Theme Thursday – UK Metal
Posted by Reggie
After my theme on Canadian metal bands, I figure it’s time to move over to an area I currently reside in; The United Kingdom. I am sure you are well aware of the UK’s illustrious contributions in metal; therefore, I am not going to rehash some of the legends that have poured out of this region such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, or even Def Leppard. I am going to try to stay away from more well-known artists such as Cradle of Filth and Dragonforce. Before I begin my discussion about what is current on these islands, I will give a brief overview of the UK mainly for my American brothers and sisters of metal.
The UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. I am stationed in England where the population is about 51 million (2008 estimate). To put that into perspective, England is about the same size as the American State of Indiana. The population of Indiana is about 6.5 million and is the 15th most densely populated American State. England may be small in landmass, but is huge on international influence and culture to include heavy metal. Many consider England to be the birthplace of metal, more specifically, in Birmingham. So here we go. This is what the UK has to offer right here and now.
Bullet For My Valentine
Whether you think these guys are pop or not, these Welsh boys have made their mark. All three of their studio albums have easily cracked the Billboard 200. Their latest release, Fever, debuting at #3. They have won a “Best British Band” award from Kerrang and have made regular appearances at massive European festivals. I guess you can never call them sell-outs because they have been wowing crowds and selling albums straight away.
This is another Welsh band, but this one I know virtually nothing about. They are so new they don’t even have a Wikipedia site yet. The only reason I heard of them is because I noticed they are the opening act for Chimaira when they come around in March 2012. I checked them out and they have a very Bullet For My Valentine vibe; catchy riffs, choruses, and thrash beats. They seem to be…fun. They are worth looking into and I look forward to seeing them next year. This is the last of the two entries from Wales.
England’s Evile is another band, like Bullet For My Valentine, that garnered success right out of the gate. Evile, however, is more like old school Metallica, Overkill, or Exodus. Their sound is raw and less polished than some other new metal bands emerging today. Their newest album, Five Serpent’s Teeth is perhaps the best quality they have ever produced, but not as edgy as their previous two releases. They also have three studio albums and IMO seem to be maturing as they go. They are definitely a hot topic around England. Evile is the old-school metalhead’s kind of band. This song and video for Thrasher is just bad-ass.
Switching gears and countries; Scotland’s Biffy Clyro is more like a Weezer meets Nirvanna. I never heard of Biffy Clyro until they were announced as headliner’s on 2011’s Sonisphere UK festival (Saturday). Then, or course, I started seeing their videos on Scuzz and Kerrang. I have to say they are definitely not bad. I would not consider them metal nor would I consider Weezer to be metal, but still interesting and something I like to listen to from time to time; for a nice change of pace. Biffy Clyro has a hard edge occasionally, and always has something to say. Check out their more mellow side with God and Satan.
British goth legends Paradise Lost have been active since 1988 and released 12 studio albums. They are considered doom, goth, and metal. From the first album to the most recent, their discography has gone full circle. Their latest albums saw a return to their goth/metal roots. Paradise Lost is not afraid to shake things up a bit and tinker with their sound and structure. Personally, I like the heavier stuff on Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us, but I thought Host was a cool moody album. The video for Faith Divides Us is very well done!
I went digging for something I hope you have never heard of and discovered England’s Xerath. Formed in 2007, they are compared to Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, and Dimmu Borgir. They add film-score style composition to their metal grooves. Xerath encompass thrash, death, and progressive styles. This could be a good thing or just all over the place; ultimately up to you to decide. IMO, this is some serious shit worth looking into. They scream a lot, but the music is crushing. They have released two albums so far aptly titled I & II. I guess they save their creativity for the music not the album titles.
Evita is another British band that formed around 2006. They faced some financial issues, disbanded, and then got back together again in 2010. Evita released one studio album so far and is working on new material. Their sound is best described as metalcore. Yup, I just checked it out and that is quite accurate. The YouTube sound clip is of their new song The Departure which should be appearing on their second studio album…sometime in the near future. Not my thing, but it could be yours. Enjoy!
Thrown an “F” in front of Ireland and you get Fireland. I wonder if that was a coincidence. To get Northern Ireland on the list to round out the balance of UK metal, I found Fireland. Incidentally, there is another band from Chile called Fireland. The Northern Ireland group has a well-established website where you can listen to more of their music for free which is very nice of them. There is some old-school head banging to be done in Northern Ireland. Click here to check out what’s up with Northern Ireland’s Fireland.
Perhaps the only band in the world known as pirate metal; Scotland’s Alestom blends folk and power metal into its own unique style. They are often compared to artists such as Korpiklaani and Turisas. Alestorm have appeared in various posts here on A Metal State of Mind and also atleastimhousebroken. Their videos are quite entertaining. How can you not like Alestorm? I bet seeing them live would be a fantastic time.
My Dying Bride
Another English doom metal band, My Dying Bride has been in the business since 1990 and has released 11 studio albums. Like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride is not afraid to experiment and tweak things here and there. Maybe being a doom metal band is too confining therefore resulting in experimentation. Their latest album, For Lies I Sire was released in 2009. My Dying Bride released an EP in 2011 titled The Barghest O’ Whitby which consists of a single 27-minute track. That sounds interesting just based on the song duration. Check it out! I feel like I should be looking over my shoulder when I listen to it.
This wraps up my regional Theme of the Week with UK metal. These are the bands that come from the land of metal and very little sunshine which explains all the doom metal. It’s the perfect setting. Al kidding aside, I love England and their contributions metal. I will miss this place when I have to leave. I hope I was able to open a door to something new for you. Enjoy!
About ReggieJust a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!
Posted on November 17, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged Alestorm, Biffy Clyro, Bullet for my Valentine, evile, Evita, Fireland, metal, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Revoker, Theme Thursday, uk, Xerath. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.