Archive for November, 2012

Threshold announce one UK show as part of European Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 30th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Legendary British progressive metal maestros Threshold, proclaim the March of Progress!

Matching the title of their highly successful new masterpiece March Of Progress (out via Nuclear Blast since August 24, 2012), the band will finally return to the European stages in March, 2013.

Guitarist Karl Groom states enthusiastically: “It will be great to be back on the road with Threshold – and in particular to play songs from our latest album!”

Make sure to be there when the magic happens on March 1st, 2013 – London, Underworld.

To purchase tickets please head over here.

 

Interview with Paul Mazurkiewicz [Cannibal Corpse]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

Being arguably one of the most respected and founding bands of death metal, Cannibal Corpse are still going strong with the release of their newest album, Torture, which came out in March of this year. Before performing at The Met in Pawtucket, RI, I got a chance to chat with Cannibal Corpse’s drummer, Paul Mazurkiewicz, about some highlights from this past year, inspiration for their lyrics, and some inspirational advice for any upcoming bands.

Cannibal Corpse is currently on their US Torture Tour with Misery Index and Hour of Penance which ends in December. They will then be touring with Devildriver for a full headlining tour in Europe.

Rammstein to release video collection and new single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 30th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sex and crime, blood and fire, monsters and mutations…

What sounds like a compendium of midnight movies is really just a collection of music videos. If we call them clips, at least Americans will think of the gun magazines they use to reload their weapons. That suits the explosive content.

With just a small creative core to set the agenda, Rammstein have consistently created stunning image sequences that are unparalleled internationally. Directors working with the band have demonstrated a clear sense of vision, tremendous courage, plus a unique refusal to compromise – and no box-set to date can attest to this as gloriously as the forthcoming box set, Videos 1995-2012 (editor’s note: You think they could have thought of a more creative title for the video collection), released through Spinefarm Records in the UK onDecember 17th 2012.

Almost a decade after the arrival of their first video retrospective, Lichtspielhaus (2003), an up-to-date and more complete picture of the band has finally emerged. While the clips show Rammstein in their purest form, a few lesser-known facts also come to light, primarily via the behind-the-flames footage from the individual shoots, plus the many interviews with the various people involved and of course the band members themselves.

A high point is the new clip for Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart Burns), lead track on the seminal Mutter album (2001), and the story behind it. So time-consuming was the promo to get right, that some of the band members started to see it as the ‘eternal video’, one they would be working on until their collective death. It ultimately took several attempts and the work of two directors to get this monumental piece off the ground.

Not only did this result in one of the most unusual videos in the history of a band notorious for their output in this area (Du Hast, Sonne, Links 2 3 4, Mein Teil, Mann Gegen Mann, Pussy, etc.); but as a reward for all the hard work, some extra footage was shot featuring front-man Till Lindemann in a solo performance of the ‘piano version’ of Mein Herz Brennt – the clip will premiere on the Rammstein website onDecember 7th 2012.

 

This ‘piano version’ of the song will be released as a singlevia Spinefarm UK on December 10th 2012; the single will be available on7” vinyl & CD Maxi, with both formats featuring the previously unreleased studio recording, Gib Mir Deine Augen.

Videos 1995 – 2012, meanwhile, is available as a Digi-pack Box Set with 3 DVDs or two Blu-ray discs; all 25 videos, including the makings-of (24), have been recently  updated – a full eight hours of official content complete with a detailed, 56-page booklet plus lenticular cover.

With this box set, Rammstein presents itself in all its glory: larger than life, larger than Hollywood.

Mein Hertz Brennt preorder:

VinylCD

Singles 1995 – 2012 preorder

DVDBlu-Ray

 

Enforcer sign to Nuclear Blast and announce new album for early 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 30th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

The Swedish Heavy Metal bloodbrothers, Enforcer, recently signed a new worldwide deal with Nuclear Blast Records and will release their new album Death By Fire on February 4th, 2013.

Enforcer are the leaders of the new generation of metal bands, cut from the roots of real metal, in spirit, in sound and in appearance.Bandleader, vocalist and guitar player Olof Wikstrand comments “It feels great to finally have finished this long awaited third ENFORCER record. Now with Nuclear Blast on board we’re gonna make sure to spread it to every corner of this planet. You can expect nothing but the total, self-defining Enforcer record.

Formed in 2004 in Arvika, Sweden the band released their debut album Into The Night in late 2008.The record bucked the trend of overproduced, clean plastic albums with tons of tracks and triggered drums. Into The Night was a pure metal record, in the grand tradition of acts such as Exciter, Agent Steel and Anvil. Musically, Death By Fire refines the sound of the previous two records – more focused, with strong melodies, outstanding riffs and a voice as strong as steel.

“The album title refers to the most horrific ways to die”, says Olof . “All lyrics on Death By Fire hold the same theme throughout the record: death – in all different shapes.

Once again, the album has less than 40 minutes of playing time – an Enforcer trademark: “We write all music for the vinyl format and a normal LP can never be longer than 19 minutes on each side without losing sound quality. None of my favourite records are longer than 39 minutes anyway. The record is made for listening to as an entirety and when it’s over the listener should be craving for more, not less. We don’t write any fillers.”

Olof sums it up : “We decided to do the ultimate Enforcer record rather than trying to break new ground. Take all elements that make us stand out from all other bands of today and exaggerate it 1000 times. Behold… DEATH BY FIRE!”
Be excited. Be very excited.

 

Beyond Mortality sign with Worm Hole Death Records and Grom Records

Posted in Misc., News on 28th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Swedish melodic death metal band Beyond Mortality have joined forces with Worm Hole Death Records and Grom Records.

Beyond Mortality stated: “We are real happy to be a part of both the Grom records and Wormholedeath/Dreamcell 11 family and are really looking forward in working with them. This is just the start of the Beyond Mortality story and we are real happy to be able to share it with them. We intend to make a mark in history of extreme metal and we can’t think of anyone else to do it with”

Worm Hole Death Record
s stated: “We wanted to offer beyond Mortality a publishing deal since we had the pleasure to work closely with the guys and we really respect and admire them for their attitide and musical skills. Furthermore this is a great opportunity to co-release this album with our Serbian friends (in life) and great partners (in music) at Grom Records. I am sure this is gonna be the first of many cooperation between Wormholedeath and Grom!!”

Grom Records stated
: “We in Grom Records are more than proud to announce this collaboration with our friends and partners from Worm Hole Death Records. We already work on different projects for some time now and we strongly decided to make our partnership even deeper and start cooperation between our two labels. So, Beyond Mortality is going to be our first official strike on the scene and we are sure all sides will get benefits from this unity and partnership.Beyond Mortality offers strong and force-full Death Metal covering different styles of genre and creating quality and unique mixture of brutal emotions. Death Metal as it should be, raw, wild, brutal and merciless! Recorded at MathLab Studios and mastered buy Dan Swano himself. ”

http://www.beyond-mortality.com
http://www.wormholedeath.com
http://www.gromrecords.net

Shining release cover of Alice Cooper classic

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 28th November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Sweden’s Shining – featuring Niklas Kvarforth, who is considered to be one of metal’s most controversial artists – have uploaded to soundcloud.com their cover of the Alice Cooper classic, Prince Of Darkness.

You can listen to it here.

Shining’s eighth studio album, Redefining Darkness, released via Spinefarm Records, is out now.

Track-listing:

1.       Du, Mitt Konstverk

2.       The Ghastly Silence

3.       Han Som Hatar Människan

4.       Hail Darkness Hail

5.       Det Stora Grå

6.       For The God Below

Watch the video for Tillsammans Är Vi Allt from the seventh full-length Shining album, VII / Född Förlorare below.

UK shows are being planned for 2013.

Interview with Knaat

Posted in Interview on 27th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

The German band Knaat is the latest addition to the world of folk and pagan metal. Iza caught up with the band to discuss the scene, influences and “the magic of alcohol”.

Iza: Hi
Knaat: Hello!

I: Tell me a bit more about Knaat’s origins as a band. What was the main thing that inspired you to sort playing pagan metal?
Knaat: We didn’t start with pagan right away, we messed around a lot in the beginning and nothing made much sense. Then Adrian (keyboards) joined, we started writing our first more serious riffs and then it sort of happened that we played pagan metal. It fit our style and we were all big fans of pagan music.

I: Does the name ‘Knaat’ mean anything? 
Knaat: Nothing in particular, it’s basically the sound an old door makes when you open or close it. We were drunk when we named the band like this and we really liked it. Don’t judge us! 

I: Could you tell me a little bit about the lyrical themes for the songs on your new album ‘Die Lichtung’? 
Knaat: Basically it’s about typical pagan themes like battles with giants, men who face their own fate or the magic of alcohol. Sometimes the lyrics in the pagan scene refer to actual historical happenings, that’s not the case with Knaat.

I: How serious are you about the pagan/heathen theme? Is it an important factor in your music or do you see yourselves more as easy going party-folk metal band?
Knaat:We fit in the second category. We’re just really big fans of the music, that’s why we make it and our singer can write his lyrics about topics he is interested in. There’s nothing more behind it.

I: For a relatively new band you have accomplished some major things such as playing a major festival like Pagan Fest Munich. How did it feel to play in front of such a large crowd for the first time?
Knaat: Some of us were very nervous before the concert, especially when the intro kicked in. We didn’t expect so many people to show up. But as we kept playing we realized that the crowd was awesome and that there’s nothing to worry about. Sitting together with some of the members from the biggest pagan bands afterwards was simply incredible and unforgettable.

I: I can detect influences from bands like Korpiklaani and Ensiferum in your music. Which of these has had the biggest impact on your sound?
Knaat: Probably Ensiferum and Finsterforst

I: What does the year 2013 have in store for Knaat? What sort of plans do you have?
Knaat: Towards the end of 2012 we’re going to have our first little “tour” so we didn’t really plan ahead yet. We’re going to try to play on some festivals – some are more known and it will be tough to get accepted – and of course our concerts from time to time.

I: How do you feel about doing an international tour? Is this something you would consider at this stage of your career?
Knaat: Like I said, we’re having our first little “tour” in the end of this year, we will be playing in Munich, Italy and Switzerland. This will already be tough, since we have to drive there by ourselves, take care of our equipment by ourselves etc. A really big tour, like across Europe would be great, but not yet possible unfortunately. Maybe in in a couple of years, when we make more money (we all need to finish either university or vocational training) and we can actually afford some people who can help and also some sort of tour bus.

I: If you could pick any other pagan metal band to tour with in the future who would it be and why?
Knaat: Probably Finsterforst. They influenced us a lot and they are a Band that we always wanted to play with. They make great music and are finally getting the success they deserve!

I: Some people say that pagan and folk metal is no longer as popular as it used to be a few years ago. What are your thoughts on this?
Knaat: It is definitely the case that Pagan metal had a huge boom at some point which is now fading a bit, but the people who enjoyed it a lot before, still enjoy it. You shouldn’t stop listening to your favorite bands, just because the general interest in the genre is depleting.

I: Anything else you would like to add for your fans and our readers?
Knaat:Thanks so much for your support and keep supporting German breweries!

Sinister – The Carnage Ending

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 26th November 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

Sinister
The Carnage Ending
Released 28th September, 2012
Death Metal
Massacre Records

Having been around for more than 20 years and still thriving in the metal scene, Swedish death metal band Sinister has definitely hit home with their newest full length album, The Carnage Ending. This album is full of memorable riffs, epic headbanging parts, and just an overall punishing sound that will literally give you chills by its shear awesomeness. This album is easily up to par, if not better, than their previous albums and has a consistent sound and style that defines them as a band.

The album starts with an intro song, Gates of Bloodshed, and for those who are fans of Sinister will know that they’re pretty fond of using intro songs on their albums. The buildup of the intro then is immediately followed with Unheavenly Domain’s opening riff. That heaviness is carried consistently through the rest of the album while being mixed with some slower parts as well.

The song Crown of Thrones is one song that stood out to me on this album. The song starts off slow, gradually building you up until you think it’s just about to get into the faster part, and then it stops and starts the buildup process all over again. While this was certainly a tease, I feel that the unexpected pause added more anticipation in wanting to hear the song and definitely got me more pumped. One other song that stuck out to me was Defamatory Content. This song gave me goosebumps in that the mix of slow, groovy riffs paired with the faster, neck-breaking riffs just made the song not only more interesting but I feel that it added to the heaviness as well.

2012 is just an overall good year for death metal, and Sinister definitely adds to that with this album. Their easily distinguishable vocals paired with their familiar guitar sound and blast beats makes this band a favorite of mine and will hopefully be a favorite of yours too. This album was beyond the expectations I had and I praise Sinister for still delivering brutal music even after all these years.

5/5

Lauren Gowdy

 

Cerebral Bore Vocalist Simone “Som” Pluijmers Leaves Cerebral Bore With Shawn Whitaker As Replacement

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 25th November 2012 by hammersmashedlauren

It’s sad to say that Simone “Som” Pluijmers has left death metal band Cerebral Bore and will no be seen on their current tour with Dying Fetus and Cattle Decapitation. While growing a steady fan base in the United States for the last year, it will upset many who have grown to love the band and may not have gotten a chance to see Som dish out her brutal vocals.

A statement was issued from the band about Som’s decision to leave on their Facebook page:

Som walked out on us less than 24 hours before the US tour, and we were forced to either cancel or go ahead with it as an instrumental if need be.  We didn’t want to let our US fans down, so we went ahead with our buddy Shawn Whitaker on vocals for the tour.  Show us your support and make Shawn feel at home, he saved us from a disaster.

This statement was then followed by an alleged reason from Som on why she left the band [I haven’t found the original source of this quote but have seen it on Som’s official Facebook fan page and a couple other websites as well]:

I decided to leave because Paul McGuire treated me bad… And him saying I walked out on them like I’m a bitch is ridiculous.  I’m not a diva, I had to do this for my own happiness and safety.  He wouldn’t let us have an own opinion or wouldn’t let me have friends and screamed at us all the time.  I’m sorry but I was too unhappy with him and had to leave.  There was more going on than this but if he’s gonna start bullshit than I’m more than happy to tell you guys the truth.  I had to do this for me and thought about fans etc. it was a difficult decision… But for the best.

More will probably unfold from this story as this news is fairly sudden and a bit sparse for Cerebral Bore fans to fully understand. Based on this alleged statement Som made, it seems that there may have been problems within the band for quite some time.

Shawn Whitaker [Insidious Decrepancy] has taken up filling in as vocalist on The Blood of Power Tour which ends next month.

The Addication – The Addication

Posted in Review on 25th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

The Addication
The Addication
Due for release/Released: December 2012
Thrash Metal
Released via: Inverse Records

‘The Addication’ is the self-titled debut album from Finnish thrash metal band.

The opening track ‘Burning Down’ offers some fast paced, powerful guitar riffs, solo and vocals akin to the Finnish speed thrash metal legends Stone. A promising start so far… Then the vocals suddenly change for the worse on the next track ‘From The Ashes’. This is a shame because the rest of the music, especially the guitar riffs is actually pretty good.

Sadly this vocal change seems to stick like glue, with the rest of the album following the same pattern. The lead vocals resemble a mixture of wailing and howling which means that the rest of the musicians, particularly the guitarists, have to work that much harder to make amends. Take ‘Last Seconds On Earth’ for instance, it has a promising start with the thrash metal guitars and even the vocals are ok for a while then the wailing starts again. Luckily there’s a good guitar solo in there which provides some relief to my ears before the dreaded vocals resume. Then there’s ‘Rust’ with its melodic, acoustic guitar parts at the start of the track which highlight the bad vocals even more. I mean – let’s face it; the speed thrash metal style guitar riffs are the only thing that actually stands a chance of masking the cringe-worthy vocals. Good thing the song picks up the pace later on which makes it listenable though still not great.

It’s really difficult to find a track with some potential as they are all tainted with the aforementioned crappy vocals. ‘My Testament’ has some decent guitar solos and Machine Head style riffs, just try to ignore the vocals and you might actually enjoy it! Then there’s ‘Out From The Inferno’ with quite possibly the best intro of the album thanks to the opening guitar riffs, shame that they had to add the howling vocals.

2/5

Iza Raittila

Incursed – Fimbulwinter

Posted in Review with tags , , on 23rd November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Incursed
Fimbulwinter
Due for release/Released: November 2012
Epic Viking Metal/ Pagan Metal/Folk Metal
Released via Label: Unsigned

‘Fimbulwinter’ is the second album from the Spanish viking metal band Incursed. It is the follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Morituri’. The band has been compared to the likes of legendary viking and folk bands such as Ensiferum, Falkenbach and Mithotyn.

Now, I don’t think I’m the only who has trouble trying to piece together a link between the Vikings and Spain… Oh well.. nevermind, onto the music…

After the symphonic or should I say “epic” (read Ensiferum-style) instrumental intro track ‘Endless, Restless, Relentless’, it’s straight into some pagan metal with ‘Svolder’s Battle’ sounding like mixture of Korpiklaani and Falkenbach with hints of the aforementioned Ensiferum and possibly even Alestorm. Ok, so there’s no real accordions in here but the keyboard and guitars do a pretty good job of ensuring that the song is still catchy. Similar things can be said for the next track ‘Ginnungagap’, which has more of that symphonic feel to it due to the keyboards. The one thing which lets this song down are the vocals, as there are moments when I really can’t make out a single word that this guy is trying to say.

It’s pretty clear that these guys are really into Ensiferum as some of the song structures resemble those of the Finnish folk metal legends. One example of this are the vocal patterns on ‘Jörmungandr’. ‘Homeland’ features a somewhat unusual acoustic guitar intro but then it resumes the pre-set path of the previous tracks offering more of the same Ensiferum-esque folk metal melodies. One thing that sets these guys apart is their Spanish accents which are ever the more audible on the tracks where you can actually make out the words.

This album does have a few surprises, though. One of them is the country and western themed elements of ‘Nordwaldtaler’, which are sandwiched neatly between the folk metal style guitars and keyboards. Another noteworthy track is the catchy instrumental ‘Finnish Polka which really highlights the skills of both of guitarist and the keyboard player.

3/5 – It’s a very Nordic, folk metal sounding album by a Spanish band. I’m somewhat confused by this and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Iza Raittila

Venial Sin – Sphere of Morality

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 23rd November 2012 by -Scorpius-

Venial Sin
Sphere of Morality
Black/Death/Melodic Metal
Infekted Records
Released: 2012

Venial Sin are a four piece extreme metal band from Villa Real in Portugal, they consist of Renato Sousa on Lead Vocals, Predo Matos on Guitar, Vocals and Synths, Paulo Padrao on Bass Guitar and Helder Guedes on Drums. The band aren’t easily categorized but have elements of Death Metal, Black Metal and some more melodic elements, blended with some very dark and atmospheric elements.
Their album, Spheres of Morality which I am reviewing here was released in 2012 via Infekted Records.

Track one is entitled, A New Rose, which starts off with a really interesting riff on the guitars and bass shortly progressed by some really intense guttural vocals and some great rhythmic parts and harmonizing guitar parts, then there’s an acoustic sounding segment with clean vocals and some cymbal work on the drums.
One thing I would like to note about this track is that the drums sound fantastic, they are really full and played flawlessly by drummer Helder. A New Rose is a really good track, it is rhythmic yet melodic which can often be a hard balance to find but the guys at Venial Sin have found it and executed that balance with some style, there are some great atmospheric background sounds on this track which caught my attention and overall this track has a nice contrast between it’s heavy and light elements.

Next up is a track called, Prepared for Battle, the title does not disappoint either! The first thing that strikes me about this track is the guitar tone, they have got that sound just right I feel, there is some great drumming with really interesting rhythms at play on this track, some brilliant blast beats and perfect double bass pedal work on the drums. This is quite a Black Metal sounding track, without sounding clichéd either! I like the use of overlapping duel vocals and the bass guitar really compliments the guitar parts, towards the end of the track softer vocals come in which are intermixed with the familiar guttural vocals and the track starts to take a on a rather ethereal quality to it, especially with its guitar solo!

Novembers Fall is the third offering on this album and it starts with acoustic sounds and some great ambiance, there’s some great guitar picking and a nice chord jangle at the end of the main riff at the beginning before it get’s into a really mournful and depressing feel, the guttural vocals are slow and droning and that’s intermixed once more with the softer vocal, giving this track a very somber feel. One thing I did notice at one point with this track is that the softer vocal does a harmony which is very reminiscent of a vocal phrase that Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant does in Stairway to Heaven, the similarities to it are striking and I don’t know if it was a conscious thought out idea to have that in there or if it was just a natural organic thing that happened. My overall thoughts on this track is that it is very mournful and depressing, great if you want to listen to such a track.

Track four is entitled, Real End and it is definitely the ballad track of this album, it starts off with some electronic keyboards in its intro which is shortly followed by the Bass Guitar, Drums and Soft Vocal and there are some really nice harmonies on this track, I found it to be very contemplative and introspective and it really makes the listener look inside of themselves, as I am sure was the intention of the band with this track, around the 3 minutes mark the heavy vocals comes in and the tempo steps up somewhat.

Vanishing Death is the penultimate track on this album, it has a very fantasy almost computer game feel to this track and I don’t mean that in a negative way, it sounds like it could be part of a soundtrack to one of the Final Fantasy games, there are some interesting guitar and drum parts and a nice overall rhythm. It has a great progression as the song goes on and almost has a battle feel to it, like your about to face a level boss on a computer game. An interesting track indeed!

The Title track of this album, Sphere of Morality is the final track on this album, which I found to be quite an odd but not unwelcome position on the album itself. This track starts with a Death Metal feel to it and has some nice choppy rhythmic parts and it is quite a technical track, I like the duel layered heavy vocals and the drumming once again is top notch, there is some very impressive double bass pedal work which really shows off the drummers skill.
There is more synth in the background of this track and at approximately 2 minutes 20 seconds into this track all the instruments stop playing and the listener is momentarily left with just synth before they kick back in again, I get a feel of finalisation and that the album has come full circle with this track and perhaps that is why the band decided to place the title track at the end of the album, the track then ends with some synth that slowly fades away and your left with the sounds of a Portuguese night, with crickets and various nightlife painting a picture of a late summers night.
On the CD there are two final tracks labelled, Part I and Part II although they share the same track as the previous song, Sphere of Morality. It’s hard to define which is Part I and Part II to be honest, the fire sounds give way to some electronic keyboard and some synth which is shortly joined by some reverbed flute sounds, which soon takes over the track, it’s a very ambient sound and I would also go further to classify it as electronic easy listening.
My personal opinion here is that the band should of left out this electronic part and ended the album with the sounds of the night and the fire, for me that would have been a far more satisfying end to the album.

To Summarise, Sphere of Morality is not that bad of an album if you want to sit and listen to something that’s going to transport you to another place or another way of thinking, if your expecting track after track of heaviness and brutality then you will be sorely disappointed, yes there are times when there is heaviness but I wouldn’t personally call it a brutal heaviness, more of a doom metal kind of heaviness to me but that however is just my opinion.
What I will say though and in no way am I being negative or derogatory here, I think this album would make a great soundtrack to a video game, a fantasy based game such as Final Fantasy X as a lot of the ideas really reminded me of the soundtrack to that game, I really think the band should approach some games developers as if they can get their album used as a soundtrack, if not in part to a game I really think they would make a lot of money with it!

I do not wish to make the entirety of my summary of this album to be a pitch to have this made into a video game soundtrack however, so here are a few more of my thoughts.

This album has the potential to span and cross various musical genres in my opinion and a great potential to win a lot of fans who may not usually listen to this type of music, I found it to be very accessible and I am sure new listeners will too. If you have never heard this album I would recommend it to you all, take a listen to it just once to see if it is your cup of tea as it may well be or it may not be but still take the time to give it a try as I did, I don’t think any listener would be sorely disappointed with it at all but I do think the listener would have to be in a certain mood or frame of mind to make this album a regular listen. For me it would be an album that I would put on now and again to perhaps lift my mood or have it playing in the background. All in all a pretty good effort by Venial Sin and I think the band will progress nicely and their next release will have a natural and well deserved progression.

3/5

~Scorpius~

Local supports announced for Korpiklaani Manchester and Glasgow shows

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

Korpiklaani will be hitting the road with Metsatoll all over Europe in February and will be hitting the UK for several dates. Local supports have been announce for Korpiklaani’s Manchester and Glasgow dates.

Opening up for Korpiklaani in Manchester will be folk metal outfit Andraste, who are renowned in the north of England for their unique blend of folk elements and hard hitting metal sound, while symphonic black metallers Morlich will be opening up for Korpiklaani in Glasgow.

Tickets are available form the usual outlets and full tour dates are below:

January
30 – Essen, Germany – Turock
31 – Norwich, England – Waterfront

February
1 – Glasgow, Scotland – Classic Grand – With Morlich opening
2 – Manchester, England – The Academy – With Andraste opening
3 – Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
4 – London, England – Underworld
5 – Colmar, France – Grillen
6 – Paris, France – Divan Du Monde
7 – Rennes, France – Antipode
8 – Cognac, France – West Rock
9 – Madrid, Spain – Caracol
10 – Barcelona, Spain – Razz2/Salamandra1
11 – Toulouse, France – Bikini
12 – Lyon, France – CCO
14 – Solothurn, Switzerland – Kofmehl
15 – Chur, Switzerland – Palazzo
16 – Reggio Emilia, Italy – Tempo Rock
17 – Turin, Italy – Combo@Suoneria
18 – Rome, Italy – Orion
19 – Treviso, Italy – New Age
20 – Maribor, Slovenia – Stuk
21 – Bratislava, Slovakia – Majestic Music Club
22 – Budapest, Hungary – Club 202
23 – Ingolstadt, Germany – Westpark

 

Play With Drugs – Drugland vol.1

Posted in Uncategorized on 21st November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Play With Drugs
Drugland vol.1
Due for release/Released: Summer 2010
Industrial/ Electronica
Released via Label: Use More Grass

‘Drugland vol.1’ is the debut album from the American industrial band and Vampire Freaks user Play With Drugs. The band was formed back in 2010 by DJ Maysin. The album as well as the new single are both available for free download from the band’s page on the Vampire Freaks Digital Music Store.

Now, considering the band’s name and the title, I don’t think need to say much more about the album’s main theme: drugs and the joys of taking them recreationally. So it’s no surprise that they have song titles like ‘Under The Influence’ and ‘The Perfect High’. Musically speaking this is dance floor – friendly, instrumental electronica.

The aforementioned opening track ‘Under The Influence’ sets the scene with some synth tunes that gradually pick up the pace as the song progresses. Time to get ready for a night out. By ‘MDMA’ you’re already at the club and you’re off straight to the dance floor. It’s full speed ahead as you show off your moves and believe me, this track might be short but its catchy synth and drum machine combo really does get you moving. ‘Perfect High’ has a slow start but, much like it’s predecessors, it’s not long before it picks up the pace and reveals its true colors as another dance track.

The ambient/atmospheric undertones in ‘The End Of All Things’ give the song a different kind of feel compared to the rest of the album. That particular song is also slower, lacks the dance floor feel and the overall structure seems a bit more complex as well. Then everything comes to an end with ‘Soiled Memories’ combining the atmosphere of ‘The End Of All Things’ with some mid-pace synth melodies which gradually speed up towards the latter half of the song.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Interview with Nya

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 21st November 2012 by Nico Davidson

Having blasted onto the British rock and metal scenes at the beginning of 2012, Nya have become a rising star in the UK, gaining a slot at Download 2011 and confirmed for Metal Days Festival in Slovenia for 2013. With their new EP, Driving The Nails In, released, Nya are set to reach new heights. Nico has a chance to chat with the band about their future plans and the new EP.

Nico: Are there any concepts or lyrical themes that revolve around the new EP, Driving The Nails In?

Nya: The whole concept for the EP artwork and visual theme came from the song ‘Driving The Nails In’ so the lyrics here inspired the imagery. We didn’t take a concept based approach lyrically on this EP and each song has it’s own meaning which I’m sure people can relate to when listening.

Nico: You’ve been confirmed to play Metal Days in Slovenia in 2013. How are you feeling about that?

Nya: We’re definitely excited about that one, we should have a run of European dates building up to this one so it’s going to be good fun.

Nico: Aside from the aforementioned Metal Days festival, what are the band’s plans for 2013?

Nya: To play in front of as many new people as we possibly can, get new material flowing in our veins and take no prisoners along the way.

Nico: Is there a meaning behind the band’s name, Nya?

Nya: We keep getting told new meanings by fans for the word Nya such as how it means ‘new’ in Swedish as well as our personal favourite; ‘meow’ in Japanese. The real reason behind the name is we just thought it was a cool word and liked the sound of it.

Nico: How does a typical song writing session go for the band?

Nya: There isn’t too much of a ‘typical’ song writing session for us as no 2 songs ever come together in the same way. Usually ideas are developed individually or between 2/3 people before they reach full rehearsal stage and by that point we have a good idea of where the song needs to go. It’s then a case of demoing it so we can work on the structure, textures, harmonies and layers.

Nico: If could replace the soundtrack to any film with your own music, which one would it be and why?

Nya: Every fight scene from Expendables 2 with some of the new tracks we will be playing live next year – because fire and explosions make everything better, just look at Rammstein! And whilst we’re at it we have to finish up some faster songs that would go well in any of the ridiculous stunt scenes Fast and Furious 6 is bound to have – just for the hell of it.

Nico: Where do you see the band in five years?

Nya: Bigger, better and tearing it up on tour – Stronger than ever and living life to the fullest!

Nico: Given the chance, which band would you like to tour with?

Nya: ar too many to list but it would be awesome to see the massive productions of the likes of Muse or Slipknot every night – Music is an art form and we are all into the visual side of things and putting on a show for the fans so this would be incredibly inspiring to witness day after day.

Nico: How did Nya form?

Nya: Like most bands Nya has been through various lineup changes as we find members that aren’t only dedicated to taking this as far as possible, but also who can eat, sleep, work, breathe and live together without wanting to rip each other apart (too much!). Musically and artistically we are all on the same page these days, which is only making us stronger as a unit with bigger, better songs and ideas in the pipeline. We all have big plans for the future of Nya.

Nya: It’s worth saying we are currently seeking a permanent drummer to join us and anyone interested in auditioning can contact us at nyaofficial@gmail.com

Nico: What’s the metal scene like in your local area?

Nya: We keep relocating so I’m not 100% on where our local area is right now but London and the South West has an abundance of talented bands in the metal and rock scenes!

Nico: What are the band’s biggest influences?

Nya: If it grooves, makes us feel something we can relate to and sticks in our heads we’re in!

Nico: When it comes to writing new songs, where do you find your inspiration?

Nya: It could be a new record, day to day events, a new sound, tone or groove – basically anything happening around us in life is inspiring us, sometimes it’s a positive thing and at other times it can be quite dark or negative. It’s sometimes just that desire to create that sound we have in our heads with something that is new and a part of us that leads us to new ideas.

Nico: Do you have any plans for a UK tour? If so, any indications to as where you’ll be playing?

Nya: Keep an eye out for info on UK Dates for late February and early March! We are planning on hitting quite a few places but are just waiting on the details now.

Nico: Are there any bands, aside from yourselves, you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Dead Letter Circus – Seriously worth checking these guys out, they sound huge!

Nico: What was the last album you bought?

Nya: That would be the new Deftones album Koi No Yokan – Really getting into this one so far with all its epic guitar and vocal layers backed up by some chunky riffs!

Nico: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Nya: Thanks as ever for continuing to support what we do and we hope to see you at a show in 2013!

Nya’s new EP: Driving The Nails In is now available from http://nyaofficial.bigcartel.com

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Seremonia – Seremonia

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 20th November 2012 by Pieni

Seremonia
Seremonia
Released: 14th September 2012
Psychedelic doom / vest metal
Released via Svart Records

Photobucket

Seems like there’s a new term for the psychedelic doom that sounds as if it was made between the 60s and the 70s and that deals with the occult and general apocalyptic themes: vest metal. And despite Seremonia is also a new band, the sound isn’t exactly a novelty – except for the fact that they sing in their native language Finnish, through the voice of Noora Federley.

This self-titled debut kicks off with a self-titled electronic intro, very fuzzy, with Noora declaring some words in a somewhat prophetic way. “Seremonia” is linked to the next track/first song “Uhrijuhla”, which translates to “sacrificial feast”. And as “Seremonia” is predictably “ceremony”, you can guess the obscure vibe that’s going on here. The rhythm in this song is totally stoner, while the guitars are quite rocky in that hippie-seventies-kind-of-way. In fact, that’s the feeling you get from the general album: the band claims that “modern production standards” are “boring” and so you listen to a really old-fashioned, raw sound, as if the recordings had taken place “back in the day”, not just the influences the band’s drawn and applied to their own songwriting.

A video was made for this song – something very “ceremonial”, as in “witchcraft practice” – but it’s “Rock ‘N Rollin Maailma” (“rock ’n roll world” or something like that) which was the first single. And yes, there’s a bit of rock’n’roll guitars, once again the kind of psychedelic guitars your mind associates with Woodstock, but they’re smothered by an almost hypnotic bass line.

In “Aamuruskon Kaupunki” (“city’s dawn”) it’s the synths that carry the hypnosis and trance connotation, while “Kosminen Ruumisvaunu” (“cosmic hearse”) has an unexpected punk speed.

“Lusiferin Käärmeet” (“snakes of Lucifer”) starts up in sludge pace, and then reaches an almost noise-rock level. As for “Antikristus 666” (guess you don’t need translation for that), it has doom all over it. And I must also mention the flutes in the end of “Hautakiven Varjossa” (“tombstone shade”), adding a magical fairy-like touch to it.

I don’t think all this weirdness is enough to put them under a spotlight, but if you’re into this so-called vest metal, or simply into stoner/psychedelic doom, maybe you should check them out.

3/5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

 

Greek symphonic metallers Nightfall post cover artwork, track list and lyric video for new album ‘Cassiopeia’!

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

Greek symphonic metallers Nightfall have launched a landing page featuring the artwork and a new song off their upcoming new album Cassiopeia! Please surf over here to check out the pre-order possibilities and the lyric video for Oberon & Titania!

Singer Efthimis Karadimas regarding the concept of Cassiopeia: Cassiopeia has a specific thesis and though its name is linked to both the constellation and the mythical character of Andromeda´s mother, it refers to arrogance as leading characteristic of the human race; the outcome of this and the overweening state of affairs are so popular these harsh days everywhere. The entire world seems to be shifting from its previous position to a new one and all and each one of us that used to feel like masters of our destiny are now starting to wonder about when, where and how this transition will end. It may be a punishment like Cassiopeia and Andromeda who claimed themselves more beautiful even to nereids suffered, or it may be just another change. Time will certainly tell.”

And about Oberon & Titania: “The song is based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream couple; He is the king of fairies and She is the fairy queen. Despite their apparent close relationship, they end up forcefully using their powers and skills against each other; like maniacs blinded by light of passion and haughtiness they drag themselves to the lowest dungeons of nature. It is the ceaseless passion between two beings; passion that unites before it destroys anything around it once unleashed. It is true we are nothing when it comes to sustaining our gratefulness in front of desire. We are born broken in a dilute world poets’ admiration cannot disguise. And none can break the broken.”
Cassiopeia will be released the 21st of January, 2013 via Metal Blade Records in the UK!

The recordings for Cassiopeia took place in four different places, something Nightfall is quite familiar with. Vocals and keys were recorded in Greece (Soundflakes studios & Cyberia) while the drums got hammered down in Germany in the Soundlodge studios. Guitars and bass were recorded in the U.S. in Nashville, Tennessee in the Boomcave studios.

More than on the previous album Astron Black & The Thirty Tyrants, in Cassiopeia the spirit of old school Heavy Metal larks in almost every riff, with Mercyful Fate´s and King Diamond´s guitar style having its top notch, always the Nightfall way.

Cassiopeia track list:

1. Phaethon
2. Oberon & Titania
3. Colonize Cultures
4. The Nightwatch
5. Stellar Parallax
6. Hubris
7. The Reptile Gods
8. Hyperion
9. Akhenaton, the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty
10. The Sand Reckoner
11. Astropolis

Nightfall is:
Efthimis Karadimas – vocals
Evan Hensley – guitars
Constantine – guitars
Stathis Ridis – bass
Stathis Kassios – keys
Jörg Uken – drums

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Korpiklaani announce European tour

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

Following the end of the highly celebrated Heidenfest Tour, Finnish folk metallers Korpiklaani will be hitting the road over Europe next year in January and February. Support will come from Estonian folk metal band Metsatöll. The headline tour will bring both their classics as well as the enchanting tunes of their latest album, Manala, (out since August 3rd, 2012) onto the European stages – And British fans can rejoice – Unless you live in Wales – as Korpiklaani will also be hitting up the UK on the extensive European tour. You can see the tour dates below.

Tour dates are as followed:

January
30 – Essen, Germany – Turock
31 – Norwich, England – Waterfront

February
1 – Glasgow, Scotland – Classic Grand
2 – Manchester, England – The Academy
3 – Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory
4 – London, England – Underworld
5 – Colmar, France – Grillen
6 – Paris, France – Divan Du Monde
7 – Rennes, France – Antipode
8 – Cognac, France – West Rock
9 – Madrid, Spain – Caracol
10 – Barcelona, Spain – Razz2/Salamandra1
11 – Toulouse, France – Bikini
12 – Lyon, France – CCO
14 – Solothurn, Switzerland – Kofmehl
15 – Chur, Switzerland – Palazzo
16 – Reggio Emilia, Italy – Tempo Rock
17 – Turin, Italy – Combo@Suoneria
18 – Rome, Italy – Orion
19 – Treviso, Italy – New Age
20 – Maribor, Slovenia – Stuk
21 – Bratislava, Slovakia – Majestic Music Club
22 – Budapest, Hungary – Club 202
23 – Ingolstadt, Germany – Westpark

 

Interview with Jan Bünning [Paragon]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , on 19th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

This year marks the 22nd anniversary since the formation of the German heavy metal powerhouse that is Paragon. Iza caught up with bassist Jan Bünning to discuss their latest album ‘Force of Destruction’ and find out more about the band’s long history.

Iza: Hi there!
Jan: Hello!

Iza. It’s been 22 years since the birth of Paragon. How do you think the band has evolved since the early 90s?
Jan: Before I joined Paragon in 1997 the band almost split up and Martin Christian the founding member hired our singer Buschi and me as new members. About half a year later we already entered the studio and put out two albums in a very short time. To be honest looking back now I consider “Final Command“ and “Chalice Of Steel“ more as demos and would say “Steelbound“ is our debut. “Law Of The Blade” is the album on which we found our style and the next milestone was “Revenge“ where sound and songs are in perfect harmony considering our playing abilities we had at that time. “Forgotten Prophecies“ in my opinion had good songs but they are not arranged very well and the sound is terrible. I didn´t play on “Screenslaves” but the sound is better as on “Forgotten Prophecies”and it had some good songs on it like “Screenslaves” and “Hellgore” but also some average stuff.

We worked a lot on “Force Of Destruction” e.g. Wolle had riffs for about 25 songs and I then collected the most fitting and arranged them for Buschi to write lyrics and vocal lines. So we had a full pre-production, something we have never done before. We also evolved as players so we were well prepared when we entered the studio and we need less time for the recordings of “FoD” than for other albums. I would say “FoD“ has everything a Paragon album should have and also some new influences from our new guitar players Wolfgang Tewes and Jan Bertram.

I. What have been the biggest highlights of your career to date?
J: There are many highlights like playing the main stage in Wacken 2004 in front of 40000 Metalheads, opening for Gamma Ray on their tour and of course the very good reviews we get for “Force of Destruction“.

I. Where do you see yourselves in the world of power metal? Which bands would you compare yourselves to?
J: I would not say we are Power Metal. When we started with Paragon, Power Metal was something like Overkill – a cross between classic Heavy Metal/Speed & Thrash Metal. Today stuff like Sonata Arctica are called Power Metal and that is something totally different.

I: Your style is an interesting mix of power and speed metal. I can also detect elements of thrash metal in some of your songs. Which of these genres, would you say is the most applicable to Paragon? How would you describe your sound?
J: I would say we play Heavy Metal with some Thrash & Speed Influences. We try not to have the same song over and over on our albums so we have fast stuff like “Iron Will” & “Rising From The Black“, doom songs like “Blood & Iron“, stompers like “Gods Of Thunder” and even ballads like “Demon´s Lair”. So in the end it´s all Heavy Metal only that one song is more Thrash Metal like “Rising From The Black” and the other Song is more Heavy Metal like “Gods Of Thunder“.

I: Have your influences changed since the formation of the band or are they still the same as they were all those years ago?
J: Our Influences are still bands like: Judas Priest, Accept, (old) Iron Maiden, Overkill, Metal Church, Mercyful Fate, Vicious Rumors, Candlemass, Agent Steel and even some Slayer. They have not changed too much and I guess we will even try to get more back to the roots on our next album.

I: If you were to pick one song from the new album ‘Force of Destruction’ to act as a teaser for all those new to Paragon, which one would it be & why?
J: Really hard to say because it´s our first album where I like each and every song. But if I had to chose it would be “Iron Will“. It´s the last song we wrote just before we entered the studio and we did not have time to do a vocal demo with it but when I heard it for the first time I knew it´s already a Paragon classic. When you hear it for the first time you can sing along the chorus when we play it the second time and that how a good song should be. In the lead section you hear first Wolle´s more melodic leads and after that Jan Bertram´s more technical lead guitars.

I: In the past you have paid tribute to other German metal bands such as Tankard and Helloween. Have these bands had any influence on your music?
J: No. the only German band which has influenced us is Accept.

I: Are there any plans to compile a ‘Best of Paragon’ album to celebrate your long career?
J: That would be a question for our old record company Remedy Records because they have the rights for our older stuff. But the only thing I know that they will re-release “Steelbound” very soon with a bonus disc full of all our tribute songs because I made the new layout for the re-release.

I: What are your plans for the future?
J: Getting tighter as a band, writing and recording another killer album and doing a lot of shows.
I: Ok. That’s great. Thanks!
J: Thank you!

 

Broken Links – Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 18th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Broken Links
Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene
Released: November2012
Industrial Rock / Goth/ Alternative Rock
Released via Devil Theory Records

Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene is the debut album from the British industrial rock band Broken Links.

Electrik seems like a fitting name for the opening track which features a good mix of synths, heavy guitar riffs and standard rock style vocals. There’s something very uplifting about this band’s take on industrial rock, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Somehow the combination of the energetic guitar riffs and the singer’s passionate, melancholic vocals creates this happy vibe making you want to wave your hands around and sing along. The synth-laden intro to What Are You Waiting For? gives the track a certain darkwave/gothic feel to it. For a while you think this is going to be a slow and sombre ballad, then melodic guitars kick in picking up the pace and with them the vocals breathe new life to the song.

Then there’s the atmospheric, ambient-style, synth-driven Choice/Decay (Part I) and its melodic guitar infused twin Choice/Decay (Part II)’; the combination of which is the closest thing the band has to a rock ballad. There’s some really odd stuff happening during the intro to Therapy Sessions In The Dark; experimental guitar riffage and synth…hmm…I’m not sure if that was really necessary – then again neither was the industrial noise part in the intermission track. The weirdness doesn’t stop there though, as the bizarre synth noise makes a brief comeback in the later stages of the track. Luckily next up is Cherno which is a far less complicated beast, marking a return to the energetic industrial rock style of its predecessors.

Another noteworthy track is the melodic and atmospheric instrumental A Memory of Home which has this tranquil feel to it setting it apart from the rest of the album.

Overall this is one of the most unique rock albums I have ever reviewed. Broken Links is not an easy band to categorise and their debut is full of surprises. It may not be flawless but it’s definitely worth checking out in my opinion.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila