Archive for February, 2013

Bay Area thrash outfit Heathen announce first UK show in two years

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 18th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Exciting news for thrash metal fans as Bay Area thrashers Heathen have just announced their first UK date in over two years at London’s Camden Underworld. The show will take place on June 23rd later this year.

Founded in 1984 by Lee Altus (whom is also currently a member of Exodus), Heathen have released three albums, Breaking The Silence, Victims Of Deception and The Evolution Of Chaos, and their fourth album and debut with Nuclear Blast Records is currently in the pipeline due to be released in 2014.

Support bands are to be confirmed and tickets for this sell-out show will be going on sale on Friday 22nd February. Tickets will be available from www.theunderworldcamden.co.uk

Adv tickets: £14.50

For more information please head over too:
facebook.com/heathen.official

 

Interview with Glyn Beasley [Ravenage]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , on 15th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Glyn Beasley has been the leader and vocalist for the epic Viking metal warband Ravenage since its formation five years ago. Glyn is also the co-promoter for the Metieval Festival, an event which has seen bands like Hecate Enthroned, Blaze Bayley and Power Quest play. He’s also heavily involved with the Warhorns Festival – The UK’s premier folk metal festival. In an exclusive interview with Nico, Glyn reveals his thoughts on Hull’s metal scene, the UK’s folk metal scene and clears up his roles in both Metieval and Warhorns. Glyn also makes reference to his love for goat’s milk.

Nico: The internet is quite barren when it comes to details of Ravenage’s early day, so my first question is; how did Ravenage come into existence?

Glyn: Ravenage were formed in December 2007 from the remnants of Heathen ForayHeathen Foray were formed a couple of years earlier by Sam and myself, first as just a recording project, but then a live band. Rich, aka Lord Legion, joined us on bass almost immediately and then later Chris on drums.  We probably did about 10 gigs in total, mostly in Hull and Beverley, but we also played Derby, Wakefield, Scunthorpe, Birmingham and Withernsea.  We also released an album and an EP and had reasonable success for a Hull-based band. Towards the end of 2007,  we recruited Mark Wood as a second guitarist as Sam was struggling with commitment, at the same time Chris had also lost interest and there was a definite divide in the band.  I didn’t feel comfortable continuing HF without Sam, so I put it on hold. At the same time I still wanted to be in an active band in a similar style and enjoyed working with both Rich and Mark, so over the Christmas period we wrote and recorded The Ravenage demo so that we could find a suitable keyboardist and drummer.  A chance meeting in Spiders Nightclub secured the services of former Gwydion drummer Bruno, and then I think Elliot found us on Myspace via has solo project Nogothrim, and full rehearsals began in March 2008. Elliot tweaked the demos and re-recorded  the keyboards, and we made our debut in Swansea supporting Annwn that April.

Nico: The band has seen several differing line-up changes through the years, how have these line-up changes affected Ravenage‘s sound?

Glyn: I think our sound has just been a natural progression since the Hardrada’s Fall EP, prior to then our sound was more raw and leaned more towards black metal, rather than the folky melodic death metal sound we have today.  To be honest, though we’ve had a fair share of line up changes over the years, everyone has known what Ravenage is about and has adapted to our style.  For our next album, I’m very keen to hear what Chris, Boxhead and Art bring to the table alongside the more established writing styles of Elliot and Danny.

Nico: Things have been quiet over the last year or so within Camp Ravenage, is there any reasoning for this?

Glyn: I wouldn’t necessarily say we’ve been quiet, it’s more of a case that we’ve not been gigging as often as we have in the past for number of reasons.  We’re probably more selective of gigs now as without major label support, we’ve done as much as we can in the UK—we’ve played Bloodstock, Pagan Pride and Gathering The Clans, and most major UK cities, as well as some continental gigs and festivals. Like most bands we’ve had good turn outs and we’ve had poor ones.  So, these days, it’s just a case of ensuring we play the right gigs and not the same place too often as we try to make every gig special, this year will probably follow in the same vein.  Also, as well as Ravenage, I have a full time job, a beautiful girlfriend, a wolfdog as well as commitments to both Warhorns and Metieval, so I don’t want to burn myself out completely.  Elliot also has his commitments to Alestorm, Danny to Aloeswood as well as being in full-time education alongside Chris and Boxhead, and Art is a full time music  lecturer. This doesn’t mean that anyone is less committed to Ravenage – wait til you hear the quality of our new songs – it’s just a case of balancing things out and staying fresh both physically and mentally.

Nico: Ravenage’s latest album, Fresh From Fields Of Victory, was released in 2011. Is there a new album in the works?

Glyn: Absolutely, and the plan is to release it this year.  We have about six songs written and have already performed Northbound Part II live.  It’s unlikely we’ll air any others prior to the album release, but you never know.  We’re also planning on releasing a video for one of the tracks, which should be a lot of fun.

Nico: A couple of Ravenage‘s members are involved with other projects – Danny with Aloeswood and Elliot with Alestorm – Has this made progress for Ravenage more challenging?

Glyn: Not now, though when Elliot first joined Alestorm we recruited Art as a session player to cover his absence.  Art loved playing live with us and we managed to fulfil last year’s gigging schedule by essentially having two keyboard players.  Art is a fantastic keyboardist as well as a great bloke and we all liked having him around, and after learning our set it did seem like a waste to just be a session player. Elliot is also an amazing all-round musician and vocalist and can play any instrument with ease, and as he now has his keyboard fix in Alestorm, playing bass with Ravenage enables him to have a lot more stage freedom and live presence. Also, during his absences, its easier for us to bring in a session bass player than a keyboard player. Regarding Danny and Aloeswood, it’s not really a problem as Danny is currently only playing select gigs.  However, I have no doubt that Aloeswood will eventually become a huge part of the UK black metal scene.  Danny is an amazing songwriter and is already beginning to receive the recognition he deserves.  Also, while Boxhead is involved with other bands and projects, he still has enough energy to be in at least half a dozen more bands so that is not a problem either.

Nico: You’re involved with both Metieval and Warhorns and this has obviously confused people, regarding your roles within both. Could you explain what your roles are in each and how they differ from one another?

Glyn: Metieval was formed in 2006 by Stig and myself to bring a professional festival to the Hull and East Yorkshire region.  Metieval organized the East Riding Rock Festival in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  Due to struggling to find a suitable venue and  over-estimating the local metal scene, we decided to call it a day in 2011 with the Metieval Requiem to finish things off.  However, after a bit of a break and a rethink we decided to resurrect the festival in late 2012 with the Metieval Winterfest, and have plans for future events. Regarding Metieval, Stig and I are the founders and have equal say in all related matters . We do have a good support team around us especially Stig’s wife Lyn, Elliot Vernon and Hull Rockers Jake and Silver Back.
Warhorns Festival is the creation Marc Ollis – I work as his right-hand man alongside Shamsi Modarai and Elliot Vernon.  However, all major decisions are made by Marc and I only book and contact bands on his behalf because of my previous experience co-running Metieval events. The difference between Metieval and Warhorns is that Metieval is regionally-based in Hull and East Yorkshire, and will book any suitable band that plays any genre of metal or rock. Warhorns, on the other hand, is purely a Viking/folk/black metal festival with a more national and international scope.

Nico: As you’re involved with Hull’s music scene, to an extent, as both a musician and a promoter, what are your thoughts on Hull’s music scene? How does it differ from the other scenes around the UK?

Glyn: I can’t really speak for other cities’ metal scenes as I’m not involved in any and I’m also a lot less involved in the Hull music scene then I used to be.  Before the resurrection of Metieval Winterfest, I think I’d been to maybe two gigs in two years.  I did recently self-promote and organise a gig for Old Corpse Road as part of the Northern leg of their UK tour, but that was a one-off, and a favour for a friend.
There are a couple of excellent local bands out there.  Obviously Sworn Amongst have been very successful, although I don’t know how they’ll get on without Frank at the helm.  Also, Infernal Creation are my personal favourites and are getting some well deserved recognition and good gigs of late.  I also like Alice In Thunderland from Bridlington, and Innersylum have the region’s strongest vocalist in the form of Derk. I also thought Pastel Jack had some good ideas, and was surprised by their demise as I thought they were on the brink of getting to the next level.  At  Metieval Winterfest, I was impressed by some of the more hardcore bands, in particular Downfall and Battalions.
The problem I think with the Hull Metal Scene was actually pointed out to me by my friend Pip (otherwise known as Raeven Irata).  She noted that the majority of metal fans in Hull are already in bands, and local bands don’t really support one  another’s’ gigs.  I’m no exception to this as I rarely go out and support other bands due to not having enough time  I think this is why over the years the scene has divided and fragmented. Also, the loss of venues coupled with the fact that a lot of people appear to prefer to watch a bunch of imposters (tribute bands) than a band playing original music, has taken its toll, hence where we are now.  I’d also say that without Darren Bunting and Music HQ, Hull’s metal scene would be dead.
There is still room I think for decent gigs in Hull and the surrounding area.  Metieval, Valkyrian, Sunkfest, and Springboard all tend to be successful.  Stig and I have also noted that there’s a new festival called Nukefest that appears to be a complete carbon copy of Metieval Winterfest.

Nico: Obviously being apart of the Warhorns family means you’ve got more involvement with the pagan and folk metal scenes. What are your thoughts on the current folk and pagan metal scenes?

Glyn: Since I’ve not travelled to a Euro Festival since 2011, I can only really comment on the UK Scene.  There are some great UK bands out there at the minute.  Old Corpse Road‘s album is amazing and they just get better and better each time I see them.  Sheffield’s Northern Oak, also deliver the goods, and I’m always a fan of Shallow Intentions from Weymouth and Manchester’s Andraste.  An up and coming band to watch out for are Morlich from Scotland.  I also understand that the recent Korpiklaani tour was a huge success and hopefully Heidevolk, Cryptic Age and Celtachor will storm the Jorvik Viking Festival next week.  I know that Warhorns has had over 50 UK bands apply and some of them are rather bloody marvellous, it will be a difficult choice selecting the right line up for this years festival, which is a good thing.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Ravenage? Is there an image or concept behind it?

Glyn: Most of our lyrics and themes are set in the Dark Ages or at least pre -1066.  This was the age of wolves, eagles and ravens – the beasts of battle.  The name just came to me one day when I was enjoying a pint of goat’s milk and thinking of song titles, and I came up with Foretelling the Ravenage which was an early HF song.

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

Glyn: I love classic epic movies from the 50s and 60s like El Cid and The Vikings.  Miklos Rozsa is my favourite composer of all time, I also love Basil Poledouris hence the secret Robocop track hehe.  Nobody could replace the soundtracks written by those composers. Maybe the movie for us do a soundtrack for hasn’t been filmed yet. Maybe that should go on the ‘To do’ board! Make a movie, that is.

Nico: Are there any bands from the folk metal scene that you’d recommend to our readers?

Glyn: Yep, I’ll recommend a couple of lesser known, but top quality bands. Please check out:
Æther Realm from USA (who are not from Finland).
Black Messiah from Germany (who are playing at Warhorns).
Elzevir from Moscow (I’m not sure if they’re currently active).

Nico: Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Glyn: Thanks for the supporting Ravenage these past five years, here’s to the next five and beyond! And remember to drink goats milk – as well as tasting good it will keep you healthy and full of inspiration!

The 69 Eyes w/ Generation Graveyard in London

Posted in Gig, Live with tags on 14th February 2013 by Pieni

The 69 Eyes, Generation Graveyard
O2 Academy Islington, London

12th February 2013

The 69 Eyes, a.k.a. Helsinki Vampires, have been touring Europe in support of their latest release, “X”. On February 12th, they sank their goth’n’roll fangs in London’s O2 Academy Islington.

But before that, local death punks Generation Graveyard had the honor of warming things up. Their music may be “a little harsher” than what most of the headliners’ fans are used to, but in general the crowd went along with it pretty well. Someone screamed something less pleasant at some point, but as singer Max pointed out, that someone had paid a ticket and was watching him and his band, so…

They kicked off with “Abominate/Desolate”, showing right away how serious they were about delivering a very energetic gig. An 8-song setlist that included “Suburban Suicide”, “Deletist” and “The Empty”, and which ended after 40 minutes with the title-track of their EP “Poison City”. Maybe somewhat out of place, but they did play a great show.

www.facebook.com/GENGRAVE

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Before Generation Graveyard got on stage, the background music had been Rage Against The Machine. Now that the stage was being set for The 69 Eyes and the Finns were about to get on stage, the mood changed completely into a Deep South vibe – something singer Jyrki 69 is known to appreciate. Then at 21:20 the Helsinki Vampires “met” the Southern Vampires of “True Blood” as Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” echoed and the lights went down… and the crowd screamed, knowing the show was on.

It started for real with what drummer Jussi 69 claims to be “one of the best rock songs written in years” “Love Runs Away”. And it felt like one of the best rock performances played in years.

Later on, when introducing “Black”, Jyrki said it was a song with a very philosophical theme – a song about how he loved girls dressed in black. “And I bet you’re all wearing black tonight”, he added in the end. Well if it wasn’t “all”, it was pretty close to it.

Timo-Timo picked up a semi-acoustic guitar and so it was no surprise to hear Jyrki say they would play the second single from “X”, “Borderline”. Despite its softer nature, the bodies kept moving to its rhythm. Same with “Red”, the “real” ballad of the night, where Bazie got carried away during the solo and extended it a bit.

Focusing on “X”, they still played classics such as “Gothic Girl”, “Dance D’Amour” and “Betty Blue”. And some more “contemporaneous” hits like “Perfect Skin”, “Never Say Die” or “Devils”. After the latter, the band left the stage. About an hour had passed, just like that, proving the old saying that “time flies when you’re having fun”.

When returning for the encore, and after Bazie fooled around with the chords from “The Chair”, Jyrki took the chance to thank us for being there that night and supporting them. That they’ve been around for 23 years, and that they can do another 23 “if you want us to”. The applause and roars were even more deafening than when he called us The London Vampires.

“The Chair” was then properly played, followed by “Brandon Lee”, and someone who had been shouting “Lost Boys” for at least half of the show, finally had her wish come true. “You wanna rock!”, Jyrki screamed, and as always, he wasn’t satisfied with the screams he got in return. Also as always, he said that the previous night (Paris) had been a lot louder. Again as always, we booed and destroyed our vocal chords in that final song.

As the band was saying “thank you” and “goodbye” and throwing the usual souvenirs (picks, drum sticks, setlists…), another tv theme was used as outro – “Sons Of Anarchy” “This Life”, performed by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers. What a bloody great night!

www.69eyes.com

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

HIM announce details for new album; exclusive UK show to showcase the new album

Posted in News on 14th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Finnish “love metal” band HIM have revealed the details of their long awaited, highly anticipated, brand new studio album.

Recorded in their home country with long-time producer Hiili Hiilesmaa, the new album – which is titled Tears On Tape – is scheduled for release in UK & Ireland on April 29th via Cooking Vinyl’s rock imprint DoubleCross. The album will be released in the U.S. and Canada the following day (April 30th) on Razor & Tie.

Fresh from mastering the album in over New York, Ville Valo commented "Cooking Vinyl’s history speaks for itself and for some unfathomable reason they have clearly understood HIM’s rather perverse musical fetishes (which is as rare as hen’s teeth !). DoubleCross (of the inverted kind) here we come!”

Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde”Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, HIM’s previous seven albums have seen them win a worldwide following, becoming the first Finnish act to achieve platinum sales status in the US.

A formidable live act, the band is currently limbering up for dates in 2013, including a highly anticipated appearance at Download Festival.

The band will also perform an extremely exclusive show at London’s Dingwalls venue on April 26th, giving fans their first chance to hear the new material in a very intimate setting before the album hits the shelves. Tickets go on sale at 9 am Monday 18th Feb 2013 from this location.

Viking metallers Ravenage and more confirmed for Valk-Fest 2013

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 14th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

This year’s Valkyrian Festival (29th of November – 1st of December) is now bolstered by the announcement of five more absolutely sterling bands. You can catch these guys, along with Nya, Narcotic Death, Aonia, Old Corpse Road and a plethora of others for only a fiver over the course of the weekend.

For the Friday, Scottish power trio Storm of Embers are making their way south. Hot on the tail of their rapturous EP launch, these guys are eager to make their way into everyone’s music library with their unique blend of progressive, melodic and post-metal. You can get their EP I from this location.

Also on the Friday, Dead Man’s Conspiracy are bringing what they call “Real Metal” to Valk-Fest 2013. Formed in 2009, the 5-piece have gone about carving a niche for their “energetic, chaotic and unpredictable live shows”. Their music is available to listen to at their Facebook page.

Saturday brings yet another Scottish band down from their heights – heroes of the underground Maelstrom. Having supported bands like Tyr, Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth, Alestorm and A Forest of Stars over the almost 9 years of their existence, the well-dressed gents will crush this year’s festival with their intense, brutal combination of symphonic black and doom metal. Not ones to miss: with their colossal live show, they certainly ought to be massive. Pick up on their stuff at this location.

Headlining the Friday are none other than Yorkshire’s very own heathen warband Ravenage, who have shared the stage with big names like Tyr, Skyforger and Hecate Enthroned. Formed in the cold winter of 2007, Ravenage have grown into one of the most formidable forces of the UK’s underground scene.

And finally, on the Sunday, hailing from the birthplace of heavy metal, Dakesis will be bringing their cheese-layered power metal sounds to Valkyrian Festival. After being unable to play last year’s Valk-Fest due to illness, the five piece prog. power outfit are more than pleased to have been announced for this year’s event.

Valkyrian Festival will take place at Shades Nightclub 29th November through to 1st December – all profits from the festival go to RapeCrisis. Tickets are £5 for weekend and available from this location. Further details and news can be found at the official Valkyrian Festival Facebook and Twitter.

 

Waylander announce plans for new album to commemorate 20 year anniversary

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 12th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

ArdChieftain O’Hagan, vocalist of the influential Northern Irish pagan metal band Waylander has announced that the band are planning on a new release late 2013 to commemorate their 20 year anniversary.

As many of you may be aware of, 2013 sees Waylander celebrate two decades of existence, an impressive milestone in anyone’s book. We plan to have a new release out towards the very end of 2013, which, we hope will please fans both old and new.

We will write and record a concept mini album which will deal with the Four Fire Festivals of the Irish Pagan calendar, expanding on the subject matter dealt with in Twin Fires of Beltíne. As well as reworking Twin Fires of Beltíne, slightly, the other 3 songs will deal with Imbolg, Lughnasadh and Samhain. As a bonus we will include an interview DVD, explaining the history of the band and revealing the truth behind the trials and tribulations of the turbulent lifespan of the beast that has become known as Waylander. We hope also to include some live footage and some behind the scenes Hallionry which will reveal the personalities of the various band members.

The band’s latest album Kindred Spirits was released on July 16th in Europe and August 14th in North America 2012 through Listenable Records and has gained worldwide acclaim.

 

Black Messiah confirmed for Warhorns Festival

Posted in News on 12th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Teutonic pagan metallers Black Messiah have been added to the bill for this year’s Warhorns Festival. They’ll be joining Scottish black metallers Maelstrom, Hull’s own Infernal Creation and Sheffield folk metal band Northern Oak. Along side, Black Messiah, Old Corpse Road will also be returning to festival this year, as well as Andraste who recently opened for Korpiklaani.

Warhorns Festival will take place on 27th and 28th September at The Duchess in York. Ticket information will be available soon.