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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Death, darkness and hair metal

What can I say? It's been a while but alas ye old thundercunt known as my day job has been keeping me busy.

So what's new? A highlight for me was getting a message from my stadium gig brother in arms Shithouse asking me what DevilDriver album he should buy. I'm glad my constant praise is not going unnoticed. I might drop Dez and the boys a line as they clearly fucking owe me.

I also bumped into Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas outside London's finest metal drinkery The Crobar. Unfortunately I was spannered and ended up dribbling utter bollocks at him for 10 minutes. However, we exchanged emails the next day and seemingly he doesn't think I'm as much of a fucking waffling imbecile as I actually am, so we're good.

Now back to the music. I've never been. A big Job For A Cowboy fan, not because of the typical loathing these guys have received from the "they're not Death, therefore they're shit" brigade, but simply because I don't like them. Don't get me wrong, Jon Rice on the drums is frankly superhuman but Jonny Davy's vocals sound hideously immature. I've seen JFAC live twice and both times I've not even registered a semi. Still, my mate The Red Wizard was all over their new outing Runiation so I gave it some ear time as he knows his shit. And I still can't get excited about them. Yes, it's heavy as fuck. Yes, there's sheer insanity with the musicianship but for me, it's like the fifth wank of the day; hard work and unrewarding.

On the other hand, Goatwhore's Carving Out The Eyes Of God is a fucking pounder of an album that makes you want to eat porcelain and rip open old people. It's 40 minutes of sheer, unbridled heaviness which ain't for the weak and feeble. Listen to this album and try not to punch yourself in the face. It's a struggle.

In complete contrast, I cannot get enough of Outloud's debut album We'll Rock You To Hell And Back. It's so fucking good it's untrue. It's like the bastard child of Europe, Whitesnake, Motley and DragonForce. I reviewed it a while back for MetalasFuck and it's been in my ears ever since. To all you 80s hair/power metal fans, fucking buy this now or you are quite frankly retarded.

Keeping things black and poorly recorded, I'm enjoying Croatian depressives Infernal Tenebra's 2001 debut Beneath The Twilight. This ridiculously atmospheric prog-black metal outing sounds like it's been recorded on someone's mobile phone in a garden shed but there's no denying the lack of sunshine in these boy's lives. This ain't for mass consumption but if you want something a bit off piste, it's a worthy listen.

I'm also lucky enough to have just got a copy of Amon Amarth's The Crushor reissue, which includes loads of live shit in addition to the 2000 album, plus the full Ninjaspy album, so much more of that to come. And a date for your diary fuckers - February 18th, 2010; Machine Head playing a one-off at Brixton. Get tickets as soon as you can because this is going to be more brutal than a bare knuckle cage fight between Kerry King and Dakota Fanning.

Right, time to suck today's dick.

Kill you all later.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

If you only read one post this year...

...Make it this one.

Rarely do I hear something that makes me stop in my tracks and go "fuck me unkindly with a kitchen utensil, what the devil is this?!". A few bands have achieved this effect - Leatherface, Lagwagon, HIM - and now Ninjaspy. "Who the balls are Ninjaspy?" I hear you murmur with vague interest. Well, let me tell you a story...

One of my Canada-based metallic amigos, JLittle4, kindly sent me a link to the Ninjaspy MySpace with the suggestion that I would shit my pants upon hearing their stuff. With that kind of promise, who could resist a listen?

With song titles such as Hit By a Cement Mixer and Out of Tampons I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but anticipated something Anal Cunt-esque. Instead, I was greeted with something that sounds, um, it's like...okay, bear with me here:

36 Crazyfists are playing pool with the Voodoo Glow Skulls. In walks System of a Down and puts a huge stack of £1 coins on the table, then stands impatiently waiting for the game to finish. Dani Filth's been drinking for five hours, wanders through, knocks the coins over, and smashes a couple of drinks. 36 Crazyfists pocket the money, much to the chagrin of SOAD, who proceed to start swinging pool cues at all and sundry, including bar man Randy Blythe. A glass gets thrown into the jukebox which starts playing NOFX's Heavy Petting Zoo album. Amidst the chaos, someone hits record on an 8-track. The noise they capture is Ninjaspy.

This is the most unique music I've heard for a long time. The structure of the songs is so damn complicated that you never know where it's going next. Are you going to be in a circle pit, are you going to be skanking, are you going to be holding a lighter in the air? More often than not it will be all of the above. The vocals are somewhere between deranged and beautiful, the bass lines are hypnotic but wounding, it's all over the fucking shop and is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME.

Now enough of this reading nonsense and subject your ears to their MySpace. With an intro from Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, Gojira and Static-X you know this shit is worth a listen.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Mucus and Metal

The rumours are true. I, MADman, have jumped into the infected gang and got myself swine flu. I'm quarantined in my flat, I'm coughing and sneezing up an array of colourful, flavoursome treats and I've got as much energy as an obese paraplegic with a hangover. To give you an idea of how shit I feel, I can't even be bothered to look at Internet porn.

I know.

However, being stuck on the sofa does have it's benefits. I got to listen to the whole of DevilDriver's Pray For Villains completely uninterrupted, plus watch the bonus DVD that came with the special edition. By now I'm sure most of you that are fans will have heard the album but if not, it's by far their most accomplished work to date. The fact that it was written and recorded in four weeks is staggering, with each individual band member bringing something fucking punishing to the party in each song.

There's a real mixture of sounds and vibes on Pray For Villains, from the intensely Southern style of Back With a Vengeance and It's In The Cards to the atmospheric Amon Amarth guitar sounds on Forgiveness is a Six Gun. It's clear the Resurrection BLVD is going to be the main topic of conversation around this album though as it's the closest I can ever see DevilDriver getting to a ballad.

There isn't a single criticism I can make of this album. Those of you who know me know I'm a bit of a 'Driver fan but even so, I'm objective to the last. If this was shit, I'd [reluctantly] say so. A DVD highlight for me is John Boecklin laying down the drum tracks for Fate Stepped In and Teach Me To Whisper as he gets the most phenomenal sound from his double-kick and treats the skins like they truly are his bitch. The whole of the film continues to show just how nice a bunch of blokes DevilDriver are. Hearing this new album though, I can guarantee that when they play this shit live, the pits will be anything but nice.

Speaking of anything but nice, a mate of mine recently recommend I inflict The Axis Of Perdition upon my sensitive ears. This Northern troupe of industrial-black-ambient metallers create a sound somewhere in between Gregorian chant, violent dysentery and an English literature lecture. Their MySpace may only have three songs but these'll take you about half an hour to get through. It's the sort of music you'd have running through your dreams if you went to bed after eating a kilo of strong cheese. It's completely fucked up and well worth a listen. I would strongly recommend not being in a bad mood first though, or you may end up making an armchair out of your mother.

I've managed to get a few more videos from Download '09 up on my YouTube page, so feel free to have a peruse but I shall no doubt be updating Metal Harmony again soon, for I currently have little more to do apart from sit in a pool of my own mucus and watch American chat shows. Entertaining as a woman from Alabama who thinks one of 23 men might be her "baby daddy" is, I think music may be the only thing that stops me from going stir fuckin' crazy.


Monday, 10 August 2009

A thousand apologies

I'm back; dry your tears. Apologies for my lack of updates of late but I've had a few bits to do for the guys at which has meant my writing time has been limited.

"But MADman, no-one cares!" I hear you cry. Well that's just fucking charming.

So recently, there's been a fair bit happening on my musical radar. Firstly, the frankly embarrassingly, um, embarrassing banning of Behemoth's "Ov Fire And Void" video from YouTube. For those of you who haven't seen it, go have a look. It's intense, there are some boobies but there's nothing hugely extraordinary there. It's an inflammatory subject matter but fucking hell kids, this is death metal. I've stuck a link to the video (plus my rant against censorship below the vid) in my Cool Shit list.

I've also had the pleasure of reviewing the new Outloud album, plus the "experience" of the new Vader album. Outloud are so fantastically 80s hair metal you can't help but love them. Vader are a bit shit. There you go; now you don't have to read the reviews.

So back on planet Metal Harmony, I'm a bit of a sad chappy. After getting accreditation for Bloodstock 2009, I've had to relinquish my pass due to sheer butt-fuckingly frustrating logistics. I'm there for next year's 10-year anniversary though so, uh, stay tuned for a year...

It's all a bit quiet on the gig front though. I'm hoping to get to Steel Panther, plus have DevilDriver and Throwdown in the space of one week booked up for October. I cannot talk about this further as I may reach climax and to be honest, now is not the time. But for those of you who value my opinion (of whom there must be at least two of you) dates for the diary are:

December 16th - Sylosis, Relentless Garage, Camden
January 30th (2010, idiots) - Hardcore Superstar, Relentless Garage, Camden

Both of these will be the nuts so I would recommend going unless you are an absolutely massive cunt.

That's me done for now as I need a shit.