Old-school death metallers Memoriam have announced their debut London show, which will double as the record release show for their upcoming new album Requiem For Mankind due out this summer via Nuclear Blast. Set for The Underworld, Camden on June 22nd this summer. Supports to be announced soon. Continue reading
The 2017 Rock Allegiance festival took place last night at BB&T Pavilion and Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden, New Jersey, and did not disappoint. With a lineup that included the likes of Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, In This Moment, and Gojira, fans were treated to an all day experience with some of the biggest names in the business. Of course with so many bands on the bill, guest appearances were sure to happen, and Five Finger Death Punch had something special planned for their closing number. Continue reading
With the queue for Sunday’s opening act Wizard Fight snaking out the door of the Black Heart, there’s a little wait to see Wales’ HARK. Although different from Jim Isaac’s previous outfit Taint, the two share a lot of common DNA; Aggressive, angular riffs with plenty of groove, time changes galore, and plenty of chances to bang your head. There’s a big, receptive crowd for so early in the afternoon, and the band respond with a loud and energetic performance. Continue reading
Has the doom and stoner scene ever been in ruder health? Possibly not, judging from the quality of acts on show at the sixth edition of the London Desertfest. The three-day festival, held across a number of venues across Camden Town has riff-mongers of all shapes, sizes, and styles doing their best to shake the capital apart. Continue reading
Desertfest’s 2017 London edition kicks off this Friday, April 28th and is set to shake music fans to their very souls. Headlined by the almighty SLEEP, Desertfest London also features Candlemass, Turbonegro, Slo Burn, Wolves In The Throne Room, Saint Vitus, John Garcia Band, Bongzilla and more. Tickets are running out for all venues fast and are expected to sell out. Get rolled up, dipped, and ready to blaze with Ghost Cult’s festival preview. Continue reading
The Desertfest Franchise continues to climb with the first bands announced for Desertfest London 2017 . Already announced in the first wave are Turbonegro, Samsara Blues Experiment, The Picturebooks, Satan Satyr’s, Vodun, and more. More bands to follow soon. Ticket information is listed below: Continue reading
There used to be a misapprehension that “feel” and technique were mutually exclusive, particularly if your act was of the progressive nature. Musicians were either in a deep, trance state where odysseys were channelled through fingers and larynxes (it’d certainly explain some of the lyrical fascinations of the 70’s), or were producing unfeeling, but impeccable, noodling, or to be more contemporaneous, poly-rhythming. Both of tonight’s denizens of the stage well and truly disproved that; Haken bringing a light, uplifting elation and Between The Buried And Me a myriad of journeys.
Another misconception is that bands of a prog bent don’t have a sense of humour, a fallacy shattered within seconds of entering Camden’s Electric Ballroom and seeing Haken’s glorious Kevin Bacon T-shirt, leaving the unsure in no doubt as to how to pronounce the band name. With fellow Ghost Cultist Rafa Davies having acquired said garment and with beverages purchased, the mood was ripe for the London based sextet to enhance a reputation that took a steep climb up 2013’s The Mountain (InsideOut). Concentrating mainly on that breakthrough opus, they set about marrying the impressive quirky and progressive rock with an immaculate live performance, including a touch of ‘Hocus Pocus’ing, spotless yodel-ay-ee-oh’s and all.
Between The Buried And Me’s approach is an altogether more layered assault, from teasing and probing progressive movements, through floating crescendos diving into djented stabs and jazzed death metal acts of sensory violence. Despite being shorn of any elaborate production, nonetheless BTBAM don’t do basics, with each band member faultless and pristine, delivering each song with album quality precision in a consummate performance that still felt like there was meaning and intent in the delivery.
It’s no secret I struggle with BTBAM in general, but a quality live act is a quality live act, and the North Carolinians are able to transmit their passion for their music and their fans, ensuring multi-faceted beasts like ‘Ants Of The Sky’ connect not just aurally but emotionally with a charged audience who respond in turn. Here lies no serenade of po-faced disconnection, instead deep, ethereal moments are respected and inhaled, and the crushing metal segments are devoured.
And yet if prog-gasm had been achieved in a main set that included three very well received tracks from this years’ mind-melting Coma Ecliptic (Metal Blade), along with favourites ‘Selkies’ and ‘Lay Your Ghosts To Rest’ and more, that’s nothing to the rapture that beheld the throng during a remarkable cover of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, during which Tommy Rogers showed that Brian May et al missed a trick by not throwing hods of cash his way to front the band during their post-Freddie shows.
This was a performance to impress even the most sceptical with both bands bringing complex, technical and diverse songs to the live setting with exquisite tightness and proficiency, but above all exuding emotion and sincerity while holding that line of not taking things too seriously live. While Haken’s music spoke to me most, there’s no denying that damn near everyone left feeling they’d witnessed a great gig.
As my esteemed colleague said to me, you can’t really go wrong with a name like Wizard Fight. They’re right: you can’t and, fair play, to a half filled room on a mid-week winter evening in London Town, this rambunctious trio do their level best to live up to their fabulous moniker. Wizard Fight are loud, fuzzy and grungy in the best way. Observing the well-trodden view of respecting the riff they come over a bit like Mastodon’s pissed off younger brother: it’s all snarls and gruffing but there’s also a tongue placed firmly in cheek especially when you call one of your new song ‘Witches Tit’. Kid you, I do not. Scuzzy, head nodding fun.
I’ve read a lot of press about how well rated Salem’s Pot supposedly are. It usually involves an absurd number and level of adjectives and adverbs and a spectacular level of hyperbole that you’re left wondering whether the band can ever live up to the written hype. Arriving on stage in their best Eyes Wide Shut Venetian ball masks they conjure a sound and experience that is part theatre, part Sabbath tribute and all doom laden, acid drenched majestic heavy metal. There is a genuine frisson of excitement around how genuine and authentic they are. Admittedly there might be something of Electric Wizard in what the band do, but I think this is more of a shared aesthetic than any attempt at facsimile. Across a frankly glorious set list, their smart wordplay, hypnotic riffing and brilliant songs had me lifting my not inconsiderable jaw off the beer soaked floor. Thrilling, transcendent heavy fucking metal. Very special.
We are all here for one thing though, if we were being honest with ourselves. You know, there is something extraordinary about Sweden’s latest doom kings, Monolord. Yes, we know they are heavy. Yes, we know it’s all in B. Yes, we know it rattles the teeth in your gums. But, let me tell you this: let me tell you straight. This is pure, elemental heavy metal from the gut and from the heart. It is headbanging, heart racing, spirit-lifting stuff. It’s a band that are more than the sum of their parts; it’s a band for today and for all times.
Watching a packed and sweaty room go absolutely mental for a punishing and triumphant ‘Empress Rising’ is thrilling; who knew such miserablism could drive such happiness? A midset introduction of new song ‘We Will Burn’ is greeted like some sort of long lost friend, such is the anticipation for the new album, not due to drop for another month or so. It is absolutely brilliant and begets a synchronised bout of head nodding throughout the room. The rest of the set is equally thrilling, a compelling blend of swirling riffs and titanic rhythms. As I pointed out to my Twitter feed, they nailed it.
They absolutely nailed it.
Obliteration bring their deranged Autopsy-isms to the UK’s capital on 6th March 2015 at The Unicorn, Camden.
In 2013 the Norwegian Death Me(n)talists spewed forth the promising Black Death Horizon (Indie/Relapse), their third album, while support comes from rising British Death Metal outfit Sheol, who appear ahead of performances at Wolf Throne and Inferno festivals.
The event is being promoted by Chimpy Fest and entry is free. Opening proceedings is Slow Plague.