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.
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
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
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.
The riffs that started it all
Partly inspired by that ’10 albums from your teens’ post that was trending on Facebook recently, I’ve been thinking back to the tracks that acted as a springboard to the bands and genres I’ve become interested in since, and decided to gather them together. Here they all are – I’ve done my best to list them in the order that I became introduced, but I can’t be sure on the exact order after all this time.
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
I’m sure we’ve all reenacted that scene from Wayne’s World at some point. Party on.
Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked
Their cover of ‘Action’ also deserves a mention. One of their previous albums, ‘Hysteria’, has since become one of my favourite albums.
Guns ‘n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine
I think it’s this song that helped me develop an appreciation for building intros.
Michael Jackson – Give In To Me feat. Slash
I was already listening to Michael Jackson before I got into rock music. The riffs in this song took me further.
En Vogue – Free Your Mind
This one might surprise a few people. It’s overlooked by the rock community/press, but in my opinion is actually better than a lot of the proper attempts at ‘crossover’ tracks from other artists.
Soul Asylum – Runaway Train
My introduction to grunge. Don’t listen to it much these days. Be warned, this video is a little heavy going, given the subject matter, but it did help in finding many missing people.
H-Blockx – Move
I’d actually forgotten about this one until, well, writing this. I’ve got the single somewhere.
Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
Another amongst the first grunge tracks I got into. It would be a little while before I also got into the likes of Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.
Die Krupps – Isolation
My introduction to industrial music, think I first heard it on Ray Cokes’s ‘Most Wanted’ show, back when MTV played music.
Metallica – One
The first time I ever knowingly listened to them, and it blew me away. To date I still regard this as one of the greatest metal tracks ever.
Mutha’s Day Out – Green
Well, I could post the whole album, as they were one of the first rock/metal bands I got into. A guy I knew at the time recorded this on to a tape for me, and on the b-side of that tape was a mix of things, which included the aforementioned Soundgarden track, Pearl Jam’s ‘Go’, and also….
Biohazard – Love Denied
….this track. At the time, I wasn’t even aware that there was a genre of heavy music known as ‘hardcore’, but this was my introduction to that form of metal.
So there they are, my first steps into heavy music. I had no idea at the time just how important those steps would become.
New noise from Herts headbangers
Morri Haig – Guitar
Fred Jessop – Vocals
Jordan Allard – Drums
Max Hummerstone – Bass
Herts-based quartet Skullfucked have just released their debut album ‘Blasphemy’, available now from Bandcamp. Combining death metal and grindcore with groove, a punk attitude and a twisted sense of humour, ‘Blasphemy’ literally goes up to 11.
Sounding reminiscent of the sort of albums being released by Earache Records during the 90s (I could actually imagine them snapping this band up, had they been around back then), this is recommended to fans of old school death metal and British extreme metal. Behind every NSFW song title there’s some (almost) no-nonsense intensity, with tracks like the brooding ‘Impending Foetal Doom’ and ‘Bloody Tissues Daddy Issues’, and the riffy closing self-titled track, continuing the metal tradition of ending with the longest track.
Skullfucked will be headlining an album launch party at The Red Lion, Stevenage on Friday 16th December, with support from Phlefonyaar, FSI and Praetorian. Entry is free.
‘Blasphemy’ is available now from Bandcamp at https://skullfuckedbgka.bandcamp.com/album/blasphemy, with a CD release coming soon.
For fans of: Obituary, Carcass, Earache Records, 90s death metal
Warning: contains blood/gore/nudity/explicit language
With Halloween approaching at the end of the month, I thought I’d put together an appropriate playlist to set the right atmosphere, featuring the usual suspects, some classics and some upcoming names from the UK (links provided).
Note: some of these videos are unsafe for work.
Cradle of Filth – From The Cradle To Enslave
The title track of that EP – the uncensored version! Definitely NSFW.
Moonspell – I’ll See You In My Dreams
Taken from the film of the same name’s soundtrack, available on Youtube. Also NSFW.
Send More Paramedics – Zombie Crew
Horror punk from the UK.
Misfits – Scream
Taken from the Michael Graves-period album ‘Famous Monsters’.
White Zombie – More Human Than Human
Taken from the classic ‘Astro Creep 2000’ album. FEATURES STROBE LIGHTS.
Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein
As featured on the Wayne’s World soundtrack.
Lordi – Devil Is A Loser
The one-time Eurovision winners.
Marilyn Manson – Sweet Dreams
The Eurythmics cover that first brought MM to noteriety.
Denigrata – Kyrie Eleison
Taken from the album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’, available from Bandcamp at https://denigrata.bandcamp.com/releases.
Cerberus Unchained – Naturom Demonto
Taken from the debut EP ‘Di Inferni’, available at https://cerberusunchained.bandcamp.com/.
Victorian Whore Dogs – Prayer of Dust
Taken from the EP ‘Hobo Chic’, available from https://victorianwhoredogs.bandcamp.com/album/hobo-chic.
Type O Negative – Black No.1
A classic, taken from the album ‘Bloody Kisses’.
Talanas – The Apostle
Taken from their acoustic EP ‘Asylum’, available from https://talanas.bandcamp.com/album/asylum.
Skullfucked – Sluts Impaled on Their Own Entrails
Taken from the forthcoming debut album ‘Blasphemy’, to be released on November 10th from http://skullfuckedbgka.bandcamp.com/.
Morbid Angel – God Of Emptiness
One of biggest names from the Florida death metal scene.
Nile – Sacrifice Unto Sebek
Love that intro riff.
Fear Factory – Martyr
The opening track of their debut, back when they had a more industrial-death metal sound.
Butcher Babes – They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!
Taken from their covers EP ‘Uncovered’.
Bile – In League
Featured on the ‘Strangelands’ soundtrack. FEATURES STROBE LIGHTS.
Author & Punisher – Terrorbird
Taken from the album ‘Ursus Americanus’.
Another playlist from a couple of years ago – https://thursdayaddams.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/atmos-fear/
New music from Oxford sludge quartet
2. Hippy Crack
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.
For fans of: Torpor, Steak Number Eight, Hang The Bastard, Windhand
UKBM act discuss their roots, Mozart and Alan Moore
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).
39 reasons why metal isn’t dead
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.
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.
Seasons – Melodic metal from former members of Imicus and Alone With Wolves, their debut EP is out now.
Jackal’s Backbone – Frantic groove-injected sludge, currently working on new material.
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.
Praetorian – A veritable sludge supergroup from Hitchin.
Mystery Of The Magic Man
Skullf*cked – Combining old school death metal with sludge, grindcore and skatepunk.
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.
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.
Blessing Of The Torchbearer – Currently impressing crowds across the county.
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).
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.)
This literally goes up to 11
An essential part of being a ‘metalhead’ is having a sense of humour, and just as important is the ability to make fun of one’s self – to both recognise and embrace the absurdities and cliches that exist within the rock and metal world and its lifestyles. It’s this ability that has lead to many of the films listed here being completely embraced by the alternative communities, and becoming firm favourites with rockers, goths and headbangers everywhere.
This Is Spinal Tap
Essential viewing for anyone who calls themselves a rocker or metalhead. Inventors of ‘going up to eleven’.
Basic synopsis – The misadventures of an 80s heavy metal band.
Cameos – Many recognisable faces from television/Hollywood make brief appearances, including Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey and Anjelica Huston.
Soundtrack – The band themselves.
Not featured in the film, but worth sharing….
Wayne’s World 1 & 2
Basic synopsis – In the first film, Wayne and Garth’s local cable TV show gets bought by a national company. In the second, the duo decide to organise a huge rock festival.
Cameos – Rock legends Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, Chris Farley.
Soundtracks – Queen, Tia Carrere (performing tracks from the films) and Jimi Hendrix, among others.
Basic synopsis – A British 70s rock band reunites 20 years later, despite unresolved issues amongst its members.
Cameos – Phil Daniels, Zoe Ball.
Soundtrack – Features music from its stars Jimmy Nail and Billy Connolly, among others.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey
“Be excellent to each other, and…. party on dudes!!” – Abraham Lincoln.
Basic synopsis – In ‘Excellent Adventure’, the ‘Wyld Stallions’ duo travel through time collecting historical figures for a history report. Then, in ‘Bogus Journey’, our heroes travel through the afterlife and battle evil robot versions of themselves.
Cameos – Jim Martin, formerly of Faith No More, and Primus.
Soundtracks – Van Halen, Kiss, Extreme, Big Pig and Slaughter, among others.
A pre-Mummy Brendan Fraser film, and the first time we see Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi appearing together.
Basic synopsis – A struggling unsigned rock band highjacks a radio station, in an attempt to get their demo played.
Cameos – Late rock legend Lemmy of Motorhead, White Zombie, Chris Farley. Spinal Tap’s Michael McKean also stars as a radio DJ.
Soundtrack – Motorhead and White Zombie, among others.
Some might see this as an unlikely choice; whilst not everyone is a fan of his films, this has always been a favourite of mine. Elements of rock music appear in many of Adam Sandler’s films, this being a prime example.
Basic synopsis – The Devil’s youngest son must visit the world above to prevent his brothers from taking over Hell.
Cameos – The man himself, Ozzy Osbourne as himself.
Soundtrack – POD, Linkin Park, Incubus and Filter, among others.
Queen Of The Damned
Again, another that didn’t win critics over, but found a fanbase attracted by the music.
Basic synopsis – A centuries’ old vampire awakens in 21st century America, joins a rock bands as their frontman.
Cameos – Korn frontman Jonathan Davis appears briefly as a ticket tout.
Soundtrack – Five tracks written specifically for the film by Davis and Richard Gibbs, sang by frontmen from other bands (Disturbed, Static-X, Marilyn Manson, Linkin Park, Orgy), alongside various other tracks.
School Of Rock
Basic synopsis – A substitute teacher introduces his young class to rock music, and turns them into a rock band.
Cameos – None.
Soundtrack – Tracks performed by Jack Black and the cast, alongside Cream, Led Zeppelin and others, with various classic rock bands featured throughout the film.
A cult favourite in alternative circles, its star Brandon Lee tragically lost his life during its creation. Three sequels followed, none of which repeated the same success as the original.
Basic synopsis – A murdered rocker is resurrected to seek vengeance on the Los Angeles underworld.
Cameos – None.
Soundtrack – Nine Inch Nails, Pantera and Stone Temple Pilots, among others.
If documentaries are your thing, track these ones down:
Other soundtracks worth checking out:
Singles (A who’s who of 90s grunge, including Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone and others)
The Crow 2: City Of Angels (White Zombie, Korn, Hole, Bush and many others)
Spawn (a album of techo-rock crossover collaborations)
Judgment Night (the legendary rap-rock crossover album)
Strangelands (Dee Snider’s horror, includes Anthrax, Pantera, SOAD, Sevendust and many others)
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Offspring, Korn, Type O Negative, L7 and others)
Alone In the Dark (a massive 2CD collection of acts right across the metal spectrum)
Last Action Hero (Alice In Chains, Def Leppard, Queensryche, Aerosmith and others)
May 31, 2016 | Categories: Random, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: alternative, cinema, comedy, culture, DVD, entertainment, films, goth, metal, metalhead, movies, Music, rock, spinal tap | Leave a comment
Debut visual release from UKBM act
UK black metallers Denigrata have released their debut video for the track ‘Kyrie Eleison’, which is taken from last year’s awesome debut album ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’.
The video, which was premiered this week via the UK’s leading extreme metal magazine Terrorizer, also features a cameo appearance from acclaimed writer Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), whom the band met through mutual interests in their home town Northampton.
For more of their multi-faceted sound, check out the entire album here, available as a download and CD:
My review of the album – Denigrata – ‘Missa Defunctorum: Requiem Mass in A Minor’ review
May 25, 2016 | Categories: Music | Tags: band, black metal, download, extreme, heavy, heavy metal, industrial, metal, Music, promo, UK, UKBM, underground, underground music scene, unsigned, video | 1 Comment