Recorded towards the end of 2020, Paint The Sky With Blood (Napalm Records) was meant to signal the beginning of a new era in the career of Bodom After Midnight frontman Alexi Laiho. His first release since leaving the groundbreaking Finnish melodic death metal act Children of Bodom the previous year should have been the beginning of an exciting new journey. Instead, his tragic death in late December means it ultimately becomes an epitaph.
According to reports from Decibel and Metal Sucks, Peaceville Records founder Paul “Hammy” Halmshaw is terminally ill with a heart condition and needs help to cope with his condition from fans, and peers. There is a crowdfunding campaign launched via JustGiving. Peaceville has given the world albums by such legendary musical acts as Katatonia, Autopsy, Darkthrone, Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride. Hammy, who is now 56 years old, was recently diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a hereditary, terminal condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged. “As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body,” according to MedlinePlug.gov.
In a year of great tragedy and upheaval, where the word ‘unprecedented’ became a mantra spoken around the world, music has been a stabilising force for millions of us. It has been a consistent power for good at a time when many of us have struggled with unemployment, illness, and bereavement. Whether providing companionship during stretches of isolation, rallying us to fight for change when faced with corrupt political machinations, or even just handing us a convenient distraction from the horrors outside our window, never have I felt such a kinship with music and the people who dedicate their lives to the art.
Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.
As we draw down (the moon) on our reveal of the top seventy-five albums of the year, as voted for by the cast, crew, and alumni of this fine rock, metal, punk, hardcore and indie-focused site, we can take a moment to reflect on the power of heavy music, and that every one of the seventy-five albums we are celebrating and acknowledging will have had a positive impact on several of our team and readers.Continue reading
Paradise Lost has released a new lyric video “Enchantment”, the opening track on their forthcoming album Draconian Times (Music For Nations) 25th-anniversary reissue set for a December 4th release date. You can watch the video for “Enchantment” here:Continue reading
Bloodstock Open Air is making plans to return in 2021 and every year festival founder Paul Gregory curates a selection from other heavy-metal-friendly artists, both established and new, who has caught his attention the previous year. In 2021, Paul wants to give a chance to artistic newcomers to win the opportunity to hang a piece of their work alongside his own and other respected creatives in the on-site RAM Gallery, so he’s devised an art competition. To enter you need to design and create your own piece of artwork, based around and inspired by one of the bands performing at Bloodstock 2021. Paul will jointly judge the competition alongside friend and fellow artist, Mark Wilkinson (illustrator of album sleeves for Marillion, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, The Darkness), and the winner will have their work professionally framed, lit, and hung in the RAM Gallery on-site next August. In addition to this honour, the winner will bag a pair of weekend festival tickets, a personal tour of the RAM Gallery on-site with Paul Gregory, and the potential to watch 3 songs from the side of the stage of the band they’ve chosen to create their artwork for (subject to closed stages).
On the heels of their recent album Obsidian (Nuclear Blast, read our review here) long-running Doom metallers Paradise Lost have announced a livestream. The event goes down on November 5th (Bonfire Night) on November 5th and you can purchase tickets and VIP options at the link below.
Bloodstock Open Air, rebooked for 2021, has announced a new headliner! The great Heavy Metal legends Mercyful Fate, featuring King Diamond, will headline the Ronnie James Dio stage on Saturday, along with Dimmu Borgir as special guests. Watch a new trailer now!
Purchase And Stream All The New Music Released Today!