Eleven long years after their last full-length studio release, Floridian act Solstice makes a glorious comeback with Casting the Die (Emanzipation Productions), reuniting founder members Alex Marquez and Dennis Munoz for the first time since 1995’s Pray (Steamhammer SPV).
It should be clear by now that inertia and complacency are words that simply don’t exist in the vocabulary of French progressive death metal act Gojira, and with the latest album Fortitude (Roadrunner Records) the band have made some of their biggest and most diverse strides to date.
Progressive Death Metal is all the rage in Metal at the moment. It seems to have exploded in the past decade with bands like Opeth, Gojira and Between The Buried And Me being the crème de la crème. However, with today’s focus on spotless production and mechanical quantization, some of the primal energy from the genre’s roots in the nineties has been lost in the pursuit of sonic ear candy.Continue reading
Tonight is a busy day for Metal in the Capital, with the dreaded evening of multiple gig clashes, within a few stops of the Northern Line alone. One stop down from tonight’s proceedings in Tufnell Park sees the Cerberus-like bill of Behemoth, At The Gates and Wolves In The Throne Room, whilst Camden Town sees Toundra for those seeking something more mellow, and Obscura for some who, well, aren’t. This goes someway to explaining why The Dome looks tonight to be, at best, around half capacity for much of the night. Not that this seems to dampen anyone’s mood, as all night the crowd are on fine form, showing the bands plenty of love and movement as well as respect to one another. Continue reading
Fallujah just dropped a fire-new single and music video for ‘Ultraviolet’! The track is the first new music from their upcoming album Dreamless, out this March 15th via Nuclear Blast. It will be the first album with new vocalist Antonio Palermo. March 15th via Nuclear Blast Records and will be the first to feature new vocalist Antonio Palermo. Check out the music video directed by Robert Graves (The Black Dahlia Murder, Abysmal Dawn) for ‘Ultraviolet’ now.Continue reading
At the tail end of each year, just at that point when you’re finally confident enough to share your carefully considered Albums of the Year list with other like-minded folks, there always seems to be one band who decide to release something just in time to completely mess up your painstakingly structured running order, forcing you to throw everything up in the air and start all over again. This year, that band is Sulphur Aeon, and you’re very welcome.Continue reading
It may have taken thirteen years to follow-up their sole release, but with a cast that includes Misery Index, Cattle Decapitation and Scour alumni, the trials of time can be forgiven with Cast The Stone, and new EP release Empyrean Atrophy (Agonia) shows that this band has a lot more worth than simply being a side dabbling for them.Continue reading
The Antichrist Imperium features Akercocke and The Berzerker members in equal numbers amongst their ranks, and with the release of second album Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (Apocalyptic Witchcraft) it seems that team Akercocke is determined to show that they’re on one hell of a creative roll at the minute. Like their other projects, there’s that unmistakable Akercocke tone woven throughout; they’re clearly confident and comfortable with each other as musicians and are free to experiment. Continue reading
You have to hand it to Opeth, they certainly know how to celebrate in style. After the massively successful anniversary of Blackwater Park (Music For Nations), which saw the album played in its entirety at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, this years’ 25th anniversary saw an equally magnificent announcement. Not only were fan’s appetites whet for another chance to see them in almost unthinkable locations as the London Royal Theatre, but the news that these shows would see Ghost Reveries (also celebrating a milestone, 10 years since its release on Roadrunner Records) played in its entirety made this an unmissable show.
It’s not everyday that prog and/or death metal shows are held in such venues, much less those that greet you with posters and memorabilia for stage productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, but by now it is best to expect the unexpected. Once ushered to seats, Opeth come out quite promptly to the stage, and it doesn’t take long for those recognizable clean bars to signal the imminent eruption of opening track ‘Ghost Of Perdition’. Knowing what is coming throughout the first set does not alleviate the excitement whatsoever as they plough through a sublime, note perfect play through; with an extended ‘Atonement’ complete with extra guitar and keyboard solos proving an unexpected set highlight.
The likes of the heavier ‘Baying Of The Hounds’ and ‘Reverie/Harlequin Forest’ would surely signal bedlam if not for the seated environment, and the roar of excitement that greets the anthemic “Grand Conjuration” threatens to take the entire roof off.
With an Opeth show you can also expect a lot of dry wit and crowd banter from ringmaster Mikael Akerfeldt and tonight is no different; making light of the fiasco of the gig’s change to from the London Palladium (“Sorry, that was my fault. I decided it wasn’t posh enough”) to the self-deprecation of the band’s stage setup with “Ikea” candlelight, and never missing a beat with crowd heckles. Which is thankful, as tonight sees an absolute horde of people shouting throughout, at the rare times proving funny but for the most part a huge annoyance and embarrassment (seriously, its never been funny to shout ‘Freebird’. Ever).
Following the interval, sadly these outbursts continue as the band reopen with the recent tour opener of ‘Eternal Rains Will Come’ into ‘Cusp Of Eternity’. Next to Ghost Reveries it is clear that despite many fans remarks of the band changing their sound; the only real differences between them are the tones and the lack of growls. Rare outings of the acoustic ‘To Rid The Disease’ and the likes of ‘Voice Of Treason’ make this second set equally as rewarding as the first, as they draw to a close with ‘Master’s Apprentice’ and finally the encore of the band’s other major anthem, the visceral ‘The Lotus Eater’.
Despite the presence of those in the crowd who seemed to believe the whole show was about them, even they cannot leave to bitter a taste in the mouth after Opeth deliver an expected masterclass. A truly one of a kind setlist which those in attendance will never forget, hopefully for some reasons more than others.