Mar 182019
 

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(The following review of the DECIBEL Magazine Tour‘s stop in Atlanta last week was written by Tør, a self-professed metalhead, data nerd, and ex-academic, who first appeared at our site with a post based on his Ph.D. dissertation on the spread of metal across national  boundaries. All the wonderful photos in this review were also made by Tør.)

The night got off to a good start: I was able to dodge the dreaded Atlanta traffic relatively easily on my way to catch Morbid Angel, Immolation, Necrot, and Blood Incantation on the Decibel Magazine Tour 2019.

I arrived at The Masquerade just in time to witness a solid mid-week crowd greeting Denver’s Blood Incantation with a warm Southern welcome. The band have been praised as one of the most promising acts in modern death metal and it’s easy to see why: They masterfully sailed through a thirty-minute opening slot by taking the crowd on a journey of progressive and cerebral death metal complete with slow enchanted passages and downright hard-hitting choruses. The technical ability and overall performance on display were quite astounding and solidified their place as one of the most innovative newer death metal acts in my mind. Continue reading »

Feb 182019
 

 

(Andy Synn has hit a marvelous run of shows in quick succession over the last few weeks, and this is his summation of the most recent one, with his videos of the performances.)

Being in a band myself I know what it’s like to have your set cut short due to technical difficulties and/or time constraints. It’s never a good thing, but it’s just something you have to deal with as best you can.

Which is why my heart went out to Bloodshot Dawn last night when, just as it seemed they were about to start their set, which had been delayed due to unavoidable technical issues, they were instead forced to cut their entire show from the line-up. We’ve had to cut songs, or had shows cancelled on us before, but never after we’d already set up our gear, and I honestly can’t imagine how utterly gutting that must have been. I can only hope that the rest of the shows (and the previous ones) somehow make up for it.

Still, all disappointments and dissatisfaction regarding that situation aside, that still left three other bands to get the evening going, beginning with… Continue reading »

Feb 112019
 

 

(Andy Synn wants you to know that he took in another show. This time, Obscura, Fallujah, Allegaeon, and First Fragment drew him to the environs of London on February 8th, yielding this report plus video of the event.)

For whatever reason, possibly known only to the gods themselves, tonight’s show was one of three big package-tours plying their metallic wares in the capital all on the same evening, with Behemoth/At The Gates/Wolves In The Throne Room on at Kentish Town Forum and Psycroptic/Aversion’s Crown/Within Destruction/Hadal Maw/Hollow World making The Dome in Tufnell Park their home for the evening.

Thankfully, as I’d caught the latter tour a few days earlier in Manchester, my choice between the remaining two options was an easy one to make, as while I’m a fan of practically all the bands on both bills (to a greater or lesser extent), I wasn’t hugely taken with either of the most recent Behemoth and At The Gates albums, whereas I was very high on the most recent Obscura album (and, spoiler alert, the upcoming new Fallujah too).

So it was off to the O2 in Islington for me! Continue reading »

Feb 092019
 

 

(On February 6th our man-about-town Andy Synn made the trek to Manchester, England, to take in a show at Rebellion Club, and this is his report, with videos of the event.)

If there’s one thing I know about Metal fans it’s that we, both individually and collectively, are often willing to put up with a lot of shit – be it a long journey, or an excessive amount of sub-standard music – to see the bands we love live.

Well, for tonight’s show, featuring four Australian acts and one Slovenian group, I had to contend with both, making a five-hour round trip and sitting through a couple of less than stellar performances, just for the opportunity to see Hadal Maw live for the first time (although, let’s be honest, I doubt I’ll ever turn down an opportunity to catch Psycroptic either). Continue reading »

Jan 022019
 

 

(On the 21st of December, the Andkristni 2018 festival took place at the Gaukurinn venue in Reykjavik, Iceland, and our Norwegian friend eiterorm made the trip west for it. He was kind enough to share with us the following report, photos, and music streams.)

A few weeks back I saw an online poster for Andkristni 2018, and took notice of the eminent lineup for this one-day festival, with several bands I had never seen live before. A little later, the event came up in a conversation with a friend, and we were both curious about what it would be like to see these bands live. It was then that I thought: “Hey, I have a day of vacation left. I should go to Reykjavík.” And just like that, the decision was made.

Now, I’ve never written a show report before, and I rarely ever read them myself, because they simply don’t interest me. When I mentioned to Islander that I was going to attend Andkristni 2018, however, he asked me if I wanted to write a report for the blog, preferably with some photos from the night. I declined the idea of doing a publishable report, but offered to make a personal summary for him instead. Then several other friends made similar requests, and now look what happened – I ended up writing a full report anyway. (Unfortunately, the photos in the report are mediocre at best, but I didn’t want to experience the concerts through my phone screen and therefore spent little time taking photos.) Continue reading »

Dec 262018
 

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum prepared this review of the Riders of the Apocalypse show that took place in Oslo on December 19th.)

I usually publish reviews of concerts in Oslo just for a Norwegian audience, but I think this concert review can be of interest for the international NCS audience. The NCS statistics for 2018 were really cool. I must say I was impressed with the amount of visits (more than 1.7 million) and I’m pretty glad we have readers from more than 100 countries all over this small planet. I would like to thank everyone who supports NCS and all those who read my occasional contributions. It is my wish for 2019 to be able to contribute even more!

The first thing that caught my attention when I saw the line-up for the concert that took place the 19th this month was Svart Lotus. I had heard about the band before and knew it was 1349‘s bassist who was behind the project. But as to what the other band playing Riders of the Apocalypse could be exactly I wasn’t sure at first. The other band scheduled to play was going to be Superlynx, and I had heard from some rock-knowledgeable friends that they were good, but I hadn’t really checked the band for myself as I tend to have just enough time for metal. So I figured I would go based mainly on the 1349 connection. Continue reading »

Dec 192018
 

 

(Andy Synn continues his campaign to make many of us jealous over the shows he’s getting to see in the UK, this time witnessing a duo of American tech stalwarts, a Canadian one, and a Swedish one, and documenting the event with video.)

Looking back over the last twelve months I can see that I’ve been lucky enough to attend a number of awesome shows, festivals, etc, this year, with the last couple of months in particular being an incredibly busy (not to mention fun) period, especially where frantic, fret-melting technicality is concerned.

Just in the last few weeks I’ve got the chance to catch Beyond Creation/Gorod prog out and Aborted/Cryptopsy blast faces, and two nights ago saw things get kicked up yet another notch with the fatal four-way of Revocation, Archspire, Soreption, and Rivers of Nihil at Mama Roux’s in Birmingham. Continue reading »

Nov 282018
 

 

(Despite having spent last night in Nottingham running a gauntlet of especially vigorous sonic punishment, our Andy Synn still had sufficient remaining wits about him to deliver this report of the event, with video documentation of the beatings.)

Those of you who know me well, and probably some of those who barely know me at all, will be aware of my general distaste for the whole “brotherhood of Metal” shtick that frequently gets bandied about by certain publications.

Don’t get me wrong, the power of music to bring people together and unite them behind a common cause, a common feeling, still astounds me at times, but the whole cliché about Metal being a “brotherhood” is one that’s too often deployed as a disingenuous disguise for arrogant elitism or a flimsy excuse for chasing the lowest common denominator (and, occasionally, both at the same time).

Still, there are times when even my well-documented cynicism has to be put on hold, and the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and positive energy of last night’s show was certainly one such occasion. Continue reading »

Nov 242018
 


Gorod (in Prague, not Birmingham)

 

(Andy Synn spent last night at the Asylum in Birmingham, England, enjoying performances by Beyond Creation, Gorod, and Entheos, and has quickly provided the following report and videos.)

Despite how stultifyingly stressful this week has been for the most part, yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day all in all, as things at work took a major turn towards the positive, while the evening found me taking a trip over to Birmingham to catch three (out of four) great bands of the “technical” persuasion. Continue reading »

Nov 062018
 

 

(On November 3rd the Leeds University Union hosted the star-studded 2018 edition of Damnation Festival, and our own Andy Synn was there again, and files this video-adorned report.)

Now, let’s get one thing straight right away – I love Damnation Festival. Alongside Inferno Festival and Maryland Deathfest it’s part of my annual triumvirate of awesome events which I do my absolute best to attend every single year.

One thing that bugs me, however, not about Damnation itself, but about the coverage afforded to the fest (and, by extension, to many other festivals too), is how much of it reads almost like it was written without even attending the event – every band is awesome, every performance is great – with little to no attempt to be critical or to give the reader a sense of the specific flavour and atmosphere beyond generic platitudes which could have been pulled straight from each band’s bio.

So this review isn’t going to be one of those. Because not every band I saw on Saturday evening was awesome, and not every performance was great… and while there were no downright terrible showings, several of the bands put in what I thought was a sub-par effort.

Thankfully, however, the good (and the very good) hugely outweighed the bad, and I think (and hope) you’ll still get a kick out of reading this review and watching the accompanying videos. Continue reading »