REVIEW: Rivers of Nihil – Black Crown Initiate, MØL, Orbit Culture Live at Mama Roux’s

With a lengthy and excitable queue having already formed well before the 7 pm opening time, you can already tell heading to Birmingham on a typically drizzly September evening is going to be well worth the effort. After disappearing for a few words with Rivers of Nihil drummer Jared Klein, I arrive back into the previously empty venue to find it heaving with activity. The bar area is already packed, beer flows freely and merchandise is being handed over at an impressive rate. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Anacrusis – Suffering Hour/Reason (Reissues)

One of the lesser-known names of the 80s/90s thrash scene, St. Louis act Anacrusis still managed leave quite an impression on the genre. Combining lightning speed with intricate and progressive song structures, the band released four albums between 1988 and 1993. Only previously available from certain online marketplaces at inflated or stupidly high prices, the band’s discography is finally being made available from label Metal Blade. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Acid Reign – The Age Of Entitlement

February 10th, 1989.

Visiting his local record store after another depressing week at school, a long-haired teenager who may or may not be this writer thinks about purchasing the debut album by UK thrashers Acid Reign. After inspecting the song titles and confirming with a satisfied nod that everything appears to be suitably metal, money is handed over and the tape goes straight into a cheap portable cassette player. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Opeth – In Cauda Venenum

If you still haven’t reconciled the fact that Opeth moved away from death metal years ago – that these days they owe more to the likes of Camel and Gentle Giant than to Morbid Angel then you might as well stop reading now. Uncross your fingers and stay your optimism for an unlikely return to roaring brutality because the Opeth prog train just keeps on rolling and shows no signs of slowing down. However, for those of you happy with the Swedish progsters’ change of direction almost a decade ago, climb back on board, take a window seat and relax. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Exhorder – Mourn The Southern Skies

 

 

Formed in 1985, Louisiana’s Exhorder left a brief but lasting impression on a dying thrash scene with their controversial 1990 debut Slaughter in the Vatican and its more mature, but equally impressive 1992 follow-up, The Law (both Roadrunner). Just as thrash was making way for the unplugged introspection and tatty woolly jumpers of grunge, Exhorder arrived in an attempt to revitalise the scene. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019

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.

The weather.

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