Heart Avail – Heart Avail [EP]

Heart Avail are a metal band based in Spokane, Washington, USA. The group consists of four members, fronted by vocalist Aleisha Simpson. Their self titled and debut EP is due for release on 9th December via Milagro Records.

Heart Avail opens with a 6 minute symphonic melodic track that is reminiscent of Within Temptation, called Broken Fairytale. The tracks are mixed and mastered perfectly, each musician knows their place within the balance of the group and has a chance to demonstrate their talents. 6 minutes is perhaps a little bit long for an opening track, however it’s a good track. The second track, Vacillation, is immediately different from the symphonic and melodic Broken Fairytale. It launches with a guitar riff that sounds like it is influenced by the likes of Trivium, however the similarities end when the vocals enter the mix.

Simpson’s vocals are not quite as powerful as Amy Lee from Evanescence, however she distinctively holds her own over the music behind her. She sounds like a versatile musician who could easily perform any genre of music. This is particularly demonstrated in the third track of the EP, Always. Each track on Heart Avail sounds different and explores the diversity of the metal genre. The first half a minute of No Remorse particularly demonstrates this, however going into the first chorus it sounds like the other tracks. After the first chorus and into the second verse there is a short instrumental section where the guitarist, Greg Hanson, gets to show off his abilities. The final track of the EP, Pink Lace, is also the lead single. It was premiered on PureGrainAudio and is now available on YouTube.

Pink Lace is altogether a more energetic song than the rest of the EP, and the best song for showcasing individual talents of the members of Heart Avail. There are clear different sections of the song, and it’s not only a great song to end an EP on, it’s probably the best song on the EP and the clear choice for the lead single. The song just floats out at the end, leaving the listener wanting more. Altogether Heart Avail is an EP about the pain that comes from the loss of loved ones, which most listeners can probably relate to. It is not only therapeutic for the listeners that are dealing with similar experiences, it’s a great EP to listen to in general, and Heart Avail are definitely a group to look out for.

[8/10]

Arch Enemy Announce Live DVD – “As The Stages Burn”

Arch Enemy have announced their live DVD As The Stages Burn which was filmed at Wacken Open Air this year. The show remains Arch Enemy’s largest stage show to date, and marks the pinnacle of the highly successful War Eternal album campaign.

The band revitalised their career in 2014, with the announcement of Alissa White-Gluz as the groups new vocalist and the release of the title track War Eternal. This song remains the band’s most successful video in their career surpassing over 20 million views. The group also reached the highest chart positions in USA and Germany from this album than ever before in their career.

In late 2014-Jeff Loomis (ex Nevermore) joined Arch Enemy during their world tour with Kreator in 2015 and the arena tours for Nightwish. 

The DVD highlights an impressive live production from the band fans have never seen before. As The Stages Burn is due for a worldwide release through Century Media Records on March 31st 2017.

Go get your ticket for the exclusive release shows with special support from Lacuna Coil and The Haunted now!

30.03.2017 – Zeche, Bochum, Germany *
31.03.2017 – Hellraiser, Leipzig, Germany *
01.04.2017 – Rock in Hell, Colmar, France *
02.04.2017 – Heavy Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
04.04.2017 – Neue Stadthalle, Langen (Hessen), Germany **
05.04.2017 – Backstage Werk, München, Germany **
06.04.2017 -Saarbrücken – Garage, Germany **
07.04.2017 – Durbuy Rock Festival, Durbuy, Belgium **
08.04.2017 – Betiz Fest, Cambrai, France *
09.04.2017 -Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik, Germany **
 * with The Haunted
** with The Haunted and Lacuna Coil

Be sure to check the band out when they headline the inaugural Heavy Scotland Festival alongside Behemoth. 

Download 2016 Sunday Preview

All good things must come to an end, and that does unfortunately include Download festival. Kicking off the festival season with an almighty bang, Download often saves the best till last, and as a result the Sunday line up is stacked with amazing bands. It’s pretty even across the board as every stage has some amazing bands playing throughout the day.

 

Main Stage

 

Nightwish

It’s been 4 years since Nightwish last brought their gigantic operatic prowess to Donnington Park, and it was on that occasion that there was someone different to Floor Jansen fronting the band. Having released their critically acclaimed LP Endless Forms Most Beautiful, Nightwish have been relentless in touring all over the globe, and have only just begun headlining arena’s here in the UK, following their spectacular Wembley Arena show. Many did not anticipate that they would open for the mighty Iron Maiden, but you cannot doubt that given the chance, Nightwish can and will deliver.

Dsiturbed

If you can’t headline a festival, opening for Iron Maiden is probably the next best thing. Disturbed are the penultimate band on the main stage at Download 2016, and they’re going to be ready to tear the stage apart. Disturbed’s career has spanned many years and many albums, and their 2015 album Immortalized stands among the best of them. You can expect to hear a set spanning their discography, from their earliest hits to the biggest new tracks like The Vengeful One. It’s likely that they will also pull out their awe-inspiring rendition of The Sound of Silence. At the end of the day though, this is Disturbed, and who doesn’t want to throw down to Down With The Sickness? PIT.

Halestorm

They may only be on their 3rd album Into The Wild Life, but Halestorm offer so much more than a simple 45-minute stage.   The energetic powerhouse that is Lzzy Hale, along with skillful eccentric brother and drummer Arejay Hale, have helped establish Halestorm into festival favourites and hard rock heavyweights.    Playing right before the likes of Iron Maiden, Nightwish, Disturbed and Shinedown, it won’t be hard to miss them, even when slotted in amongst some of those big names.

 

2nd Stage

 

Billy Talent

Billy Talent are a band that need no introduction, but here’s one anyway. A four-piece punk rock band that have earned their place in the rock hall of fame after over a decade of music releases. At the beginning of May this year the band released the new single Afraid of Heights and also announced that this was the title track of their upcoming album, which will be released at the end of July. With the potential for them to play some new songs from Afraid of Heights as well as the old favourites, Billy Talent are not to be missed on The Encore Stage this year.

Don Broco

Don Broco were probably the last band you were expecting to find on the Download Bill but the four piece will be bringing their catchy pop-rock anthems to the Zippo Encore stage this year. After huge success with their debut album Priorities and their latest installment Automatic, it is safe to say these guys won’t be short of songs to get the whole crowd moving.

Breaking Benjamin

Breaking Benjamin are a band who are by no means without controversy. After going on hiatus in 2009, the band released greatest hits compilation Shallow Bay, and ended up all getting into rights arguments after two band members had left earlier. The tensions continued until remaining member Chad Szeliga left too, leaving frontman Ben Burnley on his own. Proceeding to pull the group out of their hiatus with four brand new members to form a new look, Breaking Benjamin put out the stunning 2015 record Dark Before Dawn to rise from the ashes of what had come crashing down. See them as they start to prove themselves once more because you won’t forget it.

Periphery

Djent/prog-metallers Periphery are back to Download for the first time since the 2012 conquest with nearly half of the band being debutants of the festival. With a 5th LP coming out mid-July titled Periphery III: Select Difficulty, the band are playing their first run of UK shows without bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood after he departed the touring line-up earlier this year due to lack of ability to commit to the tours. The band will carry on with a touring bassist who is yet to be named, however given their track record of line-up swaps and touring with the very best, it’s pretty safe to say they will have a fill-in that more than carries their weight. They always put on a fantastic live show that demonstrates their technical abilities immaculately and are not to be missed.

 

3rd Stage

Gojira

Gojira are no less than amazing, and that’s generally all that can be said about them. The third stage will be taken for themselves as they prepare to simply slay the entire festival season. Their new album Magma has already received mass critical acclaim and sees the band complete re-invigorated to take on the world and probably win.

Ghost

Ghost recently won a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance. If there was ever a better reason to see a band live, we’ve yet to hear of it. For such an obscure, non-conformist band to win such a prestigious award is a huge accolade for the band – Ghost are the real deal. At Download festival you’ll be catching Papa Emeritus III and his Nameless Ghouls in all their hooded, costumed glory for what promises to be one of the most atmospheric and entrancing sets the weekend has to offer

Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard are considered the pioneers of doom metal and for good reason. Tracks that make Black Sabbath shit themselves has made the band experts in slow tempo, bass heavy aural assaults. Whether you want to call it stoner metal, doom metal, down tempo etc., Electric Wizard are the best there is at making a transcendent racket that will be liable to steal the weekend.

The Dirty Youth

The Dirty Youth are a female fronted band from South Wales that incorporate Rock/Pop/Alternative/Dance/Drop Beat, basically name a genre and it’s influenced their music. Singer for the band, Danni Monroe, has one of the best female vocals around in the current music scene. It is rich in soul, tone and range and reminiscent of the nuances of Bonnie Tyler. The Dirty Youth are like musical chameleons that alter from song to song to suit the tone of each piece while still managing to maintain a strong rock undercurrent. They are the perfect band to go see if you want something a bit different in the day.

 

4th Stage

Napalm Death

If headliners were chosen on criteria of how influential a band had been throughout their career, Napalm Death would headline everywhere. The British grindcore legends have seen their seed sown throughout many generations, as they pioneered an aggression never before seen in music, and along with fellow countrymen Carcass, basically influenced entire genres. Napalm Death are brilliant is what we’re trying to say, and if the power harmonics of Maiden don’t do it for you, these guys will.

Kenneths

London punks Kenneths are really making a name for themselves around the community at the moment and, although relatively unknown, have been noticed by Anti-Flag and recognised as good enough for a tour support slot at ANTIfest in Paris in June. The band first announced themselves to a large audience at Warped UK in October, which is where they met Anti-Flag and met all the new fans waiting for them at their merchandise table after their hugely successful set. The band released two EPs last year on their own label with a subsequent Warped Tour run and are looking at releasing a full-length in the near future. They are a definite must for any punk fans as they hit the Dogtooth stage on Sunday.

The King Is Blind

Sometime you forget that Download is actually a metal festival what with all the pop punk and electronics turning up nowadays. If at any point you need reminding over the weekend, go see newcomers The King Is Blind. Seething hatred, blast beats and massive, cleaving riffs is what you’ll be met with as these death metal bastards go for the kill. Proceed with caution.