Archive for July, 2012

The Charm The Fury – The Social Meltdown

Posted in Review with tags , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

The Charm The Fury
The Social Meltdown
Released: 28th May 2012
Metalcore
Self-Released

I’m not well versed in the Dutch music scene, so when The Social Meltdown, the latest EP from female-fronted metalcore outfit The Charm The Fury landed in my e-mails, my curiosity was immediately piqued, which is saying something considering how tired I’ve grown of the “female fronted” tag when it comes to bands. The Charm The Fury formed back in 2010 and have so far, proven to be a driving force in the Dutch music scene. The band are described as bringing a new dimension to the metalcore genre.

The Social Meltdown automatically takes the EP down a fiercely violent and chaotic route, starting with a vicious vocal section and sharp riffs. The music contains a strong, callous essence that resonates from the raw sound of the song. Following such a powerful introduction into the EP, Virtue Of Leadership does well to carry on the face-melting aggression of the post-hardcore-esque riffs and acute yet barbaric drumming that enforces the strength of the vocals.

Family Values begins with a very old school punk sounding vocal piece before morphing into the snarling monster of metalcore-based riffs and raging vocals. The use of cleaner vocals adds a new sound to the EP, one that certainly helps keep the listener’s interest. Dirty South (an expression that us northerners tend to use when describing Southern England) tears through with a beautiful use of destructive guitar workings and barbarically played drums, creating a chaotic yet harmonic sound. Bridges brings the EP to a sudden halt, well, I say a sudden halt but it’s more like face-smashingly-good end, using the kind of riffs and vocals that would really get some bodies dropped in a mosh pit.

As I said at the beginning of this review, the female fronted tag that comes attached to so many bands with female vocalists has really began to bore me rotten, however, The Charm The Fury are certainly something different. I’ll admit that I’m not a metalcore fan but The Social Meltdown is definitely worth a listen and is one of the better metalcore releases of the past few years.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Spires–Lucid Abstractions

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Spires
Lucid Abstrctions
Released: July 2012
Acoustic
Self-Released

Hailing from the rich and diverse metal scene of Manchester, come the progressive metal quarter Spires, a band who have received critical acclaim from radio, printed and online media since their debut release of Spiral Of Ascension, back in 2010. Following their recent tour of Ireland and a busy 2011, where they toured with Incassum and two slots at the UK’s biggest metal festival Bloodstock, Spires have released their highly anticipated acoustic EP.

The grimly titled Under Bloodstained Skies opens the EP under with calm riff and intense set of vocals that add that eerie touch to the lyrics. The title track Lucid Abstractions follows next, in three parts. The track begins rather mystically with almost jazz-like musicianship that leads into the more progressive styling of the band. The main vocals are soothing, whilst the guest vocals, provided by Talena Cuthbert, add a certain warmth to the song.

Perception takes a subtle approach to the music but keeping true to the progressive spirit of the band’s sound. The vocals really stand out yet blend in well at the same time. The cello sections, provided by Jacqueline Wilson, adds a unique touch to the song. The melodic riffs of Inevitability bring a very enchanting aspect to the EP. The final track is none other than Sprial Of Ascension, which does take some getting used to when listening to this version if you’ve already heard the original version on the album of the same name. However, the acoustic version does really capture the essence of the song and project across quite brilliantly, though when I listen to it, I can’t help but epect to start hearing some major extreme metal styled riffs.

Acoustic music isn’t really my thing, save for a few artists, but Spires really have proven to be a band with a diverse and unique style. Each track contains its own unique sound and spirit without betraying the band’s sound.

5/5

Nico Davidson

“Native Blood” now available

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 20th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Native Blood, the new single by Bay Area thrash gods Testament is available now as digital download as well as on limited 7“ vinyl in various colours!

The single exclusively contains the Spanish sung version of the song as a B-Side.

The song comes off the bands highly anticipated new album Dark Roots Of Earth which will is about to be released July 27, 2012 via Nuclear Blast.

For more details and info on how to order, click here.

4th Brisbane show added to The Amity Affliction’s tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 20th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Yet another SOLD OUT date on The Amity Affliction’s Chasing Ghosts Tour! 4th show added to Brisbane!

THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s Chasing Ghosts Tour is set to take Australia by storm this spring. Several shows have already SOLD OUT, with the continued demand from fans prompting the move to add three extra dates. The newest addition to the run is an All Ages event at The Tivoli on Monday 24 September. The show is ON SALE NOW and takes the count to a mammoth four shows in THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s hometown of Brisbane.

The response to the tour announcement is unsurprising. THE AMITY AFFLICTION have cemented a reputation for an unwavering live show, and fans have also been tempted by small glimpses of brand new material from THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s impending studio release, Chasing Ghosts (out Friday 7 September on Roadrunner Records). You can listen to the title track of the album down below, from which both the release and the tour take their name.

Tickets for all shows on THE AMITY AFFLICTION‘s Chasing Ghosts Tour with THE GHOST INSIDE, ARCHITECTS and BURIED IN VERONA are on sale now!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW & SELLING FAST!

Monday 24 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane AA EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Tuesday 25 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane 18+ EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au

Wednesday 26 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane AA SOLD OUT!

Thursday 27 September – The Tivoli, Brisbane 18+ SOLD OUT!

Friday 28 September – Panthers, Newcastle Lic AA

Tickets from Moshtix on 1300 438 849, www.moshtix.com.au or the Venue

Saturday 29 September – Big Top, Sydney Lic AA

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au, Ticketek on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 BIG TOP or www.bigtopsydney.com

Tuesday 2 October – UC Live, Canberra Lic AA

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849, www.ticketek.com.au  or Shop UC

Thursday 4 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne 18+ EXTRA SHOW ADDED! ON SALE NOW!

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 5 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne U18

Tickets from Oztix on 1300 762 545 www.oztix.com.au or Ticketek on 132 849 www.ticketek.com.au

Friday 5 October – Palace Theatre, Melbourne 18+  SOLD OUT!

Saturday 6 October – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide Lic AA

Tickets from Venuetix on (08) 8225 8888 or www.venuetix.com.au

Sunday 7 October – Metropolis, Fremantle 18+

Tickets from www.heatseeker.com.au, 78’s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf

Monday 8 October – Metropolis, Fremantle U18

Tickets from www.heatseeker.com.au, 78’s, Mills, Planet Video or Star Surf

THE AMITY AFFLICTION’S Chasing Ghosts instore September 7 on Roadrunner Records.
THE GHOST INSIDE’s Get What You Give is out now on Epitaph Records
ARCHITECTSDaybreaker is out now on Century Media Records
BURIED IN VERONA’s Notorious is out now on UNFD

Dream On Dreamer announce local support for Hombound Australia tour

Posted in News with tags , , , on 20th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Homeboundphoto_horiz_lores.1

Dream On Dreamer‘s first big headline tour is only 5 weeks away, and now the band has announced local supports to add to the already massive lineup going around the country. As well as local bands on the current shows, Dream On Dreamer has added two Perth dates to the tour and have teamed up with US band, Impending Doom for their Bendigo show at Kangaroo Flat Leisure Centre.
The lineup for all shows includes US band Like Moths To Flames who share the same US label with Dream On Dreamer that is. Rise Records based out of Portland. On all East Coast shows their UNFD label mates, Hand Of Mercy and In Hearts Wake will support, while on the West Coast they have added Still Water Claims, Mandalay Victory and Only Hope.

Full dates and ticket details below. with Brisbane All Ages and Perth All Ages shows fast on their way to selling out.

TICKETS ON SALE

Zodiac, UNFD, Killyourstereo.com present

DREAM ON DREAMER
HOMEBOUND
AUSTRALIA TOUR 2012
With Special Guests LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES (USA)
HAND OF MERCY & IN HEARTS WAKE

THU AUGUST 30 – THE TEMPO HOTEL, BRISBANE (18+)
with AWAKEN I AM

Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
FRI AUGUST 31 – PADDINGTON COMMUNITY HALL, BRISBANE (AA)
with ENDWORLD

Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
SAT SEPTEMBER 1 – THE HI-FI, SYDNEY (LIC/AA)
with SIENNA SKIES & WHERE THE ENEMY SLEEPS

Tickets available from www.thehifi.com.au
SUN SEPTEMBER 2 – OASIS YOUTH CENTRE, WYONG (AA)
with LYCANTHROPE

Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
TUE SEPTEMBER 4 – THE BASEMENT, CANBERRA (18+)
Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
WED SEPTEMBER 5 – KANGAROO FLATS LEISURE CENTRE, BENDIGO (AA)
with IMPENDING DOOM (USA) & PREPARED LIKE A BRIDE

Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
THU SEPTEMBER 6 – THE CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE (18+)
with DELAWAREWOLVES

Tickets available from www.cornerhotel.com
FRI SEPTEMBER 7 – EVS YOUTH CENTRE, MELBOURNE (AA)
with DELAWAREWOLVES
Tickets available from www.dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au
SAT SEPTEMBER 8 – UNI BAR, ADELAIDE (LIC/AA)
with GRAVEYARDS

Tickets available from dreamondreamer.oztix.com.au and moshtix.com.au
SUN SEPTEMBER 9 (Day) – YMCA HQ, PERTH (AA) *NEW SHOW
Doors Open 1pm
with STILL WATER CLAIMS, MANDALAY VICTORY & ONLY HOPE
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au, www.moshtix.com.au and www.heatseeker.com.au
SUN SEPTEMBER 9 (Night) – YMCA HQ, PERTH (18+) *NEW SHOW
Doors Open 1pm
with STILL WATER CLAIMS, MANDALAY VICTORY & ONLY HOPE
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au, www.moshtix.com.au and www.heatseeker.com.au
RSVP ON FACEBOOK:
www.facebook.com/events/483596638324241

Heartbound” debut album out now via UNFD.

Brainwashed – Wrecked

Posted in Review with tags , , on 19th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Brainwashed
Wrecked
Released: January 2011
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

‘Wrecked’ is the debut album from the Polish thrash metal band Brainwashed.

It doesn’t take long before the opening track ‘Bringing Out Of Death’ shows it’s true colors as the latest addition to the current thrash metal revival. You could call this a tribute the old school thrash metal, as this band started its career in 2004, so long after the golden age of thrash metal and the rise of the Big Four. The guitar riffs are pretty much what you would expect to hear from any band of this genre. The vocals remind of old Metallica as do some of the guitar solos on tracks such as ‘I, Leader’.

There’s nothing old school about the title track ‘Wrecked’ however, which owes more to the likes of Municipal Waste than to ’80s thrash metal. Luckily that doesn’t make the solos any worse than those on the previous tracks. In fact there’s something really catchy about the chorus and the riffs fit the overall style of the track. I’m not too keen on the change in vocal style on ‘Beast Within Me’; which is a shame in a way as the music itself isn’t too bad. Similar things apply to ‘Give Me Your Blood’ which, despite the variation of vocal style and overall song structure, retains some consistency when it comes to the guitar solos.

Other noteworthy tracks include: the old school style ‘Voices In My Head’, which features a good guitar solo, and ‘The Battle/Back To War’ which reminds me of the early works by Exodus.

3.5/5 – Overall not bad but somewhat lacking in consistency.

Iza Raittila

Evile ready to play Luarca Metal Festival

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

Evile are gearing up for their appearance at Luarca Metal Fest tomorrow – Friday, July 20th – in Luarca, Spain.

The band are set to perform at 23:10 this Friday night.  The line-up for the two day festival also includes the likes of Mnemic, We Are The Damned, Crisix, Clockwork and more.

Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake comments: “Can’t wait to travel back to sunny Spain to play some metal for some of the craziest metalheads in the world.  We always have great shows in Spain and Basque, so I expect Luarca will be no different.  See you all there!  De Puta Madre!”

Evile are also  set to perform at the UK’s Bloodstock Open Air festival in August, followed by a UK headlining tour in October with Wolf.  The UK tour will finish off with a special hometown show on November 3rd with label mates Savage Messiah.

See Evile on tour at the following shows:

EVILE
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

EVILE w/ WOLF
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
Oct. 29 – Southampton, UK – The Cellar

EVILE w/ SAVAGE MESSIAH
Nov. 03 – Holmfirth, UK – Picturedrome

DreamCatcher–Never Look Back

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 19th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

DreamCatcher
Never Look Back
Due for release: 13th August
Melodic Metal
Released via Rising Records

Leeds power-riffing atmospheric metallers DreamCatcher, who are appearing twice at this year’s Bloodstock, have released their new, Never Look Back, taken from their, ‘SoulDesign‘, out now on Rising Records. In the past, the band have supported acts such as Delain and Pythia, as well as PowerQuest and have even gone onto sell-out two shows at the Cockpit in Leeds.

The EP begins with the title track Never Look Back, that starts sounding like a track taken from a Rhpasody album. The vocals are typically power metal-based, something that is emphasised by the use of keyboards and vicious snarls of the guitars add an almost Odyssean feel to the track. The following track is the instrumental piece known as Foresight. The synth intro is vaguely familiar, like the sensation of deja vu. The guitars that follow scream with a certain metallic fierceness, echoing out in similar veins to the music of Epica. I keep expecting their to be vocals in certain sections but sadly, there isn’t any. The single ends with what is a longer version of the first track, despite being a little lengthier, it’s just any epic.

I never figured any Yorkshire band could create a beautiful mixture of atmospheric sounds and power metalesque riffs but it seems DreamCatcher have managed to it and Never Look Back really does display the bands abilities at creating a perfectly balanced sound. Hopefully, they’ll be flying the flag for Yorkshire on bigger stages in the near future!

4.6/5

Nico Davidson

Interview: Niklas Kvarforth

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 19th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Niklas Kvarforth is the infamous frontman for Swedish black metal outfit Shining, a band that has been on the scene for fifteen years, facing numerous line-up changes. Niklas has always been at the centre of controversy when it comes to Shining and he discusses all things Shining with Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO.

Nico: Hi Niklas. You alright?

Kvarforth: Yep.

N: Right then, you have a new album coming out in October, is there anything you can tell us about it? Like lyrical themes or if it’s going to differ from previous releases?

PHOTO COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO.K: Well, one thing that is really strange, for this album anyway, we decided to change producer. There’s also a kind of black metal vibe to it which hasn’t been present on the last album, it’s refreshing in a way, that a lot of people will get both amazed and upset at the same time. I don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing your reaction to it and I’m looking forward to playing it live.

N: I’m certainly looking forward to hearing the new album. Speaking of Shining releases, you recently released the covers EP, Lots Of Girls Gonna Get Hurt, what gave you the inspiration to do a covers EP?

K: We always record covers, you know, stuff like Depeche Mode covers, and we did six more covers when we were recording the album because I added some I wanted to learn so I use my clean voice. And some of them turned out pretty decent I think, so that’s one of the reasons or the reason that we released it, so our listeners could listen to what we listen to, to show there’s darkness in other things than Mayhem and Burzum.

N: When you released the EP, what was the fans’ reaction to it?

K: I don’t know because my manager made me not have a computer at home because if I do, I just do stupid things, being a self-destructive idiots that I am, sometimes, I start to look up bad rumours about me to get myself upset and get a reason to have a drink. So yeah, I don’t know but from what I heard from other people and the band, it’s gotten a bit of a possibility but there will always be people to complain. In a way, that doesn’t really bother me that much to be perfectly honest.

N: I guess this will be associated with the new album coming out in October, how do you write new material and songs? Do you write the lyrics first and music second or vice versa?

K: I go straight through all the music and lyrics, then I have this method to perfect an album ‘cause often I couldn’t use a guitar because I have a problem with my right arm, so I’m sort of making albums in my head, every single melody and bass line and drum beat and everything. Then if I still had that album in my head, I knew I had to record it, otherwise I’d start all over again. Now, on the other hand, I haven’t been writing the music a lot since I moved from Norway but when I start, I also invite the other members from the band to try and put something to it as well. We also have this new bassist, a very young guy, and me and him went to rent an apartment in Helsinki for a couple of weeks, which was not a very good idea, when it comes to alcohol and other stuff, and we actually managed to write the album and he wrote several riffs for it, which really surprised me. He had the basic ideas in that really impressed me.

N: You’re quite the controversial figure in Shining and obviously the music stands out well enough on its own, so how did the controversial antics at live shows come about?

Photo by Terhi Ylimainen

K: Do you mean why I act like an idiot on stage sometimes?

N: Well that’s one way of putting it.

K: Well, when I write or if I do anything, I guess I want to do it 110% and if that means that I or others get hurt or whatever in the process, then it’s too bad that had to happen but when it comes to it, half heartedly, that’s what people usually do because that’s why they release like five hundred crap metal albums every month and crap labels. You get the picture and it’s nothing that’s ever pre-meditated, I get angry sometimes and being controversial, we had a show in Sweden back in 2007, I’m guessing that’s the show you’re referring, that went on the news and we weren’t able to play live in Sweden because of that. I mean, it wasn’t that extreme. I read a lot of reviews from other, like, high profile magazines but they didn’t write the reviews based on as if they were at the show, they just read stuff on message boards and stuff and started writing their own reviews, pretending that they were there. I don’t know about being controversial but it’s not my intention, at least not in this day and age.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO.

N: Shining’s lyrics deal with suicide and self-harm, is there any reason you write about that specific subject?

K: Well, suicide has proven to be very… Useful for my agenda. I mean, when you get older, you get a bit wiser and you don’t listen to clowns like me who preach that you should, you know, cut yourself open, beat up your sister and rape your mum and dad. Some people, usually kids, get affected by this, suicide and depression and emotions in general. It’s a very easy thing to take advantage of ‘cause when you’re young, you’re always very vulnerable and, as you know, you always seek answers and start searching, so it’s pretty easy. So, that’s the reason why the suicidal theme are there.

Photo by Terhi Ylimainen

N: You’ve guest appeared on several albums in the past and several musicians have guest appeared on Shining albums, how do you choose which musicians and bands to work with?

K: I have these really grand contrary things, being an eccentric megaloegomaniac like I am, so I aim to get Rihanna on an album but I might not work out with Rihanna even though I’d really like it to, so I have to go with things people might not expect. It’s just like that I like guitar solos so it’s then combining it with Peter’s or Rob from Anthrax, who also makes a solo on the new album. We just sit down and discuss it and usually other people in the band think I’m idiot because of my will, to let’s say, use different markets that they really don’t want to use but at the end of the day, I’m boss so…

N: Yeah. Right, as the main songwriter of Shining, what would you say is the song that defines the band as a whole?

K: Hmm… That’s very, very, very hard to say because… Each song has a memory to it. I think Claws of Perdition would be the one, I guess, although I haven’t written the lyrics for that.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO.

N: Going back to what we were discussing about live shows earlier, how do you prepare yourself to go on stage and perform?

K: Usually through meditation, to get the bad images out but it easier to stay hidden if I’m already extremely pissed off and arrive with the commute, seeing the promoters and getting the bad wine and women who wear stockings, that’s awful. There’s always something that can disgust you. Dry mouth for example, if it’s paper. You know, I really like paper, I like the smell of it, the feel of it. But I don’t like it when the corners are, you know what I mean.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO.N: Yeah. Last question now. Anyway, in a career spanning 15 years, you’ve already conquered so much with Shining and the other projects you’ve been apart of. Do you feel that you can further as a musician? You know, what do you see as your next mountain to climb?

K: There’s always a mountain to climb and you always have to aim higher, my philosophy is to be do something better than the thing before, so if I got to a point where I couldn’t bring anything new to the table then it would be completely useless for me to make music then I focus on something else. But I think I can do something like another six albums.

N: Let’s hope so! Alright, thanks for your time, Niklas.

K: Thank you for the interview.

N: You’re welcome, hope you have a great day.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RENATA ‘PIENI’ LINO AND TERHI YLIMAINEN.

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Agael/ Lebensnacht (split) – Apathologie

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 18th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Agael/Lebensnacht (split)
Apathologie
Released: July2012
Black Metal/ Dark Ambient
Released via Naturmacht Productions

‘Apathologie’ is a split album featuring the German black metal/dark ambient project Agael and the dark ambient/black metal artist Lebensnacht. According to an official press release this split album focuses on “the final target to find true life” with each band offering their unique interpretation of the subject.

First up is Lebensnacht with a sombre piano track called ‘Elaboren’. Very atmospheric and soothing as far as dark ambient goes. With ‘Im Käfig’ come the raw black metal style guitar riffs and somewhat disturbing sounding vocals. Burzum and Beyond The Ninth Wave are probably the only bands which I could compare this to. Similar things can be said about ‘Lebensnacht’ but luckily there’s ‘Dem Ende Nah’ which provides some singing birds mixed with the right kind of dark ambient to soothe my ears.

Agael is more atmospheric in nature as ‘Offenbarung’ reveals itself to be a soundtrack to an uplifting experience of tranquility through meditation. ‘Vom Nichtsein’ and ‘Die letzte Geburt’ are leaning more towards black metal with shrieking vocals mixed in with melodic guitar riffs. Though the dark ambient elements are still lurking in the background thanks to the sombre keyboard noises. The instrumental ‘Remorphose’ combines the melodic guitars with the tranquil ambiance making for a very pleasant sounding track.

3.5/5 – Overall

3/5 – tracks by Lebensnacht
4/5 – tracks by Agael

Iza Raittila

Iron Maiden founder announces solo album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 18th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

EMI Music are proud to announce the release of Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris’ debut solo/side project album. Entitled ‘British Lion’ and comprising ten songs that Steve and his collaborators have been working on for the past few years between Iron Maiden tours and releases, it is an album that will surprise and delight music fans the world over.

With a decidedly heavy rock-vibe this roaring debut paints with a full palette of sounds; brooding, melancholic, righteously indignant and exuberantly heavy. With Kevin Shirley at the mixing helm – whose credits include Iron Maiden as well as Led Zeppelin, Journey and Rush among many others – this is an album to sink your teeth into.

From the growling riffage of opening salvo This Is My God to the heavy forlorn balladry of follow-up Lost Worlds which showcases Richard Taylor’s soaring vocals, it’s clear that ‘British Lion’ is an altogether different beast from Maiden.

Karma Killer, with its dirge-like muscularity, and Us Against The World, with its massive chorus, demonstrates just how far ‘British Lion’ has flexed Steve Harris’ considerable musical muscle. Dovetailed with guitarist David Hawkins’ positively gargantuan lyrical guitar melodies, it’s a mere hors d’oeuvre ahead of the epic, riffing-feast of The Chosen Ones, with its swaggering bravado.

A World Without Heaven, at a breathtaking seven minutes and infused with progressive elements without ever teetering into self-indulgence illustrates perfectly these songsmiths’ colossal abilities to create a mood and stay there. Supercharged by Steve Harris’ inimitable style, there’s an un-cynical vibe here that’s as refreshing as it is out of place in today’s all-too-categorised music industry.

And as far as the name ‘British Lion’; “I’ve always been proud to be British,” explains Steve, “I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be. It’s a massive part of being me. It’s not like I’m flag-waving or trying to preach, this is not a political statement at all. It’s like supporting your football team, where you come from. I just think it lends itself to some really strong imagery too, and to me it fits in with the sound.”

With Iron Maiden, Steve Harris has become one of the most recognised and successful ambassadors for British music on the world stage. Having released 15 studio albums, sold over 85 million records worldwide and played more than two thousand gigs in 58 countries in the band’s thirty-five year career, his appeal is truly global.

And now with ‘British Lion’, Steve steps out from Iron Maiden’s illustrious shadow to present a different side of his musical visions.

The tracklisting for ‘British Lion’ is as follows:

1.This Is My God
2.Lost Worlds
3.Karma Killer
4.Us Against The World
5.The Chosen Ones
6.A World Without Heaven
7.Judas
8.Eyes Of The Young
9.These Are The Hands
10.The Lesson

Dew-Scented launch lyric video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 18th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Moving another step closer to the release date of Dew-Scented‘s Icarus on July 30th in the UK, we are happy to announce that the good people at Metalsucks are offering a worldwide online premiere of a lyric-video for the song Storm Within off the new album. You can check it out here.

Dew-Scented guitarist and songwriter Marvin Vriesde checked in to comment about the track as follows: “I really dig how the riffs and drums in ‘Storm Within’, have almost a mechanical feel to them. I thought it would be cool for Dew-Scented to do a heavy double bass driven song with a lot of heavy, chugging guitars. So I took the chance to make it happen. The heavy character of the song also allowed Leif to do some deeper vocals. The deep vocals fit the song perfectly and add a bit of extra dynamic to the album. Chances are, that this song is gonna go down really well when we play it live”.

Icarus will be released as a limited first edition Digipak including 3 bonus tracks as well as on vinyl (black and limited coloured versions) on July, 30th via Metal Blade Records in the UK!

Icarus track listing:
01. Hubris
02. Sworn to Obey
03. Thrown to the Lions
04. Storm Within
05. Gleaming Like Silver
06. By My Own Hand
07. The Fall of Man
08. Reawakening
09. Destined to Collapse
10. A Final Procession
11. Perpetuated
12. In Dying Mode (bonus track)
13. Steady Decline (PRONG-cover/bonus track)
14. No Spiritual Surrender (INSIDE OUT-cover/bonus track)

DEW-SCENTED are:
Leif Jensen ˆ Vocals
Marvin Vriesde ˆ Guitars
Rory Hansen ˆ Guitars
Joost van der Graaf ˆ Bass
Koen Herfst ˆ Drums

A stream of the first song, Sworn To Obey, off Dew-Scented‘s new album as well as the several pre-order options can be checked out at the Icarus landing page here.

You can stream the second single Thrown To The Lions here.

In order to allow a closer look at the studio work for Icarus and also to showcase some of the new bits of music, Dew-Scented have posted two album teasers, which can be viewed below.

Don’t miss DEW-SCENTED on stage at the following shows:

20/07/12 ˆ DE ˆ Rotenburg/Wümme – Metalsplash Festival V
21/07/12 ˆ DE – Steinbach-Langenbach / Suhl ˆ Queens Of Metal Festival
11/08/12 ˆ NL – Leeuwarden ˆ Into The Grave Festival
12/08/12 ˆ DE ˆ Berlin ˆ Postbahnhof w/SIX FEET UNDER + Deadborn
13/08/12 ˆ DE ˆ München ˆ Backstage w/SIX FEET UNDER+ Deadborn
14/08/12 ˆ CH ˆ Pratteln ˆ Galery w/SIX FEET UNDER + Deadborn
15/08/12 ˆ DE ˆ Essen ˆ Turock w/SIX FEET UNDER + Gorguts + Deadborn
16/08/12 ˆ NL ˆ Kerkrade ˆ Rock Temple w/SIX FEET UNDER + Deadborn
17/08/12 ˆ DE ˆ Dinkelsbühl ˆ Summer Breeze Festival
18/08/12 ˆ DE ˆ Hamburg ˆ Grünspan w/SIX FEET UNDER + Deadborn

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Don’t forget to check out Valkyrian Music on Facebook & Twitter for more updates:
http://facebook.com/ValkyrianMusichttp://twitter.com/ValkyrianMusic

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Tristania one off UK show

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 18th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Tristania will break off from writing the follow up to 2010’s ‘Rubicon’ album for a tour of Europe that takes in one UK show in London at Underworld on September 17, 2012. Tickets are available here.

Vocalist Mariangela Demurtas comments: “We’re still in song writing modus, but when this opportunity came along, we simply couldn’t refuse. Tristania thrive on the road and the last few tours have really seen the band reach our highest ever levels in terms of live performance. This should also be a mouth watering tour package for many people around Europe, so we were more than willing to have a few week off the songwriting in order to participate.”

They’ll be joined by Sarah Jezebel Deva, Kells and Soundstorm.

Xandria and bassist Nils part ways

Posted in News with tags , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Symphonic metal titans Xandria announced earlier that they’ve parted ways with long term bassist Nils Middlehauve.

The band announced the new via Facebook: We sadly have to announce the departure of our yearlong bass guitar player Nils Middelhauve today. It was mainly due to personal reasons why Nils took the decision to split ways in the future. It gradually became obvious to him that some points of view vastly grew apart, concluding in Nils’ determination to not continue in XANDRIA anymore. Especially since all members are friends first and foremost, any more compromises had been even more hurtful. The band regrets Nils’ decision, yet is respecting it at the same time, even though everyone is really sad about it.

Us, the remaining members in XANDRIA, are still a bit shocked and paralyzed and we can hardly imagine to continue without our yearlong fellow. We went through so many good and rough times together – Nils always gave everything for the band and we all have to be very grateful for his work! Nils – we will never forget the times we had together and we wish you all the best for the future! Thanx for everything!

At this stage no replacement has been determined. We will carefully look for an adequate successor.

Nils kindly will play any show confirmed so far, if no replacement will be found by the time of these very shows.

Following the news, Nils stated the following on his personal Facebook: My dearest friends, knowing a decision to be right does not necessarily make it less painful. To cut it short, I decided to leave XANDRIA. I want to express my dearest thanks to every single band member (and also to everybody involved) for incredible and unforgettable years and memories, and for everything we had and experienced together. And also I thank all of you for your fantastic support and friendship. Keep the dream alive! Up the Xandrians!
Nils

Run From Robots ready for Hull again

Posted in News with tags , , , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Following what was described as a storming show at The Ringside in Hull, pop punk outfit Run From Robots will return to The Ringside in Hull on 1st August for what could be one of the most anticipated shows of recent years.

Support comes from Hold Your Own, Hate Mondays, A Dirty Downfall and Valys.

Tickets are available, for £5 each, from the Arcade Promotions website, as well as from local bands.

For further details, click here.

Sabbath Assembly premier first track from Ye Are Gods

Posted in News on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Today, Sabbath Assembly premiere the first track from their forthcoming second album, Ye Are Gods. Entitled "In the Time of Abaddon II," this first glimpse into the magick and majesty of Ye Are Gods can be streamed in its entirety here.

Sabbath Assembly’s Ye Are Gods is set for release on September 21 through Svart Records (for Europe and the UK) and The Ajna Offensive (for North America).

As on the critically acclaimed Restored to One debut, released in 2010 by The Ajna Offensive, Ye Are Gods presents the hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a religious movement that emerged in the late 1960s as an apocalyptic shadow-side to the flower power and New Age movements.

Reaching beyond the scope of Restored to One, Ye Are Gods incorporates the ritual text and structure of the Process Church’s highest and holiest mass, the “Sabbath Assembly” liturgy from which the band is named.

Ye Are Gods is led by vocalist Jamie Myers, a veteran of Hammers of Misfortune (The Locust Years) and Wolves in the Throne Room (Diadem of 12 Stars, Malevolent Grain). Dave “Christian” Nuss remains drummer and co-producer.

The album features Genesis P-Orridge serving the role of High Priest(ess), aka “Sacrifist,” Eyvind Kang plays viola for the liturgical “Declaration of the Gods,” and guitarist/vocalist Imaad Wasif offers a chilling rendition of the hymn “We Give Our Lives.” In addition, Timothy Wyllie, an original Process Church member, provides a homily from Process Church founder Robert DeGrimston’s Gods on War. Mr. Wyllie is the author of Feral House’s LOVE SEX FEAR DEATH, which offers an insider’s perspective of the Church and its true leadership.

The album offers a first-ever glimpse into the Process’s most sacred liturgical text, taking the astute listener through the mysterious Gnostic journey of the unification of Christ and Satan; the bliss of total submission to the gods Jehovah, Lucifer, Satan, and Christ; the wilds of the Apocalypse and a face-to-face encounter with the Angel of Death; and finally the moment of spiritual renewal in which the Process’s “Law of the Universe” is revealed.

The influential Process Church opened chapters in London, Europe, and across the USA, dressing in black cloaks and walking the streets with German Shepherds. To promote their controversial theology, they sold intricately-designed magazines, three of which are documented in full-color reproductions in the recently issued Propaganda and Holy Writ of the Process Church of the Final Judgment (Feral House/Ajna).

As it is. So be it.

Flagellated Seraph – Beyond Salvation

Posted in Review on 17th July 2012 by izaforestspirit

Flagellated Seraph
Beyond Salvation
Due for release/Released: June 2012
Black Metal
Released via Label: Hellthrasher Productions

‘Beyond Salvation’ is the debut album from the Swedish black metal band Flagellated Seraph. The band have described this effort as “black metal darkness illuminated by the light of suffering and death, featuring some long, epic hymns in the vein of Funeral Mist”.

The symphonic keyboard intro to the opening track ‘Reminiscence Of The Serpent’ has certain eerie soundtrack quality to it. Then it’s on to some black metal with the first real track on here, ‘He Who Bears The Mark’ in which vocals seem a little coarse-sounding at times compared to the systematic guitar riffs. So far it sounds like a hybrid of Ragnarok and Funeral Mist. I’m not sure what to make of the howling towards the latter part of the song though.

The title track ‘Beyond Salvation’ starts off with a promising bass solo followed by some random noises from the singer before the pace picks up resulting in a well composed, albeit unusually structured black metal track. The guitar pattern and drumming is more consistent with the likes of Satanic Warmaster/Pagan Hellfire than the Funeral Mist style. Though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if it wasn’t for the vocals, which once again let Flagellated Seraph down slightly. There’s something really disturbing about the vocal style which makes me think of a man crying out loud whilst trapped somewhere, deep in the depths of a well. All credit to anyone who is able to sing like that.

The rest of the album continues with the same pattern with the lengthy titles ‘I Am The Flame’ and ‘Redeemer of Nothingness’ offering more melodic and monotone sounding black metal.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Earache acquires US metal label

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

British extreme metal record label Earache Records has acquired US label Heavy Artillery Records, combining two of the premier forces in metal music.

Currently celebrating 25 years in the business, Earache Records has been the home to some of the biggest names in metal, and continues to push forwards with some of the best new and up-and-coming talents.

Heavy Artillery was founded in New York and has consistently stood for quality thrash and heavy metal, with releases from the likes of MERCILESS DEATH, ENFORCER, EXMORTUS, VEKTOR, SPELLCASTER and more.

Earache Records Label Manager Dan Tobin comments: “Heavy Artillery’s policy of signing and supporting fresh new talent was something I personally bought into very early on – raw, energetic, passionate early releases like Merciless Death, Enforcer and Exmortus really stood out as genuinely exciting new bands pursuing their visions of what heavy metal should be, not just jumping on a bandwagon and hoping for a quick route to success.  The label’s roster stood out as the work of people with music in mind, and with bands like Vektor creating serious buzz, it seemed that Heavy Artillery would enjoy the success its early creativity and chance-taking deserved.  Now that Earache is charged with upholding an impressive legacy of releases, as well as embracing the future output of these fantastic bands, I feel like it’s a really exciting time to be involved with young, hungry bands who have the potential to become the leading lights of the next few years.  We aim to ensure that the seeds sown by Heavy Artillery grow and produce fertile metal music for years to come.

Earache intends to continue Heavy Artillery’s vision, beginning with re-issues of Swedish heavy metallers ENFORCER’s 2008 debut album, INTO THE NIGHT, followed by the two studio albums from Arizona thrashers VEKTOR – 2009’s BLACK FUTURE and 2011’s OUTER ISOLATION.  Earache will also re-issue ENFORCER’s 2010 album, DIAMONDS, in the USA.

For a taste of what’s to come, listen to Vektor‘s “Tetrastructural Minds” from Outer Isolation below.

More releases from the Heavy Artillery catalogue will be announced in the near future.

Hammers of Misfortune premier 17th Street video

Posted in News with tags , , , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Hammers of Misfortune have unveiled their new video, which is the title track from their latest album, 17th Street. The video was directed by Aaron Cobbett and filmed on location in San Francisco on the very street for which the song was named. Fans can watch the video now here.

With a newly-rejuvenated line-up and their signature sound intact, San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune have returned with 17th Street, a brash and heartfelt song cycle, blending the best elements of NWOBHM, thrash, doom metal, and American folk music while somehow sounding unlike any of these. 17th Street takes the band’s inimitable sound to a new level, creating an emotional gravity that only further accentuates the band’s formidable songwriting chops. “I can see how someone could find it an upbeat record at first glance” says John Cobbett, guitarist and producer of the band. “If you listen carefully, you’ll find that each song has its own point of view. You might find hope, or something very different, very dark.”

Visit metalblade.com/hammersofmisfortune to listen to “The Grain”.

HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE
Tour w/ The Gates of Slumber
07/18 Chicago, IL Reggies
07/19 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
07/20 Columbus, OH Ruby Tuesday
07/21 Baltimore, MD Golden West
07/22 Philadelphia, PA North Star
07/23 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
07/25 Cambridge, MA TT The Bears
07/26 Montreal, QC Il Motore
07/27 Toronto, ON Courthouse
07/29 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop

Hour of 13 confirmed for Roadburn Festival 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 17th July 2012 by Nico Davidson

North Carolina doom metallers Hour of 13 have been confirmed for the 2013 edition of Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands.

The festival takes place at Het Patronaat in Tilburg from April 18th to April 21st, 2013. Hour Of 13, who have just released their new album 333 in Europe, will be performing on the first day of the festival on Thursday, April 18th.  Also confirmed for the festival are the likes of Godflesh and Electric Wizard.

HOUR OF 13 guitarist CHAD DAVIS comments: “Hour Of 13 are extremely honoured to be a part of Roadburn 2013, the most important music festival in existence today.  We guarantee a spot-on performance of our brand of gloomy heavy metal.  As an avid admirer of this festival, it brings me great pleasure to become a part of this festival’s legacy.

For more information about Roadburn, go to http://www.roadburn.com

Get Hour Of 13‘s new album, 333, on CD in Europe here.

The album is also available on iTunes.

333 is due to be released in North America on July 30th.  Pre-order the album now here.

Get more Hour of 13 news and info at:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HourOf13
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/hourof13doom