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Posts tagged “live music

Introducing…. The Mantis Divine

Punk/metal hybrid with a divine sound

Nadia Maria – vocals
Kim Young – guitar
Lee Warren – bass
Greg Anderson – drums

This is The Mantis Divine, a Herts-based quartet who’ve been gigging around their home county recently and looking to go further. Though the band has been together for less than a year, their members have previously played in bands such as Sink Or Swim, Swamp Pussy and St Stella, so have already got experience behind them. The fact that they only narrowly missed out on proceeding further in the current Metal 2 The Masses competition (for this year’s Bloodstock Festival) speaks volumes about their potential.

Live at Club 85, Hitchin, 26-03-17

TMD have got the whole package – frontwoman Nadia can easily switch from smooth and melodic to call-to-action punk vocals in a heartbeat, guitarist Kim is an incredibly talented player who knows how to write a solid riff, whilst rhythm section Lee and Greg add a groove and punch to the whole thing.

Check out the lyric video for the ‘To Hell’, available on their demo CD. For a reference point – imagine if Atari Teenage Riot went full punk-rock….


Here’s what others from the music scene have to say about them:

“An exciting young band with a lot of potential for the future, catchy riffs and powerful vocals.” – Bruce Hamilton, Gevaudan

“A passionate, curiously successful fusion of metal and punk.” – Brad Smith, Nineteensquared Promotions

“With a profusion of low-end tone and deep sounding heavy riffage, MD does a fine job in combining grubby punk rock with a distinctive creepy Melvinsesque sludge sound. Hold onto your heads!” – Gary Payne, Neverworld/The Graven Sign

Live at The Red Lion, Stevenage, 02-02-17

Their demo CD is currently available at live gigs (and whilst stock lasts, you can grab a free t-shirt too). With a tight sound and a professional attitude, The Mantis Divine are worth some attention. For further info/bookings, please get in touch at the links below.

For fans of: L7, Atari Teenage Riot, Kittie, The Unknownn, Babes In Toyland



Introducing…. Jackal’s Backbone

Groove-injected extreme metal from North Herts

Nathan Draper – vocals
Becca Swinney – bass
Jake Eaton – drums
Mitch Boost – guitar
Odin Long – guitar

Jackal’s Backbone are a North Herts-based metal act, recently boosted to a five-piece, who have already gone down well with Herts’ metal fans and are looking to go further.

Blending death metal, sludge and grindcore influences, JB have proven themselves to be solid live performers and built a loyal local fanbase, and will be playing their first London date at Camden’s popular Fiddler’s Elbow on April 5th. They currently have one EP available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and other outlets, and are currently working on a follow-up. Extreme metal with a sense of groove, Jackal’s Backbone are recommended to any fans of the various sub-genres.


Here’s a handful of opinions about them from other members of the local scene:

“Their new expanded lineup only foresees promising things on the horizon. Faster, heavier and raunchier”. – Mark, Praetorian

“Heavy with a groove, always an energetic show.” – Jim, Skrugg/Phlefonyaar

“Jackal’s Backbone is a band that you have to see live to fully experience the power and intensity they bring to their specific brand of metal. It is surely a thing to behold, with Nathan’s extremely wide vocal range and Jake’s impossibly tight and tasteful blast beats.” – Joe, Dorylus

Jackal’s Backbone are one of four bands set to play at this weekend’s Metal 2 The Masses tournament heat at Club 85, Hitchin, vying for a place at this year’s Bloodstock Festival.

For fans of: Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Discharge

For further information on new releases and live dates, and for booking queries, please get in touch at the links below.


Drore release their debut EP

New music from Oxford sludge quartet

Drore live shot

1. Skinjob
2. Hippy Crack
3. Greys
4. Fukbag

Tom Greenway – vocals/guitar
Taz Corona-Brown – vocals/guitar
Olly Corona-Brown – bass
Stephen Frame – drums

Drore, the Oxford-based act featuring members of Undersmile and Crippled Black Phoenix, have just released their debut EP ‘TapeOne’, posted below. With a sound that takes the members away from their other jobs, TapeOne features four tracks of intense, atmospheric sludgey-noise that will also appeal to fans of doom and post-metal.

Whilst CBP and Undersmile deal with more progressive and slow-burning build-ups, Drore are much more immediate and direct, whilst still maintaining the latter’s darkness and that sense of atmosphere. This is angry sludgey doom in a neon package – watch out for live gigs.

‘TapeOne’ is available now as a limited edtion tape or download at https://drore.bandcamp.com/album/tapeone, or from Rad Naseum Records at http://radnauseam.co.uk/.

For fans of: Torpor, Steak Number Eight, Hang The Bastard, Windhand


Denigrata interview with Johnny Doom

UKBM act discuss their roots, Mozart and Alan Moore

Denigrata promo for new video

UK black metallers Denigrata were recently interviewed by famed rock DJ/host Johnny Doom, for his Amp’d show. Here they discuss how they formed, playing their album launch in a 900 year old church, the classical music influence and their debut video, which plays at the end of the interview.


One of the most interesting bands I’ve encountered over the past 12 months, Denigrata’s sound is a unique take on black metal, with symphonic and electronic elements. If you’ve not heard it yet, here’s the debut album, which I reviewed last year (link below).



Herts’ Metal Scene, Class of 2016

39 reasons why metal isn’t dead

A CIMG9998

Recently inspired by a metal magazine’s article about British metal and the problems within the scene (my own response posted here below), I felt prompted to create a list of (most of) the bands that make up Hertfordshire’s current metal scene. This is a scene I’ve been actively helping to promote since 2005, and we’re lucky to have an incredibly varied and talented group of acts right on our doorstep.

Metal Hammer UK scene 27-07-16 3

Countless Skies – Progressive death metallers who have played at Bloodstock Festival, with their debut album out now.


New Dawn full album stream 

Cerberus Unchained – Death metal from former members of Embers Of Angels and Outright Resistance, playing their debut London gig soon, despite only forming a few months ago.


Warm Blooded Beast (free download)


Arcane Militia – Intense new act for fans of Amen, Cancer Bats and Atreyu.


So Much For A Second Chance

Skrugg – Sludgey metallers from Hithin.


Asylum Mist EP

Everest Queen – Imagine Tool meets Mastodon and you’re getting warm.



Dorylus – Frantic thrash/death metal hybrid.


Deceiving The Pure 

The Wolves Of Avalon – Featuring Metatron from The Meads of Asphodel, this is their Bathory cover taken from their recent album out now on Godreah Records.


Across Corpses Grey

Elysian Divide – Another new act who will be debuting their new material soon.

Elysian Divide promo 2016.jpg


Seasons – Melodic metal from former members of Imicus and Alone With Wolves, their debut EP is out now.


Sailed Ships 

Jackal’s Backbone – Frantic groove-injected sludge, currently working on new material.


Puppets EP

Derange – Hotly-tipped tech-metallers who will be playing at Bloodstock this year, this is taken from their debut album, out now.


This Is The End lyric video 


Kill Confirmed – Though they’ve sadly announced they’re set to split soon, two of their members have wasted no time in forming a new band, Excinerus.


Hell In A Cell EP

Assimilate – Alt-metallers from Watford.


Irrational Fears EP

The Graven Sign – Atmospheric black metallers.


As Hope Withers

Suffer No Fools – Thrash/metalcore-influenced melodic metal.


Songs For The Restless Youth

Burke & Hare – Doom/sludge/stoner duo, currently working on a new EP.



Conform To Serve – UKDM with black metal leanings, a sound that could appeal to fans of both old school death metal and modern deathcore.


Dogma Of Sin 

Ivory Fire – A high-energy combination of metal and dance/drum ‘n’ bass from Hitchin.


If You can Read This You Have Eyes EP

As You’re Falling – Intense young death/metalcore act from North Herts.


Divergence EP

Praetorian – A veritable sludge supergroup from Hitchin.


Mystery Of The Magic Man


Skullf*cked – Combining old school death metal with sludge, grindcore and skatepunk.


Self-titled EP

Rough Justice – The debut video from the classic/southern rock-tinged metallers.



Ghostman’s Torch – Doomy garage rock duo.



Gevaudan – Doom/stoner metallers who’ve played at Terrorizer-sponsored gigs, currently working on their next EP.


The Burning of the Black Sun (Single, free download)


13 – Melodic metallers from Hertford, whose debut album ‘Deliverance’ can be downloaded for free from Soundcloud.


Deliverance (title track)


Alone With Wolves – Promising melodic metal/post-hardcore quintet who are preparing to launch their debut full-length album soon.


Cutting Ties 

Neverworld – Classic metallers representing the old school, here with their debut music video.


Armies Of The Night 

Draugr – Intense black metal.


Child Of Sorrow EP

Aghast – One of the busiest/most high profile bands from the local metal scene. Currently working on their next EP.


All The Rage


Slaine – Sludge with death metal influences.


Shotgunned Brews Shirt Nappy Blues EP

Vendetta – Now performing with a new line-up.


Demo EP (free download)

Far From History – Soon to be releasing their next EP, from which this track is taken.


A-Negative (free download)

Breaking Illusion – Classic rock-tinged metal with groove.


Roll With The Punches (free download)


Outright Resistance – OR have just released their new EP ‘Me Vs I’, from which this track is taken. Also appearing at this year’s Bloodstock Festival.


Gee, Dysphoria

Blessing Of The Torchbearer – Currently impressing crowds across the county.


Vengeance, live

Dark Asphyxia – Old school death metal.



Phlefonyaar – Industrial-tinged sludge from one of the busiest men in the scene (also the founder of Gilla Bruja, Zompok and Zebediah Crowe).


Kissing Carrion


Helgrind – For fans of old school thrash metal.




Tirgoviste – A black metal side-project from members of Skrugg.


Albastru Horizon (free download)

This isn’t even the whole picture; there are often new bands forming, and there are other bands who aren’t quite ready to share examples of their material just yet. It’s also worth bearing in mind that this level of talent isn’t exclusive to Herts either – right across the UK, there are underground scenes in every county with bands worth checking out. There are other bands I could have included here, who are either just on the outskirts of Herts or are popular visitors, but then I’d be here all day.

Please support your scene – bands don’t just magically appear on the cover of magazines or on the stages of major festivals overnight. Once upon a time, your favourite band was right where this lot are now.

(All photos, aside from Elysian Divide’s promo shot, taken by me.)

Skrugg release debut EP

New sludge from Herts quintet

Skrugg Balstock 2014

1. Insect Whore
2. Sanity Of A Madman
3. I Spit On Your Grave
4. Isolation Trip
5. 88.8mg

William Jennings – vocals
Jim Males – guitar
Sam Farrington – guitar
Sammie Donnelly – drums
Jimmy Long – bass

Herts-based sludge quintet Skrugg have just released their eagerly-awaited debut EP, ‘Asylum Mist’. Formerly known as Lord Shrugg and featuring three former members of the promising but short-lived doom act Burn The Yeti (and two currently from black metallers The Graven Sign, who’ve also just released a new EP), members have also previously played in acts such as Gilla Bruja, Wrongly Accused, Zebediah Crowe and Wyndforge, so these guys are no mere newcomers to the scene.

Featuring five tracks of dark, dirty sludge metal, ‘Asylum Mist’ is the result of several months’ hard work and, combined with their touring schedule which is already seeing them getting booked for underground festivals, should see Skrugg expand their fanbase further. Including established live favourites such as ‘Insect Whore’ and ‘Isolation Trip’, this is filthy down-tuned sludge that even non-fans of this particular subgenre could into, with its heavy yet catchy groove-injected riffs, intense vocal delivery, one almighty hook of an opening track and all the elements required for a solid metal release.

Skrugg - Asylum Mist cover

‘Asylum Mist’ is available now to download via Bandcamp at http://skrugg.bandcamp.com/, or on CD at live gigs.

For fans of: Down, Crowbar, Nailbomb, Sepultura

Live photo courtesy of Chris Woor Photography.


Imicus announce split; final album and live date

Free album from departing UK metallers

Imicus 2014

Luton-based melodic metallers Imicus have anounced that they intend to split after one more gig. Having had a few line-up changes over the last few years, the current incarnation have decided that now is the right time to call it a day, though on good terms. Existing in various forms since 2003, Imicus have had many career highs, including playing sets at Download, Bloodstock, Bulldog Bash and Hammerfest VI, slots with the likes of Sikth, Breed 77, Panic Cell, Forever Never and Deathstars, and an appearance on Metal Hammer’s Judas Priest tribute CD.

As a farewell gift, Imicus have released their final album ‘Turbulent Skies’ as a free download, available from Bandcamp and Soundcloud (they actually had to upload to Soundcloud after hitting their ‘free download’ limit on Bandcamp on the day of release). Older fans might recognise the track ‘This Everlast’ as a cover from frontman Miller’s previous band Dilate, presented here in an updated form.


Their final gig will be at Club 85 in Hitchin on Saturday 25th April in a ‘special guest’ slot, details of which are posted here: https://www.facebook.com/events/953307724688182/


Aghast – new lyric video + album info

Herts metallers reveal new album details

Aghast - All The Rage cover

Herts’ heavyweights Aghast have not only just signed up with Chaotic Tapestry Management, they’ve also released the tracklisting for their forthcoming debut full-length album, and a lyric video for its title track.

Entitled ‘All The Rage’, the album will be released independently on October 1st 2014, tracklisting is as follows:

1. Die Laughing
2. All The Rage
3. Hollywood Ending
4. Afterlife Crisis
5. Drop Dead Famous
6. Bang to Rights
7. It’s Your Funeral
8. Look Alive!
9. Sea of Trees
10. Hells Bells (and Buckets of Blood)
11. We Fear Silence
12. Noise Pollution

Check out the lyric video for ‘All The Rage’ here:

The band have been on something of a roll recently, as they’re also preparing for their appearance at this coming weekend’s Bloodstock Festival – be sure to catch them if you’re going. Details of a UK tour will also be released soon.


The album’s artwork was designed by Zak Simmonds-Hurn – more of his artwork can be found at http://www.zaksimmondshurn.co.uk/.

Kill Confirmed – ‘Descend’ EP review

Promising debut from fierce Herts metallers

Kill Confirmed - Descent EP cover

1. Beyond Black
2. Descend
3. The Ghost That Haunts
4. Epiphany
5. A Memory In Ashes
6. Addiction

Joe Savage – vocals/guitar
Reece Fowell – guitars
Tommy Savage – bass/vocals
David Ward – drums
(Former frontwoman Sian Farrell also receives a writing credit for ‘Addiction’)

Courtesy of Native Eye Film and Photography

Courtesy of Native Eye Film and Photography, 2014

North Herts-based metal quartet Kill Confirmed have been gigging around the area for a couple of years now, and built themselves a bit of a following as a result. Following a line-up change, which saw their former frontwoman depart and guitarist Joe Savage move forward to frontman, their sound changed, the product of which can be heard here on their debut EP, ‘Descend’.

Opener ‘Beyond Black’ is a strong start and a good indication of what to expect from KC; a fierce thrashy, melodic metal sound flavoured by metalcore and unafraid to throw in plenty of guitar solos, which they are more than capable of pulling off. Lead track ‘Descend’ could appeal to fans of latter-day Machine Head and Trivium, but could also easily appeal to fans of older metal styles, without sounding dated or clichéd – those who got into the thrash revival a few years ago might also find something of interest here. ‘The Ghost That Haunts’ is the longest track here, clocking in at over six minutes, suggesting that KC aren’t interested in throwing out any old riff or appealing to the short attention-spanned. Throughout this EP, I get the impression that none of these tracks were rushed or thrown in to pad the EP out; time was taken writing and honing each song and riff. ‘A Memory In Ashes’ was the first song to be launched prior to this EP’s release, and has already been proven to translate well in the live environment. Closer ‘Addiction’ is one of the strongest and catchiest tracks featured, opening with some bouncing bass and featuring some BFMV-esque riffing, and strongly suggests that Kill Confirmed have far more to offer in the future.

For a debut EP, ‘Descend’ is a good start for Kill Confirmed. They’ve already proved they’ve got the ideas, skill and songwriting ability to produce some promising material, and with some proper label backing and beefier production, they could go places. Here’s hoping they can get themselves noticed.

For fans of: Machine Head, Trivium, Evile, Metallica, Bullet For My Valentine

The ‘Descend’ EP is available now from http://killconfirmed.bandcamp.com and at live gigs.


Trash Monroe – New singles collection

New CD set from the rising Essex glampunk rockers

Trash Monroe promo Nov 2013

If you catch Essex rockers Trash Monroe at one of their live events, you’ll be able to pick up their new singles boxset. Entitled ‘Addiction of Duplicities – The Complete Collection’, this set collects both parts of the ‘Addiction Of Duplicities’ duo, and two tracks which have only previously been available via audio stream online.

The ‘Addiction Of Duplicities, Part 1’ CD –
Stupid Again

The ‘Addiction Of Duplicities, Part 2’ CD –
Deja Vu
Sexy By Proxy

The Downloads –
Bleached Edges Of My Memory
Porno Pure

‘Addiction Of Duplicities, Part 1’ was previously reviewed upon its original release back in 2013, here https://thursdayaddams.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/trash-monroe-aodpart1-review/. If you didn’t pick it up first time around, or you’re a newcomer to their sound, then this is a worthwhile package; blending dramatic goth with fierce punk rock and giving it all a 80s glamrock edge, TM’s sound could appeal to a number of audiences, as they’ve proven on the live circuit across the UK. The tracks ‘Deja Vu’ and ‘Sexy By Proxy’ from the second single included, ‘Addiction Of Duplicities, Part 2’, are also available via Amazon, whilst the Benatar-esque ‘Bleached Edges Of My Memory’ (below) and incredibly catchy ‘Porno Pure’ (a definite highlight) can only currently be purchased on CD via this set.

Trash Monroe have a knack for writing catchy, anthemic tunes that you could imagine appearing on Guitar Hero or on your favourite rock station’s playlist, and it’s worth delving into their catalogue to check out older material you might have missed. Here’s hoping that it’s only a matter of time before Trash Monroe catch more rock press attention.

‘Addiction of Duplicities – The Complete Collection’ can be picked up at live gigs and via the band – get in touch via links below.

For fans of: Pat Benatar, The Pretty Reckless, Tool, Skunk Anansie, No Doubt