New bands come and go all the time, some are successful, some aren't, but it's safe to say that none have made a mark on the crazy world of rock and metal quite like GHOST. After releasing their debut album "Opus Eponymous" back in 2010, the Swede's have gone from strength to strength; ammassing a loyal cult fanbase with their soft, almost BLUE OYSTER CULT-esque classic rock, coupled with their strong Satanic imigary and lyricism...they have been nothing short of a marvel and a spectacle to behold on the live stage. 2016 saw them release an EP by the name "Popestar"...the track "Square Hammer", an off-cut from previous album "Meliora" is an absolutely superb piece of melodic rock, and the covers of the likes of ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN and EURYTHMICS are just something to behold. No one does it quite like Ghost, and that's why Papa with his nameless ghouls are special.
The amount of young bands emerging from the UK right now is astounding, anywhere you look up and down the country, be it Scotland, Wales, England...there are more good up-and-coming bands than you can shake a drum stick at. In a world where venues are facing the threat of closure and album sales are down in favour of streaming, it's good to see that the scene is as healthy as it's ever been, and one of the brightest bands to breakout in 2016 is AS SIRENS FALL. The Bradford based 5-piece have only been around since 2014 but they got their foot on the ladder this year with their EP "The Hospital Party"...with a ear for some catchy pop-rock, tracks like "Smoke" and "State Of The Artist" make this EP a pleasure to listen to, making As Sirens Fall definite ones to watch in 2017...no trips to A&E required.
It's been a rollercoaster of a year fo one Mr. WiL Francis....at the beginning of 2016 he said his goodbye's and laid rest to AIDEN...much to the dismay of their many, many goth-punk fans and followers, but it hasn't all been doom and gloom...he rounded off the year by not only returning as WILLIAM CONTROL, but he returned stronger than ever when he dropped "The Pale EP". Some of his best material to date, with some solid production and his knack for combining edgy alternative rock with the throwback tones of DEPECHE MODE inspired electronica (not to mention his trademark dark erotic lyricism) he really is on top ofhis game. With three more EP's to come in the series...William is without a doubt in control.
Music is a funny old business on times...people sometimes forget that, just because something is really popular in one place, it doesn't mean it's the same somewhere else...or that, just because you've never heard of an artist, they aren't really successful. JOHNOSSI fit this mould perfectly; award winning, platinum selling artists in their home country of Sweden, the duo dropped their newest EP in 2016 entitled "Air Is Free" and it's absolutely brilliant. The title-track and lead single is a massive alternative indie track; one of the catchiest most positive songs you will hear ever, while the ballad "Alone In The Summer" is quite simply beautiful. Incredibly good performers and song writers, you need to follow Johnossi over the coming year, they will conquer the UK.
Every year there is a band...one band...that hits you like an RKO out of nowhere, and for 2016 that band is AS LIONS. Formed out of the ashes of RISE TO REMAIN by front-man Austin Dickinson...the London based five-piece dropped an absolute scorcher of an EP to round off the year called "Aftermath". There's no bullshit, this is just straight-up, quality hard rock inspired metal....tracks like "White Flags" are flawless examples of how rock should sound, while tracks like "World On Fire" show it's ok to have a tender side while still sounding cool as fuck. Daddy Bruce ought to be proud...As Lions released THE EP of 2016...and I seriously cannot wait for the album in January.
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Gavin J Griffiths, a.k.a GavTheGothicChav, lover of new music and supporter of bands. Inspired by a mixture of horror and comedy, and fueled by a blend of alcohol and sarcasm...if you're a singer / in a band and would like a review written up, please do get in touch via the email address at the top of the page and I'll get back to you ASAP. Much love x