You Will Never Be One Of Us

 
Yet again my week of gigs didn’t go accordingly. I made it to the grinding madness of Famine and Groak in StokeThursday  night and later today I have the same band who I saw last Sunday in London! The three gigs couldn’t be much more apart. Metallica broke the attendance record within the O2 Arena twice over the two shows. Tuesdays slightly surpassed the first night with an official figure of 22,211. A few nights back the Pilgrim’s Pit was undoubtedly beyond capacity with approximately 40 in attendance! Today with be another show in excess of 21,000 in the UK’s biggest arena. 

After Metallica later, if I can’t snag a Birmingham ticket, my next appointment could be in London for a version of the Cro-Mags and a reunited Battery – but more on that show later. Next Saturday sees me return to the Damnation Festival in Leeds after I missed the last two years due to my wallet not thinking the line ups were all that exciting. This years is far from stellar, but worthy of the £40 tickets. So over the next few days I’ll have a look at some of the bands I hope to see, or need to revise on to make sure I don’t miss a hidden gem. 

Making a rare appearance in the north of the country are South Californian hardcore / power violence trio Nails. As far as I can see this will surprisingly be their first show in Leeds and they’ve not ventured further north than Manchester since 2013, they’ve seen plenty of Lindon and Bristol though.  

I name dropped the band in the last post deposited here and I have been told how intense they are up on the stage, so just after 6pm I’ll be patiently waiting around the second stage to experience the Oxnard natives and form my own opinions. 

They’ve been together as a band for a decade now and released three albums with their most recent offering surfacing via Nuclear Blast. They released a split 7″ with Full of Hell last year. I’m sure I should’ve seen them somewhere last year? Maybe Ritual Festival also in Leeds, where Full of Hell also played, but for some reason they never played. 

I played this track via YouTube and immediately blew my speakers in the car when the track really kicked in. A quick look on Spotify and a blast through the 21 minutes and I’m wondering how I hadn’t picked up on this band earlier, maybe it’s down to my new found enthusiasm for the power violence and fast core scene? 

Ten tracks in under 22 minutes with the final track, They Come Crawling Back, clocking in at eight minutes plus, it tells you how brutal and uncompromising the remaining 17 minutes will be. I’m checking out the rest of the back catalogue over the next few days and I’ll be eagerly anticipating their arrival on the second stage next weekend.  If I like what I see I only have to wait until August 2018 to see them again as they’re amongst the first six bands announced for Bloodstock next year. I have a feeling that stage will  demolished in nine months. 

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Moth Into Flame

The morning after W.A.S.P. in Manchester sees me have a relatively early wake up call to jump on a train and head to London Town to see Metallica on the opening night of their five date UK tour. 

I’ll be at two of the five dates, but things could change. I was hoping to have seen them at a couple more but at £100 a ticket it was way out of my price range to see many more than the two. I’m in London on Sunday with friends and the following Saturday I’m in Manchester with my wife. I was hoping to have gone north of the wall to see them in Glasgow too, but that (so far) hasn’t materialised! 

I haven’t seen as many of the bands European dates as I’d have hoped for, but I’ve had a few adventures and I have a night in Stuttgart to look forward to next year. My first time seeing the band in what many consider to be their European home of Germany. 

Before the main event it’ll be straight off the train and a dash to central east London (is that a thing?) to join one of the many queues for the day and have a peruse inside the pop up shop. Having experienced the Copenhagen store back in February it’s a great money making scheme for the band. Hopefully I’ll be able to grab something British specific from there as I’m pretty sure the ones on sale in the arenas will be snapped up and several will be on sale on eBay before the final strains of Enter Sandman have died away in the rafters. 

Once I’ve finally dumped my stuff off in the hotel it’s off to Greenwich to visit the O2 Arena for a second time. The only other visit I’ve paid to this soulless hanger was back in 2010 when Bon Jovi took residency there for a staggering twelve nights. 

With the tragic event at the Manchester Arena some months ago and artists finally (but unsuccessfully) trying to do something to combat ticket touts I foresee another long and arduous wait whilst people who’ve bought their tickets at an inflated price on the secondary market for the event get unceremoniously turned away. Once those lucky enough to posses the right ticket with matching photo ID it’ll be time to queue inside the venue for just about anything you’ll need in there, over priced food and drink, toilets and merchandise. 

Let’s hope, because it’s Britain, that the people in front of the queue aren’t like the last ones I encountered at a big show on foreign soil. What’s with the desire to try on every piece of clothing you think you want to buy? Check the little piece of material in the back of the garments you are wearing. If they fit ask for the equal size. If they’re to big or small amend accordingly. The only thing you need to know is the make of the clothing. From my misfortune, if it’s Fruit of the Loom go a size up. 

It’s going to be an expensive weekend with W.A.S.P. the night before and Manchester six days later, but at least I’m only away from my own bed for one evening and even if it’s taking me three hours to travel to the capital my train ticket has been dirt cheap, costing me less than £20 there and back. More money available for merch, not that I’m desperate for anymore. 

I was hoping this years arena run would have seen me break the barrier of seeing the band for the 40th time. I was really hoping I’d have made Paris earlier this year and maybe another two of the five UK shows. If I’d have made the Moscow show that I had tickets for back in 2010 then I’d gave only needed two more, but Eyjafjallajökull erupting in Iceland at the same time scuppered flights, along with the exorbitant price of a Russian visa so close to travelling also didn’t help matters. I’ll break the 40 mark in time, there’s no rush. They’re going nowhere just yet. 

As all the tracks from the latest album had videos made for them here’s another one that has been a main stay of the band’s set list for the fifty odd shows currently played on the Worldwired Tour. 

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? 


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.