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The band behind the tour of the year

The band revolutionising hardcore

The new face of death metal

The best thrash band of the 21st century

Inside their fight for metal’s future… and the bands joining their cause

Issue 308

Exclu Metalsive! lica POP! Off P.78 er


matt meets jami

Trivium vs Code Orange. Two of metal’s most passionate frontmen shoot the shit on the tour to end all tours.



Iron Maiden

We talk to the people on the frontlines of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’s incredible inception as it celebrates its 30th birthday.

Carpenter Brut Death metal fanatics are reaching for the glo-sticks. We pop to France to throw shapes with the biggest name in synthwave.


Robb Flynn

What happens when you ask a metal legend to pen a letter to his teenage self? One of the most moving pieces you’ll read this year. 3

Can you hear that?



t’s the sound of change. It’s the sound of revolution. It’s the sound of the Metal Hammer Tour that’s about to smash into our shores. Trivium, Code Orange, Venom Prison and Power Trip hitting the UK together is un-fuckwithable evidence of what Hammer shows you every month – that metal is alive, and it is thriving. We’re proud to have played our part in bringing these shows together and, as you’ll find out from Matt Heafy’s thoughtful head-to-head with Jami Morgan on p.28, they are shows that represent much more than four bands kicking ass. Go check it out to see what we mean. As well as being delighted with where metal is at, we also know how important it is to celebrate where it’s come from – which is why inside this very same issue you’ll find our special look inside the making of Iron Maiden’s seminal Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Thirty years on and it still stands as one of their finest achievements. Throw in features with Motörhead, Machine Head, Carpenter Brut, Heilung, Louise Lemón, Boss Keloid and many more and you have a hell of an issue to sink your teeth into. We love it all, and we hope you do, too. Oh, and if you’re coming to the Brixton leg of the Hammer tour, we’ll see you there! Ours is a beer. Cheers and…

IN YOUR ISSUE 08 Lamb Of God

60 Boss Keloid

10 Ministry

62 Will Haven

12 Puppy

70 Motörhead

14 Dragonforce


16 Black Stone Cherry


Why have they recorded a covers album? Why under Burn The Priest? And why didn’t they tell anyone? We get answers. You won’t be surprised to find Uncle Al is not a big fan of the Trump era. We get political with the Godfather of Industrial. The genre-bending London riffers are almost ready to release their album. It was the song that launched a million guitar controllers. We chat to Herman Li about Through The Fire And Flames. Star Wars meets Elvis meets a 50s diner? It can only be Houses Of The Unholy.

36 Venom Prison

The death metal crushers are set to slay on Hammer’s tour. Larissa reassures us their rising popularity won’t dull their message.

40 Power Trip

Your favourite band’s favourite band are on our tour, too! We shoot the shit with the thrashers’ frontman, Riley Gale.

The veteran noisemakers are back, loud and as angry as ever. We dig into their splendid new album. Inside the 18 months that turned three grubby outcasts into world conquerors. A Perfect Circle, Ihsahn, Napalm Death, Bleed From Within, Tesseract and more seek the Hammer stamp of approval. We coo over Led Zep box sets, Black Panther caps, Game Of Thrones puzzles, Peaky Blinder gin mugs and much more.


BLS, Arch Enemy, Alestorm, King 810, Conjurer, Carnifex, Saxon and more strut their stuff on stages big and small.

130 Fozzy

Chris Jericho takes the Metal Test – and to no one’s surprise, it’s an absolute gas.



We find out why one of doom’s most hotly tipped bands decided to bend their brains – and yours – into new shapes.












The psychedelic shamans leading a new spiritual uprising.


The Enslaved and Wardruna visionaries reunite and set sail for new pastures.


Lee Dorrian resurrects his hardcore punk riot-starters.


Hardcore Anal Hydrogen and more.


Primordial, Rotting Christ, Corrupt Moral Altar, Winterfylleth…


Nile, Terrorizer, Amenra, Obituary.

130 5

Divine S ig ht

ing s


Last month, thousands of inked-up metalheads descended onto the South Coast for one of the UK’s biggest alternative expos. The Brighton Tattoo Convention welcomed a weekend of panels, exhibitions, entertainment and yes, tattooing, with some of the world’s premier tattoo artists making an appearance. It was also a chance for punters to try out a variety of different styles and techniques, including this fella getting the hand-tap treatment. We imagine this definitely stung in the morning. Stay tuned to www. for info on next year’s event…


HOLY VISION Brighton Tattoo Convention 7


“WRITING NEW MUSIC FUCKING SUCKS” Lamb Of God have stunned the metal world by announcing a surprise covers album that they’ll be releasing under their original moniker, Burn The Priest. In an exclusive interview, we dropped Randy Blythe a line to find out what the hell’s going on WORDS: Joe Daly

So you’re releasing an album of punk and hardcore covers as Burn The Priest. How did it come about?!

Randy Blythe (vocals): “We, as a band, started off playing mostly in the punk rock and hardcore scene, because the metal scene as it exists today didn’t exist then and that’s where we grew our audience. We’ve been talking about doing a covers record for a long, long time, and for us to go back and cover thrash metal bands or something like that would be kind of silly because it’s really close to what we do. So we wanted to do a record that showcases [some different] stuff that would have influenced us back when we were really just beginning as a band.”

Why are you releasing the album as Burn The Priest instead of Lamb of God?

“We’re calling it Burn The Priest because those are the songs that would have been influencing us at that time. For us, I think there really is no difference between Burn The Priest and Lamb Of God. It’s not like we changed personnel or anything, the band just got older. So we figured, ‘Let’s just do it as Burn The Priest!’ We own that name and it’s still us. It’s not like we turned into a different band. I guess for us it seems natural.”

There are some deep cuts on this thing! Tell us about some of the song choices…

“We covered a band from Richmond called Sliang Laos. They’re a huge influence on us as a group, but they never put their record out. We have it – it’s recorded and it’s immaculate – but that record never got out, so Mark [Morton, guitar] and I both wanted to do this

song called Axis Rot to draw some attention to the music. And Willie [Adler, guitar] is a big Agnostic Front fan and he suggested Agnostic Front’s One Voice. We did a Cro-Mags song – We Gotta Know – because I’m a big Cro-Mags fan. And we covered Melvins’ Honey Bucket, which Mark wanted to do. I would have picked an older Melvins song but he wanted to do Honey Bucket, so we did that.”

Are there any curve balls on there, in your opinion? “There are a couple of surprises, including a Ministry cover. Mark and John [Campbell, bass] were recording it and I came in one day and they’re like, ‘We covered [1991 single] Jesus Built My Hotrod’, and I was like, ‘Really? That’s fucking ridiculous. That doesn’t make any sense!’ Ha ha! But then we played it and it was super-fun, just off the cuff. It was really easy the way the songs came together. We recorded 11 songs and one is a b-side. I could have recorded a million songs because I’m a huge punk rock fan.”

Why did you decide to release the album as a surprise?

“Because I’m fucking sick of everybody knowing everything in advance! Everybody today has this idea that they have the right to know everything at all times in advance. That’s the fault of social media, I believe. People give away too much. Plus, I think that if you start talking about something too far in advance, it reduces the impact of it. And I enjoy the element of surprise. I like mystery. I like when bands do cool shit. Keep ’em on their toes, man.”

“I’m fucking sick of everybody knowing everything in advance” 8

If you’ll allow us to play devil’s advocate – why do a covers album instead of working on new music? “Because I don’t feel like writing new music right

now and we’re still on our last album tour. People always ask me if we’ve got plans for a new record or whatever. No! When we do, we’ll tell you. Writing new Lamb Of God music is not fun. Writing and recording a new record for some of the dudes might be fun but for me it fucking sucks. I hate recording. I always have and I always will. We’re a very contentious sort of band, creatively, and that’s no secret, so having something that’s easy and where we can all agree with each other – which is a rarity – and just sit down and have some fucking fun, is nice, man.”

For some fans, this will be a primer on old-school punk and hardcore. What can they take away from these songs? “For some of them, social and political awareness. That’s what punk rock is about. I find all too often that metal is about nothing. Screaming and whatever. Not all metal, of course, but music should mean something, and that’s what punk and hardcore’s about. It’s true to the heart.”

What do you most fondly remember about the Burn the Priest days, looking back?

“I remember that it was in many ways so much cooler than now. The internet hadn’t oversaturated the market with eighteen hundred fucking million bands. It was a newer, more exciting time to be in a young band. I think it was a better time than now, absolutely. That may sound like me being a curmudgeonly grumpy old man but maybe that just comes with any sort of creative thing you do in a group; the beginning is more fun, when you’re all wide-eyed and innocent and you haven’t been ground down into a state of bitterness and despair by the industry yet. Ha ha ha!”



Lamb Of God. Or Burn The Priest. It’s all the same to Randy 9


The Ministry legend explains why his new album will be the Black Mirror of the metal scene WORDS: Stephen Hill

With Ministry, Al Jourgensen helped to create and define industrial metal through the 80s and 90s, with albums like The Land Of Rape And Honey and Psalm 69 revolutionising heavy music itself. Beyond that, he’s survived heroin addiction, kidney failure, liver failure, hepatitis A, B and C and exploding stomach ulcers. He was also one of metal’s most outspoken critics of George W Bush’s reign in the White House. Judging by his new album, he’s not too fond of the current regime either… Ministry have a new record out, AmeriKKKant. What should we be expecting from it?

“Well, people should expect what they’ve got. Basically, this album is the audio equivalent of Black Mirror; it’s holding a mirror up, or taking an old-school Polaroid, of where we’re at as a society. And I hold it up and say, ‘OK, this is what I’m seeing, this is where we’re at. Do you really want to be here right now?’ Because I sure as hell don’t! This is some fucked-up shit that’s going on right now globally, and not just in America with our orange shit gibbon running things. It reminds me of the 1930s and the rise of fascism. We never learn our lessons, so here we are again, and this record is me holding up a mirror to that.”

Politically minded rock and metal hasn’t been in the spotlight much in recent years. Do you feel like

you’re one of the few metal artists attempting to invoke some sort of social change at the moment?

“I do, and I think that’s got a lot to do with social media. People want to like and be liked. They want to share a YouTube video of a rat taking a shower or a cat playing the piano to get likes whilst authoritative government figures are taking their pension and healthcare. That’s the whole thing about this record; it goes much deeper, and people will go, ‘Al’s just ripping on Trump.’ But it’s not about one man, it’s about a system that he inhabits.”

It feels like society is becoming increasingly fractured

“Well, you’ve got this tangerine terror in The White House, and the rise of fascism, and then you’ve got people taking to the streets to protest, which, because I’m old enough to remember, really feels like the point in the 1960s.”

The 1960s was a time that led to great social change...

“But did it actually? To me, this feels like 1968, and there were some great points to the resistance in 1968, but it became trivialised and became just another fashion movement. Just cosmetic changes happened, not systematic ones. When you think about the 60s, with civil rights and gender equality and anti-war movements, what did we really get out of it? Bellbottoms, Woodstock, LSD and pot! We’re still in the same place. People are


taking to the streets, but the system is still in place. So, you haven’t changed anything, you’re just wearing bellbottoms then and looking at cat videos now!”

Do you feel you’ve taken any kind of victories from your previous stances against, say, George Bush in the mid-00s?

“No. None at all. I also am at fault. I wasn’t raging at the machine, if you will, I was raging at the figurehead. I was raging at the logo! By the last of the three Bush albums, The Last Sucker, I was actually starting to feel sorry for Bush. I thought he was as much a prisoner of the system as any of us were. So, this is now about telling the next resistance movement that this isn’t about cosmetic change, it’s about fundamental change.”

How shocked are you that Trump is in this position at this point?

“I thought the election campaign was one big joke. But the human race has this fear built inside them from such an early age that if someone says, ‘I have all the answers’ then we just believe it. I went to bed on election night at 6pm because I knew at that point what we were getting. Actually, it was when Brexit happened that I just realised that there was no hope. I mocked it at the start and I got it badly wrong.”

If the world turned into a perfect, beautiful utopia overnight, would you have any music left in you? “Oh yes! Creativity nourishes the soul. I might not make music, but I would certainly do something artistic: painting or writing, maybe. I’d have to find some way to do that.”


FIVE MINutes ALONE with... Al Jourgensen

Uncle Al is not the Messiah. Trump sure as shit isn’t either 11


After wowing the underground with their Sabbath-meets-Weezer jams, the Londoners are finally releasing a full album WORDS: Stephen Hill


PRODUCER: Tom Delgety and Neil Kennedy

STUDIO: The Ranch Production House, Southampton

EXPECT: Some of the catchiest and most idiosyncratic pop-tinged rock music you’ll hear in 2018, with an extra dose of metal

Jock channels his inner EVH

After winning over

metalheads, rockers and indie kids alike with a couple of EPs, upcoming melodic riffers Puppy are currently putting the finishing touches to one of the most anticipated debut albums of 2018. We caught up with vocalist and guitarist Jock Norton to find out if the trio are going to deliver a modern classic, and how World War II became a massive influence… sort of.

So what can we expect from your debut album?

Jock Norton (vocals/guitar): “I think anyone that liked the EPs are going to be happy, it’s better song-wise and it’s more consistent. We tried to have fun with it and bring as many new things into the mix that people might not be expecting from us, so this time there are a couple of tracks that have pushed that. It’s not like a reggae album or

anything, but it’s certainly a push in a new direction. And we’re really excited to show it to people.”

So what are the new elements? We certainly noticed a touch of the guitar hero from you in your live set recently.

“Yeah, the guitar is a bit higher up, there’s a bit of that Van Halen and Ozzy thing that I really like. But there’s some tracks that sound… I don’t know, black metal might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s something that we’re into and there are some nods to that stuff in there as well. There’s one track that I hope gets on the album which is about seven minutes long. You know, it’s a big deal for us, this is our debut album, and we just wanted to get everything we want into it.”

How different has your approach been from writing an album, rather than an EP as you have done so far?

“Well I was part of the CD generation, sitting down and listening to an album

Billy Howa plays it by rd ear

all the way through rather than just listening to a couple of tracks, and that’s something I, personally, really wanted to nail. An album where you love every track. And you start thinking in different ways, looking at songs like, ‘This would sound great at the end of an album’ or ‘This isn’t a single, but it would work on this part of an album.’ You can conceptualise what you want. An EP, you essentially just want to be four singles, but this is a journey.”

So how was the studio experience for you guys?

“The guys came up and did their bits and left and I stayed up here for two weeks on my own to finish up my guitar and my vocals, and then we got together again to mix and do the vocal harmonies, which was the fun part when you hear it all take shape.

“This sounds like Ozzy and Van Halen with black metal” 12


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Metal Hammer 308 (Sampler)  

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Metal Hammer 308 (Sampler)  

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