On day two of Eindhoven Metal Meeting, a surprising amount of energy has been drained by the inevitable afterparties that spread through Eindhoven, but also to the neighbouring town of Tilburg. Metalheads simply cannot stop a party once they get going, and so the next day starts up a little slower. Thinking I may be able to skip the long line for the pat downs if I arrive a bit later, I’ve decided to arrive between the first and second band. Nope. There is still a line as many more of the partying metalheads had a similar idea, as did many of the day ticket holders. Thankfully the line is a fair bit quicker today though than it was yesterday, and I manage to get the first band of the day.
Every year as people around the world gather to celebrate their own midwinter celebrations, usually focussing around light and warmth, the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven instead celebrates the dark and heavy. Eindhoven Metal Meeting is seen by many as the Christmas party of the Benelux metal family. As in previous years, Ghost Cult Magazine sent me to report, and take some snaps.Continue reading →
With just over a month to go, the 2017 Eindhoven Metal Meeting approaches The lined up boasts the likes of Venom, Dark Tranquility, Coroner, Carpathian Forest, Master’s Hammer, Destroyer 666 and many more. The full lineup is listed below and tickets are still available but expected to sell out. As always, the “longest-running indoor extreme metal festival” in the Netherlands will take place Friday 15 & Saturday 16th of December 2017 at the Effenaar venue in Eindhoven. Continue reading →
Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, My Dying Bride has dropped out of this December’s Eindhoven Metal Meeting. Apparently, the cancellation was beyond the control of both the band and the festival. The good news is, Dark Tranquility has been added as an exclusive headliner on December 15th, the first night of the fest. More details, ticket links, and the full lineup so far are listed belowContinue reading →
Do you ever have those moods where absolutely, positively nothing else will do but some metal up your ass? Of course you do – you wouldn’t be here otherwise would you? Well next time the calling is upon you, treat your tympanics to a tickle from Proliferation (Metal Blade) by Harlott. It’s the finding of gems like this that make me glad to be a reviewer.
Hailing from the land of shite beer and Bogans where absolutely everything wants to fucking kill you [he means Australia – UK Ed], these boys are clearly patriotic crusaders.
Equal parts Megadeth, Slayer, Annihilator and Darkane, this album is a proper, bruising, neck-destroying slab of old school trad thrash. As such, it can be a little derivative and predictable at times, but it’s all played with so much heart, pace and vigour that you can’t help but love it. Let’s face it – we don’t listen to thrash for odysseys of self-discovery. If you like your thrash, go see them on their tour with Annihilator. The crowd at those shows is going to look like a supercharged wind farm.
And that’s all there is to it really – there’s little point in going though track by track, as I’d be saying the same things about each one: Fast, heavy, tight, meaty, shouty slices of old school thrash excellence.
That said, we all have our favourites, and mine are ‘Proliferation’, ‘Systematic Retribution’ (it kind of reminds me of Mary Beats Jane in places), ‘Restless’, ‘The Fading Light’ (Annihilatortastic), ‘Civil Unrest’ and ‘Legion’ (We Are Harlott!).
This album is designed to turn a crowd into a sweat – and lager – drenched maelstrom of moshing, windmilling, sky punching and burst vocal chords.
Lo-fi Black Metal is not a genre often associated with especially accomplished playing. Apologists for the style will often talk about how “atmosphere” or “emotion” is more important than technicality, and many artists embrace the DIY values of Punk (if not always the politics) to show that the power to create art is not just in the hands of the skilled or educated. The idea of a one-man bedroom BM project created by Godless Rising and (live) Darkane shredder Toby Knapp, then is an intriguing one – and for once, the end result is pretty much exactly what you’d expect.
Knapp makes no attempt to disguise the fact that Agios Holokauston (Moribund) is all about the guitars, and gives a performance that utterly transcends what this sub-genre is usually capable of. At times melodic, grandiose, savage and mournful, Knapp’s playing leads us through a well-crafted and dynamic selection of songs. Catchier than one might expect from lo-fi Black Metal, but none of the aggression or power is sacrificed, and Knapp demonstrates well just how engaging this music can be with a touch more skill behind it.
If the strength of Agios Holokauston is the guitar performance, then the weakness is… well, everything else. The programmed drums, in fairness, are perfectly adequate and rather less clicky than is normally the case. However, they are by nature quite characterless, and certainly flat next to the guitar heroics. The vocals, too, fall far short of what’s required; emotionless, monotone shrieking so thoroughly processed that they might as well be electronic noises that fail to add any character or feeling to the songs. This is especially apparent when Waxen explore more contemplative material on ‘Hollow Eyes’, and Knapp is still buzzing away like a robot wasp with no sense of rhythm.
An appealing and eminently listenable album, then, but any pleasure you take from listening will inevitably be off-set by the disappointment of imagining how good Agios Holokauston could have been if Knapp had found himself some friends who were as proficient and expressive on drums and vocals as he is on guitar.
With five years elapsing between their last two records, and a notorious history of bad luck in the studio, Darkane are no strangers to overcoming obstacles for the love of their art. In spite of this, they’ve concocted a career spanning six highly-regarded albums. Their latest, The Sinister Supremacy, reunites the band with original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory, who left shortly after their debut release way back in 1998. Ghost Cult took time to chat with founder and drummer Peter Wildoer to find out where Darkane have been since we saw them last.Continue reading →
Swedish thrash metal ensemble Darkane are a band with a long history. Back when they started, they were seen as one of the most talented bands in Sweden, poised for greatness. For some reason, they never really broke through, despite a catalogue of high-quality releases like Rusted Angel (1999), Expanding Senses (2002) and Layers Of Lies (2005). Let’s see whether their fortunes will be reversed with The Sinister Supremacy, the latest Darkane album.Continue reading →