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David Straw's Top 10 Albums Of 2015

Parkway Drive Coheed and Cambria Enter Shikari While She Sleeps Bring Me The Horizon

Counterparts - Tragedy Will Find Us, Vision of Disorder - Razed to the Ground, Bring Me The Horizon - That's The Spirit

10. Counterparts - Tragedy Will Find Us
Staunch defenders of their metalcore tag, Counterparts might have a bit of trouble keeping it, given that Tragedy Will Find Us is at its best when it feels like a pure hardcore record. Stillborn & Thread start the album with style, while the lilting guitar intro Burn bridges the gap between the single and Stranger perfectly.
Collapse is Tragedy.'s finest moment, though. Emotionally charged, it's the most 'metal' track on the album that builds to a fitting crescendo.
They sound excellent live, too. Joining Stick To Your Guns and Stray From The Path (we'll get to them later) for a UK tour in February, it'd be a sin to miss Counterparts, if this record is anything to go by.

9. Vision of Disorder - Razed to the Ground
Over the past couple of years, there's been a definite sense that metalcore is beginning to have run its course. Fortunately, all it needed was for one of the bands who crafted it in the first place to release an album to remind everyone just how good it can be.
That band is Vision of Disorder, and that album is Razed to the Ground.
Heart of Darkness and Red on the Walls are vintage VoD, white hot and delivered hard, while Electric Sky could be VoD covering Pantera covering Black Sabbath. Yeah, really.
Tim Williams' vocals are as strong as ever, and it's his lashings of Layne Staley-esque lines that lift the album even more.
Razed to the Ground is an album that'll pass so many by, while paler imitations shine brighter in the mainstream conscious, and for a record as good as this, that's a crying shame.

Continue reading: David Straw's Top 10 Albums Of 2015

Parkway Drive - Ire Album Review

A band can make a lot of changing style for a new record. It seems to be the hallmark of modern metal bands, to move in a different direction, and gamble on breaking into wider consciousness and pushing themselves to the next level. 

Parkway Drive - Ire Album Review

Some of the 21st century's biggest heavy names - Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, even Bring Me The Horizon, have all compromised their sound somewhat in a bid to reach the top tier, with mixed results.

With 'Ire', Parkway Drive have made a similar gamble, rewriting the blueprints of modern metalcore, lacing it with traditional metal influences and taking a step into the unknown. It takes maybe 90 seconds of album opener 'Destroyer' to realise that this is a very different antipodean beast to the one we've become accustomed to on Parkway Drive's ascent to the top, and 90 seconds more for the penny to drop. This is as good as anything they've ever released.

Continue reading: Parkway Drive - Ire Album Review

Download Festival - 2015 Live Review

One of Europe's best rock and metal festivals returned to its home at Donnington Park last weekend and it's safe to say, once again, that Download smashed it. With a range of bands from Kiss, Motley Crue, Billy Idol, Rise Against, Parkway Drive, We Are Harlot and more all booked to play, there was something for everyone at the festival, and that was one of the most noticeable highlights. 

Download Festival 2015 Review

Despite the torrential rain pouring down during Slipknot's set, they pulled off one of the best shows to date on Friday and set an extremely high standard for the rest of the headliners. Playing hits like 'Psychosocial', 'Devil In I', 'Spit It Out' and 'Custer', and attempting to break the Download record for the most amount of people all jumping up at the same time they certainly went all out. 

Muse were considered to be a controversial band to have booked, but all concerns were quickly dashed as soon as they hit the stage on Saturday. Matt Bellamy's vocal abilities were on top form as the band belted out tracks from their newly released album 'Drones' as well as well-known hits like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Plug In Baby'. Even those who were indifferent or somewhat disliked Muse couldn't deny that they put on the show of a lifetime complete with dancing lights, pyrotechnics, confetti and inflatable balls. 

Continue reading: Download Festival - 2015 Live Review

Slipknot Set To Raise The Proverbial Roof At Download Festival 2015

Download Festival Slipknot Judas Priest Muse Faith No More Kiss Motley Crue Enter Shikari Modestep Parkway Drive Five Finger Death Punch

Download Festival sponsored by Zippo is now approaching its twelfth year and it keeps on going from strength to strength, and this year is looking to be the biggest and best to date. The festival will return to Donnington Park (its home since 2003) between 12th and 14th June with a line-up that covers everything on the rock, punk and metal spectrum. 

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Rock royalty are headlining this year's festival, with Slipknot and Judas Priest rocking the Friday, Muse and Faith No More on the Saturday and Kiss and Motley Crue on the Sunday; it's looking to be a jam packed weekend. 

Continue reading: Slipknot Set To Raise The Proverbial Roof At Download Festival 2015

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