Well recess is over and school is back in after summer. My festival tent has been retuned to storage and I am once again lurking in Rebellion like nothing happened (though video evidence does exist). Tonight it's modern progtastic heaven as a trio of bands, with not a member over thirty between them, prove that at the end of the 21st century's second decade Prog is indeed alive and high-kicking. Rendezvous Point are first out of the traps and straight away prove that there is more to Norwegian Metal than corpse paint and an unhealthy obsession with Satan. They share a member with Norway’s avant-garde prog uberlords Leprous, so from the off I am excepting random time signatures and sumptuous depth. What I get is still Prog, but a lot warmer and rawer than I expected.Read More
We start tonight with a female-fronted metal band from Romania. Scarlet Aura tried really hard, but as first band up on a Monday evening in rainy Manchester they didn’t really stand a chance. The music was OK, generic Metal, some rather intrusive use of backing tracks for intros though. The singer had a pleasant voice, she was in tune, but it wasn’t a Voice if you know what I mean. She was kind of a minor version of Doro. A moon of Doro. Doro-lite even.Read More
Today has been an absolute scorcher. I'm sure half my face is now melting in my cleavage as I battle through the heat and humidity to make my interview slots with Crobot and Wolf Jaw. Being a fat bird in this weather is never fun.
At least Rebellion is surprisingly cool tonight. I'm grateful for the colder air as the evenings festivities kick off.Read More
It's been a rough week for Rebellion and there is still an air of dazed and confused about the place. However, there is also a very British aesthetic of keep calm and carry on. In a remarkably short time, Rebellion has become a second home for many of us and tonight the scene has rallied around to ensure that it is business as usual.Read More
Black Metal was always about bringing the theatrics and the mysticism back to Heavy Metal. In many ways, it was a reaction to how the stripped back nature of Grunge temporarily took away our Music’s escapism and other-worldliness. The Norwegian founding fathers were brought up on KISS, Merciful Fate and Celtic Frost, they wanted to create something that was far more immersive and engaging than four guy in jeans and t-shirts playing instruments. This was about world building and atmospherics, sculpting an entire alternative reality that their music could exist within. Tonight in Rebellion, we have a tour package that presents the best in wide-screen Black Metal. This is the real deal, larger than life performances, corpse paint all over the shop and enough Satanism to put even Alex Crowley off.Read More
Music, gigging and writing about the first two for ROCKFLESH are my escapes from work. However tonight was a bizarre experience that saw my two worlds inexplicably collide. You see this is no gig, this is a celebration of the dynamic community of like minded individuals that has been created by the fledgling Primordial radio. As part of the celebration, and also evidence that us, metalheads wear our hearts on our sleeveless battle vest, this is also a charity fundraiser on behalf of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Manchester Mind, the latter of whom I work for. All of which leads to the bizarre experience of being able to head to a work event in my Slayer shorts.Read More
I’ve finished my pre-gig interview with Heart Of A Coward frontman Kaan Tasan (see the interview here), and now find myself stood in the gig queue in the pouring rain. Pouring doesn’t do it justice really, as it is absolutely thrashing it down. We shuffle ever closer towards the door until the welcoming heat of Rebellion wraps its arms around us and drags us in. Every last person who makes their way through the door looks like a drowned rat, but to a person when they see the Heart Of A Coward backdrop and merchandise table their faces light up.Read More
This tour is a true barometer of where the extreme end of heavy music find itself in 2019. You have four bands that share a love of Death Metal but present that central influence in four highly distinctive ways, you have four continents represented, you have a diverse crowd made up of a cross section of extreme music's many distinct tribes (with scissor-kicking hardcore kids and head nodding trad-metallers both out in force) and you have a pretty decent turnout for a Sunday night where every single act gets an appreciative pit and their lyrics screamed back at them. Overall this feels much more like a package tour of acts of a similar stature as opposed to a headliner and an undercard of also ran's, there only to make up numbers.Read More
I’ve been watching the Waterloo evolve over the last 18 months or so, and it’s been quite a sight to see. It started as a run-down pub used mostly by the local bowls club, with a tiny room and a tiny stage in one corner. Gigs got booked, bands and fans came. Walls got knocked out, the loos got renovated, a decent-sized stage was built, a new floor installed, a PA arrived, and now there is even a barrier to create the tiniest photo pit in the world. It’s all good, and kudos to Ian and his team who are grabbing some really great Rock and Punk bands to play and putting on some excellent nights of live music these days.Read More
Tonight's entertainment comes courtesy of two relatively new British rock outfits that are either coming or going. Support band, Bigfoot are going, having decided to call it a day after only 5 years together, and headliners The Treatment, despite suffering from exploding singer syndrome in recent years, are still coming, and currently busy promoting their recently released 4th album “Power Crazy”.Read More
The course of true love never does run smoothly does it?
Metal has been my long time lover, and I find myself putting myself in more and more weird situations in the quest to prove myself worthy in its eyes.
Today it was “Do you want to interview and review Mexican extreme metallers Brujeria and Canadian underground thrashers Aggression?”
Erm... let me think...
Fuck yes of course I want to do that.Read More
So here I am back in more familiar territory both geographically (I really should just cut out the middleman and get my post delivered direct to Rebellion) and also genrely. You see tonight is an unashamed celebration of the power and majesty of old skool death metal and provides a rare opportunity for us in the UK to witness performances by acts that simply don’t usually make it over here.Read More
Early start at Rebellion tonight as apparently we are being followed by a punk festival. Which is nice! So Gorilla Riot are onstage by 7.30, which I suspect was a shock to their systems as well as mine. This is because Gorilla Riot are a late-night kind of band. They’re bluesy, and sleazy. The kind of band you feel you should be drinking neat whisky and chainsmoking Marlboros to. Oh and none of your Marlboro lights either!Read More
I feel like I live in Rebellion.
I genuinely thought I wouldn't make it to Manchester tonight. As someone who is all about the fun side of metal, Frog Leap have been on my list for a little while. And why not? Leo Moracchioli is famed for his interesting take on pop music and someone I admire hugely, having had my own musical act a number of years ago where I exclusively covered metal and grunge on a piano (think a less talented Tori Amos and you're bang on the money). The creativity needed to envision a popular song in an entirely different genre is nothing short of genius, and I was keen to witness his appearance in Manchester tonight.Read More
It's Tuesday night, United are entertaining Barcelona somewhere on the other side of town and it's not even eight o'clock yet, but they are already having to shoehorn people into a sold out Rebellion. Judging by the number of fake profiles on Facebook trying to scam those desperate for tickets, this is certainly Manchester’s must see metal gig of the week.Read More
When Alpha Wolf are the openers, you know this is going to be a seriously heavy night. 30 seconds in on the front row and I've just been caught by an ill timed spin kick and quite frankly my drink deserves better.
Tonight’s queue was snaking around the side of the venue when I arrived and I felt like the oldest person ever. I mean, I still feel like I am in my early 20s, but my eyes are starting to betray me. Also my back hurts. My knees aren't great. I can't eat pastry anymore. I've got a lot of grey. And so on.Read More
Liverpool’s Loathe explode onto the stage in a whirlwind of limbs and tight taught riffs. They feel like an animal released from captivity and as this is their first show of the year that is totally understandable. Their music is awash with short sharp minimalistic guitar lines, but what makes them so interesting is the way that songs suddenly stop or change shape. This is metalcore but with a massive dollop of experimentation and Loathe seem intent on pushing the boundaries of this usually very conservative musical form.Read More
What better way to spend a Saturday night than with Brooklyn based Lords of Doom A Pale Horse Named Death? When APHND first arrived on the scene in 2011 with their debut album “And Hell Will Follow Me”, they were touted as an absolute must listen for fans of Type O Negative. Now 8 years on, they are riding the waves of adoration in the wake of the release of their third album “When The World Becomes Undone”, a deliciously gloomy journey laced with melancholy.Read More