Bad Wolves Forced To Perform Without Tommy Vext

As we reported yesterday, Bad Wolves Singer Tommy Vext remains in the hospital with an illness in the UK. The band was forced to perform last night in Birmingham with fill-in singers, Eleven Seven Music Group labelmates As Lions frontman Austin Dickinson, and Stars of Bang Bang Romeo. The band didn’t want to disappoint fans hoping to see them open for Three Days Grace on their current tour. Tommy Vext wanted to convey this message to his UK fans to assure them he will re-join the tour as soon as permitted, and likely as soon as tonight. Continue reading

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As Lions – Selfish Age

While it is unrealistic to expect the son of a world-renowned musician to naturally sound like (or even want to sound like) his father, the fact is, when your last name is Dickinson, people are going to judge you based on preconceived notions. Author Joe Hill knows all about it; his father is master horror storyteller Stephen King, and when Hill started out, he intentionally took on his mother’s maiden name (bad pun, sorry, couldn’t resist) to avoid the inevitable comparisons to his old man. Continue reading

Trivium – Heart Of A Coward – As Lions – UEA, Norwich (UK)

Trivium-2016-UK-Tour-600-full ghostcultmag

There’s a different feeling about a Trivium show these days. Packed to the rafters with a second generation of fans picked up since their refinement and reinvention on In Waves and the successful follow-ups Vengeance Falls and latest opus Silence In The Snow (all Roadrunner), the Floridian thrashers seem very comfortable in their skin. And with good reason, as since entering the second phase of their evolution they have found themselves, no longer chasing the ephemeral but secure with their sound and who they are.

And it is with this calm confidence and assurance that Matt Heafy addresses the throng, self-deprecating tongue never far from cheek. He gently chides the crowd for being passive between songs despite their enthusiasm during tracks, indulges in classic metal encouragement getting everyone to “sing the guitar part, like Iron Maiden” on a flawless ‘Strife’ (and everyone does), addresses theSpinal Tap-esque number of drummers they go through and mocks his own appearance around the Shogun era.

A secure leader, equally his vocals have never sounder better, as he delivers note perfect cleans across the board, while still dipping into some welcome aggressive harsher tones on the older material. Corey Beaulieu is clearly enjoying connecting with a happy crowd while ripping out a slew of metal hits,Paolo Gregoletto is a head-bobbing pocket-dynamo, chipping in with some great harmonies and a ruthless pounding undertone, and new sticksman Paul “Wanky” Wandtke brings the beat, looking every inch a Steel Panther, adding showmanship, power and humour from behind the kit.

 

And it’s the set that makes you realize just how many great tunes Trivium have under their belt at this stage of their career. Whether it’s the more vocal-led ‘Silence In The Snow’, or the machine gun ‘Rain’, the, um, anthemic ‘Anthem (We Are The Fire)’ or the mix of it all in mid-set highlights ‘Through Blood And Dirt And Bone’ and ‘Ghost That’s Haunting You’, they’ve now reached a consistent, slick and career-high level of performance in the live arena. Flanked by huge white skulls with glowing laser eyes, by embracing their classic heavy metal roots, by the time a bowel-punching ‘In Waves’, complete with every voice bellowing the title closes things up, Trivium have calmly proven they are what we always thought they’d be; an excellent heavy metal band.

Their supports are still in the process of finding their places in the world, with Jamie Graham clearly hungry to bully and cajole every youthful face in the venue to join their cause. Backed by mammoth slabs of head-punching excellence, like ‘Hollow’, ‘Turmoil I’ and ‘Turmoil II’, it’s a successful venture as Heart of a Coward prove last year’s stunning Deliverance (Century Media) belongs in larger venues. Meanwhile, As Lions deliver plenty of promise in an engaging and triumphant opener slot that sees a band with only one song in the public domain convert new recruits by their hundreds; Austin Dickinson a strong presence with a versatile and dominant voice backed by hooks, riffs and people waiting to lap them up.

The next time each and every one of these three bands heads anywhere near you, do yourself a favour and indulge in their quality live fare, you won’t be disappointed.
STEVE TOVEY

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Former Rise To Remain Members Form As Lions

As Lions. 2015. (L to R) Conor, Dave, Austin, Stefan and Will. Ian Collins Photography.

As Lions. 2015.
(L to R) Conor, Dave, Austin, Stefan and Will. Ian Collins Photography.

Frontman Austin Dickinson has announced Rise To Remain has called it quits, following the departures of drummer Adam Lewin and guitarist Ben Tovey. Dickinson, guitarist Will Homer and bassist Conor O’Keefe will continue under the new project called To Lions.

They released a statement:

“It’s with a mixture of sadness and excitement that we reveal to everybody that RISE TO REMAIN is no more.
“We travelled the world with this band, and, because of the people who supported us, managed to achieve so many things we never thought possible.
“Living the dream, in many cases, is not enough to hold it all together when the band is not stable, and after putting together the second record, Adam told us he was in a place where he felt the pressure of the album and the upcoming cycle and couldn’t continue, leading Ben to quit music altogether.
“To continue the band at this point, with as many lineup changes as it’s had, with the two original members being Will and myself, seems pointless.
“We loved the music we made with RISE, we loved getting to know all of you through shows and media like this. That goes for Ben and Adam too.
“I wouldn’t say that this news is necessarily unexpected, as it’s been quiet on here for some time.
“We don’t feel any blame or animosity. In all honesty, I would like to add that Ben leaving was the best decision for him. He was in a difficult position and had been for a long time, and he had to find a way to go and deal with his problems, which, although it means we had to part ways, I’m still very proud of him for. It takes courage. We’ve all toured together for years, and bonds like that are not only old, they are complex. However, I do now get to move on to the exciting part.
“AS LIONS is the new band that Will, Conor and I have been working on since early last year. We wanted to take our time with it and build the material to the point where we knew we could burn the place to the ground. This is that time.
“Nine months of nonstop recording and work in the wake of the final RISE album, as well as a manner things lead to a lot of material, including the single you can currently hear: ‘The Fall’. While it is different to what you know us to sound like, it captures the passion, hunger and furore that we’ve always sought to impart.
“There is no other way to kick this off, than with an anthem, a straight-up belter, one that you can sing and move to, as well as one that does the people that have supported us and made us who we are as individuals, proud. So if you enjoy it, take pride in knowing that you are supporting a band that truly appreciates it.
“Touring and shows will be announced shortly, but for now, we would rather let the song speak for itself, and find out what your reactions are.
“We’ve got an article running in Kerrang! currently, and the single is going to radio at the weekend.
“So, to summate, I will miss RISE TO REMAIN in its good times. I was shown a world of opportunities I never thought would be possible. What you guys have shown me, time after time, is to sing as loud as possible, sweat as much as you can and act like it’s your last night on earth. I find a lot of solace in that.
“RISE TO REMAIN’s time is over. If you want in on the new wave, right this way…. “