Archive for July, 2012

Coheed and Cambria announce double concept

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 31st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Modern progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria’s upcoming sixth studio album will be a double concept album entitled “The Afterman”, which will be released in two separate full-length volumes. The band made the announcement today via a cinematic video trailer on their official website.

Watch the trailer here.

The first volume, The Afterman: Ascension will be available on both physical and digital platforms October 8, 2012 via V2 Recordings/Everything Evil andthe second volume, The Afterman: Descension is slated for release in February 2013.

The trailer, a 90-second black and white classic film-noir style short, from director Robert Schober, depicts a cosmonaut preparing to leave his spaceship for a journey into a mysterious unknown; over an instrumental Coheed and Cambria musical bed. Watch the visual now at

The band also confirmed a handful of intimate U.S. club shows leading up to the release of Afterman, with a UK tour in November of this year which follows Coheed and Cambria’s Main Stage performances at Reading and Leeds 2012.

A deluxe version of the Afterman will include a hardcover coffee-table book with expansive art by Heidi Taillefer and Nathan Spoor with collaborative written work from singer/creator Claudio Sanchez and writer Peter David that will create a song by song experience.  David previously worked with Sanchez on the prose novel adaptation of the band’s 2010 album Year of the Black Rainbow and the graphic novel adaptation of their 2003 album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (which reached #4 on the New York Times Bestsellers list for graphic novels earlier this year).” All the band’s titles, including The Afterman, fall into a grand sci-fi story arc called ‘The Amory Wars.”

It was announced previously at this month’s San Diego Comic Con that The Amory Wars has been picked up by Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson of Leverage Productions to be developed into a live-action feature film.

Musically, Afterman sees the band perfecting their powerhouse progressive rock, soul and even pop landscapes. The dual release also marks the return of original drummer Josh Eppard, who the band parted ways with in 2006, bringing with him his benchmark percussive grooves. Coheed and Cambria self-financed andco-produced Afterman, alongside Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner, who produced the band’s first 3 albums, in Woodstock, NY. Aftermanwas mixed by Rich Costey (Muse, The Shins, Foster the People) and Ryan Williams (30 Seconds To Mars).

“This is without a doubt, the most honest record I’ve ever written,” says Sanchez. “Though all the songs can be interpreted through our main character in the story, they were initially written in a very spontaneous manner.” “In the past,” he continues,” I’ve always had a predetermined idea of what the story was going to be when I approached the songs. With ‘The Afterman’ being a new story within the (Amory Wars) arc, I allowed the events of my life to drive the concept, and therefore opened up the songwriting to a fuller degree.”

Coheed and Cambria are currently on the road in North America with Iron Maiden.


24th August – Reading Festival
25th August – Leeds Festival

08th November – London – Koko
09th November – Glasgow – ABC
11th November – Birmingham – Academy
12th November – Manchester – Ritz Ballroom

About The Amory Wars:An epic, sci-fi fantasy set in an alternate universe (Heaven’s Fence) that chronicles the rise of superhuman dictator Wilhelm Ryan, and the one family that could hold the key to liberating the world from his tyrannical reign. The mythology was originally created by Sanchez to serve as inspiration for the band’s albums, but the series expanded to other mediums, including both prose and graphic novels.

About The Afterman:  Sirius Amory, the most celebrated astronomer/scientist in the alternate universe of Heaven’s Fence is ‘‘The Afterman.’  Sirius (pronounced “Sy-ruhss”) is credited with the discovery of the energy force (known as The Keywork) that binds the 78 planets of these worlds together. He embarks on the greatest discovery of his existence, and possibly mankind’s.  By doing so, what is truly most important to him begins to slip right through his hands.

ASTORVOLTAIRES Signs With Rain Without End Records

Posted in News with tags on 31st July 2012 by izaforestspirit

An official statement from Rain Without End Records:

We are extremely excited to welcome ASTORVOLTAIRES to the Rain Without End Records family. ASTORVOLTAIRES is the brilliant solo project of J.Escobar.C (ex-Mar de Grises) which was born in Santiago, Chile in 2008. The music is primarily melodic Doom Metal, mainly focusing on slow melancholic sounds and minimalistic resources. RWE Records will release the new album “BlackTombsForDeadSongs” on Dec 6, 2012.

ASTORVOLTAIRES’s debut album “Katan Nagantü” was released on Endless Winter in October 2010. The album features Spanish lyrics but title is Mapudungu (an isolated language spoken in south-central Chile) and the literal meaning is “through the afternoon” with the implicit meaning being slightly different – It`s the story that carries life itself, a race that everyone runs, past, present and future. It is through life experiences, sorrows, joys, love and hate.

Full details for “BlackTombsForDeadSongs” including artwork and track listing will be available in the near future as the album artwork is currently being finished at this time.


MySpace (

Seven Deadly – The Allegiance EP

Posted in Review with tags , , on 31st July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Seven Deadly
The Allegiance EP
Released: May 2012
Thrash Metal

‘The Allegiance’ is the debut EP from the British thrash metal band Seven Deadly. The band consists of former members of Panic Cell and Denounce.

The title track ‘Allegiance’ sets the tone for some good thrash metal complete with fast and furious guitar riffs. Ok, so the vocals are not exactly the greatest, shifting from clean to a more nu-metal/At The Gates, but they seem to suit the overall feel of music. Similar things apply to to ‘End Of All’. Notable exceptions included ‘Blood on your hands’ and ‘From This Darkness’, both of which offer a more melodic touch to the guitars as well as emphasizing the clean vocals.

Overall not a bad effort though the vocals could do with some refining.


Iza Raittila

Ensiferum – Unsung Heroes

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 31st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Unsung Heroes
Released: 27th August 2012
Heroic Metal/Folk Metal
Released via Spinefarm Records

Ensiferum are one of the most renowned metal bands to hail from Finland. Unsung Heroes, the fifth album from the Finnish metallers and produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, is described as a “cinematic experience”. Since their first album, the band’s musical ambition and vision has gone strength to strength with each new release.

Symbols is the first track of the album, setting the mood with a delicate orchestrated piece. The track is one of those that sends a chill down the spine, containing a subtle majestic feel that calls forth an epic atmosphere without dulling the mood that is created. As the track comes to its end, In My Sword I Trust begins, which screams out with a typical Ensiferum sound. The riffs are heroically played, swaying back and forth alongside the drums and keyboards, making for a sagaic sound while the vocals gallantly join the fray. The lyrics paint quite the mythic image that adds emphasis to the music.

Unsung Heroes, the title track, summons forth a fearless new sound blending soothing keyboards with the howling vocals and guitars. The slower pace of the song builds up the Hollywood-like sound, blending with the unflinching sound of the guitars and vocals. Burning Leaves, a song I’m sure a lot of Ensiferum fans are no accustomed with, begins with a folky section before the heavier sections kick into action like axe-wielding warriors at the beginning of a battle. The folkier sounds of the song dance gracefully and handsomely with the other elements of the track. The vocals sound almost romantically performed, keeping true to the traditional Ensiferum sound.

The poetically titled Celestial Bond begins with an alluring use of vocals that takes me back to when I first heard the final track of Iron. The music is almost fairy tale-like in its performance, painting an enchanting aura. Retribution Shall Be Mine shakes up the album a bit, screeching forth with fast paced drumming and manic guitar playing. The vocals are beyond bloodthirsty, screaming like a berserker seeking a worthy opponent. Retribution Shall Be Mine is definitely one of those songs that would make for a great mosh pit anthem.

Star Queen, which is part two of Celestial Bond, follows in the same soothing vein of Celestial Bond, even during in the heavier sections. The keyboards weave through the song majestically and seductively, creating the grandiose sound that any Ensiferum fan is accustomed to. Pohjola switches between sounds rather interestingly, combining through its entirety a use of dark sounds and dramatic choirs along with the abounding epic riffs and a use of spoken word in what I believe to be Finnish. The breezeless soundings of Last Breath follow soon after, bringing with it a gloomy yet heroic mood. The careful balance of vocals and acoustic guitars with the subtle orchestration creates a typically folky-yet-Ensiferum sound.

And so the saga that is Unsung Heroes comes to its final chapter; the 16 plus minute epic Passion Proof Power. The cawing of ravens and various other sounds of nature ring out at the beginning before the song marches into a horde of heavy guitars and pounding drums, with the cinematic orchestration that gently weaves its way into the song. As the track progresses, the vocals are introduced, strengthening the song. The keyboards offer up nibbles of folk elements as well, giving Passion Proof Power that true Ensiferum sound. The track displays a use of darker sounds and awe-inspiring female vocals, that are – and I hate to say it – almost gothic.

The use of harsher us of vocals make Passion Proof Power sound more callous and barbaric and the keyboard solo brings about a very power metal feel. Other elements from previous tracks make an appearance as well including the spoken word. The second half of the track contains the heavily thespian side of Ensiferum’s music, especially with the combined use of harsher and female vocals and a very august sound ringing from the guitars. However, fortunately for those who can’t stand too much of a dramatic sound in their metal, the other half also displays the raw powerful sound of Ensiferum’s music as well.

When a band tries to balance a cinematic experience with a powerful metal sound, they usually fail as a rule. Ensiferum, on the other other hand, have managed to perfectly balance the two together and still throw in some extra elements for good measure. Unsung Heroes really does show how far the band’s sound has come and developed over the years and is a clear indicator that Ensiferum are at the top of their game.


Nico Davidson

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 29th July 2012 by Pieni

Phantom Antichrist
Released: 1st June 2012
Thrash Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast


Even though “Mars Mantra” may strike you as a classic heavy metal introductory track, believe me – this album is thrash metal all over.

Not pure thrash metal, as Kreator have realized long ago that a bit of technique and a handful of melody don’t make your sound less aggressive or less powerful. So you find elaborated guitar pieces with the destructive force of thrash but, simultaneously, the pleasant chords of melodic death metal. The band’s been trying this formula for about 4 albums now, but I dare to say this is the best outcome so far.

The title-track and “Death To The World” are the most straight-forward thrash metal tracks, while “United In Hate” follows that path after an acoustic guitar leaves you wondering for about 40 seconds.

“Civilization Collapse” has its massive moments, but the groundwork is clearly drawn from NWOBHM. The same with “From Flood Into Fire”, but the latter in a more melodic way.

Also “Your Heaven, My Hell” starts off slower than usual, Speesy giving an ominous tone with his bass, Mille Petrozza using his clean voice, before the music explodes along with a scream, Kreator-style.

And “The Few, The Proud, The Broken” has some… “different” tempo variations, as the ones we can find in those experimental bands, so popular nowadays.

So Kreator are trying to keep up with times. And if that didn’t work out very well for them in the nineties, I think now they’re making it. “Phantom Antichrist” is their 13th studio album – indeed a lucky number.


Renata “Pieni” Lino

Versus The World–Drink. Sing. Live. Love.

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Versus The World
Drink. Sing. Live. Love.
Released: 31st July 2012
Alt. Rock
Released via Viking Funeral Records

Versus The World rung a bell the second I received their new album Drink. Sing. Live. Love. however at first I wasn’t sure where I had heard the name (aside from the Amon Amarth album of the same name) but it wasn’t until recently I realised I’d first discovered these Santa Barbara rockers through one of the WWE games that one of their songs were featured on.

The album is taken on a wild ride at the beginning of She Sang The Blues. While the riffs display a furious raw sound which I’m somewhat familiar with, the vocals are more tame compared to the music. Mason Grace changes completely from the previous track, becoming more of a heavy pop punk track that does match the vocals very well but can be a bit of a come down for anyone expecting driving force of angry riffs.

A Fond Farewell is another pop punk based track where the riffs, again, work well with the vocals, emphasising their unique sound. Following the short dialogue at the beginning, The Kids Are Fucked offers up a lovely serving of aggressive, in your face and melodic guitar playing and violent drum work. The vocals have a callous touch to them as well, adding emphasis to the song. Fortunately Lullaby allows the fierce guitar stylings to continue for a short while before coming more tame and laid back.

These Bones sounds very much like a Paramore track but with male vocals instead, which can be somewhat entertaining. A Love Song For Amsterdam keeps the pop punk sound flowing from the last track, minus the Paramore sound. The following track Crooks & Liars takes on a different sound to everything else on the album, featuring more emphasis on the bass, which rings out powerfully like church bells in the morning. Oh Brother Where Art Thou doesn’t particularly stand out though some of the riffs are well composed and played.

The next two tracks, In The Fear Of The Finale and Donner Pass, travel down the same road, musically, displaying angsty riffs and callous drum work. Angry February is a very sombre affair, mixing a range of different, solemn emotions together in the form of staunch vocals and slow guitars and rhythm. We Were Alive finishes the album in a melodic, pop punk fashion.

Drink. Sing. Live. Love. is a hard one to judge due to its diverse sound though this might cause it to not be everyone’s cuppa tea. However, the album is enjoyable though there are some parts that need polishing.


Nico Davidson

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist returns

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 27th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Former Blaze Bayley guitarist, Jay Walsh, returns with new UK based thrash metal outfit Bull Riff Stampede (featuring British and Italian band members who’ve shared stages with Anthrax, Sabaton, Amon Amarth, Sikth etc).

Bull Riff Stampede’s debut album ‘Scatter The Ground’ is out now.

Bull Riff Stampede are turning heads; having already been billed with Sepultura, Evile and playing the UK’s prestigious Download Festival.


Merthyr Rock Festival full line-up announced

Posted in News on 26th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet


Merthyr Rock are proud to announce the full line for one of the last alternative festivals of the Summer.


Independently run and with a huge community focus, the festival is situated in the beautiful historic Cyfarthfa Park, a public, Grade II space in the heart of Merthyr.  This boutique festival brings a mix of indie and rock bands, both home-grown talent and further afield.


Friday 31st August:
Main Stage:

Second Stage:
Dirty Goods
The People the Poet
The Lash
The Undivided

Saturday 1st September
Main Stage:

Second Stage – Lostprophets takeover:
Pulled Apart by Horses
Save Your Breath
Neil Starr & Gavin Butler
Black And Reds
Astroid Boys
The Dead Formats

Sunday 2nd September

Main Stage:


Second Stage – The Blackout Takeover
Page 44
Buried in Alaska

More news coming soon including Jagermeister trucks, and Skate & BMX half-pipe action!

Merthyr Rock is the UKs best new 3 day alt/rock festival in the heart of Wales. The festival will run from Friday 31st August- Sunday 2nd September 2012.

Advance Weekend tickets are £65
Advance Day Tickets are priced at Friday £20 – Sat & Sun £25
Camping is £15 per person, for 3 nights (Fri, Sat, Sun)

Bus Home to Cardiff: £7 and £5 (U16): Coming to Merthyr Rock and want to leave the car behind? The Merthyr Rock Express Bus allows you to come to Merthyr by train and then get home by late night buses. The buses leave the Festival Site at 11.30pm and will call at the following stations en route to Cardiff: Abercynon, Pontypridd, Cardiff Central.

Merthyr Rock is a 14+ years only event and under 16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

External ticket stockists: Ticketline UK and See Tickets or call the Box Office on 01497 822 629



Merthyrock Battle Of The Bands- entry to this has now closed.  The final heats will take place at the below locations. Prizes this year will include, once again, slots on the bill at Merthyr Rock, a Dean guitar, a shedload of CLIC goodies and much, much more.

Soar Chapel, Merthyr Tydfil – Friday 3 August
Bogiez, Cardiff – Thursday 9 August
Sin City, Swansea – Friday 10 August
Hobo’s, Bridgend – Saturday 11 August
Galeri, Caernarfon – TBC

The final will take place at Ebbw Vale Institute on Friday 17 August.

Electric River announce EP title and unveail artwork

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Electric River have finished recording their new 5 track “IN YOUR NAME” E.P.

Mixed by Peter Miles (King Blues/We Are The Ocean) it contains the following tracks:

1.   Happy
2.   Hold Your Nerve
3.   In Your Name
4.   Still
5.   5 Hold Your Nerve (Accoustic)

It will be released on England Street Records on September 10, 2012 through Cadiz Music Distribution, 2012 followed by a full UK tour

Electric River have been confirmed for this years BT London Live festival in Hyde Park, London which takes place between July 28 – August 11, 2012.

Electric River will play two sets on Friday August 3, 2012. These will be at 4.30pm & 8.40pm on the bandstand stage. For more details, click here.

Prior to this Electric River will return once again to the sunny shores of Teignmouth, Devon (Muse’s home town) to headline the Teignmouth Music Festival on Saturday July 28, 2012.

Electric River who feature Chris Aldis – Guitar, Alex Mayland – Drums, Sponge – Bass & Vocals and Will Whisson – Guitar & Vocals have previously toured with the likes of Against Me, Sonic Boom Six and Sharks and are influenced by the likes of the Clash and Bruce Springsteen.

Catch Electric River live at:

July 2012

28th            TEIGNMOUTH – Teignmouth Music Festival @ The Den

August 2012

3rd            LONDON – BT London Live @ Hyde Park
4th            BADDLESMERE – Frolic Festival @ The Red Lion
5th            LONDON – Penisula Festival, Area 12, Greenwich
6th            LONDON – 12 Bar with The Downtown Struts
26th            CUXTON – Rock Fest 5 @ White Hart

September 2012

1st            ASHFORD – Beer & Music Festival @ Rugby Club
2nd            FAVERSHAM – Hop Festival @ Alexander Center

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Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by mariadodarmata

Hammers of Misfortune
17th Street
Heavy/Progressive Metal
Released: October, 2011
Released via Metal Blade Records.


You know that incredibly frustrating feeling you get when you hear something you know but you can’t quite tell what it is? After the initial perplexity that was caused because of my mind was being misled by the band’s name towards other genres, I spent a good couple of hours trying to figure out where I had heard that sound before.

I came to the conclusion it sounds like if you had thrown Dio, Helloween, Merciful Fate, Blind Guardian and the musical “REPO! The Genetic Opera” in a blender to then add 70’s Rock sprinkles. I have never been so unsure of under which genre should I classify a band! And to be completely honest, it feels a bit unfair to put under one classification music with such a rich selection of sounds.

Some songs are worthy of standing besides the mighty Power Metal marches while others could be included in Heavy Metal compilations. Some could easily be in one of those romantic rock ballad mix tapes and some others I would have definitely come from one of those modern Rock-Opera musical things. This album’s variety makes it exiting to listen to every time. You pick up on new sounds every time.

This is a band I can see both my 17 year old sister and my 50 year old mother enjoying. Although at first I was a bit confused by the sound of it, after several plays you understand it and the more you listen to it, the more you like it.


María Mata

Stream of Passion join Epica UK tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet


Stream Of Passion will join Epica on seven UK dates in December 2012, as part of their “Requiem for the Indifferent” tour. See them here:

Epica + Stream Of Passion

December 2012

11th NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms

12th SHEFFIELD – Corporation

14th NEWCASTLE – Academy 2

15th GLASGOW – Classic Grand

16th MANCHESTER – Ritz

18th WOLVERHAMPTON – Robin 2

19th LONDON – Electric Ballroom

Damnation sponsored by Peaceville Records

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Peaceville Records is proud to announce that, to coincide with celebrating 25 years of the label’s existence, we will be joining forces with Yorkshire’s own Damnation festival, as sponsoring partners. Damnation Festival, based in Leeds, UK, has brought a high-caliber of extreme metal’s finest & most diverse acts from around the globe to the north of England since launching in 2005.

Representing Peaceville on the night will be local doom heroes and heroine My Dying Bride – themselves a long-standing act on the label over a 20 year period of metallic tyranny – as the band return to the stage in support of their upcoming album due on Peaceville.

Since its inception in 1987, Peaceville Records has brought consistent quality & evolution to the metal universe, from early crust punk releases, to the death metal of Autopsy & At the Gates, through the black metal of Darkthrone, to being a leader of the gothic doom movement with the ‘Peaceville 3’; namely Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride & Anathema – all cementing the label’s legendary reputation as the home of doom. Later years saw numerous internationally renowned acts such as Katatonia & Opeth brought to the fold, & more recently the UK’s own Cradle of Filth.

“Damnation Festival are thrilled to be partnering up with Peaceville Records for the 2012 edition of the festival. It’s a killer label with an amazing history and we wish them a very happy birthday. Damnation fans will benefit from this fantastic partnership in the form of a free CD sampler featuring some of the best Peaceville tracks from the past two and half decades. There will be 2000 samplers on offer, so don’t forget to collect one alongside the complimentary programme courtesy of Terrorizer magazine. Here’s to the next 25!”

Rob Zombie kittens?

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Rob Zombie and kittens are the last two things I’d expect to hear in the same sentence. and when I first heard it I was just like “Whaaa?”.

Anyway, if you head on over to Find The 13 by clicking here, you can be in for a chance of winning a free download of a remix of Pussy Liquor. What’s the catch you ask? Well, the only catch is that you find 13 Zombie Kittens and exchange them in this Rob Zombie-themed online scavenger hunt and then in put your e-mail address.

Not enough to tempt you?

Well, the site also features a ton of Rob Zombie‘s best sounds that you’ll be hearing all year long.

Cruadalach – Agni – Unveil What’s Burning Inside

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Agni – Unveil What’s Burning Inside
Released: February 2011
Folk Metal
Released via Parat Magazine

‘Agni – Unveil What’s Burning Inside’ is the latest EP from the Czech folk metal band Cruadalach. It was released in the same year as the band’s debut ‘Lead – Not Follow’.

Straight from the bag-pipe and war chant -infused intro ‘Agni’, you know you’re in for a folk metal album. The first track ‘Occident Sun’ offers a hybrid of melodic folk tunes and metal akin to the likes of Skyforger and Pagan Reign. This is not your typical (read Korpiklaani-style) beer-drinking party folk metal, though. Instead there’s a touch of melancholy in the songs mostly due to the violin accompanying the other instruments, which creates a sombre feeling that is audible on tracks such as ‘Pramen Epony’ or the ballad ‘Confession’.

Good thing that they have decided to incorporate bag-pipes, whistles and flutes into the music as well – all of which lighten up the mood a little. Take ‘Heavenly Forge’ for instance, it’s the first track on here with which you can picture yourself dancing or stomping your feet to. There’s something very uplifting about the overall style and speed of that particular track that makes it stand out.

3.5/5 – Not a bad effort, but if you’re new to Cruadalach I would recommend checking out their debut album first.

Iza Raittila

Cruadalach signs booking contract with Austrian agency BLACK LIGHT MUSIC

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

The young Czech folk metal band Cruadalach announces signing the new booking contract with the Austrian mailorder/label/agency BLACK LIGHT MUSIC, for a cooperation in western Europe.

Please check their webpage: /

Who are Cruadalach?

Cruadalach plays folk metal with using violin, violoncello, recorders (flutes), shawms and bagpipe, in their original way, blending various styles. Some influences can be seen in “celtic” music, various legends and Czech folk music. Performances are led with very energic frontman – singer and nothing goes from playback, so Cruadalach gets many feedback considering that the band is “damn good live”. Band has eight members.

In less than 3 years of active existence (since autumn 2009), Cruadalach established their position on the metal scene in central Europe. Besides performances in their homeland, band already toured through all neighbouring and other close countries – Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Netherlands….., and played at great events, side by side with many big names in (not only) folk metal (Eluveitie, Arkona, Tyr, Skyforger, Korpiklaani, Equlibrium, Haggard, Moonsorrow, Crimfall, Suidakra), but also with many other great folk metal bands (Percival Schuttenbach, Dalriada, Niburta, Stribog, Avven, Krampus, Panychida, Prarod, Vecordia, Nothgard, Brezno, Northland, Heathen Foray, XIV Dark Centuries, Waylander…).

Please check their webpage:

I.R.I.S – Out Of Fiction

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 23rd July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Out Of Fiction
Released: 6th August 2012
Released via Engineer Records

Forming in 2010, Kent-based rockers IRIS have gone onto support the lines of Feed The Rhino and My Passion, as well as sign to Engineer Records. Summer of this year sees the release of the band’s newest EP Out Of Fiction.

The alt rock wailings of guitars open up the EP with the title track Out Of Fiction. At first the vocals sound pop punk orientated but soon take on their own unique sound, while the backing vocals take the form of screams in a few sections, adding a heavier element to the song but without running it off course. Your Sacrifice is another track with a pop punk sound in the vocals before their unique sound properly kicks in. The guitar call out in a typical alt rock manner, being egged on by the rhythmic drum work.

The Shade begins with an almost hard to describe introduction, that mixes melodic guitar workings with alternative influences and the distinct sound of either a cello or violin before becoming a more laid back track. The original sound of the vocals is carried well by the contrasting guitar sections, as well as the staunch rhythm sections. Long Walk To Sleep has a very heavy rock approach with some new, fresh sounds thrown in for good measure.

Lie For Me carries on the heavier approach on the previous track and just like before, has some newer, different sounds put into the mix. The vocals bring a diverse sound to the table, changing in style here and there, as do the guitar workings of the song. The EP comes to its end rather softly with the acoustic track Thicker Than Water. The acoustic riffs ring out softly but majestically, blending with the vocals, bringing the EP to a fine end.

IRIS have done well for themselves since forming and Out Of Fiction is definitely proof of their hard work. While it’s not something I would normally listen to, I won’t have any problem slapping it in the old CD player and jamming along to it.


Nico Davidson

Dakesis to tour with Axenstar

Posted in News with tags , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Birmingham’s power-prog metallers Dakesis have announce that they’ll be supporting Axenstar on their UK Aftermath Tour.

See tour poster for dates.

King of Asgard – …To North

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

King of Asgard
…To North
Released: 31st July
Viking Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

King of Asgard - North

2008 saw the birth of King of Asgard after Karl Beckman dissolved his then current musical projects. Teaming up with his old Mithotyn accomplice Karsten Larsson, the two decided to go back to their roots musically, as well as take a lyrical approach regarding Norse heritage. 2010 saw the release of their debut full-length album Fi’mbulvintr via Metal Blade Records. Two years on, King of Asgard’s next full-length epic, …To North, awaits release upon the unsuspecting victims of this Viking horde of musical genius.

The generic titled Intro starts the album with a mix of guitars and horns before marching into The Nine Worlds Burn, an event that happens during in Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world. The riffs flow back and forth like the raging waves of the North Sea while the vocals add the vicious assault to the song. The drums are somewhat masterfully played, force marching the song into euphoric yet intimidating song. The female vocals used in the track did take me by surprise, adding a soothing feeling to the song, that contrasts well against the violent use of guitars and drums.

The Dispossessed begins with a callous riff that contains a subtle melody. The drums sound out furiously throughout the song, almost feeling like Mjollnir coming crashing down on one’s head. The vocals, as to be expected for King of Asgard, are boodthirsty, raw and powerful. Gaps of Ginnungs contains a solemn, august sound that even flows through the majestic solo. Some of the vocal sections bring a very folky touch to the song, as well as conjuring up images of mist-covered villages in Scandinavia. The following track, Bound to Reunite, steps away from the solemn sound of the previous track and into something more angry and berserker-like.

Nordvegr is the more melodic track on the album, beginning with a staunch use of melodic riffs before taking a more straight forward assault of hammering drum work and riffs sharper than any blade. Up On The Mountains is another track with a melodic introduction, though it serves as the calm before the raging storm of snarling guitars and bone-crushing drum work. The use of choir-like vocal sections serves to add a sagaic sound to the track, whilst the main vocals create the barbaric sound that is found several times on the album. Plague-Ridden Rebirth carries on the savage use of screaming guitar sections and baneful drumming with the vocals sounding more and more murderous and inhuman with each line.

Harvest (The End) is moderately tranquil but still has its own little bite to keep the listener hooked. The title track, …To North, is the autumn-like ending of the album, being composed of a regal yet sorrowful piano medley that leads into the gloomy, melodic riffs that ring out with emotion.

It would seem that King of Asgard have produced yet another epic in the form of …To North, developing upon their sound from the previous album but staying true to their roots at the same time.


Nico Davidson

OUT NOW! Valdkynd “Erdgesänge” & Agael-Lebensnacht “Apathologie”

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Two new releases now available from Naturmacht Productions. (

Valdkynd “Erdgesänge”

Release Date: July 19, 2012

“Erdgesänge” shows music in a more archaic style – influenced by living with nature and by many different cultures of the earth. It is about a more exotic sounding voice vibrating through an ancient time leavened by myths. Percussion rhythms symbolize the pulse of nature and the earth.

Track Listing:

1. ndooe
2. han
3. hej
4. sijema
5. pangäa
6. ayo
7. aydahej
8. nausema

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Agael / Lebensnacht “Apathologie” Split
(Ambient Black Metal)

Release Date: July 19, 2012

“Apathologie” (engl. Apathology) is an artistic creation of the two bands and is the process of freeing the soul from the prison called common life and start the true life. Lebensnacht and Agael are going two different ways. Lebensnacht sees only death as the final solution to free the soul, to be back close to mother nature and with that live truly. Agael on the other way is doing that with isolation and literally freeing itself from this world and life, to begin a new one. So this split album is about the final target to find true life but each band has its own path how to achieve it.

Track Listing:

1. Offenbarung
2. Vom Nichtsein
3. Remorphose
4. Die Letzte Geburt
5. Geboren
6. Im Käfig
7. Lebensnacht
8. Dem Ende Nah

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WeCameFromWolves – Cope

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Released: September 2012
Released via Engineer Records

WeCameFromWolves are one of many bands lurking in the unspoken-of-Scottish music scene. The band are described as being all about harmonic, melodic soundscapes and euphoric choruses. It was only recently that the band signed to Engineer Records with their debut EP due for release in September.

The melodic opening of Cope, the title track, begins the EP is truly memorable fashion as the riff is one of those that will stay in your head for a long time, for better or for worse. The vocals are typically Biffy Clyro sounding (or maybe I’m just being ignorant because of the strong Scottish accent that rings out from the vocals, yet the accent really does go well with the music). Like the opening riff, the vocal melodies are memorable. Crosses has a different intro to what I was expecting, being composed of sounds I don’t quite recognise mixed in with some rocker-like riffs and other influences giving the song a fresh taste. The vocals sound ever more energetic and lively (and less like Biffy Clyro!). The riffs have a strange, lively jig to them – the kind that gets your foot tapping along to the rhythm.

The middle point of the EP is Blood, which is another track booming with life, hypnotic riffs and enchanting vocals. Tidals strays away from the overall sound of the EP, taking a slower approach to the music but it still contains some amount of energy that prevents the track from becoming too dull and boring. The gloomy sounding intro of For All Our Sins, We’re Golden begins the end of the EP before turning more upbeat but retaining that solemn essence that is carried well by the lyrics.

I’ll be honest, this was the first first I’ve listened to any form of post-rock and I am impressed. WeCameFromWolves are clearly a talented band and they bring their own distinct sound to the table in a world where music is becoming too generic sounding.


Nico Davidson