Posts Tagged ‘Vallenfyre’

This is my second trip to Lords of the Land, and both years have not disappointed in terms of lineup. Last year I got Autopsy, Primordial, Mayhem and Marduk to name a few, and this year’s lineup was just as impressive. It kicked off at the ungodly hour of 11am, so unfortunately I missed legendary thrashers Lawnmower Deth which was a bit of a bummer, but got there just in time for Vallenfyre who were stunning. Their dense, death/doom rage was a perfect start to my afternoon, and the likes of ‘Merciless Tide’ and the devastating ‘Splinters’ cast a long shadow over the bands to come. Unfortunately it seems like the last chance to catch them in Scotland as they are hanging up their instruments this year. A sad loss to the community.

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Cannabis Corpse are the death metal guilty pleasure we’ve all been waiting for. You’d think that weed jokes and death metal would get old but it is genuinely impressive that we’ve got five records out of this idea… Live they are great, shredding old school death metal riffs that obviously praise the mighty Cannibal Corpse but some other nice Floridian elements keeps them from being a one trick pony. Plus, how can you disagree with ‘Lunatic of Pot’s Creation’, Blunted at Birth’ and the genuis ‘Staring Through My Eyes That Are Red’?

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If I’m honest, I wasn’t at Lords of the Land to see Discharge. I like some of their stuff but I’ve never seen them as a must-see-live band. Their live performance is absolutely great however; full of raucous punk and thrash energy, vocalist JJ stalks the stage with bug eyed intensity and at one point lost his mic in the fray. That’s the manic energy brought by the likes of ‘Corpse of Decadence’ and the hardcore classic ‘State Violence State Control’. Eve though I had penciled them in as much lunch break band, I’m glad I didn’t miss them, because they were great!

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Carpathian Forest seemed a little like the odd one out here on a bill with them as the only black metal band, but their snotty punk attitude fit right in. Flanked by leatherclad and corpse painted giants, Nattefrost scowled and spat his way through a raw and fearsome set of nasty black metal. They did a super sinister Cure cover (‘A Forest’) that fit in perfectly with the likes of ‘Black Shining Leather’ and ‘Morbid Fascination of Death’. I don’t think they quite got the response they deserved from the crowd, but it was a fun show.

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Demolition Hammer were rapturously received with a set of high energy deaththrash driving everyone to bang heads and mosh like crazy. It is clear that they were a big draw for a lot of the fans there (going by the speed that their shirts sold and the fact that it was probably the busiest set of the night). They killed it with the likes of ‘Downwind Death’, ‘Infectious Hospital Waste’ and the particularly well received ’44. Caliber Brain Surgery’. They were ferociously fast, and barely stopped for breath, and the crowd ate it up.

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Unleashed, however, were treated like gods when Johnny Hedlund and co strode upon the stage, bringing us mighty death metal about Vikings and warriors of old. An iconic back catalogue helps, and the likes of ‘Midvinterblot’, ‘To Asgaard We Fly’ and the awesome ‘Hammer Battalion’ cause fists to be pumped and the pit to go crazy. Unleashed are a well honed Swedish killing machine, and with a setlist drawn from past to present, they did indeed achieve ‘DEATH METAL VICTORY’!

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Anyone would have struggled to follow that, and Bloodbath did have a couple of technical difficulties at first but once their sickening chainsaw groove kicked in, they were unstoppable. A guy near me was a bit derisive of Nick Holmes to start with, but quickly shut up when the realisation hit him of how good the Paradise Lost frontman’s doom growl fit with the crawling morbidity of cuts like ‘Beyond Cremation’ and the devastating ‘Eaten’. Grinding Swedeath guitars spilled ‘Cancer of the Soul’ upon us, and the buzzsaw ‘Bathe in Blood’ was another highlight.

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And so to Dark Angel. To be honest, my brain and legs were starting to fail on me by this late hour (11 hours by this point does not do good things to your back) and so I had to sit down for anout half the set. But these thrash legends were absolutely excellent and I was inspired to get up again! And could I not, with a setlist jammed full of high energy thrash classics like ‘Time Does Not Heal’, ‘Perish in Flames’ and the stunning ‘The Burning of Sodom’. Gene Hoglan is an absolutely monster behind the kit, and treated us to a drum solo while some amplifier issues were sorted out. Technical problems only stalled us momentarily and the evening was brought to a triumphant ending by a band that I’ll never forget.

Once more, Lords of the Land delivered big time. The bands were all great, any of the members I met wandering around were cool as fuck and my only real gripe was the lack of Cannabis Corpse merch! Other than that it was an awesome day once more, and for a mere £40 a ticket you’d struggle to find a better bargain in modern metal gigs!

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2014 would struggle to live up to last year for major death metal masterpieces. 2013 saw the return of Carcass and Gorguts, along with stunning records from the likes of Ulcerate, Portal and Autopsy. There hasn’t been anything particularly to rival those releases this year, but what we have had has been some very good records, from some very good bands. So here is the Killchain picks for death metal records you MUST hear from 2014:

Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall

Obituary – Inked in Blood

Decapitated – Blood Mantra

Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto

Benighted – Carnivore Sublime

Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral

At the Gates – At War With Reality

Cannibal Corpse – The Skeletal Domain

Cannabis Corpse – From Wisdom to Baked

Entombed AD – Back to the Front

Hour of Penance – Regicide

Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

Incantation – Dirges of Elysium

Vallenfyre – Splinters

Vader – Tibi Et Igni

Vermin Womb – Permanence

There’s a few I’ll have missed, as I’m still catching up with this year’s releases. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Job for a Cowboy’s ‘Sun Eater’, so that might have been a late edition. I also want to mention the awesome Sentience demo and Live Burial’s debut EP as two fantastic death metal releases for the year, and bright hopes for the future

So, April has only just begun and, as part of a new drive to listen to as much of my vast music library as I can, I am now going to try and chronicle a month of ear candy. One post each day, charting my progress through records new and old. I feel more driven now to get into my music more deeply. I found a diary I kept during my six week trek across the States in 2009, and it was astonishing how music I got through during those epic train journeys. That inspired this idea, where I have less time but more need for music in my life. Here goes, April 1st:

Portal – Swarthe

Mercyful Fate – In the Shadows

Necropsy – Bloodwork

Pombagira – Maleficia Lamiah

Vallenfyre – A Fragile King

I also got a taste of the new Acheron, Amputated and Nervosa records, with Brazilian thrashers Nervosa being my pick of the bunch. I refuse to promote the fact they are all girls, because that doesn’t fucking matter, they rage like its 1984 all over again, and that’s what’s most important. Let’s see what tomorrow throws us. \m/