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Chromatics – SWG3, Glasgow

Between the set-list, the gorgeous visuals and the curation of the whole evening’s entertainment, there’s a sense of watching something that had been honed to perfection before anyone had even gotten a glimpse of it. The sound is immaculately crisp, Miller’s guitar slotting neatly between post-punk breeze and jagged-pop swagger, and a trio of covers towards the set’s end wink at nostalgia while staying true to the band’s idiosyncrasies.

Karl Sanders of Nile

David Bowes spoke to Nile guitarist Karl Sanders prior to their Glasgow show and rather than have us sling our hook, he was more than happy to answer a few questions about their phenomenal ninth album, Vile Nilotic Rites.

Haunting the chapel – an interview with GosT

David Bowes spoke to GosT mastermind Baalberith to discuss the important things in life – Satan, synths and heavy metal.

Starless Domain – EOS

EOS is an imposing album, something that captures the horror and solitude of cosmic nothingness through atmosphere, space and skilful manipulation of all the tools at their disposal, and even if its runtime might be a barrier to some, it’s worth the effort if you long for a black metal album that you can completely immerse yourself in.

Melt-Banana – Stereo, Glasgow

Melt-Banana . . . exude a fervent passion for their music and a sense of hyperactive aggression underpins their work that’s not lost on the crowd, who spend the full set in a desperate, sweaty crush to get a foot closer to the riffs.

GosT – Valediction

While much of Valediction finds itself divided between mid-80s Gothicism and unhinged fury, GosT has a deft knack for finding the elements of both that can fit comfortably beside each other and bonding them with a great hook or a deliriously Moroder-esque beat.

Babymetal – Metal Galaxy

Whereas their debut worked due to its haphazard mishmashing of disparate genres and ‘Metal Resistance’ sought to capitalise on their success by adding a more focused, song-driven approach, ‘Metal Galaxy’ somehow crams the best parts from both into a 50-minute explosion of joy, silliness and hooks big enough to snag a megalodon.

NILE • HATE ETERNAL – CATHOUSE, GLASGOW

Nile have always been a band who toe the line between tradition and innovation and after 25 years, the thought that they might have run out of tricks surely passed through the mind of many before this evening; but if nothing else, their performance was proof that they have truly been reborn by the will of Osiris.

Mortem – Ravnsvart

While Ravnsvart might not be the black metal record that we all didn’t know we needed, it is a ridiculously well put-together and occasionally brain-melting trip through the Oslo backwoods and the more obscure reaches of the infernal void.

Dold Vorde Ens Navn – Gjengangere I Hjertets Mørke

Given the musicians involved, it’s almost impossible to gauge in advance how it will sound. If anything, that’s the most predictable thing about a release that never quite goes the way you would expect…

VAMPILLIA • VMO – STEREO, GLASGOW

There’s a point after the show where someone is overheard stating that what they had just witnessed is “the future of music”, and that doesn’t seem far off. Vampillia are avant-garde with purpose: a collection of like-minded and immensely talented musicians who have somehow found each other and let us join in the magic.

Russian Circles – Garage G2, Glasgow

Tonight is an exceptional performance even by the band’s own demanding standards. Considering how it must seem to the casual bystander that they can do no wrong these days, it’s good to know that they’re still capable of meeting expectations head-on and maybe even surpassing them.

Epitaphe – I

There is an increased sense of clarity and proportion that brings the frankly ludicrous scale of their compositions, as well as their affinity for truly out-there atmosphere, to the fore, and while their guitarwork might not have the flash or fury of death metal’s hardest hitters, it fits their stark approach perfectly.

Pando – Negligible Senescence

If you’re wanting a unique album that will take you places you’ve never dreamed of, this is a more than worthy one to start with.

The Body – Broadcast, Glasgow

Chip King has a howl that could break lead down at the molecular level . . . but there’s usually a balance of beauty and torture to drive the futility of it all home a little harder. Typically, that contrast derives from those they choose to collaborate with but in a live environment, that isn’t always feasible. So what to do? As it turns out, kill ‘em all.

Thou – Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow

While songs like ‘Transcending Dualities’ and ‘Sovereign Self’, which manifest tonight as eldritch monoliths of funereal doom, prove disarmingly effective at stripping away emotional barriers through distortion and volume alone, Bryan Funck’s voice is enough to push anyone over the edge. He constantly looms over the mic, his screech like a demon’s death rattle, dripping pain from each syllable, and as he periodically peels off layers of clothing, you can feel the intensity racking up.

Neon Demon – A Q&A with ALEX

ALEX is an Edinburgh-based synthwave producer and one of the leading lights of Britain growing retro-wave scene who creates demonic dystopias that would give Philip K Dick the fear.

Friendship – Undercurrent

Friendship aren’t for everyone. They bleed bile and breathe anxiety, but what they do manage exceptionally well is to provide something for the extreme crowds that’s a little more well-rounded than the competition.

夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) – Ѫ (Yus)

It’s a textbook example of ‘psychedelia done right’, a mind-altering experience that subverts expectations of timing, structure and musicality, honing in on the act of creating a kaleidoscope where all shapes and colours are shards of darkness.

Blood Of Kingu – De Occulta Philosophia

Every minute of ‘De Occulta Philophia’ feels purposeful and whether it be in its attempts to recapture the cold fury of earlier works or its desire to stake out entirely new ground, it always achieves some measure of success.

Arcane Voidsplitter – Voice Of The Stars

It’s an album that is full of majesty, an endlessly undulating soundscape of synths and funeral doom where not much of anything happens. That is precisely why it works.

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