SICKONES release AGILITY with full band w/ new singer Kristie Easterbrook and bassist, George Walker

Since formation in 2016, SickOnes have established solid ground in the UK Punk Scene, touring alongside the likes of The Dead Kennedys and Cancer Bats and garnering positive reviews from outlets such as Dead Press, Down For Life Magazine and BBC Radio stations. The band has brought stages to life with their exciting and unpredictable performances during their career, although at the end of 2018, parted ways with their former frontman, Ben. Since then, SickOnes have introduced their latest singer, Kristie Easterbrook with their previous releases, Candid, The Step and Exit Years last year. With this second phase of production, SickOnes saw the introduction of bassist George Walker, furthering the band in creative development and energising them for their latest release, Agility.

Combative distortion opens Agility like a rumble of thunder. With heavy influence from bands such as Beastie Boys and Cancer Bats, Agility grounds itself in the hardcore punk scene with such a tumultuous attitude. It’s a loud track, hitting harder than your first morning coffee and toys with melodic riffs to tie it together throughout. SickOnes are a powerhouse of sound, a force to be reckoned with within the scene, and Agility is an exciting release at the start of 2020, with a plethora of opportunities at their fingertips.

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FIRST QUARTER ALBUMS

There’s no denying the sheer amount of albums and ep’s that will be releasing early this year, from Suicide Silence’s upcoming Become The Hunter releasing on Valentines Day, to A Day To Remember’s You’re Welcome set for release early in the year. It’s here, and now we’re all counting down the days to our favourite releases, pencilling it into our diaries and patiently waiting for our pre-orders to arrive and streaming services to update. We may get a little early taster with a track or two, but not enough to really conquer our hunger for the albums we are waiting for the most. Not only does it feel excruciating, but it’s a real test to our patience. TOOL took an entire 13 years to release new material because Maynard just wanted to make wine and Vine videos to pass the time, and while we will still be waiting for the an announcement for new MCR record, we have some dates and albums we’re really excited about. So, we compiled a list of what we know for the albums we are most excited for in this first quarter of 2020.

Breaking Benjamin – Aurora – January 24th.

Other than being a band you remember as owning the anthems of your school days, Breaking Benjamin has gone into 2020 with big things. Not only are they touring with KoRn, the Pennsylvanian hard rock and alternative metal band is also nearing the release of their previously teased album Aurora. What do we know? Well, we know that former Flyleaf singer Lacey Sturm features on the reimagined “Dear Agony” as well as Cold’s Scooter Ward. They really have hit it off with other artists from the industry over the years, with Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlin weighing in on “Red Cold River” and Saint Asonia’s Adam Gontier on “Dance With the Devil.” We’re also about to see RED’s Michael Barnes’ contribution to “Failure” as part of an album that has already gained such massive praise from fellow musicians prior to release. With one new song, the 10-track album is mostly rereleased, acoustic songs from the new Aurora-era. Pre-orders have already gone live here alongside Aurora bundles that you can get hold of here. If you’re lucky enough to be around the areas that Breaking Benjamin are touring with KoRn this month, you can go ahead and visit here for tickets.

Green Day – Father Of All… – February 7th.

We all know Green Day never do their albums lightly, and as they move towards the release of their thirteenth studio album, Father Of All Motherfuckers is set for release THIS February. Yep, no more waiting on a new album filled to really project your own distaste for society with frontman Billie Joe stating that “this record is The New! soul, Motown, glam and manic anthemic. Punks, freaks and punishers!” adding that the lyrics weren’t about politics but “the life AND death of the party” and the “lifestyle of not giving a fuck,” to NME last year. Green Day released the title track, and in an interview with Zane Lowe, Billie Joe criticised the recent state of the industry claiming that rock acts are always trying to look for the “feel-good song of the year or something,” and that everything gets watered down and wimpy, adding that rock music should make you feel bad. It’s a bit different to what we know, but still the Green Day that we love that has managed to sell out a tour along with Weezer and Fall Out Boy – so they still haven’t lost their spark and is still racking up the excitement over new material. The artwork for Father Of All… is a riff on their 2004 release, American Idiot, with a few colour changes and a strange attempt to get the kids of the new generation to take a second glance. Unicorns, really? I mean, it’s clearly punk looking, but COME ON.

Hollywood Undead – New Empire, Vol. 1 – February 14th.

Already garnering attention with their release of “Already Dead” and “Time Bomb,” Hollywood Undead are making it clear that they’re not quite finished with their aggressive style. Johnny 3 Tears has said that the album is “our attempt at reimagining Hollywood Undead, not just a new sound for this release, but a new sound for the band altogether.” Releasing the album through the band’s own Dove & Grenade in association with BMG, the two songs are already attention gripping for all the right reasons, piquing a lot of anticipation for the album set for release of Valentines Day. Pre-orders for the album are already live here and they are set to start their tour with a show on release day in O2 Forum Kentish Town in London before heading over to Barcelona for an all out European showdown.

Weezer – Van Weezer – May 15th

Not only is Weezer teaming up with Green Day and Fall Out Boy for their Hella Mega Tour coming this summer, they’re also releasing an album before we see them take the stage (Fall Out Boy really needs to deliver a surprise album release so we can party with ALL new material). They’ve already released a music video for “The End of the Game” taken off Van Weezer but has also released some details claiming it’s “back to big guitars” and is “Blue Album-ish, but a little more riffy.” Weezer has bene known for their songs such as “Beverly Hills” but, unlike the recorded material, the live shows include pauses to include guitar solos in which the crowd goes a little crazy for, so they incorporated the live shows in to their records. Last year saw them release a covers collection as well as the Black Album, and with the inspiration from their live performances, I’m sure we’re not only going to get some individual talents shining through, but a little more insight to the band and who they are as they lose control over their instrumental impulses.

The Cure – DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED

Okay, so there is no release date for this, but it’s THE CURE. We can’t not talk about this. Last year, Robert Smith revealed the details that the band are sitting on three albums, two of which are apparently “more advanced” in terms of including “freer pieces and with a more pronounced, stronger sound, and that to record them has to be live, with that experience of putting together a concept based on the interpretation of the moment,” Smith said. The third album he discusses is a “noise disc, with different aspects and environments, all based on experiences on a stage or on my paths, in situations where noise is present and to which we are so accustomed that we don’t pay attention.” It sounds wild, but definitely interested. But the main thing, is that the first of the three was said to be released “very soon” in an interview that Smith done late last year. He said that the album would be released over Christmas, but here we are again, still waiting. So here’s to hoping we get it early this year!

Foo Fighters – DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED

Foo Fighters is no doubt, one of the best bands of our age. Sharing a black and white photo of a disassembled drum kit on Twitter with about a minute audio of a simple drum beat following by the hashtags, #FF2020 and #FF25, we will be getting something this year from the mighty Foo’s. 2020 marking the bands 25th anniversary of their self-titled 1995 debut album, we could be in for a remastered version, a reimagined version or even a self-titled tour announcement. On New Year’s Day, the band tweeted a similar photo, this one being a microphone set up in a bathtub with the same hashtags. With their last album released in 2017, it’s safe to assume that Dave Grohl is sitting on a pile of unreleased work, itching to make something new as he always has.

Deftones – DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED

Last, but not least, another TBA. Gore was the last album that Deftones released back in 2016, and this year the band is back on festival line ups including Download, Nova Rock and Rock AM Ring. Chino Moreno said that over a summer, the band wrote an “album’s worth” of material and are hoping for a 2020 release, and we’re sure to get it somewhat early in the year ready for them to jump on stage and get us revelling in the greatness. Talking about the news, Moreno has said the band have enjoyed taking their time making it, working on the material for over a year and noting it’s been a bit of a touch-and-go project since the band hasn’t wanted to be stuck in the studio waiting for it to be finished.

With what we know is coming out and what is speculated, 2020 has barely started and it’s already obvious that deciding what the album of the year is, will be difficult. The industry is bursting with new material from bands that were there when we were discovering ourselves, and I’m not sure if you’re feeling it, but I’m certainly feeling a little nostalgic; optimistic that this year is the year. Not only are we seeing the bands from our younger years returning with big promises, but the local bands and artists are bursting with projects that are set to be released in the coming months – and we’ll sure be covering everything we possibly can.

What albums are you most excited for? Leave a comment below!

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2020 YEAR AND DECADE PREDICTIONS

The past decade has been a rollercoaster for the industry, we saw highs and lows from all areas. We saw the deaths of legends such as David Bowie and Chester Bennington, saw My Chemical Romance split and then reunite, watched miracle man Dave Grohl take the stage on crutches to do what he does best; David Gilmour did one tour and TOOL released an album after 13 years. We saw Milestones, Mallory Knox, Creeper and The White Stripes disband, yet received some of the best albums to date such as Chris Cornell’s “Higher Truth” (2015) and Royal Blood’s self-titled (2014).

Who knows what 2020 and the upcoming decade has in store for us – but from the last few months of 2019, we have a lot of hope. Winding down the decade with some juicy bits such as My Chemical Romance, Motley Crue reuniting and word of Rage Against The Machine will be touring in 2020, my greedy need for more is thriving. I’ve had a taste of true wonder – and I’m not about to let it end. So, in short, here’s what I’m hoping 2020 and its upcoming decade will bring us –

  1. The reunion of Kids In Glass Houses – it was no surprise that so many of us were upset when South Wales based pop punk outfit bid their farewells, ending their career as a band in Cardiff’s student union. It was an honest and difficult goodbye to say for a lot of us, and it’s about time they came back. Their last bit of interaction from the bands social media was in support of the UK’s Labour Party – which means they came back for They may not be the hero we need right now, but the hero that we want. (Aled, hit me up, I’ve got a few suggestions!)
  2. My Chemical Romance worldwide tour – okay, so this will obviously happen, but I mean WORLDWIDE. They’ve just reunited, played their first show in L.A. and then announced a huge North American tour. Hey, hi, we’re still waiting for word over here! And PLEASE, don’t skip out on South Wales, I’m not sure my heart can take the panic of sold out tickets.
  3. A Chester Bennington tribute – the news of his passing crushed us all. We’ve all seen that viral video of everyone joining in to sing In The End with Mike Shinoda, and it made all of our hairs stand up with goosebumps. In 2027 it will mark 10 years – and we can bet that we may just get the biggest tribute that we have ever seen. Linkin Park may have lost their voice, but their legacy will forever live on in the hearts of many, and their career might take a different path. We’ve heard the rumours of the band not being finished just yet – and I’m sure the next decade will tell us exactly what that entails.
  4. Tom DeLonge – I’m just putting it out there. SOMETHING will happen. He’s been on Instagram constantly uploading photos of his eyes 80% shut, To The Stars Inc are taking their research further and further as time goes on, Angels & Airwaves are far from being done with their experimenting and Poet Anderson needs another book. Will he finally reunite with Blink 182? Will he finally tell us Aliens Exist? Will he open his eyes on his Instagram?
  5. Alkaline Trio New Album and Tour – talking about Blink 182 and the mysterious rise of Tom DeLonge, Alkaline Trio has been quiet since the union of Skiba in Blink. They never announced they were over. They’ve just been Which means that surely we deserve some well-earned Trio love? Fans have been waiting and waiting since they release Is This Thing Cursed? in 2018 – we got no tour, we got nothing. For the love of god, Skiba, give us SOMETHING.
  6. A TOOL tour – so, they released their album and headlined Download last year, but I’m not quite sure it’s over. During interviews, Adam Jones and Danny Carey teamed up, talking about how they are getting older and may not be fit to continue creating the kind of material that TOOL is known for in another ten or thirteen years. I mean, Fear Inoculum was enough after the many years of silence, but that just gives us hope that we may see a little more of them in the next few years than we have in the previous. If anything, (and if they stumble across this little website of ramblings, PLEASE COME TO THE UK!), I’m near sure that we may be getting another album, or some b-sides at least.
  7. NIGHTLIVES New Material And Tour – the South Wales band has been building up some serious momentum, so we’re expecting some new music, new shows, and a new bit of love shown to the South Wales music scene. Welsh bands are currently rising and proving themselves in the industry, and Nightlives may just be the band to take us forth and retain the title of the best city for music and rising talent.
  8. Bring Me The Horizon and Architects – with rumours spreading that the bands don’t want to participate in festivals like Download and their continuous interviews claiming that bands just aren’t doing it anymore, we’re sure to see something from these bands. Bring Me The Horizon just dropped some lo-fi beat album featuring a song 24 minutes long, and Architects have seen more love than ever before. Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes is known for having his fingers in multiple pies – so will we see them create their own festival, will we see them take their band name further a field and entering something different than music? Will Architects and Bring Me The Horizon join forces into some kind of twisted super group where they can bring the life back into the rock music that they claim is dull?
  9. A Nostalgic Kick In The Face – okay, so we’re back bringing up that MCR reunited. (Hey did you know they got back together?) – but, and hear me out. Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy are touring together, Slam Dunk announce The Used, Sum 41, Billy Talent and Jimmy Eat World released a new album – maybe it’s all pre-requisite to a truly nostalgic year. Senses Fail are overdue on their visit to the UK, New Found Glory haven’t done anything in awhile, Taking Back Sunday finished their 20th anniversary tour, The Offspring are jumping back on some festival appearances. We’re going to get something, and I have a little feeling that we’ll be thrown back into our younger years, be it in albums, super tours, collaborations. I’ll eat my own words if we don’t.
  10. Last but not least, former Metal To The Masses Winners Teasing New MusicMerithian went quiet and deleted a lot of their former social media content, leaving us a little lost and confused. But, in November, the page uploaded a 2020 logo as the profile picture, and then, a real treat, gave us a little more context on Christmas Eve. Master hackers aren’t needed to see the spelling of VALENTINES in capital letters laced throughout their holiday wishes, which means we are sure to see something happening this year on the feast of Saint Valentine, February 14th. Here’s to a big year of material we’ve been WAITING for.

So there they are, 10 predictions of the next year and decade. There are plenty others, like a new album from Ghost following their world tour, or  – but those are the big ten that will truly make a girl happy. What about you? Leave a comment below as to what you want to happen, or your predictions!

Kick off your new year with new content! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for behind the scenes updates.

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FESTIVAL PREDICTIONS, PART TWO.

With festival season nearing and more announcements made, it’s looking like this year is going to be super expensive for those with such a diverse taste in music. Reading has announced their exclusives including Royal Blood, Slam Dunk has announced bands such as Wage War, Hellogoobye and Plain White T’s and Download has added Behemoth, Jinjer and Halestorm to their already, one-hell-of-a-lineup. So far, none of our predictions have come true – but that’s the fun right? We’re still praying for a Senses Fail announcement to play alongside Silverstein at Slam Dunk and a Ghost announcement for Download. With Rolo Tomassi being announced for 2000 Tree’s, there’s still a bunch of time for some of our predictions to come true. (Please, let it be The Blackout or Kids In Glass Houses reunion, we will do anything!) So, without any further a due, here’s our next wave of predictions to go with the last.

So first up, we think InFlames could potentially make a return to festival line-up’s this year. Already doing a brief UK tour this April, and with I, The Mask due for release in March, it’s practically perfect timing for InFlames to get up on stage. Leaving a few months between their album release and festival season, it has time to settle and for fans to rekindle their love (not that it was ever forgotten) for the Swedish metal band. We’d love to see them at Download, but they could even make an appearance at Slam Dunk or 2000 Tree’s.

With All Time Low headlining Slam Dunk this year, frontman Alex Gaskarth has recently teamed up with Blink 182 bassist Mark Hoppus to create the perky Simple Creatures. While we know that Blink 182 are working on a multitude of things right now, like including blast beats and going in wild directions in their recent projects, we also know that Mark Hoppus is a man of plenty. It may not be an official announcement, and perhaps even be a complete secret, but could we see a Simple Creatures show at the Slam Dunk headline event? We can hope so!

It’s no surprise, or secret really, that Thy Art Is Murder has seen their fair share of problems throughout their career, and with the release of Dear Desolation in 2017, the band had turned a corner with a much more positive attitude and chemistry to continue creating their music. Last November, Thy Art Is Murder released their latest addition to their discography, ‘Death Perception’ that has brought them back into the light since the band formed in 2006 and expanded massively into the underground metalcore scene. With, at their own admittance, more money and crew to organise for smoother sailing, we could be seeing their names popping up in upcoming announcements. Bloodstock, or maybe even Download?

Mallory Knox has been a band to see since their release of Signals in 2013, with first-track ‘Beggars’ being the centre of attention and still one of their best tracks yet. ‘Better Off Without You’ has since landed them in a solid position, and their latest single, ‘Black Holes’ just proves that their momentum is at an all-time high. We’re feeling a return to Slam Dunk!

Most of this has so far been about who we think will be at festivals down to upcoming releases or recently released material, and we get it. Most bands will be on the bill with new stuff to promote – and while we have a hunch that Download could be leaving German legends Rammstein til last (or at least we hope so) or Slam Dunk will get on the Frank Iero and The Future Violents train there’s a few bands that we think could be on the bill that hasn’t really had much going on recently. But that’s a conversation for a different time, so for now, let us know what you think and who your predictions are for the final few announcements!

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[REVIEW] Bring Me The Horizon – amo

If there’s one thing that amo has successfully delivered on, it’s securing Bring Me The Horizon’s name on the new NOW album and becoming the go-to tune to fill up a dance floor at 2am when everyone’s a bit drunk and looking for that song to throw some finger guns up at. In all honesty, amo is as disappointing as it can be. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t some right bangers on the album, and it’s definitely a grower in the sense of catchy chorus’ that will implant itself in your brain. But, despite MANTRA, Medicine and Wonderful Life replicating That’s The Spirit vibes, amo hasn’t lived up to their promotions.

False advertising? Perhaps. With MANTRA easily being the best track on the album that adhere’s to an older fan-base while still collecting a new variety of people in it’s wake, Bring Me The Horizon hasn’t lived up to the hype it’s been putting out. Opening with i apologise if you feel something the boys quickly put out that the allure of a concept album about all aspects of love isn’t necessarily true, and in it’s place surrounding a bitter pity-party that fills the void once love has gone. During the entire time working up to release, the band spent months talking about the state of the current genre yet release an album rife with EDM pop that Simple Plan attempted in 2007. 13 tracks that are entirely unconnected doesn’t even feel linear, and that’s potentially the biggest downfall that there isn’t even a theme. Once you start to enjoy or get behind one sound, it changes entirely, throwing you entirely out of rhythm. amo feels like a loss of confidence in terms of ideology, because, well, there’s very little artistry.

It’s not all bad, eighth track sugar honey ice & tea does feed into that hope that once was, along with the playful heavy metal featuring Rahzel, feeling like what should have been the overall concept of the album. With Bring Me The Horizon wanting to put themselves into the mainstream line, keeping their roots and proving that “metal” does belong there, these were the tracks to do it. Including heavy bass lines, zesty guitar riffs along with a balanced drum beat and a tease of their old metalcore days to send the old scene kids into orgasm, they incorporate the side of Bring Me The Horizon that has gotten this far in their experimental and boundary pushing instrumentals.

You’ve got to give it to them, they haven’t shied away from turning out something that they have enjoyed and been excited about, and while it isn’t for me, that doesn’t mean it isn’t for everyone. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I wouldn’t listen to this in the future, because I sure will, but on the tier list of Bring Me The Horizon albums, it’s situated at the bottom, until if and when they do turn out something worse. It’s a pre-drinking album to enjoy with a group of friends, to dissociate from what we knew. It’s out there enough that it barely holds resemblance to That’s The Spirit which brought out their metal-pop side in abundance.

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Our Nameless Boy release video for ‘ALL IT IS’ ahead of EP release

Bristol four piece, Our Nameless Boy has released a video for ‘All It Is’ taken from their upcoming album Tomorrow I’ll Be Scared Again due for release on March 1st.

Being diagnosed with testicular cancer in late 2015, front man and guitarist Iain had been told that the cancer had spread as far as his neck, starting chemotherapy just before Christmas. The video for ‘All It Is’ is powerful imagery taken just two weeks after starting treatment in March 2016 and just prior to receiving another operation. Talking about his experience, Iain explains: “I was scheduled to start my course of chemo in January, but a high blood count meant I had to begin just before Xmas. The NHS team who looked after me were brilliant and my then girlfriend (now wife) shaved her head in solidarity with me and raised a load of money for charity in the process”

“I finished chemo in March 2016 and we began filming the music video for ‘All It Is’ about 2 weeks later, just before I had to go in for another operation.”

‘All It Is’ is part of a bigger project due for release on March 1st. Since forming in 2014, Our Nameless Boy has an impressive sound incorporating that of Manchester Orchestra and At-The-Drive-In. Tomorrow I’ll Be Scared Again is to be released via Beth Shalom Records and is currently available for preorder both digitally and physically via cassette tapes. Talking about the EP, Iain says: “Most of the EP songs were written right before I was diagnosed and touch on personal past experiences.

The one exception would be ‘Nothing On My Mind’ written in the times I could stand and hold a guitar between chemo cycles. It describes many of the themes you might imagine – denial, battling with aging, isolation and how to be around people you care about’.”

With a select few live shows already planned, Our Nameless Boy is a band to stay on the watch list.

Preorder here.

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Our 2018 favourites and downfalls and a brief glance at 2019.

With 2018 winding down into a close, we’re about to look over the last year and determine our favourite highlights including releases, concerts, moments and we’ll even look at the biggest disappointments of the year. So without further adieu, let’s get stuck in.

105800Top Release: Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed?

This album was truly the most anticipated for release. With Skiba working with Blink 182 on the road and in the studio, the sense that Alkaline Trio was put on the back burner seemed to get truer the more that time went on. Many times band try to revisit their early days to major disappointment, but the Illinois punk trio delivered what we had all been waiting and hoping for since 2013. Pumping out sounds similar to 2000’s Maybe I’ll Catch Fire and 2001’s From Here To Infirmary came together so well for August’s Is This Thing Cursed? It was an absolute delight to end such a scorching hot UK Summer, with title track and ‘Krystaline’ standing out and becoming anthems for 2018.

CS708922-01A-BIGRunner Up: Architects – Holy Hell.

Since their last release in 2016 and the unfortunate passing of Tom Searle, Architects have faced some of the toughest decisions regarding the future of the band. The first release sat nicely at the end of 2017, but Holy Hell was delivered to us this year and is the best possible path that the band could have taken. Announcing their first UK arena tour beginning early 2019, Architects have pulled together with strength and passion for their music, delivering a raw emotional outburst in their latest release.

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Most Disappointing: The Story So Far – Proper Dose

This was a hard one to do, mostly because we’re huge fans of the Californian band that took our hearts in 2011. Under The Soil and Dirt has been a constant in our library, so deciding that Proper Dose was our most disappointing album of 2018 was not the easiest decision. Trust us, it was not easy. We can’t help but feel like Proper Dose was ultimately rushed, with little to no thought. Of course, it does have it’s strong points and while we’re deeming it to be the most disappointing, it’s not the worst. Proper Dose lacked a sense of unity for us, missing the relevancy that The Story So Far had captured so well with their earlier releases.

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Best Show: The Used – Bristol, August.

After cancelling their tour earlier in the year due to personal issues, The Used returned a few months later to continue their UK tour and from the sunny shores of Cardiff, we traveled to Bristol to party with them. Regardless of their earlier tour of fan-favourite In Love And Death in full, The Used has never disappointed when it comes to putting on live performances. Politically fueled and with a passion for drama, they lit up that stage and in turn the crowd reciprocated.

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Runner Up: Bring Me The Horizon – Cardiff, November.

Now, Bring Me The Horizon has been a hit and miss when it comes to live shows for a very long time, but with their latest announcement of amo releasing in January, BMTH put on arena shows around the UK to remind us all why we started listening to them in the first place. Of course, a huge part of their show was from That’s The Spirit but it totally deserves the runner up position merely for their revisit to Count Your Blessings in a es-squaremash-up.

Second Runner Up: Enter Shikari – Tramshed, Cardiff.

We just can’t let this show slip by unnoticed. Enter Shikari have been on the rise ever since they took over the scene with Take To The Skies in 2006, and with their community expanding massively over the years, The Spark launched an entirely new phenomena that has put Enter Shikari so high on the best British alternative band list that it was downright silly to miss one of their shows. Remember in 2017, Take To The Skies turned 10 and they headlined Slam Dunk? Well, Tramshed lit up with an energy and community that has never really been experienced before. Not to mention, Rob Rolfe specifically said that Cardiff were definitely the more in tuned audience they had met. GG, Cardiff. It was one of the most fun shows we had the pleasure of experiencing, and we can only hope that Enter Shikari won’t leave it as long next time.

Most Disappointing: Bullet For My Valentine – Cardiff, November.

While we can’t argue that the line-up for BFMV’s tour was absolutely solid, the headlining act wasn’t the best of the year. Despite the warm fuzzy feeling that raged inside at the sound of The Poison tracks on their setlist, it was a concoction of disappointment throughout. A series of back-and-forth without keeping the vibe alive in the crowd, it was a roller-coaster of a show. Their latest release, Gravity hasn’t gained much appraisal since it’s release, and their show kind of proved it with more people caring about their older releases than supporting the entirety of the show. With that being said, we cannot deny how great it was to hear Hand Of Blood once again live on stage.

Best Song Release: Slipknot – All Out Life

Slipknot has been hyping up their newest material for a good while, reciting and proving that their revisiting their old school Iowa days. The album is said to be one of the darkest chapters in Slipknot’s history, and in interviews both Corey Taylor and Clown has repeatedly emphasized on the heaviness of the new album. Tracking for release in 2019, ‘All Out Life’ came as a surprise to fans while we weren’t expecting it – on Halloween. There are also rumours that this album could be their last, with Crahan reportedly saying how “I feel like this could be it for me,” when discussing the new album. All we know is that ‘All Out Life’ is one of the best tracks to come out of 2018, and with their album on track to be released next year alongside their headlining acts of Download festival, we cannot miss it for the world.

Runner Up: InFlames – I Am Above

The return of InFlames has been one of the best things to come out of 2018, alongside an announcement of the Swedish metal band returning to the shores of UK for select dates in April 2019. Their new track, ‘I Am Above’ is a concoction of heavy guitar riffs, thunderous drumming, weighted bass and vocals that take InFlames out of their 2014 hit release of A Sense Of Purpose and we are ready to hear what we consider to be the biggest album to hit shelves in 2019.

Most Disappointing: Bring Me The Horizon ft Dani Filth – Wonderful Life

We’re totally prepared for the backlash that this may cause, but ‘Wonderful Life’ came after their first release of ‘MANTRA’ which blew us away entirely in BMTH’s new direction. ‘Wonderful Life’ had big boots to fill, and it failed. Written for the purpose of being a Limp Bizkit song, BMTH swooped in to take it for it’s own and we were left with what feels like an unfinished, weak product. It holds no resemblance to what made BMTH the band we had come to follow and love over the years, especially with poetic lyrics chucked to one side to compensate for a knife-edge. amo is set for release in January, and we’re hoping it can offer more than this new radio-get-up that BMTH has adapted to in recent months.

This year has seen Milestones break-up which tore at our heart strings, a new Breaking Benjamin album (which was SO close to getting it’s own place on this list) as well as a new A Perfect Circle album. We watched Bad Wolves take over the charts with their cover of ‘Zombie’ after the tragic news of Dolores O’Riordan’s death in January. We got a Static-X reunion and a 3/4 reformation of The Smashing Pumpkins.

So, with one day left before we hit the new year, here’s a quick summary of what we’re looking forward to the most in 2019. First off, we have Download Festival with headliners such as Slipknot, Slayer and TOOL. This is going to be an absolutely insane festival, with it being Slayers official last show, TOOL who we have been waiting on for years and potentially Slipknot’s final goodbye too. Parkway Drive in January also. Architects in Cardiff in January. We have Behemoth and InFlames playing Bristol in February and April (woo, road trip!). Album wise, another two quick mentions will be Slipknot and TOOL, as well as Bring Me The Horizon, Dream Theatre, Rammstein and Alter Bridge. And, of course, we cannot skip out on the new Slam Dunk Festival get-up since dropping Midlands from their dates, and with Bullet For My Valentine and All Time Low headlining, we could be looking at what could be the last year of a day festival before it moves to a weekender!

What were your highlights of 2018, and what are you most looking forward to in 2019?

 

 

 

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