Top 20 Metal releases of 2012 – James Hibbert

Top 20 metal releases of 2012

I've paid little attention to the releases of this year and correspondingly the dramas surrounding them, such as last year's Liturgy fiasco and Leviathan court case which felt almost unavoidable. For that reason I find myself largely unable to construct a list consisting solely of full-lengths or one that can be logically structured into any kind of order that runs from 'worst' to 'best' or vice versa (and so I opt for an alphabetic approach), something I struggle with in any and all cases anyway. None the less I've found myself revising this list a few times, removing releases (such as Deathspell Omega's "Drought" - a release which just missed out on being included in this list) and replacing them with others and I've surely missed some off which I'll later be kicking myself for.

Some fantastic records such as Swan's "the Seer" have been dropped for their not being a metal release and others such as Pallbearer & Hooded Menace have been removed in order to be replaced with releases that I'd forgotten had come out this year. Equally, I've removed albums that I hadn't realised upon inclusion were actually released last year. Without further ado...

By | December 31st, 2012|Top Tens & More|0 Comments

2012 Top 30 albums and top 5 demos – guest review Matthew “Witchfinder” Hopkins

Top 30 albums and top 5 demos of the year

I met Matt quite a few years back at a Roadburn festival.  Considering how many similar bands we like and the sheer number of gigs we both attend it was pretty odd we'd never met at a gig in London.  Matt somehow manages to fit time around being a father, a loving husband, and a fulltime job, to attend more gigs than you've had hot dinners.  He gets labelled a grumpy old git (by me included) as he moans alot about modern metal, but get him talking about anything slow or dark (and usually Finnish) and you'll see his eyes light up as he starts reeling off a ton of bands you need to go and check out.  Whilst I'm busy editing photos Matt and Gary (Lukes) manage to keep me well informed on the cream of the underground.  Massive thanks to Matt for sending over his list.

Matt will be curating the Seven Churches stage at the 2013 edition of Desertfest along with his partner in crime Josh Retallick (from the Black Heart pub in Camden).  Tickets for Desertfest are on sale now priced at £87.50 available from www.leedstickets.com... 

By | December 30th, 2012|Top Tens & More|0 Comments

Posthum – Lights out

Posthum lights out reviewThis is the Norwegians second full length album. Described in the read up as black metal, I had high hopes as coming from Norway with the country's previous calibre would this be another cracker? Now what they failed to say was this is more like progressive or what they call in the trade post black metal and being a disciple of the 90’s era I don’t usually have much time for this style but I will give it a fair crack of the whip.

The undercurrent of the whole album bases itself on melodic atmospheric guitars with same chord repeat riffing to create the breaks and form that broken and twisted structure that this genre seems to emulate. Some of the riff structures remind me a bit of Osculum Infame in feel in the parts when the music really gels together. The vocals throughout are a consistent mid range scream in style which to be fair tie...

By | December 30th, 2012|CD Reviews|0 Comments

Wounded Kings, Dopethrone, Huata 2013 UK dates

Wounded Kings March 2013 Dopethrone Huata

2 UK dates were announced a while back for The Wounded Kings with support from Montreal's Dopethrone and Brittany's Huata.  The Birmingham venue was revealed sometime back, but we have now received word that the London venue is confirmed and will be The Water Rats in Kings Cross.

Heavy line up indeed for this one, should be an awesome two nights.

 

Dates are:

24th March 2013 - The Asylum, Birmingham...

By | December 20th, 2012|Gig News|0 Comments

Kvelertak 2013 UK tour announced

Kvelertak uk tour 2013

Kvelertak 2013 UK tour announced:

Those crazy stranglehold fans Kverlertak will be heading back over from Norway to grace the shores of the UK once more in March 2013.

Dates confirmed so far are as follows:

MARCH 2013

5  Talking Heads, Southampton...

By | December 20th, 2012|Gig News|0 Comments

An interview with Jill Janus of Huntress

Huntress interview

In a few hours' time American band Huntress will pop their British live cherry in a small club beside the seaside. As the band begin setting up for soundcheck, a tiny figure in a dark hoodie glides past in the semi-darkness. This is no ghostly apparition but their leader and self-proclaimed witch, singer Jill Janus. She is petite and pretty with piercing eyes and bright blonde hair. You may have seen her. A lot of her. She is not shy about using her good looks in the band's promotional material. Even in civvies-type gear she is striking, and takes a seat on a large couch with a comedic plastic skeleton looking down on her from the bright purple wall. It is almost Hallowe'en and spirits are most definitely high.

Jill has no worries about the first gig on these shores...

By | December 18th, 2012|Featured Bands|0 Comments

LIVE REVIEW: Motorhead, Anthrax, Diaries Of A Hero – Solent Hall, Bournemouth, 15th November 2012

Motorhead live review Bournemouth

At a time when even long established metal media seem inclined to push floppy-fringed, full-body-inked formulaic screamo/deathcore (whatever the fuck that means) at their readership, it is heartening to note that the kids are not all taken in by such bollocks.

Motorhead have never fitted in. Anywhere. Lemmy stands by the mantra of being “rock n' roll”, never identifying his band as heavy metal. His audience has always comprised a motley crew of punks, crusties, metal-heads, thrashers and...

By | December 12th, 2012|Gig Reviews|0 Comments

LIVE REVIEW: Obituary, Macabre, Psycroptic, The Amenta – Highbury Garage, London, 5th December 2012

Obituary London Garage reviewLast time I saw Obituary was 18 years ago and during my teenage years 3 albums were on constant loop on my old faithful tape player, Slowly We Rot, Cause Of Death and The End Complete.  As soon as they announced a tour playing songs exclusively from those first 3 albums there wasn't a chance in hell I was going to miss the tour on it's UK date. 

With my wallet still bleeding from 2 gigs in the last 3 days (Neurosis and Scott Kelly) it was time for another 3+ hour journey from the doors of my full time job to the

By | December 8th, 2012|Gig Reviews|0 Comments

Album Review: UKEM Messages from the Damned Compilation

UKEM messages form the damned review

This 18 tracker comes straight from UKEM Records who are an underground label supporting UK bands and this CD is a showcase of what the UK underground has to offer. Each band offers up a track to try and lure you into their world and to get their music out there to the willing audience.

LACERATION hit you with some hefty variable pace brutal death metal from machine gun battery to chugging menace. Top that off with gurgling grunt like vocals and they deliver what you would might expect from the likes of acts such as Skinless.

THE OBSCENE hand out death metal, that is not over produced, with a fast almost punk like flavour that bleeds into slower more old school 90’s style sections add into the mix the varied vocals of harsh grunt and tortured scream it serves up a well rounded track.

By | December 8th, 2012|CD Reviews|0 Comments

LIVE REVIEW: Talanas, Spires, Ascent – Manchester

Talanas live review Manchester satans hollow

Satan's hollow, wow, anyone who's been will know the care and attention to detail which has gone into the venue, a huge sculpted Satan overhangs the DJ console, the walls and columns are all decked out like hell itself, with wrought iron work, the name Satan's Hollow is clearly very apt.

Knowing nothing about Ascent prior to the gig I wasn't overly concerned about getting stuck in traffic due to the bad weather and missing the start of their Instrumentalist set. However, as soon as I arrived I was kicking myself, apparently playing only their

By | December 6th, 2012|Gig Reviews|0 Comments