This blog is exploring the obscure Heavy Metal oblivion.
Music, Art, Shows, Festivals...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Graveyard Rock City Nottingham

Last Saturday night the 70' Swedish rockers played at the Rock City bringing with them their compatriots  Horizont.
The quality of the support act was really impressive, as Horizont bring a subtle genre of bluesy rock. The sound of the Orange and HiWatt amps, the up front presence of the drums and the fantastic vocals really warmed the venue which was more than ready for Graveyard.
Horizont, Nightrider from the Tva Sidor Av Horisonten album

After a short sound check, Gibsons and Rickenbacker plugged, the show was ready to begin. And the quality of the set did not deceive the public expectation as the wonderful sonic of the band built up a rare energy during the gig. The balance between the first album Graveyard and the second one Hisingen Blues gave to the crowd a solid 2 hours gig with a nice drum solo at the middle of it. 
Graveyard, Higingen Blues

 The small size of the venue was a really plus to the live, as the sound quality and the intimate with the bands were incredible. If the last 5 years have seen the classic 70's Rock revival, Graveyard has been a major actor of it, and I am sure they will trace their own way in the future.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

High On Fire / De Vermis Mysteriis

After the more than excellent Snakes for the Divine released in 2010, High On  Fire will be back with a really expected new album the 3rd April! The album called De Vernis Mysteriis (inspired by HP Lovercraft's book the Lore of Chtulu) is announced as a real blast.

Track List
01 Serums of Liao
02 Bloody Knuckles
03 Fertile Green
04 Madness of an Architect
05 Samsara
06 Spiritual Rites
07 King of Days
08 De Vermis Mysteriis
09 Romulus and Remus
10 Warhorn

 Until the coming of De Vermis Mysteriis you can still listen  to Snake for the Divine

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Heavy Metal against extremism...

Heavy Metal music has always been source of intense critics, because of its codes and its alternative sounds for the uninitiated. The relation between the music and extremism has always been one of the first argument and stereotype I have always read and heard about it. 2 years ago again at the french festival Hellfest, catholics associations tried to make pressure on sponsors and at the french assembly because according to them the festival would be a satanic gathering. This action sparked the attention of the media and an outrageous documentary crystallising all the classic cliches (thanks to the broadcaster TF1) about Heavy Metal music was describing the headbangers as satanist, antisocial, racist and deviant.

But how a culture sharred all around the world nowaday could be racist?
 Heavy Metal culture doesn't have any national borders anymore, thanks to Internet and the globalisation. Bands have been emerging all around the world. Brazil, Japan, and more recently China, Afghanistan and Iraq, the genre isn't only occidental and reveal a global Heavy Metal community sharing common codes. Film director Sam Dunn realised a really interesting movie about the subject called Global Metal and shows that Heavy Metal culture is much more than all the stereotypes shared by some.
 Global Metal, Sam Dunn, 2008

However Heavy Metal has always generated incomprehension and fear to people who doesn't understand it, and religious extremists and traditionalists have always been source of the most intense critics. The situation in Iraq reflect well this aspect as 14 young people have been stoned to death these last 3 weeks by religious activists because they were wearing Metal, punk and slim clothes. The reason of the murders are simple, the way the kids were dressed with slim fit clothes and long hairs is seen as homosexual and provocative.
Heavy Metal in Bagdhad part 1, Vice production

Vice production realised an excellent documentary following an Iraqian Heavy Metal Band named Acrassicauda. But the band faced extremism with threats of death as their music is raging for peace and liberty.

 Every years Metal bands are accused to influence badly the young spirits, but as protest music has always contested politic and social conditions, Heavy Metal promotes freedom of speach, independency and liberty to choose another way of life as the hippies did in their time.

"They want the war, and you want the peace. But you know you gotta kill the beast" Acrassicauda

Monday, 27 February 2012

Orange Goblin: A Eulogy For The Damned, album review

The kind of band that everyone like and nobody seems to have anything to says about it! Dom Lawson (Metal Hammer) stated, Orange Goblin is “consistently one of the greatest live bands the UK has produced in recent decades!”, so I couldn't say the new album of the band isn't highly expected! And after 5 years without any new album, I am not disappointed as the metal monsters are better than ever.

After the conceptual Healing through Fire album (Sanctuary records), the band keep what we like with Orange Goblin, catchy riffs, some groove, a Lemmy husky voice and cool old school solos. A Eulogy for the Damned is the most complete and solid album that the band  has ever done, with a really good diversity between the tracks; from a 70's Hard Rock with the Bishop's Wolf, to a more instrumental and athmospheric sound with a Eulogy for the Damned, and some good Doomy riffs with Death of Aquarius. The production is cleaner than previous works and some would complain about it, but the quality of the tracks, the horror psychedelics lyrics and the energy are still the same. Orange Goblin are still authentics and their music bloody rocks!

Red Tide Rising music video, with some good Jaggermeister promotion in it (Orange Goblin sponsor)!

The band will start is tour 2012 with the Desertfest and I will be there to review it.

Album track List:
Red Tide Rising
Stand For Something
Acid Trial
The Filthy and the Few
Save me from Myself
The Fog
Return to Mars
Death to Aquarius
Bishop's Wolf
A Eulogy for the Damned

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Desertfest London 2012, Stoner, Doom and HardRock!

Fan of filthty Doom, Stoner and Sludge beware!
The London Desertfest is coming back for a really thrilling second edition.

The festival has been created 2 years ago by promoters Daniel Kinsey and Savile Row and has already sparked the creation of a new Berlin edition. The partnership between the Deserfest and promoter company Sounds of Liberation is creating the first Stoner, Doom european festival in europe. The growth of this kind of specialised festivals reflect well the trend of the Heavy Metal market with the revival of 70's Hard Rock, Doom and Stoner genres and the explosion of Sludge these last five years.

Orange Goblin, with their new album A Eulogy for the Damned, Corrosion of Conformity with their new upcoming album and japanese Doom legendary Church of Misery will headline a really impressive international line up which balances well between underground scene and mainstream (if we can talk about mainstream).

Church Of Misery Hellfest 2011
The festival will take Camden town for the weekend of the 6, 7 and 8th april in 3 differents venues, the Underworld, the Purple Turtle and the Black Hearth for 70 pounds the 3 days pass. The small size of the venues will bring a really cool athmosphere to the festival which will change of classic open air event.
Evile at the Underworld

The Purple Turtle
Metal Hammer, Classic Rock magasines (Futur publishing limited for both of them), and Orange amps will sponsor the festival this year. As usual, Jagermeister, following its communication strategy with the sponsor of Heavy Metal bands and festivals will be part of the Desertfest.
I am really thrilled about this Desertfest London and will obviously review it!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Mastodon rocked the Birmingham HMV Institute

The American Sludge legends were playing at Birmingham friday the 10th with the support of The Dillinger Escape Plan and the rookies Red Fang ( Sludge Stoner ). After an unfortunatly too short warm up with the excelent Red Fang, who brought a real something with their new album Murder the Mountains ( support them, they are great! ), the absolute blast that bring the Dillinger change litteraly the athmosphere. Ultra technic and really powerfull, they managed to form few circle pits ! Their performance would even impress someone who is not really into Hardcore music.

After a good 30min sound check, Mastodon start a really complete set, with their really catchy last album, the Hunter, and some of their old albums too. A real pleasure, with nice lights effects and awsome athmospheric effect. The supersonics of the band and the creativity in each of their songs, plus the incredible touch of their lead guitarist Brent Hinds gave reason to many critics saying that Mastodon is one of the best band of the last decade. The show finaly ended on their new metal anthem from The Hunter, The Creature Lives with the support of Dillinger and Red Fang members.

Mastodon performing Black Tongue on BBC 2

From a venu point of view, the HMV institute got a good acoustic and even if the sound check wasn't perfect ( for Mastodon specially ), it didn't impact too much on the performance of the band. The opera style of the venu gives a lot of character to the show. The only bad aspect is that the balconies are not well equiped and are only seating area ( it is still possible to head bang sitting fortunatly! ).

The merchandise of the bands now! As stated in the post of the 25th January, music band's revenues, especially in Heavy Metal, depends really on the sales of the tshirts and other band's goods. Mastodon understood that a long time ago, and nowadays, even a small band such as Red Fang has its own collection. Always creative the Mastodon merchandise are not blocked in the Heavy Metal cliche ( black tshirt and skulls!!!) and gives some nice colours and really cool design to wear. Let's not forget about Mastodons outstanding artwork on all their albums and their merchandising has been the result of collaboration with talentuous artists such as Paul Romano.
Crack in the Sky artwork by Paul Romano

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Hevy Music Fest, Metalcore in cage!

The 4th edition of the Hevy Music Fest has begun to announce its line up! Fans of Hardcore, Metalcore and Punkcore will be delighted as the festival is continuing its segmentation in these music genres. This year Hardcore ledgends Converge or the Noisecore Will Haven will play in exclusively for the Hevy Music Fest.
The 2011 edition has been critically aclaimed for the quality of its programation and its athmosphere being more intimate (Trebuchet magasine 2011).

From a more commercial angle, the event is sponsored by the usual Metal partnerships, Red Bull, Jagermeister and Rock Sound, the magasine Front and the skate shoes brand Etnies are sponsors of the Event too.

So what is going on in this fest?
Well firslty the festival is set in a safari park zoo (Port Lympne in Kent) which is open to the visitors during the festival. Surprising fact, 4 different stages cover Hardcore, Punk and Metal are set up, which is unusual for 5000 capacity festival.

The Public Relations of the Hevy sparks my interest because a small portion of every ticket is going to the Aspinall Foundation which protects endangered animal species from extinction. What a beautiful way to build a respectable festival identity, especially since the tickets are only 96 pounds.
Here's a link if you want to have a look at the Aspinall Foundation's website.