Why Aren’t There Any Newer Bands Capable Of Headlining Festivals Anymore?

In the wake of the UK’s Download Festival announcing the headliners for their 2019 extravaganza, in which all three bands are considered veterans of their craft, it bodes the question- are there no newer generation bands worthy of getting a headline slot at a major festival anymore?

Let’s start off by saying that witnessing Def Leppard perform their ‘Hysteria’ album in full is most definitely worth seeing, Slipknot as a live band are always worth seeing, and Tool- the surprising headliner of the three, will, without doubt, put on a mesmerising performance, but with HFTB being a UK based brand, we’re taking a look at Download Festival as a prime example of how when on the odd occasion a “lesser band” has headlined, the Donington three-dayer has had to come back the following year with a need to make it up to disgruntled festival-goers with bands that have been there and done it before. 

2019 will be Def’s third headline slot since the festival became known as Download (also 2009 and 2011), Slipknot’s FOURTH (2009, 2013, 2015) and Tool’s second (2006), and clearly the expectancy of a new album by the two latter bands has made the festival organisers minds up for them, but are we now starting to get a feeling of the same old, same old when the rumour mill begins, as we can pretty much put at least 20 names in the hat andmost likely get two out of three, at least, correct? 

Here’s a little look at other multiple time headliners from Download’s past- Iron Maiden (four), Metallica (three), Black Sabbath (three), Aerosmith (three), System of a Down (three), KISS, Rammstein, Guns n’ Roses (all twice), as well as other legendary (and great) one-time headliners such as Faith No More, AC/DC, Rage Against the Machine and Ozzy Osbourne. 

While there are at least four stages across three days which feature a phenomenal amount of diverse bands who cater for any rock and metal fan alive, people are instantly drawn (most of the time) by who is headlining, and with our beloved festival getting plenty of attention all around the world, are others starting to see a trend too? 

Since Download began in 2003, there have only been a small selection of what you would consider “surprise choices” to close the show and often these bands were met with a huge thumbs down as well as a lot of booing during their actual performance. My Chemical Romance closed day one in 2007, where the likes of Megadeth and Velvet Revolver performed before them (very brave move) and Korn headlined the smaller second stage, Lostprophets ended the whole damn thing in 2008, The Prodigy were arguably an intriguing choice in 2012 and Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro had a Saturday night party in 2017.

Whether people agree or not, there are some great bands out there that fully-deserve their chance to shine. Some might think it’s too early for who we are about to mention, some wouldn’t even want them at their festival, but statistics don’t lie and here we look at a few potential bands that are, in our opinion, worthy of closing out a day at Britain’s best rock and metal festival. 

Bring Me The Horizon-

 Maybe their image isn’t right.

Maybe their image isn’t right.

The Sheffield lads have a new album out at the start of 2019 and although their sound is a million miles away from their early deathcore dwellings, BMTH’s popularity hasn’t wavered one bit. Heavy, melodic, absolutely brutal when they want to be, this band have what it takes to take a festival by storm and keep 50,000+ hanging on every word they say.

Parkway Drive-

We’re pretty sure the Aussie metalcore bruisers will headline one day, but should they have done it on the main stage already? This year they were absolutely incredible as they closed the second stage at a criminal 7:20pm so Guns n’ Roses could hog the limelight, and had this show been on the main stage, their performance would have gone down as one of the greatest Download slots in history. 


 Scarier looking than Slipknot?

Scarier looking than Slipknot?

As divisive as they are, Ghost are absolutely huge, and put them on a big stage, you can only imagine what their show would be like. Heavier live than on record also, this is a band that would hold the crowd in the palms of their hands, playing song after song of captivating demonic rock & roll that only they can pull off. 

Killswitch Engage-


Another metalcore band that have been around for yonks- in fact they could be considered one of the very first and definitely most successful bands from the scene, they have plenty of great material to create the perfect headline slot setlist, and you can guarantee that everyone would know at least a few songs whether it be ‘My Last Serenade’, ‘Rose of Sharyn’ or ‘My Curse’, for example.

Five Finger Death Punch-


Yep, we went there. They have a lot of haters but A LOT more lovers, and FFDP’s modern metal stomp would be perfect as the sun goes down. Anthem after anthem, one of the best frontmen in rock and metal, a huge sound- this Las Vegas behemoth would not disappoint, given the chance of having all eyes on them for a couple of hours.


These sludgers have been breaking boundaries left, right and centre since their inception, and on the back of their incredible ‘Emperor of Sand’ album from 2017, as well as a back catalogue packed full of musical genius, who wouldn’t want to hear ‘Oblivion’, ‘Blood and Thunder’, ‘Iron Tusk’ or ‘The Motherload’ whilst standing amongst a jam-packed crowd? 

Asking Alexandria-


If you wanted to go for another ‘Best of British’, York’s Asking Alexandria returned to form when Danny Worsnop came back on board last year, and their self-titled fourth album was also very, very good. A metalcore/hard rock party for the younger generation- certainly, but they have plenty of weapons in their arsenal to be able to pull it off. 


Hard rock at its finest, Shinedown returned to their heavier ways on this year’s ‘Attention Attention’ album. They have many great songs that would get the crowd bouncing, and Brent Smith’s vocals were made for a huge crowd to stand, admire and enjoy. 

Black Veil Brides- 

Yep, we went there too. Say what you want about them but they know how to throw a rock & roll party. Infleunced by the classic rock days of Motley Crue and so on, BVB are capable of writing some great and catchy songs. Imagine the Download crowd singing along to ‘In the End’ or ‘Fallen Angels’… it’s quite possible. 


If Green Day and The Offspring can headline Download, why not Blink? They’ve arguably been just as good as either of those bands in the last 20 years and this would be a fun performance rather than intense and intriguing, but Blink would certainly be able to make Download their own. 

And what about some of the other bands that have been going for years, have headliner quality music, yet for some reason never had the chance.

Korn- the godfathers of Nu Metal, Deftones- one of the most obscure but imaginative bands there has ever been in heavy music, Anthrax, Slayer (before they finish up), Limp Bizkit (just for fun), Alter Bridge (damn can Myles Kennedy sing!), Gojira (they headlined Bloodstock, why not Download?), the list literally is endless. 

Maybe 2020 will be somewhat of a changing of the guard, and while 2019 will no doubt be a great festival (less than 20 bands have been announced so far so there’s going to be plenty of great additions), it certainly would have been nice to have a bit more of a refreshing three at the top of the bill.

Maybe one day. 


HFTB Revisits: Nothingface

For our new feature, we revisit some of the bands from the original nu metal era that didn’t reach the heights of Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot etc. however they remained crucial to the cause. Vastly underrated, incredibly talented, to open things up we take a look at Nothingface.

Originally forming in 1993, Washington D.C. natives Nothingface began as a grunge band before moving to a heavier sound upon the arrival of vocalist Matt Holt in 1995.

Replacing David Gabbard, Holt joined Tom Maxwell (guitar), Bill Gaal (bass) and Chris Houck (drums) to produce a combo of alternative and robust metal, leading to a self-released and self-titled debut album later in 1995.

It wouldn’t be long before the quartet signed to DCide Records and in 1996 they released ‘Pacifier’, which included six tracks from the original first album plus four new tunes. Following it up with ‘An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity’ in 1998, the record was distributed by Mayhem Records and featured the singles ‘Breathe Out’ and ‘Sick’. To promote it, Nothingface toured the US with Stuck Mojo, Helmet and industrial powerhouses Ministry.


Finally earning some recognition, the band were to enter their most successful period at the turn of the new millennium when they joined TVT Records and unleashed their third album ‘Violence’. It still featured the customary brash alternative metal, however melodic influences began to creep in, and the lead single ‘Bleeder’ made it to 32 on the Mainstream Rock Charts. Often considered Nothingface’s most successful record; ‘Violence’ even made VH1’s ’12 Most Underrated Nu Metal Albums’ list.


Becoming more diverse possibly with mainstream exposure in mind; ‘Skeletons’ emerged in 2003. Led by the tender and tough ‘Ether’ as well as the fan favourite ‘Murder Is Masturbation’- the record earned Nothingface a spot on Ozzfest, however it was a tour that would ultimately lead to the bands downfall.

In early 2004, Nothingface announced they were disbanding, partly blaming their record label for lack of support. It reportedly stemmed from an incident during Ozzfest when the band needed money for gas to get to the next city, and TVT refused to pay. Calling out the label during a live show on said tour, Holt stated that TVT would later give them the cash to finish the stint, however the band would take the money and go home with it.


A reformation took place in late 2005, and Nothingface supported Disturbed for a one-off show in 2006, debuting the new line-up of Holt, Maxwell, Jerry Montano on bass and Tommy Sickles on drums.

Two new songs were then released online before the band went on a small US club tour, and soon after, Gaal and Houck returned to the band to re-complete Nothingface’s original line-up. Teasers began to be uploaded showing the members recording in the studio, however in 2009; Nothingface called it quits once again.

Maxwell helped form the heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah with Mudvayne’s Chad Gray, and he remains in the band today, and in April 2017, Holt sadly passed away after suffering from an undisclosed degenerative illness. 

Killer Cuts- ‘Bleeder’, ‘Ether’, ‘Murder Is Masturbation’

*This biography is taken from Matt Karpe’s book ‘Nu Metal: Resurgence’, which is available now on Amazon.

P.O.D. To Tour the U.K. in 2019

Nu Metal heroes P.O.D. are to tour the U.K. in February and March next year in support of their upcoming tenth album ‘Circles’, which drops in November via Mascot Label Group.


The 12 date tour kicks off in Exeter on February 26  and goes through to March 13 where the San Diego quartet end in Belfast, and P.O.D. will be joined by Alien Ant Farm and ‘68 as special guest support.

The full tour dates released so far are as follows- 

Feb 26- Exeter Lemon Grove

Feb 27- Bristol O2 Academy

Feb 28- Norwich Waterfront

March 1- Oxford O2 Academy

March 2- London O2 Forum

March 3- Newcastle O2 Academy

March 5- Glasgow Garage

March 6- Hull Welly

March 7- Birmingham O2 Institute

March 9- Nottingham Rock City

March 10- Manchester O2 Ritz

March 13- Belfast Limelight

 ‘Circles’ is released on November 16. 

‘Circles’ is released on November 16. 

Visit www.payableondeath.com for ticket and album information.  

Billboard to Premiere New Blacklite District Track

The world renowned music website Billboard are premiering the video for Blacklite District’s brand new single ‘Hard Pill to Swallow’ tomorrow.

Taken from the band’s upcoming album ‘Through the Ages’, this is quite a scoop for the South Dakota duo- who consist of Kyle Pfeiffer and Roman James, who are an independent artist featuring on a channel that has traditionally catered for signed musicians over the years. 

 Hard Pill to Swallow artwork. 

Hard Pill to Swallow artwork. 

Following up BLD’s 2017 album ‘Instant Gratification’, you can expect another mixed bag on ‘Through the Ages’ which comprises hard rock, alternative, hip-hop and EDM songs that shows the band’s diversity, and just a few months since they reached over 100 MILLION streams combined through Spotify and YouTube, you can guarantee that the duo’s stock will rise even further this time around. 

 Roman and Kyle are raising the bar. 

Roman and Kyle are raising the bar. 

After previously being a special guest on the HFTB podcast, Kyle returns to the show this week to talk about the new record and we’ll be playing ‘Hard Pill to Swallow’ too. The episode drops on 12th October.  

Visit www.blacklitedistrict.net for more info.

Nu Metal ‘Bible’ Now Available on Amazon

Matt Karpe’s brand new version of ‘Nu Metal: Resurgence’ is now available to buy on both the UK and US Amazon websites.

The updated and extended edition is only available in hardback format, and features interviews with Korn/Slipknot/Machine Head/Limp Bizkit producer Ross Robinson, Fallon Bowman (Kittie), Robb Rivera (Nonpoint), Shaun Glass (Soil), Joshua Toomey (Primer 55), Tye Zamora (Alien Ant Farm) and Erik Rogers (Stereomud), joining the first book’s line-up which included Miguel Rascon (Coal Chamber), Almir Derakh (Orgy), Mike Sarkisyan (Spineshank) and Jarrod Montague (Taproot).

 The cover of ‘Nu Metal: Resurgence’ was designed by Scott Neilson

The cover of ‘Nu Metal: Resurgence’ was designed by Scott Neilson

With a foreword written by Noah “Shark” Robertson (ex-Motograter), the book also features in-depth biographies of over 100 bands from the original scene, plus a section dedicated to ‘The Nu Breed’ of bands coming through today such as DED, Cane Hill, Frontstreet, Neshiima, Tides of Ire and many more. 

There are also features on Nu Metal’s collaborations with hip-hop artists, movie soundtracks that had Nu Metal track listings and how the movement took over the mainstream charts. 

Pick up a copy now on the US Amazon- 


or Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nu-Metal-Resurgence-Matthew-Karpe/dp/1784566047/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538938600&sr=8-1&pi=CB1275598734_AC_SX118_SY170&keywords=nu+metal+resurgence

Ben Lionetti and Steven McCorry of Lakeshore Join the HFTB Podcast for Episode 43

Ben and new vocalist Steven from Lakeshore join us on the latest episode of the HFTB podcast, to talk about their new EP ‘Secret Weapons’ which is due before the year is out. We play two tracks off of the EP- ‘Erased’ and ‘Colors’, and Ben also discusses his time in the popular deathcore band Emmure, who he formed alongside his brother Joe, as well as how he changed direction by going into melodic alternative rock with his new band.

 Steven (centre), Ben (Far Right)

Steven (centre), Ben (Far Right)

Matt and Scott disect the two new Papa Roach songs ‘Who Do You Trust?’ and ‘Renegade Music’, and they also talk about Machine Head’s chaotic last couple of weeks.

Other songs come from Deftones, CKY, Bad Wolves and Sickret.

Listen on Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/headforthebarricade/ep-43-feat-lakeshore

and on Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/episode/4YAvFgtxpvEMOBCM4DmCXo

You can also see the music video for Lakeshore’s ‘Erased’ below.

Reviewed: Neshiima ‘Orange’

Following up their impressive first EP ‘Purple’ from earlier in the year, the second instalment of a planned EP trilogy see’s British quartet Neshiima step things up with the sensational ‘Orange’.  


Neshiima originally started out with tech metal influences, and while some of this still lurks underneath, today’s sound comes across more as a lethal dose of rap metal, surrounded by absorbing synth and electronics; and while a lot of bands are going down this path in the last few years (Papa Roach, Korn, Linkin Park), somehow Neshiima make it sound much more appealing and a helluva lot more ‘real’ than many a bigger band have.

The opening ‘Feel It’ is the ideal choice of lead single (released a few weeks back) but it’s a more subtle-paced anthem that finds the Scots completely at home with a style moulded around them, however it’s the absolutely incredible ‘Prologues’ where the band comes of age. 

Seasoned rapping from Liam Hesslewood drives the track along before a stirring chorus with singalong capabilities and explosive melodies really finds Neshiima at the top of their game. There’s even room for a few meaty roars and the heavy guitar work and pulsating drum sections see’s ‘Prologues’ become one of, if not THE best song Neshiima have ever produced to date. The word ‘Epic’ was created for songs like this.

After the ‘MMJ’ interlude, we go straight into ‘The Forfeit’ which again packs a hefty punch as the momentum continues, before the second highlight comes in the form of ‘Player One’.

In another review of ‘Orange’ I saw this song being compared to Fightstar (Charlie from Busted’s heavier and rather excellent band) and I completely agree, especially in the chorus as Hesslewood’s impassioned vocals really showcase his talents perfectly. Again, the instrumentation is right on the money, with just enough synth to avoid suffocating the rest of the music, and it comes to a point where you think “This band deserves to be bigger and heard by a lot more people”. 

And then comes another banger- remixed and amped up after originally being released as a stand-alone single last year, ‘Vivid’ sounds just as good now as it did back then (maybe even better?) as it closes the EP with another powerhouse anthem and a sure-fire live favourite. 

 L-R: Ross Cloughley (g), Danny Cameron (d), Craig Rankin (b), Liam Hesslewood (v) 

L-R: Ross Cloughley (g), Danny Cameron (d), Craig Rankin (b), Liam Hesslewood (v) 

‘Purple’ was a great EP, but ‘Orange’ is special. It shows a band in full experimental mode while still including sounds that first brought them to the dance. Riff heavy, synth heavy, rock heavy, Neshiima have set the bar very high with their second EP of three, but what a great problem it is to have.  

Neshiima embark on a tour throughout October with stops in Leicester, Workington, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds and Derby- check out the band’s official Facebook page for dates and ticket information. Also visit www.neshiima.com for everything else Neshiima-related.

’Orange’ is out now on Spotify, iTunes and other online platforms, with physical copies also soon to be available.  


Rocking with Faith: Introducing Poetic Descent

With more and more bands coming out every week, it’s becoming increasingly harder to get your music noticed, to stand out from the crowd, to be given the chance to show what you can actually do.

With the likes of Spotify and iTunes giving upstarts a platform to get their songs out there for people who want to listen, the tools are in place for foundations to be laid, and one band whose foundations are becoming solidified more intensely is Poetic Descent- who stand firmly by their beliefs whilst creating some stirring yet raucous tunes that leaves you wondering “Where the hell did that come from?”

Forming out of the ashes of Mayfly- Dayton, Ohio duo Jared Lacey and Adam Thompson are Poetic Descent, and what you get is soaring rhythms on top of pounding drum sections with vocals both harmonious and in the next breath utterly destructive.

Combining alternative metal, hard rock and elements of post-hardcore, the band has only been going just over a year, as Jared discusses, “Mayfly already had studio time booked at the Darkroom Recording Studio in Piquia, Ohio at the time of their breakup, so I decided to use that studio time to record a few songs I had originally written for Mayfly’s full-length album; and (then) form a new project with Adam.”

Jared sings, plays guitar and bass, while Adam dominates the drums, and they cite Project 86, Every Time I Die, Blindside, Beartooth and Norma Jean as their main influences, while Jared’s faith also provides a just-as-important influence to the lyrical content. “I have never been that great at expressing my thoughts verbally, so writing my thoughts down has always been a good alternative for me. The things that are most important to me are often expressed through written word and sometimes these words become lyrics to my songs.”

PD Cover.jpg

On the Christian side of his values, Jared feels compelled to unashamedly show how strong his faith is without ever threatening to pressure listeners into doing the same, “My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life and I want to share that with anyone who is willing to listen. I won’t say I make it a point to preach in every song I write. I do write lyrics about fun things like TV shows and movies I like, but my Christian values often shine through the majority of the lyrics because it’s who I am. I strive daily to further find my identity in Christ.”

Poetic Descent have released six songs in a three month period that began at the end of March this year, and each track has found the band finding more of a foothold. ‘Close Encounter’ introduced listeners with a decent alt metal stomp, before the likes of ‘Martyrs’ and ‘Fragile Frame’ brought the post-hardcore tendencies to the front- with fairly explosive results.

Two songs in April, two in May and then latest release ‘Identity’ in June, Jared explains why he wanted to take this route rather than putting out a full EP, “Very few people listen to complete albums anymore with how much music is available to us online, especially multiple songs from new bands. I thought it would be a good idea to spread out the release dates because it would give people more time to digest and appreciate them instead of trying to serve the whole meal at once. I kind of wished we had spread the releases out even further now, maybe one song a month- that way we would’ve released something new once a month for half a year.”

The beauty of standalone singles also means you get different artwork for each release, and each one for the six Poetic Descent tracks is eye-catching and impactful, but if you are simply here for the music, Jared tells us why people should check out the Ohio hotshots, “Poetic Descent is a band for people who enjoyed the rock/metalcore/alternative/post-hardcore bands of the past decade, but are looking for more evolved versions of that sound. We write about serious issues like addiction, domestic abuse, homosexuality, martyrdom and the existence of God, and we believe it’s important to be honest about the negative realities of this world, but also share the hope we’ve found in the person of Jesus Christ.”

PD Cover 2.jpg

Poetic Descent plan to release another new single by the end of the year, with a potential first music video to follow early in 2019.

‘Close Encounter’, ‘Consuming’, ‘Martyrs’, ‘Fragile Frame’, ‘Paperthin Walls’ and ‘Identity’ are all available now on Spotify and iTunes.

For more information, visit www.poeticdescent.com

P.O.D. Drop ‘Rockin’ with the Best’ Single from Upcoming New Album


Ahead of their tenth album ‘Circles’ which drops in the middle of November, Nu Metal heroes P.O.D. bring back their strong rap metal sound with the fist-pumping ‘Rockin’ with the Best’, which is available to hear on Spotify right now.

The San Diego crew hinted at a return to their ‘Satellite’ era heavy sound with last year’s single ‘Soundboy Killa’ and with the first official slice from ‘Circles’ (‘Soundboy Killa’ also makes the track listing) also packing that anthemic but groovy punch, fans of the classic period of the band’s career will undoubtedly be getting hyped to hear more of the same. 

‘Circles’ will be released via the Mascot Label Group and the full track listing is as follows-

1. Rockin’ with the Best

2. Always Southern California

3. Circles

4. Panic Attack

5. On the Radio

6. Fly Away

7. Listening for the Silence

8. Dreaming

9. Domino

10. Soundboy Killa

11. Home  


 ‘Circles’ is out 16 November.

Visit www.payableondeath.com for more information, but ahead of the album’s release, go and revisit some of P.O.D.’s most popular tracks such as ‘Youth of the Nation’, ‘Alive’ and ‘Boom’- all taken from 2001 masterpiece ‘Satellite.

Five Up-and-Coming Nu Metal Bands You Should Hear Now

Here is another selection of bands that are bringing Nu Metal back in their own way, as more and more bands are coming through from all over the globe, intent on trying to bring the glory days back of this wonderful scene.


Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Pigweed are a bruising ensemble that combine alt metal, hard rock, hardcore and touches of hip-hop to create a punishing sound. Originally forming in 2009, the six-piece are now earning recognition on the back of their self-titled debut record which was released in March.

If you like your metal with a helluva lot of groove, muscle and raw power, then check out the band's latest video 'Fake For Now' below.



With a sound the band have called "Hood Grunge", check out Dallas natives Unity-TX who combine hardcore instrumentation and hip-hop vocals, with fantastic results. The quartet released their debut mixtape 'The Besides' in 2016 and then last year dropped the highly catchy 'Mothersucka' single which as of this time, best showcases what the Texans are all about. If you like that rap edge to your metal, then this band will be right up your street.


A Friend, A Foe

Another fine addition to the Nu-Metalcore scene, AFAF come out of Las Vegas and provide crunching riffs, subtle melodies and rap-ish scream vocals. slightly similar to early Sylar, this band followed up their 2015 EP 'Face Value' with 2017 short play 'The Risk in Playing It Safe’, before unleashing a brand new song called 'Rat' earlier this year, and it's an absolute ripper.

Currently unsigned, expect that to change very quickly as the Nevada quartet begin their ascension.


Between Now and Forever

Albany, New York finds Between Now and Forever spreading their wings with a mix of metalcore heaviness with hard rock anthemics. A debut EP in 2017 called 'Burdens' introduced people to what the five-piece had to offer, then BNaF upped the ante in April with their explosive new single 'No More Pain' which includes an infectious chorus that will stay in your head for days. Throw in honest and relatable lyrics, and you get a bit of an old school nu metal feel amongst a contemporary and simply awesome sound.

In July the band released a cover of Slipknot's 'Duality' which is definitely worth listening to, but our pick is 'No More Pain', so check it out right now.


Everybody Panic!

Everybody Panic! originally started out in 2012 and released their self-titled EP in 2013, a follow-up six-track in 2015 ('Attack'), with both displaying bruising hard rock, but the Oklahoma City quartet have really found their calling this year- releasing three phenomenal singles- 'Dead Heroes', 'Bullets' and 'Power and Pain'. Adding some nice electronics to the mix, Everybody Panic! are gaining in popularity, and having already shared stages with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch and Deftones, expect this band's stock to rise before the year is out.


Check out these bands, buy or stream their music, and give them some love on social media, because all five bands that we’ve chosen this time around deserve support and heightened exposure. 




Episode 38 with Marcus Bridge of Northlane

Marcus from Aussie metalcore heroes Northlane takes some time out from the band’s current European tour to talk to HFTB about the band’s brand new single ‘Vultures’ .

We also discuss their live album  ‘Analog Future’ which dropped earlier in the year, as well as their upcoming headline slot on the Inpericon Never Say Die tour.


On this metalcore special, we also play raging tunes from Bury Tomorrow, Eskimo Callboy, Killswitch Engage, Emmure and Parkway Drive, so go and check out the show now on Spotify 


or Souncloud  https://soundcloud.com/headforthebarricade/northlane 

and we’re also on iTunes!  


Episode 37 with Crispin Earl of The Veer Union

We welcome Crispin Earl- the brainchild of Canadian hard rockers The Veer Union to the show, as we talk about the band’s upcoming ‘Decade II: Rock & Acoustic’ compilation album, as they mark their tenth anniversary since their debut album release.


Crispin also tells us about their highly popular cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Numb’ and just how much the loss of Chester Bennington has impacted him personally. 

Other songs played on the show include killer cuts by Light the Torch, Saliva, Mustasch, Asking Alexandria and Skillet.

You can hear the show now either on Spotify 


or Soundcloud  https://soundcloud.com/headforthebarricade/ep-37-feat-crispin-earl-of-the-veer-union

and we’re also on iTunes! 



Lethal Injektion 'Remember' Chester Bennington on Stunning Tribute EP

Arizona's rap metal crew Lethal Injektion released their 'Remember Chester Bennington' EP today, which features six Linkin Park covers as well as the band's latest single 'The Truth'.


Showing off the excellent dual vocal display of Jonathan Russell and rap king Jake "Raskal" Ryan, Lethal Injektion cruise through strong renditions of 'One Step Closer', 'A Place For My Head', 'Lying From You', 'Papercut', 'Points of Authority' and 'In the End'- putting their own slant on the Nu Metal classics.

The sextet's latest single 'The Truth' rounds off the EP with a typically fiery display of punishingly catchy rap metal, picking up where their second album 'Judgement Night' left off when it was released in September, 2017.


'Remember Chester Bennington' is available now on all streaming devices, and visit www.facebook.com/LethalInjektionMusic to find out more about this fast-rising band.

Reviewed: The Veer Union ‘Decade II: Rock & Acoustic’

Like a lot of bands, The Veer Union have had their fair share of ups and downs since they started out in the first part of the new millennium, but the Vancouver hard rockers have fought through and to celebrate a decade since their first studio album, their ‘Decade II: Rock & Acoustic’ compilation signals an intent on finding a light at the end of an often very long and bleak tunnel.  


The first half rock heavy and the second tender and emotive, you get to hear two different sides of The Veer Union and the band’s brainchild (and only original member) Crispin Earl, who without doubt has one of the best voices in modern rock. 

The opening salvo of ‘Living Not Alive’ and ‘Save Yourself’ are two of the best songs of the band’s career to date, showing impassioned hard rock with powerful melodies, all leading up to arena-sized choruses which, given the chance, could dominate radio airwaves all around the globe.  

The anthems keep coming with the likes of ‘City of the Sun’ and the blistering ‘Man Into Machine’, in fact with its combination of new songs and revisits of past glories, the eight ‘rock’ tracks on their own would make this a strong album.  


Then comes a couple of covers that lead us into the acoustic half, beginning with a rollicking and contemporary rendition of the Faith No More classic ‘Epic’, given a different slant that is intriguing to hear, however it will certainly divide rock fans firmly down the middle. Next comes the already insanely popular acoustic take of Linkin Park’s ‘Numb’- released as a tribute to the late Chester Bennington, marking one year since his untimely passing. Stripped down and tugging at the heartstrings from the off, Earl’s vocals will no doubt bring a tear to many an eye of those that listen, nonetheless it is a fitting ode to a sure-to-be legend of the rock and metal world.

’Living Not Alive’ and ‘Save Yourself’ return for quieter versions, as does previously unmentioned numbers such as ‘Embrace the Day’ and ‘Awaken’, but in truth ‘Decade II...’ is a great album throughout, that justifies The Veer Union’s fight to keep overcoming adversity in a bid for consistency and some level of success.

Deservedly, with multiple Top 40 singles in America and over 20 million streams worldwide, The Veer Union have reached such level, and when ‘Decade II...’ drops, expect those statistics to rise even more. 

The Veer Union is- 

Crispin Earl- vocals,  

Dan Sittler- lead guitar, backing vocals

Ryan Ramsdell- rhythm guitar

Ricardo Viana- drums

The video for ‘Numb’ can be seen below. 

For pre-order bundles and more information, visit www.theveerunion.com  

Come to Dolly Release Deluxe Version of their Stunning Album ‘Desire’

New Zealand alt metallers Come to Dolly have just released a spectacular deluxe version of their 2017 album ‘Desire’, to celebrate their recent signing to the US independent label Zombie Shark Records. 

To accompany the original 10-track release, there are two bonus songs in the form of ‘Harmonize with Chaos’ and the rather splendid ‘Save Ourselves’, while their 2008 debut record ‘Dolly Grip’ is also included- meaning there are 24 of the finest artistic and alternative metal songs to feast your eyes and ears on. 


 ‘Desire’ was, in our opinion, the best record released in the whole of 2017, and it marked a triumphant return for the Napier natives with it being their follow-up to ‘Dolly Grip’, which came almost 10 years before it. 

The likes of the title track, ‘Zero Point’, ‘Are You Human?’ and the sensational ‘Only the Nameless’ incorporated Deftones-esque atmospherics that were absolutely haunting, while the melodies were simply breathtaking. The vocal combination of Luke Tither and Nick Blow combine both cathartic and melancholic release and there is no doubt that this band really are one of the most creative metal bands out there right now.

Revisit the Nu Metal-influenced anthems of ‘Tonight We Fall’, ‘Patterns of You’ and ‘Choke’ from ‘Dolly Grip’, where the band hinted at true greatness, and you will get an idea of what Come to Dolly had in mind way back in 2008. 

Life and line-up changes got in the way before the band finally returned to the studio for album number two, but it was clear to see that the experiences of the previous few years had made Come to Dolly more mature, more creative and more important in today’s rock and metal climate, so go and check out the deluxe version of ‘Desire’ now at https://zombiesharkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/desire-deluxe-edition to see why, already, Come to Dolly are by far the best band on the Zombie Shark Records roster.

Visit facebook.com/cometodolly or zombiesharkrecords.com for more information. 


The ZSR roster also includes LA rap metallers Dirty Machine, alt/industrial metal quartet NoSelf and groove metallers Riksha.

Frontstreet Release Spooky Music Video for ‘Ghost Town’

Personal favourites of HFTB- Dutch rap metal crew Frontstreet have just released their brand new music video for the single 'Ghost Town'- taken from their explosive debut album 'Reality Check', which came out last September.

Ghost Town Cover Art.jpeg

The track was written about the band's hometown of Lelystad, a fairly large but rather strange town located about an hour from the nation's capital, Amsterdam. HFTB were invited over to Lelystad for the launch of 'Reality Check' and we got to see first-hand exactly what Frontstreet talk about in the song, where after around 6pm (for us it was a Saturday), Lelystad literally does become a ghost town.

With some hauntingly ambient guitar rhythms backing up expertly delivered rap vocals, 'Ghost Town', although being the softest track on the record, still became a highlight, and now with a video to stand alongside it, fans get to see the quintet's best visual display to-date.

 L-R: Jessy Pattynama (drums), Martijn Huijskes (vocals), Mitchel Pelgrim (samples/vocals), Remy Dovianus (guitar), Wilmar Klein (bass)

L-R: Jessy Pattynama (drums), Martijn Huijskes (vocals), Mitchel Pelgrim (samples/vocals), Remy Dovianus (guitar), Wilmar Klein (bass)

The location for the video is being kept under wraps although we can confirm it wasn't filmed in Lelystad, but still it's shocking to see somewhere like this in such a dilapidated state- not that it's uncommon these days. "The village is just as abandoned as it shows in the video," begins Martijn Huijskes- the band's vocalist, "Surprisingly, a handful of people are still living there."

This rendition of 'Ghost Town' is a radio edit, and it's also slightly heavier than the album version, and Martijn told us why they switched things up a bit, "We made the song shorter because the original length is too long for a music video. While we were editing the radio edit we heard some things we could improve, and it sounded better to us."

It's been nearly a year since the release of 'Reality Check' and slowly but surely, Frontstreet are reaching further afield than their native homeland. Inspired by the likes of Linkin Park and other classic nu metal bands, it's not surprising that nu metal forums across various social media platforms have nothing but positive things to say about the band, but there is still a long way to go to get to where they really want to be, "People still find out about us every day, and our album," Martijn starts, "we sent out our first physical copy of 'Reality Check' to Japan this week. We're still growing as a band and hopefully this video will help us grow more of a fan base."

 Celebrating a rip-roaring performance opening up for Hollywood Undead

Celebrating a rip-roaring performance opening up for Hollywood Undead

The last 12 months have been a great platform for better things, with a debut album under their belt, sharing stages with nu metal heroes Crazy Town and mega popular rap rockers Hollywood Undead, and only last month Frontstreet played the aftershow of Limp Bizkit's sold out visit to Amsterdam's AFAS Live arena, so things are certainly going in the right direction- but what comes next? "There will be another music video off of the album and at the moment, we are working hard on new material. We can't say anything about this but it will blow the first album away!"

The 'Ghost Town' video was shot by Fully Loaded Visuals and you can watch it below.

‘Reality Check' and the radio edit of 'Ghost Town', plus the excellent standalone single 'Don't Cry' are available now on Spotify and iTunes, and you can pick up a physical copy of Frontstreet's debut album by visiting www.frontstreet.band now.

Fozzy bring the party with their new video for 'Burn Me Out'

Fozzy have released an adrenaline-fuelled video for 'Burn Me Out'- the third single taken from their emphatic seventh studio album 'Judas'.

Track-for-track the best record of the band's career to date, 'Judas' was released in October, 2017 and it has since brought greater exposure to the hard rockers, whose line-up includes enigmatic WWE legend Chris Jericho on vocals and previous special guest on the HFTB podcast- guitarist Billy Grey.

The album title track and 'Painless' received stirring music videos, and 'Burn Me Out' follows suit with a bouncing visual to accompany a fun and catchy rock anthem, delivered only how Fozzy could do it.


Fozzy are currently heading back to Europe for shows in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Belgium; and they also play a one-off show in the UK at Bloodstock Festival in August, before returning to the US for a co-headline run with Adelitas Way.

If you haven't heard 'Judas' yet, shame on you... but before you do, check out the video for 'Burn Me Out', below. We think that hat suits Chris rather nicely!

Fozzy is-

Chris Jericho- Vocals

Billy Grey- Guitar

Rich Ward- Guitar

Paul Di Leo- Bass

Frank Fontsere- Drums

'Judas' is out now via Century Media, and for more information on the band, visit www.fozzyrock.com

You can also hear the HFTb episode which features Billy Grey, below.

Reviewed: Nonpoint 'X'

Last year, Nonpoint announced they were taking a break, leading most to presume the band were simply going away to recharge their batteries, but secretly the quintet were already beginning work on their latest album, their tenth studio album- aptly titled 'X'.

NON X.jpg

2017 also saw Nonpoint's 20th anniversary. 20 years since the band's trailblazing debut album 'Statement' did exactly that, with the rip-roaring single 'What a Day', and listening to them today it's impossible to deny the freshness that Elias Soriano (vocals), B.C. Kochmit (guitar), Rasheed Thomas (guitar), Adam Woloszyn (bass) and Robb Rivera (drums) still have (of course, this isn't the original line-up from their outset), as well as the passion, commitment and drive to continue making bruising heavy rock, rap metal, alternative metal, hard rock... whatever you want to label the music Nonpoint make- if you can label it at all.

Apparently, all ten tracks were laid down in just 22 days, alongside producer Fred Archambault who clearly got the best out of each member, because 'X', although it combines elements of each of Nonpoint's previous releases, easily fits in as one of the band's best records to date.

From the opening crunch of 'Empty Batteries' where it's confirmed Soriano's formidable vocal spews are as good as ever before, to the catchier moments of 'Fix This', 'Feel the Way I Feel' and the perfect album closer of 'Position One'- no stone has been left unturned as Nonpoint effortlessly justify their year of silence.

'Chaos and Earthquakes' and 'Dodge Your Destiny' have already been released, both showing raw metallic power with thrashy drum sections and fist-pumping choruses, while 'Wheel Against Will' has a feel of RATM-meets-Avenged Sevenfold with some Morello-styled guitar wizardry and a dazzling solo.

This is possibly one of the heaviest Nonpoint records ever released, however the moments of slightly lighter musings are nonetheless engrossing. 'Fix This' (the third track to be released) is probably the catchiest song which is driven by a murky bassline and at times a slight grunge feel, and Soriano's cleaner harmonious vocals are simply sublime, while 'Feel the Way I Feel' is funk-laden with some juicy and delicate guitar rhythms.

'Position One' is, as mentioned before, the perfect way to finish the album- combining all that has come before to offer one final Nonpoint rock-out where the chugging riffs drive the track along head-first into a glorious singalong chorus. Listen to the bluesy-turned-space rock guitar solo too which is absolutely killer.

NON Band 2.jpg

Nonpoint have been somewhat of a cult favourite in their home country since their inception, and it would be great to see them rewarded further afield in Europe, so hopefully now is the time for that to happen because 'X' is an extremely consistent record that contains huge refrains, haunting and hypnotic melodies and signature grooves that made the band's discography exactly what it is.

Nonpoint are On Point with album number ten.

'X' is released on August 24 via Spinefarm.

You can pre-order the album and special bundles at www.nonpoint.merchnow.com, on iTunes, pre-save 'X' on Spotify, and we're sure plenty of your local record stores will also be stocking the album upon its release. For further information on the band, visit www.nonpoint.com


Reviewed: The Protest 'Legacy'

If you have followed The Protest from the beginning then you will know that something special has been brewing for some time now, but for those of us who have only recently discovered the Indiana quartet, then their third album ‘Legacy’ is a phenomenal introduction to the hard rock outfit.

With Christian rock influences also included, The Protest have delivered a stunning guitar-driven rock record which on occasion also brings some punishing alternative metal to the table, giving ‘Legacy’ a feel of a band who have finally hit their stride and reaching their true potential.

The popular singles ‘Noise Revolution’ and ‘What Else You Got?’ are the go-to tracks- both containing stadium-sized choruses that are simply perfect for modern rock radio, while the likes of the opening ‘Valor’, ‘To the Death’ and the title track deliver metallic stomps that are emphasised by some stellar production work.

‘Straight from the Barrel’ has some nice blues-tinged guitar work that also contains a helluva lot of groove, and the customary ballad ‘Take My Heart’ shows a slightly softer side to The Protest with some 80s style synth backings behind a forceful guitar lead.

There may only be ten tracks here, but not one second is wasted as The Protest deliver one of the hard rock albums of the year, with frontman Josh Bramlett’s vocal diversity really excelling, as does his brother Jarob with some emphatic drum sections. The guitar duo of Adam Sadler (lead) and TJ Colwell (rhythm) also work cohesively to deliver riff after riff of raw power and energy- underlined by the closing ‘Bad Self/Ascension’ which has a glorious finale of epic instrumentation that is topped off by another brilliant guitar solo.

Following the 2012 album ‘Game Changer’ and ‘Great Lengths’ from 2014, The Protest have stepped up to the plate to show that their time is indeed now, and with ‘What Else You Got?’ continuing to take over rock radio and climb charts across the US, ‘Legacy’ may sound like a swansong, but in fact this is a charge for the spotlight with a great record made with effortless ease. 

‘Legacy’ is out on July 13 via Rockfest Records.

Check out the video for 'What Else You Got?' below.

You can pre-order 'Legacy' on iTunes here-


Hear 'Game Changer', 'Great Lengths' and the rest of The Protest's releases on Spotify here-


For more information on the band visit https://www.theprotestrocks.com






Live Review: Aerodrome Festival, Prague, 30/06/18

HFTB ventured over to Prague last week and managed to check out the Aerodrome Festival on the final day of its three day event.  

After already hosting the likes of Stone Sour, Bullet for My Valentine and Parkway Drive amongst line-ups that also consisted of pop and hip-hop acts, Saturday saw a full on rock and metal list of bands that kicked off with German technocore outfit Eskimo Callboy, who went down a storm with catchy anthems such as  ‘MC Thunder’ and ‘Best Day’.

A Festival unlike any other, two stages took turns to host the acts, with the main stage taking on softer rock bands like Nothing But Thieves, Kodaline and The Kills, but it was the second stage where the real action took place, with Skindred coming next.  

Benji Webbe and co were the highlight of the day as they ripped through a setlist full of reggae metal stomps like ‘That’s My Jam’, ‘Warning’ and the closing ‘Nobody’. Webbe’s stage present and jokey charisma endeared the band furthermore to the crowd, and even though they only had a 45-minute set, Skindred made sure that every second counted as they produced one of the best festival performances of the summer.

 Skindred stealing the show. 

Skindred stealing the show. 

Next came Body Count who brought their thrash-tinged rap metal with gangster swagger. Ice-T demanded crowd participation, and the hefty audience responded with circle pits during a punishing set that included ‘Talk Shit, Get Shot’, ‘Manslaughter’, ‘No Lives Matter’ and the popular ‘Cop Killer’. 

 Enough said. 

Enough said. 

Seemingly very popular in these parts, Hollywood Undead came to the stage next for a heroic 75-minute set which had the huge crowd in raptures.

Tearing through a best-of setlist that included ‘Undead’, ‘Been to Hell’, ‘Day of the Dead’, ‘California Dreaming’ and ‘Hear Me Now’ , the band couldn’t do no wrong and there was a nice touch as Charlie Scene brought a little kid to the stage to have some fun with the band, even though he looked absolutely terrified being the centre of attention. 

 Bringing the fireworks. 

Bringing the fireworks. 

Scooting over to the main stage next and Nine Inch Nails dazzled with a set that was unsurprisinly visually spectacular. 

Trent Reznor and co played some of the new tracks from the EP trilogy released over the last year or so, as well as some of the NIN classics, but songs like ‘March of the Pigs’, ‘Less Than’ and ‘Head Like a Hole’ all sounded potent in the live setting.

 Smokin’   And finally we headed back to the second stage where nu metal kings  Limp Bizkit  came to take the festival up a notch.   In fairness, it was the band’s cover songs that sounded beat tonight, with ‘Killing in the Name’,  ‘Faith’ and ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ going down a treat. Fred Durst remains a captivating lead singer, but on many an occasion here, Wes Borland’s guitars drowned everyone else out, and although popular Bizkit cuts ‘My Generation’, ‘My Way’ and ‘Break Stuff’ got the crowd bouncing uncontrollably, Limp Bizkit’s performance was OK but not great- leaving Skindred as the resounding showstoppers at Aerodrome 2018 with Hollywood Undead not far behind.


And finally we headed back to the second stage where nu metal kings Limp Bizkit came to take the festival up a notch. 

In fairness, it was the band’s cover songs that sounded beat tonight, with ‘Killing in the Name’,  ‘Faith’ and ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ going down a treat. Fred Durst remains a captivating lead singer, but on many an occasion here, Wes Borland’s guitars drowned everyone else out, and although popular Bizkit cuts ‘My Generation’, ‘My Way’ and ‘Break Stuff’ got the crowd bouncing uncontrollably, Limp Bizkit’s performance was OK but not great- leaving Skindred as the resounding showstoppers at Aerodrome 2018 with Hollywood Undead not far behind.

 Fred leading by example.

Fred leading by example.