CONCERT REVIEW: Immolation – Demolition Hammer – Black Anvil – Mortician – Funeral Leech Live at Irving Plaza


This is the most New York show I’ve been to in a long while. It felt like one big local show. That’s what happens when all five bands come from here. That being said, this show started earlier, doors at the renovated Irving Plaza were at 6 pm. or 1800 for non-Americans. Every few steps you ran into someone you knew. I saw a lot of faces that this was their first show since you know what. It’s rare to see in metal shows nowadays but this show had a host! Bassist extraordinaire, Dan Lilker from Nuclear Assault and Brutal Truth fame. MCed the whole night.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Killswitch Engage – August Burns Red – Light the Torch – Live at Terminal 5


It’s always a special occasion when Killswitch Engage comes to town. This time, however, fans got an extra special treat as the band brought along supporting acts August Burns Red and Light The Torch.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Tool – Blonde Redhead: Live at The Chase Center


By my own admission, I have been to some weird Tool shows in my nearly thirty years as a fan. Some of them have been weird thanks to the band, and some have been weird, because well I’m (not a creep), a weirdo. One of my last shows before the world shut down was Tool at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, complete with an army of relentless rent-a-guards practically assaulting fans due to the notorious Tool cell phone policy. I’ve no issue with the policy, just the way it is implemented. Tonight was by far the weirdest Tool show ever for many reasons.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Ward XVI – South of Salem – Pulverise Live at Manchester Academy 3


Here we are, my last gig of 2021, an interesting year to say the least. One which we started wondering if there’d be any live music at all. Witnessing a triumphant return of live music after so much hardship has reinforced to me the importance that Live music has on my life.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Dawn Ray’d – Agvirre – Underdark – Gospelheim – Live at FAC251, Manchester UK


First time at FAC 251 and it was a little strange. First impressions, it’s a strange little venue, steeped in Manchester history. This is the building that New Order famously built, and the Happy Mondays infamously destroyed. Being largely at the heart of the Manchester party scene it’s not exactly noted for hosting many metal gigs, but with Manchester still in the process of re-opening some of the regular places aren’t quite open yet. Continue reading


FESTIVAL REVIEW: Badgerfest 2019 Live at The Breadshed, Manchester


2019 see’s the third installment of what’s becoming an important event in the calendar for the discerning Heavy Metal connoisseur, BadgerFest. The brainchild of the undeniably hardest working man in the Manchester metal scene John Badger, If any qualification of that were needed, aside from it being reiterated by every band of the weekend, as well as their gratitude as to the smooth running, he’s also running the Drumming up Change in November whereby he’ll be playing the drums for the full sets of all ten bands. There’s hard-working and then there’s John Badger. Continue reading


Parkway Drive – Killswitch Engage – Thy Art Is Murder: Live At Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham (UK)


 

Parkway Drive has had to deal with their fair share of grief. In the last few years their close friends in The Ghost Inside were involved in a life-altering bus crash that claimed the lives of two drivers. Their good friends and Metalcore cohorts, Architects, lost a brother and founding member, Tom Searle, and Parkway frontman, Winston McCall lost his best friend and faithful companion Monty, his beloved dog who died in his arms. Grief is a powerful motivator, and goes some way to explaining the stylistic shift seen on Parkway’s latest album, Reverence (Epitaph).Continue reading


Monster Magnet – Puppy: Live at Electric, Brixton (UK)


A 500+ mile powertrip to see Monster Magnet for the first time might seem a touch much, but a sole UK date in London meant it was needs must time. The mighty Magnet are still touring in support of last year’s release, Mindfucker (Napalm Records), rolling back through the UK again, this time bringing along London-based trio Puppy, celebrating their debut release the previous week, as a bit of extra delight for the gig.

So, Puppy take to the stage, minus their intro music which messes up, though they try to cheerfully re-enact it between drums and vocals. The London three-piece have just released their debut full-length and it’s clear that a few in the venue, like myself, are already aware of the band, with more getting into it as the crowd continues to grow, with the vocals/guitarist Jock Norton introducing the first single, ‘Black Hole’ (Spinefarm), when they play it a few songs into the set.

There are very few breaks between tracks, as Puppy seek to maximise their stage and set time, proudly letting their music do the talking, which works well as many around me seem to be either nodding their head or shifting their feet. They keep more to the rockier end of their music, rather than some of the softer, more melodious side that I’ve previously seen live.

The messed-up intro apart, the band is tight and on their game, with their signature vocal harmonies on-point, Jock even breaking out some gratuitous shredding for the set closer. A worthy performance from a band that should have a very bright future, Puppy seem to pick up a number of new fans tonight, rightfully so after such a good forty-minute set.

Time for Monster Magnet then and, man, are they on form tonight! Their set has been shortened from their usual to an hour and twenty, missing out some of the more psychedelic numbers they often include, providing a more in your face, attitude-riddled ensemble for our collective aural delights. The busy crowd are up for it from the very start, showing plenty of energy and lung capacity as they scream relentlessly along to the sonic landscape driven into, and through us by Dave Wyndorf and co.

The band launch straight into ‘Dopes To Infinity’ before heading into the new territory of ‘Rocket Freak’, which garners as much zeal from the crowd as the previous song, dealing a true sonic attack into our eardrums. ‘Crop Circle’ and ‘Radiation Day’ follow just behind, whilst I seem to be dealing self-induced whiplash upon myself as I’m unable to resist the sheer ferocity of the set.

Magnet are playing at a breakneck pace, barely pausing between songs, if at all, at times, following the admirable lead Puppy had earlier given us, maximising the time spent on smashing our eardrums asunder.
The set continues as it started, with the psychedelic edge of Monster Magnet’s usual live shows being somewhat cast aside for the evening with a feeling of pure anger and malevolence pervading the atmosphere, in the best possible way, as the boisterous crowd continue to sing along at the tops of their voices to the Heavy Rock rantings.

Things continue with ‘Melt’ and ‘Ego The Living Planet’, amongst others, before approaching the end of the main body of their set. What two could they finish with but ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’ and ‘Spacelord’ – the finale being the only time we really get into Monster Magnet’s Psych Rockside on the night. They briefly leave the stage for Dave to have a brief rest, though he remains off while the rest of the band comes back on to start off the encores with ‘CNN War Theme’, which the guys perform with the utmost precision and feeling. We have time for ‘Dinosaur Vacuum’ and ‘Powertrip’ to finish the set, with the crowd all but drowning out the band, leaving it a glorious way to finish an excellent evening of music.

A 21 hour day was worth it thanks to everything taken in tonight and a performance that will live on in my mind for a while yet.

DJ ASTROCREEP