Monday, January 27, 2014

Thank you Zoltan, for bringing me the horizon. Oh and the UK press too.

I grabbed a copy of Metal Hammer magazine, January edition, at Barnes and Noble the other day, mostly because the packaging showed that there would be something about Philip H. Anselmo inside, but also because it's British music press and -- dare I say it again -- the British music press is so much better than the awful so-called music press over here where you can't find a decent article for the ads. Sigh... Great magazine, Metal Hammer, but like Prog Rock magazine and Classic Rock magazine and others, all the tour dates are for the UK (despite some effort by the publishers to make this a more transatlantic publication, the majority are sold in England, Scotland, Wales... and we get them over here several weeks late).

On page 46, the "critics choice" of the best metal albums of 2013 begins. Includes some bands I've seen and reviewed this year--Dillinger Escape Plan, Five Finger Death Punch, Philip H Anselmo, HIM... but no Gemini Syndrome. Can't say I'm surprised, as GS haven't appeared in the UK... yet.

But then I see my friend Zoltan of Five Finger Death Punch.  Top of page 48.

(OK he's not really my friend. He can't "friend" any more people on Facebook, that's the reason why, OK??? I just have this cool picture I took of him at Aftershock. So I can call him friend, right???)

Zoltan Bathory, guitar, Five Finger Death Punch, Aftershock 2013
Zoltan Bathory of Five Finger Death Punch, Aftershock 2013
So my pal Zoltan, on page 48, Metal Hammer has published his top five albums from 2013. Number One on Zoltan Bathory's list???   Lux, by Gemini Syndrome.  (Not just friends... we're soul mates now!!!!) So today I'm expecting everyone in the UK to be listening to Gemini Syndrome, not because I say so any more. But now because you read it at the top of Zoltan's list.

So... as he obviously has great taste (to go with the guitar skills, I'm not so sure about the automatic weapons), I took a look at the rest of his top five. In particular, Sempiternal from Bring Me The Horizon.

The first time I listened to Sempiternal, I couldn't get past Oliver Sykes' vocals. I thought his throat would fall out. (The rest of the music made an impression: melodic, heavy, engine of a bass and drum line, almost-orchestral arrangements, and some football (soccer) chants that you know the crowd will sing along to.) The second time I listened to Sempiternal, the silence between the tracks made me realise how much I wanted to hear the next song. And the third time I listened to Sempiternal, I was totally hooked on Sykes' vocals. Even if that voice is not sustainable, this album is a classic.

(iTunes classifies the album as "punk". Really? Really???? Come on... Does anyone listen to anything before labelling it???)

"I can't drown my demons, they know how to swim."

"Go to hell, for heaven's sake".

Bring Me The Horizon are from Sheffield (if you know Sheffield, you'll know why "metal" is the true name of anything and anyone who comes from there... Google Sheffield steel). So maybe that's why I hadn't heard them before, being on this side of the pond now. Check them out on their website: or on Facebook. (Shows me that they are really still quite unknown over here, when I see they have more than 4 million followers on Facebook, and yet only one of my Facebook friends "likes" them.) But they are on their way to the USA now! Tour dates here:  IMPORTANT: remember that the dates are written English-style not American! Day, month, year! Darnit... I'll be out of the country when they play San Francisco. DARNIT DARNIT DARNIT.

My prediction for 2014: Bring Me The Horizon will be big in the USA. And Gemini Syndrome will be big in the UK.

Let's get this year started.

And thank you, Mr. Bathory. Friend.

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