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New Queensrÿche album in October

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 4th August 2015 by Pieni

Queensrÿche have revealed the details of their upcoming studio album. Scheduled to be released on October 2nd, via Century Media Records, and produced by Zeuss, “Condition Hüman” will feature the following 12 tracks:

1. Arrow of Time
2. Guardian
3. Hellfire
4. Toxic Remedy
5. Selfish Lives
6. Eye9
7. Bulletproof
8. Hourglass
9. Just Us
10. All There Was
11. The Aftermath
12. Condition Hüman

“The artwork depicts a beautiful innocence surrounded by the darkness of a jaded unpredictable world”, says singer Todd La Torre:

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The opening track, “Arrow Of Time”, is available for streaming on the label’s Soundcloud account here.

www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial

New chapter for Equaleft

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 4th August 2015 by Pieni
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the last rehearsal with Veggy

Portuguese groove metal act Equaleft has parted ways with Nuno “Veggy” Cramês, as the guitarist and founding member is about to move to Brazil. Last night was his last rehearsal with the band, which ended up in a private concert/surprise farewell party with some of Equaleft’s friends and fans. Afterwards, Veggy posted on Facebook:

“Tonight was my last rehearsal with Equaleft. Soon I’ll be moving to the other side of the Atlantic, but I’ll always be connected to Inglês (singer), Mark (drummer), Malone (guitarist) & Mike (bassist), especially by the strong friendship we’ve built over the years. Together with these four people, and recently one more – André Matos (producer) – I’ve lived my best moments as a musician and accomplished many teenage dreams. In the future, I’ll keep track of the band and help them achieve all their goals. Thank you all!”

Equaleft are currently writing material for the successor of “Adapt & Survive” (read review here) as a 4-piece, but will start looking for a new 8-string guitarist soon.

www.facebook.com/equaleft

Fear Factory – Genexus

Posted in CD, Industrial, Metal with tags , , , , on 3rd August 2015 by Pieni

Fear Factory
“Genexus”
Industrial metal
Release: 7th August 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

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Whatever breaks they may take, whatever line-up they may feature, you know that any Fear Factory release is an industrial metal one; with a more extreme approach or more mainstream-oriented, but industrial metal nevertheless. So you’re left with just one obvious question: is it good? This time it’s great!

In the year that “Demanufacture” celebrates 20 years, Fear Factory pay tribute to it in the form of “Autonomous Combat System”, the opening track of this “Genexus”. The violent drumming and cranking riffing embedded with such regal electronics sound like a version 2.0 of something that could have been featured in that breakthrough album of theirs. I’m still wondering how this didn’t make it to single.

The synths in “Anodized” are more vibrant and the chorus is more melodic, but it doesn’t make this track, as a whole, less heavy than its predecessor.

On a second thought, when listening to “Dielectric”, I understand why this was the third single and not “Autonomous Combat System” – its eager intro and richer structure are somewhat more compelling.

“Soul Hacker” – another single – has that nu metal vibe that earned them new fans during the “Digimortal” era. I’m already picturing a massive jumping crowd when played live.

“Protomech” is probably my personal favorite, having a killer rhythm combined with classy synths – the proverbial neon sign that glows “FEAR FACTORY!” in your mind. The same can be said of the title-track, hence the “probably” in my previous sentence – although with a distinctive identity, the adjectives to describe both songs are similar and are exactly what I like the most about the band’s sound, becoming hard to say which one I prefer. But that’s a good thing, as it is proof of the creative quality of the album.

“Church Of Execution” is yet another example of the more alternative vein of the band. Less sharp than “Soul Hacker”, but a lot groovier and catchier. Still, it’s “Regenerate” that represents the most melodic track. Of the regular aggressive songs, that is – the album finishes with a beautiful electronic ballad, “Expiration Date”. But before that there’s still room for one more straightforward electrical discharge that goes by the epic name of “Battle For Utopia”.

In sum, “Genexus” gathers ten tracks that deliver a little bit of everything that the band’s done so far. And therefore I believe it will please both old-school and modern fans, as the general outcome stands in-between the aforementioned extreme and mainstream styles.

4,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Laurus Nobilis Música Famalicão 2015 – metal day

Posted in Festival, Gig with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2015 by Pieni

Mão Morta, R.A.M.P., More Than A Thousand, Éden
Louro, Famalicão (PT)
24th July 2015

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Laurus Nobilis is a new 3-day festival in the north of Portugal. Each day is dedicated to a different genre of music – in fact, the alternative name of the fest is “Festa da Música” (Music Party) – the first being “heavy metal”, so off I went last Friday.

“Heavy Metal” in its general meaning, that is, as none of the four bands had such a traditional sound.

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The first band, Éden, was supposed to get on stage at 19:30 but the show was delayed for about an hour. It wasn’t the band’s fault, not even the promoter’s. It’s just that it was a week-day, and despite being summer, a lot of people are still at work. Even at 20:30 there was only a fraction of the big crowd that would later pack nicely the area in front of the stage.

Éden is local band that’s been around for 20 years – although I confess it was the first time I’ve heard of them. Metal sung in Portuguese, with an alternative vibe and a very expressive singer. Despite the long career, it seems they only have two albums out – “Kaos” (1999) and “Ciclo Fechado” (2012) – but they’ve always been active, either playing live or working in other musical projects, so there wasn’t any hint of rustiness in their  photo _DSC0540_zpsqecnubjo.jpgperformance. Some people in the audience engaged in their sound right away but others – especially the kids who were already at the front row waiting for More Than A Thousand – were a little harder to convince. But in the song “Voa” (which means “fly”), frontman AguiarS smiled and said “you’re not flying… but we are!”. And that was amusing enough to make the more skeptical let themselves go to Éden’s sound.
For the last song, AguiarS left the stage while a couch was placed in front of the drumkit. He’d soon return wearing a white tunic and holding a staff, which automatically made me think of St. Peter. But since they have a song named “S.º Sinfrónio”, I believe that was the song that closed the gig.

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Then More Than A Thousand stormed the stage with “Feed The Caskets”. Like I’ve said before, they had a legion of fans eager to see them – including me. MTAT announced early this month that they’re going into a hiatus, one with no foreseen expiration date, so I tip my hat to Laurus Nobilis promoters for recognizing the band’s talent (trust me – that’s not always the case around here, in their own home country) and giving them one more chance to say goodbye to their fans – some of them who were seeing MTAT for the first time and whom singer Vasco Ramos “welcomed to the family”.  photo _DSC0091 copy_zpspnkefaho.jpgI’ve seen MTAT a couple of times before (a lot less than I’d like to, sadly) and the interaction between the band and the crowd feels indeed as if you’re among good friends. Vasco keeps the spirits up constantly, asking for screams, jumps, fists in the air and mosh pits, and the other members, even without a microphone, encourage the crowd just the same by clapping their hands or simply with their lively posture. So what if Vasco went out of tune once or twice? Their music is top-notch metalcore and the way they give themselves to it is a match. I was just hoping for a somewhat longer gig, but that understandable delay messed with every band’s schedule (except for the headliners, that is). Still we heard a fair share of their mandatory songs, the last being the usual “No Bad Blood”.

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I’m not sure how famous R.A.M.P. are outside of Portugal, but here they’re close to legends – after all, they were the first metal band to enter the Portuguese music charts, back in 1998. And more than 25 years after their formation, and despite their latest album (“Visions”) being six years old already, they still stir crowds – because they’re one of those bands that always deliver a tremendous show, new material or not.
Also, they’re proof that metal can be as aggressive as amusing – that flood of heavy riffs and sharp beats always hand-in-hand with funny faces and teasing one another (bass player Sales, being the youngest and the shortest, is their favorite target…). Let’s not forget singer Rui Duarte’s remarks. I believe my favorite from this show was when there was a little misunderstanding  photo ricardo_zpszmwjojjh.jpgregarding the next song to play. As I’ve said before, the schedules suffered some changes and it seems that Rui thought they’d be playing even less than they actually would. So he started introducing the ballad “Alone”, which he always dedicates to his mother, but drummer Paulinho called him, telling him there was still one song before that. “Okay, so this one is not for my mother, is for an ex-girlfriend”, was how he amended the introduction to “Clear”.
There were a lot of classics missing from this setlist, but since their last tour was a best-of one, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, it was refreshing listening to songs that I hadn’t heard live in a while. And by the crowd’s response, they were happy too.

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I’m pretty sure that headliners Mão Morta (dead hand) are unknown to non-Portuguese natives. Here, they are huge. They’re considered avant-garde/death rock, but personally, I think they’re too unique to fit any label. The songwriting is dark, in a creepy kind of way, and then the lyrics address capitalism and politics in general, as well as human rights and basic instincts – sung in Portuguese, in Adolfo Luxúria Canibal’s overly-deep voice, it was almost impossible not being a success around here.
 photo _DSC0690 copy_zpssmo5njlv.jpgWith 16 albums out – the latest, “Pelo Meu Relógio São Horas De Matar” (according to my watch it’s time to kill), released last year – the band delighted the audience with recent tracks just as “Os Ossos De Marcelo Caetano” (Marcelo Caetano’s bones) and “Pássaros A Esvoaçar” (birds flying), and old ones like “Tu Disseste” (you said) or “Anarquista Duval” (Duval the anarchist). It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but one look at all those people swaying to that sound and it was clear that the headlining role had been deserved.

I wasn’t at the other days of the festival, but this first one was convincing enough – a great place, with very welcoming people, diverse food spots and, of course, some of the finest names in our musical scene. See you next year!

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Hills Have Eyes launch new video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 26th July 2015 by Pieni

In anticipation to their third full-length “Antebellum”, Portuguese metalcore act Hills Have Eyes have just released a video for the song “The Bringer Of Rain”. The track is already known to some of the fans, as the band’s been playing it live for some time now, and it’s now available for purchase on iTunes (click here).

Regarding the upcoming album, which was financed by a crowdfunding campaign, HHE say:

“A brand new chapter is coming for Hills Have Eyes.

After a couple of years, we’re back with a new record that will be released in September. A record without the support of any radio or media, in a country where our music style is often ignored & forgotten – even if several times these bands have a lot more followers than the hipster bands that are cool to support and to be related with. But no worries, ’cause we got the most important support of all: YOU that listen to our music; YOU that come to our shows; YOU that buy our merch and YOU that keep pushing us forward. On the 26th July the first single for ‘Antebellum’, ‘The Bringer of Rain’, will be online and it’s all because of you. THANK YOU.”

And here it is:

www.facebook.com/hillshaveeyes/

Mindshift – Horizon

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 23rd July 2015 by Pieni

Mindshift
“Horizon”
Melodic death metal
Self-released on 15th May 2015

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If I got this right, “Horizon” is Mindshift’s third album. You’ll only find this and the previous one, “Evilution, In Time” on Spotify, but there’s reference to a certain “No Regrets”, from 2012. Not that it really matters, as I won’t make any comparisons; “Horizon” has a merit of its own, without the need of saying if it’s better, worse, or simply different from what Mindshift has done so far.

There’s melodic death metal all around the world, but we know damn well that the one that comes from Sweden has a certain… “something”. When you hear songs such as “Arise” or “Drowning”, when you hear that dynamic-heaviness-meets-sad-melody, you know exactly what I mean.

The title-track, on the other hand, has a more upbeat vibrancy embedded on an even stronger composition. It’s pretty understandable why the album was named after this one, and why there’s also a promotional video for it, although there are a lot of treats in “Horizon”. Like the menacing “Eye For An Eye”, the hints of prog halfway through “Suffer In Silence”, the groove and gloominess of “A Thousand Scars”, or the acoustic intro in “Reflections”, that yet isn’t as sentimental as the electric solo later on. And then you have Soilwork’s Björn “Speed” Strid adding an extra vocal power to the straightforward “My Revenge”, although, in that same right-on line of sound, I admit I prefer “Decay”.

These 13 songs (plus the intro “Origin” and the spoken interlude “Light”) embody a rich songwriting, full of details prone to become earworms. The old-school and the modern melodeath walk naturally hand-in-hand here, resulting in a very complete album within the genre. Complete and remarkable.

4/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

1st edition of Laurus Nobilis Music (Famalicão, Portugal) to kick off next week

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

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Laurus Nobilis is the name of a new Portuguese project whose goal is to celebrate music in general, in the form of a festival suitably called ‘Festa da Música’ (Music Party). So not only the genre of the artists will be diverse – from classic music to heavy metal – but also the level of fame will go from underground newbies to acclaimed international acts. In fact, the headliners are the legendary The Waterboys.

Promoters Ecos Culturais do Louro (which translates to ‘cultural echoes from Louro’) also aim to cement an association, together with Casa do Artista Amador (‘home of the amateur artist’), that will support all kinds of art. Noble indeed.

This first fest will take place in Louro, Famalicão, from 24th to 26th of July, with the following bill:

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We will bring you a full report on the first day, the one dedicated to metal and alternative music (Mão Morta, R.A.M.P., More Than A Thousand and Éden).

www.laurusnobilis.pt/

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