So for this volume we decided to do a little bit of crossover – our Avengers/X-Men team up if you will – as both myself (Matt D) and David talk about their favourite albums of 2018 to this point (the definitive coming of course at the end of 2018) while Tim, following his recent trip to Catton Hall taking in the wonder that is Bloodstock tells us his favourite new discoveries from this year’s event.
Without further ado and as he is our guest it is only fair that David tells us his favourite albums first:
Hide – Castration Anxiety
So angry! Hide’s frontwoman Heather Gabel has stated that their music and live performances are political and come from a place of anger, and for her is a cathartic way to process the negative things that would otherwise fester in her psyche and it’s clear to hear in the music. This is proper industrial, music that has a point, music that needed to be made and music that will kick its way into your head and set up camp.
Industrial is my go-to music for aggression these days so I’m always on the lookout for heavy music with a mood that isn’t angry and macho. This has led me to female artists like Chelsea Wolfe, Darkher and now BlackWater HolyLight. The self-titled album is an incredibly accomplished debut and a melting pot of all kinds of doom, psych and metal influences. Brilliant.
I like pretty much everything Schwefelgelb release and Aus Den Falten is no different. German-made Techno Body Music that makes you feel like you’re in a sweaty Berlin nightclub at 3am when you’re actually in on a Friday night sipping strawberry cider and relentlessly updating Facebook for the illusion of human contact. Which I am in no way doing. Shut up.
Thanks David for that triad of industrial/techno goodness, now time no doubt to surprise people with at least one choice on my list! (Videos are at the bottom of the post.)
To begin with I’m picking two releases off one label that throughout the years has been consistent in high quality: Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It and Boss Keloid – Melted on the Inch both on Holy Roar Records.
With many things in common between the two bands : powerful vocalists and music that grabs your attention from the offset – Rolo in particular being able to go from ambient and melodic to their darkest work yet in a way that feels gradual rather than a whiplash effect, a deal that’s been consistent since Kasia/Sakia from Cosmology – these two records showcase both bands’ strongest work and yet you know they’re going to find a way to top it because they’re THAT damn good.
Next comes what many would consider the ‘curveball’ I guess in Spanish Love Songs : Schmaltz, a record that reminds me more – along with honourable mention to Dollar Signs’ latest – of the original version of emo, think more American Football than My Chemical Romance, more than the pop punk label they’ve been given with songs concerning anxiety, grief and even an anthem of sorts in Buffalo Buffalo with an overall message – life may not be fair and the ride’s going to have some bumps in the way but there are ways to get through it.
Now for something completely different – where the only emotion essentially is RAGE – as we get the combination of Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh and Fukpig joining forces to create one of the best grindcore records in quite some time and considering it’s Shane Embury, Mick Kenney and Duncan Wilkins coming together anything less than just feeling the short sharp shock of brutality followed by wanting to listen again would be just wrong – welcome to Born To Murder The World’s The Infinite Mirror of Millennial Narcissism and of course for those going Damnation – how can you not love seeing Napalm, Nathrakh and Fukpig in one day?!
Lastly – if you want a great album to satisfy your doom metal love (with a BLEH thrown in for good measure) Khemmis’ Desolation (Nuclear Blast) hits that spot the same way label mates Pallbearer did in 2017. With pretty much catchy choruses (to songs about grief and death no less) and great riffs Khemmis carry on the high that Hunted began in 2016 with wonderful results.
Finally here’s Tim with his Bloodstock 2018 discoveries…
The past few years I have covered Bloodstock Festival as a media representative, covering the bands as per my editors steer and ensuring the best possible coverage photographically and in written form that delivers for the outlets.
This year was somewhat different, as I stepped up to work for the festival as an in house photographer. It provided a different challenge but also gave me a different perspective on the festival. From this i discovered a few bands that I may not have even covered from my normal angle.
With that in mind, I bring you my top 5 discoveries of the festival weekend!
I’ll be honest if I was covering the festival for a media outlet I would still have covered these this weekend. However, personally, I’ve never really given them the time of day and oh how my eyes were opened! Their industrial sound grabs you buy the balls and thrusts you into their world. The dual drummers add a twist to the sound and add to the theatrics of the show. As the multitiude of drums beats reverberate through your soul the gnarling guitars and vibrate vocals hold you firm and batter your senses.
A legendary band, one who forged the “groove metal” sound back in the day long before anyone had every heard of Pantera or Machine Head. Despite their long and storied past this was their first appearance in the UK and thus the stage was packed with fans. Their groove-orientated thrash sound anthemic and aggressive delivered on point. having laid the foundations on which others would later build successful careers, the appreciation of the rare show in the UK is shown by the crowd. Snarling guitars the highlight with vicious vocals leaving everyone broken, battered and bruised.
The “Newblood stage” often delivers a few surprises at the festival, with it being filled with battle of the band competition winners from up and down the country, you can always guarantee discovering some great bands here. This year was no exception and the first in my highlight real is Coventry three piece Pelugion. Infectious riffs draw you in along with inspiring vocals to give you that warm feeling inside and throbbing drums that inspire. A fantastic outfit I encourage you all to check out.
It’s not often a band bring a breath of fresh air to a festival, mix things up and create a storm. On the Newblood stage, Psychotype did just that. It doesn’t take much to work out the band’s inspiration, eerie stage lighting and dark figures adorned with masks prove the Slipknot influence is strong. Its hard to pigeon hole such a band and nor would I want to, the bands unique sound pushes boundaries, crosses styles and mixes the unmixable. All of which results in a show not to be missed; sound, vision, aggression, mysticism and intrigue.
1. Alien Weaponry
By far and away my highlight of the 2018 festival, outside of the big names. Much is being made of New Zealand youngsters Alien Weaponry in the music business at the moment and we are about to find out why. A traditional Haka by drummer Henry de Jong is the bands intro before the fireworks really start. Ferocious angst driven thrash metal, technically superb from one of the youngest bands on the bill. The three piece put on a performance that belies their age. Masterful, controlled and perfectly delivered. These lads are not to be missed, I recommend you check out their album now.
As ever the festival was a raging success, but working in a different role gave me a different perspective and proves that every stage throughout the weekend will throw out some surprises. The best festival of the summer as ever delivered the goods.