With a Slipknot/Behemoth tour, gigs galore and new music, Getintothis’ Nedim Hassan has the latest Metal round up.
When Slipknot’s latest album, We Are Not Your Kind, raced to the top of the UK album charts last month it was confirmation (if indeed any was needed) that they are one of the most uniquely appealing bands in the world.
It also underlined the continued health of their fan base and of the extreme metal scene more generally.
That a metal band made the top of the album charts is a rare enough occurrence, but that a band with such an uncompromisingly aggressive and heavy sound got there is nothing short of miraculous.
Barely having had time to digest the good news about the new album, Slipknot’s ‘maggots’ (the term the band affectionately use to describe their fans) will have been ecstatic when it was announced that they will embark on an extensive European tour early next year.
As if that wasn’t enough to get extreme metalheads’ hearts racing, the fact that the special guests for this tour will be none other than, Behemoth, has raised expectations to stratospheric levels.
The Polish act’s brand of blackened death metal thrilled audiences at packed shows across the country earlier this year. Now they get to unleash their majestic fury across arenas as part of perhaps the heaviest show those venues will ever witness.
UK dates for what will be a serious contender for the heaviest tour of the next decade will encompass a range of venues including Manchester Arena on 16 January. Expect them to sell out quickly.
If you are having trouble containing your excitement for the Slipknot tour, then more immediate events provide opportunities to loosen your neck muscles and get your headbanging fix.
First up Liverpool-based black metal trio, Dawn Ray’d, have announced details of their sophomore album, titled Behold Sedition Plainsong.
Set for release through Prosthetic Records on 25 October, the album is the culmination of twelve months of writing and boasts slick production courtesy of renowned producer, Jaime Gomez Arellano (Paradise Lost, Altar of Plagues, Myrkur), without losing the intensity and fury that made their debut album so compelling.
In support of the new album Dawn Ray’d will also play a string of shows across the UK in October, culminating in an appearance at Damnation Festival in Leeds on 2 November.
Closer to home, October also sees a couple of mouth-watering gigs in Liverpool.
First up, fans of old school death metal need to get down to Outpost on 25 October to witness the ghastly and uncompromising sound emanating from France’s Skelethal.
On a night which is a must for all who love their music fast and heavy, they will be joined on the bill by Live Burial, In Temple Abyss and Aggressive Perfector.
If you have any neck muscles left, then the following night should put further strain on them as Outpost welcome yet more death metallers from France, this time in the form of death-thrashers, Deathawaits. They are ably supported by Scotland’s purveyors of brutal death metal, Scordatura.
We finish, as always, with the latest new music that has grabbed our attention over the last month. It has been a busy one, so let’s get started.
The 69 Eyes: West End
Finland’s finest Goth ‘n’ Roll merchants celebrate their 30th anniversary this year in style with a sumptuous sounding record that is a serious contender for album of the year.
Elegiac but cool tracks like 27 and Done and Change are the ideal anti-anthems for a hopeless generation of Western youth.
While the more immediately menacing and sleazy The Last House on the Left effectively conjures up the unsettling ambiance of the horror film that the song pays tribute to.
Stand-out tracks are too many to mention but include the haunting Cheyenna and the instantly memorable hook-laden Black Orchid.
RAM: The Throne Within
Metal Blade Records
Sweden’s RAM are also celebrating an anniversary this year. Having spent twenty years delivering their brand of classic heavy metal, their latest opus, The Throne Within is the perfect way to get the party started.
This is unashamed old school metal with soaring Priest-like melodies around every corner.
Pristine production galvanizes songs like the ferocious Blades of Betrayal and the epic Fang and Fur, which features some delicious over-driven guitar hooks and shredding solos.
Savage Master: Myth, Magic & Steel
Savage Master are quickly becoming one of our most beloved cult metal acts. Their occult influenced approach to classic metal is a bewitching brew of the NWOBHM with just the right amount of punk.
Somewhere between Joan Jett, Leather Leone and Doro lies vocalist Stacey Savage. Her commanding and sultry performance complements blistering hook-laden tracks such as Crystal Gazer and High Priestess.
Highlights are aplenty here but it is Lady of Steel with its celebration of the majestic power that the female voice can bring to metal that had us raising our horns in salute.
UK post metal outfit PSOTY continue to captivate and fearlessly push boundaries on their second album for Candlelight records.
The song writing craft on display during opener (and first single) Oil Blood shines through as this dramatic track builds through pulsating bass lines overlaid with lush keyboards and echoing distorted guitars.
This album is a mesmeric, panoramic experience that warrants repeated listening. T
hose that take up the challenge will be rewarded during songs such as the epic and apocalyptic Watcher of the Abyss in which the emotional, melodic vocals spill over into rare moments of anger.
Sunless is perhaps the perfect album to spend nights ruminating on how summer has faded and the autumnal nights have set in. That is precisely what we are about to do.
Until next time, keep on supporting your scene.