Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Visions: Mastodon - Dry Bone Valley

The last few 'Visions' posts, bar the Venom clip which was just buffoonery, seem to have focused on videos with some crazy ass scheme that simply has you asking what the directors of each were on when they made them. This next one is no different. I'm not even going to attempt to explain the meaning behind the numerous masks, symbols, colours and the Asian lady that fly out of the screen over the course of this song. All I know is that a) this would've been cool in 3D, and b) the YouTube haters are fools. Better this than a straightforward performance vid.

Whatever the meaning behind the imagery, Mastodon's 'Dry Bone Valley', taken from 'The Hunter', is another incredible video from these guys and an impressive song all the same, from an album that continues to get better with every listen.

Peter Clegg

Monday, 30 January 2012

Wiht are calling it quits

It's been over a week since this was announced but it's worth bringing to the attention of anyone who hasn't heard. The excellent Leeds sludge/psych/doom instrumental trio Wiht are calling it a day after three years. The band gave their reasons in an excerpt from a statement posted on their Facebook page on Sunday January 22nd:

'It is with sadness and a great sense of pride, that we have decided to call it a day. This is a completely amicable decision and has been made in the best interests of the band. It has come to a point where we are no longer able to progress and take the band further, we feel this band deserves more respect than just to fade away. This simply is an issue of lack of time and funds; two of the three of us now have families and time has become a lot more precious. To progress as a band we need to dedicate a certain ammount of time to write and record, let alone gigging and touring. This is why we have decided to call it a day at a point where we feel this is something to be proud of.'

I didn't really know the guys personally, but I did review their latest album 'The Harrowing of the North' here - an excellent work - and me and the Poison Dwarf guys did play a couple of shows with them in 2010. I've thoroughly enjoyed their live performances and their records and I'm gutted to hear this news. I understand their reasons though, especially being a father myself and about to juggle the responsibilities of being a parent and being in a band.

That said, you still have a couple of opportunities to catch Wiht live before they disbanded - firstly, on Saturday 18th February at the Royal Park Cellars, Leeds, alongside Wizard's Beard at the Beard's album release show with Undersmile and Diascorium, and finally on Friday 30th March at the same venue, with Khuda, Wizard's Beard and Tree of Sores. The full statement can be read here.

On behalf of We Must Obey, we wish the members of Wiht all the very best in their future endeavours. You will be missed, but thank you for the great music.

Peter Clegg

Friday, 27 January 2012

Visions: Venom on Sky Monsters of Rock, 1985

Bands these days. So clean cut, not a hair out of place, wouldn't say boo to a ghost. Heck, you might get the odd f-word here and the middle finger there, but only if they're trying too hard to be bad ass.

Things were a lot different back in 1985, when Geordie black metal pioneers Venom rolled onto the set of the Sky Monsters of Rock Show. For anyone who hasn't seen it, fan or not, this is a must see. Prepare yourself for one of the most hilarious interviews ever as host Amanda Reddington quickly loses control of the set, as Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon overwhelm her and the show with their sheer buffoonery. Sure they had a whole Satan shtick going on, but that didn't stop them from being three lads from Newcastle-upon-Tyne out to have a laugh. It seems like this was a lab explosion waiting to happen. Proof that the 80's was possibly music's greatest time ever, rich was its diversity and evolution. There'll never be another band like Venom wreaking havoc in quite the same fashion.

But enough lamenting the downfall of the mainstream public's tastes, enjoy some proper telly gold!

Peter Clegg

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Trouble - Manic Frustration

Previously, this series has focused squarely on individual songs that I feel are either under-rated or simply worthy of a little more love and attention. This series is not restricted to individuality, however, and today’s feature marks the first in the series to look at an entire album that for me is a classic that simply emerged at the wrong time to hit its maximum potential.

While Trouble will rightfully be remembered for their landmark doom metal albums ‘The Skull’ and ‘Psalm 9’, but their years on Rick Rubin’s Def American label undoubtedly brought about some of their most interesting work. Having further explored their psychedelic interests on 1990’s self-titled effort; those interests were fully honed and merged with another much less doomy, more energetic album titled ‘Manic Frustration’. Trouble were known from early in the career to openly reference the Bible and religion in general, but they binned this approach with the self-titled album, and portions of ‘Manic Frustration’ continued with this new lyrical stance, although I will touch upon my own thoughts when I begin to wrap this up.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Iron Cages - 2012 demo

Iron Cages
2012 demo 

There's never going to be a shortage of hardcore bands in this world, full of tales of hope, revenge, defiance, depression, pride, etc. It continues to offshoot into forever more splinter genres, sometimes unwantedly, but in its truest form, it still remains a potent force. Milwaukee's Iron Cages, featuring.members of fellow hardcore stalwarts Harm's Way and Expire, stick very much to the blueprint set by 90's hardcore and d-beat, in so much as a keen ear for a hook without sacrificing any of the passion or bile for the cause.

'2012 demo' is five tracks of heart on sleeve hardcore, well produced for a demo, and with a melodic slant though not too much to prefix that word and shorn them of a meaty sound derived from their crustier influences. . One look at the song titles tells you it's not going to be cheerful, and a further look at the lyrics tells another story. 'Desperation' is particularly bleak, portraying a world of little if any expectations:

'Reinvent myself. See if I survive. It’s been longer than a lifetime I’ve spent under the knife. I prayed for the same sad fate: quick birth, easy life, the same damned place to die.'

Admittedly there's nothing new about this approach, so the trick is to do what you do well, and Iron Cages have it down to a fine art, from crushing beatdowns to bruising riffs. There's definitely a lot of potential to be seen from this Milwaukee crew. Anyone with even a passing interest in the murkier hardcore d-beat scenes ought to take a look at them, and even fans of more melodic bands like Comeback Kid and Snapcase should give them a crack too. Yes, these sorts of bands are ten a penny, but the quality ones shine through. Iron Cages certainly possess that streak and who knows, perhaps, should Iron Cages not be consumed through their members' primary interests, they'll have a few more people singing those words back at them a year or two from now.

Peter Clegg

Download '2012 demo' here 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Massive Zico Chain UK Tour announced!

British rockers The Zico Chain have been hard at work on their new album and now they’ve gone and announced a huge UK tour this coming March! Labelled ‘The Devil In Your Heart’ Live UK Tour, it will see the trio embarking on a fourteen-date trek around the UK – dates as follows, and supports named up to press also listed:

Wednesday 29th February – The Fighting Cocks, Kingston
Thursday 1st March – The Watershed, Newport Pagnell
Friday 2nd March – Fibbers Bar, York (w/ Silvertone, Iheart + Beretta Suicide)
Saturday 3rd March – The Parish, Huddersfield (w/ Beretta Suicide + Planet Janet)
Monday 5th March – The Hydrant, Brighton
Wednesday 7th March – The Dry Bar, Manchester
Thursday 8th March – Harlow Square
Friday 9th March – Finn’s Rock Pub, Weymouth
Saturday 10th March – Rock City, Nottingham
Sunday 11st March – Nambucca, London
Tuesday 13th March – The Flapper, Birmingham
Wednesday 14th March – The Well, Leeds
Thursday 15th March – The Vic Inn, Derby
Friday 16th March – The Kasbah, Coventry
Saturday 17th March – TBC

Get on down!

Peter Clegg

Monday, 23 January 2012

Fat Janitor - Lurk

Fat Janitor

With a name like Fat Janitor, you'd be forgiven for conjuring up all kinds of images. Perhaps a portly, off-ignored, creepy kinda guy seems the most likely one. And if he was indeed lurking, around a corner, a school locker, in the janitor's cupboard, that image would only be multiplied.

Thankfully, we're only talking about a Glaswegian band called Fat Janitor, and their mini-album 'Lurk'is quite simply brilliant. For starters, its hard to pigeonhole, containing plenty of noise rock elements without sounding like the Am Rep revival which seems to be gathering pace, whisked with hardcore riffs & rock grooves that they occasionally flit between. It's not totally original and no doubt you'll find your own comparisons, but 'Lurk' is a lean machine that doesn't so much as deserves attention as it does demand it.

At first glance the song titles imply a lack of seriousness - 'French Winger' could well be about Florent Malouda if you take its title as read (in reality its an instrumental). But its all business from the get go, and it happens to be one of those records that seemingly gets better as it progresses. The riffs vary between angular, groovy and chunky style, often fighting through a wall of noise. The screams from their vocalist are raw and piercing, like he's drunk half of bottle of neat, cheap vodka full of rusty nails. Even when it threatens to slumber, Fat Janitor simply step up another gear with a wake-up riff, displayed most excellently on 'Human Sandbags', which halfway through hits a brilliant stop start groove like a slap to the face. The closer, 'Two Nights in Hell' sums up Fat Janitor's style in one song, utilizing rock, noise, hardcore, punk and other alternative elements like a proverbial battering ram. The constant feedback from noise effects is occasionally overpowering but mostly serves the band well.

Once again, I'm left in awe by a Scottish band. How the hell do yous north of the border continue to do it? Seriously though, Fat Janitor have, in 'Lurk' a mini-album marking serious potential and reaffirming Scotland as one of the finest underground hardcore/metal scenes in the world right now.

Peter Clegg

Download 'Lurk' for free here


Friday, 20 January 2012

Plague Rider - Genetic Devolution

Plague Rider

Genetic Devolution

North-eastern UK quintet Plague Rider describe themselves as a technical death metal band, conceived in February last year by core founder members, guitarists Jake Bielby and Dan Alderson, and drummer Matthew Henderson. Following the odd line-up change, the line-up was soon completed by vocalist Jamie Brown and bassist Lee Anderson, and their four-track debut demo, ‘Genetic Devolution’, soon followed.

Genetic Devolution’, made available by the band at the very back end of 2011, isn’t the finest demo I’ve ever heard, in terms of production quality or all-round end product, but there’s still plenty of potential to be found. There’s plenty of ideas but occasionally it appears to run out of steam, the instrumental ‘Nocturnal Awakening’ being one example which perhaps could’ve done with a little more variation within less time. They do hit the mark on a couple of occasions though, the title track opening with an interesting spoken word intro eerily proclaiming that ‘the world is a much more interesting place with people like you in it…’, before vocalist Jamie unleashes a blood-curdling scream to kick off a thoroughly pounding song. The same can be said of the self-titled end track, ‘Plague Rider’, which benefits in much the same way the title track does; from being more direct and not so exhaustive.

Currently Plague Rider seem a little rough around the edges, which is no bad thing at all at this stage. Their death metal does have a few technical flourishes but doesn’t go too weedly-weedly and does seem to feature more of a distinct death-thrash sound, very much the sum of their influences. The band are aiming to record their debut album in 2012 and looking to perform at plenty of gigs up and down the country as they work towards that goal. Despite its occasional flaws, this is still a solid, indeed savage demo and well worthy of any curious metal fan’s interest, and a sound base for these guys to work from.

Peter Clegg

Last.fm (demo also available here)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Visions: Cannabis Corpse - Where The Kind Lives

Speaking of fucked-up acid trips, Cannabis Corpse are no strangers to the leaf and their latest video, for ‘Where the Kind Lives’, is hilariously overboard as you can get. Two stoners are getting high, then they see a light outside. One of them walks to the light, gets beamed up, and is subject to all kinds of probing by some crazed circle-pitting bud creatures. Oh and look, a bong rocket!

I shouldn’t keep spoiling it, its got to be seen to be believed. It was produced by The Gift Media Group, and they have done a fantastic job in bringing to life Cannabis Corpse’s weedy world in this highly entertaining video, taken from Corpse’s reefer-soaked ode to old-school death metal, ‘Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise’. Worship!

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Visions: Trash Talk - Slander

For what was only a five track EP, Trash Talk's 'Awake' has certainly spawned a few videos. Both previous vids were as punk as today's standards get - the free running of the title track, and the riot/uprising scenes of 'Burn Alive'. The video for 'Slander' takes a different tack. This is a gleefully over the top animated video, produced by Creature Skateboards with illustration from Jay Howell and directed and animated by Jim Dirschberger.

The premise is essentially one fucked up acid trip, and its consequences. Enjoy!

Peter Clegg

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Alcest - Les Voyages De L'Âme


Les Voyages De L'Âme

Prophecy Productions

It's been a wondrous couple of years for French multi-instrumentalist Neige, whose seen his work spread out globally, all to widespread critical acclaim and wanderlust. His main concern, Alcest, took off spectacularly with 'Écailles de Lune', an album that unquestionably made waves within the black metal scene. Neige also provided lead vocals on 'Agape' by German atmospheric black metallers  released Lantlôs, further broadening his spectrum and reducing hardened metallers to their knees in awe.

I'm not saying this as a superfan, because I'm not. In actual fact, while I enjoyed the previous Alcest album, it took a while to grow on me. That's not to fault the album, just it didn't have that effect on me that it certainly had on a lot of other people. With that said, its pleasing to report that 'Les Voyages de L'Âme' (translating to English as 'Voyages of the Soul') is every bit the success that meets the lofty (if quiet) expectations now expected of Alcest.

It begins with 'Autre Temps' which begins softly with some solitary guitar, which builds up a little into the opening verse which re-introduces us to Neige's soulful croon. The gentle opening does eventually open up into slightly heavier waters, the first signs of which occur during 'Là où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles'. Even the blast sections don't encourage headbanging, even when Neige is letting out a rare roar over them, so awashed in shoegaze elements they are. They do turn up at welcome moments that provide that little bit of variety to keep it interesting all the way through, driving 'Beings of Light' despite the caress of some higher pitched vocals. But your most likely to find yourself applauding them, or even finding some ethereal beauty in them as you might during 'Faiseurs des Mondes', one of 'Les Voyages' many highlights. A credit to the only other member of Alcest, drummer Winterhalter, whose performance here might well be understated in the shadow of Neige's large contribution.

But to try and point out every high point of the record is a fruitless task. To pick out a low point is impossible, cos there simply aren't any. We are seventeen days into January as this post goes live, and already we have an album of the year contender. It's rare you get metal albums of this ilk that won't just capture the imagination for the moment, but will echo throughout time. 'Les Voyages de L'Âme' is all that and so much more.

Peter Clegg

Buy 'Les Voyages de L'Âme' here

Stream it in full here

Official site



Monday, 16 January 2012

Black Breath have been ‘Sentenced To Life’

Hell fucking yes! We here at We Must Obey are extremely pleased to hear that Seattle ravages Black Breath have wrapped up work on their second full length album and are about to blast our eardrums out with it this coming March! Titled ‘Sentenced to Life’, the press release tells us it promises to showcase ‘more full-on crushing rage’ than the more rock ‘n’ roll orientated predecessor ‘Heavy Breathing’, which previously condemned listeners to forcibly headbang to death! The album was written following their return from their 2010 European tour, and comprises 10 songs inside a furious 33 minutes. Song titles include: ‘Feast of the Damned’, ‘Doomed’, ‘Forced into Possession’, ‘Home of the Grave’ and the title-track. It was recorded again at God City Studios with Kurt Ballou.

'Sentenced to Life' will be released through Southern Lord. A full track listing, as well as a final release date, cover art and doubtless previews of the album will all be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Let’s just say that We Must Obey are going to be on this like flies around shit. 

Peter Clegg

Friday, 13 January 2012

Room for One More #2: Copper Dragon Scotts 1816

Well Christmas time came and went, and with it came a lot of beer and ale. One of the first I sought was the previously untried Scotts 1816 ale, from the Copper Dragon Brewery in Skipton, North Yorkshire, received as a gift among several ales as a Christmas present/reward for getting a new job!

The Copper Dragon Brewery was established in 2002, They've been doing a fine job ever since, establishing themselves as a fine independent brewery. It stands  as a restoration of the historic Skipton Brewery, which was bought out and subsequently shut down in 1904, after nearly 90 years in service from its beginnings in 1816, when it was commissioned for construction by Leeds maltster Christopher Scott. This is where I presume today's owners of the site took inspiration for the name of the featured beverage. They've been doing a fine job ever since, establishing themselves as a fine independent brewery.

I was mostly intrigued thanks to Scotts' elder sibling and more well known ale, the Golden Pippin. Up until this point, my knowledge about Copper Dragon's products didn't extend beyond the Pippin, so to try this one for the first time was not one to resist. The blurb reads:

'A full bodied flavoursome rounded ale with a distinctive hoppy palate and aroma. Only the choicest British malt and Continental hops are used to produce this ale.'

Wow, was I impressed from the get go. Into the tankard this 4.4% real ale went, delivering an impressively frothy head. The first taste was equally one to savour, a flavoursome sip full of fruitiness and joy, a pleasure to the palette. Off I went into the living room tree, in the glow of the Christmas lights, to drink this fine ale and play Assassins' Creed. I didn't rush; only taking it further gulps during breaks in action. The drink lasted me a full hour, and not once did it lose its flavour or its balance.

Put simply, Copper Dragon have another masterpiece here in this fine ale. One I shall definitely drink time and time again, and certainly one you should be willing to try too. Head to the Copper Dragon's website, and learn about their full story, their fine Bar Bistro, and order some of their fine ales while you're at it!

Peter Clegg

Copper Dragon Brewery official site

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Visions: Every Time I Die - Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space

Every Time I Die are nothing if not consistent. They successfully leaped from their original metalcore leanings to the hardcore party rock style that’s made them the success they are today. Recently, they unleashed their latest video, ‘Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space’, which is set to appear on their new album ‘Ex Lives’. The song itself is a nice mix of present ETID and past ETID – there’s a nice meaty breakdown at the end and the song as a whole is a complete rager. The video for the song is a mix of live footage and some truly disturbing clips taken from old newsreels and no doubt strange archive footage. Try not to get taken in too much by that and instead, enjoy the song for what it is. It’s great to have them back.

‘Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space’ is taken from the forthcoming album ‘Ex Lives’, due out on Epitaph on Monday March 6th. The video is after the jump.

Peter Clegg

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Loincloth - Iron Balls of Steel

Iron Balls of Steel
Southern Lord

2012 is still young and already we’ve received in our inbox the first new album of the year, from latest Southern Lord signees Loincloth. With a title such as ‘Iron Balls of Steel’, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume what lies within is the chest-beating, fist-pounding true heavy metal made famous by the likes of Manowar and ...erm… Manowar! However, that’s not strictly true; despite featuring two members of legendary death/doom metal act Confessor (in guitarist Cary Rowells and drummer Steve Shelton), Loincloth’s approach mixes beefy heavy metal riffs into a progressive/technical stew. And sadly, stew is quite appropriate – cos personally, I found it’s a little difficult to pick out anything that stands out about ‘Iron Balls of Steel’.

Don’t get me wrong, riff wise, there’s plenty of them, every song supplying a beefy chug, brimming with time changes, tempo changes, stop start rhythms, etc. It just feels completely lacking in direction. The lack of vocals is one thing – it shouldn’t necessarily matter in this day and age whether a metal band has a vocalist or not. But a lot of this album’s songs don’t even clock in above two minutes, leading to a primarily ‘interlude’ feeling to some of the tracks; where they do spread their legs a little, there’s nothing particularly interesting going on, everything melding into a mush. At times, they could actually do with a singer. More appropriate, they could do with a few more ideas. Other instrumental bands, for example, Serious Beak (whom we recently reviewed) thrive on keeping the listener on their toes, even injecting a bit of atmosphere. You don’t bemoan their lack of a singer as their train is constantly rolling. Loincloth’s instru-metal is cold and only occasionally splutters into life, doing little else besides; a critical downfall.

Progressive metal has been given plenty of technical sheen over the last few years and while I don’t doubt Loincloth’s passion for their music, really I don’t see how it compares to the more natural, often younger bands of today who pull this off with more flair and supreme skill, whether you like them or not. For a band containing former members of Confessor, I’m sure they won’t care for a review like this, and I don’t particularly enjoy savaging albums; but the fact is, there’s not really much good I can say about this album. And yes, admittedly I bought the press garb, and wound up disappointed.

Peter Clegg

Iron Balls of Steel’ is released on Monday 16th January, 2012. Pre-order it here

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Ginger Wildheart tour documentary on its way!

If you don’t know who Ginger Wildheart is by now, we suggest you give yourself a sound palm to the face. The living legend of Wildhearts fame as well as many other side projects and solo acts completed an acoustic UK tour with his band in December 2011, and recently we were greeted with the excellent news that a DVD of said is on its way! Excellently titled ‘It Stinks of Eyes Around Here’, its set to feature live footage of songs performed of the tour, interviews with Ginger and his band, and general jiggery-pokery that goes on tour.

Its been filmed by Ash Pears of AshTV, who I’d just like to put a bit of spotlight on too. Those around the local scene here in West Yorkshire may well know Ash as the drummer for the excellent Huddersfield rock trio The Pretty Machine, but he’s also a music video director extraordinaire for hire, having shot music videos for the Eureka Machines, The Rotted, Sorry & The Sinatras, Trigger The Bloodshed, The Scaramanga Six and many more in the past over the last few years. This is set to be one of his best works yet and without a doubt, he’s one of the most creative minds around right now. Head over to his site to check out his work.

Check out the trailer for ‘It Stinks of Eyes Around Here’ after the jump. It’s currently in post-production and a release date should be confirmed soon!

Peter Clegg

Monday, 9 January 2012

Serious Beak - Huxwhukw

Serious Beak 
Art as Catharsis

Australian metal bands are like diamonds. I personally find quality ones rare, not because they're bad - more to do with my relative lack of knowledge on the scene Down Under, coupled with the flood of metal bands I hear about from just over the Atlantic Ocean. But when I do stumble upon one, wow is it a thing of beauty, of rare quality. And Serious Beak, featuring Adrift For Days guitarist Lachlan Dale, with their unpronouncable album 'Huxwhukw' prove to be quite a valuable find.

'Huxwhukw' is a varying instru-metal assault over 10 tracks, and fans of bands like The Mars Volta, Meshuggah, Mastodon, etc. will sure find something to like here, whether they're flexing their heavier muscles, akin to the razor sharp talons carried by larger avian varieties, or spreading their progressive wings, which they have a tendency to go for on several occasions, particularly on the jazz/metal/gonzo fest that is 'Sporas'.

They remind me, in some ways, of fellow Aussies Akaname - whose 2010 EP, 'As Above So Below' is well worth seeking out - and perhaps that's down to the guitar tone, particularly at foot to the floor time. That said, its more expansive and other influences are prevalent at various points, particularly on 'Fljóta', which contains a tribal vocal, the only voice heard throughout the record.

I for one hope Serious Beak get some serious acclaim for this record and get their name put out a bit further. Instru-metal records can fall into the trap of becoming backing music pieces or some sort of soundtrack form. Not 'Huxwhukw', which firmly soars over those pitfalls with little difficulty. Another cracking find from the Australian goldmine.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download 'Huxwhukw' here


Monday, 2 January 2012

Winter songs

The weather outside in the UK right now isn't too frightful but winter certainly took its icy grip over our shores earlier in the month. Thankfully, we've not had the repeat of the storm of late 2010 and early 2011 but no doubt the capability is there. Luckily for you, we've compiled five songs we feel befitting of the big freeze, however bleak or even positive they may feel. Enjoy.

1. Probot w/ Lee Dorrian – Ice Cold Man
[from Probot, Southern Lord, 2003]

OK, an obvious one to begin with, and without doubt the finest song from Dave Grohl’s childhood dream/metal superstar album. Arriving in the middle of the record, a cold, heartless, doomy riff echoes, before the pounding of the drums introduces Cathedral/ex-Napalm Death frontman Lee Dorrian to bestow a tale of a planet dying at the grip of an eternal winter. The chorus is storming; Eternal winter takes its reign/devoid of life, filled with pain/ice cold man watches earth die’. And as Dorrian delivers that line, you can truly grasp the hopelessness that fills you when caught in an Arctic-style storm.

2. Batillus - …And The World is as Night to Them
[from Furnace, Seventh Rule, 2011]

I recently had to get up ridiculously early for a Saturday shift. It was dark, frost and ice were covering the roads and pavements near my home. A van had slid off the main road at the bottom and almost into a building during the night. ‘…And The World is as Night to Them’, the opening song from blackened doomers Batillus’ ‘Furnace’, was the track playing on my musical device of choice that very moment. I was stood around waiting for the bus and this incredible song, so bleak, so harsh, captured the mood perfectly. Equal parts atmospheric and soul-crushingly heavy, take a walk outside with this track when the sky is black and the surfaces are glistening, and I defy you not to feel in thrall to winter’s cold, icy grip.

3. Immortal – In My Kingdom Cold
[from Sons of Northern Darkness, Nuclear Blast, 2002]

I know I’m trying to avoid clichés, but you can’t have such a list without including Immortal, who are in thrall to all things icy and cold. I could have picked this pretty much any song, e.g. ‘Antarctica’, ‘Arctic Swarm’, ‘Blashrykh (Mighty Ravendark)’ and more besides. But I plumped for ‘In My Kingdom Cold’ because every riff in this song truly sounds like it was pulled directly from the tundra, and Abbath's trademark scowl truly shows he and Immortal reign supreme over this icy world.

4. My Dying Bride – A Doomed Lover
[from Songs of Darkness, Words of Light, Peaceville, 2004]

That old saying ‘it’s grim ‘oop north’ is seldom more true of the UK in winter, and if any one song could actually capture the bleakness and hopelessness you feel when caught in the middle of nowhere, trapped in a snowstorm and seemingly enveloped by the elements, this would be it. As the title indicates, it’s a song about a hopeless romance and descending into sorrow, but musically the feeling is jarring. I’ve experienced that song whilst walking in the night through snow, and just as the conclusion to the song builds up, its started snowing heavily again. This actually happened just last winter, when the country was ground to a halt by the abhorrent weather. The image in front me combined with ‘A Doomed Lover’ summed up the situation; staggeringly beautiful; but bleak, hopeless and with an unerring air of inevitability.

5. Big Business – Theme from Big Business II
[from Mind The Drift, Hydra Head, 2009]

I won’t lie – this is one of those songs which makes me feel like I’m standing on top of a mountain and shouting the words out so loud that everyone can hear! In all seriousness, this would be the song I would conquer Everest to, if I had the cojones. Just imagine that, as you hear the opening riff, accompanied by the horns, you’re staring upwards at that mountain. Or at some vast expanse. It epically builds up into 'Mind The Drift's fantastic climax, and the chimes that ring out the end of the record provide a potent soundtrack to winter's harsh but undeniable beauty

Let us hear your suggestions for perfect accompanying rock or metal songs that fits the frosty mood this weather brings. I for one find those five just right.

Peter Clegg