Devin Townsend

Bloodstock Open Air 2021 Review: Pandemic Festival Pandemonium

Bloodstock Open Air 2021 Review: Pandemic Festival Pandemonium

“In the words of Rob Halford during Judas Priest’s two-hour headline slot: “Britain’s premier heavy metal festival is back.” Yes, cranky Covid’s delta wave dangerously hovered over the pit like clouded sweat but after a few strong ciders and a crunching riff – experienced live for the first time in over 18 months – the external world became a distant memory.” Metal never dies.

Tommy Concrete – Hexenzirkel Review

Tommy Concrete – Hexenzirkel Review

“My first thought as my eyes fell upon Hexenzirkel in the promo bin was ‘the year of dumb band names has yet another contender. But Tommy Concrete is not just an ill-conceived band name, it’s the artist name for Tomas Pattinson, whose diverse portfolio includes about a dozen and a half different bands, including a year-long stint in The Exploited. Some years ago his eye turned towards epic prog, because under this moniker he’s churned out at least an album a year since 2016 with music that’s drawn comparisons to Devin Townsend, according to the promo sheet.” Hevy lifting.

Sectlinefor – Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak

Sectlinefor – Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak

“I’ve always appreciated metal bands willing to include a hefty dose of comedy in their work. In a genre known for taking itself too seriously at times, wedding irreverence with heaviness can be an artistic gamble, and I appreciate that commitment. Melted BodiesEnjoy Yourself was a favorite of 2020, Slugdge‘s amazingly ridiculous Slug God mythos has had me sold ever since The Cosmic Cornucopia, and who can forget modern thrash’s obsession with hard-partying zombies? The fact that such bands employ comedic imagery, satirical lyrics or non-traditional instrumentation while addressing real issues (whether personal or public) make their output all the more impressive. It’s why I was quick to jump at the chance to review Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak, the latest from Sectlinefor, a deranged duo who perform, in their own words, “freshly squeezed cinematic rock music you didn’t order, sir.”” Plague tongue.

TDW – The Day the Clocks Stopped Review

TDW – The Day the Clocks Stopped Review

“Hey, remember the infamous manbun album, where Pain of Salvation‘s Daniel Gildenlöw sang about his experience lying in the hospital and almost dying for over 70 minutes? Well, The Day the Clocks Stopped has TDW’s frontman Tom de Wit singing about his experience lying in the hospital and almost dying for over 70 minutes. But TDW’s album is 5 minutes longer and instead of almost dying just once, Tom spent a long time on his sick bed, fighting bowel disease, sensory processing sensitivity and medical mistakes, and he almost died twice! Take that, Daniel!” Hospital-core.

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

“Progressive metal in general can be a contested battleground. The genre and likely every single band within it has had the charge of pretentiousness levied at some point, and not always without reason. It is the terrain of 15 minute epics full of bloat, pseudo-intellectual lyrics that talk a lot and say very little, a small city worth of guest artists, and the paradoxical slavery to tropes first invented over 40 years ago. And there are no worse sinners than progressive supergroups. The Progressive Souls Collective, hereafter TPSC, is sort of mostly a supergroup but not quite.” Tough delivery.

The Atomic Bitchwax – Scorpio Review

The Atomic Bitchwax – Scorpio Review

“If there was ever a year that demanded a new The Atomic Bitchwax record, it was 2020. Between the chain of climate-related and man-made disasters, the slow implosion of politics around the world and the pandemic, we can do with a burst of stupid, fun, high octane stoner rock, and if any band can deliver on that, it’s the terrible trio.” Giving 2020 the Wax.

Mean Messiah – Divine Technology Review

Mean Messiah – Divine Technology Review

“Drawing directly from the Dev doesn’t really narrow things down in and of itself. Mean Messiah limit themselves to a mixture of Strapping Young Lad and his more life-affirming Transcendence and Epicloud style. It’s a weird dichotomy, manic aggression opposing triumphant zen semi-choirs, causing more whiplash than a bus from a BDSM convention getting rear-ended by an 18-wheeler.” Dev Driver.

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

“Metal-Fi? One has got to wonder if the serious lack of updates on the site is because of these issues or are they in fact the root cause? I honestly don’t know. Certainly, neither Dave nor I could have possibly foreseen that our unannounced hiatus last year would kick off Ragnarök. But unfortunately, that’s what all of the facts seem to indicate. Our bad.” Deaf and taxes.