Thursday, 31 December 2009

Top 30 Thrash Metal Albums of 2009

30. Hammered - Gut Rot. Cool thrash.

29. Seregon - Disposable Suffering. UK aggressive thrash ep. Really tight and heavy.

28. Gwar - Lust in Space. Quite fun craziness not to be taken totally seriously.

27. Havok - Burn. Cool thrash what else can I say.

26. Sinocence - Scar Obscura. Northern Irish Metallica fanciers. Enjoyable and melodic.

25. Prayers of Sanity. Religion Blindness. Cool regular heavy thrash.

24. Believer - Gabriel. Comeback merchants. Not loving it as much as most but it's good - production not great for me.

23. Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn. Another comebackee. Solid not in love with it.

22. Incite - The Slaughter. Surprisingly good solid modern thrash from the young Cavalera family.

21. Aggression - MoshPirit. Yep nice aggressive thrash with sleek sound.

20. Revocation - Existence Is Futile. This seems to be both death and thrash. Could and should have been far better but still good.

19. Vektor - Black Future. If this had proper vocals instead of the most annoying scream in all of hades, then it would be in my top ten somewhere!

18. Paradox - Riot Squad. Yep much better than Electrify. Yes Mr Frank 'tis true! Vocals still suck a bit though but riffs are off the hook.

17. Gama Bomb - Tales From the Grave in Space. Somewhat comical Northern Irish thrash. Miles better than their previous cd. FUN!

16. Tribulation - The Horror. This one hit hard when I first heard it. It's got black metal vox but the music is raging thrash and heavy as hell.

15. Elimination - Destroyed by Creation. UK melodic thrash aping Metallica and Annihilator. Vocals little bit average but songs rule.

14. Hellwitch - Omnipotent Convocation. Most craziest thrash release of the year. Millions upon trillions of riffs equal absolute chaos. Somehow pretty cool!

13. Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Living for Death, Destroying the Rest. I like this band. liked their previous as well. They are very catchy.

12. Fuelblooded - Off The Face Of The Earth. Really chunky, heavy thrash, not speed infested. Good solid headbang!

11. Kreator - Hordes of Chaos. It's Kreator - it has the stamp of quality. This time sounds more retro than the more modern previous disks.

10. Savage Messiah - Insurrection Rising. UK heavy thrash/power mix. Great riffs.

09. Blood Tsunami - Grand Feast for Vultures. Thrash with some black elements but very catchy headbangy riffage all round.

08. Urto - Upside Down. Somewhat technical thrash. Very heavy and crunchy with plenty of grooves.

07. Mutant - Laserdrome EP. Only an EP and still easily makes the top ten. Amazing futuristic thrash with super clean sound. 4 songs that stick like superglue!

06. Artillery - When Death Comes. Heavy as hell power/thrash mix. Great new singer and slamming riffage.

05. Mantic Ritual - Executioner. Reminds or old Metallica. Love the sleek sound which is actually like the old 80s thrash, just updated.

04. Megadeth - Endgame. Not as many hooks as United Abominations but the guitar playing is all round amazing and the production is truly massive. Songs grew on me as well the more I listened.

03. Pitch Black - Hate Division. Liked the band's previous but Hate Division took it to another level. Very aggressive band all round and a monstrous production. Bang your head or die!

02. Evile - Infected Nations. The best UK thrash band! OK Enter the Grave was so so but had potential and this album proves that they really are a top class heavy melodic thrash band. Perfect mix between Metallica and Megadeth and Testament

01. Suicidal Angels - Sanctify the Darkness. I was a big fan of Eternal Domination their previous album but this new one knocked it out of the park! The aggression, playing and massive sound is as good as thrash can ever be in my book. The riffs plain level mountains that's all I can say!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Top 60 death metal albums of the decade

Well I had a good think and looked at a few sources and a few previous lists and came up with my 60 favourite death metal related albums from the noughties. It wasn't easy and I probably might have missed some albums but I tried to look at many albums. Sorry about the lack of Nile albums!!!

60. The Black Dahlia Murder - Unhallowed (2003) - Vicious and rabid melodic death/thrash core.

59. Severe Torture - Misanthropic Carnage (2002) - Europe's answer to da Corpse. Catchy and groovy with some melody.

58. Arch Enemy - Rise of the Tyrant (2007) - My fave of all the AE disks in the last decade.

57. Kalmah - Swampsong (2003) - Top quality keyboard laden melodeath.

56. Eluveitie - Slania (2008) - Top quality Dark Tranquillity worship and even better than the real thing at times.

55. Amon Amarth - With Oden on Our Side (2006) - Love the Vikings.

54. Soilwork - Stabbing the Drama (2005) - I looked at the relevant Soilwork albums and decided I like Stabbing best.

53. Bone Gnawer - Feast of Flesh (2009) - Classic old school death from 09.

52. Redemptor - None Pointless Balance (2005) - Heavy version of Death from Poland. Totally underground and unknown but a great album.

51. Arsis - We are the Nightmare (2008) - Back to form after United in Regret.

50. Callenish Circle - Flesh_Power_Dominion (2002) - Very groovy heavy death/thrash with tons of catchy riffage.

49. Posthumous Blasphemer - Fracture the Worship (2008)- Brutal technical death from Russia. Great sound, great playing.

48. Trepalium - Alchemik Clockwork of Disorder (2006) - Snappy and groovy tech death from France. This year's album was huge disappointing to say the least. Alchemik rules!

47. Deathbringer - Homo Divisus (2007) - Great Death worship from Russia I believe or it could be Ukraine. One of teh best Death worship bands going IMO.

46. Anata - The Conductor's Departure (2006) - Thinking man's tech death with a very intriguing story. You don't get many conceptual death metal albums now do you.

45. Martyr - Feeding the Abscess (2006) - Perhaps my least fave Martyr disk but still worthy of a place in this list.

44. Napalm Death - Enemy Of The Music Business (2000) - Turn of the century and the Grind kings returned to their roots on this album whilst maintaining some of the catchiness that makes Inside the Torn Apart my fave ND album. The Code is Red could also have made the list to be honest.

43. Dark Tranquillity - Damage Done (2002) - I looked at the relevant DT albums and decided Damage Done was the most worthy as I recall.

42. Obscura - Cosmogenesis (2009) - Necrophagist spin off band delivered the goods this year.

41. God Dethroned - Ravenous (2001) - Love the simplicity and evil catchiness on display although this year's Passiondale is not far behind.

40. Revocation - Empire of the Obscene (2008) - Aggressive technical death/thrash with a wicked production. This year's record was inferior.

39. Skyfire - Spectral (2004) - Said a few times that I love Skyfire and Spectral is great.

38. The Faceless - Akeldama (2007) - Akeldama is really good stuff from such a precocious young band. The second album lost some of the warmth and melody of Akeldama but was still good but Akeldama is better for me.

37. Dismal Lapse - Eon Fragmentation (2009) - This year's top death metal disk deserves it's place in the list.

36. Deadborn - Stigma Eternal (2007) - A lot of people were disappointed but I loved this.

35. Vile - Depopulate (2002) - Brutal and groovy standard with a huge thick sound.

34. Devilyn - XI (2005) - This band made huge strides on this record and promptly disappeared again. I love the fat riffs and grooves.

33. Inveracity - Extermination of Millions (2007) - Brutal technical death metal from Greece with a million and one riff style. Intense and catchy!

32. Odious Mortem - Cryptic Implosion (2007) - Again huge strides were made although I liked the previous one as well. This album is top notch tech death with a punishing production. 2010 might see a return who knows.

31. Deeds of Flesh - Of What's to Come (2008) - I like Deeds a lot and was toying with the idea of including the Reduced to Ashes album as well as this but in the end two Deeds albums would be too much. This record was head and shoulders above any of their other releases. Catchy and technical death metal and I love the vocal style as they give great thought with how to fit vocals to the music.

30. Pavor - Furioso (2003) - Underground German death metal mob who quickly disappeared from the radar after this very interesting death metal record which features some of the most amazing bass playing ever heard on a death metal record.

29. Scrambled Defuncts - Hackled in Gore (2005) - Russian tech death with a slightly futuristic twist. Tons of fast riffage and a pinpoint heavy production make this a vast improvement on their previous output. I have just acquired their new album but I doubt it can reach Hackled.

28. The Shattering - The Shattering Begins (2005) - Another of those one and done bands but what a way to come and god. Blisteringly fast whirling tech death. Shame they never made it.

27. Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn (2004) - Been loving da new Corpse since Corpsegrinder took over vocal duties. TWS is one of their catchiest albums and perhaps utilises the most melody they have ever used.

26. Criterion - The Dominant (2005) - Another band that came out of the blue with a great standard death metal record and has promptly disappeared off the death metal radar. This album has loads going for it not least having some amazingly catchy and memorable death metal songwriting rather just blasting away.

25. Decrepit Birth - Diminishing Between Worlds (2008) - Another of those bands that saw the light with a totally unbelievable amount of improvement from the previous record. This record had it all. Technicality, groove and some melody.

24. Omnium Gatherum - Spirits and August Light (2003) - One of the best ever melodic death metal debuts ever. I was bowled over when I first heard this. Shame the band has never been able to reach this standard since.

23. Skyfire - Mind Revolution (2003) - Already said above that I love the band. Love their production and amazing use of melody on this release.

22. Mithras - Behind the Shadows Lie Madness (2007) - Ok I must be the only fan of this band in the whole world. Something about this album just hits the spot with me. Expansive, mind bending death metal with very interesting, conceptual lyrical ideas.

21. Severed Savior - Servile Insurrection (2008) - I liked Brutality is Law a lot but that had no finesse, it was just a case of bash your head in. On Servile Insurrection these guys upped the ante like many on this list and delivered slicker production and a high tech level.

20. Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal (2005) - I have a feeling this is the final Bolties album and if that is indeed the case then it's a great way to go out. It's not the best in their career but Those Once Loyal had the trademarked Bolt Thrower stamp on it and pleased their rather large underground fanbase no end.

19. The Unchallenged - Sceneries (2001) - A great Death worship album and sadly they have never made a follow up disk. Somehow i doubt it can better Sceneries as this was a great record.

18. Quo Vadis - Day Into Night (2000) - The most catchiest of their catalogue and therefore the most worthy of being in the list.

17. Spawn of Possession - Noctambulant (2006) - A great album of technical death metal with a more polished and solo filled sound than than their masterpiece Cabinet album. Another candidate for a 2010 comeback?

16. Anata - Under a Stone With No Inscription (2004) - I remember when this came out I played it to death literally. A death metal album with catchy riffs and enough technicality to keep the listener busy.

15. Sceptic - Pathetic Being (2001) - Easily the best Sceptic album by a mile but Mr. Frank will disagree of course but he's nuts! The only problem with this brilliant technical and melodic death metal record are the vocals which are annoying as hell to my ears.

14. Decapitated - Winds of Creation (2000) - Incendiary debut from these kids from Poland. Tight as hell technical death with groovy parts galore.

13. Capharnaum - Fractured (2004) - One off tech death album which featured Matt Heafy (Trivium) of all people. People moaned about the hardcore vocals but it wasn't that annoying for me as I recall which is a miracle in itself as I normally detest hardcore vocals. Musically a great whirling and wild tech death machine.

12. Gory Blister - Art Bleeds (2003) - One of the best Death worship albums ever, right down to the vocals as well. Chuck would have sued if he was alive!

11. Throne of Chaos - Menace And Prayer (2000) - One of my fave melodeath albums ever. Really enjoyable for me this Bodom clone.

10. Arsis - A Celebration of Guilt (2004) - Melodic death metal extravaganza which they haven't quite been able to match. Although the melodic aspect of the band is more or less been completely abandoned for more thrashy and technical waters. On this album the energy and the blazing riffs are worth the admission alone.

9. Martyr - Warp Zone (2000) - I think I am alone in liking Hopeless Hopes more than this but that was the previous decade. This album was blessed with a superb and clinical sound and huge, wow factor riff work which make it an easy top tenner.

8. Cannibal Corpse - Kill (2006) - Kill really hit the spot in terms of catchiness and brutality. Some of these songs could be Top 40 hits! Ok maybe not...

7. Gorod - Leading Vision (2006) - France's number one tech death band with a brilliant tech death release. Neurotripsicks was also good and was very close to being on my list also but Leading Vision is the better record in my opinion.

6. Kalmah - They Will Return (2002) - This album from the Kalmah catalogue particularly hit the spot for me. The production was more polished than the debut and the songs were insanely catchy.

5. Amon Amarth - Versus the World (2002) - My fave AA album. Pure and simple chest beating odes to crushing your enemies!

4. Spawn of Possession - Cabinet (2003) - A brilliant record as I recall. I haven't played in an age but these guys are true tech death metal masters.

3. Psycroptic - The Scepter of the Ancients (2003) - The later Psycroptic albums cannot even come close to how good this disk is. This is a bona fide classic of slamming groovy tech death.

2. Necrophagist - Epitaph (2004) - The kings of tech death do deliver what they are the best in the world at. If they release in 2010 people will be salivating at the mouth for it which normally leads to disappointment. However given the talent of Muhammed and co, I think we can rest assured that if by some miracle this record sees the light of day, it will kick all kinds of ass!

1. Decapitated - Nihility (2002) - And finally the number one death metal disk of the decade from the young Polish death dealers. This album went to a whole new level after the great debut. This release had it all as far as I was concerned. It wasn't a massive technical feast, but it was the perfect marriage between the catchy riff and the technical aspect which kept the songs so vibrant. The production was immense as well. It's a shame that the following albums moved further and further away from this sound and finally a tragic accident stopped the band in their tracks. Though they are apparently now back in action and let's hope that one day they can recapture the vibes on Nihility. All in all a perfect death metal record. Like a gleaming, sleek death metal song machine!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Top 50 death metal albums of 2009

I have to admit that this year's death metal list is not quite as good as previous years. I still enjoy many of the releases this year but I'd be hard pushed to say that many of the albums here will get many plays from me in the future. The only thing I will say that old school death metal definitely came to the fore again even more so than last year. The thing with death metal is that bands keep going doing their thing whilst mostly ignoring any prevailing trends. Anyway here is my top 50 list in reverse order.

50. Chaos Inception - Collision With Oblivion
A regular death metal album of the type that I like but don't love. It's clean death metal and not too brutal and pretty catchy.

49. Gory Blister - Graveyard of Angels
Clean technical death metal merchants return but once again they've dumbed down the technicality which is not a good move in my opinion. Makes the list almost by default but I really expected more from this band.

48. Necrocest - Prenatal Massacre
UK brutal goredeath troop aping Cannibal Corpse. Decent and very sick.

47. Paganizer - Scandinavian Warmachine
One of the first batch of old school death metal machines. Good stuff but there are better.

46. Demonical - Hellsworn
This one is demonic indeed. Another old school death troop this time with extremely killer guitar sound. Songs not that special but that production is wicked as hell.

45. Graveyard - One With the Dead
Yep it's old school death. Again not that memorable song wise but the whole thing has a fair deal going for it.

44. Jungle Rot - What Horrors Await.
Massive sounding old school death rock very much in the Six Feet Under vein. Huge production on this beast. Catchy too!

43. Suffocation - Blood Oath
Actually a touch disappointing to be perfectly honest but it still has a lot of quality from this seminal and much loved death metal pioneer. Solid but not earth shattering.

42. Mass Infection - The Age of Recreation
Catchy standard death metal with hints of melody here and there. Just a cool death metal album.

41. Derelict - Unspoken Words
Somewhat melodic thrashy death with some influence from Death in the riffs. Reasonably enjoyable stuff.

40. Daath - The Concealers
Heavy as hell death metal with punishing aggro production. I tire a touch of the songs as I recall but still the band is very brutal and yet groovy.

39. Punish - Raptus
Clean heavy death/black mix. Lots and lots of riffs in this band so it never gets too boring.

38. Rise - Pentagramnation
Great standard death metal release. Very catchy and groovy with some melody as well.

37. Dying Fetus - Descend Into Depravity
Brutal technical death metal from scene stalwarts. Fast as a bullet and pretty sick stuff. Could do with a little more memorability but these guys know what death metal is all about.

36. Murder Therapy - Symmetry of Delirium
A new band mixing fast technical death metal with Meshuggah styled chugging. The Mesh parts are not my cup of tea but the main riff sections are outstandingly aggressive and brutal with a monstrous production.

35. Arterial Pressure - Shadow's Embrace
Imagine a thrashy version of Death's Leprosy album and you have Arterial Pressure. Pretty cool though imperfect.

34. Tardy Brothers - Bloodline
This sounds like a masterpiece compared to Obituary's disk from this year. I prefer this by miles. Cooler tunes, great roars and killer solos.

33. Revolting - Dreadful Pleasures
Yet another old school death machine. Good production and catchy riffs.

32. Revocation - Existence Is Futile
Technical death/trash with pristine sound. I was actually hoping for a lot more from this release and even at position 32 I am slightly disappointed. When it's good though it reaches excellence but something is not quite right with this release.

31. The Black Dahlia Murder - Deflorate
I'm no deathcore fan but TBDM is more thrashy melodic death on this release. The guitar riffs are great and have lots of melody and the vocals don't annoy that much.

30. Reciprocal - st
Pretty brutal technical death metal with a savage production. Unrelenting badness.

29. Centaurus A - Side Effects Expected
Long awaited technical death album finally surfaces and while it is very good it's still not as spectacular as I was hoping. These guys are great players though no doubt.

28. Skyfire - Esoteric
I think I love everything Skyfire have ever done. They are my favourite melodic death band of recent times so I was anticipating this release impatiently. So finally I am a little bit disappointed in this release. A band like Skyfire would expect to place higher than 28 in my list knowing my love for them. This is a good solid melodic death album with cool riffs but not something to get over excited about in the end.

27. Dark Age - Acedia
This is a slight surprise. A very good melodic death release with clean vocals as well and a stellar production.

26. Septycal Gorge - Erase The Insignificant
Italian brutal, slammy tech death. Production is a touch murky for my taste but the riffs rule. Twisted and mental and very much for the deranged death metal fan.

25. Vader - Necropolis
Deserves it's place on production alone almost. Sounds like a ton of bricks slamming on your head. Steamrollering riffage and the great vokills of Piotr. The Polish deliver the ultimate deathkill.

24. Disinfect - Screams of Pleasure
Regular brutal death but very well played and executed. Solid beating is what these guys deliver in a pinpoint crisp production.

23. Pathology - Age of Onset
Pathological and clinical death metal. Well played and very clinical execution. A touch monotonous but still a very brutal album and decent production as well.

22. Ignominious Incarceration - Of Winter Born
UK melodic tech death with some breakdowns but mainly a top class melodic tech death band. Great production too and very tight riffing to sink your teeth into.

21. Debauchery - Rockers and War
Part death and part rock but still with death metal vocals but just a whole lot of fun in my eyes. I enjoy both dimensions of the band.

20. Blood Red Throne - Souls Of Damnation
Mostly top class death metal with the odd black metal blast. The band is very professional sounding with a pristine production. Chunky and fast riffage with memorable tunes.

19. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Oracles
Symphonic technical brutal death from Italy. It reminds me of last year's Posthumous Blasphemer album in scope. The sound is think and very crisp with layer upon layer of music. Interesting expansive epic death metal.

18. Never - Back to the Front
Thrashy melodic death metal very much aping Arch Enemy with a few Death riffs mixed in. The solos and production are also very epic. There is not much difference between this and the Decadence album. If you like one you'll like the other.

17. Man Must Die - No Tolerance For Imperfection
A huge leap in quality for this Scottish band this time. The drum work on this album is the best I've heard all year. The riffing ain't shabby either!

16. Decadence - Chargepoint
Only recently heard this but it deserves it's position and could be higher with further plays. Melodic thrashy death somewhere between Arch Enemy and Death. The guitar work and solos are so polished and melodic that on that basis alone they make the list.

15. God Dethroned - Passiondale
After a couple of mediocre releases they returned to form in a big way this time with this concept album about World War One. Very interesting musical passages in this album.

14. Cerebrum - Spectrum Extravagance
One of the year's best tech death releases. Nice production and ever changing riffs. Good stuff.

13. Parallaxis - Psychotronic Poetry
A Death influenced band that never speeds up at all. The riffing and grooving is very impressive. The dual vocal style is ok but the guttural cricket churps are a bit lame in my opinion.

12. Gorod - Process of a New Decline
A step down from the brilliant leading Vision but still one of the best tech death bands in the world today.

11. Napalm Death - Time Waits For No Slave
Raging hard like they were at the start of their career. The songs are as vicious as ever and the older they get the angrier they get. Napalm are also the only band who mixes punk and hardcore within the death metal framework and makes it sound damn good. Long live Napalm Death!

10. Scar Symmetry - Dark Matter Dimensions
This band is very loosely termed death metal but heck they still make it in as this is hands down a great record. The melodic vocals are top class and very catchy whilst the music stays true to their previous efforts. Great band and a great album after the loss of their charismatic singer.

9. Angel of Disease - Hypercube
Death worship band delivers a great effort here. Melodic riffs ala Chuck aplenty. Production could have been better and the vocals are a touch annoying but it can be overlooked.

8. Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
The Corpse continues delivering the killing death metal. Perhaps featuring a slightly less catchy style than the Kill album. Still a great production as always and Corpsegrinder does the business on the mic.

7. Requiem - Infiltrate Obliterate Dominate
A big surprise with this band delivering a great death metal album. The playing is top notch as is the production. The music is simple but executed with great precision. Top class death metal!

6. Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre
I wasn't sure about the Pestilence at first. Like many people, I was expecting more technical music but having put those expectations aside, I found a top notch death metal album with a massive sound. A number of the songs are very catchy indeed in their repetition of simple pounding riffs and bestial roars from Mameli. This album grew on me loads and hence it's high placing in the top ten.

5. Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude
A one man slamming tech death machine that goes by the name of Insidious Decrepancy! The riffs on this beast of a record are very damn groovy and catchy indeed. Even though a drum machine is utilised, the sound is very acceptable and real drums are not missed. The production has room for improvement but the mix between mosh slams and tech blasts is perfect on this record.

4. Obscura - Cosmogenesis
The Necrophagist spin off band finally released their slab of crazy technical death metal and it wasn't disappointing in the least. It had a whole host of crazy riffage and a polished sound. In the absence of the kings of tech death, Necrophagist, Obscura took the bull by the horns and delivered the goods.

3. Bone Gnawer - Feast of Flesh
The year's best old school death metal album by a mile and it had stiff competition! Rogga Jonnson and Massacre Legend Kam Lee really outdid themselves on this release. Rogga is the king of old scool death and he really pulled out all the stops this time. The songs are simplistic as hell but both the production and catchiness is through the roof. I hope they make another Bone Gnawer record although I know they have already made The Grotesquery album which I haven't heard yet.

2. Mindwork - Into The Swirl
Out of the Czech Republic comes the world's best Cynic worship band. They really deliver a great sounding record. There are also some Death riffs but a lot of Cynic vibe by and large. The underground in death metal is where some of the best music resides and this proves it.

1. Dismal Lapse - Eon Fragmentation
This is a major surprise for me. My favourite death metal album of the year is by Dismal Lapse and I sure as hell wasn't expecting something this good that's for sure. The technical aspect has increased tremendously since their reasonable EP from 2008 and the production values have shot through the roof. Everything about this release is awesome. I love the aggression on the vocals and the superbly sharp clinical guitar riffs. A juggernaut of a record in a slightly pedestrian year for death metal.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Disaster! Catastrophe! Tragedy!!

My friggin' laptop decided to take a massive crap the other night and I have been computer-less since. Now me without access to the net at any moment is liking going cold turkey from the baddest heroin and crack cocaine snowball you can imagine! I don't know what the fuck happened but it was damn serious and my attempts to fix it have not been fruitful at all as yet. I have lost all my files at the moment.

Google has revealed what the problem is and the solutions but alas even with that knowledge in hand I have not been able to fix out this nightmare as yet. There are still avenues open and all may not be totally lost but at the moment it looks bleak. Really lame time to be without a computer as well as it's damn cold and I don't want to go out and being without the net is not great at all! Oh well I have to suck it up at the mo, got no choice. Maybe get a new laptop but a friggin' shitty stoke of luck. My laptop was working fine and dandy and then death...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Sabaton Live Report

My 16th and final gig of the year last night and what a way to end! I would guess the attendance was around 400 or so maybe a little bit more which is pretty great for the Sabs. First time they came which I missed, there were apparently barely 50 people at the show, but things have improved tremendously for them and they have a pretty much solid fan base here in the uk now. Last night was a round off gig for a 19 date UK tour as support for Dragonforce. A tour which I actually missed but apparently they've been going down a storm throughout and often outplaying the Dragons.

First we had two support bands. Malefice is a melodic deathcore band. Not bad but not what Saba fans are after. What was funny was the singer realised this and made some funny comments from the stage about all of us not turning up to see them obviously. Second band was Panic Cell who are a melodic vocal led Brit straight heavy metal troop. A sort of modern take on NWOBHM if you will. Not bad stuff and they got quite a few people going. They also have quite an amiable frontman. They have a new album coming out and I will check it out.

Finally at 9.20 the Swedish war machine came on and after the Sun Tzu Says intro and then straight into Ghost Division with full force. The sound was much cleaner and crisper than for the other bands and even though the band was on the last night of a long UK trek, they still were fully energised. Joacim was wearing his usual shades and metal plated vest and the others were headbanging with complete abandon. The bass player always makes me smile. That dude just seems like the happiest guy to ever walk the earth. He just never ever stops smiling which is somehow very infectious when you look at his face.

Joacim said that last night was the best crowd of the whole tour and that when we sang The Art of War chorus we were louder than the monitors and he couldn't hear the actual band playing! The crowd just can't get enough of the Sabaton boys it seems these days. The crowd was almost rabid for them with fists and Joacim himself was going absolutely mental. He actually mentioned that he was slightly losing his voice with over belting it out. back in Control was dedicated to all of us as it's about our little island regaining the Falklands and having promised to play it at Bloodstock they ballsed it up and now they made amends with a searing ultra fast version. My fave song of the night almost but all of them are so good. I missed Union and Talvisota from Art of War which I absolutely love but I don't think they ever play that live and also Counterstrike was missed from Primo Victoria plus an old tune Hail to The King which is one of my faves, but I don't have too much complaint about the setlist. They played for roughly 70 minutes which was not bad at all. Great night from the greatest power metal band in the world. Setlist was as follows but not exactly in that order.

Sun Tzu Says
Ghost Division
The Art Of War
Cliffs of Gallipoli
Attero Dominatus
The Price of a Mile
Nuclear Attack
Back in Control
A Light in the Black
Primo Victoria
Panzer Battalion
Into the Fire
Metal Machine / Metal Crüe

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Top 50 songs of 2009!

Yes that's right. These are my favourite songs from the year. I could happily add another 50 but that's maybe overkill for posting on a blog a bit. I might well make myself an mp3 disk with these tunes and more for future plays to remind me of what another great year 2009 was for melodic metal and rock music. So here is my list in reverse order:

50. Megadeth - The Right to go Insane
49. Jorn - Road of the Cross
48. House of Lords - Cartesian Dreams
47. Darkology - Violent Vertigo
46. Foreigner - When it Comes to Love
45. Sinister Realm - Message From Beyond
44. Spin Gallery - Just A Momentary Why
43. Nine-t-nine - Sandy
42. Renegade Five - Memories
41. On The Rise - Dream Zone
40. Tyr - Hold the Heathen Hammer High
39. Mama Kin - In The City
38. Decyfer Down - Fading
37. Creed - Overcome
36. Hammerfall - Any Means Necessary
35. Jorn - World Gone Mad
34. Lions Share - Napalm Nights
33. Impellitteri - Wicked Maiden
32. Bloodbound - Dominion 5
31. W.E.T. - One Love
30. Nine-t-nine - Caught in a Trap
29. Kings of Modesty - Never Touched The Rainbow
28. Megadeth - Head Crusher
27. Renegade Five - Shadows
26. Praying Mantis - Lonely Way Home
25. Free Spirit - Cry of an Eagle
24. W.E.T. - I'll Be There
23. Mastodon - Oblivion
22. On The Rise - Lifeline
21. Scar Symmetry - Noumenon And Phenomenon
20. Mutant - The Rauncher
19. Grand Design - Piece of the Action
18. W.E.T. - Brothers In Arms
17. Danger Danger - Killin' Love
16. Nural - Surefire
15. Creed - Suddenly
14. Leverage - Rider of Storm
13. Creed - On My Sleeve
12. AOR - Desperate Dreams
11. Impellitteri - Eyes of an Angel
10. Powerwolf - Panic in the Pentagram
9. Leverage - Movie Gods
8. Danger Danger - Ghost Of Love
7. Place Vendome - A Scene in Replay
6. Creed - Fear
5. Place Vendome - Streets of Fire
4. Powerwolf - Raise Your Fist Evangelist
3. Danger Danger - Hearts on the Highway
2. Place Vendome - Dancer

and my favourite song of the is the most over the top and cheesiest lyrically speaking but what a bloody great song it is. Simply outrageously catchy!

1. Powerwolf - Resurrection by Erection

16th and final gig of the year

I am off to see literally my fave band in all of thw world right now. Yes I'm seeing the all conquering Sabaton for the third time tonight. Sure to be great even though it is on a horrible freezing Sunday at that. My previous 15 gigs this year were as follows. I started off like a house on fire but it's slowly petered out as I lost some of my enthusiasm for live music towards the end of the year. But for Sabaton I make an exception!

Edguy - 10 Jan
Don Airey - 14 Jan
Shinedown - 21 Jan
Lordi - 12 Feb
Priest/Megadeth/Testament - 21 Feb
Hammerfall - 1 Mar
Hardcore Superstar - 12 Mar
H.E.A.T - 18 Mar
Testament - 25 Mar
Evile - 23 April
Bonded by Blood - 10 May
Anvil - 11 June
AC/DC - 26 June
Praying Mantis - 5 Aug
Dream Theater - 10 Oct

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Top 50 albums of the Noughties

So before I post all my 2009 lists in both melodic metal and death metal, I decided it would be fun to try and figure out a top 50 albums for the decade. Now this was quite difficult for me and it's more than possible I might have missed something out that would otherwise have made the list however I am happy to let this list go to print. Stay tuned for the end of year lists but for now here in reverse order are my top 50 albums of the noughties!

50. Axenstar - Far From Heaven
The Swedes best album. Full of great melodies and vocals.

49. Sphinx - Paraiso en la Eternidad
Only foreign language album to make the list. Very underrated Spanish Maiden sounding record. Great vocals and memorable songs.

48. Elwing - War
Greek battle metal troop deliver a vast improvement on their previous album. Sounding like a mix between Running Wild and Grave Digger. Highly underrated for me and a worthy addition to the list.

47. Phoenix Rizing - The Eternal Crusade
The band is now known as Highland Glory and still good but when they were called Phoenix Rizing they release a superb melodic power metal album in The Eternal Crusade. Very much aping Hammerfall circa Legacy of Kings which is one of my fave power metal albums of all times.

46. Bal Sagoth - Atlantis Ascendant
The Power Cosmic and Battle Magic are actually my two favourite Bal Sagoth albums but they were released in the previous decade but AA is also a very worthy record. Full of great instrumentation and Byron's madcap lyrical genius. The melodies are there in abundance and the title track is one of the most amazing the band have ever penned.

45. Throne of Chaos - Menace and Prayer
A mostly unknown and unheralded debut from this Finnish Bodom clone band but what a debut it is. I easily like it better than any Bodom disk. The production as I recall is a touch thin but the music is really outstanding. Just a fantastic set of riffs and melodies with the typical scratchy vocals.

44. Necrophagist - Epitaph
I like the debut Necrophagist album a little better but this is still a tech death metal masterpiece and one of the best death metal albums ever released.

43. Dream Evil - United
Many great CDs under their belts but their last one just had it all for me. A great band that despite numerous line-up changes just keeps delivering the metal as you would expect it!

42. Wolf - st
In my opinion an underrated album of classic Maiden worship. Sure all their albums are pretty good but for some reason I have immense love for their debut release.

41. TNT - My Religion
The last disk with Tony Harnell and what a way to depart with a superb set of summery melodic rock songs.

40. Danger Danger - Revolve
I was never into DD much before this album but I'm now totally won over. Just a fantastic set of tunes that could have been even higher on the list

39. Impellitteri - Wicked Maiden
Rob Rock re-enters the fray and voila we have a melodic shred metal masterpiece on our hands.

38. Iron Mask - Hordes of the Brave
Led by guitar wiz Dushan Petrossi, Iron Mask really made a brilliant record here of neo-classical shred power metal with some hard rock tendencies as well. Great powerhouse vocals to boot

37. Nightwish - Wishmaster
Personally I like Oceanborn more but Wishmaster is the companion disk to that one so is a worthy addition on the list.

36. Astral Doors - Of the Son and the Father
The debut AD disk is a real rocker with tons of cool tunes and especially Slay The Dragon which would almost win a song of the decade competition.

35. Rob Rock - Garden of Chaos
A great solo album from Rob here. He is the voice of melodic metal as far as I'm concerned. Very glad he is back with Impellitteri

34. Axel Rudi Pell - Mystica
Axel has been churning out great albums all decade long and this is probably my favourite of the bunch and Johnny Gioeli is a hard rock vocal great.

33. Megadeth - The System Has Failed
The come back 'deth record has more melodies than the more thrashier albums that followed which I also enjoy. Great comeback from Dave after his troubles although they were never actually away all that long.

32. Sabaton - Attero Dominatus
Usual story from the Saba Panzer Division. Great stuff.

31. Brocas Helm - Defender of the Crown
Quirky and classic sounding trad metal featuring some of their older hits re-recorded and loads of new tracks. They sound like a more crazy Maiden with unique nasal vocals. Awesome band!

30. Mystic Prophecy - Regressus
My fave MP album although all of them are damn good. This one hit the spot more than most as I recall.

29. Saxon - Lionheart
My fave latter day Saxon disk featuring a myriad of great tunes especially the awesome title track.

28. Halford - Resurrection
The comeback disk from the metal god in the year 2000. An extremely strong effort!

27. Eclispe - Are You Ready to Rock?
A fantastic melodic rock record with tons of energy and songs that breathe fire.

26. Bloodbound - Nosferatu
Great Maiden fixated debut with tunes that stuck like super glue.

25. Nocturnal Rites - Grand Illusion
Probably my fave latter day NR album.

24. Kamelot - The Black Halo
Easily the best Kamelot album. Great vocals from Khan and epic songs.

23. Helloween - Gambling With the Devil
After a few so so albums after The Dark Ride, Helloween made a huge effort with this release. More speed orientated than before and heavier as well. Great stuff.

22. Wintersun - st
The debut album from the ex Ensiferum man is a work of absolute genius if you ask me. Epic sweeping melodies riddle with a cold atmosphere. Where in god's name is the second album? Are you Guns 'n Roses in disguise?

21. Masterplan - st
A brilliant debut album with Jorn at the helm and the second was awesome too.

20. Jorn - Worldchanger
A great record from the vocal god Jorn. Memorable tunes all over the shop.

19. Astral Doors - Astralism
Yet another killer from AD, what else can one say.

18. House of Lords - Come to my Kingdom
Melodic rock at it's very best with a set of songs that engrave themselves on your brain. Great vocals from James Christian as per usual.

17. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full of Fire
Melodic rock/AOR masterclass with songs that will send you dizzy. The debut is also ace but i slightly prefer the follow up.

16. Place Vendome - Streets of Fire
The debut was great but this follow up is just something else. Kiske delivers a knock out performance and the songs are just amazing

15. Firewind - Between Heaven and Hell
The debut Firewind album is perhaps their heaviest. Featuring the brilliantly powerful vocals of Stephen Frederick.

14. Sabaton - Primo Victoria
A rip roaring power metal album with anthems galore about 20th century war.

13. Lost Horizon - Awakening the World
Many people prefer the debut to the follow up but for me it's easily the other way although the debut in itself is something to behold as it hits like a ton of bricks.

12. Thunder Rider - Tales of Darkness and Light Chapter II
Totally left field and epic underground metal here from this obscure Canadian bunch. I just totally love the songs here and especially the totally brilliant and bizarre vocals of John Blackwing the band leader. I should play this more often!

11. Alter Bridge - Blackbird
Another modern rock entry of outstanding depth from ex Creed guys with the soaring vocals of Myles Kennedy. Worth it for the totally mesmerising title track alone.

10. Rage - Soundchaser
Probably my fav Rage album ever. Just a great bunch of tunes and very heavy to boot.

9. Firewind - The Premonition
Firecracker shredding power metal with awesome vocals and songs to die for.

8. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness
A very high entry for this modern rock combo who made an astonishing album last year. Superb vocals and a massive production help elevate this record to some serious epic highs in terms of memorable song writing.

7. Helloween - The Dark Ride
My favourite Helloween album although Gambling is not far behind. Just a great bunch of tunes and not so happy anymore!

6. Astral Doors - Evil is Forever
My fave AD disk featuring many songs that give me huge goosebumps with the legendary vocals of NPJ of course.

5. Powerwolf - Bible of the Beast
Probably my second favourite power metal act behind Sabaton. This year's Bible is a hammer of gigantic proportions.

4. Wuthering Heights - Far From the Madding Crowd
Wonderful folky power metal band with the amazing vocals of Nils Patrick Johannsson who also appears on the list with Astral Doors of course.

3. Sabaton - The Art of War
Their best album for me and the others also make the list so you can see how highly I rate this band. Probably my favourite power metal band in the world today

2. Falconer - st
A superlative and wondrous melodic power metal debut with awesome baritone vocals and songs to remember till your dying day.

1. Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath
A monument of epic self empowering melodic power metal with Godlike vocals from Daniel Heiman. Can't be bettered in my book!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Creed - Full Circle

Now this album has taken me by complete surprise. I am a massive fan of Alter Bridge and when I heard that Creed were getting back together for an album and tour I was a bit disappointed as I thought it might be the end of AB. Well they soon announced that AB would continue once Creed had run it's course of touring.

Now the previous Creed material was so so to say the least so I didn't really hold out much hope for the new CD. Now that I've heard the whole thing I am completely bowled over. This is an amazingly strong modern rock record. Scott Stapp's vocals are top notch and the rest of the band is on top notch form especially Mark Tremonti's crunching riffs and solos. Here's my song by song review.

1. Overcome - A monstrously great start. Heavy riffing and Stapp singing magnificently over the top. The chorus on this beast of a heavy and melodic song stays forever. 9/10

2. Bread of Shame - This song is the heaviest on the record by far. It almost has a crunching nu-metal feel to it. I wasn't sure about this song at first but it's slowly been growing on me. The chorus is not immediately magical but starts to nag away at you after a few plays. An extremely heavy song though for a band like Creed. 7/10

3. A Thousand Faces - The first of the great powerful ballads on this awesome album. Acoustic start with Stapp crooning before guitars join in and Stapp gets more aggressive in the chorus which is supremely emotional and catchy. This song could easily grace an Alter Bridge album. The melodies from Stapp are so powerful and in your face. I love the harmony vocals behind the chorus parts immensely. 9/10

4. Suddenly - This song has a nice heavy riff before the main verses use a groove riff which reminds me of Disturbed quite a bit and Stapp soon goes into the chorus and what a gem it is. The 'suddenly' refrains stay in your mind and send chills up your spine. The riffing in this song is ace and add that to the amazing vocal acrobatics you have the first 10/10 of the album.

5. Rain - This one is a soft acoustic led song and could possibly be a huge single for the band with it's commercial feel and hit appeal. The chorus gets electrified and the melody is totally engrossing. The lyrics are sentimental but the melody is very hard to resist and Stapp sings it magnificently. 9/10

6. Away In Silence - The third balladic song in a row and you would think a heavy rocker was in order, but with this level of quality I don't miss the heaviness at all. Stapp's voice is absolutely wonderful on this song. Emotional to the point of bringing a lump to your throat. The lyrics are very heavy and sad. The line "If my life is the price, then my life it will cost" is sung with such heartfelt power and emotion like it's really meant to the nth degree. 9/10

7. Fear - Ok after the three ballads a heavy song had to arrive and what a song it is! A superbly heavy and crunching groove riff like something Metallica would write on the black album. The songs verse is somewhat laid back and doesn't let on to the glorious parts to come on. The chorus an impassioned plea to keep rocking as you never know when it might all end. This chorus is truly sung with amazing power and catchiness. The riff behind it is so cool and catchy and Scott Stapp sings it with great tone. The song builds to a heavy as hell end with even more aggression before a quiet little bridge before finally ending with the full on massive chorus once again. I love this song it friggin' rocks like a bastard! 10/10

8. On My Sleeve - The emotion and power in this song is almost draining when I listen to it. An acoustic start with Scott's usual crooning and wonderful melodies and poignant lyrics before the chorus goes full on electrified. This chorus could be the best the album has to offer. The "My heart is tattooed on my sleeve...." line is sung with so much passion that he feels like he's about to burst a blood vessel! The emotion just pours out from every pore in this moving and amazingly catchy song. 10/10

9. Full Circle - The title track is up next and starts up with a slight country flavour before the usual full on electric chorus kicks in. The melody is again very nice but doesn't hit you as quickly as the other songs. The song has a very nice playful feel to it with still a great vocal performance from Stapp. The song gradually builds in heaviness with Stapp really singing aggressively towards the end which sounds damn cool. A slow building song but sure to get under your skin before long. 8/10

10. Time - The usual acoustic and mellow start with Stapp doing his usual smooth vocals and this time the song stays in acoustic mode during the chorus. The chorus itself is yet another heart rending marriage of emotional melody and the little bit of grit in Stapp's voice which makes it such a pleasure to listen to. The song progresses to a heavier end and we have another huge song on our hands. 9/10

11. Good Fight - Another moody and acoustic start with the electric instruments soon joining in for the chorus which has a soaring edge to it and sung very powerfully by Stapp. It's not an immediate chorus but decent enough with plenty of power behind it. The guitar is super heavy and grinding during the mid section before a typically awesome Tremonti solo steels the show once again. This is a slow and heavy song, drenched in aggression. 7/10

12. The Song You Sing- Finally we reach the final song and it's a glorious gem. The melody and the somewhat interesting lyrics are to die for. The chorus melody is something precious with it's simplicity and catchiness. A great end to a fantastic modern rock record. 9/10

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Playing the 'mickeys' today

Yes it's one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures on the football calendar later on today. United go deep into the Lion's den looking for some sort of revenge after the utter trouncing they gave us in our own backyard towards the end of last year. That 4-1 hammering wasn't very nice of them was it!

United did manage to fall over the line and win the league but losing 4-1 to your bitter rivals on your own patch is rather hard to swallow indeed. Liverpool have lost 4 games on the trot and perhaps they are due a result today which irks me somewhat. Still if we perform well and not get beat I'll be happy enough. A win is a bonus. Roll on kick off!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

W.E.T. WOW!!!

Absolutely jaw droppingly incredible melodic rock release!!

What a friggin cd this is. I must must must must buy immediately once it's out for purchase properly. This is a project between 1 member from Work Of Art, 1 member from Eclipse and 1 member from Talisman, hence W.E.T.

The Talisman part is voiced by the legend Jeff Scott Soto so you know you are guaranteed killer melodic vocals with edge. Now Eclipse released an amazing record last year as did Work of Art so I was expecting huge things from this with Jeff singing and my expectations have been SURPASSED!!!!

This is unreal. The Forsi melodic hype machine is in overdrive baby!!!

The songs are truly orgasmic and Jeff sounds the best he has ever done, weaving some totally incredible melodies around your head. If you are a fan of melodic rock/AOR you will fall in love with this in a nano second. This is plain awesome. Now I have to decide how I can compare this to Place Vendome to see what is my numero uno melodic rock/AOR disk of the year. I didn't think PV could be challenged but W.E.T. have gatecrashed that one horse race and then some. It's a toughie! I will write a song by song review soon once I've digested the songs a bit more.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Dream Theater Live Report

Got in around 7pm and Bigelf were playing as I walked in. They sounded ok. Warm, fuzzy, heavy prog rock played by very 70s spaced out looking people. I saw about 4 songs. Portnoy got on the drums for one of their songs. I had already missed Unexpect but not a massive loss for me as I don't get their brand of technical weirdness. Mind you it would have been cool to see if they can pull it off live, anyway I didn't lose any sleep over it.

Next it was Opeth or Odear as I called them last night. They bored me shitless. The sound was less than good for them when they played the heavier songs. I listened to about 3 songs and I thought fuck this for a game of soldiers - I'm going for a pint and a hot dog. So I went for a little walk round to the other side of the arena and poppped my head in to see that Odear were still on stage .......yaaaaaaawwwwnnnnn. (Sorry Opeth fans they bored me badly)

Finally they left and the roadies got the stage ready for DT behind a large black curtain which meant you couldn't actually see what they were doing. At 9.15 their intro started playing, being a DT first timer and non DT fan I didn't really know what to expect but have heard so many good things about their live performance. The thing is I don't listen to DT much at all but when I listen it's quite enjoyable. Anyway as the show started the sound was way way better than it was for Odear. Much crisper and clearer. I can't even tell you exactly what songs they played well apart from the encore which was Count of Tuscany and the best song of the night no doubt. I must say the live James Labrie experience is much much better than the one on plastic. The guy is a supreme live prog metal singer, sounding much much more powerful than I was expecting. Petrucci and the keys guy whose name I forget were both great. The bassman Myung was ace too and Portnoy was solid as well.

I think enjoyed the over the top progressive jam session parts best of all with the band members really playing tighter than the proverbial nun's whatsit. The drum solo section was a bit too much though lol. Portnoy called each individual drummer from the other three groups out to jam with him on his ginormous kit and then finally all four of them were bashing away! Now if you've seen his drum kit you'll know that it's like a spaceship landed at the front of the arena or something. It's really massive so four guys sitting at it was not really a problem but that part probably took up 15-20 minutes of the set when we could have done with a Pull Me Under or something a song which was sadly omitted. I guess they are sick of playing it but being a first timer I would have liked to hear it.

Anyway the 5000 or so metalheads of various ages were well happy with their heroes as DT took a final bow and the show ended at 10.50. So now I have "wanting to catch DT live" out of system I doubt I will go again. They were damn great and professional as hell, but the ticket price prohibits me in general from wanting to see them again. I will leave that to the fanboys and trust me they were out in full force last night. Speaking of the crowd I must say that DT attracts some of the most varied crowds I have ever seen at a metal show. You get absolutely all sorts of folks there. From professor looking types to 12-13 year old fanboys to black metal fans and even a few goths and a lot of regular looking people who don't probably normally attend metal shows. I guess DT music can appeal to anyone really which is all the more credit to them.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dream Theater Live

Well I haven't posted for a while as nothing much's been happening. I missed a couple of gigs due to a number of reasons though mainly lack of motivation. Finally I've decided to break the non gigging cycle with a visit to Dream Theater at Wembley in a couple of weeks. It will be my first time seeing the legends of prog metal. Can't say I am any kind of massive DT fan but I think it's worth a bash to see them live finally. Opeth is the main support plus Bigelf and Unexpect.

Still digging the hell out of the Danger Danger disk. New Redemption and Voyager are the two latest awesome albums I've heard. Both of them are bloody great to tell the truth.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Final Bank Holiday of 2009

Well it's Sunday morning and we've had the first day of the long weekend. It wasn't a great day yesterday at all as I lost a fair whack on the football. Ipswich being the main culprits with their inability to score against 10 man Preston for the whole of the second half. Frigging Tractor boys! Anyway I guess I just need to slow down a bit. It's very hard to win on football and you need loads of luck. I actually got some money back from my HT/FT bet of Arsenal to lead at HT and United to win by FT at 22/1 but I only had a measly pound on it! D'oh! Every time I bet small I win, and big bets always lose.

On the metal front well been getting a little excited for the new Megadeth cd. The four leaked tracks are crushers and one of them is even called Head Crusher so there you go. I ordered it from HMV along with the new Evile. I downloaded the new Evile and it's a blast of a heavy thrash record. It's got real balls that album has. These Northern Brit thrash merchants have really stepped it up after the merely respectable debut. This time the power and vibe is immense making for a great metal album with power to spare. So I look forward to those two bad boys arriving.

Another thrash band which perked me up was Savage Messiah also from these shores. These guys are similar to Evile in many ways, playing killer riffs that soon get your bonce nodding hysterically. They are supposed to have a new album out sometime and I look forward to it. Savage Messiah Myspace

On the death metal front, the new Vader album is a monstrous release. I was crushed by the sheer force of this release when I first heard it. This is how death metal should be played. Massive sound, massive riffs, everything set to maximum carnage and one of the best voices in all of death metal. Great and legendary band Vader are and this could possibly be their finest hour almost.

Another death metal band worth checking out is Punish and their new album Raptus. These guys riff like there's no tomorrow and play with total abandon at times, laying waste to all who stand in their way. The production is also great which makes it all the more potent. I hate it when some bands have good instrumental skills but are let down sonically by a lacklustre sound which makes it really quite difficult to actually play their music. Punish Myspace

Other albums I'm enjoying lately are Danger Danger's Revolve of course which I've mentioned earlier. It's just a great rock album and I will buy it eventually. The new House of Lords is starting to work it's magic on me though I'm not sure that I will like it as much as Come to my Kingdom yet which is an album I adore. Must admit though that the sound is much better on Cartesian Dreams than it's predecessor.

The new U.D.O. CD is fun. I'm no huge fan of the legendary udo's vocals but the new album is really catchy and impressive and made it into my faves of 2009 folders. The new album from "God botherers" Narnia is also excellent stuff and a bit of a departure for them. Not much mention of the good Lord this time and a change of musical style to more heavier Metallica waters and no longer neo-classical. Still if the songs are there that's all that matters and they sure are there on the latest Narnia long player.

Well that's about it really. 2 more days off. The weather is not bad outside though not that warm though tomorrow is due to warm up a little which will be nice. However the last bank holiday of the year is always a bit of a turning point in the year as we head towards autumn and winter. September is not a bad old month normally and we should still have some decent days although the temperatures will obviously have the edge taken off them.

I am going to try and win some of my money back from yesterday's disasters though I am only betting small today. I might get lucky or as usual not! Tankard and Alestorm gigs coming soon but still not sure if I'm gonna go to either. We'll see!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Shafted Wigan!

Well that was a massive turnaround! It was looking a bit dodgy at HT against Wigan but I dunno what Fergie said to'em, but it obviously worked and we end up scoring five to make up for the Burnley debacle. Not bad eh, well done lads and now for Arsenal next week. Should be a cracker as it normally always is against Arsenal.

On the musical front I played a great new melodic rock album today. Namely the new Danger Danger album Revolve. This album is chock full of cracking tunes with the best ever performance I have ever heard from Ted Poley. I am not the biggest fan of Ted's slightly whiny vocals but he turns in a marvellous performance on this album with some magical choruses to enjoy and none better than Hearts on the Highway, which is just a glorious tune that only a deaf fool would not enjoy! Welcome back DD and Ted!

No gigs on the Horizon although Tankard and Alestorm are playing in consecutive days early next month and I may possibly shift my ass to at least one of them, don't know which yet.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Shafted by Burnlehhh!

Well that was nice of them! Getting one up the rear by Premier League newcomers Burnley at Turf Moor was not part of the deal, alas United played pure shite and deserved a beating and although it was only 1-0, it feels much worse. I guess a fourth title in a row might prove a step too far without the Portugese showpony. Anyway UNITED till death!!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Fabio v Rob Sing Off

Yes I have far too much time on my hands so I made this little vid with both Rob and Fabio taking lines of this great Judas priest classic. Rob probably still wins but it's not the landslide you would think!

U2 Live report

Wow! That was one of the most spectacular stage shows I have ever seen at a live concert. Of course when you're U2 you can afford to splash the dollar and boy have they splashed it hard. The alien spiderclaw thingy that greets you as you enter Wembley is really something else. It's absolutely massive and really stunning to look at and once they get the light show going you're pretty bedazzled by sound and visual pyrotechnics. I don't have really a lot to say about their performance as a band not being an uber fan or anything, but it's safe to say that U2 are a well oiled machine these days and have their fans eating out of their hands.

The sound was pretty good all night, The Edge does his usual jungly jangly reverb filled guitar lines and Bono does his wailing. The best moments of the night were the songs, Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday and the huge singalong with the whole of Wembley belting out the In the Name of Love. I am glad I witnessed this pretty spectacular and over the top show last night, makes me feel like going again tonight as they are playing again. Alas I think I'll settle for the one night...

U2 are definitely the biggest and most anthemic rock band the world has ever seen in modern times....and the richest! Check the photos below.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

U2 Live!!!

To my own amazement and great surprise, I am going to see U2 at Wembley on Friday. I had no real plans to go but I just bid for a ticket for the hell of it on ebay and actually managed to win the auction for £20 + delivery charges. I was slightly swayed by the amazing looking stage set and rave reviews I've been hearing about this show. I ain't no U2 fan but I've liked a few of their songs from the past and seeing them live in this monumental 360 degress tour should be an event worth witnessing even for a non U2 follower. Shhhhh.....just don't tell any of my internet death metal buddies!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Praying Mantis Live @ Purple Turtle

The Purple Turtle is a tiny pub that would be rammed with 300 in it, but alas there were barely a 100 or so old fogies with a few youngsters interspersed at last night's Praying Mantis gig. Now I am not the world's biggest Mantishead but the new album is a phenomenally good piece of work and when I found out about this gig I quickly purchased a ticket and attended rather hastily.

First up were this Swedish band I'd never heard of called Core of Nation. Wow they surprised the hell out of me! These guys can and should be much bigger than they are. They are like the bastard chiild of Candlemass and Black Sabbath from the RJD period. A very cool mix indeed. These guys have great big stomping riffs travelling from mid-pace to rampant Sabbath gallop. The singer is also very charismatic indeed with cool stage moves and a decent voice. I was so impressed with these guys that I bought their cd there and then. I haven't had a chance to play it yet but I am expecting big things, as live they really rocked hard.

Next up was Fury UK, a bright and very young new band from Manchester. I have heard their myspace tunes before and to be honest I wasn't overly impressed. Live, they were ok but again I wasn't massively taken with their songs but their actual performance was excellent for a power trio. Frontman and singer/guitarist Chris played some blistering solos too although his vocals are a bit average for me. Fury UK are a cool band live but I'm just not quite won over with their music.

Finally at the very late start time of 10.30, the Mantis guys took to the stage. They played well and look liked they were enjoying themselves although they complained about how sweltering it was up on stage and I can believe it cause I was sweating like a pig in that little pub myself! The basically all new Mantis line up did a sterling job up there and although the attendance was fairly poor they played with conviction and heart. I particularly wanted to hear new material from new album, Sanctuary and the couple of tracks aired were splendid indeed although the live sound robbed the songs of some of their sheen and polish, they were still highly enjoyable. Halfway during the set Tino Troy's guitar amp fucked up and the set had to be curtailed until it was fixed, actually by Fury UK man Chris and finally the guys got going again playing until 11.30.

It was good to see the band finally and although the setlist and playing time was quite short the few punters that turned up were more or less happy with their short but sweet set. They played mainly classics from yesteryear and songs I am not massively familiar with but the hooks were undeniable as with all Mantis tunes - they just have knack for killer melodies. Personally I would like to have heard songs from the Tony O'Hora fronted albums of the late 90s and also the classic Journeyman but it wasn't to be as time was so short on this occasion.

Finally, it was good to discover this new band Core of Nation. Overall a decent night's melodic metal music and at only 6 quid a ticket you can't really go wrong can you!