The Heavy Metal Muppets is a place for all things Metal with a particular emphasis on the London Underground Metal scene. We are a bunch of friends who have been into Metal since the late 80's and want to share our enthusiasm with anyone else who's prepared to listen. The format varies and we hope keeps it interesting for everyone, so keep your eyes peeled for reviews, interviews, memoirs and live videos amongst other things \m/

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sylosis & Malefice - Islington O2 Academy - 7th October 2011

I seem to spend much of my time hanging around with the guys from Abadden these days and this gig was no exception. I met with John and Dan earlier on in the day at The Dev in Camden. This has got to be the best pub in town for sure, the only problem is that it’s impossible to tell when the place opens... I think 2pm, but won’t put money on it. A few beers later and a random extra ticket purchased off a stranger in the pub that we didn’t need off we headed to the O2 Academy Islington. Once we arrived we were joined by Lady Toes and Pat.

After having staggered in from an afternoon in pubs we were greeted by Malefice. They were stunning live and for me the best of the two bands we saw that night. I had never seen either Sylosis or Malefice before but have been a fan of the music for some time. What an excellent show, the sound, the lights and the all round professional performance had me moshing away like a sixteen year old. Magnificent. If you haven’t had a chance to see this band and do in the future do not hesitate, just do it!!

Don’t get me wrong, Sylosis were pretty shit hot too. This kind of venue suits them perfectly. The place was almost, if not, a sell out and the audience was lively. At times the pit became a little hostile, as can happen with loads of beer and awesome metal but whatever. An extremely polished set performed by an experienced and accomplished band.

A gig on a Friday is always going to end in carnage and this was a prime example. Smashing company, a truckload of beer and exciting music made for a brilliant evening in Islington. This is what makes being a metal fan so (in the words of Bill and Ted) excellent.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Abadden & Parasitic Earth - The Hat Factory, Luton - 1st October 2011

Day three. Even though I wasn’t actually going to a gig that night doesn’t make attending Abadden’s rehearsal before their homecoming show, where I would be hearing their new stuff and the secret cover they had up their sleeves, any less part of my marathon. I had attended Evile with John from the band so we decided that a pub crawl around London to begin with was in order. Mission accomplished.

So we caught the train up to Luton from St Pancras in the late afternoon and found that we still had time for more beer. Finally after countless pints it was time to make our way to their practice studio in Leagrave. On arrival we found Dan and Billy waiting outside drinking anticipating John and Bell’s imminent arrival. Fast forward an hour and everything was set up and ready to go. It’s a strange feeling the transition from being a fan to becoming a mate but this has been my experience with Abadden. The rehearsal was astonishing. I was expecting almost to be bored shitless at points but I assuredly wasn’t. It was engaging and I was honoured to have been one of the first to hear the new songs and the cover they had been hyping for the show the following day.

After a few hours of this I was taken to a dodgy rock club, “The Edge” until fuck knows what time that morning. Bloody hell these guys can put the beers away. Good times though, definitely good times.

The next morning I wake with a sand paper mouth and a more than sketchy head, but still pumped for the show that night. Which is what I want to talk about now...

Parasitic Earth
I was only able to see two bands at this show, put on at The Hat Factory in Luton, but they were the ones I had to see without question. The first being PARASITIC EARTH. I’ve seen these guys a few times, quoted them as one of my top ten bands of 2011, and have to say I like them more and more every time I see them. The only criticism I have of this show is that Parasitic Earth do not get the reception they deserve and I have seen this happen before (I just don’t get it). These guys are bloody good. Their songs kick ass and their live show is so energetic and well oiled. Every time I see them they put 100% into the performance and there was no change this time. I will have to catch a home show in Watford, I’m sure it’ll be a whole different situation. Don’t be disheartened lads, there are seriously positive things in your future, absolutely no doubt. For what it’s worth I thoroughly enjoyed the set and I am proudly a firm fan. For those of you that haven’t seen them before, go when you get a chance and show them the love they so deserve. You won’t regret it.

The moment we had been waiting for had finally arrived... ABADDEN. The rig was awesome making the sound in the room crisp and heavy. I like this venue, it’s a great place for a metal show. The place was full and Abadden tore it up. They played all the usual classics plus the new stuff, but the highlight for me had to be their cover of “Angel of Death”. It was so well performed, close enough to the original not to make it sound stupid but with Abadden’s distinctive style sewn all the way through the song. The crowd were going mental from start to finish. I have seen this band many times before but I think this was the best ever for me. I cannot believe that they haven’t been snapped up by the likes of Earache yet. The mind boggles. The set flew by and we all went out to fuck knows what time afterwards to celebrate. They had a show in Leicester the following day and if Luton was anything to go by Leicester won’t know what hit it. This was probably my favourite show of 2011, completely astonishing stuff.

One thing I won’t recommend though is the EasyHotel around the corner from The Hat Factory. It’s like stepping into The Twilight Zone, and I’ll leave it at that. 10/10 to both Abadden and Parasitic Earth. Check out my interviews with both bands previously from our web TV show at Thrash Thursday here.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Evile, Sworn Amongst, Stuka Squadron & L Sol Tace - Relentless Garage, Highbury, London -29 September 2011

Evile‘s Album Launch Party was finally upon us. I’d been looking forward to this for some time. I was looking forward to it even more after I heard “Five Serpents Teeth”, a fine return to their original form. Joining me for this one were my good and trusty pals, John and Pat. As the gig was at The Relentless Garage in Highbury we decided to meet early and sink a few at “The Famous Cock” across the street from the venue. We decided, however, to be on time because we’d heard good things about the first support L Sol Tace.

L Sol Tace
L Sol Tace are a hellacious band. At first I thought they seemed a bit weird because they didn’t move. They literally stood glued to the spot cranking out a heavy brand of thrash/death/groove. I soon realised it was because the drum kit was so close to the front of the stage that they had no choice but to remain still. Anton the vocalist looks a bit like a pirate and has an extraordinary voice. Enjoyable stuff, although I’d like to see them with a bit more space and experience everything this band’s live performance has to offer. I’ll be looking for their next show.

Stuka Squadron
Next up were Stuka Squadron. I’m not sure if this was a piss take or not. Assuming it wasn’t, I don’t think I have seen anything so ridiculous. There were five of them on stage dressed from head to toe in what appeared to be some semblance of comical Air Force costumes (long black leather jackets and gay bar leather aviation hats) accessorised by feeble plastic vampire fangs and joke shop blood. They were cheesy and a bad counterfeit of Iron Maiden at points. I hate this kind of stuff. I mean I enjoy the lighter side of metal but it pisses me off that some shit like this gets a slot supporting Evile than the multitude of bands that deserve it more. I wouldn’t recommend it... Total rubbish.

Sworn Amongst
Sworn Amongst followed. This is a class act. This is real, balls out new British thrash. They have a new EP “Evolution” (I haven’t heard it yet but if it’s anything like “Severance” it’ll be dazzling). The set seemed to fly by, I guess because we were enjoying it so much. I fucking love the vocals in this band. The lads seem very comfortable on the stage and the crowd certainly seemed to be getting into the bewildering, full on thrash attack. I think for me Sworn Amongst were the best band of the evening. Buy their album, buy their EP and go to their shows, you won’t regret it. Seriously.

Finally Evile. I know I said that Sworn Amongst were my favourite band of the evening but I don’t want you to think for one moment that Evile weren’t impressive. As always Evile delivered the goods. They played a blistering and lengthy set. The new album “Five Serpents Teeth” is a proficient and masterful example of how thrash should be performed. From start to finish it gleams. As it was the album launch party they played a hefty chunk from the new album to our delight. A particular new favourite for me is the single “Cult”. The whole bloody set was fantastic and we all left thoroughly entertained. The crowning stroke was as we left was the handing out of limited edition Evile Energy drinks as souvenirs. Nice touch.

Furyborn, Phyrexia & Kemakil - The Purple Turtle - 28 September 2011

Well this was to be the first night of my four day metal marathon and to kick off with a Kemakil gig is nothing short of perfection. The Purple Turtle is not my favourite venue at the moment but to be fair there didn’t appear to be the same queuing issue that there has been lately. Let’s be serious for a moment Kemakil and Furyborn are kick ass bands but it’s a Wednesday night, it’s not going to be full and a stupid long queue outside isn’t going to fool anyone. So, thanks Purple Turtle for that. Pat and I sunk a couple at The Hope & Anchor before we made our way in. Kemakil were a little bit late but nobody really cared.  As has been the usual thing lately I opt instantly for the Bee Sting cider they have on tap here at The Purple Turtle, and this is what I am blaming for the limited review I am able to give for this night... Sorry.

First on stage... KEMAKIL. You have got to love this band. They are what thrash is all about. Even though the sound is bollocks in this venue they still gave us a top notch performance. Being the first band on (I have no idea why this was the case but still) and the fact that the doors were opened a bit late meant that they didn’t have the audience they deserved, but for those of us that were there they delivered just as they always do. To make things even better I was able to meet them properly this time and we had a few beers. Top blokes, all of them. Proper rock stars. Best band of the night for me.

The next band that I can remember seeing were Phyrexia. What caught my attention most was how young these guys seem to be. Or maybe that’s just because I’m getting old. Regardless they are accomplished musicians that have decent stage presence. I enjoyed their set and applaud their energy. Good stuff, death metal mixed with melody. Sounds as if Johan Hegg is on vocals with Iron Maiden backing him up (at times).

Up next were Furyborn. This was a great set. Brutal as fuck. They delivered what was advertised “Crushing the South Tour”. Jut Tabor is a very charismatic front man and the crowd responded to him accordingly. If you haven’t already and have a chance to catch these guys live I would strongly urge you to do so. The Bee Sting had seriously kicked in by this point but not enough for me not to realise that these guys are the shit. Definitely one to watch.

That’s all I remember unfortunately. The two bands that have disappeared into a haze are Engraved Disillusion and Codex Alimentarius who I will endeavour to see again in the near future and make up for my poor and ailing memory. Overall a splendid evening was had, mostly thanks to the Kemakil lads, and what an amazing start to my metal marathon. Bring on Evile.