Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: 'Ware the icy lands of Antartarctica for Evil Scarecrow tread the wastelands and conquer

REMEMBER the Martian invasion of 2017? When the so-called lifeless planet unleashed their warriors on an unsuspecting Earth? No neither do we, but Evil Scarecrow have that memory burned deep and they seek vengeance.

And, whilst we have never encountered an ice slug that shoots frozen milk Dr Rabid Hell and his accomplices assure us that one exists...

If ya eejits expected us to be 'serious' when reviewing Evil Scarecrow's fourth album, well that was not ever going to happen. But, 'Chapter IV: Antartarctica for all its twisted humour is a serious piece of wondrous musicality amidst the madness.

Within we find a panopoly of demented parables, warnings of not just the Martian invasion ('Red Riding Hood') but stark warnings..

Let the fear be upon you!

'Ware the deadly vortices of the 'Hurricanado'.

Heed the warnings of haunting by the 'Polterghost' lest ye have spaghetti chucked at you.

And, as for the Turnip King...more later.

The outside world prefer to think of 'metal' as silly. Well Evil Scarecrow have 10 high concept tracks on Chapter IV: Antartarctica that are sillier than a silly thing romping in a field of silliness while channelling Monty Python, Black Metal, Mercyful Fate, thrash, prog and American Dad.

And, that is no bad thing.

However, for all the gigglicious lyrics this is a serious chunk of an album. On all 10 tracks Dr Rabid Hell (vocals, guitars), Brother Dimitri Pain (guitars), Kraven Morrdeth (bass), Princess Luxury (keyboards), and Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist (drums) lay down the proverbial chops - although we are yet to receive our delivery of the delicious pig flesh to accompany our listening pleasure...

It is the understanding that Evil Scarecrow have that amidst the insanity the playing has to be spot on, while keeping a straight face while delivering songs that are, well only Evil Scarecrow can deliver this high concept tales...

Take the aforementioned root vegetable lord... Gus, Zag and The Turnip King' is a cautionary tale of unwitting Satanist trying to summon the evil one and bringing forth the Turnip King instead, wreaking havoc.

And, there is also the 'Cosmic Goth Moth Gong', which you should only experience after six or 10 beers or a mind-altering substance to really understand.

Taking their cues from black metal, thrash, understanding their influences and twisting them...and throwing in a folk track.

Yes, the penultimate track is the plaintive tale - 'The Ballad of Brother Pain' - take note folk metal wannabes because this tear-jerking 'power ballad'. And, we must know why the monk went to Antartarctica, does his mother know where he is and why walk the frozen tracts in open sandals?

However, what is striking is the titular closer Antartarctica - complete with a child's bike horn at the opening, a nod to the video of Hurricanado. This 10-minute epic has it all. A sweep and a vision that takes Opeth and Mastodon and gives them the icicle treatment in a melange that melds mind-bending concepts.

Across all tracks Evil Scarecrow do not put a foot wrong. And, if you fail to grasp this understand that "It is too complex for the human mind..."

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Chapter IV: Antartarctica is released on 28th September on Dead Box. It is available on a variety of formats, including vinyl on Pledge and can also be accessed via an interdimensional portal just outside Coventry.

Evil Scarecrow play Belfast's Voodoo on 1st February, 2019

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

NEWS: Bloodstock reveal Sabaton as 2019 Friday night headliner

BLOODSTOCK has reveaed that Swedish metal warriors, SABATON will headline Friday 9th August in what will be their only UK show in 2019!

Check out what they had to say about returning to Catton Park’s hallowed turf to headline the festival this time around - https://youtu.be/a_m5jrhKUZs.

The band have always been a huge hit with BLOODSTOCK’s crowd in years prior, so we’re excited to see them step into a headline slot.  Remember their 2015 set when they brought their tank?!  Watch them blast through ‘Metal Crue’ here - https://youtu.be/nt2pF7Bf944.

Stay tuned for more band announcements soon!

Standard weekend tickets are also currently available at ‘early bird’ prices (just £132 for four days of metal fun), so grab yours now at the ticket store - http://bloodstock.seetickets. com - if you want to save a few quid.  Camper van passes are also available  in limited quantities, but be quick, half the available spaces have sold already!

For those who want their VIP spot guaranteed, BLOODSTOCK’s first wave of 2019 Serpents Lair VIP tickets are also available, priced at £290.  A second wave, including the Deluxe VIP packages (Luxpads, Bellepads, Podpads, etc) and a limited amount of VIP upgrades (for those who’ve already purchased standard weekend tickets) will then become available on 16th December at 9am.  For full details click to http://www.bloodstock.uk.com/ pages/vip-camping.

We trialled the deposit scheme for VIP tickets in 2018, but please note, there will be NO DEPOSIT SCHEME for VIP tickets this year. 

In other excellent news, BLOODSTOCK is very proud to announce that the 2018 event raised a total of £11,872 for TEENAGE CANCER TRUST, via the guest list scheme, on-site donations and the charity stall at Catton Park.  A great result for a very worthy cause so a giant THANK YOU to everyone who donated.

BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 8th-11th August 2019.  Get additional information over at www.bloodstock.uk.com.

NEWS: The Stranglers set for Belfast date to open Back on the Tracks UK tour

Following their sold out Belfast show last year, UK rock legends The Stranglers will headline the Ulster Hall, Belfast with special guests Dr Feelgood on Thursday 28th February 2019.

With a career spanning four decades, The Stranglers are one of the most continuously successful bands to have emerged from the UK punk rock scene.Their hits include Golden Brown, No More Heroes, Peaches and Always the Sun.

The Stranglers’ Back on the Tracks 19-date UK Tour kicks off in Belfast on 28th February culminating in what is bound to be another rousing finale in Manchester on Saturday 30th March.

During a hectic year of touring the Southern Hemisphere, Europe and the UK, The Stranglers have also been busy writing and rehearsing new material so audiences can expect to experience some of these new cuts, alongside classic favourites and lesser performed numbers drawn from their eloquent and extensive catalogue spanning over forty years.

First formed in 1974, the band's no bullshit attitude was embraced by the punk movement of the late'70s, with their first three albums (Rattus Norvegicus, No More Heroes and Black And White) being released within an astonishing 13 months of each other, scoring hit singles such as Peaches, No More Heroes and Walk On By. Further success was to follow with Always The Sun, Strange Little Girl and the mercurial Golden Brown, amongst many others, earning the group 24 Top 40 singles and 18 Top 40 albums  

Masters of their own highly original sound, that combines a brilliant melodic touch with dark aggression and effortless cool, The Stranglers are now recognised as one of the most credible and influential bands to have emerged from the punk era.

With record-breaking, sell-out shows and festival appearances in the UK and throughout the world, demand to see and hear the band is at an all-time high, testament surely to their considerable musical talent and enduring quality of their songs.

Tickets, priced £33 (+bking fee) go on sale Friday September 21st at 9am from www.ulsterhall.co.uk, www.ticketmaster.ie, Katy's Bar & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers 0844 277 44 55 & Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300.