Tag Archives: Heavy metal music

Metallic Faith Malarkey

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When I’m not learning how to write my name in Elvish, I’m being utterly perplexed by my fellow citizens.

In data extrapolated from the 2011 UK census results, it would appear that 6,242 of Britons declared  Heavy Metal as their religion (for the record, that’s more respondents than self-identified as a Scientologist, Druid or Shaman).

To which one can only remark “Huh?”

I love a bit of Maiden as much as the next middle-aged, dog-walking vegetarian but can’t quite get behind the notion of aligning my musical genre of choice with organised faith – the goals of one seem quite at odds with the professed beliefs of the other, surely?

Obviously this result should probably be taken in the spirit of the kind of lightly subversive, nose-thumbing surrealism that I suspect it to be (note the high ranking of ‘Jedi Knight‘ as a faith of choice in the UK census, even after the quality of the “Star Wars” prequels should have killed aligning oneself to Uncle George’s franchise outright).

So, if I’m reading all of this correctly, the proper conclusion to draw from this census is that agencies of social control (which we normally oppose with all-consuming fervour) are a very bad idea until they provide you with the opportunity to make a snarky response to a survey.

Swell.

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Wacken on the water?

Heavy Metal-themed cruises are not exactly a new idea – Barge To Hell, anyone?

But until now, they’ve involved a lot of travel to get to the embarking port – well-heeled (or childless) metal heads who fancy a cruise-based holiday with their better halves now have a European option for this kind of holiday and it’s coming from the people who bring you the legendary Wacken festival every summer.

Full Metal Cruise – all the fun of a festival, on the highest of seas?

You can expect the usual delights of one of these holidays – as much food as you can consume, excursions and shore-based activities, libations and regular gigs on board with 20 bands promised for the inaugural event.

To me, it sounds kind of like bliss but my delightful dog Hagrid’s needs come first, so I’ll be sitting this particular voyage of the damned out for now – a metallic cruise where the scenery changes regularly, the bands are fantastic and the viking vibes are ever-present?  If that’s not a holiday to remember, I don’t know what is.

 

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Maiden America

Oh, Eddie – why must you desert me?

Picture via Iron Maiden.com

Over on the Metal Hammer blog you can get a look at the current Iron Maiden US tour, “Maiden England“, which is taking the founding fathers of modern metal to Stateside cities – Charlotte, North Carolina, for example – where the band haven’t played since 1988.

Puts a two or three wait between UK Maiden dates into perspective, doesn’t it?

You can read more at Iron Maiden’s site – in the meantime, I’ll be working on my teleportation device, so that I can get my wizened butt into an Enormodome to take in the awesome.

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Soul Shredder – Support Your Scene!

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Further to my earlier ‘Support Your Scene’ post concerning the local bands we should all try to support, I’ve happened across local Metal band Soul Shredder thanks to the wonders of Google-Fu.

Led by guitarist Stu Gibson, Soul Shredder have a nifty, almost traditional metal sound which I’d compare to Kobra And The Lotus (the band has a female vocalist, Cookie) or 3 Inches Of Blood (the new spin on traditional metal) – the riffs are thick and chunky with excellent solos, the vocals are soaring and melodic and the overall sound blasts along in a punchy and pleasingly dynamic fashion.

“Prepare for Annihilation” has a thrashy chug and great double-bass drum sections, “Kijo” starts with a latter-period, Iron Maiden-esque proggy section before moving into a riff which recalls (in the best way) Hetfield and Hammett riffing from the “Black” album era – they’re both songs that you can listen to on the band’s website as part of their self-titled 2011 EP.

The band are playing in my home city in July as part of the annual “Tram Lines” free music festival – I’d be daft to miss them, and you would be to, if you happen to be in my fair city over the weekend of 20-22nd July 2012.  Of course, given the organisers complete terror of including rock bands in the main line-up (not hipster-friendly enough, it would seem), Soul Shredder are playing out of the main line-up and can be found at West Street Live on Sunday 22nd.

I could bemoan the musical timidity of the organizers, but that’s a subject for another post, perhaps…

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International Metal Day

File this one under ‘right up my alley’ – it turns out that December 12th 2012 is the inaugural International Heavy Metal Day.

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The above image employed, of course, because there’s nowt more metal than the late, much missed Ronnie James Dio and I do like to think that he would approve of the idea of a day celebrating a genre of music that he loved and performed in so proudly for the majority of his storied musical career.

Day organiser Iron Matthew doesn’t have any major ambitions for the day at this point – he confesses that he’ll probably just be cranking his tunes a bit louder on the December date and letting the music do the talking, but I’m sure that if you choose to follow his splendid lead in following this day of celebration, you can make up your own celebrations which seem appropriate.

German awesomenauts Blind Guardian, and the cover for their recent "At The Edge of Time" record...

So, making biscuits of Iron Maiden mascot Eddie whilst wearing one’s best Norwegian Black Metal inspired ghoulish face paint and playing the bass line to Blind Guardian’s “Valkyries” it is, then.

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