Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff

Huron – ‘War Party’ EP

I must admit, it came as somewhat of a surprise:  flicking through the PM archive, yours truly discovered that, despite the amount of coverage we have given to Plymouth groove metallers Huron over the past 12 months or so, we’ve actually been somewhat remiss in failing to cast our critical …

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Enthroned – ‘Obsidium’

Belgian black metal mob Enthroned have been slowly carving out a reputation for themselves as one of the continent’s more accomplished, if hardly innovative, black metal outfits, and this ninth album is as solid as anything the genre has produced in the last couple of decades. There’s nothing hugely original …

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Abinaya – Corps

This second album from France’s Abinaya – their name is Sanskrit for ‘passing on’ – definitely lives up to its conjunctive title, for it most definitely is a ‘Corps’ of work that should be passed on. The problems start early on, with the apologetic Algerian drum line on the opening, …

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Declamatory – ‘Human Remains’

This apocalyptic themed debut album by Berlin (self-described) melodic thrashers Declamatory has been some 12 years in the making, and apparently is the first of a triptych of similarly conceptualized offerings… The concept in question revolves around “the post-apocalyptic war between the Raiders and the Crystal Gods, fought in the …

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The Dropkick Murphys – ‘Signed And Sealed In Blood’

“The boys are back – and they’re looking for a fight”.  Thus starts this latest album (the eighth) from Boston’s Dropkick Murphys.. one of a handful of bands – alongside the likes of Flogging Molly – who have successfully moulded their Irish heritage onto a hardcore/punk sound. While 2011’s ‘Going …

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Pink Cream 69 – ‘Ceremonial’

This unusually named German AOR band trace their roots back a quarter of a century, to 1987, and this is their 11th album – their first in 11 years and also their first with new drummer (formerly the band’s drum tech) Chris Schmidt, who replaced founder member Kosta Zafiriou, who …

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Thin Lizzy + Trucker Diablo @ Limelight 1, Belfast – Wednesday December 12th 2012

It’s a discussion which has been held in bar rooms up and down the land – and, indeed, on these very pages: the merits and demerits of what happens after an iconic band loses one of its pivotal members – and particularly someone in turn as iconic as their frontman. …

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nulldB – ‘Endzeit’

It’s probably a bit pat to say – but, then, the band do allude to it in their own press collateral – but a German band playing industrial-tinged metal and singing in their native language are inevitably going to draw comparisons with Rammstein. And, yes, there are other references with …

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New Age Extinction – ‘A Grand Deception’

The problem with this EP is epitomized at the very beginning of the closing track, ‘Drowning In Atlantis’, when vocalist Stephen ‘Fire Breather’ Caffrey screams out the title as if introducing it on stage… said scream says volumes about the lack of imagination which has plagued metalcore in the recent …

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Mors Principium Est – ‘…And Death Said Live’

Five years on from their last outing, 2007’s ‘Liberation=Termination’, Finnish-based melodic death metallers Mors Principium Est have returned with their new, international line up – featuring the twin guitar attack of the UK’s Andy Gillion and Andhe Chandler, all the way from New Zealand – and their eagerly anticipated fourth …

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Generation.On.Dope – ‘Ghosts’

Generation.On.Dope, or G.o.D, trace their roots back a decade, to the Italian sleaze rock outfit Razzle Dazzle, who were starting to make a bit of a name for themselves outside their homeland until the untimely death of bassist Mario Gilardengo forced the band to re-evaluate themselves and start all over …

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Dark Matter – ‘A Place Of Memories And Ghosts’

I’ve always been a big fan of instrumental music. Long before bowed my knee at the altar of metal, I used to sneak home from school early – mainly because it was quicker to walk the quarter of a mile in a straight line through the park than take the …

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Crashdïet – ‘The Savage Playground’

It would be very easy to dismiss Crashdïet as yet another Swedish sleaze metal outfit, and indeed they have been very much at the forefront of the revival in that regard. However, personally, I’ve always found them to be more appealing than, certainly, the awful Reckless Love or their poppier …

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Turbo + Hello Jackie @ Voodoo, Belfast – Thursday December 6th 2012

Things weren’t going too well at the start of this evening’s debut visit to their Irish diaspora of fans by Polish ‘legends’ Turbo. First of all, local support Bäkken – who less than a week earlier had officially launched their worthy ‘Death Of A Hero’ album – pulled out at …

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Steve Vai @ Vicar Street, Dublin – Tuesday December 4th 2012

There are many great guitar players in the world, a few of whom can be described as truly innovative – Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Richie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour and Joe Satriani are among the names that comes instantly to mind in this regard. There are …

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Geoff Tate – ‘Kings And Thieves’

I suppose it could be argued that the timing of the release of Geoff Tate’s second solo album is somewhat fateful. What with him being publicly (and embarrassingly so) fired from Queensrӱche earlier this year and the subsequent high profile squabbling which has ensued between the singer and the former …

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Absolva @ Voodoo, Belfast – Friday November 30th

It confounds me. No, it really annoys me. Actually, it makes me really fucking angry. OK, I know there’s a recession on and all that, but for four damn fine bands – including one who have travelled since the wee small hours to play the gig – to play to …

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Aeon – Aeons Black

Sweden’s Aeon (one of eight bands with the same name list in that essential resource for any serious metal journalist, or fan for that matter, the Encyclopaedia Metallum) count no less than the mighty Alex ‘Corpsegrinder’ Webster among their legion fans. And it’s not hard to see why on ‘Aeons …

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Jettblack’s Will Stapleton talks about ‘War Of The Worlds’

With High Wycombe sleaze rockers Jettblack having recently finished their first UK headlining tour, in support of their sophomore ‘Raining Rock’ album, vocalist Will Stapleton is not about to take things easy…  Instead, he has taken to the stage again – but in a completely different role, as ‘The Voice …

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Furyon + Stormzone @ The Diamond Rock Club, Ahoghill – Saturday November 24th 2012

Co-headline shows are awkward beasts.  And, personally, I’m not a huge fan of them… I mean, you either have a headline act or you don’t – right?  Running a bill with two headliners has inherent problems – who goes on first, what happens if the opening act are better than …

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