• My Top Albums of 2011

    8. Jan. 2012, 20:28

    So here it is again, for those that are interested! My top musical highlights of 2011.

    My Favourite Releases of 2011 (in no particular order)


    Decapitated - Carnival Is Forever



    The polish masters return after the loss of most of their band with a strong release, possibly their most progressive yet.





    Chthonic - Takasago Army



    Another slab of awesome from Taiwan's finest.





    Puscifer - Conditions of My Parole



    Maynard James Keenan returns with more eclectic electronic weirdness.





    The Wolves of Avalon - Carrion Crows Over Camlan



    Supergroup side project featuring members of Meads of Asphodel, Mael Mordha and Yydraggsil - this was only ever going to float my boat!





    Machine Head - Unto The Locust



    Sometimes I just like my metal to be plain and pure - the essence of what metal is generally all about. Hairy men playing guitars loudly, and shouting at you angrily. For me, Machine Head fill this void perfectly, and follow up their brilliant "The Blackening" album with another solid release.





    Hammers of Misfortune - 17th Street



    John Cobbett and Co. return with their heaviest album for a long while, but also their catchiest. Great stuff.





    Dornenreich - Flammentriebe



    German Folk/Black metal at it's absolute finest.





    My Dying Bride - Evinta



    A new experiment from the yorkshire masters of doom, and much more interesting than the disappointing "For Lies I Sire" - this 3-cd opus is stripped back, re-arranged orchestrations of recognisable MDB melodies, minus the guitars. Won't be for everyone, and not an easy listen in one sitting, but brilliant all the same. Closer to the likes of Dargaard and Dark Sanctuary than traditional MDB. One for the headphones with a glass of wine. And possibly a cry and a wank at the same time.





    Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events



    Despite initially not grabbing me, this has become a firm favourite of mine not only of the year but from all Dream Theater releases. It really does seem that the problem was Portnoy - and now we have DT returning with a stellar album. Disgruntled older fans should find something worth listening to here, especially considering the conspiracy theorists believe the entire thing is a reworked "Images and Words"!





    Foo Fighters - Wasting Light



    Quite a surprise for me to include a band like the Foo's in my yearly favourites list - they've been churning out the same dull pop/rock bobbins for about the last 3 albums - then they go and make the album of their career, up there with "Colour and the Shape". Who'd a thunk it.





    Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony



    The sound of the end of the world. With death metal. And full orchestra. A very scary, mind-shattering 50-minute end of the world. Exhausting to listen to, but genius none the less. Dear Nightwish - THIS is how you make symphonic metal.





    Pain of Salvation - Road Salt Two



    Not a patch on "Road Salt One" but still manages to make my album of the year list! Loving their new retro Led-Zep/road movie direction more with every listen.





    Mastodon - The Hunter



    It's no "Crack the Skye", their pinnacle IMHO, but this collection of catchy metal tunes still floats my boat. As usual my favourite track features Scott Kelly from Neurosis :)





    Falkenbach - Tiurida



    After a long hiatus, this Icelandic 1-piece returns sounding better than ever, with his distinctive brand of jaunty viking metal.





    iwrestledabearonce - Ruining It For Everybody



    This sort of "kerrazy" and "all over the shop and out of tune" hipster shit normally annoys the jolly christ out of me. They even have one of those band names that makes you want to slap them all upside the head. But for some reason I love this band. And I can't tell you why, because anything else of this ilk makes the urge to kill rise. I guess for me they have just the right level of "bonkers", I love the vocalist, and their use of electronics in places. It's a shame I'll probably never see them live because I will probably want to murder all their fans.





    The Project Hate MCMXCIX - Bleeding the New Apocalypse



    The new singer Ruby (Witchbreed) absolutely nails it on this one, despite my initial reservations. A great album, and much better than their last effort, which was quite frankly a load of shite. Yet more brutal, epic death metal tinged with electronica.





    THE CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR SECTION...

    A few good albums that didn't quite make it to my yearly favorites list...

    Magenta Harvest - A Familiar Room (EP)
    Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - Moral and Wahnsinn
    Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions
    Fair to Midland - Arrows and Anchors
    Septicflesh - The Great Mass
    Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising
    KMFDM - WTF?!
    Radiohead - King of Limbs




    THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2011

    ...and my list of releases that made me a SAD PANDA this year :(


    Nightwish - Imaginaerum

    An extreme lesson in DULL. Dear Tuomas, please just pack it in and become a film composer.

    Turisas - Stand Up and Fight

    Seemed more like a vanity project for Nygard, who in turn seems desperate to get noticed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is NOT the band I jigged merrily in the rain to at 2am during Wacken 2005. Poor.

    Opeth - Heritage

    I had to take a good few listens to work out whether I just didn't "get" this album, or whether it just wasn't THAT interesting. Sadly, as retro-prog-deep-purple covers albums go, it's pretty uninspiring. I guess if the "death metal" isn't in them anymore, it's best not to force it, but I know they can do miles better than this - just look at Damnation. Oh well.

    Devin Townsend Project - Ghost

    As much as I love Devin - he to me is such an inspiring person and musician - this is NOT my bag I'm afraid. If you went into one of those hippy shops that sells crystals and wicca books, where they play ambient "wellbeing" music, you wouldn't buy one of their tacky cd's now would you? You might even make fun of it while you were there. But somehow because Devin has done it, it's genius? Don't get it I'm afraid.

    Anaal Nathrakh - Passion

    The release where the joke of being so extreme it's funny no longer became funny. Over the top for the sake of it but foresaking any kind of memorable songwriting. Such a shame as the last two albums have been killer.

    Riverside - Memories in my Head

    Ironic for the title, I cannot remember a single thing about it no matter how many times I listen.

    Stream of Passion - Darker Days

    Dull, dull, dull. Come back Arjen, for gods sake.

    Wolverine - Communication Lost

    I so desperately WANT to love this album. They guys that make it put so much effort and time into it, but no matter how much I try, I just can't get it to sink in. I just don't know what it is that is missing... Sorry chaps! :(



    ALBUM OF THE YEAR

    And here it is! Usually I can never decide on an outright album of the year, but for once the choice for me is totally obvious. My personal winner of 2011 is...

    Amebix - Sonic Mass



    Coming completely out of nowhere for me, an old crust/punk band from a bit before even my time, reforms to make something completely fresh and relevant in the modern metal scene. I won't pretend to know much about their original material, but having checked it out since, there is no "trying to replicate former glories" here - just something new that has no right being as good as it is. Epic is a term thrown around too much, but it certainly fits here - and I don't just mean the usual "metal band tries to make a film score" rubbish. Soaring, heavy, crushing, beautiful - and just about pisses on everything else released this year from a great height. Trying to explain it doesn't do it justice, but it's like a strange marriage of Neurosis, Swans, Mastodon, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure.

    Just check this wonderment:



    And that's it, thanks for reading :)
  • 2010 - Top Albums, Songs and Disappointments

    25. Dez. 2010, 14:11

    So as a few other people are doing it, thought I would too. It's THAT time of year again - so what were my favourite and least favourite releases for 2010? (I hear you all cry, obviously)


    Top 20 Albums of 2010

    I have done these in alphabetical order only, as I find it almost impossible to decide with these things, but I would say my no.1 spot would be a battle between Triptykon, Rotting Christ, Fear Factory and Winterfylleth.

    Cathedral – Guessing Game
    Dark Fortress – Ylem
    Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini
    Fear Factory - Mechanize
    Ihsahn – After
    Jaldaboath – Rise of the Heraldic Beasts
    Keep of Kalessin – Reptilian
    Kivimetsan Druidi – Betrayal, Justice, Revenge
    The Meads of Asphodel – The Murder of Jesus the Jew
    Monster Magnet – Mastermind
    Nachtmystium – Addicts (Black Meddle Pt. 2)
    Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy
    Pain of Salvation – Road Salt One
    Rotting Christ – AEALO
    Shining - Blackjazz
    Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
    The Vision Bleak – Set Sail To Mystery
    Vulture Industries – The Malefactor’s Bloody Register
    Winterfylleth – The Mercian Sphere
    Witchery – Witchkrieg




    Top 10 Biggest Album Disappointments of 2010

    Again in alphabetical order only. Plus a little explanation as to why each is on this list.

    Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here
    This album veers alarmingly into jangly floaty-lite "indie" territory for my tastes, and personally does nothing for me. It lacks any of the emotion of the prog-tinged rock genius from the previous 3 albums. Even more annoying that it took so long to come out too :(

    Borknagar – Universal
    Nothing particularly bad about this release, I just found there was nothing particularly "great" about it either. The sort of record where I can't remember a single song once it's finished. And not a patch on "Epic".

    Combichrist – Making Monsters
    I found this to be a totally uninspired re-hash of old ideas, lacked any energy and wasn't a patch on "Today We Are All Demons".

    Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
    This band truly has descended into the ranks of "assclown" status. It's actually quite a feat to get onto my "disappointment" list, considering I was expecting it to be pretty bad anyway. But crikey, it was worse. Up until this point I've been quite tolerant of Dimmu's output, where other fans had dismissed them years ago. I never expected black metal, but unfortunately they now just seem to be a shoddy femme metal band fronted by a fat Norweigan.

    Goldfrapp – Head First
    Where the hell did the floaty europop come from? Get back to doing scuzzy disco beats again, you silly woman. Terrible.

    Orphaned Land – The Way Of the ORWarrior
    This is probably the biggest disappointment of the year for me. Such is my lack of will to listen to this record, that I think I've probably got the album title slightly wrong. 5 years in the making and not a patch on "Mabool". I don't know WHAT is wrong with the music, I just know I can't remember a thing apart from "Sapari" and I have no inclination to go back to it to find out. I guess waiting for so long I expected a better pay-off. Oh well, better luck in 2015.

    Pin-Up Went Down – 342
    Where are the decent songs? Where are the inventive ideas? If they are here, they are certainly disguised well - possibly underneath the sound of a band disappearing up their own arse. Bring back the "2-unlimited" style please, not meandering songs that go everywhere, wibble over everything, yet get nowhere. Kudos for "Vaginaal Nathrakh" as a song title though - shame the song was shit!

    ReVamp – ReVamp
    Oh Floor Jansen. What have you done? Why on earth kill After Forever for this utter tripe? 2nd biggest disappointment of 2010. The first album in a long time that makes me so angry I generally have to turn it off by about the 2nd song in. 10 tracks of the very worst, generic, paint-by-numbers femme-metal overlaid with Floor Jansen not singing but SHOUTING CONSTANTLY to show you WHAT A POWERFUL FUCKING VOICE SHE HAS thus making everything EVEN MORE FUCKING UNBEARABLE. If you really dig this album and lap this sort of generic crap up, then congratulations - you are probably one of the reasons the femme metal scene is completely dead. Kindly drown yourself whilst masturbating to the latest Within Temptation video.

    Serj Tankian – Imperfect Harmonies
    Serj's voice compliments metal brilliantly in it's discordant style, but unfortunately against the backdrop of classical instruments and other such variations, it only goes to highlight his weaknesses, and the result is some uninspired world music overlaid by a guy who sounds like he's having trouble keeping in tune. Dull and toneless.

    Sigh – Scenes From Hell
    After the crisp, crunchy production and thrashing wagner-based madness of "Hangman's Hymn", "Scenes" is a bitter disappointment - terrible production, muffled vocals/guitars recorded too loud which in turn drown out any of the orchestrated background, and uninspired songs that seem to blend into eachother. Possibly the most disappointing album of their career thus far.



    Top 25 BANGING TUNES of 2010

    Thought I'd counteract the last lot of bile filled moaning with a more positive end note - my top 25 songs from 2010, again just in alphabetical order.

    Blind Guardian – You’re The Voice
    Cathedral – Funeral of Dreams
    Cephalic Carnage - Repangaea
    Dark Fortress – Osiris
    Deftones – Rocket Skates
    Disturbed – Another Way to Die
    Enslaved – Ethica Odini
    Fear Factory – Christploitation
    Jaldaboath – Axe Wielding Nuns
    Keep of Kalessin – The Awakening
    Korn – Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
    Linkin Park – The Catalyst
    The Meads Of Asphodel – From Eagle To Cross
    Melechesh – Sacred Geometry
    Nachtmystium – Every Last Drop
    Pain of Salvation – Linoleum
    Rhapsody Of Fire – On The Way to Ainor
    Rotting Christ – Demonon Vrosis
    Rush – BU2B
    Shining – Fisheye
    Triptykon – Shatter
    Tristania – Year of the Rat
    The Vision Bleak – A Romance With the Grave
    Vulture Industries – I Hung My Heart On Harrow Square
    Witchery – The God Who Fell From Earth



    End Comments

    Just thought I'd add, there are a few albums I have ONLY just started listening to, so haven't had proper attention to judge yet - in particular DEATHSPELL OMEGA (which I feel will make this top 20 but I've only heard it twice so bit early/unfair to judge). There are also a few albums I still need to check out, namely GOD DETHRONED and SOLEFALD.

    Anyway, that's my OCD-based list waffling over with, have tagged any of you I think might be interested :)
  • ChthoniC Setlist - 31st October, Upstairs at the Garage

    4. Nov. 2009, 10:10

  • PAIN / NIGHTWISH - London Astoria 25th March

    26. Mär. 2008, 16:44

    My 2 pence (or 2 quid) about last night's gig, for what it's worth..

    Review (skunk_monk)

    Gig Entry
    Pain
    Nightwish
  • ChthoniC - Live @ Camden Barfly, 13th November

    14. Nov. 2007, 21:57

    Chthonic - Live @ Barfly Camden, London, 13th November

    Finally got to see a band I've been wanting to see for ages last night - Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic....

    Basically they were absolutely stunning and I'm totally glad I made the trek to London, even if it was just to see a 40 minute support slot.

    Just all round bloody brilliant - perfect sound, great stage prescence, really electrifying songs that just got me headbanging like a looney. A performance I only hope is not too long before I experience again.

    Was great to see such a unique band in a small venue like the Barfly - and for the sound to be excellent too. 8)

    Setlist I believe was as follows:

    Nemesis (intro)
    Indigenous Laceration
    Revert To Mortal Territory
    Where The Utux Ancestors Wait
    Bloody Gaya Fulfilled
    UNLimited Taiwan
    Quasi Putrefaction (probably the highlight of the show - fantastic!)

    Yeah, so needless to say I liked it :P

    If anyone knows the name of the band from Athens, Greece that played first, please let me know! I thought they were great but as per usual the singer announced who they were by MUMBLING the band name >:( No one I asked seemed to know either.

    I didn't stick around for 3 Inches of Blood as I know from hearing their CD's it's not my cup of tea at all.

    Got some decent photos from front-center:



















  • NIGHTWISH - Dark Passion Play - Initial Review

    1. Jul. 2007, 20:52

    Having received the promo of the eagerly awaited Nightwish album "Dark Passion Play" last week, these are my initial thoughts, rather than a full on review as such.

    Having totally lost interest in this band over the last 18 months due to ridiculous over-exposure and the never ending sea of teen-goth muppets jumping on the NW bandwagon, despite previously being an active member in the UK Nightwish Fanclub "Oceanborn" for several years, "Dark Passion Play" has not only restored my faith in the band - but also given me a glimmer of hope for the dying gothic metal scene.

    Anyways - the album!

    I have to say on first listen I am very impressed. The most heavy and guitar driven album by Nightwish - BUT - without the music being infiltrated by the dreadful Chug-Chug, Goth-Pop, Radio Rock Crap Song Style. The only song that comes close to that sort of thing is the single "Amaranth" - but even then, it still feels distinctly Nightwish, rather than being another WT/Evanescence clone job. Thankfully there isn't really anything else on the album aimed at radio play. I think some people will be surprised at how heavy this album gets in places. Beleive it or not, there are even blastbeats on one track!

    It goes without saying that the orchestra recorded at Abbey Road is superb and this makes "Poet and The Pendulum" ten times more impressive than GLS - despite some dodgy boy soprano vocals, and an even dodgier spoken word passage about "getting Raped over and over again" :S Don't ask...

    Some very diverse songs - quite a few with the sort of punchy europop feel of "Wish I Had An Angel", several big orchestral parts along the lines of GLS and there are even some folk styled songs towards the end, featuring fiddles and banjos and whatnot. The final track "Meadows Of Heaven" has some excellent gospel singers too - rather random but sounds fantastic - and music reminiscent of the final scenes of "Gladiator".

    Marco's vocals have come on leaps and bounds - ranging from very soft singing (which I've not heard him do much of before) to far more aggressive "almost growling" territory. Also, the band are definitely "easing" Annette into her position as Frontwoman - this album is most definitely 50/50 on the vocals between Marco and Anette, with pretty much every other song being either "Marco Only" or at the very least the two of them dueting.

    It's also now far more evident in the context of the album why "Eva" was chosen as the first single to reveal Anette to the world - it's the only song on the entire CD that is purely about HER and is a showcase for her voice. She is also quite diverse - the track "Sahara" shows her doing some Azam Ali-esque arabian vocals whilst the music almost harks back to the days of Oceanborn and Wishmaster! One to please the old school fans no doubt.

    I will say - Anette needs to work on her soft singing - she sounds quite off in places when she is doing the low parts - if it's not that she sounds far too twee. However, she truly shines during the epic "big" singing sections - there she is absolutely superb. I'm sure the shortcomings are something she will work on in the future.

    All in all, at the moment, I'm really pleased with it 8)

    Quite Frankly, "Bye Bye Beautiful" rocks my nutsack. Think of the pumping eurovision-esque beats of WIHAA - but 200% more awesome.

    I think Marco has been listening to a lot of Megadeth - the guitars on some of his "solo" songs are very thrash metal

    There are two awesome folk songs on the album too - which is totally different for NW. "The Islander" is a sweet slow celtic tune - imagine Suidakra gone gentle over a duet with Marco and Annette. "Last Of The Wilds" is an irish/violin/bagpipe fest and is a complete instrumental.

    All excellent so far - this album doesn't need Tarja, and quite frankly musically it pees all over Once from a great height and with gleeful aplomb. If anymore proof were needed that NW was always TUOMAS' baby, and never fecking TARJA that made the band, then this album is it. Anette isn't as good a singer - yet, but now she is another important part of the band - not a focal point - more part of the team. The music does all the talking here.

    My dwindling hope for the dying gothic-metal scene is somewhat restored by Nightwish keeping their distinct identity even with a totally different singer, and not taking the route of so many other bands with less integrity just to appeal to the teenage goth brigade, make big bucks and get radio play. Within Temptation and Sirenia particularly take note - you fucking unimaginative shitehawks :P


    Bye Bye Beautiful
    Eva
    The Poet and the Pendulum
    Master Passion Greed
    Amaranth
    7 Days to the Wolves
    Sahara
    The Islander
    Last of the Wilds
    Meadows of Heaven
  • Type O + Paradise Lost - London 21.06.07

    22. Jun. 2007, 18:11

    My two pence worth if anyone cares over the recent Type O Negative UK Touring Fiasco:


    Despite my worries after hearing about the Birmingham disaster, the London gig was fairly decent.

    Zico Chain started off well with some nice heavy trad-metal riffing and then slowly descended into crap, bouncy pop punk like the Offspring mixed with Trivium. Ho hum.

    Paradise Lost I have to say were adequately entertaining but not that exciting - with sound that got steadily worse throughout their set. The new material sounded very strong alongside some of the more loved tunes, so at least that speaks volumes about them being back on track creatively.

    SETLIST
    -----------
    The Enemy
    Erased
    Grey
    Gothic
    No Celebration
    Ash & Debris
    Pity the Sadness
    As I Die
    Accept the Pain
    One Second
    The Last Time
    Say Just Words


    Type O Negative came onstage at 9, and on time, and played a fairly good 80 minute set. They played 2 songs off the new album, both clocking in at 14 minutes each, and much like Paradise Lost it showed the strength of the new material - both tracks were a pleasure. I guess anyone not familiar with the new material or album tracks would consider tonight's show a crap setlist - didn't bother me however, as I actually listen to more than the singles when I buy their albums! My only gripe was no material from "World Coming Down" - one of my favourite albums - but you can't have it always.

    For once the sound was also good, and the band sounded spot on. Admittedly being the Astoria it was typically far too loud for the size of the venue (my ears still hurt) and other people have complained about poor sound - but from where we were at front center balcony (above the soundesk) it sounded fine.

    SETLIST:
    -----------
    Magical Mystery Tour (Beatles Cover)
    We Hate Everyone
    The Profit Of Doom
    Anethesia
    These Three Things
    -------
    Kill You Tonight / 20 minute Medley of random type O material
    Love You To Death
    -------
    Black No 1



    Despite the good show there was something worryingly wrong with Pete Steele. :( It was quite sad to see a bloke, who 3 years ago was the life and soul of sarcastic stage wit, spend most of the show as a shambling wreck. I guess his battles with ill health, mental illness and drug addiction have taken a backward step once again despite his claims to be off the hard stuff, and probably have a lot to do with the recurring reports of the sort of crap that went down in Birmingham and other shows on this recent tour.

    Peter really looked dreadful. He looked like he was gonna pass out any moment and didn't say a word. The rest of the band were trying to overcompensate with the "metal shape throwing" to distract people from the fact Peter looked like he'd rather be tucked up in bed than be on stage. I think it's obvious he's back on the white stuff - during a halftime break in the set, he disappeared backstage (ie. he went for a "snort" or so my theory goes) then when he came back out he was suddenly buzzing and happy and acting the fool. For the first half of the gig he looked like this was the last place he wanted to be. (Some people who were on the barrier for the gig commented during the journey home that after he came back from his break, you could clearly see white powder on his top - due to the UV lightning effects for the "green" they have onstage).

    Still, after the horror stories of the stunt they pulled the night before in Birmingham, I'm just glad they played and didn't act like tossers. I really enjoyed the show despite there being something seriously wrong with Pete. Probably preferred it to their show in 2003 to be honest, not performance wise, but the setlist was more to my liking. The new tracks were immensely good live, and Kenny & Josh were extremely energetic (for "Kill You Tonight" Josh leapt from the Keyboards with a microphone and jumped into the crowd to sing the song which was an entertaining touch).

    Hearing all the other stuff though certainly took the edge off proceedings - even tho our show was fine. Some friends of ours were at the brum gig and it sounded like a hideous spectacle. Sadly I think this smacks of them coming to an abrupt end - I would be worried if I had tickets for further on in the tour - not sure how much longer they can go on like they have been before this tour (and band) falls apart. :S

    Type O Negative + Paradise Lost - London 21.06.07
  • No Mercy Fest 2007 - London 10.04.07

    12. Apr. 2007, 21:47

    No Mercy Fest 2007 - London UK, Camden KOKO (10.04.07)

    Lineup:

    Moonspell
    Napalm Death
    Behemoth
    Dew Scented
    Root
    Hades Something Or Other But I can't remember their name

    Saw Moonspell play a gig this week with Behemoth, Napalm Death, Root and Dew Scented. Needless to say it was a corker!

    My wife's mini blog of the gig is here:
    http://the-prawn.livejournal.com/63997.html

    My mini gush-fest about Moonspell/Behemoth is available here, including pics and videos:
    http://skunk-monk.livejournal.com/25378.html

    For those that can't be arsed to go that far and read the whole lot, the Selist for Moonspell was as follows:

    In Memoriam
    Finisterra
    Memento Mori
    Opium
    Awake
    Blood Tells
    Vampiria
    Nocturna
    Upon The Blood Of Men
    Ruin & Misery
    Alma Mater
    ------
    Full Moon Madness


    Thankfully being at the front, and with my new camera being rather spiffy, I managed to make a fairly decent video of them playing "Nocturna". The sound as always is iffy due to it being too loud for the camera, so I've used a bit of jiggery pokery to overdub the original song over the footage and the live sound. It's not perfect, but it's better than the crackling and dull thud of drums instead :D The picture quality however is suprisingly ace.

    Two versions: 1 for people with good broadband, and 1 for people that live in caves with dial up modems powered by rats:

    MOONSPELL - Nocturna

    Hi Quality - http://metalmonk.co.uk/images/forum/Moonspell_NoMercyUK_Hi.wmv

    Lo Quality - http://metalmonk.co.uk/images/forum/Moonspell_NoMercyUK_Lo.wmv


    Let me know what you think :D

    Pics (I can't be bothered with that Flickr nonsense):



















    I want to see them again - and sooner rather than later!!
  • Nine Inch Nails - Setlist 10/03/07 + OMG Review Waffle

    11. Mär. 2007, 18:05

    Now I may be into much more extreme or avante garde bands these days, but NIN was integral to my youth in opening my eyes to "heavier" music. While I think that "With Teeth" was a bit - shall we say - "wank" (bar the odd catchy single) I have always loved Nine Inch Nails and always will. Their live performance, was, and still is, one of the most amazing experiences full stop. They are by far and away head and shoulders above ALL of the extreme bands I have seen in terms of tightness, musicianship and just plain balls-out intensity.

    I don't really give a shit what people think of NIN being mainstream or whatever. All you 17 year olds listening to your obscure black metal bands these days acting like you know everything or the hardcore industrial snobs who have spent the last 20 years whinging that Trent stole too many ideas can quite frankly bugger off.

    This Saturday, a childhood dream came true. "The Downward Spiral" was an album that changed my life, cliched as it is. Unfortunately I discovered NIN around 95/96 and missed out on the tours for that album. The Fragile and With Teeth tours featured heavily on the material from those albums, so that great decadent period from "The Downward Spiral" - where Trent was fucked up and the music was dirty and dark - was something I've always regretted missing out on.

    BOY am I glad I booked this Saturday's show. The setlist was a special show - showcasing almost all of THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL and BROKEN, and ignoring most of the newer records, bar a couple of singles. Infact, the first 30 minutes of the gig was ALL 5 of the first tracks from THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL in numerical order!!! :D In comparison, it would be like a Dream Theater fan going to see DT only to find out they will be playing "Scenes From A Memory" in it's entirity, or Nevermore playing all of "This Godless Endeavor" or Metallica playing all of "Master Of Puppets"...etc etc.

    They played "Heresy" - the first time I have ever heard my favourite NIN song live - and quite frankly I was in heaven (pun intended). The whole crowd chanting "God Is Dead, And No-One Cares, If there is a Hell, I'll See You There!" was quite something. It was like a dream setlist for me, and like being back in 1994. Last night was like finally getting to see the NIN I missed out on. "No You Don't" and "Last" were also awesome surprises.

    This was the 4th time I'd seen NIN and easily my favourite, and possibly one of my favourite gigs of the last 15 years. It's quite bad actually, I'm wary of seeing them again because I very much doubt I will get to see a setlist like that again, so I'm eternally grateful for this chance to see what it was that made me fall in love with this band in the first place.

    The setlist was as follows:

    Mr. Self Destruct (Downward Spiral)
    Piggy (Downward Spiral)
    Heresy (Downward Spiral)
    March Of The Pigs (Downward Spiral)
    Closer/Down In It (Downward Spiral)
    Last (Broken)
    Help Me I Am In Hell (Broken)
    The Becoming (Downward Spiral)
    Eraser (Downward Spiral)
    The Frail/La Mer (The Fragile)
    Into The Void (The Fragile)
    Reptile (Downward Spiral)
    Survivalism (Year Zero)
    No, You Don't (The Fragile)
    Only (With Teeth)
    Wish (Broken)
    Gave Up (Broken)
    Dead Souls (The Crow Soundtrack)
    Hurt (Downward Spiral)
    The Hand that Feeds (With Teeth)
    Head Like A Hole (Pretty Hate Machine)

    Trent was also in high spirits, jumping like a loony and getting the crowd going. He even SPOKE directly to the crowd rather than just saying "thank you" after each song - which is quite a rarity for him to break that whole "mystique" thing - so he must have been in a good mood. It was something along the lines of "How are you guys doing out there tonight? Hope you are enjoying the special set from our older albums, here's something new..." when he introduced "Survivalism" (which I have to say, sounds bloody excellent live, and restores my faith and hopes for the new album...)

    Really I think the only people that could find fault with this set are the floppy fringe brigade, in their top-shop AC/DC t-shirts, who heard "The Hand That Feeds" and bought With Teeth and that's it. Last night they really must have wondered what hit them, especially when they played tracks like "Reptile" and "Eraser" :D

    Anyways, I'll stop waffling on now. :)

    Nine Inch NailsThe Downward SpiralBrokenNIN - 10th March 2007
  • The Meads - New Song: Christmas Style!

    13. Dez. 2006, 18:47

    One for you Meads of Asphodel fans...

    ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND SHIT

    The Meads of Asphodel have a brand new unreleased track included on the cover CD of the December issue of UK Metal mag "Terrorizer"

    http://www.terrorizer.com

    Titled "All Things Bright And Shit", it is an homage to the xmas single - done Meads style!

    It's also hilarious and black like most of the Meads wonderful satire :D Get hold of it while you can ;)