Gothenburg pioneers In Flames have made a lot of changes to their sound in Siren Charms, and for the most part this comes across as quite a big risk. Many, many fans have longed for a return to the sound of Colony or Whoracle, melodic death-metal juggernauts that cemented In Flames firmly onto the heavy metal scene.
You must be familiar with Babymetal. They are the most absurd fairy tale to hit recorded music in recent memory; a smashing together of two mutually exclusive musical genres. A cartoon with 35million Youtube hits. And I am about to sit down with them, if I'm being brutally honest, to see if they actually exist.
For those of you who haven't heard Crossfaith before. They're a genre busting band cut from a cloth not that dissimilar from former tour mates Enter Shikari. They mix up hardcore, punk rock, metalcore and electronics from trance to dubstep to produce a sound that's brilliantly fresh, heavy and most importantly unique.
They are precision engineered. If western pop is expertly produced but ultimately soulless tat, Babymetal are a cross between a Ferrari and a black panther; the whole project has been very carefully thought out and every component, from the musicians, choreography, costumes, song writing, has been crafted to perfection.
You want to be at the front of the gig? Good. Get to the venue early and queue up like everyone else. Don't wait until the gig has started and then push your way through the crowd to the front - especially if you end up hurting people, knocking them over and splitting up people who want to be able to enjoy the gig together.
The fact of the matter is that since Linkin Park and Slipknot, no other viable festival headliners have emerged. Muse are too big a deal and they aren't "metal enough" for such events and the jury is currently out on Avenged Sevenfold. There is little to add to the 'there won't ever be another Metallica' argument...
Hate crime is not a new concept. Throughout history there are many examples of groups being marginalised, oppressed and discriminated against. Many of the world's conflicts have stemmed from hatred towards particular groups, and genocide is hate crime in its extremist form. Hate crime is most definitely a human rights issue and should be treated as such.
I don't make heavy metal music. I guess if I had to label what I do in my band, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, it would be with something wince-inducing like 'progressive ambient pop' written in a tasteful calligraphic hand on expensive washi paper and tied with jute cord to a bonsai tree, probably by a vegetarian.