Archive for May, 2012

Farseer “Chthonic Visions” EP

May 29, 2012

‘Omen of the Reaper’ provides an unusual beginning to Farseer’s “Chthonic Visions” EP, in the form of a slow, brief keyboard introduction to the CD.  Provoking imagery of rising from the ashes, it’s an inventive way to lead into the rest of the EP.

‘Nightmares Collide’ starts with a mighty power scream and some catchy energised riffs, moving smoothly into a mid paced tempo, remaining lyrically and melodically vibrant, with some well-placed harmonies and lots of classic upbeat riffs.  Peppered throughout with a thoroughly professional sound overall and the typically consistent driving resonance of Farseer’s material.  It’s rhythm resembling continuous motion, ‘Nightmares Collide’ bodes well for the band.

If the awesomely thrashy beginning of ‘Second Strike’ doesn’t do something for you, I don’t know what will!  Gloriously fast-paced and melodic throughout, with some raging rolling drum parts working perfectly with the effortlessly smooth and well polished vocals and the simply immense and brilliantly crafted guitar parts, it just works!  Slowing the pace briefly, before picking it back up again, all the time maintaining the sheer metal beauty it possesses in droves, ‘Second Strike’ ends smoothly and cleanly, leaving you wishing it didn’t have to end.  That’s what I call pure metal legend!

‘Game of the Gods’ starts off rapidly and reflects its title musically incredibly well.  The visual imagery present throughout the pumping  furious rhythm of this track is just magical.  I’m just loving those power screams!  The riffs just get better and better…. those combined with the drum rolls call for some serious headbanging and as the furious riffs fade out, the song ends on a beautiful acoustic arrangement which to my mind, provides the perfect close.  Metal territory extravaganza!  If any band know how to give an audience what they want, it’s Farseer.  Fabulous track altogether.

‘Chthonic Visions’ has to be my personal favourite and as such, is well-placed to finish the EP.  Beginning with a piano intro, the song then blazes into life with some powerful riffs, along with some equally powerful vocals and drums.  It keeps up the metal momentum throughout, providing one of the catchiest melodies I’ve ever heard.  Once heard, ‘Chthonic Visions’ is impossible to forget.  This song just rages forward, overflowing with life and energy, containing a delicious number of edible power screams.  The instrumentals lead out on an upbeat tone, finishing with a piano solo just as beautiful as the opening one.  I could listen to ‘Chthonic Visions’ forever and never grow tired of it.  A well chosen and perfect ending to a power infused metallic work of art.  Catch Farseer on www.facebook.com/farseermetal or on www.twitter.com/farseermetal or check them out live.  Having also seen them live, I can guarantee they are a top-quality live act!

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Stuka Squadron, Dark Forest and Agincourt at Scruffy’s, B’ham.

May 26, 2012

Very occasionally, a gig takes place which is so spectacular as to surpass all gigs and to warrant a description combining every positive word that’s ever been said about previous gigs.  Last night was one of those rare events.

The atmosphere in Scruffy’s last night was one of full-blooded metal unity.  As Agincourt began the show, we heard some familiar tracks from the current ‘Angels of Mons’ album and also a new track.  Overcoming some initial technical gremlins with great humour, the whole band rocked, to quote the great ‘Krusher Joule’, ‘hard, heavy and animal’.  Just what the Rock Queen likes to see!  Everyone threw themselves into the songs with fiery metal energy.  A well-placed opening band, Agincourt encouraged the crowd and set the scene greatly for the rest of the show. (www.agincourtmusic.com) .

Dark Forest, a new band amongst my ‘seen them live’ collection, were, I’m very happy to say, a blazing phenomenon.  I loved their performance from start to finish.  Full metal throttle is possibly the best way to describe them, as is thrashers/mosher’s paradise.  Just so metal, I could feel the warmth of the metallic fires burning.  Rarely am I able to get so immersed in a new band’s performance immediately, but this time I was and they’ve rocked my world well and truly.  I seriously recommend you check them out now.  If you’re looking for some true metal blood, then Dark Forest is where you will find it.

Stuka Squadron closed the night with a performance of such absolute raging metal professionalism and energetic strength that words are hard to come by to fully do justice to their set.  Dressed in full Squadron uniform, blazing through tracks from the current ‘Tales of the Ost’ album and also material from ‘We Drink Blood’, they set the venue on fire.

Keeping the crowd involved and enthralled throughout, Stuka Squadron’s passion was infectious and their warmth towards their fans was a privilege to receive.  A totally faultless and delicious performance, followed by a much approved encore.  Stuka Squadron are the real deal.

James Duke Fang Begley’s mighty power screams, coupled with his stunning vocal strength and showmanship make him an unforgettable front man, especially after climbing onto the bar during last night’s performance!  Combining this with Jamie ‘Gravedigger’ Cox’s fabulously superior and memorable riffs, Graham ‘Lord’ Pyre’s simply bad ass bass playing, Larry Paterson’s familiarly flawless and thunderous drumming to end all drumming and the gorgeous riffs of Doktor Suicide, Stuka Squadron mean business and  deliver 100% metallic quality.  They ended on a high, with a cross formation guitar display, which is etched on my memory forever.  Check them out on www.facebook.com/stukasquadron .

All in all, a fabulous night of metal, made all the better by finally meeting the awesome Jim Beerman in the flesh!

Wraith at The Roadhouse, Birmingham

May 7, 2012

Wraith’s performance at Metal To The Masses at The Roadhouse was truly phenomenal, as always. They blitzed their way through some top quality songs, played with so much zest that it was impossible not to get involved. I just have to love these guys. Matt’s bold and fun-loving front man presence combined with the sheer strength of his voice just captivates you completely and is well suited to Wraith’s material. Az and Jon’s guitar work was as sensational as ever. The riffs made the guitars sing and my woman bits tingle! The same can be said for Mike’s bass playing. Kirby’s drumming was, of course, the perfectly thunderous backdrop to the songs. This guy knows the meaning of ‘heavy metal’! It was great to hear a mixture of older and newer material by the band and every track was delivered with vigour and sheer metallic passion. (Still loving Metal Ed and Ritual the best). In true metal style, though, I’ve left the best till last…. Wraith have succeeded in getting through to the next round of Metal To The Masses and it’s a well deserved success! Big congratulations to the guys and check them out on www.facebook.com/wraithband .

Maidallica at The Roadhouse, Birmingham

May 6, 2012

Maidallica were on top form and simply set the stage on fire at The Roadhouse last night.  This dazzling two-hour set has to be their best yet!  Sizzling with energy, they played a great selection of Metallica and Maiden  songs, including two bravely chosen numbers from Metallica’s ‘Death Magnetic’, all of which were played with such buzzing life force that the audience needed little encouragement to get involved.  The enjoyment in the room was almost palpable and the band were even asked to play an encore.  Every aspect of Maidallica’s performance was outstanding – from Shaun’s astounding vocal abilities and warmth to his charismatic front man persona, through to Luke and Dan’s furious, ferocious and beautifully melodic riffing, Si’s incredibly energised and vibrant bass lines and Cameron’s breathtakingly powerful drumming.  Maidallica are definitely a stage presence to be reckoned with.

The flame effects on the stage complimented the set well.  We were even treated to a brand new ADD track. (A Deeper Dreed – Maidallica’s other band) – entitled, ” Children of the Damned”, which was absolutely immense.  A thoroughly fun and enjoyable night, which showed Maidallica at their best.  A band who know how to enjoy themselves on stage and ensure the audience have fun with them.  Highly recommended.  Check them out on www.facebook.com/maidallica .