We are terribly saddened by the news today that our beloved veteran scribe Mathew Davies has passed away after a long illness. He was 49. The news was shared by his wonderful wife Susan and many members of the music community and friends shared an outpouring of sadness, fond memories, and love for him on social media following the news. Mat was well known and respected in the music community working for magazines and websites as a thoughtful reviewer, and an editor with a brilliant mind when it came to a vast world of music history, not just rock, or metal. One of the longest tenured members of Ghost Cult, dating back to our origins as a magazine, Mat was promoted to Senior Editor for Europe for Ghost Cult from 2016 to 2017 and helped drive our process for features coverage and reviews for a time. Words can’t really do him justice, but he was a proud son of Wales, supremely gifted with words, kind, and loved music and life fiercely with a boundless sense of optimism few could match. He could talk to you for hours about a band over a pint, which is how we’d like to best remember him. In his 2020 tribute to late Rush drummer Neil Peart, Mat wrote “You were the best of us…” These very same words could easily be applied to him as well. We send our deepest condolences out to his family and friends at this difficult time.
I’m writing this letter and Permanent Waves is playing in the background. You don’t know me and, with your passing on the 7th January 2020, I guess we will have to make our acquaintance in the next life.Continue reading
It was a very different world in July 1979 when AC/DC released their sixth album, the iconic slab of tune-filled granite we have loved and revered for 40 years. Jimmy Carter was President of the United States of America; Margaret Thatcher had recently been elected as the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom. There was a Cold War. There was no internet. The Sony Walkman had been in the shops for three weeks. A very different world. Continue reading
No, I have no idea what a Ramagehead is either, but this quixotic and enigmatic title seems entirely apposite for a third album of psychedelic Progressive Rock from this most discerning and intriguing of collectives. Combining the talents of Porcupine Tree’s bass general Colin Edwin and King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, this already sounds like a Fantasy Prog Band competition winner. Add in some vocals of an Obake vintage and you’re there. This could end up being the most intimidating and contrived ego-trip were it not handled carefully.
Ye of little faith. Continue reading
Those of you with a keen ear to the underground Metal scene will doubtless already be familiar with Metallic Hardcore outfit Ithaca. Whilst it has been several years in its genesis, The Language Of Injury (Holy Roar) is the band’s full-length debut and, if the cliché that good things come to those who wait still has any relevance and cache at the start of 2019, then it most assuredly can be used here to welcome this record of brutal, uncompromising beauty.Continue reading
And so, to Architects at Wembley Arena. You start off with one of those angel/devil on your shoulder conversations about how this could be a really great way to spend a Saturday night or, conversely, rather like Roger Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, you find yourself wondering whether you really are getting too old for this shit; a feeling that seems to continue as you take the tube northbound, past semi-frozen shoppers heading to warm homes and warm food, to the glorified cattle shed that is the SSE Arena, or Wembley Arena, as most of us still know (if not love) it.Continue reading
Confession time: I came late to the letlive. party. So late, in fact, that the band were just about to call it a day when I decided that they were, you know, more than just pretty good. Yes, that kind of late. Despite the break-up, and whatever the reasons and rationales behind it, you always had a sense that an artist as talented and inquisitive as Jason Aalon Butler would soon return to the music scene in some form or another. And so it has proven with Fever 333, his latest project and passion.Continue reading
It’s that gap between hope and expectation that we often fall through. Let’s be honest, your hope levels for Architects’ new album Holy Hell (Epitaph) might be stratospheric, but your expectations…? Given what this band has been through in terms of loss, sorrow and anguish, you could easily have fallen into that space of hoping for the best but guarding your expectations. It might be enough just that they simply deliver us something, anything, yes?Continue reading
It’s a sell-out. This won’t come as any surprise to those who have followed the rapid, upward trajectory of Brighton’s Black Peaks but this is, as they say, a bit of a “moment” for a band that many have got justifiably excited about. This current tour, a showcase for their second album, the widely admired All That Divides (Rise Records), will see the band traverse the UK, but this stop off in the capital, on the same day that Marmozets are playing up the road and Crossfaith playing down the road still has touts asking (and getting) silly amounts of money outside the tube station is proof positive that this band have engineered more than a little bit of excitement about them.Continue reading
Of all the bands that came to prominence in the 1990s, not many were as cantankerous or wilfully stubborn as Northern Ireland three-piece Therapy? Their extant determination and refusal to bend to the various vagaries and winds of fashion was part of the reason why fans took them to their hearts so passionately and may also explain why, nearly three decades later, they have endured.Continue reading