Friday, 29 February 2008

Mental Infestation's Myspace Recommendations! Pt 2

Here is my latest installment of bands you should add on Myspace! Just a couple today, will try post up more for you tomorrow!


Spiridion were my favourite of my finds! They remind me in parts of Deftones, who I'm a pretty big fan of. They sound like one of the more professional bands on Myspace, which does seem to be overrun with a lot of really amature bands. Definitely worth you checking out!

Recommended track: State Of Decay

Dog Fashion Disco

Dog Fashion Disco are a band I've been listening to for years, but for some unknown reason, they're not a household name already. If you like Mike Patton's many projects, then you really need to be checking these guys out!

Recommended track: 9 To 5 At The Morgue

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Calling all Music Venues, Promoters & Metal Bands!!

Taken from the Bloodstock Myspace blog:

"Calling all Music Venues, Promoters & Metal Bands!!

The UK's premier Metal Festival - Bloodstock Open Air – takes place in Derbyshire from 15-17 August 2008 and they're on the look out for the next Iron Maiden, Metallica and Helloween. In a quite unique initiative Bloodstock is encouraging all budding Harvey Goldsmith's and Music Venues to get in touch if they have access to the cream of British Metal.

With 30 performing slots up for grabs on the Bloodstock Unsigned Stage and a track record for launching the UK careers of Nightwish, Dragonforce, Evile and Deathstars amongst others they have an undisputed keen eye in discovering new talent. Now they want to find future headliners from YOUR area.

BOA is looking for promoters and venues from all over the UK to make contact as the Festival brings a truly comprehensive Best of British complement to established European and Worldwide acts. Under the banner of "Metal to the Masses", each UK region will have representation courtesy of the fully endorsed Festival promoter partner/ venue. Bloodstock works with the venues in planning the events ensuring smooth running and maximum exposure for the host and performers.

"We need all our partners on board imminently so they've got plenty of time to organise the gig or gigs that will see their 4 bands put forward to the final voting stage. All of us at Bloodstock are excited at the interest across the industry that Metal to the Masses has already generated and we anticipate some hidden gems out there just waiting to be given the opportunity to perform" said Clive Leighton - Bloodstock's Head of Marketing who is handling the programme personally.

Already inundated with applications, Bloodstock wants to choose its' partners carefully. Some areas are already confirmed but there are still some slots available for those with the right ideas and energy out there to stake a claim for before the full list announcement. Bands will be featured on throughout June and voted for "by the fans for the fans" with each winner guaranteed a performance slot. There will also be an opportunity at the Festival itself to be crowned "Bloodstock Breakthrough Band 2008" which earns the band all sorts of goodies including industry recognition and a main stage slot in 2009.

Those interested in supporting the underground & unsigned scene whilst highlighting their reputation as a key provider of Metal and Heavy Rock Music should make contact with Bloodstock's Head of marketing:
Clive Leighton on 07882 352 742

Latest Additions to Bloodstock Open Air

There have been another couple of bands confirm for this years Bloodstock Open Air festival!

The latest additions are the mighty Iced Earth and As I Lay Dying.

For more information on the festival, visit their website:

Scar Symmetry Album News

Taken from their Myspace blog:

"Ladies and gentlemen!

We're happy to announce that our 3rd CD, "HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE", has now been mixed, mastered and delivered to the people at Nuclear Blast Records! We pushed the "record"-button for the first time early December and the time since has been hectic and intense to say the least. We've worked our asses off 24/7 and the result is 12 new songs, featuring all the creamy goodness of "SYMMETRIC IN DESIGN" and the spicy flavours of "PITCH BLACK PROGRESS", this time with a lot of added cheese and pork-fat... Does it make sense to you? No, not to us either... Anyway, here's the tracklist:

1. Morphogenesis (3:54)
2. Timewave Zero (5:13)
3. Quantumleaper (4:09)
4. Artificial Sun Projection (4:00)
5. The Missing Coordinates (4:37)
6. Ghost Prototype I (Measurement of Thought) (4:35)
7. Fear Catalyst (5:03)
8. Trapezoid (4:17)
9. Prism and Gate (3:46)
10. Holographic Universe (9:05)
11. The Three-Dimensional Shadow (3:57)
12. Ghost Prototype II (Deus Ex Machina) (6:03)

Estimated time of arrival: June 2008"

I don't know if I can really wait that long for this album! Pitch Black Progress was one of my favourite purchases of last year, so I'm desperate to hear what they've done with this album!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Drag The Lake: Dates For Your Diary

Drag The Lake are about to play a few dates around the midlands, starting tomorrow night (28th February) at Junktion 7 in Nottingham. Not a band to be missed!

Feb 28 2008 8:00P Junktion 7 - with Lordaeron, Blood Divided Nottingham
Mar 1 2008 8:00P First Floor - with Lordaeron, Reth Derby
Mar 2 2008 3:30P Junktion 7 - MASKFEST with ETERNAL LORD/ POSTMORTEM PROMISES/ EYES OF A TRAITOR + More Nottingham
Mar 14 2008 8:00P Scruffy Murphy’s - with Last chance at Rampton, I am Colossus. Birmingham

Check out their Myspace page for more information on the band and a chance to hear their tunes!

Mental Infestation's Myspace Recommendations! Pt 1

I'm sure most people that use Myspace have at one point got sick of all the band friend requests
and most will have probably banned them from being able to add them. However, there are some great artists to be discovered on Myspace, so here are some of my favourites that I think you should check out!


are probably my favourite unsigned Myspace band of the moment. Currently they're a two piece looking for more band members to complete the line up, but if they sound this good with 2, I just can't wait to hear what they sound like when they're a complete unit.

They're so good, that when I listened to their latest track on Myspace, the earth moved! It measured 5.2 on the richter scale.

Recommended Track: Te Odio

Peter Wichers

Peter Wichers formally of Soilwork fame has his own page for his latest musical projects on Myspace. He wrote the music for the Nuclear Blast Allstars second release Out Of The Dark, with a whole bunch of vocalists from the label. A fantastic song writer, I'm desperate to hear what else he has up his sleeve!

Recommended Track: The Dawn Of All


Smokescreen are one of the most exciting metal acts in the UK at the moment, having played with the likes of Prong, Mendeed, Breed 77 and Panic Cell! They're about to head out on an English tour in the next few weeks, so make sure you check them out!

Recommended Track: Hatred Comes

Drag The Lake

Drag The Lake are the best thing out of Nottingham since Robin Hood! If you like your metal with a bit of extra bite, then these guys will do the job, and do it well! Another band who have a few tour dates coming up in England, so make sure you get yourself along!

Recommended Track: Among Nettles And Broken Earth

Blinded Colony

Blinded Colony are one of my favourite new artists out of Sweden. There are a lot of really good bands continuing to come out of Scandinavia, and these are definitely one of the best! After downloading Bedtime Prayers, I instantly went out and bought the album, which I listen to on a regular basis!

Recommended Track: Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Well, we can't be serious ALL the time!

Metal is a serious business! We all follow it intensely, and we all love our bands to bits. But sometimes, you need something to lighten the mood! Oh yes!

So if you are a fan of Machine F**ckin' Head (like I am) then check out the following video. I think it's awesome, it made my cry with laughter the first time I saw it (though I think British fans may appreciate it more).

Children Of Bodom - Blooddrunk Review

Children Of Bodom have come a long way since their 1997 debut Something Wild. The Finnish Melodic Death band have become one of the biggest metal bands in the world. A lot of fans were disappointed with their 2005 release, Are You Dead Yet?. The album was less thrashy and more modern sounding than their previous albums. In April they are set to release their sixth studio album entitled Blooddrunk. So how does it compare to their past efforts?

Well, fans will be pleased to hear that the band found the edge and heaviness that they seemed to lose on AYDY?. This sounds like the album that could have come after 2003's Hatecrew Deathroll. The album starts with a nice thrasher called Hellhounds On My Trail, which is reminiscent to past Bodom classics like Needled 24/7 or Hate Me. Perfect song to open the album and will probably open their future concerts in support of this album. Good thrashy riffs, catchy keyboard melodies, just what you'd expect from the boys.

The next song is the title track which is the first single and video for the album. Not a bad song, but you can see that they are drawing a lot of influences from American bands these days. The song starts with a heavy down-tuned riff and a spoken word part that your likely to hear on a Lamb Of God or Unearth song.

One of the highlights on the album comes from track 5, Smile Pretty for the Devil. The last minute or so of the song features an excellent guitar and keyboard solo that makes you remember why you fell in love with the band in the first place. The albums token ballad is Banned From Heaven, a nice and heavy melodic number which is miles better than AYDY?'s Punch Me I Bleed. The rest of the album is more of the same. Fast, angry down-tuned riffage, with a typical keyboard melody and guitar solo thrown in to remind you that they're actually Finnish. Good but nothing you haven't heard before.

Blooddrunk is a good album, faster and heavier than AYDY?, but still doesn't have the same impact as the bands' past efforts. I'll give it a 7/10.

Album Highlights: Hellbounds On My Trail, Smile Pretty for the Devil, Banned From Heaven

Watch the video to the first single Blooddrunk:

Monday, 25 February 2008

Meshuggah : obZen

Swedish ExperiMENTALists, Meshuggah are due to drop their next album next month. Europe sees the album released on the 7th of March while North America receive it the following Tuesday.

obZen is the bands first proper studio album since 2005s Catch 33. It also sees the return of drummer Tomas Haake, after he was replaced on Catch 33 with a drum machine.

In Recent interviews Haake has hinted that the band are moving away from the math-metal stylings of Catch 33 and returning to a more Technical/Progressive sound.

Tracks from the album can be heard via the bands myspace page.

A tour, alongside Ministry, will follow the release of the album. All dates confirmed so far are for North America and Canada. These dates can be found here.

Down European Tour

I am sure most of you reading this will already know that the mighty Down are playing a number of dates in Europe starting next month!

The important dates you need to know:

Mar 18 2008 8:00P
B1 Moscow
Mar 19 2008 8:00P
Port Club St. Petersburg
Mar 21 2008 8:00P
Pakkhuone Tampere
Mar 22 2008 8:00P
House Of Culture Helsinki
Mar 24 2008 8:00P
Debaser Stockholm
Mar 25 2008 8:00P
Rockefeller Oslo
Mar 26 2008 8:00P
Pumpehusset Copenhagen
Mar 28 2008 8:00P
Rock Cafe Prague
Mar 29 2008 8:00P
Stodola Warsaw
Mar 30 2008 8:00P
Huxley’s Berlin
Apr 1 2008 8:00P
Elserhalle Munich
Apr 2 2008 8:00P
Longhorn Stuttgart
Apr 3 2008 8:00P
AB Brussles
Apr 5 2008 8:00P
Melkweg Amsterdam
Apr 6 2008 8:00P
Bataclan Paris
Apr 8 2008 8:00P
Academy Glasgow
Apr 9 2008 8:00P
Academy Birmingham
Apr 10 2008 8:00P
UEA Norwich
Apr 12 2008 8:00P
Academy Manchester
Apr 13 2008 8:00P
Brixton London
Apr 15 2008 8:00P
Ambassador Dublin
Apr 17 2008 8:00P
013 Roadburn festival Tilburg
Apr 18 2008 8:00P
Schlachtof Wiesbaden
Apr 19 2008 8:00P
Bourges Festival or Lyon @ Radion Undetermined
Apr 21 2008 8:00P
Rohstofflager Zurich
Apr 22 2008 8:00P
Alcatrazz Milan
Apr 24 2008 8:00P
Apollo Barcelona
Apr 25 2008 8:00P
Joy Salva Madrid
Apr 27 2008 8:00P
Coliseum Lisbon

Make sure you don't miss out!


I am going to do my best to interview as many small bands for a new section called QUICKFIRE. Basically I will ask 6 quickfire questions and see what response I get.

This weekend I was lucky enough to get a chance to fire off some quickfire questions with Kellen of TRUSTKILL newcomers MEMPHIS MAY FIRE. With their current EP already doing the round via TRUSTKILL, I thought it about time that more people out there heard the name (and the music).

Hailing from Texas, Kellen (McGregor), along with Chase Ryan, Jeremy Grisham, Ryan Bentley, and Austin Radford have definately struck a chord in a scene where you can't usually define where one bands begins and another finishes.

Describing themselves as Rock / Hardcore on their myspace could do them a disservice as there is more to the band than these two pigeon holes. I defy anyone to give them a listen and not think the same. If their EP is anything to go by, these guys have enough up their sleeves to be running the show come the summer (US) festival circuit.

Anyway, on with the questions. 5 not so loaded questions and 1 hot topic, what has Kellen got to say, for himself and his band:

Is there one defining moment that made you guys realise that you wanted to play music in the first place?

We have all had music be a major thing in our lives in one way or another, and we are lucky that time and I suppose you could say fate brought us together. Some of us have been jamming together for a while now and this band is just us evolving.

What inspires you to get up on stage? Are there any bands that have inspired your on stage performance?

We just like to go out and have fun on stage and try and get the audience to have fun as well. As far as bands go, SOTY always was fun to watch and I think we like to bring a bit of their lightheartedness I suppose into parts of our lives and our shows.

What are your hopes for MMF? What do you want to achieve? World domination or Just artistic relief?

Sure we would love to be a successful band, but for right now, we just want to do this for a living and hope people enjoy it.

Since we are based in the UK I am sure our readers would like to know of any future touring plans for the UK and Europe?

No plans yet, but I imagine we'll be making a trip their in the next year though.

On that note, are there any bands out there you'd like to tour with?

There are a lot of bands we'd like to tour with! Big and small. There is a sweet local band from here called Belle Epoque that we'd like to tour with someday.

Finally, the music industry what it is these days, how do you feel about your music being downloaded?

This is always an interesting subject. We know for a fact that our E.P. has been downloaded thousands of times; we've seen the hits on those sites. I think we have all individually at one time or another been guilty of that just like everyone else. I'll tell you that your view changes quite a bit when you start to do this as a way of life though. When you live off of five dollars a day just to scrape by. They way we generally feel is that if you download our stuff and dig it, please go out and pick up a copy because that is the ONLY way we can continue to do this. I think a lot of bands feel that way too. If you find a band you like, go out and support them and buy some of their stuff, even if you already d-loaded it online.


As a downloader myself I feel the same way. Suck it and see. You download it and like it, then BUY IT!

MMF Myspace :
EP is available in the UK : here

The 'Great' Aussie Music Festival Rant

I don't know about other countries, and how well the open-air festivals are run over there, but from what I hear of festivals in my home country, things aren't going so well. They are becoming extremely popular in the later years, with local events like Big Day Out selling out in hours, even minutes, I tend to not bother going because, basically, the lineups these days are a bunch of b*llocks, but I tend to know people that end up attending and all I seem to hear is complaining and whining about how badly organised it was.

I direct my attention, particularly to last weekends Soundwave Festival, which had such artists as Incubus, The Offspring, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall amongst many others. From reports, it took people ages to get in, and as a result they missed some of the bands they paid top dollar to see. Anyone who had a bottle of water on them as they entered had it 'confiscated' and diposed of, only to have them find that the only water available was warm 600ml bottles for $4 a pop... so at a 12 hour event on a scorching hot day that's not such a good idea. But at least if the punters wanted anything cold, maybe even slightly frozen, they could just go to the 'hot' food stalls and get a half cooked, frozen in the middle turkish pastry thing. Delicious!

Reports also indicate that the crowd, basically, was full of obnoxious scene kids only there to look cool and talk through peoples favourite bands to the point where the people there trying to watch the show couldn't hear it over these people blabbering on about nonsense. That is, if these people could even find where the band they want to see is playing and at what time, as the scedule was all over the shop. And, finally, although I'm not a fan of the band, I'm absolutely disgusted to hear that a member of As I Lay Dying was actually struck in the head by a glass bottle while they were performing, apparently causing him to bleed fom the head, and became "quite discombobulated for a good while", and thus cutting their set short.

Now, while the concept of a music festival is a good idea that should attract many fans of different genres of music to come together for the purpose of seeing all these bands perform, I'm convinced that they also attract a large sum of people going there, just for the sake of going, and then only to end up ruining the day for many other punters, and even some bands. This combined with poor management makes for a lot of unhappy campers.

Whenever a new festival is announced I just laugh a little on the indise and go on about ignoring it and the complaining that is sure to follow... well, as best as I can. But for some reason I just couldn't keep it in anymore.

I'm curious to know, and since I see that all around Europe and even America, festivals seem to be a pretty regular thing, do you get any problems like the above? Or is it just Aussie promoters who don't have a clue how to put on an event without screwing it royally for themselves? Do other countries get the same mixture of crowd, from the legitimate music lovers to the people who love music only because it's cool to do so now?

All that said, Metalstock should be one awesome event.

The loyal fan?

For my first ‘blog’, or should that be ‘rant’, I want to touch on something HugeRockStar touched on in his pieceIn Flames: Stop Beating A Dead Horse!’ which I have to say was a great piece. Seriously go read it.

So lets get down to it.

I have a real problem with some fans of bands out there. There I’ve said it, now let me clarify why.

The problem is all the haters and doom merchants who call themselves loyal fans, but every time a band tries something different, or tries to progress musically a group of these so called fans pops up and tries to crush them for it.

If you want proof, look at the METALLICA situation. How many message boards out there have at least one thread dedicated to slagging of this band? Almost every metal board you care to mention has one.

Now it is everyone’s given right to an opinion, that’s not my problem. My problem begins when people go onto the bands personal boards to do nothing but slag them off and the people who actually enjoy what the are doing. I don’t like the new Metallica stuff, in fact, I’d go as far to say I hate it, but I will defend them to the end of time for producing the stuff they want to.

Yes I do agree that at times we feel so aggrieved that we feel we have to say something, so say it and let that be an end of it.

I watched for months on the ANTHRAX board as people daily posted messages about how bad they felt about how they were betraying the fans by ‘ditching’ one singer to go on a reunion with another. This led to quite a few people leaving the board or stopping posting altogether and the board becoming mostly a new vs. old fight with people just slagging off people.

A band, like a person, evolves through time and the things they experience. Are you the same person you were 10/15/20 years ago?

I’ll answer for you, and I’m guaranteed to be right. NO YOUR NOT!

As our lives change so do our opinions and the way we look at things, so why can’t bands be the same. If you don’t like what a bands doing, instead of wasting their time and yours slagging them off, don’t buy their stuff and don’t clog up there message boards spouting about how you feel they have personally s**t in your cornflakes.

Menace Ruine: Black Metal band from Montreal

Menace Ruine is an Experimental/Black Metal band from Montreal in the vain of Xsathur, Leviathan, Nachtmystium, Burzum and other 'Depressive' Black Metal bands. What makes them interesting is, all the guitars and drums are done entirely on keyboards. They record them, and then play them through noisy effect pedals over keyboards while doing live vocals. They're new album 'Cult Of Ruins' was released yesterday through indie label Alien 8 Records. Check them out on their myspace here. The following was an article posted about them in the Mirror this week.

Ominous, chaotic, brooding, violent and punishing are all adjectives befitting the music of Montreal duo Menace Ruine. Their new record Cult of Ruins (out March 11 on Alien 8) smacks of the deep sinister sounds of Norway’s Burzum (Menace Ruine has covered Burzum’s “Dungeons of Darkness”) while the banshee shriek of S de la Moth recalls the demented hatred of California’s Xasthur.

Though her band inspires all the dark descriptors I can muster, nothing could be further from the mouse-like squeak of synth-player/co-vocalist Geneviève Beaulieu.

“I guess I’ve always been attracted to dark sounds, and it’s definitely the style that we feel most comfortable in,” she chirps. “I have also been interested in dark material as well as occult subjects and that just seems to serve the music we play.”

Although Menace Ruine have only been around for a year and a half, Beaulieu and de la Moth have been playing music together for over 12 years in numerous incarnations. Having dipped their toes in a lot of other genres, including pop, Menace Ruine has become their most rewarding project yet.

“This is easily the darkest band we have ever been in, and probably also the most challenging,” she says. “Because there are only two of us, we really have to give all of ourselves to the music to give it the impact it deserves. That’s what really keeps it interesting for us.”

Although Montreal has never had a shortage of bands that touch on darkness, Menace Ruine are definitely in a league of their own. Their thundering sound is usually too much for the corpse-paint crowd, while their blast beats and Nordic influences tend to confuse dyed-in-the-wool noise fans.

“I guess sometimes we feel a little bit lonely in the Montreal scene because there aren’t too many like-minded bands to play with,” says Beaulieu. “It kind of works for us though because we are not really social people anyway and being out on our own just feels natural to us.”

Saturday, 23 February 2008


From Basel in Switzerland comes a band I'm sure most people are yet to hear, Zatokrev, formed in 2002, I've so far heard little about this band, which is a shame as they are really quite good, and probably one of the most original bands I've heard in a while. But despite the fact that they aren't immensely popular yet, it hasn't stopped them, with a whole bunch of new shows lined up all over Europe, with possibly more to come.

I first heard this band on a compilation cd released by some obscure magazine, and after hearing their song titled Reveal, my initial reaction was me searching all the record stores around here for a cd, and not finding anything of theirs to own. That was a few years back now, and I'm still yet to see them pop up around here at all. But then, Australia is a long way away from Switzerland.

Here a list of all Zatokrev shows so far:

15. 03. : Rock It in Thun, w/ Censored, Cropment
04. 04. : Sommercasino in Basel, with Geneva and Celeste
05. 04. : Mistral Palace in Valence (F), with Geneva
06. 04. : Lyon tba, w/ Celeste (F)
09. 04. : Savoy Drinks And Music in Gijon (ES)
10. 04. : Lotus Bar in Cascais (PT)
11. 04. : Fabrica de Som in Porto (PT)
12. 04. : Pub Tutatis in Leon (ES)
13. 04. : Antzoki 18 in Bilbao (ES)
14. 04. : Toulouse (F) tba
15. 04. : Secret Place St Jean De Vedas (F), w/ The Ocean
16. 04. : Nantes (F) tba
17. 04. : Le Camji Niort (F), w/ The Ocean, Psykup
18. 04. : Wattrelos (F) tba
19. 04. : Vortnvis in Ieper (BE), w/ Maudlin
25. 04. : Paris (F) tba
26. 04. : Rouen (F) tba
02. 05. : Grauzone Sputnik in Innsbruck (A), w/ Shever
07. 05. : Pod Lampou in Pilsen (CZ), w/ F**k Da Karot and Synergy
08. 05. : Martys Club in Ceske Budejovice (CZ), w/ F**k Da Karot and Suicide
09. 05. : Club Yacht in Brno (CZ), w/ F**k Da Karot and Gospel Of The Future
10. 05. : Club Art in Trnava (SK), w/ F**k Da Karot
11. 05. : Club 007 in Prag (CZ), w/ F**k Da Karot
17. 05. : Nouvelle Monde in Fribourg

To hear the band head over to and for more info on where to buy Zatokrev stuff plus shows etc.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Make way for THEY : SWARM

Rising from the ashes of WHORECORE, THEY : SWARM is the Phoenix of Israels DEATHCORE scene. Comprising of Nir Doliner (guitar), Tomer Jones (vocals), Assaf Meidan (drums), Ariel Ron (vocals), Eran Segal (guitar), and Yaron Shacham (Bass), they are a force to be reckoned with. The band has gathered a eclectic audience, with fans swarming from the metal and punk scene, as well as the hardcore scene. It is down to this that they have been labelled one of Israel's best live acts.

Protection, the album recorded as WHORECORE, is a masterpiece of brutality that has to be heard to be believed. With tracks like Sharing Together (coming in at under 2 minutes) and She's Wearing Their Skin doing the same amount of damage as a sledgehammer to the ear drums. Pop over to their myspace and check out the latter track to see what I mean and treat yourself to Fuelled By Causality from the new EP.

The following is a short history taken from the bands myspace page:

In early 2004 Haim Binyami came in to replace Yaron on the bass position. In January of 2006 the band self released their debut cd Protection in Israel, and on April went on a tour in Europe with Macabre and Jungle Rot. After having parted ways with original vocalist Ariel, the band took in long time friend Sven De Caluwe (of Aborted and Leng Tche) and returned to the classic two vocalist line up. Recently the band decided to rename to THEY : SWARM, which marks a new era for everyone in the band, fuelled with more anger, agression, inspiration & dedication, THEY : SWARM sets out to destroy everything within its path. NO BONE UNBREAKABLE!! The bands new EP, The Mundane Corruption sees its release on February 22nd (TODAY!!) & material is well under way to record a full length album late 2008 so keep your eyes open!

Keep you eyes on this blog for a review (as soon as I get my hands on the EP)

Visit their myspace to hear what all the fuss is about :
Get a copy of their first album and Merch here :

Blinded Colony for Sweden Rock Festival? It's in YOUR hands!

Blinded Colony are one of the latest bands I've become a big fan of. I was recommended them by a friend last year, and instantly went out and bought their latest album Bedtime Prayers, which is more often than not on my playlist!

Coming from the heartland of melodic death metal, they could easily be dismissed as yet another Swedish metal band. But these young guys have something that just grabbed my ear, and I'm yet to put my finger on what it is!

They're a band gaining momentum, without big label backing, but have yet to set foot on British soil. Hopefully, this summer, they will manage to head off on a tour of European festivals, but they really need help in getting there!

They've managed to make it into the last 5 Swedish acts of The Nordic Challenge! This challenge consists of 20 acts from 4 countries who are trying to gain a place in this years Sweden Rock Festival line up. So if you're heading to the festival this year, and you want to see Blinded Colony on the bill, you will have to vote for them:

They are also trying to gain votes to play at this year's Bloodstock! Personally, this would make me an extremely happy bunny! As I say, they've not played here in the UK before, so this would be a fantastic opertunity for them (and a great chance for the fans to see them playing).

To vote for them to play this years Bloodstock, you will need to vote for them:

A band to keep your eyes and ears open for! For more information on the band, visit their Myspace page:

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Interview: Tom Loose from Smokescreen

Many teenagers sit in their bedrooms playing guitar, longing to play in bands. A handful will fulfil the dream of being in a band, but few will find themselves playing anything other than their local club, nevermind a UK tour!

But the guys in question are certainly not part of the norm. Oh no! This is Smokescreen, one of the best young talents in UK metal today, a band who have been playing together for a good number of years, who are about to embark on a Spring Tour at the start of next month.

So before they headed out, I managed to grab an interview with resident guitar god, Tom Loose.

How long have you been playing guitar?

"I’ve been playing music since I was about 4, but started guitar 7-8 years ago when I was 13."

When did Smokescreen get together, and how did you meet?

"The original lineup all met at school and I played in a different band with our original drummer called ‘Nemo.’ Just before that, I played in another different band (didn’t really have a name!) with the current SS singer (my brother) and previous other guitarist back then. Me and Sam (singer) are the only 2 original members now, Oli (current drummer) joined after a year back in 2002 and Dave (current bassist) joined after about 2 years in 2003."

Have you always wanted to play in a band?

"Since I was about 13 and heard Iron Maiden for the first time, yes! I played in bands on the tuba (which I started at 12) then also in a jazz rock band on guitar, but Smokescreen’s music is more where the heart lies for me, nothing gives the same buzz or gives me the same focus. Plus it’s cool looking back after 6 ½ years and see that we haven’t yet joined the ranks of the hundreds of local bands who folded after 5 minutes."

What equipment do you use?

"I have quite a bit of gear now, especially working in a music shop! But in Smokescreen, I use Jackson guitars with Seymour Duncan pickups, Marshall Amps, Dunlop picks, Tattoo Johnny guitar straps, Planet Waves cables, D’Addario strings, Digitech Whammy pedal and Korg tuner. On the last recording Regret Redeem Refine I also used a Crafter electro acoustic and an Ibanez classical guitar for the intro track Contemplation. That was my branching out a bit on that recording rather than just distortion all the way through!"

Do you have a favourite guitar?

"My Ibanez classical is very special to me, my Dad gave me it and it’s about 35 years old, which he used to teach on for a living when he was my age, so it’s pretty irreplaceable. I also have a Mexican Fender Stratocaster that I was lucky enough to learn on, which is nicely crazed and aged now and sounding better all the time! The Jackson has been my live guitar for about 5 years now, so it’s got a fair few dents and scuffs all over it, but I love playing it and I know every inch of it I guess. It also has some intriguing Japanese writing down the bottom near the jack input, you win a prize if you can tell me what it means, ‘cos nor I or the Japanese guy I went to school with have any idea!!"

How are you are you preparing for the upcoming tour?

"I usually try to get in an hours practise a night, but not just the songs we play. I usually do about 30 minutes warm up, play some scales and finger exercises (time for any not guitarists to get bored and fall asleep...!) then run through the live set. Also I try and come up with new bits as much as I can and record them all so I can work on them with the rest of the band when we have a full practise. I also practise to click tracks to keep on my toes and sometimes play along to the CD to make sure I’m playing it all right! I also go to the gym 3 times a week and run quite a lot which helps me not get quite so knackered as I used to back in the day!"

What song do you look forward to playing on stage?

"I love playing our newest track the most The Art Of Revolution, for a few different reasons. Mainly because I love to keep things fresh and play newer material, it keeps it from getting stale for me and the other guys too, and also because it has some really chuggy riffs in it, along with a really fast thrash section at the end with a manic lead break, so that’s very challenging and fun to play, especially when we play it right near the end and the audience is really responsive, it really goes down well on a good night. The newer songs we are currently writing I think will be even more fun to play live, they are in the same kind of vein as the Art of Revolution, I think we have found our feet a bit more now in terms of style. Over 3 EP’s we’ve progressed a fair bit I think."

Do you have a favourite town or venue to play?

"Rock City was awesome to play, we’ve done the basement 3 times and it’s always been killer. The Underworld in London has been great the 3 times we’ve been there too. The last time we had the honour of opening up for Prong so that was probably the most nerve-wracking gig we’ve ever done! But it was a great experience and it helped us kick it up another notch, ‘character building’ and all that!"

And finally, do you like milk?

"Milk is awesome, straight from the cow or whatever....."

A huge thank you to Tom for the interview!

If you want to know more about Smokescreen, then these are the links you need!

Official website:

Gallhammer Invasion!

Japan's Gallhammer are preparing to invade Europe once again! This three piece all-chick punk/metal band has certianly accomplished a lot in these past years, being featured on the UK's Terrorizer and Zero Tolerance magazines a few times, and being signed to Peaceville records after only three years of existance.
From what I've seen of live footage, this is a band you'll probably want to find yourself seeing sometime along the line.

Gallhammer are playing 7 shows in the UK at the following venues/towns:

12 - London / Water Rats
13 - Leeds / Rios
14 - Cardiff / Barfly
15 - Birmingham / Barfly
16 - Liverpool / Barfly
17 - York / Fibbers
18 - Glasgow / Barfly
19 - OSLO - Inferno Festival

Give them a listen:

Norther hit the Finnish charts hard!

Taken from the bands Myspace:

Our new album N has hit the official Finnish charts on position 5. This is our best position on the list so far and we are of course very pleased! :) SCRATCHtheSurface webzine has chosen latest NORTHER release N, for Album of the Month! Thank you very much! Read the full review here! Also an interview is available on the site, read here.

Cheers!- NORTHER

N, the forthcoming album from Finnish Melodic Death Metallers Norther is due to drop on the 25th February in the rest of EUROPE, while it is already available in Finland.

The first video from the album is called "We Rock" and can be viewed below:

Norther are on tour with Turisas & Alestrom during March and April.

Mar. 01 - Soundhaus, Northampton, UK
Mar. 02 - Corporation, Sheffield, UK
Mar. 03 - Moshulu, Aberdeen, UK
Mar. 04 - Studio 24, Edinburgh, UK
Mar. 05 - Academy 2, Liverpool, UK
Mar. 06 - Waterfront, Norwich, UK
Mar. 07 - Park, Peterborough, UK
Mar. 08 - Cockpit, Leeds, UK
Mar. 10 - Cavern, Exeter, UK
Mar. 11 - Clwb Lfor Bach, Cardiff, UK
Mar. 12 - The Brook, Southampton, UK
Mar. 13 - Electric Ballroom, London, UK
Mar. 14 - Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
Mar. 15 - Patronaat, Haarlem, NL
Mar. 16 - Doornroosje, Nijmegen, NL
Mar. 18 - Marx, Hamburg, DE
Mar. 19 - Substage, Karlsruhe, DE
Mar. 20 - Metropolis, Munich, DE
Mar. 21 - Salzhaus, Winterthur, CH
Mar. 22 - Matrix, Bochum, DE
Mar. 23 - Kato, Berlin, DE
Mar. 25 - Planet Music, Vienna, AT
Mar. 26 - Randal, Bratislava, SK
Mar. 27 - Rock Cafe, Prague, CZ
Mar. 28 - Ragnarok Festival, Lichtenfels, DE
Mar. 29 - Tomahawk Festival, Osnabrueck, DE
Mar. 31 - KB, Malmoe, SE
Apr. 01 - Musikens Hus, Gothenburg, SE

Opeth, Opeth and a little splash of Opeth

It seems that Mikael Åkerfeldt and the lads aren't interested in a few festival dates this year. This summer sees them hitting not 2, not 3, not even 6 festivals. In total, so far, they are hitting 15 festivals around Europe. Starting in Germany and ending in the good old UK. I will keep you posted if they get bored and add more dates ;)

Jun. 06 - Rock Am Ring - Germany
Jun. 07 - Rock Im Park - Germany
Jun. 21 - Field of Rock - Biddinghuiser - Holland
Jun. 22 - Hellfest - Clisson - France
Jun. 26 - Peace and Love - Borlange - Sweden
Jun. 27 - Metal Town - Gothenburg - Sweden
Jun. 29 - Graspop - Desselt - Belgium
Jul. 05 - Ruis Rock - Turku - Finland
Jul. 06 - Metalcamp - Julisch Alps - Slovakia
Jul. 09 - Rock Wave - Athens - Greece
Jul. 12 - Milan Evolution Festival - Italy
Aug. 01 - Wacken Open Air - Wacken - Germany
Aug. 03 - Ankkarock - Helsinki - Finland
Aug. 16 - Metal Heart Festival - Lillehammer - Norway
Aug. 17 - Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall Derby - UK

These dates will no doubt tie in with the release of Watershed, which is due out via Roadrunner Records on June 3rd (UK) and June 2nd (Internationally). Recorded in the band's native Sweden it has been produced by Åkerfeldt and Jens Bogren.

Watershed track listing:
01. Coil
02. Heir Apparent
03. The Lotus Eater
04. Burden
05. Porcelain Heart
06. Hessian Peel
07. Hex Omega

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Warrel Dane

Nevermore vocalist Warrel Dane has teamed up with ex-Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers, Matt Wickland, formally of Himsa, Nevermore bassist Jim Sheppard and Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren to create what is Warrel Dane's debut solo album. The album, which is titled Praises to The War Machine, is to be released through Century Media Records in Europe on April 29, and in North America (and presumably the rest of the world) on May 13.

It is compiled of 12 tracks, including a cover of a song by
The Sisters of Mercy, and a Paul Simon cover aswell as one song featuring the one and only Jeff Loomis of Nevermore and another featuring James Murphy, who is known for his work with Death, Obituary and Testament, amongst others.

Here's the track listing:
01. When We Pray
02. Messenger (featuring Jeff Loomis)
03. Obey
04. Lucretia My Reflection (The Sisters of Mercy cover)
05. Let You Down
06. August
07. Your Chosen Misery
08. The Day The Rats Went to War (featuring James Murphy)
09. Brother
10. Patterns (Paul Simion cover)
11. This Old Man
12. Equilibrium

I must admit, I didn't find out about this today, and being a fan of Nevermore and Warrel Dane's vocals, I am rather interested in hearing how this goes and the type of music it has produced.. But, of coarse, it's yet another album to wait for, so hopefully it'll be one worth the wait. The Warrel Dane Myspace is void of any songs or previews it seems (only having Nevermore songs up to tease us), but hopefully it'll give us some insight into how the album will sound sometime in the future. Otherwise, this is a release I may just pick up and either love it, or hate it.