Metal Up Your Ass - February 2009
Let's be honest, February this year has an easy act to follow. After 31 days of what tabloid academics assert was statistically and empirically the most depressing month in living memory, February could probably get away with nothing but cheap carry-out meals and re-runs of Magnum PI and still waltz home with the title of 'Best Month of 2009 Thus Far'. In terms of metal and rock gigs – the matter at hand – it has also thankfully pulled its finger out and delivered considerably more than its predecessor.
Chiodos (2 Feb) shake up King Tut's with what the venue calls post-hardcore - capable as it is, though it might well veer a little too close to emo for some tastes. ABC enjoys the gruff bellowings of a certain Max Cavalera (6 Feb) as Soulfly do that samba-nu-metal thing they virtually patented. As usual, Edinburgh is found lacking in terms of quality heavyweight noise this month, but native Clutch enthusiasts, The Tyrant Lizard Kings, make a nice mess of Studio 24 (7 Feb).
Despite packing the usual festival of romance in the form of Valentines Day, this month also thoughtfully provides us with a Friday 13th, just in time for the miserable loners and misanthropes amongst us to see scores of amorous teens brutally slaughtered in increasingly more inventive and occasionally hilarious ways. As further consolation, those same loveless souls might be happy to know they can savour the less-than-subtle shock-rock of Cannibal Corpse(not to mention Children of Bodom) while the survivors of the previous night gaze longingly into each other's eyes betwixt candle flames and wilting flowers.
But one day later, as the fog of love clears and domestic boredom once more sets in, distractions must be sought. Look no further than the newly pronounced 'O2' Academy in Glasgow as Dimmu Borgir and Lamb of God head up the Defenders of Faith tour. For the purist, some 'true metal' can be found that same night in the form of little-known beat combos Judas Priest and Megadeth at the SECC (16 Feb).
Cephalic Carnage make an appearance at Ivory Blacks (18 Feb) with The Black Dahlia Murder. The latter might enjoy favour with the American press and Ozzfest but, honestly, nobody does death-grind like Cephalic Carnage. Well, not many do death-grind anyway, but these guys have it pretty much cornered.
The Captain's Rest will very likely be levelled (20 Feb) when Young Widows try to cram their huge, Isis-inspired thunder into that small, black space in the West End. Edinburgh gets a glimmer of hope that same date when Chickenhawk and Errander are joined by locals Secta Rouge at Henry's Cellar Bar. Again, the confined space could make for some unholy tinnitus. The same two touring acts make a Glasgow appearance at new venue Cassette on Sauchiehall Street the next evening (21 Feb).
The rock and roll quotient is represented (27 Feb) when The Bronx raise hell with Fucked Up and Rolo Tomassi at The Garage. Albeit via the medium of balls-out punk, the Californians still cram in one hell of a lot of swagger and riffage, this time in support of recent album – their third eponymous effort – released last month.
Anyone currently suffering from a surplus of sleeveless denim will get a chance to make some use of it (28 Feb) as February surrenders its chilly grip on us with a Nazareth gig at Studio 24 in Edinburgh.