I think it goes without saying at this point that Finish melodeath collective Insomnium is one of the most respected and consistent names in their genre. While Scandinavia is no stranger to exports of high-quality melodic death metal, many of the genre’s biggest names like In Flames and Children of Bodom have either compromised their distinctive sound in favour of more accessible elements, or in some cases, no longer exist. Insomnium however, has continued to fine-tune the gloomy atmosphere they first presented almost two decades ago in 2002’s In The Halls of Awaiting. Now, boasting a total of eight melancholic yet undeniably gorgeous releases under their belt, the band has done the UK and Ireland the honour of a nationwide tour in support of their latest opus, Heart Like a Grave (Century Media). An album that is less sprawling and proggy than Winter’s Gate (Century Media), but is an equally if not more epic and melodic record, packed with more guitar leads and solos than anything they have released to date. Certainly, it is the kind of material that you would expect to excel in the live environment, and so on a bleak Monday night in winter, I ventured out to Manchester Academy 3 for a necessary dose of metalised depression. Continue reading
There’s a wonderfully surreal moment in The Simpsons when Abe Simpson inexplicably proclaims, “the Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!”. Well, tonight in frosty Birmingham, that’s exactly what’s happening. Hailing from the land of Abba, Ikea, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of the finest exponents of melodic death metal have landed in Blighty to bang heads and kick bottom. Continue reading
Now in its nineteenth year, the annual metal pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire was joined this year by a very special, but highly unstable, guest.
Yes, I know it’s England in August, and we should be more than accustomed to inconsistent weather conditions, but this really was something else. Tents too hot to be inside one moment were waterlogged the next. People soaked to the skin by sudden, torrential downpours were suffering sunburn minutes later. Grass turned to mud, mud became rivers, and the unprecedented winds would go on to cause problems all of their own. Continue reading
Time for one of the highlights of my year, the rather excellent SOS festival. A festival envisioned 12 years ago by Lynne Hampson of Rocksector Records as an antidote to the plethora of family un-friendly festivals around at the time. Continue reading
Bloodstock Open Air 2019 takes flight in three weeks and the fest just dropped their final addtions to the bill. KK Downing (performing with Ross The Boss) The Wildhearts (replacing Code Orange), Lotus Eater (replacing Shvpes), Pemphigoid, Black Falcon, Crimson Tusk, Jackals Backbone who fill out Sunday’s line-up. Other additions to the bill and ticket buy links are listed below. Continue reading
The best independent metal festival in the UK, Bloodstock Open Air 2019, kicks off in just five more weeks. The fest has announced another batch of Jagermeister Stage bands are locked in and the third phase of ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ winners grab their chance of glory on the New Blood stage. New bands added include Eyes Of The Raven spoken word artist Sophie Sparham, Daybreaker, Victus, Hope Burden, Marw, Tomorrow Is Lost, Saurr, Goat Monsoon, Reaper X, Setheist, Golden Core Fallen Temples, and Damim, featuring ex-Akercocke man, Nathanael Underwood. Tickets are moving fast and the last of the VIP tickets will sell out this week, so don’t delay if you want one!
The full range of Bloodstock’s 2019 merch is also available to order in advance via ‘click and collect’ (buy online and pick up your merch on site at the festival), including a limited run of bomber jackets and reusable water bottles. Check out all the options at https://Bloodstock.bmerch.net/click-and-collect and grab your favourites or sizes before they sell out.
You can pick up weekend tickets for £145 (+ fees) and children’s weekend tickets at just £35 (+ fees) over at the Bloodstock store. VIP tickets, including Podpads, Bellepads and Octopads, plus VIP upgrades (for those who’ve already purchased a standard ticket) will sell out imminently, so grab yours ASAP. Luxpads are already SOLD OUT! For full VIP details click here. A limited amount of day tickets are also available, priced at £65 (+ fees) for adults and £20 (+ fees) for children aged 4-11. Children under 4 go free!
Planning your travel to Bloodstock? Need a ride or driving there and looking to earn some cash for your empty seats? With GOCARSHARE you can help a fellow metalhead rock out and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Register where you’re travelling to/from, or your route, and then wait for drivers/passengers to get in touch! GOCARSHARE is integrated with Facebook, so you can check out your possible travel buddies and they encourage travellers to post feedback. You’ll also be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to next year’s festival just by using the GOCARSHARE scheme! Full details available here. For other travel options, including info on BIG GREEN COACH’s multiple pick-up locations around the country, plus trains, planes, taxis, and shuttles, visit: https://www.Bloodstock.uk.com/pages/travel-info.
Friday night’s headliner Sabaton, Saturday’s top dogs Parkway Drive And Sunday’s Bill Toppers Scorpions, Join Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Children Of Bodom, Code Orange, Cancer Bats, Powerwolf, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, Thy Art Is Murder, Tesseract, Metal Church, Soulfly, Death Angel, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Eluveitie, Swallow The Sun, Evil Scarecrow, Ross The Boss, Grand Magus, Krysthla, Rotting Christ, Aborted, Skeletal Remains, All Hail The Yeti, Incite, Hypocrisy, Taake, The Lazys, Xentrix, and many more on the Catton Park stages this August.
Bloodstock will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 8th-11th August 2019. Get additional information over at https://www.Bloodstock.uk.com.