In This Moment guitarist Chris Howarth: “I know my role”

InThisMoment

In This Moment guitarist Chris Howarth has said that he knows his place in the band, and has compared frontwoman Maria Brink to Darth Vader.

Speaking in this month’s Metal Hammer magazine, Howarth says: “If she wasn’t in the band, it wouldn’t be the same. She’s got something special. She needs to be held up as the frontperson for this band because she is awesome.”

He also makes plain that the band aren’t mere sidemen, however: “I don’t want to downplay her role in the band – but come and see us live and you’ll see we’re a real band, and I know my role. I’m happy in my place and with my contribution.”

“Look at Star Wars. Darth Vader is cool. If it was just him on his own, then it would still be cool, but it’s so much cooler with all the other stuff,” he adds.

Says Brink herself: “I love Chris. He’s always been my biggest supporter. We’ll know each other when we’re both 90 – I know it. And those guys are rock stars. They bring it every night onstage.”

In This Moment are scheduled to release their fifth studio LP, Black Widow, on the 17th of November.

The band recently revealed new track “Bloody Creature Poster Girl” via a visualiser video. You can watch and listen to the song below:

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Black Sabbath to record new album

56th GRAMMY Awards - Press Room
Black Sabbath at the Grammy Awards

Speaking to the UK’s Metal Hammer magazine, Ozzy Osbourne has exclusively revealed that Black Sabbath are to record a new album together.

The heavy metal icons will team up with super-producer Rick Rubin once again to make the follow-up to 2013’s hugely successful LP, 13.

The band have been reticent about their future together, suggesting that a new album was by no means definite, and that their London shows this past summer might well be their last.

However, in interview with Metal Hammer Ozzy said: “The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great. We all made friends, we didn’t fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour. Once the dust settled after the last tour we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to Sharon ‘What’s going on? Because if there’s no more Sabbath I want to get on with my own thing again’ and she came back and said ‘Let me look into it.’ Three weeks later I asked her about it again, and she said ‘Oh, I still have to talk to so and so…’ and I said ‘Sharon, I ain’t fucking 21 any more, if we’re going to do I want to do it before I’m 70!’ Time isn’t on our side! So she made the call and came back and said ‘Yeah, the record company wants another album.’ I believe Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.”

Ozzy confirmed that the band currently had no new material written, but suggested that the sessions will take place in the early part of 2015: “It’ll be sooner rather than later,” he insisted. “Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony’s health, he’s obviously got his cancer treatment, but we’ll get onto it next year. I don’t know if we’ll be writing in England or LA, but I’ll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!”

Watch this space!

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

UK metal band Evile reveal name of new guitarist

Evile Joel Graham and Piers Donno-Fuller 640x360 Crop

UK thrash metal crew Evile have announced their new guitarist, reports Metal Hammer.

Former Fallen Fate member Piers Donno-Fuller will replace Ol Drake who left the Yorkshire band in 2013.

Speaking to Team Rock Radio’s Metal Hammer Magazine Show, bass player Joel Graham said the band opted from someone local, as well as very talented: “We had to step back and ask what do we do from this point. We thought it would be a shame to stop it right now. We had to find the right guy, that’s taken time. I appreciate people have been waiting for news but we’ve got to spend time with this guy, get on with him, travel with him and he’s got big shoes to fill.

“We’re still good friends with Ol, we can’t not be, he’s Matt’s brother. He made his decision and we respect that. We kind of realised that the last four years have been manic for us and we decided to take some time off. Then we put it out there if anyone wants to send in an audition tape. Being a northern band we wanted someone on our doorstep.”

New guitarist Piers said of his joining the band: “We’ve had passing chats and had been talking for a while. But I got in touch when Ol left and it went from there. It was time to get on to something else and expand out and Evile was the perfect opportunity. I’m massively grateful to these guys for letting me come on board. I’m learning all the tracks. Ol’s a fantastic guitar player so it’s not easy trying to work out his solos. We’ve got something in the pipeline for March.”

For an example of just the kind of guitar work that Donno-Fuller is going to have to figure out, check out the video for Evile’s track, “Thrasher”, below:

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Watch! SERVERS premiere new video “Claustrophobia”

Servers 640x360

Barnsley based metal band SERVERS have today premiered their new video via Metal Hammer.

“Claustrophobia” is lifted from the band’s debut LP, Leave With Us.

Said SERVERS frontman Lee Storrar: “The song for the video, “Claustrophobia”, is about Crisis Creation, basically how people employ tactics designed to create or deepen confusion, fear, guilt or doubt. i.e. ‘you aren’t serving God the way he intended.'”

You can watch the video below:

Continues Storrar: “For the video location we discovered this big derelict house and thought it was perfect. What we found there was disturbing. The video features a bunch of our fans, our ‘servers’. They signed up to our website, were allocated their server number and from there were invited to be included in the video, which was something we’ve been keen on right from the start, as we want people to feel involved and part of the band.”

Meanwhile, SERVERS recently announced that they will be playing in support of My Ruin during their upcoming The Sacred Mood Tour. The band will join the LA metal veterans, fronted by Tairrie B. Murphy and guitar-God husband Mick Murphy, at their show on the 21st of August at The Fleece, Bristol.

SERVERS debut LP, Leave With Us, is out now on Undergroove Records.

servers_leave_with_us1. “Save Me From Myself”
2. “Universes & Supernovas (The Ride)”
3. “Claustrophobia”
4. “Run With The Foxes”
5. “Dangerous Devotion”
6. “Mega High”
7. “Do Gooders”
8. “Once I Started”
9. “King Things”
10. “Mother’s Grave (Leave With Us)”

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song

Under The Skin: The enduring appeal of Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden Band Shot

As Iron Maiden re-issued their 80s classic albums on heavyweight vinyl this week, I took to wondering what it is that is so appealing about the group.

How is it that a band that burst onto the scene in the 1980’s as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal can still sell out arena shows the world over, shift albums by the truckload (75 million to date and counting) and command an army of devoted fans that would follow their beloved ‘Irons almost anywhere?

However you look at Maiden, it is clear that they are steeped in history. Take a look at their imagery. In band mascot, Eddie, an icon known the world over, artist Derek Riggs created a character – a ghoul, if you will – painted in the recognisable, mythic horror tradition. The mummy, a zombie, Frankenstein’s monster and death himself all rolled into one. In short, a lasting image from and for the ages. And he serves as a rallying point; an instantly recognisable figure around which people can congregate.

And yet Eddie has evolved and remained relevant to the directions in which the band has headed through the years. An Egyptian idol, a patient in a mental asylum, a Terminator style android, a Gollum like tree-dweller, the Grim Reaper, a mystic figure clutching his own offspring and, most recently, a skeletal tank commander. He taps into the our psyche the way the best horror does, representing, realising and conquering our fears whilst capturing our imagination.

The group’s lyrical content is similarly mythic. Songs based on gothic horror literature, historic battles from many theatres and eras of war, science fiction, the arcane and occult, religious stories and mythology. These are songs that ask the big questions and yet offer no easy answers; songs that reach back into our shared origins and speak to the part of us that wants to know where we came from; the part of us that wonders if we are doomed to repeat ourselves; the part of us that wonders where we are headed and how we might evolve to get there.

Then there is that sound. If Iron Maiden were a film director – let’s call him Byron Maiden for the sake of argument – then we would be talking of him in hallowed terms; declaring him an auteur and studying his canonical works. Because Maiden have devloped, tweaked and altered their sound through the years and kept things interesting. But they’ve always remained recognisably Iron Maiden.

There is no mistaking the low, driving, rumbling and rolling bass lines of founding member and heart of the band, Steve Harris. The triple guitar attack of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers provides a signature sound of lead, harmony and rhythm that is as recognisable as Eddie himself. Nicko McBrain’s technically proficient, crisp, staccato drumming welds the rhythm section together. And then there is the voice. The ear-enveloping, glass shattering, air raid siren that is Bruce Dickinson. Say what you like about the Blaze Bayley years or Paul D’ianno before him, but Maiden ain’t Maiden without Dickinson. All of which, when combined with the chemistry between the group of long-term bandmates and friends, equals a hugely appealing whole that is – as they say – greater than the sum of it’s parts.

But before we go there is one more signficant aspect of the band to consider: The way that they keep on giving to the people who have helped to put them where they are; the fans. If Bruce Springsteen were a heavy metal act, he would be Iron Maiden. By which I mean no metal band performing today works harder on stage, puts on a more spectacular show or engages with their fanbase in a more thrilling way than Maiden do.

You might expect 30 years on the road to make a man weary; wear him down to the point of being, well, lacklustre. But not Maiden. Their live extravaganzas are as spectacular as ever. All members of the group work harder in a live setting than many men half their age. And they continue to innovate. Do you want to be flown by Bruce Dickinson to an Iron Maiden gig and be treated like a VIP for the entire trip? Well, Bruce being a qualified pilot, you can. Sure, you’ll have to shell out a quid or two, but who else can say that the frontman of the band flew them to the concert?

Work ethic? Check. Songwriting craft? Check. Skilled musicianship? Check. Iconic sound and vision? Check. Commitment to fanbase? Check. Ability to do all this whilst taking their work seriously, but not taking themselves seriously? Check.

A band of enduring appeal? You can count on it.

Album Reviews | Live Reviews | News | SBA Lists | The Playlist | Under The Skin | Without A Song