Articles by Nathan Lagden
Mallory Knox approached their final London show with all the professionalism and energy that made them such a force in the alternative scene. It may feel as though it’s over a little too soon, but fans at the Underworld can take some comfort in the fact that they have a few more good memories of the band to leave with.
Paul Gilbert is not just a terrific guitar player, but a fantastic entertainer too. Watching a two-hour show with no vocals just focusing on guitar work may sound like something only of interest to guitarists, but Gilbert provides a much broader appeal than this.
In fusing together existing bands and a diverse set of influences, what The Grand Mal have created is a work of real quality, which plays to the strengths of the musicians involved. It is a highly entertaining listen that uses straightforward riffs and a pummelling rhythm section to the maximum effect.
Black Anima holds up as a real achievement for the band, as they continue to defy expectations and reach a point where they are putting out some of the best material of their career.
The record is an absolute triumph of the kind of sound the band have been carefully crafting for over two decades. Clocking in at just under an hour, it never wastes a moment as it fills the listener with layered structures, melancholic themes and epic soundscapes.
No Man’s Land is an ambitious work that does not always get things entirely right, but should still be celebrated for its musical variety, lyrical quality and for being another addition to Frank Turner’s superb catalogue.
Mallory Knox deserve a lot of credit for tackling their situation head-on by crafting a new sound for themselves and enriching their latest album with variety and new ideas.
Living Colour provided more than a simple exercise in nostalgia, but a true masterclass of how to put on an intimate live performance that demonstrates they are still one of the best in the business.
Bad Religion have always set an incredibly high standard, so the fact that do not deviate from that standard here is to be commended. The album is full of exquisite hooks, terrific rhythmic intensity and memorable lyrics which will satisfy any fan of Bad Religion or alternative music in general. It also serves as an articulate commentary on the world around us and is a solid effort by the veteran punks.
The truly incredible thing about Cellar Darling is that they make an astonishing performance like this feel so effortless and natural. They combine technical brilliance with entrancing ambiance, yet with a real human side that leaves everybody in the venue leaving feeling as though they had witnessed something very special indeed.
Holding Absence duly delivered on one of the biggest nights of their career thus far, wonderfully fusing the dynamic power of hardcore with beautiful melodic emotion. They are one of the most exciting bands breaking through the British alternative scene right now, and they will have many more nights like this to come.
This tour and this performance marks the turning of a corner by Haken into a truly astounding live act.
It is a real triumph for Periphery and continued proof that even after six albums they are still one of the most exciting metal bands around.
Haken’s Charlie Griffiths talks about their new album, Vector, and fesses up to being a Dream Theater fanboy. . .
Stone Broken have demonstrated why they are such an exciting act for the UK classic and hard rock scene right now. They bring a freshness, energy and genuine passion to a style of music which is often derided as obsolete; and will surely continue to work their way up to bigger venues and bigger crowds in the years to come.
More than their talent though, Rival Sons bring a real sense of joy to the night. The feeling that they are genuinely doing what they love in front of their adoring fans is infectious.
At this stage of their career, they are unlikely to win hordes of new fans any time, but what they can do is keep their music fresh and interesting for those who have supported the band this far; and Hel does just that. It is one of the band’s finest and most consistent releases and is certainly worth multiple listens.
It is easy to see why TesseracT have built up such a loyal following with performances like this. The professionalism and innovation that they have become known for are personified in tonight’s show and the only downside was that they didn’t play for longer.
Within Temptation belong on the big stage, and with some epic new tracks, well-rehearsed and waiting to be released, there is no doubt that more arena-style performances like this await us in future.
Not only is it a personal triumph and a musical powerhouse, but it is also an incredibly culturally important release; coming at a time when metal is on its knees and thoroughly needs a band like Architects to pick it up and unite the scene. Holy Hell does this and cements its place as a modern classic that we will still be talking about in years to come.
Each member of Epica is engaging, talented and ready to put on a good show for their fans. Epica departed London that night to head back to their home country of the Netherlands for their thousandth show, and with performances like this, it is really no wonder that fans keep coming back for more.