Was Thrash a fad? With the indomitable rise of The Big 4 to the point of global phenomenon in the eighties, along with the likes of Exodus and Testament to name but a few, the sub-genre was a world-conquering behemoth with no signs of relinquishing its stranglehold on the zeitgeist. With Metallica’s turn to stadium Rock on their self-titled effort – better known as The Black Album (Elektra) – and the emergence of the Seattle Grunge movement, Thrash was dead in the water, being dropped into obscurity as rapidly as it had become a buzzword. Continue reading
Returning to the Effenaar venue on day two of Eindhoven Metal Meeting, logistical issues with trains sadly meant I missed the opener on the main stage, Izegrim. As I arrived I decided to do my best to at least catch Dervaza, but it quickly becomes apparent today is the “meat” of the fest for most people, and somehow it is even busier than the day before. Watching the bodies trying to squeeze into the small room, a line forming of metalheads craning their necks to see the band, I’m left to strike pretty much everything I wanted to cover in the small room off my itinerary today.
December, for most a time of going home and seeing family, retrospectives, lists and copious amounts of food. However, for many in the European metal community, it’s also the time for the magnificent Eindhoven Metal Meeting. For many it’s the final party of the year, a place to see friends, network, hang out and lift the horns up one last time before the dead space at the end of the year when we all ascribe to the forced merriness we call the holidays.
As every year, the line to get in trails quite a way before the doors even open. It’s cold this year though, and very much sold out solid. It has been for several weeks. Progress inside is somewhat slow because security meticulously checks everyone. But once we get inside the familiar maze of the Effenaar venue the pace quickens, at least for now. Continue reading
Less than a month away, Eindhoven Metal Meeting (EMM) is coming up fast on Friday 14th & Saturday 15th of December 2018 as the famous Effenaar venue in The Netherlands. With the lineup secured, the fest has announced their full running order, which you can see below, along with the full lineup and links to tickets, and other information. Continue reading
Kontinuum, on the strength of their recent album No Need To Reason (Season of Mist), have been added to the bill for Eindhoven Metal Meeting (EMM). Taking place on Friday 14th & Saturday 15th of December 2018, the Icelandic post-metal troupe joins the 10th-anniversary lineup along with Triptykon, Marduk, Solstafir, Moonsorrow, Septicflesh, Shining, Urfaust, Wiegedood are among the bands. The full lineup and links to tickets, expected to sell out as usual, can be found below. Continue reading
The finale for the European Metal Festival Season is the legendary Eindhoven Metal Meeting (EMM), in Eindhoven, NL at the world famous Effenaar venue. Taking place on Friday 14th & Saturday 15th of December 2018, the 10th-anniversary lineup looks like a banger with Triptykon, Marduk, Solstafir, Moonsorrow, Septicflesh, Shining, Urfaust, Wiegedood are among the bands. The full lineup and links to tickets, expected to sell out as usual, can be found below. Continue reading
It seems that for their debut on Metal Blade records, Germany’s Ketzer have performed a near-complete musical about face. Once firmly entrenched in the realm of blackened thrash, new album Starless sees them embrace punky black and roll.
Where 2009’s Satan’s Boundaries Unchained and 2012’s Endziet Metropolis were fast, furious and bludgeoning, Starless (Metal Blade) is barely recognizable as the same band. Instead, we’re given a fairly tame, mid-tempo mix of blackened vocals, occasional punk and post-metal atmospherics.
It’s this jumping around in tone that is probably the most baffling thing about the album. ‘When the Milk Runs Dry’ is a slow-paced (dangerously close to plodding) atmospheric number, while ‘Godface’ is pure three chord punk and almost strays into catchy territory. It’s not unpleasant, but the inconsistency of tone robs Starless of any cohesion.
‘Count to Ten’ literally does just that, ‘White Eyes’ boasts female choirs and almost jazzy guitar solos while managing to also be abrasive. The acoustic interludes of ‘The Hunger’ and ‘Silence and Sound’ are sandwiched in without really adding much to the mix. The 11-minute creep of ‘Shaman’s Dance’ unfortunately outstays its welcome, ending up rather more of a repetitive slog than anything epic.
It’s not a horrible listen, and there are enjoyable moments – ‘Godface’ and the searing rock of ‘Earthborn’ especially – but there’s a lot that just doesn’t really gel as a whole and it all sounds a bit confused.
Anyone looking for blackened thrash of previous efforts will be in for a shock and will find little familiarity to take solace in. At the same time, Ketzer’s new sound fails to really impress or excite enough to make the change seem like a good idea. Starless isn’t without its merits, but ultimately falls a bit flat.
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