Fires That Divide

‘John Lee, Bullet & Love’ – EP Release Date 1.9.16.

In only a very short space in time, the West Midlands based band Fires That Divide have established themselves as being an up and coming band to look out for, and their new EP ‘John Lee, Bullet & Love’ is definitely another step up that ladder to success.

I have to admit, I’m intrigued by the EP’s title and I’m guessing there’s a story to be told there but as for the songs themselves, well very little explanation is needed as they all speak the language of rock fluently!

John Lee, Bullet & Love - Fires That Divide

The EP consists of four songs with ‘Coherence’ making for a very impressive opening track. This track blasts itself forwards along the smouldering edge of heaviness and wraps itself beautifully around the soaring riffs and melodic harmonies that characterize Fires That Divide’s signature sound and sets out high expectations for the next three tracks that are to follow.

I have to say that as good as ‘Coherence’ is, it was the second track on the EP ‘Mr Philosophy’ that took this EP to another level for me. Here we have a song that casts its own net into the blazing guitar riffs and rhythms reminiscent of bands such as Velvet Revolver and Audioslave and when combined with some of the best vocals that I’ve ever heard from Kirk Shuttleworth, the whole experience made for my favourite track on the EP.

The remaining two tracks deliver an interesting contrast in regards to each other as the third song of the EP ‘Vector Man‘ starts by creating the illusion of a light and beautiful lament whilst the fourth and final track which is entitled ‘Mary Scotch’, carries a little darkness in its soul but having said that, there is no mistaking that as both of these tracks independently grow, they both consistently capture that hard rocking feel which Fires That Divide own.

Having seen and enjoyed watching Fires That Divide play live on several occasions, I hadn’t expected to learn as much about their sound and where their future vision lies as I did through listening to ‘John Lee, Bullet & Love’, so it’s fair to say that this EP certainly delivered the ‘WOW’ factor for me and I can‘t wait to hear what comes next!

‘John Lee, Bullet & Love’ is available to purchase now through itunes or amazon and I would highly recommend checking it out.

Track Listing is as follows: 1. Coherence 2. Mr Philosophy 3. Vector Man 4. Mary Scotch

Review by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 17th September 2016.

Tonight’s Hils Ovation show see’s me back at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and with a line up comprising of Parrhesia, Slaughter Horse, Mordrake Haerken and King Goat, this is a show that looks fit for royalty – of the Metal kind!

Opening up the show this evening were Parrhesia who are local to the Birmingham area. Consisting of Hontus (guitar and vocals), Dave (bass) and Callum on drums, these three guys deal in metal of the most interesting kind as they have an edge to their individual performances which works exceptionally well when combined all together. Front of stage see’s Hontus and Dave working the metal solidly whilst Callum and his sticks whip up a furious frenzy that is addictive to watch. If you get the chance to check Parrhesia out live – do it!

callum-parrhesia

Our second band on tonight’s line up were Slaughter Horse and here we have a band whose energy, brutal metal and rather unique identity always speaks for itself. When experiencing a set from Slaughter Horse, you are guaranteed that it will be a colourful occurrence as their intensity is as vibrant as their face and body paint and believe me when I say that Slaughter Horse are a band that once seen, you will never forget!

jim-chilton-slaughter-horse

Next to take to the stage were Mordrake and not having seen these guys play live before, this was a set that I was greatly looking forward to – especially after reading the reviews of their performance at this years Bloodstock. Tonight’s set from Mordrake saw them harness the weight of their dark and impressive sound much to the approval of the Slade Rooms audience and myself. The band have a few more dates in their diary over the forthcoming months and I would highly recommend you make a point of catching them live if you can.

james-mordan-mordrake

There are some bands whose attention to detail is dam near close enough to a theatrical experience and our next band of the night, Haerken, are masters at this very kind of adventure. With the stage set to herald their arrival, it almost felt like we were witnessing a triumphant return from battle and as for the set itself, that was definitely a fearsome siege that very few could match.

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There aren’t too many bands whose presence has stood the test of centuries but Haerken are certainly one who have, and long may they reign as this is metal at it’s very greatest!

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Tonight’s line up so far has been a pretty visual one so it was a bit of a shock to the system to see our headlining band King Goat perform in relative darkness. Albeit a bit of a disappointment from a photographic point of view, the atmosphere this creates gets the other senses working in overdrive as the quality and detail of their songs reined very clear and the vocal tones of Trim are really quite something to behold. I didn’t expect this kind of aura to hold my attention but the mastery of King Goat was nothing short of mesmerising and delivered an experience that I would happily repeat.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

The Black Hounds

‘Gallows’ – EP review.

If you’re looking to add some classy heavy rock/metal to your collection and haven’t yet become acquainted with The Black Hounds, then their latest EP release ‘Gallows’ is the perfect opportunity to gain that introduction, as here we have a creation that is definitely borne from the loins of four very talented musicians.

gallows-the-black-hounds

Hailing from the West Midlands, Ant Wright (Vocals + guitar) , Luke Winship (Guitar), Tom Fellows (Bass) and Joe Cleaver (Drums) have become familiar faces on the music scene over many a year past, having cut their canines in a few firm favourite bands of mine including The Whiskey Syndicate and My Great Affliction and without doubt, all that experience has now been placed firmly in the entity known as The Black Hounds.

‘Gallows’ is a four track EP which delivers the kind of experience that makes you wish it was an album, as these four tracks do get under your skin quickly and despite all of the tracks possessing those monumental riffs, vocals and rhythms synonymous to this band, they also all hold their own individual identity.

The opening song and title track of the EP, starts by setting quite a melodic scene but a ballad this is not, as it erupts into an almighty intense experience driven by the primeval rhythms of Joe Cleaver on drum. This song also has a story to be told and Ant Wright certainly makes for a master storyteller in his delivery.

The next two tracks ‘I Animal’ and ‘Generation Forgotten’ follow well in the opening songs footsteps, as they equally deliver that fist full of fury amongst a blaze of intensely rich melody and adrenaline.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Clarity’ which is most fitting as this track reigns down a solid and perfectly executed shower of hard rock that has become the signature characteristic of The Black Hounds. This song was originally written a few years back and even though it has been a regular highlight in the bands live performances, it was yet to be recorded so I’m pretty chuffed to find that it’s finally made the cut, as it’s an absolute scorcher!

The EP as a whole is so well recorded that with each listening of it, a new aspect within each track is unveiled and if I were to pick a favourite track from it, albeit that that is a difficult call to make, I would say that ‘Clarity’ is definitely a repeat player in my book.

You can catch the Black Hounds out on tour from September through to November and I highly recommend that you do as not only are you guaranteed a great live performance but you will also have the chance to purchase a copy of ‘Gallows’ at the same time!

Review by Sue Wardle.