Never mind the length, feel the metallic breadth
SINCE the first tolls of the bell on the eponymous Black Sabbath début of 1969 introduced an unsuspecting world to the hellish tones of ‘heavy metal’ the genre, so derided by the fashionistas, has proved enduring.
Over coming months we will have the pleasure of going to see acts that have a career that is not measured in years, but in generations.
LA metal pioneers Y&T will be taking us back the west coast metal scene before it was a west coast metal scene. And, in April UFO will be making a return to Belfast; a band that were beginning their career in 1970….
With Sabbath, and bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica still touring and releasing albums – plus the aforementioned Y&T and UFO – longevity is a feature of metal.But the genre, and everything that was associated with it has not just produced the same old, same old.
And, here in Northern Ireland the real breadth of styles and talent is evident. Yes, in this corner of the world, on the outmost rim of the European Union, with a population a smidgeon over 1.8m, there are enough types of metal to fill the pages of a book. Supporting Y&T on their forthcoming date are classic metal 80s style act Maverick, who shortly will be releasing their album, Pro Quid Pro. Also releasing albums in the autumn and winter are traditional metal stars Stormzone, thrashers Bakken and several others.
At the other end of the scale death metal act Zombified are reported to be working on new songs, while Putrefy are also planning a November release. After toasting their 13th birthday thrash act Sinocence are down to work on No Gods, No Masters Vol2 – the second EP of a planned trilogy. Melodic Celtic Death Metal act, Darkest Era ae riding high with the release of their Severance album, an Irish tour support slot with Amon Amarth and a headlining date at Belfast’s Limelight2 on October 4th in a Distortion Project promotion.
Keeping on the Celtic theme, our very own Ricky Warwick is at work for the next Black Star Riders release, as well as slotting in an appearance at the Diamond Rock club with band mate Damon Johnson on October 17th – a date which clashes with the return to Belfast once again of Scottish Pirate Metallers Alestorm (who just happen to have Northern Irish members on board).
The diversity of metal in Northern Ireland, is at times quite astounding: from the thrash of Gama Bomb, Donum Dei, Acid Age and Scimitar; the extreme metal of Fuckhammer, the blackened metal of Overoth; the sludge doom of War Iron; the classic NWOBHM sound of Sweet Savage, Rabid Bitch of the North and Conjuring Fate; the sci-fi metal of NASA Assassin; the extreme metal of Altus, the hard rockin’ blues of The Answer; and, the hard rock edge of Screaming Eagles.
And, that’s not even mentioning the alt metal of Therapy? who will be receiving a Northern Ireland Music Award on November 15th; the same date international rock icons Tyketto are heading to The Diamond Rock Club and War Iron headline RockD Limelight2 with Okus, Raum Kingdom and Bucolic Spectre.
There are enough types of metal to satisfy whatever your dark heart desires. Even if you are not usually tuned into the sounds of the inner beast of metal, there’s enough metallic output on show that you could take a risk and find out if you are fit to throw the horns along with local talent.
You might be surprised at how friendly all those long-haired, black t-shirt wearing, beer drinking metallers are…at least when not in the mosh pit.
Northern Ireland has a lengthy tradition of heavy metal, but equally as important is the sheer breadth and scale of what is on display. Heavy Metal is not a one-trick pony in this country…