Lock Up will be unleashing their new album, Demonization, in March of 2017 via Listenable Records, and the first single has made it’s way online. Continue reading
The 2017 Resurrection Fest will be taking from July 5th-8th in Viveiro, Spain, and the lineup is BIG. Continue reading
The 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival will be taking place from June 16th-18th in Clisson, France next year, and the final lineup has now been confirmed. Continue reading
Desertfest London will announce next spring’s first bands next week on October 13th. Tickets will go on sale to coincide with the release at 10 AM local time GMT and will be £100 for the 3 day weekend fest, with no increase from this year. Continue reading
For the second year in a row, the US stakes their claim to holding a fest the equivalent of a Desertfest or Roadburn level of excellence in the form of Psycho Las Vegas. Last years’ inaugural Psycho California was a hit by all accounts, and therefore not a surprise that Vegas was the locale of choice for round two. Definitely the town is a bigger draw for the bands themselves and some party minded fans, although a few days is really all your should ever spend there at once.
After a fairly quick work day and speedy drive to the city we are met with the universal issue when in any city , PARKING! But after spotting a Wookie known as Tim Ledin (also of Ghost Cult) and acquiring a spot we await the start of the show!
Slowly the intersection is flooded with metal heads like zombies at a mall, and slowly we all shamble in to the hopefully air-conditioned venue. For those who have not been to Cuisine en Locale AKA Once Ballroom there’s an upstairs bar to the left of the main door way and straight ahead is the main dance hall, both excellent for watching the bands and having beers. Upstairs obviously having the best vantage point to the stage aside from of course directly in front of the 3 ft high structure.
First band of the night probably had the youngest members out of all of them Black Mass. Brendan O’Hare and two cohorts make up a thrashing mad three-piece akin to Blue Cheer but of speed metal. Brendan’s vocals sound a lot like Max Cavelera and Chuck Schuldiner’s love child of sorts and back up vocals from the bassist really add dimension and punch to the already catchy vocal lines. Ending their set with the sing along of “East Coast Thrash” with a very easy line to remember with three magical words!
Up next is Lich King keeping the thrash train a moving and if you’re reading this and haven’t witnessed them live its like a mash-up of all the good things about Slayer and Exodus rolled in to one! I’m not a thrash junkie like many of my friends may be but sometimes every thing blurs together and in a flash its gone , sadly that was my experience with this band, not saying they are bad or aren’t deserving of praise just not this writers cup of tea, check them out for yourself and form your own opinion. maybe you’ll have something to show me or a song I should listen to that may really get my attention and I will become as big a fan as some of you readers.
Magic Circle is next to take the stage and start of with a quick jaunt of ‘Kings and Queens’ by Aerosmith song then almost as quickly diving in to the opening song of their set. Two more songs in I am bathed in riffage similar to St. Vitus or Pentagram and I am finally in my element and enjoying my self and being swooned by vocals very similar to the late great Ronnie James Dio being channeled from the other side, I was almost sad to see them end but now we enter the main event, the reason we are all here sweating , now .. it is time for THE WITCH!
Between sets people step out side to take a smoke break and that is where I happen to find Adam Clemans having a smoke and had a quick chat about the tour and whats in store on the set and whats in BOTH Wolvhammer’s future and the witch with Clemens at he helm and 2017 sounds promising.
What do I really need to say about this new line up of Skeletonwitch that hasn’t already been said? Yes, Chance is no longer the singer no he probably isn’t coming back to the band, but most importantly, yes Adam Clemens is the best fit for the band for the foreseeable future. Let me tell you why: because he is a new fresh face and well of ideas the band needs at this time. the band didn’t want a chance sound alike they wanted to try and move forward from his leaving and go in a new direction while still maintaining the Skeletonwitch sound, and I believe they’ve achieved that. although at first I wasn’t overly enthused about the choice after seeing Clemens works with the guys and the sound of the songs found on their new EP The Apothic Gloom (Prosthetic) Clemans fits perfectly among the blackened riffs the band had been writing.
Pulling put all the stops and playing a majority of The Apothic Gloom as well as some older material mixed in with fan favorites (with the exception of my favorite ” submit to the suffering” which Adam assures me is going to be on the set in October but they will not be coming to Boston…) an other notable change is guitarist Nate Garnette has picked up on backing vocal duties which also adds to the songs as well as the performance. Sweating through the expansive set and a few beers later sadly the set is over and now begins the mad rush out of the building and back to our homes to try and make it home safe and to bed after an amazing week night show.
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Though it was released it little fanfare, Magic Circle’s self-titled debut was an unheralded highlight of 2013. A combination of classic Sabbath-infused doom a la Trouble or Pentagram unafraid to inject the energy and melody of your favourite heavy metal bands, it was satisfying in all the right ways. The Boston quartet’s sophomore album, Journey Blind (20 Buck Spin) has received significantly more press, and ups the ante.
Where almost every song on the debut was built around a long, slow build-and-release dynamic, Journey Blind shows far more variety in the song-writing without compromising quality. It’s still boasts that raw 80s-souding production, and the likes of the title track and ‘Ghosts of the Southern Front’ still lumber on before kicking things up with blazing NWOBHM riffs, but the album also boasts some shorter, high tempos numbers.
The likes of ‘The Damned Man’ and ‘Lightning Cage’ – both of which are blessed with annoyingly addictive lines that make it hard not to squeal along – act as perfect foils to the longer, more intricate numbers. The epic seven minutes of ‘A Ballad for the Vultures’ is probably the best song the band has recorded yet, boasting a host of riffs that bring to mind Dio-era Sabbath and Iron Maiden gallops, a flurry of reverberating solos, while the vocals are out of this world.
Vocalist Brendan Radigan, for a long time found snarling exclusively for punk outfits such as the Rival Mob, has in recent years shown he’s more than capable of sounding like an air raid siren fronting a NWOBHM band: like a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and Eric Wagner, he wails his way through the album but never ends up in a comedic “someone stood on my balls” scream that so many retro-revivalist bands seem fond of.
As with their debut, Magic Circle have shown off a rare skill; making an album that could easily be mistaken for a lost classic from the 80s, yet doesn’t feel outdated or like a rehash. It’s everything you want from an album; energetic, addictive, fun, epic, and incredibly satisfying: A combination of timeless song writing and faultless quality makes Journey Blind one of the best records of the year. Go and buy it. Treat yourself for Christmas. Buy your gran one too.
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If you are into doom and 70s style stoner rock then The Met in Pawtucket Rhode Island was the place to be on Thursday, October 1st where the American masters of the sound, Pentagram, came through on their recent tour in support of their new album, Curious Volume (Peaceville).
Although Pentagram is the only band on the tour that was actually active in the heyday of doom, both bands on the tour package, Electric Citizen and Satan’s Satyrs, showed that they understood the aesthetic and vibe of the now classic sound. The only outlier was the local opener, Extinction Machine. Although their set started out slow, within minutes they got into a groove with their angry punk attitude and had me entirely captivated.
Pentagram played a varied set consisting of six songs from the new album, some of which had never been played live before (not that you could tell), along with the classics that everyone wants to hear. Their set was exactly as you would expect. Hard hitting, mesmerizing, weirdly sexual and totally perfect. No matter where or how often I have seen them, they never seem to disappoint. Check out the tour dates and go to a show.
Last time, nobody really thought there would be a next time. Some of us maybe hoped there wouldn’t be. Four years on from Last Rites (Metal Blade) however, Pentagram return with Curious Volume (Peaceville), and there’s still a level of energy despite the weight and omen of previous victories having lost its potency.
Opener ‘Lay Down and Die’ and ‘Earth Flight’ have more of the power and sleaze of early Kiss: Bobby Liebling’s gruff vocal Simmons-like; whilst Victor Griffin’s deep riffs dance around the rhythms, his solo work proving as stellar and timeless as ever. Nowadays, of course, we’d class much of this stuff as good-time Heavy Rock, adding fuel to the argument that some people should know when to quit. ‘Dead Bury Dead’ however, with its return to Iommi-style riffage, tortured solos and lascivious vocal, sounds like a fresh foray into Liebling’s song vaults: returning the band to its former glories whilst simultaneously displaying an existing relevance.
Conversely, the ensuing title track sounds like something that should have been recorded thirty years ago: the squalling strings and ominous nature not enough to hide the belief that a younger band could have prevented this from becoming a mere ‘filler’. Similarly the Punkish feel of ‘Misunderstood’ descends to a ‘pub Rock ‘n’ Roll’ that the band’s history ill deserves, despite the up-tempo rhythm recovering some of the early vim. A return to the signature Proto / Doom of ‘Close the Casket’ and ‘Devil’s Playground’ shows where the real power of Pentagram will always reside: the tolling riffs and Bobby’s ringing yet sinister vocal betraying both his years and his troubles, while the Country Rock twangs of the latter still show they can mix the sound up.
While it strums the heartstrings to see Vic and Bob back together, it’s plainly obvious that their outfit’s best days are behind them. Still capable of eliciting an involuntary twitch of the hips however, Curious Volume is unlikely to win new fans but raises a fond smile, and still shows the odd flash of why we should be thankful for their very existence.
On the eve of their much anticipated new release Curious Volume, due for release on 28 August via Peaceville Records, Doom overlords Pentagram have announced details of a European tour in November.
Featuring two shows in UK, London’s O2 Islington Academy and Manchester’s Sound Control, the tour, vocalist Bobby Liebling added:
“Pentagram is extremely excited about our upcoming tour in the Europe this fall. We all are itching to perform some of our songs off of our new album Curious Volume for you. We feel that they fit well within the other heavy numbers from the bands near 45 year history. Of course, the set is packed with the classics you know and love and ones that you may not even expect. Bring your earplugs, we are going to blow off the roof with our curious volume!”
Pentagram European tour dates:
Aug 4: Motocultor Festival – St. Nolff, FR
Aug 15: Sonic Blast Festival – Moledo, PT
Aug 16: Ieper Fest – – Ieper, BE
Nov 10: Lutakko, – Jyvaskylä, FI
Nov 11: Vulkan Arena – Oslo, NO
Nov 12: Folken Club – Stavanger, NO
Nov 13: Hulen – Bergen, NO
Nov 14: O2 Islington Academy, – London, UK
Nov 15: Sound Control – Manchester, UK
Nov 17: Le Ferrailleur – Nantes, FR
Nov 18: Glazart – Paris, FRA
Nov 19: Matrix – Bochum GE
Nov 20: Posthalle Hammer Of Doom – Würzburg, DE
Nov 21: Venue TBC- Barcelona ES