Tag Archives: heavy metal

Black Sabbath live on Jim Marshall Stage at Download Festival, 2012 : A review in pictures

The title says it all. Possibly Black Sabbath‘s last performance of their career, and as expected drummer Bill Ward was replaced by Tommy Clufetos (drummer Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Alice Cooper).  They headlined Jim Marshall Stage on the final day of Download Festival 2012. Even after almost forty three years of the band’s formation, Black Sabbath showed more than a hundred thousand of us why they are still one of the greatest metal bands that’s ever walked the earth.

Black Sabbath’s set-list for Download Festival, 2012

Black Sabbath
The Wizard
Behind the Wall of Sleep
N.I.B.
Into the Void
Under the Sun
Snowblind
War Pigs
Sweet Leaf
Symptom of the Universe (instrumental)
Drum Solo
Iron Man
Fairies Wear Boots
Tomorrow’s Dream
Dirty Women
Children of the Grave

Encore:
Paranoid

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In pictures : Megadeth live at Download Festival, 2012

Back in 2008, when Dave and his thrash orchestra Megadeth had hit Palace Grounds (Bangalore, India) I had lived through one of the most painful days of my life since I couldn’t attend the concert for some reason. Little did I know that years later I would watch one of my favorite band from the early 80’s thrash explosion at the mother of all events – Download Festival, 2012. Since Megadeth was to enlighten the audiences on how to play good live music on the main Jim Marshall stage (obviously!), I snailed my way closer. No more than a fifteen minutes wait, Mustaine coolly walked onto the stage. No epic background music, no introductory theme, no suspense, no bullshit. That’s what Dave is loved for!

The rifftastic extravaganza, coupled with metal’s most unique voice, began with Never Dead and went on to captivate the audiences, who let their hair down as Megadeth belted out classics like Hangar 18, Sweating Bullets, Public Enemy No. 1, Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells, A Tout Le Monde and Holy Wars… The Punishment Due along with the rest of the tracks. They delivered one of the best set-lists of the festival, and I’m delighted to include Megadeth‘s performance as a part of my long term memory. Having already enjoyed all their albums and now that I’ve seen them live I’m a fan for life, and before I forget the wait for their fourteenth record just became slightly more difficult.

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album review : Th1rt3en (2012) by Megadeth

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Ghost (Swedish band) in pictures : live at Download Festival, 2012

Mysterious Swedish heavy metal outfit Ghost played this year’s Download Festival too, and they took to the Pepsi Max Stage on the last day (read Sunday, the tenth of June) of the fest. Particularly at 19:30 hours. With just one album out since their formation in 2008, and absolutely no piece of official information about who is behind all the chilling make-up, Ghost has already played almost every major metal festival in a short span, have impressed fans and critics alike, and are definitely the next big thing in metal. Considering Ghost hasn’t written a single new song since their first release, there had to be some way of differentiating their appearance at all the festivals (including last year’s Download) and Ghost decided to don white garbs for the very first time. The band has toured with Metallica, James Hetfield loves them, and when the whole of Anthrax had gathered in one corner of Pepsi Max Stage to partake in the breathtaking ritual that was to follow, I wasn’t surprised. As for their performance, Ghost proved to be the connoisseurs of their genre, which, on the whole, is satanic heavy metal and manages to take you through every age of metal. I think everyone should try and catch the band at these smaller platforms because Ghost is going to join the big league and hit the main stages soon, and then, there would be no turning back.

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Also check out –

Slayer live at I’ll Be Your Mirror, London 2012

India’s premier black metal act 1833 AD’s debut album reviewed

Bolt Thrower live at BoltFest, London 2012

Album / Ep / Demo / Teaser reviews


The weekend’s not near, it’s here : Download Festival 2012

Initially started as a blog to document my personal escapades and experiences, Absurd History has now diversified into a professional web-zine that is teaming up with the best of record labels, artists, bands and organizers from across the globe. But, even today, all of this fails to silence the excited boy inside me (I turned 25 this year, and I’m loving it) who had hankered about attending some of the most massive music festivals out there, someday.

What was once just a passing thought that had vanished into thin air, is going to be a part of three day’s of my life, starting today. Decades down the line this post here would remind me that I was there at the tenth anniversary of one of the most acclaimed, celebrated, full-mouthed and crammed congregation of music lovers – The Download Festival.

2012’s edition would have more than 70,000 people participating in it, a total of five different stages, more than 140 bands spanning over a period of three days and don’t even get me started on the jillions of other attractions planned for the attendees. A virgin when it comes to camping, I wouldn’t ask for a better place to put up my first tent than Donington Park. So yea, here’s to a weekend full of muck, booze, sweat, torrential rains and heavy fucking metal. Don’t get your pets along, they’ll get crushed. Alright, I’m getting late now. See you all next week, when it would be you, me and the post-Download blues.


album review : Stalingrad (2012) – Accept

album : Stalingrad

artist : Accept

genre : Heavy Metal

year : 2012

Explosive ten song treat by German heavy metal outfit Accept, and to summarize the review, the band has bared it all on their latest release Stalingrad. They had made a similar comeback with their ass whooping 2010 album Blood of the Nations, but Stalingrad is going to shake your surroundings whilst whirling you in a ripple of heavy metal. The untainted bliss that is sprayed on you would elevate your spirits more than holding your favorite gadget would. This is the best heavy metal release of the year by far. Had this album been released in the band’s initial days then we would have been looking at a different Accept today, considering the kind of impact Stalingrad would have left.

Hold on, hold on. This isn’t just heavy metal here, it is metal with a whole lot of speed, attitude, spunk, melody and some real message. Something like this hasn’t reached our ears nor pleased our souls in the longest time. Solos after solos after solos, that is what Stalingrad‘s pinnacle is. The two guitarists, Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank, have rewritten the rules for sublime metal and they’ve done that by putting together all their experiences. The album should be named Stalingrad – full of solos, as it is overflowing with solos that chase your emotions. Even the lyrics and the songwriting makes this the only heavy metal party to be at. Mark Tornillo‘s deafening screams act as the perfect counterparts to Stefan Schwarmann‘s brisk drumming which follows the disciplined bass notes by Peter Baltes.

Stalingrad is top of the list material featuring several songs that are going to make it to the best of / compilation album that Accept might release in another twenty years. Solid metal, that will hit your chest hard. Nothing at all should come in between the band and the main headlining stage at every major festival in this goddamn world. Shut the fuck up, grab a bullhorn and ask everybody around you to join the revolution that is Accept!

Key tracks : EVERY SONG.

Rating : 4.5/5


Off to United Kingdom

Today, I leave for the country whose contribution to heavy metal has been immensely remarkable. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Ozzy, Rainbow, Angel Witch, Jesu, Napalm Death, Anaal Nathrakh, 40 Watt Sun and Orange Goblin to name a few. And, the line-up for this year’s Sonisphere, Download Festival and Bloodstock Open Air is going to burn multiple holes in my pocket. Let me see what life has in store on this one. See you all in December!


music review : A Vow of Vengeance (2011) – Cult of the Fox

album : A Vow of Vengeance

artist : Cult of the Fox

genre : Heavy Metal

year : 2011

Oh, look what we have here! The purest form of metal being offered sans any kind of filth. Avoiding complications in their music, Swedish group Cult of the Fox have released the first chapter of their musical career after being around for almost eleven years. It goes by the name A Vow of Vengeance – a very promising mixture of nine of the finest songs they might have written.

While the band is trying to get hold of an assortment of heavy metal ideas together, they drop less along the way and they are also not forcing anything. Neither on the listener nor on themselves. The female guitarist Erika Wallberg squeezes out as much as she can from her instrument, and Magnus Hultman sings on the microphone like he was born with one. Thunderous bass lines by Peter Svensson force drummer Daniel Fritze to live up to the expectations. Second guitarist Per Persson adds the much needed flavor thereby completing the metal organization named Cult of the Fox.

All the tracks on A Vow of Vengeance are my favorites, but Spirit of the Hunter confirms the bond we listeners are building with the band. It could be partially because of the term ‘spirit’ being a part of the song’s name, but seriously, after you are done jerking off over this review go hear the song. A huge portion of my job will be complete after you’ve played Spirit of the Hunter.

The album A Vow of Vengeance might not take you by storm but if you hear it closely without anyone trying to chew your brain you’ll realize the polished heaviness in their music. You might want to play the record at least a few times before passing any comment. For me they appear learned and they are here to brighten our lives. I just hope they return with a follow-up release pretty soon.

Rating : 3.5/5


album review : Dead Throne (2011) – The Devil Wears Prada

album : Dead Throne

artist : The Devil Wears Prada

genre : Metalcore

year : 2011

To derive pleasure out of anything in this world, one needs to understand that you’d be wholeheartedly satisfied only if both the sides are willing to adjust on aspects that are very tiny when seen from a distance. The distance need not be physical, but it is emotional as well. Be it a relationship, or the topic I’m concerning myself with at the moment – music. This five-lettered word is like a glove for protection from almost everything, because had there been no music then life would have really sucked.

Now here I am onto a band I recently got introduced to through myself. I know internet is a bitch but it isn’t all that bad. It all began with my urge to checkout the bands under Rise Records, and hence I discovered this six-piece band from Ohio, USA named The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) . The band is no longer with Rise Records (they are signed to Ferret Music now), and Dead Throne is the fourth album in their discography. To best describe the music played by TDWP I’d say they have all the intentions of making it sound metalcore which is an amalgamation of heavy metal and hardcore but they do brush this school of music called post-hardcore.

I like my music to be loud except when I want it to be soft. Well, yea I was not getting anywhere with that. Dead Throne packs together thirteen tracks of intense metalcore chasing the listener to every nook and corner of their senses, sounding glamorous at the same time. Moments on few of the tracks are very much throwing light on the fact that they have never been cloned before. Check out sections on Untidaled, Vengeance, Chicago.

As a complete package there are tracks like Mammoth, Born to Lose, Holdfast where we are tied to our places with the only movement allowed being our body parts trying to play along with the band. The entire process of fitting in a pattern and then executing it to make it sound like how it does on a few others like My Questions and Constance definitely takes a little more than just the ability to play instruments.

Flaws are there, and flaws are going to make me write a better review next time and will make the band make even better music in future. The moment flaws disappear there comes an end, and The Devil Wears Prada are enjoying their stuff too much to do anything like that. What particularly comes into my notice are parts where change of mood doesn’t fit in the flow. Kansas and Forever Decay, although are good compositions, have areas that could well have been tweaked to sound better.

Dead Throne would be remembered for it’s richness, abundance, brutality, melody and for the fact that the entire force of The Devil Wears Prada comes down upon the listener like the most thrilling roller coaster, except that the coaster stops after some time but here the band keeps entertainment alive every time you decide to play the album in its entirety. The Devil Wears Prada is a convincing metal outfit.

Rating : 4/5


album review : The Final Frontier (2010) – Iron Maiden

albumThe Final Frontier

artistIron Maiden

genre : Heavy Metal

year2010

With utmost respect to one of the most widely heard and adored heavy metal band, I hereby impart that The Final Frontier is not anything more than ordinary. I am sure those of us who have admired Maiden for their epics do not care how they sound here but there is something called expectation that is synonymous to murder. The Final Frontier is diluted by portions that in a way lightens their touch to a genre the band has been ever expanding. Having just spilled that, I sense progressive material awaiting you.

The wait for the album seemed longer than it should have been mainly because there wasn’t any other major release as this one to ease out things. Opening the album with a Satellite 15… The Final Frontier, they take a good four and a half minutes to introduce the subject. But they know their thing well and while Bruce is singing The Final Frontier he does manage to take you (somewhere) back in time. At over eight minutes the title track is a message of the band’s arrival. Satellite 15 it is.

Track two is the single El Dorado that was out some months back. Not an earthquake material but nevertheless there had to be a teaser track that gave out the band’s next idea. Mother Of Mercy has a vocal intro and a classic Maiden start. Good on melody and soft on soul, song three manages to keep you within the reach. Mother Of Mercy and the next track Coming Home put across the feel good factor. There is lots more to follow.

The Alchemist is very much what you have heard before. If Maiden‘s in your blood then you might even mistaken it for a particular old song. Up next is my favorite from the album. Isle of Avalon has a dark mystery surrounding it and that is what I felt when I heard The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg. Even today they make nine minutes seem short. It has the best solo on the album.

The album could have done without Starblind and I mean it. The Talisman too does not do the trick for me. The tides haven’t turned yet as the last twenty minutes of the album are still remaining. The last two tracks namely The Man Who Would Be King and When The Wild Wind Blows restore the glory back and I cannot believe that Maiden‘s fifteenth studio album has already ended. The band did their part though, they made it as lengthy as they could.

I really hope The Final Frontier is not their last studio release as there is some fun even in waiting for their albums. Comparison is inevitable and so The Final Frontier is more of a laid-back effort by Iron Maiden but they are still standing strong and they still kick your ass.

Rating : 3/5

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Remembering Ronnie

A chasm was created in the hearts of countless across the planet whose lives were touched by Ronald James Padavona when he left for heaven (and hell) on the 17th of May, 2009. At 67, he was without doubt one of the greatest rock and roll recitalist of all time. Battling cancer for quite a while now, Ronnie only wanted to get back to where he actually belonged – the stage. Crooning heavy metal the right way.

Ronnie was not an ordinary frontman. He falls into that league of extraordinary musicians who are born with that flair to do what they end up doing. Ronnie has always maintained that he has not undegone any kind of formal vocal training, and everything that he has lent his voice for, in a career spanning fifty three years, is testimony to the fact that he was born to impart heavy metal everywhere.

a 1958 pic of Ronnie when he played with Ronnie & The Red Caps

The extent of Ronnie‘s contribution to metal needs to be chronicled to understand the impact of what he actually left behind. Apart from the multitude of projects that Ronnie headed in the initial years of his career that began somewhere in the last half of the fifties through the sixties, the band that managed to get him the big ticket was Elf (1970-1975). It all happened when Elf opened for Deep Purple at a concert. Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow with Ronnie on vocals. And then there was no looking back. After three albums with Rainbow over a period of four years (1975-1979), Black Sabbath came calling. Black Sabbath‘s next album Heaven and Hell was released. Being the biggest name of all time, Sabbath saw a savior in Ronnie when the success of Heaven and Hell also helped resurrect the band’s career.

my favourite Dio album

Somewhere around 1982 Ronnie quit Sabbath and this paved the way for what I personally consider not just a band but a revolution – Dio. Putting his semioperatic vocals to best use, Dio conquered everything that was left off his ealier works. Had Ronnie come out with just the debut album Holy Diver under the monicker Dio it would have sealed his identity as the heavy metal messiah, but then he went on to make nine more classics. 2006 saw Ronnie re-uniting with Toni Iommi and Geezer Butler to form another project Heaven and Hell. Some of my favorites at the moment are from their debut they released in 2009 – The Devil You Know, and considering their plans for a follow-up this year, fans can sense the loss already.

heaven and hell

But the loss here is beyond just what came upon us the moment we had to accept the news of Ronnie‘s death. The way all of us respond to a metal orgasm by folding our middle and ring fingers with the index and small fingers erect, was appositely named devil’s horns (or, mano cornuto) and gifted to us by Ronnie. Then it would not be wrong to consider him the true ambassador of heavy metal. Everytime we raise our fists in the air we would be remembering him. Thanks Ronnie for everything. Rest in peace. You will be missed.

the mano cornuto

Check out this article on the Flaming Skull E-Zine here : The Flaming Skull E-Zine : June 2010 issue

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