Restored To Life

Earlier in the week we invested in a cheap garden bench to try and force ourselves to take a bit more pride in our tiny patch of grass. Rather than deciding to cut it once the dog was buried in foot long green blades, we’re hoping it’ll get us outside a bit more. This morning was my first al fresco breakfast (well cereal and a coffee) on the bench, but at 9:30am still not quite in the sun. At least Ozzie is having fun running around and yapping at random nothingness.

One thing I need to invest in is some kind of outdoor Bluetooth speaker to crank out some tunes early in the morning – mainly to annoy our house music loving neighbours who haven’t long called it quits and retired to their beds. On a day dominated with a media frenzy of a Royal wedding and an FA Cup final, I have zero interest in either, so I’ve had to find my own entertainment for this evening.

Tonight I’m off to see an old school death metal band in the shape of Sabiendas from the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. They’re a new name to me and I unfortunately only showed an interest in the show due to Derbyshire’s Forgotten Remains being added to the bill, coincidentally another band I caught at Thrashersaurus a few weekends prior.

So far I’ve only had time to listen to their Column of Skulls album from 2015 and not had a chance to search out their debut album Restored to Life yet. Listening to this album I’m subconsciously thinking of a band sounding akin to Grave and a less technical version of Morbid Angel as I blast this out in the yard as the sun carry’s on creeping around, tonight should be a bargain night of death metal. And if I had something more substantial to listen to it on rather than the iPhones speakers it would annoy the neighbours without a doubt.

Prior to the German’s shows so far this weekend I’m not sure if they’ve ever graced UK shores previously. A quick look on SetlistFM only shows a handful of shows in Germany and the Netherlands, but I’d put my house on them playing many more shows during their dozen year existence.

With the addition of Forgotten Remains on a bill that has seemingly been fraught with line up changes, hopefully the Manchester death metal fraternity will show up in decent numbers. Eight quid on the door isn’t a lot to ask, considering many of us probably shelled much more than that yesterday for Slayer tickets.

Needless to say I haven’t seen the band live yet, but scouring the web for the tour posters I came across the running order for the Eindhoven Metal Meeting that I attended last December and they were the band on prior to Mortal Strike, the first band we were in the Effenar for, so I only just missed out on seeing them. If only we had one less IPA in the Drinkers Pub beforehand.

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Make Them Suffer

Outside it’s blowing a gale in Pwllheli and we’re grabbing a bit of breakfast before we start the nearly three hour jaunt home, hopefully I’m not driving into a snow storm near home.

Even though it’s a ridiculously long drive to only cover 131 miles it’s usually always worth the effort. Today’s line up isn’t great, hence us heading home shortly. But yesterday was a fantastic day.

Kicking things off with Acid Reign who were superb to watch yet again. I don’t think I could ever get bored of watching H and his band live. Blaze Bayley is an equally superb frontman and had the crowd in the palm of his hand for an hour. I loved hearing his Maiden tunes live again.

The two new gems and finds of the day were Norway’s Critical Solution and Goatwhore from New Orleans. Both bands have featured in the blog last week and we’re above and beyond what I expected.

I’ve seen Obscura several times and always been left bored by them, regardless of how insanely technical they are as a band. Maybe a bit too sterile? And the mighty Sepultura finished off the crowd. It lulled a little in the middle, so I’m not convinced six new songs in the set works all that well. Live I also think their sound is a bit thin when Andreas goes on his solos, a second live guitarist would thicken out the sound immensely.

Next year New Jersey devils Overkill have been announced as headliners, so 2019 will see another trek along the A55 to the middle of nowhere!

At some point today I’ll be jumping in the car and heading to Nottingham for my first show in Rock City for more than 13 years. Tonight it’s more classic 90’s death metal from Buffalo who are now Florida residents, in the shape of Cannibal Corpse.

The controversial band surfaced to the record buying public in 1991, around the same time as Deicide, Suffocation, Obituary and the like, but they are the band of the time that I picked up on the least and haven’t really followed their career. Maybe it was their blatantly gory and comical lyrics and artwork that subconsciously put me off the band? And the reason why a defining genre band gave taken so long to pop up on the blog.

I brought the band’s debut CD second hand from Lotus Records in the early 90’s. The shop at the time was ran by a man if religion. I always remember buying the CD and the owner had altered the “this may offend” warning sticker on the front and put a tiny sticker over the “may” part so it read “this WILL offend”. I loved that shop and it became a second home. I’d be intrigued to see what the owner would make of some of the bands, lyrics and artwork of some stuff a quarter of a century later.

For a band I don’t really follow tonight will be my eighth time seeing them since 2000. Over recent years the band have grown on me more, maybe with my newly found acceptance of the death metal genre. Even their latest album Red Before Black became only the second album to make me part with cash for a physical copy.

Tonight should be “fun” and I’m looking forward to seeing the Black Dahlia Murder again. I’m just hoping the snow and ice threat steers clear.

Death To The Architects Of Heaven

And my weekend has already begun. That’s it. The alarms are of and there’s no work until 5am Monday. This time tomorrow my single day at Hammerfest should be well underway. A few bands will have been viewed and several beers sank and probably making inroads on the Hafan-y-Mor caravan parks stock of Jack Daniels.

This afternoon has been spent clearing more rubbish out of the mother in laws house and discovering Goatwhore, who coincidentally will be hitting the Hammerfest stage in pretty much 24 hours time of me writing this.

The NOLA quartet are a band that have evaded me since their inception back in 1997. I’ve seen the name in advertising bumff, but I’ve never taken time to listen to the band. The name alone just makes me think screeching black metal, even some of the imagery used on their albums turns me away.

I saw someone post in a friend’s Facebook group how good Sepultura were, but the touring package was in the wrong order as Goatwhore were head and shoulders above the main support band Obscura. I though I might as well give them a try and searched for them on Spotify and started listening to the latest release Vengeful Ascension and prepared myself for the ensuing disappointment.

Once again I was proved wrong. Essentially a thrash metal band with death and black metal influences and a huge slice of New Orleans style groove.

Trawling though their releases the cover to 2012’s Blood for the Master looks familiar but I wasn’t sure if I was getting the skull cover mixed up with Beastmilk’s Climax album. I have a sneaky feeling that I even have that album in my iPhone library.

Based on that hunch I had a look to see if I had actually seen the band live. After a bit of investigation I’m pretty surprised I haven’t crossed paths with them in the last half a dozen years or so. They’ve played Manchester three times in Sound Control and MOHO. They were on the same bill as Dying Fetus and a year later with Skeletonwitch. I’m pretty sure I had a ticket for the latter show, but never went.

Their debut Mancunian show was back in 2012 on a show that I’m pretty sure I went to, if I didn’t I’m kicking myself six years later on. Thrashers Havok and Angelus Apatrida were on the Long Live Heavy Metal Tour package completed by 3 Inches of Blood. I know I’ve seen Havok in Manchester at least once, but I don’t think I’ve seen the Spaniards in the city, so I’m guessing I missed that stellar line up.

Goatwhore are one of the two bands playing tomorrow I’ve not experienced live and I’m really looking forward to catching them live based on what I’ve been hearing today. They’ll definitely be getting much more of my attention in the weeks ahead and I foresee several Amazon purchases in the very near future.

Blind, Torture, Kill

Well I’ve had my power nap and I’m on a train again for night two of some iconic death metal. Hailing from a generally more grim climate compared to the sunny temperatures afforded to last nights band, ever present guitarist Terrance Hobbs’ Suffocation call New York State home. And they have been yet another huge omission in the blog over the last couple of years.

Suffocation release their first album, Effigy of the Forgotten, back in 1991. Released by Roadrunner, recorded in Morrisound Studios, Tampa with artwork by Dan Seagrave. What more does an iconic 90’s death metal release need? I’m pretty sure I was sent a promo tape of 1993’s follow up effort Breeding the Spawn through the mail by their label when I was first doing my printed fanzine way back when.

For a band I’ve been loosely following for over a quarter of a century tonight will only be my third time seeing them. All three shows have been in Manchester and the first was in 2013 with Havok supporting, and they’ve all come at three year intervals. I missed them at Bloodstock 2010, from memory I think they were first band in at an ungodly hour and I like my bed too much to have made it there so early.

Their latest album …Of the Dark Light was released last year with ever presents Hobbs and Frank Mullen in front of the microphone, but Frank doesn’t like to tour too far away from home now and live vocal duties are usually passed to someone else. I’m not sure who is fronting for this tour, but in the past we’ve had Dying Fetus and Decrepit Birth growlers taking the helm.

The NYDM sound, and most of the death metal bands from the North Eastern part of the States always seemed to have a much more grittier sound then their southern counterparts. Both branches were ridiculously technical, but the NY bands (intentionally?) seemed to have some of the CBGB’s hardcore fire in their belly and didn’t seem quite as polished.

I’m nearly in Manchester now, so I’m at the mercy of 4G to get this loaded. Blind, Torture, Kill is taken from the bands self titled release from 2006.

Slowly We Rot

Gig two of this busy run before Easter sees a trip down the M6 to catch the Floridian death metal godfathers Obituary. This evening will be the eighth time I’ve seen them in four consecutive years.

I almost went to Manchester to catch them again tonight (mainly because I can’t wait to see support act Exmortus again and it’s only 30 miles away) but I thought I’d save myself (and some money) for the hectic weekend ahead. I’ve got a long day at work ahead of me tomorrow before I even think of heading south. I’ll get home somewhere around midnight after the show with ringing ears and I’ll be back in work before 6am on Saturday. At some point on Saturday afternoon I’ll be in Manchester to catch the majority of the eight bands playing the Rebellion Rock Bar, an all day affair featuring Venom Inc, Suffocation and Nervosa and yet another night where I get home after the witching hour.

I was in the same city on Tuesday as Obituary when we were both in Nottingham, but I couldn’t turn down seeing Meet The Mailman on their debut British show, one of only two they played in this tour. With the Tardy brothers being less than half a mile away in the Rescue Rooms it severely detracted from the crowd in attendance for the Waco Jesus gig, well it did for the length of time I was in the venue for.

When the Quebec City thrashers played I’m pretty sure I was one of less than half a dozen people in the room who wasn’t in a band or involved with putting the gig on. But then again there seemed to be a very poor digital media footprint for the show and a massive jack if information from the promoters and venue. I only found out about the gig on Sunday and it took me until after midday on the actual day to find the Facebook event page to get some idea on the show times. I enjoyed the rather intimate gig, more than can be said for Kansas band Bleed The Victim, who seemed to be very frustrated and pretty much packed up their stuff and departed minutes after they finished their short set. Which is a shame as I was pretty impressed with the young band and would have purchased a CD if they’d hung around a little longer.

I’m pretty sure most of tomorrow will involve listening to a lot of the Obituary back catalogue interspersed with a huge chunk of the new Judas Priest album, assuming Firepower appears on Spotify before I leave the house for work at 4:30am.

There have been a few Obituary videos in this blog in the past, not surprising considering how many times I’ve managed to catch them over the last four years, but this track is heading right back to the dawn of the band. Originally the track was featured on the bands 1989 debut album. This live version is from the Live Xecution 2008 DVD.

Human Defect

deathwish

So when is a snow day not exactly a snow day?  When you’re already at home and just can’t be bothered to go out into the frozen wasteland?

I’ve been off work this week in what could be my last rota week for the company that I work for – or at the very least the penultimate rota week off – before we kind of move into the modern age and have a five day working week.  I quite like having a full week off every sixth week if they fall at a time where I have things to do, but at the same time I loath having to work on a Saturday as it just detracts from my weekends. 

I hadn’t realised that my last post was just after Valentines Day, when I had this lame cold that I’m still struggling to shake off almost a fortnight later.  I have ventured to one gig in the intervening time, a grind / power violence shindig in Manchester held within a venue that was the home of the Northern Soul club The Twisted Wheel from the 1970’s.  In turn though I discovered that the place was the third address to hold the name, so not quite as iconic a place as I had originally assumed. 

So far this week I have had no shows to go to, but that has been quite a blessing with the snowfall that we’ve had locally since Tuesday.  But Friday evening should see me heading to Satan’s Hollow, yet again in Manchester, to catch Slovenian deathcore band Within Destruction.  That show is more of a boredom replacement to take my mind off the fact that Netherlands Deathfest III is taking place in Tilburg this weekend and I won’t be there.  There are some great bands gracing the 013 stage over the weekend, just not enough over the three days to keep me interested enough to fly over.  Most of the few bands I want to see there are playing over here in the next few weeks, so it’s no great loss.  Hopefully 2019 will be a bit more to my liking?

Saturday could see me heading to a local gig for the album launch show for local hardcore band Of Legions and back to Manchester again on Sunday to see Reprisal supporting a comedian at the Rebellion Rock Bar, assuming some of the snow melts away and allows me to travel without worrying about getting back home.  Next weekend involves a ridiculously busy schedule and I’m sure there will be more about that over the next few days.

I’ve spent the last few days or so listening to the Slovenian’s via Spotify, their 2012 debut From the Depths and their last outing Void from 2016.  Deathwish will be their most recent release when it surfaces at the end of March. I was aware of the other three bands on tomorrows bill as I’ve seen them all before.  Gorehead were at last weekends Manchester show and Cranial Discharge were at the show prior to that one in the city.  This Is Turin are a band I’ve seen several times in recent years and reside not too far away in Cheshire, so I could claim them as local too?

I’m quite liking Within Destruction’s soild death metal sound, I’m just getting a bit bored of all the unintelligible squeals that is a part of the whole deathcore / slam thing. It won’t make up for the fact that I’ll be missing out on Broken Hope (on a proper stage unlike the last time I saw them!) who are playing tomorrow in Holland, but two of the other bands, Suffocation and Yacøpsæ, both play the country before the end of this month and I should at least be seeing one of the pair.   

The track Human Defect is taken from the about to be released Deathwish album via Rising Nemesis Records from Germany.  Based of the one track on offer here, there seems to be more of the squealing than on the last album that I just finished listening to.  Maybe they’re moving to a much more slam metal orientated sound on the new record?  At least I know I won’t miss the last train home if it’s too high pitched!

within dest

Black Star

Tonight sees my third consecutive evening at a gig, something I haven’t done for quite sometime and doesn’t my body know about it! Along with being laid up for the last week, I was now feeling a bit sore when I got out of bed this morning after standing around for nearly two and a half hours watching the Iron Maiden tribute band last night.

Besides Hi-On Maiden not playing anything from Killers, I still enjoyed their eclectic 22 song set. Nestled in between the expected fare we got treated to Judas Be My Guide and The Duellists, two tracks never played live by the band. They’re back in the city in the summer so no doubt I’ll be in attendance.

Tonight’s offering is a chunk of technical death metal all the way from Encino, Los Angeles. I’m not overly familiar with The Faceless at all and I stumbled over their most recent album In Becoming A Ghost at the end of last year.

They’ve released a trio of albums before In Becoming… which I’m yet to hear, so I hope they don’t play too much from those albums. I just saw their tour promotion popping up over the internet and from the artwork alone I thought that looks interesting. Having listened to the forty two minute album I fancied seeing them live and tonight’s Manchester show fitted in perfectly with my schedule. They remind of bands like Gorguts and Obscura with their progressive style tempo changes.

Delving a bit deeper into the band’s history they seem to be a bit on the unreliable side and have a trail of cancelled shows and tours in the past. I think a lot of people must have let out a huge sigh of relief when they posted a photo of them aboard a plane heading across the Atlantic.

They’ve played the UK quite s few times over the years, but before their opening show at Guilford on Thursday, it had been exactly five years since their last appearance over here. It’ll be something new and different and hopefully it’ll run to schedule better than my last two Mancunian shows.

Just as a brief side note, for anyone vaguely interested, I have had a few 120mm circular pieces of polycarbonate through my letter box in the last few weeks for my continued delve through every corner of Europe’s thrash metal scene and once I get the time to listen and write Spain, Finland, Israel, Greece, Germany and the Faroe Islands are now covered.

🇪🇸🇫🇮🇮🇱🇬🇷 🇩🇪 🇫🇴