Graspop Metal Meeting Books Pantera, Slipknot, Disturbed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Kreator, Meshuggah, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Testament, Voivod, and More


Pantera, Disturbed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Architects, Behemoth, Kreator, Meshuggah, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Testament, Voivod are among the 103 artists who have been added to the 26th edition of the Graspop Metal Meeting, set to take place June 15-18, 2023 in Dessel, Belgium. Tickets are on sale tomorrow at the links below. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: 8 Kalacas – Fronteras


From the opening shred and bombastic drumming, the listener knows 8 Kalacas’ Fronteras (Atomic Fire Records) is going to be epic. If you aren’t familiar with the 8 Kalacas, be prepared. It’s not straight up punk or metal. The songs veer stunningly off the tracks with the insertion of a ska sound that immediately puts one in the mind of the old Batman and Robin television series with Adam West and Burt Ward. The album is frenetic, wild, and just plain fun! Fronteras is part ska, part punk, part metal, part schlock, and all amazing. If you are a fan of Russkaja, then 8 Kalacas is your band. It’s like that, but in Spanish.

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ALBUM REVIEW: (HED) P.E. – Class of 2020


(HED) P.E. releases a solidly decent album with Class of 2020 (Suburban Noize Records). The band, hailing from Southern California, truly embodies the eclectic skater vibe of the area. The album is a mix of rock, funk, and rap. Jared Gomes, Jeremiah Stratton, Kurt Blankenship, DJ Blackard, and Chad Benekos are a tight outfit, and Class of 2020 has no wasted riffage.

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Russkaja – Kosmopoliturbo


As a semi-renowned gobshite par excellence, it’s genuinely not often I’m confused, but the levels of confusion upon first listening to Russkaja’s latest droppings Kosmopoliturbo (Napalm) caused existential crisis levels of befuddlement.Continue reading


Russkaja – Peace, Love & Russian Roll


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Life is full of mysteries: how does the universe expand into nothing? How did The Miz ever headline Wrestlemania, why has the UK Eurovision board not called Skindred yet, and most baffling of all, how have polka metallers (?!?) Russkaja maintained a career for so long? Metal has come with a huge degree of silliness for some time, folk metal especially at times requires you to leave your mind at the door and go nuts (may also contain disco). Russkaja’s brand of Russian Turbo Folk with Ska is a step too far however, and instead proves as fun as stapling your genitals to a grizzly bear.

Given their due, Russkaja have definitely covered new ground, combining traditional Russian Polka which will be unfamiliar to many, with the bombast and sunshine of Ska upon a metal driving engine; a formula which has deviated little over the 4 album career. The problem which becomes even more apparent on Peace, Love & Russian Roll (Napalm) is how the absurdity feels forced and lacks any charm. At the songwriting’s best they are often forgettable, at its very worst, parts will burrow in to your head through sheer annoyance rather than being catchy and instant, for example ‘El Pueblo Unido’, particularly with its whistled introduction.

Fitting closely with folk metal, often this style requires a suspension of belief in return for grin inducing ecstasy; instead Peace, Love & Russian Roll leaves little more than a grimace at best. The unique idea and approach is commendable but comes off like a car crash as nuances, instruments and passages are seemingly forced in to try and grab you and make you have fun, much like the class clown who tries too many tricks to look funny and instead just becomes an irritant.

 

3.0/10

CHRIS TIPPELL