In a year of great tragedy and upheaval, where the word ‘unprecedented’ became a mantra spoken around the world, music has been a stabilising force for millions of us. It has been a consistent power for good at a time when many of us have struggled with unemployment, illness, and bereavement. Whether providing companionship during stretches of isolation, rallying us to fight for change when faced with corrupt political machinations, or even just handing us a convenient distraction from the horrors outside our window, never have I felt such a kinship with music and the people who dedicate their lives to the art.
To be able to get away with shameless imitation, you need to do two things; be remarkably accomplished – i.e. not your dad’ s Exodus cover band – and be able to pull off a knowing wink that says ‘ hey, sure, you and I know this is incredibly derivative but is that really going to stop you banging along!?’ Continue reading
Music reviewers are inherently sceptical and often contrarian creatures, so when an artist arrives carrying plaudits from the grandees of heavy music, it’s hard not to default to cynicism. You’d be especially forgiven for hanging onto that cynicism with both hands when metal’s own great soothsayer, Lars Ulrich, adds his own recommendations to the mix – Ulrich labelling Arctic Monkeys as his favourite Metal band in 2012 still raises some serious questions about his take on the heavy music zeitgeist.Continue reading
The relentless push for originality can be as paralysing as it is focusing. For bands that stake their entire existence on pushing the boundaries sonically, every new release is another chance to be skewered by their own need for clear and evident advancement.Continue reading