The Metal Column – October 2011
Metal's most impressive asset has always been the vast range of styles, talents and personalities that lie under that simple catch-all term. It caters for all races, creeds, ages and temperaments and it stands to reason that there is also a gig for every situation, whether it’s a sweaty pit-a-thon kind of night or a Scotch in one hand, stroking the beard with the other sort of evening.
Say you’ve had a bad September and want to kick things off with nothing but wall-to-wall brutality. Auld Reekie’s Banshee Labyrinth has your back with a weekend of gore, grind, death and fury as Blastonbury takes over (1-2 Oct). Two days, twenty bands from across the breadth of Europe (including Dunfermline’s Party Cannon and E-town’s own Cancerous Womb) and enough volume to incinerate yer eardrums.
For something more restrained and, dare we say, thought-provoking, why not spend the evening with Aidan Baker (5 Oct, Nice & Sleazys). Even for those unfamiliar with his insanely prolific output, you can’t go wrong with some gorgeous improv drone and it beats sitting at home alone reading Foucault again.
Turning the volume back up and cranking the, ahem, ‘smoke machine’ up to 11, Oregon’s premier stoner-doom trio Yob will be accompanied by like-minded Floridians Dark Castle in Bannerman’s for a very cloudy but unique night (12 Oct). When we say “special,” we mean it in the loud, slow and cripplingly heavy sense of the word.
If you’re a more ‘modern’ kind of metal fan, you’re a teenager, or you just really like the thought of spending a night surrounded by teenagers (The Skinny doesn’t judge) then perhaps some hardcore/dubstep/drum’n’bass gubbins in the form of Enter Shikari (13 Oct, Barrowlands) might scratch that itch.
After all this insanity, 13th Note steps in to provide something intimate yet bloody loud. Head along on the 15 Oct to witness Glasgow’s own Achren tear the walls down as they celebrate the release of their debut full-length The Forgotten King. We’ve had a listen and it’s a beast, so go join the party and bang yer heid.
If you want to have yourself a very special weekend, ignore that massage parlour and instead get down to Birmingham for this year’s Supersonic Festival. If you can’t afford that or just can’t stand a Brummie accent, Stereo are your new best friends as they’ll be hosting two of the festival’s star attractions, namely Washingtonian hippie-black metal wonders Wolves in the Throne Room (23 Oct), followed by Japanese post-rock/screamo par excellence from Envy the night after.
Seeing out the month, Bannermans strikes back with the second incarnation of the Blood of Christ all-dayer (30 Oct), this time seeing pagan black metallers Wodensthrone and dark riffologists of the moment Altar of Plagues topping off a day of class-A metallic shenanigans. There’re nine bands to get through and it all kicks off at the unholy hour of 2pm, so prepare thyself for epic carnage.
Finally, it’s time for the metalhead version of Christmas, also known as Halloween, and who would you rather spend it with than Alice Cooper? He’s bringing his Night of Fear to the Clyde Auditorium and with rumours of freak shows and his obvious love for the most devilish night of the year, it’ll be worth attending just for bragging rights.