Trevor Strnad: "I think they looked at me and said 'hell, if that dude can do this, then why can't we?"

4/6/2020

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June 1, 2020

Originally formed by Hammer Horde drummer Jayson Cessna and guitarist Derik Smith and conceived of as a way to explore different pastures to their usual Viking stylings; out of it came Astralborne, self-releasing their album Eternity’s End back in 2019 but quickly snapped up for an international re-release by Prosthetic Records. 

Lyrically the album deals centrally with the theme of death and offshoots of this, opening with the tolling of funeral...

May 22, 2020

“There are forces out there that want to see you suffer. When you are too tired, exhausted, miserable or apathetic to stand up for your rights, they will take them from you. That is the shock doctrine.” 

Few descriptions of an album’s inspirations are so succinct and so apt than COPE guitarist Josh Bowles’ summary of the band’s debut album The Shock Doctrine. It’s also a rather fitting title given that the band released a couple of EPs in 2016 and...

May 17, 2020

After 32 years and pioneering the death/doom genre as well as a revival of gothic-tinged melancholy, it’s fair to say that Paradise Lost have had a storied career, and sixteenth album Obsidian is an accurate summation of that career so far. Since reintroducing vocalist Nick Holmes’ cavernous death growls on The Plague Within after a near-decade of morose, baritone crooning, the band have been on an absolute tear with the aforementioned Plague… an...

April 27, 2020

A new Trivium album is always an occasion; since 2003’s Ascendancy the band have put out some stellar releases but it’s been tempered with inconsistency and odd choices (Vengeance Falls, anyone?) but fans have always stuck by them for those glimmers of brilliance. After the aforementioned Vengeance Falls and power metal detour Silence In The Snow, the band were seemingly in a rut but expectations were well and truly smashed with the welcome retur...

April 23, 2020

After four years away, it’s safe to say that anticipation was running high for stoner rockers Elephant Tree’s return with new album Habits. The time away has seen the band swell their ranks, sign to independent darlings Holy Roar Records and hone their sound to a fine art. The band take elements from extreme metal - tar-thick riffs and grooves straight out of New Orleans - and channel it through a psychedelic haze, leading to a fuzzed-out, chille...

April 10, 2020

Now on their ninth album, symphonic metallers Nightwish have decided to go even more all-out than usual with Human :||: Nature, a double-disc spread that clocks in at over an hour and twenty minutes long. Given the sheer length involved and that the second disc is in fact a single track ‘All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World’ it’s apparent that giving this just one score is going to be too reductive and not do the album justice. With that...

April 5, 2020

Being the only grind band in the village can’t be easy, and South Carolina’s WVRM can lay claim to in fact being the only one in their local scene. This hasn’t deterred them, however, from releasing several EPs, splits and LPs prior to this, their third full-length Colony Collapse. We’re immediately treated to ‘Walled Slum City’ opening with a wall of feedback and sampled speech before a retching scream signals the arrival of the grind. The buzza...

March 16, 2020

Given the spate of tour cancellations due to the ever worsening global pandemic it’s a wonder this show happened at all - especially since days later Employed To Serve announced they’d be suspending the remainder of the tour. There’s a somewhat subdued atmosphere in the bar area before the bands come on, a rarity for a hardcore show, but fortunately it’s in no way indicative of the night to come. 

Openers Cruelty (7) are all rage and vitriol,...

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