Pete Woods
Quickly discovering in formative years that I was never quite going to fit in anywhere, I spent time growing up listening to punk, futurist, goth, industrial, metal and psychedelic sounds ranging from Hawkwind to The Sex Gang Children via Japan through to Crass mangled in with Psychic TV and New Model Army. Catching my first band live by accident; The Poison Girls at a G.L.C. free festival, I never looked back. Musical tastes have developed accordingly and I now spend time writing for both Terrorizer and Dominion magazine as well as co-running and pushing the boundaries of genre definition to mould around my own eclectic tastes. Not having the patience to play any instrument myself, I see my writing, to a certain degree as putting something back into the music I love. If I didn't spend time doing this I would be an alcoholic slumped without hope on the cold streets of London. Instead I can be found pint, camera and notepad in hand covering bands both old and new and will happily accept free cider without
Andrew Doherty
I’ve been obsessive about music since the late 60s and early 70s when during my childhood in Grimsby I used to watch Top of the Pops and bought 7” singles after saving up my pocket money. I really switched to metal when I first heard Dimmu Borgir. The ambience intrigued me, and through magazines and concerts I discovered new territory in the late 90s. For preference I now listen to black metal, heavy progressive music, Scandinavian-style melodic metal and any style which has an edge, or is downright unusual or bizarre. I managed the band Devillish Impressions, which was an exciting time as we had an album but no label or distribution method. We got the label and a European tour with Aeternus, and as the promoter’s plane was delayed, I finished up setting up the band’s first concert in Hamburg on 28th November 2006. I wrote for a while for Live 4 Metal but switched to Metal Team UK in 2007. Like any real music lover, I enjoy going to concerts and meeting people with the same interest and commitment.
Andy Barker
I guess I got into Metal by accident at 7 years old when I was given my brother's old record player with ONE record. His mates had told him that Black Sabbath sounded just like Status Quo...he didn't agree so Black Sabbath's debut was that one record. I never looked back. Got a battered old 4 piece drumkit when I was Ten years old and by 14 I had vowed to make my fortune as a Rock Star. The next fifteen years included a few years as the drummer in Holosade, plus stints in Company Of Wolves, Dominion, Diamond Dogs and Intense, eventually dispelling that ambition, so I ended up running a specialist Metal CD/Record/T-Shirt shop in York for 7 years. £40 grand a year in rent for a shop in York means I am now solely an online trader... I still turn up every now and again playing drums, bass or guitar in the odd band, be it live or in the studio, because once you have been a musician...or a's difficult to stop that creative urge. When I write a review I remember what it was like to read a review of something I had been a creative part of. My opinion is just my opinion, and I try to be constructive. I believe that if a musician has taken the time to record his or her ideas then it has merit to someone and deserves respect. Music is all about personal taste, and if someone has taken the time to create it, the least I can do is take the time to listen.
I was brought up in the West Midlands during the back end of the thrash scene, and then relocated to Yorkshire, becoming immersed in the bludgeoning death metal scene. As death metal waned, I found my true musical calling in the form of black metal, and it is here that my musical passion remains to this day. Having said that, I’m open minded and will give a fair listen to any style of alternative music, especially live, enjoying all forms of extreme music and can regularly be found lurking with a camera in one hand and pint in the other at metal gigs……
Angela Davey
If you've hazy memory of a short skinny girl with a mane of dreadlocks either scowling at you or spilling a pint on you at a gig, that was probably me, and I can only apologise. My preferred genres of music are doom and black metal; I frequent the London gig circuits for both. I have 10 years of writing experience under my belt and I am currently a content editor for Ghost Cult Magazine, as well as a scribe for both Terrorizer and Soundshock. My dreams and aspirations involve becoming editor of either my own publication or a pre-existing one (power is power, after all) and to bring the underground music scene the recognition and praise that it so rightfully deserves. I collect cats, patches and band shirts. Mine's an ale, if you're buying.
Charlie Rance
I have loved metal for ever and since I can’t play an instrument to save my life, I thought it best I write about music instead. I’m an office slave living in Cardiff, with a love of hair metal, power metal, cheesy 80s, black metal and battle metal. I dislike screamo, emo and all that funny haired pubescent crap. Interests include seeing live bands, drinking copious amounts of Jack Daniels, travelling and trying to meet as many awesome musicians as possible to put into a picture folder of “Cool Bastards”. One day I will get to meet my heroes Zakk Wylde and Nikki Sixx (In my dreams) and bung them in there too!
Chris Davison
I've been a metal fan since before I can remember anything else, more or less. My dad was always playing Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and AC/DC, so you can probably blame whatever crap score I have just awarded your terrible demo band indirectly to him. I spent my teenage years obsessing about thrash metal, before obsessing about all metal from that point onwards until now. I started reviewing music when Doug McClure was still trying to find the Land That Time Forgot, and in that time I have single handedly listened to every album ever released from Russia and the Baltic States. I live in a rural idyll, and so I don't get to gigs all that often, and thus you can always find me at Bloodstock clutching a flagon of rot-gut cider and smelling like a recently exhumed corpse, making the most of seeing a) other metal fans and b) metal bands. I once got poked in the eye by Lee Dorrian, and Fast Eddie Clarke told me he was still great. I also pulled Lesley Crowther's hair; The rest is just rumour.
Steve Russell
Despite having a passing interest in Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper and Guns N Roses through the 80’s, it wasn’t until Ice-T dropped “Original Gangsta” shortly after my 13th birthday that rock and metal REALLY captured my imagination thanks to the Bodycount demo on said album. From there, it was a logical leap to RATM, then Metallica, Sepultura, Carcass and Cradle Of Filth amongst others, before eventually arriving at an underground wealth of aural delights. My obsession with extreme sounds has led me to semi-competently poke at bass guitar in a couple of bands, occasionally dabbling in the dark art of music journalism with the self-published “P’tahk” and guest spots in more widely distributed magazines. Almost 30 years later, (when not providing comms for international hotspots in my day job, or finding ways to entertain the wife and kids at home) I’m still “chasing the dragon” for the next band that’ll make my hair stand on end.
As a death metal loving, beer and whiskey guzzling, potty mouthed gore obsessee, I figured I would fit right in amongst the realms of writers at Ave Noctum. Having spent my early teens listening to a vast majority of grunge and 80's glam metal, I swiftly graduated to the extreme side of the genre and have stayed there ever since. I spent three years learning how to be a professional metal nerd by studying Magazine Journalism at uni and have written for Terrorizer and MetalMouth. I'm currently in mourning over the loss of the mighty Neurotic Deathfest. Brutal death metal is the love of my life,along with dogs, rats, olives and Game of Thrones.
Frank Allain
A dedicated Whitesnake enthusiast and a man who has been embroiled in the London extreme metal scene for the last fifteen years or so, I have been providing my self-important musings on metal for Ave Noctum (formerly Metal Team) for a few years now. Pomposity, harshness and a general distaste for beige ‘extreme-metal-by-numbers’ are my primary traits although I have been known to show the odd moment of weakness in the face of suitably muscular power metal. I’m also quite pretentious and will happily waffle on about electronica, classical music, neofolk and all that sort of stuff in an effort not to come across like a narrow-minded metal git. Which is clearly what I am.
George Caley
My introduction to Metal and all things alternative came at the age of 11. I was already beginning to enjoy music and was soon pointed in the direction of Iron Maiden and Motorhead. A love of music developed from here delving into all manner of genres over the years as well as regularly attending gigs. By the time I was 16 I moved onto the heavier side of the Metallic die. It was at this point that I also wanted to give something back to the music world, I'd already failed at playing an instrument and so looked to reviewing. I started a YouTube channel in 2010 under the name ThatzNOTmetaL and over the next 5 years created a wealth of content, my music taste however was still expanding. After numerous changes and so forth I diversified into written media via a short lived e-zine called Eargore which in 2016 became a blog called Gore Crazy. Over the years I've learnt a lot about music and reviewing in general, so really I've now got my wish to give something back to the world of music that I adore.
Being old and creaky (I was a teenager during the NWOBHM) I have no time for people who ' excuse ' their love of metal by saying it's so cheesy, or so ironic. I've taken shit from mainstream types for the music I love for 35 years or so. Stand up and be proud of it with no concessions to what might be hip; the best music and the best fans in the world are within the metal family.
I've been into metal for the greater part of my existence. Exposed from a young age to bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Faith no More, my tastes gravitated towards the heavier end of the spectrum (if I conveniently bypass Skid Row and Mley Cr・...) – first through hearing the likes of Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica, and then via Pantera, Sepultura and Slayer. In my teenage quest for the heaviest, most unpleasant music imaginable, two old copies of Thrash 'n Burn magazine and a second-hand copy of Eaten Back to Life around 1996 proved defining. Later I discovered Terrorizer and more importantly, some good mail order companies. Death metal rapidly became my favourite musical form and has remained so ever since. Due to life distracting from my ability to keep up-to-date with the genre, I am thankful that writing for this website allows me to indulge my musical needs. As well as the aforementioned bands/genre, I'm also very partial to some rock, punk, thrash and black metal.
John Skibeat
Residing in Cambridge, my time awake is divided between scrambling through moshpits, scribbling on notepads, stuffing my face and hitting a ball from one end t'other. Seriously, I'm not all that complicated. Interests are sport, alcohol and cheese, musical likes include groove, stoner, hardcore and thrash and dislikes are pop, power metal and crunk.
Johnny Zed
Having entered this world in the late '60's just when all the forces of heaviness were gathering, I’ve always loved heavy stuff even though I had a musically conservative upbringing in Australia. The first album I bought at age 11 - "Destroyer" by KISS pretty much gave me the taste. Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath are my true obsessions but I soon greedily devoured everything from Deep Purple and AC/DC to Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Slayer. I've always marvelled at the resilience of heavy metal over the decades. Arriving in London six years ago, I found myself entrenched in the underground after seeing Orange Goblin at the first High Voltage Festival and being blown away. Here I've happily remained, keenly following bands like Witchsorrow, Sea Bastard and Alunah to name a few and those countless others who I'm being always being introduced to. I’ve been astounded by the talent that surrounds us and the brilliant people that make this music. I’ve done some reviewing with and am now pretty damn excited to contribute to this fine site. It's a great feeling to support so many young bands in the underground where the real passion for music lies. Usually found at a gig with a pint in hand and band merch spilling out everywhere, I’ll see you around!
Jonathan Butlin
A metal fanatic since the age of 15, I am now a considerably long way away from that age and still headbanging (lumbago permitting). If it is noisy, over-the-top, faintly ridiculous, and generally interesting I will probably like it. I like to think of myself as a bit of a philosopher, but that is mostly an excuse to sit around doing nothing. Founding member and guitar player in Detrimentum (also played bass on the new album, but my hands weren't really ape-like enough). I'm also a fantasy/sci-fi/history geek and have attempted to write some of that too; so far I have never been accused of `literature'.
Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was about 14 I left behind grunge and discovered the local punk and hardcore scene which quickly lead to a love for metal. I’m a drummer and have played in bands for about 15 years now, most of which were thrash/death metal, hardcore or punk but i’m also a fan of post-rock and prog. I’ve got a music degree, spend most of my days working as an audio engineer and most of my nights playing, listening to or writing about music.
Lars Christiansen
Having been introduced to metal by my older brother (who was an 80s thrasher with a love for NWOBHM), I caught the metal bug by association from a very early age. My tastes have changed a lot over the years, beginning with Metallica and Iron Maiden and culminating in just about everything extreme and underground. My main loves are slimy/occult death metal, teeth-grinding/neck-rending thrash, frostbitten black metal, crushing doom and blasting grindcore – what’s not to love there? I’ve worked in the music industry as a music buyer for an online retailer for the best part of 10 years so have a wide range of knowledge of most genres of music, but metal has always been my bag. I’ve also been writing on and off about metal for many years now, reviewing for various zines including a stint with Ave Noctum’s previous incarnation as Metal Team UK. I’ve always loved to tout out the underground metal scene like some filth dealer in an Amsterdam back street (but without the STDs). In my spare time I like to add good shit to my ever growing and unstable CD collection, dabble in smelly vinyl and dust off my dubbed tapes from my trading days, hoping with clenched bum that they aren’t inexplicably chewed to buggery. I’m born and bred in Oxfordshire, have Danish ancestry, like shit jokes, play guitar fast, like my beer cold (unless I’m on ales, in which case – don’t mind) and can usually be found dressed in all black with an unreadable logo emblazoned across my chest.
Lily Randall
In my eyes, there really is nothing better than stumbling upon a band that causes you to scrunch up your face and nod in pure delight. Thanks to a passion for writing, my teenage years were spent scouring the pages of metal mags, swooning over journalists' way with words and simultaneously finding bands to hunt down to fangirl over (I mean, interview). Black, thrash, doom and their hybrids get me going but death metal has a special place in my heart, so much so that I have a tortoise named Chuck Shelldiner. Writing for an array of publications over the years including Iron Fist, Terrorizer, Soundshock, Metal-Rules and Devolution, gigs have become a weekly routine and you'll find me weeping over at the merch stall because a vinyl doesn't come in colour or platter formats. I'm at my most content when at festivals, clutching a bottle of value vodka and running from stage to stage to watch as much as possible before I pass out.
Luci Herbert
With no musical talent and a complete lack of interest in the real world, I found my way into the industry via promotions. Soon realising it was not for me, I regrouped my efforts into creating a webzine to promote the music I love and discovered that words came easier to me than the patience to deal with band egos. I have a really useful degree in media and journalism from the University Of Huddersfield (where I specialised in film censorship in my final year), and as well as being editor of Ave Noctum, I write for Zero Tolerance magazine and previously introduced extreme metal to Teletext before the recession hit. I am drawn towards music with atmosphere, whether that be black metal, gothic rock, doom, industrial, dubstep or psychedelic trance, and have a soft spot for old school thrash metal. Aside from music, I enjoy seeking out the sickest, vilest offerings of cinematic filth known to man, skulking around forests and cemeteries in the dark and usually with my camera…or an axe, sticking pieces of metal through my skin, eating human flesh and generally being the sickest, vilest misanthropic c*** I can be.
Lykle Thijssen
My love for heavy music started back in the '80s, when I started listening to bands like Europe and Bon Jovi as a kid. After a short flirt with grunge and punk rock, it was eventually The Gathering that brought me into metal. Soon enough, bands like Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Anathema and Dimmu Borgir followed, firmly setting me on the path to dark and atmospheric music. Ever since, my taste in music has expanded to all kinds of metal, goth and post-rock. Having visited too many concerts and festivals to count, my career and family life are forcing me to take things a bit easier these days, but hardly a day goes by without listening to something heavy. Current favourites include Amorphis, Cult of Luna, Deafheaven, Russian Circles and Solstafir, yet this list is constantly evolving and I'm always interested in discovering new musical talent.
Mark Eve
Having been bollocked by my old man for breaking his antique ‘stereogram’ with Ozzy’s ‘Bark At The Moon’ in 1984, I decided a life of metal worship was for me! Likewise, after watching Zombie Flesheaters as a kid (early 80’s pre certification combined with an easily had over mum) and convincing myself that a zombie was more than likely in my wardrobe all night – a long and turbulent love affair with horror began. And I say turbulent as I regularly upset my horror geek mates by telling them Argento’s movies are all overrated shite. (You’d think they’d caught me fingering their mum when I tell them that). I’m a big fan of thrash, death metal, and er….. proper 80’s poodle rock (love you Ratt) and Motorhead are the best band in the world. Not a fan of tinny ‘recorded on a mono tape deck….. in a biscuit tin…… in the woods’ kvlt black metal.
Martin Harris
Rock and metal have been in my existence for about 30 years and saw me go through a rapid weaning period that covered AC/DC, Maiden, Saxon, Whitesnake, Motorhead, etc from about 1982 to 1984 before shifting to thrash in the summer of 1984. At that point my only mission was to find the fastest, most violent music on the planet resulting checking out every genre in extreme music from death metal and grindcore to crust punk and hardcore all of which I still adore today and buy albums from and go see live. During the 80s I grew up in the infamous Bradford thrash scene, a time I still dearly miss such was the inventiveness and great camaraderie it held. I’m a bit of phase metaller, going from one style to another, through sheer investigation of finding something new, but always sticking with them all. I’m a total sucker for double bass and blast beats and always will be no matter what genre it comes from. I absolutely detest people that have joined the metal scene because it is trendy or their mates like it, likewise I detest people who are shallow and think this music is a fad of growing up. Most of us are extremely well educated and articulate individuals who prefer freedom of self expression than indoctrination by mass media organisations hell bent on artistic sterilisation. Much of my cash is spent on following metal and I wouldn’t change a thing about it because it is the best music scene in the world.
Matt Mason
Matt Mason (The Mighty One) Big mouth. Big belly. Big...............ego! Since the age of 14 I have had headphones strapped to my head blasting metal, punk , goth and hippety hop. Never a genre purist I feel that the worlds musicians are merely there to provide the soundtrack to my adventures from my Norf Landan roots to my exile in the Suffolk wilderness (Ipswich). Having spent the early part of the millennium (This one I ain't that old!) rocking the airwaves on TotalRock I can now be found presenting the MattCave every Friday night 9-Midnight under the stations new name . Masochists amongst you can catch me telling bad jokes and reuniting photographers with lost lenses as the compère of the international London Tattoo Convention every summer. Inkredible!
Miika Virtanen
I'm more of a Charles Bukowski-character, really. I don't care for most things as long as I have a ridiculous amount of cyder+rum and some killer tunes, man. However, unlike my hero I do know what punk is and also quite enjoy a seleceted few metal bands. I absolutely fucking loathe modern production and, like Mr. B with poetry, I find the worship of things that have been around for way too long to be innovative completely retarded. Musical likes are mostly old-school, but dislikes worship bands, hates anything modern and the UK brutal death metal scene. Essential reading: Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Pleasures of the Damned, Sunlight, Here I Am, The Most Beautiful Woman In Town.
Born in Liverpool and brought up on a healthy dose of classic rock, glam rock and hair metal, I could sing "The Jack" by AC/DC word for word as a 5 year old much to everyone's amusement. Fast-forward a few years to age 14 and I've re-connected with my rock roots after a few questionable friends and influences. I got into metal via Nu-Metal at the end of the 90's and the turning point was getting a copy of "Reign in Blood" for my 16th birthday. Since then it's been metal all the way with a steady course of beer and Jack Daniels to compliment it. Thrash is the go to genre for me, but I also have an appreciation of prog metal, classic rock, hard rock, power metal, death metal and stoner rock. Anything which has a great guitar sound or a groove you just have to bang your head to goes down well for me too. I play guitar and bass, mostly for the enjoyment of hassling the neighbours but I'd much rather be in the pit than on stage playing to it. As much as I love playing, listening to music is my passion as is expanding my ever growing music library. At a gig I will no doubt be the one trying to down the pint in my hand whilst palming all my things onto my better half so I can run headfirst into the pit.
Paul Maddison
I grew up in the North East at the tail end of NWOBHM and US Power Metal scene and more noticably during the glam vs. thrash conflict. I then upped sticks to spend a good few years in the West Midlands during the late 90's. Over the years I have become a fanatical collector of records, T shirts and CD's and in this current internet age, mp3's are not what i consider to be called part a record collection for the "record"! I decided to start writing reviews as I thought that it would be a good way to give back some positive support for artists and a music phenomenon that has given me great pleasure over the years. I prefer to listen to bands that can really play their instruments and have a talent for melody and good arrangements. I try to be constructive with everything I endeavour within music. When on or off "duty" you will more than likely see me enjoying rather a few pints of the good stuff at the bar in the London area and maybe at some various other watering holes around the country...i don't bite, i just stumble a bit... Long live metal with all its triumphs and tribulations, metal fans are a community, it's a lifestyle, it is everything to man and beast!
Slavica Sikora
Listening to music and reading have been my favourite pastime since I was a teenager. I grew up in a small town and there wasn’t much else to do. Why I developed a liking for guitar-heavy music I can’t really say. It just appealed to me. A friend from school made me a mix tape with bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. There was no record store in my hometown, but there was a small shop that sold all kinds of electrical appliances that would order records for you if you asked them to. The first album I ever purchased was by Guns ‘n Roses. From there, my musical taste moved forward to hardcore and punk bands, mostly because I had skater friends, and also because with time I understood more and more English and developed a taste for good lyrics. By good I mean critical of main-stream culture and society. In my life, music matters. The written word matters. Poetry matters. Philosophy matters. Like Mr. Rollins, I medicate with music (and literature, and philosophy). The best thing for me is when great music and great lyrics combine. An example? Shellac, Copper. Copper, you’ll never be gold. Or: Mediocrity, you’ll never pass for the real thing. Another one: Cop Shoot Cop, It only hurts when I breath. Boy, do I love the irony in that one. I enjoy figuring out what a work of art is about, or what went through someone’s head when they wrote something. It feels good, when I know I understood, it feels even better when I can relate to what is being expressed. That’s why I write reviews.
How to describe me and my music? Now 44 in 2014, I've been listening to hard rock and metal for over three decades. My first post classical musical memory is going through my mum's vinyl collection (ask your parents about the historical reference; vinyl's like an MP3 on a flat bit of plastic you had to pay for and turn over to hear in its entirety) and finding and playing Cream, Maria Muldur, The Who and The Stones. After that, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath followed hard and fast, and my first proper gig was Motorhead in Manchester over 30 years ago in a now non existent venue where cheap cider and sweat dripped from the walls. Fast forward to now, and rock and metal are still the musical forms that keep my morale alive. Despite decades of live thrash and pit destruction with my rugby player/sumo build, for the last few years my treats have been traditional metal, stoner, and doom gigs. To raise my morale, I just simply crank out traditional hard rock and metal. Whenever I can, me and my baggy shorts (thank you Anthrax and a circulation that would be the envy of polar bears) will be at gigs and festivals the year around, most recently at such treats as Saint Vitus, Crowbar, Orange Goblin, Uncle Acid, and Black Moth. Embrace and celebrate your music folks; it's been with me for pretty much 35 years, and it can be with you too.
Stuart Carroll
A horror film fan from age 6, and a full-on rock and metal fan since the 80's, I developed a taste for the more extreme end of music when I realised how utterly glorious Akercocke were. Since then anything goes, if it rocks, I'll probably dig it. I spent a good ten years being a goth/punk/psychobilly DJ after joining the legendary InsanitoriuM club night in Colchester, which led me onto DJing the main venue at Whitby Goth Weekend 3 years in a row. I also play bass for Essex-based fuzz merchants Goat Monsoon, and I can usually be found either listening to Paradise Lost or New Model Army.