Author Archive

Raising Legends Xmas Special – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 24th December 2015 by Pieni

Equaleft, Gates Of Hell, Tales For The Unspoken, Wrath Sins
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
19th December 2015
Promoted by Raising Legends

 photo _DSC0725 copy_zpsjjcqljcq.jpg

Raising Legends Records, by the hands of its CEO André Matos, gathered its finest bands and put up a 2-day festival, naming it after the current season – after all, Christmas is about love and joy and family, and Raising Legends Xmas Special was full of those, along with the top-notch music.
Sadly, I couldn’t attend the first night, where the alternative/more-rock-oriented bands played. Would have loved to witness Cristovão Siano’s (PROJECTO SEM NOME) on-stage reveries, as well as EQUALEFT-Malone debut as the new BLAME ZEUS bassist, but I had already confirmed my presence at another gig.

 photo _DSC0618 copy_zpsyhice6a3.jpgPeople here are used to underground events starting late but forgot that Hard Club is an on-time venue (especially when it has other shows taking place afterwards). Such neglect resulted in WRATH SINS being welcomed by a far smaller audience than they deserved, but their performance didn’t suffer from it – they still thrashed away like there was no tomorrow. Which is where they got most of their popularity, actually – their debut album, “Contempt Over The Stormfall”, was released late September (review on the way) but they already had a solid fan base due to their heated live shows, the aggression of Miguel’s main vocals backed up by the graver tone of bass player Ricardo’s working pretty swell. That and the medley of cartoon themes, thrash metal style, which pumped the mosh squad that night as well. Promoting the aforementioned album, the rest of the set was comprised of songs from it, like the title-track and “Watching Time Collapse”.
 photo _DSC0690 copy_zpsthwoowbo.jpg
www.facebook.com/Wrathsins

 photo _DSC0788 copy_zpsfll2zcce.jpgWhen TALES FOR THE UNSPOKEN got on stage, the crowd had considerably grown bigger, but it wasn’t at its full yet. The absentee’s loss – TFTU are always great live but there was something about this gig that made it better than the several others I’ve seen of them.
2015 saw the release of the band’s sophomore album, “CO2” (review here), which features EQUALEFT-Miguel Inglês – who went by “Jedi Mig” that night… – in the song “I, Claudius”. He was obviously called on stage and singer Marco Fresco told the crowd that later it would be EQUALEFT’s last show with drummer Marcos, as the band had already found a replacement named Miguel. It was a joke, of course, regarding the recent announcement of new guitarist Miguel, making him the third member in the band with the same name. The singer called it the “Miguelification process”. Fresco, the everlasting amuser.
Other recent songs included “Taken” and “Soul For A Soul” (introduced as “soul for a fucking soul”…) but also oldies, from “Alchemy”, like “Say My Name” or “N’Takuba Wena”, had a major role in this party.
 photo _DSC0936 copy_zpsi3cggysn.jpg
www.facebook.com/talesfortheunspoken

 photo _DSC0272 copy_zps7donk7gy.jpgGATES OF HELL’s show was highly anticipated – not just because they’d been away for a while, but also because they would finally reveal the identity of their new singer. A new song/single, “My Path”, from the band’s upcoming second album, had been made available about a week before, but the name of the singer remained a secret. We were teased to guess, but no one could, since he indeed has some name in the underground scene but for his work behind the drumkit! The new GATES OF HELL singer is no other than Diogo Márlon, the WRATH SINS drummer. And boy, can he sing! Also, if he was any nervous – I can only imagine the difference between holding the mic instead of the drumsticks – one couldn’t tell. He just belonged there – in that role, in that band. Without any kind of disregard for the previous singers, but I feel like Márlon is the best fit in GOH so far – third is the charm indeed.
“My Path” was the only new song performed, everything else came from the debut “Critical Obsession” – the title-track finishing the set – but they also played “happy birthday” to a fan named Jessica. What a great comeback!
 photo _DSC0233 copy_zpsemprtwf9.jpg
www.facebook.com/gatesofhellband

 photo 2904_zpsv2fqtvjy.jpgIt wasn’t Marcos last show with EQUALEFT but it was Veggy’s. We told you about the guitarist’s departure (read article here) but since he had come to visit family and friends for Christmas, he took this chance to say a proper goodbye to the fans. EQUALEFT is one of those bands that never lets you down, but given the significance and emotional level of such show, it’s impossible to put into words just how intense their performance was. And the matching response of the crowd.
Near the end of the show, for “Hymns Of Obedience” and “Invigorate”, Veggy gave place to Miguel Martins, making this also a welcome party and official introduction of “the new guy”. And while Jedi Mig was wielding his lightsabre in the last song, Veggy stagedived and crowdsurfed.
But there was still one minute and half left, and they wanted to make the best of every second; so they went back to the EP “… The Truth Vnravels” and played “Uncover The Masks” – a song that originally lasts 2:11. Not sure if they simply played it faster or improvised some tweaks – the whole night had been a bliss for me to notice – but whatever it was, it worked wonders.
Before the group pic with the fans in the back, Jedi Mig gave away cookies to the fans in the front. He gives a whole new meaning to “Come to the Dark Side – we have cookies”…
 photo _DSC0757 copy_zpsswxjvwbf.jpg
www.facebook.com/equaleft

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

 photo WP_20151223_10_11_15_Pro_zpsbcixq7ol.jpg

American Head Charge: new album and UK tour with Mushroomhead

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 14th December 2015 by Pieni

 photo americanheadcharge_zpsgenjbnny.jpg

American Head Charge have revealed that their upcoming fifth studio album will be called “Tango Umbrella” and is set to be released on the 25th of March next year, via Napalm Records. The artwork, created by Sam Shearon, has also been unveiled, along with the track list:

 photo tangoumbrella_zpsldhksvhw.jpg

1. Let All The World Believe
2. Drowning Under Everything
3. Perfectionist
4. Sacred
5. I Will Have My Day
6. A King Among Men
7. Suffer Elegantly
8. Antidote
9. Prolific Catastrophe
10. Down And Depraved
11. When The Time Is Never Right

But a few days before that, and quoting bassist Chad Hanks, the band is “very excited to return to our strongest territory overseas , the UK ,with our good friends in Mushroomhead… We look forward to coming back and more is soon to come!”

Dates and venues as follows:

March 2016

18th MANCHESTER – Club Academy
19th SHEFFIELD – Corporation
20th NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms
22nd GLASGOW – The Classic Grand
23rd NEWCASTLE – Northumbria University
24th BIRMINGHAM – O2 Academy 2
25th CHESTER – The Live Rooms
26th BRISTOL – The Marble Factory
27th PLYMOUTH – The Hub
29th CARDIFF – The Globe
30th LONDON – Electric Ballroom
31st BRIGHTON – Concorde 2

April 2016

1st SOUTHAMPTON – Engine Rooms
2nd NORWICH – Waterfront
3rd READING – Sub89

www.headcharge.com
www.facebook.com/AmericanHeadCharge

Tó Pica – Is This The Best You Can Do?

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on 10th December 2015 by Pieni

Tó Pica
“Is This The Best You Can Do?”
Metal/Rock
Released 30th September 2015
Via Premiere Music

 photo topica_zpsjusmgtxh.jpg

Tó Pica is such a veteran Portuguese guitar player that I’m surprised it took him so long to come up with a solo album. But then again, his involvement with other artists/bands is so extensive that the surprise may lay in how he found the time to do it…

First thing you need to know is that this isn’t a “guitarist’s album”, meaning you won’t hear intricate, overdone guitar pieces disguised as songs. Even “The Urge”, where the lack of vocals emphasizes the guitar, has a thick rhythm section and could belong to any top-notch metal band. And in the other instrumental song here, “And… Just Breathe”, the piano plays a bigger role than the guitar. So no, “Is This The Best You Can Do?” isn’t the reflection of a guitarist’s ego but a full band’s work; the solos have just the right measure of artfulness to show how skilled and talented Pica is.

Also, despite his experience dating back to I-don’t-know-how-many-ages-ago, this isn’t an old school album. Pica is a versatile and open-minded musician and so is the outcome of his work. From the more traditional “My Time Has Come” to the more alternative “The Tempest”, going though the whiff of prog in “Suspended Metamorphosis”, the inclusion of string arrangements in the acoustic “Taste My Blame” and the heartfelt emotion in the modern rock piece “Espelho” (mirror – my favorite), Pica and his friends bring you a dynamic mix of dashing songs. I can assure you the album title represents the sarcastic nature of the artist, not the traits of his work.

4,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Blaze Bailey announces European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , on 2nd December 2015 by Pieni

 photo blaze bayley official photo small_zpslkvh5mv1.jpg

Blaze Bailey is currently finishing up his new album but a full European tour for its promotion is already set. Details on said album are yet unknown – title included, going at the moment by its working title “Album 8” – except that it’s scheduled for release in February 2016 and that the recording band is comprised of members of Absolva.

First leg of the tour will go as follows:

March
1st : UK : Newcastle, Trillians
2nd : UK : Glasgow, Ivory Blacks
3rd : UK : Kendal, Bootleggers
4th : UK : Grimsby, Yardbirds
5th : UK : Manchester, Sound Control
6th : UK : Wakefield, Snooty Fox
16th : UK : Cardiff, Fuel
17th : UK : Hastings, The Carlisle
18th : Belgium : Verviers, Spirit of 66
19th : Belgium : Lotenhulle, Wizzfest
20th : Belgium : Deinze, Cafe Elpee (acoustic)
24th : Netherlands : Erica, The Spot
25th : Netherlands : Leiden, Gebr De Nobel
26th : Germany : Grossefehn, Schlappohr Rockkneipe
27th : Netherlands : Geleen, De Meister
31st : France : Arras, Blue Devils Bar

April
1st : France : Fismes, La Spirale
2nd : France : Notre Dame De Gravenchon, L’Arcade
3rd : Belgium : Roeselare, De Verlichte Geest
8th : France : Grenoble, L’Amperage
9th : France : Luynes, Le Korigan
10th : Spain : Barcelona (venue to be confirmed)
14th : Switzerland : Versoix, Le Caves De Bon-Sejour
15th : Switzerland : St-Maurice, Manoir Pub
16th : France : Pagney-Derriere-Barine, Chez Paulette
17th : Germany : Renchen, Come Inn
21st : Germany : Hamburg, Bambi Galore
22nd : Germany : Herdorf, Rattenloch
23rd : Germany : Balingen, Sonnenkeller
24th : Germany : Konstanz, Rockbar
28th : Poland : Tychy, Underground
29th : Poland : Stalowa Wola, Labirynt Club
30th : Poland : Olsztyn, Andergrant

May
4th : Finland : Helsinki, PRKL Club
5th : Finland : Kuopio, Henry’s Pub
6th : Finland : Lappeenranta, Totem
7th : Finland : Mantyharju, Bar Krouvi (full metal)
8th : Finland : Mantyharju, Bar Krouvi (acoustic)
11th : Sweden : Sandviken, Folkets Hus
12th : Sweden : Stockholm, Harry B James
13th : Norway : Fosser, Oak Metal Bar
14th : Sweden : Falkenberg, Downtown Rockbar
15th : Germany : Flensburg, Roxy Concerts
19th : Czech Republic : Brno, Melodka
20th : Czech Republic : Dolni Cermna, Under Dark Moon Festival
21st : Czech Republic : Klatovy, Music Club U Kosile
26th : UK : Merthyr Tydfil, New Crown Inn
27th : UK : Winchester, The Railway
28th : UK : London, Underworld
29th : UK : Bromsgrove, Breaking Bands Festival

www.blazebayley.net/
www.facebook.com/officialblazebayley

Tales For The Unspoken – CO2

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 11th November 2015 by Pieni

Tales For The Unspoken
“CO2”
Thrash / Death Metal
Release: 11th April 2015
Via Raising Legends Records

 photo cpL6RqZGSbij-MwrRdCj3od-aqaemZLhnMwGIRrCyi0_zpsmuwkzndz.jpg

“CO2” is one of those albums you need to listen to more than once before you form a solid opinion about it. Not in the way that it will take a couple of times for the music to sink in, no; it’s just that there’s so much to it that you won’t be able to grasp it all at first. Tales For The Unspoken are not reinventing the wheel either, or even merging several opposite genres into a new one. They do draw influences from other styles – hence the creativity and richness of their sound – but the outcome is that dear ol’ mixture of thrash and death metal. And there lies the beauty of it: they stay within the boundaries of their genre and yet manage to stay original. Saying that the opening track, “Burned Alive”, has its aggression shaved off by the melody of its chorus may not appear that much of an originality nowadays, but once you hear how exquisitely refined it sounds, with guitarist Nuno Khan’s clean vocals, without compromising the aforementioned aggression, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Or the fluid guitar solo in “Soul For A Soul”. The groovy bass line of “World’s Biggest Lie” (which features Equaleft-Malone on lead guitar). And speaking of guests, there’s the stout participation of Miguel Inglês, also from Equaleft, in “I, Claudius”; the sharpness of Terror Empire-Ricardo Martins’ contribution to “Crossroads”; and the seduction of Joana Vieira in “Resilient Winter”. All of it immersed under an avalanche of riffs, spiced up with meticulous breakdowns. Never a dull moment with this “CO2”.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes’ “Antebellum” release party – Porto, Portugal

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 28th October 2015 by Pieni

Hills Have Eyes, Ash Is A Robot, The Year, Dimension
Hard Club, Porto (PT)
23rd October 2015
Promoted by Hell Xis Agency www.facebook.com/hellxis/

 photo _DSC0566 copy_zpsb1wnv5ox.jpg

Hills Have Eyes released their third album “Antebellum” early this month (review here) but gave their fans a couple of weeks to learn the lyrics before presenting it live in two shows – one in Porto and another in Lisboa (Oporto and Lisbon, as you like to call them).

 photo _DSC0023_zps55cl8mfw.jpgAlong with that enthusiastic crowd of 200 people, give or take (I’m terrible with numerical estimations, sorry), three other bands joined the party. First one on stage was Dimension. I’d seen them back in August, at Casainhos Fest, but this was the first time they were playing in Porto, promoting their own debut album “Life Is A Mystery”. The latter has been getting a very positive feedback and their shows are a match, but it took a little while for the crowd to engage completely in their groovy hardcore. Singer Poli himself said he wasn’t “recognizing the people of Porto” (he has played there several times before with his other band Devil In Me). He was also a little disappointed when no one seemed to know about Luaty Beirão, the Portuguese Angolan musician and activist who had been on a hunger strike after being arrested for speaking his mind (the Angolan authorities saw that as an overthrow attempt…). But after Poli enlightened them and dedicated a song to Beirão (“Times Of Grace”, if I’m not mistaken), everybody applauded. Meanwhile the mosh circles had gained strength and the overall response to Dimension had grown intense, so when they finished their set with the title-track of “Life Is A Mystery”, Poli had a big smile on his face.

 photo _DSC0016_zpsrahsfbfa.jpg

www.facebook.com/dimensionptband/

 photo _DSC0288_zpsomgsdkq8.jpgI confess The Year was a novelty to me, but many in the audience were happily singing along most of the songs, so I’m guessing they have a fair share of popularity. Deserved, for what I could see in this show – not only for the music but for the posture on stage. And the professionalism when facing sudden setbacks – Jaca’s guitar was silent for a while (I saw him fumbling with the wire, maybe it got disconnected, but I’m not sure) and the rest of the band went on playing, singer Johnny jumping around, while waiting for the problem to get solved. Improvisation is always a plus.
They’re working on a new album – two days prior to this show they even released a teaser for an upcoming video/song, “Omotenashi” – but they’ve only played “oldies” that night, like “Karma Farmer” or “Death By Media”.

 photo _DSC0277_zpswy0hxxsu.jpg

www.facebook.com/theyearofficial/

 photo _DSC0654 copy_zpshncibefg.jpgAsh Is A Robot’s exquisite sound – a kind of progressive post-hardcore, seasoned with synths – may not agree with everybody’s ear, but Hard Club’s audience that night was pretty open-minded and overjoyed with those Hills Have Eyes neighbors (Setúbal, a little south of Lisboa, is turning out a big talent breeder). And even if the music was taking a bit to sink in, singer /keyboard player Cláudio surely got the moves to catch your attention: that guy’s restless! And funny. Like when no one reacted to his mention of supporting the underground national bands and so he repeated it, slowly, with a cursing word in the end. Or when he said they were going to play a new song (don’t think he introduced the title – if he did, I missed it) and so it would be shit. Or when he asked for a wall of death as soon as “the following relaxing moment” was over – the latter being no other than Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Impossible to stay indifferent.
Like in their self-titled album (the follow-up it’s in the making, by the way), Dado Nunes from Ella Palmer joined on stage to sing “Philophobia Part 1”. And it’s also worth saying that Cláudio joined the mosh pit twice and, unlike last time I’ve seen them, managed to come out of it without bleeding (it seems he needed to go to the hospital after the Lisboa show the next day, though, so I wish him a full recovery soon).

 photo _DSC0427_zpsyhqdhozc.jpg

www.facebook.com/AshIsARobot/

 photo _DSC0733 copy_zpsa0hfrxzt.jpg

To the sound of a snippet of The Weeknd’s “The Hills” (yes, you’ve got it – the part where Mr. Tesfaye sings “the hills have eyes, the hills have eyes”), the party hosts got on stage and… well, singer Fábio said something about starting a fire before the last song “Strangers”, as that’s precisely its first verse, but the arson lit up right on the first moment of their show. The sound was a bit messy at first (eventually it got straightened out), but the crowd was singing along so loud –  photo _DSC0961_zps9fb6bbda.jpgmyself included – that I believe only a few of us noticed it. And no one cared. The passion HHE put in their performance makes up for any technical detail. After all, as said in the aforementioned album review, I call them “probably the best Portuguese metalcore band” – that includes the live aspect of the thing as well.
“A new phase in HHE’s life”, using Fábio’s own words, so they went through all the previous ones – even the one that included a split album with My Ocean and Last Reunion, in the form of the song “Ending The Cliché”. And because a party needs its special guests, this was the first song of the set featuring one – Ricardo “Congas”  photo _DSC0984 copy_zpsnubriidl.jpgDias, from For The Glory. Then Vasco Ramos from More Than A Thousand – a good friend and producer of the band – joined in to his usual “Anyway, It’s Gone”, and also Di Noise gave her beautiful voice to “The Bringer Of Rain”, just as she does in the studio version.
I’ve lost count of how many times we were told “thank you”, not just during the show but afterwards, on social media. But I think I speak for everyone who was there that we’re even on gratitude grounds – we all had a blast of a night. When the time comes to write an overview about 2015, “Antebellum” will be listed as number 1 in my album chart. And this gig of Hills Have Eyes will surely top the live performances.

 photo _DSC0151 copy_zpsbiouhz8u.jpg

 photo _DSC0475 copy_zpsmttyoloo.jpg

 photo _DSC0441 copy_zpsrrwvxnng.jpg

www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes/

Full gallery here.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

The Defiled to enter Guiness Book Of World Records 2016

Posted in News with tags , , , on 15th October 2015 by Pieni

 photo thedefiledguiness_zpsmk6zaodq.jpg

It’s been a year since The Defiled faced arctic conditions to be the first band playing a gig on an iceberg. We are proud to announce that such debut has been recognized by the Guiness Book Of World Records and it will be featured on the latter’s 2016 edition.

“Breaking Records certainly makes an interesting change from making them”says Keyboard player The AvD. “As a child this was a book of wonder and excitement, so it’s pretty mindblowing to open this book and see myself and my bandmates looking back at me.“

The show, which was part of Jägermeister’s Ice Cold Gig series, was documented here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0BUVYnZvX8. The band also took the time to get footage for the video of the intense song “Five Minutes”:

www.facebook.com/thedefiled

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 831 other followers