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.


Bad Luck

What an absolute stinker of a day today has turned out to be! I need to check to see if I’ve inadvertently smashed a mirror, or crossed a black cat somewhere? Maybe I accidentally refused some lucky heather from a gypsy?

Things were fine when I found a record store come cafe on my route at work and I ended up purchasing an Xentrix 12” that I’ve been after for some time for a decent price. It’s when I left work where things went awry.

I was pushing my luck with the fuel in my car on the way to work but with no petrol stations open at 4:45am – even though the local one has a facility to pay at the pump but is “closed” between midnight and 6am – it’s a risk I had to take. Fortunately I got to work 9 miles away. Coming home not so lucky.

I was less than 400m away from the petrol station when my car came to a juddering halt. Luckily I managed to coast it into a lay by and proceeded to walk to get fuel and at the same time the heavens took pity on me and proceeded to dump a load of rain in my location! Four quid for a shiny new plastic jerry can and 20 minutes later I was off and running again.

It didn’t spoil my afternoon too much I managed to get home at a decent time and grab a 90 minute power nap before it was off to the local train station for my Reprisal gig in Manchester. Considering I needed a return ticket I managed to press the wrong button on the automated machine. Instead of a £13.50 return I ended up with a £12.70 single. Great! Now the relatively inexpensive journey has no doubled in price.

At the start of my journey there the venue had been altered, but it was basically upstairs above the original venue, so no biggie with that one. Fifty minutes later I’m Manchester and I’m not too sure where the venue is so I bring up the iPhones maps to check the route and get the unwelcome news that tonight’s show has been pushed back by an hour. My last train home was at 2146. I only really wanted to see two of the four bands and was more than happy to hand over my £13 cash on the door for Cryptic Shift and Reprisal and have half an hour to amble back for my train.

Reprisal – the only bloody band I really wanted so see – are now scheduled to hit the stage at 2145!

I was debating whether to go and see the first two bands or not and even ventured up to the venue and got myself a quick drink to drown my sorrows in, but I suddenly thought “I really can’t be bothered” (putting it politely) and scooted off for the next train.

Less than three hours later and nearly £24 poorer, I’m sitting at home slurping a coffee wondering why do I bother to make the effort to see shows when promoters or venues seem to think that changing times at the drop of a hat is justified. I get that there can be issues, but they all seem so blasé towards their customer base. That’s a pair of shows in five days in Manchester that have been messed up beyond belief time wise. Not everyone lives ten minutes from a venue or is able to potentially drive to a venue. But that’s a rant for another day.

Sitting on the train home thinking about my bad luck today just got this song stuck in my head and is the only reason I’m posting something by FM. Coincidentally though I did buy this nearly thirty years ago as a single, I’m sure the 7″ came in it’s own box with an exclusive patch or a pin.

Today can do one!

Chapel Of Ghouls

I keep scrolling through my calendar on my phone to see what shows I could possibly be attending in the latter half of this week and my eye keeps getting drawn towards the two large red X’s which I use to denote a cancellation. On Wednesday I should have been going to see a version of Floridian death metal stalwarts Morbid Angel.

Due to passport issues the band are unable to travel to Europe and all their shows have been cancelled and hopefully to be rearranged for 2018. I was unsure if I was going as this version of the band are refusing to play anything from the first few albums and are solely concentrating on albums F, G and H!

Longstanding guitarist and only original member Trey Azagthoth is calling the shots and two years ago let vocalist and bass player David Vincent and drummer Tim Yeung go and drafted back into the fold on off bassist and vocalist Steve Tucker. He was the voice of Formulas Fatal to the Flesh, Gateways to Annihilation and Heretic (hence F, G and H).

It could’ve been an interesting evening experiencing album cuts that have rarely been played on British soil, but I just think letting fans miss out on hearing something like Chapel of Ghouls is a kick in the teeth. I’m pretty sure in previous Tucker incarnations of the band tracks from the first four albums were included.

For what ever the reasoning is behind the bizarre setlist choices and currently the two “versions” of the babd in existence, if you want to hear tracks from A, B, C and D then you need to keep your eyes peeled for I Am Morbid which features Vincent and Yeung. Technically a cover act, but I’m sure they can smash out some classic death metal with aplomb. I Am Morbid have been announced for the Dynamo Festival in Holland next July, so I’ll be able to make my own conclusions.

I was reluctant to post another Morbid Angel track, who needs two from the band throughout these 502 posts, then I realised I haven’t put anything by the band in here at all, so time for that to be rectified immediately.

Released back in 1989 via Earache Records in the UK, the bands debut album Altars of Madness spawned Chapel of Ghouls amongst its other nine bludgeoning death metal tracks. It also ticks the necessary boxes for any self respecting release bursting out of the Sunshine State during that era. Recorded at Morrisound Studios in Tampa (with Tom Morris rather than Scott Burns) and a stunning piece of artwork by Dan Seagrave. Twenty eight years on from Altars album number 9, Kingdoms Disdained, will be in our sweaty palms in a little over a week.

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 5/31

Day 5 – A song about the glory of metal.

Believer – Shadow of Death

Well I’m struggling with this one. A highly renowned metal song? A song I take pride in? A beautiful song? Something with glory in the title? For some reason I kept getting drawn to the power metal genre. 

Then I had a light bulb moment. I might have misunderstood the original question but I went down the religious rabbit hole with glory meaning praise and worship to a deity. 

Heavy Metal Month Listening Challenge 4/31

Day 4 – A 3 piece band. 

Coroner – Die By My Hand

Venom. Motörhead. Sodom. Destruction. Green Day. Rush. ZZ Top. Raven. Budgie. The early Kreator and Voi-Vod line ups. There have been quite a few decent trios in the metal sphere. 

I’m pretty sure I’ll know someone who’ll post a track by Rush as their three piece, so here’s a Swiss band who have been called the Rush of thrash metal! 

Exit The Giants

Happy Canada Day to my brethren from the great white north. 

I’ve visited the country quite a few times in the last thirteen years or so and really enjoyed every city I’ve been in. The first time the wife and I were there we visited the eastern side during the autumn. Driving through the countryside of Maine and eventually up to Quebec City and seeing all the different colours of the fall foliage was something to cherish. 

Toronto quickly became one of my favourite cities to visit. We had the briefest of lay overs in Montreal and Ottawa before our first experience of Toronto. We’ve been back four or five times since and I got to see my first and only baseball game in the Skydome. I’ve also been lucky enough to catch the Maple Leafs and Metallica several times and Iron Maiden last year all in the Air Canada Centre. 

The scenery we encountered to the west was absolutely breathtaking – even if I was hampered with a broken elbow at the time which I knew nothing about apart for bouts of searing pain. A chilly and damp day was soon brightened up with a visit to the stunning chateaux on the shore of Lake Louise. I think Vancouver and Calgary deserve a return visit and maybe stretch to Edmonton? 

When we booked the Vancouver jaunt our original plan was to traverse the Rockies by train, but the extra cost put us off that and we opted for a short flight. I’d still like to experience that journey so I hope it’s something I don’t regret in time. 

To celebrate Canada Day, eh, here’s a band I haven’t listened to in an age. When I was thinking of bands to include today it was the same old faithful Canuck acts that kept popping into my head (Annihilator, Razor, Mortillery, Cancer Bats – basically those I’ve featured before). Then I remembered about DBC. 

Dead Brain Cells formed in Montreal in the mid 1980’s and released a pair of albums before the end of that decade before disbanding. Original guitarist Gerry Ouellette passed away less than four years after the split. According to The Metal Archives site the band have been back together since 2005, but no new music appears to have surfaced and no shows logged since that year either. 

A long time ago I had both albums on vinyl, but I ever really gave them the time of day back then. I’m pretty sure I have them both, and maybe the unreleased EP recorded in 1990 that surfaced in 2002, digitally. I’d like to track them down on CD but I fear the original Combat releases will be out of my price league. I do think I saw something of a reissue a few years ago, so Sunday morning could involve a trawl on eBay or Discogs. 

Dissed And Dismissed

After my last two years attending the thrash shindig over in Norwich it’s been hard to completely blank it in favour of a trip to Leeds for some hardcore sounds. 

I was half tempted to attend the Outbreak Festival last year as we bailed on the Sunday of Thrashersarus but ended up heading to London to catch SNFU and Walls of Jericho. I’m glad we did in hindsight as headliners Terror had to cancel. 

Even though I’m not 100% committed to Outbreak yet, it is a line up that I’d really like to see. It’s been almost a decade since I last saw headliners Gorilla Biscuits. Title Fight, Freedom and Fury are a trio of bands I’m not overly familiar with, so I foresee a binge listening session on Spotify prior to Saturday. The rest of the line up is filled with up and coming British bands. 

The band I’m really interested in seeing on Saturday is Yonkers, New York band Breakdown. They are a band I was introduced by a pen pal from Queens NY. I had dozens of tapes in the early to mid 90’s with some cool 7″ releases and demos of established bands from the Big Apple alongside some of the new breed of bands. The Runnin’ Scared demo was one of the releases dubbed onto a cassette for me. 

They seemed to have split after a while, only to resurface in the mid 90’s (or their music at least) when the Blacklisted EP and the Plus Minus album surfaced with many of the songs that I first heard through the demo. Battle Hymns For An Angry Planet was released in 2000 and as far as I’m aware that was the last Breakdown album. 

As far as I’m aware Saturday will be the first time they’ve played in the United Kingdom and it’s a pretty rare European excursion in their almost thirty year, on off career. Yet another hardcore band playing Leeds as an exclusive. 

The track Dissed and Dismissed was originally released on the Runnin’ Scared tape back in 1989 and has surfaced on numerous compilation albums and bonus tracks on their own albums. The CD of the same name was released by German label Lost and Found in 1995, which, with that labels checkered history, was probably an unofficial release.