Lost

What better way is there to warm up for two days in a saturated field watching some heavy bands than heading out of the Shire to watch even more heavy bands play?

Bay Area thrashers Death Angel are wrapping up their twenty eight date European trek and are finally bring their Evil Divide tour to British crowds as they play four shows here in the lead up to Bloodstock. There was much speculation (and multiple fingers crossed and luck rabbits feet rubbed) hoping that they would tread the boards at Catton Hall, but alas no. They played there in 2013 at some god forsaken time that wasn’t becoming a band of their stature, so it is time they returned. 

I’ve still got my fingers crossed that they will cross the channel again before the end of the year when they support Testament and Annihilator on the mainland. It’s all political with festivals and tours who share bands. As all of those three are in the UK and two at Bloodstock I’d like an announcement of added dates first thing Monday. It’ll make the pain of missing Testament on Friday after their Dynamo Metal Fest debacle that bit easierto take. Otherwise it’s “Munich here I come!”

I’m already off to Wolverhampton on Tuesday to get my thrash metal fix and I’ve had that ticket in the house for what feels like forever. As I didn’t buy into the whole social media campaign of Bloodstock will “sell out” before the gates open I was too slow buying my tickets – and it “sold out” (of weekend passes anyway.) I currently have a Saturday ticket with my aim of buying a Sunday entry on the day. As I’m off work on Friday anyway I think I might treat myself to a jaunt down to London to see them and Warbringer destroy venues twice in three days. Be a shame to waste a days holiday from work. 

Since The Art of Dying album, their reformation release in 2004, each of the four albums since have got better every time. The Evil Divide was up there in the top ten of last year easily. I’ve only seen them six times up until this week, the first time was in Wolverhampton back in 2008, one of their first English shows outside of London since 1990. 

Lost is the albums most melodic track and slows down the relentless intensity of the rest of the album for five minutes. The most heavy metal track that Mark Osegueda and the band have recorded? 


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Amalgamation

I’ve been listening to From The Ashes of Eden on constant rotation since I managed to find it a few days ago.  Im guessing the Dutch band X-Tinxion will be a new name for most people, but if you have a spare hour and a Spotify account I highly recommend you give it a blast. 

I first came across the name when I saw a flyer for the Death Angel show happening at Rotterdam’s Baroeg in August. I’m fully aware of three of the four bands on the line up, but “X-Tinxion NL thrash” piqued my interest. Then I kind of forgot about them. 

Over the weekend at the Dynamo Metal Fest I noticed several shirts with the bands logo emblazoned across the front. Thinking they must be pretty popular in their native land I made a more concerted effort to check the band out. Assessing the festival from the comfort of my house, it appeared that all the members of the band were in attendance during the event.  

I’m starting to think that I’m a bit slow to the party for this Dordrecht outfit after a bit more research. Even though last years From The Ashes of Eden is their debut album they’ve been together for a staggering thirteen years and previously released a pair of EP’s in 2010 and 2015.  

Trawling Facebook for more information I was initially shocked to see front woman Monica Janssen celebrating five years and one month since her live debut with the band. She’s also in Downcast Collision – so another band I’ll have to check out.  I was expecting the band to have been together for three or four years, let alone the vocalist celebrating five. 

If you like your old school thrash metal intertwined with some modern Swedish death metal elements and a vocalist capable of switching from clean vocals to a growled delivery, very much influenced by Arch Enemy, then this could be a new discovery for you too. 

I’m off to track down a CD version of the debut album where Amalgamation is the opening track. I’ll also bee on the look out for a shirt and ultimately experiencing the band live. I’m not adverse to travelling to see bands and their native Holland is a country I’ve visited numerous times for gigs, so I think that will be my best route to see them on stage. 

Metal Punx Never Die!

Last week on the DRI bill I discovered what is my favourite new band (well for the next few weeks anyway, what did I say earlier about loyalty?)

I bid you welcome to the blog’s first Austrian representative Insanity Alert. The Innsbruck band, with a Dutch vocalist, have been together since 2011 and released their second album Moshburger last year. 

I’ve been aware of the band by name for a while now and have a copy of the self titled debut album on my hard drive, but I’ve never really given it a listen. When I saw they were supporting DRI it made the already cheap ticket (a mind boggling £11.50) even better value for money. 



I wasn’t sure if they’d ever passed through the UK before, but apparently they played Nottingham with Ghoul back in February. I’m pretty sure I missed those dates as I was seeing either Kreator or Wormrot when they played close to home. 

Listening to them through a small set of speakers or earphones doesn’t really do the band any justice at all. From last weeks captivating 45 minute performance it’s on the stage where they shine. A host of simple props and signs accompany the band while they plough through their manic crossover thrash. Confessions of a Crabman is much more entertaining than doing the whole time consuming Crabulon dance with Evil Scarecrow. 

I though last week would be my last, or possibly only time, seeing Insanity Alert. Roll on 48 hours and the big reveal from the 2018 edition of the Persistence Tour was announced and the band will be back in Blighty in January. They seem to be the opening band, followed by Broken Teeth and ex favourite band of the moment Power Trip. Those three bands alone are worth the admission fee, never mind having Terror, Madball and Hatebreed finishing things off. I’ll remind you again in the new year, but if you are fortunate enough to be at one of the eleven Persistence shows get in there early. You won’t be disappointed. 

Party Food

Ten days since I was last here, I’m just getting too lazy to do anything at times! The significant other is out this evening, so let’s try and bang a few quick posts out while I “baby sit” Ozzie. 

The previously mentioned Warwound gig was yet another bust, but I did end up in Manchester on the Saturday for an (almost) all dayer at the Rebellion Rock Bar. A sunny Saturday afternoon was spent in darkness with a menu of thrash metal, death metal and power violence being dished out. Ten bands – if you were there from 2pm – all for a fiver.

I managed to see five and a bit of the ten band, due to working in the morning I couldn’t really get there any earlier and missed the first two, plus Leeds thrashers Redeye Revival were the first band I wanted to catch. 

Prior to that Saturday nearly two weeks ago now, I’d only seen two of the bands previously. It was my third time in four Saturdays seeing Horsebastard, now I’m recovering from a dose equestrian blastcore overdose. The bit of the sixth band was the sludge of PIST, where we decided to exit the venue for food, and I’d previously seen the band at Hard Rock Hell United back in 2015. 

A “pleasant” surprise on the day came from Mancunian band Wolfbastard. Just judging the book by its cover I was expecting a crusty D-Beat band, what I wasn’t expecting was the black metal infused punk being performed before me. With song titles like Fat Romanian Punchbag and Sick in the Bath, their tongues seem to be firmly in their collective cheeks.  The most unlikely looking black metal too. 

Gets Worse from Leeds and Edinburgh’s Endless Swarm brought more relentless power violence to proceedings. I’ve been seeing more shows recently that can be pigeon holed in the power violence, grind or fast hardcore scene and I’ve enjoyed them much more than I was expecting. The vibe of the shows has been like the early days of my hardcore phase. A very DIY ethic and a lot of fun. Let’s hope the cliques and testosterone doesn’t swallow it up. 

The last band of the day for me was Foetal Juice, not the greatest band name out there, but for a death metal band trying to shock with ditties about death and gore it does what it states on the tin.  Having said that, I quite enjoyed them. 

The logo on the flyer you can’t read is from local death / slam band Crepitation. I had the chance to get the last train back to the shire, so I took the opportunity of not having to drive an inch and took it. It was handy getting off the train at the bottom of the street, but not so good being stuck on the train in Macclesfield for nearly an hour while the transport police intervened on some drunken shenanigans in the adjacent carriage. 

With their brand of party thrash (think Anthrax circa I’m the Man or more up to date Insanity Alert or Municipal Waste) I’d been waiting a while to finally see this bunch of Yorkshire puddings (© Wolfbastard) and I wasn’t disappointed. Very raw but with heaps of youthful exuberance, they could be a leading light in the UK thrash scene if they get the breaks. Check out their back catalogue for free via their BandCamp page.

Party Food, with a cobbled together video, is taken from the most recent EP Raise Hell, No Regrets. Keep an eye open for the name Redeye Revival. 

Humanity’s Nightmare

The more I keep looking at that Sunday lineup at the Outbreak Festival the more I keep thinking to myself I need to be there. The final three bands on their own would be a worthy road trip as a stand alone show. Cro-Mags, Broken Teeth and London stalwarts Knuckledust sandwiched in between. 

Ray, Wema, Nic and Pierre forged their legacy back in North East London suburbs in 1996 and twenty one years later the same four guys – now definitely older and hopefully wiser – are still the respected flag bearers for the UK hardcore scene. 

Over the years I’ve seen them in excess of twenty times – not bad going as they’ve never played locally to me (unless I missed it). The majority of those shows were all in the mid to late 90’s. There was a long gap of nearly a decade until I caught up with them again in 2010 when they played Manchester with Sick of it All and Madball. In the seven years since I’ve not had the opportunity to see them perform. I think their lax approach towards touring has probably helped with their longevity. 

The first time I saw them as young whipper snappers was in Sheffield in 1996, I believe it was their first excursion outside of the nations capital. They opened a bill that also saw Unborn, Schmuck (who later became Canvas), Blood Green and Vengeance of Gaia play a feisty show, eventually filled with ill feeling at Morrisey’s Riverside in Sheffield.  

I knew the bass player of Blood Green – Foster, and got invited up to the Steel City for the gig. As I had a car I was tasked with picking up one of the bands from the bus station. It turned out to be the young Londoners, who’d made the journey up to South Yorkshire with all their gear on coach. 

They should of played the Rigger in Stoke on Trent in 2000 when I tried to arrange them and Freebase to play the venue the day before my wedding as a kind of unofficial stag do. There were problems on the motorway (nothing changes) for both bands, some members made it to the Potteries some didn’t. Needless to say the show never happened. 

I’ve seen them all over England at a time where the UK scene seemed to have a lot more camaraderie and in general felt like a much more welcoming place for people to attend. Almost all of those early bands disbanded at a similar time and new blood came through. More divisions and cliques seemed to appear and I just drifted away. I still enjoy the music but as an ageing guy I don’t necessarily enjoy the atmosphere generated at many hardcore shows that I’ve attended in the last half a dozen years or so. Crowd killing. What is that all about? 

A bit of a quick trivia question for those who’ve read this far. Can you name any other bands who’ve been going for a length of time with their original line up intact? I can think of one band with out researching it. When you do think of a band you’d be surprised how many people appear in the alumni section. 

Humanity’s Nightmare was released last year on their sixth album Songs of Sacrifice by their long time Dutch record label GSR. Well worth checking out. 


Fallen Into Disuse

Safely ensconced at home after a challenging day at work thanks to storm Doris that has been battering much of the British Isles today. Driving a high sided vehicle does tend to be a bit unnerving at times, but the only downed trees I saw had already toppled before I arrived on the scene. 

Assuming the weather reports are accurate and the winds have subsided by Friday then tomorrow night I should be hopping on a train and heading up to Manchester and grabbing a couple of beers before an evening of intense grindcore. 

Singaporean band Wormrot are on a brief European jaunt and Friday is one of three U.K. dates. They’ve played here over a dozen times in their decade long career but it will be my first time seeing them live. It’s an early finish – all done and dusted by 10pm in theory – which works well as I’m in work within eight hours after they step off the stage on Saturday morning. It’s also another new venue for me to visit, The Soup Kitchen, so I’m not sure what I’m expecting the place to be like apart from minuscule. 

I’ve not had time to digest the latest album Voices since it came out towards the end of last year, but with an impressive twenty tracks in a little under twenty six minutes it won’t take me all that long and it’s not as if I’ll need to learn the lyrics by rote! Compared to the previous release Dirge (twenty five incomprehensible blasts of noise in under eighteen minutes) the latest release is almost their magnum opus. 

Their allocated stage time is forty minutes and I’m not going to even attempt to count how many songs they’ll play in that time. One thing for sure though, Friday night is going to be an unrelenting and noisy night. Best not forget my ear plugs. 

Fallen Into Disuse has an official video of sorts and is taken from the newest album released by grindcore pioneering label Earache – a very apt name with some of their roster too. The label that introduced record store visitors to Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Concrete Sox, Heresy and Carcass in the 80’s still have their finger on the grinding pulse. 

Headstone

I discovered a gig for Wednesday night that would’ve been perfect to go to. American band Touché Amoré are currently on a U.K. tour as I type. I’m not overly familiar with the Los Angeles band, but the support band is another story. 

Not to be confused with the Dortmund speed metal band, the melodic hardcore band Angel Du$t from Baltimore are in tow and I’m yet to see them live. I stumbled on their debut album A.D. a few years ago and got hooked on this hardcore supergroup. The band features members from Trapped Under Ice and Turnstile to list two. 

Within two years their sophomore release, Rock the F**k on Forever, saw the light of day. I’ve had a few plays of it through Spotify and really enjoyed it. Thirteen tracks, 21 minutes of aggressive and yet melodic hardcore in a very 90’s retro Revelation Records kind of vein. 

I pretty much discovered yesterday that they are playing in Birmingham on Wednesday evening. As they’re the support act I can jump on a train and not have to worry about getting home at stupid o’clock Thursday morning. I’d noticed they’ve previously played Manchester and Bristol – which both sold out before the event. 

When I finished work today I thought I’d check the venue’s ticket site and snag a ticket, but alas they’re unavailable, so I’m assuming it’s another sell out (or they’ve now been taken off sale and available on the door. Wishful thinking I fear). 

This is one of the many things that annoys me at times with social media and it’s seemingly random way of passing on information. I have a wide variety of artist in my iTunes library, so for me, following a Facebook page for every active band at this moment in time would be nigh on impossible to follow and keep up with. So on that basis I follow a lot of venues and promoters. I’d have to assume that the Birmingham venue has promoted it sufficiently, but with me not seeing it until the eve of the gig has to be down with social medias weird notification restrictions. Why it can’t be shown to each and every follower rather than a random selection is beyond my comprehension. 

Having said that though, I recently spent two days inside the same venue and saw nothing inside promoting the show, so maybe someone in their online PR team was lazy? 

Maybe tomorrow evening I’ll be seeing Headstone from that tricky second album live tomorrow, but I’m not holding my breath. I fear they’re going to be one of those bands that will elude me forever. They’ve not played too often on these shores, and the only other time I could have seen them live was in Leeds when they were on the Ghostfest ’15 line up, but they hit the stage too early in the day and I had to work before I headed north.