Ketzer – Cloud Collider

Was Thrash a fad? With the indomitable rise of The Big 4 to the point of global phenomenon in the eighties, along with the likes of Exodus and Testament to name but a few, the sub-genre was a world-conquering behemoth with no signs of relinquishing its stranglehold on the zeitgeist. With Metallica’s turn to stadium Rock on their self-titled effort – better known as The Black Album (Elektra) – and the emergence of the Seattle Grunge movement, Thrash was dead in the water, being dropped into obscurity as rapidly as it had become a buzzword. Continue reading

Snake Tongue – No Escape No Excuses EP

An EP is an auditory window to the soul. Whether it’s a band in the infancy of their career laying out their opening salvo, or a veteran act dipping their toes into more experimental waters, it gives the listener a glimpse into what lies beneath any aesthetic visage. Following on from their debut album Raptor’s Breath, Snake Tongue returns with No Escape No Excuses (The Sign Records), an EP that is a sonic departure as well as a statement of intent. Continue reading

SAOR – Forgotten Paths

Folk Metal is a curious genre. Oftentimes it can be undeservingly treated with ridicule; when a pair of violins and a flute appear onstage alongside a BC Rich plenty of jeers can come the way of the performers. Sometimes the ridicule is fully deserved as the folk influence can become painfully twee affair: see Eluveitie or Turisas at times. On rare occasions, however, a traditional sway can produce truly beautiful results; see, in this case, SAOR. Continue reading

Endorphins Lost – Seclusions

There was once a fabled war between Punk and Metal. It seems hard to believe today with the two being so often deeply entrenched both musically and ideologically these days, but alleged reports of intense violence at cross-genre shows are a thing of legend. A sort of peace deal was brokered with the advent of Crossover Thrash, Grindcore and Hardcore, particularly the Metallic Hardcore subgenre. It’s here in the grey area of what is Punk and what is Metal we find Endorphins Lost, a Hardcore/Powerviolence outfit straight out of the Pacific Northwest with Seclusions (From The Head Of Zeus). Continue reading

Euclidean – Quod Erat Faciendum

To say that Ambient Blackened Doom Metal is a touch inaccessible is like saying Brexit’s not going brilliantly. No band entering into the realms of this niche sub-genre does so with ideas of fame and fortune, simply a desire to create oppressive and expansive art. It’s in this jagged world that we find Euclidean and Quod Erat Faciendum (Division Records). Continue reading

Parkway Drive – Killswitch Engage – Thy Art Is Murder: Live At Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham (UK)

 

Parkway Drive has had to deal with their fair share of grief. In the last few years their close friends in The Ghost Inside were involved in a life-altering bus crash that claimed the lives of two drivers. Their good friends and Metalcore cohorts, Architects, lost a brother and founding member, Tom Searle, and Parkway frontman, Winston McCall lost his best friend and faithful companion Monty, his beloved dog who died in his arms. Grief is a powerful motivator, and goes some way to explaining the stylistic shift seen on Parkway’s latest album, Reverence (Epitaph). Continue reading

Mastodon – Kvelertak – Mutoid Man: Live at UEA, Norwich

People so often complain that a band isn’t playing their town on a tour. Every announcement is met with requests to play Billy from Stoke’s bedroom – though that would be sweet – and never satiates the audience size. Spare a thought for the people of Norwich who have had to go for years without seeing the glory of Mastodon in their city. As such, tonight’s event is packed out from the moment doors open, and anticipation is at an extreme high. Continue reading

Enter Shikari – Palaye Royale – Black Peaks: Live at O2 Academy, Leicester (UK)

Putting together a good bill is a difficult task. Sometimes the stars can align, schedules are free and the world gets Trivium with Code Orange, Power Trip and Venom Prison. Other times you get Dizzee Rascal supporting Muse. Yes, that did actually happen. When a band as fluid with genre boundaries as Enter Shikari announces a tour, wild speculation breaks out about who will be joining them, or indeed, why a certain band is on the bill. Tonight is no exception as a varied line up graces the frequently gig-bereft Leicester City. Continue reading