And now, an interview with Darkest Era.

If you were here in this site’s earlier days, you’ll remember that one of my earliest interviews was with then newly signed youngsters, Darkest Era. Having released a debut album through Metal Blade, it was exciting to get the chance to speak to them about the start of their career as a band. 

Fast forward to now, and the kids from Eire have learned a bit more about the music industry, not to mention how to survive in the face of change. So take a seat, put on second album ‘Severance’ and read what happened when I met up with the band in person!


From left to right: frontman Krum, drummer Cameron Åhslund-Glass and guitarist Ade Mulgrew

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Entombed A.D. at The Underworld, Camden; November 14th, 2014


Following the split of Sweden’s Entombed, LG Petrov decided to continue the esteemed death ‘n’ roll band in a second incarnation of Entombed AD, which he then took on tour in late 2014 throughout Europe. Accompanying them were to be British sludge/metalcore acts Hang The Bastard and Corrupt Moral Altar, yet right before the London show at The Underworld venue, both of the aforementioned names had to drop out at least a day before. The reason was that members found themselves having to be hospitalised, for serious spinal injuries. Mercifully, new support bands were found in the form of locals Diesel King and Swedish retro doom set The Graviators.

Yet while these two offered an interesting contrast between musical aggression and groovy melodies, it was Entombed AD who left a mixed reception by the end of the night.

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Hooded Menace/Dragged Into Sunlight, the Dome, London; November 8th, 2014

Hooded Menace0028

Hallowe’en may have come and gone, but November 8th was fright night at The Dome, for an evening of horror-themed death and doom metal was ready to begin. Co-headlined by Finns Hooded Menace and Brits Dragged Into Sunlight, the show was an ode to sinister forces and Hammer Horror films; a shared interest of both genres of music, with the likes of Uncoffined, Decrepid, The Wounded Kings and Resurgency coming along for support.

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“Indian fans are more into moshing” – Ann talks to Sahil Makhija, of Demonic Resurrection!


Well, that’s not the whole truth – Sahil is also involved with Reptilian Death, and the mastermind behind the heavy metal/cooking show, Headbanger’s Kitchen. In addition to showcasing his culinary passions, it also provides a good look at part of the local Indian metal scene, when he invites musicians over for an interview and dinner (well… I guess we can count that dessert episode as dinner, right? The best part of dinner.)

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Sturmtiger – ‘World At War 1914 – 1918’, Black Plague Records; 2014


Seven years following the first EP (and a few others since), Danish Londoners Sturmtiger have finally released a debut album. Continue reading

Eastern Front album release party – The Black Heart, Camden, London; July 26th, 2014



Saturday saw the sun continue with its irregular, summer heat wave, which reached all the way into The Black Heart in Camden. Though the lack of proper ventilation and air conditioning made the place too uncomfortably warm for many, it was mercifully not so much that people couldn’t enjoy themselves for the half-day long album release party of Ipswich-based black metal band Eastern Front.

They were joined by the likes of death/black metal hybrid Sidious, Primitive Graven Image and even a special, rare (last minute) appearance from the Danish/London trio Sturmtiger, amongst others in the British black metal scene. While no one was spared from the sweltering conditions of the upstairs venue, everyone played a decent show.

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RIP Astarte



Following on a previously ongoing struggle with leukemia, it was reported that Maria “Tristessa” Kolokouri, founder and frontwoman of the Hellenic black metal band Astarte, had passed away on Saturday 9th, 2014.


Credited by friends and loved ones for her courage in pursuing black metal, at a time when the Greek metal scene was considered to have been mostly unreceptive to extreme music let alone female metal heads; Maria went on to help create the band Astarte, with former Lloth bandmate Kinthia on vocals for debut album ‘Doomed Dark Years’. The record, though musically closer to the  second wave Norwegian sound with its frosty atmosphere and shrill, high pitched notes, showed its roots in Greek paganism and mythology, which became a strong, recurring theme for Maria’s lyrics.


Despite Astarte’s lack of recognition outside of Greece, Maria eventually formed collaborations from other musicians in the international metal scene for later releases. Aside from from her peers in the Greek extreme metal scene, guest musicians had also included Angela Gossow (formerly of Arch Enemy), Attila Csihar (present Mayhem) and most famously, Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir fame.


Maria was 37 years old at her time of death, leaving behind her husband, Nicholas Sic Maiis (of the band Insected) and their small son, Antonios.


Me(n)tal-Meltdown wish to offer deep condolences to Maria’s family and friends for their loss, as well as the loss of Astarte.




Just an observation…

When I look at the costume changes of Septicflesh’s frontman, I think he looks like a video game villain.

boss fight done

With apologies to Septicflesh… and their costume designer.

“This Thing is a beauty, this Thing is a THNEED…”

“A very fine something, that ALL people need!”




If anything, this is my favourite cartoon that I ever drew for Invisible Oranges.


(With apologies to Dr Seuss… and okay, Amon Amarth, too.)

Cauchemar + Deceptor at The Unicorn, Camden Road, London; May 17th 2014



It was a humid evening on Camden Road, when Québécois doom band Cauchemar came to London for the UK spot of their European tour. Sharing stage duties with English thrash outfit Deceptor, both names played a heady yet fast-paced night of metal.

Aside from minor confusion as to when the show would start, The Unicorn was a fitting site, owing to the stage’s small, intimate space at the back of the free entry pub.


Support came from the Sussex-based Riddles; a fresh-faced trio invested in not just the sound but the look of the 1970’s prog rock scene. From cheap, sci-fi sound effects to the bassist’s dark, mop-top hairstyle; the mood was set for their music.

True to the nature of much retro worship, a decent stream of rock ‘n’ roll played out through heavy drum intros and lengthy guitar and bass jams onstage. The boys knew how to play their tools of the trade, and didn’t waste any time in showing this off as loudly as possible.

Yet for all their musicianship, Riddles’ appeal wore off well before they could finish. Pushing aside that each song effectively bled into one another, making it hard to determine which numbers were just about to begin; the endless doodling onstage meant that the band were so self-absorbed that they failed to take into account that they were performing to a live audience, rather than just themselves. Even the few, overly enthusiastic (and possibly drunk) headbangers near the front gradually lost interest, due to such non-engagement with the crowd.


Afterwards, it was time for Cauchemar, one of the main draws of the night, to step up.
Despite the extra wait during a ten minute sound check, the audience happily greeted the band when they began to play.

In a genre saturated with youngsters invested in only mimicking heavy rock sounds of the 1960’s, Cauchemar are set in the occult roots of traditional, doom metal. Draped in a long. black hooded cloak and with lit candle to match, frontwoman Annick Giroux solemnly rose to her feet, preparing for what was to come.

Opening with earlier track ‘Magie Rouge‘, the group began with solid, lively riffs while Giroux’ voice came out in a smooth, ghostly tremor. This created a haunting yet energetic atmosphere, which built itself up throughout the show. Changes in musical arrangements can be a strong point in any musician’s instrumentation, and Cauchemar wisely put this to their advantage at The Unicorn by using each song to pick up speed. Following ‘Magie Rouge‘, the likes of ‘Les Ailes De La Mort‘, ‘Trois Mondes‘ and ‘Le Fantôme‘ made the set grow faster, harder and more enjoyably aggressive with their rhythms.

Overall, it was Cauchemar’s presence as a live, performing band which drew out head-bobbing enthusiasm from the crowd. Despite technical problems which made Annick Giroux’s voice the background to her bandmates’ instruments (a “happy accident” in the case of the opening number’s ghostly mood); the frontwoman fixed her eyes on her audience, and with inviting arm gestures, brought their attention closer into the music. Her moves onstage, from strumming air guitar to keeping her feet in tune with her band’s riffs, came together with the rest of the show to create a hypnotic experience.


If Cauchemar awakened metal-goers’ liveliness at The Unicorn, then final act, Deceptor, took it even further.

Beginning slowly, but then picking up pace through the track ‘To Know Infinity‘, Deceptor marked the night’s shift from heavy doom to speed and thrash metal. The crowd, now with noticeably more younger faces at the front, eagerly ate this up as they headbanged and fist pumped more furiously than previously. This worked entirely in the band’s favour, when they moved onto more aggressive notes (with the occasional, deep rasped vocals) in ‘Heatseeker‘, ‘Oracle‘ and ‘Kursk‘ to keep up momentum.
While the set time slot of forty to fifty minutes meant that Deceptor in turn couldn’t play more than eight songs, they were still able to pay tribute to one of their peers. In his banter with the crowd, frontman Paul Fulda declared that to honour Cauchemar who were from Canada, his own band shall cover Canadian thrashers Razor.

The euphoria at the back of The Unicorn was immense, thanks to the chemistry between this trio and their live audience. Though the space was too tight for a full-on moshpit to take place; the intimacy that it provided was high enough to allow a few individuals to safely crowd surf at the show with ease.