In het totaal zesendertig bands maken hun opwachting tijdens deze editie van Eindhoven Metal Meeting 2015.
Hier een aantal biografieën van de belangrijkste bands.
Behemoth have always pushed the limits of their abilities and defied the boundaries of death and black metal. Now, the Polish metal kings have returned with a new offering, The Apostasy, which is destined to become both the defining release of the band's career and one of the most revered and dynamic offerings the genre has seen in years. The Apostasy's basic meaning is "to go against religion" and with Poland being one of the top religious countries in the world, Behemoth strives to convey that being religious is not the key to happiness. This album takes everything to the next level, as Nergal (guitars, vocals) promises "more speed, aggression and blasphemy than ever before". The Apostasy is easily the group's most ambitious and epic offering yet and was recorded in the band's hometown of Gdansk with Nergal and longtime sound engineer Malta in the producers' chairs. The effort was once again mixed with the acclaimed Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad) at Dugout Studios in Sweden and will be mastered by Bjorn Engelmann (Rammstein).
Behemoth built their career upon their unrelenting touring schedule, performing over 325 shows worldwide in support of their 2005 release, Demigod. The group kicks off The Apostasy's worldwide touring cycle on Ozzfest 2007 as direct support to second-stage headliners Hatebreed. This event marks Behemoth's biggest U.S. tour yet, further setting the stage for the band to become the new leaders of the genre.
Originally formed by a teenage Nergal in 1991, Behemoth quickly made a name for themselves in black metal circles with four early cult albums: From The Pagan Wastelands, ...And The Forests Dream Eternally, Sventevith (Storming Near The Baltic) and Grom. But it wasn't until the release of Pandemonic Incantations and the addition of Inferno (drums) that the band started to realize their true potential. Songs became catchier, where the musicianship and production vastly improved. With Satanica, Behemoth started to incorporate more of a death metal approach to their songwriting. The high, raspy, black metal screeches of the first four albums were replaced with a forceful yet audible death metal growl. Two successful European tours followed with Deicide and Satyricon as the band started to amass a rabid following. In 2001, Thelema.6 was released in the U.S. Truly a landmark in the extreme metal community, Thelema.6 saw the band combining their early black metal influences with the utter viciousness and technicality of Satanica.
Now an unstoppable live force, touring opportunities with bands such as Nile and Morbid Angel began to pour in. For those who thought the band had reached their peak, nothing could prepare them for what came next. Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond) was unleashed upon unsuspecting audiences in 2003. The album saw Behemoth set a new standard in massive production and song craft for all others to meet, as they take a slight turn away from the more straight-ahead brutality of Thelema.6 and put more of an emphasis on groove. As rave reviews started to flow in, the group made its American live debut at the New Jersey March Metal Meltdown festival. The several extensive nationwide tours that followed (which included treks with the likes of Deicide, Amon Amarth, Halford, Testament, Superjoint Ritual, Opeth, Lacuna Coil and Six Feet Under) helped to make 2003 a breakthrough year for the band.
Demigod was the next logical progression of the band's already colossal sound. The songs took on an even more aggressive feel this time around, with more traditional metal song structures and slightly more melodic lead work. In an effort to match the grandness of the composition, a professional male choir was brought in to record real vocal harmonies for "Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth". A slew of major worldwide touring insanity followed with the likes of such acts as King Diamond, Suffocation, Danzig, Morbid Angel, Chimaira and The Black Dahlia Murder, helping the group to more than solidify themselves as one of the genre's most exciting new artists. The touring campaign for Demigod was ultimately capped off with an appearance on 2006's Sounds Of The Underground tour alongside As I Lay Dying, In Flames and Trivium where Behemoth quickly became the most talked about act due to their vicious and unrelenting live show, which immediately garnered them a whole new legion of devoted fans.
While most bands struggle to evolve and stay vital within the extreme music genre, Behemoth manages to do so effortlessly. The Apostasy is destined to continue the legacy.
Sweden's Candlemass helped reintroduce the lumbering power chords of Black Sabbath to an entire generation of post-New Wave of British Heavy Metal and post-thrash metalheads, almost single-handedly writing the handbook for the modern doom metal movement in the process. After the breakup of his first band, Nemesis, in 1985, bassist Leif Edling founded Candlemass with vocalist Johan Lanquist, guitarist Mats Bjorkman, and drummer Matz Ekstroem. Their watershed debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, was released the following year, and though it immediately secured their standing within metal circles, it was only with the arrival of new vocalist Messiah Marcolin for 1987's Nightfall that the band found its true voice -- quite literally -- as the singer's vibrato-laden operatic tone remains completely original to this day. The album, which also saw the arrival of lead guitarist Lars Johansson and new drummer Jan Lindh, combined massive riffs and dark melodies into songs of epic proportions, which were made even more dramatic by Marcolin's religious lyrics and monk's habit stage costume. Candlemass repeated this formula with less inspired results on the ensuing albums Ancient Dreams (1988) and Tales of Creation (1989), each of which also saw a noticeable improvement in the production department. The appropriately titled Live closed the golden era of their career with Marcolin departing to form his own band, Memento Mori.
Singer Tomas Vikstrom was drafted as his replacement for 1992's Chapter VI (featuring a more conventional metal sound), but the band's popularity was in swift decline and Edling decided to disband soon thereafter. He formed a new group with decidedly Euro-metal leanings called Abstrakt Algebra in 1994, but after only two albums, he decided to resurrect Candlemass once again. The avant-garde metal of 1998's Dactylis Glomerata bore little resemblance to Candlemass' doom metal past, featuring Edling along with vocalist Björn Fklodkvist, guitarist Mike Amott, keyboard player Carl Westholm, and drummer Jejo Perkovic. Further lineup changes would occur, with guitarist Mats Stahl replacing Amott prior to the release of 1999's From the 13th Sun. Several years later, the classic lineup reconvened and released a self-titled 2005 album, followed by Lucifer Rising in 2008.
European farewell Show !!!
Nuclear Assault were among thrash metal's most socially aware groups, making room for serious subject matter (and occasional goofs) in their careening speed metal riffing. They also remained closer to the world of hardcore than most of their peers, and at their late-'80s peak released some of the most uncompromising thrash metal offerings of the time. After performing on Anthrax' 1984 debut Fistful of Metal, bass player Danny Lilker decided to jump ship and search for a more aggressive outlet for his music. Lilker formed Nuclear Assault with vocalist and guitarist John Connelly (also briefly a member of Anthrax in its formative years) in 1985. Guitarist Mike Bogush and drummer Scott Duboys only lasted a few months before being replaced by guitarist Anthony Bramante and ex-T.T. Quick powerhouse drummer Glenn Evans. One of the Big Apple's few challengers (along with Anthrax and Overkill) to the Bay Area dominance of all things thrash metal, Nuclear Assault became immediate contenders due to the cumulative sum of its parts — not to mention, their extreme nature and their ability to back it up with solid musicianship. Produced by metal stalwart Alex Perialas, their first album, 1986's Game Over, was regarded as a breath of fresh air with its potent speed metal tinged with hardcore overtones. In the process, fans and critics alike instantly accepted it and the band was quickly off to the races.
The following year The Plague E.P. was an even more intense aural experience, but also managed to introduce Nuclear Assault's dark sense of humor with an ode to Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil (fresh off his vehicular manslaughter rap) on "Butt Fuck" (later retitled "You Figure It Out"). With constant touring making up for their obvious commercial limitations, the band continued to hone their craft in the studio, beginning with 1988's greatly improved Survive and culminating in 1989 the outstanding Handle With Care. The latter proved that the group could refine their political speed metal and songwriting without compromising their anti-establishment stance, and was supported by successful Euro tours with thrash titans Exodus, and later U.S. jaunts with Testament and Savatage. 1990s Live
at Hammersmith Odeon video celebrated this great phase, and the band came off the road having won a healthy dose of new believers. Shortly afterwards the band released "Out Of Order" and in 1992 Dan Lilker left to pursue Brutal Truth. The band released one more album (Something Wicked) and broke up.
In early 2002 the band was approached by a mutual friend to reform for a couple of shows. Their first reunion show was a the Metal Meltdown in April and there they found out that their was a demand for the band to continue. They played the classic NYC venue CBGB in May along with a show in Massachusetts that was recorded for a live album to be released on Screaming Ferret Wreckords in early 2003. After a triumphant performance at the infamous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany in August, original guitarist Anthony Bramante left the band due to commitments at home and was replaced by Erik Burke. In September 2002 the band returned to Sao Paolo, Brazil, where they had played back in 1989 with the then fledging Sepultura opening.
Nuclear Assault is currently in the process of writing music for the first new studio album in 10 years, and will be appearing at festivals thru Europe in 2003 and in the US on a mini tour thru the Southwest and West Coast in late January and early February.
An unswerving commitment to blasphemy and extremity combined with a relentless touring schedule and a steady stream of recordings has helped establish Sweden's Marduk as one of the better-known bands on the Scandinavian black metal scene. They began as more of a standard death metal band with a black metal influence, but have come to be known for their style of extreme black metal, which tends to focus on themes of warfare and anti-Christian sentiment and is characterized by relentlessly fast drumming and blurred walls of guitar. The group formed under the leadership of guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson in 1990, with vocalist Andreas Axelsson, bassist Richard Kalm, and drummer Joakim Grave rounding out the lineup.
Fuck Me Jesus They released their controversially titled demo tape Fuck Me Jesus in 1991. Soon after, a second guitarist was added in Devo Andersson, while Bogge Svensson replaced Kalm on bass. Using this lineup, Marduk recorded their first official album, Dark Endless, which came out the following year on No Fashion Records. Unhappy with No Fashion, the band made the jump to the French Osmose Productions imprint, releasing Those of the Unlight in 1993, this time with Grave on drums as well as vocals and a new bassist in B. War. For their following release, 1994's Opus Nocturne, Fredrik Andersson was brought in on drums, Devo Andersson was dropped, and Grave was resigned to vocals. (Meanwhile, Osmose set about releasing the Fuck Me Jesus demo in 1995, at which time it was banned in seven countries.)
Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered The lineup shuffling continued with Grave's subsequent departure, at which time he was replaced by Legion (formerly of the band Opthalamia). With this new lineup, they issued their most well-received album, Heaven Shall Burn...When We Are Gathered, in 1996. This CD was followed by a concert recording from that album's tour entitled Live in Germania, which showed that they could indeed sustain the nonstop blasting intensity of their records without any studio assistance. (They did use a second guitarist, however, in Peter Tagtren of the death metal band Hypocrisy.)
Nightwing Subsequent releases included Nightwing (1998), an album partly inspired by the life Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula, and Panzer Division (1999), a war-themed concept album and their last CD for the Osmose label. Following their split with Osmose, Marduk set up their own label, Blooddawn (distributed in the U.S. by Century Media), releasing the double live CD Infernal Eternal as well as a new studio album, La Grande Danse Macabre, in 2001.
World Funeral In 2002, Emil Dragutinovic replaced Andersson on drums, and the following year the band released the more midtempo World Funeral, which was seen by some fans as an attempt to break into the mainstream. Devo returned to the band in 2004, this time on bass, and later that year Marduk released the more religiously themed Plague Angel, a theme the band would continue on its 2007 follow-up, Rom 5:12. Their 11th album, Wormwood, appeared in 2009, followed shortly by Serpent Sermon, which arrived in 2012.
Nifelheim was forged upon the anvil of wrath in the the year 1990
by Tyrant, Helbutcher and Demon.
Already at this point the band played pure Black Metal in the way of the old cult with black leather, spikes and chains, And made songs like Unholy death, Satanic sacrifice, Sodomizer etc. This were years before the black metal explotion, and when it came Nifelheim soon became famous for being the Chainsaw in the Norwegian forest...
In 1994 the first album was recorded and puzzeled people as it did not sound at all like all the other bands that were popping up everywhere, and by this divided the real headbangers from the trend children.
In 1997 the second album "Devil's Force" was recorded and spread darkness over the world with it's cruel and morbid sound.
2000 the third studio album "Servants of Darkness" was released. Of course in the same style as always before but this time with an even more dark atmosphere!
After "Servants of Darkness" the band decided to create a new line up consisting of five members to be able to play live. And so they did, the band soon got famous for being one of the most intense live acts with a show filled over the the top with spikes studs leather blood fire and death!
2003 was the 13th year of the band and a compilation of old and rare recordings were released called "13 years". Released only on vinyl and cassette.
2006 the band released a Split Ep with the first brazilian black metal band Vulcano.
Limited edition of 1200 sold out in one week.
During the years the bands cult status have heen growing more and more thanks to the bands totally uncompromising and unique sound and attitude.
And now finally the fourth studio album is finished!
The new album "Envoy of Lucifer" is not polluted by any modern influences from the awful 1990s or shitty present decade, and once again even darker and more aggressive then ever before!! Total Death!!!
In the year 1989 a monster was born. Drummer Joakim Sterner and the sadly late David "Blackmoon" Parland, who also co-founded DARK FUNERAL, had the vision for a new band: NECROPHOBIC. Stockholm was experiencing a violent outbreak of creativity at that time. GRAVE started this deadly trend in 1986, DISMEMBER had started out in 1988 and UNLEASHED also began in 1989. The Stockholm school of Death Metal took the world by storm. Yet, NECROPHOBIC were a step ahead in searching for a more sinister sound and occult topic, taking inspiration from those Swedish giants BATHORY. The second wave of Black Metal cast its mighty shadow ahead as embodied by the inception of MARDUK in 1991, for example. At first the band went through a number of line-up changes, which stabilised with bass player and future vocalist Tobias Sidegård joining in. After producing the "Realm of Terror" (1989), "Slow Asphyxiation" (1990) and "Unholy Prophecies" (1991) demos, NECROPHOBIC had their first official release with the EP "The Call" (1993), which immediately left a strong impression in the underground Metal scene. In the same year their debut full-length "The Nocturnal Silence" (1993) hit the world. Together with DISSECTION (which were also founded in 1989) and their first album "The Somberlain" (1993), NECROPHOBIC shaped another genuine Swedish Metal sound, which audibly combined elements of Death and Black Metal and is currently seeing in parts a strong revival by bands like WATAIN. NECROPHOBIC continued to evolve along this path with further line-up changes and a string of excellent releases, winning high accolades from critics and fans alike. The "Spawned By Evil" EP (1996) came as a prelude to second album "Darkside" (1997), which featured a guest appearance of the late Jon Nödtveidt from DISSECTION. From "The Third Antichrist" (1999) via “Bloodhymns” (2002), “Hrimthursum” (2006) to "Death to All" (2009), NECROPHOBIC continued to steadily grow their support and reputation as one of Sweden's supreme bands in their dark genre. Lead by founding member Joakim Sterner, the group is getting ready for their next big step. NECROPHOBIC's "Womb of Lilithu" easily stands out as their strongest so far. Combining their crushing trademark guitar riffing with the masterful vitriolic vocals of Tobias Sidegård and a surprisingly modern production that gives this album heavy volume and a cutting edge, "Womb of Lilithu" is a strong reminder that NECROPHOBIC are still far from ready to abdicate from the Swedish Black Death throne for any young pretender. All hail to the kings of Swedish darkness!
Gehenna was formed in January, 1993 by original members Sanrabb, Dolgar, and Sir Vereda. Their first demo, entitled Black Seared Heart, was recorded between the 3rd and 7 June 1993 in Soundsuite Studios, and was released as a cassette. Around this same time, a 7" titled Ancestors of The Darkly Sky was released by Necromantic Gallery Productions.
Shortly after the release of these two recordings, Sir Verada left the band due to legal problems, and was replaced by Dirge Rep. The band also enlisted Svartalv as bass player during this time. Up until this time, the band had yet to play any live shows. It was not until February, 1994 that the band made their live debut.
In 1994 Sarcana joined the band and added keyboards to the mix. In March, 1994, the band entered Soundsuite Studios to record their debut album, First Spell. It was released as an MCD on Head Not Found Records. First Spell generated a larger fan-base for the band, and led to them signing 2-album record deal with Cacophonous Records.
In 1995, Gehenna released their second full-length, Seen Through The Veils of Darkness. This record featured a guest appearance by Garm of Arcturus and Ulver doing vocals on the track Vinterriket. This release cemented Gehenna as a strong band in the black metal scene.
Shortly before the release of Gehenna's next record, Svartalv left the band. Noctifer, who had joined the band as Svartalv's replacement, was unable to meet the demands of being a member of Gehenna. After 6 months, during the recording sessions of Gehenna's third release, Noctifier left the band. E.N. Death, a friend of the band, was asked to sit in as a session bassist to finish the recording. After also joining the band on tour, he was asked to join the band full-time.
In 1996, Gehenna's third release, Malice, was released on Cacophonous Records. Sarcana and Dirge Rep both left the band shortly after a touring in support of Malice. Damien was added as Sarcana's replacement on keyboards and Blod took up drumming duties. With the new members, Gehenna's sound changed a bit. Blod brought a death metal background with him, and it influenced Gehenna in a much heavier way.
In 1998, Gehenna signed to Moonfog Productions and immediately released an EP Deadlights, which was a sample to their fans of what to expect from the newer Gehenna material. This EP was later followed by their Moonfog debut LP, Adimiron Black. During their tenure with Moonfog Productions, Gehenna would also release Murder in 2000 and WW in 2005.
In late 2005 Gehenna signed with ANP Records. In December, 2007, Gehenna announced that the previous contract signed with ANP Records was cancelled and that Gehenna signed with Norwegian based "Indie Recordings". Dirge Rep was also announced as a full-time member.
Onslaught was formed in 1983 in Bristol influenced heavily by the second generation of punk bands such as Discharge, The Exploited and GBH. Hardcore in nature, the music was simple and nihilistic, picking up on the disaffected zeitgeist. The band's earliest live performances hail from around this time and are the subject of some conjecture, although perceived wisdom records the band's first official gig at the Summit club in Kingswood, Bristol in late 1983. The original line up recorded only a single demo at Sam studios in Bristol and featured tracks such as Rape, Overthrow the System, and the very first rendition of Thermonuclear Devastation.
Personal issues saw the band employ a new vocalist and bassist with Roge Davies and Paul "Dickie" Davies taking on the respective roles. A series of support slots thereafter saw them opening for acts such as The Exploited, The Varukers and One Way System in Bristol. In addition the band performed a series of gigs around the rest of the UK. The second line up recorded a cassette-only release, What Lies Ahead, which included tracks such as Black Horse of Famine and Stone Divider.
The band's new material began to take on a more metal edge, with the first wave of thrash releases proving influential to their songwriting style. The lineup shifted in 1984, with Paul "Mo" Mahoney joining the band on vocals and Jase Stallard taking over from Dick on bass. A deal was secured with underground label Children of the Revolution, and the band released its first album, Power From Hell, in 1985.
The album was well-received by the nascent thrash underground. Its muddy, buzzsaw guitars and Mo's proto-death metal vocals fitted the bill perfectly and the band began to attract attention from a wider audience. Power From Hell's material gave a more metallic edge to the band's early sound; the album contained a number of tracks that were to grow to become considered as thrash anthems, including the eponymous Onslaught (Power From Hell), Angels of Death and Death Metal (itself the subject of some conjecture - was this tune the first usage of this term anywhere? The jury is still out on that one…).
More gigs throughout the UK followed. In late 1985 the band was introduced to charismatic vocalist Sy Keeler, who quickly became the singer. Keeler's vocal style was much more metal than that of Mo, his trademark screams adding a new dimension to the group's old and new material. Mo assumed Jase's position on the bass; Jase moved to rhythm guitar.
The new songs were captured on vinyl on The Force. Recorded at Matrix studios in London by the band and Dave "Death" Pine, the album was released on Music For Nations' subsidiary label Under One Flag to an expectant public in the spring of 1986. It quickly gathered rave reviews throughout the underground and, increasingly, the mainstream metal press. From the first expectant chords of Let There Be Death, which give way to an all-out aural assault, through the unexpectedly catchy Metal Forces and to the initially brooding, later white-hot Flame of the Antichrist, the album elevated Onslaught to a new level. On the album's success the band were invited to play a number of prestigious support slots with Girlschool, Exciter and Anthrax; the Exciter gig warrants a mention as the band's late soundcheck provided an ideal opportunity for the ravenous crowd to warm up their stagediving skills!
All Hail The All-Dwarf Rhythm Section
Continental gigs followed, the band generating strong interest throughout the low countries in particular. Invited to play at 1986's Dynamo festival in Eindhoven, the band stole the show with a frantic performance in front of over 8000 thrashers.
Mo decided to leave the band in 1986 for personal reasons; bassist Jim Hinder was drafted in and joined in November. The band continued preparations for the third album and, in the intervening period, continued to play a number of shows, including The Granary in Bristol and a short tour of the Netherlands in early 1987.
In March of that year they were invited to join Motorhead as special guests on the European leg of their Orgasmatron world tour. Kicking off at the Volkshaus in Zurich, the band played with Motorhead throughout Europe; the tour included some standout performances in places such as Naples and Copenhagen before ending up at the Rockefeller in Oslo. Both bands gelled well on a personal level, the Onslaught boys learning about life on the road from the masters of the craft themselves.
Returning to the UK, the band was asked to perform at the prestigious Colston Hall in Bristol, raising money for the local Bristol Community Festival. Despite prior warning from the band, the council refused to remove the front seats from the auditorium and considerable damage was done to the hall by the frenzied crowd, with a number of minor injuries resultant.
Shortly thereafter the band joined headliners Agent Steel, Nuclear Assault and Atomkraft at the Hammersmith Odeon in London for the midsummer Longest Day festival. Again, Onslaught put in a sterling performance, captured for posterity on the late Tommy Vance's Radio One Friday Rock Show. The gig featured the first outing of the AC/DC cover Let There Be Rock; Sy's teasing the crowd with a series of "Let There Be…"s, followed by a frenetic run-through of the AC/DC classic brought the Odeon to fever pitch.
Concerns had arisen around this time regarding Jase's guitar parts, and a decision was made in mid-1987 that he should no longer be in the band. A precedent of band members' dismissal for the sake of musical quality was established - one that would have an impact in the band's fortunes later.
Jase's replacement was Rob Trotman, whose fluid and eclectic guitar abilities had an immediate and extensive impact upon the band's direction. Rob's first outing on vinyl was a recording of the AC/DC cover unveiled at Hammersmith, released as a 12" single on Under One Flag.
Throughout the rest of 1987 the band continued to move forward with writing album three, titled provisionally Blood Upon The Ice. Bathory's usage of the same title saw the album's name change to In Search Of Sanity.
Sporadic gigs took place through 1987 and early 1988 - a late, steamy, packed show at the Venue in Glasgow, another outing at the Granary in Bristol whilst the October 1987 hurricane raged outside; perhaps the band's finest performances of this era came when they played three Irish shows - two in Dublin and one in Belfast - which redefined the nature of the crazy crowd!
It was also around this time that the band had been gathering the attention of a number of major labels - thrash was firmly in the ascendant at this time and Onslaught were the genre's leading exponents in the UK. It was not surprising when the band signed to London records in 1988.
The band began pre-production for In Search of Sanity in the summer of 1988 with producer Stephan Galfas (Stryper, Meatloaf), who set about facilitating the deconstruction and rebuilding of the band's material; whilst the members' individual performances improved dramatically as a result, there was no doubting that the spontaneity and energy of the earlier releases was being eroded by the process.
Recording took place in 1988 at West Side, Smokehouse and Eden studios in London - major label monies facilitating top-drawer studios at top-drawer rates…the album's budget overran. Mixed at Atlantic studios in New York, the result was a first-class power metal album that diverged considerably from the band's core roots.
It was now that the record label elected to intervene; on hearing the album, they declared that Keeler's vocals were not what they had been expecting. Sy's strengths were wholly under-utilised on the album - the material's early demos had been ferocious affairs, but Galfas' vision had diluted Keeler's innate aggression. London were insistent - in order to break into the league required to recoup the label's investment, a new singer would have to be found. For the second time, the band's lineup changed in less than pleasurable circumstances.
Step into the fold one Steve Grimmett, erstwhile vocalist with UK metallers Grim Reaper, who had been particularly successful in the USA. Sanity's vocals were reworked with Steve and the album remixed.
The new lineup released a single, Shellshock, in late 1988 to ubiquitously positive feedback from the press. Shortly thereafter a well-received brief UK tour saw the band joined by New York hardcore stars the Crumbsuckers and rising UK thrashers Slammer.
In Search of Sanity finally saw the light of day in the spring of 1989. The album's feel was much more polished, far more musically proficient, and it was received to universal acclaim from the metal press. It entered the UK national charts at 36 and peaked at number 1 in the specialist metal equivalent. The second single, a perhaps ill-conceived reworking of Let There Be Rock, charted in a similar manner at the same time and gained significant airplay.
However, there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in some quarters. The improvement in sound quality has been achieved at the loss of the very rawness that gave the band its early success; despite Steve's undoubted talents (one of the very finest vocalists in any genre the UK ever having produced), was Onslaught without Sy really Onslaught?
That being said, the album boasted some killer tunes with the title track, the first single Shellshock and the epic Welcome to Dying standout moments.
The band's subsequent headline tour through Europe, with Annihilator on all and Horse (London) on the UK leg, was a patchy affair. There were some major highlights though, in particular the band's first sell-out headline London show at the Astoria and a headline at Bristol's Hippodrome theatre (the subject of an MTV Headbanger's Ball special). To this day, Onslaught remains the only act from Bristol to headline both the city's major auditoria (a feat which the likes of Massive Attack and Portishead have not yet emulated).
There was a certain sense of anticlimax at the tour's completion; despite all the hard work and expectation the band had failed to make the leap into the big time. Not even the belated release of Welcome…as the album's third single could prevent what happened shortly thereafter.
In the early part of 1990, Grimmett made the decision to leave the band, primarily for reasons personal. The band's search for a replacement led them to Tony O'Hora, whose energy and powerful voice injected the band with a new sense of purpose.
Writing for album four, provisionally entitled When Reason Sleeps, quickened; new tracks were demoed for London. However, the response by the label was underwhelming; shortly thereafter, they exercised their right not to renew the band's contract - the expenditure that it took to make the third album had made their financial position precarious and the winds of change throughout the world of metal (thrash was by now past its peak) made a future breakthrough album less likely.
The search for a new label took the band back out onto the road toward the end of 1990 with Dead On from the USA and Sy Keeler's band Mirror Mirror. The tour was well-received in some towns, less so in others; reviews were universally excellent. However, after the culminatory Bristol Bierkeller and London Marquee gigs, Hinder and Trotman both decided to leave Onslaught.
And so the band ceased to be in January 1991. Grice and Rockett went on to form Frankenstein, touring the UK with Saxon. Following that band's demise, Rockett played in a number of projects, including the Power Junkies. Grimmett enjoyed considerable success with Lionsheart, especially in Japan. Sy Keeler's Mirror Mirror continued for a while before folding. Tony O'Hora went on to front NWOBHM veterans Praying Mantis and, more recently, glam uber-veterans The Sweet!
Onslaught, who had enjoyed a meteoric rise from local punks to the edge of something big, faded gently into the collective unconsciousness…
Until Grice and Rockett, who had remained friends, were enjoying a pint in their local in October 2004. Steve complained to Nige that Power From Hell had been re-released without the band's knowledge or permission; this information gave the pair an inkling that there might still be some interest in the band's fortunes…
…and so Grice, who had also remained good pals with Hinder, called his diminutive mate and asked him if, by any wild possibility, he might consider picking up the bass again. A surprise visit to Sy Keeler's place of work by Steve and a fervent "yes" from the singer saw the four original members sitting around a pub table together for the first time in over fifteen years.
First rehearsal came. The kit was borrowed and not good. Striking the first chord, it was apparent just how much effort this was going to take! Limping through Metal Forces and Shellshock, Onslaught played together again. And everyone was smiling…
It was apparent as the weeks rolled on that a guitar wiz was required to fill Rob's considerable shoes…step forward former Mirror Mirror man Alan Jordan, Welsh wizard and thoroughly likeable guy. The formula was complete - all that was needed was time and effort.
Lots and lots and lots of work later we're here at the end of 2005. A new album's almost there. The songs are, in everyone's opinions, the equivalent in quality, if not better than, the first two albums. No hint of compromise in these tunes - dark, brutal, ferocious, uncompromising metal. The web forum has seen a gratifyingly brisk exchange of messages, for which the band are sincerely grateful. And gigs are in the pipeline - the first Onslaught headline show since 1990 will be at the Fleece in Bristol on Friday 25th November 2005; Saturday 17th December sees the band support Exodus at the X-Mass festival in Tilburg at the 013 club; the following night the band appear on the same bill at Antwerp Hof Ter Loo.
And where do we go from here? The new album should be with us in 2nd quarter 2006. No doubt it will be accompanied by gigs…Onslaught are back in business and there's no guessing as to where things might end up. Stick around…you might just enjoy it.
onan are as heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth. A three piece, in the grand tradition of many amazing fabulous three pieces that hold a tight line and an iron-grip command over the uber-synchronised chord changes and tempo-shifts of the holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Two men have the task of vocalising wretched thoughts over the turgid weight of Conan. They bear it well, for the task is immense.
Way back, in 2006, Conan formed as a two piece. The years dragged by, fellow warriors came and went, and now they are three – Jon Davis on guitar and vocals, Chris Fielding on bass and vocals and Rich Lewis on drums. Collectively their plans are clear: they seek nothing less than the crushing of a million skulls.
They have committed their filthy, ocean-sized sound to wax (and the slightly less cvlt compact disc) twice thus far- with more fetid output always on the horizon. First came the hulking mass of debut album Horseback Battle Hammer (Throne, Aurora Borealis), followed by a split with like-minded sludge-lords, Slomatics (Head of Crom, Burning World). In December 2011 Conan returned to the remote wilderness of Foel Studio, Wales and into the capable hands of producer Chris Fielding for their next album which is to be released on Burning World Records in Spring 2012.
Hear the roar of battle. Smell the stench of split blood. A thousand heads piled high like a grim mound of suffering- a blasphemy to nature. Hail Conan!
Formed in 2007 with the intention of honouring England’s rich culture and heritage, Winterfylleth set a solidified mission statement to bring awareness to England’s historical stories, folklore, landscapes and ancestral past through their impassioned black metal.
Winterfylleth (which translates into Winter Full Moon from the Old English language) represents the first full moon in October as well as the Anglo-Saxon festival of the arrival of winter. With their “Rising of the Winter Full Moon” demo, they generated a massive response in the underground, causing them to be signed up by Profound Lore Records. Rising of the Winter Full Moon displayed a fierce focused vision of what Winterfylleth wanted to achieve through their music, and with their “The Ghost of Heritage” debut (that was released on the Winterfylleth of 2008), this vision was realised.
With their music Winterfylleth conjure moods and emotions that range from vicious and violent to melodic and elegant. “The Ghost Of Heritage” signalled a new shift for the underground UK black metal scene, with Winterfylleth being considered by much of the music press to be one of the most distinct acts of this movement, gaining critical acclaim from the worlds music media, most notably of which was being voted in Unrestrained Magazines’ “25 Best Albums of 2008”.
Lyrically, the band delve into tales of England’s archaic history, re-counting major events, battles, the spiritual outlook of the people and the way they lived and even draw inspiration from certain sites and scenery that grace the countryside of England and have played an integral part in England’s history.
In 2009 Winterfylleth had some personnel changes and regrouped adding to their strong original line up of Naughton & Lucas. At the same time they signed to Candlelight Records to handle the release of their 2010 album “The Mercian Sphere”.
The release of ‘The Mercian Sphere’ signified a shift in the fortunes of English/British Black Metal, with the band being propelled to international status, and helping to push the envelope of British extreme metal to the rest of the world. ‘The Mercian Sphere’ received album of the month/issue in Terrorizer Magazine & in Zero Tolerance magazine (in which Winterfylleth featured on the cover), as well as rave reviews in Metal Hammer (9/10) and Kerrang Magazine (4/5Ks) and the rest of the global press. All of this culminated in the album being voted #20 in the “Top 40 Albums of 2010” in Terrorizer magazine.
Winterfylleth have since featured at a number of major festivals on the back of the successes of this album. Headlining a stage at Bloodstock 2010, as well as being invited to play Roadburn 2011 & Metal Camp 2011.
In April 2012 Winterfylleth went back into Foel Studio to record their third album ‘The Threnody of Triumph’, again with producer Chris Fielding.
2012 saw a short UK jaunt with Primordial and further ventures into Europe with invites to play Hellfest in France, Graspop Metal Meeting Festival in Belgium and Wacken-Open-Air Festival in Germany. Winterfylleth were also invited back for another appearance at Bloodstock-Open-Air Festival in the UK.
On 17th/25th September ‘The Threnody of Triumph’ was released worldwide on Candlelight Records to critical acclaim. The 2xLP vinyl version was released soon afterwards on Back on Black Records. It received a 5/5 review in Kerrang! magazine and excellent reviews in Metal Hammer and Terrorizer magazines. The Threnody of Triumph was also voted number 15 in Terrorizer magazines top 50 albums of 2012 and the album was also voted number 12 in Kerrang! magazines top 101 albums of 2012.
Winterfylleth appeared at Damnation Festival in Leeds to a packed room in the UK on Saturday November 3rd 2012. Winterfylleth were also hand picked by their friends in Primordial to appear at the Irish bands own personal festival in Dublin Ireland, early in February 2013 entitled Redemption Festival alongside Primordial themselves and Solstafir.
In March/April 2013 Winterfylleth were honoured with an invite to tour Europe as main support to one of their major influences, Enslaved from Norway. Whilst on tour a fond friendship was forged between the two bands. The tour started in the UK and Ireland, then ventured to Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Poland.
Winterfylleth were invited back to perform at Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Belgium in June of 2013, and in August of 2013 Winterfylleth also performed at Summer Breeze festival in Germany and also ArcTanGent festival in the UK.
In early 2014 Winterfylleth were invited to be a part of 2 releases with another major influence on the band. Season of Mist released a limited edition split LP between Drudkh and Winterfylleth as well as a traditional folk compilation curated by Drudkh mastermind Roman Sayenko entitled “One and All, Together, for Home”. This featured Winterfylleth alongside peers such as Drudkh and Primordial performing traditional songs from each of their respective cultures.
After performing at the inaugural edition of Temples Festival in May 2014, Winterfylleth ventured into the studio again to record the new album “The Divination of Antiquity”. Having moved from Foel Studios, Winterfylleth‘s producer Chris Fielding had since opened a new studio called Skyhammer. This is where Winterfylleth recorded “The Divination of Antiquity”. “The Divination of Antiquity” is due out on CD and 2xLP on Candlelight Records on 06/10/14 in the UK and the 07/10/14 rest of the World.
In the August of 2014 Winterfylleth performed at Bloodstock Festival in the UK. Winterfylleth will be headlining the first day of Candlefest at The Underworld in London on October 4th. Winterfylleth will also be performing at the 10th anniversary edition of Damnation Festival at Leeds University Union on November 1st.
In December of 2014 Winterfylleth are heading out on tour in the UK and Ireland with Behemoth, Decapitated and Grand Magus.
“The Divination of Antiquity” is due out on CD and 2xLP on Candlelight Records on 06/10/14 in the UK and the 07/10/14 rest of the World.