Category: Popular

HRH Punk I – Sheffield, O2 Academy – 6 October 2019

Having had previous plans he couldn’t get out of, our resident gigaholic missed what was a strong opening day of the first instalment of HRH’s latest venture, HRH Punk. However, our very own travelling wilbury once more ventured over the Pennines to Steel City to catch the action on the second day, during which he found some tasty treats counter-balanced by some disappointments…

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Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Northern Ireland Final – Belfast, Voodoo – 17 May 2019

In what proved to be the most tightly contested battle in the history of the competition, it was a case of third time lucky for Belfast-based groove crüe Lock Horns as they stormed to an extremely well-deserved victory in this year’s Northern Ireland leg of the annual Metal 2 The Masses competition to win a coveted spot at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air festival. Not that they had an easy ride, both in terms of their own performances and the sheer quality of the opposition which they faced, both throughout the competition and on this spectacular night of heavy metal beatdowns par excellence.

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Generation X – ‘Generation X (Deluxe Edition)’ (Chrysalis Records)

When you look back at the original wave of punk rock, there were so many classic debut albums – The Damned, Sex Pistols, The Ruts, X-Ray Spex, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Ramones, The Saints – the list goes on. Perhaps one that slips under the radar a little is the self-titled 1978 debut by Generation X, perhaps because their career was eclipsed by Billy Idol’s subsequent ‘big rock’ success. This month sees the release of a beautifully packaged deluxe edition reissue, on both CD and vinyl, newly remastered from the original production tapes and including 11 previously unreleased recordings. It contains the original UK 11 track album with all the A and B-sides of their singles from the period, 11 previously unreleased outtakes, a single mix and a number of mixes made by engineer Alan Winstanley.

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Stone Leaders – ‘Stone Leaders’ (Vanity Music Group)

Stone Leaders trace their origins back to early 2016 when renowned session drummer John Macaluso – known for his work with Ark, Yngwie Malmsteen, TNT, Symphony X and James LaBrie, among others – was contracted to do a drum clinic in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. But he needed a band, so the promoter hooked him up with guitarist/vocalist Ivan Mihaljevic and bassist Marko Karacic, from local band Side Effects. The trio, and especially Macaluso and Mihaljevic, clicked immediately and so began the long road towards the release, three years later, of this debut studio offering from the project.

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Stiff Little Fingers/Eddie & the Hot Rods – Kentish Town, O2 Forum – 24 March 2019

March seems to be the month of choice for an SLF tour, and The Forum seems to be the London venue of choice too, and here we are once again, on the last night of the ‘Ignition’ tour with what promises to be a great combination as they team up with Eddie & the Hot Rods. Click the lonk to find out why our very own JR agrees with the ‘Best Live Band’ acccolade they subsequently picked up at the Vive Le Rock Awards a few nights later…

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Tesla – ‘Shock’ (UMC)

ÜR boss Monk first came across Tesla back in early 1987. he was about 18 months into his journalism career and writing the only rock column being published on a regular basis by any Northern Ireland newspaper. A copy of an album called ‘Mechanical Resonance’ by an unknown band from Sacramento plopped onto his desk. Monk was immediately drawn to it – and to say it blew him away would be the understatement of the millennium!  He reckons he has burned out three copies of the album, and still rates it as one of the best pure hard rock albums ever, never mind one of the classic debuts of all time. Now, here we are a little more than three decades later and Tesla are about to drop their eighth studio album…

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Dream Theater – ‘Distance Over Time’ (InsideOut Music)

There can be no doubt about it: we think we can quite safely say that Dream Theater are THE pioneers of the modern progressive metal sound. Their iconic debut, ‘When Day And Dream Unite’ – an album which, at the time of writing, is just a few weeks short of celebrating its 30th anniversary – merged prog rock values with those of classic rock and thrash, combining power, speed and, above all, melody in a way which a few artists had attempted but had so far failed to achieve to such a gloriously successful degree.

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Death Tribe – ‘Beyond Pain and Pleasure: A Desert Experiment’ (Self-Released)

2018 was a massive year for Lebanese black metal heroes Kaoteon. Not only did they release a stunning second album in ‘Damnatio Memoriae’, but the band managed to bag an award at Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods awards and Anthony Kaoteon finally joined Walid Wolflust in the Netherlands to ensure the band could pursue their ambitions as a full-time concern. Yet, even with all of this going on, Anthony has managed to find time to spawn his own solo project – the band Death Tribe, described in their bio as “a project inspired by the suffering of warfare, spirit breaking oppression and the refusal to submit to either”.

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