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Sonic Syndicate in recording mode

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 31st January 2014 by Pieni

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As previously reported (read here and here), modern metal act Sonic Syndicate are back. The recordings for their 5th album have begun in Bohus Sound studios (Kungälv) with producer Roberto Laghi and the final outcome is expected to hit the stores this summer, under the Nuclear Blast label. They’re also planning on playing several festivals and tour in the fall, supporting this long awaited new album. We will keep you posted about all of this, but make sure to follow Sonic Syndicate on the official social networks in order to get more details:

Official Website

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Caliban release lyric video for “yOUR song”

Posted in News with tags , , , on 30th January 2014 by Pieni

Two days after the release of “Ghost Empire”, Caliban release a lyric video for “yOUR song”. As the chorus says, this is “a tribute to the faithful”, a thank-you song for their fans:

“Ghost Empire” is their 9th studio full-length and picks up where their acclaimed “I Am Nemesis” left off, carrying the promise of another batch of metalcore goodies.

Caliban online: 

20th HardMetalFest – Mangualde (PT)

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd January 2014 by Pieni

Mata-Ratos, Convulse, Lacrimas Profundere, Pagan Altar, Switchtense, Dementia 13, Albert Fish, Head:Stoned, Dead Meat, Mindfeeder, Mind Holocaust, Inkilina Sazabra
C.C. Sto. André, Mangualde (PT)
11th January 2014

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HardMetalFest is not only the oldest metal fest in Portugal – 20 editions, 17 years and counting – but also the most diverse. In this edition we had a little bit of (almost) everything!

The first band setting foot on stage wasn’t exactly metal, but the dark and thick sound of Inkilina Sazabra’s industrial rock was more than suitable to such a festival. Too bad that the audience was still weak in numbers – 3:30 p.m. is way too early for the Portuguese crowd, even on a Saturday – but still there was enough people to welcome them warmly.
Formed 4 years ago by a writer and a multi-instrumentalist, they’re about to hit the studio to record their third album. That afternoon we’ve heard a fine selection from both their released works to date, “A Divina Maldade” (divine evilness) and “Almas Envenenadas” (poisoned souls). Singer Pedro Sazabra praised José Rocha, the man behind the fest for all these years, and all those people who got out of the house that day, “because clicking the like-button on Facebook isn’t enough”. (4 / 5)

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The festival would then turn into a completely different direction with Mind Holocaust, who play death metal in a brutal old school style. The reception of the crowd was a different kind of warm, more physical… I’m obviously talking about mosh circles. The venue wasn’t full yet, so the circles weren’t that big, but they were surely intense. Two albums out, with very suggestive titles – “Full Eye Horror Reflect” and “Condemned Souls” – their performance was quite raw and aggressive. (4 / 5)

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Mindfeeder had a lot of enthusiastic fans, proving that power metal is alive and kicking around here. After a few back steps, they finally released their debut full-length last year, “Endless Storm”, and some people sang vigorously along. Others just screamed “hey hey” real loud while raising their fists in the air to the sound of “Colours Of The Skies”, “Feed Your Mind” or “Memories” (dedicated to the aforementioned hardcore fans who have been supporting the band through the years). Really nice vibe.  (4,5 / 5)

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Brutal death/grind-gore Dead Meat have been around for 20 years… literally. Studio is not their thing, the stage is. Singer Dinis recalled having played HardMetalFest back in 1999, thanking José Rocha once again not only for the chance of returning to that festival but also for the excellent job he’s been doing for the underground scene. “Died With Open Eyes”, “Good Clean Cut” or the Dying Fetus cover of “Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog” were some of the songs that ignited the mosh circles. (4 / 5)

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Somewhere between prog and thrash, Head:Stoned followed up.  They’ve been around for more than 7 years now and I believe they’ve grown quite a lot, both musical and performance-wise. The songs are more consistent, stronger, and bass player Vera is finally getting loose, showing real emotion while playing, and singer Vítor stopped with the private jokes… in a nutshell: they’re sounding better and looking more professional on stage. Promoting their latest EP “Present Inexistence” and adding also some songs from their previous works – the other EP “Within The Dark” and the debut full-length “I Am All” – one of their highest moments is still the track “This Void”, which the hardcore fans of the band call “Pim Pim Pim song” (due the splash cymbal beats in it). (4,5 / 5)

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Albert Fish is not only a cannibal rapist serial killer from the late 1800, it is also a street punk band, and as singer Gustavo himself said, they’re not used to play in that kind of festival, more into metal. But one way or another, it’s all underground music and they did pretty well, were very well received by the metalheads, with their speedy rhythm and energetic attitude. They had songs for everybody – the crowd, the other bands, the promoter – but the whole show was dedicated to the memory of Rui “Rocker” Ramos (R.I.P.), guitar player in Crise Total and an icon in the national punk movement, who passed away last November. (4,5 / 5)

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As there is a punk band in Brisbane called Dementia 13, I should call your attention that this is the Portguese old school death metal one. Formed barely three years ago, they’re already some kind of cult band given its all-star line-up (members from Holocausto Canibal, Pitch Black and Biolence, which may not mean much to you but means loads in the Portuguese underground). This show proved once more the excellency of these musicians and that “old school” by no means equals to “out-of-fashion”. The crowd relished in that throbbing riffing and moshed in matching raw aggression. (4,5 / 5)
It was also during this gig that a metal fan, Sérgio Rocha, offered José Rocha an art piece in forged metal, with the HMF initials, in celebration of the 20th edition of the fest.

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Now I’ve been talking about all these great gigs but not given the highest rating. I’m not being overly strict; I just wanted to be fair with Switchtense, as I honestly believe theirs was slightly better than the rest, and therefore the best gig of the festival. No wonder they’re getting some recognition outside our borders, in Germany and Holland especially. Songs such as “State Of Resignation”, “Face Off”, “Infected Blood”, “Ghosts Of Past” or “Into The Words Of Chaos” turned the circles into a hurricane. What a blast! (5 / 5)

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The spirits cooled down a bit with the British doom of Pagan Altar. But as soon as Terry Jones got on stage, in his Victorian outfit and embraced by blue smoke, the power went down! It had already happened outside, in the food corner, but so far it hadn’t affected the stage. It was really frustrating to many, as apparently Pagan Altar was the reason they were there. But it all got sorted out some 10 minutes later and there wasn’t any other problem – although Terry joked when announcing the last song “(…) if the electricity doesn’t go out again”. The crowd was enthralled, despite Terry’s voice lacking a bit of strength. But the feeling was all there and so I couldn’t really complain – especially with the entire ovation they got. “Sentinels Of Hate”, “The Lords Of Hypocrisy”, “The Witches Pathway” or “The Room Of Shadows” took us on an occult medieval journey, and “Dance Of The Vampires” (that Terry had previously announced but his son and guitarist Alan whispered something to his ear and he told us to forgot everything he’d just said) ended up being played after all, on a second encore that I believe was unexpected even for the band – either we were a really good audience that deserved the “one more” which was being screamed, or the promoter wanted to compensate for the initial blackout. (4 / 5)

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Also Lacrimas Profundere, playing for the first time in Portugal, had their fair share of fans. Their latest album “Antiadore”, although not bombastic, is still pretty good, missing innovation and originality, which at the same time can be regarded as a trademark, a sticking-to-their-formula kind of thing. One way or the other, the mix of rock and goth, of spunk and gloom that these Germans produce on stage is of high quality and needless to say that it works out awesomely well – no matter how repetitive it may sound in the studio. The response of the audience was equally great, especially if we consider that the majority of the attendees was into much heavier stuff.
I haven’t seen any official statement announcing Clea Clemens as their new bass player, or why his brother Christoph was sitting behind the drums instead of Dominik Scholz, but both blended in easily with the rest of the band and did their jobs very well, in a concert heavy with emotion. (4,5 / 5)

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Sadly, I wasn’t feeling very well and couldn’t stay for the Finnish death metal act Convulse and the national punk/hardcore legends Mata-Ratos. Someone had lit a fire a few feet away and I sat there, regaining my strength. But people who I later talked to assured me both bands were great, each in their own style.

Technical problems and delays aside, it was another great edition of this festival. May many more come our way!

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Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

Full gallery in our Facebook page:

The End Of Grace release live-footage video for “Lost In Transition”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 21st January 2014 by Pieni

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Photos by Malene Aakre

As previously reported by us (see here), The End Of Grace will release a video for their upcoming single “Beneath The Waves”. But until then, they’ve gathered live footage and a bit of backstage scenes to put up a video for the title-track of their EP “Lost In Transition”:

TEoG online:
Official Facebook

The End Of Grace announce release date for “Beneath The Waves” single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 14th January 2014 by Pieni

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Photos by Malene Aakre

As previously reported by Valkyrian Music (see here), Swedish metalcore act The End Of Grace will release a new single, “Beneath The Waves”, soon. The date has now been revealed as 28th February and that a video for it will follow.

This is the first single from the upcoming debut full-length album which the boys are working hard on. Meanwhile, they’re also playing a few live shows in their homecountry:

13/2 – L’Orient, Linköping
14/2 – Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (with SEVENTRIBE)
15/2 – Harry B. James, Stockholm (with SEVENTRIBE)

Valkyrian Music will cover the Stockholm show.

TEOG online:
Official Facebook

Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side Of Heaven… vol. 2

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 4th January 2014 by Pieni

Five Finger Death Punch
“The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol. 2”
Released on 19th November 2013
Via Prospect Park (U.S.A.) and Eleven Seven Records (rest of the world)

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A little less than four months after the release of volume 1, volume 2 came and conquered.

The overall sound is thicker, the beats more straight-forward and the guitars fuller – as “Here To Die” and “Let This Go” best illustrate. Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory let their fingers dance more loosely throughout this album, without getting overzealous about elaborate patterns, which I’m personally thankful for – guitar virtuosos have become such a cliché that they’re just too boring.

The ballads are also more enthralling, deeper. Starting with “Battle Born”, which made it to single. The life on the road is always a delicate subject that both artists and fans fall for. And when it’s put in such a heartfelt way, lyrical and musical wise, like “Battle Born” is, then it’s a guaranteed hit.

Then, preceded by a somewhat melancholic instrumental piece called “”The Agony Of Regret”,  there’s a more sophisticated version of “Cold” – a dark song originally by Black Blood Orchestra, which is a project of Ivan Moody and therefore I don’t think it’s accurate to say this is a cover. 5FDP revamped it with a piano and alternative lyrics and the outcome is emotionally stunning.

The real cover, also a smooth tune, comes in the form of “House Of The Rising Sun”, that traditional folk song that The Animals made famous in 1964 and so many bands have covered ever since. But it seems that this was the first song that Zoltan learned how to play on the guitar, so the number of previous versions didn’t mean a thing. Replacing “New Orleans” by “Sin City”, Ivan sings with his deepest tone and that alone makes it all worth it.

Also regarding the vocal performance, I must call your attention to “Cradle To The Grave”, where the insertion of a harsher second voice in some key-verses boosts the power of an already strong track.

Volume 1 may sound catchier and have all those guests embellishing its work, but volume 2 deserves nothing less than the same 5-star stamp.

5 / 5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Robert Åkerlund becomes permanent member of The End Of Grace

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Pieni

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The End Of Grace finish 2013 announcing that Robert Åkerlund is now a permanent member of the band. Original guitarist Sulan Von Zoomlander had some personal affairs to take care of that prevented him to play TEoG‘s debut live performance at Rockbitch Boat and its follow-up at Göta Källare. Robert, who had played in Road To Repent along guitarist Jimmy Bergman and bassist/clean singer Johan Hagman, was called to fill in. Now that Sulan is leaving for good, Robert is the undoubtful perfect choice.

Quoting drummer Thomas Manell in the interview which Valkyrian did with the band last month, » One thing I can say about Robert is you can really tell that they’ve played together before. It’s a thing of magic. It’s like kindergarten all over.« Johan added: » Robert’s a great guitar player and he can feel the rhythm like Sulan does. «

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Pieni’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated on 30th December 2013 by Pieni

Given my passion for live music, I’ll start by listing the 5 gigs I’ve enjoyed the most this year:
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  1. Hardcore Superstar at Koko (London)
  2. The End Of Grace at Rockbitch Boat (Baltic Sea)
  3. Hypocrisy at Hard Club (Porto)
  4. Skid Row at Electric Ballroom (London)
  5. Def Leppard at Palacio Vistalegre (Madrid)

Of course the shows can’t roll on without new music here and there, so now I give you my top-5 of releases:
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  1. “Lost in Transition” by The End Of Grace
  2. “Wrong Side Of Heaven and Righteous Side Of Hell – vol. 1” by Five Finger Death Punch
  3. “C’mon Take On Me” by Hardcore Superstar
  4. “Daggers” by The Defiled
  5. “The Living Infinite” by Soilwork

In a time where live and lyric videos are getting so much popular, I’d like to show my appreciation for those who can afford to go beyond that:

  1. “Unspoken” by The Defiled
  2. “There Are Those Who Kill Violently” by Dementia 13
  3. “Hit On The Radio” by Blowsight
  4. “Rise Above The Sentiment” by Soilwork
  5. “California” by CrashDïet

Last but not least, my top-5 anticipations for 2014:
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  1. The End Of Grace – if I was all hyped with just an EP, I can’t wait to hear the full length!
  2. Sonic Syndicate – their hiatus is finally over, I’m super excited about their return.
  3. Sister – I only paid attention to them recently, but they won me over! I sure want to know what else they’ve got.
  4. Equaleft – those groovy Portuguese guys are preparing something big.
  5. Man.Machine.Industry – it’s been announced they’re changing things a bit… Let’s see what those changes are.

Happy New Year everyone!

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Equaleft reveal title for upcoming debut album

Posted in News with tags , , , on 25th December 2013 by Pieni

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In a 33-second teaser, Equaleft have revealed on this Christmas day the title of their upcoming debutl album (a “kind of” studio report can be seen here). “Adapt & Survive” will be released through Raising Legends and Raging Planet in the Spring of 2014.

Equaleft’s MySpace
Equaleft’s Facebook

SOS Festival announces 2nd day headliners

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 25th December 2013 by Pieni

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Radcliffe Civic (Radcliffe, North Manchester) will hold for the 7th time the SOS Festival. On the 19th and 20th of July a bunch of rock and metal acts will perform on two stages and the headliners of both have just been announced for the second day: I Am I will closing the line-up of The Dean Hocking Stage, while Blaze Bayley will make the honors on The Acoustic Stage.

Here’s how things are looking up so far:
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For more info check the official website:

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The End Of Grace release teaser for upcoming single

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 16th December 2013 by Pieni

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Metalcore act The End Of Grace (or deathcore popcorn, according to their own words – read the explanation here) are in writing process for their debut full-length album, after the successful EP “Lost In Transition” last October. But first a single will be released in February and the boys have just released one of their famous instrumental teasers for “Beneath The Waves”:

TEOG online:
Official Facebook

Man.Machine.Industry release video for “Aim! Hold! Fire!”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 11th December 2013 by Pieni

Swedish Man.Machine.Industry have recently re-released their 2012 album “Lean Back, Relax and Watch The World Burn” with two extra songs (“First Chord Struck” and “Eye Of The Beholder”). Today, they launch a new video for the song “Aim! Hold! Fire!” featured in it:

The band is currently in the studio writing and recording both an EP and an album to be released next year, and have confirmed a Swedish tour opening for Raubtier on the following dates/locations:

27 Haparanda – Folkets Hus
28 Luleå – Kulturens Hus
01 Umeå – House of Metal (festival)
06 Göteborg – Trädgår’n
07 Halmstad – James Rockbar
12 Norrköping – Dynamo
13 Malmö – KB
14 Karlshamn – Bellevueparken
15 Örebro – Ritz
21 Borlänge – Liljan
22 Skövde – Valhall
26 Gävle – Harrys
27 Stockholm – Klubben
28 Huskvarna – Folkets Hus
29 Linköping – L’Orient

Dead By April reveal track-list and cover art for “Let The World Know”

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 9th December 2013 by Pieni

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Dead By April have shown the world today how “Let The World Know” will look like:
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The album will hit the stores on February 12th and the track-list is as follows:

1. Beautiful Nightmare
2. Abnormal
3. Empathy
4. Done With Broken Hearts
5. As A Butterfly
6. Same Star
7. Let The World Know
8. Peace Of Mind
9. Freeze Frame
10. Infinity x Infinity
11. My Tomorrow
12. Hold On
13. Replace You

Three of these tracks are already available on iTunes and Spotify – “As A Butterfly”, released last Friday, and “Freeze Frame”, with its B-side “Empathy“, which were released in May. The whole album is available for pre-order at “Let The World Know” is the third album of the pop-metal band (fourth if you count with the compilation of remixes and bonus tracks “Stronger”), first with screamer Christoffer “Stoffe” Andersson.

New single of Dead By April

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 8th December 2013 by Pieni

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Swedish pop metal act Dead By April has released a new single called “As A Butterfly”. You can check it out at any of the following links:


This single will be featured in the band’s upcoming album, “Let The World Know”, due on February the 12th. Pre-orders can be made on this link.

Equaleft post “studio report”

Posted in News with tags , , , on 8th December 2013 by Pieni

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Last March Equaleft entered the studio (a couple more details here) to prepare their upcoming debut full-length. Now they have decided to gather and share some random footage of their work there. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of subtitles – they don’t talk that much anyway and whatever they’re saying, they’re just fooling around a bit, not saying anything important (hence the quotes in “report”). On the other hand, it’s got too much music to be considered a teaser, and that’s what they want you to focus on – the music.

The album will feature a few guests and in this video three of them are revealed: Filipe from Concealment, Paulo from EAK and Nuno from Tekanalogy:

Equaleft’s MySpace
Equaleft’s Facebook

As We Collapse’s “Golden Heart” to be released this Friday

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 8th December 2013 by Pieni

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Swedish As We Collapse don’t believe that Fridays 13th are unlucky days: their debut single “Golden Heart”, which originally would be released in January, will be available on Spotify and iTunes this Friday, December 13th.

The two teasers for the song, one instrumental and a smaller one with some vocals, have granted As We Collapse more than 900 likes on Facebook:

Freedom Call to release 8th studio album in February

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 8th December 2013 by Pieni

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Freedom Call are about to release a new album, which according to singer/guitarist Chris Bay is “slightly more traditional”. Apparently, the recent tours, where they played the band’s classics, were such a success that it made them want to go back to their original roots.

“Beyond” is its title and it’s due for release on the 24th of February (14th in Germany and 4th March in USA). Also a video for the track “Union Of The Strong” is in the plans.

On the 4th of January, Freedom Call will play the Ice Rock Festival (Germany) and then between March and May they will be promoting “Beyond” throughout Europe:

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Peter Hook and The Light to play special set at Alt-Fest 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 1st December 2013 by Pieni

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Legendary bass player Peter Hook has been confirmed to play Alt-Fest with his band, The Light. And if that’s not enough for all of you post-punk lovers, then maybe this is – they will be playing Joy Division‘s “Unknown Pleasures” album in full!

Another treat is that fans will have the chance to choose which other songs Hook shall play to complete the set. In his own words: “Having played some 200 gigs with The Light now, I’ve found that the fans all have their own particular favourite tracks which they want to hear live. It’s a great idea to throw some of the set list over to the people at Alt-Fest to see what they most want to hear us play. It will be interesting to see what they come back with”. 

You will be able to vote from a selection of Joy Division tracks online, via, with the top six making Hook’s final playlist.

BatAAr release new video

Posted in News with tags , , , on 1st December 2013 by Pieni

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BatAAr is a band from Gothenburg (Sweden) who’s constantly renewing their sound and adding all kinds of elements to it. This means it’s kind of hard to define their genre, so they came up with their own – “Art Metal”.

They have just released a new video for the song “The Distance”:

BatAAr online:

New video by The Safety Fire

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Pieni

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London-based The Safety Fire have recently released a new video for the title-track of their second album “Mouth Of Swords”. The video features “life on the road” footage filmed during their latest US tour with Between The Buried And Me, The Faceless and The Contortionist. Check it out:

And speaking of tours, The Safety Fire has already a new one planned for early next year, with Protest The Hero, TesseracT and Intervals. Dates are as follows:

06.01.14 Germany Karlsruhe @ Substage
07.01.14 Germany Nürnberg @ Hirsch
08.01.14 Germany Berlin @ Magnet
09.01.14 Germany Hamburg @ Logo
10.01.14 Sweden Stockholm @ Klubben
11.01.14 Sweden Gothenburg @ Fängelset
12.01.14 Norway Oslo @ John Dee
14.01.14 Denmark Copenhagen @ Vega
16.01.14 Belgium Aarschot @ De Klinker
17.01.14 France Paris @ Divan du Monde
18.01.14 France Toulouse @ Le Saint Des Seins
19.01.14 Spain Madrid @ Copernico
20.01.14 Spain Barcelona @ Sala Boveda
22.01.14 Switzerland Aarau @ Kiff
23.01.14 Italy Milan @ Zoe Club
24.01.14 Austria Salzburg @ Rockhouse
25.01.14 Austria Wien @ Szene
26.01.14 Hungary Budapest @ Dürer Kert
28.01.14 Germany München @ Backstage
29.01.14 Germany Leipzig @ Conne Island
30.01.14 Luxemburg Esch-sur-Alzette @ Rockhal
31.01.14 Germany Köln @ Essigfabrik
01.02.14 UK Brighton @ Concorde 2
02.02.14 UK Birmingham @ O2 Academy2
04.02.14 UK Sheffield @ Corporation
05.02.14 UK Glasgow @ Classic Grand
06.02.14 UK Manchester @ Academy2
07.02.14 UK London @ The Electric Ballroom
08.02.14 Holland Dordrecht @ Bibelot

Also, between the 18th and the 22nd of February, the band will be on board of the US Progressive Nation at Sea Cruise 2014.

The Safety Fire online:

InsideOutMusic online:


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