GUEST POST: Lisa Coverdale of HoldTight PR – Top Albums Of 2018

 

To say that HoldTight PR has a whole cohort of bands that sit very much within the Ghost Cult world is to state the bleedin’ obvious. With a specialism in noisy, discordant, progressive, sludgy, punky and cutting edge, we’re easy bedfellows. Added to that, head honcho Lisa Coverdale is a potty-mouthed whirling dervish with a wicked sense of humour and a way with words that lures you into checking out her bands with a glint of excitement before you’ve even hit play. We’re delighted to continue to work with her to give exposure to a whole host of the modern underground scenes’ best new up-and-coming bands. We’re also pretty chuffed to be hosting her albums of the year post, too… Continue reading

The Agony Scene – Tormentor

 

The most obvious starting points when we come to talk about reunions has to be Carcass and At The Gates, who returned from hiatus without missing a beat to produce albums that stood worthy in their canons. Yet what neither behemoth managed to do though, and Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) in particular is a fantastic record, was exceed that which they had laid down before. In that respect at least, you can chalk up a victory for Tulsa’s The Agony Scene and their triumphant return with Tormentor (Outerloop). Continue reading

Michael Williams of The Agony Scene Talks Reunion And New Album

 

In many ways, us worshippers of metal are in a great position with endless choice and wealth. Many of the all time legends of our genre are still going strong, whilst the newer generations are holding the torch high. The double-edged sword, however, is that financially it is perhaps the most troubling time to be in a band for quite some time, and such huge competition is as much a curse as it is a gift. Continue reading

The Interbeing – Among the Amorphous

To be fair, I love Copenhagen and everything about it. When I grow up, I want to retire there. It’s that boss level. So I’m well chuffed to present The Interbeing and their second album Among the Amorphous (Longbranch) It’s bitchin’ on a whole ‘nother level! No lie. Among the Amorphous is industrial metal. It’s brutal and loud and oh so deliciously heavy. You can’t help but headband while you listen to it. Continue reading

Phlefonyaar – Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten

Once you listen to it, it’s hard to dispute that Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten (Cavernous) isn’t a suitable moniker for Phlefonyaar’s latest LP. Lots of bands and labels describe their music in many colorful nouns such as “brutal” or “weary,” but only a select few truly deserve that kind of praise. Septic, Bitter and Hardbitten is as brutal as a murder scene. Once the mildly spooky/mostly acoustic intro, ‘The Lingering Molly’ is out of the way, Phlefonyaar sets up a world of aural pain for listeners to willingly drag themselves through. Continue reading

Ghost Iris – Blind World

It is safe to say that tech metal is currently thriving, both in terms of numbers and wealth of talent. With festivals completely dedicated to such artists, including the world-famous Euroblast, there are no shortage of acts to delve into. Of course, this means a risk of over-saturation, which is arguably already a problem. Now whilst Danes Ghost Iris are far from reinventing the wheel, they at least offer a somewhat alternate outlook on the Djent sound when it comes to song structure, and latest album Blind World (Long Branch/SPV) should rightfully make some waves in the scene. Continue reading

Blood Children – James Laughton of Saint[The]Sinner

Promo1

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Saint[The]Sinner were pulling a fast one by saying their latest EP Masquerades was self-released. With a huge, vibrant sound, the mini-album holds its own with established label backed brethren, as the vivacious guitars cleave the air, and the South Coast entity storm through a raucous set of anthemic, heavy post-hardcore tunes.

“Pash (Stratton – Guitars) is also a producer and engineer, but we put a lot of effort in to these songs and we really wanted the experience of going to a top studio”, begins clean vocalist James Laughton, explaining just how a self-release manages to sound so, well, pro.  “And we had the opportunity to work with Romesh (Dodangoda – BFMV, All Time Low, BMTH) and because we knew this was such an important record for us, we didn’t want to put pressure on Pash to do that (produce) too. Added to this was having the opportunity to write and work with Romesh at Long Wave in Cardiff… we wouldn’t have changed how we did it for the world.”

“The sound was really important to us” confirms Laughton as we go on to discuss how having the right production can turn the right set of songs from really good to really good. “We wanted to have a “Big” sound, that sounded live and like it could fill a room. It was one of the things me and Pash talked about before we went to Cardiff, about having songs that would work really well live.” With one eye on how the material would work once they took it out on the road Laughton confirms “We went to a live practice room before recording. We’ve learned a lot from our mistakes in the past, we think we’re learning how to do it properly.”

In a scene drowning in Miss May I copycats (themselves not even the originators, but the middle ground), Saint[The]Sinner not only have a sense of identity in terms of sound, but also a focus lyrically. One of my favourite lyricists is Brandon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, particularly from their early days” enthuses Laughton, “and he’s always done metaphorical, weird, macabre and twisted lyrics. So I came up with a concept of a vampire woman and tried to apply this metaphorically. Me and Luke (Juan – Harsh vocals) sat down and worked through my ideas and his ideas.”

The vampyric touch also further enhances the Atreyu link that’s prevalent in the bands sound, yet P!ATD don’t just feature as an influence lyrically, but spill over into Laughton’s melodies and hooks. “We never sat down and thought “Let’s be a British heavier version of Panic!”, but we grew up with that music, and the melodies and styles get stuck in your head. I didn’t necessarily realize I was doing something like it, but I’m happy if people say that” he agrees, before going on to talk about sharing the mic stand (albeit not the exact same stand…) with co-vocalist Luke Juan.

“Me and Luke are best mates, and in the studio we go back and forth like ping pong” the singer laughs. “We think of bands like We Came As Romans and The Blackout, who Romesh produced… I remember seeing them with two vocalists and thinking it looked really cool.”

“Look, the hardcore and the anthemic genres are what we’re really into” Laughton continues, considering just where STS fit into the market, being a slight anomaly in the UK scene, a fact that works in their favour, along with their songwriting panache and quality, to differentiate themselves from many of their competition. “We are trying to work those anthemic sounds into our live performances, and we can see in the UK, the response is there.”

Yet if post-hardcore, and the more anthemic side of metalcore, is catered for in the American market, would STS consider doing an Asking Alexandria and upping sticks, and crossing the Pacific?

“Post-hardcore is more of an American thing, and it’s popular over there, but I don’t think we’d do a full on AA, no” Laughton muses. “Though Luke has gone to Warped and Kevin Lyman recognised him and spoke to him. We’ve spoken about going over there to tour.

“We’ve met some great people in the industry who have helped us, so while we’re self-releasing we’re looking to work with a label in the US. But over here, there are loads of unsigned bands hitting up Europe, and we’re looking at going and getting out there. We’ve got a couple more videos coming up, and we can’t wait to take Masquerades out there.”

“It’s the one thing we’ve always wanted; to have a band that is heavy, energetic, yet catchy and uplifting at the same time. We do our best to get that, and it is mainly American bands you go to for that sound. But we write like that, because we write for ourselves.

“It’s then up to us to integrate that American sound to being a band in the UK and being successful with it.”

If Masquerades is any measure, this miscreant sextet have every chance of doing just that.

 

WORDS BY STEVE TOVEY

Contest: Win FREE Tickets to Dog Fashion Disco’s UK Tour

f8316a36-a65b-4616-ae5f-73e2b396c5ad

Ghost Cult has teamed up with HoldTight PR to offer two lucky readers a pair of tickets each to a date of their choice for the imminent UK tour by legendary eclectic band Dog Fashion Disco. But you’ll have to act quickly, with the first show of the tour being next Wednesday, 9th September.

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is share this link from any of our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by midday on Saturday, mentioning in the comments/reply the town you would like to see Dog Fashion Disco play at. (It helps your chances if you add #DogFashionDisco #AdNauseum)

Winners are responsible for their own transport to and from the venues and must meet any venue age restriction requirements. The Chief Editor’s decision is final.

Legendary avant-garde pioneers and resurgent force Dog Fashion Disco are happy to announce their return to UK shores and play the following shows:

Sep 09: The Garage, London

Sep 10: Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes

Sep 11: Sound Control, Manchester

Sep 12: The Parish, Huddersfield

Sep 13: The Cluny, Newcastle

Sep 14: Ivory Blacks, Glasgow

Sep 15: Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

Sep 16: Rock City Basement, Nottingham

Sep 17: The Joiners, Southampton

hdr-dfd_ad

Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know

Shattered_Skies_Album1500x1500

 

In the last couple of years, Irish/UK based quartet Shattered Skies have been making ripples in the Prog ocean, including an early but show-stealing performance at the first incarnation of HRH Prog with their brand of tech metal. The fact that it has taken so long for a full debut to see the light of day and capitalise on this momentum could have proved damaging for lesser bands, and even seen them forgotten about. Fortunately this shouldn’t prove a problem for an act with such a strong balance between the memorable and the forward thinking.

Sitting well alongside their peers with the air of drifting but Meshuggah like crunching tone of TesseracT and the soaring melodies of Alaya, The World We Used To Know (Independent/Holdtight! PR) is by no means a wholly original concept but is delivered with a much bigger emphasis on actual, catchy songs than most. The vast bulk sits on the anthemic side with the merest suggestion of further imagination. Sean Murphy’s lofty vocals offer the towering performance that this brand of metal expects without the reliance of harsh growls.

So far, so good, but there is the niggling sense that there is a lot of boldness and evolution waiting to come out. The likes of ‘Collapse Of Man’ and the following ‘End And The Rebirth’ show futuristic keyboards at play ,which then seems to get buried for a more straightforward formula here on in, reappearing again with the magnificent 11 minute title track. This closing epic shows them really exploring the prog rabbit hole with various twists and dynamic shifts yet still contains plenty of drawing hooks. A stark statement of just what they are capable of.

A very strong and immediate debut of impressive technical prowess married with a level of immediacy that many in this crowded bracket cannot muster, Shattered Skies have shown just why they have made such an impact. The only dampener is the evidence on show that they have the prowess to be more daring, adventurous, and even more special. A very commendable start which closes with what almost feels like a teaser for bigger things to come.

 

8.0/10

Shattered Skies on Facebook

 

CHRIS TIPPELL