August 7, 2020

The old progressive maxim that claims ‘the personal is political’ has never seemed truer in these challenging, confused times. It seems impossible to move through the world today as apolitical, everything from identity to culture to mental health is a political issue,...

August 7, 2020

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven whole years since the last album, 2013’s Absent Light, from metalcore stalwarts Misery Signals. Not only is it their first release in quite some time, it’s also the first with the original lineup, reunited for the first time si...

August 6, 2020

Your inability to nail down exactly where Swedish five piece Avatar sit on the metal spectrum has, somewhat oddly, always worked in their favour. The Swedes chameleon like act has seen them fleet from tongue in cheek, performance lead escapades on the likes of 2012's...

August 6, 2020

Over the last few years Stand Atlantic have been steadily making a name for themselves as stalwarts of an ever expanding, nigh on oversaturated pop punk scene where you can barely take one step before coming across 10-15 bands that all sound the same. They did this all...

August 4, 2020

It can sometimes be heard that atmosphere is a cheap substitute for Extreme Metal. Quite frankly, this idea misses the point of music in quite a large way. Whilst it leaves the opportunity for some truly interesting takes on the genre to one side in favour of a lot of...

July 28, 2020

French post-metal quintet Fall Of Messiah aren’t afraid to gaze into the maddening abyss and ponder the more depressing nature of existence. The group have often veered towards toying with more macabre psychological exercises, something their 2016 breakthrough Emp...

July 27, 2020

In the crossroads of extreme metal, Black Metal intersects with Death Metal in sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure ways. Bands that generate that fanbase can be hard to describe. With a rough edged Melodic Death Metal band like God Dethroned there is almost a blueprin...

July 27, 2020

Canadian progressive power/symphonic metallers Osyron bring us their latest release Foundations. Established in 2006 as Morbid Theory, they went through a few lineup and stylistic changes and re-emerged as Osyron in 2012.

Foundations is the band's third album as Osyron...

July 24, 2020

If you catch a glimpse of the album artwork for Broadside’s brand-new instalment, Into The Raging Sea, it can be understandable to expect something a bit different from the Vancouver based pop rockers. Serving as a visual contrast to the 2017 Paradise, this third recor...

July 22, 2020

At album four one of the biggest risks a band can make is being boring. With an established sound it’s all too easy to fall back on old tricks and pump out the same tired routine. Another of the bigger risks is evolving to a completely new sound. Without a bridging rel...

July 22, 2020

Times are tough right now. The last few years seem to have been one weird nightmare after another, an apparently never ending stream of reality-shattering alterations to the world’s status quo. How one reacts to these strange days depends on their perspective and world...

July 20, 2020

Since their inception back in 2007, British proggers Haken have been steadily building an impressive discography and showing themselves to be one of the best examples of modern progressive metal. Some fans even argue that they have filled the empty space left by Dream...

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March 18, 2020

There is a certain magic to the older Death Metal bands, they’re starting to get the notoriety of classic Metal – it feels like a classic. Vader are perhaps one of the bands that really helped to define the genre as far back as the 80s. They have been doing this for 37 years. Perhaps this awe of the band is well deserved. Diving into the Underworld, a small venue for personal acts, there’s a sense of the underground. Death Metal and generally any form of Extreme Metal, seems to call out for such venues and there is an authentic atmosphere that is fitting for such a live act.

Before getting to Vader, we have Chronosphere from Greece. There was the band Fallcie on the line-up but unfortunately, they had to drop out. For a first band on, immediately, Chronosphere smash out the stage. They are...

March 18, 2020

Babymetal are a story of quick sensations, sensations that usually happen in a rise and fall. It’s a story told many times, Babymetal are a combination of Japanese Idol Music paired with Metal, and the powerful internet fame of their song ‘Gimmie Chocolate’. The three incredibly young singer/dancers made a quick name for themselves, found a great backing band and toured the world meeting Metal Icons and wrote the story of a new kind of Metal: Kawaii Metal, and the vision of Babymetal by the Fox God. After their second album Metal Resistance they suddenly saw quick change, as one of their original three left due to health reasons, enigmatically kept secret. Whether they could live up to the name that they had written for themselves with their debut album, was already a question. This felt l...

March 17, 2020

A band that calls the untouched majesty of Iceland their home, tonight's openers Kælan Mikla (7) present the monochrome effulgence associated with their headlining counterparts in innovative and newfound forms. Whereas their touring contemporaries pursue their atmospherics through metallic intensity, the Reykjavik trio weld the illusive power of draconian darkwave, swashing The Fleece with profane punk poetry and shimmering soundscapes that project the wildlands of their respective home.

Certainly, the prospect of a synthwave act on this bill does appear to be unprecedented for a lot of the early arrivals, but Kælan Mikla don’t just hold their own this evening; they seize the attention of their new peers with pagan charm. Performing the majority of their 2018 release Nött Eftir Nött, t...

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, stalking the stage and tearing through a short but sweet thirty minute set that does wonders to warm up the gradually-swelling crowd. The band have plenty of energy and conviction and the vitriol they spew forth is palpable. The band stalk the stage, the energy not lost on the crowd and they’ve definitely made a few new fans tonight.

Next up is Pal...

March 11, 2020

Photo: Dean Harries 

With a venue as beautifully prestigious as the London Palladium, it seemed only fitting to showcase such an array of heavenly talent. Dalas Green of Alexisonfire fame takes the headline slot in the form of his vunerable folk inspired solo project City and Colour (10) accompanied by the stunningly talented Bess Atwell (8).

Offering a gentle lull of country-tinged acoustics, Atwell’s presence is almost ghostly; so gentle and fragile, whilst boasting an impressive vocal range in the process. The Brighton-based songwriter offers simplistically beautiful melodies with an underlying melancholic tone, and when accompanied by touring guitarist Christopher Matthewson, the pair effortlessly perfect their set. 

Atwell is undeniably humbled as she talks through her time on tour...

March 9, 2020

Four years seem like a long time when a band disappears off the face of the earth - climbing the ladder of the rock world, releasing a hot selling debut album...then poof. Gone. It’s understandable when times get hard or other responsibilities get in the way and sometimes as much as a band may love the music they create and the fans they share that relationship with, it just isn’t feasible. 

But this is definitely not the case for the bluesy brotherly Bath trio The Family Rain (8). Having announced their unexpected split in 2016, the boys are back and releasing new tracks. One of which saw the trio wander over to The Lanes in Bristol to prove to dedicated fans they still have what it takes to get a crowd to get two footed in the abdomen with a pair of Doc Martens.  

The first night of t...

February 25, 2020

Born to be epic. Not many bands can sum up their entire feeling in a song title. Equilibrium might have some thunderous riffs that might put them in the camps of Death Metal, but their Folk Metal slant has many layers of melodies and symphony that gives them a larger than life feel. They do this without falling into the cheese of Power Metal. If it sounds like a strange mix of genres then we’re almost there. Extreme Folk Metal never sounded so hard hitting and yet larger than life than with Equilibrium. It would stand to reason that their live shows would similarly have this feel in mind. The personality of enlarged but extreme metal climbing a mountain in front of you, but so many bands can’t live up to their albums. First of all, on February 14th, we have Nailed to Obscurity take the sta...

February 17, 2020

Hailing from Philadelphia, one of the great homesteads of stateside punk, tonight’s openers Mannequin Pussy (7.5) bridge the gap between the classic roots of American punk and it’s progressive current state riotously. Dissonance drips plentifully from their scuzzed adolescent bombardments of punk - sonic ooze that seeps into the pores of both every punter in attendance and into the timbre and concrete of this venue. Such a sentiment becomes chokingly evident as the group plunge into the more archaic hardcore orientated content from their youth, a transition that undoubtedly startles those only acquainted with their 2019 release Patience.

As vocalist Marisa Dabience screeches “Who the fuck are you talking to, boy?” on the breathless rager that is ‘F.U.C.A.W’, Mannequin Pussy are a deafening...

February 10, 2020

Arranged by third-year music students at the University of South Wales, Immersed! Festival offered an insight into the wonderful music scene of Cardiff. The organisers honoured Cardiff’s musical landmarks, offering attendees a chance to relive their days at Gwdihw Cafe Bar or their halcyon nights on Womanby Street.  

Tramshed’s Waiting Room was transformed with relics from Gwdihw and adorned with sofas and beanbags. Upstairs, the cocktail bar was minimally decorated with bright colours and thus dubbed the “happy bar”, or Womanby Street Room to the rest of us. 

Kicking off the festival there was Dan Ham (8.5). His sound was an eclectic mixture of rock, pop, and spoken word. Opening with his debut single ‘Work Hard’, Dan Ham pulled quite the crowd. Vocals from Meg Franzen were the perfect cont...

February 8, 2020

If there was any doubt that Thy Art Is Murder have become one of, if not THE premier extreme metal bands in circulation: then tonight's rabid, capacity crowd crammed inside Birmingham's O2 Institute should end all factors of the debate. At one point the Aussies were the globes deathcore sweethearts, but today they've become inescapably more. No longer the kings of a sub-genre: Thy Art are at the forefront of a much bigger conversation - one that surrounds heavy metal in general. 

It's a point that is further emphasised by the frankly absurd lineup the quintet have been able to assemble for the tour. Speaking of which, Dallas Texas' I AM [7] slot into the task of opening the show with relative ease. Front man Andrew Hileman brings a level of charisma and stomp lead energy which all...

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