FESTIVAL REVIEW: Badgerfest 2019 Live at The Breadshed, Manchester

2019 see’s the third installment of what’s becoming an important event in the calendar for the discerning Heavy Metal connoisseur, BadgerFest. The brainchild of the undeniably hardest working man in the Manchester metal scene John Badger, If any qualification of that were needed, aside from it being reiterated by every band of the weekend, as well as their gratitude as to the smooth running, he’s also running the Drumming up Change in November whereby he’ll be playing the drums for the full sets of all ten bands. There’s hard-working and then there’s John Badger. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019

Now in its nineteenth year, the annual metal pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire was joined this year by a very special, but highly unstable, guest.

The weather.

Yes, I know it’s England in August, and we should be more than accustomed to inconsistent weather conditions, but this really was something else. Tents too hot to be inside one moment were waterlogged the next. People soaked to the skin by sudden, torrential downpours were suffering sunburn minutes later. Grass turned to mud, mud became rivers, and the unprecedented winds would go on to cause problems all of their own.Continue reading

Bloodstock Open Air Announces the “Raise Your Horns Contest”

Bloodstock Open Air has announced a fan contest, the Raise Your Horns Contest (#BLOODSTOCKRAISEYOURHORNS)! To enter send you best scream in a 10-15 second (max) video to the team at Bloodstock. Prizes include VIP tickets to Bloodstock 2019, a back stage tour and more! Watch the video below to get the deets and enter! Continue reading

Krysthla, All Hail The Yeti, Barbarian Hermit, and More Join Bloodstock 2019

Bloodstock 2019 has added a bunch of new bands including Bloodstock adds Krysthla, All Hail The Yeti, Barbarian Hermit, Blind River, Ten Ton Slug, Footprints In The Custard, Countless Skies, and Bongcauldron. They join the ranks of BOA 2019 headliners Sabaton, Parkway Drive and Scorpions, as well as Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir, Children Of Bodom, Code Orange, Powerwolf, Soilwork, Cradle Of Filth, Thy Art Is Murder, Tesseract, Metal Church, Soulfly, Death Angel, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Eluveitie, Swallow The Sun, Evil Scarecrow, Ross The Boss, Grand Magus, Rotting Christ, Incite and Hypocrisy on the Catton Park stages this August.

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November 16th 2018 New Music Releases

Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world!Continue reading

Barbarian Hermit – Solitude and Savagery

Since their inception in 2013, Manchester quintet Barbarian Hermit has focused the vast majority of its Sludge grooves on live audiences around its home city and the rest of the UK. After two years of upheaval which has seen one original member return and two leave, debut album Solitude and Savagery (self-released) sees the band set out toward a brave new horizon.Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2018

The heshers and hesherettes are already in line at Bloodstock Open Air for the start of this years’ festival. Get set for the fest with the top bands to watch with our preview. Continue reading

Bloodstock Adds More Bands, Releases Day Tickets, And New Entertainment Plans

Bloodstock Open Air, the UK’s biggest independent metal festival, is just six weeks away. The fest will release a limited number of day tickets at 9 am (BMT) this Friday, 29th June! Adult day tickets are priced at £65 (+ booking fee) and child day tickets at £20 (+ booking fee) and will be available at http://bloodstock.seetickets.com. You can still also pick up four-day ‘weekend tickets with camping’, priced £145 (+ booking fee), and children’s weekend tickets at just £35 (+ booking fee). Children under 4 years old go free! Weekend tickets are selling faster than ever and may sell out in advance.Continue reading

Primitive Man – Sea Bastard – Barbarian Hermit: Live at Star and Garter, Manchester UK

Primitive Man (10)

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

There are two things that most definitely will not be missed when Manchester’s “Old Lady” is criminally levelled to make way for unnecessary and unwelcome redevelopment: the appalling quality of their draught ale; and the surly, unwelcoming behaviour of the corpulent head barman. Everything else about this wonderful little venue, from its weathered, ageing exterior to its intimate attic space, will be a terrible loss to the history and future of this proudly cultural city.

Barbarian Hermit, by Rich Price Photography

Barbarian Hermit, by Rich Price Photography

Battling against The Angus Young Quintet a mile up the road, tonight the S&G was treated to the second visit to the city in fourteen months from Denver monsters Primitive Man and their friends and touring partners, Brighton’s Sea Bastard. Repeating last year’s scenario, local Black Thrashers Satanic Dystopia dropped at the eleventh hour so it was left to fellow Mancunians Barbarian Hermit to blaze the trail. Though less sartorially striking than at the NOIZ All-dayer two months earlier, their Sludge-flavoured NOLA template woke up the room: charismatic frontman Si Scarlett’s roar carrying an incredible depth, his Ollie Reed-like features reinforced by the drama of his performance. With Scarlett and similarly-attired bassist Chris Wood launching their baker boy caps early doors, however, the lack of visual strike from this albeit powerful, entertaining band exposed the music which, despite the heavy groove and some electrifying leadwork from Adam Robertshaw, didn’t carry the intensity of the other bands.

Sea Bastard, by Rich Price Photography

Sea Bastard, by Rich Price Photography

As the first crushing chords came in, Sea Bastard frontman Monty looked as sleepy as his shirt. The south-east monstrosity came wading in, however, with the colossal weight and sluggish movement of a rudely-awoken Kraken. ‘The Hermit’, their massive contribution to the recent ‘split’ with their touring buddies, seemed so much more brutal live: Monty’s cavernous, blackened roar duelling with the sarsen-dragging rhythm section and Oli Irongiant’s crushing axe, entertainingly and expressively wielded as ever. The band are completely transfixing and, in this little room, the implosive, crawling portent made one feel physically sick in the most passionate, euphoric fashion. To witness Irongiant undertake the riff solo of the ensuing ‘Astral Rebirth’ and feel the pain of every chord was both moving, terrifying and euphorically ominous, foretelling the phenomenal crush that soon arrived and duly sent the rafters for cover. The subtle yet bewildering speed of bassist Steve Patton and touring drummer Sam Chase in the track’s quickening, meanwhile, displayed the gamut of skill possessed by this unit: one of the greatest from our shores and certainly responsible for one of the all-time great performances here.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man shouldn’t be here again, but thank fuck they are. Their sound is a hideous joy: Ethan McCarthy’s diseased, crazed delivery comes from one of the nicest guys around, his bulging eyes as terrifying as his roaring mouth, which gave the impression that his whole face was opening. Jonathan Campos’ bass, in turn, isn’t a bass: it’s 20,000 articulated engines crushing your soul with every pluck of the string. New drummer Joe laid waste to his kit, McCarthy eyeing the ceiling with the torment and belief of a guy who’s actually seen God. Suddenly, all of the musicians who’d appeared earlier were transfixed, videoing the performance as if we’d never see the Man’s like again. The pace switched whilst maintaining the horror, a stark isolation blending with raw emotion, and to do that with such pregnant hostility was utterly enthralling.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

The vicious, howling breakdown of the set closer (“Just a new track” McCarthy typically understated later) is the most harrowing expression of pain and hate I’ve ever witnessed, turning possessed devotees into shirt-ripping zealots with the sheer uncontrollable tension of it all. Shattered, spent, deaf, and grinning from ear to ear, I was by no means alone in caring not a jot for any damage done to my creaking body. It was a joyous surprise to see both of these bands so soon, and who knows how long it will be until the next time. When that does come around, there is quite simply no good reason for your absence.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: NOIZ All-Dayer Live at Rebellion, Manchester UK

Noiz Alldayer ghostcultmag

He was so deeply huddled under a blanket that it took a while to locate the source of the voice hollering my name. Eytan Wineapple, curator of the rumbling beast that was the NOIZ All-Dayer, initially celebrated its second incarnation looking like death warmed up. After a long couple of days, with Wineapple escorting eventual headliners Dukatalon to Sheffield and back, they eventually bedded down in today’s venue. “They got here around 3 a.m., and I tucked them all in!” joked Rebellion manager and event collaborator Hayley. Five minutes later, the flat-capped Wineapple was bounding around like a madman: putting to serious shame Ghost Cult’s scribe who, twelve hours later, and still nearly three hours from the denouement, interviewed said host in a rather weary and addled fashion…

NOIZ is not your average festival. Displays of album-style art and guitars in various stages of completion (one of which is raffled off later in the day) stand beside the S.O.P.H.I.E. merch stall in the upper level of the club-style venue. A dedicated handful, meanwhile, witness the pulverising Industria of openers Khost: looking for all the world like a couple of local scallies bumbling about on a stage, yet laying waste with a mystical power which deserved a better slot and much more attention. The Birmingham duo’s ambient, crushing set, its implosive chords and guttural scours blending with a wonderful and passionate line in Middle-Eastern vocal samples, ended bang on time: a courtesy that some of the festival’s other performers could have tried harder to match.

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