Author: Danny O'Brien

Deathcrusher Tour @ o2 Ritz, Manchester

Twas the night before Halloween and the city was awake with the sound of grind and death metal, as the Deathcrusher Tour hits the Ritz.  Featuring three of the biggest names in the extreme music world on one bill it proves even on paper to be a night of brutality, savagery and drums that would make a metronome get motion sickness and is a great sign to the healthy state in which extreme metal finds itself in this day and age. No longer is the genre confined to the sweaty dark depths of Sound Control or the basement of...

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Devin Townsend Project, Periphery, and Shining [NOR] @ Manchester Academy – March 31, 2015

To quote the great man himself “While we all have lots of bands who influence still… we all rip off Meshuggah!” Opening up the night in a typical bat shit way are Norwegian jazz metal pioneers Shining, whose infectious grooves and saxophone overtones create a great vibe whilst being a strange mix that intrigues and mesmerizes the audience. The highlight of their set was a bizarre jam session featuring members of both the Project and Periphery involved in a mass jazz off, including the extraordinary sight of Devin Townsend playing a Bassoon. Up next are tech metal overlords Periphery who...

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Karnivool and Monuments @ The Ritz, Manchester – March 25, 2015

It seems like forever since Karnivool released an album, even though it’s only been two years since the release of “Asymmetry”. The Aussie Tool have been a regular feature over here with a series of festival dates, headline tours and generally being here, there and indeed everywhere. But as the “Asymmetry” world tour draws to a close and the band begin to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their terrific debut album “Themata” the band commemorate the occasion with their biggest headline shows to date. Kicking off the night were London djent based bringers of bounce Monuments, who as that...

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Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct

Despite forever being known as “That band who is Thin Lizzy but not,” Black Star Riders have not let that stop them from perusing their own path, recording their own material and saying no to becoming just another old band going through the greatest hits night after night, with anything post 1979 being met with a wall of stoney faced silence. With their debut album “All Hell Breaks Loose” getting a good thumbs up and themselves becoming the inevitable regret to the Festival seasons 3am kebab, Black Star Riders seemed to have not only found their niche, but seem...

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Kreator, Arch Enemy, Shining & Marty Friedman @ Manchester Academy – December 29, 2014

As the cold air of the north batters the already frozen masses gathered outside for this incredibly early start, one would have to wonder whether the miserable conditions would take its toll on the audience eagerly waiting outside. However I could not have been more wrong as the masses in attendance give it their all from the first band to the return of Kreator to our humble country. Guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman kicks off proceedings in a flurry and flash of frets and some of the most intense shred you will likely ever see with your own two eyes. Though many people only know Mr Friedman from his days blistering his way through Megadeth’s classic period, tonight focuses on the man’s post MegaDave career and spotlights what a depth back catalogue of material the man has amassed over the years. Next up is Shining, this is certainly the hypnotic blackened Jazz band rather than the Norwegian black metal versions. So for fans of watching a man cut himself on stage and the sound of pure misery you might be disappointed buying a ticket only to be greeted by a wall of saxophone, rather than the sound of ball tightening screams. The band though, were on fine form, allowing their sound to fill and encapsulate everyone in the room. Kicking off the first for the co-headliners is Arch Enemy who now have...

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