ALBUM REVIEW: Bastille – Give Me The Future


Success came quickly and early for UK indie pop quartet Bastille, topping the album charts in their home territory with their 2013 debut. Top 5 accomplishments followed for each subsequent album; a run the band is looking to continue with their fourth album, Give Me The Future (EMI), a release that arrives with a fair dose of expectation. Predecessor, Doom Days, critically, didn’t hit the heights of the band’s first two full-length outings, but the lead-off singles from …Future gave assurance that all was back on track.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Volbeat – Servant of the Mind


At what point do we (I? Is it just me by now…? in which case, I’ll get with the programme asap!) change our default position that bands twenty years deep into their careers shouldn’t be producing their best stuff in a heavy music arena? Cos it’s bollocks. Our staff voted-for album of the year top 3 picks for this year to prove it. The last ten years of evidence proves it. A whole plethora of written-off bands pushing well into their second, third, even fourth, decade with career best releases prove it. There’s a pervading feeling that age dilutes quality and / or heaviness, yet nothing could be further than the truth. Particularly in the Volbeat camp, because, Servant of the Mind (EMI), their twentieth anniversary and eighth studio release, is their best to date. Form is temporary when class is permanent.Continue reading


Watch Queen Create “We Will Rock You” In A New “Bohemian Rhapsody” Trailer


Queen’s biopic movie Bohemian Rhapsody is coming this November 2nd from 20th Century Fox studios. In a new trailer for the film, you can watch the cast reenact the moment when they wrote and recorded the iconic song ‘We Will Rock You’ from the 1977 album News Of The World (EMI). Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Mr. Robot’s Rami Malik is coming soon. Bohemian Rhapsody: The Original Movie Soundtrack will be released this week, on CD and digital formats on October 19.Continue reading


Queen’s News Of The World Album Released Forty Years Ago


At the peak of their power in the late 1970s, Queen released News Of The Day (EMI/Elektra) to only solid reviews at the time. The band was riding high on a string of mid-70s chart-topping albums, with already some of the biggest hits of all time, that established them as one of the biggest bands in the world. Becoming of those bands changed Queen, a group of highly accomplished master musicians and live performers. Their concerts were already the stuff of legend since they were the first band in the world to book sold-out gigs at sports stadiums worldwide when arenas could not contain the scope of their shows. So as a response, the band began writing with the crowd in mind even more, creating entire passages meant for audience participation, not just the choruses. Critics at the time dissed them for this, but in hindsight, they presaged Metallica, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Guns ‘N Roses, Judas Priest, Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse and just about every other arena rock band since in this regard. Continue reading


A Legacy Of Brutality Part II– Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost


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For such a modest gent, Paradise Lost’s Nick Holmes is one such musician who can remember the glory days of record label advances. Surely Paradise Lost wouldn’t have had access to bountiful excess, but they did indulge their rock star side. “When we started with EMI we hired Jane Seymour’s stately home to stay at while recording. We bought loads of studio equipment and had a chef and everything! It was great. That’s was the benchmark of success for us, you could get a fillet steak whenever you wanted! It was fucking ridiculous when I think about it but there was money in the industry and people bought albums! If you think its right or wrong, you get wrapped up in it because you have industry people telling you it would be a good idea. You can enter a different world easily. We did waste money on silly things and spent a fortune on booze! The bar bills were insane! It was a real cliché but we spent a lot of money on booze especially around the Host album!”

We dipped our toes in the pool of rock stardom but we never plunged in. It was like being Metallica for a day but then it was gone again. Now it’s strict budgets. I remember the first time we went to Israel and did all the tourist stuff and hung out. These days, you’re off stage and on a plane two hours later!”

Having invested Gothic Metal and created a memorable legacy, many bands have come and gone during PL’s career, splitting up and reforming on a whim. Yet Paradise Lost have endured and existed without such issues. “We need to make a living. We forfeited a life doing anything else years ago. We never had the time to have a couple of years off and reassess things. You could count the bands on one hand who could take five years out. You don’t shut down the shop just because you’re fed up.”

 

Such acclaim for Greg’s Vallenfyre project has been well deserved with a spark clearly ignited under Paradise Lost. Surely though at this stage in their career could talk of side projects been a concern to the productivity of Paradise Lost? “I didn’t know what he was doing on his time off. I didn’t know how much he’d got back into death metal. He asked me if I wanted to do the vocals but my head wasn’t in the right place at the time. I didn’t know I’d do it himself. It runs alongside PL fine. I keep missing their shows so I want to catch them.”

Considering Nick’s confession that he could have been a part of Vallenfyre, his involvement in death metal supergroup Bloodbath, were Holmes replaced Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt comes as an even greater surprise. “It was a good two or three years after that. We’d look on the early days of death metal with great fondness. The guys in Katatonia are all four years younger than me, but that was a lot when you were all teenagers. We listed to different generations of death metal. They were listening to Deicide and I was more into the early Death stuff. The tape trading days were a great time, exciting and new. Anything that has happened with PL has been a gradual change. We had written the whole album before I did the Bloodbath stuff and already decided that there would be death metal elements.”

Vallenfyre, by Hillarie Jason

Vallenfyre, by Hillarie Jason

What must it be in a band with the guys from Katatonia, a band who have cited Paradise Lost as an influence? “Half the conversation who can name the most obscure band and who has all the old demo tapes. Jonas is very into that stuff. Bloodbath are weekend warriors, we get on a plane, play a gig then go home. It’s refreshing to play with new people and worked really well for us. Everyone is friends so there’s no negative.”

How Paradise Lost have kept relevant and free of nostalgia. “I never heard the term ‘The Peaceville Three’ until recently. We started before Anathema and My Dying Bride. I think Anathema played their first gig in Liverpool with us. As a band we don’t need to name drop or fit into a scene. We are institutionalised in making music. I’ve blown my chances of being a surgeon long ago. I could write a book but that would be about what I have done with the band. You never know!”

ROSS BAKER