Archive for Thrash Metal

Black Emerald to Release an Album

Posted in Uncategorized, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Concerts with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2017 by 80smetalman

Going back to 2013, when I posted about my trip to the Bloodstock Festival in that year, I wrote about a band I saw in the New Blood Tent by the name of Black Emerald. In that post, I stated that I was so impressed by this band, that my next post was going to be why I thought they should be signed and that I did. Well, it seems that someone out there must have taken notice of me, (delusions of grandeur on my part) because I have been informed that Black Emerald will be releasing their first album in the summer!

Black Emerald at Bloodstock 2013

I don’t know further details about their debut album but I’m sure Sarah, who brought me the news and has been following me since I first put forward my arguments as to why they should be signed will keep me posted. However, if you would like a sample, I have a Youtube video from the band here:

Watch, listen and enjoy and together we can all eagerly await the release of Black Emerald’s debut album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Metallica- Kill’Em All

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by 80smetalman

220px-metallica_-_kill_em_all_cover

God, I’m thinking about the near fatal gaff I made back in the summer which would have caused me to write about this fantastic album in the wrong year. Never should have allowed myself to have been misled by Hit Parader. Then again, the article wasn’t about Motley Crue so they were bound to be misleading. Furthermore, I didn’t hear of Metallica until 1984 and experienced their second album before this one. Anyway, now that’s history, I can pontificate on what a great album, “Kill’Em All,” Metallica’s debut album really is.

It certainly is a great album. Back in 1983, Metallica were hungry and not weighted down by what they thought listeners wanted or dictated to by corporate record producers. That fact surely shines through on the entire album. Some have argued that this album came out when Metallica were good. Nah, I say they’re still good, it’s just back then, they just didn’t give a fuck. That attitude was what got this album and their next three into hearts of many a metalhead like me.

“Kill’Em All” might not sound as polished as other albums but that’s a good thing here. It opens with a thrash sounding “Hit the Lights,” which opens things up very nicely. If I had listened to it when I should have, I would have embraced thrash right then and there. Probably my favourite track on the album, “The Four Horsemen,” defines what Metallica both were and would be come. The song may be over seven minutes long but it’s not one that has you looking at your watch waiting for it to end. Especially with all the changes in it. “Motorbreath” has my favourite Kirk Hammet guitar solo from the album on it.

After “Jump in the Fire,” which is a good song, I just can’t explain why, comes the very intriguing bass instrumental compliments of the late, great Cliff Burton. It’s very interesting to say the least and it paves the way for some more really good thrash tunes. There’s a cool intro on “Whiplash” while “Phantom Lord” is straight ahead thrash and my second favourite here. Things only seem to improve on “Kill’Em All” after that. I love the intro to “No Remorse” with the lead guitar wailing away before the crunching rhythm sets in. A trademark that many thrash bands have copied ever since. Hearing it, I am of the mindset that Kirk owes some of his lead guitar greatness to the rhythm support provided by James Hetfield. Things don’t end there! The albums closes out with not one but two great songs, “Seek and Destroy” and “Metal Militia.” Both are great! It can be said that in 1983, Metallica thrust themselves and thrash upon America.

Track Listing:

  1. Hit the Lights
  2. The Four Horsemen
  3. Motorbreath
  4. Jump in the Fire
  5. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
  6. Whiplash
  7. Phantom Lord
  8. No Remorse
  9. Seek and Destroy
  10. Metal Militia
Metallica

Metallica

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammet- lead guitar

Lars Ulrich- drums

Cliff Burton- bass

Whether or not the world was ready for it, Metallica brought something new and fresh with “Kill’Em All.” A raw, ferocious sound that would influence many thrash bands for years to come. I do regret not listening to the album in the year it came out but I’m glad I got it now.

Next post: Fastway

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Punk/Metal Albums of 1983: Suicidal Tendencies

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2017 by 80smetalman

stend

In the mid 1980s, there would be the full coming together of punk and heavy metal. They would even have a love child called thrash as many of these new bands would site influences from both. However, if there was one album that could be identified as the one who spear headed this union, it would have to be the 1983 debut album from Suicidal Tendencies. While the album is labelled hard core punk on wikapedia and by other so called experts, millions of metal heads have taken this band and this album in particular into their metal bosoms. I, for one, would be responsible for unleashing it onto unsuspecting British students in 1986. Not that they ever complained.

There are no complex reasons as to why Suicidal Tendencies is widely accepted by both the metal and punk followings. The opening song answers any questions right off the bat. It starts out as a hard core frenzy that would have people banging themselves about in a mosh pit only to slow down in order for the listener to take in Mike Muir’s genius lyric writing. In fact, it’s the lyrics on many of these songs that make this album so brilliant. So instead of rambling on about it in paragraphs, I thought I’d do something different and share.

I Shot the Devil- Opens with “I shot Regan!” After Lebanon, I wanted to do that myself. Closing lyrics: “I shot Regan and I’ll do it again and again and again.” 

Subliminal- “Mind control the easiest way, sponsored by the CIA. It’s a weapon you can not see, it’s propaganda subliminally. They’re fucking with me, subliminally.” 

Institutionalized- “My mother started screaming Mike, Mike and I said what’s wrong mom? She said what’s wrong with you? I said nothing mom, I was just thinking. She said, “No, you’re on drugs!” No, I’m okay mom, I was just thinking why don’t you get me a Pepsi? She said, “No, you’re not thinking, you’re on drugs, normal people don’t argue that way.” I said, “Mom, will you get me a Pepsi please?” All I wanted was a Pepsi and she wouldn’t give to me. All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi and she wouldn’t give it to me.” 

I Saw Your Mommy- “I saw your mommy and your mommy’s dead. I saw her lying in a pool of red. Chewed off toes on her chopped off feet. I took a picture because I thought it looked neat. But the thing I liked seeing the best was the rodents using her hair as a nest. I saw your mommy and your mommy’s dead.” 

I Want More- “Working like a maniac give yourself a heart attack on the minimum wage.” 

Suicidal Failure- “I took all my mother’s sleeping pills, jumped off a tall bridge. I drank three kinds of poisons, drove my car off a ridge. I gave myself a bag, put a noose around my head. I overdosed on heroin but I’m still not dead. I’m a suicidal failure, I got to have some help. I’ve suicidal tendencies but I can’t kill myself.” 

In between these songs are some short, to the point punk/thrash songs that would be a favourite in any mosh pit today. Another reason why metalheads love this album is there are some metal snobs out there who think punk musicians aren’t up to standard. Yeah, I know. One can’t fault any of the musical work by the band on the album. It’s all good and why even the metal snobs love it.

Track Listing:

  1. Suicide’s an Alternative
  2. Two Sided Politics
  3. I Shot the Devil
  4. Subliminal
  5. Won’t Fall in Love Today
  6. Institutionalized
  7. Memories of Tomorrow
  8. Possessed
  9. I Saw Your Mommy
  10. Fascist Pig
  11. I Want More
  12. Suicidal Failure
Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies

Mike Muir- lead vocals

Grant Estes- guitar

Louiche Mayorga- bass, backing vocals

Amery Smith- drums

When I introduced the album to my new friends in the UK, they pretty much spent the rest of the year singing or quoting lyrics from “I Saw Your Mommy” and “Institutionalized.” That is the profound effect this album had on them. It had the same effect on anyone, punk or metalhead, who heard it. Suicidal Tendencies didn’t know it at the time but their debut album was a cornerstone in joining the camps of these two genres.

Next post: Lee Aaron’s First LP

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

An Anvil Got Dropped on Gloucester

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s been less than 24 hours since I went to Gloucester to see the metal delights of Anvil. To make a long story short, Anvil totally kicked ass at the Guildhall in Gloucester, UK. However, it wasn’t only a great night on account of Anvil, the two bands in support played their part in making metal history in Gloucester.

It was close, after fighting loads of traffic in my home town of Stroud and then trying to find a parking place in Gloucester, (Geography lesson: Stroud and Gloucester are about ten miles apart), then walking to the Guildhall, waiting in line only to be told that the tickets I ordered on line were waiting for me at the door, getting there and quickly buying my t-shirt, we got there just in time for the opening band.

Classic French metallers, Mystery Blue, opened things up very nicely. They are a five piece band front by lead singer Nathalie Geyer. While the sound sometimes made it difficult to tell, she does have a very good voice. But she is assisted by lead guitarist Frenzy Phillipon who knows a thing or two on how to smoke a fingerboard. Together with a sound rhythm section, Mystery Blue got the crowd in the mood for metal that night. While I can’t remember all their songs, the two that stood out were “Running With the Pack,” not a cover of the Bad Company classic and the title track from the latest album, “Claws of Steel,” which ended their half hour on stage exceedingly well. I’d definitely recommend this band and I was going to go out on a limb and say that Mystery Blue were the best thing to come out of France since Gojira but after a look on their website, I found they have been around longer than their mentioned countrymen.

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Mystery Blue begin their dominance

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Nathalie proving she has the voice

Second up was German thrash metal band Rezet. While I can’t say that they were the best thing out of Germany since The Scorpions, Accept, Bonfire, Helloween, Kreator or Doro, they were a brilliant band nevertheless. The first thing I noticed about Rezet was there was a definite early Metallica influence here and I’m not just talking about their sound either. Their look was the same as Metallica from that era. I remember an article in Hit Parader, (Motley Crue Magazine), in 1985 which stated that Metallica looked like they belonged in the high school detention class. Rezet were just as youthful looking and like the band mentioned, they played like they were just as hungry as that band was in 1985.

Rezet compounded the assault on the audience with some really good thrash. The comments about detention hall kids definitely applied to both guitarists who traded off solos on some songs and played individual ones on others. Frontman Ricky Wagner proved to be both a good singer and guitarist but the rest of the band played their part too. The most memorable song was “Gargantua,” which as dig at modern politics and they closed with a tribute to Lemmy by playing the Motorhead classic, “No Class.” This is definitely another band worth checking out.

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Ricky Wagner and Rezet get things going

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Thorben Schultz can also crank out the solos

Rezet coming down the the finish

Rezet coming down the the finish

Everything I expected from Anvil went away as soon as they hit the stage. Things started with Lips going into the midst of the crowd to play and he got a very welcoming response as he jammed away for several minutes. When he got back to the stage, I thought, “Okay, now they’re going to play ‘Metal on Metal,’ they didn’t. The first official Anvil song of the night was “Sex” but it got the crowd going. Also my prediction that they would play many of the songs from their latest album proved to be wrong. They only played two, one was “Daggers and Rum,” a ditty about pirates and I can’t remember the other one but Robb Reiner played a really cool drum solo on it. “Winged Assassin” from the last album I posted about did get played and right after another song from the same album, “Free As the Wind” which Lips dedicated to Lemmy. He also mentioned that Lemmy once invited him to join Motorhead but Lips declined because he was in Anvil.

From the outset, Anvil were out to have a good time during the 90 minutes they were on stage. They didn’t care about the small venue because everyone inside was cheering them on. Lips especially was enjoying things and yes, he pulled out the sex toy and used it to play guitar to “Mothra.” Unlike the documentary however, this one was battery operated and that also produced some cool sounds from Lips’ guitar. Even without the toy, Lips surprised me by his ability to play. I knew he was good but I didn’t realize he was that good. He really jammed away. Plus, I got to mention new bassist Chris Robertson. When introduced, Lips stated that it was great to have finally found the right bass player after going through so many. I have to say, Robertson is the real deal.

We were treated to a good cross section of Anvil material. The title track from “This is Thirteen plus a couple of songs from “Juggernaut of Justice,” one of them being “On Fire.” While he didn’t open with “Metal on Metal,” it was the last song they did before leaving the stage. The audience wouldn’t have let them leave without playing that one. Then when they returned, a dude behind me and I both started yelling for “Forged in Fire.” Lips looked in our direction and said, “This guy wants us to play “Forged in Fire” so we will play “Forged in Fire.” That made my night totally complete. After that, they played one more song, a cover of the famous Steppenwolf song, “Born to be Wild.” I thought it was a great way to end the night.

Lips in the crowd

Lips in the crowd

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Meanwhile Chris Robertson moves across the stage

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips jamming on the guitar

Lips and Roberson going for it

Lips and Roberson going for it

Chris's bass solo

Chris’s bass solo

Singing to the crowd

Singing to the crowd

Out came the toy

Out came the toy

Here's a better picture of it

Here’s a better picture of it

Robb's drum solo

Robb’s drum solo

The End

The End

In their 39 year history, this was the first time Anvil toured the UK as a headliner. Hopefully after this night, they will be back again to tour even bigger venues because they were brilliant. When coming home from the gig, my step son couldn’t fathom why Anvil weren’t bigger. That is what’s strange.

Next post: A Non Musical Tragedy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Bloodstock 2016: The Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

Sunday, the final day of Bloodstock and while that meant packing up to go home, (I couldn’t stay the Sunday night as I had to be in work for 7:40 the Monday morning), I was determined to make the most of the final day. The two bands at the top of the bill on this day was incentive enough. Therefore, while I didn’t rush things, I still went into the arena fairly early.

Let me declare to the world that I have found the perfect cure for the Sunday morning hangover! It comes in the form of the first band of the day, Ghost Bath. Their brand of what I would call stoner metal definitely soothes the soul and the melody of their music makes it very easy to sway back and forth to with little effort. The vocals basically consisted of the lead singer, he was the one dressed in black, screaming the occasional “Yeah!” down the microphone. Strangely, it went very well with the music. Furthermore, I was intrigued by Ghost Bath’s appearance. Except for the singer, the rest of the band was all in white, sort of like ghosts. Like I said, a great way to get over your hangover on Sunday morning.

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Going from one extreme to the other, while Ghost Bath were more soothing on the ears, loud vicious wails coming from the New Blood Stage beckoned me in that direction. Needing to investigate, I went into the tent and found the perpetrators, a band by the name of Pteroglyph. They were a well put together quartet of thrash metal mania. Again, like with Witch Tripper, I hope any scouts viewing them this day didn’t pass on a great opportunity. Furthermore, I hoped the older looking appearance of the rhythm guitarist wasn’t a further excuse to ignore this band. He looked close to my age but that could have been the lighting. I was impressed.

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Leaving the New Blood Stage, I returned to the Ronnie James Dio Stage in time for the second band of the day, Heart of a Coward. I had seen a picture of this band before and they reminded of the typical English men who go out on a Saturday night, get drunk and then engage in a good punch up. However, from the sounds they were creating on the stage, I get the impression that they put all of their aggression into their music and the sound resulting from that is fantastic. In between the power notes, there was some good intricate guitar work to be heard as well. This leaves me to conclude that the band’s name is a good catchy hook because there is nothing cowardly about this band. Thinking about it, Heart of a Coward with Pteroglyph in support would make a cool concert on its own.

Heart of a Coward proving they weren't

Heart of a Coward proving they weren’t

Having fully been metalized for the Sunday morning, duty called so I had to return to tear down the tent and pack away. Fortunately, tearing down the tent wasn’t nearly as difficult as putting it up. Even though, we had less to carry back the car as we did when we arrived three days earlier, it wasn’t an easy task. That was probably down to my determination to get it all done in one trip. I did use a bit of ingenuity when we got to the edge of the car park. We grounded our gear and went and brought the car around to load it, thus saving a lot of effort. It allowed us to get back in plenty of time to see Dragonforce, who Teal and Joe were raving about.

At first, I was going to give Dragonforce a miss because Anthrax had arrived in the signing tent and getting their autograph would have been a dream come true. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you view it, I had to wait in a mile long queue to get an autograph. That line wound in view of the main stage, so when Dragonforce appeared, I got the best of both worlds. Dragonforce’s brand of progressive metal, (they reminded me of Stratovarius), was quite enjoyable. It calmed my frustration brought on by standing in a line that wasn’t moving. If I had known that I would never even get close to seeing my heroes Anthrax, I would have ventured closer to the stage because they seemed to have a good presence. Dragonforce eased the disappointment ten-fold.

Closest I got to Dragonforce

Closest I got to Dragonforce

I should have gotten closer

I should have gotten closer

I figured that I should go see one last band on the Sophie Lancaster Stage before I went home and Dragonforce’s departure from the stage provided that opportunity. Ditty bopping over into the tent, I was treated to the powerful music coming from Vecktor. Here was another band that had some great guitar and progressive interludes in between lashings of pure power. They definitely had me head banging away to them along with most of those who were in the Sophie Lancaster tent at the time. I could feel the powerful climax to the night rapidly building up.

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

With the two bands most of Bloodstock I was waiting to see, I thought I would get close to the main stage in preparation. I’m glad I did. Not because I was going to be in a good position for Anthrax but also because I got to see the predecessors, Symphony X. While I only saw about twenty minutes of their time on stage, I thought it was well worth it. They were a natural progression from Dragonforce and Vecktor and would prove to be a good bridge for what was to come after. Power chords melded with some good melody backed by competent keyboards always makes a good listen and Symphony X ticked all of those boxes. By the time they had left the stage, I was a volcano waiting to erupt.

Symphony X

Symphony X

With Symphony X departed from the stage, I maneuvered my way down to the front of the stage, this time removing my glasses first and waited. Time flew by it seemed but watching the crew carry out the final checks only served to heighten the tension. Then it happened, Anthrax were on stage. I don’t know what song they opened with but I didn’t care, especially as they followed up with “Caught in a Mosh” and predictably, a huge pit opened nearby. Now, my only complaint when I saw them in 2013 was that they didn’t play any songs from the “Spreading the Disease” album. This time, they rectified it with the fourth song. Predictably, it was “Madhouse” but that didn’t stop me from singing along. Also, the first time I saw Anthrax was 30 years ago, but they, especially Frank Bello and Scott Ian, moved about the stage as if they hadn’t aged at all. In fact, I never saw Frank quite so animated. He was all over the place. “Indians” proved to be the perfect climax to the show as all those in the pit started a war dance. They were on stage for a little more than an hour but the energy they showed, it seemed like only twenty minutes. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

Anthrax assert their dominance

Anthrax assert their dominance

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

With Anthrax done and dusted, the only ones left for the festival was headliners Slayer. Not wanting a repeat of Saturday, I drifted to the back but made sure I had a good viewing point. Slayer came out and wowed the crowd with great lights and music. The problem with so many lights, it hampers good photos but nonetheless, I tried. Anyway, Slayer granted my request and played not one but two songs from the “Show No Mercy” album, the title track and “Die by the Sword.” While the played a good mix of material, they played the same two songs from “South of Heaven” they played three years earlier, “Mandatory Suicide” and that title track. However, I didn’t care that much about trivial things like that as Slayer clobbered everyone in the crowd with what they do best. They did disappear on two occasions for a few brief minutes and I never could figure out why. When they returned, their absence was quickly forgotten. However, I wonder if that’s why they never came out for an encore. At least it seemed that way. Nevertheless, when Slayer left the stage, I was completely satisfied with them, the Sunday and the whole weekend!

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer, a class headline act

Slayer, a class headline act

Best shot of Slayer on the night

Best shot of Slayer on the night

This photo wasn't too bad

This photo wasn’t too bad

Explosion of light

Explosion of light

On the journey home, I discovered a conspiracy. For the third time in a row, when coming home from Bloodstock, I hit road detours on the motorways and had to go all around the houses. While it lengthened my trip time, I had the musical delights of Megadeath and “Twisted Forever,” a tribute album to Twisted Sister to make the ride home enjoyable and allowed me to rejoice in the history that I had witnessed over the weekend.

Next post: A Surprise Gig

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016: Saturday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

Saturday morning and I wake up having gone to bed about 12:30 thus missing another night of bin jousting and general mayhem. It was on this morning I discovered the advantage of going to a festival for the full three days as opposed to only going for one day. When you only go for the one day, you feel pressured into seeing as much as you can as you want to get your money’s worth for the day. Therefore, you go from stage to stage absorbing all the acts as possible. When you go for three days, there’s not so much pressure to do so and that allows you to relax. So, I was up in the morning with my new Twisted Sister t-shirt on and taking my time over eating as the first act I really wanted to see wasn’t on stage until the early afternoon.

My new t-shirt

My new t-shirt

And the back

And the back

While I didn’t rush to get into the arena, when I finished the necessities, I didn’t really want to sit around doing nothing. So, I made my way to the arena to see what was what. Upon entry, my attention was turned to the Sophie Lancaster Stage where a band called The Raven Age was on. After a re-jog of my memory, I remember liking their brand of melodic metal. I only caught the last couple of songs from their set, but I liked what I heard and saw. Like Friday, I found another good way to start the day.

The Raven Age

The Raven Age

Leaving the Sophie Lancaster Stage following the departure of The Raven Age, I followed my ears to the main Ronnie James Dio Stage. There, I was treated to the thrash of Vallenfyre. I liked the anger and hunger these five guys showed while on stage. Although this wasn’t the band I was planning to see, I was glad that I caught some of their show.

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

With some time to kill, I thought I’d saunter back over the to Sophie Lancaster Stage. Upon it was a band called This is Turin. Another five piece thrash band and even more angry than the band I had just finished seeing. However, while I enjoyed what This is Turin had to offer on the day, they did not make me want to stay and miss any of the band I wanted to see on this Saturday. So, I had to say goodbye to them and head back to the main stage.

This is Turin

This is Turin

I had high expectation of Ackercoke after reading about them on Heavy Metal Overload. The sample track I heard from the post filled me with even more expectation. When they first hit the stage, I wasn’t sure about them. However, it didn’t take long before any potential feelings of disappointment rapidly vanished. Their ability to combine fantasy with power metal bordering on thrash soon captivated me and those who went to see them. Being the first band of the day who I saw in their entirety, the forty minutes they were on stage flew by, thanks to some great metal. Therefore, it’s left to me to say a big thank you to HMO for bringing Ackercoke to my attention.

Ackercoke on the offensive

Ackercoke on the offensive

More Ackercoke

More Ackercoke

At past Bloodstocks, when I ventured past the Jagermeister Stage, I would hear cover bands playing so I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. However, following the exit of Ackercoke, for some reason, I went over to the stage and what I heard was no cover band. Playing was a West Yorkshire band known as Pulverise. Now rap metal was something I could always take or leave but Pulverise has made me think again about the genre. This rap metal sounded very good and most of it was down to the small but very attractive blonde lead singer. This little dynamite had a voice that would put many male metal rappers to shame. Rarely have I heard such power in a voice and I have to say, I was very impressed.

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

Another reason why I hung around the Jagermeister Stage was that it was close to the main stage and I definitely wanted to see the band following Ackerocke. I had heard many things about Greek death metallers Rotting Christ and definitely wanted to check them out. It was the best decision I would make this day. The have honed their death/grind skills into a near art form and it definitely showed on the stage. Apart from the music, they also had a cool stage show, the best I had seen up to this point on the Saturday. Loved the pentogram displays.

Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ

More death!

More death!

For some reason, all the death metal from Rotting Christ made me hungry. So, I decided to take a dinner break and be back for the main events of the night. After a gourmet dinner consisting of tinned spaghetti bolognese with a tin of meatballs, I returned to the arena for the main events. Upon arrival, I managed to catch the last twenty minutes or so of Paradise Lost. Their version of doom metal was a great prelude of things to come for the rest of the evening.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

With the possible exception of Twisted Sister, Gojira might have been the band most of those in attendance at the festival were there to see. Fortunately, I managed to get close to the front before the tidal wave of people converged. Gojira came out to the delight of the thousands there to welcome them and they were determined that those who made the effort to see them were going away disappointed. Gojira hammered out their metal, both old and new, to the hungry masses who responded with a large mosh pit and crowd surfing. That’s where I made a personal sacrifice in getting close to them. During the carnage, my glasses were knocked off my face. I looked on the ground for them but some kind young lady picked them up. However, she thought they belonged to a crowd surfer who had just gone by so she threw them over into the security area. I had to wait until Gojira finished playing before I could get them back. Oh the sacrifices one has to make. It didn’t matter that I had to see them for the remainder of their time on stage with my limited vision. I could see them fine and best of all, I could hear them clearly and that’s what I wanted. When they finished to thunderous applause, I concluded they were even better than when I had seen them in 2010. When I got my specs back, the frames were pretty mangled but I managed to fix them so I could wear them.

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

When Gojira left the stage, I was in a bit of befuddle as to what next. Originally, I wasn’t even going to check out Mastodon because I would rather have seen Acid Reign headline at the Sophie Lancaster tent. Earlier that day, I learned that Acid Reign weren’t going up until after Mastodon finished so I was content on seeing both. In the mean time, I did return to the Sophie Lancaster Stage anyway and caught the black metal of Swedish band, Shining. I found them very interesting to say the least. Like so many great European lead singers, Ghoul, does sing in very good English.

The Shining on stage

The Shining on stage

After the Shining, I was totally pumped on seeing Mastodon, as was the rest of my group, although I didn’t follow them to the front. Mastodon came out on stage with a pretty cool light show, unfortunately, their music did nothing for me. After twenty-five minutes of trying to get into them but being unable, I went back to the Sophie Lancaster Stage so I could get a good place for Acid Reign. In doing so, I got a bit of a treat as did all the men who were there. The Four Deejays of the Apocalypse were spinning some cool metal tunes with two very attractive young ladies dancing on the stage. It was certainly better than Mastodon. I would learn later that Teal, my stepson, was quite disappointed with Mastodon too.

Cool light show but nothing else

Cool light show but nothing else

More like it!

More like it!

I don’t think anyone knew what to expect when Acid Reign came out on stage late on Saturday night. When they did, they bashed those in attendance with a unique brand of speed metal. The only original member of the band on stage that night was lead singer Howard H Smith and he was every bit the show man. Darting around on stage, climbing up on amp stacks, he was full of energy more accustomed to a much younger man. All the while, his new band kept up with him very nicely. They even premiered their new single, “Plan of the Damned,” which reminds me, I need to carry out Smith’s request and get it. Of course, they played some of their material from the late 1980s too. During the set, Howard thanked Mastodon for being their support act. All I could think was, “He’s got that right.” Acid Reign closed the Saturday night out tremendously.

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Cranking out a guitar solo

Cranking out a guitar solo

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

The night didn’t end with Acid Reign. The Four Deejays returned to play more metal only this time, there were ladies dancing with flaming batons. Cool, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of it. Still, it was a cool way to end the night.

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Next post: Sunday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Well Most of It

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2016 by 80smetalman

Old age had caught up with me just after midnight on the Thursday so I decided to call it a night. Trying to get to sleep, I was disturbed by several loud crashes that went on through the night. When I awoke the next morning, Teal, my stepson, tells me about the latest sports craze sweeping Bloodstock, bin jousting. From what he tells me, you get two large dumpster bins, one or more persons to stand on it and then a group of people to push the bin into that of their opponent’s. Whoever falls loses. I would have definitely done something like that in my youth but these days, nah!

My first morning at Bloodstock, I wolf down my breakfast and head for the arena. With no apparent appearance of anyone on the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I head over to the New Blood Stage. Maybe, I’ll find another band like Black Emerald. At 10:30, a three piece band called Witch Tripper from Mansfield, England ascends the stage and immediately blows me away. They were a great power metal band. The guitarist, who is also the lead singer, can definitely shred and he is supported by a very capable rhythm section. They were that good that they held my attention to the point that I never even noticed the first band of the day on the main stage had begun playing. If there were any record scouts watching these guys play and didn’t make them an offer, then shame on you. Witch Tripper was a great start to the Friday morning.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

When Witch Tripper finished, I immediately beat feet to the Ronnie James Dio Stage to catch the second half of Hark. I’m glad I did. Hark’s brand of metal followed very nicely from what I had just seen. They were powerful, fierce and hungry and their performance on the stage showed it. While Witch Tripper might have kicked things off for the day, Hark definitely got the show started on the main stage.

Hark

Hark

It was on Teal’s recommendation that I check out the second band on the main stage on Friday, Gloryhammer. My first impression when I heard them was, “They sound a lot like Hammerfall.” Melodic keyboards, fantasy lyrics and at times, a good power sound, yes, all the elements I know of from Hammerfall. Furthermore, all the mannerisms of the band while they were on stage gave the impression that they were from one of the Scandinavian nations. Even the actions of lead singer, Thomas Winkler, had me thinking they were from said reginon. Well, the last bit was all wrong. The members of the band are from Scotland and Switzerland! In fact, Winkler claims he is the heir to the throne of Fife. Still, their music and stage show was very good. I especially liked when they brought a young lady dressed as a medieval serving wench to refresh them. So, while there was still a definite Hammerfall influence here, they were unique enough to rock the stage.

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

More Gloryhammer

More Gloryhammer

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

With a break in the action on the main stage, I heard loud sounds from the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Going to investigate, I discovered the band Brutai blasting away. Silly cliches but Brutai were brutal. They were loud and proud. So loud in fact that work phoned my mobile during their time on stage and I had to walk a good ways from the tent in order to hear the call. They proved to be an enjoyable bridge between Gloryhammer and the next band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio Stage.

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Gloryhammer played melodically to people’s fantasies. The next band on the main stage, Evil Scarecrow, simply scared the crap out of people. Their Halloween make up combined with their aggressive thrash metal was not for the feint-hearted. Evil Scarecrow pulverized the stage and anyone who got near enough to hear them. It must be my sub-conscience masochistic tendencies but I kind of enjoyed what I heard. Still, not one to play when your grandmother is visiting.

I wasn't the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

I wasn’t the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

For some reason, Evil Scarecrow left me feeling a bit hungry. I mean there was no drinking of animal blood on stage or anything like that but my stomach was calling. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to feed my face, down a couple of cans in preparation for the long time I was going to be at the front of the main stage. It was always my plan to see three of the last four bands on the Friday and since the other band was the one on before the headliner, I thought I would see them just so I wouldn’t lose my place for the main event.

The first of those bands was Corrosion of Conformity. I listened to one album of theirs back in the 1980s, but that was all. My memory of them was always them being a thrash metal band but this night, I was educated. While they were definitely metal, I couldn’t help hearing some of their Southern roots in their music. Well, they were announced as being from North Carolina, so I can certainly see where that comes from. Nevertheless, they were metal on this day, through and through. Really loved it when they played “Vote With a Bullet.” They were a great start to the marathon.

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Actually, the wait between bands wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing. So, it didn’t seem all that long before, Venom emerged. Not to be outdone, Venom hit the stage like a formula one car and only accelerated more as they went on. Playing a good mix, it was only four songs before they played the first of their classics, “Welcome to Hell.” From there, they only created more mayhem on the stage and I have to admit, compared to when I saw them in 1986, Cronus has definitely matured as a musician, singer and showman. Plus, new guitarist, La Rage, was definitely a welcome addition to the band. The only thing I could nit pick was the fact they didn’t play “Women, Leather and Hell” but only a minor disappointment from what was a rather good set, especially when they ended with “Black Metal,” fantastic! At one point, Cronus stated that Venom hadn’t played Britain in ten years but I think that on this day, they earned their place back in the hearts and minds of British metalheads.

Venom comes back

Venom comes back

Cronus proves he still has pipes

Cronus proves he still has pipes

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

I thought that this might have been my first time seeing Behemoth but I now realise that I may have seen them in 2010. I can’t be sure. If I had, back then, they definitely didn’t enter the stage as theatrically as they did on this day. With guitar and bass waiting under a wooden frame while eerie music played, Nergal made his dramatic entry onto the stage and then all pandemonium broke loose. Behemoth’s brand of black metal and death metal provided an interesting gap in what had gone before and what was to come. While I only realised it since coming home from the festival, Behemoth played their latest album, “The Satanist” in it’s entirety. Knowing this and seeing them on stage, has made me want to listen to the album. I have to say, their stage show was quite good except at the end when they released the black confetti, all I could think was that Sabbaton did that last year.

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Nergal hits the stage

Nergal hits the stage

Behemoth go for it

Behemoth go for it

Cool light show

Cool light show

Black Confetti

Black Confetti

One band was to follow Behemoth on this night. However, you will have to wait til next post to read about them. After all, I did say that I would do a separate post for them alone and trust me, they deserve it.

Next post: Twisted Sister at Bloodstock

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London