Stars from across Rock and Metal will join together on a livestream to raise money tonight on the David Z Foundation Livestream. David Z (David Zablidowsky) was the brilliant metal and progressive rock musician best known for his work in bands such as Adrenaline Mob, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and ZO2, died three years ago on July 17th, 2017 when a tractor-trailer collided with Adrenaline Mob’s tour bus. Check out the updated poster from Mike Portnoy’s tweet below. You can donate at the GoFundM link below and watch the live stream including artists ranging from Mike Portnoy, Dee Snider, Chris Jericho, Ray Luzier (Korn), John Moyer (Disturbed) Rikki Rockett, Don Dokken, Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Carmine Appice, Eddie Trunk, Marco Mendoza, Joel Hoekstra, Tiffany, John Pooper, Alex Skolnik, Charlie Benante, Dug Pinnick, Ra Diaz and more! Continue reading
Hot on the back of their 8.5/10 rated album The Divination of Antiquity (Candlelight), leading British Black Metal act Winterfylleth have announced a one-off show at The Black Heart, Camden, London on Wednesday March 11.
The show, coming shortly after the ‘fylleth supported Primordial to some acclaim on the Irish bands recent tour, will be the Mancunians first headline show since the departure of guitarist Mark Wood.
Support comes from rising UK Death/doomsters The King Is Blind, who released their debut EP The Deficiencies of Man (Mordgrimm) last summer and hit the studio later in the year with Scott Atkins (Behemoth, Sylosis) to record their debut album.
Both bands play Hammerfest on March 13.
While British Black Metal has never been regarded as the crème de la crème of the genre (despite inventing the bloody thing), the tide has turned in recent years with the likes of Anaal Nathrakh, The Axis of Perdition and Fen doing Albion proud. One band it has been impossible to ignore from these fair shores has been Manchester quartet Winterfylleth, whose odes to Blighty’s ancient past have struck a chord with those searching for a bit more meaning in their homegrown talent. After three albums of high quality “English Heritage Black Metal”, Winterfylleth are sitting pretty and new album The Divination of Antiquity (Candlelight) looks set to continue their ever-so glorious reign.
With a concept referencing the lessons we learn from history, The Divination of Antiquity shows a band looking back at past glories for inspiration, but also addressing old mistakes. While the influences remain obvious for those with a keen ear; early Borknagar, Ulver and Drudkh being key reference points, Winterfylleth’s sound is entirely their own, with the soaring riffs and epic melodies of Chris Naughton and Mark Wood flowing thick and fast, while the ceaseless battery of Simon Lucas behind the kit ensures proceedings are urgent and alive. While previous full-length The Threnody of Triumph (Candlelight) had a tendency to fall back on repetition and too-familiar song structures, the nine tracks on offer here each present something different and wholly engaging.
The title track kicks things off with a flurry of violent riffs and aggressive motifs with Naughton’s trademark howling vocals sounding utterly assured while ‘Whisper of the Elements’ wraps a variety of mournful melodies around a steamroller of a riff, employing the mix of aggression and calm that comes so naturally to the band. ‘Warrior Herd’ harks back to the blurry black metal of debut album The Ghost of Heritage (Profound Lore) while ‘A Careworn Heart’ sees the first appearance of the solemn acoustics and choral vocals that fans have come to love and expect before the mid-paced riffs that follow allow the band to branch out slightly and experiment with unfamiliar themes. We only get one instrumental this time with the gorgeous acoustic strains of ‘The World Ahead’ showing how folk should be done while the measured yet crushing guitars of closing track ‘Forsaken in Stone’ carry us off over the peaks to reveal the glory below.
With each band member contributing more and improving in skill with each release, Winterfylleth are a joy to behold. In a scene renowned for gimmicks and plagiarism, their brand of sweeping, epic black metal just keeps revealing more with each release, and while the concepts explored in their lyrics won’t have you running out to join UKIP, they may just make you think a bit about your heritage and your connection to the landscape. And while they may sing about the past, with songs as strong as these, the future of British Black Metal is safe in the hands of Winterfylleth.
While blighted by sound problems, it is apparent that Eastern Front have undergone significant improvements over the last twelve months, adding melody, tension and drama to their Marduk-ian overtures and go down well to the swelling crowd. Playing a set entirely of tracks from their new album Descent Into Genocide, the Suffolk black metallers have made the right choice in focusing on new material that comes across as an entirely different, improved band to their previous efforts.
Yet from the moment vocalist/guitarist Chris Naughton leads the crowd in a semi-ironic arm waving intro that leads into the Celtic Frost / Motorhead chug that propels ‘Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain)’ into the converted church, it is clear that Winterfylleth are a class apart. While they remain staunchly anti-image, no histrionics or pyrotechnics, and clad in plain black T-shirts, their music does all the speaking and impressing for them.
Up next ‘The Swart Raven’ builds from open chords, swathed in beautiful tremolo-picked melodies and underpinned by a driving beat, before dropping down to it’s clean build-up, that sees arms and voices of the gathered throng raised along in chorus. Already the audience is firmly in the hands of the band as the song’s coda bruises in a flurry of bass drums and vocal roars, even before the double-punch of crowd-pleasers ‘Casting The Runes’ and ‘The Wayfarer Part I’ see the dark of night.
Yet, better is yet to come, as the two new tracks aired, an epic broil titled ‘A Careworn Heart’ and the more straight-forward Darkthrone tinged yet still wholly “English” Black Metal of ‘The Divination of Antiquity’, along with rousing closer ‘Fields of Reckoning’ are the highlights of a set where the ‘fylleth disprove the myth that black metal doesn’t work live with an excellently delivered performance that uplifts the gathered faithful, with heads banging all the way back throughout. Mesmeric and powerful at Bloodstock, they perhaps even exceed that, with darkened anthems filling the Essex evening.
In a scene where the genre classics have been unchallenged for two decades, Winterfylleth are now established as one of the leading exponents in their field, status their excellent new album The Divination of Antiquity will only enhance. With their output ranging from raging Bathory influenced aggression to sweeping, landscape-inspired grandiose moments via Primordial midtempo pump, all is delivered with the confidence of a band who know their wave is rising. Their brand of organic, atmospheric and all-consuming blackened metal with touches of class, heritage and intelligence has seen them rise, relatively unopposed, to stand as one of the best black metal bands today both live and on record, with tonight a further example of their inherent quality.
Winterfylleth Set List:
Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain)
The Swart Raven
Casting The Runes
The Wayfarer Part 1: The Solitary One Waits For Grace
A Careworn Heart
A Valley Thick With Oaks
The Divination of Antiquity
Defending The Realm
Fields of Reckoning
PHOTOS: KRISTI O’CONNEL
WORDS BY STEVE TOVEY