Thursday, 14 December 2017

Live Review: Brian Downey's Alive And Dangerous @ Nells Jazz Bar, West Kensington

Founding member of Thin Lizzy, Brian Downey, breathes new life into 'Live And Dangerous', during a packed out London show at Nell's Jazz & Blues.

In 2018 it will be forty years since the seminal Live And Dangerous album was released, and much to our delight Brian Downey announced that his new band will be commemorating it by playing a one-off London show on the 24th November. This announcement created such a stir amongst Thin Lizzy fans that tickets sold out for the event, leading to a second gig being announced for the day after.

After declining an offer in 2013 to play with what was to become Black Star Riders, Downey took some time out, resurfacing again at 2016's Vibe For Philo for an appearance. This led him to approach Brian Grace who, as well as being Musical Director for the event, was a guitarist for Commitments' Andrew Strong. Brian Downey's Alive and Dangerous was born from Brian Grace's suggestion that they form a band with The Lowriders members Matt Wilson (bass, vocals) and Phil Edgar (guitar). After a successful performance at 2017's Vibe, it was inevitable that a long term band would come out if it.

Brian Grace, Phil Edgar and Matt Wilson

Recorded over several shows in '76 and '77, including two at the Hammersmith Odeon, Live And Dangerous set the scene alight, creating a benchmark, there and then, for how a live album should be made. Collecting Lizzy's most memorable tunes all together in one neat and tidy package and produced with the help of mastermind Tony Visconti, Live And Dangerous has the ability to hit the listener in the face with it's raw energy and infectious passion, giving them the impression that they are right there, front row, at the gig.

Before Brian Downey's Alive And Dangerous even come on to the stage at Nell's Jazz & Blues club, it is apparent that there is an overwhelming sense of excitement in the air; die hard Thin Lizzy fans have travelled to this intimate venue in West Kensington with anticipation of what's to come. It's quite easy to manoeuvre through the friendly throng of punters to a decent spot in order to catch all the action. Due to the size of the venue, however, it won't be hard for anyone there to not be in the thick of it. An emerald green drum kit sits in the middle of the stage awaiting the arrival of one of the geniuses behind the many hits of Thin Lizzy, Brian Downey.

The band pile onto the stage and delve into the title track of Jailbreak, and from the moment when the first chord is struck, the crowd becomes even more alive, grooving and moving to the intro as Matt Wilson's soulful voice carries the infamous lyrics across the room. The band seem well rehearsed, and as the kids say today, 'on point', nailing every verse and all its trimmings, straight off the cuff. Those who have come here to dismiss the honesty and integrity of Brian Downey's assembled outfit had better walk out the door. It's clear that Downey realised he was on to a good thing when he jammed with these guys back at 2017's Vibe. Piling into classic after classic; the band are able to switch the tempo to accommodate the slower tracks such as 'Southbound' and 'Dancing In The Moonlight'.

The crowd is lapping it up, in awe of the mastermind behind the drum kit, Downey; counting in the songs and keeping a tight rhythm section with Wilson on bass. At first glance, Wilson with his big curly hair and cheeky grin could almost pass as a Philo impersonator, but it must be said, he has his own powerful stage persona, complete with a swagger and confidence to completely own the spotlight.

Now is the real test, as I hear the intro to one of my all-time favourites; 'Still In Love With You'. Grace and Edgar's guitar playing feed off each other in dual guitar harmonies and shines in those intricate solos towards the end, before sweeping us in to the sleaze driven funky mood of 'Johnny The Fox'. We are well and truly entranced. The band don't miss a hit, including all those well known Lizzy songs that even a non-rocker would have heard, 'The Boys Are Back In Town', 'The Rocker' and 'Don't Believe A Word'.

The outfit close the set with a shimmering encore, adding two songs outside of the L&D album ('It's Only Money' and 'Whiskey In The Jar') before Downey effortlessly brings in the intro to the epic 'Emerald', dual guitars at the ready, leading the way into a stunning alternated solo between the two guitarists. Live And Dangerous is definitely still alive!

Score: 5/5

Writer & Photographer: M. Godding

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Born Again's Favourite Malcolm Young Moments

Rock 'n' Roll has lost another musical genius- the driving force of one of the greatest bands in the world- Malcolm Young of AC/DC.

We pay tribute to the man who not only co-founded AC/DC with brother Angus Young, but the rhythm guitarist who wrote some of the most catchy, well-known riffs in rock. He may have modestly stood at the back, whilst Angus took centre-stage during live shows, but it should be no secret that Malcolm was very much at the forefront when it came to AC/DC. Without Malcolm, AC/DC may never have achieved the success they so greatly deserve. 

So, in no particular order, here are some of our favourite Malcolm moments.

AC/DC- Can I Sit Next To You Girl? - (1974)

AC/DC's debut single and resulting promo video where a baby-faced Malcolm can already be seen showcasing that classic twitch as he bobs along to the rhythm of his Gretsch. He stands in usual position, executing the sound that was set to change Rock 'n' Roll forever (also sporting some very questionable attire, including a Scottish bonnet). 

Marcus Hook Roll Band- Quick Reaction (1973)

We absolutey love this track, taken from the brilliant 'Tales of Old Grand Daddy'- an album drunkenly created by members of the Young family including brothers Angus, George and of course, Malcolm himself. Although much slower in tempo, the sounds of AC/DC are already coming into fruition through not only those catchy, energised riffs, but also the raw energy and boystrous attitude that comes with the Young brothers. 

AC/DC- Riff Raff (1979)

One of the best rock riffs ever written? Most definitely! With an introduction to well and truly kick you up the butt, Riff Raff has of course some killer lead solos played by Angus, but it's that steady, heavy riff that is played consistently throughout that makes the song as incredible as it is. Powerage is an album that has Malcolm's name all over it, what with him beginning to take executive control over much of the writing and recording... what a corker it is!

AC/DC- Jailbreak (1976)

Another gift to Rock 'n' Roll and a song that will most certainly live forever, with an unforgettable riff which stays in your head for days. An early hit for the band, but well worth a mention all the same with it's steady, bluesy rhythm, catchy chorus, accompanied visuals and back story. A song that gives your muscles no choice but to contract. 

AC/DC - Shake A Leg (1980)

It would be a travesty to not include songs from Johnson-era AC/DC, particularly a song from Back In Black which is undoubetdly an album that everyone should have in their collection. Amidst the double entendres and sexual innuendos is 'Shake A Leg'. Johnson's squeals and the upbeat tempo of this song creates a Zeppelin-esque tone which matches the drinking and women theme to this album perfectly. Malcolm's riffing on this track reminds us why AC/DC are the ultimate 'boogie rock' band.  

AC/DC - Fly On the Wall (1985)

Fly on the Wall is a greatly underrated AC/DC album and well, this song deserves a mention for Malcolm's right leg alone. The calf muscle in that leg is getting a serious work-out as he pounds along to the track. In seriousness, this is an absolute ripper of a song. It's got so much power and heaviness which, combined with Johnson's 'rip-you-to-shreds' vocals, never fails to get you going. Another cheeky, hilariously sexist release, but a killer record all the same. 

We miss you, Malcolm!

    Writer: Kayleigh MG

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Europe Announce 2018 UK Headline Tour

Europe announce UK tour 'Tour the Earth' in support of their critically acclaimed 11th studio album 'Walk the Earth'.

Europe are pleased to announce they will embark on a headline UK Tour next September 2018 featuring special guests King King. The shows will feature songs from the new album Walk The Earth as well as all the hits. The tour will kick off at Manchester Academy on Friday September 14th 2018 and will continue right across the UK – hitting venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Brighton and also London’s iconic venue, The Royal Albert Hall.

UK DATES - September 2018

Fri 14- Manchester Academy
Sat 15- Glasgow Barrowlands
Mon 17- Newcastle O2 Academy
Tue 18- Nottingham Rock City 
Wed 19- Birmingham O2 Institute
Fri 21- Cardiff St David’s Hall
Sat 22- Portsmouth Pyramids Centre
Sun 23- London Royal Albert Hall
Mon 24- Brighton Dome

Tickets on sale Friday 24th November at 9am. Available right here!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Iron Maiden 'Legacy of the Beast' Tour Dates

Iron Maiden are back on the road once again, and this time they'll be travelling across the UK and Europe with the Legacy of the Beast. 

iron maiden

Legacy Of The Beast 2018 Tour Dates: 

26     Saku Arena, Tallinn, ESTONIA 
28     Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, FINLAND 

01    Tele2 Arena, Stockholm, SWEDEN 
03    Dahls Arena, Trondheim Rocks, NORWAY
05    Royal Arena, Copenhagen, DENMARK 
07    Sweden Rock Festival, Solvesborg, SWEDEN
09    Rockavaria, Königsplatz, Munich, GERMANY
10    Expo Plaza, Hannover, GERMANY 
13    Waldbuhne, Berlin, GERMANY 
16    Firenze Rocks, ITALY
17    Novarock Festival, Nickelsdorf, AUSTRIA
20    Letnany Airport, Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC 
22    Graspop, Dessel, BELGIUM
24    Hellfest, Clisson, FRANCE
26    Geneva Arena, Geneva, SWITZERLAND 
28    Volt Festival, Sopron, HUNGARY
30    Messegelaende, Freiburg, GERMANY 

01    Gelredome, Arnhem, HOLLAND 
05    AccorsHotel Arena, Paris, FRANCE
09    San Siro Ippodromo, Milan, ITALY
10    Hallenstadion, Zurich, SWITZERLAND
13    Altice Arena, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
14    Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid, SPAIN

17    Piazza Della Unita, Trieste, ITALY
20    Rockwave Festival, Athens, GREECE
22     Hills Of Rock, Plovdiv, BULGARIA
24    Zagreb arena, Zagreb, CROATIA
27    Tauron Arena, Krakow, POLAND
31    Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, ENGLAND 
02    SSE Arena, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND 
04    Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen, SCOTLAND 
06    Manchester Arena, Manchester, ENGLAND 
07    Genting arena, Birmingham, ENGLAND 

10    O2 Arena, London, ENGLAND 

The concept for the Legacy Of The Beast World Tour was inspired by Maiden’s mobile game and comic book of the same name. The stage set design will feature a number of different but interlocking “worlds” with a set list covering a large selection of 80s material with a handful of surprises from later albums to add diversity.

Maiden manager Rod Smallwood explains further: -
“As our fans know, we’ve been following a particular touring cycle ever since Bruce and Adrian re-joined Maiden at the start of the millennium, alternating new album tours with “History/Hits” tours. We enjoy working this way for many reasons, not least because it gives the band a chance to play both new material and the older favourites which we know fans like to hear. It keeps things fresh, not just for the fans but for the band too."

Tickets will go on sale on Friday 24th November, but there will be an exclusive pre-sale for fan club members which will take place on Monday 20th November.

Keep your eyes on the Tour Dates Page for updates and information on ticket sales.

Monday, 13 November 2017

New Saxon Album Out February 2018 & Tour Dates Announced

"This is album 22 and it's called 'Thunderbolt'. It's a Storming, Smashing, Thundering collection of tracks we've been crafting with Producer, Andy Sneap and it's finished ready to be unleashed.  Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!” - Biff Byford

If there was a prize for the most hardworking recording/touring band in heavy metal, Saxon would be one of the nominees.  They've barely taken a breather after completing their last album and tour before starting something new!  

Thunderbolt is due for release through the 'Militia Guard Label' on February 2nd, with pre-orders starting on December 1st.  In support of their latest offering, Saxon will commence the first leg of their 'Thunderbolt Tour' in February which will see them joined by fellow British Heavy Metal bands Diamond Head and Rock Goddess.  Rockers, Magnum, will join the tour for one date only in Hull (see below).

Thunderbolt track listing:

 1. Olympus Rising
 2. Thunderbolt
 3. The Secret of Flight
 4. Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
 5. They Played Rock and Roll
 6. Predator
 7. Sons of Odin
 8. Sniper
 9. A Wizard’s Tale
10. Speed Merchants
11. Roadie’sSong
12. Nosferatu(RawVersion)*not available on vinyl

Available in the following formats:
  • CD Album in Digipack
  • 180 gms coloured vinyl in a Gatefold
  • A Special Edition Boxset
  • Tape Cassette
  • Digital Download

Thunderbolt tour dates - Part 1:

Fri February 23 - UK, Cardiff University
Sat February 24 - UK, Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sun February 25 - UK, Hull City Hall
Tue February 27 - Holland, Tilburg 013
Wed February 28 - Germany, Saarbruecken Garage
Thu March 1 - Germany, Hannover Capitol
Fri March 2 - Germany, Frankfurt Batschkapp
Sat March 3 - Germany, Dresden Schlachthof

Visit for more information.

Writer: M Godding

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The Re-Release Of Heavy Load's 'Stronger Than Evil' Available Now For Pre-Order

It's been a good year for Heavy Load news as we previously revealed in our interview with Eddy Malm and Styrbjörn Wahlquist back in August. First off, the news that there 'might' be some shows with the defunct band, and secondly that there will be re-releases of their albums. Fans of this classic Swedish heavy metal band had been waiting year after year and festival announcement after festival announcement for rumours to finally come true.  And this October they did; Heavy Load are to play re-union shows at the esteemed festivals Keep It True and Up The Hammers

In our interview with Malm and Wahlquist, they revealed that the re-releases are going to be issued by No Remorse Records (in conjunction with the Wahlquist brother's label Thunderload Records).

Yesterday it was announced that Stronger Than Evil will be available for pre-order this morning from 09:00 British Time (11:00 Greek time) with the official release date set for January 26th.  Every order from No Remorse Records will be shipped with a free Heavy Load scarf, for that added old school touch.  

Wahlquist told us, "Stronger Than Evil will come out with six bonus tracks, a gatefold cover and about fifty pictures that have never been published before. There will be a thick booklet with pictures and stories about the songs, and what we thought about them".

Versions of Stronger Than Evil available for pre order:

LP/ CD Box Set- limited to 200 numbered copies
  • 180g Blue vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with 12 page booklet and CD with six bonus tracks included.
  • Digipack CD with 32 page booklet and 6 bonus tracks
  • Exclusive t-shirt with new artwork
  • Patch

LP- Black vinyl (& a limited edition of 200 red vinyl)
  • 180g vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with 12 page booklet
  • CD with six bonus tracks included

CD- Regular and deluxe digipack versions available
  • Includes 6 bonus tracks and a 32 page booklet

Pre-order now from No Remorse Records!

Writer: M Godding

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Last Daze Of 2017: November & December Gig Guide

What's coming up in November and December?

Photo courtesy of 'Heavy Metal Soundhouse'
It's the last couple of months of 2017, but we not ready to slow down yet, if ever! If you thought you'd be able to give your liver rest or your ears a breather, you thought wrong. There's a delicious number of gigs coming up to keep even the fastidious music fan on their toes. We hi-light the shows you definitely cannot miss!


02/11/17: Michael Schenker Fest @ Shepherd's Bush Empire

November kicks off with the return of German musical maestro, Michael Schenker. The M.S.G returns to the UK with a four date tour under the title of 'Michael Schenker Fest'. Fans of the guitar aficionado are especially pleased that the gigs will feature original vocalists Gary Garden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. See you at the front!

10/11/17: Mick Underwood's Glory Road @ Hammersmith Club

11/11/17: Night Demon & Vuil @ The Devonshire Arms

12/11/17: Rock Goddess @ O2 Academy, Islington

After the success of their EP launch show back in June, South London's favourite queens of metal are back, ready to make us boogie to some heavy metal and rock 'n' roll. Supporting Lynch Mob, the girls will very much own the room as they have built up a 'mob' of their own; a loyal army of Rock Goddess fans.

14/11/17: Helloween@ O2 Academy, Brixton

16/11/17: Alice Cooper @ The SSE Arena, Wembley

23/11/17: Deep Purple 'TheLong Goodbye' @ The O2, Peninsula Square

Starting in Bucharest, Romania, the Deep Purple steam train has been rolling it's way across countries and continents, enchanting fans with their wide catalogue of music.  It's going to be a sad affair as we say goodbye to some of our favourite musicians, but at least they will go out in style.

24-25/11/17: Winterstorm Rock Weekender @ Riverside Business Park, Troon, Scotland

25/11/17: Praying Mantis @ The Rock Den, Hatfield

Brian Downey's 'Alive and Dangerous' @ Nell's Jazz & Blues

Original drummer of Ireland's finest, Thin Lizzy, Brian Downey has been making a few waves across the Irish Sea with his new project Brian Downey's Alive and Dangerous. Forty years since the recording of one of the greatest live albums to ever grace the world of rock n' roll, London will be treated to a special Live and Dangerous anniversary show. 

29/11/17: Graham Bonnet Band @ The Underworld, Camden

29/11/17: Robin Trower @ Islington Assembly Hall


01/12/17: Limehouse Lizzy @ The Half Moon, Putney

02/12/17: Lionheart & Airrace @ The Underworld, Camden

02-03/12/17: Hard Rock Hell NWOBHM Xmas Rocka 2 @ The O2 Academy, Sheffield

Last year's Xmas Rocka was such a huge success that the folks at Hard Rock Hell HQ decided to treat us maniacs with a second year of old school British heavy metal.  Get kitted up in your denim and leather and bang your head bands like Raven, Diamond Head, Lionheart and Traitors Gate, amongst other. 

06/12/17: Diamond Head @O2 Academy, Islington

08-09/12/17: Mearfest South @ The Carlisle, Hastings

Sadly, this will be the last Mearfest, but it will most certainly go out with a bang.  With the initial aim to raise money for various cancer charities, and later, 'The Willow Support Group in Berkshire' (stillbirth charity), they've always pulled together a line up of top NWOBHM.  Fans have come far and wide in the past and there is no doubt that they will do so for this edition of Mearfest.  Catch classic NWOBHM bands such as Scarab, Satan's Empire and Handsome Beasts as well as newer acts such as Kaine and Toledo Steel.

12/12/17: Uli Jon Roth @ O2 Academy, Islington

16/12/17: Sweet @ Nell's Jazz and Blues

22/12/17: Born Again & Neal Kay's Heavy Metal Soundhouse @ The Lounge, Archway

Ourselves at Born Again have been resurrecting the 'Heavy Metal Soundhouse' since 2015, putting on club nights and after parties as well as Djing after parties/ support slots for bands and festivals. Imagine how delighted we were when we found out that the legendary DJ, Neal Kay, had already heard of us when we contacted him. So, we coaxed Neal out of vinyl spinning retirement, and together we're putting on the party of all parties, a one off 'Heavy Metal Soundhouse' to end 2017 on a high. This will also double as the official after party to Orange Goblin's Christmas gig in The Electric Ballroom, Camden.

Writer: M Godding

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Connoisseur's Choice: Born Again's Top 10 Judas Priest Gems

There are some questions in life which are almost impossible to answer. "What's your favourite Judas Priest album?" is most certainly one of them. So, we've done something even more challenging and have shared 10 of our favourite Judas Priest tracks in preparation for our Born Again: Judas Priest Special

There's only one thing left to do! Get your Priest collection out and listen along with us!

10) Victim of Changes from Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)

An inspiringly perfect heavy metal album. Victim of Changes is a track that represents the brilliant musicianship, darkness and power that the entire album executes. It was a face-off between this and Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver as both similarly display all that is great with the Priest. Solos, soul, atmosphere and a vocal range to make changes well and truly come over your body.

9) Fever from Screaming for Vengeance (1982)

With an intro to send tingles down your spine, quickly disturbed by the sounds of KK and Glenn, it's not long before you're sent into a classic Priest sing-a-long. Much like other songs on 'Screaming' this song brings pure emotion and power in the heaviest form. Once again, it's difficult to choose just 1 track from this album- particularly when it's got numbers such as '(Take These) Chains' on it!

Fever all day and all night!

Image result for screaming for vengeance vinyl

8) Rapid Fire from British Steel (1980)

If you're a Born Again regular, you'll know this is a tune we can't help but belt out every night. Heavy from the get-go with drums to bust your gut (forgetting for a moment that they're played by kiddie fiddling Dave Holland). Pounding the world with ultimate muscle, steel and speed! Rapid Fire is one of those songs that gets every part of your body moving. Proper British heavy metal!

Image result for judas priest british steel

7) Diamonds and Rust from 'Unleashed in the East' (1979)

There are many variations of this song composed by Priest alone not to mention other artists. However, we didn't hesitate when thinking of our favourite version, found on Priest's 1979 live album 'Unleashed in the East'. It's raw energy transports you to to Tokyo where you find yourself in a trance; face screwed up and muscles contorted trying to replicate the KK/Glenn combo once again. Halford's vocals are truly flawless and knowing this was performed live makes it even more pleasing to listen to. 

6) Burnin' Up from Killing Machine (1978)

If there was ever a Priest song to 'sexy-dance' to, it'd be this. The suggestive lyrics, sensual guitar tone and Halford's sexually sinister vocals certainly do get you Burnin' Up. Perhaps not the greatest song on the album, but a song I often find myself having the urge to listen to and one rarely mentioned. Combined with 'Evil Fantasies', it makes you wonder what environment this album was written in! Whatever it was, I wanna be there!

Image result for judas priest killing machine

5) Blood Red Skies from Ram It Down (1986)

An ultimate for fans of  '80s heavy metal. The intro is a collection of acoustic sounds with the operatic vibratos of Rob reminiscent to that of a storm building. These sounds are soon shattered by those 80s iconic drums that give off enough reverb to shake you from within- tremendous! Halford's vocals in the verse are slow and subtle which only add more passion to those on-going screams and solos as the storm has well and truly kicked in.

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4) Desert Plains from Point of Entry (1981)

An underrated album which holds one of my very favourite Judas Priest tracks. Although the version to beat is from Live Vengeance '82, I feel like giving Point of Entry some love is necessary! Desert Plains has some of the most impressive Priest lyrics yet, which are matched perfectly with the consistent pounding drums throughout. The KK- Glenn-Halford combo then takes the song to a whole new level with imagery of riding free evoking so much emotion. Arguably one of Priest's best tracks.

3) Out in the Cold from Turbo (1986)

Turbo, the marmite album in the Priest collection; loved by some, hated by many. The hate I never understood. An ultimate '80s party album which also gifts us with songs like 'Out in the Cold'. Another belter of  a track with once again a live version to die for ('Fuel for Life Tour'). The synths, the twin guitars, the reverb on that snare- it's tasty. Then, once again, Rob takes it to the next level with a combination of subtle smoothness and a slow build-up to the classic Halford-esque tones.

Image result for judas priest turbo

2) The Sentinel from Defenders of the Faith (1984)

I've always said, 2 of the very best songs ever written are Iron Maiden's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Judas Priest's The Sentinel. Play one after the other and your head is well and truly ready to explode. This whole album is made of immense energy, rapidity and dominance and yet this song still manages to stand out. It's not just a song, but a powerful journey with many roads.

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1) Beyond the Realms of Death from Stained Class (1978)

A masterpiece, difficult to sum up in just a few sentences. A power ballad in its own right, Beyond the Realms of Death has one of the best vocal performances in heavy metal history. When you add the phenomenal musicianship of KK, Glenn, Ian and drummer Les Binks to the mix, you get that classic Judas Priest sound with a little added extra. Combined with truly emotive lyrics and 2 guitar solos of dreams, you'll never want it to end. And, it doesn't have to! There are many live versions of this song, all incredible. You know what to do with the rest of your day. 

Image result for judas priest stained class

We want to know YOUR favourite Priest tracks!
Share them with us and we'll be sure to spin them come Saturday 9th December at The Black Heart in Camden!

Writer: Kayleigh MG

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


We are very pleased to announce that the founder of The Heavy Metal Soundhouse NEAL KAY will join us behind the decks for a ONE NIGHT ONLY Christmas Extravaganza!

The night will include DJ sets from Neal Kay, Born Again and a special collaboration using 'Kay's Soundhouse Classics' which includes songs taken from the very last Soundhouse at the infamous Bandwagon! Additionally, the night will see many special guests, we hope that you can be one of them! Neal has commented on the event and says: -

“There I was, deep in slumber in my rocking chair at the ‘Home For Retired Old Rockers, OAPs and Terminal Loonies’, when I was awoken by two heavenly visions, approaching from the land of the living! The empty bottle of JD fell off my lap and crashed onto the floor, and sitting bolt upright I realised this was no dream! There was no escape - some things just must be done!

After cracking a fresh bottle, Kayleigh and Michelle made me an offer that I just could not refuse. I grabbed my Zimmer frame, staggered to my feet, cane in hand, and I accepted with honour the opportunity to take to the stage ONE MORE TIME in the name of The Heavy Metal Soundhouse. We will deliver to all who turn up, a few hours of an historic Xmas Soundhouse Extravaganza with the sounds that were used back in the day, some from over 40 years ago! As long as I can remember how it all works, that is! Even further tempting, was the offer of real decks to spin those vital vinyl classic works of greatness, with all the more modern gadgets thrown in as well.

So, I really am looking forward to this great event on Friday the 22nd December, and Michelle, Kayleigh and I together are going to make it a real old-fashioned "Night to Remember!"

I look forward to welcoming you once more to a real Soundhouse Christmas show.

It's not so much a's more like Rock N' Roll!”

£6 advanced cheap tickets can be found here.
£8 on the door.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Compilation Review: British Steel 'The Rising Force Of British Heavy Metal'

It feels almost redundant to point this out, but the UK metal scene is brimming with talent right now. Through a mixture of veterans who've been plugging away for years and relatively young blood, we're blessed with a stable of bands delivering heavy metal at varying degrees of ferocity and majesty, with a knack for memorable songwriting and intense live performance in common. Dissonance Productions, who launched last year, have been kind enough to gather some of the finest examples under one roof and have put together this compilation, launched to much fanfare with a show headlined by Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper and four of the bands involved (Amulet, Seven Sisters, Aggressive Perfector, Eliminator) at the tail end of September in Camden Underworld. This album serves simultaneously as an introduction for the curious, a sample of new material for established fans of some of the bands involved, and a statement of intent for future releases.

Opening the collection is London’s stalwart Bloody Knights,
Amulet, who contribute 'Highwayman'. A fast, punchy number with a triumphant sounding chorus delivered with gusto by frontman Jamie Elton, this does a great job of showing the unsuspecting listener what they’re in for and is itself a good augury for their second full-length album, due for release in early 2018.

The second track drags us northward to Manchester with Aggressive Perfector who supply a fine slice of raw aggression in the form of 'Harlot’s Spell'. This is one I keep coming back to. The harsh vocals are complemented by a some very catchy melodic riffs that never sound too forced or at odds with the overall “feel” of the song. This is my first encounter with Aggressive Perfector and I’ll be keeping an eye out in future.

Up next we have Eliminator’s 'Lost To The Void'. I can’t stress enough how good it is to be hearing from these lads again after a relatively quiet period. This is an older number re-recorded to show off new singer Danny Foster and he certainly delivers, fitting the grand scope of the song perfectly. 'Lost To The Void' draws the listener straight in with a forceful introduction, fancy leadwork and an almost operatic sounding chorus.

We move from the stratosphere to the depths of Hades with the next track, Dungeon’s 'Queen of Sin'. In this preview of an upcoming 2017 EP, the London quartet capture the frenetic energy of their live shows. Don’t look for anything resembling elegance here: 'Queen of Sin' hurtles towards its ending relentlessly, only gaining in intensity. A satisfying slab of speed metal.

Dark Forest are up next with 'Where The Arrow Falls' from last year’s Beyond The Veil LP. A successor in spirit and theme to 2011’s 'Under The Greenwood Tree' (from their sophomore Dawn of Infinity album), 'Where The Arrow Falls' trades in reverence for a mythic past, a sense of freedom against forces that would curtail it and a simple appreciation of nature’s beauty and grandeur. Led by guitarist Christian Horton, Dark Forest have been going in one form or another for 15 years now and it shows in consistent quality of their songwriting, and by-now second nature affinity for memorable melodies and riffs to get fists pumping.

Following on, Toledo Steel deliver 'Rock Nights': A solid, mid-paced ode to the joys of touring and playing shows, propelled along by a satisfyingly pounding main riff, 'Rock Nights' is a straightforward, no-nonsense banger. Look out for the strong vocal performance we've come to expect from Rich Rutter and a tasty solo courtesy of Tom Potter.

Scotland is represented on this compilation by speedsters Vuil, who contribute 'Iron Witch'. Fast and furious riffage and positively Vio-Lence-esque vocals add up to a maddening racket. Lovely stuff.

Seven Sisters bridge the gap between last year's self-titled LP and 2018's upcoming Cauldron And The Cross by contributing 'The Witches Eye'. This is a faster number than we're used to from the West London wreckery merchants (drummer Steve Loftin is clearly putting in a hell of a shift), and as such stands in contrast to the more sweeping, epic sounds that dominated last year's record. Their long-established melodic sensibility is still present though, and the chorus provides on one of Kyle McNeill's best performances so far.

The most nakedly aggressive entry on this release arrives in the form of Insurgency's 'Destined For Death', a taster from the recently released Militant Death Cult EP. The combined Lancaster/Glasgow fury that Insurgency bring to the live environment is very much in evidence here, with a brief break in the otherwise relentless tremolo riff/blastbeat combo serving to showcase some sickening distorted bass work. Messrs Shackleton, Baali and McLaren can be proud of their work here.

London veterans Neuronspoiler weigh in with 'Slay The Beast', from their upcoming Second Sight album. This is a strong slab of polished, melodic heavy metal; evidence of a band that have been honing their craft for some time. Second Sight will be an album to look out for.

The compilation closes with 'Freedom Battle', taken from Wytch Hazel's 2016 LP Prelude. To this author's ears Prelude was 2016's finest metal release and 'Freedom Battle' exemplifies what worked so well on that album - lush melodies, a majestic chorus, overall just a simple, memorable song. Colin and co. really worked some magic here.

In summary, this collection presents to the listener a fine cross-section of what's happening in more old school-oriented British heavy metal in 2017. Many of these bands have new releases coming up shortly and are gigging frequently, which makes it an ideal introduction for the curious and dedicated fan alike. Very much worth a buy.

CD and LP versions of the album are available to order via Plastic Head.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Craig Stewart

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Hammer Of Doom XII 2017

The Hammer Of Doom smashes in to Posthalle once more, bringing legends Cirith UngolLucifer's Friend, Warning and Time Lord, amongst others, with it.

For those of us mourning the end of summer, and the departure of the festival season along with it, there is some solace on the way from Würzburg’s 'Hammer Of Doom Festival'.

There won’t be any camping, lakes or beer-soaked sunbathing this time around but the acts on offer more than make up for the lack of extra curricular activities. Somehow we’re sure there will still be plenty of beer involved….

Perhaps one of the biggest draws this year is a headline set from the mighty Cirith Ungol.  Following a massively successful European debut at 'Keep It True' this April, both those who were lucky enough to be there and the unfortunates who missed it will be eagerly anticipating another storming set.

Joining Cirith Ungol as festival headliners are UK’s depressive-doom masters Warning performing the entirety of 2006 full length, Watching From A Distance. The atmosphere that will likely descend over the hall during this masterpiece will surely leave few dry eyes in the room.

With a handful of shows under their belts since 2015, early doom pioneers Lucifer’s Friend will be making the trip to Würzbug. Anyone craving a progressive, keyboard heavy, 70s rock fix will be left satisfied when John Lawton and Co. do their thing.

Just last month another surprise was delivered with the announcement of Time Lord. In 2015 we were shocked by the tragic loss of Terry Jones. As well as being the original voice of Pagan Altar, Terry was a dear friend to so many around him within the community. In honour of Terry’s legacy, former Pagan Altar members Alan Jones, Diccon Harper and Andy Green will be joined by Brendan Radigan and Andres Arango of Magic Circle/Stone Dagger and Cauchemar/Metalian respectively. We are waiting in anticipation of the magic that Time Lord will certainly create in memory of Terry.

The bands taking positions further down the line up are no less impressive with the likes of Count Raven, Procession and, brainchild of Candlemass mastermind Leif Edling, The Doomsday Kingdom filling the ranks.

The Vision Bleak and Naevus, both of Germany are, other than Lucifer’s Friend, the only local offerings on a diverse international line-up with Greece, Italy, USA and Sweden all represented by The Temple, Witchwood, Pilgrim and Below.

This year’s Hammer Of Doom is absolutely not to be missed. We’ll see you all there in four weeks time – the countdown begins now!

Festival information and tickets can be found via the event Facebook page.

After show party details here.

Writer: Louise Dornan

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Yes 50 Tour: Celebrating Fifty Years Of Yes

Yes announces exciting 50th anniversary celebrations and UK tour.

Half a century sounds like a very long time but after all these years, Yes are still going strong. 50 years has seen 19 band members, 21 studio albums and somewhere around 40 tours.

To mark this huge milestone, UK fans will be treated to a 10 date tour in March 2018, YES50. Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood will be performing sides one and four and an excerpt from side 3 of 1973’s Tales From Topographic Oceans as well as plenty of classis Yes hits. With no support act, the show is sure to take an extensive look at the past 50 years of the bands output.

There’s even more going on in world of Yes at the moment. The final weekend of the UK tour at the London Palladium on 24th and 25th March will include a 50th Anniversary fan convention. As if there wasn’t enough to be excited about already, the wonderfully talented Roger Dean who has created so many fantastical landscapes for the bands album artworks will unveil new “Close To The Edge” paintings at the Palladium on March 25th. More details on this special event will be announced soon so super fans should be on the lookout! 

Asked about this 50th Anniversary tour, Steve Howe said, “We want to mark this anniversary with a tour that encompasses some of our best loved work - we want to play things we enjoy, maybe songs we haven’t done in a while.”

Alan White added "Reflecting on the past 46 years that I've devoted my life to playing Yes music, it's been an interesting journey and a true labour of love. I've always believed in the power of music and the band's recent induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and our Grammy awarded in 1985 are testament to the longevity of influence our music has had through the years. I'm extremely grateful to continue to be performing on stages for our dedicated fans and look forward to our 50th Anniversary performing together in 2018. It's been a great ride!!"

UK Tickets available now from Eventim, with more European dates to come soon.  We’ll see you there!

*Tragically, guitarist Steve Howe's son, Viirgil, has recently passed away. All remaining dates of the current 'Yestival' tour have been cancelled. Born Again sends their well wishes and condolences to Steve Howe, family and friends.

Writer: Louise Dornan