Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I’ve developed quite the fancy of early 90s doom at the moment. It was spurred by reading an old Iron Fist article about the making of Saint Vitus’ criminally underrated ‘C.O.D’ and ‘Die Healing’ records. Having been mainly a fan of the classic ‘Born Too Late’ and the more recent ‘Lillie: F-65’, they were two albums I had kinda missed. I gave them a spin and thoroughly enjoyed them, and I went on a journey…

Between the two, I think ‘C.O.D’ pips it for me, with the gloriously morose title track and the bleak stomp of ‘Planet of Judgment’. I followed this up with Candlemass’ superlative ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’, which is admittedly 80s doom but hey, who’s counting? After that it was Trouble’s ‘Manic Frustration’, and my new favourite; Solitude Aeturnus’ epic and vast ‘In the Depths of Sorrow’. Then I was really hooked.

You know that moment when you look at your music collection, and there is all of a sudden, a vast gap where a classic or essential record is missing, but you only just realised it?. That’s what happened to me. I have, well HAD, no Solitude Aeturnus records. I love this band, yet all I had was some downloaded version from years before. So I scoured the internets and finally, I now own ‘Beyond the Crimson Horizon’ on CD. And it was a very reasonable price too, which is apparently very rare. Hooray!

The important point of this blog piece is that it’s important to revisit albums from the past. You never know what you’ll find, or what place they’ll take you. I always find that listening to a record you haven’t heard for a while, or haven’t heard before outwith the context of its release, its much more enjoyable.

This week and next on the Killchain Hour at Live Funeral Radio is a bit strange because they’ve been built in tandem. Normally I build the playlists in a single session, usually on the Monday night while listening to my iTunes, getting ideas. We’ve been discussing some theme nights between the hosts, such as the German thrash night I did, or the Swedish night that Steve did on Friday there. There’s talks about having a Lemmy tribute night sometime soon which would be excellent, and also some covers shows. I’m doing covers next week, and have already assembled the list in advance. It’s got some killer tunes, but I won’t spoil it yet.

This week’s (ie tomorrow night) is basically the usual rifftastic hour, full of great songs from all genres. I’ve included a new local favourite in Censored that I reviewed the other day. I stuck in probably my favourite Nile song, even though it takes up a full 6th of the hour. There’s also some excellent old school power and thrash, along with a bit of new brutality from something I’m reviewing for Sleeping Shaman. I’ll post the playlist on my Facebook tonight. Enjoy, 10pm GMT

I’ve recently started my own radio hour on the Funereal Drone Live radio show. The guy that runs it, Matt, was kind enough to give me an hour on a Tuesday night to ‘play anthing I want’. It was very kind of him, considering the calibre of some of his other shows that he does. The full list is here. My first show was last Tuesday, and I just went all out on a full riff fest. I get an hour and featured Bolt Thrower, Asphyx, Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth, Nile and others. My focus was on the riff, as it always is. This week I feature some of my favourite discoveries of the past year. Not all, sadly, as I only got an hour but it still features top quality artists like Chiral, Slaughter Throne, Skiddaw and Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta, along with some highlights from Indian metal, namely Born Rude and Eyes of the Martyr. These are all bands who I’ve enjoyed this year, and feel should get some more exposure. Hope you can all tune in. The link is here, just download the Live.FM radio app and search fro the Funereal Drone and it’ll be live as of 10pm GMT every Tuesday night. I’ll post the full tracklist on my Facebook later on. Cheers!

I tried so hard to whittle this down to ten, but I genuinely couldn’t remove anything from this list as they are all so essential. So here it is, the Killchain’s definite best black metal records of 2014, in no particular order:

1. Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vestuta III: Saturnian Poetry

2. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare

3. Winterfylleth – The Divination of Antiquity

4. Behemoth – The Satanist

5. Kvlthammer – Kvlthammer

6. Tombs – Savage Gold

7. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum

8. The Great Old Ones – Tekeli Li

9. Diocletian – Gesundrian

10. Varathron – The Untrodden Corridors of Hades

11. Sinmara – Aphotic Womb

12. Old Wainds – Nordraum

13. Mortuary Drape – Spiritual Independence

14. Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless

15. Spectral Lore – III

16. Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith

17. Panopticon – Roads to the North

So there you have it, 17 black metal records you cannot afford to miss out on. There have been some other crackers too, and special mentions go to both Baalberith and Skiddaw for their respective releases this year too.

Jeff Loomis joins Arch Enemy

Posted: November 18, 2014 in General

See when you read something like this, your brain instantly goes into ‘am I being trolled mode?’. One of metal’s most talented guitarists, a player who sounds instantly recognisable and yet totally unique, joins a band known for their epic lead guitarwork courtesy of Michael Arnott? The next Arch Enemy record might be the best guitar led metal album in forever. Downing and Tipton, Hetfield and Hammett, Mustaine and Ellefson, Loomis and Arnott!

Available from Sixsixsix Music, there are four non profit CD-Rs available for a measly £2 each. These are sold simply to promote the band involved, which at the current moment are India’s Eyes of the Martyr, the UK’s own Slaughter Throne and Nefarious Dusk and American melodic deathsters Necrocosm. Each comes in a plastic slipcase with artwork and is remarkably professional considering you only pay two pounds for it. Just goes to show that Steve at Sixsixsix gives a fuck about the bands he supports. I’ve reviewed the majority of this music before here at the Killchain, so this is only a brief run down:

Nefarious Dusk is one of the UK’s best hidden secrets, playing raw, atmospheric black metal the way it was supposed to be. Eyes of the Martyr are India’s equivalent of Lamb of God; chunky, heavier than a coffin slab and rifftastic. I’ve already dubbed Slaughter Throne to be the UK’s answer to Behemoth, and Necrocosm play some great, solid melodeath tracks without sounding too repetitive. I’ll review the Necrocosm demo in full sometime soon.

Simply put, this is not only a fantastic bargain at £1 per single, but helps to get these bands to a wider audience which is a must. Steve at SixSixSix is constantly thinking of new ways and ideas to promote the music he loves, and more label bosses should be thinking like this, lest we lose the magic of physical releases all together. Buy them here

The Killchain: One year on…

Posted: November 7, 2014 in General

So the magic of Timehop let me know the other day that I restarted my music writing with a vengeance one year ago. In that time, I have done more than I ever managed in the previous however many years I’ve been trying to write about music. But first, the blog itself.

The Killchain was set up originally to give me somewhere to practice my writing, to give out my opnions on certain bands and albums and as a creative nexus for ideas. Some of which I’ve been able to gestate successfully, others I haven’t. I’ve battled playlists with my good friend GearyofWar. I still struggle to find a better riff than the one that opens the song that gave its name to this site. Yeah the site is still a bit rough and I’m still finding my feet with regards to proper spreading of the word of the riff, but I’m getting there.

I’ve made friends with a great number of folks across the world; be it the North East death villians in Live Burial, riff tastic Indian chaps in the blistering Eyes of the Martyr or Undying Inc, savage black metal demons from the south of Cumbria or the ethereal blackened hordes of Italy. I’ve tried to support the best of underground metal where possible. I’ll have a list of my favourite discoveries of the past year put up soon, but a instant shout out goes to the black hordes in Skiddaw, Helvellen, Torver and Nefarious Dusk.

I got a position writing reviews for The Sleeping Shaman, for which I wanna thank Lee for all his support and help in giving me a place to write. I’ve reviewed some big releases for them, and have interviewed two of my favourite bands, Obituary and Anaal Nathrakh. That alone is more than a dream come true. Two of my reviews got picked up on the Roadburn Festival website as features on their bands of the day. I’ve also helped out Sixsixsix Music head honcho Steve with compilations and his upcoming magazine Metal Legions, which will include a selection of reviews and interviews done by myself. Legion of Andromeda even want to use a quote fom my review of their demo on the front of their DEBUT FUCKING RECORD!

I want to thanks everyone for their support, everyone who taken the time to read anything I write, and I hope you’ll still enjoy it in another year’s time. As always, WORSHIP THE RIFF, SLAY THE UNBELIEVERS!