As the dust begins to settle on what will undoubtedly go down in a history as a fine year for heavy and progressive music, the Ghost Cult crew present our favourite albums of 2017. While a year with only a couple of genuine life-changing, genre redefiners, nevertheless 2017 has seen an absolute plethora of very, very high quality releases. With over 400 albums reviewed this year, at an average of 7.5/10, there was a deep pool of quality releases selected and dissected throughout the year. A genuinely democratic inner sanctum here, we now present Part 1 of an official Ghost Cult Album of the Year (2017) run down that s truly representative of Ghost Cult, our writers, and our musical position as a site. Please share your thoughts and comments on the music we collectively love, as we countdown from 50 through to 26…Continue reading →
Funeral services for Ian Frasier “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motörhead’s begin in about an hour with the memorial services from Los Angeles, California and webcasted globally. You can stream the services at this link or below at 2:30 PST.
Family and close friends will observe a service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, commencing at 3 p.m. PST and ending at 4:30 p.m. With such limited space available on site, Motörhead is respectfully asking that fans don’t attend the service at the cemetery, but the band wants everyone to be a part of this, so they are setting up a live feed webcast of the service. Also with the Los Angeles public memorial expected to be heavily attended, The Rainbow Bar And Grill have announced that the entire Sunset Strip will be used.
Fans are leaving constant comments of support and love for Lemmy on social media and at the Official Motorhead YouTube channel, the site of the stream. The following message greets fans:
We want you ALL to be a part of this memorial service.
So wherever you are, PLEASE get together and watch with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an internet connection and toast along with us. Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home.
Whatever your venue, and however you can, let’s be sure to gather globally on Saturday 9th and celebrate the life of our dear friend and irreplaceable icon.
NOTE: For anyone wishing to send flowers, please contact Karen Brando at Flowers by Michael (310) 276-1003
Details are now set for one of the most enduring personalities in music history. Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead’s family and close friends will observe a service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood, commencing at 3 p.m. PST and ending at 4:30 p.m. With such limited space available on site, Motörhead is respectfully asking that fans don’t attend the service at the cemetery, but the band wants everyone to be a part of this, so they are setting up a live feed webcast of the service via Motörhead’s official YouTube channel. Also with the public memorial expected to be heavily attended, The Rainbow Bar And Grill have announced that the entire Sunset Strip will be used.
The band has released a statement:
“Wherever you are, PLEASE get together and watch the service with fellow Motörheadbangers and friends. GO to your favorite bar, or your favorite club, make sure they have access to an Internet connection and toast along with us. Or simply invite your pals around and celebrate Lemm’s life at home. Whatever your venue, and however you can, let’s be sure to gather globally on Saturday, January 9 and celebrate the life of our dear friend and irreplaceable icon.”
For anyone wishing to send flowers, please contact Karen Brando at Flowers By Michael: (310) 276-1003.
According toMotörhead‘s Manager Todd Singerman, Lemmy Kilmister’s funeral will be held on on January 9th at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles at 3 PM. In addition to the Public Memorial at The Rainbow Bar And Grill, a London memorial has been planned for the same day at The Wig and Gown, 99 Holloway Road, London N7 8LT. Doors are at 9 PM and the event will run until 1 AM local time and plans for a simulcast of the LA services. Other memorials are also being planned for the legendary rocker around the world.
The Rainbow Bar And Grill in West Hollywood will be the scene of the public memorial honoring Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead on Saturday, January 9 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Lemmy would often hold court at the iconic bar, so it is fitting he will be remembered there. Lemmy passed away from an aggressive form of cancer on December 28th. He had just turned 70 years old on December 24th.
The music world lost one of its true great baddasses when Ian Frasier Kilmister, known to scores of fans by his eponymous nickname Lemmy of Motörhead, passed away suddenly from cancer on December 28th. The shockwave felt with from announcement of his death at age 70 on social media, and then confirmation by the band was heartbreaking for many who followed his career of nearly five decades. Although he has struggled with health issues the last few years, Motörhead was last seen on tour in Europe three weeks earlier, supporting their recent new album Bad Magic (UDR). One of the most enduring sounds in rock music, the obscenely loud volume of the bands’ live backline, unmatched by any band in any genre, will never be heard again. Continue reading →
I was thirteen years old, staying up late and listening to The Friday Rock Show on an old transistor radio the first time I heard Saxon. My parents were sleeping in the next room, so clearly not wanting to be disturbed by my latest, and somewhat “interesting” choice in music (a school friend had only introduced me to Metal a few weeks before) had told me to “keep it down”. A lot. So, with the volume knob set infuriatingly low, I did my best to listen to Tommy Vance (RIP) introducing the band’s latest single, ‘Do It All For You’, and was completely blown away by their singer. By god, she sounded fantastic!
Yes, thanks to the combination of a lack of volume and a tinny 3” mono speaker, I was convinced Saxon were fronted by a girl. It came as quite a shock a few weeks later, while flicking through the pages of a popular, then bi-weekly music magazine, to discover their singer was actually a big northern bloke called Biff Byford. Okay, his hair was ridiculously bouncy and he wore skintight spandex leggings, but he was most definitely NOT a lady.
In more recent years, the hair may have become a little less fluffy and the waistlines might be a little larger, but the band have never strayed (too) far from their original path. After the rather lightweight Destiny (EMI) in 1988, the band released a sequence of enjoyable, if somewhat unspectacular albums, but 2004’s Lionheart (SPV) appeared to give them a new lease of life. Every release since then has maintained the same high standard and that trend continues with latest offering, Battering Ram (UDR).
Kicking things off in emphatic style, the bruising title track is quickly followed by ‘The Devil’s Footprint’, a song based on a story from 1855 where a number of townships believed cloven hoof prints found in the snow one morning belonged to the devil. After briefly tricking me into thinking my computer had developed a stutter, the stop-start riff of ‘Queen of Hearts’ quickly transforms into one of the album’s finest moments, and while ‘Destroyer’ may not be the most original of titles, it’s certainly appropriate as Biff attempts to demolish his vocal cords at the song’s climax.
By this point, I’m starting to wonder if Battering Ram contains any bad tracks at all. ‘Hard and Fast’ and ‘Eye of the Storm’ answer my question with a resounding no, but things do drop off a little with ‘Stand Your Ground’, which for all its speed and neat little middle section, doesn’t really go anywhere. ‘Top Of the World’ immediately steadies the (barely) wobbling ship anyway, and is followed by the almost Sabbath-esque crawl of ‘To The End’. David Bower of Derbyshire NWOBHMers Hell lends his considerable voice talents to six minute ‘The Kingdom of the Cross’, a darkly atmospheric song about the First World War, while “bonus track” ‘Three Sheets to the Wind’ rounds things off a little strangely. A throwaway drinking song which sounds a little out of place coming after such a brooding, melancholic masterpiece.
With producer Andy Sneap at the helm, the album sounds fantastic. The guitars are razor sharp, the drums are big, the bass is clear, and Biff’s vocals ring out as powerfully as they have ever done.
Now, if only they’d go back to doing videos featuring desert roads and big American trucks…
Jeff Waters is one of life’s perennial nearly-men. From threatening success with their (his – I think everyone accepts by this point Annihilatoris Waters, and Waters is Annihilator) revered début Alice In Hell (Roadrunner) through a career that has risen and fallen but never quite reached the commercial or critical heights of his first three releases, nonetheless, Jeff is a trier.
Left flying solo following a split with Dave Padden, Waters has, as he did for three albums in the 90’s, taken on the role of vocalist on the fifteenth album to bear the Annihilator moniker, Suicide Society (UDR). Vocally, there are nods to contemporaries and inspirations, most notably Dave Mustaine, but all in, it has to be said, Waters turns in a vast improvement on his previous outings on the mic with a decent performance.
While Suicide Society is not without its flaws, it is an album which wears a strong Megadeth influence on its sleeve and, conversely, it’s hard not to be drawn in by its charm. Were it not Annihilator there may be more winces, but as it is you find yourself glossing over the clichéd lyrics, the dime-a-dozen staccato groove riffs, the obvious hooks and the more-confusion-than-fusion clunky segues and break outs and instead nodding along with the cousin of Cryptic Writings (Capitol) ‘Creepin’ Again’, the melodic snap of, um, ‘Snap’ and shaking your head forgivingly at what is, quite brazenly, ‘Damage Inc’ glued to bits of ‘Metal Militia’ repackaged under the title ‘My Revenge’. When Waters snarls “No Remorse!” in a track, ‘Break, Enter’ that looks once again to Kill ‘em All (Megaforce) you’re grinning with, rather than berating, him as you knowingly turn a blind eye because you know this is a guy who genuinely loves his craft and his metal. Interestingly though, it is the less thrashy, more melodic, tracks like ‘Snap’ and ‘The One You Serve’ that work best, and suit Waters’ better-voice-than-modern-day-Mustaine vocals, while balladic closer ‘Every Minute’ has some great sections.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an album while acknowledging its several and obvious blemishes, and there’s nothing wrong with having a soft spot for Jeff Waters and Annihilator. Suicide Society indulges both.