Pete Long is back with another round-up/overview of what’s been going on in Doom metal over the last few and over the next few weeks….
December 23rd, 2014
Look, we know it’s nearly Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that the relentless touring machine at the heart of heavy metal has stopped yet. Kreator and Arch Enemy have only just finished a punishing double-headliner tour. We sent Pete Long along to headbang himself senseless at the London leg of the tour.
6 things we learnt while watching Arch Enemy and Kreator in London:
March 16th, 2014
It’s time for another Thrash Hits festival splash page – and this time it’s for Hammerfest 2014. All of our coverage from the weekend will be linked to on this here post, so make sure you bookmark it as it’s all you’re going to need. Yep. That means individual band coverage (photos, setlists and so on), all the dodgy rumours and awful gossip our team overhears, and every single photo of Wales-based debauchery that Gary Wolstenholme and Jenn McCambridge snap will be here.
March 16th, 2014
May 28th, 2013
Y’know how people are always failing to get the pun in the name ‘Thrash Hits’? It happens all the time. You’d think after five long years of doing this, people would’ve caught on to the fact that it’s a play on words on Smash Hits, and a recognition that we (in part) try to channel their simultaneous irreverence and love for their subject matter, albeit from a metal perspective. And that we’re not exclusively a website about thrash metal.
Sometimes though, you have to give the idiots what they want, which is why we’re publishing theses photos by ace snapper Gary Wolstenholme of Kreator’s recent UK tour. Sure, we’re a month late. They fell down the back of the digital sofa, what with our relaunch and all. Anyway, hush your bellyaching and go look at his shots of Kreator, Evile and Xentrix playing live in Manchester.
May 31st, 2012
01 June 2012
by Tom Dare
There’s a general principal with the great thrash bands: their stuff from the ’80s is absolutely essential, their stuff in the ’90s divisive, and their stuff from the ’00s is really for existing fans only. Except every now and again, one of those bands that took metal to new extremes and influenced practically every non-doom band since releases an album that demands even those of just moderate passing interest to pay attention. Testament did it with The Formation Of Damnation, Megadeth did it with Endgame, and now Kreator have done it with Phantom Antichrist.
January 25th, 2009
Hordes Of Chaos
13 January 2009
by Ryan Williams
The so-called thrash revival may have seen Metallica bringing metal back to the masses with stadium-filling ease last year but they’re not the only one doing it. German stalwarts Kreator may not be headlining arenas anywhere but Hordes Of Chaos delivers a more classic and raw-sounding package.
July 14th, 2008
After releasing a best-selling tome on Metallica in 2004, Joel McIver (pictured) seems to have given Slayer the same treatment this year. Joe Shooman chats to the metal guru about what he’s seen along the way.
First time you discovered the band (as a fan and as a journalist)?
I didn’t actually pick up on Slayer until South Of Heaven in 1988, but then quickly went back to their previous stuff and acquainted myself. I’d heard so much about Reign In Blood that when I finally got to hear it, it felt like a major occurrence in my life – a door that I was about to walk through that couldn’t be closed again!
July 9th, 2008
Reformed Carcass have been re-releasing their back catalogue and playing every metal festival around this year. Bob Mulhouse meets Michael Amott – the man responsible for practically the whole of modern extreme metal.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” says Michael Amott, guitarist with Carcass (temporarily) and Arch Enemy (permanently). “We had our first show the other night – and there were some fuckups, but it was basically fine. “Y’know, my motto has always been ‘Loud, wrong and confident’. There were some little things where your brain goes, ‘Hmm, what’s next?’, but you throw a few shapes and you’re OK!”
Carcass, for those who’ve been hibernating for the last two decades, are responsible for a hell of a lot. Starting life in parallel with Napalm Death, whose early grindcore sound evolved out of the underground punk scene in the early ’80s, the band recorded two albums of grind for the Earache label before Amott joined them in 1990.
Mike, a British-born Swede who had got to know the band through the tape-trading scene, was a perfect recruit for them, already playing in a death metal band, Carnage, which he’d formed on the back of his love of punk and extreme metal.
Watch the video to ‘Heartwork’ by Carcass
“I started with Kiss, then moved towards the Sex Pistols and Discharge,” he recalls. “I loved anything with shouting and lots of aggression. As a young kid I was into the speed of it, so when Metallica came along it just clicked for me: they had the aggression and speed of hardcore punk with the tightness, heaviness and guitar tone of metal. Then I was into Slayer – and from then on, it was all about trying to find the next, most evil band, which took me into the death metal scene.”
“It was great,” he adds, “because we were all 16 or 17 and finding out about Morbid Angel and Obituary when they were just doing demos. Death’s first album came out then, too, and there was all the German stuff – Kreator and Destruction – which I loved and which also fed into the death metal movement. It was crude, not as well played as the American stuff, and therefore it was much more harsh and violent, which I loved. I thought ‘Fuck yeah, this is it!’”
However, Amott was also a huge fan of hard-rock guitarists such as Michael Schenker and John Norum of Europe – and brought a newfound melodic awareness to the band. The first Carcass album on which he appeared was Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious (1991), which featured a prototype of what we now recognise as melodic death metal.
Watch the video to ‘Incarnated Solvent Abuse’ by Carcass
Fans were split between shock at the departure of the old, grindcore style and elation at this new, technical sound – but almost two decades later, Necroticism is almost universally recognised as a classic.
After another album, the superb Heartwork (1993), Amott departed to Arch Enemy, where he remains today. Carcass themselves split three years later, but demand always remained strong for a reunion – and with the international melodic death metal scene now a commercial reality, there’s been no better time to do it than now.
“I don’t hold myself responsible for anything!” laughs Amott modestly – but we know better. Carcass changed everything, if you were a death metal fan – see them while you can. The reunion won’t last forever.