Def Leppard Live At Arena Birmingham, UK

With so many rock and metal acts playing entire albums in full these days, it was only a matter of time before the band responsible for one of the biggest (and longest) records of all time decided to give it a go themselves. Selling over twenty-five million copies worldwide, the idea for Def Leppard to play 1987’s Hysteria (Phonogram/Mercury) in its entirety began in 2012 when the band were offered an eleven date residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which they played during March and April of 2013.Continue reading

Conan – Conjurer – Ba’al: Live at Rebellion, Manchester (UK)

“It’s Pink Floyd turned up to fifty”, my mate said. I’d never heard Waters or Gilmour roar with the same ferocity as Steff, lead vocalist of Sheffield quartet Ba’al, but the band do display a level of progression and turn of pace that would fit in with the Prog legends’ template. The phenomenal power and blackened hostility of the music, however, leaves any such comparisons in the shade. Continue reading

Diamond Head – Live at The Robin 2, Bilston, UK

 

Situated near the heart of The Black Country – an area in the West Midlands which gave birth to bands such as Judas Priest and perennial Christmas faves Slade – The Robin 2 in Bilston tonight plays host to other local heroes, Diamond Head. Formed in 1976, about ten miles away in Stourbridge, Diamond Head sat proudly at the forefront of the legendary New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, going onto inspire many up and coming bands, the most famous of which shall remain safely nameless for the purpose of this piece. Continue reading

Ghost – Live at Royal Albert Hall, London

 

Back in June when Swedish retro/goth/prog rock act Ghost announced a one-off show at the Royal Albert Hall, the news caught many off guard and swiftly caused the internet to burst in a torrent of bitterness. Triggered instantly, a horde of permanently enraged keyboard warrior types leapt into battle with Caps Lock buttons at the ready, proceeding to inform the internet in the strongest possible terms that, “they’ll never sell that many tickets”, “they’re nowhere near that big”, and “it’ll be hilarious when they cancel”. Oh, and of course, the now almost delightfully traditional war cries of “they’re shit”, and “they’re not metal!!” Continue reading

Wolves In The Throne Room – Wode: Live At The Garage

Only a couple of years ago it seemed like the presence of American Black Metal legends Wolves In The Throne Room on UK shores would become a fleeting experience, if indeed it occurred again. Following a UK tour in 2011 and then an All The Party’s appearance the following year, it would then be five years until the band would eventually return in support of latest album Thrice Woven (Artemisia) with a much anticipated UK tour. With this in mind, a second UK tour in 2 years on the back of Thrice Woven seemed a surprise, but a very much welcome one. Continue reading

Havok – Darkest Hour – Cephalic Carnage – Harlott: Live at Camden Underworld, London

 

Thrash has long been perfected on record. Indeed, it’s hard to justify owning many Thrash records made post-Rust in Peace. Live, however, is a different beast entirely. Continue reading

Doyle – The Dead XIII – Ward XVI: Live At The Asylum 2, Birmingham

Thanks to the seemingly eternal roadworks in the middle of Birmingham city centre, I managed to miss opening act Deadfilmstar, but luckily arrived just in time for costumed Northern nutters, Ward XVI. Armed with chainsaws, plastic handguns, and bloody knives, the preposterous Prestoners enjoy cutting each other’s throats, eviscerating dead bodies, and enjoying a refreshingly cold glass of blood. For those who witnessed their memorable early morning show at Bloodstock Open Air last year, the Alice Cooper style theatrics will have come as no surprise, but to an unsuspecting Brummie audience expecting some three-minute explosions of shouty horror punk, the avant-garde insanity took a little time to settle in. However, when it did, the crowd visibly loosened up and really started enjoying themselves, some even going so far as joining big-haired female vocalist Psychoberrie in a little Cossack dancing “Circus Pit”. Although the much smaller venue meant their performance wasn’t as instant or explosive as their tent-filling triumph at Bloodstock, Ward XVI were still the band (main act aside) most people seemed to be talking about at the end of the night.Continue reading

Magnum Live At Islington Assembly Hall, London

There aren’t many bands who mark forty plus years with an extensive UK tour promoting a brand new album as opposed to a full-on nostalgia show; but then again Magnum hasn’t followed the trend of many of their peers since their return from hiatus in the early 2000’s. As mentioned by our own Sir Tovey in his Lost on The Road To Eternity(Steamhammer) review, Magnum missed the nostalgia wave of recent times and thus, perhaps as a result, haven’t exactly been media darlings or more a recognisable name more on the periphery. This was certainly the case for me until finally discovering them with the aforementioned Lost …, discovering with it a rich and highly consistent catalogue; a new album more than capable of standing its own with even the band’s more highly regarded efforts. Continue reading