Category: Recently Added

Sortout – ‘Conquer From Within’ (Dr Music Records)

Metalcore can be a divisive genre. Very much a love/hate subject within the wider metal community. Some choose to champion the stylistic elements that bands are able to bring together and blend into a hard-hitting yet accessible delivery, while others look down upon it as sub-par and not worthy of mention in the same breath as other genres. Entry level for new metal heads at best, at worst Phil C has heard the genre described as untalented poser metal. For our boy, he falls very much into the former category. he likes it, feeling it offers a lot of scope for musical development and some of the riffs available are exceptional…

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Popa Chubby/The Ron Sayer Jr Trio/The Blues Against Youth – London, The 100 Club – 22 January 2020

A three-act bill is the prize for the latest of our travelling gigaholic’s long trips down to the capital in search of gigs. After the rather less melodic Petrol Girls a few days previously, it’s time for the legendary 100 Club’s January Blues festival, with New York City’s finest Popa Chubby taking the baton as the evening’s headliner. Would he and his support be worth the 24-hour round trip? It was time to find out…

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The Deadnotes – ‘Courage’ (22Lives)

This album takes John B right back to the mid-2000s with emo/indie rock bands like Dashboard Confessional. While back then the market was flooded with bands in the genre, these days it seems that there are few doing it. Even less doing it in the same classic style as back then and even fewer still doing it well. Five years ago, JB might have said that it was too soon for a comeback of the genre, however these days he thinks it is a good time to reintroduce the style. Both for the new generation and to kick our generation right in the nostalgia. The real question is how does The Deadnotes fit into this reintroduction? As usual, you gotta wait till the last paragraph for our man’s final verdict. First, let us talk about the music…

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Darkest Hour/Fallujah/Bloodlet/Une Misère/Lowest Creature – Manchester, Rebellion – 20 January 2020

Twenty-five years is a bloody long time for a band to be together but that’s what Darkest Hour are celebrating in this latest tour, and with them they bring four other bands in support of this including a favourite of Jase Walker’s, Fallujah. Manchester is one of two dates they’re playing in the Über Kingdom as part of a European tour throughout multiple countries, as part of this review our man also got to have a sit down with Mike Schleibaum from Darkest Hour and a chat with him about how the tour’s going, what sort of challenges a band goes through spanning 25 years, and any possible future plans.

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Veritates – ‘Killing Time’ (Pure Steel)

John Bedard has always found that power metal typically falls into two different categories. You have the classic power metal of the ‘80s or you have modern. JB always finds it hard to put into words the difference in the sound it is just one of those you know it when you hear it kind of things. However, visually there is the same line. That classic ‘80s style brings to mind visions of men in spandex while modern tends to have a Viking theme. Our man thinks power metal, more than most genres, tends to fall into some type of cliche. When he saw that Veritates was branding themselves as power metal without the clichés he had to give them a chance. He has always loved power metal but has felt that is could grow up a little and not rely so much on the gimmicks. So how did they do?

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Petrol Girls/Glove/Mollusca Vita – Manchester, Deaf Institute – 18 January 2020

In a time of growing social consciousness, it’s still rare to find a gig where the emphasis is on actual female empowerment and promoting both that and unity amongst people in general. Tonight is an evening dedicated to just that, as a pro-feminist q+a session prior to our first act shines as a clear example of the the Petrol Girls’ fundamental beliefs and attitude to things thay harm society and those in need. The q+a over, it’s time for the music…

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M-Opus – ‘Origins’ (Rude Chord Recordings)

Now and again an album comes along that is truly epic in every sense of the word, in terms of its ambition, its feel, its scope and, most importantly, its delivery. Having been five years in the making, this second album from Irish proggies M-Opus most definitely fits all of the aforementioned criteria, delivering as it does a total of 28 tracks spread across a total of 135 minutes (that’s two-and-a-quarter hours in plain English, kiddlywinks). And its creators certainly have their prog rock pedigree very firmly printed on their shirts: band leader Jonathan Casey was a member of ex-King Crimson violinist David Cross’ band and is a well-known film and TV composer (does anyone remember ‘Zig & Zag’ or ‘Space Chickens In Space’?), while former Clannad/Genesis/Mike And The Mechanics guitarist Anto Drennan is counted among the guest contributors.

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The Inspector Cluzo – ‘Brothers in Ideals’ (The Bass Player Records)

This band first came to Jonny B’s attention when they supported Clutch on their 2018 ‘Book of Bad Decisions’ tour with The Picturebooks. With their incredibly enthusiastic performance, and blatant disregard for the longevity of their instruments (drummers, you’d cringe at what happened to the drumkit…) they had JB instantly hooked and even threatened to outshine the other support act of the night. They were so French that they were selling berets on the merch stand, and their name was The Inspector Cluzo – and no, we’re not talking about the clumsy outrageously French detective who was constantly thwarted by the Pink Panther. No, instead we have a pair of French former farmers shredding out some incredibly emotive blues music that will penetrate even the coldest of hearts…

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Bonded – ‘Rest In Violence’ (Century Media)

Cast your mind back to early 2018 and you may recall the controversial change to Sodom’s line-up when guitarist Bernd Kost and drummer Markus “Makka” Freiwald found themselves unceremoniously fired via Whatsapp. Not prepared to just sit at home sulking, they’ve returned with Bonded, an all-new metal act with former members of Suicidal Angels and Assassin filling in the gaps. ‘Rest In Violence’ is their debut album and while it ticks all the thrash boxes, it also gives them a chance to flex their muscles in ways they might not have before.

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