no worse than starting your education with 'For The Cause'.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

For The Cause is out now on Nuclear Blast

Thursday, June 14, 2018

EP REVIEW: The Howling Tides slam it down on début release

The Howling Tides recently released a video for their first single ‘Crack My Soul’ (which landed on YouTube on 4th June) from their upcoming self titled EP.

And now comes the big one with their brand new 5-track EP, (Produced by modern-day British Blues Rock legend Aynsley Lister) which will be available on all major platforms.

What a lot of heavy rocking these lads have packed into five songs, kicking off first with 'Cheap Painkiller' with almost a Black Sabbath vibe until it unmuffles itself and blasts into chunky bluesy rhythms.

It highlights some of the incredible range of Rob's vocals, from a sweet quirky smoothness to a ragged chainsaw full of rage.

Hayden's guitar work is incredible and all very well supported by Luke on bass and Steven slugging it to those drums.

Definitely a great track to start off with...

Second up is 'Death By Exile', a dirty southern rock style full of chunky rhythms and riffs that chug along at a perfect headbanging speed. The breakdowns are things of beauty that just make you glad to be alive at a time some young bucks were able to produce something like this.

'He Told Me', another hard rocking, face smacking, headbanging tune that continues the joyful delivery of controlled aggression and with guitar solos that fly at you with a pickaxe. Again there are moments where you have a comfortable feeling of Black Sabbath hidden here and there throughout the track.

Then comes the awesome 'Crack My Soul', a solid headbanging track full of emotionally charged, controlled aggression infused with crashing riffs and rhythms delivered in a professional tight manner that just makes your skin tingle and your hairs stand up.

Finally we have 'Running Blind' a riff-laden rumbling tune that is absolutely perfect for driving. You will just keeping driving past your stop just to listen to the very end.

This EP is a full on delivery of joyful energetic Hard Rock Blues with incredibly well delivered thundering drums, dirty fuzzy guitars, chugging bass and soulful vocals. Every track has rich chunky hooks, well timed breakdowns, a full sound and all are infectiously catchy.

The riffs, rhythms, breakdowns, and vocals will leave you with a hint of what Black Sabbath would have sounded like if they had just been a hard blues rock band.

And, as repored by our colleagues who saw them at HRH Ibiza Road Trip in May, definitely a band to see live.

The ep is out on WDFD Records on 29th June. Buy it. You need this one.

With an unrelenting desire to deliver soulful Hard Rock and unforgettable live shows, The Howling Tides are a band set on making their mark. Catch them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.

Review by Ivor Whitten

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

NEWS: A New College Offering Flexible and Innovative Higher Education for Creative Minds

WANT to get a music education course that meets the needs of rockers and creative people?

Want to have it run by real life musicians from Little Angels, Freak Power, Pitchshifter, and Dorje? Then this may be the ultimate educational choice for you as you!

WaterBear is a new Brighton-based college for musicians and creatives, now accepting applications for courses starting September 2018.
From l-r Mark Clayton, Adam Bushell,
and Bruce John Dickson 

Working in partnership with the University of Chichester, WaterBear offers BA (Hons) and Master of Arts courses for today’s musicians and music industry professionals, including a brand-new BA (Hons) in Commercial Music; an MA in Music Industry Innovation and Enterprise for degree graduates; and an MA in Music Industry Innovation and Enterprise for mature students.

WaterBear is run by its founders: Bruce John Dickinson (Little Angels), Adam Bushell (Freak Power) and Mark Clayden (Pitchshifter) – a formidable management team of highly-experienced professionals, each of whom has significant experience in the music industry as established touring musicians and recording artists.

What’s more, the team members also share a deep-set passion for music education, each with over 20 years’ experience at the forefront of the UK’s world-leading private music education sector, having set up and run several highly successful music colleges.

WaterBear is also proud to announce the exciting appointment of Rob Chapman as Director of Innovation in Guitar. YouTube sensation Rob is a guitarist, singer, and content creator. In both 2015 and 2016, Rob was named Total Guitar Magazine’s ‘Guitar Personality of the Year’.
Rob Chapman

He was also featured in Forbes magazine as an entrepreneur who had made exceptionally good use of YouTube. Rob Chapman also founded and owns Chapman Guitars: the UK’s fastest-growing guitar company. He also served as the frontman of chart-topping heavy rock band Dorje and has built a well-established reputation for creating and delivering charismatic, entertaining and educational videos on YouTube for the past decade, currently getting over 5 million views per month.

As Rob said: “It’s my job to call upon my many years of experience to help you guys reach your final form and reach your absolute potential in what it is you want to do, through a forward thinking and practical curriculum. One of the big differences with WaterBear is that your own music and projects form the foundation of the course. WaterBear will help you expand on what you already do. They will give you one- to-one mentoring to really help you take your playing and your career to the next level.”

WaterBear’s courses have been designed for musicians, producers, tour managers, event managers, songwriters, solo artists, film makers, social media content creators and creative entrepreneurs. WaterBear aims to take students’ real world activity and amplify it, to form lasting industry careers.   
Founder Director Bruce John Dickinson explains: “WaterBear will offer something new and different. We believe that people like us who design and deliver music degrees should be active professional musicians themselves – just like the team at WaterBear. If you study with us, your own music and projects will form the foundations of your course. You can study online, on site or a mixture of the two. WaterBear believes your college work should fit around your life, not the other way around.”

WaterBear CEO Adam Bushell adds “WaterBear is a practical, modern approach to music education. We are really excited to be accepting students onto our new MA and BA courses. We see all applicants for a one-to-one consultation prior to making any offers, as we want to hear all about each individual and where they’re at, experientially and creatively. We believe that every creative is an individual who deserves one-to-one attention, mentoring and guidance.”

WaterBear Principal Mark Clayden explains “Innovation is at the heart of what we do. For example, we are proud to be the first creative college to take social media seriously and offer a degree that focuses on filmmaking and content creation for social media. It’s all about forming a creative community of like-minded individuals who share knowledge, skills and contacts.”

WaterBear courses start in September 2018. For more information, visit www.waterbear.org.uk. The team can be contacted here: info@wbear.io Phone: 01273 726230

NEWS: Uriah Heep To Release “Living The Dream” in September - First Video and Single Streaming Now

BRITISH rock Icons Uriah Heep are set to release of their 25th studio album Living the Dream' on September 14th via Frontiers Music Srl. 

The first single and video for the song 'Grazed By Heaven' has now been released.  It is available on all streaming services as well as an instant download with digital pre-orders.

Watch it here. Album preorders are available at http://radi.al/LivingTheDream

The lyrics for “Grazed By Heaven” were written by Jeff Scott Soto and the music was written by bassist Dave Rimmer.

“The song is clearly about sexual tension and desire, very much in the form of 'Fifty Shades Of Grey', putting oneself at ease with the person who is taking control of the situation and trusting you will be in absolute bliss. Fantasy and lust is the calling card here, it’s quite black & white really. The song is very sexy so naturally called for a sexy lyric,” says Jeff Scott Soto of “Grazed By Heaven”

Dave Rimmer adds: 'Grazed' was born out of my desire to write a blazing Heep rock track, I put together the music and arrangement but needed a very strong melody line/lyric to match the music and the Riff..... I have been a fan of Jeff Scott Soto's voice and writing for many years so asked Jeff about a collaboration, he loved the song and came up with the perfect, & powerful lyric/melody..a very natural seamless collaboration between Jeff and I. A true 'Living The Dream' Moment for me”

Pre-order “Living The Dream” & stream the single here:

In conjunction with this release through Frontiers Music Srl, the band is offering some once in a life time experience packages as well as signed copies of the album and many other wonderful things.  Check it out today at https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/uriah-heep-living-the-dream

“Living The Dream” will be available in the following formats:
Collector's Box feat. CD/DVD + Exclusive T-Shirt
Standard Black Vinyl
Blue Colored Vinyl - Exclusive to U.S.
Crystal Colored Vinyl - Exclusive to Frontiers EU Shop

For this album the band teamed up with famed Canadian engineer Jay Ruston.

“Working with Jay was amazing! He totally understood what we were going for on this album and he delivered big time. We wanted a Heep album that the band and the fans would be proud of, and with Jay at the helm, we have delivered that,” says Mick Box. 

When asked what people can expect from the new album Mick Box says “There are rock songs, rock ballads, and a couple of prog songs encompassing everything Heep.”

Vocalist Bernie Shaw adds that fans should also be ready for, “A full blown ‘rockin’ Uriah Heep record. All the traits that made Heep famous in the past are here on this new album. Passion, power, harmony and substance. Heep trade marks from the first riff.

The band is beyond excited with the material written for the new album, which will include some epic additions to the band’s huge catalog of rock staples and looks forward to sharing it with their fans around the world.

The band has announced a full World Tour which will last until the whole first quarter of 2019. "The mighty Heep are proudly able to tour in over 61 countries and we look forward to a packed touring schedule in 2018 and 2019. Touring is in our blood and what we have a passion to do, and so 2018 is no exception,” concludes Box.

View all official tour dates at:: http://www.uriah-heep.com/newa/livedates.php

Track Listing:
1. Grazed By Heaven
2. Living The Dream
3. Take Away My Soul
4. Knocking At My Door
5. Rocks In The Road
6. Waters Flowin’
7. It’s All Been Said
8. Goodbye To Innocence
9. Falling Under Your Spell
10. Dreams Of Yesteryear
11. Take Away My Soul (alternate version) BONUS TRACK – CD/DVD Deluxe Ed.

Bonus DVD Track Listing:
Grazed By Heaven Music Video
Take Away My Soul Music Video
Making The Dream Documentary

Uriah Heep Lineup:
Mick Box – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Phil Lanzon – Keyboards/Vocals
Bernie Shaw – Lead Vocals
Dave Rimmer – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Russell Gilbrook – Drums & Percussion