Monday, 30 March 2009

British Steel Festival

This coming Saturday sees the renewal of the British Steel Festival with five NWOBHM bands once again donning leather and spikes whilst getting ready for battle @ the Underworld. At the moment I am mulling over whether I should attend or not. Might be quite fun to see Cloven Hoof at least if nothing else with their absolutely awesome and legendary vocalist Russ North. The full line up is Cloven Hoof + Attacker + Elixir + Bitches Sin + Celtic Legacy.

Might end up going but I'm not that excited by it to be honest, but the rest of the month is a bit barren as far as live entertainment is concerned so I might have to make the most of this show. I will see over the coming days.

Some songs I'm currently enjoying the hell out of:

Celesty - Like Warriors. What a huge anthemic melodic battle song.

Tyr- Hold the Heathen Hammer High. Another great epic battle metal song from their forthcoming CD. The way he sings the chorus superfast is just extremely cool to me. Salivating impatiently for this one! You can hear @

Dark Moor - For Her. A totally brilliant melodic power song with a wonderful chorus.

Hammerfall - Any Means Necessary. This song is getting under my skin. I'm sure I'll be sick of it sooner or later though. That chorus is really hard to shake off.

Impellitteri - Eyes of an Angel. The catchiest, most radio friendly song on the new Imp disk.

Place Vendome - Streets of Fire and Dancer. Two songs from this band but it could literally be any of them to be perfectly honest. Dancer particular has been doing it for me.

Wetton Downes - Don't Go Out Tonight. The Asia mainstays latest ICON disk sees them pen some cool tunes and none better than this one which could have come off the debut Asia CD.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Stuff I'm diggin'

Well what's been getting serious airplay on the old death deck you ask? Well a bunch of different stuff. Heard some nice albums lately with high quality musicianship and great vocals. I have been waiting an age for the Hardline to drop and it finally did and it sure as hell doesn't dissapoint. Johnny Gioeli is one of my favourite singers of all time and I loved his voice on the first Hardline disk and continued to love it on subsequent Axel Rudi Pell disks and the 2nd Hardline and now finally they got their asses into gear and made the long awaited 3rd Hardline disk. This one is a little bit more introspective than the previous rocking goodtime debut effort, but to hear Mr. Gioeli busting out super cool melodies once again is a joy to be hold.

Next is a great melodic no-classical power shred disk by the underrated band Domain and their latest CD, The Chronicles of Love, Hate and Sorrow. They used to be quite happy and more AORish but now they have entered full neo-classical shred territories and they are doing a damn good job. The full on and super clean production job helps the band immensely, plus their new singer has a great set of pipes. Add to that a nice batch of tunes and you have a great album on your hands for melodic metal followers who favour bands such as Royal Hunt.

I finally bought Dark Moor's Autumnal and Place Vendome's Streets of Fire. Love those 2 disks. Also got the new Napalm Death CD as well as Ignominious Incarceration's CD which is a killer slab of melodic and technical death as well as a couple of DVDs - Maiden's Death on the Road and the first Volume of Manowar's Magic Circle Festival show. Next on the purchase list must be Impellitteri and DGM when they are finally released.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Special Testament Show

After a 7 week trek across Europe as second support on the Priest Feast, the Testament boys finally arrived at the Islington Academy to end their run with a special one off performance which would include both The Legacy and The New Order back to back as a treat for the old schoolers out there.

The support band was Sylosis. They are shit hot players but the metalcore posturing and screaming vox probably irked quite a few of the assembled throng. They can surely damn play though and that's a fact. The singer tried hard to get a pit going to no avail. Better luck at your own gig guys, this crowd was only here for the main course.

At 9 o'clock the stage was finally ready and the guys took to the stage to rock out first The Legacy. The sound was pretty good and sharp, with the band on good form even though this was the last night of the tour. Chuck sounded good and the songs from the debut were great and enjoyable especially the massively catchy Alone in the Dark.

The New Order is perhaps my fave Testament album of all as it features many killer thrash tunes. Hard to name a fave but of course Disciples of the Watch is the thrash song to end all thrash songs.

The rabid, mad and heavily packed Islington Academy was soon chanting the boys back on for an encore which I only heard the opening Rapid Fire clip from Priest and then I left at the start of More Than Meets the Eye from the new CD having had my history lesson in killer thrash firmly engraved n my brain. Testament Rules!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Useless form by United

Lost again to Fulham on Saturday. Really bad week for United and to cap it all Liverpool just spanked Villa 5-0. You just know what's gonna happen when Villa turn up at Old Trafford in 2 weeks don't you. They will probably play out of their skins and hold United or even win!

Funny how before the Liverpool game we were thinking all we have to win and the title is more or less wrapped up and we even had the temerity to take the lead. What a false dawn that was!!

Since then we've shipped 6 goals - 4 to the scousers and 2 for the Harrods mob - bloody hopeless. Still we have to have faith. Still 1 game in hand which obviously have to win now. Liverpool's purple patch has to end sooner or later. They can't keep spanking every one 4 and 5 every game surely. Can they? Nahh they can't. There's a few more twists to come. At least Chelsea lost which is something.

Ok here's a token metal list. My top 10 melodic rock/metal albums of all time in no particular order. I think these albums gave me the most listening pleasure and time spent in my CD player so flame away if you disagree. (As if anyone cares!)

Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath
King Diamond - Them
Virgin Steele - Invictus
Running Wild - The Rivalry
Astral Doors - Evil is Forever
Falconer - st
Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica
Rhapsody - Symphony of Enchanted Lands
Sabaton - The Art of War.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

H.E.A.T L.I.V.E!!

I could write the whole review with dots in between the words but I'm sure that would drive my immensly large readership completely nuts so I'll refrain! Any how I had been eagerly awaiting this show for a few weeks now and I wasn't dissapointed one bit. What a great band this Heat mob are really. Spellbinding us with their magical catchy tunes for AOR lovers everywhere and live they are even more of a great proposition than on record but more on them in a second.

First we had two supports of which I knew about Lost Weekend but had no idea about Godsized who were a bit of an odd band to choose as support being much much heavier than the two bands above them but they actually were really cool. They definitely had some nice riffing going at times. Very heavy groovy and melodic. The bearded caveman looking frontman actually had a cool voice and also pulled out some blistering melodic solos. Not bad.

Next up were Lost Weekend who I am not a big fan of to be honest and they didn't really win me over live either. They have some pleasant toe tappers but something about them just doesn't excite me in anyway. The sound of the band is rather average to my ears although I must admit the singer grew me on a bit although he did look like Mel Smith!!! Forgive me! They were ok but the rather small crowd was here only for Heat and at just gone 9.30pm they finally took to the stage and knocked our socks off. Little Kenny is just a great and exciting frontman. He sounded genuinely happy for the band to be playing for us on their debut UK mini tour and thanked the crowd many times calling us the real 'rock stars' and not the actual band.

The band is now tighter than a nun's whatsit after continuous touring and gigging in and around Europe and they just cannot fail to light up the dreariest night with these glorious melodic anthems. Their energy is just infectious and with songs like these in your arsenal you just can't really go wrong can you. The highlights were..well all of it to be honest. I can hardly pick a fave tune but I guess I love Cry as much as the next man or lass and Keep on Dreaming never fails does it. They played more or less all of their album and finished with an encore of Journey's Seperate Ways which was incendiary and loaded with dynamite playing and singing. What else can I say about H.E.A.T? These guys are just something else. It's all about the songwriting with these guys and the pure energy coming off from the stage. In reality they should be huge huge stars and the 150-200 crowd in the Underworld doesn't do them justice by any stretch. In another era these guys would have been massive stadium touring megastars.

Even so we should still treasure them now and thank them for bringing this fantastic music in such not so joyous times. I look forward to their follow up CD and to see them live again. What a great band!

Keep on Dreaming video

Saturday, 14 March 2009

United 1 Liverpool 4

Back from the pub after seeing United getting absolutely mullered at home by the dirty scousers. No joy at all today and a real shocker especially after taking the lead through a Ronaldo penalty. Only ray of light for me from the day is my fiver on Ronaldo for the first goal. Other than that, a horrid result and a performance to match. They need to start bucking their ideas up big time. I guess this defeat was coming cause we haven't actually been playing well and still winning but this we didn't play well and got what we deserved - FUCK ALL! LOL!!!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Hardcore Superstar gig

Went to this glam show last night. Never seen so much female flesh on show at a gig before. It was like the proverbial Cattle Market!!

Didn't really like Heaven's Basement. Tigertaliz were absolutely horrendous and did my head in. Hardcore Superstar rocked hard but still it didn't move me like it did the first time seeing them 14 months ago. I ain't no glam fan and I stood out like a sore thumb but damn HS know how to rock and it was worth seeing them again at least. Second time seeing them at ULU now and this time they played some new songs which sounded pretty cool. Rather cool night of glam and sleaze with loads of eye candy about - what an old perv I must sound like!

I decided not to go to Volbeat tomorrow even though I bought a ticket. I gave the ticket to a friend for a beer or two next time. Can't be arsed for Volbeat although I really like them but I've seen them once and can live without another look for now and anyway next wednesday I have the orgasmic H.e.a.t!! Can't really wait for that.

Friday, 6 March 2009

What's rocking my world

I've heard some great new albums of late. I am so easy to please. Firstly the new album from Italian Prog-Power merchants DGM has leaked and is just a phenomenal album. My first listen went so amazingly well. This album just amazes me from start to finish. I look forward to many many more spins of this masterpiece. Well done to the eye-ties!

Next on the death deck is one I've been waiting an age for an finally it is here. The new Impellitteri disk is a HUGE disk! It meets all my expectations and then some. This man Mr. Impellitteri is something else on the guitar and he just blows away the competition away when it comes to guitar olympics. With Rob Rock back on vocals, the band just sounds so energised and refreshed. The riffs come thundering out of the speakers and hit you like a ton of bricks with lightning fast note picking from Impellitteri and Rob Rock soars away on top. This is just a fantastic record that meets my every expectation.

Justin Hawkins' new outfit Hot Leg is pretty fun. Great mix between ACDC, Queen and Southern Boogie rock. A lot of people are gonna hate this but quite a few are gonna love it. I think this is a pretty cool album and worth a few more plays to reveal more of it's charms. Enjoyable!

Next gig is the Swedish street glam metal band, Hardcore Superstar at the ULU next Thursday. Seen them last year at the same venue and it's time for a repeat dose they were so much fun. Then after that next Saturday it's the Elvis metal crew AKA Volbeat. Rock n' Roll!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Hammerfall Gig Review

First of all the Islington Academy was pretty well rammed for this gig. It's a little bit small for gigs of this size in my opinion and it's not very comfortable for movement or anything when it gets packed like this. As I got inside I saw that Bullet were already on stage and the first song had started. On record they sound a lot like ACDC but live they sound much more like Accept/Judas Priest/Saxon or some plodding midpaced classic metal. Actually they did a pretty good job of warming the crowd up and got more than a few heads banging a long. The singer is actually pretty much like a younger version of Messiah Marcolin although not with te voice to match. Big belly and big frizzy hair though! They played for 30 minutes and their songs were cool. The sound was a little bit ropy and bassy but passable. Good warm up act!

20 minutes after Bullet left Sabaton entered the stage for a 40 minute set which was very short for me. I like Hammerfall but I absolutely love the Sabaton war commando. Their songs propel joyous shards of shrapnel round my ears. This was the third time seeing them, twice as support and once as headline. They never fail to deliver magic and they have many many fans amongst the power metal community in the UK, especially the younger kids as well. Joacim is a great frontman for a band and he really got the crowd going. He is a pounding whirling dervish who whips up a storm no problem. I love the bassist as well - that dude has a permagrin attached to his face like he's playing The Joker or something! They played their biggest and best songs and of course my favourite of all - Cliffs of Gallipoli. All too soon they ended with the ode to metal medley of Metal Machine/Metal Crue. The sound was amazing throughout their set which helped the band no end. The "Sabaton! Sabaton!" chants between every single song and the end really amazed the band I think. They were well impressed with us as we were with them. A truly great live band!

SABATON's setlist was as follows:

01. Ghost Division
02. 40:1
03. Panzer Battalion
04. Cliffs Of Gallipoli
05. Attero Dominatus
06. The Price Of A Mile
07. Primo Victoria
08. Metal Machine / Metal Crue

After 30 minutes the roadies readied the stage the lights went down and the ominous Hammerfall intro played through the PA. The band entered and took up their positions and launched into the midpaced pounder that is Punish and Enslave, the really heavy track off of their new CD. The sound was a little bit thin I thought and Joacim's vocals a little bit buried but soon the sound improved. I am not sure how many of those present had yet bought the CD or downloaded it but quite a few people new the lyrics and the chorus is easy anyway! It's a cool song indeed.

This tour and albums see the introduction of new guitarist Pontus Norgren into the band and he fitted in seamlessly I must say. His solos are pretty cool and I guess he has bought more of a hard rock element to some of the riffing in the band these days. By the second song Crimson Thunder the sound was pretty excellent although the bass sometimes distorted due to obviously being too loud but it was clear enough so no complaints there. I like the fact that on the choirs where all the band were singing, the sound was very clear and allowed you to feel as though they had a 20 man choir on stage or something. They mixed all mics the same to allow all vocals to sound full and loud. Bloodbound from the previous CD was a great tune as was Natural High - I love those two songs. Legion from the new record was yet another highlight.

Hallowed by my name was another nice heavy midpaced pounder showcased off of the new CD. I have always loved a very fast Hammerfall songs more and indeed Heeding the Call got it's due airing with the great drum propulsion. Joacim sounded great on that song and the rest of the band sounded great too on the choirs. Of course the crowd knows every single syllable to this song was out-bellowing Joacim at times from my vantage point. Great stuff! I would have liked to have heard Dreamland but alas it's not to be.

There was also very heavy crowd participation on the anthemic ballad Glory to the Brave with lots of singing and lighters etc. Cheesy as hell but everyone loved it! Renegade also garnered hude crowd singing for he chorus. I loved Any Means Necessary from the new album even more live than on record. It's a very catchy tune that gets under your skin. Riders of the Storm was the final track of the main set before the band returned for one encore and then a final majestic headbangathon for Let the Hammer Fall and the hammer did indeed fall - pretty damn heavily!!!

After that the band returned for one final hurrah and a quick run through of Hearts on Fire to end the night on a speedy and energetic note.

I was a bit surprised at the ommission of their namesake song Hammerfall which whilst a bit dated and cheesy is actually the band's anthem. I guess they are just tired of prevailing for the minute!!!

The rivers of cheese were overflowing freely in London last night but damn it's just plain old fun ain't it!!

HAMMERFALL's setlist was as follows:

01. Punish & Enslave
02. Crimson Thunder
03. Legion
04. Blood Bound
05. Renegade
06. Hallowed Be My Name
07. The Abyss
08. Last Man Standing
09. Heading The Call
10. Glory To The Brave
11. Something For The Ages
12. Any Means Necessary
13. Natural High
14. The Way Of The Warrior
15. Between Two Worlds
16. Riders Of The Storm

17. Trailblazers
18. Let the Hammer Fall

19. Hearts On Fire