Hello there and a Happy New Year to you all. Hope you all had a great Christmas and had time to relax. It’s been fairly chilled my end; it felt weird as I am usually busy the majority of the time but at the same time it felt great not having to think about a lot of things.
So, moving forward and kicking the post-Christmas Blues, I have compiled a short list of bands that I recommend keeping a look out for in 2019.
After a three-year hiatus, they came back with a mighty impact in 2018 with their latest EP The Ghost Eater. I came across STORMCAST a few years ago when they gave a stellar performance during their first UK show at 2015’s edition of Mammothfest. I remember their sound being similar of ROTTING CHRIST and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. So, when I first heard their new single Resonance, I was interested in the new sound direction yet I could hear remnants of their previous sound. In terms of The Ghost Eater, if GOJIRA and OPETH had a baby then STORMCAST would be it. The Ghost Eater is a complex and powerful EP; from the force of opening track Hyperion to the final journey to Lushai Hills. There’s a storm coming and they are leading from the front. Be aware of STORMCAST.
Click here to read my interview with STORMCAST vocalist and founder Mike Angastiniotis.
Brothers Of Metal
Their album Prophecy Of Ragnarök made it to number two on my top ten albums of 2018 and with valid reasons. Even before AFM Records signing them to their record label, Swedish warriors BROTHERS OF METAL caused a stir with their striking melodies consisting of powerful vocals, excellent riffs and stunning (sometimes comical) lyrical content. It’s hard to pinpoint who they actually sound like but I can say that fans of SABATON and POWERWOLF have mainly welcomed these warriors with open arms. AXE TIME SWORD TIME is the famous battle cry from this troupe; once you experience the sounds of BROTHERS OF METAL there will be no going back.
Find BROTHERS OF METAL on Facebook
Who says that Heavy Metal can’t be fun? Superheroes GRAILKNIGHTS prove that it can be just that. The fearless band are on a mission. With their Battle Choir and their trusty steed Beer Beauty, they aim to save the holy grail; it is vital they retrieve it before it falls into the hands of their nemesis Dr Skull and his evil cronies. Their sound has a retro superhero tinge and from listening to the music, you feel mighty and uplifted. Their latest album Knightfall provides great examples of this from the single Pumping Iron Power to the impactful Laser Raptor 3D. Flex your muscles tight and be ready for GRAILKNIGHTS.
WINTER’S EDGE came out of a hiatus in 2018 and I definitely noticed that their sound had developed. It seems a fresh new direction and a solid line-up was the key, you can hear this within the music from their latest EP The Guardians Of Our Time, Pt. 1. Over the years, WINTER’S EDGE have been gathering fans from all walks of life, appearing across the country alongside with some brilliant names such as ANGEL NATION, POWERQUEST and even DIAMOND HEAD. Their sheer ambition, hard work and determination has worked and will continue to work in their favour. Their sound consists of sweeping riffs, versatile vocal work and pounding drums. 2018 was a great year for them, I only anticipate what 2019 will bring for them. With an upcoming appearance at Bloodstock Metal 2 The Massesand being select for main support slot for IMPERIAL AGE’s Derby show, it’s looking more than promising.
It’s no secret that Finland are home to some legends in metal; NIGHTWISH, TURISAS, SONATA ARCTICA and CHILDREN OF BODOM to name a few. It is more than safe that ARION will be joining that list of legends much sooner that we think. Their album Life Is Not Beautiful made my top ten last year. ARION were a surprise find for me, I had heard of the name but had never listened to them until I reviewed their latest release. I was immediately taken with the strong sounds of opening track No One Stands In My Way; the brilliant opening riff followed by the fantastic vocals had me gripped. ARION have that power that is essential within music; once you start to listen to them, you don’t want to drag yourself away. Their infectious passion can be heard across their discography. Whether it’s from the rapid rhythms of Seven and Unforgivable to the ballads You’re My Melody and Through Your Falling Tears, their sounds will have you hooked.
Now imagine if QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, FOO FIGHTERS, GREEN DAY and ALTER BRIDGE formed a super group; if you want to have an idea of what that would sound like then check out London Hard Rock quartet A NEW TOMORROW. Their uplifting melodies and charismatic stage presence caught my attention when I witnessed them live at a London show a couple of months back. Their sound consists of prominent vocal work, fantastic riffs and brilliant beats. One thing I noticed about their sound is that no song is exactly the same; for example, their song Brighter Than The Sun is soaring melody. On the other hand, their song Damn You contains strong elements of Punk Rock and will make you want to rock out regardless of where you are. They are due to release a new album this year so be sure to keep your eyes and ears out for that.
Also stay tuned for an interview with bassist/backing vocalist Andrea Lonardi with more details about their sound, upcoming album and future plans. This will be posted later this month.
I had the pleasure of catching them on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock 2018 and was impressed with their comradery within their performance and sound. I was particularly taken with their gallant melodies containing strong vocals, heroic tunes on the synthesisers and brilliant riffs. In 2018, their sterling reputation and hard work earnt them a nomination for Breakthrough UK Metal act on Global Metal Apocalypse. They don’t plan on coming quietly with their ruthless presence and triumphant chants; with more live shows and continuation of their quest, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for the Yorkshire based heroes.
Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters
For interview prep ready for Sunday I have been listening to the Cardiff Hard Rock act BETH BLADE AND THE BEAUTIFUL DISASTERS. Their ballsy and straight forward sound confirmed my decision to add them to this year’s list. Their songs lift spirits up when morale is low and amongst their belting melodies you come across thought provoking lyrics when you scratch the surface. With a new album due out this year and appearance on Kiss Kruise last year, it is clear that BETH BLADE AND THE BEAUTIFUL DISASTERS will be storming the scene before you can blink.
That’s my list for you, do you agree with it? What bands do you think we should look out for? Let me know and let’s rock into 2019.