Pick Your Rock and Metal

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NEWS: Orange Goblin prep for summer release of The Wolf Bites Back

ORANGE Goblin have finished work on their upcoming new album and are preparing for its summer release.

The legendary British rock band holed up at Orgone Studios with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, Grave Pleasures, Paradise Lost, Cathedral) to create their latest opus, titled 'The Wolf Bites Back'.

The resulting nine track album will be the band's ninth studio release and will be released via Candlelight/ Spinefarm Records worldwide.

Vocalist, Ben Ward, said: "We are very excited about this new album. The Wolf Bites Back is our strongest and most diverse collection of songs to date, it’s certainly a lot darker both musically and lyrically.

"It is still definitely a distinct Orange Goblin album but we have incorporated a lot more variation on this record and there are hints of Can, Captain Beyond, Wishbone Ash and The Stooges nestling amongst the obvious Sabbath and Motorhead influences.

"Lyrically I have explored everything from alien serial killers to zombie biker gangs, Buddhist warriors through to descendants of the Salem witches!

"There was definitely a concerted effort to make sure all the songs could work in a live environment which gives the album a more raw, stripped back feel - something that I feel has been lacking from good rock and metal in recent years.

"Working with Jaime Gomez Arellano was really productive and a great experience, especially going back to tracking stuff to tape. I feel that he got the best out of all of us as musicians and songwriters and that really comes across in the songs, there is an air of confidence and experience.

"It was also a real honour for us to have Phil Campbell of Motorhead lending his hand to a couple of solos on there too!"

The full track list and artwork will be released at a later date, but the band have confirmed titles such as Son of Salem, Ghost Of The Primitives, Burn The Ships, Zeitgeist and Suicide Division. Artwork will be created by Roland Scriver at Familiar Ink.

NEWS: Tremonti coming back again to Belfast

Tremonti are once again returning to Belfast in a The Limelight 1 on Monday July, 2nd, 2018.

As if you didn't know they are the project of lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Tremonti, best known as the guitarist of the American rock band Creed, and the lead guitarist of American rock band Alter Bridge, and have recently announced details of their fourth album ‘A Dying Machine’ which is due for release in 2018.

Tickets on sale Friday,  March 2nd at 10am from www.limelightbelfast.com, www.ticketmaster.ie and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers 0844 277 44 55 & Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300.

The trio of Mark Tremonti, Eric Friedman and Garrett Whitlock recently signed with Napalm Records and are currently working with producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette in the studio for A Dying Machine, with an official release plan expected to be revealed shortly.

“I’m really looking forward to partnering up with Napalm again after they did such an excellent job promoting Alter Bridge,” Tremonti said in a video announcement.. “We are thrilled to work with Tremonti and are looking forward to a bright future with the upcoming releases!” added Thomas Caser, the managing director of Napalm Records.

“A Dying Machine” will mark Tremonti’s follow-up to their 2016 album, “Dust.”

Tremonti will also be quite busy this year, having signed on as direct support for Iron Maiden in Europe this summer. They've also booked a number of festival appearances, adding Carolina Rebellion, Lunatic Luau, the Graspop Metal Meeting, Hellfest and Wacken Open Air to their touring schedule.

NEWS: Blackberry Smoke book Belfast show

IN celebration of the new album, the band - who have been called “country-rock’s most ferocious live band” by Rolling Stone—will tour throughout 2018, including a headline show at Belfast’s Telegraph Building on Tuesday November 06th 2018.
Tickets on sale Friday 02nd March at 9am from the usual outlets.

Blackberry Smoke’s highly anticipated new album, Find A Light will be released April 6 on Thirty Tigers and is now available for pre-order. Already receiving widespread attention, the album’s lead track, “Flesh And Bone,” recently premiered at Rolling Stone (listen/share HERE). Of the song, Rolling Stone praises that it,  “…sees Blackberry Smoke in full-on swagger—as well they should be. Starr and co. are riding a hot streak…A gritty stomper, ‘Flesh And Bone’ crunches like an early Nineties grunge song, but tweaked with Georgia twang that’s become a Blackberry Smoke signature.”

Additionally, Guitar World declares, “‘Flesh And Bone’ is a greasy, stomping, slide-guitar-packed tune with a IV section that recalls mid-period Led Zeppelin.”

“Best Seat In The House” is the second song unveiled from the new album (listen/share HERE). Of the song, lead singer Charlie Starr comments, “That song is sort of a sarcastic complaint...we all want what we ain’t got. It’s not enough to get in, people want front row…”
Self-produced by the acclaimed 5-piece band, Find A Light is Blackberry Smoke’s sixth full-length studio album and features 13 new songs written/co-written by lead-singer and guitarist Charlie Starr.

In addition to Starr and band-members Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards), the album also features special guests Robert Randolph (“I’ll Keep Ramblin’”), Amanda Shires (“Let Me Down Easy”) and The Wood Brothers (“Mother Mountain”).

Of the album, Starr comments, “The new album is a melting pot of Blackberry Smoke music with a wide range of sound and emotion. I think it’s our most inspired work yet.”

The release of Find A Light culminates a series of breakthrough years for the Atlanta-based band following the release of 2016’s acclaimed album, Like An Arrow, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country and Americana charts.

Released to widespread praise, the Boston Globe declared, “…the needle can be dropped on Like an Arrow until it’s grooves become as well-worn as the classic albums that inspired this band of country-rock workhorses,” while American Songwriter asserted, “…Blackberry Smoke fills the bill for the next generation of gutsy, heartfelt and honest Southeast rocking with plenty of talent, tons of drive and no apologies.”

In August 2017, they made their debut on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

In addition to their work as musicians, Blackberry Smoke remains committed to charitable work and has raised nearly $200,000 benefiting children’s cancer research. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NEWS: Billy Talent book Limelight show

CANADIAN band Billy Talent make a return to Belfast on Wednesday August 22nd at The Limelight 1.

Tickets, priced £23 (+booking fee) go on sale Friday March 02nd at 10am from the usual outlets.
Since the release of their self-titled debut in 2003, Billy Talent have cemented themselves as a generation-defining rock band.

They have sold nearly one million albums in Canada alone and nearly 3 million albums internationally. Their albums Billy Talent I and II and III have all received multi-platinum certifications, with platinum status for the last studio album Dead Silence. Their most album Afraid of Heights debuted at #1 in their home country of Canada as well as in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Billy Talent have enjoyed tremendous success at Canadian rock radio where they have had three #1 hits that combined for 20 weeks at the top spot, six Top 5 hits, and six Top 10 hits. They have won 7 Juno Awards and have been nominated 23 times, including three nods for Afraid of Heights (Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, and Ian D'Sa for Producer of the Year).

NEWS: Touts set for Belfast headliner

STROKE City three piece Punk band, Touts will play a headline Belfast show at the Duke Of York on Saturday March 31st 2018.

Touts released their highly-anticipated second EP LIT, on 10 November, 2017 via Hometown Records.

The four track EP featured their new single ‘Bombscare.’

With a stream of incredible support from industry tastemakers including over 20 plays on BBC Radio 1, Huw Stephens’ Tune of the Week, Apple Music’s Best of the Week, A List Alternative and Breaking Artists playlists, their debut EP ‘Sickening and Deplorable’ has certainly generated a buzz since its release this May 2017.

Speaking of ‘Bombscare,’ lead singer Matthew Crossan said: “The song was written around the time when the news was covering the injustice in America, when Keith Scott was ‘shot down in Charlotte’ for no apparent reason.

"The song is also about the on-going refugee crisis, it’s morally important for people to help people, and you never know when you yourself may need help.”

With ‘Bombscare’ claimed as an anthem for the youth of today, the claim is that Touts are already solidifying themselves as the voice of a generation, LIT is set to be something truly special.
Tickets, priced £6 (+ Booking fee) are on sale now.

ALBUM REVIEW: Elegant power from No Hot Ashes

FOR any band releasing their début album more than three decades after they formed borders almost like a satire with Alan Partridge and Ricky Gervais starring. But No Hot Ashes are not a satirical act, no comedy lines, no knowing nods to the audience.

Because this self titled release is the real deal.

The story of its gestation is the stuff of legends. From high-flying days, to disbandment and tragedy, there are many layers to the No Hot Ashes story. But that narrative means nought if the music carries no weight.

On all 10 tracks the band have pulled something from within to produce an album that is an elegant journey of musical pleasure.

The irony is that had this been released at any other time period other than the mid-80s or right now it would have been a passing irrelevancy. But now in 2018 No Hot Ashes are right on the rock zeitgeist. Not that it is deliberate, but tunes like 'I'm Back' and opener ''Come Alive' are tailor made for an era when the teens of the 80s are grown up with older kids who are re-discovering their passion for music.

And, some of the teens of today are re-discovering the joy of what is glibly called classic rock. This album is right on the target as a classic, and essential purchase.

Eamon Nancarrow's voice has a silky, emotional timbre that captures each note, especially on the tribute to his parents' resilience 'Boulders'.

However, what is most impressive is that each song has that magical composition, seeing Niall Diver and Davey Irvine use guitar alchemy, such as on 'Over Again', little flourishes, smooth riffing and restraint to add emphasis when it breaks out.

The texture added by Tommy Dickson's keyboards, as in the intro to 'Souls' is a key element.
When it comes the rhythm work the late Paul Boyd (bass) and Steve Strange (drums) anchor everything. As Paul passed after recording his bass the album is dedicated to his memory.

From a reunion, charity appearances, over the past five years the experience of playing major festivals and prestigious support slots shows in the playing. The songs have been honed to a sharp edge.

No Hot Ashes have defied the odds, have knuckled down and done what many people could have only dreamed - they've actually realised the dream of having an album that stands out, that will stand the test of time , an album that you just want to listen to over and over again.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

No Hot Ashes is released on Frontiers s..r.l. on March 23rd

Monday, February 26, 2018

LIVE REVIEW: Butcher Babies blast Glasgow into gleeful delight

WHEN you think of American metallers the Butcher Babies, what comes to mind? Is it the way frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey look, or dress? Or is it their music – hard, heavy and full of fire? If it’s the former then believe me friend, you are missing out.

A freezing cold Sunday night in Glasgow saw a breathless crowd of the latter hit the Garage for a bit of blasting Butcher Babies action – and they weren’t disappointed. First up, Italian/American hard rockers Klogr take to the task of warming up the crowd with gusto, pummelling the room with their brisk, buoyant muscular brand of nu metal-tinged rock.

Proving that the headliners have nothing if not varied taste in warm up acts, Eyes Set to Kill further ramp up the crowd with their pile-driving, grungy riffs and ‘A Day to Remember meets Marmozets’ sound – in fact, frontwoman and lead guitarist Alexia Rodriguez even sounds a wee bit like the latter’s powerhouse vocalist Becca McIntyre. Their second song goes down a treat with the audience – a spirited, heartfelt version of The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’, which they dedicate to the sadly departed Dolores O’Riordan.

Fizzing with youthful energy, they depart half an hour later having undoubtedly making some new fans.

Running ‘slightly’ late (ok, twenty minutes), when headliners The Butcher Babies finally take to the stage the excitement in the room is at fever pitch. Beginning their set with the title track from their stonking new album Lilith does absolutely nothing to calm the crowd, who immediately respond in kind to the passion and energy emanating from the stage.

“We are the Butcher Babies and we are here to f**k sh*t up!” Shepherd declares gleefully, before they launch into much loved crowd favourite ‘Monster’s Ball’. The crowd duly erupt, starting up a frenzied moshpit which basically lingers for the duration of the show.

Both Shepherd and Harvey hold the crowd in the palm of their collective hands throughout, with commands for circle pits, raised horns, middle fingers and fists in the air promptly obeyed by the enraptured audience. And it’s easy to see why: not only are they (and the rest of the band) talented, consummate performers, but they give their absolute all, wringing out every last drop of themselves in order to put on a hell of a show.

Above all, the crowd respond to the passion and sincerity of the two women; metalheads can tell when someone is just ‘punching the clock’ at a gig, and who is there for the sheer love of the music. Shepherd and Harvey most assuredly belong in the latter category: they sing their hearts out, share some easy banter with the audience, and clearly have the time of their lives. Their interplay is fluid, unforced and even slightly goofy, and their bond is as clear as it is genuine; a notable example of this is when Harvey apparently randomly includes the word ‘poop’ in the litany of curse words at the end of ‘Pomona’ and sends Shepherd into a fit of giggles.

Their set naturally tends towards material from Lilith but they also go back to the start of their career and cover every aspect, from the wistful, clean-sung ‘Thrown Away’ taken from 2015’s Take It Like a Man, their delirious, rocked-up to the rafters cover of ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away’ from early in their nine year run, and the silly, party animal-friendly
‘Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers’, also from Lilith. Throughout, the intensity and energy level never drops for a second; seriously, the Duracell Bunny has got nothing on these two.

They end the main body of the show with ‘Underground and Overrated’, which sees Shepherd clamber off the stage and demand a circle pit to surround her (!), and leave the stage to huge applause. Following a four song encore (which goes beyond the venue’s strict 10pm curfew but absolutely no one is complaining) which finishes with the towering breakdown-fest of ‘Magnolia Blvd’, they again bid a fond farewell to the crowd, leaving behind a mess of sweaty torsos, spilt beer and hoarse voices.

It all just goes to show that while the haters will continue to hate, those in the know will always see a simply outstanding show whenever the Butcher Babies are in town. Superb.
Burn the Strawman
Monster’s Ball
The Butcher
In Denial
The Huntsman
Pomona (Sh*t Happens)
Thrown Away
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Underground and Overrated
They’re Coming to Take Me Away
Axe Wound
Magnolia Blvd

Review by Melanie Brehaut
Pictures by Darren McVeigh

INTERVIEW: Butcher babies reveal their journey so far

WHEN Butcher Babies landed in Glasgow we dispatched Mel to interview the band.

The band revealed their journey to date and where they are in their career right now.

Listen to what they had to say below:

LIVE REVIEW: Stormzone and A Little Bitter bust out new and old at the Diamond

SATURDAY nights are not, contrary to the mainstream, an evening for watching reality shows or Netflix and 'hugs'. They're nights for metal, beers and lovely mayhem.

In a sparsely populated Diamond Rock Club on Saturday (February 24th) A Little Bitter and Stormzone showed that no matter the circumstances, no matter what shit is on the gogglebox there is nothing better than a live show.

Being a double album launch made this show even more special as both bands had the chance to showcase their latest songs and parade their crowd pleasers.

Trio, A Little Bitter, were out to show off songs from 'Arrows' and barely put a foot wrong in kicking out their hard rock jams.

Whether it was the ball-busting title track off the new album, the heads down metal anthem 'Genghis' or the tender rendition of 'Twist Her' there was real poise and variety...and a bass instrumental, 'Diamonds' dedicated to DRC.

However, the renditions of 'Weekend Girl and 'Angel'' were simply outstanding - well observed and executed with aplomb.

Stormzone's tried and tested standards were for once, over-shadowed. While they had all in attendance singing along to the familiar it was the new tracks that smacked the place in the face, and battered the unsuspecting with a fresh, vibrant sound.

'Dark Hedges' is a wonderfully destructive song on the album, but live it has a vibrant, viciousness.

And, 'Cushy Glen' and the title track of the album 'Lucifer's Factory' forces the audience to attention.

Dare it be said, the new album's track will force many of the tried and trusted out of future Stormzone sets. 'In For The Kill' - the five piece declared they really at setting their metal phasers to not only kill but mutilate.

The two bands plying their trade on stage at the Diamond Rock Club have a verve and vitality that few can equal. Should they play anywhere near you go - just go and enjoy

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Lizzie Torbitt

Saturday, February 24, 2018

LIVE REVIEW: Dutch death descends on Voodoo as Pestilence lay waste

THE announcement of Pestilence's Belfast show created a palpable sense of excitement that was exceeded when the Dutch veterans emerged onto the Voodoo stage on Friday (February 23rd).

It was a night of intense technical death metal with just the right smatterings of thrash and death to flavour the mixture exuding from the PA.

Northern Ireland's own Drakonis devoured the early attendees, providing their usual visual spectacle to accompany their deathly precise set. Using their time wisely the five-piece packed a punch.

Having a selection of songs, especially from their recent EP 'The Great Miasma' that are concept driven can be a challenge when delivered live.

However, the atmosphere and the playing enabled them to convey the horrors, aided by some sublime guitar interplay and black metal touches

And, the skull of course...

Limerick's Zealot Cult have garnered significant interest since the release of 'Karmenian Crypt' amongst the death metal intelligentsia, and such interest is obviously well-deserved on the strength of this display.

Adorning the set in banners - in case anyone should forget who they were witnessing - there was obvious intent to show the Belfast audience their talent. A powerful rhythm section accentuated the menace of their music.

Definitely deserving of more listens as they have an inherent understanding of their art.

Pestilence - emerging from the Netherlands in the late 80s - have been on and off for decades, but their first four albums have always had a special place in certain a generation of fans.

Nevermind that there it's not the original line-up the fact that they were playing songs from those seminal releases was sure to have the stage front crammed with fans.

And, each and every one of those fans young and old were given a treat to treasure for some time.

From the opener of Malleus/Antropomorphia to Mind Reflections this was masterclass, and the evidence well remembered of their raw thrash evolution into even rawer, nasty death metal.]

But that rawness never once over-shadowed the playing. Patrick Mameli punished his guitar to wring every last bit of energy from it.

When the crowd chanted "Pestilence" over and over in between songs he appeared genuinely delighted. Then again with tracks like 'Dehydrated' and 'Chronic Infection' flaying the Voodoo the crowd was right to shower their adoration on the band.

The work rate of Mameli and co was impressive, and perhaps it is unfair to pick one track from the set, but 'Land of Tears' was sublime.

With new album 'Hadeon' the next phase of the tour cycle for Pestilence, the Belfast audience are hoping for an early return of these Dutch masters.

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Darren McVeigh

Friday, February 23, 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Stormzone on searing form on the luscious Lucifer's Factory

IF you think Stormzone are just an ordinary heavy metal band you are about to be handed your ass on a sling with the release of Lucifer's Factory -powerful, story driven, searing metal with real heart.

And, with lyrical content that delves deep into Northern Ireland's mystical and dark past it elevates the band to heights that is a true evolution for them.

As 'Dark Hedges' opens it is immediately apparent that this an album with added nitro. No longer with the band Gordy's recording sees the drums propels the opener to a frenzied start.

Hold on to your ball sack as this is a ferocious start, all wrapped around the area made famous by Game of Thrones, but delving into the dancing ghost of the dark lady...'ware the tourists on June nights.

That is just a hint of what the band achieve on this release...There are no dud tracks, there are no 'fillers'. The playing from all is impressive, the composition and arrangements are flawless.

While it is easy to see Northern Ireland band's through rose (green?) tinted glasses, and to be overly effusive, had this landed in the inbox knowing nothing about the band it would get still get a great review.

The tragedy of the title track, driven along by some tasty bass work from Graham merges into the tale of the infamous highwayman 'Cushy Glen' that manages that delicate trick of keeping it metallic with just enough of a Celtic twist.

The furious riffing of Steve and Junior is better than the band have ever managed; someone slipped them the secret elixir to give them the patterns to merge the rhythm section blow for blow. And, as for the soloing - tempered in places, off the proverbial scale in other sections, but always perfectly matching the lyrical subject matter. The roving solo for 'Last Night In Hell' is a case in point.

As history buffs the lyrical themes, whilst well known to us, explore the netherworld that helped create the nation we occupy, back in the mists of time.

Bram Stoker may have penned 'Dracula' but there is considerable evidence that his inspiration was from the North West vampire 'Albhartach'. In the recounting of this tale the band move forward as if fleeing the devil, racing before the gates of hell close.

'We Are Strong' is probably the closest to what one would normally expect from Stormzone - and given that would be great in itself it has all the elements as Harv narrates defiance before the chorus primes everyone to join in when this beast is played.

On 'Broken Window' the insistent opening gives way to a mid-paced prowling panther of a song, menace dripping off every note as the County Antrim opening to Satan's lair, the doorway to the Inferno is recounted.

The darkness that Harv explores in the words is more than just the typical metal poses and pretences. For example, fuck your trick and treat twats, firework obsessed, dickhead commercialism - listen to one of the real sources on 'Hallow's Eve' and when October 31st just check the footprints around the hearth.

It is not just, however. the mythos of Ulster that is explored. 'The Last Goodbye' has all its roots - literally' in the shipwreck of the Spanish Armada ship, The Girona (worth a visit to the Ulster Museum with this track on the headphones...).

As for 'In For The Kill'...just listen and marvel. No more need to wax lyrical about this muscular behemoth of metal.

As the final chords of the plaintive closer 'Time To Go' fade (there is a bonus track on the physical version) what is clear is that Stormzone have taken a massive risk. Heavier than before, ample helpings of heft and exploring themes that each could be a concept album in their own right.

The risk paid off.

This is an essential purchase - simple as that.

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Lucifer's Factory is launched at the Diamond Rock Club on Saturday, February 24th in a joint show that will also see A Little Bitter launch Arrows

NEWS: Raise Your Hands As Reef Are Added To The Harmony Live 18 Festival Bill

REEF are set to kickstart Harmony Live 18 in Holywood, County Down, on Friday June 1 as part of a three-day packed weekend of music and much more.

The four-piece, most famous for their iconic Place Your Hands will join Boomtown Rats at the award-nominated festival, with further top named acts to be announced.

The three-day event, which is set to pack out the Co Down town, will run from June 1-3 at the Festival Marquee in the Holywood Rugby Club grounds.

Previously known as the Holywood Harmony Festival, Harmony Live 18 will see big-name acts take to the stage at the main marquee as well as supporting events across several venues in the town.

Last year the festival welcomed over 15,000 people into the town and organisers are expecting to top that figure this year having doubled the size of their marquee to accommodate The Boomtown Rats and Reef.

Festival director Mari Jackson said: “Harmony Live 18 is set to be bigger, better and more fun with music that will reverberate across the county.

“We’re delighted that Reef are joining The Boomtown Rats in another great coup for the festival committee and I know everyone who is in the marquee on June 1 will have their hands in the air for this tremendous live band.”

Mari said Harmony Live 18 is more than just a music event “it’s a weekend that welcomes involvement from throughout the community” she explained, adding: “Putting Holywood firmly on the map as an exciting music and tourist destination the Harmony Live 18 supports the local economy, working with service providers, vendors and contractors in the area and improving the footfall into the town and businesses throughout the weekend.

“We’re very proud of the achievements so far.  In 2016 we were nominated and shortlisted for Best Tourism Event at the North Down Business Awards and this year we’ve undergone a complete festival rebrand thanks to local company Andy Rice Creative (ARC).”

Tickets for The Boomtown Rats and Reef at Harmony Live 18 are available from www.wegottickets.com,  Garry’s Barber Shop and Homebird in Holywood.

ALBUM REVIEW: Axel Rudi Pell delivers once again on Knights Call

SAY what you like about Axel Rudi Pell - he is one consistent man. And, with Knights Call album number 17 does what you would expect.

As a technician he masters his instrument, but his ability to capture exquisite playing within songs - yes actual songs - that sets him apart from many so-called shredders.

On Knights Call he picks up from 2016's wonderful 'Game of Sin' with a collection of tracks that have the right shading, the right variety and the right balance to have fans salivating.

From the rousing 'The Wild and The Young', the balls out 'Long Live Rock' and the balladic 'Beyond The Light' this album contains everything you'd expect from Pell.

But, as always the 57-year-old pushes himself a little bit further all the time. 'Tower of Babylon' Pell tips a hat to Rainbow, but interpreted in his own unique way.

Yes, we get all the usual mysticism and folklore added to the stadium rockers, but in the hands of Pell's lyrical playing and Johnny Gioeli's passionate singing it all makes sense.

And, as for Bobby Rondelli's drums - you know he lays it down pure and simple.

What is striking about Knights Call is that it feels a complete album, which in the past hasn't always been the case. At times there were albums released by him that sounded as if maybe one song could have been culled, or the placement of each track tweaked a little.

Instead this is a collection that holds together, never jarring and with touches like Pamela Falcon's work on 'Beyond The Light' that add that extra flourish.

Stand-out tracks abound, however the impassioned 'Slaves On The Run', a cry to free yourself from whatever shackles that tie you down.

There are no shackles on Pell. Knights Call may be the culmination of all his work...leading to the question, how can he top this?

Review by Jonathan Traynor

Knights Call is out on Steamhammer/SPV on March 23rd

Thursday, February 22, 2018

NEWS: Alestorm and Pallbearer amongst latest added to Bloodstock

OH DEAR! Deary, deary me. Alestorm are se to play Bloodstock. A bunch of rum-laden pirate metal nutters playing to a crowd of boozed up metal nutters. What can go wrong? Fuck it, we do hope it goes wrong in the best possible way! (Read the review of their Belfast show here)

Yes, Bloodstock has announced four more bands for August’s best heavy metal weekender!  Tickets are moving fast for 2018 and we expect another advance sell-out, so don’t delay in picking up yours!  There's also only six days left to sign up to the deposit scheme...

We welcome pirate metal’s finest, Alestorm with a big ‘Oh Wow!’ as they join the bill on Saturday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage!

Frontman Chris Bowes said, “Oh wow! It's been 10 years since our debut album, ‘Captain Morgan's Revenge’ came out and somehow, it's also been 10 years since we last played Bloodstock Open Air!

"Let's have a very silly party time, Englandshire.  I promise we won't be shite."

Grab the 10th Anniversary edition of the debut, released just last month and raise your rum to the lyric video of the title track; https://youtu.be/GTyMhv7MCCs.

The much-lauded Pallbearer are set for a Sunday slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage, bringing their monumental, doom-laden, melodic heaviosity to Catton Park!

The Little Rock, Arkansas-based band have been praised by everyone from the New York Times to Loudwire, Decibel and SPIN, and rightly so!  The band’s third album, ‘Heartless’ made many journalists’ Top Albums of 2017 list.  Check out their video for ‘I Saw The End’, taken from that opus here - https://youtu.be/DNl_18Kr56g. 

Nottingham hard rockers Hahran pick up a Friday slot on the Sophie stage.  The band recently released a video for new track, ‘State Of Mind’ taken from their upcoming album, ‘VAPOURS’ - https://youtu.be/KW58TKJGyhw.  The opus is set for release this summer.  Stay tuned on their latest news at www.facebook.com/Fahranmusic.

British rock crew, Doomsday Outlaw land a spot on Sunday’s Sophie stage bill.  The five piece have just announced new album, ‘Hard Times’, which is set to arrive in May via Frontiers.  Check out lead track ‘Spirit That Made Me’ - https://youtu.be/eNMPo5DrsJM and if you like what you hear, you can pre-order the record at radi.al/HardTimes.

Final call for the 2018 Deposit Scheme!  There’s just 6 days left to sign up for BLOODSTOCK’s payment plan, which eases the shock of a ‘lump sum’ payment by breaking your ticket price into five more manageable amounts.

Sign up in the ticket store before the cut-off time of 11.59pm on Wednesday 28th Feb for an initial deposit of just £36.  Thereafter, four additional instalments of £29 will debit your bank account on 3rd April, 1st May, 1st June and 2nd July respectively and your 2018 ticket is secured!  Sign up over at https://bloodstock.seetickets. com. 

Standard weekend tickets are also available, priced at £145 for four days of metal fun, so grab yours now!  If you already know you can only attend for one day, sign up for a day ticket reminder email as day tickets do not go on sale until late June.  Register your day ticket interest here - https://www.seetickets.com/ register/bloodstock.

With Friday night headliners, JUDAS PRIEST, Saturday headliners, GOJIRA and Sunday’s bill toppers, NIGHTWISH already announced, as well as EMPEROR, AT THE GATES, DEVILDRIVER, WATAIN, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, WEDNESDAY 13, JASTA & FRIENDS, FOZZY, COMBICHRIST, BLOODBATH, VENOM INC., MR BIG, ORPHANED LAND, KAMELOT, DORO, ORDEN OGAN, SEPTICFLESH, AMARANTHE, EXHORDER, VOLA and MEMORIAM so far, 2018 is shaping up to be another stellar year for BLOODSTOCK.

BLOODSTOCK will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 9th-12th August 2018.  Get additional information over at www.bloodstock.uk.com.

LIVE REVIEW: Doom makes happy people when Paradise Lost descend on the denizens of Belfast

IT'S a weird thing, doom, miserable, gloomy metal can make a crowd of long-haired assholes very happy. A team of neuroscientists once trued to figure it out but ended up swallowing a keg of beer and ended up very slowly headbanging and grinning.

And, let's face it Paradise Lost aren't the most musically cheerful fuckers. Still, they make us happy in their gloom. With another visit to Belfast for the Yorkshire crew the Limelight had a nice, friendly buzz to welcome then - the neuroscientists having fled earlier to give each other CAT scans and another keg...

Just to get everyone cheered up...oh wait, first up was Owlcrusher with more sludge and doom than was healthy for a Tuesday evening. The wails and post-sludge wall of noise kept all on tenterhooks as to whether the walls in Ormeau Avenue were about to implode.

Owlcrusher are not easy listening - nor easy to listen to. But that's the point. The sonic attack challenges listeners to delve into their inner dark heart to find out what beats within.

Sweden's Outshine are a band that have had more than their fare share of travails. One glance at their biog and the liner notes on their release make no bones about where they lay the blame.

Having toured with Paradise Lost in the past they are familiar with hitting the stage running, no fuss, no shenanigans. Jimmy Norberg's guitar weaves a path through Type O style vibes, melodic style á la In Flames, and a dash of Tool.

Tony Jelencovich is commanding as a front man while Outshine as a band form a coherent force that win over the audience within a few tracks. A return to Belfast would be most welcome.

Ahh - Paradise Lost. Enduring, fiercely protective of their sound and musical integrity they are always welcome visitors to Belfast and, to their credit, always try to pencil Northern Ireland dates in.

With their most recent album 'Medusa' on Nuclear Blast earning deserved plaudits and a re-mastered 'Host' to be issued in mid-March, and for the first time on vinyl the band are clearly on something of a roll.

And, from the moment the opening chords of 'From The Gallows' rolled out of the speakers it was clear that the adulation for Paradise Lost has not dimmed one bit.

Holmes stalked the stage like a hungry predator, flanked by a pack of eager hyenas, seemingly ready to pounce. It was a consummate demonstration of metal - not so tight as to be rigid, not too loose to be sloppy.
Pic By Paul Barry

Whether it was the title track of 'Medusa' or delving into the back catalogue all songs were executed with aplomb, as Mackintosh and Aedy flayed all in their path.

An inexplicably long wait for the encore left many in the crowd be bemused as the chants faded out in the vacuum of not knowing what the hell was going on. But, was the wait worth it? Of, course it fucking was.

Given their reputation for gloomy, melancholic metal the audience filed out into the February night bedecked in grins and amiable chatter. Go figure, but Paradise Lost fans don't care after an evening such as this.

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Darren McVeigh with additional shot by Paul Barry as indicated

Photo credit Paul Barry