Thursday, 31 December 2009

Fuck 2009

Just a few little odds and ends before what was, for me personally, a very bittersweet year finally leaves us.

Gig of the Year
I didn't get out much this year, but for me, the gig of the year was Church of Misery at Manchester's Star and Garter back in May. Amazing turnout, three great bands (support was from Firebird and Charger), and a setlist and performance from COM that pleased nearly everyone in attendance.  Judging by the amount of new faces and the much hated Down t-shirts, maybe this will prove to be the moment that our underground went that little bit more overground? Time will tell. Check it out again if you missed it forst time round, I'm in there somewhere, stagediving in a Sarcófago shirt:

Release of the year:
Oh yeah, I've already done that. I feel though that I really, really must mention Mayhem's Life Eternal (Saturnus/Season of Mist) again. Is this because I have one and you probably don't? No, not at all. I urge all of you without a copy to get hold of one because it's an important document in the Mayhem story, as much as Out from The Dark or any number of Dead/Maniac/Messiah bootlegs.
It helped me appreciate one of my favourite second wave Black Metal album even more.
Plus, it's an amazing package.

Idea of the Year

Hopefully be able to get out next year and get the life frightened out of me by Thee Claw's favourite noisemongers.  I haven't seen them since May 2008, which is too fucking long.

Label of the Year
There's no competition here at all.
Nuclear War Now have been releasing quality stud and bullet belt ridden music for a while now, but this year I'd be hard pushed to find something they have put out that wasn't enjoyed in Thee Claw's underground bunker during 2009.

The Die-Hard editions are always well received, and even risk-of-the-year Sister Devil by post-Von outfit Sixx totally exceeded all expectations.
The line up of Germany's NWN Fest was unbelievable and I'm looking forward to what they bring our way during 2010.

A parting thought;
As I've stated before, this year has been a bit of a mad one. As the year draws to a close I hear stories of semi-talented, but rich, kids buying their way onto bills; Festival Tickets only available to those with credit cards and enough disposable leisure time to sit in fron tof their PC on the day tickets go on sale, and every other worthwhile release being limited to 2000 on limited edition gold-encrusted stone tablets with a xeroxed marker and free sharpie for $300, later to go on eBay for $3000.
Metal shouldn't include everyone, because it's outsider value is a massive part of it's appeal, but let's not make it a rich man's game, because if that's the case, I too want out.
And as for hollywood films and symposiums about Black Metal....don't.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Under the radar...

...things that I missed in the "best of 2009"....

Mayhem - Life Eternal

Beautiful package containing the release of Atilla's demos from the recording of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
Big fat Varg basslines, drum intros, rough mixes.
Comes with card outer, fold out box, loads of foil stickers and an insert containing copies of correspondence between Øystein and Atilla. On Saturnus/Season of Mist, limited to 3000.

Abigail - Sweet Metal Baby Slut

10 tracks of black/thrash/speed, lo-fi songs about metal, beer and women.
Recorded and delivered in the way only our Japanese friends know. Japan is the future of Heavy Metal.

Sixx - Sister Devil

As NWN say:
The sonic essence and ideology behind SIXX was in parallel to what they had started with VON; emphasis on atomosphere, same recording style, Satanic imagery and lyrics. However the introduction of new musical elements and influences from the likes of Joy Division and Diamanda Galas kept SIXX from getting much attention during their short existence (sound familiar?). They played two gigs in the San Francisco area and killed the project after one demo.

What am I looking forward to in 2010? so far, new Sabbat (Jpn) and CIRCLE THE WAGONS!

Something to look forward to...

Pure Steel Records from Germany has just released an ultimate version of the SABBAT "Charisma" album. It's the English version of the legendary "Karisma" LP, previously unavailable on CD format. Except brand new artwork (painted by the legendary Chris Moyen, known from cooperation with acts such as Slayer, Beherit, Desaster or Blasphemy), and 3 exclusive bonus tracks, package includes additional bonus disc, with the "25 Years Of Black Fire - A Tribute To Sabbat" compilation, with:


1. SABBAT (Japan) "Black Fire" (original version)........
2. BATALLION (Chile) “Mion’s Hill"
3. DEATHHAMMER (Norway) "Black Metal Vulcano"
4. GUERRA TOTAL (Brazil) "Hellfire"....
5. HOLY DEATH (Poland) "Flower's Red"........
6. KORGULL THE EXTERMINATOR (Spain) "Satan Bless You"........
7. LABATUT (Brazil) "Kamikaze Bomber"........
8. MORDANT (Sweden) "Rage Of Mountains"........
9. SERPENT SAINTS (Denmark) "Darkness And Evil"........
10. STIGMA (Holland) "Bird Of Ill Omen"........
11. SUPERCHRIST (USA) "Black Magical Circle Of Witches"........
12. METALUCIFER (Japan) "Bloody Countess (Japanese Version)"....
Package is limited to only 1000 units, and was produced, compiled and mastered by Bart Gabriel, editor in chief of the famous HARD ROCKER magazine. More information at and

Friday, 18 December 2009


Merry Christmas gang. Here's a clip from the 2007 Donington metal festival, shot during the NAPALM DEATH set. Only thing is, there was no sound on the camera that we had with us that day (ah, 2007). So we've had to add some audio to this video, otherwise it would be in silence!

If I recall correctly the song that they were *really* playing was NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF.

Anyway, enjoy! :)

Monday, 14 December 2009


(If you heard a faint "Bang!" sound coming your way from the direction of Northwest England, that was probably the sound of my head exploding in reaction to this announcement.)

Roadburn Festival is beyond excited to report that SARKE, the Norwegian band featuring Sarke and Nocturno Culto, BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE, SUMA and LONG DISTANCE CALLING have been confirmed for Tom Gabriel Warrior’s Only Death Is Real at Roadburn Festival 2010.

SARKE’s music and lyrics are written by its namesake Sarke. He has previously spread his angry art through Khold, Tulus, Old Man’s Child and Sensa Anima. Joining him on his musical quest is Darkthrone’s Nocturno Culto, whose distinctive vocals combine with Sarke’s music to create another blackened chapter to the grim book of extreme metal. Inspired by the forefathers, but distinctly new and original.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Most sincere apologies to Dawn of Gehenna.....

About eighteen months ago, at Holland's Roadburn festival, I was given a demo by a long haired chap outside the 013 venue.
I popped it in my pocket and forgot about it (this was the day of the Pirate Goth, so those of you that were there will know exactly WHY I managed to misplace it), until last week when I finally got around to re-ordering my CDs after moving house a year ago and I found it in a bag.
I went straight over to Metal Archives to check out the band, Dawn of Gehenna, and I read those two magic words "Doom Metal".
I'd (for some reason) not even checked out who the CD was by and had just sky rocketed it, thinking it to be some form of Black Metal. Shit, looking at their info it looked as if it was vocalist Mart himself who'd given me it. Sorry man, if you're reading this I apologise, maybe next time I'll buy you a drink and have a chat to make up for it?

Anyway, just popped it in, and it's top notch, trad doom with keyboards and everything.
Reminds me of Count Raven, crossed with what Anathema could have sounded like if they hadn't decided to try and be Pink Floyd.
Standout track for me is #2; Tidal Wave (of Airless Choking Dreams) Mart's powerful voice sits really well with these ears.

Anyway, what can I say? Better late than never. Sorry I took so long guys, but I love it!
Just found this info on their site:
In spring of 2007, some of the material from Taak's "Koerapööriöö" sessions was remixed on analogue technology which, combined with freshly recorded English lyrics, resulted in a promo/demo CD-R "Doom Enclave". About 200 copies were freely distributed to the curious (and the people wearing the "right" T-shirts, he-he) at the Roadburn 2007 festival in Tilburg, Holland. The rest will be sent to labels, so the disk can't actually be bought. If you believe you have a good enough reason to own one, please feel free to get in touch.

Doom on!

I had a Pagan Altar t-shirt on. Gwa'aaaan!!