Shining (Nor) – Animal

Woah! SHINING (the Norwegian BlackJazz Munke(b)ys) have got some balls. While Rock and Metal fans are often the most obsessive and loyal of supporters, woe betide a band who undergoes a misplaced style change; when heroes embark in a new direction that isn’t just left at the traffic lights but involves a radical transformation, it’s not unknown for a band to split and lose an audience, sometimes irretrievably. Make no mistake, Animal (Spinefarm) is one such move. Continue reading

Reigning Days – Eclipse

After their self-titled, four-track EP back in 2016 comes the release of Eclipse (Marshall), the debut album from Devonshire three piece Reigning Days. Brooding riffs and big centerpiece choruses their style of rock is deeply rooted in Royal Blood, Biffy Clyro, and Queens of the Stone Age, and as such, they have been getting some love from the UK mainstream press. Continue reading

Devin Townsend, Max and Igor Cavalera, Orange Goblin, Sick Puppies Added To Download Festival 2017

Already featuring a massive lineup of bands, Download 2017 has added 20 more names to the roster with Devin Townsend Project, Code Orange, Max & Iggor Cavalera playing their ‘Return To Roots’ show, Sick Puppies, rapper Machine Gun Kelly, Sikth, Suicide Silence, Ty Bryant And the Shakedown, Krokodil and many more announced. Continue reading

Daily Lineups Revealed For 2017 Rock On The Range

The 2017 Rock On The Range festival will be taking place on May 19th, 20th & 21st at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, and they’ve just announced the daily lineups for the sold out weekend. Continue reading

Opeth, Red Fang, Mastodon, Clutch, Ministry, Sum 41 And Pierce The Veil Added To Download 2017

Opeth, by Hillarie Jason

Opeth, by Hillarie Jason

As expected Download Festival 2017 has added 20 more bands to next summer’s fest. Opeth, Red Fang, Mastodon, Clutch, Ministry, Sum 41, Pierce The Veil, Good Charlotte, Alter Bridge, Devil Driver, WAKRAT, Greywind and more are now on the bill. Details below: Continue reading

System Of A Down, Aerosmith, Biffy Clyro Booked For Download 2017

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The return of System Of A Down, along with Aerosmith who will be on their farewell tour, and Biffy Clyro have been announced as headliners for next summer’s Download Festival 2017 in the Donnington, UK. More details below: Continue reading

Louder Than Life Festival Gets Ready To Rock Louisville

louder-than-louder-life-skyscapper-ghostcultmag

The 3rd annual Louder Than Life Festival kicks off today at Champions Park, in Louisville, Kentucky. Ghost Cult is there to cover and bring you all the sounds and flavors of the fest! Check below for the daily line-up! Continue reading

Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, Korn, Slayer, The Cult, Ghost Booked For Louder Than Life Festival

Louder Than Life 2016 ghostcultmag

 

The third annual Louder Than Life Festival will take place October 1 & 2 At Champions Park In Louisville, KY. Continue reading

Louder Than Life Books Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Slayer, Disturbed, Korn and The Cult

Louder than Life Festival 2016 ghostcultmag

Louisville Kentucky’s top flight metal and hard rock festival, the 3rd annual Louder Than Life festival has announced its 2016 lineup. Avenged Sevenfold will headline, with Slipknot, Slayer, Disturbed, Korn and The Cult performing among others on October 1st and 2nd.

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday at noon EST at www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com. Prices will be $79.50 for a single-day general admission, $89.50 for a general admission weekend pass, and $234.50 for a VIP weekend pass. Other packages are available, with prices increases soon.

Other bands performing at Champions Park on River Road are Ghost, Cheap Trick, The Pretty Reckless, Alter Bridge, Pierce the Veil, Clutch, Anthrax, Hellyeah, Sevendust, Trivium and Sick Puppies. More than 50,000 fans attended last year’s sold-out festival, most from out of state.

With the Louisville locale in the forefront, the festival also features on bourbon and “gourmet man food”.

Celebrity chefs will be Edward Lee, Tom Coghill, Bill Kunz and Jonathan Schwartz, while the Gourmet Man Food Village will have several dozen choices, including Doc Crow’s, El Luchador,: 502 Café, Aporkalypse Now, Hi-Five Doughnuts, Holy Mole, The Comfy Cow, Gelato Gilberto and Cheese Louise.

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

Slipknot, by Melina D Photography

Bourbon World, presented by the Louisville Courier-Journal, will feature Angel’s Envy, Basil Hayden’s, Benchmark, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, Eagle Rare, Evan Williams, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, Old Forester, Town Branch, Willett, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.

Here are the daily line-ups:

Saturday, Oct. 1 – Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, The Cult, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Cheap Trick, Chevy Metal, Anthrax, Motionless In White, Hellyeah, Sick Puppies, The Amity Affliction, Avatar, Neck Deep, Young Guns, Being As An Ocean, ’68, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dinosaur Pile Up.

Sunday, Oct. 2 – Slipknot, Disturbed, Korn, Ghost, Alter Bridge, Clutch, Biffy Clyro, Pop Evil, Skillet, Sevendust, Zakk Sabbath, Parkway Drive, Trivium, KYNG, Skindred, Adelitas Way, Crobot, Smashing Satellites, Sabaton.

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Von Hertzen Brothers – New Day Rising

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I suppose that fifteen years is quite a long time but, for your average music fan, the Von Hertzen Brothers represent something of a “new” thing. Certainly, the band’s recent success is testimony to the benefit of hard work; it’s also testimony to the fact that as they have honed their art so it has become increasingly accessible. New Day Rising (Spinefarm) is unquestionably their most accessible record to date and will, as sure as night follows day, ensure a wider audience and even greater success for this most agreeable of Finnish bands. It’s a record packed to the rafters with ideas; if truth be known, probably a few too many.

Matters get off to what can only be described as a rip roaring start with the title track throwing down the gauntlet: it’s sprightly and full of chutzpah, an energetic tour de force. You get the impression of a band comfortable in their skin and ready to take us on new musical adventures with gusto. ‘You Don’t Know My Name’ lightens the frenetic pace somewhat but the straightforward rock style is maintained in earnest. ‘Trouble’ is initially disingenuous with its soft opening, soon breaking out into an expansive number and a clear progression from the album’s opening two cuts. So far, so very agreeable.

The brakes come on for the melancholy of ‘Black Rain’, which has a nice gentle melody that supports the mood of reflection and introspection.  ‘Hold Me Up’ is, make no mistake, Coldplay through a Helsinki misty rain, and is as arch and contrived as that sounds. It’s a self-consciously “big” ballad and I’m not sure it works: if someone said it was Finland’s Eurovision entry, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. I don’t actively dislike it but it jars the overall tenor of the record.

One of the interesting things about Von Hertzen Brothers has been their fearlessness in trying something new and different, keeping the listener on their proverbial toes and demanding your undivided attention. Despite the relatively straightforward nature of New Day Rising, the quirky nature of ‘Dreams’ demonstrates that this sense of gentle provocation remains firmly in place. It’s quirky and fun, lightweight and unassuming.

‘Sunday Child’ is much more serious stuff, and whilst the Coldplay echoes and sense of impending drama remain leitmotifs there’s also a whiff of Biffy Clyro invading the melody giving it a sense of defiance in its melancholic timbre. ‘The Destitute’ is much more traditional Von Hertzen fare, with a glitzy bassline that recalls U2’s Berlin period. Again, like much of the record it dashes and dances through pace and time signatures as all Prog records tend to but, despite what appears to be wilful exuberance, the core song holds its own. The album coda, ‘Hibernating Heart’ brings the pace and mood down again: an archetypal reflection of times past, of mistakes made, it’s a heartfelt and impassioned ballad and a more than decent sign off.

New Day Rising is an album of progress and advance from the Von Hertzen Brothers: there are some brilliant new songs that build on a growing reputation. However, it’s a record that also has a few jarring moments and, weirdly, too many ideas for its own good. What we’re left with is a very good record but not a nailed on classic. Greatness though is surely round the corner. As it stands, less would, in this instance, have probably been more.

 

7.5/10

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MAT DAVIES