Although it’s widely accepted that Lockdown was just one massive shitshow for the entertainment industry, it did help create a new method of career survival – live streaming. Artists of all shapes and sizes took to the internet, charging for unique live or pre-recorded shows to help pay the bills. Some were obviously quite small scale, filmed in sweaty little music studios for next to no money while other, larger acts were able to attempt much grander projects, many enhancing the experience further by utilising fancy computer generated special effects and impressive physical sets.
An interesting release from Killswitch Engage, metalcore royalty who at the beginning of 2020 had just commenced touring their latest album Atonement. But found themselves heading home as the pandemic struck, licking their wounds and unable to take one of their strongest records out on the road, for shows that included support from former vocalist Howard Jones’s band Light The Torch; Atonement featuring the crushing track (‘The Signal Fire’) which saw Jones trading vocals with current (and original) singer Jesse Leach, and the tour providing the perfect opportunity for both frontmen to hit the stage together. Continue reading
Last year, UK metalcore masters Architects showed a new side of their souls with their ninth album For Those That Wish To Exist (Epitaph Records). Now with their performance at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, each song shines in its full potential for a historic mark in the band’s career.
Everyone’s perspective of what they enjoy while watching a live performance is subjective. Some like to have that big splash of energy being thrown at them, others simply like to watch a well-played performance by their favorite musicians. In rare cases, you get to have both moods in the same set, particularly when we talk about instrumental music and that is precisely what The Aristocrats bring in their latest live album Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. The trio composed of Marco Minnemann on drums, Guthrie Govan on guitars, and Bryan Beller on bass released a live album that showcases perfectly what is “The Aristocrats live experience” is. The combination of comical glimpses in their jamming sessions, lots of musical influences, and the extreme dexterity of each of the musicians in their instruments is the order of the day in their live performances and you can listen to all of this in this album.
With plans to tour with their almost original line up – between the five current members of Candlemass all of them were in the band at some point across the legendary Doom Metal acts first two albums, and all were present and very much correct for 2019’s impressive The Door To Doom (Napalm Records) – on hold, Sweden’s epic morose masters ventured into the world of live lockdown streaming, capturing their 2020 performance from Stockholm’s Studio Gröndahl for release on multiple visual and audio formats under the title of Green Valley Live (Peaceville). Continue reading
Devin Townsend is a music extraordinaire who is well-known for his many different and successful projects that he has participated in over the last 25 years or so. Whether it be Strapping Young Lad or Devin Townsend Project the man has always thrown his heart into it. He is a Canadian machine that expertly and consistently generates epic-scale music in many diverse forms. Last year he released his latest solo album, Empath (InsideOut Music). He took his essence to a new level of eccentricity with a masterful embodiment of bonkers meets serene. Many cling to the wilds that is Dev for his honest presentation, whether that be in Jazz, Metal, or whatever genre he chooses to express himself with. His devotees gather in the masses at his shows for a guaranteed excellent and entertaining performance. Last December he brought his uncommon magic to England and much like his actual works, the presentation was a little unconventional. Dev is about to release his new live album, Order of Magnitude: Empath Live Volume 1 (InsideOut Music) documenting that European tour. It will be released as a limited deluxe 2CD/Blu-Ray/DVD artbook package, a limited 2CD+DVD digipak, gatefold 3LP+2CD vinyl box set, and more.