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Wretched Soul – “The Ghost Road” – Review

Those who know me will know I’m a huge Wretched Soul fan and have been for many years now and knowing them all personally it’s extremely difficult to write an unbiased review of “The Ghost Road” and still keep my integrity. I’m going to do my best though!

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When Wretched Soul’s debut album “Veronica” was [finally] released we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. Those who remember, will know the release was a year or more after it was completed, but when we finally got it and played it for the first time it was more than we could ever have expected. Those who have seen Wretched Soul play live will agree they put everything into their performance and “Veronica” simply screamed they had done so with the recording, production, artwork, [hell] everything on the album. And I know lots of people didn’t remove it from their car for an absolute age, myself included.

So what about “The Ghost Road”?

We know it was in the production stages in August 2015 and in August 2016 we knew it was almost ready for release. We’ve been seeing them blast songs from it in their live set since then and we were treated to an advance hearing of the immense track “War Wolf” from UK Extreme Metal with whom Wretched Soul are currently signed to. But the huge question we’re all asking is, “When is the damn album going to be released?”

Fear not. We now know it’s December 2nd 2016. At the time of writing that’s six weeks exactly.

Now that’s cleared up, what about the album?

I heard someone recently say that they didn’t think Wretched Soul could improve on the success that was “Veronica”, but once they received a copy of the album they were pretty much dumbfounded with it. This person will remain anonymous but they are a huge voice in the Heavy Metal World. I then had an online conversation with them as I’ve actually been in possession of “The Ghost Road” for about 10 months now as I was entrusted with a link to listen to it whilst in hospital early December 2015 and said person was like, “How the fuck did you keep that a secret?” My response was simply, “I made a promise.”

As with said person, I too, was dumbfounded and amazed when I first heard “The Ghost Road” and whilst writing I am listening to it again and again as it is, quite simply, one of the best albums you will hear this year. And I can guarantee it won’t be out of your car for another age.

Wretched Soul have proven that they have what it takes to become a band to take on more than just the Heavy Metal Underground with this album. As with “Veronica” it was recorded and produced by Chris Tsangerides (Judas Priest’s “Painkiller”, Black Sabbath, King Diamond, Exodus etc). It’s mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Dissection, Katatonia etc) and the cover art is by Dan Goldsworthy (Accept, Hell, Sylosis etc).

They’ve certainly pulled in the big guns to make “The Ghost Road” an amazing follow up to “Veronica” and from start to finish you will be more than satisfied with the wait…

Opening with “Necromancer” you’re hit with a sledgehammer to the face followed swiftly by a superb vocal intro from Christopher Simmons and, when the song starts in full, there is an almighty scream that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

It’s clear from the start that Mr Simmons has done a hell of a lot of vocal training since “Veronica” and throughout the album he keeps treating you to perfect nuggets of death screams and growls but the most satisfying thing for me is when he sings, he SINGS! Chris’s vocal range is something to be admired.

“War Wolf” follows, and we all know this is a total neck breaker. Speed and death with the guitars working out like an obsessive fitness fanatic. There’s a slight slow down mid tune with a solo but you’re soon back to full speed and getting that adrenaline flowing quicker than a politician reneging on a promise.

A slightly slower “The Silent God” follows into “The Great Destroyer” which is a classic chugging number.

“Bury The Heretic” has an acoustic intro but soon goes straight into a head on collision of drums, guitars and bass exploding into what is sure to be a listener’s favourite. Ending with a bass outro, “Bury The Heretic” is well executed from start to finish and is certainly a crowd pleaser at gigs already.

If at this point in the album you’re not thinking, “This has got to be the best album this year,” then “I Am The Thunderer” should give you the kick up the arse to make your mind up. It has a chugging start that melds into solid thrash with a somewhat epic ending.

“We Made The Gods” is the complete opposite. By that I don’t mean it’s shit – it starts off fairly slowly, then gathers pace, finishing as a spectacle of pounding and screaming awesomeness.

“The Ghost Road” is everything and more a title track ought to be. It symbolises everything the band has put into the album. The cliched blood, sweat and tears come out here. They’ve given it their all. And to end the album with such an intense track it’s easy to see why they used this. I can’t really explain how bloody good it is. You’ll just have to take my word for it. And that of said person I spoke of earlier!

I said at the start I’d do my best to write an unbiased review. Believe me it’s been difficult and taken several hours to make sure of it. So how do I summarise? I asked if you remembered the sigh of relief when “Veronica” was released. Well, you can sigh that relief now. It’ll give you more energy to enjoy “The Ghost Road” when it lands on your doorstep.

One final thing to say. Please don’t leave us waiting too long for album 3 lads!

You can watch and hear Wretched Soul playing some songs from “The Ghost Road” below.

Word Of Nod. A Farewell Blog.

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I was really happy when I got a YouTube notification from Dysgracelands of a new EP from Word Of Nod. I listened to it immediately and loved it. I clicked the like button and being super proud that I was the first to do so I sent a message to frontman Peter Owden to tell him and to say how much I liked it.

Peter thanked me for my comments and said he was about to make a big band announcement on their Facebook page.

The next line in his message brought my euphoria back down to Earth with a big fucking thud.

“Sadly, the band has broken up.”

My reply to Peter was simple but to the point.

“Buggershitfucktoss”

Without a doubt Word Of Nod are one of the best bands I had the pleasure of meeting, recording and publishing on my YouTube channel in the last few years.

I first saw them at The Ivy in Sheerness at a Metal 2 The Masses show. They were playing with two Metal bands and a Hardcore band. I’ll not go into it in detail now but you can read my review of the evening HERE.

If you took the time to read it (thankyou) you’ll have noted that Word Of Nod won the heat and went straight through to the M2TM final.

They didn’t get to play Bloodstock, but when they played the final they were bloody amazing. They put on a superb show and certainly gained a lot of fans who were, primarily, there to see Metal bands. And Word Of Nod definitely aren’t your average Metal band. In fact I wouldn’t describe them as Metal at all.

So, what are they like? I hear you ask.

Have a  listen to the album in full here:

 

I didn’t get round to writing the review I wanted to for this immense album. I do however have a few notes saved which I think sums it up nice and succinctly. If you want to read a more detailed description of the song content for “Brainwash Anthems” scroll to the end after “The Beam”.

“A dark and moving album that ventures into the innermost thoughts, beliefs and alter ego of Nod. Dealing with personal and social issues, revenge seeking, the history of humanity and how unbearable love is and the very thought of it. All with slightly anarcho-gothic tendencies. What’s not to like?”

I hope you’ll agree with me that it is a hard hitting album. Pure no bullshit Rock n Roll played as it should be played. Heartfelt and meaningful. And I think that’s why I instantly liked them.

I’ll leave it at that and add the last post on the Word Of Nod Facebook page. Let’s hope it isn’t the end of the road for these fantastic musicians.

Okay so here is a little announcement, which is painful to say. After a brief break, its time for Word of Nod to go our separate ways as a band, at least for the time being. It has been an awesome time for us and we’ve loved playing music together and we’ve met some fabulous people, sharing stages with some really amazing musicians.
Please play our EP which is our parting gift. Four tracks we recorded last year just before circumstances took over for us all. Play the songs loud and jump about the room as if you were at one of our gigs. Hopefully in the near future, the elements would be together that mean we are back in your face and screaming again… It has been a blast.
And as we always end one of our shows….”Adios Amigos”

 

Brainwash Anthems

“We know what you are doing with your little symbols, and with your pawns, using the media and music industry to flex muscles.”

Miss Nod: An ode to the female ying of Nod’s yang. The fantasy of what she’d be like if Nod was a woman. Not in the context of a transgender but more in the thought of a female paradigm of his personality. From a younger time of self abuse where thoughts of commitment were that of another world. Although he harboured a love for the thought of love, he feared it, boxed it and buried it in a deep, dark chamber in his heart and mind. Miss Nod is that thought.

“That is why she’s gone.”

Heartworm (Parts 1, 2 & 3): A concept of the seemingly unattainable in the body, mind and spirit from the simple desire for a mate to the mind control of the elite.

A “Heartworm” is a parasite spread throughout the animal kingdom, predominantly canines, the worm eating the heart until death of the host. This concept has been used to describe self-loathing, jealousy and greed.

Part 1 is the ‘woman’ on the pedestal. The untouchable and her infallible manner as thought of by the self loather. The desire of a cockroach to be crushed by the foot of it’s human muse to at least have received recognition in some way from her.

Part 2 is the return journey, the tables are turned. For the muse is merely flesh, and once tasted the desire is lost. Inside is the concept that we are all the desire of someone be it sexual or in cerebral admiration.

“I hope you found my lyrics absurd.”

A heartworm eats the dogs heart and no dog is safe. Even the black dog (depression).

Part 3: The promised land and the rule of the elitist desire to achieve it and tread on all that stand in the way. The worm that eats the heart of the dog. (The Illuminati eats the spirit of humanity to destroy opposition.)

“They make a living out of death, bottled gas out of breath.”

Can You Survive?: We have such a fucked up view of our existence. Making up rules governed by out of context values it’s a miracle we deserve to survive.

“Once you paint on a smile it’s stuck there for life in their eyes.”

Once you submit, they’ve got you.

Starving to Death in the Belly of a Whale: More madness and disdain at the world. The whale has eaten you. It’s eating off you and it cares not for your continual survival, but would prefer you to experience it’s control for a long painful and insane time before your demise.

A Tender Subject: An ex girlfriend went on to stardom. When meeting her again many years later and told him everything of how well her life had been since they broke up, finally, she asks how he’s been.

“Well, I’ve had a nervous breakdown.”

Sleeping with Susan: Argentinian Jewish newspaper editor Jacobo Timerman’s account of his own incarceration during the 70s Civil War.

“Prisoner Without a Name. Cell Without a Number.”

An account detailed in this book tells of a steel bed frame linked to powerful electric currents used as torture in the military clandestine prisons. It became known as ‘Sleeping with Susan’ and many died from this treatment. It’s a symbol of how we continue to hate simply because of stupidity and segregation. We don’t hate. It’s nonsense. It’s just ignorance and lack of empathy.

As artist Francis Bacon perfectly summarised how we have ‘evolved’; “The history of humanity is the history of insanity.”

Irreals: The title refers to the subjunctive. A grammatical term generally in Latin languages where the expression of desire, wish, hope and blessing changes the verb structure of the sentence. Modus Irrealis is the name of of this concept; the unreal mood.

“My only hope is when I’m dead they never find her body inside my head!”

It’s a love song. Her body is so perfect she lives in the writer’s mind. So much that he fears she will be found in flesh inside his posthumous brain.

Like That Smile: Another love song. Or rather, a love to love song. The desire so unbearable. The weakness of such a black heart to ever fulfil such a desire to love.

May Contain Attitude: About a boss that makes someones life so painful they decided they had three choices. Have them killed, torment them with vengeful pranks for the rest of their life, or, as catharsis, write this song.

Towards leaving that job they send email was sent to the boss protesting against their bullying manner with a warning that the email may contain attitude. Something they knew would rip open them a new asshole of loathing towards them and shit black stools of venom upon them!

Six Feet Above Ground: Whatever happens, it’s important to remain alive. Keep the brain six feet above the earth. Keep standing. Keep focused on the battle. Keep standing tall. Keep resisting.

Expect us.

Thankyou Peter for sharing this with me.

 

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Metal 2 The Masses 2016 Heat 2

This fortnight’s M2TM at Leos Red Lion features Alive In Lights, AffluenzA, Orphan Gears and Scars Of Sense. As with last week I’ll look at the bands I’ve not seen before first and let you know which two bands have made it through to the Semi Final. Also, as before, I’ll be relying on social media to review the bands. Especially if I’ve not seen them before and this time there’s two!

First up is Alive In Lights. Their Facebook page describes them as a hard rock / metal band with a set of hard hitting songs with melodic riffs and strong vocals. So I head over to their Bandcamp page and find one release from July 2014; a three track Promo CD which I am pleasantly surprised with. It’s exactly what it says on the tin and the production is excellent but it is nearing two years old and I would really like to see some newer material released but on the whole great stuff and I look forward to seeing them play some time.

 

Scars Of Sense Facebook page says they are a Folk Metal band and looking at the comment on this video from ZocaloNation this is their debut gig.

 

I’m not so sure about this being Folk Metal. It’s Heavy Metal for sure but just because there is a violin added to the mix doesn’t automatically make it Folk Metal. I’m only guided by who I’ve heard in this genre before and they don’t sound like this. So I’m not sure how I’d catergorise it if I had to. But this is Metal and Scars Of Sense play it well. For me, I’d like more violin and for Elien to be more up front and involved. Jumping around along with Alfie and, of course, I’m only going by this video. I will also take my hat off to ScarsOf Sense. First gig and they play Metal 2 The Masses. RESPECT.

Ahhh… AffluenzA… London based Groove Metal band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing once before. Featuring guitarists Stuart James Cook (The Inbreds) and Marcel Contreras Chalk (The Heretic Order), then add vocalist Cletus Van Damme (Pure Negative) to the mix and, well, see for yourselves!

 

What’s not to like? Definitely a force to be reckoned with and a serious contender for winning this years M2TM.

 

Orphan Gears is another band I’ve only seen once before. But they are one of those bands that  leaves a good impression and a smile on your face. And with Rob Gamblin (Zocalo, The Inbreds) on drums you just know you’re onto a win or they would not have his talents tapping for them. They certainly know how to groove. And have great fun doing it! There really isn’t much more I can say about Orphan Gears other than if you like to get down with the band and have a great gig then go and see them. They’ll have you tapping your toes quicker than a toe tapper that’s just won a competition for toe tapping! And if that doesn’t make you want to check them out I don’t know what will.

As for this heats results, I don’t know the winning order however I do know that AffluenzA and Orphan Gears have gone through to the semi finals. So well done guys and good luck in getting to Bloodstock.

Finally, a Zocalo video to say thanks to ZocaloNation for the footage of this heat.

 

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Station Twenty7

Station Twenty7 - Beyond The Darkness

My absolute love and devotion to Anihilated is somewhat legend in the world of Metal. My first blog on here will hopefully settle any argument there! It was guitarist Mark Beuchet who I first started talking to and during their hiatus and since his departure from Anihilated we have been in touch and he has continued to make music. Some heavy, some not so heavy. But I have, nonetheless, supported what he has done as he is, let’s face it, an amazing musician. So when Mark unleashed Station Twenty7 for all to hear and see I was obviously a little excited. Just a little!

This release coincided with my birthday so I instantly treated myself to ordering a CD and downloaded the digital version immediately to all of my devices for my listening pleasure! Check out the video of “Before The Gates” to see what I mean…

 

See what I mean?

This album is definitely for fans of early Thrash Metal and those that like a bit of melody in their Thrash. Yes, it works! And if you’re a fan of early Anihilated or good old fashioned fast Heavy Rock you will not be disappointed.

All I can tell you about the songs is that there is a concept behind them that centres around those in power that have fucked everything up for everyone. Those in power are in hiding in various stations strategically placed around the country and it follows the quest of one man seeking revenge on the state; but one statesman in particular.

There is no lyric sheet provided so you have to listen to the words and come to your own conclusion. But be warned, you have to pay attention because it isn’t plain sailing!

This is Mark’s first solo album which features vocals from Rob Durrant (Kemakil) and Chewy (Blacktop Harrison), along with guest guitar solos from Spencer Lee Horton (Mohawk / Space Rocks), Todd Manning (Anihilated) and Rob Durrant. And with lyrics provided by the inimitable Si Cobb (Anihilated) you know you’re in for a truly awesome slice of Heavy Metal.

You can get your copy by clicking the album cover photo at the top of the page and following the links for (Limited Edition) CD or Download.

Finally, if you like this I’m reliably informed that there is going to be a sequel which is already being worked on. Now that makes me a little excited. Just a little!

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Metal 2 The Masses 2016 Heat 1

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As many of you know I am unable to attend M2TM this year due to having a medical procedure in the latter part of 2015 so I thought I’d try something a little different this year a post a blog about the bands competing at The Red Lion to play this years Bloodstock Open Air Festival week by week with a review of their music from sources listed on their Facebook page. I’ll also let you know who gets through the heat. I’m nice like that! Playing the first heat this year was Prolapse A.D., Vanity Of Idols, Detoxen and Near Ruin.

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I’ve seen all but Vanity of Idols before so I’ll start with them. There isn’t much on their Facebook page so I had a listen to the songs on the Soundcloud link. These are all instrumentals and sound like the type of recording I’d do of my brother’s band on a – then modern – tape recorder in a practice room back in 1984/5. So I clicked the link to their website which is still under construction so offers me nothing further to go on. A scroll down the Facebook page reveals a video from this gig from the ZocaloNation YouTube channel. Phew, I can now listen to Vanity Of Idols!

 

Facebook describes Vanity Of Idols as Hard Rock/Metal but this doesn’t give (me anyway) much Metal. That said, I do like the Hard Rock / NWOBHM sound which always gets a thumb up from me. A couple of mates that did go to the gig enjoyed them and said they had a thick sound and a good mix of riffs and melodies. Now that has got to be worth checking out when I can.

Click here for Vanity Of Idols photos of the gig taken by Nathan Hammond Photography.

 I’ll look at the rest of the bands in alphabetical order…

Detoxen describe themselves as an old skool thrash metal band with heavy riffs, harsh vocals and huge amounts of energy. Having seen them once before I can certainly say this statement is true. Especially the energy side of things. But then I am in my mid 40’s and anyone under 30 has more energy than me. Much more! They have a nice looking Bandcamp page and listening to them really does take me back 25 – 30 years to the days of early Thrash Metal which, if this is what they’re intending the listener to feel, is absolutely perfect with me. It always makes me smile knowing that the youth of today are as enthusiastic about Thrash as I was at their age (and younger) and are keeping the flame alive. Keep up the great work guys

 

Thanks again to ZocaloNation for this video.

Having seen Near Ruin a few times the thing that always stands out in my mind is their DIY light show. Even at a venue with relatively good lighting! However that doesn’t tell you about the music. Alternative Metalcore blending synth, piano, melodic and hardcore influences delivering their own unique edge to the modern music scene is how their Facebook page describes them. And I agree. Although I’m not a huge Metalcore fan by any stretch of the imagination Near Ruin certainly do play a great show and clearly enjoy what they are doing. There isn’t a video from their M2TM set on ZocaloNation so have one of mine!

 

I’ve not seen Near Ruin since I recorded this video and with this being almost 2 years ago I bet they were blinding at this gig. They also have a Bandcamp page and a YouTube channel where the following video can be seen.

Click here for Near Ruin photos of the gig taken by Nathan Hammond Photography.

Well what can one say about Prolapse A.D.? Their Facebook page says it all really! ‘Thrash metal with just a hint of irony and a disregard of its own self. Mirth and riffary with tongue firmly in cheek!’ In other words, don’t take things too seriously. In fact, don’t take things seriously at all! They are five very talented musicians with a stupid amount of years experience between them so don’t let their Spinal Tap fool you! I’ve only seen Prolapse A.D. once. In fact they were just plain old ‘Prolapse’ when I saw them. And I have to say, yes, I enjoyed them. They were having fun. Taking the piss. And having more fun. It was outside at The Red Lion at the annual Herofest. I had fun. And those that watched them had fun. And I’m sure everyone at M2TM had fun watching them too! Prolapse A.D. have a Bandcamp page but don’t use the link on Facebook as at time of writing has not been updated to A.D.!

 

I just thought I’d add a Zocalo video as they have previously won M2TM and played at Bloodstock and are very supportive of the local / underground music scene. It also gives a nice break between my typing to give you the evening’s result. And I’ve been using their videos on this post!

Result: In first place was Prolapse A.D. and second was Detoxen. Both bands go through to the semi final. Congratulations to you all.

Well, that just about wraps this post up. Sorry it’s taken a while post gig but I’ve been busy. Thanks again to Zocalo (see you all soon).

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Spyder Byte – “Addictive”

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‘In your face Sleaze Metal’. That’s the description on Spyder Byte’s Facebook page. ‘A high energy Sleaze Metal band with a punk attitude’.

I’ve seen Spyder Byte a few times now and knowing how good they play live I was obviously looking forward to “Addictive” being released.

But I had my reservations.

Sometimes when a band release their first album it can be a step backwards for many reasons. Lack of knowledge with studio processes, poor engineering and the like.

But also the time spent recording and getting it to the release stage, that in that time the band has progressed and the album ends up being a snapshot from the past.

Thankfully Spyder Byte haven’t got caught in that web (Sorry!) and “Addictive” has encapsulated what they do live.

From the opening track “Infestation”, with its raw Rock n Roll sound, you get the feeling this is going to be a cracking album.

And it is.

“In your Face” has superb guitar work that continues throughout, and I’d like to know how they came up with “Strip Club Blues” and the lyrics therein (I know how old they are!). And “Moonshine”? What a stonker! (Is that word still used to describe songs?)

NB: The above make for an excellent trio to add to a driving compilation if ever you’re making one.

Before you know it, the albums eight tracks are over with the chugging “Addictive Poison” leaving you wanting more good, no great, music.

Whether you call it Rock n Roll, Sleaze Metal or whatever label you want, the Facebook statement is bang on. And so is this album. A must buy in my books.

Spyder Byte is:

Daniel David Cooper Lawrence – Lead Vocals

C.C – Lead Guitar

Luke Naylar – Rhythm Guitar

Nathan “Scamp” Hammond – Bass guitar and backing vocals

Connör Godfrey – Drums and backing vocals

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A Tribute To Lemmy

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I can’t think of anyone that wasn’t shocked to hear about the passing of one of Rock n Roll’s greatest icons, Lemmy, over this Christmas holiday.

Even people that didn’t listen to Motörhead would surely have gasped as Lemmy was a household name and more than just the frontman of one of the world’s best known bands.

It’s been great reading stories of peoples meetings with Lemmy and seeing photos on Facebook and despite his death the posts brought a smile to my face. Especially the ones citing Lemmy as being their main influence for getting into Heavy Metal and wanting to be in a band.

These comments are some of the most sincere I have ever read on Facebook and go to show just how much respect Lemmy had from all walks of life.

I never met Lemmy.

I passed him going the opposite direction on an escalator on the London Underground somewhere once. Said “Hi Lemmy!” and he said “Alright?!” back.

That’s my only close encounter with him apart from being at the front, or as near as I could get to the front, at gigs.

But being at the front (especially as you get older) doesn’t really matter at a Motörhead gig. Everyone is there for one reason and one reason only. To see Motörhead. And, of course, to hear them! They were, after all, known for being loud. Very loud!

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What an excellent motto that is. And one which everyone who has seen Motörhead can attest to.

And most would say that is loud enough. With the exception of my good friend Adrian Morgan.

At one gig (Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall)  we were on a balcony and Adrian kept shouting “Turn it up!”
After a while Lemmy turned and went to his speakers and then returned to his microphone.
He then looked up at the balcony and said “This one’s for that deaf cunt up there!”
Of course, Adrian, me and Russell went absolutely nuts. Not that we weren’t going nuts already! Who doesn’t at a Motörhead gig?

That’s just one of many great Motörhead gig memories

I won’t jibber jabber on about individual gigs but I will say that between my first live encounter with Motörhead in 1984 through to my last a couple of years ago I can honestly say that I never saw a bad gig.

I’ve seen Lemmy walk off stage a couple of times. Well, wouldn’t you if someone spat at you? This goes back to the punk era when you spat at the band. Fuck knows why. And in the earlier days he even threatened to get off the stage and ‘have it out’ with the fucker that did it. Verbatim.

Does that make Lemmy a bad frontman? No. Does that make him a bad man? No. It makes him a human being. And it certainly didn’t ruin my gig experience.

All that aside, Lemmy was an amazing musician in an amazing band that never failed to deliver. He was Rock n Roll. No question.

I think I’ve said all I want to or, indeed, need to. Everyone has their own memories of Motörhead and Lemmy to share and I hope you don’t mind me sharing mine here.

Following photos are taken from Facebook posts. Please enjoy and celebrate the life of Lemmy.

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Rest In Peace Lemmy.

Mudface

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Not in a long time have I been so pleased to reach my doormat to discover what the postman has delivered.

For among the birthday cards for my son and the plethora of Christmas cards (don’t you people realise I’m a Satanist by now?!) was a small parcel from Santa Cruz, California.

I opened it with haste as I knew that enclosed was the new album from Mudface, “The Bane Of Existence”.

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I’ve been looking forward to this album for a very long time. (Since 2012’s “Anti-” was released – yes, I am that impatient!)

Mudface had already released an album teaser and two lyric videos on YouTube, “Fed To The Lions” and “Anthem” which gave fans an insight into what to expect but never this.

 

Hope you enjoyed them!

This is the part where I’m supposed to say why and where “The Bane Of Existence” has moved on from “Anti-”, what improvements there are in the production, the strength of the songs and so on but I just don’t have the words. I think professional authors call this ‘writer’s block’!

What I will say though is that it does not disappoint and the rework of “Killshot” (from “Anti-”) is a pleasant surprise.

So please, go ahead and grab yourself a copy!

In Short, this album made me smile like I had a smile stretching from New York to San Francisco!

Which takes me nicely to the next part of the post…

So how did I hear about Mudface?

We need to go all the way back to 2007…

I received an invite on My Space (remember that?) from Death Angel‘s Ted Aguilar to see Prong in San Francisco with his current band Mudface who he was playing in during some Death Angel downtime.

I accepted the invite as I was going to be visiting family for Thanksgiving and he was like, “Whoa! Are you actually gonna be there?”

Damn right I was! Roll on the 19th of November 2007!

I went to the gig at Annie’s Social Club my brother Richard who has the misfortune of living in nearby South San Francisco (South City to the locals) and met up with Ted who introduced us to the rest of the band with whom I particularly got on with bassist Ron Pitchford.

withmudfaceinsfcLeft to Right: Ted Aguilar (Guitar), Me, Rich Pia (Guitar), Chris Dinsmore (Vocals), Ron Pitchford (Bass), Mike Carlington (Drums)

Me n Ron ended up getting pretty wasted that night after Mudface had played. I recall the porter being somewhat delightful!

But it wasn’t just about the booze. Our musical tastes, our humour and our conversation were all on the level. It was one of those ‘meant to be’ meetings where everything was perfect. And insane!

I stayed in touch with Mudface and, thanks to Facebook, am still in touch but unfortunately, as is with bands, things change and members move on etc, and with Ted obviously having his Death Angel commitments singer Chris Dinsmore is the only remaining member from the line up I saw in 2007.

Since then I have been promoting Mudface as much as I can by means of social media, having their music played a local gigs and festivals, wearing T Shirts everywhere I go, getting them played on UK and US radio shows and simple word of mouth to help them achieve their Mission Statement: World Domination.

So I think I can proudly post my Mudface tattoo and a photo of the thanks list from “The Bane Of Existence”.

mudfacetattooTattoo by Andy Joss at K2 Body Art. Andy now works at Venus Ink Tattoos in Dundee.

mudfacethankslist

I am truly honoured to be a part of Mudface history and look forward to being a part of their future.

Watch out World!

Mudface Current Line up:

Chris Dinsmore – Vocals

Rob Kolowitz – Guitar

Grant Kolowitz – Guitar

Jim Pegram – Bass

Brett Crane – Keys, Vocals

Tim Davis – Drums

Useful Links

Mudface Official Web Page

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Soundcloud

Bands In Town

Reverbnation

Instagram

A few photos!,b                                                                     pier39withronp2008novPier 39, San Francisco November 2008. Left to Right: Juan Reynoso (One of my best mates in San Francisco, Richard Tyler (My Brother), Me (Wearing the obligatory Anihilated shirt for that holiday), Ron Pitchford.

mudfaceholdingbeerCheers!

mudfacenathanNathan from Spyder Byte supporting his favourite band!

I was intending to add some videos of the gig I attended however due to a discrepancy over the date I will add them in a separate post at a later time. In the mean time please enjoy “Knuckles” from “Anti-“.

 

Please Subscribe to my YouTube channel and Like my Facebook page. Thanks!

This blog was composed whilst the news of the death of Lemmy was announced. In respect I postponed publication for a few days. Rest in Peace Lemmy and Thanks for all the NOISE!

#RIPLemmy #fuckcancer

Memoires of Anihilated

anihilated_logo

I’ve just been listening to the Anihilated album “Anti Social Engineering” album. It’s such a great album and you can tell the band put every ounce of energy into making it a ‘must have’ if you’re into heavy/thrash metal with a social/political edge.

It’s such a good album it has prompted me to write something about it and them.

But what do I write that hasn’t been written already?

Getting near perfect scores on all the metal pages that are out there in internet land?

Its been done!

Tearing up wherever they play?

It’s been done.

So I decided to write a little bit of history about them, me and our friendship.

I first heard and saw Anihilated in the dark and distant past. 1987 to be precise.,at was probably, no definitely, the best club in London at the time. Klubfoot at the Clarendon Ballroom in Hammersmith.

Anihilated were supporting Death Angel that night, September 16, and opening was a band called Chelsea

19870916deathangelticket

19870916deathangelsigs

I must admit I have no recollection of Chelsea playing. I was probably at the bar (Shhh) or maybe they just weren’t my thing.

I do however remember Anihilated being bloody amazing and, as the saying goes, being right up my street! A perfect blend of early thrash metal with a punky element.

What’s not to like?

After they had played, and being a much more gregarious person back then, I approached guitarist Mark Beuchet (aka Bucket) and started chatting over a pint (Shhh)). After a while we were joined by drummer Paul ‘Bod’ Rodwell and I bought the 12 inch vinyl “Path To Destruction”.

pathtodestruction

I remember having a great time chatting to them and we all watched Death Angel together during which I was introduced to bassist Lee Hittman and the larger than life vocalist/guitarist Simon Cobb.

Back then there was no such things as mobile phones. No internet, no Facebook, Twitter and so on. How did we survive? More importantly, how did we stay in touch?

Simple.

We exchanged telephone numbers. And if you didn’t have a telephone you swapped addresses and wrote to each other.

Well, Bucket and me swapped numbers and stayed in touch. He sent me an early demo of Anihilated, “The Speedwell Demo”, and you can certainly tell the difference between that and “Path To Destruction” and the progression from a punk band to a more Metal influence. Back then it was called ‘Crossover’, I don’t know if it still is.

19870916deathangelhammersmithtrainPost gig at Hammersmith Train Station.

I saw Anihilated a few more times after that first encounter, staying in touch with Bucket, meeting at the bar (no more Shhh, I’d turned 18 now!), generally having a great time and, usually, getting completely wasted! How I made it home sometimes is beyond me but, hey, I’m here to tell the tale!

About April 1988 Bucket invited me to stay at his for a weekend. I’m not sure, or rather I can’t remember, if this was about the time that Anihilated released their first full length album “Created In Hate” or if it was before or after. I’ve tried to locate an exact release date but can’t find it, but it was released in 1988. Honest!

That weekend was absolutely nuts. That is the only word for it. I thought I could drink. But, bugger me, this lot could drink! Granted they were a few, and some a few more, years older than me but, bugger me, this lot could drink! So much so that I put that in twice!

In fact, that Friday night me and Bod, after an extremely heavy drinking session, sat up at Bucket’s after he had gone to bed (Lightweight!) and drank a bottle of Ouzo.

The next day was interesting.

Very interesting!

Bod and me went into town as Bucket was working (I’ll forgive him for being a lightweight!) and everything was a daze.

We were both having periods where we would just ‘zone out’ and then come to, not knowing what had happened for the past few seconds. For example, “How did I get here? I don’t remember crossing the road. Do you?”

Yes, but I don’t remember what you just said. What did you say?”

Needless to say, I’m not a fan of Ouzo now and looking back that was quite scary. But we were young. Well, I was! (Sorry Bod!)

createdinhate

Created In Hate” is a good album that firmly placed Anihilated in the heavy/thrash metal genre lifting them out of the punk category yet keeping their ethical beliefs in the lyrical content. The only issue with it was the production. Technically, it’s brilliant and well executed but the sound, unfortunately, let it down.

Still, Anihilated kept gigging. I kept going to see them play and I made regular visits to Bucket’s home town getting to know a hell of a lot of people there.

I won’t name them in order to protect the innocent but, if they read this, they know who they are.

I wonder if there are any old photos of those times?

There wasn’t the technology of digital cameras, let alone a camera on your phone that connects to the world wide web and can be shared and seen by everyone in an instant.

If anyone has any photos please send them to me.

ultimatedesecration

1989 saw Anihilated release their second full length album “The Ultimate Desecration”.

This time the production was much better. Perfect, in fact. So this should see them flying high with the rest of the bands touring and at least making a small wage from playing, right?

Wrong.

I always said if Anihilated had come from The States or, even, Germany they would have been huge but, coming from good ol’ Blighty, it just wasn’t to be and time waits for no man. Anihilated, unfortunately, went into hiatus.

anihilatedearlyAnihilated 1986

Spring forward 20 years.

I’m speaking with Bucket on the telephone (yup, in touch still!) and he tells me that somewhere in a dusty attic or cellar the master tapes of “Created In Hate” were found.

With the technology now available he was able to clean up the sound with the exception of a small portion and re-release it on CD.

Did I mention that there was no CD’s back then also?

Anyway, “Created In Hate” was available again. Smart!

He also had the master tapes of “The Ultimate Desecration” and that was available again. Smart!

And both had bonus tracks on them. Smarter!

blackboxsetThe Black Box Set incl the reissues of “Created In Hate” and “The Ultimate Desecration”.

So what about getting them distributed?

There was always a large Anihilated following in Europe and South America and the news of the reissues was widely welcomed there. But tackling the UK would be another matter.

What do you do to regain interest in your own country and get people to by CD’s?

You play gigs.

But the band hadn’t played in bloody years. And would they want to play even? After all, the years have gone by, people move on, have families and so on.

Surprisingly, after talks, all but Lee were up for it. So Si moved to playing bass and into the fold came Todd Manning on guitar.

This was nearing my 40th birthday and I had decided about 10 months earlier that I wanted to put on a gig to celebrate this coming of age.

My good friends in Denounce were happy to play. And I’d already secured Avenge Thee And Naime and grindmasters Victim Identified. But who could the 4th band be?

I was struggling.

Then, speaking with Bucket one evening I shyly asked if Anihilated was ready to gig and would they like to play at my birthday party. He said he would like to but he’d have to ask the rest of the band.

A few days later Bucket called me to say that Anihilated would be happy to play but they did not want to headline as it would be one of their first gigs in a VERY long time.

If anyone had seen my smiling during that conversation they surely would have thought I was having a clinical moment!

40thbirthdayflyer

Needless to say my 40th birthday was amazing with a packed house at the venue I hired. Everyone had a great time and Anihilated showed they hadn’t lost it after all these years.

I was introduced to Todd pre gig and we got on immediately, as I had with the other guys in 1987.

The 5 years since then has seen Anihilated release 3 albums, play at the prestigious Beermageddon Festival, play live on Ipswich Community Radio and play at a little festival we like to call Bloodstock!

It also saw Bucket leave Anihilated and Danny B joining the ranks. Danny is a great guitarist and a bloody great bloke. A superb replacement for Bucket.

anihilated2015Anihilated 2015

I have, of course, been to as many Anihilated gigs as possible, travelling up and down the country to do so, keeping up and building on a friendship with them that has lasted nearly 30 years.

They have been going from strength to strength with an ever growing following.

I refer to my earlier comment. If you want to get to the people of Britain, you’ve got to gig. And then some. It is at gigs where bands will sell CD’s and other merchandise to keep them going and to get the next CD recorded.

I’d like to thank Anihilated for being such great friends and for being there for me through thick and thin.

Here’s to many, many more years, gigs and beers. (Shhh!)

And by the way. Did I tell you? I’ve even got an Anihilated tattoo!

anihilatedtattooTattoo by Andy Joss at K2 Body Art, Richmond.

Thanks to The Jules Throne Historical Re-enactment Society for the photos of the Death Angel ticket and post show photo on the train station. Can you guess which one is me?

Welcome!

Welcome to my occasional Metal Blog. I say occasional because, unlike most bloggers, I just don’t get the time to post on a regular basis!

So I’ll post as and when I get time and I reckon you can guess the subject matter.

METAL!

I’ll post things such as album and gig reviews, and having been involved in the Metal Scene for over thirty years I’ll also review some ‘oldies’ and I’ll throw in a few personal things where the names may be changed to protect the innocent!

Heavy Metal has been a life long love of mine and I did attempt a previous blog but it wasn’t very user friendly so haven’t touched it since March 2014! Please feel free to take a look.

I’ll endeavour to add a post at least occasionally but should I fail please accept my apologies!

I do have a Facebook page which I post stuff on a fairly regular basis and a YouTube page where I post videos of gigs I have recorded. Please ‘like’ and ‘subscribe’ to these.

A sample of one of my videos, and one of favourite bands, can be viewed by clicking here!

I’ll try and figure out embedding at a later date.

I’ll also try to personalise this page to make it look more Metal! Please bear with me.

That’s it for now and hopefully it won’t be too long until I post a real post!

Keep it Metal \m/

Colin