Archive for Rock

Through The Cracks introduce complete line-up

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

When we interviewed Jimmy Bergman last month, he mentioned how he and Tillie Grundel were thinking about turning Through The Cracks into a full band rather than a duo. And indeed, a week ago or so, three other names showed up on their Facebook page. Now we have an official photo to go along with those names:

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From left to right: Jimmy, Emmy, Tillie, Daniel, Niklas

Niklas Aggemyr, who was already helping with the production of the new songs, has now taken the bass duties as well. With Daniel Holmgren on drums and Emmy Åsblom on the keyboards and backing vocals, the line-up is complete.

 photo jbttc_zps6a58557f.jpgWith Through The Cracks growing, some fans wondered if Jimmy was leaving his other band The End Of Grace. So the guitarist issued the following statement: “Many people ask me if I’ve stopped playing in The End Of Grace just because I’m now playing with Through The Cracks. So I’m writing this just to put an end to the rumor! I’m still playing with The End Of Grace, we are currently working on our next album, and it will be awesome! I/we are working at the same time very hard on my new band Through The Cracks and will shortly release an EP, which is also awesome! So give both bands a like!! The End Of Grace & Through The Cracks.

The debut single of Through The Cracks, “Breathless”, is available on iTunes and Spotify.


Through The Cracks official Facebook

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Vagos Open Air 2014 – 3rd day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23rd August 2014 by Pieni

Gojira, Paradise Lost, Vita Imana, The Quartet Of Woah!, MURK, Opus Diabolicum
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
10th August 2014

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Third and last day of Vagos Open Air 2014. It had rained a bit in the morning, so the dust had settled down. On the other hand, the water mixed with sour beer and other spilt liquids was starting to stink…

First band was Opus Diabolicum. The die-hard Moonspell fans will recognize this name from one of their early songs (from the 20-year-old EP “Under The Moonspell”, in case you’re not familiar with it). The name isn’t a coincidence, since Opus Diabolicum did with Moonspell the same that Apocalyptica did with Metallica – instrumental covers in cellos.
The gig didn’t kick off very well. After just a couple of minutes they had to interrupt due to a problem in the cello on the right (I wish I could tell you the name of the musician, but their Facebook page doesn’t mention names). And since none of the other two addressed to the audience, the silence became a little awkward. But when the cello was back in order, they attacked those strings with “Opium” and the crowd soon forgot the incident, singing the lyrics strongly. I confess I wasn’t expecting such a great feedback and I’m happy I was wrong about it. Of course they played some Moonspell key-hits, and that might have helped – “Vampiria”, “Nocturna”, “Scorpion Flower” – and such any Moonspell gig, they wrapped it up with “Alma Mater” and “Fullmoon Madness”. Neat! (4/5)

Opus Diabolicum official Facebook

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MURK – the “alternative death metal” Portuguese band, not the black metal Italian one – were up next. Never had heard of them before, not even when they were going by the name Sattor, and that started back in 2005. Apart from the EP “Tyrants Of Decay” they’ve released early this year, it seems that they’ve only released another EP (“Seeds Of Perseverance”) as Sattor. One must wonder why a band with just two extended plays out in a less than 10-year-old career was chosen for such a big event as Vagos Open Air. It’s commendable, of course, that Prime Artists support the national underground, but we have so many bands with a bigger discography and a larger fan base (there were some MURK fans present, truth be told) that it just seems unfair the promoters chose this band. it wasn’t a bad concert – the highlight on “Footprint Of God”, apparently – but it wasn’t a spectacular one either, despite their ritualistic gear and makeup. (3/5)

MURK official Facebook

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Now The Quartet Of Woah!, despite being formed just 4 years ago, they’ve been playing non-stop recently and making their name known. Well-known, actually, as their live shows are pretty… lively! I wasn’t expecting that, since I was told they were a stoner band. But unlike most stoner rock bands, they don’t focus on the bluesy and depressive doom side of the genre but on the heavy metal and psychedelic rock instead – hence the high voltage of their shows. It’s all there, though, in a classy mix, but it’s the heaviest and fastest elements they bring to life the most. Gonçalo Kotowicz was unmistakably happy, giving a quick (the time was short) but heartfelt thank you to Vagos. Songs like “U Turn”, “Balance” and the latest “BackwardsFirstliners” brought a sixties/seventies 5-star vibe to the festival. (5/5)

The Quartet Of Woah! official Facebook

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Spanish Vita Imana was another surprise – one that so far gets my gold medal in the category “Top surprises of 2014”. Whoever told me they were a thrash metal band forgot to mention they were also tribal and ‘core, otherwise I’d be more or less warned of the adrenaline discharge I was about to witness. A big emphasis on “more or less”, as I wouldn’t have expected that anyway. Here’s a band who knows what live gigs are all about! Their sound is mosher-friendly by nature, true, but if it wasn’t for Vita Imana’s tornado-wise attitude – especially singer’s Javier Cardoso, whose jumps were quite epic – the response of the crowd wouldn’t have been so explosive. “Gondwana”, “Quizás No Sea Nadie” or “Paranoia” were just a few of the songs that made the circles go crazy. (5/5)

Vita Imana official Facebook

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I guess everybody knows by now that a Paradise Lost gig is either very good or sucks dish water, there’s no middle term. It all depends on Nick Holmes’ mood. Holmes not only was in a great mood, his voice was in the strongest shape ever – this being my 9th Paradise Lost concert in 17 years, trust me, I know what I’m saying.
With a very serious face, Holmes said Paradise Lost have been around since the fifties/forties (told you he was in a good mood) while introducing “Gothic” – the oldest track of that night’s setlist, released in 1991 and not, obviously, in the ‘40s. Don’t know if he’s going through some midlife crisis, but he would later hint on the band’s “antiquity” again by saying that the following song was a hit that had been playing for decades and he expected to continue so. If you’re a hardcore fan of Paradise Lost, you know he meant “As I Die”.
They left the stage after “True Belief” – my all-time favorite, I confess – and someone started screaming for them. Soon a massive “PARADISE LOST, PARADISE LOST!” echoed. They would return for a 3-song encore, Holmes thanking once again (I lost count on how many times he said thank you). After the very last “Say Just Words”, the band took a selfie with a delighted crowd, all horns-up, in the back. Don’t worry about your age, Mr. Holmes. At 43, you’re still able to pull off amazing performances that many 20-year-olds can only achieve in their dreams. (5/5)

Paradise Lost official Facebook

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However, this was Gojira’s night. I believe the Portuguese fans have been asking for the French band since the very first Vagos edition. As for them, they claimed they’d been expecting to play in Portugal for 18 years – meaning since they first were founded, still as Godzilla. Yeah, yeah, I know they all say nice things about the countries/cities they’re visiting for the first time, or haven’t visited in a long while, but in this case I believe, as the Duplantier brothers have Portuguese roots (grandmother) and they’ve visited the country many times before, as tourists. Now that they made it as a band and had such a thunderous reception, I’m pretty sure they’ll do their best to return soon.
The security guys had their hands full – literally – from the very first seconds (yeah, seconds) of “Explosia” to the last ones of “Where Dragons Dwell”. A high-five to all of them for the excellent job they did, not only at helping the kids on the “landing” but also in guiding them into the best path of hands and heads.
Peak moments? All of them! But I can’t stop mentioning the inflatable dolphin that bounced back and forth over the crowd on “Flying Whales”. Cute!
It was hard to accept the gig had come to an end. Joe said what must have been all the pleasantries he knew in Portuguese while everybody screamed “GOJIRA, GOJIRA!” at the top of their lungs. But it was over. And unforgettable. (5/5)

Gojira official Facebook

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Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

Vagos Open Air 2014 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th August 2014 by Pieni

Kreator, Epica, Soilwork, Sylosis, Kandia, Gates Of Hell
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
8th August 2014

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This year’s edition of Vagos Open Air was bigger in every sense of the word – it lasted one day longer than usual, it had more people coming in, and it had also the greatest bill so far. Kudos for promoters Prime Artists!

National Gates Of Hell must feel proud, and not just for kicking the festival off: it’s not easy for an underground band to gather so many people on a hot Friday, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but they made it! There was a sea of people like there’s never been for an opening band, in all the 6-year history of the festival! Of course they’ve been working hard for it in the last few years, especially since the release of their debut album, playing all over the country and winning fans with their ballistic live shows. But it still was a wonderful surprise to see such a crowd screaming and moshing for them. And the size of the wall of death on the last song, “Critical Obsession”! Singer Raça thanked everyone – both fans/friends and those who were watching them for the first time – but truth be told, they wouldn’t have got that response if they weren’t just as good. The credit is all yours, boys! Keep it up! (5/5)

Gates Of Hell official facebook

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Things cooled down a bit, but only in terms of “brutality” – Kandia is a modern/alternative rock band, so no mosh pits for them. But that doesn’t mean that their show was less electrifying. It was just a different kind of voltage. Especially singer Nya Cruz, who looked totally at home on stage. They’ve released two albums so far, but neglected the first one completely, focusing just on the latest “All Is Gone”. Last year, they won the international music contest Global Rockstar with one song from that album, “Scars”. “We’re not going away, we’re here to stay!” was the introduction to that song, as its first verse reads “I’m here to stay”. But more than an introduction, it’s a statement, a motto – and the grip they had on this gig is proof that they will stick to it. (4,5/5)

Kandia official facebook

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It was the first time Sylosis were playing in Portugal (after pulling out of the Epic Industrialist Tour, in 2012) and Josh Middleton admitted they weren’t expecting such a reception. The crowd was happy to finally experience live songs such as “All Is Not Well” and “The Blackest Skyline”, so the circles began spinning once again, at full force. And when Josh asked for TWO circles – one at the left, one at the right – they were eager to comply (same as the headbanging to the sound of nothing, but that’s been done before by other artists – the two circles, now that was new). At some point Josh said that this was the last gig of Rob (Callard, drummer), since he would be pursuing a career as a singer… in a Mariah Carey cover band. Such talented musicians and so humorous… no wonder no one cared about the “little” fail of asking if we were ready for Kreator while playing a riff from Slayer’s “Raining Blood”… (5/5)

Sylosis official facebook

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It had been 11 years since I’d last seen Soilwork – which was the last time they’d played in Portugal. So I don’t know if it’s usual for them to use The Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” as intro, but for me, it was a really nice surprise. And it links so well to “This Momentary Bliss”, the first song of their set! A set that I confess was hoping to be a bit more diverse, given the years of absence from the Portuguese stages. But their latest album is a magnificent double piece, so it’s only natural they wanted to focus on the killers of “The Living Infinite”. Still they went back a couple of times – “The Average Stalker”, “Bastard Chain”… –, closing with a golden key with “Stabbing The Drama” (“I think you know the chorus to this one”, said Mr. Björn Strid). The circles weren’t as constant as in the previous band but only because Soilwork’s sound doesn’t require so – there’s a reason why it’s called “melodic” death metal. In terms of intensity, they were just as “crazy and wild” (to use Strid’s own words). (5/5)

Soilwork official facebook

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There were LOADS of Epica fans in Vagos, so whoever thought it was a mistake to invite them again (they performed at the first edition of the fest) couldn’t be more wrong. Simone Simons’ voice was better than the last time I’ve seen them, in the “Requiem For The Indifferent” tour, but still a bit “shaky” here and there. The most blatant case was “Cry For The Moon”, where her voice was smothered by the choir backtracks and not because something failed with her mic. It’s just that female voices also change with time and it’s been 10 years since Simone first recorded that song. Maybe that’s why she took the chance to introduce the band, singing the names and their instruments instead of the original lyrics. Nice trick! But no one seemed to care anyway, as the strong and positive attitude of the whole band made those flaws look like small details.
They played a few songs from the latest album, “The Quantum Enigma” – including the first three tracks plus the new hit “Unchain Utopia”, but Simone said they would be back in November, in a promotional tour for this album. The crowd was thrilled to hear that. (4,5/5)

Epica official facebook

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Okay, it’s true that a Kreator gig is always a Kreator gig, and even when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. But sometimes they’re REALLY awesome – like this time! From “Mars Mantra / Phantom Antichrist” to “Flag Of Hate / Tormentor”, Mille Petrozza got some of the best “Portuguese circle pits” that he kept asking for – having played here so many times before, he knew what he was talking about when he specified the nationality, giving them an unique identity. But with such a performance it was hard not to raise hell – the stage wasn’t big enough for their fire show, but the human heat made up for it.
For the encore, and the aforementioned medley of “Flag Of Hate” and “Tormentor”, Petrozza got on stage holding a flag, saying that when they released that album (“Endless Pain”), back in 1985, Michael Jackson was still alive. The rest of the band played a few chords from “Billie Jean” and the crowd roared. But the roar was much louder when he talked about the album that Judas Priest released five years later, as its title was the opposite of “Endless Pain”“Painkiller”, with the main riff of its title-track echoing. The true explosion came, of course, when Petrozza stopped talking and the medley itself began.

Kreator official facebook

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Nevel a dull moment on this first day – except for the background music between songs, which was literally the same over and over. The metal DJs that took the graveyard shift should have been hired for the day as well…

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

More pics in our Facebook page HERE.

Through The Cracks release first single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 20th July 2014 by Pieni

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The talented songwriter Mr. Jimmy Bergman (THE END OF GRACE) and the beautiful voice of Ms. Tillie Grundel (former KARMIC LINK) put together THROUGH THE CRACKS, a project of rock music full of feeling. The first single, “Breathless”, was released digitally last Friday, on iTunes and Spotify.

Follow them on Facebook, where you can also see the lyrics for this beautiful song (click here) .
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Skid Row to tour the UK once again

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 1st July 2014 by Pieni

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Rock legends Skid Row will tour the UK again, after the successful visit last year, co-headlining with Ugly Kid Joe (read our report on the sold-out gig in London HERE). This time they’re single-headlining, but bring along The Last Vegas and Sister. Dates and locations as follows:

Fri 17 Oct – Bristol, Bierkeller
Sat 18 Oct – Cambridge, The Junction
Sun 19 Oct – Hull, The Well
Mon 20 Oct – Edinburgh, Liquid Room
Wed 22 Oct – Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
Thu 23 Oct – Stourbridge, River Rooms
Fri 24 Oct – Wakefield, Warehouse 23
Sat 25 Oct – Buckley, Tivoli
Sun 26 Oct – Nuneaton, Queens Hall
Tue 28 Oct – London, Underworld

Skid Row

Sister

The Last Vegas

Crooked Lizard – Ink

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 29th June 2014 by Nico Davidson

Crooked Lizard
Ink
Released 11th July 2014
Blues/Rock
Self-Released

Hull, voted to be the City of Culture 2017, is home an interesting amount of talented bands and solo acts but one band is slowly rising from the depths of Hull’s murky musical talents. Describing themselves as a rock ‘n’ roll band, come the bluesy rock trio Crooked Lizard, who are set to bring about something fresh, new and exciting to not only Hull but the rest of the UK as well.

The album is opened by the track Devils Lullaby, a song laden with hypnotic vocal melodies and riffs more infectious than the common cold. The bass workings of Mike Sheriff parades through the song like a leprachaun on a rainbow. Motormouth follows closely in a fashionable manner, focusing on the vocals on Tom Hennings‘ vocals in the beginning before displaying his slick style of guitar playing later on in the track.

Chasing Gold comes across as a more laid back song, weaving the distinct talents of all three members as well as combining their voices for the occasional awe-inspiring chorus where as Cheeky Fly paints a sound that would be described in the vein of Kate Nash and Lily Allen. The vocals of the band’s drummer Roberta Lawson can heard in parts of the song, adding a new dimension to the sound. I Wish I Knew makes a staunch use of memorable lyrics performed in a manner that will leave you singing it for weeks to come. The combination of guitar, bass and drums helps add to the catchy and poignant elements of the song, defining the track as one of the best tracks of the album.

Oh Jonny belts out in a good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll fashion, keeping a steady pace with glossed up guitar melodies and smooth rhythm sections. The artful sounds of Whispered Mistakes carry a solemn yet calming atmosphere through the embroidered musicianship and vocals.  The album closes with the touchingly passionate song Monster, which is built up from moving basslines, poignant guitar passages and rhythmic drum sections.

Ink might be the debut album of the young Crooked Lizard but it rings out like the greatest hits of a band that has been around longer than what this talented trio has. Each track has its own distinct sound, allowing for a new listening experience throughout the album. Crooked Lizard’s live sound has translated well into a studio sound, providing that the band can sound just as good in the studio as they do live.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

The Cadillac Three to play one-off headlining show in London

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th June 2014 by Pieni

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Nashville rockers The Cadillac Three will be playing an intimate one-off headlining show at The Lexington, London, on the 7th July – right after their appearance at Sonisphere. Quoting vocalist/guitarist Jaren Johnston: “We can’t wait to get back across the pond! The first two trips were some of the best times of our lives. We look forward to playing Planet Rockstock, as well as Sonisphere and our upcoming headline tour. Hide your women and your cold beer… The Cadillac Three are coming back to the UK!”

They have recently recorded a cover of Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire” which will be featured in the upcoming “Nashville Outlawes”, a tribute album to the legendary rock band involving TC3’s US Big Machine label, plus The Crüe camp itself.

Also, Spinefarm Records has re-issued their debut album “Tennessee Mojo” with two bonus tracks, and a new single featuring both “White Lightning” and “Back It Up” will be released to coincide with the aforementioned Sonisphere show.

https://www.facebook.com/TheCadillacThree

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