Divide and Conquer – Suicidal Angels album review.

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Formed in Greece, 2001, Suicidal Angels immediately set out to take on the world and give nothing less than some pretty good Thrash Metal and well, sore necks after all that Thrash Metal until you press the repeat button. Divide and Conquer proves that these guys step up their game each time they release any new material. For those who don’t really dive into the realms of Thrash Metal then these guys are perfect examples of what they’re missing. It is difficult to find bands that take on an old-school approach to certain genres and this band does just that. Divide and Conquer is filled with fast, furious and face melting riffs from the very beginning with tracks such as Seed of Evil, Terror is my Scream,  Kneel to the Gun and White Wizard. Each track has different elements that make Divide and Conquer stand out and provide a strong structure to making this album possibly the best they have released to date. More so than any other Suicidal Angel album, Slayers’ influence on these Thrash machines pushes through in tracks such as Marching Over Blood and Pit of Snakes and whilst Slayer have always been a Marmite band (you either love them or you hate them) you can always count on the fact their music delivers and gets your blood pumping and they have passed on that to Suicidal Angels making their music constantly deliver a furious, fast-paced and beastly side.

As a whole, Divide and Conquer is one of the hottest new Thrash records out – It is hard to fault, easy to love and impossible to not bang your head too. If you ever get a chance, check them out at a live show also as they’re mindblowing. What the music industry needs and what the metal fans need, these guys can deliver.
Rating 8/10

Behemoth – The Satanist Album Review.

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Behemoth are a band that have fought for their place in the world of metal through thick and thin. Being the first album that has been released by the band since Adam ‘Nergal’ Darskis’ (vocals) victory over his battle with Leukaemia it is clear to see that immediately  it did not dampen or knock the band back, instead, you can tell the bands strength from this has triumphed just in the music itself.

The Satanist is a continuous strong album that delivers absolute fury at its’ finest, however, being possibly the nearest album to ‘emotional’ that Behemoth have ever released. It is clear that in the lyrical content that Nergal is putting his experiences with his Leukaemia and of course the trouble he had for his well-known stunt of tearing up a bible at one of Behemoths’ live shows forward and offering the listener the insight to what was going on through this dark period of time, undeniably making this album just as dark, powerful, strong and fearless.

There are certain aspects in the album in which you can instantly say that it’s a Behemoth record but there are also times in which you listen to it and hear slight changes to the sound they are so noticed for. There are no issues with such changes; it shows Behemoth is only getting stronger with each record. Although all the tracks on this album are dark, there are certain ones such as Furor Divinus, Amen, The Satanist and O Father O Satan O Sun that really capture the depth and darkest areas on the bands strengths that really make this album an impeccable listen. The Satanist could not have been made to be any greater than it is and has definitely not been a disappointment in the wait of 4 and a half years since their previous release of Evangelion. A divine piece of musical art, even Satan himself will be pleased with this. 
Rating – 9/10

Gama Bomb Interview.


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During the time of when Philly [Byrne] had to undergo throat surgery, was there ever a time when you guys thought to yourselves about what would happen to Gama Bomb if something went wrong or it wasn’t the same as beforehand?

Of course, that was a major factor when I lost my voice – for both us as a band and especially me as an individual. We had to accept that in the immediate term at least, things would have to change. I couldn’t continue to just sing the way I had, nor was I really capable of it. It’s now two years later and I’m only regaining those portions of my voice. I think that anxiety, the fear of this change and the fear of loss, was a big motivator to be honest. Sure, we probably argued a lot because of it during that whole time, but in the end I think it spurred us on to make a better album. When you have to go under the knife to get into the studio, it makes you appreciate the opportunity much more.

 Tales from the Grave in Space was the first album to be released for free by a signed band, what made you guys want to do this and what were the outcomes of doing so?



 We did it because not only did we get all our personal music for free, and illegally as a result, but moreover because we realized the band was kinda stuck on a treadmill.

We’d released one album through a small imprint, and then another on a large indie label, and we got a taste of how it all worked. At that point we knew that our songwriting was improving constantly, but the support to push it out there, the money and the man hours to make it a big deal, would either stay the same, or inevitably shrink. Labels are like a fickle girlfriend: they lose interest in you pretty quickly if you’re not a massive success straight out the gate.

So yeah, we saw that kinda happening and wanted to create a real story around the album, a big buzz that would get it the attention that it deserves. We wanted to break the box, and the label we were on wanted a band silly enough to experiment with giving their music away.

From our perspective it worked perfectly: we got excellent PR out of it because we were doing something new, we got to play in places where our music is not normally released physically, and it won us a lot of respect from fans. We also physically outsold the previous album which was only physically released. Free content meant we sold more.

If there’s a downside, it’s that the release scared the ‘traditional’ digital music people. There were chains of stores in the US who refused to stock the album because we’d partnered with a filesharing service like Rapidshare. Basically people saw their slice of the pie threatened, and they closed ranks. That’s what happens – they’re the very people who should be innovating, but instead they act as a guard against progression.

Again though, once you commit to changing the game you need to stick to it: that free album has undermined our ability to be distributed in the US to  this day, but we have to be unconcerned about that. Our music is digitally universally available, and people eat it up. If the industry won’t profit from it, that’s their loss.

  Obviously most people would turn around and say that releasing a free album wouldn’t make you any money to live on, were there ever concerns about this when the idea came across or was it a no-brainer to you guys?

 Well as I say, we actually outsold our previous album, so financially in a purely spreadsheet universe it was something of a success – but that doesn’t factor in the reality of a record deal.

Basically, a record contract is a guarantee that you’ll be in the red forever: it’s not a game, especially now, where you can ever earn a living.

This wasn’t only a no-brainer, it was our only sane choice: we could either adapt or wither on the vine. And while our spreadsheets might not say we’ve boomed in size or profit, those things don’t matter at the heels of the hunt. We’ve got the respect and support of our fans, we write cool music and go cool plaes and we’ve never compromised ourselves to win that. We win.

 What have been the weirdest things to have happened to you on tour? Or actually perhaps in general, any crazed fans posting you their genitals or maybe not?



 We’ve met a few weird people, but to be honest they’re usually more kinda drunken or a bit slow on the uptake, as opposed to mad people. Toothless lads wearing a box of beer as a hat who really need to tell you something but are too drunk to talk, that kinda thing.

I met a woman who was in porn when we were in America, and there was this whole weird scene where she was telling us all about her life and all the crazy, degrading shit that had happened to her. She had no perspective on herself, no moral compass. It was fascinating and terrifying. I suppose it counts as a crazy story because she was in porn, but to be honest most of our tour stories involve someone vomiting or pulling pranks on each other – not really drugs or sex or any of that. We’re quite innocent. Joe sprayed me in the face with Cif one time. I remember that quite well.

  It seems in the past few years there’s been a massive resurgence in Thrash Metal, has this ever put you guys under more pressure to make albums that’ll push all of these new kids out of the water or did it help you guys gain more recognition and respect?

 The thrash revival happened to us completely by accident to be honest. We pre-dated it by a few years and weren’t expecting to become even remotely popular. We were pretty much playing a dead genre of music for kicks, because we were nerds about it.

In that way, and probably because we’re egotists at heart, we’ve never considered ourselves as competing with any other band. We’ve made many friends in that new wave of thrash, but we never pinned our fortunes on it. We’ve been popular and we’ve been nobody and neither particularly scares us more than the other.

Also, we’d never write music based on what other people are doing: that’s a major lesson from the ‘first wave’ of UK thrash in the 80s – copy other bands and you’ll kill your own good ideas. Of course we’re delighted thrash came back and helped us reach more people, get a record deal, all that: but we never considered ourselves as part of it. We’re a thrash band, not a new wave of thrash band.

  It’s obvious you guys make music for the fact that you love it and not for the money and fame but when you guys formed was it just a matter of making music for the fun of it and if you got spotted then you got spotted or did you make it a goal to be spotted and recognised all over the world for your incredible music?



 Well at first our goal was to play a gig for our mate Kevy’s birthday. Then the goal was to play a gig outside our hometown, in Belfast. Then it was to have t-shirts, and a demo, and badges – and then… so yeah, we got into this for fun. We did it just to make each other laugh, to play music we love, and to get drunk, but I suppose we gradually did want to develop it more and more, any time we saw a way to do it.

We made sure we were doing stuff off our own bat before we got signed. No record label has the money to sign a metal band and build them up: you need to turn up fully formed and functioning before they’ll work with you. We self-recorded an album, demos, did gigs in the UK, got a little press where we could, got stage clothes, all that.

So we were in it for fun, and I suppose we still are. We’re not earning here. We do a lot for the love of thrash metal.

 If you wasn’t in Gama Bomb or musicians at all, where do you reckon you’d all be now?



 Probably in much the same place! We’ve always made a point of developing our real lives as well as the band career thing. We all either study or have careers outside of the band.

I reckon if we had never been in the band, we’d probably be working in the same kinda thing, Joe and I would know each other, but we wouldn’t have met Domo, or Paul or John, which would be tragic really. We’re talking about a kind of family in our band.

 Also, last but not least, what is the future for Gama Bomb after The Terror Tapes?

 More of exactly the same, man. We’re writing an album and we’ve decided to take our time about it, to record it when it’s ready, when it’s good enough. Aside from that we’re arranging some euro shows, possibly a South American tour for fun. Basically we’re going to keep doing what we’ve always done: gigging, recording, maybe drinking a bit too much, for as long as our old bodies will hold out. From here to eternity, you know what I mean?

The Treatment – Running with the Dogs album review.

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Formed in Cambridge, UK, The Treatment is one of the best upcoming Hard Rock bands that Britain has had to offer for a good while. Kicking right into their new album with I Bleed Rock & Roll, they show a raw passion for the sound they create and give to their listeners. Running with the Dogs has a sexy, crisp consistency throughout that provides the true element of any good Hard Rock band from AC/DC to more modern takers such as Hinder and Buckcherry. There isn’t a song on this album that falls below the belt when it comes to showing listeners what Hard Rock / Rock N’ Roll is about, it also brings out the naughty side with tracks such as I Bleed Rock & RollGet The Party On, The Outlaw, and Don’t Get Mad Get Evil but just like any other Hard Rock band to get somewhere there has to be a love ballad which is portrayed perfectly in Unchain My World giving this album the balance it needs to be a success and a hit with listeners over the Rock spectrum.
Rating – 9/10 

Out now via iTunes.


Lich King Interview.

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Note : As it happens, i’ve been off here for a good while it seems but i’ve been making collective documents to help with a portfolio to start towards a Journalism Degree and had some previous work commitments however, it didn’t really make sense that I wasn’t using this as a portfolio too so I should be updating more regularly now. 

Here’s a first interview and with no other than the brilliant US Thrash Metallers, Lich King!

Seeing as Lich King started out as a one man band by Tom, was there any form of scepticism towards not only being a one man band but when decisions were made to become a full piece band and if so, how did you overcome them?

 

Well I kept the truth about our one man-ness a secret for a long time. Some people figured it out, and a few others I trusted not to tell DID tell, but no one that knew really seemed skeptical. I don’t recall any skepticism about forming the real band, either. Everyone just kinda shrugged at the time and went with it. We didn’t get good for a while, anyway.

 
You guys seem to be mistaken often for the World of Warcraft Lich King, does this seem to draw more people towards your music positively or negatively in terms of mistakenly stumbling across you when people are in fact just trying to look up the WoW Lich King? 
 

I don’t think we’ll ever have any way of knowing if there’s been a positive effect. The negative effects are mere irritants- people making dumb jokes, etc. Hopefully we don’t get hit with a CEASE & DESIST about the band name at any point. Around then, it’ll all have been negative. In the meantime we never hear from people who were just googling Warcraft stuff and found us. Those dopes don’t seem to care that we exist.

 
Lich King is all about Thrash and creating just some straight up energy in your music that fans can let some steam off too, is there ever a time that you guys have ever thought about doing something completely different with the music?
 

Oh yeah, I think about branching out a lot, and we have, a bit. We’re putting more progressive flourishes in here and there, we’re trying to take the songwriting to an ascendant place where the aggression of the song can step aside and you’re just flying with it, like the middle of RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER or something. That’s at least what we’re actively trying. I’ve also thought about doing a full-on power metal song, a sludge / doom song, an acoustic song. Lots of ideas start cooking, but only so many of them get to the table.

 
It’s obvious to tell you guys are all about the music but have there been any times in your life you’ve felt like leaving it behind and if so how did you overcome it?
 

I feel like leaving it all behind all the time, because- usually- it’s not that fun. I don’t like going to shows and sitting around at a merch table listening to shitty deafening opening acts for five hours. I like hanging out with my pals and making albums and traveling. Touring’s got me down a bit, I guess. 

 
Out of the albums you guys have released, what are your personal favourites where you think it’s your best possible work? 
 

BORN OF THE BOMB is both my favorite and my vote for our best work, and I think each of us would agree. We’re trying to make album 5 better than BOTB, and I think we’re going to achieve that. I like to say that if you’re not balls-out proud of your most recent album and trying to top yourself, you’re not trying hard enough. I can’t imagine just crapping out an album and shrugging, knowing it’s not better than what you’ve done before. That’s got to be miserable.

 
What are the best and weirdest experiences you guys have had being in Lich King?
 

Ummm… I know each of us would have different answers. The best experience would probably be opening for Exodus and having them give us a shout-out during their set. Gary leaned over to shake my hand. That was pretty amazing. Weirdest would probably be… oh, I know, Kansas. In Kansas not many people came out to see the show, but the people that did come spent big on merch and were incredibly thankful that we’d come. I guess a lot of metal tours don’t stop in their area. While that doesn’t seem weird, consider that that lightly attended Kansas show bought as much merch as the sold-out LA show we’d played two weeks before. That’s nuts.

 
Now, as a fan myself there are many people in the UK hoping for one thing – a UK tour, are you guys considering one anytime?
 

We’re talking to certain people, nothing’s confirmed as of yet. Not having a manager, we’re having a tough time getting over there. The festivals don’t invite us and we don’t know how to get over there on our own, aside from doing a Kickstarter to get plane ticket money. No idea when or if we’ll ever get over there.

 
If you could tour with one other band for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
 
Umm… Huh. One bad. Okay, if we’re talking about doing it for exposure and the crowds, I’d say Municipal Waste. We’d do great opening for them forever. If we’re talking about the pleasant buddy-ness of touring, the friends you like touring with and all that, it’s Smash Potater. I want their Brian to be my sidekick throughout all of life’s adventures. Lovely chaps.