Nathan Lagden


A 28 year-old history graduate living in Oxford, I am a lover of most kinds of rock and metal.

Articles by Nathan Lagden

Dream Theater – Eventim Apollo, London

They are legends of their genre for a reason, and showed why with this celebration of their greatest achievement as a band.

Pär Sundström – Sabaton

Nathan Lagden caught up with Sabaton’s bassist Pär Sundström just before their sold-out show at Wembley Arena and found that, for a band immersed in history, they like nothing more than planning for the future. . .

Sabaton – SSE Arena, Wembley

Sabaton didn’t just rise to challenge of playing Wembley Arena, they smashed right through it and proved why they should be taken seriously as one this generation’s biggest metal headline acts.

Jani Liimatainen – Insomnium

Learn to play. Learn your instrument. And write your own songs. Even if you suck at both at first, do it. . . then you can play whatever you want. And stick with it! It’s an over-saturated market everywhere, so it’s hard to get noticed – but stick with it!

Insomnium – Islington Assembly Hall

Through a combination of excellent musicianship and professionalism, Insomnium gave us a chance to fully experience their signature sound with a real precision performance.

Noora Louhimo from Battle Beast

Rising stars of Power Metal, Battle Beast, visited London, late last Autumn. Nathan Lagden caught up with singer, Noora Louhimo, as she talked about her major influences, writing on the road, and how much they’d like to tour the UK more often. . .

Battle Beast – ULU, London

The success of shows like this are a clear demonstration of why Battle Beast are the rising force that they are in European metal. They put together a set which perfectly balanced spectacle and musicianship, and which they were able to combine for a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Alter Bridge – O2 Arena, London

Alter Bridge’s form of introverted hard rock is joy to behold. . . As they continue to be one of the most consistent acts in the genre, there will be plenty more great shows like this still to come in the next decade too.

Lacuna Coil – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

At a stage where many bands struggle to have any impact on the scene that made them in the first place, Lacuna Coil continue to redefine expectations and use their experience to carry on pushing boundaries as well as entertaining their fans.

Periphery – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

Periphery are on top of their game right now and should feel on top of the world with a performance like that. One of the most exciting and adored progressive outifts of the decade, the future looks even brighter for them, not least because off the back of this show every fan there would go back to see them in a heartbeat.

Mallory Knox – Underworld, Camden

Mallory Knox approached their final London show with all the professionalism and energy that made them such a force in the alternative scene. It may feel as though it’s over a little too soon, but fans at the Underworld can take some comfort in the fact that they have a few more good memories of the band to leave with.

Paul Gilbert – O2 Academy, Islington

Paul Gilbert is not just a terrific guitar player, but a fantastic entertainer too. Watching a two-hour show with no vocals just focusing on guitar work may sound like something only of interest to guitarists, but Gilbert provides a much broader appeal than this.

The Grand Mal – The Grand Mal

In fusing together existing bands and a diverse set of influences, what The Grand Mal have created is a work of real quality, which plays to the strengths of the musicians involved. It is a highly entertaining listen that uses straightforward riffs and a pummelling rhythm section to the maximum effect.

Lacuna Coil – Black Anima

Black Anima holds up as a real achievement for the band, as they continue to defy expectations and reach a point where they are putting out some of the best material of their career. 

Insomnium – Heart Like A Grave

The record is an absolute triumph of the kind of sound the band have been carefully crafting for over two decades. Clocking in at just under an hour, it never wastes a moment as it fills the listener with layered structures, melancholic themes and epic soundscapes.

Frank Turner – No Man’s Land

No Man’s Land is an ambitious work that does not always get things entirely right, but should still be celebrated for its musical variety, lyrical quality and for being another addition to Frank Turner’s superb catalogue.

Mallory Knox – S/T

Mallory Knox deserve a lot of credit for tackling their situation head-on by crafting a new sound for themselves and enriching their latest album with variety and new ideas.

Living Colour – Sub89, Reading

Living Colour provided more than a simple exercise in nostalgia, but a true masterclass of how to put on an intimate live performance that demonstrates they are still one of the best in the business.

Bad Religion – Age Of Unreason

Bad Religion have always set an incredibly high standard, so the fact that do not deviate from that standard here is to be commended. The album is full of exquisite hooks, terrific rhythmic intensity and memorable lyrics which will satisfy any fan of Bad Religion or alternative music in general. It also serves as an articulate commentary on the world around us and is a solid effort by the veteran punks.

Cellar Darling – Jazz Cafe, London

The truly incredible thing about Cellar Darling is that they make an astonishing performance like this feel so effortless and natural. They combine technical brilliance with entrancing ambiance, yet with a real human side that leaves everybody in the venue leaving feeling as though they had witnessed something very special indeed.

Holding Absence – Underworld, Camden

Holding Absence duly delivered on one of the biggest nights of their career thus far, wonderfully fusing the dynamic power of hardcore with beautiful melodic emotion. They are one of the most exciting bands breaking through the British alternative scene right now, and they will have many more nights like this to come.

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