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Review: Hellfest 2014 June 20th – 22nd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by Tickets There

Bq-gbMUIUAEU5NlHellfest 2014 may be over, but the ninth instalment of Europe’s fastest growing heavy metal festival won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Over the course of the weekend, more than 150,000 fans descended on the small town of Clisson in France to witness what can only be described as the greatest line-up any festival has ever managed to gather in a single year. From headliners to openers – every orifice of the metal world resonated with excitementand and there was no shortage of crowds for any band throughout the weekend.

IMG_9433On top of the incredible line-up, Hellfest organizers really enhanced the festival grounds for this year’s event. The market moved from the arena to the metal corner and developed into an actual miniature town in the form of Hellcity – with paved streets, actual footpaths, street lights and a massive number of new stalls and space. As well as that, greater seating areas were added allowing those of us with ‘walking difficulties’ more chances to relax when needed. The arena itself also got upgraded with a massive Ferris wheel added, paved paths, far more variety for food and more bars than you could shake a stick at. All in all an incredible set-up for just four days of festivities and a good sign of how quickly Hellfest is growing.

It wasn’t all glamorous however as Irish fans struggled in the extreme sun, dust and high temperatures to keep cool in black t-shirts, battlevests and corpse paint. But we survived and now it’s time to look back at just some of the highlights on and off the stage from Hellfest 2014.

Compact site means little walking between stages,

Compact site means little walking between stages,

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Hellfest 2014 Begins

DAY 01 – FRIDAY: There had been rumours that the scorching sun experienced on Thursday was due to continue for the entire weekend. On Friday morning festival goers found out that not only was the sun still here, it was actually hotter. Baking heat scorches the festival site with little opportunity to hide. Tents turn into saunas while main stages become roasting pits with thousands of black-clad metal maniacs enduring the punishing conditions to catch glimpses of the earlier bands.. and endure it they do.

Friday boasts one of the most popular line-ups of the whole weekend with Rob Zombie, Sepultura, Slayer, Death, Electric Wizard and Iron Maiden all on the bill. Powerman 5000 kick things in off epic style with a child chorus sing along that gets the crowd in a jolly mood before they crash in with their punishing electro-metal style. Irish rockers Therapy? provide a sharp contrast with catchy upbeat tunes that get the crowd hopping. All the major singles are included for a pretty decent set (except ‘Diane’).

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Rob Zombie @ Hellfest 2014

Rob Zombie is one of the major draws for the day and he doesn’t disappoint. Although he plays without his full stage show, Rob and co. deliver an incredibly strong set packed with classics such as ‘Dracula’, ‘Superbeast’, ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ and ‘Living Dead Girl’ before also throwing in some White Zombie classics and a cover of Diamond Head’s ‘Am I Evil’. He finishes up with White Zombie’s ‘Thunder Kiss ’65’ and blows the crowd away. An epic start and only a few bands in!

Terrible blurry photo taken b y myself. Sorry......

Iron Maiden @ Hellfest 2014 – Terrible blurry photo taken by myself. Sorry……

Sepultura keep things going as the heat starts to die off with a solid set of classics, but the real excitement was reserved for the legendary Iron Maiden who’s stage set-up captivates some fans’ attentions during the Brazilian’s set. By nine o’clock, the entire crowd has gathered in the arena for one of metal’s most beloved bands and they punish the hell out of us. Brining their ‘Made In England’ tour to France, Maiden deliver two solid hours of incredibleness. Wall to wall classic songs, a mouth watering stage show and their sound is just jaw dropping, Maiden may be getting older, but they can deliver a live show above almost all others.

‘Moonchild’, ‘Can I Play With Maddness’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Seventh Son..’ – it’s like a dream watching them. I should be clever and wordy here – but I can’t. Maiden are everything I’d ever hoped for and it only took twenty years, four shows and France to get it. Job done – happy in life now. Leaving the stage after an encore filled with ‘Aces High’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Sanctuary‘ – it’s almost hard to believe there was more to come.

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Slayer @ Hellfest 2014

Maiden, Therapy?, Death Angel, Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie and Sepultura. Not too shabby for one day – but add the next act onto that and you have heaven….or hell.

SLAYER are not a band to fuck around with and when they hit Mainstage 2 for their late night slot the crowd is there on time. Opening with ‘Hell Awaits’, Slayer perform a compact, but juicy set that both fulfils and delights attendees and leaves us gasping for more. ‘Antichrist’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Disciple’ – on and on they come and each one delivered with bone crushing force. Even their new tune, ‘Implode‘ sounds as strong as their older material. An excellent end to the day and time to relax with Sabaton and look forward to two more days.

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Hellcity at night – just part of Hellfest’s Metal Corner

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The Temple Stage after Gorgoroth

DAY 02 – SATURDAY: More heat, more music, more diversity. After a fairly solid lashing of proper heavy metal on Friday, Saturday is a mix of intensely heavy music and older classic rock. Well, any day you see Carcass, Deep Purple, Tsjuder and Aerosmith in the one place is always going to be a little strange. Add a previous night of drinking, no sleep and hotter than hell temperatures – you’ve got yourself the perfect cocktail of highly diverse chaos and incredible music.

Skid Row, Buckcherry and the excellent Lez Zeppelin are all fantastic bands to kick off the day – each one draws massive crowds (a shocking factor for me given the temptatures, but then again non-Irish people seem to cope quite well). Extreme followed with a lovely relaxing set of classics that filled the whole arena and set a nice, calming mood for the day. Gorguts and Tsjuder really changed the vibes with the latter crushing the Temple stage with fierce, violent black metal. God I missed Hellfest these last twelve months.

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Entrance to The Kingdom of Museadet

Over at the Valley stage, Clutch are delivering their brand of stoner funk metal with a packed crowd and savage sound. Clutch wouldn’t be my own cup of tea, but there’s no denying they have an incredible live sound and know how to handle their crowd. With Neil Fallon’s announcement that the band are heading back to the studio to record a new album soon, fans go insane and lap up a little taste of their new material before they finish with ‘Electric Worry’, ‘One Eye Dollar’ and ‘The Wolf Man Kindly Requests..’.

Over at MS1, Soulfy brace the heat to crush Sepultura’s performance from the previous day. Max Cavalera’s outfit may not be the most exciting metal band in history, but they’re solid and a couple of Sepultura covers help keep the momentum going. A quick visit to Brutal Truth ups the ante as they crush the altar but for this writer, the time had finally come to see one of heavy metal’s founding stones – the legendary Deep Purple.

Having never seen Deep Purple before, it was hard to know what to expect. They’re getting on in age terms but judging by their show they still have it. Seeing this kind of musicianship concentrated in one space is scarce and the obvious enjoyment from the band and the older crowd brings a sense of order and relaxation to Hellfest as the light starts to fade and night takes over the site. ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Strange Kind of Woman’, ‘Lazy’ and ‘Space Trukin’ are all delivered with restrained perfection. Of course the major cheers came for their biggest hit, ‘Smoke on the Water’ which woke the crowd up and left a great energy for the remainder of their set. As they finish, this writer bites his lower lip for missing Monster Magnet in the Valley, but Purple did not disappoint.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 - My headliner pic curse continues.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 – My headliner pic curse continues.

Then it was time for Saturday’s major draw – the mighty Aerosmith and their jaw dropping balls out two hour hard rock spectacle. Starting with a massive video introduction, the famous smith logo shot to the screen before Stephen Tyler grabs the crowds attention with a whistle as the band kick into ‘Back Into The Saddle’. They sound great, they look great and they blow Hellfest wide open with hit after hit after hit. There’s no holding back as they reach back and pull out all the stops from their career. ‘Eat The Rich’ (personal favourite), ‘Love in an Elevator’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ all fall out like it’s nothing and you could be forgiven for thinking their entire set is one long encore – designed to beat fans into submission. The set finishes with further dazzling displays of the bands tightness and incredibly strong back catalogue of singles before Stephen returns to the stage solo to play ‘Dream On’ in the middle of the crowd before the final track – ‘Sweet Emotion’ brings the show to a triumphant end. Incredible, absolutely incredible and there’s still more to go.

Carcass @ Hellfest 2014

In between the feel good rock ‘n’ roll of Aerosmith, a helping of Gorgoroth is needed. Only knowing them by reputation as an incredible live band means they have the task of convincing a potential new fan on an Aerosmith buzz to like them… and they do. They have a packed crowd and play a brilliant few tunes. It means missing a few Smith classics, but worth every minute. With both shows over, it’s time to devote myself to Carcass who own the Temple stage and force a lot of fans to wake up and ignore the fact that we were now going almost 36 hours without sleep. “Are you awake? Are you drunk? I’m fucking drunk” announces Jeff Walker to the crowd before offering us the chance to see Avenge Sevenfold instead. Err, no thanks man – grand here. Carcass play one of the most intense sets of the festival and ensured there will be no sleeping tonight either – back to the camp site for more Carcass and beers!

The arena at night - filled with light and fire

The arena at night – filled with light and fire

VIP

The entertainment in VIP was not dissapointing

DAY 03 – SUNDAY: The final day comes and with it some rain in the early, early morning for those who …forgot to sleep. When the sun returns temperatures soar, meaning it’s time to put serious faces on and get in early because Crowbar except nothing but your uninterrupted attention.

Kirk Windstein has made headlines recently after kicking a fan in the face for attempting to stage dive at one of their shows. Whether you agree with bands allowing stage diving or not, it’s hard to hold it against the man as they plough through twenty five years of sludge metal. Ten albums later and Crowbar are savagely strong – even in this blazing sun. ‘Planets Collide’ is of course reserved for last but what a way to spend an hour on a sunny Sunday morning.

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with an iPhone and I don't condone it

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with a phone and I don’t condone it

Before going too much into the bands on Sunday, it has to be acknowledged at this point that Hellfest has to be home to some of earth’s most beautiful people. Add baking heat and those people get up close and personal with naked and that is a difficult thing to deal with when your girlfriend is hundreds of miles away. The heat, the tiredness, the lack of ….sustenance – the stakes rise.

Powerwolf have to be enjoyed from the comfort and shade of Museadet’s Kingdom. They sound great, but the shade won this round. Things manage to get back on track for the amazing Annihilator who up the temperature with their set – annihilating (pun intended) the crowds with a bruising set in the fiery heats of hell…fest. Having never seen them before – Annihilator quickly become one of the festival’s major highlights.

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Behemoth @ Hellfest 2014

Next up is another band I’ll be familiarizing myself with more and more over the coming months before their headline show in Dublin this December. Poland’s Behemoth are certainly full-f**king-on! With a show that rivals any band of the whole festival, they make mince meat of the crowd that gathers for their main stage 2 performance. Fire, full costumes and more fire hold up the theatrics end of an amazing hour of black metal. Thus far Behemoth have conquered all other black metal performances of the weekend and it’s comforting to know they’re just warming up the stage for Emperor who’ll be out in an hour.

After Behemoth’s performance, Soundgarden take the main stage and I don’t know whether it’s the fact that they’re not black metal or that the Misfits are on in the Warzone – but they seem very flat and dull. Chris Cornell’s voice is still incredibly strong but the music just seems extremely uninteresting and lifeless. Rather than hang around, it must instead be time to see a little punk this weekend.

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Jerry Only and Dez Cadena with The Misfits @ Hellfest 2014

The Misfits are now a Tickets There regular at Hellfest. Last year we were treated to a special Misfits set from DANZIG featuring Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein and this year Jerry Only’s version of the band pops up. Amusing, fun and sing along brilliance. A massive array of songs all culminating in the classic ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’. Absolutely epic performance and far more than you might expect.

Unfortunately Hellfest offered so much I should take the time to list the bands that couldn’t be seen without missing full sets from any bands this weekend. Apologies to Death DTA, Enslaved, Electric Wizard, Phil Anselmo, Nile, Monster Magnet, Dark Angel, Soilwork, Flogging Molly and Paradise Lost – I would have loved to see you but choices must be made and it’s important to stick by those choices.

As the night draws to a close, it’s time to settle in with the reason a lot of this year’s hard-core fans came to Hellfest 2014 – the much revered EMPEROR.

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Emperor @ Hellfest 2014

Emperor are at Hellfest celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut album, In the Nightside Eclipse and they’re playing it in full. Kicking off with ‘Into the Infinity of Thoughts’, the band play every song meticulously – right through to ‘Inno a Satana‘ with Ihsahn stopping to speak with the crowd between each song. A little cooling down from fire hoses doesn’t hurt the mood either – thank God!

For a band that hasn’t worked together much over the past few years – they appear unstoppable tonight. Also their stage show provides a subtle backdrop to the intensely dark and frightening sound. No corpse paint or satanic / pagan props needed – job done. They finish up with the classics ‘Ancient Queen’ and ‘Wrath of Tyrant’ and scare the living sh*t out of the older fans gathered for Black Sabbath’s headlining performance on the neighbouring stage next.

Black Sabbath – I can hardly believe they’re written down as the next band on the list. This weekend has produced some of the greatest live experiences from some of heavy metal’s greatest names and BLACK F**KING SABBATH are coming on now. It’s 11pm – way past their bed time these days but as the opening notes of ‘War Pigs’ ring out it’s very obvious that Sabbath mean business.

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 - wouldn't be a headliner without a terrible photo

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 – wouldn’t be a headliner without a terrible photo

Sabbath play a short set but ram it with classics and stand out tracks from last year’s 13 album. ‘Into The Void’, ‘Snowblind’, ‘Age of Reason’, ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘N.I.B’. all bombard their way through the nigh time air as they rival Maiden for the sher mass of people in attendance to see them. Ozzy interacts with the crowd, joking and getting us off our “arses” for ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, ‘Rat Salad’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘God Is Dead?‘ before Heavy Metal’s godfathers finish their main set with ‘Children of the Grave’. They’re only off the stage a minute before Ozzy’s voice booms over the PA, encouraging fans to chant for more. Ozzy, we don’t need your help. We want lots more!

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

Sabbath return and tease the crowd with the intro of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ before launching into ‘Paranoid‘. Both would have been acceptable – but what a finish and what a band. Sabbath are a live force to be reckoned with.

Taking a break during Sabbath was never a goal I wanted to accomplish in life, but there was no missing 1349 a second time. Legging it to The Temple, the Norwegian black metal heavyweights could be found with an incredibly sizeable crowd (given who was playing two stages over).

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

After so many great black metal performances over the weekend, it’s hard to pick a winner – but 1349 are high up there and they manage all this after midnight on the fourth day of Hellfest (well, third with gigs) while Sabbath are playing a little down the way. Excellent show from an increasingly promising band. They’re also studio bound soon so expect to hear more over the coming months.

Sabbath and 1349 lead the way for the night’s final acts – Opeth and Tubonegro both manage to pack their stages despite the hour and the exhaustion felt by all. For this writer, Turbonegro have to be mostly enjoyed on the slow walk back to the campsite – much to my regret as they sounded incredible.

Another Hellfest comes to an end. An incredible weekend of music, fun, theatrics, surprises, beautiful people (excluding yours truly – I was sweaty), sun, food, drinking, partying, laughs and some of the greatest heavy metal names known to man. Hellfest assaulted the senses and left little of us to bring home. It’ll take some doing to recover but all eyes are already on 2015 and Hellfest’s tenth anniversary. Could they make it bigger? All will be revealed in time. Till then – thank you to all the staff, crew, bands and crowd for the craic. Yis were all fecking mighty!

TIME FOR TROLLY WARS!

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Review: Coldwar – Pantheist

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , on May 16, 2014 by Tickets There

untitledColdwar are a scary fucking band. Pantheist has been screaming over my headset the last couple of weeks and I am no so shit scared I can’t leave my house for fear of bumping into then, being verbally beaten to a pulp and then properly killed in a beautiful violent display of gore, terror, new age beliefs and thoughtful insights into human philosophy, anthropology and theology. Basically the three ology’s I actually understand, please add more at your pleasure.

The album is a brutal piece of work. Nine songs of unrelenting ferocity that you imagine were written to scare velociraptors away from farms and captured terrorists into submission. What am I talking about? Who knows when Trevor LcLave (singers always get called out on this site because we don’t believe in other musicians) is screaming down the house and trampling your brain into the crevasses of your skull.

I’m not going through it track by track. Pantheist is so incredibly intensely dense that calling out subtle differences, the heavier tracks and trying in anyway to breakdown this is beyond the powers of yours truly. It’s just one of those albums that means serious business. The Serious business of Coldwar and Pantheist. I’m going back to listen, I advise you to do the same.

Coldwar

Tickets There pretends to be reviewers from time to time. Discernible readers will notice what a crock of shit this is. You should note that you are not our core market focus. We aim for the slow folks and not so well read….

 

 

Review: Twisted Autocracy – Reinstate the Hate (EP)

Posted in EP Review, Music with tags , , on May 1, 2014 by Tickets There

a2654034394_2We’ve been looking to this for about half a year and finally the time has come for Twisted Autocracy. Tickets There has an almost Axl Rose choreographed history with TA as we’ve managed to turn up late for all but one of the fourteen thousand times they’ve played nights we attended. However that one show, much like Snowblind last week, was enough. Not being major, major hardcore fans – there was a little awkwardness at first – but you can’t deny music of this quality and intensity.

Reinstate the Hate is the band’s debut EP and it’s five slices of savagely fast, obnoxious metal that pulls no punches. Could that have sounded any more cliché? Yes – the answer is yes it could. Seriously though – from the moment ‘A Worthless Place’ booms on the headphones it’s hard not to just listen to this EP over and over again. The E.P.’s title track, ‘Pretty Fucked Pretty Quick‘ and the excellent ‘Corporation Defecation’ are all presented with the same, fist pumping energy and give the listener the perfect introduction to their sound and the potential for future releases.

A great listen and highly recommended for all metal fans. Have a listen on the band’s official bandcamp page now.

Review: Def Leppard – Slang

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by Tickets There

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album-coverI was initially going to avoid reviewing this and just enjoy it, but after several spins of the Slang re-issue this week and it being Valentines days and all, I figured my first love in music deserved my attention. Sending the actual members of Def Leppard a card is considered ‘psychotic’ by those around me so I hope a review will suffice.

Slang came our four years after I had first heard Def Leppard. Up till the point their previous albums, On Through The Night, High ‘N’ Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize had all pushed their sound further and further towards a standardized, polished pop direction with layer upon layer of vocals, guitar fiddly bits, synths and all things eighties. Unfortunately for Def Leppard and many, many other colossal bands of that era, the sher volume of hack amateurs in the genre and grunge movement shifted people’s attention towards a more solemn, displaced sound. Plaid shirts, problems and anger replaced the mullets, spandex and sing along fun that came before it. Where to go?

slang01Leppard served out the early wave of Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden hysteria (no pun intended… well maybe just a little) by touring the Adrenalize album to packed arenas and keeping fans interested with the Retro Active B-sides albums which sparked the massively successful ‘Two Steps Behind You’. It would be three years before Leppard would remerge and like Metallica, they were barely recognizable when they did.

Slang was a kick in the ass to Leppard. The way they recorded, the sound, the style were all massively different to their tried and tested formula. No more years of recording and time apart. Leppard hit the studio and wrote/recorded like never before. The layers of production that had grown and grown over the previous three albums was replaced by a more raw sound that exposed Leppard to their audience in a way that hadn’t been heard since On Through The Night. The giant guitar riffs, duelling solos and plunges were replaced by melodic leads that allowed the matured lyrics and themes to hit the surface.

Def_Leppard-Slang-Interior_TraseraSongs like ‘Work It Out’, ‘Breath A Sigh’, ‘All I Want is Everything’ and ‘Where Does Love Go When It Dies’ brought a level of seriousness and reflection that was rarely heard before. No attempt was made to turn each song into a pop single, instead the band weren’t afraid to make a stamp with these tracks and open themselves up to a new direction. Turn To Dust, Truth, Slang and Gift of Flesh brought some of the rock back into the picture and but again showed Leppard were not rehashing their glory days by peddling out copies of ‘Animal’, ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. The songs were darker, more blunt and perfect.

Musically the grouped changed as well. Eastern and meditranian includeces can be heard all over the record. Styles similar to R&B, alternative rock and even some grunge can be heard throughput giving additional depth and diversity.

Slang initially divided fans. While critics worldwide applauded Def Leppard, their followers missed the larger than life anthems. However the years have been kind to Slang, even from some of the most ardent corners of the Lepp base. It’s endearing credibility, it’s ecliptic mix of styles and warm collection of songs make it an interesting journey to bask in. After Slang, the band reverted temporarily to their older sound for the Euphoria album and the Slang sound was never explored further. Who knows where it could have gone, whether it would have improved or lost its meaning; but for one point in the middle of the nineties, Def Leppard shook things up in a way that would have terrified most established bands. They braved a committed, but traditional fan base, a hostile world of peers and a new youthful energy that’s primary aim was to destroy everything Leppard had championed in the previous decade and they came out swinging. Slang has stood the time and every fan should take the time to remind themselves of that.

Review: METALLICA – ‘Through The Never’

Posted in Film Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by Tickets There

metallicathroughtheneverlargeposterMetallica’sThrough The Never’  hit cinemas late last week and doesn’t appear to have been pulling in the punters in any great numbers. Suprising when you consider the size of the crowds James, Lars, Kirk and Rob can draw when they grace the shores of any country in the world. Despite this being a movie rather than live show, the experience is everything you’d expect from something with Metallica’s name stamped across it. Big, bad, bold and brilliant.

Through The Never is a mash of Metallica playing an incredible career spanning live show that brings back beloved stage props, tour incidents and classic songs. From Kill ‘Em All to Death Magnetic – the boys bruise through sixteen of their crunchiest, heaviest, fastest songs while their young roadie/gofer treks through a war-torn city in search of materials badly needed by the band. The whole experience is presented in 3D, bringing the sweat from Lars back  right onto your lap. The band sound incredible and each one casts an imposing figure on the screen – tearing through their set with extreme power. Add in a little humour and some incredible scenes featuring full on violence, death and anarchy – you’ve got Through The Never.

If you haven’t been to an IMAX screening before then I can assure you it lives up to every expectation you could possibly have. The IMAX screen in Cineworld, Parnell St. is beyond impressive, imposing and makes adults feel like kids in the cinema again and if you haven’t seen Metallica on IMAX, then you need to sort that quick! It . Book tickets now!

Cineworld – Booking Page

Movie Review – VIVA! Hysteria

Posted in Film Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2013 by Tickets There

559365_10151843921107435_815128562_nThe criteria for storylines and starlets has apparently lowered in Hollywood. Nowhere is this more obvious than in VIVA! Hysteria which bounds to cinema screens across the world this week. Offering nothing to any discerning viewer and relying heavily on its Def Leppard laced soundtrack and a live performance by the band themselves. Almost every hint of the movie’s intricate plot and diverse and interesting characters is diluted to the point of near non-existence thanks to the director’s obvious David Lynch influence and Darren Aronofsky delivery.

1175649_10151844875777435_27551726_nFor 90 minutes the viewer is required to carefully study thousands of faces, waiting to pick up on the disappointingly weak storyline that brazenly focuses on ‘two ladies’ quest to hog monitor time before being eclipsed by the man only known as ‘I keep my arm on the ramp dude’. The quality of the actors is on par with any academy award winning nominee from the past thirteen years, made more surprising by the fact that all the stars are all new comers; however the intrusion of the background artists and camera work levels their role in the film to mere ‘attendees’.

On the plus side, you are treated to a full performance of Hysteria, the major catalyst in the story by one of the world’s most beloved and distinguished bands, Def Leppard. Joe, Rick, Viv, Phil and Richard all play a blinder and despite this being a complex communist spy / art-house / independent / drug culture / hammer horror homage to Charlie Chaplin in story, the music ends up stealing every minute. Def Leppard well done – but unknown director, you have wronged the movie industry. Next time try some character dialogue. Fortunately Joe Elliott used his opportunities to keep a few laughs coming.

9/10

Review: Animator – Blacklisted

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by Tickets There

922328_463819373702599_683130385_oIn typical Tickets There fashion, we found an album we loved. We listed to the hell out of it and never bothered for one second to put a word down on paper. For years we’ve struggled to express the excitement about albums we love, but that stops now because Animator’s Blacklisted deserves the attention of every metal fan in Ireland.

In Blacklisted, the Wexford lads have accomplished a truly memorable album, perfectly mixing writing quality, tight musicianship; all densely ground together to create something very special. Their diverse musical backgrounds fully complement each other as their sound screams through and you’re confronted with a thrash / hardcore assault of riffs, political angst and speed. First up to get the hearts racing, ‘State of Emergency’. Sirens, a brooding build-up; composed of John F. Kennedy’s 1961 ANPA address, breaking new stores snippets and James’s scream, “The shit has hit the fan this time, our nations on the brink” sets the tone for this entire record. ‘Death From Above’ strikes hard and fast, but its allure begins to pale when listed before the epic ‘In God We Trust’. A magnificent masterpiece of thrash metal. In God We Trust is reason enough to own this album, but it’s just one of several prime cuts.

960004_10151835604628200_548538767_nUltra 53’ 🙂 begins to express more personal anguish through a mix of swooping riffs, spiralling leads and surprise turns before ‘Dreadweb’ knuckles it’s way in to deliver some of the most balls out riffs and screaming solos of the whole album. ‘Taking the Liberty’ and ‘Electric Armageddon’ continues the punishing and lands yet another quality tune from this record. ‘Western Shadow’ adds little unfortunately for this review, the breakdown into scratchy bridges leads us astray, but the closing anthem of anthems (since In God We Trust), ‘When Duty Calls’ is the closing crown jewel on this incredible debut.

After months of listening, it’s hard to pretend there’s no prior judgements here. But six months ago I knew Animator as a name only. However, one or two listens of this album will turn any fans of thrash metal into Animatoriacs. This is a band with the talent, power and hunger to go far and all you need to do is press play. Well done lads!