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

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

Interview: Ashmedi from Melechesh

When it comes to fusing metal music with Middle Eastern flourishes few can do in such a commanding way as Ashmedi does with Melechesh. Raymond Westland caught up with Ashmedi and talked about their latest release ‘Enki’ and more.

Interview: Colin Edwin from Obake/Porcupine Tree

Raymond Westland had a chat with Colin Edwin (Obake, Porcupine Tree, Metallic Taste of Blood) about his recent work with Obake, on how he became involved and his contributions to ‘Mutations’, the band’s latest album and much more.

Faith No More – Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus isn’t an easy album to get into and it takes some real effort before it unveils its musical essence and brilliance. – By Raymond Westland

Arcturus – Arcturian

Arcturus found their cosmic muse again, because literally each composition on ‘Arcturian’ bristles with energy, creativity and the type of avant-garde vaudevillian madness that make ‘La Infernale Masquerade’ such an enchanting listen still after all these years. – By Raymond Westland

Interview: Triggerfinger

On continental Europe Antwerp-based Triggerfinger is a household name, playing their patented form of rock on the most prestigious festivals all over the place. However, in the UK they’re still relative newcomers. Raymond Westland asked drummer Mario Goossens some questions.

Interview: Damian Wilson

Raymond Westland had the chance to sit down with Damian Wilson for a nice chat and he was every bit the charming and witty guy he’s known for.

Interview: Anneke van Giersbergen

Former The Gathering vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen is one the most versatile and dynamic singers in rock and metal today. Besides having her own solo career she’s involved in many different projects and collaborations. Raymond Westland caught up with her about her latest project with Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One), entitled The Gentle Storm.

Enslaved – In Times

‘In Times’ is a meticulously crafted musical journey through the Enslaved musical universe, taking cues from both progressive rock/metal and their blackened Viking metal roots of old. ‘In Times’ shows Enslaved at their creative peak and it’s arguably their most complete and accomplished release to date. – By Raymond Westland

Melechesh – Enki

When it comes to fusing black metal, rock and Middle Eastern/Oriental music few if any can pull it off in such a convincing and menacing way as Ashmedi and Melechesh. ‘Enki’ is a very rich and rewarding listening experience and downright one of the best albums of this year. – By Raymond Westland

The Gentle Storm – The Diary

‘The Diary’ is on one hand a high quality progressive rock/metal type of album that should attract fans from the heavier aspects of Arjen Lucassen’s work and fans of Mandylion-era The Gathering, but it’s the folk music inspired half of the material that really make this a memorable release. Nicely done! – By Raymond Westland

Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct

On this album the Black Star Riders remain safely tucked in their comfort zone. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because what they do to is executed with utter perfection. – By Raymond Westland

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