Wednesday, 17 December 2008

two thousand and fucking eight

It's that time of year again, the end of another twelve months of travelling, headbanging (hetpenging), sleeping on floors, drinking, spilling tea all over bus floors, surviving on vegan curries and foreign sweets.
We outdid ourselves this year, visiting some amazing cities and meeting some new friends along the way. It's pretty hard to pick the "best" of the year out of everything that happened, and I'm sure I've overlooked some stuff, but let's see...

Top Gigs of 2008 (in no particular order)
Cathedral - Damnation Festival
Waited around sixteen years(!) to see Coventry's finest again, and they didn't let me down, apart from not playing Soul Sacrifice, but you can't have everything. Dorrian's Eyes!!!

Motörhead/Saxon - Manchester Apollo
Thee Head were amazing at Donington, but you can't beat seeing Lemmy and the lads in a theatre. The fact that it was a double whammy with the legendary Saxon too just made this Heavy Metal Heaven.

Pagan Altar/Lamp of Thoth - Doom Metal Inquisition
Amazing set from thee Lamp, a band on the brink of greatness, and as ever, a masterclass from NWOBHM/Doom legends Pagan Alltar, in the sweaty confines of Bradford's 1 in 12 club.

Iron Maiden - Twickenham Stadium
As part of the "Somewhere Back in Time" tour...a setlist to die for.
I finally heard Wasted Years live, and as such can die a happy man.

Morbid Angel - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Maze of Torment? Check. Chapel of Ghouls? Check. Evil Spells? Check. David Vincent may be the most unintentionally camp frontman in Death Metal but Morbid Angel are faultless live.

Ravens Creed -Leeds Fenton
Bank Holiday Monday, and an almost completely empty Fenton (shame on you) was treated to some true, underground thrash, worshipping the idols we grew up with.
Fuck all this Earache nu-thrash nonsense.

Gloomy Sunday/They Are Cowards/Black Sun - Manchester/Bradford
The same three bands played at the Star and Garter and the 1 in 12, and laid waste to both.
Three of the most intense bands walking this earth, all together getting drunk and loud....nasty.

Deviated Instinct/Extinction of Mankind - Bradford
A childhood dream come true, total terminal filth stenchcore in a sort of one-off, the pit fucking stank at this gig, and I was right in the middle of it. Two bands that will be sorely missed by me.

Trouble / Grand Magus / Church of Misery / The Devil's Blood - Roadburn, Holland.
The roaburn festival this year was a ball from beginning to end...from seeing John Lennon as Steve Harris in Liverpool Airport through hungover eyes (we'd been to Leeds to watch Witchcraft the night before) to trying stuff all our merch, CDs and Vinyl into our bags in the airport coming home, not even the non-appearance of Celtic Frost could ruin this weekend, with those four named bands being the highlights for me.
The only way they could top this would be to get Saint Vitus and Angel Witch back together to play next year....oh wait...they have....

Albums of the 2008 (Again, in no particular order):
Darkthrone - Dark Thrones and Black Flags
More blackened crust thrash from Gylve and Ted, true as fuck.
Jesu - Why Are We Not Perfect?

Something to relax with, sonic dreamscapes from Justin K Broadrick, expanding on the jesu ethos and blasting off into space.
Motörhead - Motorizer
A great album from an amazing band who never dissapoint, the new songs sounding amazing next to the classics in a live environment.
Grand Magus - Iron Will

Total fist-pumping, headbanging heavy metal. Very modern whilst still retaining that old-style true sound that Thee Claw loves.
Lamp of Thoth - Portents, Omens & Dooms
Victorian England's premier doom trio with their first full length album, updating some demo tracks and a weighing in with a couple of new compositions, recorded by gaslight in a Yorkshire stately home for you to listen to on your gramophone.
Black Sun - Paralyzer
Filthy fuckers from Glasgow who will come to your house, drink Buckfast and not flush the toilet after themselves, because they are in rush to get their clothes off in the pit at Charger gigs.
They Are Cowards - Demo

My tip from the underground for 2009...slow, brooding, hate-filled sludge from the wastes of Northwest England. With riffs....oh my god the riffs!!!


Personal Highs and Lows:
Highs:
Kirk Windstein telling me never to shave and kissing my cheek.
Orange Goblin playing some Saxon for me.
Singing with Skum onstage with Motorheadache.
The fact that me and SJW can now navigate our way around any major (and not so major) European city.
Finally seeing Deviated Instinct.
Moving house and being a dad.
The birth of Thee Cult ov Cold Lake.

Lows:
The death of Richard Wright.
The fact that Metallica are still recording, and performing a sell-out UK tour.
Celtic Frost pulling out of Roadburn and splitting up.
Not being able to get a copy of sunnO)))'s Domkirke LP after a 1,500 mile round trip to actually attend the performance that this recordng was made at back in 2006.

Anyway....next year is going to be even better!! \||||/ STAY TRUE!! \||||/

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