Raymond Westland

Hi there, my name is Raymond Westland and I’m a 35 year old music enthusiast from the  Netherlands. Although I’m primarily known for being a rock/metal writer and reviewer I also have a healthy appreciation for blues, alternative rock, funk, soul, trip hop, dark jazz, classical music and everything in between. Over the years I had the pleasure of contributing to a myriad of different publications, but nowadays I’m mainly writing for Midlands Rocks, Thisisnotascene and Echoes And Dust.

Besides writing and reviewing I’m also involved with organising monthly rock and metal gigs at Gigant, Apeldoorn (NL) under the Dark Matter monniker. In my spare time I’m somewhat obsessed with fitness, cycling, travelling, reading, trying out local craft beers and I like to dabble with history, psychology, philosophy while picking up a foreign language or two.

My playlist varies greatly but I always find myself returning to Killing Joke, Pink Floyd, Joe Bonamassa, Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree, Mike Patton/Faith No More/Fantomas, Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, Ihsahn, The Manic Street Preachers, Lana Del Rey, Jeff Martin/The Tea Party, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Mars Volta, The Cult, The Winery Dogs, Mastodon, The Gathering, Ulver, Arcturus, Massive Attack, Katatonia, Tori Amos, Chris Cornell, Alice In Chains, Rival Sons, Wovenhand, Intronaut, Tool, Anathema, Obake, Alternative 4, Antimatter and countless more.

Articles by Raymond Westland

Steven Wilson – To The Bone

This new more pop orientated approach is refreshing and the album features some of the strongest material Steven Wilson has written in a long time.

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains

Queens of the Stone Age has come of age and Homme and co aren’t afraid to take changes. This is exactly why they are such a relevant and viable force in today’s musical landscape.

Pain of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day

Feels like an entirely new and exciting chapter in the band’s history at the same time. The music is brutally honest and utterly uncompromising, but above all it’s a very human record.

Korn – The Serenity Of Suffering

In short, ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’ is an essential element in the Korn back catalogue and it can easily rival classics like ‘Follow The Leader’, ‘Issues’ and ‘Untouchables’.

Interview + Exclusive Track Premiere: Colin Edwin from Obake

Serial collaborator and bass virtuoso Colin Edwin plays in Obake, Metallic Taste Of Blood, O.r.k and Porcupine Tree. Raymond Westland caught up with Edwin to discuss the new Obake record ‘Draugr’ plus more.

Obake – Draugr

‘Draugr’ sees Obake refining their craft even further. It’s just as adventurous and captivating as the two previous outings, just more focussed and dare I say it, simply better. Highly recommended! – By Raymond Westland

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra – Broken Lines

For a supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra has enough staying power and and its own distinctive identity. Definitely one the finest debut releases of this year. – By Raymond Westland

Anthrax – For All Kings

‘For All King’s sees Anthrax firing on all musical cylinders. Top-notch songwriting goes hand in hand with blistering energy and anathemic choruses. This is the band’s finest and most consistent offering since ‘Sound Of The White Noise’. Guess I will be caught in a mosh for the foreseeable future. – By Raymond Westland

The Cult – Hidden City

‘Hidden City’ by The Cult sees the band playing to their strengths and it’s a mighty fine addition to their ongoing legacy. – By Raymond Westland

Interview: Daniël de Jongh from Textures

Raymond Westland caught up with Textures vocalist Daniël de Jongh to discuss the new album, losing a key member and what it takes to be a member in Textures.

Textures – Phenotype

In short, the new Textures album is as solid as they come, but it doesn’t see any profound changes in the band’s established musical format. – By Raymond Westland

David Bowie – Blackstar

This record is a gift that keeps on giving. ‘Blackstar’ underscores David Bowie’s musical genius and versatility. This is one of the most adventurous record you’ll probably hear this year. Utterly thought provoking and mesmerizing! – By Raymond Westland

Megadeth – Dystopia

‘Dystopia’ is a fine return to form and it’s quite an improvement compared to ‘Thirteen’ and ‘Super Collider’. It’s a solid and thorough effort and a worthy addition to Megadeth’s back catalogue. – By Raymond Westland

Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

Most of all this album is clear proof that Queensrÿche is still a musical relevant force in today’s metal landscape. Welcome back, gentlemen! – By Raymond Westland

Interview: Karl Sanders from Nile

Raymond Westland caught up with Nile’s main man Karl Sanders to explore the dark chasms of their upcoming new album ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’, having fun while recording an album, the band’s recurring bassist problem and the hardships of being a touring musician.

Interview: Dan Briggs from Between the Buried and Me

With the latest Between the Buried and Me record ‘Coma Ecliptic’ released last month, Raymond Westland had a chat with bassist Dan Briggs to find out more.

Vennart – The Demon Joke

Sometimes more subdued whilst other letting it all out during other moments ‘The Demon Joke’ shows Mike Vennart at the pinnacle of his creativity. – By Raymond Westland

Interview: Simen Hestnæs (ICS Vortex) from Arcturus and Borknagar

Raymond Westland caught up with Arcturus vocalist and lyricist Simen Hestnæs (ICS Vortex) to discuss all the ins and outs regarding the new Arcturus record ‘Arcturian’, the band’s fascination for Vaudevillian artifacts and tons more.

Interview: Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree and King Crimson

Raymond Westland caught up with Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree and King Crimson to discuss his most recent musical endeavours, his approach to drums clinics and music in general and dealing with some of the music business more distinguished characters.

Spylacopa – Parallels

‘Parallels’ by Spylacopa is undoubtedly not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s quite demanding in its bearing. However, when you give this record a chance it will grow on you like fungus in the wet season. Heartily recommended for listeners who are into Intronaut, Tool, Isis and like-minded bands. – By Raymond Westland

Metallic Taste Of Blood – Doctoring The Dead

It’s simply mind boggling how elements from new wave, industrial, ambient, doom metal and post-metal are fused together in something that only can described as unique and hauntingly beautiful, albeit delivered with a very ragged avant-garde edge. Simply stunning! – By Raymond Westland

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