Canadian extreme metallers THE AGONIST have released a video for their cover of Hozier’s chart-topping hit ‘Take Me To The Church’.
Guitarist Danny Marino said of the song, which is taken from their current album, ‘Five’, released last September via Napalm Records:
“It was fun to record a cover of a song that is so different from our material. Even though it is not metal at all, the song itself is very dark and meaningful. That's why we felt it could be really interesting as a more upbeat Agonist song. I'm happy that we were able to keep some elements while drastically altering others.”
The Agonist begin a north American tour with DevilDriver, Death Angel, Winds Of Plague and Azrael on 8 February.
PULLED APART BY HORSES will release their new album, ‘The Haze’, on 17 March via Caroline International.
Having recently shared their first new music since 2014’s ‘Blood’ in first single 'The Big What If', the band are now streaming the opening, title track HERE.
“We had to have ‘The Haze’ as the album opener - it gets down to business pretty quick!” vocalist and guitarist Tom Hudson revealed.
“One of my favourite sections on the album is the Kraut-rock-vibe middle eight in this track. We wrote and demoed it in our 'middle of no-where' Welsh writing session, the weird atmospheric sounds at the start of it were recorded outside the lodge we were in. There were these giant whirring fans and birds tweeting everywhere. The bell that opens the album was this little brass doorbell that was hanging up in the porch too.”
Bassist Robert Lee extrapolated: “With the third album [2014’s ‘Blood’], we were making a conscious effort to think about everything and really analyse what makes good songs work.
“This time around we wanted to get back to the spontaneity of the first record, to just hang out and have fun and see what happened, so we wanted to take ourselves away from our usual practise room, find a new space, both literally and metaphorically, and just immerse ourselves in music for fun once again.”
“Basically,” added Hudson, “we wanted to go with our guts and fuck everyone else.”
To facilitate this, at the beginning of 2016 the band completed by guitarist James Brown and new drummer Tommy Davidson, an old friend recruited from Leeds noise rockers These Monsters - decamped from their lock-up rehearsal facility in their native Leeds to a tiny, remote cottage on a dairy farm in the Welsh countryside for ten days.
“When we first got to the cottage we thought ‘There’s nothing to do here!’” said Brown.
“But that was precisely the point. There was no internet, no emails, no-one checking how we were getting on. We were writing for no-one but ourselves. We became like a little family - cooking for one another, building fires, holding late-night karaoke competitions – and completely immersed ourselves in the music.”
“One of the biggest influences in writing this new album was the new line up,” Lee revealed.
“We've known Tommy for many years, and he’s created a whole new level of creative spirit within the band.”
“Tommy has a different style of drumming – he’s a bit more hard-hitting, like a Dave Grohl/John Bonham type – and so that changed the dynamics,” adds Hudson. “He probably felt like he had something to prove, and in terms of creativity and pushing ourselves, his presence really made everyone step up.”
‘The Haze’ was recorded by Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys/MIA/Drenge) at his McCall Sound Studio in Sheffield.
“When we were making our previous album, 'Blood', we were referencing a lot of Ross’s work, so it made sense to go straight to the source, and it was great to see him investing so much in the process” Lee explained.
“Ross essentially became a fifth member of the band for a month,” added James Brown.
LA based ska-punk quartet The Interrupters have announced three headline shows following their support slots with Green Day on next month’s arena tour.
“We had a couple of free days after the Green Day tour so we thought, why not add a couple of headline shows,” states frontwoman Aimee Interrupter. “It’s been too long and we are stoked to be coming back to the UK!”
The full run of dates is now:
Sunday February 5 - Leeds, First Direct Arena (with Green Day) Monday February 6 - Manchester, Arena (with Green Day) Tuesday February 7 - Kingston, Beggars Banquet, acoustic in-store (6pm) Wednesday February 8 - London , 02 Arena (with Green Day) Thursday February 9 - Sheffield, 02 Academy 2 (TICKET LINK) Friday February 10 - Liverpool, 02 Academy 2 (TICKET LINK) Saturday February 11 - London, Tufnell Park Dome (TICKET LINK)
The final four bands appearing that this year’s RITUAL Festival, which takes place at Canal Mills in Leeds on Saturday 8 April, have been confirmed.
The announcement is headed by ANAAL NATHRAKH and also includes BOSSK, UNFATHOMABLE RUINATION and KUROKUMA. They join a bill that also features IHSAHN (making an exclusive UK appearance), ALL PIGS MUST DIE, MISERY INDEX and the recently reformed CANVAS.
Bossk bassist Tom Belgey said of his band being added to the Ritual line up:
“Leeds has always been a historic city for our band, lots of our first really good shows were there. We were really impressed with its local scene even back in 2005, and played many shows with Humanfly. To see Canvas playing a show together again will be great, and will bring out lots of old faces from way back when we first played in Leeds.
“To be part of such a diverse bill is also fantastic, and is a testament to how good the Northern music scene is. This will be our first show of 2017, and our first with copies of the .1/.2 re-release LP.
“Ihshan released one of the best records of 2016, so really looking forward to seeing some of those tracks live. Also APMD have just finished a record, so hopefully they will be playing new tracks too. Support underground UK festivals like Ritual, they are a great chance to see a varied line up like this, and only exist with fans’ support.”
The final announcement is rounded off with the addition of brutal London based death-metal outfit Unfathomable Ruination and psychedelic sludgers Kurokuma.
There will be an official Ritual pre-show on the Friday (7 April) at Belgrave Music Hall featuring Bolzer, Fen, The Infernal Sea & Sathamel.
Tickets, priced at £30 for the main festival and £15 for the pre-show, are available HERE.
Canadian hyperblasters KATAKLYSM are to play a one-off UK show at the O2 Academy in Islington on Tuesday 10 October as part of a European tour to mark their 25th anniversary. They will perform their ‘Shadows & Dust’ and ‘Serenity In Fire’ albums in their entirety.
"It's hard to think that 25 years have already arrived. It feels like yesterday when we were in high school being teen rebels and we started a band called Kataklysm, hard to believe that through everything this band has been through, we are still standing tall, but when you really think hard a few words can summon it all: Perseverance, strength, belief and honesty, those were and are the key ingredients for Kataklysm success and of course killer anthems who have stood the test of time!
“We have taken this moment to stop and reflect and thought we should celebrate this event, as it doesn't happen often to bands, to still be meaningful to the world and achieve 25 years of career, with this we also noticed that one of our breakthrough albums 'Shadows & Dust' will turn 15 years old in 2017, so what better way to send a big thank you back to our fans by revisiting this classic record and its follow up 'Serenity In Fire', two landmarks in Kataklysm’s on going blistering career?
“We decided to make a special event with select dates and bring this idea to life with a tour called 'A Moment In Time: Shadows & Dust vs. Serenity In Fire' where Kataklysm will play both albums in their entirety, with a brand new stage show reflecting those two records. For this special occasion we have invited our old friends in Graveworm from Italy, who supported us in Europe in the US during the 'Shadows & Dust' and 'Serenity In Fire' campaign era, to open up the festivities.
“We are beyond excited for this event, it will be a onetime thing for the cities we play it, so don't miss it, we will not bring it back, so make sure you come out and party with us celebrating our 25th anniversary!"
RAGING SPEEDHORN have announced that co-vocalist Frank Regan will not be joining them on their upcoming UK run with Skindred, or their appearance at HRH Metal, as he has been ordered by doctors to rest. Regan’s spot will be filled by RSJ vocalist Dan Cook. The band's two scheduled March shows at The Black Heart in Camden are to be moved to later in the year.
Guitarist Jim Palmer had this to say on the announcement:
"Unfortunately, due to doctors ordering immediate rest, our brother Frank Regan won't be with us on our stint with Skindred and the HRH Metal Fest. We will have a stand in to help us out for these shows, but after those dates we will be ceasing all live performances until Frank gets the go ahead from the doctors to return.
"We don't want to go into details, we don't want to go public with anymore information than this. Please respect our privacy in this matter. We feel that continuing any further than these shows without Frank is not an option. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and hope you understand."
The band, who cancelled a handful of dates at the end of 2016, have stressed that they are not splitting up, nor is Regan leaving Raging Speedhorn, and that once he is 100 per cent physically fit and cleared by doctors he will be rejoining the band.
Raging Speedhorn will appear on the following dates with Skindred:
TEQUILA MOCKINGBYRD have replaced the now defunct Chase The Ace as special guests on BONAFIDE’s upcoming March tour dates.
“It’s a shame about Chase The Ace,” said Bonafide frontman Pontus Snibb. “But I’ve heard lots about this kick-ass, Australian three-piece. We’re so happy to have them along with us, and this is gonna make for a great night of rock n roll that you won’t wanna miss.”
“We can’t wait to hit the road with Sweden’s finest this March,” added Tequila Mockingbyrd drummer Josie O’Toole. “The UK has welcomed us with open arms since we arrived from Oz last September. We’re really looking forward to getting back out there to see everyone again. Bring it on!”
Tequila Mockingbyrd were formed in Melbourne in 2012, and released their debut album, ‘Fight And Flight’, in Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2015. After relocating to the UK in September last year, the album will now get an international release via Off Yer Rocka Recordings.
MAN DOKI SOULMATES – the prog rock “supergroup” founded in 1992 by Hungarian-born composer/producer Leslie Mandoki with Ian Anderson, Jack Bruce and Al Di Meola – play their first ever London show at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo on Friday 3 March.
The date is an exclusive one-off UK show as part of the group’s upcoming three-date European tour and will feature a line-up that includes Anderson, Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band), Nick Van Eede (Cutting Crew), Tony Carey (Rainbow), Randy Brecker, John Helliwell (Supertramp), Bill Evans, Udo Lindenberg and Bobby Kimball (Toto).
The “Soulmates” are a unique group of legendary Anglo-American icons – the project is the brainchild of Leslie Mandoki, one of the most influential music producers in Europe who has previously worked with artists from Placido Domingo to Phil Collins and Lionel Richie.
In the early 1970s, Leslie Mandoki was one of the leading voices of the student opposition in communist Hungary. After several arrests, he escaped to Germany, where he became a successful producer working with artists such as Lionel Ritchie and Phil Collins. He founded the Man Doki Soulmates in 1992, since when the band and its revolving line-up of musicians – which over the years has included artists as diverse as Chaka Khan, Nik Kershaw, Greg Lake, Paul Carrack and Peter Frampton – has released five studio albums and have had their long history captured in a recent documentary film entitled ‘More Than 20 Years of Man Doki Soulmates’.
This year’s UNDERCOVER festival – a two day celebration of alternative music, including punk, ska, dub, reggae, alt, acoustic and so much more – will take place at its new home of Dreamland in Margate on 8 and 9 September.
“This year’s festival has a line-up that is packed with bands that should appeal to most that like their music alternative. Undercover is an X Factor Free zone and there is no place for that schmaltzy pulp on our stages” says festival organiser, Mick Moriarty.
The full two-day line-up is to be announced shortly – but among the acts already confirmed are UR faves The Urban Voodoo Machine and Wonk Unit – and Moriarty assures us that it includes “some cracking local bands and so much more over two stages”.
Moriarty said: “We believe the usual run-of-the-mill festivals tend to book bands that in the main are broadly similar – and way too safe! We try for a line up and experience that is something different and appeals to a crowd definitely not catered for elsewhere.
“Being a small independent grassroots festival is tough because media attention is always on the big boys. But we’ve got through to our fifth year and we’re going strong because what we have created really has struck a chord with people who like their music raw and full of the passion and energy that only acts like ours generate.”
The festival, now in its fifth year grew out of a small tent tucked in the back corner of the sadly departed GuilFest in Surrey.
Tickets can be obtained from www.undercoverfest.com, where you’ll also find details of other physical ticket outlets, as well as other forthcoming shows under the Undercover banner.
LAST IN LINE, JARED JAMES NICHOLS and TEQUILA MOCKYNGBIRD are the last acts to be confirmed for next year’s STEELHOUSE festival, which takes place at Hafod y Dafal, outside Ebbw Vale on 29 and 30 July.
They join headliners SAXON and SKINDRED, as well as INGLORIOUS, STEVE HARRIS BRITISH LION, KING KING, STONE BROKEN, BROKEN WITT REBELS and FLORENCE BLACK.