Into The Pandemonium…

It sure has been a while…

When I started up this blog, I had the best of intentions to keep at it and post regularly, diving into topics I wanted to know more about. Then I got a new job, running a brewery taproom. And then I went to America on my jollies (post on that incoming). Then before you know it, an entire year has gone by and Headbrewers Ball is just sat here lying fallow.

But how quickly things can change. After the UK government called for all pubs to close on 20th March 2020 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, I’ve now got a fair bit of time on my hands. So it seemed like a good time to get back into waffling about metal and beers once again. You know, the good stuff!

It’s a particularly strange time that we’re living in at the moment, and to try and avoid the 24 hour rolling news on this pandemic, I’ve taken solace in a trio of records lately, all of which I believe are worthy of your attention. Let the waffling commence!

Video Nasties - Dominion
Video Nasties – Dominion (APF Records)

Horror soaked black n’roll from Merseyside is the best way to describe Video Nasties. ‘Dominion’ is the debut album from the five piece, stitched together from members of Iron Witch, SSS, The Bendal Interlude and Magpyes. Not for the squeamish, this is a bloody mix of John Carpenter, Hammer Horror, Dario Argento, Entombed, At The Gates, and Sepultura. And that barely scratches the surface, as ‘Dominion’ doesn’t follow your standard horror tropes. Video Nasties are carving their own left hand path, and you better watch your back. Hands down one of my favourite records of 2020 so far. Pick up a copy from APF Records.

The Night Flight Orchestra - Aeromantic
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic (Nuclear Blast Records)

This took a couple of listens to click. At first I just thought, “What even is this?!”. Now I’m hooked!
The Night Flight Orchestra is the brainchild of Soilwork’s Björn ‘Speed’ Strid and David Andersson, it’s pure hard rock/AOR – think Toto meets Abba – all themed around flying (I know, right?!). It sounds almost farcical when you spell it out like that, but it’s fantastic! Having spent years listening to Soilwork’s strain of melodic death metal, this was never something I’d have expected and considering this is their fifth album, something that’s clearly eluded me for a long while now! Genuinely cannot get enough of this album at the moment, it’s just so much fun. Get it now on Nuclear Blast Records.

Idle Hands - ManaIdle Hands – Mana (Eisenwald)

A late pass from May 2019, but vital nonetheless. Portland’s Idle Hands straddle goth, heavy metal and occult rock, conjuring up songs as morose as the Sisters Of Mercy, as anthemic as The Mission and laced with riffs reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith. As modern gothic/occult records go, this really picks up the torch left by the like of In Solitude’s ‘Sister’ and Beastmilk’s ‘Climax’. Idle Hands were due to head out on the road in the US with Mayhem, Abbath and Gatecreeper as part of this year’s Decibel Magazine tour, but alas that was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Help them out and pick up some merch.

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