Saturday, 20 June 2009


01.Picture Of Beauty & Innocence (Intro)/Commiserating The Celebration
02.Ebony Tears
03.Serpent Eve
04.Soul Sacrifice
05.A Funeral Request
07.Reaching Happiness Touching Pain
01.Soul Sacrifice
02.Autumn Twilight
03.Frozen rapture
04.Golden Blood (Flooding)

01.Return To The Forest (Documentary)
02.Ebony Tears (Music Video)

Lee Dorrian (Vocals)
Gary Jennings (Guitar)
Adam Lehan (Guitar)
Mark Griffiths (Bass)
Mike Smail (Drums)
Helen Acreman (Flute)
Reverend Wolski (Keyboards)

"Reject the elation of blissful tranquility, Obsessions they lay with the bleak and sinister", so goes a lyric in the opening doom masterpiece.

Perhaps those words sum up Lee dorrian's musical philosphy, this is not "Happy" music and it is of such a high quality that only a deep obsessional understanding of the roots of all things dark and underground in music from the late sixties to mid seventies could produce Cathedral.

This was their debut album released in 1991 and it has always set the standard by which all subsequent "Doom Metal" produced in the UK would be measured by.

In March 2009 the album was remastered and it has brought out a clarity to the music that serves to enhance every 'top end' chord and death like howl that these long, slow and heavy songs really deserve.

The repackaging with a poster,fold out case,the addition of the debut "Soul Sacrifice" ep and a great DVD with interviews and a music video, is superb!

To understand where this music comes from is something for a very long conversation in a darkend corner of an old pub and not for the written word here, but suffice to say if you know 'Necromandus','Plus' or 'Jacula' you will love this.
There are of course more obvious reference points with early 'Black Sabbath','Witchfinder General' and 'Candlemass'.

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of : Electric Wizard, Sunn 0))), Reverend Bizarre


Wednesday, 17 June 2009


01.Razored Cell
02.Volatile Territory
03.Your Blistering Tongue
04.Cut A Little Deeper

Vykki Turner (Vocals)
Chris Webb (Guitar)
Mark Mulcaster (Bass)
Matt C (Drums)

Solsikk were formed by Chris and Matt after they left technical death metal band Biomechanical, there was a desire to form a band that could fuse that energy but blend it with melody and female vocals.

The ep kicks off with an immence bass heavy riff, but quickly the harmony vocals and musical breakdowns show that there is much more on offer here than female lead agressive heavy metal, in the style of say 'Otep'.

It is the heavy riffs and precision drumming mixed with pounding bass work that provides an outstanding backdrop to the multi tracked vocal expertise of Vikki.

"Your Blistering Tongue" is a really good fucking track, the phased guitar intro melts into some fantastic drumming with a slow vocal, it just moves along with a perfect head banging rhythm.

Finally this all too short ep ends with a ballad (shock horror!), fear not my metal loving Viking hordes for this will slay you with its beautiful vocals and atmospheric keyboard backing, but wait...for this song unleashes some of the finest guitarwork i have heard for a long time.
It is simply stunning!

Rating 9/10

For Fans Of : Arch Enemy, Otep, Fear Factory, Tristania



Monday, 15 June 2009

ACHILLA, SOLSIKK, STONE CIRCLE, ARXIS Live At The Gaff 12.06.09 (Gig Review)


The Gaff, Holloway Road 12.06.09

You cant put a metal gig on in London during Download festival weekend they said, how wrong they were......

Hailing from south london, these guys understand their heavy metal and perform to a very high standard.
Entertaining and very talented there is a great potential here for another fan winning band.Strong songs with great hooks n riffs get the right reaction but the highlight from tonights set was an inspired cover of Iron Maiden's "Wicker Man", a smart move when nobody knows your own material.

Vocalist and lead guitarist Joe Ashwin is clearly the result of a genetic experiment to splice together Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour and Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt !
They perform long and highly technical songs which are individual masterpieces of excellence.
I do not use such words lightly this band has an amazing and mature sound blending melody and progressive death metal to the standard of Opeth, my only question here is "why are they not signed?".

Powering into a set of Arch Enemy vocal attack meets Fear Factory beats, fuelled by solid bass, expert drumming and break-neck guitarwork, the band more than lived up to expectations.
Then we come to song number four, a ballad.This really made you stop in your tracks initial reaction was that of slight confusion but then as the song progressed the audience were totally with it then came one of the most stunning guitar solos i have heard in a long time, full of soul and note perfect.

They followed this with a less than serious cover of Willie Dixons blues classic 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' complete with extreme metal triggering from drummer Matt.

The rest of the set was pulled back to full on metal to end a perfect performance.

Having seen them a couple of months back at the Underworld suffering from bad sound i was looking forward to hearing them properly, i was a little surprised to them as a quartet as opposed to a five piece and with a different bassist.

Tonights performance was like watching a different band, they seemed more relaxed yet produced a very intense set, their sound was excellent and Dan's guitarwork was inspired.
They played all the soon to be "Classics" like 'Arashi', 'Inside A Lie' and the awesome 'Devils Eyes', tonight they also threw in an unusual cover of 'Pull Me Under' by Dream Theatre, weird to hear it with female vocals but they pulled it off with real class.

Achilla have the potential to be a great band able to rival Nightwish both musically and with Martamaria vocally.Personally i feel that a keyboard player would add greatly to their sound and bring it to another level.
All in all a stunning performance from a band that deserves your attention.






Monday, 8 June 2009



The Gaff, Holloway Road June 5th

A very weird band indeed, hailing from New Zealand this 3 piece mix up strange influences and ideas creating a sound like Primus jamming with Mayhem.Great harmony vocals to death metal screams, jazz rhythms and power metal bass, its all there and makes for great listening if you are open minded.

Impressive rock trio who make a big noise, blending style and substance with equal measure.Catchy songs and big riffs go down a treat with the audience.

They pretty much bill themselves as a punk band, so thats what i was expecting, okay so they dont look punk but there is a touch of Dead Kennedys about them.
What we get is 40 minutes of pure entertainment, punk fuelled energy but with more than a hint of heavy metal, some great songs made to jump around too (that includes both singer and bassist who managed to fall/jump off stage).They also threw in a Jesus Lizard cover!

Playing without a doubt the best set i have ever seen from them, tonight they were on fire.It was a huge set full of amazing musicianship great vocals and Kit's swearing in between each song!
Highlights include "Drink,Fight,Fuck" , "Dont be Cruel" and the set closer "Asphyxiate " which finished with the dropping of trousers from Ben, Kit and Akis to reveal 'Mallory Fucking Knox' upon those sweet (and hairy - Hi Akis :) cheeks.






Thursday, 4 June 2009


01.Ascendance Of Impurity
02.Death Note
04.Trinity (Outro)

Dave Kuchta (Vocals)
Paul Scanlan (Guitar)
James McIlroy (Guitar)
Tilman Wolff-Moore (Bass/Vocals)
Matt C (Drums)

Hot of the press in time for last weekends 'Tsunami Festival' in Holland and completed just a few days before that, this is the second ep from the self styled "Blackened power Metal" supergroup featuring ex members of Cradle Of Filth, Biomechanical and Akercocke.

Opening song is a full speed onslaught with Dave's amazing vocal attack of screams followed by pure singing.It is a very drum driven track reminicent of early Satyricon, and also contains some great guitar solos.

'Death Note' continues in the same vein and yet again it is the vocal style of Dave that grabs your attention, the opening part has an almost arabic styled harmony before hitting that Dani Filth scream that he does so well.The song has a line in it "This is the time for retribution" and it sticks in your head instantly.

Now we come to the song i have been looking forward to since i first heard it performed live last december, 'Oppenheimer'.
It starts with a haunting riff with "Tubed" speech over it, it has a wonderful rhythmic drum backing before picking up the pace into an almost gothic/black metal epic like Paradise Lost.Im slightly dissapointed by some of the effects put on the vocal as it slightly spoils what Dave is singing (But then im used to hearing it live where dave just lets rip).
What i love about the song is the way it just moves, with 2 such accomplished guitarists in the band it is surprisng that there are no solos in the piece, but somehow that adds to the songs emotion because it allows it flow without breaks.
It is a masterpiece and it is aided by the final piece 'Trinity' which is basically a recording of the 'Enigma 2000' numbers code that used to be broadcast over shortwave radio since the second world war, to this day nobody really knows what they were for, with an ambient soundscape underneath.

Overall this is a great progression in both music and production, it is a slick well executed ep full of originality and should see the band marked out as something "special".
I look forward to the album and hope that they dont put too many effects on dave's voice next time.

Rating 9/10

For Fans Of : Cradle Of Filth, Satyricon, Fear Factory, Nile


Wednesday, 3 June 2009


01.Grief Of The Unclean I
02.Grief Of The Unclean II
03.Grief Of The Unclean III
04.Grief Of The Unclean IV
05.Grief Of The Unclean V
06.Grief Of The Unclean VI
07.The Great Unwashed I
08.The Great Unwashed II
09.The Great Unwashed III
10.The Great Unwashed IV
11.The Great Unwashed V
12.The Great Unwashed VI

Brooke Johnson (Vocals/Guitar)
Michael Blenkarn (Guitar/Keyboards/Programming)
Ian Fenwick (Bass)
Dan Mullins (Drums)
Leslie Simpson (Narrator)

Fuck this is no ordinary album, not by a mile, its like an audio book beautifully narrated by the actor Leslie Simpson (Dog Soldiers) and tells the story of Urfe a broken man, just one despairing voice among the multitude of lost souls in the doomed nowhere town of Locus Eyrie. Coerced into a quest for answers by an anonymous letter, he is drawn into a waking nightmare where the shadows of his past shape a reality that is rapidly disintegrating around him,sending him into a self-made hell.

The ambient aural sounds sculptured by the band and breathtaking and claustrophobic, truly the soundtrack to hell (if it existed).
'Grief Of The Unclean' is purely ambient and comes in at 45 minutes, though you wont notice that because the sounds and the words just pull you in.

'The Great Unwashed' starts with the line "Life explodes again with a painful wheeze" the description of pain and sickness is worthy of any Clive Barker or Shaun Hutson novel, then we get our first taste of guitars and drums with a slow black metal rhythm and vocals from Brooke.Each piece is broken with more narration and ambient sounds blending with doom laden riffs.

They have broken out of their "Silent Hill" past with such passion and drive that you cannot fault any element of this, sure 'The Ichneumon Method' and 'Deleted Scenes from the Transition Hospital' and absolute masterpieces from the first listen, this because of its "story" nature may take a little time, but this is their third masterpiece without a doubt.

Rating 9/10

For Fans Of : Blut Aus Nord, Wolves In The Throne Room, White Noise, Mortiis


Monday, 1 June 2009

MAN OF KIN,FERAL,VIRUS,MOUTHFUL OF FLIES Live At The Gaff 31.05.09 (Gig Review)


The Gaff, Holloway Road, May 31st

Where the hell have these guys been hiding?????Really stunning live performance that totally blew everybody away.Great songs delivered with precision and excellent musicianship.Evil vocals and doomy lyrics mixed up with good Heavy metal.
You have to check them out!!

Coke may have been ill tonight but you wouldnt have noticed as he lead his fearsome foursome into a blistering set of classics and newbies!Tonight the band seemed happy on stage, sure there were a few mistakes but Cokes guitar sounded better than the last gig, due to better gear i think, and despite the fact that the bass was "DI'd" as the bass head over heated during the previous set the overall sound and performance was right on it.

Each time i see Virus they seem to grow in confidence and are shaping up to prove that their "Lunacy" can reclaim a place in the hearts of the metal world.

With no shovels in sight the band decided to play guitars instead, which as it turns out was the better option because not only do they play them with the skill and style of musicians who have been playing for 20 years but shovels are very difficult to tune.

Another blinding set, with jokes a plenty inbetween the songs, just all round entertainment and delivered with such talent that its no wonder they have risen in just 7 months to the level that has the likes of Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates/Cradle Of Filth/Paradise Lost/Nemhain) to remark "Who is this Feral i have been hearing so much about?".Watch this space!!!!

Madness reared its head tonight with a frantic version of 'Truth Is Lies' with guest vocals from Jaz (Man Of Kin) and a chaotic version of Motorhead's 'Orgasmatron' with vocals from Feral;s original vocalist, a man who for those of you old enough to remember whose stage presence was like Arthur Brown on acid!!

What better way to get aquainted with their stunning debut album 'Lock & Load' than to have the band perform it in its entireity,'Primitive' still stands out as the ultimate crowd pleaser and erupts the venue.
They ended their set with a covers medley, i tell you the place was dripping with sweat, you'd think the gig was in a turkish bath house.Just a perfect end to a perfect evening.





MAN OF KIN (Set List)
My Camera Died :(