Download 2019 was a complete mudfest, but an absolutely incredible weekend.
Temple Newsam, Leeds, 25th May 2019: Never will you find a more wretched hive of snapbacks and Vans. As the fans begin entering the festival grounds, the day is bright and warm... sadly it won’t last, but rain, thunder or snow wouldn’t have kept the legions away from Leeds today.
For the last few years, in the tech-metal scene, there have been two titans on either side of The Pond: Tesseract and Periphery. Now when your transatlantic cousins take the ‘Black Album’ school of thought and trim everything down, tighten it all up and produce the shortened album of less expansive works that was Sonder, what do you do? Well, apparently, you mark your first release away from Sumerian records by throwing seemingly everything you can think of, and the kitchen sink, at your new record. And for Periphery, it is a resounding success.
It is a terrible crime that both of these bands find themselves playing a half empty small venue in Manchester on a Wednesday night, as both are perfect examples of new and exciting bands, drawing from the past while striving towards new territory.
In recent years, there has been an incredible surge in post punk music. From the dark, gothic overtones of a band like Grave Pleasures to the loaded political gunshots of Idles. The wave of 1980s nostalgia that has gripped the world for the last decade has gradually seeped into music and these bands are now coming to the fore. Crows are the latest, and they’re mixing that post-punk sound with a noisy riff driven edge. On the spectrum of this scene they fall somewhere in the middle of the two bands above and that is perhaps the biggest problem with this album.
Metalcore. It has gone from an inventive melding of metal and hardcore to a term that loosely defines an incredibly large amount of mediocre modern metal and very few stand out bands. The Royal do not plumb the depths that have been well explored by so many bands since the turn of the century, but neither do they have the incredible invention and song-writing of bands like Killswitch Engage or Parkway Drive.
”A miserable band from a miserable town”. That is how Mastiff summarise themselves on their social media. I've never been to Hull, but if Mastiff are the aural representation of the town, then I'm not sure I want to visit. This is a band who specialise in brutality, whether that be when they utilise extreme pace or, more often, the thudding grinding groove that propels their particular brand of sludgy grinding heaviness.
A gloomy Manchester is where we lay our scene, with Enter Shikari drawing to the end of a mammoth UK tour that began back at the beginning of December. (Photo: Dani Willgress)
If you asked anybody about the best metal bands to emerge this side of the millennium, chances are Mastodon would be one of the first bands out of their mouth. And with good reason. In the 19 years since the release of their debut full length, Remission, the Atlanta four-piece have gone on to release critically acclaimed records, top album of the year lists and even win a Grammy. Tonight they take on Leeds, in thoroughly miserable weather it must be said.
This is never going to be seen as just another album, it’s the final recorded output of an excellent musician, and a master of his instrument. RIP Oli Herbert.
"The technical proficiency on display from the band members is also incredible, from the drumming to the excellent guitar work of both four and six string varieties. The set is of course made up solely of songs from the outstanding debut album Black Wash, and they come across just as well if not better in the live environment".
In these days of streaming and, God forbid, stealing albums, it is very common for bands to leave a long gap between each piece of their recorded output, because touring is what puts food on the table and money in the pockets. These circumstances then, make it even more commendable that a band like All […]
We are lucky enough to live in an era in which heavy music is being redefined. Bands like Conjurer, Employed To Serve and Venom Prison are completely changing the sound of British metal and hardcore by combining a myriad of influences, each building it up to something that sounds completely fresh and vital. Meanwhile, Deafheaven, […]
Two years since their last full length release, Trophy Eyes are back with The American Dream, and the Australian pop punk crew have returned with one of the strongest collections of songs the genre has seen for many years. Clocking in at just shy of 40 minutes, they have trimmed all the fat off of […]
Bend/Break is the new EP from Brighton based pop punks MAYPINE. Having released their debut EP in 2017, they have returned with this new offering. The guitar lines and thick textures of the instrumental passages are probably the most memorable thing about this release. When it comes to pop punk, there is a lot of […]