Archive for the Hard Rock Category

Ghost – Meliora

Posted in Classic Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Prog, Psychedelic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by Badass and Grim


If you’re not familiar with the nameless ghouls by now, Ghost are an act who’s members perform in complete anonymity with the exception of their anti-papal frontman Papa Emeritus. Drawing musical inspiration from the diverse strands of rock and metal’s history and delivering the result through enigmatic and theatrical stage performances:

To put my cards firmly on the table: I’ve always found Ghost a difficult act to get on-board with. A synthesis of Classic Rock, Doom and Satanism looks on paper like something I couldn’t help but love, but I always found exposure to the reality wanting and overly cheesy. With the exception of “Elizabeth” and “Secular Haze” the first two albums amounted to so much “meh”. So with low expectations I hit play, and to my surprise was completely blown away by the following 42 minutes of perfectly executed rock heaven.

The album opens with “Spirit”, queue classic horror choir and theremin, before the guitars drop in and we’re away. In a lot of ways “Spirit” is a microcosm of the album as a whole, moving seamlessly between its psychedelic, proggy, and hard rock elements. We’re treated to a synchronised solo in the best of the classic rock tradition and firmly within Thin Lizzy territory.

“From the Pinnacle To the Pit” lays down the filthiest bass riff before the rest of the crew join in, with much more emphasis on the heavy metal hue of Ghost’s music. The songs middle eight demonstrates the band’s seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of catchy vocal hooks.

“Cirice” is the point where I went from surprised interest to hero worship. The verse is heavy as hell, the chorus is solid gold 80’s rock , and the solo is going to melt your face and pull your heart-strings at the same time.

After the transition of “Spoksonat”, “He Is” opens like a something from the Amelie soundtrack, before morphing into a hymn to Satan. A frankly beautiful hymn to Satan; had it been composed by Simon and Garfunkel. The chorus rings out: “He is, he’s the shining and the light without whom I cannot see; he is insurrection, he is spite, he’s the force that made me be.” These are irresistible vocal harmonies, and feels like flower-power just got svart-dyed. Again, slamming guitar solos that wouldn’t be out of place from Gary Moore.

Of all the tracks on the album “Mummy Dust” is the only one where I found my old objections rise again, with the title and chorus a little over-baked for my taste. That said, I’m a miserable bastard and don’t understand fun, so I’m sure most of you won’t be able to gobble down enough “mummy dust” if you know what I mean…on reflection maybe that was an instruction for it’s successful enjoyment rather than a title track.


“Majesty” chugs away like a Sabbath or Maiden track, but you can tell we’re building to something here, and sure enough we hit a chorus that wouldn’t be out of place on Headspace’s “Anonymous”. This is all progressive melody and uplifting guitar/organ duty.

“Devil Church” is a lengthier abridging track continuing into prog territory, very much in the vein of Focus or Rush. After this the album opens out into “Absolution”, all brooding vocals until the 3 min point when Ghost awaken the synth-lords of old, descending from on-high riding stellar space arpeggiation.

“Deus In Absentia”, the album’s closing track, is a suitable anthem to close with which I’m sure will become a staple of Ghost’s live show and a favourite sing along for the crowd.

This is the perfect execution of what Ghost seems to have been striving towards since their inception, bringing together the best elements of the root genres they draw from and presenting a synthesis which is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Meliora is a hugely positive step change in the quality of Ghost’s song writing, and it’s hard to find anything to fault with this superb album.

I can’t believe I’m about to do this:




B and G Podcast – Episode 5

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Classic Metal, Death Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by Murderdeth

B and G Podcast – Episode 5

Greetings from Grim Towers!

This week features, Spreading the Disease by Anthrax and Into The Dark by Ancient Ascendant. Thanks also to this episodes guest Chris Kenny of Incinery.

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter. Other social networks are available, links can be found below!



Photo on 01-02-2014 at 19.34

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Heavy Metal History – The Big Bang

Posted in Black Metal, Classic Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, School, Stoner with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by Murderdeth


Some time ago I found myself in a conversation defending Sharon Osbourne against a claim that she “knows fuck all about Metal!”. Now, being as she married one of the men who is credited with inventing the entire genre and having had the likes of Gary Moore, Motorhead and Coal Chamber under her management. I found this statement somewhat confusing.

This being said I have taken it upon myself to give a series of history lessons on the subject. You may not agree with some of it but I don’t really care!

Lesson 1 – Diabolous in musica

On 13 February 1970 four blokes, John, Anthony, Terence and William, from Birmingham, UK, changed their heavy blues rock bands name from ‘Earth’ and released the self titled album ‘Black Sabbath’ after the Mario Bava film of the same name.

The first 3 notes 37 seconds into the opening song on the album is the “Big Bang” point in the metal universe where the Heavy Metal Genre was born.

This 3 note interval, known as a tritone, the Devils chord or ‘diabolous in musica’ (which was later used to title a Slayer album, but more on them in the future) bought fear upon people in the middle ages who believed that it would summon the devil due to its dissonance. Now, at this point I should say that the tritone was widely used way way before Tony Iommi cranked it out, most notably in Gustav Holst’s Planets Suite “Mars, the Bringer of War” but I don’t want to go back too far!

Recorded over two days in November of 1969 the rest of the song follows standard building blocks of almost all metal nowadays. Heavy, overdriven guitars with amps set to 11, bass and drums pounding along underneath everything, screaming guitar solos and then lyrics about a “Figure in black”, Satan, Fire and Death… Sound familiar? While Im on the subject of lyrics I should mention that Deej would be happy to report that the track “Behind the Wall of Sleep” on the album was written in reference to the H.P. Lovecraft story of the “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” and we have already showed that there is a myriad of Lovecraft metal out there!

Moving on to the album artwork we find a long haired figure in black stood in front of trees and a ‘spooky’ building which is a staple especially amongst most Scandinavian metal album covers…. Darkthrone’s ‘Panzerfaust’, Burzum’s ‘Aske’ anyone? This is not to mention the inner sleeve of the album on which was an upturned crucifix which did nothing to quell the allegations that they were a ‘Satanic’ band. A small factlet regarding the band member’s names on the inner sleeve is that Ozzy’s name was misspelled as ‘Ossie’ on the original print.

Metal has been written which may sound heavier or be scarier or faster or louder than the previous bands release but all can be taken apart and have its origins found right back at Black Sabbath. Replicated time and time again and probably will be many many more times!

Although this is not an album review as such Ill leave you in anticipation of Black Sabbath’s 21st album due later in 2013 by raising 10 mead horns and giving you this quote from Lamb of God’s Chris Adler:

“If anybody who plays heavy metal says that they weren’t influenced by Black Sabbath’s music, then I think that they’re lying to you. I think all heavy metal music was, in some way, influenced by what Black Sabbath did.”



B and G Podcast – Episode 1

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Interview, News, Sludge, Stoner with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2013 by Murderdeth

Ahoy to you all,

It’s finally here. The event you’ve all been waiting for. The Badass & Grimness Podcast – Episode 1.

In this episode we discuss whats new and recommend ‘Witch’ by Witch and ‘Likferd’ by Windir. As well as joining Mr. Clungeberry in a round of ‘What Rumple Sees’.

Please remember to subscribe on iTunes and follow on Twitter and all that other social crap!




Photo on 2013-01-20 at 19.11

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The Badass and Grimness Podcast – Pilot

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Hard Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2012 by Badass and Grim

Well Guys,

As promised earlier here is the Pilot episode of the Badass & Grimness Podcast.

Apologies in advance for and poor quality, mistakes and general cock ups, but it is a pilot episode so let us off for now.

In this episode: Nile – Ithyphalic, Electric Wizard – Witchcult Today, and Dark Frotress – Ylem.


Let us know what you think and we might do more.



Orange Goblin: Eulogy for the Damned

Posted in Hard Rock with tags , , , , on October 3, 2012 by Badass and Grim


Orange Goblin have, over the last 12 years proved that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

From the first drone of feedback on ‘Scorpionica’ from their 2000 album ‘The Big Black’ to the single ‘Some You Win, Some You Lose’ from 2004s ‘Thieving from the House of God’ all the way to their latest offering ‘A Eulogy for the Damned’ Orange Goblin, to me, have been the sound of true modern British hard rock.

As a guitarist, the tone on ‘Save Me from Myself’ or ‘The Fog’ is something that you can search all your life for. The riffs and solos easily match the feel, melody and chunkiness of ZZ Top or any of the great Tony Iommi’s finest work and have the structural solidity of Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple but still retain their own refreshing originality.

Millard and Turner (Bass and Drums respectively) lay down an iron clad foundation so that the relentless riffing and tone can continue through the entire album. All of which is augmented perfectly by Ben Ward’s raw vocal style serve to remind of when music was not injection moulded, plastic wrapped and force fed to the listener via phone in vote.

Along with the likes of Electric Wizard, Viking Skull and Motorcity Daredevils it seems that British rock is not something of the past.


See you later shit lords.


Steve Harris: British Lion

Posted in Hard Rock with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by Badass and Grim


Steve Harris: British Lion

I’m yet to read a review of this album that does not mention Iron Maiden and from the outset it would seem that this one will be no different!

Don’t listen to this album expecting a Number of the Beast or Seventh Son soundalike because you wont get it.

While tracks like ‘The Chosen Ones’ and ‘A World Without Heaven’ may hint ever so slightly at the powerhouse of British metal with some twin guitar harmonies and lengthy solos it never really reaches the standard that I have come to expect from Steve Harris (producing) and Kevin Shirley (mixing).

Musically its a great album. The songs are well written and arranged despite an abrupt, unexplained stop in the middle of ‘Judas’ which confused me slightly.

The guitars are effectively heavy with clean picked sections especially in ‘These are the Hands’. There are enough guitar solos throughout to keep me happy.

The bass is Harris all over and the drums are solid but somewhat uninteresting.

The final track is a pleasant orchestral piece which suits Richard Taylor’s voice nicely. This however seems to be the exception on a vocal performance that, despite a nice vocal harmony towards the end of ‘Lost Worlds’, doesn’t suit the band.

For me there is a definite feel of 5 blokes in a garage about this album and in this sense it stays true to its genre, if leaning slightly towards the hard rock of the ‘70s/‘80s with parts that remind me of the likes of Soundgarden, Motley Crüe bass man Nikki Sixx’ Sixx AM and at points ex Black Sabbath Tony Martin.

Ive listened to it once. I don’t think I’d go out of my way to listen to it again unless it gets caught in a shuffle playlist.

My love for Maiden make me want to give this more, and while it is a departure from the norm for Harris I cant bring myself to go higher than 4 horns… Sorry Steve.

See you later shit lords.