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James Maddern

Above Aurora Announce Debut EP

Polish rockers Above Aurora have announced their debut EP Onwards Desolation, and it will hit stores 27th May via Pagan Records.

The 6-song record is a tense listen, swaying gently in the gap between doom and black metal and marks the start of something big in their careers because this record has the potential to go huge.

Pre-order details and teasers to come shortly!

Kerrang! Award Nominees Announced

It’s that time again for the Kerrang! Awards and this year it’s pretty big: among the nominations are a couple of huge London Slipknot shows, the return of GNR, battle of 5 newcomer punk bands and a huge clash of British titans. The announcement comes today after the Nominees Party last night, with live performances from Creeper amongst others.

The ceremony takes place (followed by a show headlined by Asking Alexandria) on Thursday 9th June so keep that date clear, and will be presented by The Darkness‘ Justin Hawkins and Skindred‘s Benji Webbe.

Grab your tickets here and see the full list of nominees below, and as per usual you can have your say here!

BEST EVENT – Presented by Kerrang! TV

Guns N’ Roses – Las Vegas Reunion Shows

5 Seconds Of Summer – Sounds Live Feels Live tour

Slipknot – Alexandra Palace shows

You Me At Six – The Ghost Inside Benefit Show

Biffy Clyro – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

 

BEST BRITISH NEWCOMER – Presented by Help Musicians

Counterfeit

Creeper

Milk Teeth

Muncie Girls

The Struts

BEST INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMER

Cane Hill

The Dirty Nil

Beach Slang

Beautiful Bodies

Biters

BEST TRACK – Presented by Kerrang! Radio

Moose Blood – Honey

Against The Current – Running With The Wild Things

Panic! At The Disco – Emperor’s New Clothes

Architects – A Match Made In Heaven

All Time Low – Missing You

 

BEST LIVE BAND – Presented by Red Stripe

Black Veil Brides

BABYMETAL

twenty one pilots

Nightwish

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

 

BEST ALBUM – Presented by Zippo

Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out To Get You

Asking Alexandria – The Black

No Devotion – Permanence

Baroness – Purple

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND

All Time Low

Metallica

PVRIS

A Day To Remember

Fall Out Boy

BEST BRITISH BAND

Bring Me The Horizon

Iron Maiden

Enter Shikari

Biffy Clyro

Asking Alexandria

BEST FANBASE

Gerard Way

Pierce The Veil

Black Veil Brides

Paramore

twenty one pilots

BEST FILM

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Deadpool

Minions

Ant-Man

Jurassic World

BEST TV SHOW

The Walking Dead

Daredevil

Jessica Jones

Making A Murderer

Adventure Time

BEST RADIO SHOW

Fresh Blood With Alex Baker – Kerrang! Radio

MOJO Rocks with Phil Alexander – Planet Rock

Radio 1 Rock Show with Daniel P Carter

Beats 1 with Zane Lowe

Nights With Alice Cooper – Planet Rock

BEST VIDEO GAME

Far Cry Primal

Fallout 4

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Guitar Hero Live

Star Wars Battlefront

BEST COMIC BOOK

The Wicked + The Divine

2000 AD

Saga

Nimona

Descender

BEST FESTIVAL

Download

Slam Dunk

Reading & Leeds

Bloodstock

The Great Escape

BEST COMEDIAN

Matt Berry

Amy Schumer

Josie Long

Bill Bailey

Louis CK

TWEETER OF THE YEAR

Jono Yates (Away Days/Blitz Kids)

Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour)

Mark Hoppus (Blink-182/+44)

Becky Blomfield (Milk Teeth)

Hayley Williams (Paramore)

Parkway Drive Unleash MoshCam

Parkway Drive have gone and released a MoshCam video of their whole set live in Brixton Academy from 12th February.

The Aussie metalcore titans also unleashed Formula 1’s Daniel Ricciardo (who just so happens to be a huge fan) to do some guest vocals for one song, Deliver Me.

For more info on how this tour went down, read the review from the night after in Manchester.

Watch the video in full here.

The band are also playing Reading & Leeds festival, check below for dates.

 

MAX RAPTOR – Self-Titled

Burton-upon-Trent punks Max Raptor are back in the limelight and frankly for good reason with this third full-length record.

Max Raptor comes as a follow-up to 2015 EP Damage Appreciation and features the title track from it as track 9/12, and was produced by Dan Weller [Enter Shikari, Young Guns, SikTh], so was in expert hands from the very start of the writing and recording process.

The record comes as a cross between hardcore, roots punk and good old rock n’ roll (as have their other releases), but this one gives another level the band have not reached on previous releases.

The vocal style throughout is excellent, keeping a very old-school technique while having a refreshing new crunch when combined with the excellently mixed instrumental, but particular credit has to go to drummer Pete Reisner, who keeps the beat going with ease and suits the punk vibe to a T. While the guitars aren’t particularly technical (which is to be expected of a good punk band), the mix leaves them gritty and messy which creates a definite mood to provide the backing for Wil to do his thing.

The influences of early punk bands are evident, especially in tracks like Day Release and When I Was A Gentleman which hold those really solid, huge “woah oh” gang vocals that create that finishing touch to the roughness to make it feel that next step up, but there are also elements that have clearly been brought about from touring with Press To Meco and a couple of moments (namely the styles of some song endings) sound reminiscent of them.

Standout tracks are the aforementioned When I Was A Gentleman and the far more bluesy Last Words which display how excellent this band is with a variety of styles, while keeping their fingerprint very much on the style.

Usually, weaker tracks get discussed to give a fair and balanced viewpoint but it can genuinely be said this record is made of 12 fantastic tracks for any occasion that will be the making of this band.

The technical highlight has to be the bass-mimicking of the guitar on several tracks but most evident on Day Release, where throughout the whole verse the bass plays the riff with the guitars to create a fully immersive instrumental that packs a massive punch like very few bands can deliver in the modern market.

This band are so underrated and deserve so much more exposure, and this release just goes to show they are at the very top of the modern hardcore game, which is hardly surprising considering their support slots with the likes of The Stranglers [2010 tour].

Max Raptor was released April 22nd on Hassle Records, listen to it on Spotify, Google Play and iTunes.

Periphery European Unrest

Periphery Have Announced (Finally)

Washington prog metal/djent band Periphery have just announced their fifth studio album, entitled Periphery III: Select Difficulty.

The record comes as a follow-up to 2015 double release Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega and will mark the end of the relatively short album production cycle, having started in the dying days of 2015. It has been produced by Adam “Nolly” Getwood, the band’s bassist, despite his departure from the touring lineup.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the album artwork looks like this:

Periphery III: Select Difficulty will be released worldwide on July 22nd

The band also play this year’s Download festival on 12th June at Donington

UK Tour & New Song For Pierce The Veil!

Pierce The Veil have premiered their newest song from upcoming album Misadventures on BBC Radio 1 tonight and it has hit YouTube too. The track, titled Circles is the third to be released ahead of the full album and plays at number 6 of 11 songs on the standard edition (of 13 on the deluxe).

Along with the song came an announcement from the band on air of a November UK tour that will hit the biggest club venues in the country (Brixton Academy being a size-guide). Check out the dates on the poster below.

Misadventures will be released May 13th in the UK.

 

2016: A Record Look Forward

2016 has already produced some massive events in the alternative and rock history, with the breakup of Funeral For A Friend, the kicking of a fan from the stage at a The Story So Far show and the return of the godfathers of modern pop punk in Good Charlotte, not to mention the infamous Matt Willis tweet telling the world to go and buy [2016 Creeper EP] The Stranger, saying they’ll go far. Such a massive year has inevitably had some pretty big record releases; the afformentioned The Stranger EP, Panic!’s Death Of A Bachelor and Asking Alexandria’s The Black within the first three months alone, which has set up a pretty huge contest for top record of 2016, and here are a few that have the potential to blow the above out of the water (in no particular order, of course…)

 

Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

TRACKLIST:

01. Nihilist
02. Deathwish
03. Phantom Fear
04. Downfall
05. Gone With The Wind
06. The Empty Hourglass
07. A Match Made In Heaven
08. Gravity
09. All Love is Lost
10. From The Wilderness
11. Memento Mori

 

This release got announced on Daniel P Carter’s Rock Show on 6th March this year, much to the surprise of the fanbase. The record has been recorded in the same as [2014 release] Lost Together // Lost Forever in Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden in more or less complete secrecy and no hint at all to any of the fanbase.

The previous release in the Brighton 5-piece’s catalogue was a definite step above the rest and really allowed the band to break through into the very top level of British metalcore bands, rivalled by very few others and the first 2 tracks from this 7th installment only accentuate their dominance of the field. A Match Made In Heaven was the first song released, premiered on BBC Radio 1 along with the interview where frontman Sam Carter unveiled the newly completed work. Second single Gone With The Wind followed on April 11th and marks the first sound of clean vocals in the AOGHAU era of the band, to much excitement from the fans.

This is a band that remains incredibly heavy while having hugely catchy choruses that won’t ever leave your head and this record is shaping up to top the scene once and for all.

 

All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us will be released in the UK on May 27th

 

 

Issues – Headspace

TRACKLIST:

01. The Realest
02. Home Soon
03. Lost-n-Found (On a Roll)
04. Yung & Dum
05. Made to Last
06. Flojo
07. Hero
08. Coma
09. Rank Rider
10. Blue Wall
11. Someone Who Does
12. I Always Knew
13. Slow Me Down

 

Fusion-core rockers Issues have given many interviews recently about how they’re doing a huge reinvention to break down even more genre boundaries than the [2014] first album and the 2 EPs [2012, 2014], wholeheartedly renouncing their metalcore genre assignment of previous incarnation Woe, Is Me.

This one has had huge trouble in the making; Tyler Carter has spoken out on a few occasions about how this recording and writing process has very nearly ripped the band into 5 pieces, but after the departure of Ty “Scout” Acord they announced a barrier-breaking, death-defying new record called Headspace via Carter’s Facebook page.

The first 2 tracks are a clear tone-setter for the record, with first single The Realest proves their distinct musical styles with Sky’s funk basslines, Tyler’s hip hop/pop and Michael’s core (and for the first time, unclean singing!) vocals, and the heavy guitars and drums from AJ and Josh respectively, but it mixes together to form a (ignoring their past catalogue) surprisingly fantastic track which is only enhanced by second single Coma which, again, is a winner.

 

Headspace will be released on May 20th in the UK

 

 

Real Friends – The Home Inside My Head

TRACKLIST:

01. Stay In One Place
02. Empty Picture Frames
03. Keep Lying To Me
04. Scared To Be Alone
05. Mokena
06. Mess
07. Isolating Everything
08. Well, I’m Sorry
09. Basement Stairs
10. Door Without A Key
11. Eastwick
12. Colder Quicker

 

Real Friends are back and they’re back with something to prove, if the first couple of songs are anything to go by. The Illinois pop-punks are a staple grain in the pop punk diet, having released 6 EPs and 1 full length and supported bands as big as All Time Low on massive tours, and they only seem to be getting better.

The vulgar yet tuneful tracks of the band give them a rough-edged sound that so many have had polished away by producers and labels, and that definitely makes them stand out. The emotional sound of their first song Colder Quicker, however, is not a usual sound for them, as they have a deep look back to past events and placing it at the closing of the record seems to indicate a definitive ending to a powerful record.

 

The Home Inside My Head will be released May 27th in the UK

 

 

Of Mice & Men – Live At Brixton & [As Yet Untitled]

TRACKLIST:

01. Public Service Announcement
02. Glass Hearts
03. Broken Generation
04. O.G. Loko
05. Let Live
06. You Make Me Sick
07. This One’s For You
08. Feels Like Forever
09. Bones Exposed
10. Would You Still Be There
11. Another You
12. Identity Disorder
13. Second & Sebring
14. The Depths
15. You’re Not Alone

 

These Orange County metalcore masters have been plagued with [vocalist] Austin Carlile’s multiple hospitalisations due to Marfan’s Syndrome, but that hasn’t stopped them releasing Live At Brixton. As the name suggests, the album was recorded on March 28th 2015 as they played their biggest headline show to date at O2 Academy Brixton in London which is to this day regarded by many of the members of the crowd as the best they have ever attended.

The release is coming out with a range of bundle options, all of which including a huge cinema-style poster commemorating the night. It comes as a CD/DVD pack or a 2x LP DVD pack (limited to 300 for the OM&M direct variant) and will be released via the band’s usual label Rise Records.

In addition to this, the band are currently tracking an as-yet-untitled 4th studio album as a follow-up to [2015 deluxe re-release]Restoring Force: Full Circle.

Album IV bass tracking @aaronpauley pic.twitter.com/YPBTljpbiH — Of Mice & Men (@OMandM) April 19, 2016

 

Album IV drum tracking @youngfuego pic.twitter.com/kXy8XVTVmu — Of Mice & Men (@OMandM) April 19, 2016

 

Live At Brixton will be released May 27th in the UK and the next full length is expected to be finished in May with a subsequent release

 

 

Good Charlotte – Youth Authority

TRACKLIST:

01.Life Changes
02. Makeshift Love
03. 40 oz. Dream
04. Life Can’t Get Much Better
05. Keep Swingin’ (feat. Kellin Quinn)
06. Reason to Stay (feat. Simon Neil)
07. Stray Dogs
08. Stick to Your Guns (Interlude)
09. The Outfield
10. Cars Full of People
11. War
12. Moving On
13. Rise (Bonus Track)

 

At long last, Good Charlotte are back and if the first 2 singles and the multiple shows are anything to go by, the last 6 years on a break has made them better than ever before.

After a charting first single post-hiatus (Makeshift Love), a gargantuan tour with All Time Low and a huge period of teasing the finished product, the band announced this fantastic artwork on March 30th, along with second single 40 oz. Dream (to commemorate 20 years of GC) which involves a rundown of how music has changed even in the relatively short period of the twins’ lives.

Not only does the album boast the return of a huge band but it also plays host to guest appearances to Sleeping with Sirens’ Kellin Quinn and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, neither of whom would be first thoughts for most to guest on a GC song but this has the potential to be a fantastic addition.

The band have not yet announced UK touring plans though have been announced as performing at Reading & Leeds this year (if you didn’t know about that, you probably need to click here!).

 

Youth Authority will be released July 16th in the UK

 

 

Moose Blood – Blush

TRACKLIST:

01. Pastel
02. Honey
03. Knuckles
04. Sulk
05. Glow
06. Cheek
07. Sway
08. Shimmer
09. Spring
10. Freckle

 

This second full-length from the Canterbury emo rockers marks their move up in size and stature from No Sleep Records to Hopeless, and with it comes a particularly aesthetically pleasing record. Vinyl variants are designed especially to work with the plain colour scheme of the sleeve and the single word track names are there to give it a simplistic and minimalistic finish.

First track from the record Honey was debuted on Radio 1 this Sunday along with multiple other releases, but this got most of the attention from the listeners (despite names like Gerard Way being among the other exclusives) so this band have made it a long long way in the past year. They are playing Slam Dunk at the end of May on Main Stage, which again is a huge step up from the smaller stages they played in the past and can only mark bigger things to come.

 

Blush will be released on August 5th in the UK

 

 

Pierce The Veil – Misadventures

TRACKLIST:

01. Dive In
02. Texas Is Forever
03. The Divine Zero
04. Floral & Fading
05. Phantom Power And Ludicrous Speed
06. Circles
07. Today I Saw The Whole World
08. Gold Medal Ribbon
09. Bedless
10. Sambuka
11. Song For Isabelle

Deluxe Edition from Firebrand Stores
12. Today I Saw The Whole World (acoustic)
13. Floral & Fading (acoustic)
Last but by no means least is the long, long awaited return of PTV, an album many joked would never happen. Misadventures was teased for a long time in interviews by the band and the depression lead singer Vic Fuentes developed during the highly pressured writing process is well-documented, but it seems to have paid off. The announcement was followed up more recently with news of a Mexican release-day show and subsequent US tour whereby the band would play the new album in its entirety (presumably along with a few other tracks to finish) but sadly, nothing has been confirmed for GB as of yet.

First single The Divine Zero hit the internet music world as a complete shock back in summer 2015 as the band embarked on the lengthy Vans Warped Tour around the US and has since been played at Reading & Leeds festival, and on the remaining few dates of their tour. Second single Texas Is Forever was released alongside the album announcement, much to the acclaim of the fans.

Misadventures will be released on May 13th in the UK

R&L: More Bands & Stage Splits Announced!

Reading & Leeds Festival organisers have today made a huge announcement of yet more bands, along with the crucial stage splits that can make or break a day’s experience.

The biggest names on the bill come in the form of bands like Good Charlotte, Tonight Alive and the return of Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon, this time with the backing of The Crowes.

While this morning hasn’t been without its issues (Reading website being completely factually incorrect before the fix was put in place), the lineup has been met with pretty great acclaim and the splits have been universally declared a good fit; acoustic rocker Frank Turner opening up Main Stage on the Friday at Reading, followed by pit-inducing Frank Carter, both of whom are bound to make a stunning opening to the weekend.

Despite early worries by many that the bill would be lacking depth and quality this year, even the smaller bands on smaller stages are great; the inclusion of Area 52 on the Festival Republic stage follows up from their BBC Introducing… stage appearance at the 2015 festival. Building on this is the huge return of Nothing But Thieves, last year opening during the Babymetal set to a half-empty NME tent, this year being half way up the Main Stage bill which really shows what a festival appearance and a Muse world arena tour can do for a small band.

Elsewhere in the festival, Tonight Alive (previously a band destined for the Pit) have been placed midway down the NME lineup after their huge reinvention as they shift into the Limitless era, and concept-album rockers Coheed & Cambria (somewhat surprisingly) making it to Main Stage.

 

The full list of new artists to hit the lineup:

Nas
Frank Turner
Kano
Good Charlotte
Coheed and Cambria
Mastodon
Tonight Alive
Spring King
Sunset Sons
Haelos
Black Foxxes
The Temper Trap
Brian Fallon And The Crowes
BØRNS
Eagulls
Clean Cut Kid
Pulled Apart By Horses
Ezra Furman
VANT
The Magic Gang
Blaenavon
The Hunna
LANY
The Sherlocks
Rationale
Beach Baby
Transviolet
Isaac Gracie
Lewis Del Mar
Otherkin
Anteros
The Beach
The Vryll Society
Area 52
Tibet
Thrice
Hacktivist
Nothing More
Milk Teeth
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra
MGK
Heck (Baby Godzilla)
ROAM
Beach Slang
SWMRS
Superheaven
Big Spring
Waterparks
Yung Lean
Hoodie Allen
Maverick Sabre
Metro Boomin
Little Simz
Fekky
Geko
Bugzy Malone
Logic
K.Flay
Franko Fraize
Clara Amfo
SOPHIE
Danny L Harle
Rag’n’Bone Man
Friction
Fred V & Grafix
Delta Heavy
The Japanese House
99 Souls
Redlight
Lion Babe
Zac Samuel
Tkay Maidza
Hermitude
Lemaitre
Low Steppa
Draper
James Organ