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  • Crowbar at the Camden Underworld, London 20/1/11

    Jan 23 2011, 18h33

    Thu 20 Jan – Crowbar, Shaped by Fate, Hammer of the Gods

    Crowbar should really be playing venues larger than Kirk Windstein‘s beard mass by now, but through some glitch in the space-time continuum they were squeezed into the practically anorexic venue of the Camden Underworld for their London show on January 20th. Despite this minor setback, fans, drunkards and half of the music industry squeezed themselves into the sold out venue, spilling beer all over each other in order to get an earful of New Orleans sludge....

    Read the full review here!
  • Gogol Bordello at the HMV Forum 16/12/2010

    Dez 18 2010, 20h53

    Thu 16 Dec – Gogol Bordello, DeVotchKa, Alain Johannes

    Describing Gogol Bordello to the uninitiated is like explaining the concept of bacon to a vegetarian. The term Gypsy Punk is commonly used in the process yet the band have more influences than there are So Solid Crew members. They can cite Israeli, New York, Thai, Ethiopian and Romany gypsy inheritance among their members. They have been onstage with Madonna, supported Rage Against the Machine and made fully fledged metalheads do silly dances. Thus, to fully experience Gogol Bordello you must see them live at least once as they are one of the few musical acts that can truly be heralded as unique.

    The first support act of the night was Alain Johannes. He has been involved in Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age and The Desert Sessions. Appearing with his signature cigar box guitar, Johannes’ voice is haunting, blues tinged yet vibrant. His recent solo album ‘Spark’ is dedicated to his late partner Natasha Shneider. Johannes’ projects a similar energy to Gogol Bordello yet on an emotional level as opposed to a physical one. [8/10]

    The Devotchka’s managed to achieve a great thing. Very few musicians have the ability to alternate between the sounds of coldplay and traditional style gypsy music. In doing so they manage to sound magnificent and terrible at the same time. At first glimpse the violinist/accordionist and Christmas light strewn tuba are promising. Indeed, some of the more mariachi influenced and upbeat songs were granted a favourable audience reaction but the warmth would fade when the Coldplay kicked in. A more consistent set would have resulted in a less lukewarm reception. [5/10]

    Pierced punks mingled with old couples gawking at blue haired girls gawking at long haired beardy things in checked shirts. Not one person in that room could resist the violin fuelled acoustic guitar tickling their hips, ears and legs. Bottoms wagged, bruises were had and beer spray danced in the air as an hour of a half of what can only be described as some sort of foodless party took place. People laughed, fought and crowdsurfed as the feverish effects of tarantella took hold of the night.

    There is something about Gogol Bordello that no other band can replicate, something ancient in the screamed Romany verses and the frantic violin. Yet the colour and vibrancy of the bass, crashing percussion and the blurred movement of the members turn the whole thing into some sort of colourful time travelling fireball.

    Full review here!
  • Seventh Void - Heaven Is Gone

    Nov 17 2010, 17h44

    Wrote this review thing for metaldominion, have a taster:

    Seventh Void is the result of Two parts Type O Negative, one part Danzig, a dash Kingdom of Sorrow and mixed by Vinnie Paul. Being left to rise and gently bake inside the ear, this album is psychoacoustic icing.

    One can’t help but compare this band to Type O Negative; it is inevitable that after the death of singer and bassist Peter Steele, Seventh Void will have a lot to live up to in the eyes of Type O fans despite being formed as a step away into ‘a straight up hard rock/metal band’ as guitarist Kenny Hickey puts it. Hickey provides vocals which are a whole octave away from Steele’s famous velveteen rumble but Hickey’s screams are reminiscent of the higher pitched wails present in many a Type O song.

    The vocals are surprisingly southern rock and yet even more surprisingly very well suited to the instrumentation. This may be due to Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah, Pantera, you get the idea) co-producing the album and injecting it with sound quality that practically caresses your eardrum in an inappropriate manner. A unique doomy sound accompanied by up tempo drumming from Type O and Danzig’s Johnny Kelly and some distinctly Type O tinged riffs complete Seventh Void’s sound.

    Heaven is Gone starts off with the heavy rumble of ‘Closing In’ which is among the more doomy tracks on the album: ‘Broken Sky’ and the very Black Sabbathy ‘The End of All Time’ stand out. Final song ‘Last Walk In the Light’ is a sorrowful yet incredibly catchy closer which will run circles in the head for days.

    The entire album concerns descent, highlighted by the Dante reference in the band name, and the never unpopular subject of The End. All one has to do is glance at the tracklist to gain a lyrical impression of the work...

    See the full thing here!
  • The Sword + Gentleman's Pistols @ Camden Barfly 5/07/10

    Jul 6 2010, 19h09

    Mon 5 Jul – The Sword, Gentlemens Pistols

    Within the baking depths of Camden there lay a sold out shoe box shaped room of minuscule proportions on the Monday night that was the 5th July. Within this room a throng of music lovers were subjected to a night of musical delights provided by the doom laden riff masters that are The Sword. Accompanying this palatable ear-fest are none other than Gentleman's Pistols, currently home to (the practically holy by metal standards) Bill Steer of Carcass.
    To the mild confusion of the uninitiated, and the immense pleasure of those who were not, two men in vests, sporting suspiciously ABBA-like coiffures, and a long-haired Bill Steer emerge from the crowd and clamber onto the stage in order to begin a set which transports the audience through a delectable array of rock tunes laced with delicate, yet incredibly strong, riffs which are beautifully accented by Bill Steer's powerful solos (a far cry from his performance in 'that' Red Dwarf episode). Gentleman's Pistols are a true delight and provide a performance enjoyed as much by the band as the audience.

    [8/10]

    Hailing from the Texan depths of Austin, The Sword simply cannot be confined to one genre. Sounding like a slice of Black Sabbath dusted with Sleep and layered with epic slabs of rolling drums not unlike those of Mastodon, the band provide a varied and colourful set, playing such numbers as 'How Heavy This Axe' along with previously unheard tracks from forthcoming album 'Warp Riders'-to be released 24th August- which were received with pleasure and much in the way of appreciative headbanging by the Barfly.

    [8/10]

    It is clear bands are drawn to such a venue, not for shameless self promotion, but for intimacy and passionate celebration of music between the fans and the bands. Both bands and venue are certainly worthy of attention from those who love music.

    Read the review in it's orginal form and interweb home here
  • Bolt Thrower GigJunkie review

    Mai 2 2010, 20h29

    Sat 1 May – Bolt Thrower, Rotting Christ, Benediction, The Rotted, Ancient Ascendant

    5pm outside the ULU and a bedraggled line of motley fans are weathering the torrential rain. Some are even sheltering under a khaki tarpaulin found on site and held at arms length above their heads. When the doors finally open, there is a mad rush to the merch stand where piles BoltThrower paraphernalia is snapped up by rabid fans and enthusiastic ebayers (Bolt Thrower merch can only be found at gigs which are rare and usually sold out so it is not unknown for shirts to exceed the £50 mark on certain auction sites).

    The first band to begin a night consisting of five live acts is London based progressive death metal band Ancient Ascendant who impress as a support act and prove that it is not just their locality, but talent that has resulted in them being added to the bill. A band to watch for those with interest in local death metal.
    [6/10]

    Previously known as Gorerotted, Rotted changed their name in 2008 and released album 'Get Dead or Die Trying' to mark their progression in sound. Now their subject matter has changed from deathgore to a more diverse sound drawing from punk, death and black metal as well as including lyrically relevant songs such as 'Angel of Meth' which stemmed from the singers experience of climbing on top of the tour bus stark naked as it was speeding down a motorway and falling on his head when jumping back in, resulting in an irreparably damaged spine. They provide one of the night's highlights by orchestrating a death-metal conga line in place of the usual cliche'd wall of death. A good performance but sound problems lent the band no favours.
    [6/10]

    Hailing from Athens, Rotting Christ immediately set the standard incredibly high and from the first chord numerous punters are sucked from the bar into the venue. The uninitiated are wowed by the incredibly heavy and yet melodic sound Rotting Christ produce. With a style that encompasses Star Wars-like marches, technical solos and a bass line that hits you right between the eyes, Rotting Christ are highly deserving of their status as a fine Black Metal band.
    [8/10]

    Benediction need no introduction, the death metal titans formed in 1989 and are still as popular today as they were in the 90s. Known for being fantastic live, they certainly deliver in spite of technical problems (which were riddled throughout the entire night) resulting in them playing most of the set with only one guitarist. The crowd delivered a terrifyingly brutal moshpit peppered with crusty punks and punches being thrown at full force.
    [8/10]

    Tonight, Bolt Thrower have drawn an audience from Ecuador, Hungary and Norway among several other rather distant countries. This twenty-fouryear old death metal assualt are literally worshipped by their fans, this was duly illustrated by one of the countless stage invaders of the night renacting the "I am not worthy" scene of Waynes World. The crowd writhed with crowd surfers and people greiviously injuring themselves in a mosh that surpassed any I have seen. Stage invaders almost inundated the band yet lead singer Karl Willetts merely laughed, shrugged off the windmilling fans and not always successful stage diving. 'Cenotaph' and 'No Guts, No Glory' go down a strom in a balanced set which leaves the audience with much more than they paid for and a neat collection of bruises.
    [9/10]

    Overall, a show that results in little discontent, a man reportedly losing control of his sphincter during Benediction and a Mary Poppins style stage diver with an open umbrella during Bolt Thrower. Ten out of ten for an evening well spent!

    Gigjunkie review in full