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Friday, 16 November 2012

The beat goes on...

There's no secret about the fact that I'm a massive fan of electronic music in its various guises. As a lifelong Prodigy fan, songs like Their Law make me want to throw down just as hard as Machine Head's Halo, and New Order at Reading 1998 was a truly spectacular affair. I'm also happy to admit that shit early 90s trance house (step forward Alice Deejay, Yomanda, DJ Jean, et al) holds a special place in my heart primarily as it reminds me of going to nightclubs with my pals well over a decade ago and being desperately useless at liaising with the opposite sex. Good/frustrating times.

However. I've never been hugely impressed by the fusion of electronic music and metal. Stalwarts of this genre Enter Shikari bore me, although I have never seen them live and I hear that's where they come into their own, and the plethora of abysmal dance bands masquerading as rock outfits based on the fact that they have extensive tattooing make me want to vomit. All this aside, being an actual music fan and not a metal purist I'm always open to new things.

Last year, The Bunny The Bear, a band who are aiming at a market so far away from me it's untrue, started to change my opinion with the ridiculous-yet-enjoyable If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say, but this was followed up with The Stomach For It and being as eloquent as I possibly can, that was fucking shit. The Browning took a more dub angle with Burn This World, with slower tempos, deeper bass drops and no clean vocals. Despite being pretty samey throughout, it worked extremely well and that album is still on circulation in Metal Harmony HQ.

The new boys on the block seem to have it nailed. Japan's Crossfaith are without doubt a metal band but their frankly huge riffs are underpinned with epic dance beats. I'd heard a lot about this mob but frustratingly wasn't able to see them tear up my local venue a few weeks back. I did my due diligence and Googled them extensively, and holy shitballs; this is about as up my street as music gets at present. I can't remember a Japanese export this exciting since Dir En Grey (whatever happened to them?)

A blog or three ago I asked what was happening next in music and despite the fact that the metal/electronic fusion is not a new thing, being as industrial bands such as Fear Factory and Ministry can lay some type for claim, the evolution into Crossfaith's devastating brand of metal is something that is happening right now. Its a genuine step in a new direction and its bloody splendid.

Until next time


Friday, 2 November 2012

Terror in the home counties

There are a number of things I truly enjoy in this world; spending time with my family, a pint of hearty ale, and getting stuck in at a hardcore show. Therefore one was a little frustrated on Wednesday 31st of October, the night hardcore legend Terror came to my home town, to be afflicted with a bastard illness (technically a cold).

However, in true trooper style I wrapped up warm and headed down to the venue having pledged not to drink (which didn't go too well as I was three cans of continental lager down before getting through the doors).

The Forum in Tunbridge Wells has a habit of putting on incredibly strong hardcore line ups and this was no exception. I missed local stalwarts Pay No Respect but was there in time for Broken Teeth. Clearly these guys had fans in the crowd as the good old fashioned somersaults and flying kicks were aplenty. They were excellent, combining traditional rapid-fire hardcore with massive beatdowns and generally making a bloody big noise. Brutality Will Prevail followed and whilst no doubt a solid hardcore band, they didn't seem as exciting as Broken Teeth. Plus, by the time they came on, the crowd were fully charged and ready for Terror.

Having completely disguarded my no-beer rule and loaded up with Newcastle Brown, I wandered down to the front as Scott Vogel et al came on stage. From then on, it's all a bit of a blur. Terror did not stop. They fired through song after song, beckoned the crowd forward, got the circle pits started, encouraged excessive stage diving; there was one point in the evening that it seemed no one was actually on the floor at all, everyone seemed to be in the air.

Needless to say I lost my shit during Lowest of the Low and treated my ageing body with a complete lack of respect, resulting in serious bruising all over the place. One chap has his nose smashed in, which I wouldn't have been too happy with but seeing as my last Terror experience saw me with two black eyes and my wife crying as she thought I'd been beaten up, I got off pretty lightly this time round.

At the end of the show I managed to grab Mr. Vogel and thank him for a splendid evening, or words to that effect. We shook hands, he gave me a beer and told me they would be back.

I cannot bloody wait.

On a sad note, I can't ignore the tragic news that Mitch Lucker was killed in a motorcycle accident on November 1st. The 28-year old Suicide Silence frontman was a hugely talented vocalist, but he was also a father and a husband. It's impossible to know how his family must be feeling and my sincerest condolences go out to them.