Holocaust

Holocaust Band Interview

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On Tuesday, 5th September, I sat down with the John, Scott and Mark from Metal Institution, Holocaust, to talk about the band and the music. Read the interview below:

 

  1. What inspired the name of the band, and what were your influences?

 

“When we formed in the late seventies, there was a real fear of there being a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union, a nuclear holocaust if you will. The name came from that, and from the sense of heaviness that heavy metal brought. The association with the holocaust from World War Two did not immediately click, and thankfully we’ve not gotten any trouble for the name. As for influences, it’s quite varied. Black Sabbath, early Judas Priest, UFO, thrash bands like Metallica, Voivod, Opeth and even Lady Gaga.

 

 

  1. What was the process behind recording Predator?

 

“The process behind record Predator really began during the sessions for the album before that. Primal. The Primal Era was a really difficult time, and I became quite disillusioned with heavy metal, and with music in general. We took a break for a bit of time, and then suddenly I started writing, and recording certain things. Scott, our drummer has a recording studio in his house, so we got together and we started recording, just the three of us. Recording songs that couldn’t necessarily be played live because of how complex they were and how layered they were. It was really therapeutic, and the guys did ask if I’d ever reform Holocaust, and every time I’d say no. Then one day I heard Judas by Lady Gaga, and I really liked it, so I started listening to some of her other songs, and that brought back my enthusiasm for everything music, and heavy incidentally. The desire to play live came back, and so we sat down and started recording, as Holocaust, songs that would sound amazing live. In fact, I think there are only three songs that haven’t been played live from the record. Expander and Shine Out were the first songs that were written for the record, and from there it really sort of progressed.”

 

 

  1. Has there been a gradual change in how you approach the band and the music in general?

 

“I’d say there has been a change, yes. When we first started out, we were just kids, who loved making a racket, and there was some musicality there, and things took off and it was sort of mind boggling. During the second era of the band, in the nineties, things were a bit bleaker, we focused more on the recording side of things, as there really wasn’t any desire for heavy metal in the UK. Unless you were a thrash band, and because this was before the internet we didn’t know about the demand in Europe. We did play Wacken during its fourth year as a festival though, which was amazing. Primal was released during that second era, and that was around the same time Metallica had just released their Garage Days album, we went over to the States to try and break out there, and it didn’t happen. Now with this third era, there’s more a balance, we’re all very excited and enthusiastic, the internet has really helped with ensuring that we’re more connected with our fans than ever before.”

 

 

  1. What plans have you got for the future?

 

“We’re just putting the finishing touches to our new album. It’s going to be called ‘Elder Gods’ it’s a concept album unlike Predator, and there are quite a few songs on the record, which I think are unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. We’re also headlining the Grimm Up North festival in Manchester in a few weeks, then we’re playing Hard Rock Hell’s Christmas do. We’d love to gig more, and we’ll definitely be looking at doing more shows once the album’s done. It’s a case of finding the time to take off of work, as we’re all in full time employment.”

 

 

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Holocaust

Holocaust: Predator Review

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Holocaust are a band with a colourful history, founded in Edinburgh in 1979, they were one of the forefathers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, and one of its most prominent bands. Having inspired an entire new movement of thrash, speed and black metal, with their discography, they return to the airwaves with their first album since 2003’s Primal. Predator, a heavier album title there is not. Join me as we begin the journey through heavy metal paradise.

The opening track on Predator, is the title track. With its heavy and killer riffage and driving drums and precise and biting vocals, Predator is the best choice for an opening track that the band could have made. Clearly highlighting the mission statement of the album in pure heaviness. The second track on the album is one that got the ball rolling for the album, Expander. With its head bopping riff, pounding drums and pushing lyrics, the song should definitely feature in live sets for years to come. Can’t Go Wrong With You, is the next track, and once more there is a solid riff, that makes the listener sit up and pay attention-as if that wasn’t happening already- with some fascinating lyrics that draw up the image of a woman who’s torn between staying and going, it makes for a fascinating atmosphere.

Lady Babalon has a real Black Sabbath feel to it, with the sludgy riffs and the growling mournful vocals, and of course the fast middle section that makes one think of the mosh pits that could be had. Observer One is a slow and thoughtful instrumental, that slowly increases with some flavoured wah thrown in for good measure. It builds nicely into the next song on the record. Shiva, a thudding heavy galloping riff and growling vocals from John Mortimer that paint a vivid picture of the questions being asked and demanding answer. Another solid song that will undoubtedly become a live favourite. If it is not already.

The final third of the album brings some solid tracks with it. Shine Out, has an upbeat rhythm and tone to it, with its chugging riffs, that makes the listener really get into the groove of things with constant head bopping and foot tapping. Revival is a biting and heavy riff based song, which is sure to become an anthem for the metal masses, another song that should make the live setlist. The final track of the album is What I Live For a driving and crunchy song that is a cracking closer to an amazing album.

Predator is a stellar effort by a band that shows no signs of slowing down. The nine tracks on the album are some of the best metal songs that have been released in years, all of them should make it into live setlists and should become fan favourites relatively easily.  A definitive ten out of ten. If you’re into metal, or hard rock, or are curious about the band, buy this record, you will not regret it!