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!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

10 Fave death metal albums from 2009 so far

In no particular order:

Bone Gnawer - Feast of Flesh
Absolutely killer old school death metal with massive modern sound. If you know Rogga Jonsson then you will know he is in a million and one old school death bands. This one is the best of the bunch IMO.

Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre
I wasn't sold at first but then it clicked. Sure if you are expecting tech riffs you'll be sorely disappointed but for me this is a huge come back disk. The riffs crush all in their path and the vokills crunch maggots.

Obscura - Cosmogenesis
Top quality Necrophagist copy band but still not that spectacular as it could have been but still excellent.

Napalm Death - Time Waits For No Slave
OK ND are not strictly a death metal band having hardcore and grind elements but they are still pretty much in the genre. First off this disk just blew my ears clean off. After a while I started noticing the typical Napalm intricacies starting to surface. It seems like intense grind noise and yet there is a lot of substance underneath to the sheer mayhem that greets your ears.

Blood Red Throne - Souls of Damnation
Norwegian Death metal side band with Tchort from Emperor, Satyricon etc. They've been bashing away for a few albums now but this is their best effort to date. Lots of thrashy killer riffing with catchy breaks. Some tiny bits of black metal reflecting their roots but mainly very catchy groovy death metal.

God Dethroned - Passiondale
A slight departure for the Belgians here with a concept album about the famous world war one battle. Very well played almost melodic death metal quite similar to Amon Amarth's stomp and melodic battle death. Perfect vocals from band leader Henri where you can understand almost every growl. Well written lyrics. Moody sections, rip roaring thick battle death sections. Catchy riffs galore. Cool tunes and no satan crap. GD is not really a satanic death metal band as they used to be but more of a free thinking intelligent death metal band now.

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Oracles
Slightly symphonic brutal death blast from Italy. Loads of shit going on. Mega amount of riffs to dissect and dismember. Massive thick sound. Very brutal and yet listenable death metal with atmosphere and technical edge.

Gorod - Process of a New Decline
I don't think it's as good as Leading Vision but it's still a great tech death album. Lots of choppy and note filled riffing, bouncing and grooving away like there's no tomorrow. This is perhaps a slightly more mature release than Leading Vision and a more relaxed one but the instrumentation is really top class. One of the best bands doing tech death metal in the world today.

Requiem - Infiltrate Obliterate Dominate
An also ran Swiss death metal band makes a fairly big statement here as far as I'm concerned. It's standard death metal but with a great clean production and most important it's packed with jamming groovy semi melodic riffs that hurtle here there and everywhere. The vocals are not annoying or screamy keeping to a regular semi understandable growl. A big surprise and a very good effort by these guys.

Centaurus A - Side Effects Expected
I don't like this as much as some seem to but no doubt it's an extremely well played widdly infested tech death disk with lots to enjoy and like. Tons of twisted riffs, slamming solos and rampant, heavy drumwork. Solid stuff but the songs could have been a bit catchier as I recall.

Stuff that disappointed me a little:
Obituary. I don't get Obituary production values on the last 2 albums. Sounds like mush. Funnily enough I really like the Tardy Bros solo disk of earlier this year. It's miles better!

Suffocation - Big boys of death returned with an good album for any other death metal band but for Suffo it was just OK. The production was awesome but the songs went on and on a bit with not as much catchiness as I was expecting.

Believer - Gabriel. I know lots of people love this but I wasn't feeling it with this one. Quite disappointed in this. There are some great riffs here but didn't move me overall. I guess I was never even a massive fan of theirs in the first place apart from Sanity Obscure which is a plain awesome album.

Gory Blister - Graveyard of Angels
Again it's a good and solid disk with great playing but it seems they just have no interest in their early Death worship any more and want to forage their own path which is understandable.

Trepalium - XIII
This is the most disappointing of all. I really liked this band before. This album is very mundane stuff for me. They still have class and great sound but the riffing just doesn't excite at all.