Friday 30 December 2011

Band of the day - 30th of December 2011

Well, after a very short hibernation for the blog, I'm back with my band of the day, which is the amazing Light Bearer. They are a six-piece band from London and play expansive, brilliant metal.

Make sure you visit their Facebook page at and find out for yourselves.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Savour Your Scene Records

I love finding out about new, independent records labels that have been formed out love for the music, who really believe in what they do and who care about the bands they release. This is all true for Savour Your Scene Records. Only formed in September of this year, by Stephen Currie of Irish hardcore band Gacys Threads. Stephen wanted to put his knowledge of the underground hardcore/metal scene to good use, to help bands out in his local scene.

The label works hard with other label in Ireland and across the rest of Europe, especially with like minded Irish label Grindscene Records. SYSR has also been getting some pretty good promotion recently, as their band By Any Means managed to get a track on the Terrorizer Magazine cover mount CD, and being a subscriber myself, it's cool to see the promotion of labels and bands from both sides.

While I'm here, I've posted three reviews below of SYSR's first three releases for Gacys Threads, By Any Means and Ilenkus. Hope you enjoy them.

Gacys Threads - The Ignorance of Purity

Gacys Threads are Stephen Currie's band, the founder of Savour Your Scene Records. They've been going since 2007. They have been very busy since their formation, self releasing a demo, and 2 four track EP's before this one. They have also made their presence felt on the live scene in Ireland, supporting bands like Parkway Drive and Fear Factory!

The first thing that springs to mind, is the modern, clear production. The first track is the title track, and it's really just a precursor to what is about to come. It builds with clean picked guitar before the screams of vocalist Aaron Vance are unleashed for the first time.
 The EP kicks in proper on the second track "Hope bleeds into despair". It's a heavy affair, with blasting drums and ferocious vocals. The clean picked guitars, adding originality to the sound. Off-kilter guitar adds some progressive touches, reminiscent of many of today's experimental hardcore bands, which Gacys Threads have shared the stage with, including the likes of August Burns Red and Retox. There are some Dillinger'isms to the music, which is definitely on bad thing.

The longer the EP goes on, the more the sense of experimentation grows. More guitar riffs are used and the songs move between passages and time changes perfectly. The anguished screams give you sense if impending madness, as the band kick on, laying waste to all in their path. I can imagine people going nuts to this in a live environment and Gacys Threads prove that you don't need to go on an all out blast offencive to sound heavy, they manage to do it with clever musicianship.

The five tracks here certainly make you appreciate the talent that we have on our own shores, which is more than enough to take on of our continental cousins, or those across the pond for that matter. I'd recommend you to check Gacys Threads out if you're a fan of clever, forward thinking hardcore. There's no adolescent, per-puberty stuff going on here!

To find out more about Gacys Threads, visit their website at and their Facebook page at You can also buy merch from them via BigCartel at

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-

By Any Means - Built on Respect

By Any Means are, like SYSR, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. By Any Means pride themselves with carrying the hardcore baton in their local scene. This release has been SYSR's second release.

The records immediately hits you, By Any Means are more angry and offer forth more straight up hardcore. The first track is an instrumental opener, before the record kicks in proper, with all it's might. It's driving, angry hardcore at it's best, with a hint of thrash thrown into the mix. The solo in second track "My Anger, My Gift" is a nice touch. They get into their stride on third track "Mercury Rising", which is also the longest track on the record at just over five minutes. The title track of the record, "Built on Respect" is raging and more urgent in it's delivery.

There is a crossover element to the By Any Means' sound, which shows they have more to offer than straight up hardcore. It has a kind of Sepultura/Soufly vibe to it, which is pretty cool. There are no tough guy breakdowns in this, it's honest, original hardcore. The band do employ gang vocals in the song "Hardcore Pride", which is reminiscent of something Hatebreed would put out. Their use of spoken word samples also adds another dimension to the music. It's an Insane, metallic whirlwind of an album. This should appeal to quite a diverse metal audience, with it's hardcore, metal and crossover elements.

The last track "A Declaration of War" is heralded in by an air-raid siren and some
awesome guitar effects, before settling into a chuggy, cathartic verse. This is probably one of the  heaviest tracks on the record. It's a crushing end to an impressive album. It definitely shows the diversity that is alive and well within the Irish metal scene, and one which i'll be keeping an eye on for sure.

Take the time to check out By Any Means on Facebook at or via Myspace at

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-

Ilenkus are from Galway and are a completely different beast altogether. These guys formed in 2010 with the goal of making post-metal in the vein of bands like Mastodon and Isis, and have had the pleasure of sharing stages with bands like The Ocean and our very own Rolo Tomassi.

This record "Rule By Thieves" is SYSR's third release. Ilenkus have a very full on, heavy sound. The band is a totally different prospect to the other bands on SYSR. They sound experimental, but with low growled vocals and have an almost Mastodon quality to them.
Some of the vocals are sung and it brings to mind "LD50" by Mudvayne, which is no bad thing. The songs are longer and the production is very commanding and involving. There are plenty of off kilter riffs and different vocals, from deep almost haunting singing, to screaming and something akin to spoken word shouting as well. The rhythm section manages to keep up well, underpinning the galloping sound that Ilenkus creates.

This record is pretty insane, there are so many elements to it, it takes time to take it all in, but it is worth it. It requires you to concentrate, so those of you with a short attention span need not apply! It's noisy as well, and the kind of mental work out that most people are afraid of.

The instrumentation is quite brilliant, especially the way Ilenkus tie it all together to ensure the music rolls on, without any breakup or confusion. The variety is good and it certainly grabs you by the throat. The dual vocals also add extra weight to what is already a heavy record. The quiet/loud dynamics of some of the passages on the album are very well done, especially to help stop the onset of migraine's due to the sheer wall of sound that emanates from the speakers during the playing of the record.

Sixth track "Cerebral Anomaly" which last just over nine minutes and is one of Ilenkus's
most ostentatious tracks. It encompasses all of Ilenkus's
which bring some respite.

Seventh track is a lot more urgent, especially as it's half the length as the previous track, but it's still crammed with ideas. The last track "Great Divide" is the beast at almost fifteen minutes long. It's their most opulent track and a fitting end to a record which is more like a journey though minds more dangerous and damaged than your own.

Ilenkus can be found via Facebook at .

You can listen to the album here via bandcamp:-

So here you have it, a very diverse and forward thinking record label with three incredible bands amongst their ranks, all worth keeping an eye on in the future.

They also have a compilation that can be downloaded via bandcamp for free, which showcases bands from their local Irish scene. Just go to:-

Also, make sure you visit them on Facebook at and visit their own website at where can find more information about them, their bands.

Band of The Day - 18th of December

My band of the day is Gacys Threads, a hardcore band from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

They are going to be part of a bigger feature I'm doing on Irish hardcore label Savour Your Scene Records, which should be up here early next week, but in the meantime check out Gacys Threads on Facebook at Thanks.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Neil Wonnel's Metalmouth Radio show - Chicago

Earlier today, Stay Ahead blog was mentioned on Neil Wonnel's Metalmouth radio show, in Chicago. The show covers all types of metal, but mainly older stuff like Metallica, Pantera, Exodus and Saxon.

Make sure you visit and listen to the show at Reverbnation at

Just do me a favour, and go check it out, as Neil was cool enough to mention my blog the least you can do is listen to the show. It's awesome! Also, visit his Facebook page at

The Facebook page for Stay Ahead blog is, if you want it also.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Label of The Day - 11th of December 2011

My label of the day for the 11th of December 2011 is - Drunken Sailor Records, because they've just announced the release of a very special split 7" with Off With Their Heads and Discharge, as well as all the other awesome releases they have put out. Go check em out.

Visit their Facebook page at and buy their records on BigCartel at

Live fast, grind young - Diseksa

When people talk about grindcore, people talk about the DIY mentality, the struggle against oppression and the need to express yourselves. This is definitely true of Malaysian grind band Diseksa. They are a three piece with Bitch on vox, Paul Weed on guitar and Scum on drums.

Diseksa have been grinding since 2008 and in that time have released a lot of music, mainly in cassette and on compilation cd's. In the true nature of grind, they have done countless split releases, with plenty more to come.

An example of Diseksa's many split releases is this one they did with P.U.N.K (ProtestUndergroundNoiseKaos), that was released via UK label Tombs in The Valley Productions.

This should give a good idea of where Diseksa are coming from, it's raw and fast. Their recent releases have also been made available by Grindcore Karaoke, so they must be doing something right.

So make sure you visit Diseksa's Facebook page at for info on all of their releases and where you can get em from!

Within The Fall - A Story To Be Told (Demo)

I got sent this demo a couple of days ago to review. Before I do though, here's a little introduction to Within The Fall.

Within The Fall are a doom metal band from Sweden, that started in 2010. The line-up is
Joakim Rudemyr on vocals, Mike Wennerstrand on guitars & backing vocals, David Andersson on guitar & bass and Marcus Whelamsson on drums.
So to the demo, which is made up of two tracks. First track A Story To Be Told starts with a wintry intro of rain and lightning, with a slowly building instrumental passage before the song kicks in, with a growl and thunderous guitar, that will jolt the listener into life. It then settles back down to clean picked guitar and almost spoken word/softly growled vocals. The clean guitar solo is brilliant before moving into a verse of deep growls and and more thunderous riffage. The songs moves through quiet and loud passages, with lots of different elements infused into the music. The variety of whispered and growled vocals give a sense of evil. The song wades in at just under 10 minutes, but doesn't outstay it's welcome, because of ti's different elements. If you like bands like Insomnium and Swallow the Sun, you'll really enjoy this.
Second track Graveyard of Gods, follows on from the title track with similar clean guitar picking sitting lower in the mix and another peaceful but building intro. The band introduces guitar harmonies to the verses, which add another touch of class to the song. It's mainly instrumental again, but the instrumentation is beautiful and thoughtful. There's clearly a lot of talent of display here and it shows that Within The Fall are happy to progress with a sub-genre that can sometimes sound staid.

Towards the end of Graveyard of Gods, I got a sense of euphoria from listening to it, which I normally get when I listen to big, doom metal songs. It normally means that I know I've just listened to a song with real meaning and musicianship, where the band have been able to convey their feeling and emotions through their music.
In summary, this is perfect warming doom for the winter months, full of brilliant musicianship that will transport you to another world. I really can't wait to here the new songs from this band. They are due to record an EP in January, so keep an eye out.
You can download Within The Fall's demo via this link Within the Fall-A Story to be Told and please make sure you visit them on Facebook at

Thursday 8 December 2011

My top ten bands of 2011

I thought I'd have a go at listing my top ten bands of 2011. These are bands that I've discovered this year, so in no particular order here goes:-

1. Kollwitz - These guys are immense. I bought their album "Like Iron I Rust" earlier this year and was blown away by their musicianship and the beauty of this record. It's not often an album has that kind of effect on me, but it was truly amazing. Buy it!

Check them out on Facebook at

2. A Wanted Awakening - These guys play brilliant modern metal. In a scene full of carbon copies and fashion bands, these guys are refreshing and honest. It's great to sit back and headbang to, especially their EP "Rebirth".

Go hit em up on Facebook at

3. Mallory Knox - I like my melodic music, and the fact that these guys are holding it down for the UK is incredible. They have great hooks but are thoughtful as well, and vocalist Mikey Chapman can really sing.

Check them out on Facebook at

4. xCURRAHEEx - I couldn't have a top ten list without a homegrown hardcore band. While these guys may have been going for a few years now, I only discovered the properly this year, I'm glad I did. I've bought all of their vinyl releases since then and love em.

Show them your love on Facebook at

5. Heksed - These guys are Norwegian behemoths. They have a 7 inch release out soon on Thirty Days of Night records and they are brilliant. If you like, grimy, slow and heavy hardcore, these guys are for you.

Get educated on Facebook at

6. The Browning - I'm sure these guys will divide opinion, but I love em. Their mix of mosh and electronica hits the spot when I'm in a bouncing and the fact they're signed to Earache records, means they must be pretty good.

See what you think on Facebook at

7. Todos Caerán - These guys an immensely passionate screamo band from Canada. But, they're not your usual screamo, they have a great sense of melody and their songs are euphoric in their delivery.

Hear them on Facebook at

8. Midnight Chaser - I couldn't do a top ten list without including a real heavy metal band. I heard these guys a few weeks ago, and boy I'm glad I did. They're signed to Heavy Artillery records, which is awesome in itself, and they are incredible.

Get your fill on Facebook at

9. Hang The Bastard - Another band I was quite slow cottoning onto, but wow! They're heavy, sludgy and play the type of hardcore that I really love. It's a plus that they're from blighty!

Let them riff you to sleep on Facebook at

10. Cyvoid - Last but not least, I come to these guys. They're an awesome thrash band, that formed out of the ashes of undead nutters Send More Paramedics, amongst others. They're from Yorkshire too, which is great! I've bought their self titled 10" recently, which rages!

Check them out on Facebook at

Now, whether they're the first on the list or the last, they're all awesome and deserve a listen. This is my own attempt, so please just promise me you'll check out all of these bands if you haven't already.

Band of The Day - 08th of December 2011

My band of the day is Kids Can't Fly.

They are an amazing pop punk band from Southampton, England and the reason I chose them is because I'm a sucker for trumpets.

Make sure you visit them ob Facebook at

Also listen to their songs on Bandcamp. You can listen to some here:-

This should cheer you up during the rubbish weather!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Burn Everything - Last Run Through The Ruins

Burn Everything are very progressive, hardcore band from Rochester, USA. They are Matt Dalberth on Vox, Damian Marinaccio and  Charlie Street on guitars, Mike Gifaldi on bass and Tony Castronova on drums They formed in 2007, released a self titled EP in 2008 and then followed it 3 years later with this EP, Last Run Through The Ruins.

The majority of the metal/hardcore scene in the US tends to be made up of bands following the crowd, so it's really awesome to find a band like Burn Everything, who are trying to push boundaries and move forward. That's definitely true about this record, it's full of heavy, off-kilter guitar riffs, time-changes aplenty thanks to their rhythm section and Matt Dalberth's vocals, which are audible and work really well with the music.

The band are fast and brutal, with a lot of deft touches within their songs. They show a slightly more sensitive side too, with the last song "Crumbling Monolith", which is an instrumental track that calms things down after a pretty relentless bruising from the rest of the EP.

The songs are the right length as well. Most bands try to over complicate things, by making their songs too long, but not Burn Everything. You'll have a lot of fun listening to this, especially if you're a fan of forward thinking, intelligent music.

They must be doing something right, as they've had the pleasure of sharing stages with the likes of Vader, Psyopus and Brutal Truth!

I've post a link to their Bandcamp page below, where you can listen to this and their self-tilted EP:-

Burn Everything are definitely ones to watch for the future. They are playing what they want to play, not pandering to the masses and just writing awesome metal songs! Judging by the responses these guy's are getting, they're only gonna get bigger.

Now, there are plenty of other ways to check out Burn Everything as well. You can visit their Facebook page at, Check out their Reverbnation page at, chat with them on Twitter at and watch their videos on Youtube at

Also, go and check out their merch at

Saturday 3 December 2011

Band of The Day - 3rd of December 2011

My band of the day is The Browning, from Dallas, USA. These guys are currently signed to Earache Records and their album - Burn This World, is available everywhere.

Make sure you check them out via their Facebook page at

Fifth Period - There's no Wonderland, Alice EP

Youth is the future in everything nowadays, and that saying is true when it comes to metal. Without kids listening to bands. picking up instruments, going to shows and setting up bands themselves, we wouldn't bee where we are today. The global metal scene is getting stronger and stronger, with cult bands reforming and new bands appearing and growing.

Fifth Period are the second band I have written about who reside is Spain. These guys are from the Castellon area and formed about two years ago. These guys are really ambitious, and at ages ranging from 16-19 years old, they have time on their side. They have already released the EP that I'm reviewing here this year, but they've toured Spain and are planning to record again next year.

Fifth Period are Lamberto Sanchez on vocals and guitar, Ruben Zafra on vocals and lead guitar,  Manel Oliver on vocals, Carlos Caro on bass, Alex Soliva on keys/synths and Pedro Sanchez on drum.

The EP starts with an instrumental intro, that starts with strings before the band kick
in with an angry breakdown, heavy section and some cool, clean guitar riffs.
The EP proper kicks in with second track The Hopes You Broke. They fill the
track with raspy screams and plenty of big instrumentation. Their rhythm section
works overtime and there are clearly lots of influence in their music. The vocals switched between higher pitched raspy screams and lower death-metal inspired growls. The clean guitar melodies sound very different, they almost remind me of an 80s American soap theme, but in a good way!. The title track builds with dramatic piano and then crunching guitar and drums. The synths add a texture to their sound, a modern edge that will help the band appeal to a wider audience, while keeping their feet firmly rooted in the genre. The song finishes the way it began, with strings and piano leading to a peaceful outro.

They use a lot of piano/strings in their songs, and a lot of it has more of a classical sound,
especially some of the strings section which sound almost like they're being played by Celtic warriors!. This is especially true on instrumental track A Ballad for None. The band get back into it on 5th track R.A.T.C.E.N Is Nectar Backwards. This song brings in more
musical variety again, this time with some clean singing and gang vocals. The band again include a load of different sounds and textures, which add good layers to their music. Fifth Period, introduce electronic effects into the song, which I personally like, and along with newer bands like Asking Alexandria and The Browning, are not afraid to experiment and push boundaries. Sixth track, Tides, begins with an awesome, dramatic guitar solo. Again they add more clean singing as well. Occasionally, there are hints of Coheed and Cambria and Enter Shikari in their music, such as the opening bars of penultimate track Beers, Cigars and Zombies Sometimes.

For a debut EP, it's ambitious and forward thinking. The band shows great potential for
the future and certainly have the chops to progress. The bands sound seems to get better with each song on this EP and is surely a sing of things to come!

I caught up with the guys from Fifth Period, to ask them some questions about their band and their scene. Here's what they had to say.

Tell us a bit about Fifth Period and how you guys formed?

Ruben (Guitar/Vox) Carlos (Bass) and me, Lamberto (Guitar/Vox), started playing together in garage around early 2007, it was not until 2008 endings when we decided to start a band, Alex (keyboards synth), and my brother Pedro (drums) joined the band in 2008 endings and we didn't find Manel (Screams) until February 2009 when we finally completed the lineup with ages between 14 and 17 years old.

What music have you been listening to lately?

We are really open minded in all kinds of music, we are listening to many music styles like electronic, classical, metal, rock, blues, jazz, hardcore...its really good to hear a lot of music to compose new songs.

You guys are from Castellon, which is quite a distance from a major city. What is the metal scene there?

We think we have a huge metal scene, there's a lot of great musicians in Castellon, and the historical music scene there in Castellon is amazing... we are so proud to be one of the bands that belong this scene.

What do you think about the metal scene in Spain at the moment?

Its growing in a breakneck way... years ago, you couldn't see any Spanish band supporting the biggest hardcore/metal bands in the world. Now, especially this year, you can usually see amazing shows or festivals announcements with great bands being supported by the Spanish scene bands... and this is really good for us!. We also want to say that this year has been a year with an amazing albums releases and label signings in our country and we think this is putting the bar higher. 

You toured Spain with Dutch band Wasted Bullet. How did that come about and how was it for you?

Yes, we toured with them for three days, they are an amazing band and great guys. while you are touring with a foreign band you can learn a lot of things to improve and grow as a band... and we have learned a lot, we are so grateful to this experience.
What has been the high point for you so far?

We think this year has been our best one in this short period as a band. We released our debut EP "There's No Wonderland, Alice" in March. In almost 4 months, it has more than 1000 downloads and we sold out all our copies in our Spanish tour between march and October. We also released our debut music video for the song R.A.T.C.E.N. Is Nectar Backwards at BlankTV and now we are working on a demo for 2012, its going to be recorded by Alberto Sales, a veteran in the metal local scene at Rocketes studios and its going to be produced by Josh Bodnar at Euphony Recordings (Skies of December last EP producer) so we are so excited to reach a higher level for 2012... so we are working on it.

What are your future plans for the band?

As we said, we are working on a demo and a good band presentation. So in 2012 we will be working to find a record label that bet for our music and a booking agency to have aids in booking shows. definitely we want to built the foundation of the pyramid.

Which bands from your area should people check out?

You should check our bros at No Frequency, The eleventh Failure, The Taste Of Tragedy, Between Four Walls, Farm School Holocaust, Clouds over Normandy, Puk*2 and Memories.

So, please make sure you go and check out Fifth Period and their EP on Facebook at and via Myspace at

Also, make sure you head over to Stay Ahead's Facebook page at It'd be really cool to hear from people who visit my blog. Thanks.