Metalhead is the tale of Hera, a young Icelandic woman who witnesses the tragic death of her beloved older brother at a young age. Set in the early 90’s, the film focuses on Hera as well as her parents; simple dairy farmers in a remote area of the country. A poignant scene early on in the movie has the young Hera burning all of her childish clothes in a tribute to her rock’n’roll loving brother, donning his leather jacket and guitar before attempting to skip town. Cut to a much older Hera, still adorned in the leathers and a Motorhead shirt and still on the farm. This young adult is a recluse, tending to the cows with her headphones blaring Judas Priest. The “black sheep” cliché isn’t overplayed here, even with the constant visual reminders that she is clearly a wolf among said sheep.
Venom might be the single most influential extreme metal band in existence. Their first two albums, Welcome to Hell and Black Metal, almost single-handedly defined the straightforward and blistering sound of the genre named after their sophomore effort, and they are still cited today as an important factor in the sound of modern extreme metal by an enormous legion of bands, over 35 years after they first came together. The sheer fact that they’re still around three-and-a-half decades later is an astonishing feat, let alone the fact that they’re releasing new music. And now, with their newest record, From the Very Depths, they aim to create their greatest album yet. Do they succeed?
The world is a big place and it contains an insane amount of music. Even when narrowing things down to “just” metal, the sheer variety and volume of releases is staggering. The internet is one of the main tools of a would be explorer of this rich world. And so, through the magic of the world wide web, we bring you The Erkonauts. Immediately after the connection was formed, we rejoiced. While I Did Something Bad includes well known names in the scene, for example one Ales Campanelli from Sybreed, it presents a fresh and youthful approach to many elements in the genre. Blending industrial, heavy metal and many progressive passages, it’s simply an album that has a spring in its step, a certain joie de vivre which is infectious. In short, it will put a smile on your face and isn’t that one of the most important roles of music?
2013 has seen large growths in the, quite frankly, already sweaty regions of punk n’ roll, progressive metal and retro blues rock. Naturally, this has made me a very jolly fellow. You might be able to spot a few of the more impressive additions in my all-singing, all-dancing end of year list. Happy xmas to one and all!
Hey everyone, guess what! The new Amon Amarth will be about Vikings! What a witty and observant person I am!
To be honest, I sort of dread whenever Amon Amarth release anything that isn’t new music because it suddenly brings out the worst in some people, as though I’d be spending my time with the band admiring their beautifully complex album art and being in complete awe of their extremely intellectual and mind-bending subject matter. Yeah, no. I’m in it for masterfully crafted catchy melodeath and more anthemic choruses than you can shake a drinking horn at.
T’is that beautiful time of year again. A season of good will, understanding and compassion towards your fellow man — a time for giving, loving and appreciating. The cold may have rolled in and the trees may have shed their once vibrant foliage, but the world finds solace in the love and company of others. It’s a time to reflect on the memories of the year and plan ahead for the next.
But most of all it’s a time to listen brutal fucking metal and drink a fuck tonne of Advocaat, because 2012 was full of great releases and now’s your chance to catch on releases you may have missed or may have never even heard of. My first draft of this list was composed of 30 albums, which then shot up to 37 when I realised that I had forgotten to include EPs. Everything from new bands that came out of nowhere to blow my mind (We Are Knuckle Dragger, Bloodshot Dawn, Oddland, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo etc) to the old guard continuing their brilliant legacy (Gojira, Aborted, Napalm Death, Deftones etc) all unfortunately fell by the wayside in the ruthless culling exercise that produced this list. And I regret cutting every single one of them, but alas, if I was talk about every album this year that was great, I’d probably lose your attention pretty quickly. Who am I kidding? You’ve most likely already skipped on to the list and you’re not even reading this bit. I could write anything I want here and no one would notice. Anything at all.
High On Fire
De Vermis Mysteriis
01. Serums Of Liao
02. Bloody Knuckle
03. Fertile Green
04. Madness Of An Architect
06. Spiritual Rites
07. King Of Days
08. De Vermis Mysteriis
09. Romulus And Remus
I swear, by Matt Pike’s sweaty shirtless body, that High On Fire get better with every album. Whilst there’s nothing that glaringly new about their sound, you’d be hard pushed to argue that it wasn’t at least distinct and over the course of six studio albums the band has refined their mix of high octane riffs, pummeling percussion and Motorhead sensibilities to a sharpened point. De Vermis Mysteriis sees the band attempting to top their incredibly well received Snakes For The Divine with a concept album about Jesus’ time travelling twin brother Liao who goes on to to learn about the destructive influence his brother had on mankind before jumping off the deep end and getting involved in witch burning and baby sacrifice. Yeah.
Fun fact: 2008’s Gigantour was my first real metal show. My dad took me and a friend of mine to Louisville, KY to see Megadeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy, and High on Fire. That show was pretty awesome, and it set in motion my concert-going and have made a dedicated effort to see at least one show a year since then (travel is hard on the wallet).
It’s good to know that Gigantour is still going on! This year’s lineup consists of the yearly headliner Megadeth alongside Motorhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil. Tonight the tour’s hitting Glen’s Falls, New York. Don’t miss it!
Here are the remaining dates on Gigantour 2012:
Feb. 01 – Glens Falls, NY – Glens Falls Civic Center
Feb. 02 – Quebec City, QC – Colisee Pepsi Arena
Feb. 03 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Feb. 05 – Kingston, ON – K-Rock Centre
Feb. 07 – Oshawa, ON – General Motors Centre
Feb. 08 – Hamilton, ON – Copps Coliseum
Feb. 09 – Auburn Hills, MI – Palace of Auburn Hills
Feb. 10 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
Feb. 12 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
Feb. 14 – St. Paul, MN – Myth
Feb. 16 – Saskatoon, SK – Prairieland
Feb. 17 – Edmonton, AB – Shaw Conference Centre
Feb. 18 – Calgary, AB – Big 4 Building
Feb. 20 – Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford Ent & Sports Centre
Feb. 21 – Kent, WA – Showare Center
Feb. 23 – San Jose, CA – Events Center
Feb. 24 – Universal City, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre
Feb. 25 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Feb. 26 – Albuquerque, NM – Tingley Coliseum
Feb. 28 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore Auditorium
01. Anarchogram Sun
02. Rex Oblivione
03. Surrounded By Skulls
04. Non Serviam
05. Just Add Nauseam
06. Entering The Arena Of The Unwell
07. The House Of Bedlam
08. Apathy In The UK
10. The Hammer Of Witches
11. Put Me Out Of Your Misery
The Rotted (formerly Gorerotted) area London band, through and through. You could hear it distinctly on their 2008 full-length Get Dead Or Die Trying – stories of drug abuse, fist fights and even tour bus surfing nestled peacefully alongside a style of punk-y death metal that owed as much to Motorhead and Discharge as it did to Cannibal Corpse. Whilst The Sex Pistols shambled through most of their material in the name of ‘punk’, The Rotted shifted effortlessly between d-beats and blastbeats to show that you could retain all the sneering swagger of a punk band while still playing competently. Ad Nauseam is, however, a little different to what we’ve come to expect.