CONCERT REVIEW: Dawn Ray’d – Agvirre – Underdark – Gospelheim – Live at FAC251, Manchester UK


First time at FAC 251 and it was a little strange. First impressions, it’s a strange little venue, steeped in Manchester history. This is the building that New Order famously built, and the Happy Mondays infamously destroyed. Being largely at the heart of the Manchester party scene it’s not exactly noted for hosting many metal gigs, but with Manchester still in the process of re-opening some of the regular places aren’t quite open yet. Continue reading


REVIEW: Gospelheim – Into Smithereens


Gospelheim, Blackened Gothic Rockers from Manchester kick things off with a statement of intent with their debut single – ‘Into Smithereens’. Their self-released debut album will follow later this year. Featuring alumni from variety of respected underground Manchester-based metal bands, the group appeals to tastes ranging from Paradise Lost to Unto Others, and beyond. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Cradle of Filth – Cruelty and the Beast: Re-Mistressed


Twenty-one years ago, way back in 1998 when their star was on the ascendancy and the average metal fan was wondering whether they were Black Metal, Gothic Metal or That’s Not Metal, five years after the infamous ‘Jesus is a Cunt’ T-shirt made them a household name for a variety of reasons, Cradle of Filth release their third album Cruelty and the Beast on Music for Nations. A much-acclaimed tribute to non-vegan Ribena fanatic Elizabeth Bathory. It was a milestone in their developing sound and at the time, I absolutely loved it. Continue reading


FESTIVAL REVIEW: Badgerfest 2019 Live at The Breadshed, Manchester


2019 see’s the third installment of what’s becoming an important event in the calendar for the discerning Heavy Metal connoisseur, BadgerFest. The brainchild of the undeniably hardest working man in the Manchester metal scene John Badger, If any qualification of that were needed, aside from it being reiterated by every band of the weekend, as well as their gratitude as to the smooth running, he’s also running the Drumming up Change in November whereby he’ll be playing the drums for the full sets of all ten bands. There’s hard-working and then there’s John Badger. Continue reading


SOS Fest XII – Part II – The Longfield Suite, Prestwich UK


The third and final day of SOS is more of a classic rock day, although it features fewer bands for me that I was aware of than yesterday. Today is more of an adventure day, and I’m hoping for some discoveries. Continue reading


SOS Fest XII – Part I: Live at The Longfield Suite


Time for one of the highlights of my year, the rather excellent SOS festival. A festival envisioned 12 years ago by Lynne Hampson of Rocksector Records as an antidote to the plethora of family un-friendly festivals around at the time. Continue reading


Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind


Memoriam Requiem for Mankind (Nuclear Blast) is Memoriam’s third album in as many years. The first album For the Fallen was great if a bit slow, punchy drums, thick guitar tones wrapped up with some nice production. The follow-up to The Silent Vigil was personally somewhat disappointing, a lot faster and more aggressive songwriting, which is always welcome, but it failed to capitalise on the excellent ideas with a quite thin production. Continue reading


Gahhls Wyrd – Gastir – Ghosts Invited


The realm of Black Metal is often noted for it’s colourful, yet usually monochrome, characters, and definitely one of the most infamous is the iconoclastic and enigmatic Gaahl, former frontman of Gorogorth, Trelldom, Godseed. An obvious showcase for Gaahls considerable vocal talents Gaahls Wyrd Debut, Gastir – Ghosts Invited (Season of Mist) is an extremely potent album and well worth a listen. Continue reading


Батюшка – Панихида


Probably one of the more perplexing things going on in extreme metal over the first half of 2019, since Ghost Cult broke the news internationally would be what in the name of Satan’s left testicle was going on with Polish Raw Occult Black Metal band Batushka. Continue reading


Footprints in the Custard – A New Low


How do you know if an elephant has been in your fridge? Because there are Footprints in the Custard. Bad Jokes are the order of the day here and following on in a long line of British comedy metal acts such as Lawnmower Deth, Evil Scarecrow FITC are making a name for themselves as an absolutely essential live act capable of making even the most pious of metal head laughing their arse off in record time. Continue reading