Posts tagged Stewart Lucas
Live Review : VOLA + Arch Echo + Rendezvous Point @ Rebellion, Manchester on September 8th 2019

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.

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Live Review : KISS @ MEN Arena, Manchester on July 12th 2019

I spent a considerable part of my childhood in Norway. In the late seventies, there was a craze amongst the Norwegian kids to collect KISS trading cards. I was transfixed by these otherworldly comic book like characters. Resplendent in leather, steel with black and white face paint, they captured my imagination like nothing before. They didn't look like the drab rock stars I was used to seeing on telly, they felt more like super heroes. Pretty soon, I had developed a life long obsession with the band. I stayed true during the lean non-make up eighties (Hell! I even bought “Hot in the Shade”).

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Live Review : Carach Angren + Wolfheart + Thy Antichrist + Nevalra @ Rebellion, Manchester on July 3rd 2019

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. 

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Live Review : Gojira + Rolo Tomassi + Dead Label @ O2 Apollo, Manchester on July 1st 2019

I fell in love with Gojira back at Bloodstock 2010 and from the moment that I first clapped eyes on them I knew that they were doing something really rather special and that they should be huge, stadium huge. Nearly a decade later it feels that my premonition is finally becoming a reality. Tonight feels like the moment that they transcended into the big league and show that they are the ordained successor to Metallica’s crown. There was something so confident and so masterful about this evening’s performance, very much the hallmarks of a band completely in control of their own destiny. The Apollo is heaving, absolutely heaving and even though they were part of the same touring cycle, there is a clear difference between tonight and their 2017 Manchester Academy show. I had been worried that at the Academy that they were stalling, that the fevered audience reaction that I had expected for a band that had created one of the greatest Metal albums ever (“Magma”) was not materialising.

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Live Review : Fit For An Autopsy + Venom Prison + Vulvodynia + Justice For The Damned @ Rebellion, Manchester on June 2nd 2019

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.

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Live Review : Manic Street Preachers + Gwenno @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on May 20th 2019

So a Manic Street Preachers gig in ROCKFLESH's hallowed pages may seem a little out of character and the fact that it is your friendly neighbourhood Death Metal fanatic covering it should bring accusations of the shark being well and truly jumped. But the truth of it, is that I have had a tempestuous and passionate love affair with these three Welsh men that dates back to when there were four of them and I saw them at the Hop and Grape (Academy 3 to you kids) thirty years ago.

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Live Review : Mono + Årabrot + Jo Quail @ Gorilla, Manchester on May 6th 2019

A reverent ‘you can hear a pin drop’ reception is a rare thing for a main support act, never mind one that is third on the bill, but Jo Quail is no ordinary artist. She is a solo cellist and whilst that may sound as far from metal as you can possibly get, the sound she creates is simply astonishing. What Jo does is taps out a sound on her futuristic looking cello and then she loops that sound back so that it becomes part of the backing track, then she does it again and again and again and so on until she has a rich tapestry of textured noise that surrounds her still audible mournfully beautiful cello.

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Live Review : Savage Messiah + Riptide @ Academy 3, Manchester on May 2nd 2019

My passion is live music and there are many bands over the years that I have championed and talked passionately about to anyone who would listen. However i am very aware that most of the bands that I raved about have been acquired tastes and would never amount to anything more than a cult concern. But then once in a while comes around a band that I feel could and may be huge and have the songs and the presence to rule the universe. Savage Messiah are one of these bands. Tonight is a joyful celebration of both what they have achieved so far and more importantly what they will go on to achieve with the imminent release of their new album “Demons”.

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Live Review : Morbidfest 2019 @ Rebellion, Manchester on April 30th 2019

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.

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Live Review : Hollywood Undead + Loathe @ Mountford Hall, Liverpool on April 27th 2019

A wise person once said ‘be careful what you wish for, it might come true”, so after insinuating that the overlords at ROCKFLESH towers should consider broadening the remit of the assignments they send me on, here I am well out of my comfort zone both geographically and genrely. You see Nu-metal/rap metal (call it what you want) is just not my thing, it emerged at the point where Metal and I were on a break and I was busy seeing others genres and its appeal has ever since failed to land with me especially with my love of death growls and scuzzy doomy riffs. To top it all I’ve crossed the border and am in Liverpool, which as a life-long Manchester City fan feels a rather uncomfortable place to be at present!

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Live Review : Avantasia @ O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London on April 16th 2019

Unlike my Liverpudlian and Chester dwelling friends I have it easy and my travels on behalf of ROCKFLESH surmount to falling on and off a tram. However tonight I have wandered further afield, much further afield, infact all the way to the big smoke for a ultra rare performance by Tobis Sammet's star studded side project Avantasia.

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Live Review : The Black Dahlia Murder + Ingested @ Rebellion, Manchester on April 10th 2019

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.

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Live Review : In Flames + Norma Jean + Light The Torch @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on April 4th 2019

I do wonder sometimes whether we need to mix things up more at ROCKFLESH Towers and in order to get more partisan and objective reviews start sending Matt, Sarah, Jo and I to see bands that we are not naturally huge fans of. You see I utterly adore In Flames and short of them walking on stage and doing pitch perfect Daniel O’Donnell covers they are going to garner a gushing review from me (spoilers).

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Live Review : Employed To Serve + Raging Speedhorn + Loathe @ Rebellion, Manchester on March 29th 2019

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.

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Live Review : A Forest Of Stars + Necronautical + Burial @ Academy 3, Manchester on March 23rd 2019

A Forest of Stars shows are rare and special things so it is disappointing to find the Academy 3 pretty empty, especially as rumours of a sell-out had been swirling around the internet. Watching Burial take the stage to less people than A Forest of Stars have members means that either there has been a lot of fake news about the sales for this show or the Black Metal hordes are still in the student bar two floors below enjoying the considerably cheaper beer. 

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Live Review : Haken + Vola + Bent Knee @ Academy 3, Manchester on February 15th 2019

It's modern prog-tastic Friday tonight at the Academy 3 as Haken start a lengthy European tour here in Manchester. Including the excellent supports that they have brought along for the ride, this package is three solid gold examples of why progressive rock is in a healthier form today than it ever was in supposed heyday of the Seventies.

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Live Review : Decapitated + Dyscarnate + Baest @ Academy 3, Manchester on February 12th 2019

Baest are first out of the traps tonight and their name translates from their native Danish as brute which pretty much sums up their very old skool approach to Death Metal. Their heads down lightning fast version of the genre may lack the subtlety and technicality of their touring partners, but for an ageing metal head like me it has a real charm to it.

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Live Review : Behemoth + At The Gates + Wolves in The Throne Room @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on February 9th 2019

Tonight I am like some giddy teenager as this is simply put, my fantasy dream bill. Those hoping for an objective and balanced representation of the evening should probably look elsewhere. Openers Wolves In The Throne Room are in my completely biased opinion the most important thing to happen to Black Metal since its very inception all those blood red moons ago. They have stormed into its hallowed fortress, torn down the jet black drapes and let in the sunlight.

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