Wednesday, 4 December 2013
The composition of this set list is nigh-flawless: Nightwish have outdone themselves in assembling a tight selection of songs that both represents their discography and runs together smoothly and organically. Nothing seems out of place or included as a "must-have". Of course Floor will eventually be singing songs like 'Sleeping Sun' and 'Wishmaster', which would plump out longer concerts nicely, but this works very nicely as an album. 'Last Ride of the Day' makes for a much better closer than 'Wish I Had An Angel' (bookmarking the set nicely along with ever-awesome opener 'Dark Chest of Wonders'); I hope it stays in there as its one of the best things they've done in their time with Anette Olzon. But yeah, all these songs run together organically and it must have been a killer show.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
The morning of this Sunday night concert I was finding listings for it being held in Nova Chmelnice, and also at Roxy. So I phoned both places, and both told me "no concert". So eventually we decided to just swing by Roxy at about 6pm and see what was cracking - sure enough, bigass tour bus and the usual shuffling horde of leather-wrapped punters. So, don't believe everything you hear, I guess. Basically the show got upgraded and what with me not really knowing anyone here nor speaking Czech that wasn't the easiest information to come across. Well worth getting over to the venue in the end, mind.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
|Artwork inspired by 'The Wizard'|
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Currently twice my age, Deep Purple have been many things even within my lifetime: they've been heavy metal, hard rock, funk, commercial sell-outs, epic songsmiths, ambitious, lazy and every now and again, still indisputably one of the best bands in the world. They've recorded some of their best songs, and almost all of their worst, in that time, but not since Blackmore's second departure from the band to play renaissance faire tunes with his wife have the band sounded as vital and as up for it as they do on Now What?!
The collection of songs here constitutes Steve Morse's finest hour yet in his considerable time in the Purple. The whole band sounds great. Great big ol' guitar sound, boldly retro keyboards and decent drumming to boot, topped off by the definitive Gillan performance to be found outside of Mark II's catalogue. Forget all those "mum doom" bands and Ghost-clone sad-acts, this is where the vintage vibe goodies are this year.
Sunday, 3 November 2013
Mastering the dormant spirit of the NWOBHM throughout with hook-laden propulsive cuts and fresh and unpretentious riffs, Saxon might as well have found a time capsule of demo tapes they tucked away in that year of no less than seventeen immortal Saxon songs being ushered into the world, 1980. And then squished in with these working-man rhythms and the tobacco-honed voice of Biff is the anthemic proclivities and a smattering of the epic culled from latter day staples such as 'Conquistador', 'Lionheart', 'Attila the Hun' and 'Battalions of Steel'. Enter Sacrifice. These are the droids you're looking for.
I wasn't going to even review this, but what the hell. I'm doing it as part of my British Metal Class Acts of 2013 trilogy with Deep Purple and Saxon.
13 is better than Forbidden, that's for sure. But not as good as Cross Purposes, and you know what, part of the problem is that most of the people shouting about the "return of the metal gods" or whatever, won't even have heard Cross Purposes. Or Tyr. Maybe Dehumanizer and Live Evil, but I bet not Born Again. You, Kerrang! journo twat who probably gave this album a "classic" score, what do you reckon to Cozy Powell's drumming on 'Anno Mundi'? Oh you've heard of it but you haven't *heard* it, huh? What a surprise. But 13 is an album recorded for those very people. The people who have heard those first four Ozzy records a bit, and that's usually it. The Devil You Know was a record made with honesty and energy and it struck a chord with both new listeners and the obsessive Sabbath types who have listened every record inside out, learning to love every era of the band for what it was. This is a record that feels processed, deliberate, made for very specific reasons and in almost complete denial of the existence of the great records that other line-ups put out during the decades that the people behind this music wouldn't even speak to each other. Anyone remember 'Digital Bitch' or 'Devil & Daughter'? No? Well, those songs were written by Black Sabbath because of what an unbelievable, awful cunt Sharon Osbourne was and still is. But in this very strange year of 2013, here is what happens if everyone buries the hatchet and revisit some old glories for... some fuckin' reason.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
Seeds of Iblis really came through in 2013 with not one but two releases announcing their formal arrival on the underground black metal... underground. Anti-Quran Rituals makes for a highly serviceable and novel take on old school black metal, but the real gem from these unfettered, covert Iraqis is The Black Quran. And not just for the striking cover art featuring a pig-headed imam clutching a copy of the book as it immolates - the kind of shit that got old in metal long ago for bibles and priests, but still has plenty of legs when it relates the religion of peace. It seems Seeds of Iblis have plenty of places to go with this stuff, anyway.