Author Archive

Black Stone Cherry to headline UK arenas later this month

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 9th October 2014 by Pieni

 photo blackstonecherry2014_zps6bdd01b6.jpg

Black Stone Cherry made a surprise appearance at this year’s Download Festival, but the release of their fourth album “Magic Mountain” was too successful for a single show to be enough. So now they’ll be back in the UK, with their own headlining show, on the following dates and venues:

Sun 26th Oct – GLASGOW Hydro
Mon 27th Oct – SHEFFIELD Arena
Tue 28th Oct – CARDIFF Arena
Thu 30th Oct – BIRMINGHAM LG Arena
Fri 31st Oct – MANCHESTER Evening News Arena
Sat 1st Nov – LONDON Wembley Arena

Supporting acts will be Theory Of A Deadman, who’ve released their fifth album “Savages” this Summer, and Airbourne – a fine rock package!

https://www.facebook.com/blackstonecherry

https://www.facebook.com/theoryofadeadman

https://www.facebook.com/airbournerock

Destruction’s “Thrash United” tour to hit the UK shortly

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 29th September 2014 by Pieni

 photo destruction_zps327eb231.jpg

Destruction‘s first EP “Sentence Of Death” is seeing its 30th anniversary, so what better way to celebrate it than with a “real thrash live inferno”? Along with Lost Society and Evil Invaders, the thrash metal legends are currently on tour in their homecountry Germany – the “Thrash United Tour” – and will hit five cities in the UK in about a week. Dates and locations are the following:

Oct 8 th, London – Underworld
Oct 9th, Bristol – Bierkeller
Oct 10th, Glasgow – Audio
Oct 11th, Dublin – Voodoo Lounge
Oct 12th, Manchester – The Sound of Control

« After several journeys around the world and great festival tours, we are finally back with an European headlining tour! And we’re looking forward to presenting a “Best of 30 years” without any curfew, we could hardly play at any festival. With LOST SOCIETY & EVIL INVADERS we got two aspiring and sensational opening acts with us to heat up the audience very night! This generation clash will serve you the finest and most excessive Thrash & Speed attack yet to seen! I hope you are still very HUNGRY!!!!» says frontman Schmier.

http://www.destruction.de/

Sparzanza – Circle

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 20th September 2014 by Pieni

Sparzanza
“Circle”
Heavy rock
To be released on 26th September 2014
Via Spinefarm Records / Black Cult Records

 photo sparzanza-circle-cover2014_zps895cce4d.jpg

Sparzanza are back. Well, have been back since March, when this 7th album of theirs, “Circle”, was released in the Northern countries. Now the stores in the rest of the world will have the pleasure of delivering it as well.

They’ve been gradually hardening their sound in the last albums, so seeing them pushing the envelope and releasing their heaviest album so far, that wasn’t a real surprise to me. Yet “Circle” has Sparzanza’s typical dark groove embroidered all over it.

Right from the start you get that impression with the opening track “Pine Barrens”. Heavier riffs, sharper beats, faster rhythm, rougher vocals… and then the chorus comes out in such a dark melody – not melancholic but rather ominous, menacing. After all, they’re singing about the “devil being back every century”

With all that but featuring a more easy-going melody comes the next track “Underneath My Skin”, which was the rightful choice for first single, precisely due to the melodic part – it gives a more accurate idea of the album as a whole, which I believe is the main goal of a promotional single. “Black” would have been great for that purpose as well, its stronger bass making it somewhat heavier and the “church choir” hinting some spiritual sense to the melody.

As for speedy songs, I must mention “Death Don’t Spare No Lives”. A very lively but groovy song, meaning the rhythm will hit your eardrums and embrace it at the same time.

“Breathe” could have been featured in the soundtrack of a thriller, as the words I find to describe it are the same – exciting and suspenseful. And taking “suspenseful” as cue, let me tell you about the second single “Into The Unknown”. Now this is quite a piece of melancholic darkness! The double tracking of Fredrik Weileby voice, in a grave pitch and a higher one, is one of my favorite details, giving such richness to the sound. Especially when it’s not a through and through event, it only happens in some carefully chosen parts, enhancing the beauty of this song.

The sadness in “As I Go Away” is a lot stronger, though, the piano and strings making sure to produce a melody as heartbroken as Weileby’s voice. Powerful ballad, this one.

“A circle is not something that has one specific meaning – it has several, so let the interpretation of this be in the eyes of the beholder”, say Sparzanza regarding the title of this album. Well I choose the meaning of “completion” as this is what “Circle” is – a successful achievement by this great band.

5/5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

 

 

 

Bloodbath announce Paradise Lost-Nick Holmes as their new singer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 16th September 2014 by Pieni

 photo 640x360_zps12e9660f.jpeg

Anders “Blakkheim” Nyström has said in several interviews that Bloodbath had already a new singer but he wasn’t allowed to reveal his name, due to the lack of contract. He did say “Oh, he’s a legend!” but no one expected that legend to be Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost. The news hit us this morning via Metal Hammer, with the following quotes:

“Ever since I got into Lost Paradise back in 1990,” says Jonas Renkse, Nick Holmes has been one of my favourite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!”

“Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre-defining Gothic and yet here we are decades later, fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it’s an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath‘s grand morbid funeral!”, adds Blakkheim.

Like they say, it’s been almost 25 years since “Lost Paradise” and everybody knows that Paradise Lost doesn’t use growls anymore. Is “Old Nick” still up to it? Let’s wait and see!

www.facebook.com/bloodbathband

Interview with Johan Carlsson of Sparzanza

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 14th September 2014 by Pieni

 photo 10558040-origpic-fe62b6_zps3b638754.jpgI’ve been a Sparzanza fan for some five years, since I’ve first heard “My World Of Sin”. That song was featured in their 4th album “In Voodoo Veritas” and they’ve released three more after that, none of them ever disappointing me. So I was more than thrilled for this chance to interview bassist Johan Carlsson and get to know a little bit more about their latest “Circle”, among other things.

RL: Since this is the first time Valkyrian Music is talking to Sparzanza, I’d like to go back in time a bit. So my first question is… what does Sparzanza mean?
JC: Well, it comes from some old Blaxploitation movie from the 70’s. I believe it was the name of a very unpleasant pimp. Although, it was a long time ago. It was the first singer (Peter Eriksson) who came up with the name for a song first, and then the band used it as a band name. Do not ask me what movie it was, ‘cause I have absolutely no idea!

RL: You’ve been hardening your sound for some time now, but “Circle” is definitely your heaviest album so far. Was that intentional, at the beginning of the songwriting process, or it just turned out that way?
JC: This time it was really not intentional. It has been intentional on some of the albums, but not this time. This time we wanted to make a great record and have absolutely no boundaries. We have experimented a bit more this time, different guitar sounds, tunings, double bass drums and stuff, but in the end the song is what is in focus. And has always been.
We also wanted to have a more honest production, without too much overdubs and drum triggers and so on. More natural. photo sparzanzapress2011fotorobertrundberget2_zpscf09b13c.jpg

RL: Still, you manage to always keep that “something” that identifies it as a Sparzanza song. How would you describe the Sparzanza sound to someone who has never heard you before? What would you say it’s your best quality in order to convince that person to go and listen to it?
JC: I would say that it lies within the melancholy of the melodies. We have very strong melodies, which are very dark most of the times. Especially on the former album “Death Is Certain, Life Is Not” when we really dug us down into darkness. Still it’s not goth- or depressing music. It is really heavy hard rock/metal with great melodies. And with one of the best and most various rock and metal singers available (Fredrik Weileby).

RL: That “trademark” sound is also heard in covers – five years ago, you’ve released your own version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. How did that idea come about, to release it at that particular time and why that song?
JC: We did it because we needed some attention at that time, actually. I don’t remember why we chose that particular song, but it might have to do with us thinking Mr. Idol is pretty cool. Also, since we wanted to do a cover a lot different than the original (otherwise don’t do it) and the production of that song is a bit lame, we thought we had something to work on. Our cover version, unlike other cover versions of that song, is very dynamic and has a cool Sparzanza feeling over it.

RL: And if Sparzanza would ever do something like that again, what song would you like to cover?
JC: Oh, that is a hard question. We actually talked about it the other day but never decided anything. Personally, I would like us to try a cover we did about 15 years ago – “Skirtlifter” by a band called Buffalo.

 photo sparzanza-circle-cover2014_zps895cce4d.jpgRL: Like it’s said on the website, “a circle is not something that has one specific meaning”. Is that why it was chosen as title for the album? For its diversity?
JC: Our street team, called The Black Cult was actually an inspiration. We wanted something on the cover that could be interpreted as a cult, something that is boiling underground without the public really knowing about it. The title is chosen out of that, and it’s a good title since it can be interpreted in several different ways.

RL: Of all the meanings it can have, which one is your personal favorite?
JC: The occult thing – a circle unknown to all!

RL: And still speaking of favorites… which song of “Circle” do you like to listen to the most and which one do you like to play live the most?
JC: Personally I think “Black” is a great song. It turned out one of the heaviest songs we have ever written. “Pine Barrens” is the coolest song to play live I think. The riffs are cool to play and it’s a great… no, it’s an amazing show opener!

RL: Why did it take so long for “Circle” to be released worldwide? (Note: “Circle” was released in the Northern countries in March and is set to be released worldwide on the 26th September)
JC: There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week! We concentrated on the Scandinavian countries first and needed some more time to plan the release outside of Scandinavia. We are doing a lot of work ourselves. We have our own label who releases the albums outside of Scandinavia and with all the touring and stuff we did not have the time to release it properly until now. I hope it was worth the wait!

RL: And can we expect live shows outside the Northern countries?
JC: Hell yeah! Right now there are plans for shows in Germany, Spain and UK in 2014. Then we will do the Benelux countries as well as China in 2015. That is the plan now, but there might be additions to that tour schedule.

 photo Sparzanza-Promo-3-1024x936_zps3a586ac6.jpg

RL: You’ve mentioned on Facebook that there’s a new song already, “Plainfield”. Was it born spontaneoulsy or are you already working hard on the next release? Is it too early to ask if you’ll keep on the heavy path of “Circle” or keep moving into something else?
JC: We’re always writing songs. This time, though, it was a spontaneous thing. We have not started to write a lot for the next record, but there are always plenty of ideas to be worked on. I think it might be a little premature to talk about how the next record will sound, but it won’t be less heavy than “Circle”, I can guarantee you that!

RL: In the band’s bio the drums are mentioned as being “in your face” in this album, and that the sound is different due to the “use of alternate tunings of the guitars”. Does this include the bass guitar or would you like to add something else about the input of your bass in “Circle”?
JC: Well, since the guitars are tuned different I had to tune the bass different too sometimes. But I have been trying to keep the low tuning that I always use on my basses. It sometimes makes it harder to play the songs but the sound stays heavy. Otherwise than that I really like to keep both the playing and the gear pretty simple. Just the amps I always use, my Sandberg basses and a pre-amp, that’s it. Me and Anders (the drummer) also rehearsed by ourselves a lot this time before recording, to make it even heavier.

RL: Well it’s been a pleasure talking to you! All the best with those plans!
JC: Thanks!

www.sparzanza.com

Interview by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Spires announce crowd-funding campaign for upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 5th September 2014 by Pieni

 photo spires_zpsdcd1d038.jpg

Manchester progressive metallers Spires have launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for their forthcoming full length album, “The Whisperer”. After the critically acclaimed “Spiral of Ascension” (2010), and the equally praised acoustic mini-album “Lucid Abstractions” (2012), “The Whisperer” is planned to be released in early November, with the Kickstarter campaign ending on 4th October. If you wish to take part of this, please click the following link: ttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1250333601/spires-second-album-the-whisperer-t-shirt-campaign

The album will initially be a limited edition run of 500 copies, on 6 panel digipak, featuring extensive artwork by Daniella Morrison, and a full lyric booklet. The 7 track release will feature over an hour of progressive metal, and expands upon the foundations laid on the band’s previous releases.

“This album is going to be even more expansive and wide reaching,” vocalist/guitarist Paul Sadler explains, “with more varied instrumentation including cello, violin, piano and female vocals, as well as a guest spot on guitar from Tymon Kruidenier from Exivious / ex-Cynic The overall dynamics are pushed to further extremes in both directions. We’re all extremely excited about how it’s sounding. We decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to give us that helping hand to produce a physical product that’s really worth having. In this day and age we feel this is necessary to convince people its worth parting with their hard earned cash for something you have created.”

The band is also producing a limited run of T-shirts to coincide with the release, featuring artwork from the album, also available through Kickstarter. A small UK tour is also in the pipeline for the end of the year, of which we’ll inform you as soon as the dates are confirmed. They play a one off show alongside Falloch and Jordan Reyne on 17th September at The Flapper in Birmingham .

Spires online:
http://www.facebook.com/spiresofficial
http://www.spiresband.co.uk

In Flames – Siren Charms

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

In Flames
“Siren Charms”
Melodic Metal
To be released on 5th September 2014
Via Epic Records

 photo In_Flames_-_Siren_Charms_album_cover_zpsc78625eb.jpg

A smile lit up on my face when I heard that In Flames would release a new album. That smile still glowed when the first single “Rusted Nail” was available. Not a spectacular track but good enough – the guitar licks in the intro flow pretty easily through your ears; Fridén’s vocal tone – mainly clean but harsher here and there and backed by occasional screams – sounds quite pleasant; an exquisite bridge preceding the first chorus, and the catchy melody of the latter…  There’s something standard in the riffing, though, hence the “not a spectacular track”.

Then the aforementioned smile got wider with the release of “Through Oblivion”, a melancholic song, almost depressive, that stirred something in the darkest side of me.

But then I listened to the whole album and the smile faded, almost completely. We already knew the “melodic” was growing stronger and the “death” was dimming, so it isn’t a big surprise that “Everything’s Gone” is the only true heavy song in “Siren Charms”. What disappoints me is that it’s not a very good song. The heaviness of “When The World Explodes” is better, but the softer parts are weak, not because they’re, well, soft and slow, but because they don’t seem to have any spirit in them. This one features soprano Emilia Feldt, who has a beautiful voice but doesn’t help this track at all. Weren’t sirens supposed to have an enthralling vivid chant? Feldt uses a very languid tone here.

Also “Paralyzed” and “Dead Eyes” make justice to their titles, being quite dull tracks. “With Eyes Wide Open” is a nice ballad, though, and “Filtered Truth” has a rock-ish vibe, a lively sound that’s refreshing to hear in the end.

The production is amazing, but something’s missing in “the whole musical picture”. And it’s not the more melodic approach that bothers me. It’s its lack of ability to embrace my senses and leave a positive remark.

3 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 738 other followers