Skindred's new single 'Gimme That Boom' is out now - WATCH THE VIDEO HERE, the single is taken from the new album "Smile" due out Summer 2023. PRE-ORDER HERE
“It’s the ultimate ragga-rocking, dancehall-shaking, dutty-winding, head-banging, horn-waving creation… yes party people the ’Dreds dem back!” – Benji Webbe, Skindred
Next year, Skindred – one of the UK’s most exciting live acts and pioneers of Ragga Metal – celebrate their 25th anniversary with the release of their brand new album Smile, their eighth long-player and their first for Earache Records, with whom they signed a global four-album deal last year.
Ahead of that comes the first single to be taken from Smile, the floor-quaking sonic blast that is ‘Gimme That Boom’. A hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners, ragga-metal anthem ‘Gimme That Boom’ deals with the selfish entitlement that’s become so prevalent in this age of instant gratification, based on a frustrating encounter lead singer Benji Webbe had with an overfamiliar fan.
“I was out shopping one day and I could hear someone building up asking me for a picture,” the eye-catching frontman recalls. “The person didn’t care who I was with or what I was doing - they just wanted their picture. In this day and age, people want you and they expect to get you on tap, constantly giving you that ‘boom’ so they can get their Instagram Likes up. It’s important to remember that people can't give you that ‘boom’ all the time. People think because they follow you on social media, they own you.”
Featuring a technicolour video, shot in the neon-lit wonderland that is God’s Own Junkyard in East London, ‘Gimme That Boom’ is an incessant earworm which gives Skindred’s legions of fans a first full flavour of what to expect from the upcoming album. The band did however tease another new track from it in their astounding set at Download Festival earlier this year when they debuted the pop-reggae masterpiece that is ‘L.O.V.E (Smile Please)’ and saw tens of thousands of rock fans skanking with delight in the sunshine.
These two sides of the album, ranging from joy to rage and love to fury, suggest that Smile is going to be hailed as the band’s masterpiece; an album that brings together all facets of Skindred’s music – from reggae to metal, rock to pop, dub to electro – into the most mind-expanding and potent collection of songs, designed to melt stereos around the world when it’s released next summer.
Skindred are currently on a massive European arena tour as special guests of Volbeat. The tour rolls into the UK and Ireland in December with dates as follows:
Skindred have also just been announced as next year’s headliners of both Dominion Festival in Durham May 7th and Takedown Festival in Portsmouth April 8th 2023. For more details go to www.skindred.net/live
Black Lakes have shared a video for their single 'Avarice', taken from their album For All We've Left Behind released earlier this year. The South Wales-based alt-metal outfit are not shy of a social commentary, and 'Avarice' firmly brings forward this political side of the band, as frontman Will Preston sings the mantra "We can't eat money, we can't breathe money" while the band close off the song in chaotic fashion.
Frontman Will comments:
"The definition for the word avarice is “extreme greed for wealth or material gain”. This is something we all see in our day to day lives, and a concept that many of us struggle to both accept, and live with the consequences of. The song tackles the concept that as a species, we will only realise the error of our ways when it’s far too late. It is only when the last tree has been felled, the last fish caught and the last river run dry that we will seemingly realise that for all our time, sweat and effort spent chasing material gain, we cannot eat, breathe or live on money.."
Black Lakes create a sound which deliberately blurs the boundaries between hard rock and alternative metal, drawing on a wide range of influences from across both scenes. Their debut album For All We've Left Behind was recorded in the Welsh capital with premier hard rock and metal producer Romesh Dodangoda. Their previous single 'Fragments' was picked up across national radio including Kerrang! and the BBC. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the band grew from strength to strength, having been named both a Great Music Stories 'Band of the Year 2021', and 'Live Band of the Year', a critically acclaimed redux set released exclusively for the Spirit of Wildfire festival and making the final of the Hard Rock Hell - Highway to Hell competition at the O2 Academy. Having successfully completed their gofundme campaign to support it, their highly anticipated debut album 'For All We've Left Behind' was released on 22nd February 2022. The band has been touring extensively in its support this year.
Black Lakes are:
New Zealand global metal frontrunners Alien Weaponry have been touring around the world nonstop since the 2021 release of their acclaimed sophomore album, Tangaroa, out now via Napalm Records! Spreading vital messages of peace, awareness and warning through the power of their culturally-driven music, Tangaroa proves a massive next step for the band – encompassing all of the elements that make Alien Weaponry heavy metal’s most authentic rising stars.
Following the release of their three previous Tangaroa music videos for "Tangaroa", "Buried Underground", and "Hatupatu", today, in anticipation of their winter and early 2023 performance plans supporting both Guns N' Roses and Gojira, Alien Weaponry have dropped an official video for none other than their album closer track "Down The Rabbit Hole". The track extends an important proclamation against bullying through the eyes and experiences of frontman Lewis de Jong.
Lewis de Jong says about "Down The Rabbit Hole":
"This was an absolute blast to film! 'Down The Rabbit Hole' represents the growth I've experienced throughout my life and putting to bed demons from the past. The video captures the meaning well - the broken objects representing said demons. It’s the rough times in life that make you who you are, as long as you rise above it."
Watch the brand new official music video for “Down The Rabbit Hole” HERE
As mentioned above, Alien Weaponry is thrilled to be hitting the road this winter and next spring with some of rock and metal's biggest icons. In December, the band will support Guns N' Roses on two shows in their home country of New Zealand, and will pick back up to join Gojira on a tour of the UK and Europe in February 2023. See below for all tour dates, and for individual show information, visit www.alienweaponry.com.
Alien Weaponry upcoming tour dates:
w/ Guns N' Roses in 2022
w/ Gojira in 2023
Alien Weaponry is:
Alien Weaponry online:
Welsh ragga metallers Dub War share new single "War Inna Babylon" (ft. Ranking Roger); new album "Westgate Under Fire" out 5th August
Fusion metal pioneers Dub War have released a new single titled “War Inna Babylon”, the second track to be taken from their first album of all-new material in over 25 years, 'Westgate Under Fire'.
The rousing ragga-punk cover of the Max Romeo and the Upsetters' classic “War Inna Babylon”, features guest vocals from the legendary Ranking Roger of The Beat in his last ever recording before his sad passing in 2019. The vivid reimagining of the track sees the band deliver angular guitars, frenetic rhythms, and powerful and uplifting vocals from the band's frontman Benji Webbe (Skindred).
WATCH / SHARE THE VIDEO FOR "WAR INNA BABYLON" HERE
Speaking on the track and collaborating with Ranking Roger, Webbe says:-
"The original song by Max Romeo was in my family record collection as far back as I can remember. When meeting Ranking Roger, we discussed how punk rock and dub reggae had a massive influence on our lives. This song for us both was a massive hit, and we spoke about doing a collaboration and reviving the original with that Clash/The Ruts British punk rock energy to it.
Sadly, not long after we got to record the song with Roger, he passed away. But this song is one that we are very proud of, and we didn’t just do a cover - we really made this unique cover of “War Inna Babylon” our own.”
The new track follows the recent announcement of the band's return, which was accompanied by a single titled "Blackkk Man". Released in the midst of the celebration of Black History Month in the US last month, “Blackkk Man” is a furious revolt against racism and a bleak reflection of crucial events from this decade in particular, including the murder of George Floyd. The accompanying lyric video, compiled and edited by Aran Webster, serves to drive the critical message contained in the lyricism of “Blackkk Man” further, putting society's outrageous double standards in plain sight via news footage and articles.
“Blackkk Man” and their latest single "War Inna Babylon" launch Dub War back into the industry as the band who turned heads with their ground-breaking genre-bending once more. Alongside these potent punk rock-laced track, 'Westgate Under Fire' offers up dance infused metal, ragga-punk and sinister metal with exotic beats.
A band born and raised in Newport, 'Westgate Under Fire' shines a light on a crucial event in their hometown's history, the Newport Uprising. An event which would play a role in transforming democracy in Britain and the world, the uprising in 1839 saw thousands from the Chartist movement march through south Wales, seeking social reform, including the right for men of all classes to vote. The marches ended in a bloody battle at the Westgate Hotel, which saw many of the Chartists dead or wounded. 'Westgate Under Fire' aims to embody the empowerment that Chartists took upon themselves and coincides with the local community resurrecting the derelict Westgate Hotel into an exciting new venue.
'Westgate Under Fire' is available for pre-order worldwide on signed, limited edition coloured vinyl, black vinyl, signed CD and limited cassette at earache.com/dubwar. Due for release 5th August 2022.
Full bio available HERE
Dub War is:
Welsh fusion metallers Dub War share new single "Blackkk Man" + announce new album "Westgate Under Fire"; out 5th August via Earache Records
Fusion metal pioneers Dub War have released their brand new rousing single “Blackkk Man”, the first single off of their first album of all-new material in over 25 years, 'Westgate Under Fire'. Watch the new lyric video here.
The track packs a punch with jagged guitar, furious rhythms and tough vocals from founder and frontman Benji Webbe (who many will also recognise as the mighty Skindred's frontman). Released in the midst of the celebration of Black History Month in the US, “Blackkk Man” is a furious revolt against racism and a bleak reflection of crucial events from this decade in particular, including the murder of George Floyd.
Webbe shares the meaning behind the song:
“This song is exactly how I was feeling at the time of Mr Floyd's murder. This is a cry from my heart for equal rights and justice – and the other boys in the band feel the same as I do. No one chooses the skin they're in - should the skin you're in help you to win? It’s a question we all need to think about! This racist injustice has been going on way too long and, unfortunately, even with all the cries and the pain, it still continues.”
The accompanying lyric video, compiled and edited by Aran Webster, serves to drive the critical message contained in the lyricism of “Blackkk Man” further, putting society's outrageous double standards in plain sight via news footage and articles.
A thought-provoking statement song, “Blackkk Man” and the album it resides on launches Dub War back into the industry as the band who turned heads with their groundbreaking genre-bending once more. Alongside this potent punk rock-laced track, 'Westgate Under Fire' offers up dance infused metal, ragga-punk and sinister metal with exotic beats.
A band born and raised in Newport, 'Westgate Under Fire' shines a light on a crucial event in their hometown's history, the Newport Uprising. An event which would play a role in transforming democracy in Britain and the world, the uprising in 1839 saw thousands from the Chartist movement march through south Wales, seeking social reform, including the right for men of all classes to vote.
The marches ended in a bloody battle at the Westgate Hotel, which saw many of the Chartists dead or wounded. 'Westgate Under Fire' aims to embody the empowerment that Chartists took upon themselves and coincides with the local community resurrecting the derelict Westgate Hotel into an exciting new venue.
'Westgate Under Fire' is available for pre-order worldwide on signed, limited edition coloured vinyl, black vinyl, signed CD and limited cassette at earache.com/dubwar. Due for release 5th August 2022.
Dub War is:
So we now know who the winners of the GMA Awards 2021 were, but to wrap up the event in it's entirety and bid farewell to 2021 and usher in 2022, we must turn to the last bunch of awards - 'Metal Release By Country / Area'.
Usually these would include the flag of the band's nation, but given the events in Afghanistan this year among other political turmoil, I felt it would be prudent to forgo any flags and just list the winners.... so without further ado here are the....
"Under The Verdict"
"The Search For
The Dark Star"
"Beyond Unseen Gateways"
"In The Mouth Of Madness"
Black Serpent Ritual
BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA
"Abyss Of Lost Souls"
"A Whole New Land"
"暮色绽放 Twilight Blooming"
Act Of Denial
Cycles Of Revocation
"Capítulo 1: Repugnante Negocio Del Terror"
Ghosts Of Atlantis
"A Legacy Of Vengeance"
"Lullabies Of Mountain Beasts"
"Empire Of Sins"
ISLE OF MAN
Serenity In Murder
"Midnight Bloody Dances"
"Te Ho Ngeza"
"Cold In Our Hearts"
"Sub Cultura Urii"
Scorn Of Creation
"Todas Las Sangres"
"Eulogy For The Gods"
Dethrone The Corrupted
"The Amygdaloid Decay"
Seraph In Travail
"A Black Death Incense"
"Covered in Concrete"
From The Abyss
"Carving The Fires Of Akhet"
"Chronicles Of War"
"Throne Of Control"
Her Last Sight
"Monument Of Reclamation"
"Mankind / Obsolete"
"Decades Of Suffering"
"The Constitutional Sacrifice"
The Iridium Experiment
"The Order Of Satan's Rage"
Deep Inside Us
"Untitled 2021 Demo"
"Death To Traitors"
"The Ultimate Dream. Plan B: Disposal Of Humanity"
"Belong To Hell"
"Ashes Of Dead Worlds"
"Annihilation Of Mankind"
"Vol. 4: Toxicolandia"
Apes Of God
"En El Recinto De La Tempestad"
Sol Draconi Septem
Beneath The Void
"Attack Of The 50ft Lobsters"
"The Inheritance Of Beauty"
"Gurus Of Destruction"
"Chaos Of Fear"
Becoming The Entity
"Signs Of Saturn"
"Empire Of Glass"
Robot Death Monkey
"Shame Of The Proud Angel"
"A Common Theories"
"Prelude To The Apocalypse"
"A Lip To Earth, A Lip To Heaven & A Tongue To The Stars"
"Punishment In The World To Come"
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
"Terror in Thrace"
The Only Survivor
"The Birth Of Anger"
"Thy Kingdom Kong"
So without further ado, we present the winners of the
2021 Global Metal Apocalypse (GMA) awards.
All categories except "Release Of The Year"
came with an 'other' option.
See you in December 2022
Global Metal Release Of The Year
WARRIOR OF LIGHT
Breakthrough African Band
Breakthrough Asian Band
Breakthrough European Band
Breakthrough North & Central American Band
Breakthrough Oceanian Band
Breakthrough South American Band
Breakthrough UK Band
BEYOND EXTINCTION (ESSEX)
GHOSTS OF ATLANTIS (ESSEX / SUFFOLK)
Breakthrough International Band
Music Video Of The Year
Cradle Of Filth - Necromantic Fantasies
British Lion, the ‘up close and personal’ side project band of Iron Maiden bassist & founder Steve Harris, have released a brand new video, ‘Land Of The Perfect People’. Watch here.
Taken from their 2020 album The Burning, the song’s lyrics were written by vocalist Richard Taylor who comments, “It's about abandonment and issues from being brought up in a children's home."
Although a summer European tour in support of The Burning couldn’t go ahead last year as planned, British Lion have now been confirmed for the 2022 UK Download Festival and are very much hoping to also reschedule some other European club and festival dates. All updates will be posted on www.britishlionuk.com
UK festival favourites Skindred have signed a new global four album deal with Earache Records, with each band member signing the deal in different endangered music venues across the country.
Earache Records have long been one of the most exciting, forward-thinking and important rock labels in the world, having pioneered many extreme metal bands and in recent years enjoying Top 40 success with bands such as Blackberry Smoke, Buckcherry, Massive Wagons, Rival Sons and The Temperance Movement. Once upon a time they also released the first two Dub Wars albums, the first band fronted by Skindred singer Benji Webbe.
Earache Records MD Digby Pearson says:
“We could not be more thrilled to be signing Skindred. They are such a truly unique and much-loved band. We have all been huge fans of them since Day 1 and have followed Benji’s career since the very beginning so to have Skindred sign to Earache is something that we are all extremely excited by. We are delighted to welcome Benji back to the Earache family along with his bandmates Arya, Mikey and Dan and look forward to working with them for many albums to come.”
Skindred have been hailed on numerous occasions as one of the UK’s best live acts so it was only fitting that the band sign their new record deal with the UK’s most innovative rock and metal label Earache Records at some of the country’s most historic grass roots venues which face being closed permanently due to Covid-19 crisis. It’s the perfect opportunity for the band to bring further attention to these treasured venues’ plight and to show their continued support for the live industry in these challenging times.
Earache’s label head Louis Lloyd spent the day travelling across the country to get the signatures from each member, setting off at 8am and covering 450 miles over 13 hours. The venues that took part in this historic signing are Le Pub in Newport (Benji), The Louisiana in Bristol (Dan), The Black Heart in London (Arya) and Brighton’s Green Door Store (Mikey), all of which are on the Music Venue Trust’s red, endangered list.
Skindred drummer Arya Goggin says:
“We are so excited to announce that we are signing a worldwide deal with Earache Records. I have been a fan of the label since I started listening to heavy music. Their independent attitude and willingness to push the boundaries are something we can identify with in Skindred. It was great to ink the deal at The Black Heart in Camden and shine a light on all the struggling independent music venues too. The Music Venue Trust is something that we feel passionately about and we want these venues to thrive and be part of the future of British Music as well as being part of its history.”
Beverley Whitrick, the Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust says:
“Music Venue Trust is incredibly grateful to our artist patrons who talk publicly about why grass roots music venues are important to them and their career development. When a band like Skindred do or say something to illustrate how much they value these venues, this resonates with their legion of fans and helps highlight the strong relationship between an artist and the venues and their teams. When we are still asking for donations to the #SaveOurVenues campaign to help secure the survival of the venues most at risk of imminent closure, this is more welcome than ever. To donate to one of these venues, or the overarching campaign see https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-venues-red-list .”
Matt Doom, Venue Manager of The Black Heart says:
“In the midst of troubling times for all, and as we come into the final throes of crowdfunding to save our much-loved independent venue due to a lack of government support, we at The Black Heart are proud to be one of the hosts for this important event. Skindred are one of the true stalwarts and champions of the UK music scene and we are stoked to witness them sign to the iconic heavy realm of Earache Records. Young bands need places to play so that they can go on to achieve the heights of what Skindred have accomplished, so it feels extremely fitting to have had them use our (currently dormant) stage for such an event, continuing them on their path from the hallowed spot of Camden Town as so many hundreds of bands do on their own journeys each year.”
Skindred have revealed a brand new lyric video for ‘It’s A Crime’, a rare cut from the Japanese version of Roots Rock Riot. Thirteen years after its release, Skindred are re-releasing the record, making the track available outside of Japan for the first time. The album will be available on April 23rd and can be pre-ordered here.
Drummer Arya Goggin recalls:
“‘It’s a Crime’ was written in 2006 in our basement studio below St Joseph’s Boxing club in Newport. It’s where all the writing for Roots Rock Riot took place. The only reason it didn’t make the album was because of how the album track listing flowed. We were so happy with how the album progressed from the opening of chaos of 'Roots Rock Riot' to the epic ending of 'Choices And Decisions' we didn’t want to crowbar another song in needlessly. It was a hard decision to leave it out but we are so happy it’s being included in the re-release. It was always a band and producer favourite.”
Speaking on the inspiration behind the track, vocalist Benji Webbe explains:
“I live in a neighbourhood (Newport, Wales) where back in the day, a lot of people were working hard and getting ripped off in life and then there are others who are just hustling and selling this and selling that. It’s just a crime that hard-working people don’t get what the thieves / criminals get.”
Crafted in a boxing club, recorded in America and laying the groundwork for everything that followed it, Roots Rock Riot is an important piece of Skindred’s history – a piece that this re-release celebrates. The first record of their discography to feature what would become the permanent line-up of Benji, Arya, bassist Daniel Pugsley and guitarist Mikey Demus, it started its life as that difficult second album. What it became completely transcends that, bookending a difficult period of the band’s existence and boldly kicking down the door to the future of their illustrious career.
Benji remembers delivering the vocals with the same passion he employs in front of a festival crowd, and recalls:
“I’m not one of those people who cheers when they’ve finished a record. But I’m always thankful to get to make my art, blending contemporary British music and Jamaican music, with my friends. On Roots Rock Riot I think we did that excellently.”
Mikey (guitars) meanwhile sees this re-release as an opportunity to examine how he and his band have come on in the years since:
“I’m really proud of the record. I had a hell of a lot of fun making it and it features some really important Skindred tracks.”
Producer Matt Squire (Panic At The Disco / Neck Deep) brought the whole album to life and realises its importance in cementing Skindred as one of the most important bands in the British heavy rock scene, he explains:
“Longevity is all about being real. Times were changing when the album was made, and if the band hadn’t been real in what they did they might have been passed off as a metal band with an innovative singer. Roots Rock Riot presented Skindred as a band with amazing songs. Those songs are made up of a crazy amalgamation of sounds, while remaining absolutely undeniable.”
Available on vinyl for the first time as well as CD, the re-release of Roots Rock Riot features rare cuts and previously unheard music. As well as the complete tracklist of the original, the vinyl version of the record comes with an additional 7” containing two exclusive tracks: the aforementioned ‘It’s A Crime’ and ‘Struggle’, which was never released. The CD release also contains both those tracks and an acoustic version of ‘Destroy The Dance Floor’.
If that’s not enough, the re-release is also accompanied by some exclusive merchandise pre-order bundles. Available in the bundles are three 12” vinyl colour variants (Transparent Orange, Transparent Green and a special 3-colour Red, Yellow & Green), a t-shirt and a turntable slip-mat, both of which feature a classic design from the original Roots Rock Riot release. Pre-orders are available here.
The re-release of Roots Rock Riot will arrive ahead of their full UK Showtime Tour in September, joined by very special guests Royal Republic.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2021 SHOWTIME TOUR DATES
- Thu 23rd – Cambridge, Junction
- Fri 24th – Oxford, Academy
- Sat 25th – Northampton, Roadmenders
- Thu 30th – Leeds, Academy
- Fri 1st – Birmingham, Institute
- Sat 2nd – London, Roundhouse
- Thu 7th – Cardiff, Tramshed
- Fri 8th – Bristol, Academy
- Sat 9th – Nottingham, Rock City
- Sun 10th – Glasgow, SWG3
- Fri 15th – Southampton, Guildhall
- Fri 22nd – Sheffield, Corporation
- Sat 23rd – Newcastle, Uni Students’ Union
- Fri 29th – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
- Sat 30th – Manchester, Academy
- Sun 31st – Norwich, UEA
Global Metal Apocalypse
Battle Of The Bands
Brutal Death Metal
Line Up Change
Play Through Video
Violent Pop Metal
Wacken Open Air