Friday, 31 May 2013

Black Slayer Head




It seems that more and more legendary bands are kicking their members out, one by one. From Black Sabbath to Machine Head and most recently Slayer, with the replacement of Dave Lombardo by Paul Bostaph, it seems that the original members, or most established members, of a band are becoming too expensive. Looking back at most of these stories, it seems that it all comes down to a salary issue. Is this the result of downloading and reduced sales of music, or is it just musicians getting greedier day by day. Roger Waters once said that once you start making money, there is this dilemma that gets created on whether you become a capitalist, or stay a socialist. In the cases of Slayer, Sabbath and all the others, it seems that this question probably wasn’t asked enough. Let’s just hope that the music won’t suffer from it too much.

Posted by Nick

Sunday, 15 July 2012

R.I.P. Roadrunner Records?




So after Devildriver quitting Roadrunner, now Machine Head are also on the way out! Or at least it seems so. Thing which is not surprising after the recent events that happened in the labels grounds, where all the international offices were closed down by the Big Cheese, Warner Music! With some info that some other bands might be quitting Roadrunner and notably Hatebreed, just a rumour at the moment, is this the end of the greatest metal label up to date? Is it time for the coyote to finally catch that damn bird? Whatever it may be, thanks for giving the world some of the best metal bands in the world. Somewhere, at some point, you went wrong and it’s a shame, but we’ll always respect you for the music you shared!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pirates of the Majors


First of all read this. Now think about this: Adele sold almost 9 million copies of "21" worldwide. No one can argue that "21" is not a great album because it just is. Maybe not your style, but still, you've heard the majority of tracks and you probably enjoy them. At the same time, we are being spoon fed and brainwashed that the music industry is having troubles, that CD sales are dropping and that the main reason for all of these is piracy. So, the UK government recently invaded people’s freedom and blocked thepiratebay.se from all UK ISPs, since that should solve the problem. 

I have always thought that whoever said that piracy was the reason for the demise of the music industry was either a fool or just didn’t understand the music industry. Funnily enough, last week was full of remarks blaming piracy for the closure of Roadrunner’s international offices and frankly, that annoyed the hell out of me, especially when these remarks came from artists. Sure enough, piracy is not helping with the sales of albums and honestly, thank god it’s not!

Why am I saying this? Because it feels as if artists, guided by their labels, are every year releasing shit ,after shit, after shit. Yes, SHIT! You’re wondering how I know it? I know it because you told me so. Or because you’ve showed me so! Adele sold 9 million copies of "21" and has been in the charts for 65 weeks. It is now the 5th best-selling album of all times, in the UK! And that’s because it is a great album, because it’s not SHIT! See, if every artist released great albums, like "21", then you would had bought it, therefore creating more revenue for the music industry. So, have you bought the latest Nicki Minaj? No! Why? Because it's shit. And for those of you who downloaded it, why did you do so? Because it's not worth the money! (Those of you who bought it, you clicked on the wrong link and get the hell out of here!) With the labels focusing on shitty artists that they will drop after their 2nd album, it’s no wonder that nobody wants to buy albums anymore. Why the hell would I want to give £10 or $20 to buy a shitty album that has been placed under my nose by the majors? Give me something good and I’ll buy it. But keep on throwing shit at consumers, and they'll keep on downloading your shit. The music industry’s slow and painful death is not due to piracy, it's mostly due to shit music. It's due to the fact that the majors are trying to force you to buy whatever turd they try to polish. Good music sells and Adele is the proof.

Posted by Nick

Friday, 27 April 2012

Roadrunner Records- The Beginning of the End?



So, if you are following some metal acts and a bunch of metal music industry people on Twitter or Facebook, you couldn’t possibly have missed the story about Roadrunner which has been going around the net today (26th April 2012). Originally started as a rumour in the early morning hours, and eventually being confirmed by a vast amount of Roadrunner workers via Twitter, Roadrunner Records is shutting down its European and Canadian offices.  For some this may not seem like a big deal but honestly it is a pretty big deal for anyone involved in metal. First of all, think of all the people that are losing their jobs. People who have devoted their lives to metal and to getting you the best acts that, they thought, deserved to be on stage. People who have made metal what it is today and who have worked their asses off, just because they love metal. So our initial thoughts go to all of them and we wish them only the best. Secondly, this is a very sad day for metal and for metal fans regardless of whether they like Roadrunner or not. Roadrunner has been one of the leading metal labels out there, and it has been responsible for the fact that many of us are metalheads today. 

So what happened? In 2010 Warner Music Group (WMG) bought Roadrunner Records in an attempt to get its foot in the heavy metal door. Today 2 years later, WMG seems to be unhappy with the ways things are going at Roadrunner and therefore are closing down its international offices and firing another 16 people in the US. Why? Well, WMG could be doing this for a variety of reasons with the most dominant being that they just want to reduce RR’s budget.

Whatever the case may be, the sheer fact that the metal label is the one that gets hit should be very worrying to all of us. If the majors start to disregard metal like this, it can only mean that we’re not  progressing very well, despite the fact that metal has been one of the most stable genres in the world. Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel very rightly twitted today that “What happened today to Roadrunner is one of the biggest reasons I never sold to a major” while Chimaira’s lead guitarist Emil Werstler wondered:  “[…] why people are so concerned about RR. It's 2012. It sucks for our pals there, but did we not see this coming?”.  Well, Emil is right and so is Brian. Did we not see this coming? Probably not, but it makes sense. When Roadrunner got bought by WMG in 2010 it could only go towards a very limited amount of directions. Unfortunately it went towards the direction we would had wished it never went, and this was a gamble that Roadrunner took when they signed the deal with WMG.

For the RR bands this is very bad news too. If this is indeed a reduction of budget, then a bunch of them will be dropped and many bands will have to look for new homes. The big ones obviously don’t have much to worry, but the smaller RR bands should be considering some other labels right now. This could also potentially mean the end of Signmeto which has been recruiting young bands and signed them to Roadrunner for a few years now. It could also mean that the remaining RR bands will get a smaller advance for their next album, which could lead to smaller tours, less products and limited reach. So this automatically takes us to a very limited quantity of metal being released and with one less label, it makes it harder for every band to get signed anywhere else, since competition will be tougher.

For the fans, I think it’s pretty obvious what will happen. Less metal, less gigs, less ways to express yourself, less freedom. Might sound a bit dramatic, but don’t tell me that you don’t feel free and relieved after listening to metal.

So from all points of view we are in deep shit. Who is to blame? Well, first of all, I get very annoyed with all the people tweeting that piracy is to blame. This is bullshit! Although piracy might have something to do with it, it is definitely not the reason why this happened, so stop mentioning piracy as the reason for this. In my opinion, the main reason for this situation, is corporate greed. WMG doesn’t really care if what they do, means anything to anybody or if it will affect thousands of people.  We are in a changing industry where the future is uncertain and definitely very exciting. The majors are struggling to retain control and as they are losing money they are becoming greedier. As long as something saves them money, they’ll go for it and they’ll be happy about it! And by reducing the RR offices and incorporating all the Roadrunner activities within their own offices, well let me tell you that they will save money.

Concluding this blog post I just hope that this will be the end of this story and that the whole label won’t get absorbed into WMG and become history. Roadrunner is a historic label, and maybe in the last few years they haven’t been what they used to, but nevertheless we should honour and respect the label for what it has done and for bringing us some of the heaviest, craziest and best metal acts that ever walked on stage.

“Money should not dictate art. Art should dictate money.” - Shawn Crahan (Slipknot)

Posted by Nick

Sunday, 4 March 2012

"Festival season is officially open!" by Nick Azinas



I recently bought my first plane tickets for this summer's festival season and I just thought I might ease it up for some of you who are considering going to a festival this summer. Every year it’s the same story over and over again. Getting in that awkward and oh so familiar position of deciding whether “to festival or not to festival”? This extremely rhetoric question immediately triggers an intensive search on the interweb in order to find the festival which could potentially be our home, and our life for a weekend. The choice is obviously great with many bands doing a bunch of festivals and with many line-ups looking pretty much the same, so the real decision comes down to the festival organisation and the place where it’ll take place! The most obvious choices are of course Download, with the only European date of Black Sabbath along with Metallica playing the entire Black album, and the Sonispheres festivals who's UK version went the classic rock/metal way this time by booking Kiss, Faith No More and Queen! Nevertheless many prefer the slightly non-commercial fests such as Hellfest and Graspop. Hellfest managed to gather a stunning line-up with headliners Ozzy and Friends, Guns’n Roses, Megadeth and Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is also pretty cool that King Diamond will be there since he is not a act you see very often. Graspop on the other hand booked Limb Bizkit as their 3rd headliner who will be joining Ozzy and Guns’n Roses on the top of the bill, which is ok I guess but I have to admit personally it feels slightly disappointing. For those of you who like tall, blond, blue eyed metalheads then Tuska Open Air could be an option  with bands such as Megadeth, Lamb of God and Sonata Arctica, while if you rather spend a weekend enjoying the Mediterranean climate then you might want to take a look at Gods of Metal or Hard Rock Hell Ibiza. Gods of Metal managed to book Manowar, Motley Crue, Guns’s Roses and Ozzy as headliners and it clashes with Graspop, so if you were thinking of doing both then bad luck. Ibiza on the other hand is the opener of the festival season, at least to me, from the end of May till the first days of June. Headlining the festival so far is Marky Ramones from the Ramones while other bands such as Irish prog metalers Shattered Skies and Attica Rage will also be present. Of course the ultimate metal fest has always been Wacken but good luck finding tickets on that one! If on the other hand you are not really the true metal fan there is always an option for you too! What about Rock am Ring/Rock im Park? A little bit of good heavy metal such as Metallica and Killswitch Engage, and also a bit of Tinie Tempah! Nice mix huh? On the other, other hand you might be one of those who can only tolerate metal in small doses. Well in that case you do have your Reading and Leeds fest in the UK but you also have a variety of choices in mainland Europe with most dominant, I believe, being either Pukkelpop or Rock Werchter in Belgium. Pukkelpop still hasn't announced anything up to today, while Werchter are projecting a line-up including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Snow Patrol and Florence and the Machine along with Mastodon and Wolfmother. Ultimately, if staying in a tent for your summer holidays is not really your thing then you can always wait up till October and attend the Euroblast festival in Cologne, Germany. Last year’s edition was a complete success and with a bigger venue this year it looks as if it is going to be one hell of a festival again! Whatever your decision may be, have a great summer and stay safe!

Posted by Nick

Friday, 2 March 2012

Welcome to the Blog!

Dear friends of metal!

Welcome to Peek from the Pit's blog. Here, we are giving you the opportunity to write and express yourselves about anything that you want. Write about your favourite artists, your own album reviews or comment on the matters which concern you within the metal community. Email us your articles at info@peekfromthepit.com and if they are good enough we will post them here! This is your opportunity to get some exposure and some writing experience. We are eagerly awaiting for your work!

Peek from the Pit Team

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Pianomation - Shattered Skies (2012)

EP REVIEW
Well it’s almost Valentine’s day, so I bet many of you metalheads are actually pondering on what to get for your girlfriend/boyfriend. Of course, I'm only kidding just because it's a stupid celebration, but if you are one of those who do celebrate it then your quest ends right here. Pianomation is the new EP from Irish prog metalers Shattered Skies, due to be released on the 13th of February, which features three tracks from the Reanimation EP, in a very smooth and well executed piano & vocals format. Additionally, as a little bonus, the brand new track As The Sea Divides will also be available for download, along with the EP, in a fully instrumented version. As the Sea Divides is really a great track with a very powerful intro riff and very good dynamics. Sean Murphy delivers some really good vocals while Ian Rockett really blasts the roof off with some very skilled guitar work. As the Sea Divides is an instant favourite just because it has everything you could ask from a song: energy, raw power, feeling and some fucking awesome riffs! First on the EP is Beneath the Waves ,the first track out of Reanimation, which is also the first track to undergo the piano & vocals treatment. The original, fully instrumented version of Beneath the Waves is a very powerful and energetic track which, on Pianomation, surprisingly transforms itself into an elegant display of fine composition and musicianship. Following up, is Attrition which is one of those tracks that creates a superb mood on an EP. Just like it’s title suggests this track has a very dark and gloomy feel and the duet between Ian(Piano) and Sean(Vocals)  is absolutely magnificent and really works out very well, just as it does on the entire EP. Finally, last track on the EP is Chasing After Time which ends the EP in a very pleasant and slightly oriental way. Once again some great piano work from Ian who has proven himself to be a very good multi-instrumentalist. To end this review, Pianomation is a very good piece of work and a very nice touch from the band which is definitely worth checking out, while it is also a very strong proof that Shattered Skies are one of those bands to keep an eye on!

Pianomation: 4,5/5

Posted by Nick