Archive for June, 2012

Lazarus Syndrome – Flatline

Posted in Review with tags , on 29th June 2012 by vmteam

Lazarus Syndrome
Flatline
Released March 2011
Melodic Metal
Self-Released

Lazarus Syndrome are a five piece melo-metal outfit from Liverpool, whose influences include Queen, Slipknot and Metallica. The band recently played Download Festival.

Forsaken initially starts off sounding very much like it could evolve into a death metal track with heavy, down tuned guitars and bass, growly vocals and good solid drumming with some handy double bass footwork from Matt Gregson. Instead, after the first verse and into the chorus, we are greeted with very melodic guitars and some great ‘clean’ vocals by Peter Ford. My initial listen to this did take me by surprise but, in a good way, really quite original I thought. Then after the chorus it’s back to the deathly style vocals for another verse, closely followed by a slightly extended chorus and afterwards, moves into a cool lead guitar section that’s executed very well. After this, it then moves into a rather delightful section which has some great guitar licks, shortly followed by the chorus. Overall, I thought of this track to be a very memorable one and really quite catchy.

The next track, Devoured By Conflict, is introduced by some clever guitar work and cymbal stabs – kinda reminding me of early At The Gates – then, with the vocals, progresses into an anthem of total and utter rage, with Peter screaming ‘need to get this poison outa my head’; this guy sounds angry. We are then introduced by some clever guitar work by Jamie and Mike along with some great vocal work by Peter, switching from ‘clean’ vocals to growls. At this point the track reverts back to the intro at the beginning, tearing down and destroying anything that may happen to unfortunately cross its path. With another heartfelt repetition of the chorus we may get the impression that these guys are upset about something, very upset, and they are not scared to shout about it… And so ends track number two.

A Path Less Travelled without a doubt is certainly the most melodic track on this EP, guitar wise and vocal wise too. Peter Ford is a great vocalist and this track contains some excellent vocal melodies and harmonies. Also some very good tom work by Matt Gregson in unison with Tom Parkers bass work, really quite impressive. After a repetition of verse and chorus we are then pinned up against a wall with more of Peter’s ferocious, deathly style vocals; the only time to make an appearance in this track but, don’t despair, this is a great song and in my opinion, stands well above the previous two tracks.

Last but not least, Blameless Creator a song that is much faster than any other on the EP, and after a short guitar intro, the ensemble come blazing in with guitars on fire, snare on double-time and vocals that Cannibal Corpse would certainly be proud of. The guitar riffs on this partially remind me somewhat of early Kreator, and I like that very much. There’s great vocal and guitar harmonies again during the chorus along with some great drum work by Matt. After another verse, chorus and bridge, we have the privilege of an alternative chorus which signifies the end of track 4. This track is another favourite of mine.

Overall, I find this a great EP. I can see a promising future for these guys.

5/5

Shaun “Winter” Taylor-Steels (My Dying Bride/Ex-Anathema)

Karybdis – From The Depths

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 29th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Karybdis
From The Depths
Due For Release: 2nd July 2012
Death Metal
Self-Released

Karybdis_FromTheDepthsCover

Groove-laden death metal quintet Karybdis are one of the many rising stars in the UK’s metal underground. Hailing from Britain’s capital of London, the band’s album From The Depths (not to be confused with the two compilations we released) is described as embarking upon an epic, dark journey that creates a colliding sound of metals past, present and future.

The opening track, Minotaur, certainly caught my attention like the beginning of any good story, marrying a subtle classical sound with a titanic assault of riffs that – pardon the pun – feel like the wrath of the minotaur in musical form. The riffs balance perfectly between a furious storm of melodic death metal brutality and groove metal genius. The vocals finalise the mix of fresh sounds, enforcing the dark, almost Hadean grasp of the song. A sight Running Wild feel runs through some of the riffs of the title track From The Depths. The vocals embody the demonic, underworldly sound of the song, capable enough of keeping any listener hooked until the end. An essence of hardcore influences can be heard echoing throughout the guitars and drums in various parts of the track.

Without Wings merges speed metal, death metal and hardcore into a very sagaic and enchanting piece of work, whilst darker, more sinister influences make a stand through other parts of the song, keeping a certain excitement pumping throughout the veins of the music. The classical soundings that make an appearance seem to lure the listener into a trance, much like the sirens of mythology, before allowing the listener crash into the rocks that are Arson Aesthetics, a track that’s beginning is just the tip of a metallic iceberg that is slowly unleashed as the track sails further on into a masterfully blended use of hardcore riffs and metal sounds, with a dash of thunderous vocals.

Worth It has a very crisp, aggressive sound that seems to take on a “no more fun and games” approach, increasing the hostile feel of the album. I Say takes on the same approach as the previous track but with a few slight differences. The main one of which is a Latin-styled medley that comes as a surprise but it creates a new, fresh sound that very few bands could possibly pull off but Karydbis has successfully managed it. Medusa wasn’t what I expected it to be. I was expecting a cold, nihilistic song with more of a doom metal feel but the track is vicious, bloodthirsty and overall brutally perfect.

The next track, Maelstrom, is an interesting one to listen, creating a Children of Bodom-like sound and mixing it with furious riffs and thunderous drum patterns while the vocals bring about enough power to topple a mountain. Marching on towards the end is The Hour Glass, which I consider to be the most fierce and aggressive song on the entire album. Everything during in it, from the masterfully played riffs to the demonic vocal work and even the callous, barbaric use of drums, scream with a bloody voice of pure anger and violence.

DeathToll begins with an interesting percussion section before morphing into a blasphemous beast of pure death metallic goodness that will cause even the most laidback of metal fans to head bang along. The riffs belt out a very psychotic fury that just empowers every aspect of the track, while the vocals scream and growl like Cerberus’ three heads howling for blood. DeathToll is definitely the best way to end any death metal release.

From The Depths is an album filled to the brim with the best parts of death metal and hardcore music, with juicy portions of Greek mythos mixed in. Karybdis have done wonders with every track on the album, making it a release louder than Zeus’ thunder and more dangerous than the titans. Karybdis are certainly ushering in a new take on metal and hopefully they’ll be bringing back some greatness to the British metal scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Interview with Joe Block from Scarlet Anger

Posted in Interview on 27th June 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Luxembourg-based Scarlet Anger are the latest edition to the world of thrash metal. Iza caught up with the singer Joe Block to discuss their new album Dark Reign, influences, aspirations for the future and the Luxembourgish metal scene.

Iza: Hi Joe!

Joe Block: Hi!

I:Could you tell me a little about what influenced your decision to start playing thrash metal as opposed to another
genre?

J.B.: Fred and Joe, who formed the band were always into thrash metal bands, so it was no question that they wanted to play that genre!

I: Which bands do you see as your biggest inspiration and why?

J.B.: We all have different influences such as KREATOR, ANNIHILATOR, older METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD or even IRON MAIDEN and many more, we are all very open minded musicians. We listen to a lot of Metal bands. We don’t try to sound like one band, We just write the music we like. We don’t try to concentrate on one style while writing songs. If it sounds good we keep it, if not we don’t.

I:So what’s the metal scene like in Luxembourg? Could you tell me a bit more about it?

J.B.:The metal scene in Luxembourg is quite big compared to the size of the country, we have a lot of metal bands! There are some great bands like Desdemonia, Abstract Rapture,… At the moment there exists also a lot of Metalcore bands. So there are bands for every type of metal!

I:Your debut album ‘Dark Reign’ was mastered by Jeff Waters from Annihilator. Is he someone with whom you would like to work with in the future?

J.B.:Well for the moment it’s hard to say, we were very satisfied with his work! We all know that Jeff is a perfectionist and pro! He got a lot of experience in mastering while mastering albums of his band Annihilator and other bands! So it was really nice to work with him! He helped us a lot to get the sound we were looking for! So it’s not impossible that we’ll work together again. Let’s say if he still is interested in working with us!

I:Based on the lyrics, ‘Dark Reign’ seems to tell a story about the overthrowing of a king. Was this intended to be a concept album and, if so how did you come up with this theme?

J.B.: No, it’s definitely no real concept album. The album should include the songs from the EP Kill The King, that was the request of the label. So the challenge was to incorporate these songs without giving up the concept of Kill The King. That’s how we came up with the idea to name the album Dark reign which is a more extensive idea than the EP’s name. Although the song titles could fit the theme “king and war”, there are no existing connections between the lyrics and the cover/title concept as one might think.

I: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

J.B.:To determine one highlight in our young career is very difficult. There are a few ones. One of the biggest highlight in our career was the moment where we signed our deal with our label! It was a big step forward for us! Another highlight was to share the stage with bands like CHANNEL ZERO and PRIMAL FEAR.
The next big highlights are, our previous shows with OVERKILL, RAGE, DESASTER,DIAMOND HEAD and many more.

I: Who has been your favorite band to tour with so far?

J.B. : Until now it was great to play with Primal Fear! They were very nice people to meet! As for now, we are really looking forward to play with Overkill, Rage and more!

I: If you could pick any band to tour with in the future who would it be?

J.B.:Ohhhhhhhh, that’s a real difficult question. There are so many amazing bands, but definitely Slayer, Kreator or Metallica. Any big thrash metal band would be great!

I: Which musician (living or dead) do you respect the most and why?

J.B.:James Hetfield (Metallica) and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) because they are great musicians, always moved on and never made any compromises!

I: Ok thanks for your time!

J.B.: Thanks!

http://scarletanger.com/

Ensiferum reveal album art for Unsung Heroes

Posted in News with tags , , on 27th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Ensiferum, the highly visual troupe who’ve long been a market leader when it comes to stirring, armour-plated anthems, will have their fifth studio album released through the Spinefarm label on August 27th 2012.

Titled ‘Unsung Heroes’ and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Sentenced, Apocalyptica, etc.), will be the hour-plus follow-up to 2009’s ‘From Afar’, and sees the Finnish five-piece – founded in 1995 – pushing their signature sound to bold new heights of drama and excess.

A cinematic experience from first note to last , ‘Unsung Heroes’ takes the listener on a journey of genuine light & shade, with the 16 minute-plus ‘Passion Proof Power’ showing that when it comes to the epic statement, Ensiferum are very much in the front-line, swords at the ready.

“We’ve tried to push the different aspects of what we do as far as we can,” reflects the band, “the sonic scope is wider than ever. The folk elements go further down that path and the metallic parts will absolutely rip your face off!”

Once again, album art has been supplied by Kristian Wahlin, with featured special guests including members of Apokalyptischen Reiter plus legendary Finnish singer & actor, Vesa-Matti Loiri.

A video is also currently being planned for lead track, ‘In My Sword I Trust’.

SEPTEMBER: UK / Irish dates (part of the extensive European ‘Bearers Of The Sword’ tour):-

18 O2 Academy, Islington, London
19 Moho, Manchester
20 Button Factory, Dublin, Ireland
21 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Special guests on the tour are fellow Finns and fellow Spinefarm artists, Profane Omen.

Unsung Heroes

Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 26th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Dying Fetus
Reign Supreme
Released: 19th June 2012
Death Metal
Relapse Records

“It’s not my fault I’m pregnant and I love drugs.  Who cares? Fuck the baby, let it die”


Controversial and talented in equal measures, the  Maryland trio Dying Fetus have returned with their seventh album. Reign Supreme – a bold statement, but an honest one.

Perennial underdogs since their inception 22 years ago, Dying Fetus have grown a dedicated fan base through extensive touring, hard work, and blistering live performances.  Followers both new and old will relish this latest album, with 9 tracks (plus the obligatory ‘novelty’ bonus track – ‘Dead Whores Love To Fuck’,) of brutal, high intensity death metal.

If it looks like the Fetus, and sounds like the Fetus…it’s gotta be the Fetus!  Their signature songwriting style is present from the start – John Gallagher and Sean Beasley’s fret melting runs and sweeps, abruptly collapsing into heavy grooves and brutal slam breakdowns.  The musicianship is as uncompromising and technical as ever, complimented by the crisp production; making Reign Supreme the most professional sounding album in the band’s catalogue.

This is the second album with Trey Williams on drums, and his incredible ability shines throughout.  It is hard to define the impact his warp speed grinding battery has, but after so many lineup changes, the current three-piece is quite possibly the best (in terms of sheer musicianship,) to date.

The shorter songs such as opener “Invert the Idols”  and highlight “Dissidence” standout, their tight structures providing unrelenting aggression and technicality.  The midpoint provides a mild respite with two  ‘old school’, groove oriented songs.  It is certain that every track on Reign Supreme has been designed for live performance first of all.  Breakdowns (not of the -core variety!) feature regularly, and even on first play through you can actually see the pits forming for these future classics.

Dying Fetus walk the tightrope of new school tech and old school groove ethics perfectly, they craft brutal, sexy music, and with this album have firmly cemented their position at the highest echelon of modern death metal.

5/5

Tobias Gray

Fadeout – To Protect our Way of Living

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 25th June 2012 by mariadodarmata

Fadeout

To Protect our Way of Living

Grunge / Experimental Rock

Released: 22nd of February 2012-06-25

Via: Secret Entertainment

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From the northern lands of Seinäjoki (Finland), comes Fadeout, and oh! Actual surprise! It is not a melodic Death Metal band!

The album starts with Solar Lights. A pretty good song if you don’t take into account the cheesy ballroom dancing music reference, that in my opinion is a hundred percent unnecessary. The “grunge” part of this album is hidden in track number three and by this point all I can think while listening to these guys is those late 90’s teenage movies mixed with Nickelback (Eww!!) and a subtle touch of The Cure. By the end of the album comes a song that I liked a lot, Palestine. But the slow acoustic songs seems a bit out of place, like if it came a bit too late in the album, yet it makes a lot of contrast with the next and last song, which brings the speed that this whole album is craving. I am not asking for them to pull out the double bass and rape the blast beats, but the drummer’s job on this album is borderline unnoticeable.

Overall the album is sort of good, even though half of the songs sound like the others (something I like to call “The Late Iron Maiden Syndrome”). To Protect our Way of Living sounds like good mainstream material, even if I have the feeling the band would slap me if they could for saying that.  They say their sound is *Actual Quote* Indescribable, but funny enough I find a huge resemblance with the band Armour For Sleep

3.5/5

 

María Mata

 

KATL announce album launch show

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 25th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Kobra And The Lotus – the five-piece group fronted by powerful vocalist Kobra Paige – are set to play Bloodstock Open Air Festival on Sunday August 12th. The band will open the Ronnie James Dio stage, the main stage at the event.

 

KATL – who recently guested with Judas Priest and legendary Yorkshire rockers Saxon at the Hammersmith Apollo in London – will release their self-titled album on August 6th 2012 via Spinefarm Records.

To celebrate this release, the five-piece will play a one-off, headline show at The Borderline in London on August 13th, tickets available here.

 

Produced by Kevin Churko (whose previous credits include both Five Finger Death Punch and Ozzy Osbourne), the 10-track album has an intentionally grand-scale dynamic, revelling in the glories of the genre and making its mark as arena rather than garage rock; precisely delivered music, still heavy with emotion.

Some of the songs do have specific meanings,” states Kobra. “For example, ‘Heaven’s Veins’ is about addiction, and ‘50 Shades Of Evil’ is about greed, about the constant desire for more… but, by and large, the theme is one of hope, of finding a way through dark situations…

 

“I do have broad musical tastes, but by choice I’m a heavy metal fan, and I’m truly excited with the album we’ve just finished. It’s rooted in the great history of the music, the escapism and the larger than life imagery, which is something I’m very comfortable with, but it’s for a new generation too, and it’s delivered 100 per cent from the heart!”

 

Signed to Simmons Records and released internationally via Spinefarm, Canadians KATL already have lead single/video ‘Forever One’ on release, and will have a second single out shortly; titled ‘50 Shades Of Evil’, the song will be accompanied by a brand new video, and follows in the wake of an intense run of European shows that has seen the band making festival appearances in the UK, Spain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, Belgium & Italy, as well as guesting with Black Label Society.

 

UK dates are as follows:-

 

August

 

12th – Ronnie James Dio Stage, Bloodstock Open Air Festival, Derbyshire
13th – Album launch show, The Borderline, London

Knock Out Kaine – House of Sins

Posted in Review with tags , , on 25th June 2012 by izaforestspirit

Knock Out Kaine
House of Sins
Released May 2012
Sleaze Rock / Classic Rock
Released via Dust on The Tracks Records

‘House of Sins’ is the debut album from the Midlands-based, British rock band Knock Out Kaine. The band first caught the attention of the crowds and record labels after winning Kerrang’s ‘Best Unsigned Live Act’ award back in 2008.

So after the circus-themed intro ‘The Welcome’, it’s straight into sleaze rock territory with the title track ‘House of Sins’ which sounds like a bastard child of Guns’N’Roses and Mötley Crüe. ‘Liquor Up’ has this catchy feel to it mostly due to the groovy guitars. Then there’s the Guns’N’Roses style ‘Set the Night on Fire’ where the guitar solos and the catchy chorus ensure that you won’t forget it.

‘Backstreet Romeo’ sounds like one of those songs which people like to practice when learning to play the guitar. It’s catchy enough to make it memorable and the lyrics are easy to follow so I’m guessing the difficulty lies in mastering the guitar riffs as well as these guys. Anyway, back to the music… ‘Coming Home’ is the main ballad on here complete with mix of electric and acoustic guitars along with melodic, classic rock style vocals. Then it’s back to the catchy sleaze rock with ‘Going Down (She Goes)’, ‘Somebody Save Me’ and the somewhat cheesy sounding ‘Time’.

4/5 – Sleaze rock at its finest!

Iza Raittila

SWR Porto Hard 2012 – 2nd day

Posted in Festival, Live on 25th June 2012 by Pieni

Bands: Exodus, Death Angel, Heathen, Suicidal Angels
Location: Hard Club, Porto (PT)
Date: 18th June 2012

The second night was 100% old school thrash metal, in another near-sold-out Hard Club.

Greek SUICIDAL ANGELS set the crowd on fire right away with the title-track of their fourth album “Bloodbath”.

It took the band 8 years (and several line-up changes) to achieve a certain status among the thrash community, with their second album “Sanctify The Darkness”. Yet, they seemed pretty unknown to the majority of the Portuguese audience – although some loud voices sang along Nick Melissourgos. But knowing or not, they all raised their fists in the air and screamed “hey!” when they had to, clearly enjoying the show.

“Bleeding Holocaust” and “Chaos (The Curse Is Burning Inside)” were some of the highest moments, but the peak was reached during the two final tracks – “Moshing Crew”, for which Nick asked for a mosh pit “to the end of the room”, and the “hit-single” “Apokathilosis”, where the same Nick conducted a wall of death.

http://www.suicidalangels.com

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HEATHEN’s name wasn’t on the posters or tickets, but almost everyone knew about them (let’s hear it for the Internet).

Born in the golden age of thrash and in its golden crib (The Bay Area), HEATHEN seemed even less known than SUICIDAL ANGELS – despite EXODUS-Lee Altus being their guitarist and founder member. I guess the 9-year hiatus they engaged between 1992 and 2001, and the other 9 years they took to release a new album (“The Evolution Of Chaos”, 2010) explains the general lack of knowledge of the crowd.

General, not absolute. There was still a few who knew the lyrics to songs like “Open The Grave”, “No Stone Unturned” or “Death By Hanging”. And like with SUICIDAL ANGELS, the audience also quickly surrendered to HEATHEN.

http://www.myspace.com/heathenmetal

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EXODUS were the headliners, but DEATH ANGEL could have been so as well. What a show! A lot of jumping and movement, with natural technicism – Rob Cavestany just wants to play good thrash metal, not prove he’s the best in the neighborhood.

Mark Osegueda went down memory lane, to the first time they’d played in Porto, 3 years before. They didn’t know what to expect, but barely a couple of songs afterwards, they knew they had to come back. With a closed fist over his heart, Mark said it felt good to finally make it.

This year sees the 25th anniversary of their famous debut album “The Ultra-Violence”, and in its celebration, as it’s now common to do, the band’s been playing it in full. Mark even said that this particular night was special, as it was the precise date of the release (although Wikipedia says it was in April…). Whatever the case, that show was special indeed.

Unlike the rest of the dates, they still had time for an encore, which consisted of “Truce” and “Thrown To The Wolves”. Brilliant!

http://site.deathangel.us/

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This was my third EXODUS gig and definitely the one I enjoyed the most. Rob Dukes’ good mood certainly helped, as well as the awesome response of the crowd.

Seems like they drank A LOT on their way there, and that bass player Jack Gibson spent the day throwing up. But there he was (a bit pale, true), willing to play some thrash for us.

They also strolled a bit through the city and apparently Rob liked it very much. And apart from the city view itself, he appreciated the sight of the people, saying the men in this town had the opportunity to “fuck some of the most beautiful women”. Previously, he’d already said to a female fan in the front row that her tits were distracting him, and to the crowd in general, “tits and money, that’s all that matters”.

Jokes apart, we heard all the classics like “Piranha”, “Shroud Of Urine”, “Scar Spangled Banner”, “A Lesson In Violence”… And a surprising “Deranged”, with HEATHEN-Kragen Lum replacing Lee on the guitar.

I believe it was before “Blacklist” (my all-time favourite) that Rob started to tease us with comparisons to Madrid, Spain (if you don’t know it, there’s this old rivalry between the two countries for centuries). He said that at least in Madrid there was always a “motherfucker” who would climb on stage and dive. Well, since the beginning, while I was shooting inside the photopit during the allowed first three songs, several crowdsurfers landed beside me. So I think the only reason they didn’t reach for the stage was the security guy. But when the singer himself says such a thing, there’s not much the security can do anymore. And given Rob’s earlier speech, I think he was quite pleased to see that one of the first stagedivers was a girl.

The encore was ace – “Bonded By Blood”, “Toxic Waltz”, “War Is My Shepherd” and “Strike Of The Beast”. A hilarious moment in the middle of “War Is My Shepherd”, when Tom Hunting, “the best thrash drummer” (according to Rob),started to play SCORPIONS’ “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. The rest of the band tagged along, resuming “War Is…” one minute later or so.

And “Strike Of The Beast” provided the biggest wall of death Hard Club has ever witnessed.

As a fan of Gary Holt, I was saddened that he was still touring with SLAYER, replacing Jeff Hanneman, who hasn’t fully recovered yet from that spider bite last year. But I must admit that Rick Hunolt did a hell of a job with his guitar skills and lively presence.

Rob said we were definitely the best audience. I wouldn’t say THE best, but one of the best, oh yeah!

http://exodusattack.com/

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Renata “Pieni” Lino

The Ordeal – Descent From Hell

Posted in Review on 25th June 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Ordeal
Descent From Hell
Due for release/Released: June 2012
Power Metal / Heavy Metal
Released via Label: Dust on the Tracks Records

‘Descent from Hell’ is the second album from the German heavy metal band The Ordeal. According to a press release the band states 70s metal as a major influence their sound. This particular album features a cover of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Here Comes The Flood’.

As the deceptively slow, symphonic intro to the title track ‘Descent from Hell’ gives in to some squeaky vocals and Halloween/Hammerfall/Edguy (insert stereotypical, power metal band name here) style guitar riffage, you pretty much know what you’re in for. Album cover might be lacking in images of dragons and warriors but it has cheesy, fantasy themed power metal stamped all over it!

Then again that’s not necessarily a bad thing… If you can refrain yourself from laughing at the ridiculously cheesy lyrics, just try to picture yourself watching this live at a summer metal festival after the appropriate amount of beverages. Only then will you start head-banging to ‘Dance With The Devil’ and ‘Sinner’s Addiction’ or waving a lighter along to the ballad ‘Dragon Tears’. The cover of ‘Here Comes The Floor’ fits well with the other ballads on here thanks to the melodic guitars and the classic rock style vocals. The 70s metal influence can be heard in the progressive rock elements on tracks such as ‘Letter of Time’ and in the slower parts of ‘Hellsgate’.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Scarlet Anger – Dark Reign

Posted in Review on 25th June 2012 by izaforestspirit

Scarlet Anger
Dark Reign
Due for release/Released: May 2012
Thrash Metal
Released via Label: Dust on The Tracks Records

‘Dark Reign’ is the debut album from the Luxembourg-based thrash metal band Scarlet Anger. The album was mastered by Jeff Waters of Annihilator. The first part of the album named ‘Chapter II: Kill The King’ features tracks from last year’s self-released EP ‘Kill The King’.

The opening track ‘New God Rising’ has old school trash metal written all over it with powerful thrash metal guitar riffs and solos along with the standard thrash metal vocals. Comparisons to Kreator and Sodom spring to mind. ‘From Fool to King’ has a hint of old Slayer in it mostly due to the shouting style vocals. ‘Game Over’ may not have the most imaginative lyrics but the skillfully executed guitar riffs and drumming easily makes up for it. With ‘Face of Evil’ we get some guitar solos, and what’s possibly the catchiest chorus on the album.

And so we come to the second chapter aptly labeled ‘Chapter II…The King Is Dead, Long Live The King’; starting with the title track ‘Dark Reign’ which features more powerful riffs mixed in with some melodic parts and semi-growly vocals. Then it’s time to hit the mosh-pit with the guitar-centered, head-banger’s favorite ‘Follow The Order’. Other noteworthy parts include the guitar solo in ‘Tenfold’ which reminds me of Destruction and melodic ballad elements on ‘My Empire Coming Down’.

4/5

Iza Raittila

SWR Porto Hard 2012 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live on 24th June 2012 by Pieni

Bands: Hunted Scriptum, Cannibal Corpse, Grog
Location: Hard Club, Porto (PT)
Date: 17th June 2012

SWR Inc. is probably the most renowned underground promoter in Portugal. SWR stands for Steel Warriors Rebellion, which was the fest it all started with, 15 years ago.

Last year they began another kind of fest, indoors, held at Hard Club, in Porto – hence the name SWR Porto Hard. This report is about the second edition of that fest, which brought together some of the most classic names in the death and thrash metal scene.

The first of the two nights happened when Portugal was facing Holland on the soccer field, trying to get to the next stage of Euro 2012. In order to allow the metalheads to enjoy both events, Hard Club’s restaurant would play the football match on a big screen, and the concert would begin at the end of the game.

First band on the bill was GROG, a grindcore band from Oeiras (Lisbon) who’s been around for quite a while (21 years). Many people were still celebrating Portugal’s victory and the first couple of songs were performed to a somewhat weak-in-numbers crowd. But slowly those numbers grew, as well as the enthusiasm, putting the band at its usual ease. The performance itself was technically perfect from the beginning, don’t get me wrong. It was the speech of singer Pedro Pedra which became more informal and familiar as the audience got more receptive as well.

GROG’s debut album saw the light of day in 1996, entitled “Macabre Requiems”. So much has passed ever since, and they only had half an hour to play, that the best option was a medley. “Cult Of Blood” and “Raped By A Virgin” were some of the highest moments taken from the second album, “Odes To The Carnivorous”, while “Anal Core”, “Acephalus Meatgrind Orgy Hibernation” and “Hanged By The Cojones” represented the third and most recent work, “Scooping The Cranial Insides”.

www.myspace.com/grogpt

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In order to get the “prime-time”, CANNIBAL CORPSE switched places with HUNTED SCRIPTUM and climbed on stage next. Promoting “Torture”, they picked its first three tracks to start the concert with. Then, in a less death metal moment, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher said “we love you guys” to an almost sold-out venue, resuming the brutality with “Disfigured”.

Rob Barrett and Patrick O’Brien apparently needed tuning their guitars constantly, resulting in long breaks between songs – which, in my personal opinion, killed the mood a bit. Corpsegrinder would then address the audience, but they wanted movement, not words. So as soon as the music restarted, the mosh pits and the headbanging would double in intensity, and everyone seemed to forget the waiting time.

For one hour and a half, the death metal masters went through their whole discography, playing all of them freely – it seems that in Australia and Germany, for instance, they’re forbidden to play songs like “I Cum Blood” and “Born In A Casket”, two oldies that we rejoiced that night.

Corpsegrinder asked for the biggest mosh pit on “Hammer Smashed Face”, some song that I couldn’t understand which was dedicated to the ladies, and “Stripped, Raped And Strangled” closed with a golden key.

http://cannibalcorpse.net

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It’s not easy for an underground death metal band to play after such a legend as CANNIBAL CORPSE, but HUNTED SCRIPTUM did very well. And even though many people left, there was still quite a number of endurers.

Drummer and guitarists (bass included) got on stage in surgery clothes (an IV bag hang from Sérgio’s mic stand), while singer José wore some kind of straightjacket – “some kind of” as he still was free enough to handle the mic.

I’m not sure about the songs they played, but whatever the titles, their performance was great, both on technical and visual levels. It was really a shame the timetable shift, not allowing them to take full advantage of sharing the stage with CANNIBAL CORPSE. But HUNTED SCRIPTUM have been growing a lot since the first time I’ve seen them, some five years ago, so I believe there will be plenty of opportunities more.

http://www.myspace.com/huntedscriptum

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Renata “Pieni” Lino

Sarah Jezebel Deva–Malediction

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 24th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sarah Jezebel Deva
Malediction
Released 28th May 2012
Symphonic Metal
Released via Listenable Records

virselis

Sarah Jezebel Deva is becoming somewhat of a household name in the darker netherworld of the symphonic metal scene and yet still somehow stays unknown at the same time, through no fault of her own. Malediction is the latest release in Sarah’s extensive discography and made its live debut during SJD’s UK tour back in May.

This Is My Curse is the starting point of the EP and what a way to start. The track unleashes some violent, extreme metal orientated riffs, along side some poetically performed symphonic sections. The drums adapt well to the ever changing sound of the song. The guest vocals, provided by Dani Filth, add a very grim and tragic sound to the track and it’s somewhat nostalgic to hear Sarah and Filth performing, vocally, together again – However, it’s Sarah’s vocals that really shine out the most.

The second track, Lies Define Us, which features Bjorn Strid (Soilwork) begins with a piano dominated section which works well with the guitars, before going into a vocal and piano section that really demonstrates the strength of Sarah’s vocals. Bjorn, surprisingly, works well, vocally, with Sarah. The guitars and drums feel more laid back throughout the song before still scream with some subtle extreme elements. The more obvious symphonic elements add a depth of character to the song, adding emphasis on both sets of vocals as well The final part of the EP, When ‘It’ Catches Up With You, seems to combine the best elements of the previous two tracks, excluding the guest vocalists. The symphonic references and extreme metal based riffs are ripe throughout the track, evolving the song into a masterpiece of powerful vocals and hypnotic music.

The sound that Sarah and her band create develops and evolves with each new release and Malediction is no different. I just wish it was a longer release, but nevertheless, Sarah Jezebel Deva has released yet another first class release.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Rob Zombie Favourites Remixed And Set For Release

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 22nd June 2012 by Nico Davidson

On  August 6, 2012, Universal Music will release Rob Zombie’s Mondo Sex Head, featuring new and unique remixes of Rob Zombie classics by some of today’s top DJs, including KoRn’s Jonathan “JDevil” Davis, Photek, the Bloody Beetroots, Drumcorps and Ki:Theory.  Mondo Sex Head was curated and executive produced by Jason Bentley, Music Director at L.A.’s influential KCRW and Electronic Dance Music expert.

Richard Bishop, co-executive producer of RE:GENERATION music project and documentary film, supervised the project. Each track was hand selected by Rob Zombie who road-tested many of the songs in his car, driving the L.A. streets.

Throughout his career, iconic music artist and auteur filmmaker Rob Zombie has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of music, film and publishing. Zombie, who has sold over fifteen million albums worldwide and has earned seven Grammy® nominations, is no stranger to repurposing his work, cross-fertilizing his fan base and generally pushing the limits of modern-day art. Over the years he has worked with outside DJs, remixers and producers starting with the 1992 remix of White Zombie’s first-ever, MTV-fueled hit, “Thunder Kiss ’65.”

“I like the idea of taking songs and reconfiguring them,” says Zombie about the album, who is taking an alternative approach in the digital retail space.  The album will be preceded by two separate, digital-only EPs, with tracks taken from Mondo Sex Head and exclusive bonus tracks.

Rob Zombie’s sound and style have always lent themselves to the dance and DJ culture, and he has previously released two remix albums—including 1996’s Supersexy Swingin Sounds, which featured songs from White Zombie’s previous albums as re-envisioned by the Dust Brothers, John Fryer, P.M. Dawn, Mike “Hitman” Wilson and Praga Khan, and others. Another collaborator on that album, Charlie Clouser, evolved into the band’s producer.  American Made Music to Strip By came out in 1999, featuring remixes from Zombie’s ground-breaking Hellbilly Deluxe by Rammstein, Oliver Adams, DJ Lethal, Nine Inch Nails’ Chris Vrenna and Clouser.

With dubstep and rock rapidly banging heads together, Universal Music’s Mondo Sex Head couldn’t arrive at a better time, featuring remixes from all corners of dance music by the likes of KoRn’s Jonathan “JDevil” Davis (“Thunder Kiss ‘65”), Photek (“Living Dead Girl”), Document One (“Let It All Bleed Out”), Ki:Theory (“Foxy Foxy” & “Pussy Liquor”), Big Black Delta (“More Human Than Human”),  ††† aka Chino of Deftones (“Dragula”), Das Kapital (“Lords of Salem”), Drumcorps (“Never Gonna Stop”), former Glitch Mob member Kraddy (“Superbeast”) and the Bloody Beetroots (“Burn”), among others.

Zombie credits the idea for the album to a conversation with his manager, Andy Gould, who told him he was constantly hearing DJs incorporate samples of Zombie’s music into their performance sets.
Rob Zombie’s Mondo Sex Head finds its creator returning to claim his legacy in the burgeoning world of electronic dance music. By bringing together music and film, rock and dance, arena mosh pits and club dance floors, Rob Zombie is proving a cultural phenomenon, with a fan base that is constantly growing.

TRACK LISTING:
1. White Zombie – Thunder Kiss ‘65 (JDevil Number Of The Beast Remix)
2. Living Dead Girl (Photek Remix)
3. Let It All Bleed Out (Document One Remix)
4. Foxy Foxy  – (Ki:Theory Remix)
5. White Zombie – More Human Than Human (Big Black Delta Remix)
6. Dragula (††† Remix)
7. Pussy Liquor  (Ki:Theory Remix)
8. Lords of Salem (Das Kaptial)
9. Never Gonna Stop (Drumcorps Acid Remix)
10. Superbeast (Kraddy Remix)
11. Devil’s Hole Girls (Tobias Enhus Remix ft The Jane Cornish String Quartet)
12. Burn (The Bloody Beetroots Motherfucker Remix)
13. Mars Needs Women (Griffin Boice Remix)

Evile announce free charity gig in London

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 22nd June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Evile have announced a one-off London show on July 3rd to celebrate the recent release of the ‘In Memoriam’ single. Joining Evile at the Old Blue Last, Shoreditch will be label mates Savage Messiah.

The show on July 3rd will be free entry, with donations being taken for the British Lung Foundation.

Guitarist Ol Drake comments: “With the release of the “In Memoriam” video & single, we’re pleased to announce a FREE show for you all at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, London to celebrate it’s release. It’s no secret why the song exists, and who it’s for, so as well as the show being free entry we’ll also be taking optional donations on the door for the British Lung Foundation in memory of Mike Alexander, so give as much as you can to support them in their tireless efforts. Come one, come all! I guarantee it will be a great night! see you all there!”

See EVILE on tour at the following shows:

Jul. 3 – London, UK – Old Blue Last
Jul. 20 – Luarca, Spain – Luarca Metal Fest
Aug. 12 – Walton-On-Trent, UK – Bloodstock Open Air Festival
Aug. 24 – Wörrstadt, Germany – Neuborn Open Air Festival

Oct. 18 – Glasgow, UK – O2 ABC 2
Oct. 19 – Manchester, UK – Academy 3
Oct. 20 – Belfast, UK – The Limelight
Oct. 21 – Dublin, Ireland – The Pint
Oct. 23 – Newcastle, UK – Academy 2
Oct. 24 – Sheffield, UK – Corporation
Oct. 25 – Birmingham, UK – Academy 3
Oct. 26 – Oxford, UK – O2 Academy 2
Oct. 27 – Norwich, UK – Open
Oct. 28 – London, UK – Garage
Nov. 03 – Holmfirth, UK – Picturedrome

SJD set to tour Europe with Tristania

Posted in News with tags , on 21st June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Former Cradle of Filth backing vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva is set to tour Europe with Tristania in September. The tour is presented by Zillo Magazine and dates are as followed:

14th Sep, Holland, Bibelot, Dordrecht.
15th Sep, Belgium, Onair Studio, Mons.
16th Sep, Holland, Boerderij, Zoetermeer.
17th Sep, England, The Underworld, London.
18th Sep, France, Glaz art, Paris.
20th Sep, Spain , Tunk, Irun.
21st Sep, Spain , Carasol, Madrid.
22th Sep, Spain , Mephisto, Barcelona
23th Sep, France, Poste a Galane, Marseille.
25th Sep, Germany, Bastard club, Osnabruck
26th Sep, Germany, K17, Berlin.
27th Sep, Switzerland, Z7, Pratteln.
28th Sep, Germany, Nachtleben, Frankfurt.
29th Sep, Germany, Turock, Essen.

Metsatöll – Ulg

Posted in Review on 21st June 2012 by izaforestspirit

Metsatöll
Ulg
Released: November 2011
Folk Metal
Released via Spinefarm Records

‘Ulg’ is the fifth album from the Estonian folk metallers Metsatöll. It is the follow-up to the 2010 album ‘Äio’ and the album title translates into English as ‘The Howl’. This is quite fitting, seeing as the name Metsatöll is allegedly an ancient Estonian term for wolf.

Don’t let the acoustic style of opening instrumental track ‘Agu’ fool you into thinking that the rest of the album is going to sound like this. ‘Sõjasüda’ is the first real metal track on here. As with all Metsatöll tracks, it features the band’s signature blend of drums and metal guitars along with traditional Estonian instruments such as the torupill (Estonian bag-pipe), ängipill and the mouth harp.

Then there’s the ultra catchy hunting anthem ‘Küü’, where the singing and the infectiously hypnotic flute and bag-pipe noises ensure that you won’t be able to forget this song anytime soon. I know this, because the chorus has been stuck in my head for the past few weeks! The happy folk metal tunes continue with ‘Muhu õud’ which reminds me a little of Skyforger and ‘Kivine maa’ which features some interesting chanting in the chorus.

The album also features a handful of slower, ballad tracks such as the acoustic ‘Eha’ which has this soothing, tranquil feel to it. Other noteworthy songs include the flute-infused ‘Tormilind’ and the somewhat more metal sounding title track ‘Ulg’.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Hawthorne Heights – Hope

Posted in Review with tags , , on 20th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Hawthorne Heights
Hope
Released 5th June 2012
Post-Hardcore/Alt. Rock
Released via Carboard Empire

Hawthorne Heights are a band I’m familiar with, only in name. Hope, released via the band’s own label Cardboard Empire, is the band’s seventh studio release.

There Was A Kid (Part 2) is the intro track of the EP, being composed of mystifying keyboards and a very odd sounding guitar riff. The vocals are composed of what sounds to be poetry recited, followed by a more solid vocal melody. New Winter brings about a good use of clean vocals and a slight use of screams, which help to add a small post-hardcore sound to the alt. rock styling of the guitars and drums. Running In Place (NIKI AM) begins sounding like a decent post-hardcore anthem but it’s the vocals that take the emphasis away rom the raging aggression of the music, making it more alt. rock, a sound that isn’t helped by some of the riffs later on in the song.

The beginning riff of Stranded rings out a similar sound to those found in Sweet Dreams, the vocals help add to that for a short while before the song takes on a more alternative form in the vocal workings. Nowhere Fast is reasonably well composed and performed track but it’s a little too laid back or my tastes, though it does add a new dynamic sound to the EP. The title track, Hope, begins with a noticeable bass riff and pop punk sounding vocals. The guitars also take up a pop punk sound, a bit surprising, but enjoyable enough.

The vocal melodies and guitar riffs of Vandemonium are catchier than the common cold. The use of screams in some sections of the song are a welcome change to the sound of the album, when compared to some of the previous tracks. Chemicals is the ending track and I can’t help but feel it sounds like a Paramore track only with male vocals as opposed to female vocals. Either way, the track contains some solid drum work and enjoyable riffs.

I’ll be honest, Hawthorne Heights really aren’t my cup of tea but I see why they’ve got to where they are today, musically speaking, after listening to this EP. It has some pretty cool tracks and it’s definitely worth a listen, whether you like the band or not.

3.8/5

Nico Davidson

Lostprophets–Weapons

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 20th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Lostprophets
Weapons
Released 2nd April
Alt. Rock
Released via Epic Records (UK)/Fearless Records (US)

Lostprophets have been one of the most successful alt. rock bands in the British music scene in the last decade, which has seen them receive several Kerrang awards and nominations and have two singles reach the top ten in the UK charts. Weapons, released earlier this year, is the fifth studio album from the Welsh alt. rockers.

Bring ‘Em Down begins in true Lostprophets fashion with a catchy riff and vocals that hook the listener’s ears almost instantly. The riffs prove to be hypnotic, blending several different alternative sounds together. The breakdown spins in a new, almost nu-metallic sound for the track, keeping it exciting. We Bring An Arsenal rings out previous stylings of previous Lostprophets releases with fresher influences and sounds. The chorus is very poignant, becoming one of the more memorable additions of the album. The keyboard opening of Another Shot is eerie yet enchanting, while the guitar sections and drum patterns belt out the typical LP sound that has made the band so famous (or infamous, depending how you look at it).

I’m a bit skeptical when it comes to songs that have “Jesus” in their title but Jesus Walks is a pretty cool track that radiates a very relaxed atmosphere through the guitars while the keyboards add a very lively sound to the song. A Song For Where I’m From takes a turn in the album, adding a different but enjoyable sound. The lyrics are still typically those you’d expect to find on any LP record. A Little Reminder That I’ll Never Forget is another track with a unique sound, especially in terms of the vocal work. The guitars add a new, fresh sound which displays the developing sound of the band.

The album is given an extra notch of heaviness and unique vocal melodies in the form Better Off Dead, a track that sounds like an old Papa Roach song mixed in with the fresher sound of Lostprophets. The bass and drum work really shines in this part of the album as well. Everything melds together brilliantly during Heart On Loan, bringing about some catchy keyboard sections and staunch bass work as well. The acoustic passages of Somedays blends perfectly with the soothing vocals and the keyboards add a subtle gentleness to the song.

Can’t Get Enough is the lengthy grand finale of Weapons. I’m not sure if majestic is the right word to describe this track as it contains some truly epic riffs and technical drum work, topped off with a beautiful use of vocals and even a sagaic use of keyboards. The track seems to embody everything musical about Lostprophets and then some. If I had to choose a favourite track from this album, Can’t Get Enough would be my first choice.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never truly been satisfied by any previous releases from Lostprophets, aside from the singles such as A Town Called Hypocrisy, Burn Burn and Rooftops, but after listening to Weapons, I think I might have found an album by the Welsh rockers that really has more than satisfied.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Cerebral Bore confirm Euro tour with Dying Fetus

Posted in News with tags , , , on 19th June 2012 by Nico Davidson

Scottish death metallers Cerebral Bore have confirmed a European tour with US death metal giants Dying Fetus.

The ‘Womb to Waste Tour‘ also features Job For A Cowboy and Revocation, and is due to kick off on September 14th in Lindau, Germany, immediately after Cerebral Bore wrap up an Eastern European tour with Viscera Trail and Flayed Disciple.

See Cerebral Bore on the Womb to Waste Tour at the following shows:

Sep. 14 – Lindau, Germany – Club Vaudeville
Sep. 15 – Geneva, Switzerland – L’Usine
Sep. 16 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
Sep. 17 – Norwich, UK – Waterfront
Sep. 18 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy 2
Sep. 19 – Reading, UK – Sub89
Sep. 20 – Manchester, UK – Club Academy
Sep. 21 – Glasgow, UK – Cathouse
Sep. 22 – Dublin, Ireland – The Pint
Sep. 23 – London, UK – The Underworld
Sep. 24 – Paris, France – Divan du Monde
Sep. 25 – Nijmegen, Netherlands – Doornroosje
Sep. 26 – Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle
Sep. 27 – Malmö, Sweden – KB
Sep. 28 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Sticky Fingers
Sep. 29 – Stockholm, Sweden – Klubben
Oct. 01 – Helsinki, Finland – Tavastia
Oct. 03 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
Oct. 04 – Berlin, Germany – C-Club
Oct. 05 – Würzburg, Germany – Hell Inside Festival at Posthalle
Oct. 06 – Jena, Germany – F-Haus
Oct. 07 – Prague, Czech Republic – Hoodoo Club
Oct. 08 – Munich, Germany – Backstage
Oct. 09 – Vienna, Austria – Arena
Oct. 10 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Gala Hala
Oct. 11 – Legnano (Milan), Italy – Land of Live Club
Oct. 12 – Aarau, Switzerland – Kiff
Oct. 13 – Essen, Germany – Turock
Oct. 14 – Aarschot, Belgium – De Klinker

Don’t miss CEREBRAL BORE live on tour at these other shows:

SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR

Jul. 20 – Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues
Jul. 21 – San Diego, CA – SOMA
Jul. 22 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Jul. 23 – Scottsdale, AZ – Venue of Scottsdale
Jul. 25 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Jul. 26 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
Jul. 27 – Mission, TX – Pharr Events Center
Jul. 28 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Jul. 30 – Tampa, FL – The Ritz
Jul. 31 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Aug. 01 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Aug. 02 – Knoxville, TN – The Valarium
Aug. 03 – Charlotte, NC – Amos Southend
Aug. 04 – Baltimore, MD – Sonar
Aug. 05 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero
Aug. 07 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Aug. 08 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Aug. 09 – Albany, NY – Northern Lights
Aug. 10 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Aug. 11 – Montreal, QC – Heavy Montreal
Aug. 12 – Toronto, ON – Heavy Toronto
Aug. 13 – Pittsburgh, PA – Howlers Coyote Cafe *
Aug. 14 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Aug. 15 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s
Aug. 16 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Aug. 17 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Aug. 18 – Louisville, KY – Expo Five
Aug. 19 – Sioux Falls, SD – The Vault *
Aug. 20 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Aug. 21 – Boise, ID – The Venue *
Aug. 22 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox Sodo
Aug. 23 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Aug. 24 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Aug. 25 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove

* CEREBRAL BORE, GOATWHORE and EXHUMED only

EASTERN EUROPEAN OBLITOURATION

Sep. 05 – Szeged, Hungary – Club Noir
Sep. 06 – Bucharest, Romania – Ageless Club
Sep. 07 – Varna, Bulgaria – Bar Grind
Sep. 08 – Istanbul, Turkey – The Mekan Concert Hall
Sep. 09 – Thessaloniki, Greece – 8 Ball Club
Sep. 10 – Belgrade, Serbia – TBC
Sep. 11 – Sarajevo, Bosnia – Cinemas
Sep. 12 – Maribor, Slovenia – Gustaf Hall
Sep. 13 – Prague, Czech Republic – Exit Chmelnice