My Ruin confirmed to support The Defiled!

My Ruin Don Jackson Wyatt
My Ruin feat. Matt LeChevalier. Photo (c) Don Jackson Wyatt

Just 24 hours after their vow to continue with their UK tour following the cancellation of this year’s inaugural AltFest event, My Ruin have triumphed over adversity once again.

Rather than let the collapse of AltFest rain on their rock parade, the band have accepted a last minute invitation to support Brit industrial metal monsters The Defiled as very special guests at their show at The Zombie Hut in Corby on Friday the 15th of August.

You can buy tickets for this unique and intimate show via The Zombie Hut’s official website.

This one off gig is sure to be a blistering hot and sweaty warm up for My Ruin’s headline tour for The Sacred Mood, kicking off the following night in London with support from Sanctorum, and a one night only performance from My Ruin guitarist Mick Murphy’s instrumental-rock side project, Neanderthal.

UK rock band SERVERS will also provide support for My Ruin’s show at The Fleece, Bristol on the 21st of August.

As part of The Sacred Mood tour – their very last set of UK shows! – My Ruin will play:

16th of Aug: The Underworld, Camden
17th of Aug: The Haunt, Brighton
19th of Aug: Sound Control, Manchester
20th of Aug: O2 Academy, Birmingham
21st of Aug: The Fleece, Bristol
22nd of Aug: The Duchess, York
23rd of Aug: The Waterfront, Norwich

Tickets for the tour are available from SeeTickets.com, TicketWeb.co.uk and WeGotTickets.com

You can watch My Ruin’s official video for track “Excommunicated” below. The video features drummer Matt LeChevalier, who will be playing with My Ruin throughout The Sacred Mood UK tour:

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

Listen! Sanctorum stream new track ‘False Idols’

sanctorum-2014-lineup-promo-shot-cropped

UK metal band Sanctorum have revealed a new track, “False Idols.”

The song is the first to be taken from their forthcoming album, Old Ghosts/New Wars, which is due for release on the 1st of September. Advanced copies will be available during Sanctorum’s UK tour in August, supporting LA metal legends My Ruin.

You can hear “False Idols” below. Take a listen and let us know what you think!


Ahead of the album release and UK tour, Sanctorum recently revealed that they have recruited a new bassist, Matt Adamson. Writing via their Facebook page, the band said: “The Sacred Mood Tour with My Ruin is now just 5 weeks away, so we would like to introduce you to our new bass player Matt Adamson – come give him a warm welcome at one of the shows!”

The full tracklisting for Old Ghosts/New Wars is as follows:

sanctorum_old-ghosts-new-wars_front1. Before We Let Go
2. Price to Pay
3. False Idols
4. Cold New Light
5. City of Ghosts & Born of Scars
6. The Tide
7. The Dead Know Better
8. When All’s Said and Done

Meanwhile, My Ruin have announced that their show with Sanctorum in York on the 22nd of August has changed location. The gig had originally been scheduled to take place at the historic Fibbers venue but, following the announcement that Fibbers is to close, will now take place at The Duchess. The bands have confirmed that tickets already purchased are still valid.

My Ruin, supported by Sanctorum, will play:

15th of August: Alt-Fest, Kettering
16th of August: Underworld, London
17th of August: The Haunt, Brighton
19th of August: Sound Control, Manchester
20th of August: O2 Academy, Birmingham
21st of August: The Fleece, Bristol
22nd of August: The Duchess, York
23rd of August: The Waterfront, Norwich

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

Without a song: Sanctorum – Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis Album CoverWithout a song throws a spotlight on albums and tracks beloved of Skin Back Alley. Old, new, classic or cutting edge, our aim is to share good music that has touched us through the years.

Artist: Sanctorum
Album: Semper Fidelis
Originally Released: 2011
Label: Auburn Fox Records

The first thought that occurs to me when listening to Sanctorum’s third album, Semper Fidelis, is usually: “Bugger me! Why the f**k are this band not global metal superstars by now?!”

I then take a moment to briefly consider the swathes of shit that have crossed over into the realms of worldwide adulation, my synapses working overtime in order to try and and understand why this blazing display of dynamism, technical proficiency and yes, hook-laden melody, has not somehow delivered the same level of fanaticism for this Colchester cohort.

Tours supporting LA metal stalwarts My Ruin; sets at Bloodstock; appearances alongside the likes of Napalm Death, Evile and God Forbid; production from David Chang of earthone9 and Orange Goblin fame and, most importantly, as engaging and hair-raising a slab of molten metal as you’re ever going to launch down your lugholes. Amongst all these high points, there has been an unfathomable lack of cross-over and traction.

I just don’t get it.

From the opening title track onward, Semper Fidelis beats you violently around the head in a sonic attack sure to leave you breathless and yet begging for more. The band bring together elements of death, thrash, groove and good old fashioned British heavy metal in a heady blend. Across its 13 tracks and 59 minutes, the album is never less than thrilling.

“Dying Breed” is an excellent example of Sanctorum’s songcraft; A combination of Aaron Sly’s serrated screams combined with melodic, clean-cut metalcore vocals, thundering percussion from Matt Alston that is crisp, precise and consummate without being inaccessible, and Alex Commons’ and Sly’s walls of gnarled and biting guitar, over which Commons lets rip with prudently placed solos that soar and stalk with the minacious power of a bird of prey. The whole thing builds throughout it’s running time to a devastating climax, executed with skill and spine-tingling potency.

Sanctorum 2014 Lineup Promo Shot - Cropped

Elsewhere “Rise Of The Underdog” thrashes along at breakneck speed, demonstrating the band’s astounding skill, and delivering a heads-down, horns-up, explosion of a song. “Empty Glass” brings the doom-laden, foreboding atmosphere, all picked guitar and melodic vocal lines that gather momentum and erupt with volcanic intensity, laying waste to all in its path.

“Crown Of Scars” is an epic ending to proceedings, just shy of 7 minutes in length and weaving a fibrous tapestry along the way. It takes in NWOBHM-esque guitar, searing speed, breakdowns that Rage Against The Machine would give their eye teeth for, and groove the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Pantera’s early 90s golden age.

My extremely basic understanding of Latin suggests that Sanctorum roughly translates as “Saints”, and Semper Fidelis “Always Faithful.” The fact that Sanctorum are still here and making peerless heavy metal (the likes of which many other bands can’t come close to matching) and yet have still to make a more significant impact upon the world of music, makes them saintly and faithful in the best possible way.

On the eve of playing a summer tour this August in support of My Ruin, and about to unleash their new album on the world, it’s about bloody time that the heavy metal community – in the UK in particular, but the world over too – sits up and takes notice of one of the very best bands that these isles have to offer. For their music not to be heard is, to my mind, unthinkable.

Rise Of The Underdog? Quite. Together, let’s make it happen.

~ oOo ~

Watch the video for “Rise Of The Underdog” – shot on tour with My Ruin in 2012 – below:

Sanctorum will play:

Friday 15th Aug: Alt-Fest, Kettering
Saturday 16th Aug: Underworld, Camden
Sunday 17th Aug: The Haunt, Brighton
Tuesday 19th Aug: Sound Control, Manchester
Wednesday 20th Aug: O2 Academy, Birmingham
Thursday 21st Aug: The Fleece, Bristol
Friday 22nd Aug: The Duchess, York
Saturday 23rd Aug: The Waterfront, Norwich

Semper Fidelis is out now on Auburn Fox Records and can be ordered from the band’s official merch store

For news on the imminent release of the band’s new album, keep your eyes on Skin Back Alley, and check out Sanctorum’s official Facebook page and Twitter feed

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

Matt LeChevalier joins My Ruin for The Sacred Mood UK tour

My Ruin 2014 UK Announcement
Photo: “The Don” Jackson Wyatt

Great news for UK fans of LA’s finest, My Ruin.

Following the news last month that friend, producer and fellow musician Joel Stooksbury had dislocated his shoulder in a freak accident and wouldn’t be able to play with the band this summer, My Ruin have announced that Matt LeChevalier is to step in and take up the vacant drum stool.

LeChevalier joined My Ruin for both their “Brutal Language” and “Summer Of Hell” tours in 2006, played drums on the Throat Full Of Heart album in 2008, and hit the skins again with the band during their “Ghosts And Good Stories” tour in 2011.

“We are excited to announce that Matt (Frenchie) LeChevalier will once again be playing drums for My Ruin during our upcoming UK tour in August,” said Tairrie B. Murphy via a statement on the band’s Facebook page. “Matt is a longtime friend of the band and part of our extended rock family who many of you already know.”

“We look forward to sharing the stage with him again soon and seeing all of you who have continued to support us over the last 15 years, helping to keep our DIY spirit of independence alive, so remember to mark your calendars and save the dates!”

My Ruin are set to rock the UK this summer on their “The Sacred Mood” tour, with a series of live dates in August. Confirmed shows are as follows:

15th of Aug: Alt-Fest, Kettering
16th of Aug: The Underworld, Camden
17th of Aug: The Haunt, Brighton
19th of Aug: Sound Control, Manchester
20th of Aug: O2 Academy, Birmingham
21st of Aug: The Fleece, Bristol
22nd of Aug: Fibbers, York
23rd of Aug: The Waterfront, Norwich

Advanced tickets are available for the shows at: Alt-Fest.com, SeeTickets.com, TicketWeb.co.uk and WeGotTickets.com.

My Ruin’s latest album, The Sacred Mood, is out now, garnered a 5/5 review from Skin Back Alley last year, and was chosen as our album of the year for 2013. Read the review here, and read our 2013 year end summary here.

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

Mick Murphy releases new Neanderthal EP

Neanderthal HangtimeMick Murphy, best known as guitarist with My Ruin and Chevy Metal, has released a new EP under his Neanderthal moniker.

Titled Hangtime, the EP features 5 new tracks and a bonus ‘live in the studio’ recording.

Murphy started recording material in 2003 to provide an outlet for instrumental tracks that he was writing. The first LP under the resulting Neanderthal name, Start A Fire With Rock, was released in 2006.

To accompany the release is the new DIY video for opening track Booster, featuring vintage footage that Mick used as homage to the EP cover art.

A strong contender for the title of Busiest Man in Rock, Murphy has also released a new My Ruin album in 2013, The Sacred Mood, with wife and band mate Tairrie B, as well as touring extensively with Chevy Metal, the covers band started by Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters fame.

Murphy also hooked up with Reed Mullin this year, legendary drummer with Corrosion of Conformity, to record an album as Teenage Time Killers. The album will feature different metal, hardcore and punk vocalists and is due for release in 2014.

Murphy is also recording with Taylor Hawkins in his new prog-rock project, The Birds of Satan. An EP is set to be released in the very near future and features a 9 and a half minute song co-written by Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Murphy.

Preview and buy Neanderthal’s Hangtime EP here
Watch the video for opening track Booster here