Thursday, 30 December 2010

SoulSteal - 29 Dec 2010 (Tepee - Limassol, CY)

It's funny how sometimes other bands introduce you to other bands in the most unusual ways. Well this time thanks to Amorphis I got introduced to this Doom/Death Metal band from Cyprus. I am aware that Cyprus is not really famous for its metal bands but bear with me for a second. Having an important experience on everything that has to do with Cypriot culture and its people I can tell you that, when one of them decides to do something, he will do it in the best possible way. This is the case for Socrates Ioannou(Guitar&Vocals) who drove this band from its creation in 2001 to being one of the most respected bands in the Cypriot Metal scene. With one album in their catalogue Soulsteal got on stage at what is, to me at least, one of the best metal venues in Cyprus. The set-list included a mixture of covers and originals which honestly blended really well between them. The compositions of the band really manage to give out a dark and gloomy feeling that every doom metal fan will enjoy while the influences from bands such as Katatonia, Anathema and My Dying Bride are quite strong, but still there is this little touch by these guys that makes it different and unique. The vocals of Socrates are amazingly powerful on the dark parts and really stand out with their clarity on the clean parts. Despite the line up troubles that the band went through during this past week the gig was well executed and the crowd seemed to enjoy the totality of the set. The crowd here in Cyprus is quite different that the crowd in the UK but the intensity and the love for metal is still well felt in the atmosphere. To sum it up: a very good gig from Soulsteal and a very good atmosphere in general. The ball-grabbing factor was lacking a little bit but I'm sure it will come with bigger crowds and more on-stage confidence. If you are a fan of Katatonia and such bands you should definitely check out Soulsteal's myspace page and judge for yourself and who knows maybe one day we will have them over in the UK. 

SoulSteal: 8/10

Posted by Nick

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

101% Pantera - 5 Dec 2010 (Purple Turtle)

I was, unfortunately, born in this world too late. Too late to witness the amazing band that Pantera has been, live. Growing up as a teenager Pantera and Dimebag Darrell were a huge inspiration for me and I soon came to realise that this was the case for so many others within the metal community and not only. Generally cover bands don’t really get me excited and I have to admit that I’m guilty of not really attending any of these shows. However last night was different. I can openly say that 101% Pantera is the closest thing to Pantera you can get at the moment within the UK. This band is made up by an impressive selection of musicians including Chris Jones from Voodoo Six, which was absent last night due to the Voodoo Six tour and replaced by Aaron Waddingham from Man of Kin, Boris Le Gal, current drummer for London’s power metallers NeonFly, Dylan Cooper on bass and Patrick Reily on vocals.  Quite impressive don’t you think? Of course with a line up like this the result can only be extremely good. Well, it was unbelievably good. The band came up on stage and delivered a set, that lasted for a bit more than an hour, including a vast majority of songs from all of the Pantera albums. The band kicked in with an aggressive 5 Minutes Alone and despite the sound issues that came up, especially with Patrick’s microphone, the band kept the crowd and the venue in general, under their control. This cover band is really bringing out all the energy and raw power that any Pantera song carries within it and that energy is directly transmitted to the crowd which was just ecstatic during the totality of the set. In general the band is really giving out everything they have and trust me they have a lot to give so if you are wondering on what to do during the next few days you might want to check out the tour dates of the band since they are actually touring the UK in commemoration of Dimebag’s death.
Also don’t forget that tomorrow (Wednesday 8th of December) is the 6th year anniversary of Dimebag’s death so make sure to wear your Pantera t-shirt and to start your day with Cowboys from Hell!

101% Pantera: 10/10 

Posted by Nick 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Soilwork - All that Remains - 30 Nov 2010 (Electric Ballroom)

I haven’t attended a gig at the Electric Ballroom in about 3 years now and the memory that I had of that venue wasn’t the best, so I was kind of worried about tonight’s gig. I stepped in the venue as soon as Caliban started their set and my fears were instantly gone. The sound wasn’t as bad as I remembered and the venue looked much bigger as well. As for Caliban: last time I saw this band was in 2006 and I have to say that, back then, I left the gig very impressed by the atmosphere and the energy of the band. Well all I have to say is: it got even better! The band was dominating the stage tonight and was very confident during the whole set. They even performed a cover of Sonne by Rammstein, that is due to be released on a compilation album very soon as Andreas Dörner(Vocals) explained. Caliban also performed various tracks from their older albums as well as tracks from their latest album Say Hello to Tragedy, such as 24 Years which concluded the set for this German band. Next on stage were Soilwork. The band started off with the opening track on their latest album The Panic Broadcast, Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter, and just took the whole venue with them. The public responded very positively to the energy that the band was giving out and the pit got aggressive at certain points, and especially when Nerve came on. The relatively new "recruit" of Soilwork Sylvain Coudret(Guitar) blew me away since he was amazing during his lead parts showcasing a huge technical ability and an amazing sound and tone. On the other end of the stage Peter Wichers(Guitar), who re-joined the band some time between 2008 and 2009, really brought in some very melodic and perfectly executed solos. The tracks from the new album really seemed to drive the public into some sort of "mayhem constructed by people running in a formation that took a somehow cylindrical shape" commonly known as Circle Pits. Songs such as Two Lives Worth of Reckoning or Stabbing the Drama, which also concluded the set, really made the crowd go crazy. Stabbing the Drama was also the perfect occasion for a sing along between Bjorn “Speed” Strid(Vocals) and the crowd! Last on stage, but not least, the all mighty American metallers All That Remains. This band has a very unique energy that is present every time they play live. The band is in Europe to promote their new album For We Are Many and a few songs were performed tonight from this album such as Hold On and Some of the People, All of the Time. Classic songs such as The Air That I Breath and This Calling where also included in the set list with This Calling creating a big wave of excitement among the crowd and a very loud sing along. Oli Herbert(Guitar) really impressed me too since by seeing him live I realised that he is an amazing shredder and the solos he delivered during the gig were just mind-blowing. It is very clear to me that All that Remains is a very tight band and that they have worked very hard to get where they are and I think that this time they are on their way to the top.

All that Remains: 18/20
Soilwork: 18/20
Caliban: 17/20

Posted by Nick

Sunday, 28 November 2010

A New Tomorrow - 27 Nov 2010 (Water Rats)

I was really unhappy when I found out that I couldnt attend the first ever gig of A New Tomorrow, so when I heard that they were playing again I just had to go. The history and the line up for this band is just so interesting that it makes it a top priority to go and see them. So, second gig ever for this, relatively, new band from London and God I wished the second gigs of all new bands sounded just like that! The energy and confidence that the band had and was giving out was huge and it really reached the crowd which responded in the appropriate way.  The band performed a short 35-40 minutes set and despite the bad sound during the first song things improved dramatically as the songs were coming in and eventually turned out to an amazing sound for such a small venue. The sound of the band was “enormous”, as someone from the crowd described it to me during the set, and really filled the venue.  Alessio Garavello(Vocals-Guitar)’s voice is extremely powerful and he can reach notes that are “over the rainbow” so easily that it seems as if it is a game for a 3-year-old. To accompany Alessio’s voice you had the beautiful guitar licks from Edward Cooper(Guitar). Edward manages to get out of his guitar a great tone and his timing on when to kick in with the solo parts was just perfect! The solos came in just at the right moment to lift up the songs into that next level of greatness that is needed for any good song to leave an impact on the public. The rhythm section of the band, Andrea on bass and JD on drums, was excellent and was really going for it with an amazing willingness to reach the crowd. Many times when performing, people get the feeling that they can reach the sky and the stars... well I’m pretty sure that A New Tomorrow did that tonight and I’m certain that they took many people from the public with them. Check out their Myspace here!

 A New Tomorrow: 9/10

Posted by Nick 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Exodus - 23 Nov 2010 (Islington Academy)

Well tonight I left the academy and all I could hear buzzing in my ears was: E-XO-DUS, E-XO-DUS, E-XO-DUS... My god(if you exist) what a gig!!! There are some bands out there that provide some kind of safety when it comes to gig. Of course I don’t mean personal safety, I mean Heavy Fucking Metal safety, where bands such as: Machine Head, Lamb of God, Iron Maiden etc just give you one hell of a good time. Well in this list, that I have just developed before you, make sure not to miss EXODUS. You can’t really miss it now that it is in capitals and bold! The academy was packed tonight! Not a full house but not far at all, which gave the necessary space for this gig to become a mosh-pitting paradise. Exodus came on stage with a very strong and aggressive set and that was just the beginning of a great night. Rob Duke(Vocals) created a special connection with the crowd and just made everybody go crazy, especially on songs such as The Toxic Waltz, War Is My Shepherd and Children of a Worthless God. At some point Duke wasn’t completely happy with how the crowd was mosh-pitting so he just jumped down and showed everybody how it’s done. The energy that these Californian thrashers were giving out was immense and the solos of Gary Holt(Guitar) were ripping through all night long. Holt is a great shredder and has an amazing technique on the guitar reaching the elite status that only a very few players have in the metal scene. As the set was coming to an end the pit was getting bigger and bigger and more and more people were getting involved. The crowd surfers had some fun as well and gave a very hard time to the security guys since a few of them even made it to the stage to say “Hi” to the band. Overall a great gig, and I can support this by giving you some "after-the-gig" stats:
-Two persons knocked out in the middle of the pit
-One person with a broken leg
-One person with a broken nose
-About six hundred and sixty six bruises...and thats only on me!

Exodus: 19/20
Posted by Nick 

Monday, 22 November 2010

Minkus - 18 Nov 2010 (Buzz - Lausanne, CH)

It is quite a shame that some bands that deserve to get out of their country and present themselves to the world don’t, while others that should had stayed in their rooms do. This time I had to travel to Switzerland to discover this band. Minkus is a band founded in Lausanne, Switzerland 9 years ago and today they are just on the world’s doorstep waiting to step in. This is also why although this band is signed to a label I will assess it as an unsigned band. So here I am at the Buzz Club in Lausanne and Minkus is up next. Despite the awful sound of the venue, Minkus came up aggressively and with a nicely built atmosphere the band provided a well balanced set.  Despite the short length of the set the crowd seemed to enjoy the songs and in particular the cover that Minkus did of last year’s UK Christmas number one: “Killing in the Name”. Just so that you understand what Minkus sounds like it is a mixture between Rage against the Machine and Hatebreed but not quite that. They have something unique in their song-writing and in their performance that without a doubt makes them one of the best metal bands in Switzerland. The new album is coming out in March and you should definitely give it a try. Along with the new album there is also a video clip coming out, featuring one of the songs on the new album: “Shout”. I had the chance to attend the shootings of the video and will post a small review on it as soon as it comes out early next year. Until then you can check out their Myspace here.

Minkus: 8/10

Posted by Nick

Monday, 15 November 2010

Nick Harper - 14 Nov 2010 (The Social)

I first heard about Nick Harper two or three years ago when I got in London, and I only got to properly hear and see him tonight, and I have to say I was mesmerized by this guy. As some have already called him Nick Harper is the unsung hero of English music, and I have to say that it is probably true. You hear very little of this man while you should hear a hell lot about him instead. Not only he is amazingly good at guitar he also has a very powerful voice and a very good sense of humour. The whole gig was just an amazing trip to the Harper world just like his dad, that probably a few of you already know, used to do. Yes, Nick is the son of guitar legend Roy Harper but please, don’t let that cloud your mind. Nick is on a league of his own. The guitar playing and the voice are just amazing and the best of it is that he does everything on his own, just him and his guitars. For this gig I was joined by one of my very good friends and when we entered this small London venue I knew that the night would be very interesting. First up we had a duet that sang and played guitar with some nice tunes but I’m afraid to say not very captivating. Mancub Babywoman, as they are called, gave a nice performance but the low self esteem of Charlotte King(Vocals) was something that somehow ruined their stage presence and set. However I do believe that everybody enjoyed the set and didn’t find it annoying. Nick Harper came on stage next and with a mind blowing, ball-grabbing solo he just got everybody’s attention before he started to sing. I have to admit that this guy plays the guitar like most of the guitar heroes out there, and I wonder if he doesn’t play better than some of them too. During the set he delivered a variety of his compositions which are absolutely beautiful and feel as if they have a soul of their own when he sings them. Nick has an amazing range in his voice and can reach notes that most of the singers can’t even reach in their dreams. The interaction with the public was amazing and the use of environment was perfect. Nick didn't miss any opportunities to make a joke or point out something funny. Also one of the things that you have to witness at a Nick Harper gig is the re-stringing of the guitar when he breaks a string. All those who play guitar know what a pain it is to re-string a guitar and personally I've never seen anybody re-stringing a guitar on stage. Nick on the other hand does it while playing and singing. How? You’ll have to go to his gig and find out on your own...or you could Youtube it! For the encore Nick delivered two songs on the 12string guitar and exited the building in a very cheerful and interesting way. To sum this up I can only recommend that you go to a Nick Harper gig whenever you get the chance. It is an amazing experience. Make sure to take somebody with you though because it is definitely an experience that needs sharing!

Nick Harper: 20/20
Mancub Babywoman: 14/20

Posted by Nick

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Devildriver - 13 Nov 2010 (The Forum)

Welcome to the crowd surfing and circle pit’s paradise! With a bill listing bands such as 36 Crazyfists and Devildriver you can be sure that the crowd will be amazingly crazy and aggressive. First on stage were 36 Crazyfists and I have to say that this guys know how to put up a great show. The band lifted up the crowd with an amazing energy on stage, especially by Brock Lindow(Vocals) who didn’t even hesitate at jumping inside the pit from the stage just to say hi to his friends down there. The band prepared an amazing set list that included tracks such as Slit Wrist Theory, Bloodwork or The Heart & the Shape. The crowd was amazing and the crowdsurfers didn’t stop for a second and so did the pits which were very aggressive and probably very fun too. I say probably because this time, being tortured by this cold that’s been haunting me for a week now, I decided not to join the pit and sit on the upper level of the Forum. On one hand I missed the intensity of the pits which looked awesome but on the other hand I got to witness all the frenzy that went through when Devildriver came on. What I saw from up there was something I haven’t seen in a while now. The crowd went absolutely mental for Devildriver. The band came up and ripped everything apart. They delivered songs from all Pray for Villains, The Last Kind Words and The Fury of our Maker’s Hand albums. Songs such as Clouds Over California or Forgiveness Is a Six Gun really made it for everybody. Dez Fafara(Vocals) seemed to have a great night and made sure to give a hand to all the crowdsurfers that made it to the security pit. I have to say that the last time that I saw so many crowdsurfers was probably at the Lamb of God gig last February where, according to Metal Hammer, there were 234 crowdsurfers coming over the barriers. I’m very interested in getting some numbers for this gig so if by any chance you get them just leave them in the comment section! Also one of the things that couldn’t be missing from a Devildriver gig is of course the massive circle pits. Despite the fact that the venue was packed and that the space was somehow limited, the pits did get quite big and aggressive and it was definitely very nice to watch them from above. Of course when you are Devildriver and you are playing London you have to play the song that is written about London so “let’s start a riot” and play Another Night in London. The song was amazing to be heard in this context and I’m sure that Dez, the crowd and everybody in the Forum did enjoy it a lot(maybe not the security guys). Overall a great gig and a message for the future: Do not miss the next Devildriver or 36 Crazyfists gig!

Devildriver: 19/20
36 Crazyfists: 19/20

Posted by Nick 

Friday, 12 November 2010

Amorphis - 11 Nov 2010 (Islington Academy)

As a few of you probably already know, last time Amorphis was in the UK was also the first time they were in the UK, and the only show that they had scheduled was in the Underworld in Camden, London. That particular show sold out a few weeks before the gig and people from all across the UK came to see it. This was not the case today. Having already played gigs in Manchester and Glasgow, tonight Amorphis faced a Londonian crowd that seemed to enjoy the gig till the last second. However I will be describing that later because before Amorphis two other bands made it to the stage. First to face the crowd was Ghost Brigade from Finland. I wasn’t particularly familiar with this band but I have to say that I liked what I heard and saw. This band has some great dark, gloomy vocals as well as nice growls. The melodic interchanges that happen during the songs are very interesting and it kind of reminds me of the early Anathema era. The atmospheric passages are very well executed and the feeling that the band gives toward the crowd is very strong. It sometimes reminded me of the My Dying Bride kind of atmosphere that you get at a MDB gig.  Towards the end of the set the energy that the guys were giving out was amazing and the crowd that was there, despite their little number, seemed to enjoy it.  Next on stage we had a completely different style of metal and a completely different culture too. Have you ever heard of Middle Eastern Heavy Metal? If yes: then well done. If no: shame on you. Not to worry though, Orphaned Land is here to teach you everything about it. The band came up with a good energy but the technical problems seemed to bring them down a bit. The band from Israel has some very strong influences from their traditional music and it does give a different colour to the whole thing since the wide use of the somehow oriental melodies and harmonies reminds you of the Middle East instantly. This can be quite a pleasant thing but it can also be very annoying if this is not your cup of tea...or pint of beer. Towards the end of the set the band overcame the technical problems and really managed to carry the whole academy with them which was very pleasant. And then it was time for the headliner of the night. As always Amorphis were atmospherically beautiful. The set list was composed from a few songs from Skyforger, such as My Sun and Skyforger, but also by tracks from albums from the Koskinen era such as Alone and My Kantele with My Kantele along with Silver Bride being performed during the encore. Tomi Joutsen(Vocals) really gave everything he could, despite the flu that was torturing him, and so did Tomi Koivusaari(Guitar) and the rest of the guys. The voice of Joutsen has many times been described as the best thing that ever happen to Amorphis and I think it might be true. Overall a classic performance by this amazing band, which I particularly enjoyed and I believe so did the crowd, which was awesome. The amazing thing about Amorphis’ crowd is that it is a very diverse crowd, which is kind of nice. I was particularly impressed by a man in his 60s'(not your average metalhead grandpa) wearing some sort of “suit jacket” on the front of the stage giving out everything he had and clearly loving it! Hopefully we’ll all be doing the same when we get to that age.

Amorphis: 19/20
Orphaned Land: 17/20
Ghost Brigade 17/20

Posted by Nick 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Jägermeister Tour - 9 Nov 2010 (Islington Academy)

First leg of this year’s Jägermeister Tour and the line up didn’t look too bad. First on the bill for the London show was Never Means Maybe. The band came up with a good energy but they were lacking that extra boost that they needed to smash the place up. Despite the lack of people in the venue the band did give out a nice show that to me sounded a bit like a Coheed & Cambria with heavier riffs and a touch of Soulfly. They had very nice musical passages and the clean vocals were very nice. The unclean vocals however lacked the energy and the volume. Generally a pleasant gig from this Essex band. Next on stage were The Defiled from London. Despite the crazy keyboards player which stole the show the rest of the band was not really giving out anything.  Some of the riffs reminded Slipknot and the beginning of the set was very “clumsy”. Towards the end of the set things started to get better but still they didn’t manage to draw the crowd towards them. The band members generally were not tight between them and that made them sound a bit un-professional. Generally I was not impressed by them. Up next were Exit Ten. When this band from Reading started playing the first thought I had was: System of a Down. I soon founded out that they had nothing to do with them. This band combines heavy/hardcore riffs with clean vocals and I have to say although it sounded a bit strange to me in the beginning it kind of works. The band came on stage with lots of confidence and energy and the crowd responded to their call with enthusiasm that they kept during the whole set. The vocals were very good and sometimes the singer even reminded me of Jim Morisson. The band will be recording their album after this tour so you might want to check it out. And to end the night the headline was Sylosis. Another Reading band that probably more of you know. Sylosis recently lost their vocalist when he left before the summer and Josh Middleton( Guitar & Vocals) took up the position. However knowing Sylosis with a vocalist it felt to me as the front man position was still empty. The band in general was good with a good energy and with mind blowing riffs. The band was extremely tight and it really made the riffs come out very well. The guitars in this band are amazing and the unison parts that they play sound really good while the lead parts are just brilliantly executed despite their technical difficulty. Sylosis is also releasing a new album very soon so if you are a fan of the band check it out because the samples we heard tonight were really good.

Sylosis: 17/20
Exit Ten: 17/20
The Defiled: 14/20
Never Means Maybe: 15/20 

Posted by Nick 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Job for a Cowboy - Whitechapel - 7 Nov 2010 (Dingwalls)

I have been looking forward to this gig, since last time I saw this bands they were occupying the support band’s spot and everybody knows that it is not the best spot to impress. Whitechapel came on first and the boost that they gave to the whole crowd was unbelievable. These guys are really getting better and better every time I see them. Despite the amp problems that Ben Savage(Guitar) had  the band kicked off with a lot of energy and The darkest day of man from the A new Era of Corruption album and then came in the headbangingly amazing Possession. Phil Bozeman(Vocals) was really good and really makes me think that he has one of the best brutal vocals out there. The set list was satisfying but I have to admit I was expecting more new material to be played. Songs like Devolver and End of Flesh for example. The set ended with the classic now This is Exile. Crowd wise it was f*cking brutal. The crowd just loved it. Due to the way things are set up in Dingwalls there were a hell lot of stage divers and crowd surfers. Some of them even visited the shoes of Ben Savage to give them a nice little kiss. Then came on Job for a Cowboy. I have to say that once again the guys failed to impress me. On the albums they sound amazingly brutal and heavy but somehow on the stage they are unable to deliver that feeling. They are missing the “ball-grabbing” factor. Despite that the crowd kept on going mental especially on songs such as Entombment of a Machine. Later on I even heard that some punches were delivered on stage. All jolly nice init mates? Overall: a satisfying gig but not impressive. The word is that Whitechapel is thinking to do a headlining tour in the UK and Europe some time next spring. I personally hope that it is true because a headlining Whitechapel is a good Whitechapel. Until then Job for a Cowboy and Whitechapel are still on tour in the UK and Europe so go out and check them out when they come near you!

Job for a Cowboy: 15/20
Whitechapel: 17/20

Posted by Nick

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Neonfly - 5 Nov 2010 (Purple Turtle)

Neonfly was flying tonight at the Purple Turtle. The band went through a big change in the last few months when Tamás Csemez who used to hold the mic for Neonfly suddenly left the band and had to be replaced. Luckily Willy Norton(Vocals) stepped out of the shade and stood under the spotlight. And what a terrific job he did. If you are not familiar with Neonfly let me describe them for you: Get a Gojira loving drummer, two long haired riffers that are as tight as a know....and a dreadlock bass player that is better at circle headbanging than Corey Beaulieu. What do you get? POWER!!!! Neonfly is the perfect mix between melody, heavy and power! So obviously they needed a singer who could deliver all of that as well. Well Willy didn’t disappoint me at all. He delivered so well on stage that he gave to Neonfly a massive lift...a bit like the surgeons do to Mick Jagger’s face. The band was very tight and gave out an amazing energy. The Turtle was packed, since the line up for the evening was very attractive, and what a great opportunity to present the new singer to a wider Londonian crowd. Neonfly came on with an amazing energy and the riffs of Frederick Thunder(Guitar) filled the venue with a very pleasant heaviness! During the set the band presented some new songs, due to be recorded on the band’s first album some time in the beginning of next year, so keep an eye open for that. Towards the end of the set the ever so melodic Ship with No Sails and the new Star Trek fans anthem I think I saw a UFO where the ones to show how good the band is and concluded this great set. Neonfly is currently on tour with Freedom Call, across the UK. Check out their website for the full tour dates.

Neonfly: 8,5/10

Posted by Nick

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Stone Sour - 19 Oct 2010 (Dingwalls)

The first European date for Stone Sour promoting their new album Audio Secrecy, before they head to Berlin to kick off the tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Hellyeah, and this gig sold out in just an hour after the tickets were released. Those familiar with Dingwalls will know that it is not a venue that bands with the reputation of Stone Sour usually play, but this time it was perfect. As expected the venue was packed. Corey Taylor (Vocals) really made the evening feel like a very private party with some very special guests. The gig was just overwhelming. The band kicked off with Mission Statement and went through with songs from all three albums that the band has released so far.  The new songs, in particular, got a very warm reception by the British public with massive sing-along on Say you’ll haunt me and Digital. The all so famous acoustic performance of Bother by Corey was perfectly performed both on vocals and guitar which makes me think that Corey has been practising. Through the glass followed, which to me has become some kind of a trademark for Stone Sour, along with a few other songs out of Come What(ever) and then surprisingly we got the honour to get the rarity that is Idle Hands with Corey and the crowd doing the “infamous” dance routine! The gig ended with a massive 30/30-150 that left everybody, including me, highly satisfied. The crowd was amazing and Corey really knows how to create a link with his audience. If you bear in mind that this was a “warm up” gig for the European tour then the only thing I can suggest is: GO AND SEE STONE SOUR WITH A7X! You won’t be disappointed. I even had the chance to ask Corey a few questions before the gig and discussed matters such as the upcoming tour, Slipknot and of course...Coldplay! The band just came back from some gigs in Japan and was getting ready for the European leg of the tour with A7X and Hellyeah. All three bands, pretty much, have lost a member in the near past so I took the liberty to ask Corey about how was the atmosphere backstage, with the other bands. It all seemed to be working pretty good and the friendship between the bands really made things run nicely. Vinnie Paul(Drums for Hellyeah) even gave the guys his piece of advice on the matter by saying that Paul, Rev and Dime are always with them and that now they have to live for them as well. When asked about the future of Slipknot Corey stood still on his position that it is too early to say, (despite the fact that both Clown and Joey Jordison have confirmed that there will be a new Slipknot chapter to come), and that there hasn’t really been a band meeting about the matter yet. Regarding the new Slipknot DVD, that was released a few weeks ago, the band is really happy with the result although it was very strange watching the whole thing again. Corey described the experience as being a “bittersweet sensation”. Finally I asked Corey what seems to turn into my standard question: What do you think of Coldplay? Corey described Coldplay as a “Vanilla version of Radiohead” and to be “sleeping music”. To be honest I’m kind of relieved that at least someone shares almost the same opinion as me on the matter!

Stone Sour: 19/20

PS: Corey is a fucking cool guy!  

Posted by Nick 

Monday, 11 October 2010

August Burns Red - 10 Oct 2010 (Islington Academy)

I was a bit disappointed when I entered the academy and heard the singer from Of Mice & Men saying “Goodnight, thank you very much”. I was kind of looking forward to see this guys live. However the other two bands kind of made up for this. Second to come up was Blessthefall. The boys from Arizona had a tough time to get the public with them during the whole set with a clearly divided public. At the front ¼ of the room was full of people enjoying the gig, then some kind of empty space with a few moshers, followed by a motionless group of people that occupied the rest of the venue. By the end of the set things got a little better and the rest of the crowd started to move a little bit mostly thanks to the amazing energy of the singer Beau Bokan and Jared Warth(Bass). This two guys made a great effort to carry the academy with them and almost reached their goal. I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed with the stage presence of the two guitar players. To me they seemed very tired and were lacking a lot of energy in comparison with the two other guys. I'm pretty sure that if they were up to the same energy level as the other two guys they would had achieved a better impression and would had carry more people with them. Up next came the leading act for the evening: August Burns Red. Last time I saw this guys at the Lamb of God gig I was very impressed by the power and energy they were giving out so I kind of knew what to expect and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. The guys kicked in with a very aggressive and powerful set and grab me by the hair and made me head-bang for the majority of the gig. Despite the warnings of the venue that no moshing should be encouraged the crowd did go mental and the surfers got on their “boards”. August Burns Red was like the Iron Maiden spaceship driven by Eddie on the Final Frontier video clip. Fast, aggressive and ravaging everything on its way! After the gig I had the chance to speak with the singers from the two bands and guess what...Just like Architects, the bands are also influenced by Coldplay. Beau Bokan admitted to me that Chris Martin was one of his singing influences and Jake Luhrs(ABR Vocals) told me that one of Matt Greiner(Drums) favourite bands is again Coldplay. I should probaly listen to more Coldplay!

August Burns Red: 18/20
Blessthefall: 15/20

Posted by Nick  

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Architects - 8 Oct 2010 (Koko)

What a night and what a gig. A sold out gig at Koko featuring some of the best upcoming bands and headlined by one the UK's best metal acts at the moment. I managed to get in the venue just as Architects got on stage. The whole Koko was packed and the lower level seemed like an angry sea of people. From what I was told the previous bands did an amazing job at warming up the crowd. Architects got on stage with an amazing energy and took with them the 1400 fans that made it to the gig. The gig kicked in with the powerful riffs of Day In Day Out and continued with a selection of songs out of the Hollow Crown CD. The Hollow Crown song as it self was profoundly acclaimed with the majority of the public singing along with Sam Carter(Vocals). The gig ended with Follow the Water. The energy that the band gave out was amazing and the presence on stage was intense and ball-grabbing. After the gig the band headed for the after-party at the Relentless Garage where I had the opportunity to speak with the guys for a bit. I was very surprised when I asked Tom Searle(Guitar) to tell me which guitar players he was looking up to and replied to me:”The guy from Coldplay isn't bad”(lol?). Anyhow if Coldplay helps to inspire the music of Architects, I guess they don't do only bad things after all!

Architects: 18/20

Posted by Nick  

Thursday, 7 October 2010

This Will Destroy You - 30 Sep 2010 (Underworld)

I was lucky enough to discover this band earlier this year and even more lucky to find out that they would be playing in London. Despite the fact that I believed that the gig wouldn't get much attendance it was fully packed. The first band to come up was East/Strike/West which delivered a very pleasant set. Nice melodic and harmonic ideas, a very powerful voice and an appropriate stage presence made me want to listen to more from this band. Up next was Talons. The band line up looked very appealing with two violins, two guitars, drums and bass. However I did find the whole thing a bit too “messy”. The sound wasn't really good and the stage presence was extremely imposing. Musically the band delivered a nice mix of heavy riffs and violin melodies. I do believe that this band has a lot of potential but they really need to work on their sound and their presence. Then it was This Will Destroy You's turn. If you haven't heard of this band please go find one of their songs on Youtube, Spotify, iTunes or what ever you like and play it NOW! This band delivered an amazing set. They really transmitted the feeling of floating in space. The smoothness and energy of their sound can really make anyone travel in their own minds. The band started their set with Black Dunes and went through some older songs as well as songs from their upcoming CD. The encore brought back the band to deliver another two songs before the end of the gig and just blew everyone away when I Believe in Your Victory was played making it a perfect ending song. If you ever get the chance to see this band live please do so. You wont be disappointed.

This Will Destroy You: 20/20
Talons: 13/20
East/Strike/West: 16/20

Posted by Nick  

Opeth - 5 Apr 2010 (Royal Albert Hall)

A virtually sold out gig, in one of England's most majestic venues, for one of my favourite Swedish bands (along with ABBA of course). Having literally the best seat in the house (first box opposite the stage) this gig was definitely something more than a normal gig. The wedding between the hall's amazing sound and the mind drifting melodies of Opeth was a unique experience to witness. No supporting bands this time but two amazing sets by the Swedish metalers whith the first one consisting of the entire Blackwater Park album. Opeth delivered that album live, with amazing effectiveness and accuracy. I have to admit that I was mind blown by the great job that the media team has made. The projections behind the band were suiting the context perfectly and were just travelling across mountains, forests and an amazing variety of shapes and colours while the all so famous Harvest and Dirge for November were enthusiastically welcomed by the public. The second set consisted of songs from the entire catalogue of Opeth albums from the beginning of their career to their latest opus Watershed. A very nice move from Opeth which obliged them to play songs that they very rarely play in concert and also showcased the evolution of the band throughout their 20 years old career. The gig ended with one of the most powerful songs from Watershed: The Lotus Eater. During the song some technical difficulties with Fredrik Åkesson's guitar led to, what I believe to be, an amazing moment where the crowd just embraced the band and made a difficult and somehow embarassing moment seem like nothing. I believe that everybody who has attended that concert will agree with me that it was one of the best performances from Opeth in many years. And if you missed it, well don't can now buy the DVD of the performance!

Opeth: 19/20

Posted by Nick 

Machine Head - 18 Feb 2010 (Brixton Academy)

I have to be honest on this one. Five days after the Lamb of God concert I was still kind of buzzy when I entered Brixton Academy for the second time in a week and to be honest I didn't really know what to expect. I had previously seen all the bands on the bill individually but I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be the same this time. I arrived in the middle of the Bleeding Through set and the room was packed so I decided to stand at the back of the venue and watch the entire gig from there. Bleeding Through delivered a good set with no big surprises. Marta was as always charming on her keys but the set didn't really delivered the whole potential of the band. Then came on the ones who were bound to destroy me: Hatebreed. The band came up on stage with a very powerful set and a great live sound. I will be Heard was the opening song from the hardcore metal heads and it was definitely heard. I actually managed to move all my bruised muscles from the previous gig five days ago. A very nicely prepared set from Hatebreed with songs as Destroy Everything and In Ashes They Shall Reap. Get the full Hatebreed set-list here. By the time Hatebreed finished I had moved to the middle of the venue and the echo of MACHINE FUCKING HEAD was going around the whole academy. Machine Head came on and they just blasted the place up. It only took one song to get me all over the place and fortunately that was the second one on the list. Imperium kicked off and that was the beginning of an amazing gig. Flynn(Vocals, Guitar) gave 101% and Demmel was ripping the guitar strings . Flynn even gave away their newly acquired Silver Record for “The Blackening” to a lucky member of the audience. The gig was loud, fast and heavy, exactly what you can expect from MACHINE FUCKING HEAD !!! I found myself literally floating across the venue: From the far-left side to the far-right side in about 2 seconds.( Guinness Record?) The set ended with a mind-blazzing Halo and the riffelicious Davidian. It is a shame because in my head this gig kind of cast a shadow over the Lamb of God gig. Nevertheless this week had been amazing with two incredible gigs, good memories and buzzing ears. LET FREEDOM RING!!

Machine Head: 20/20
Hatebreed: 18/20
Bleeding Through: 15/20

Posted by Nick 

Lamb of God - 13 Feb 2010 (Brixton Academy)

LAMB OF GOD! You do realise that when a band like this hits town you know it will be a “messy” night, and indeed it was. Got at Brixton quite early and managed to get all the supporting acts with first on stage Between the buried and me. A not so impressive set by this North Carolina band but to be honest when you are waiting for Lamb of God it is quite hard to attract anybody unless you grab them by the balls. August Burns Red did exactly that. If you are not familiar with this band they do actually kick ass. Great, heavy music, nice stage presence and nice interaction with the public, despite the fact that most of the crowd was there for Job for a Cowboy and Lamb of God. HOWEVER...............August Burns Red members dressing style is to put it?.... “not appropriate”. I really don't mind having people dressing up in any kind of way, but coming to a Lamb of God gig dressed like just doesn't feel right. Coming up a band that I was very intrigued to see live and I have to say I was quite disappointed. Job for a Cowboy came on stage with attitude, confidence atrocious sound. Don't really know if Job for a Cowboy is to blame or if it is Brixton but the sound was just very very bad. Also the fact that the pit was mostly consisted of young teenagers who, I ll be honest, don't really mosh but try to be as violent as possible, did leave a very bad taste in my mouth about the whole set . Job for a cowboy is definitely a respected band and they perhaps deserve a review with a better sound. And now the main act for this soiree. LAMB OF GOD. Couldn't ask more from this set. Powerful, aggressive, headbangigly amazing, hair pulling, bruise maker, knee destroyer and everything else that follows a great metal gig. The “big boys” took over the pit and things started to feel a bit more METAL. I actually had to quit for a moment to get a break because of the intensity of the pit. Lamb of God delivered an amazing set with a mixture of Wrath songs as well as some classic head bangers such as Redneck, Laid to Rest and Omerta. Randy(Vocals) was on excellent form and Chris Adler made that drum-kit wish it was never born. A definite must-had-gone-to show and I'm sure that all who attended will remember it for a few years.

Lamb of God: 19/20
Job for a Cowboy: 14/20
August Burns Red: 15/20
Between the Buried and Me: 12/20

Posted by Nick  

Saturday, 10 April 2010




Amorphis Competition 



Pagan's Mind Competition



PowerQuest/Neonfly Competition




Amon Amarth Competition


Sunday, 28 February 2010