Tag: post-hardcore

OF VIRTUE – SUFFER – REVIEW

Christmas is over and Of Virtue are already hitting the ground running for the year ahead. Signing to Sharptone Records also comes the release of ‘Suffer’, a new step ahead for the group, but where does it hold up in the ratings?

Well, Of Virtue are undoubtly throwing the heavy punches to the track. Combining harsh and clean vocals perhaps takes the track to different tones, but as a whole the bands usual heavy influence still remains. Verses are heavy, gritty with a hardcore depth emerging juxtaposed by the melodic choruses where emotional depth is concieved. This is a contrast that works in the bands favour, with the balance almost right for the style of music Of Virtue are working to create. In terms of the tracks length, the breakdown is slightly underwhelming. Pehaps better fitting as a track intro, the breakdown leaves you wanting more. Something solidified, something to really impact listeners.

Of Virtue are still putting out good tracks. Trial and error is a factor all bands must embrace from time to time. ‘Suffer’ is still a great track with the potential still shining through from the band, its just the polishing that is the next stage.

8/10

 

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BANDS SET TO BREAK IN 2019

Every year bands branch out and break out into the scene, making a monumental impact nobody expected. Last year’s list of Dream State, Stand Atlantic and Milk Teeth have all gone on to release new music, tour and gain international recognition. So, who’s making the list for 2019?

HOLDING ABSENCE

Holding Absence have gained a massive amount of traction this last year, from touring and creating a split EP with Loathe, to supporting As It Is across their recent November headliner. The band are destined to make an impact this year, releasing their self-titled debut album in  March and embarking on a national headliner in March 2019. Two massive events in the bands timeline in only the first quarter of the year. Trust us, Holding Absence are going to be around a lot, it won’t be long before you hear them too.

BEHIND BLUE EYES

Take a second to recollect – have you heard of Behind Blue Eyes? Perhaps one of the smaller bands on the list, but a band rising through the ranks quicker than you may expect.  Despite currently playing smaller shows, BBE won the oportunity to play alongside Our Hollow, Our Home this October in their ‘Road To Holloween’ competiton. Word is quickly spreading through the metalcore scene and within a year it’s safe to say these guys will go a long way.

SILENT PLANET

Teetering on the edge of popularity over the last year, the scales are about to tip. Silent Planet are only going to get bigger. Being added as a new support to The Amity Affliction/ Senses Fail co-headliner (remember the Bad Omens drama?), touring the UK and releasing their third studio album, they’ve already made waves in the coming year. Bands with already released material can still have their oportunity. Becomung Billboards #16 Top Current Album wuithin a week of release, racking up 913K streams and selling 8600 albums, these guys are firing up on our radar. Check them out, they’re ready for you.

GOLD STEPS

A little different to the alternative/metal dominated list, Gold Steps are a Texas based pop-punk band setting foot into the world of their genre. With popularity slowly building up over social media mentions, the outfit are slowly branching out through their American hokme country – soon to an international reach by the end of 2019. With some fiesty tunes already on the market, now is a good chance to really get familliar with the band themself.

TEDDY ROCKS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE NEW WAVE OF BANDS

Teddy Rocks Festival have announced the first wave of bands on the bull for 2019’s full-on lineup. Featuring a mixture of bands known for generations, as well as newer artists on the scene, this announcement already makes a statement.

After moving Teddy Rocks to an outdoor field in 2015 for the three day event, the festival aims to raise money throughout its course for children’s cancer research. The festival also upholds its status, becoming larger each year and attracting more fans to the annual event. Headlining Saturday are nostalgic Christmas rockers The Darkness, with The Zutons rocking Sunday’s a lot. Spread across the three days are also a variety of artists from the likes of Dream State, Press To Meco and The Lounge Kittens, all doing their part for the fundraising festival.

Make sure to check out the full lineup below!

TECHFEST RELEASE FIRST LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT FOR 2019

TechFest have released the first wave of bands playing the festival next summer, with some pretty big names gracing the bill.

Top of the bill sees death metal band Dying Fetus return to the UK for the first time since 2017, alongsie UK prog metal band Monuments, metal quartet Psycroptic and Boston hailing Revocation.

The 6th event held in Newark Showground, Nottinghamsire is set to take place from Thursday 4th July- Monday 8th with more announcements due in the next year.

Weekend tickets can be bought HERE and the current list of bands announced can be seen below! Let us know who you’re most excited to see.

Dying Fetus, MONUMENTS, PSYCROPTIC, John Gomm, Revocation, Archspire, BLACK TONGUE, Polaris, Black Crown Initiate, A Night In Texas, Sarah Longfield, Adimiron, Palm Reader, The Omnific, Voices From The Fuselage, Cold Night For Alligators, The Intersphere, 22, Time, The Valulator, Project MishraM, Jonestown, The Paralell, Hypophoria.

INTERVIEW – OLIVER KAMYSZEW – SCARIM MANAGEMENT

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The music industry is expanding every day, with exponential growth in all sides from PR to label managers becoming even greater. To see how the industry is moving, we talked to Oliver Kamyszew, a graphic designer turned PR, artist manager at Scarim Management and Black Box Booking about the industry and how it’s moving.

Who are you and how did you get involved with Scarim Management?

My name is Oliver Kamyszew and I am an artist manager and public relations representative at Scarim Management (www.scarimmanagement.com). I also book tours under the moniker Black Box Booking Agency. I got involved with Scarim Management during a time where I was working as a graphic designer and I came across a great band called, “Of Virtue”, whom I now represent. The band had a powerful album but little traction meanwhile I saw that my current colleagues & old friends had launched a management agency and I met with them to see if they’d be interested in representing Of Virtue. Instead they inspired me to take them on and start my current management career. This, of course, didn’t come randomly but instead because I had previous experience being in bands where I was in charge of finances, booking, and so on. Here I am today!

You also run Black Box Booking, an American based booking agency. Do both jobs as a PR manager and booking agent crossover? (EG: Is it easier to book the bands on your PR roster onto tours because of the agency?)

That’s correct, I run Black Box Booking Agency (can be found at www.facebook.com/blackboxbookingagency while we rebuild our website). I do not believe that either job crossover. In the case of that guy recently, whatever his name was, who spoofed the UK with his fake ticket sales and such, surely you can say they CAN go hand in hand if need be – but realistically speaking, when I work one job I do one and when I do the other I do that one. The only way it helps each other is if either one is well received for marketing purposes – so if a band is doing great things press-wise, the booking will be easier. If a band is touring hard and has a lot of attention because of that, it’s easier to get press interested. So on and so forth.

Do you feel that living in America makes it easier to get a job within the international music business path? (such as PR, management, labels etc)

No. What I believe has helped me, if anything, is living overseas in Asia for a number of years and learning about a number of scenes as well as having many friends and colleagues who have spent a lot of time in the international touring community.

What has been one of your greatest achievements working in the music industry so far?

First – Finding a team that believes in me and bands whom I respect and admire who allow me to work with them. Second, 1M+ streams on Of Virtue’s single “Surrounded” in 2018 alone, but that was this year and I’m only looking forward to a bigger, better 2019! Ask me this question again next year – I’ll have much more to say.

With streaming at its peak, from an industry perspective, do you feel the number of streams online more important than physical or online purchases?

Well – both are quite important, as they define different things and it takes many more streams to technically sell one cd (so support your friends by streaming a LOT or buying physicals!). However, if you’re looking at the future (which if you’re working any role in the music industry you always should be) then I would say streams are significantly more important now as they’re more accessible and now you don’t need as much help from an external source such as a label to help you reach your fans or get you paid if you know how to set up distribution and publishing collections. Basically – you can be more independent with streaming than you ever could be with a physical product.

With the closure of grassroots venues being a prevalent issue both in America and the UK, what do you believe can be done to stop these closures?

I believe this is a tough one. First, government art budgets. Second, more needs to be invested into making each small show with as much effort as a big one on the part of the promoter and the bands involved. There’s a lot of areas where bands and promoters could be picking up slack in both, America and the UK, especially with how oversaturated both markets are. But – this is also a time thing. We’re in the age of hip-hop and rock/metal are slowly dying – it’s an ebb and flow … It will come back, just like fashion.

Finally, what is your most controversial opinion about the music industry?

Maybe a few. First, there aren’t enough hours in the day for this line work and if you believe this is a 9-to-5 job then it’s not for you. Second, there are too many people not giving this job close to 100% of their time or effort band making the hard workers look bad. Go big or go home.
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GIG REVIEW – AS IT IS – 28/11/18 MANCHESTER

As It Is are lined up to play their biggest Manchester show to date – headlining the O2 Ritz. Moving from a pop-punk happiness to a much darker ’emo’ style, it’s safe to say a happy-go-lucky bubblegum pop atmosphere was not to be achieved.
While the band have been around for years, Canadian synth-rock Courage My Love (6.5) supporting large shows on the scale of the Ritz isn’t their forte yet. First on, the struggled to form a connection with a crowd of unresponsive attendees and despite Mercedes’s beautiful vocals and attempts, little could be done to capture a crowd. Through no fault of their own, perhaps it was just a tough crowd. The trio are excellent performers, aside from a slight sound issue causing the bass to smother the guitars, they are indeed a very tight band musically. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t their night.
 
Don’t be surprised when we say Holding Absence (9) are one of the bands on the cusp of breaking out in 2019. Already building a reputation in the scene, the quintet embodied a heavier side of music fans were perhaps not expecting. Instantaneous energy and brilliant stage presence, there was no holding back even in slower tracks ‘Everything’. Musicality was on point as well as stage presence and audience connectivity. If one point was to be made, perhaps more on-stage connection between band members, but otherwise this is a band you will hear a lot about soon.
 
Finally, after embarking on their first UK tour by As It Is in 2015, Trash Boat (7.5) return as supports once again. Generating the largest crowd of fans in the audience, the participation and enjoyment from crowdsurfing fanatics and mosh pit enthusiasts was through the roof. Yet, the bands performance seemed to lack. After witnessing the performance previous runners Holding Absence gave, there was a lacking stage atmosphere. Undoubtedly, the outfit were strong musically, but there was little to make them stand out, little to push them out to those unaware of who they were. An improvement they can work on.
 
Edinburgh’s show turned out to be quite the disaster. Sets being cut short and violent security, As It Is (9) we’re clearly unamused by the events of the previous night. Yet, with a day off before Manchester, the band had recouped to give it their all for this show, notably the biggest performance to date in Manchester.
 
Building a bridge with an audience is fundamental for any live show, and such levels of doing so can easily be seen. Patrick Foley on drums, we will give a pass to. Spending a good half of the show hidden behind a smoke screen (despite a higher platform) its also not easy to give much interaction from so far at the back. What can be said however, is that it can be rather embarrassing when your touring guitarist Ronnie interacts more with the audience than some of the others. Older tracks dug out from the discography ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Can’t Save Myself’ saw lead vocalist Patty Walters moving across the stage singing to front. Yet, it did feel connectivity from bassist Ali Testo lacked majorly in comparison. Granted, it is hard to multitask with instruments and backing vocals, but if guitar/vocalist Ben Langford-Biss can do it, what is the excuse?
 
Harshness aside, an onstage connection between the band could be felt. It’s clear these tracks mean a lot to the group. One of the more emotional connections came mid-way through a the set, slowing down the pace with ‘The Question, The Answer’ and ‘Still Remembering’. Looking in-depth it is almost as if there is a small shift in the emotion of Walters, between gaps going up to fellow band mates mouthing the words ‘I fucking love you’. To see songs played so much still striking deep in the performers is a sight that is heart-warming, as well as showing the depth the band encapsulate in music. A song, perhaps unexpected in the set was ‘The Great Depression’s’ closing track ‘The End’. As a conceptual stage show, voiceovers and formulated colour schemes added to the atmospheric feel. As It Is had an idea for this stage show, but at time almost felt like they were holding back. Going full out could really skyrocket this show, perhaps a thought for their upcoming American show. Aside from a slight timing issue on the spoken word bridge of the closing track, a clever way to end the show.
 
But it’s the performance in the encore of previous and new singles saw energy ramp up ten-fold, something incredible from a band already giving a high percentage of their energy in the show. Ending on ‘Dial Tones’, ‘The Wounded World’ and ‘The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) pushed a strong end to the show. This group know how to structure a set. Even to the last minute all was given, with ‘The Stigma’ perhaps gaining the largest reaction of fans.
 
As It Is are pushing an important message in their music. To see a room of 1000+ people of all ages singing back such meaningful lyrics and embracing who they are is a beautiful sight. Such connections in the scene may be depleting but shows like this prove that there are still sparks in the darkness.

GIG REVIEW – AVENOIR – MANCHESTER 20/11/18

 
Brash, boisterous and bold. Avenoir (8.5) are not top of the list, or the most popular by any means. Hailing from Leeds, the melodic grunge trio are pushing boundaries to create wider audiences – starting with Manchester.
 
Thirty minutes, seven songs to capture an audience.
Despite being new to the Manchester scene, Avenoir stirred up an atmosphere instantly. With opener ‘Tadpole’, the trio melded together all the energy provided from previous frontrunners and exceeded it. Easier for a three piece? Perhaps, but for such a new band, this level of performance is definitely an impressive feat. As for musicality, aside from the occasional mis-timings, or flat notes, the band were tight. Even through unreleased single ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’, a high level of inter-band connection and timing was great. Yet, instrumental performance aside, ‘Krakow-P- presented the bands ability to transfer emotion from recordings to live. Whether this emotion is through playing or stage presence, the outfit are rather enjoyable to watch. Wrapping up with debut single ‘Leviathan’, the group packed the last reckless hit of their set. Even though the vocal harmonies may have been off at times, a development in sound always takes work. After 30 minutes energy is still at a high and infact leaves quite a memorable set.
 
Avenoir may not have had a huge audience, but they played to their best either way. For a band so young and new to the scene, perhaps other bands should look to these guys for live inspiration. Young, loud and reckless, maybe these guys could be next on your radar.