Sunday, 17 February 2013
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Saturday, 2 February 2013
The Epidemic Sickening The World
UKEM Records (Cat Number: UKEM-CD-011)
Sunday, 18 March 2012
As you may or may not know (you probably should), I'm in a band. Well actually, I'm in three, but I'm talking about my first band Torture Garden today, and will be doing so quite a lot in the foreseeable future. So get used to it! Basically, we're working on what will the biggest and most important album of our career; The Great Depression. It will be a massive double album, and I'm here to tell you all about it, as is Adam, who has already posted about its lyrical themes on his blog over at Infantile Disorder.
The heart of this band has always been myself and Adam. I've always written the music and he's always written the lyrics. On our previous recordings, Adam has always performed lead vocals (apart from that one duet), and the instrumentation has almost exclusively been provided by myself, with very occasional help from friends. This time though, we've decided that that kind of sucks, and we'd like to get more people involved. Almost since the beginning, we've had other musicians in our 'band' (I use that word loosely, since we've only ever played live once and probably never will again), and now we're going to make them do some of the work! Helping me out with guitars will be Calum Glover, who used to play in Acts Of Sorrow. Our bassist Pete has been our longest serving bandmate…and yet he's never played a note on any of our recordings, preferring to play live instead (oh dear). So, we might try and persuade him to play bass, but we have a couple of other people in mind too. Or maybe I'll do it. That's undecided for now…all in good time. Our main priority at the moment lies with the drums. We are pleased to announce that our good friend Hayley Morgan - who has previously been associated with the band, and now plays with Severed Heaven - has agreed to perform drums on the album! Any additional instrumentation will likely be done by myself as usual.
So, where are we up to? Well, the songs are all written, save for a couple of final tweaks with arrangements and stuff. Production of the album has officially commenced, and some recording has been done. In fact, one song, 'Of All Evil', is almost complete already. It's been a fairly easy one to record, and has mostly been done at home, but most of the album will require different recording locations, and this is one issue we're working on right now. We're on a very tight budget, so extensive time in a professional studio environment is out of the question. Needless to say, this issue will be resolved soon, and once it is we will be able to progress rapidly.
In any band, it's vital that the mood of the music justly reflects or enhances that of the lyrics. With The Great Depression, the bar has been set very high indeed. As with the lyrics, a lot of the music that makes up this album was actually written many years ago, bubbling under the surface. I've had to sift through my old riffs and ideas, and compose some new ones, in order to concoct the perfect sonic accompaniment to the album's lyrics, which are at times horrific, and at others hopeful and defiant. This album will be quite a revelation to those familiar with our previous work, and hopefully to those who aren't. We have never sounded like this before. Not even close, really. We have been referred to as 'doom metal', 'gothic metal' and other such examples of counter-productive sub-genre wankery in the past. Those tags never quite worked for me anyway. This new album is not an absolute departure for us, but there are so many more elements to our sound now. We are more diverse and yet more coherent, heavier and yet less heavy. I'll leave out the specifics for now…but don't worry, we're not collaborating with Lou Reed and we haven't quite done a Morbid Angel…or have we...?!
One thing I will say is that, where our previous releases have suffered from less than satisfactory production values (poor recording quality, amateurish mixing, etc), this time I actually know what I'm doing! So, for one thing, I won't drench the entire mix in reverb, meaning everything will come across louder and clearer.
Stay tuned for more updates! I will discuss the material in more detail in future entries, as well as reporting on our progress, of course. Meantime, check out the links below for information and that.
Saturday, 17 March 2012
Bludvera, Liverpool's finest thrash metal export, formed in 2008 in the wake of a resurgence of interest in the genre. Quickly making a name for themselves on the live scene, they released their debut EP in 2010. This was followed by a string of high profile gigs, including support slots for Evile and Onslaught, among others (read my review of the Onslaught show here). The icing on the cake came in the form of a triumphant set at Bloodstock Open Air last summer, following a hard-earned Metal 2 The Masses victory. With all this under Bludvera's collective belt, anticipation for their new EP was high.
The cheeky young Scousers have delivered. Terrorform is consistent, and powerfully produced, influenced equally by the American 'Bay Area' and Teutonic thrash scenes. Aptly, vocalist Scott Clayton's impassioned tone hovers somewhere between that of Slayer's Tom Araya, and Mille Petrozza, the charismatic frontman for Kreator. Backing Clayton is a thunderous rhythm section, capped off with blistering, skilfully arranged guitars, all performed with supreme technical ability.
The EP begins as it means to go on, with 'Reanimate', a furious burst of gang vocals and lightning fast lead work. The highlight comes with 'Citizen Monopoly', which exhibits a social and political conscience, its lyrics seeming to lament the powerlessness and disposability of the common man. Musically, the song is also highly accomplished, with various well-crafted twists and turns. Elsewhere, 'Parasitic Death Sentence' is perhaps the most dynamic song on offer, both in terms of tempo and volume, while the lyrics again deal in social commentary. The release climaxes with 'Conjure The Dead', which is made for head banging and is sure to be a live favourite.
In summary, Terrorform is an an excellent, and highly accomplished release, fully representing the scope of Bludvera's technical abilities and the vitality of their live show. If thrash is your thing, there is no way you can't like this. Even if it's not, Bludvera are certainly a force to be reckoned with and their talent is undeniable. These boys will go far.
'Terrorform' is available to download in a variety of audio formats for a minimum of £3 at http://bludvera.bandcamp.com/album/terrorform. CD copies will also be made available in the near future.
Sunday, 11 December 2011
With the venue already filling up nicely, Gorgoroth’s fellow countrymen, death metal act The Sickening, began the evening’s entertainment. New to many, including Gorgoroth, the band have actually been active for some eighth years now, and released their full length debut Death Devastation Decay in 2009. They’ve certainly had enough time to hone a stage act, and that they have done. Unfortunately, their music is not as impressive, grinding away relentlessly without offering anything that hasn’t been heard from countless other bands. It just kind of passed by me. Well executed but generic, unfortunately. Punter reviews were mixed, and it seems The Sickening are what might be called a ‘Marmite band’.
Valkyrja - hailing from Stockholm - were received much more favourably, and with good reason. With a raging black metal fury, their music feels vital and alive. This band are not going through the motions by any stretch, and they seem to thrive off the thrills of their audience, as their songs have plenty of twists and turns to keep us on our toes. I liked this band’s passion. They may not be breaking boundaries, but in today’s musical climate, playing with enthusiasm and feeling is an innovation in and of itself. With two full length albums under their bullet belts, Valkyrja’s work is accomplished and finely tuned.