Fiona Stephens

As December Falls – Live At Rescue Rooms

Nottingham legends As December Falls have recently released their first live album, recorded in their 450 capacity home town venue, which is their biggest headline show to date. The move of releasing a live album before a debut recorded album is an unusual one, however As December Falls frequently sell out venues and have performed all over the UK.

Opening to a cheering crowd with Everything You Say, the listener immediately notices the presence of vocal effects through the introduction. However in the recording, each instrument is balanced well within the mix, which is a difficult feat when capturing a live show, however at points there is very little mid range between the lead guitar line and the bass. There is rhythm guitar present, it’s just very quiet compared to the other instruments. However this appears to be sorted by the time Let Go crops up, and isn’t noticeable at all to the average listener.

Cross My Heart is immediately more upbeat than the previous track, however it doesn’t grab the listener’s attention when compared to Everything You Say. Here it becomes apparent that the actual lyrics are difficult to distinguish, however vocalist Bethany Curtis’ voice carries well across the live venue and is never out of tune. During this track the group interact with the audience, and the listener begins to miss having a visual image of the performance. However it is probably too premature in As December Fall‘s career for a DVD of a live performance.

As December Falls have cleverly grouped their tracks together, opening with their more upbeat tracks, before performing an edgier track in the middle of the album, starting with Keep Dreaming. The crowd are still pumped from the preceeding few tracks, and it audibly shows in the performance from the band. After Keep Dreaming is Royals, another upbeat track but quite toned down in tempo and genre when compared to the first few songs.

The first track using broken chords comes in during the latter part of the album. Thing I (Don’t) Want still makes use of the major key and fairly quick tempo, however the deceptive part is the arpeggiated theme, tricking the listener into thinking it will be a slower song.

It’s clear which songs are fan favourites, as notably Don’t Say A Word provides the best crowd reaction. Clearly the ambience of the venue has been mixed down so the band can actually be heard, and turned back up when appropriate. Other crowd pleasers are More To You and Capture.

The performance and the recording aren’t perfect – there are mic screeches present in places, for example. However these flaws provide a human experience for the listener, and it’s easy for them to imagine the actual performance. As December Falls provide a very real live album, and their decision to release a live album ahead of recording their debut studio album shows their confidence in their own performance. Additionally, they are not backed by a record label or management, making the fact that they’ve managed to record a live album of a sold out headline show even more incredible.

Small Pond Big Fish – Wicked Young, Wicked Old [EP]

London based Small Pond Big Fish immediately make an impression upon the listener in the very first track of their EP Wicked Young, Wicked Old. The EP opens with Parallels, which includes a catchy riff and draw the listener in before the vocals even hit. The lead vocalist’s powerful voice and the relateable lyrical content, particularly in the bridge (What has become of me?). The instrumental parts to the track include some well placed but brief drum breakdowns, however the guitar solo in this particular track is disappointingly average.

Hold On introduces a more pop punk feel, similar to the likes of A Day To Remember, however the vocals are much softer and the song sounds much cheerier than most pop punk content. Parts of this track sound disjointed as each section is different, and the only part of the song that flows for the entire four minutes are the vocals, which hold everything together.

Down The Rabbit Hole begins much the same way as Hold On, however each instrument has its own place in this track and can be clearly heard. At around the two minute mark a time change comes in for a few bars, which breaks up the song but isn’t really necessary. After a great opening track, the following two are very underwhelming.

Stranger Than is a slow track in 3/4 time, fully utilising the bass as an instrument that is capable of playing more than just root notes. The drums have their own short fills to introduce the next section of the track and make the use of pauses not to go too crazy, building the song up even more. The guitars aren’t too loud, fitting the genre of the song nicely.

The final track is Lungs, which uses reverb and delay in the introduction to build up space before the main riff hits. The verse returns to this theme again, using broken chords over strummed chords. The chorus sounds more cheerful than the verse or the instrumental parts suggest, piquing the listener’s curiosity.

Although each track is different, there are some overriding themes. The chorus vocals in each track are multitracked with harmonies from the lead singer, however to pull this off live either the band will have to perform backing vocals or effects will have to be used. The final two tracks flow better and appear to be better written and rehearsed than the first three. The middle two poorer tracks bring the whole tone of the EP down a little but overall, Wicked Young, Wicked Old shows that Small Pond Big Fish are capable of writing and performing in different styles and time signatures, it’s just a case of choosing where to use them.

Casey announce second album ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’

Casey have announced that their second album Where I Go When I Am Sleeping will be released via Hassle Records on March 16, 2018. The new record is the follow up to 2016’s debut Love Is Not Enough is a deeply personal journey through vocalist Tom Weaver’s issues with physical and mental afflictions.

“I was diagnosed with brittle bones when I was born, and when I was 15 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and at 20 I was diagnosed with manic depression. I’ve also had a heart attack and a stroke and I was in this crazy car accident that crushed half my face. They’re big life events, but a lot of the stuff that’s happened to me medically was stuff that I was just living through at the time. Looking back now, though, I realise I could have died four or five times. I’m lucky to be here.”

Casey – live on the Kerrang! Tour 2018 
(w/ The Amity Affliction, Boston Manor & Vukovi): 
5th Dec: Birmingham, Institute
6th Dec: Leeds, University Stylus
7th Dec: Glasgow, ABC
8th Dec: Manchester, Ritz
9th Dec: Newcastle, University
11th Dec: Dublin, Academy
12th Dec: Cardiff, University Y Plas
13th Dec: London, Kentish Town Forum

‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ – March 2018 Release Shows:
16th – Kingston – Banquet Instore (Matinee All Ages) & Fighting Cocks (18+) (in association with Banquet Records)
17th – Cardiff – ***TBC**** (in association with Spillers Records)
18th – Sheffield – Picturehouse (in association with Bears Den Records)

As December Falls release album ‘Live At Rescue Rooms’

Nottingham pop rock act As December Falls have played all over the UK, and now due to phenomenal demand from their fans they have captured that energy in their first live album Live at Rescue Rooms.

“As a completely independent band with no label support, no management and a hardworking DIY ethic, we really want the fans that can’t make our shows to still have that live experience. It’s also our way of saying goodbye to a lot of our old material since we’re working on our debut album which will be out next year! The Rescue Rooms show was our favourite show to date and our biggest headline show so far and we knew we had to share it with our fans.
We’re super proud to present our first live record from one of our favourite shows ever. We hope you love it as much as we do
!” – As December Falls


Hollywood Undead Release “Black Cadillac” Video

Hollywood Undead have just released a brand new video for Black Cadillac from their new album Five.  The video and track features B-Real from Cypress Hill and premiered with High Times on Friday.

Hollywood Undead will be touring the UK in 2018:

24 Jan – Glasgow, O2 Academy Glasgow
25 Jan – Manchester, Manchester Academy
26 Jan – Birmingham, O2 Academy Birmingham
27 Jan – Norwich, The LCR – UEA
29 Jan – London, Koko *SOLD OUT*
30 Jan – London, Koko *SOLD OUT*


Veil Of Maya Announce 2018 UK Co-Headline Tour with Dance Gavin Dance

Following on from the success of their newly released album False Idol, Illinois’ finest Veil Of Maya have announced a co-headline UK tour with Dance Gavin Dance.

Taking place in March 2018, dates are as follows:

03.03 Birmingham, The Asylum
04.03 Bristol, The Marble Factory
05.03 Newcastle, Riverside
06.03 Glasgow, Garage
07.03 Manchester, Academy 2
08.03 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
09.03 London, O2 Academy Islington

Tickets go on sale from Friday 24th November at 10AM GMT and can be purchased HERE.

“We are so excited to come back to the UK with our good friends in Dance Gavin Dance! We will be performing music from our new album “False Idol”, as well as our favourites from previous albums. Grab some tickets and come join us for this great pairing of bands!” – Guitarist Marc Okubo

Downfall of Gaia and Hamferð to tour Europe in February 2018!

German rockers Downfall of Gaia will head out to Europe in February 2018 for another run in support of their latest album Atrophy! Direct support will be Metal Blade’s latest signing Hamferð from the Faroe Islands who will release their Metal Blade debut Támsins likam on January 12th 2018!

02/02/18 DE – Stuttgart – Club Zentral
03/02/18 DE – Marburg – KFZ
04/02/18 DE – Berlin – Cassiopeia
05/02/18 DE – Hamburg – Hafenklang
06/02/18 DE – Dresden – Eventwerk
07/02/18 PL – Krakau – Club Zaczek
08/02/18 AT – Wien – Viper Room
09/02/18 HU – Budapest – Kvlt
10/02/18 SI – Ljubljana – Orto Bar
11/02/18 IT – Rimini – Wave Club
12/02/18 DE – München – Backstage
16/02/18 DE – Neunkirchen – Stummsche Reithalle
18/02/18 DE – Münster – Café Sputnik

More dates will be added soon!

Heavy Scotland is back for 2018!

Heavy Scotland festival will return  in 2018 with a new date, lasting for three days from Friday 31 August to Sunday 02 September, at to Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange.

Exclusively playing in Scotland in 2018 are: metal legends Carcass, thrash titans Gama Bomb, Brazilians Nervose and local favourites Perpetua.

Purchase tickets from this link.

Under-18 tickets are available now. Super Early Bird tickets available from just £66.60 and Student Weekend tickets at just £50.

The news follows a highly impressive first year from Heavy Scotland, placing Edinburgh on the international metal map. Headliners Behemoth and Arch Enemy topped a stellar bill, which also included the likes of Fleshgod ApocalypseDestructionFinntrollHavok and more. Garnering local and international acclaim, Heavy Scotland is fast becoming Scotland’s national heavy metal festival, and is the largest of its kind in the country’s capital of Edinburgh. Borne from a love of all things loud and with a passion for the local scene, Heavy Scotland is an event deserving of the attention so far received. Stay tuned for more information as it comes.