CONCERT REVIEW: Wardruna – Jo Quail: Live at Manchester Albert Hall


It’s a sight to behold the lengthy queue of hairy Viking looking metalheads snaking around Manchester Albert Hall, assuming of course the snake in question was quite hairy and dressed like a Viking, which I feel is probably stretching the metaphor a bit too far. You’d assume that said hairy, mead quaffing snake (alright, I’ll stop now) was going to be finding its way inside to some sort of very loud and very metal sort of gig. You’d be wrong, as indeed despite the roots of the headliners in Black Metal group Gorgoroth the queue is in fact for the mesmerizing solo cellist Jo Quail, and Nordic Folk legends Wardruna.

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REVIEW: Manchester Metal 2 the Masses – Heats 1-7 – Rebellion Manchester


After the last few years of false starts and other covid related shenanigans the Manchester Metal 2 the Masses is once again underway. You probably know the drill, across the UK and slightly further afield, there are competitions held by Bloodstock festival. Unsigned bands compete in a battle of the bands format across the regions, and the winners get to play on the New Blood stage at the festival itself.

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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


Footprints in the Custard – A New Low


How do you know if an elephant has been in your fridge? Because there are Footprints in the Custard. Bad Jokes are the order of the day here and following on in a long line of British comedy metal acts such as Lawnmower Deth, Evil Scarecrow FITC are making a name for themselves as an absolutely essential live act capable of making even the most pious of metal head laughing their arse off in record time. Continue reading


Buckcherry – Hoobastank – Adelita’s Way: Live at O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK)


Another early doors gig, as Hoobastank and Buckcherry hit Manchester, with support from Adelita’s Way. A bit warmer than my visit a week or two earlier and time for a chat with joint headliner Hoobastank prior to the gig – with Doug and Dan proving to be excellent company for the almost 30 minutes I end up chatting with them, the results of which will be on an upcoming Ghost Cult Podcast. After the chat, it is back down the stairs to take up what almost feels like my reserved spot at the barrier, ready for some entertainment.Continue reading


Frozen In Shadows – Frozen In Shadows EP


For a band called Frozen in Shadows, you’d be forgiven for the expectation they might takes things somewhat slowly, no chance. Officially announcing they exist a mere two weeks ago, they’ve wasted no time in self-releasing their five-track debut, and announcing themselves for Badgerfest in October. Somewhat of a Manchester (UK) underground ‘supergroup’ they were formed by members/ex-members of local stalwarts Footprints in the Custard, Impavidus, Prognosis, Godhand and Vice.Continue reading


Bodies on Everest – A National Day of Mourning


In 2015, Liverpool-Manchester hybrid Bodies on Everest produced The Burning (self-release), a ferocious slab of ultra-heavy, underproduced despair which its creators christened ‘Dungeon Wave’ and which tragically glided under the radar. Three years later that Blackened Doom crash has been reinvented on follow-up A National Day of Mourning (Cruel Nature Records / Third I Rex): the minimalist production accompanied by a more pensive, Drone-led violence, offering up a suffocating dystopian nightmare.Continue reading


Metallica’s Kirk Hammett And Robert Trujillo Perform Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” In Manchester


 

Manchester Arena hosted the Ariana Grande concert back in May that was struck by a horrific terror attack that killed 22 people and injured 250 others. Last night Metallica played the reopened venue, and like many acts since the tragedy, they wanted to pay tribute to the victims. Since the attack, Oasis‘ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” has become a rallying cry for the Manchester people, and during their instrumental jam, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo performed the track, which led to an amazing sing along with the crowd. Continue reading


Randy Blythe: We As A Race, THE HUMAN RACE, Have To Do Better Than This.


Last night a horrific terror attack left 22 people dead, and more than 50 people injured after a suspected suicide bomber set off an explosive after Ariana Grande‘s sold out show at Manchester Arena (details). Like many of you, I don’t know much about her music, but what I do know is that her audience is young, and many of those young lives were lost last night. Just like we do every week, these fans just went to see a show. They wanted to escape from life for a few hours, and enjoy one of their favorite singers, but a coward decided to turn what should be a joyous occasion into an absolute nightmare.

Like all of us, musicians around the world were appalled at the attack, and we saw many post messages of support and love last night on social media. One of those was Lamb Of God‘s Randy Blythe, who took the time to write out a powerful message in response to the attack that I feel is worth sharing. Continue reading