Friday, 28 April 2017

Interview with Chabtan

France is a place with a growing metal scene. With the international breakouts of groups such as Gojira and Alcest, along with the long running success of Hellfest and now Download Festival Paris, the future is looking bright for French metal. One of the upcoming acts in the scene is Chabtan. Currently writing and recording their second album, I spoke to them last week about how things have progressed for them since the release of 2015's The Kiss of Coatlicue.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

IN DEFENCE OF: Crazy Town - Darkhorse (2002)

Crazy Town are absolutely hated in the metal community, and in many ways you can see why. The two frontmen, Seth “Shifty” Binzer and Brett “Epic” Mazur, were the epitome of turn-of-the-century frat-rock posturing and their first album, The Gift of Game, displayed everything wrong with the rap-rock/nu metal boom of the late 90s. However, this led to many preconceptions towards their follow-up effort, 2002’s Darkhorse, which contrary to public perception, showed a considerable amount of musical growth and a huge change in direction for Crazy Town that deserves much more credit than they’re given.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Interview with Greedy Black Hole

Times are interesting in Taiwan. Amidst a myriad of social and political changes in recent years that have really put the partially-recognised nation on the map, they have also started to develop quite the metal scene, in the wake of Chthonic's huge successes both domestically and internationally. As part of this New Wave of Taiwanese Heavy Metal, Greedy Black Hole are still perhaps some distance from being on that sort of level. But their new single, entitled FEA (meaning "Fuck 'Em All"), is a blistering attack on homophobia which spreads an important message during an important time for LGBT+ rights in Taiwan and across the world. Recently I spoke to lead vocalist Yvonne Yang about the new song, how things are in Taiwan right now and what their future plans are.

Friday, 7 April 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Body Count - Bloodlust

30 years is a long time, especially if you’re Ice T. For nearly 3 decades now, he has been singing about social injustices such as racism and police brutality and you can forgive him for getting a bit fed up with the fact that nothing has changed. After his metal band Body Count released the rather tongue-in-cheek Manslaughter in 2014, certain events in the US caused Ice to rediscover the pure unadulterated outrage that crafted this year’s Bloodlust, released rather poignantly on the 25th anniversary of Body Count’s infamous self-titled debut. And this album shows that, even as he enters his 60s, Ice T is still leading the frontlines of socially conscious rap and metal, with Bloodlust standing as one of the most lyrically vital albums of 2017 so far.

Monday, 3 April 2017

EP REVIEW: I Am Derek - Zipped

I Am Derek: Don’t let the name fool you. Nobody in this band is actually called Derek. The two-piece from Bideford is instead fronted by a guy called Neil, and released their latest EP, Zipped, in January – a very grunge tinted approach to indie rock that doesn’t particularly reinvent the wheel but offers an inoffensive 10 minute jam with catchy choruses and a very dirty production.