NOVACROW – Criminal Mastermind EP

In 2016, Liverpool’s Novacrow released their debut EP ‘Black Syrup’, a melting pot of goth, grunge and funk with horror overtones that really captured a great sound. The riffs were often weighty, but most impressive of all were the vocals. It was immediately obvious that Kitty S. possessed a voice that really stood out above the heaviness; her clean vocal style made everything incredibly accessible and melodic, no matter how deep or intensive the riffs. Throughout the release, she sounded like a star in the making.

The following year came and went and things seemed to go rather quiet in the Novacrow camp. Finally, after what felt like forever, they returned with five new songs in the autumn of 2018. The resultant EP, ‘Criminal Mastermind’ isn’t as consistent as its predecessor and takes longer to get into, but when it really hits the mark, it presents a Novacrow that sounds as good as ever.

Continue reading

IN TENEBRIZ – Winternight Poetry

In Tenebriz is one of Russia’s more adventurous extreme metal bands. Rather than just settle for plain old black or death metal, their previous releases have fused black metal elements with bits of drone rock and post-metal, lending an almost cinematic feel to their work. Their 2018 release ‘Winternight Poetry’ is arguably their most adventurous, presenting a seven chapter half hour suite telling the story of Kai, whom upon visiting the kingdom of the Snow Queen, is taken prisoner and forever trapped in a world of permafrost. You wouldn’t know that unless you were told, since – as always with things from a black/extreme metal perspective – the lyrics are hard to grasp without the aid of the written word. For most listeners, it’ll be down to the music to do the talking…and luckily, this release features some great sounds and arrangements, befitting of such a brave piece of conceptual and progressive metal.

Continue reading

REAL GONE GOES OUT: Lamb of God – Wembley Arena, London 3/11/2018

When Lamb of God headlined a cold January night at the Brixton Academy in 2014, their performance bordered on woeful. Bad sound, a short setlist and a lot of time spent talking between songs resulted in a massive disappointment. With hindsight, the night’s opening act wiped the floor with them. In an energetic half-hour slot, Huntress, fronted by the spirited Jill Janus, showed a lot of energy and a willingness to please the audience, obviously being more than aware of how hard it is to be a relatively unknown support band. After the revelation that Jill took her own life in August 2018, that set is now a memory to treasure. Lamb of God’s, not so much.

Wembley Arena is packed to the rafters this evening. The night’s event – headlined by Slayer, but also featuring Obituary, Anthrax and Lamb of God – is a metal fan’s dream. Obituary have shown themselves to be true professionals even as underdogs, and Anthrax – stalwarts of 80s thrash – have put on a really fun support slot, showing why they’ve retained their legendary status.

Continue reading

AUTUMNWIND – Endless Fear

Autumnwind isn’t really a band; it’s a huge musical vision where its founder, Abdulrahman Abu Lail writes and plays everything. He uses this one man band as a vehicle for emotional outpouring, in his own words, as a way of “mind-describing” his own feelings through intensive music. This third album makes that theory even clearer by giving its five pieces of music titles which reflect emotive states. The results, as expected, are very heavy, though never so confrontational you’d struggle to listen or, indeed, want to shut off the feelings that Abdulrahman is keen to share.

Continue reading

Watch the new video from Hostile

For the uninitiated, Hostile are a groove metal band from the West Midlands. Their work values a heavy riff in the tradition of Pantera and Lamb of God and their first two albums were produced by the legendary KK Downing. So far, they’ve shared stages with Megadeth, Soulfly and Machine Head and their career is going from strength to strength.

Continue reading