Dyscarnate Interview: “Our plan is to always get better and better with every release.”


Dyscarnate

On the first day of Hammerfest, a light drizzle has been flirting in the air. However, after Dyscarnate play one of the most intense sets at Hammerfest, the rain begins to pour down, and so the trio brave it so we can talk about touring, progression and the dreaded ‘third album’…

I’m here with Dyscarnate. Would you guys like to introduce yourselves and what you do in the band?

TOM: My name’s Tom, I play guitar and also vocals.
HENRY: Henry, bass and vocals.
MATT: I’m Matt and I play the drums.

First of all, how are you guys today?

MATT: Good, yeah! Bit tired, we had a long drive up – five or so hours – but good now we’ve played. Feeling good, having a few beers.

How did you feel about the reception you had for the set then?

TOM: Yeah, really good actually! We were a bit dubious before we started playing, we were looking out at the crowd and it wasn’t that busy, and we weren’t really sure if there were too many death metal heads in the crowd, but once we started playing it just filled out, people getting into it, pits and people headbanging… so yeah, it was good.

The reaction seemed really good, a mini-moshpit going on.

HENRY: Yeah, smurf moshpit! [Edit: There was a group of Smurfs in the crowd]

For anyone new to you, how would you describe yourselves? Maybe a little bit of history, musically to begin with if you want.

TOM: Style, I suppose, obviously death metal. Our influences are sorta taken from stuff like Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Cannibal Corpse – those sort of bands – and some of the newer stuff like, y’know, maybe elements of Whitechapel. People might not see that so much but they are a bit of an influence on us.
HENRY: Anything catch really.
TOM: Yeah, if you can bang your head to it…
HENRY: Just the catchy heavy shit really, that’s what we like, that’s what we do.
MATT: Hatebreed are playing this weekend, they’re a big influence on us, as well as Napalm Death. It’s halfway between Hatebreed and Napalm Death – all the grindcore blastbeaty bits with groovy bits as well.

That’s a pretty good description!

MATT: It works. Those are the two bands we’re really looking forward to seeing this weekend.

Anybody else you’re looking forward to?

TOM: I can’t think of anyone else who’s playing.
MATT: Our mates Bloodshot Dawn are playing, Flayed Disciple are playing too. Our friends in OAF as well, just sorta bass, drums and vocals, which is pretty cool. Yeah, we’ve got a few friends playing, and I think for us, Napalm and Hatebreed.
TOM: We’ve probably ruined one of your questions now, haven’t we?

Yeah, kind of, I was saving that for later! That’s one down.

HENRY: Fuck it, move on!
MATT: Next! [Laughs]

Well, how long have you guys been together then with all the touring…

TOM: Overall, me and Henry have been playing music together since 2002, something like that, but we hadn’t been a serious band, with the line-up we are now, until since 2007-08.
MATT: In 2008 we brought out our first EP, if you can call it that…
HENRY: Pile of shit.
MATT: Don’t say that!

I liked it – I bought it!

MATT: It’s a good CD! [Laughs]
HENRY: Oh!
MATT: It’s a bit under-produced compared to our later stuff, so you know, I think it’s pretty cool to have that just to show growth as a band; someone can listen to us chronologically and sort of…
HENRY: Progressively gets better, in my opinion… although a lot of people will prefer “Enduring The Massacre”.
MATT: I’d hate to blow our best CD on the first one and it will be downhill from there. Our plan is to always get better and better with every release.

Improve and change.

MATT: Definitely, yeah.

Dyscarnate

Last time I spoke to you was the Aeon gig [Cardiff] in January, how have things progressed in that short time? Have you had any exciting stories on tour?

HENRY: Aeon, we had a snowball fight with ‘em, that was quite fun.

How did that go, who won?

TOM: Errr… mixed bag [Laughs].
MATT: [Laughs] The Aeon singer was getting very into it.
TOM: There was snow winner in that one, I tell ya.
MATT: Oh… come on!

No blood then?

HENRY: No blood. Just every man for himself.
MATT: We put them onto the wonders of Sainsbury’s hot food deli as well, and they were in awe of that, so… they were loving it.
TOM: Chicken wings…
MATT: Couldn’t get enough of that.
TOM: Yeah, it was a good tour, we had a good laugh.
HENRY: Dublin was the best night – we were all just completely battered and just pissed around all night.

Was the crowd insane?

HENRY: The crowd was the best as well I reckon.
TOM: Really?
MATT: Dublin?
HENRY: Don’t slag them off!
TOM: Cardiff was good.

Aw, you don’t have to say that.

TOM: It was good!
MATT: London, Dublin, Cardiff.
HENRY: Capitals.
MATT: Exactly, yeah. Everyone’s brilliant, but London, Cardiff and Dublin… Dublin we love: the nights out we have in Dublin are always the best.

I’m sure you mentioned before that that was going to be the first Irish date you’d do.

MATT: Dublin? Yeah.
TOM: No, it was Cork, then Dublin and Belfast.
MATT: Yeah… but we’d played Dublin before with Fleshgod Apocalypse. After we’d been there once, we wanted to go back, Ireland is just fucking amazing to play shows in, some of the nicest people we’ve met I think.
TOM: Yeah, along with the Welsh.

The last time I spoke to you, you mentioned you were planning a new album in 2014…

TOM: Yeah, 2014, we’re working on it at the moment.

No new jams?

TOM: Not at the moment, we’re sorta getting the pre-production tracks together, sorta piecing it together, nothing concrete down just yet.
HENRY: It’s fucking hard, y’know?
TOM: 2014 will be…
HENRY: There’s an awful lot of touring life left to pass.
MATT: Yeah, we’re gonna do that an awful lot more and get to a hell of a lot more places.
HENRY: Problem is is that album number one is your life’s work, album two is the progression of that and album three is like “Oh hell, what do we do now!”
MATT: You’re fucked!
HENRY: So we’re just…
MATT: We don’t want to repeat ourselves – we’re trying to find our ‘album three’ sound.
TOM: It’s gonna be a “Black Album”…

It’s gonna be a worldwide seller!

HENRY: Yeah, it will be a “Black Album”.
TOM: Enter Sandman
HENRY: There’ll be no blastbeats.
TOM: St. Anger
MATT: We’ll fuck off death metal, there’ll be singing, we’ll have a female vocalist.

Sue Spotify?

MATT: Yep, brilliant.
HENRY: Of course!

I don’t know if you guys know, but not too long ago, Arif of Wormrot posted a video of one of your songs on his Facebook, said he really liked you.

ALL: Oh cool!

Is this the first time you heard that?

MATT: Yeah! We played with them a long time ago, at The Old Blue Last in London.
HENRY: Yeah, at Hackney.
MATT: It’s Islington isn’t it?
HENRY: No, Hackney.
TOM: It’s Shoreditch.
HENRY: Shoreditch, that’s right!
MATT: The Old Blue Last is quite a legendary venue; it’s quite a well-known venue. Yeah, we played with those guys, they were awesome. I remember the chicken impressions were particularly impressive.
HENRY: Yeah, he was barefoot on stage, weren’t he?
MATT: Yeah, it was really cool! Those guys are fucking awesome; we haven’t had any contact with them since then though.

He plugged you about maybe a month and a half ago.

MATT: Wicked!
TOM: Cool.
MATT: Twitter or something?

Nah, Facebook. Well, I was wondering, but you’re obviously quite happy about that then?

MATT: Yeah, cool band!
TOM: What a man.

Well, I was going to ask who else you guys were excited to see, but er…

MATT: Well, Napalm and Hatebreed; I’d say our sound is halfway between the two.

Yeah, I don’t remember you saying that… So what’s in the pipeline for Dyscarnate in the future?

ALL: More of these [Laughs]. [Edit: This is a David Brent (The Office) joke I forgot at the time]

More gigs? More festivals?

HENRY: More of these, yeah.
MATT: Yeah, we got more.
TOM: Nah, we’re going to Russia at the end of the month, we’re doing a headline tour out there, so that’s like ten days in Russia.
MATT: Ukraine as well.
TOM: One day in Ukraine, yeah.

Pretty much an Eastern European tour?

TOM: It’s our first time, we’ve done like the Czech Republic and Slovakia before, but not been as far as Ukraine, so it should be interesting, should be good – we’ve heard good things about Russia so we’re looking forward to it, and er… there’s a festival in Indonesia at the end of April, it’s supposed to be a 35,000 capacity festival.
HENRY: We’ve got stuff planned later in the year too, but I’m not sure if we can talk about it just yet.
MATT: We’re headlining a festival in Israel as well, we’re doing Tel Aviv Deathfest, which will be pretty sweet.
TOM: We’re the secret headliner for Bloodstock… nah, only kidding.
MATT: [Laughs] Yet to be announced!
HENRY: Yeah, we’re gonna headline Download [Laughs].
TOM: They tried to get Machine Head in but said ‘nope’ [Laughs].

That’s pretty much it, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans, in Wales or otherwise?

TOM: Yeah, for anyone who came down to our set in Hammerfest, we appreciate it, hope everyone enjoyed themselves and hopefully we’ll be back before the end of the year. We’ve got some stuff planned and we’ll be back in Wales.
MATT: Yeah, what he said!

It was cool to talk to you!

TOM: Thank you.
MATT: Cheers, yeah.

Dyscarnate‘s latest album, “And So It Came To Pass”, is out now on Siege Of Amida Records.

Interview by RichReviewz.

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Live Review: Hammerfest V: In Fear Of The Dragon – 14th-16th March 2013 @ Hafan Y Môr Holiday Park


Pwllheli is a quiet place tucked away in the extreme rural area of North-West Wales. If you travel via Snowdon, you’re likely to cast your eye on small frozen waterfalls, big slate cliff-faces, fields of green and plenty of stone ruins.

However, from the 14th-17th of March, Penychain was invaded by a metal mass from all over the UK (and abroad) who were ready for beers and headbanging. Eyesore Merch was a part of it all and so here’s the rundown on the bands who stood up to the challenge of Hammerfest V and how they did.

THURSDAY

The first slot for any festival is always going to be a hard one – the crowd will never reach its full potential as half of the occupants might not have even reached Penychain yet. However, undeterred, Goddamn Electric started the afternoon with their bluesy and slightly sleazy brand of Pantera-esque metal, vocalist Tommy seeming to mould both Phil Anselmo’s roars and M Shadow’s cleans. While the crowd was pretty thin, they managed to stir interest with offers of Jagermeister and throwing free albums from the stage. For an opener, they did good!

However, Dyscarnate were up next and within seconds of the trio kicking into their set a question screams to mind: Why in the hell are they playing a) Thursday, and b) so early? DyscarnateDyscarnate are a visceral machine that rips throats and chews on bones, and for a band like that to start when the crowd is so small is a real wonder. For those unfamiliar to them, just think of some of the most technical and brutal death metal, and then exaggerate it with scary pinpoint precision. The guys also had the loudest bass/drums sound – trying to breathe at the barrier was almost impossible, feeling like you were repeatedly punched in the throat. Safe to say, Dyscarnate killed it.

Savage Messiah step up next and throw out their thrash-tinged heavy metal, although never really bringing anything new or mindblowing to the table, but the crowd seemed to enjoy. Vicious Nature followed with their grandiose take on old-school heavy metal and the entertaining vocalist could probably give Bruce Dickinson a run for his money when it comes to energy – the combination just making it a fun set. Sacred Mother Tongue on the other hand feels incredibly lacklustre in comparison, and their fairly predictable metal didn’t really help grab much interest either.

FRIDAY

Sansara are the first band to open the Jagermeister stage at Hammerfest and are cursed with a small crowd, who are either too hungover or just uninterested to really show any enthusiasm. While they pump out a slightly chirpier version of Alice In Chain’s style of hard rock, there’s nothing that really grabs your attention.

Deadman Sugar do slightly better, delivering heavy metal with a doomy Black Sabbath edge, and manage to attract a livelier crowd throughout their set, thanks to the cheery and entertaining vocalist who spurred the crowd a little. Fire In The Empire unfortunately didn’t take advantage of the effort and pretty much played a straightforward heavy metal with a flat delivery.

Heading over to the mainstage, named Dragon stage, The Idol Dead play their sleazy rock’n’roll with a slight punkish delivery – a definite for fans of Velvet Revolver. It becomes clear as they churn through song after song that the guys would have probably done a lot better with a larger crowd, the one at this stage actually falling shy of the Jagermeister stage’s numbers.

Talking of the Jagermeister stage, South Wales’s Triaxis take to the stage and is the first sign on the stage of a band that knows how to stir some interest. Frontwoman Krissie manages to engage with the crowd between songs and even gets some sympathy when she announces that she’s ill, which doesn’t really show that much during songs. Bassist Owen also jumps around the stage like a banshee unleashed, and so while musically the band are pretty straightforward heavy metal, Triaxis upped the performance level a bit.

Ancient Ascendant unleash their torturous sound next, mostly death/thrash metal with slight black metal influences (mainly on the vocals), they’re the first band to push beyond the classic hard rock/heavy metal sounds of prior bands, waking the crowd up. They simply put on a thunderous set.


Iron Knights
feel like a metal band that isn’t afraid to get a little battle metal with their sound, and frequently refer to the audience as ‘legions’ and set forth a kind of bravado throughout their set, making it entertaining at least. Back to the Dragon stage, Attica Rage blasts their old-school heavy metal with some fairly technical vibes, with a heavy dose of cheese on top. To add to the fun, the band had their own entertainers during parts of their show – at one point, two guys showering the sky with sparks with saws and metal rods, while during another song, a female fire-breather criss-crossed the stage. With plenty of silly riffs and charisma between songs, Attica Rage layed down a good fun show.

At the Jagermeister stage, RSJ are to come, but when the lights dim, instead of a roar of guitars and a “HELLO HAMMERFEST” we get some bubbly synthpop for a minute, until a sample of scientists talking about the Higgs Boson Particle rings out. The band walk onstage, soon jumping and riffing to the sample like rabid chimps. Vocalist Dan Cook looks ready to assault anyone at the front, while guitarists Guff Thomas and Dan Kentley slam their tools with no remorse. The sample stops and RSJ begins to plough through a pretty overwhelming set – imagine Converge, Will Haven and Shaped By Fate constantly cutting each other up: you get RSJ. Juxtaposing their intense music, songs are often broken up with humorous samples, Keisha’s Tik-Tok and Olivia Newton-John’s (Let’s Get) Physical being just some of the ones catching you by surprise. By the end of the set, one of the guitarists climbed over the barrier and proceeded to walk through the crowd with his guitar held above his head like a sacrifice. Needless to say, they put on a great show.

Iron Saviour filled the Dragon arena and basically delivered a ballad-heavy take on power metal which the audience seemed to enjoy – one tall fan in a white shirt working himself into such a frenzy that would exhaust any high-ranking athlete. Vocalist and guitarist Piet Sielck had a fair amount of cheery banter to keep the mood at a constant high too.

Chimp Spanner managed to gather a pretty big crowd back at the Jagermeister stage, mesmerising a good majority of it with incredibly atmospheric instrumental technical metal, or djent if you prefer. Although dealing without vocals is sometimes a barrier when it comes to a live setting, it didn’t seem to appear here, with a fair few people headbanging and fistpumping along. Next up is Bloodshot Dawn, who upped the ante with their technical death metal and actually manage to get a circle pit out of the crowd. Dyscarnate vocalist Tom Whitty joined the band for one song, helping Bloodshot Dawn to somehow further the brutality of their live set, and they absolutely nailed it.

Next up was one of the headliners, UK’s currently wave-making black metallers Winterfylleth, who came on to a roar of cheers – obviously a highly anticipated band for most people there. If you’ve never seen Winterfylleth before but heard their music, what Winterfyllethyou might expect visually is a lot different than what you get: no corpsepaint or inverted crosses but four regular guys in jeans and t-shirts. Without all the gimmicks, the band just rip through song after song with such a verocity that it feels like the skin on your neck is slowly being ripped away, and you could feel a small gust between the holes of the front barrier. While the band did experience some technical difficulties, vocalist and guitarist Christopher Naughton joked about ‘finally’ being able to play near a Papa John’s, which was met with laughter. They just put on amazing show that made the stage feel that bit bigger than it really was.

After that, Lifer came on to another lot of cheers and simply played an impressive set with their straight-up metal. The crowd seemed to love them and they no doubt made themselves a fair amount of new admirers that night.


Back at the Dragon stage, Germany’s thrash veterans Destruction are next, and you can feel the electricity of the crowd’s anticipation. Eventually the band walk onstage to excitable Destructioncrowd, but what you don’t expect is just THREE people – usually there is a second guitarist but Mike Sifringer is the only six-stringer onstage. All doubts were cast aside once they opened with Thrash ‘til Death, instantly injecting the crowd with adrenaline and sounding pretty perfect – gaining even more enthusiasm from the crowd when they played another fan favourite Nailed To The Cross. Destruction were just perfect and being short of one guitarist did nothing to hold them back, the aggression, the heaviness and the speed were all present and delivered without a hitch. If you love your thrash metal, and haven’t seen Destruction, then you’ve got something to add to your bucket list.

SATURDAY

The third day of Hammerfest V was a breaking point for a lot of people with hangovers, finally feeling it catch up with them, yet OAF was the ideal remedy to the problem. A two-man band and offered the most bizarre set of the weekend. On drums and backing vocalsOAF is James Rayment, dressed like a 50’s dad in a woolly sweater, tie, trousers and smart shoes with his hair slicked back; while on bass and lead vocals Dom Lawson, who looks like Corpsegrinder’s friendlier brother. This odd mix caught a lot of people’s attention, and so did their comedic take on punk meets prog, with song titles like Wanking With A Fistful Of Shit and Fuck Off Seagull (which featured guest vocals from Evil Scarecrow’s Dr. Hell), and a lot of dry commentary inbetween, often with the crowd. The whole crowd was in stitches and OAF were just the perfect start to the day.

Next up was a more serious matter, this time Flayed Disciple, who churn out a gruelling version of technical death metal that never lets you settle comfortably – a groove might last seven seconds before they spiral into another extreme direction. Vocalist Tim Whyte looks like a madman with his poses and facial expression, which sort of adds to the insanity of their music – especially during The Westboro Massacre. It’s pretty unfathomable to think of any complaints with a band that played as they did and it’s probably safe to say they won some new fans in the crowd.

Driven took to the stage next and for the most part sort of flopped in comparison to the two previous bands; which probably wasn’t helped by their easy-listening rock’n’roll style. Despite this, they eventually won the crowd over and loosened them up, even getting a big number of the audience to partake in a huge conga circle, which eventually morphed into a circle pit – which was pretty astonishing to see happen so early in the day, and so you couldn’t help but respect the band for their efforts and determination.

Monument followed with a sort of mix of power and old-school metal (just think Judas Priest and Iron Maiden), and while the vocalist, Peter Ellis, had a lot of flair in his performance and crowd interaction, the crowd stayed at a timid mood throughout – but did fill out a lot more by the end of the set. They also cranked out a pretty great cover of Deep Purple’s Black Night. Bull Riff Stampede came on next and gifted the audience with a nice mix of thrash and death metal, which got them a decent turnout.

Then Making Monsters arrived and it seemed that if there had been a bigger audience, the band would have had a much warmer reception than they got, ultimately left with a tough crowd. Providing metalcore with more interesting twists, the band clearly tried their best to get a reaction which never really came, despite vocalist Emma’s pretty intense activity onstage and impressive mix of cleans, screams and growls, and the performance of the band was flawless. It really seemed like a case of the wrong time with the crowd.

Oxford’s Undersmile soon began setting up, and during this time you see that Hel Sterne and Taz Corona-Brown are both dressed in pretty red dresses, and being new to the band (as probably a fair number of the audience was too), expectancies were a bit all over the place. BUT… as soon as the band kicked in, it became obvious that Undersmile were simply practicing champions of doom/drone metal – just think of the sludgy moments of Jucifer, lather it with more reverb and a suicidal feel with monotone chants. HEAVY. The atmosphere throughout was nothing short of intense and compelling; which wasn’t interrupted by chatter from the band at all, something that would have surely ruined the sensibility of it all. Undersmile simply slayed, leaving the crowd literally screaming for more. Just go see them if you get the chance!

Serpent Venom followed with their own doomy goodness, this time of the sludge variety, Serpent Venomand delivered a pretty straightforward performance, although bassist Nick Davies nips in some friendly banter with the crowd; a few of which are clearly good friends of his. Just imagine all the classic doom bands morphed into one Eyehategod style delivery, and that’s Serpent Venom. Just a great, solid performance!

H A R K from Swansea came on next and downright blew the crowd away. Vocalist and guitarist Jimbob Isaac, formerly of the great Taint, just shredded, pounded and yelled sludgy goodness, with a progressive touch. At one point, he announces how happy he is to be playing there and points to a member of the audience with a Welsh rugby shirt, and dedicates a song to him – which was enthusiastically met with chants of “Wey-ales! Wey-ales!”. For those who knew Taint, it felt like an immense sense of return to form for Jimbob, who was sorely missed in the South Wales metal/rock scene when the band called it quits. H A R K made a triumphant stand and just conquered the audience.

Heading over to the Dragon stage, Candlemass are soon to hit the stage and the anxiety is almost torture, especially when they run a little late. Yet as soon as the band strides Candlemassonstage, joyful cheers are screamed towards them. Even though the majority of its members are old enough to be grandfathers now, Candlemass are rocking just as hard as much as the younger bands and vocalist Mats Levén proves himself more than worthy of standing in the frontman spotlight. Although their set is short, they manage to squeeze in many of the fan favourites like Solitude, Black As Time and At The Gallows End. Just a brilliant set by the doom legends.

Saint Vitus were next to be unleashed on the Hammerfest crowd next with their more stoner/heavy metal style of doom, which was just as warmly welcome too. Wino had the Saint Vitusthousand mile stare and looked like he could rip heads off at any moment, while guitarist Dave Chandler seemed like the most friendly dude going. The band seemed to be experiencing sound problems too, but they continued blasting out a set of favourites with I Bleed Black, Let Them Fall, Dying Inside and The Bleeding Ground. And when it comes to soloing and pulling off guitar stunts, Dave seems too bring everything to the table; at moments biting the strings, sliding the guitar with his bracelet and an array of others. There was also a point where security began grabbing people near the front due to smoking, which angered the band into telling the security to leave them be – which seemed to work from a distance. Saint Vitus was everything you’d expect them to be and more, truly stunning.

Last up was the infamous (and rightly so) Napalm Death, the Birmingham grinders brought the the day to brutal end, leaving barely any room between songs for you to breathe (apart from two or three gaps where Barney explained viewpoints and song meanings). The crowd simply lost it throughout too with a sea of swinging heads, flying fists and a myriad of crowdsurfers; which seemed to be cultivated in Barney’s unpredictable and chaotic domination of the stage. The only unfortunate thing was that because of a recurring lateness of bands coming on, the set was fairly short, but not without playing the greats like Scum, Suffer The Children, Silence Is Deafening and the legendary You Suffer. Once they finished, walking offstage and the lights came back on, all you could see was sweaty but grinning faces, bringing Hammerfest V to a great end.

Review by RichReviewz

UK TOURS & FESTIVALS: March


Here’s a new feature where we let you guys know where and when some of the most awe-inspiring UK tours and festivals take place within each month. So here’s to March!

Who: STATUS QUO
When: 6th-17th March
Why: Despite reaching their mid-sixties now, the famous guitar duo Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi are far from slowing down, still putting a lot of younger bands to shame. Plus, do you really need an excuse to go see these legends?

Dates and tickets here.

Who: CANNIBAL CORPSE& DEVILDRIVER
When: 7th-10th
Why:
Cannibal Corpse may just wear the crown for the biggest and most influential band in brutal death metal, the band have been unleashing gore onto the world since the eighties and have found themselves in the centre of controversy and films (Ace Ventura, anyone?). Co-headlining the tour is California’s own metalcore troupe Devildriver, headed by ex-Coal Chamber maniac Dez Fafara. Definitely a tour worth catching.

Dates and tickets here.
Get your Cannibal Corpse merch here.

Who: CANCER BATS /w Brutality Will Prevail + Empress
When: 8th-22nd March
Why: One of today’s hardest working bands in hardcore/punk are set to tour the UK for two weeks without a break. Last year, Cancer Bats pulled off the “Pentagram Tour” in London, playing six shows in five venues in one day. Also, Welsh hardcore up-comers Brutality Will Prevail are a band you have to see.

Dates and tickets here.
Get your Cancer Bats merch here.

Festival: HAMMERFEST V: IN FEAR OF THE DRAGON
When: 14th-17th March
Where: Pwllheli, North Wales.
Why: Basically, here are some of the big names in metal that are playing there, and you’d be a fool to miss them: Saint Vitus, Killing Joke, Candlemass, Napalm Death, Sodom, Angel Witch, Destruction, Enslaved, Hatebreed and a ton of promising and rising metal bands.

Day tickets are still available here.
Get your Napalm Death merch here, Angel Witch merch here and Enslaved merch here.

Who: GHOST, GOJIRA & THE DEFILED
When: 18th-24th March
Why: This is the Jagermeister Music Tour and metal’s favourite shot producers have put a hell of a line-up for this six-date tour. Ghost have garnered a strong underground following with their throwback to classic heavy metal, along with their love of theatrics. Gojira currently lay down some of the heaviest shows going with their incredible technical death metal, while The Defiled follow suit with a more melodic approach. All this for £5!

Dates and tickets here.
Get your Ghost merch here.

Who: THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
When: 21st-30th March
Why: The New Jersey four-piece mix the both punk rock and the good old rock’n’roll feel of Bruce Springsteen, forming the soundtrack to many summer memories. These guys are climbing the popularity ladder pretty fast too.

Dates and tickets here.

Who: THE BLACK CROWES
When: 24th-30th March
Why:Still jamming out blues-infused rock, these catchy feel-good rollers have decided to quit the haitus and get back on tour – maybe it’s best to catch them before they go on a long-term haitus.

Dates and tickets here.

Live Review: Deftones – 19th February 2013 @ O2 Academy, Birmingham


It’s hard to believe that it’s been around three years since Deftones last graced the UK with a tour (rather than lone festival appearances) and judging by the eager queue that forms outside the O2 Academy in Birmingham on that very cold night, it’s been long awaited by many fans.

The mixed crowd alone says a lot about Deftones: 40-year-old punks, young couples folded around each other, long-haired metal fans, a few indie kids sprinkled here and there – all show how diverse the Deftones crowd is and proves that the band doesn’t cater to any one stereotype alone. So then it’s no surprise that the support acts for the night represent the band’s range in both musical styles and tastes.

First up was London’s Three Trapped Tigers; a synth-heavy post-rock band who rely more on electronics than the regular band set-up, and are made up by Tom Rogerson on keyboards and vocals, Matt Calvert on guitar and synths/electronics and Adam Betts on drums. As the trio cover so much ground between them instrumentally, it became clear that they were practically glued to their positions because of it. Although completely understandable, it just didn’t bring the potentially excitable atmosphere as their music indicated at times, which was a shame. In fact, it was perhaps drummer Betts who was the most entertaining due to his frantic flurries during the up-tempo phases. While the set was enjoyable, it didn’t really leave much of an impact personally, yet it seemed that I was alone due to the positive cheers they had between songs.

Next up was California’s post-hardcore outfit letlive. If you’ve been paying any sort of attention to the band over the last year or two, you’ll know that letlive. have whipped up a dedicated cult-like following in the underground via their energetic and highly talked about shows – so much so that the band seem to be nearing mainstream success for it. Any negative connotations you might apply to that sentence would be ill-set however, because letlive. aren’t Mumford & Sons; but a raging beast frothing at the mouth for a feast.

‘Tired’ doesn’t seem to run in Jason Butler’s vocabulary as the frontman pounces across the stage, arms swinging, and apt to leave the microphone in his mouth as he screams to the ceiling. Guitarists Jeff Sahyoun and Jean Nascimento, along with bassist Ryan Johnson, aren’t far behind as they swing their axes while jumping around the stage without missing a note. The band proved that they were right for this tour and probably bagged themselves a bigger fanbase in Birmingham, which is well deserved after the performance they gave.

Finally, after several chants of increasing impatience and thirst, Deftones humbly straddled onstage to a roar of gleeful cheers and wasted little time before hammering into Diamond Eyes, the crowd instantly turning into one big a shuffling battlefield. Chino’s vocals held up remarkably well between the cleans and screams and the whole band were precise and executed it well, which went for the whole set.

The crowd was, to put it bluntly, fucking crazy throughout and only let up a little during the softer moments in the set (which were gifts after being almost crushed on more than one occasion) where the crowd sang in unison instead; which felt magical with the lightshow flowing over us. Chino was pretty fun inbetween songs too, casually interacting with the crowd and the rest of the band (particularly with bassist Sergio Vega, who had his name chanted a few times and looked like he was in his natural environment onstage). The band just seemed at their happiest and closest at this point in their history.

And despite supporting their latest release, “Koi No Yokan”, they only played a couple of tracks from the album (a ‘couple’ being Poltergeist, RosemaryEntombedTempest and Swerve City) and featured a larger number of fan favourites from other albums: “White Pony” made its appearance through PassengerChange (In The House Of Flies)Feiticeira; “Around The Fur” with Dai The Flu (dedicated to original bassist Chi Cheung), My Own Summer (Shove It), Headup and Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away); “Diamond Eyes” via SextapeRocket Skates and CMND/CTRL; the self-titled with Bloody Cape; and “Adrenaline” with Engine No.9 and 7 Words as the encore – the latter of the two being especially brutal to witness.

Needless to say (and unsurprisingly) Deftones killed it and gave more than what the ticket price was worth. By the amount of grinning, sweaty faces I saw once the lights came back on, I think you’d be lucky to find anyone who’d disagree.

Simply unmissable.

Review by Rich Reviewz

Best Of 2012: Our Top 10 Albums List


So here we are. We have almost made it through 2012. Today could be our last day if the Mayan calendar is correct and the world is due to end tomorrow, 21st December but fingers crossed we still have a little more time to enjoy some more great music.

Way back in April we posted our first 4 month round-up of our favourite albums of the year to date. This was followed up 4 months later with another list in August and as promised, here we are 4 months later at the end of the year ready to share some more top picks of the past 4 months as well as our Top 10 albums of 2012 list.

So here we go!
First off, here is a selection of new releases that we have been enjoying since our last post in August:

ZZ Top – La Futura
Soundgarden – King Animal
Feed The Rhino – The Burning Sons
Bury Tomorrow – The Union Of Crowns
Katatonia – Dead End Kings
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
While She Sleeps – This Is The Six
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
NOFX – NOFX
The Killers – Battle Born
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Down – Down IV Part I
Devin Townsend – Epicloud
Muse – The 2nd Law
Lower Than Atlantis – Changing Tune
Bob Mould – Silver Age
Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman
Hooded Menace – Effigies Of Evil
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Kiss – Monster
Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas
Enslaved – RIITIIR
Pig Destroyer – Book Burner
Fear Factory – The Industrialist
Blood On The Dance Floor – Anthem Of The Outcast
Family – Portrait
Black Country Communion – Afterglow
And You Will Kow Us By The Trail Of Dead – Lost Songs
alt J – An Awesome Wave
Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension
The Rolling Stones – GRRR
Rolo Tomassi – Astraea
Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Call Me No One – Last Parade
Focus – X

So after much deliberation and discussion we have managed to reach a decision on our top 10 albums of 2012. Take a look and leave a comment with your top 10 list.

(In no order)
Soundgarden – King Animal

Enslaved – RIITIIR
Black Country Communion – Afterglow
Rush – Clockwork Angels
Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Tank – War Nation
Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Anathema – Weather Systems
Black Breath – Sentenced To Life
Bob Mould – Silver Age

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!