Hello and welcome to Sentinel Daily! Thanks for taking part in our My 2017 series! Firstly, before we get into the questions, could you please identify yourself, and your role in the band? “I’m Josh “the Boss” Cole, guitarist of the band Hellevate“.

Thank you! First question – What was the best album you bought this year? “Hard to say, my favourite has changed throughout the year. Right now I’m gonna say Rage’s Seasons of the Black. It’s metal just how I like it, aggressive and riffy with awesome choruses. Also gotta give a shout out to Power Trip’s Nightmare Logic, Warbringer’s Woe to the Vanquished, and Red Before Black from Cannibal Corpse. All killer records”.

Indeed they are! Our man Paul Kerr will be particularly enthused by your enthusiasm for Rage… Thinking more broadly, what was the highlight for you personally in the last year? “Probably the hometown headlining show Hellevate did earlier in the year. We didn’t get to play or tour much due to some lineup and illness issues, but that show was awesome. Getting on stage and seeing a full room excited to see you is an awesome feeling no matter what. Aside from that, seeing the Battle of the Bays tour with Exodus and Obituary was also a highlight. Getting to see the dudes in Exodus again and getting a pick from Gary (Holt, Exodus guitarist) was awesome. They’re incredibly cool dudes and an awesome band”.

My word they are. Bonded by Blood will forever hold a place in the Sentinel Daily hall of fame! Less positively, what about lowlights? Who stunk the place out musically in 2017? “I don’t listen to a lot of stuff that I don’t like, so there weren’t too many albums that I can remember not being very good. I also don’t particularly enjoy talking bad about bands publicly. That being said, I will say that I heard the most recent Operation:Mindcrime album, and whoo boy it’s a stinker. It’s not even surprising, considering it’s bad in the way that all of their albums, as well as the Queensrÿche albums in the 2000s were. Seriously, Tate, get it together”.

Good God yes. That odd talk singing thing he’s taken to doing does indeed make the flesh crawl! Outside of music, what have you found disappointing about the wider world in 2017? “Most things, really. It’s been a rough year. If you’ve been even remotely plugged into American news you’ll know it’s been a serious shitshow. I feel like ignorance and hatred have been a lot more brazen and open in the past year as well as there being a decrease in rationality. So many people seem content to live in their own world and refuse to consider facts that they don’t agree with. I’m a regular follower of the news and it can get soul-draining, you really have to come back up for air so that you don’t get totally emptied out. If nothing else, metal as a community has felt incredibly strong and successful. Perhaps the two are related”.

I suspect they probably are. Moving to hopefully happier pastures, what’s on the cards for the band/you in 2018? “Once we get some things sorted out we’re going to be jumping straight into our new album. It’s been totally written, we just need to start rehearsing and recording. At this point we’re hoping for a mid-to-late 2018 release. If not, we’ll get something out. In the meantime, we’re going to try to play as much as possible, to make up for the shows we didn’t get to do in 2017. We’ve got a lot of towns that we haven’t visited in a while that need to be Hellevated again”.

Hellevate. A good word. We’re coming up to the party season – what’s the better night – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? And what will you be drinking? “New Year’s Eve, no doubt. Christmas Eve for me is family time, spending time with your loved ones and enjoying their company. Not party time at all. NYE, on the other hand, IS party time. I’ll be drinking the things that I normally do, which is apple whiskey and beer. Maybe a glass of champagne to ring in the new year if I’m feeling it”.

Apple whiskey? What new form of sorcery is that? I’ll be sticking with Rioja and Bourbon, although I am going to make it a personal mission to taste some Apple Whiskey in 2018. Next question: what’s the first thing that springs to mind if I say ‘Australian metal’? “I think of Hobbs’ Angel of Death, Mortal Sin, and Elm Street, as well as Airbourne and AC/DC if you’ll indulge me. Australia has a ton of killer bands, I feel like the country doesn’t get its props the way it should”.

I’d say you were right. Have a look at this list for more evidence! We’ve just started Sentinel Daily Radio – what five songs should every metal radio station have on it’s playlist? “Well, if you’re letting me choose, I’d say you gotta have Exodus’ Metal Command. Really any Blind Guardian song you can think of, but I’ll say I’m Alive. I’ve gotta show some love for Heathen, I think Mercy is No Virtue is among their best songs. A super rager. Running Wild’s Soulless is a great pick as well. We’ll round it out with Rage’s Black in Mind. They’re a criminally underrated band”.

More love for Rage! Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily? “Check out Hellevate on Bandcamp and on www.hellevate.com. We’re a big pick n’ mix of thrash metal, USPM, and extreme metal. If you’re a fan of melodic metal, you’ll dig us. If you’re reading from America, keep an eye out for when we come by, and we’ll be putting out a brand new slab of heavy metal ASAP. Keep raging!”

Thanks for taking part!