Posts Tagged “Hopefuls”

Bloodstock: Bringing the heavy

The last day of a festival is always the most gruelling, as the excesses of the weekend take their toll on the battered bodies of many a punter. Gama Bomb ease people in slowly with a joyously fun set of party thrash, pulling a sizeable crowd who windmill the hangovers out of their fuzzy heads. The perfect wake up call to any day. Fun is not on the agenda for Whitechapel, instead they ram headfirst into the audience with their precision, groovy, modern, death metal. It’s quite a sight to witness a pure blue sky being slowly turned grey, seemingly, by their crushing brutality.

Old school thrash is definitely back in a big way judging by today’s bill and no one plays it quite as fast or as crusty as Kremated do over on the New Blood stage. They pull in a crowd very respectable in size, but not in attitude, as a bunch of belligerent metal heads lose their shit to their dirty, inspired crossover.

On the Dio stage Brit hopefuls Sacred Mother Tongue fly the flag for good, no-frills metal. Fist pumping anthems, melodic hooks and, typically, Andy James’ startling guitar work are the order of the day, refusing to rely on cheap gimmicks and instead relying on the strength of their talent and song writing. The polar opposite of Fozzy, in other words. They bring a Hollywood sheen to a grubby field in Derby with their metallic hard rock. Yeah it’s big and dumb but they certainly know how to put on a show and in Chris Jericho have the perfect festival frontman.

Over on the Sophie Lancaster stage, Bossk do their very best to crack the Earth’s surface with volcanic post-rock riffs, proving there’s more to being heavy than pure speed.

Back on the Dio stage, meanwhile, Amorphis bring musical proficiency back to the table, with a mix of heaviness and fragility filtered through folk tinged prog. With such a distinctive sound they are certainly an acquired taste, but where better than Bloodstock for a band of this ilk? The crowd at the front lap it up, but the casuals at the back don’t get involved quite as much as they did for Fozzy.

If Amorphis split the vote then Exodus casually unite everybody, place them in the palm of their hand and then crush them into a bloody pulp. It’s a testament to the continuing virility of thrash that they sound more like the sweat soaked, bong chuffing, beer guzzling adolescents that made these songs than the middle aged men that they now are. The likes of Lesson In Violence are still as fresh, exciting and extreme as ever. When Bonded By Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff and Jeff Hannemann and Exodus proceed to smash it out of the park it’s the moment of the day, possibly the festival, so far.

It thins out slightly for Devildriver and for a while it looks like they may be upstaged by what’s just happened. But, despite a somewhat patchy set list, Dez Fafara and co. just don’t do bad shows. The hardcore fans at the front seem to spread and spread as the set progresses until half of the field is a circle pit. Some of it is due to an improved choice of tunes, but most of it is down purely and simply to the fact that Dez is one of the most rabble rousing, yet down to earth, frontmen in the world of metal. As they leave, triumphant, he seems genuinely delighted. As do most of the crowd.

Before we get to Slayer there is the little matter of another member of the big 4. Anthrax have had many questions over their heads recently; the unstable line up, the dithering over album releases, the fact that today Joey Belladonna looks, and sometimes sounds, like someone’s Grandmother being chased by a swarm of bees. The one thing that you can never question is the tunes they have in their back catalogue, today we get a load of them, back to back, with no let up. Frankly, when they are on their game, they take Bloodstock up to another level. Indians, Caught In A Mosh, I Am The Law and the closing Antisocial have horns thrown and lyrics chanted back from the barrier to the sound desk and beyond, it take just one hour for Anthrax to lay down the gauntlet and leave Slayer sweating.

One of the more curious decisions on the bill was to match Slayer with Dying Fetus on the Sophie Lancaster stage, leaving fans of pure, unadulterated brutality with a conundrum on their hands, and quite a few do plump for DF. Those that do are treated to some super technical, classic death metal that would make Slayer seem like easy listening by comparison. What other festival than Bloodstock could you say that? God bless this place.

Review by Stephen Hill

Bloodstock 2014 takes place August 7-10. For more info, head to Bloodstock.uk.com

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Bert Weedon, a British guitarist whose “Play in a Day” guitar guide taught the instrument to a generation of young hopefuls, died on Friday at his home in Beaconsfield, in the English county of Buckinghamshire.

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German melodic blackened death metal hopefuls DECEMBER FLOWER have inked a deal with Cyclone Empire Records.

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The 70,000 Tons of Metal organizers have checked in with the following update about confirming Sapiency and Edguy for the floating festival:

“While 70000TONS OF METAL, The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival is steaming at full speed course West through the Mediterranean Sea, they received news from their European Scouting Party. After passing through Frankfurt am Main, where they made friends with some new hopefuls that go by the name of SAPIENCY, they continued further East to the city of Fulda to meet the EDGUY! Having a feeling that there is still more in store for them, the Scouting Party continues moving East…

“Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma’s cruise. It’s also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It’s like everyone has a backstage pass!”

The following 37 out of 40 total bands have been confirmed:

ALESTORM
AMORPHIS
ANNIHILATOR
ATHEIST
CANNIBAL CORPSE
CHANNEL ZERO
CHILDREN OF BODOM
CORONER
CROWBAR
DARK FUNERAL
EDGUY
ELUVEITIE
EXCITER
GOD DETHRONED
GRAVE DIGGER
HAMMERFALL
IN EXTREMO
KAMELOT
KATAKLYSM
MOONSORROW
MY DYING BRIDE
NIGHTWISH
ORPHANED LAND
OVERKILL
PESTILENCE
PRETTY MAIDS
RIOT
SAMAEL
SAPIENCY
STRATOVARIUS
SUFFOCATION
TANKARD
THERION
TRISTANIA
VENOM
VIRGIN STEELE
WHIPLASH

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Noel Gallagher has hit out at this year’s X Factor hopefuls, calling them “f-cking dreadful”.

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UK based metal heroes DRAGONFORCE have announced that their long search for a new vocalist is finally over. After entries from thousands of hopefuls across the globe, the shredmasters supreme welcome…

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Formed in 1987, Pretty Boy Floyd was one of the more prominent bands on the Sunset Strip. Swimming in an ocean of stardom-seeking hopefuls, PBF kept their heads above water in a cut-throat musical…

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“Blast Off”, the new video from Spanish thrash hopefuls ANGELUS APATRIDA, can be viewed below.

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Hypno5eDes Deux L’Une Est L’Autre
2007 Overcome Distribution
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Yes, this album has been officially released for quite some time, however, French expressionistic metallers Hypno5e are just now generating a buzz as headliners of the Metal as Art Tour currently flogging the American underground. Better late than never, so the idiom goes.

So many sectors of the world are fortifying their metal and alt scenes with attention-grabbing groups who deserve exposure on a global level. France may not possess a legion of metal acts the world has been privy to–yet–however, those who’ve broken out internationally have really turned heads of the more serious clan of writers and fans who seek depth and integrity in metal’s craft.

Gojira has really benefitted from mass exposure, particularly gaining a coveted opening slot with Metallica last year. There’s a good reason for that, too; the environmentally-conscious champions of math metal are one of the finest groups of this period. Then you have Hacride, another tech-metal band with major potential. Even though most of the members of Phazm departed, this is one of the genre’s bigger hopefuls as well, assuming Pierrick Valence can get those 7 strings vibrating once again with some more antebellum death and roll…

Montpellier’s Hypno5e have been around since 2003 and though they’re still working the dog ears off of their first official release Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre, one listen divulges the reason why. It’s not hard to figure out Hypno5e’s songwriting schism because they regurgitate it on each composition. Nevertheless, this is a complex album to get one’s head around the first couple listens. Hypno5e embraces the quixotic and the ugly, presenting flashcards of extreme emotions from opposite sides of the spectrum. Luxurious and temporal, bombastic and hellish, Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre employs distorted mind rape with nervy dice rolling.

Okay, so you might say everyone from Neuroris to Isis to The Ocean operate in a similar fashion. What gives Hypno5e a differentiating edge? For one thing, a rawer, chunkier attack to their metal sections, for which you largely have to sit on edge in earnest for as Emmanuel Jessa and his partners force you to drift with closed eyes upon their spiraling lofts as set-ups for Hypno5e’s screechy bombs of tonal destruction.

Hypno5e’s arrangements may vary with each song, but the intent is the same all the way through Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre. Provide clouds of introspective quietude before dumping their listeners off in a rapid plunge to the gates of Hell. At times, Hypno5e incorporates angelic siren chants from Ilene Grange on the sentient “Maintained Relevance of Destruction, Part II.” Grange absorbs the listeners into a weepy trance of empathetic sorrow and she’s frankly beautiful in the context you know Hypno5e is going to answer her doom-calling furrow with a booming retort. In fact, set behind “Maintained Relevance of Destruction, Part I,” the couplet is Hypno5e’s finest songwriting on the album.

Not to say the remainder of Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre isn’t compelling, but the “Maintained” duo offers the most confident congruence Hypno5e were capable of when they recorded this album back in 2007. “Daybreak at Slaughter House” and “Scarlet Fever” are also quite strong, but as Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre continues its pitter-pattering as preludes or intercessions to Hypno5e’s crushing mania, the scheme betrays the group eventually.

Incorporating prolonged sample sequences (including Norman Bates’ “wouldn’t harm a fly” closing spiel from Psycho on “Naked Lunch I”) and isolated fly buzzes from Jessua and Jeremie Lautier (“Scarlet Fever” being an example), they extend Hypno5e’s songs into formulative exercises in noise abstractism. In some ways, Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre will remind of Slipknot when they’re trying their damnedest to be legit artistes. Once “Scarlet Fever” breaks out of its cerebrum-swirled setups, the hard-smacking crunchiness is rhythmic and cumbersome. The heavy sections of “Scarlet Fever” are divine, particularly with Jessua’s piano sprinkles in the song’s middle stanza, which fakes the listener out with pseudo finale.

In some ways, one wants to spin the hand of impatience at Hypno5e with a request to get to the meat, not to disrupt the indulgent mood scapes they’re trying to create with Des Deux L’Une Est L’Autre. Nobody’s asking them to be direct and carefree like the cabaret-bent Paris Combo or groovy hipster chic like electro-explorers Air, but Hypno5e are well onto something creatively but could use just a hair or two extra focus. The agitated hammers of “Tutuguri” reveal a band who can lift cement blocks from their foundations with pinpointed aggression, yet the immediate payoff is like instant gratification the listener wonders if further fulfillment awaits. Fortunately it certainly comes with Botch-like ear-gouging exactitude (Thibault Lamy’s ratchety percussion is especially massive), and cheers to Hypno5e for creating such suspense. In a way, this becomes Hyno5e’s in-joke.

However, a little more discipline in knowing when to cut off their trancy theatrics and overdone voiceovers in portions of the album and employing more blunt punctuality like they do with the “Maintained Relevance of Destruction” pairing, and Hypno5e won’t just a band to be respected; by attrition they’ll have to be feared.

Rating: ***1/2

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“A Cry In The Night”, a brand new song from German “noble power metal” hopefuls CRYSTALLION, is available for streaming on the band’s MySpace page.

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